Winter Whimsy

February 15, 2017

I am seeing the funny side of winter this morning, which is so much easier to do, when one has a 3 hour delay for school/work, due to black ice on the road.  In other words, this means I am drinking coffee in bed, when I would normally be at school.  This day after Valentine’s day, the kids are coming down off of their sugar high, in the privacy of their own home.  (Win one for the school staff).

Valentine’s day at an elementary school is a fairly rewarding place.  When you work in the library, no one really has to bring you Valentines, so when they do, it is very sweet and touching.  The kids do have such fun giving to others.  Love in forms of suckers, hearts and chocolate.  Nothing says loving like 4.5 ounces of truck!Or a very special Valentine from My Loving Spouse, who had to fix some of the words in the card he found.I love these guys!

Staying on the lighter side of life, we’ve warmed up a tad.  Can you figure out where our septic system is?  The warmest spot in the yard.The hoar-frost is beautiful on every branch…Although it is quite possible that Pooh, does not agree…with hoar frost on her whiskers, as she continues her campaign to become a house cat.  (Which is NOT happening).In other bits of randomness… do you know what type of Danish mid-century Modern furniture goes well in a 1889 year old American farm-house?

NONE!  (Except a very good sewing table, but that is all about function not form.)

In other words the furniture we moved here with, (that I never liked), but My Loving Spouse was fond of…is finally gone!  My Loving Spouse took pity on my furniture angst and said…sell it…and so we did.  Which is why we currently now have imaginary dressers and odd random empty spaces around the house.  I am scouring the internet for just the right furniture for a funny shaped home.  I am in a design frenzy.  I’d even repaint the bedroom today, if I could actually get to the paint store (except for the whole black ice problem).

Have a great day, where ever you are…

I may go have some more coffee and just a small bite of truck, yes, I am blessed.

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Cry Whine…

February 9, 2017

It snowed again.  It snowed a LOT!  The kids at school were fairly awful.  Most people here are ready to lynch the Ground Hog and Mother Nature.  My Scare Crow, Garden Gladys Knight is up to her ???? in it.

 

The dogs prefer their blanket near the stove over their dog house.

The older I get, the more certain I am, that I do not really know very much.  However, this I do know…complaining doesn’t help.Complaining seems to be in epidemic proportions these days!

I find, that when I am around a group that is complaining, I tend to have two reactions:

  1.  I jump into the complaining pool, add my 2 cents, and throw in a bit of righteous indignation to go along with it.
  2. I complain about the complainers.

Both are ultimately unsettling to me and my next step is more permanent.  I distance myself from the complainers.  Complaining is a virus that separates relationships.

The snow is hard.  This winter has been hard.  Oh, well.

One of my brother’s was in a horrible accident.

Accident…in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He did nothing wrong.  He is riddled with broken bones, in pain and had his life adjusted in a blink of an eye.  That is his story, but what has humbled his siblings, is that he has chosen gratitude.

Gratitude over complaining.

Relationships over circumstance.

I am awed, impressed and proud…and blessed.

 

 

 

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Bob’s Quilt

January 31, 2017

Bob’s quilt is done.  The back is gray flannel, so it should be quite cozy.  The quilt is meant to be a lap quilt, for Bob to use when he does the nightly crossword puzzle.  I had some fun putting a “Bob” in the quilt.I put a heart as well, actually I put in two hearts, but one looks more like  cherry than a heart, so I am not showing that heart off.  Rack it up to my learning curve on the long arm quilter, which I am very fortunate to be able to use. I love, that with each step of a quilt it changes…I didn’t have a pattern, but I did have a picture.  (Source) I stopped before I went to far, to make sure it would ‘work’.  Quilts are lots of little pieces of math.  I am lucky to have a mathematical mind and easily able to figure these out.  It is a bit of an optical illusion.  There are no pinwheels squares, but it does look like it.I love my new design wall, that I got from our ‘free table’ at quilting.  A design wall is simply a glorified cheap vinyl table-cloth with flannel backing.  The flannel holds the fabric pieces up on the wall and off the floor where the dog hair resides.  This allows me to step back and rearrange squares easily.

I am quite excited to get it in the mail to Bob.  Here is my ‘ta da’ moment…Bob is currently 99.6 years old.  I hope he enjoys this quilt for a long time, even if he has been talking about ‘going home’ at 100.  I love Bob.  He is a special man….here is his Christmas card photo.  Time to get this quilt in the mail…

and I am blessed.

Quilt Instructions

At our quilting group, when someone brings in a new pattern, they name the pattern after the person who brought it in.  However, I think this should be called the Bob pattern.

This lap quilt is made up of 6.25 inch squares, 7 squares across by 9 squares down with a 2.5 inch border.

Instructions per square:

4.5 x 4.5 inch block

2.5 x 4.5 inch white strip

2.5 x 6.5 inch white strip

2.5 x 2.5 inch black square

The black squares are set at each end of a strip and sewn diagonal, cut at .25 inch at the seam, then turned flat and ironed.

Sew both strips onto the block making sure the diagonals are going the right direction.  In theory, the block should now be 6.5 x 6.5, but I preferred to trim my blocks evenly to 6.25 x 6.25 inches.  This allowed the blocks to go together so easily, nice and straight!  Happy quilting!

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Snow Day (Sew Day)

January 18, 2017

Today, for the first time in 20 years, the Ellensburg Schools are closed due to weather.  It is not completely a ‘snow day’.  It is more of a ‘freezing rain, black ice, dangerous road condition’ day.  The highways are closed….everyone is being told to stay in.

I am really okay with this idea.  You might even say, I am a tiny, tad thrilled.  Zoe and I get our chores done.Alfalfa bales slide quite easily on the ice, so we just pull them out to the hungry cows.  The weather as ‘promised’ by my Sort-of-smart phone weather app, has warmed up.  Not to the promised 41, but 28, we’ll take it.  I scoop mounds of horse poop.  Team Off-spring, tackles de-icing the walk ways and filling up the wood stack on the porch.  We are all now officially warm, cozy and read to enjoy our day off!

Snow Day…Sew Day!

I am making a lap quilt for My Boyfriend, Bob.  Bob does not read the blog.  Bob is now 99 and I do not believe he has a computer.  Those of you who know Bob, better not tell him about the surprise.  It will be black, gray, red and white, my inspiration comes from Bob and his church suit, black suit, white shirt, red tie.I am sure he will like it.  I need to get it done, while it is still cold (haha) and rainy in California, so he can properly enjoy it.

I’m off to sew and I am certainly blessed.

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WINTER!!!

January 15, 2017

As of this moment, Winter is officially kicking our butt.  I had managed to maintain a sunny outlook on things, (even though there has been NO sun for a while now), utilizing an ‘attitude of gratitude’, as I drove to work in -12 degrees.

Frozen hot water pipes…

…glad we have a home with pipes to freeze.

Seriously, this only works for so long…

My Loving Spouse went straight to worry, which I cannot blame him.  The guy has three metal joints in his body and the SUB ZERO temps are making him ache.  The thought of burst pipes, cold  spaces, and crawling around under a house was a tad terrifying.  Luckily, he managed to thaw out the offending pipe, with fans and heaters and the bad British word.  We now do what goes completely against my drought laden Californian roots, we leave hot water taps dripping.

For warmth, we are burning a lot of wood and the bedrooms are running a lot of electricity for heaters.  We might have to sell the fatted calf next month to pay the electric bill, except beef prices are currently down.  Speaking of cows…the animals frost-free pipes all froze last weekend.  There was talk with Our Friend the Farmer about heat tapes, and other contraptions to thaw them out, but eventually we just had to get water to them the Californian way, which is why there is now 150 feet of garden hose in my beautiful claw foot tub.  We cannot leave it anywhere else or it will freeze.  We drag it out every other day to fill the animals water tanks and feed them lots of extra hay to help keep them warm.  I wish all I had to do to keep warm was eat more!My Sort-of-Smart phone’s weather app tantalizes us with reports of warmer weather in a few days time, then they change their mind when the days actually come.  Tomorrow was said to be 25 degrees, we had planned to clean out the poop filled chicken house, so the hens would start laying again.  Currently, we only have two hens laying and often by the time we get to the eggs, they are frozen.  Now, the app is saying that it will only be 20 tomorrow and I bet by the time tomorrow comes it will be lower still.

When we go out to take care of the animals, we prioritize and do the most important jobs first, food and water…poop can wait, and since we are feeding everybody more, there is plenty of frozen poop.  It is true, your nose hairs can freeze.  I come back inside when my hands hurt too much from the cold.

We are planning on a bug reduced summer, as these temperatures apparently do them in.  Now, that is a silver lining.  As I write this, it is starting to snow, which is always pretty and it means, that things are warming up!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Stay warm my friends!

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Acts of Caring

January 10, 2017

Yesterday, I was touched by a truth.

My Librarian shared with the kids, that 49 of our 50 states currently had snow on the ground.  The only state that did not have snow?  Florida!  My Loving Spouse has not been handling this winter cold snap all that well, in fact he keeps going around the house, muttering….Florida, Florida, Florida.  I personally do not find it funny…not at all.

Everyone it seems has snow.  We are in this together.I was working with a little guy the other day at school.  He is anxious to learn, always has a smile, and thinks school is great.  There is lots of room for his family circumstance to be better.  I noticed his hands.  They were horrible.  One hand was rough, dry and red, the other was rough, and cut all across the knuckles.  It hurt to look at these little hands affected by this cold, dry weather.  The school nurse did what he could…

Quite a few of our kids eat two meals a day at school.  There was a caring group who worried about what these kids ate all weekend.  They started a weekly  program that sends home a bag of healthy snacks for these kiddos each Friday.

I quickly began to wonder, if we couldn’t find a way to send some hand lotion, in these bags at least once.  I told my friends who pack the snacks about my concern.  One of these good souls, went to the local Pharmacy and got some special test bottles of extra protective lotion especially for this little guy and his sister.

We have another 107 bags to get some hand lotion into.  I didn’t think it would be that hard, we just needed to put the word out.  After all…how many of us have those hand lotion samples from various travels sitting in our bathroom drawers.  One announcement at church and the little lotions are rolling in.

I am practical enough to know, that getting the lotion into the hands (pun totally intended) that need it, does not guarantee that it will help.  My hope is just that it will at least help some…

I took the special protective lotion to the teacher for the little boy and girl, whose hands were so bad.  As I gave her the lotion, I must have expressed my concern, that the effort would not make much of a difference.  She said,

“Sometimes the acts of caring for them is enough.”

The ‘acts of caring‘…

..and I am blessed, and as my mentor has told me many times,

We are blessed to be a blessing.

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Tough Stuff

It is winter and it is cold.  We are living in a multi-climate house.  It is very exciting.  No, that is a lie, it is crazy.  My goal (eventually) is for this home to often/usually/mostly be the same temperature (livable), give or take a few degrees in all the rooms.  Right now, it is a tad…chilly…but, […]

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Mr. T and Z…an update

A year in review?  I don’t think so! However, as I do reflect on this year, I cannot help, but be gratefully amazed at our two biggest life events of 2016, the accident and the kids. My Loving Spouse’s accident will always be a few seconds, where time stopped still for me.  Seeing him hit with […]

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The Best Christmas Tree Ever

At the risk of making the rest of you jealous, we/I/Glory Farm has the best Christmas tree ever this year. One year when Team Offspring was young (ages 5, 7, & 10), my good friend was doing deep sighs about Christmas. “The hard part”, she said, “Is that it is all up to me, up […]

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A New Knee Under the Christmas Tree

My Loving Spouse got another new knee for Christmas.  The title of this post is sort of a lie, because we still do not have a Christmas tree.  However, Team Offspring has plans to rectify this situation today (12-16-2016).  They have a tree permit and are going to cut one down, which is very cool. […]

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Our Busy Season

The last 6-8 weeks have been our ‘busy season’.  This is what I tell myself.  It helps me to make sense of our reality, that while some of you on this second weekend in December, have Christmas trees and Christmas lights, we have pumpkins on the porch covered in snow. We’ve been sewing and sawing […]

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New Digs for the Old Boys

We’ve spent plenty of time upgrading, restoring and cleaning our wonderful old barn.  My Loving Spouse has now added new function for the old space and our two old boys are very happy about the upgrade.Our horses are not young, sort of like us and winter can be hard on them.  Unlike us, they can […]

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