Mid Life Crisis or Growing Up? I can’t decide.

I have decided to let my grey hair grow out.

I had my first grey hair at 21. I was shocked. At least 10 years ago I started coloring it. For the last couple of years I have toyed with the idea of growing it out. Last Tuesday I committed. I told my wonderful hair stylist what I wanted to do and she is totally on board.

Why am I doing this you ask? Good question with not a very clear answer.

  • I am tired of spending big money every 8 weeks to color my hair. Especially when I need it done every 4 weeks. It is costing a lot of money which I am not comfortable with.
  • I have always loved silvery white hair. I think it comes from my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Vallow (who is now Mrs. Latin, who by the way I still exchange Christmas cards with. How cool is that!) She had lovely white hair. And I loved her. My maternal Grandpa had lovely white hair. And by the looks of it I will have silvery white hair too.
  • I am 45. My children will be very happy that I know this. I really can’t be bothered to pay attention to my age unless it is divisible by 5. So when my age is finally divisible by 5 I don’t have to ask them how old I am! Of course I will now be 45 for 5 years until I can be bothered to pay attention again. Anyhow…I am not getting any younger.
  • As I try to raise 2 girls in today’s world I start to ponder the image obsession we have. How all the magazines have photo shopped people. I wonder what the TV world would look like without people having stylists, and hair dressers, make up artists, hair color, porcelain veneers. I mean, really? What would we look like just being our beautiful selves? We don’t generally know what aging gracefully looks like. Everyone and their mother (and grandmothers too) seem to get their hair dyed. How am I setting a good example for them if I don’t accept my own body?
  • I am curious. What would I look like? Some people rock white hair. Others look old and dowdy. Will I have cool white stripes on my temples? Will it be salt and pepper hair? Will I hate it and go back to dyeing it?
  • All the chemicals…Ok that is a lie. I know it must not be good for me and I feel like ethically I should say that… but really.There are some things that you just do for beauty.  I am going to keep painting my toe nails until the day I die and if I thought I needed to color my hair I would still totally do it chemicals or not. Truth.
  • It seems like a good time to do it. As far as I can tell I have just sprinkles of grey everywhere except my temples. Those are pretty grey. If I wait too many more years I will have to do the whole “skunk stripe” grow out thing. And I am not sure I am strong enough for that.

I bet you are asking yourself  “What is she talking about mid-life crisis? Isn’t that when you start doing all you can to look younger?” Well…maybe.

When I was 35 my Mom told me I was now middle age. I was very offended (sorry Mom). Since I am going to live in good health until I am 102 OBVIOUSLY I will not be middle age until I am 51. Right? Right.

But as I pondered this going grey I started looking at other changes that have been happening over the last year.

  • I started paying more attention to my weight and eating healthy. I am 90% gluten-free because I feel so much better that way. I am on a path to a grain free Paleo type diet. Because when I eat that way I feel so much better!
  • I started jogging this year and ran in my first race. I do not like to run. I hated running in school. I hate to get all sweaty and out of breath. But I wanted to be more active. I found a race I would enjoy and the motivation to actually go out and run! I want to be healthy at 102, so I better start getting my rear in gear!
  • I have started to quilt. Something I have really wanted to do for a long time, but never took the time for myself to do it. And I love it! It brings me so much joy.
  • I have started to really concentrate on my faith. To think that I am not really LIVING my faith. Just going to church isn’t enough anymore. I want to KNOW more. I want to BE more. I want to look for ways to experience my faith in ways I have not been able to do before. I want to read more and grow. I want to connect with other women who are going along the same faith journey I am and to share that journey.
  • I want to be more honest in my relationships. It became very clear to me recently that I have not been very honest communicating my true feelings. Which then leads to hurt. And loss of trust. This is not how I want to live. I need to learn to be true and authentic.

And maybe that is the biggest thing of all. Being AUTHENTIC. Being true to who you are and who you want to become.

I certainly don’t think people who color their hair, only go to church once a week and don’t jog are wrong. Nor do I want to judge them in any way. I truly think you should do what makes you feel most like your self. Whatever that may be. I have already told my Mom I will introduce myself as her older sister anytime we are together. ;) It is really only about me.

So am I having a mid-life crisis and changing up a bunch of stuff?

Or am I finally growing up? :D

I guess time will tell.

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Going Grey

Posted in Family, Home, Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Summer is almost over…

I can’t believe that summer is almost over and I haven’t posted since …April! Yeesh. So I guess this is “My Summer in Review”.

We started off with Kid 1 graduation from high school. Homeschool high school actually. Which means I was the main teacher. And I must say, I am pretty proud of Kid 1. She applied to nine good colleges. She got into eight. She wisely choose the one that she could do with minimal or no debt. Lucky for me it is only 40 min from home. Yippee!

Kid 1 Graduated!!

Kid 1 Graduated!!

We were lucky enough to have some far away family come visit. Four generations right here!

4 Generations at graduation

We currently are in final count down until she moves to college. Gasp. Sniffle….Wail! No really, I will be ok. :)

This summer we went camping.

Camping with friends

Camping with friends

Did a little reading.

Mr. Mojo getting some reading done.

Mr. Mojo getting some reading done.

Went to the 4-H fair and watched some Demo Derby.

Demolition Derby

Demolition Derby

A significant portion of our summer was spend in preparation for the play “Sound of Music”. Kid 2 was a nun among other things.

Kid 2 Nun

Kid 2 Nun

As you can tell, they had a blast. 

Kissy face nuns.

Kissy face nuns.

There was shopping for college dorms…

Happy shopping day

Happy shopping day

 

Training a new quilter…

Kid 2 making her 1st quilt!

Kid 2 making her 1st quilt!

And of course some quilting on my end…but that really is another post.

Katie's Quilt

Katie’s Quilt

Oh yeah. One big event was I ran my first 5k!! I have never been a runner and truthfully I don’t like it much. I decided I needed to get into shape and chose running. My goal was to run in a “Glow Run”. Basically a lot of glow in the dark paint, foam pits, colored water and powder. All at night! I am very proud of myself! I ran the whole way and had a blast!

Kids helping me prepare

Kids helping me prepare

Getting my glow on ready to run

Getting my glow on ready to run

Final stage with glow powder

Final stage with glow powder

All in all a very busy and fulfilling summer. I am sad to see it end next week. :( School will be starting up. The weather is hot and muggy today, but already some of the trees are changing color. Life will be different here with just one kid at home. I am looking forward to our time together. Some new classes, maybe a bit more running, of course some quilting. :)

Yep it was a good summer. 

Life on a Dirt Road.

Life on a Dirt Road.

Posted in Family, Fiber Arts, Home, Life, pets, Quilt, Quilting, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Polishing Silver

I love silver.

Silver jewelry. Silver candle holders. Silver flatware. LOVE!!
I am always searching Salvation Army, thrift stores, garage sales or freecycle for cheap silver pieces. I use my silver finds for everyday use. Sugar spoons and soap dish holders. It is so beautiful and life is too short to not use it.

What I don’t love is cleaning silver.

I don’t mind how silver looks tarnished up to a point. Suddenly I will look at my silver and decide it looks too dirty and I will need to clean it.

As much as I LOVE silver. I HATE polishing it.

Polishing silver is dirty boring work. :( and I am kind of lazy.

Awhile back I searched the internet for ways of cleaning silver. There are a lot of ways to clean silver. All of them require significant amounts of elbow grease. Yuck.

Then I happened on a recipe that seemed too good to be true. It is almost like magic I tell you!! With 3 ingredients and a couple of minutes my silver becomes sparkling and looks new. Wanna see?

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The spoons and the little dish took about 2 minutes to clean. I put the pitcher half submerged for about 3 minutes before I took it out.

Amazing, right? I love it.

Shall I tell you the secret recipe?

Fill a big pot with water.
Put enough aluminum foil to cover the bottom.
Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda.
Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, place silver in until sparkly.
Take items out with tongs and wash with soap and water.
TaDa! Sparkly shiny silver!! Yay.

Now before you try this yourself I want to warn you. I only have silver I have paid very little or nothing for. I have never tried this on Great Aunt Elenor’s heirloom pieces. If my stuff gets ruined I won’t be sad.

So before you try this on any important pieces talk to your jeweler and make sure it is safe.

If you like living on the edge and taking your silver into your own hands, then go for it and you are welcome. :)

Posted in DIY, DYI, Family, Home, Life, Thrifty, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Life on a Dirt Road … Crazy Mother Nature

It was a glorious day. Highs in the upper 60’s. Which is almost shorts weather after the Polar Votex winter we had.

My phone was showing a severe weather alert. Possibly a big thunderstorm. The weather channel suggested we go to the lowest level of our house to the inner most room.

Hubby asked if I wanted to do that.

I laughed and said no. He asked if I wanted to go on the porch and watch.

That’s more like it! Nothing like a good thunderstorm on the porch.

As we finished up dinner we heard the thunder far off.

We started to head to the porch when it hit.

Crazy wind. Then the rain. After that huge amounts of marble sizes hail! I have never seen so much hail.

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Within 5 min the ground was covered!

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Then the rain started. It created flash floods down our drive way and ice jams in our streams.

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In half an hour it was all over. We went outside and checked out the damage. We were lucky. No large trees down. No damage to the house.

It was an awesome storm. Within a couple of hours all the hail was gone. Our driveway still bears the scars of the flash floods. The grass turned green overnight. All that is left of Mother Nature’s temper tantrum is some minor branches down and a memory of me standing in a inch of hail.
.

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Crazy Mother Nature.

Posted in Family, Home, Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

How Does One Say Good-Bye?

Princess Honey Valentine

Princess Honey Valentine

Our love affair with the BDE (Best Dog EVER) started in February of 2005. We went to Ohio to pick out our new family member. Actually, she chose us. The little wiggly pup made her way onto Kid 2’s lap and fell asleep. Love at first sight.

With 3 of us girls wanting to name her we decided on a long fancy name for our little pup.

Princess Honey Valentine. Honey for short. Beautiful and sweet.

She was so tiny. She barely filled her kennel but she immediately filled our hearts. I have never met another dog who was so filled with love. She loved everybody.  Her tail was always in motion. Such a happy, happy dog!

Honey loved to camp.

Honey getting some love.

Honey getting some love while camping.

She didn’t mind having her face mushed and made to pose for photos.

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Playing fetch at the beach.

Playing fetch at the beach.

Honey welcoming Mojo into the family.

Honey welcoming Mojo into the family.

One of her favorite pastimes of course was napping.

Sleeping in the camper.

Sleeping in the camper.

Using kid 2 as a pillow.

Using kid 2 as a pillow.

On Mom's shoes.

On Mom’s shoes.

In bed with Kid 1

In bed with Kid 1

Taking a nap on little brother.

Taking a nap on little brother.

Even the kitties liked Honey.

Even the kitties liked Honey.

She was a dog just FILLED with Joy.

Running in the snow

Running in the snow

Always a dog to make you laugh.

Playing dead bug.

Playing dead bug.

Last June we found a lump on her tail. It was not a big deal the vet said, but they did a test just in case. The next day we got a call. It wasn’t just a little lump. It was cancer. Mast Cell Tumor. It was in a location where surgery wouldn’t work. We knew this would lead to the end. We decided our best course of action was to love her as best we could for as long as she had left. To feed her good food. To give her lots of belly rubs. In December the marble sized lump had grown to the size of a plum. We put Honey on Prednisone and it worked wonders reducing the size of the tumor. Honey continued to run and jump and play bucking broncho at meal times, her favorite time of the day.

Slowly Honey Dog lost weight. Her spine started to show as she lost muscle. More medicine was added to her diet to heal her intestines. We kept loving her every day. She still jumped like crazy at meal times. :) She still loved everyone and was the happiest dog ever. We made a conscious decision to give her the best of the life she had left. And I think we succeeded.

But the time has come.

Honey doesn’t want to chase her ball. She can’t control her bladder. Her teeth are worn down and she can’t chew her favorite bones. She is tired and old.

It is time.

Honey, our Best Dog EVER

Honey, our Best Dog EVER

The vet has told us it is time. We have spoken to the children. Tomorrow she will have a fantastic day. She will go to Doggie Day Care. She will come home and have a good dinner. Maybe some apples, too.

And then she will have her final trip in the car.

How does one say good-bye? How do you tell an animal how much they have expanded your life? How much love and laughter they have brought to your family? No one will ever replace her and our hearts will grieve. Many tears have been shed already and so many more will come tomorrow.

We will hold on to each other. We will think good thoughts of our friend. We will imagine meeting up with her when we go to heaven.

The pain of losing a pet is so hard. Doing the right thing so they don’t suffer is so hard.

Any yet our life would have been less if she hadn’t been in it. It was worth it to love her, even if it means to lose her before we are ready.

We will always love our Princess Honey Valentine.

This is how I will remember Honey.  Fresh out of the lake after jumping in to fetch a ball. She LOVED jumping into the lake. :D

Princess Honey Valentine Rest In Peace  The Best Dog Ever.

Princess Honey Valentine
Rest In Peace
The Best Dog Ever.

I love you Honey. xo

 

Posted in Family, Grief, Home, Life, pets, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Spring Time and a Springtime Quilt

The weather has finally turned a bit warmer and the nasty Polar Vortex has relinquished its hold on Michigan. Yay. What that means for life on a dirt road is …. mud. Lots and lots of mud.

Snow Melting

Snow Melting

You see we have such a deep level of freezing in the ground that as the air warms up the huge piles of snow and makes them melt, the water cannot absorb into the ground. (Due to the aforementioned frozen ground.) Therefore it makes mud. :( Ooey gooey squishy makes your white car all brown kind of mud! Luckily for me my new ride has all wheel drive and all that mud hasn’t stopped me from buzzing around. It has slowed me down considering some of the pot holes on the dirt road could make me bottom out if I am not careful. LOL. You can actually tell who the locals are on our dirt roads as we drive like we are drunk and pay no attention whatsoever to which side of the road we should be on. We weave and bob just to find the path with the least amount of mud and potholes. :P Today should be a balmy 55 degrees and hopefully some of this mud will dry out.

Spring also means more animals are wandering around our property. I just saw a very large Tom Turkey and his 5 Tina turkeys by the house munching on sunflower seeds. They ran away before I could snap a picture though. We of course have quite a few birds: Red Headed Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Titmouse, Chickadee, Mourning Doves, Yellow Finches, Cardinals, Nuthatches and a few more I don’t recognize. Oh and I did see a Robin today. Hurrah.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

I got into trouble with the hubby the other day. I had been throwing old apples out the back door for the squirrels this winter. It was so cold and I thought they could use a little extra food. Well, then I had a couple of pieces of stale bread and I thought that maybe the birds would like that, so out it went. And then came this little fellow.

Opossum

Opossum

He was rather cute, but looked like he needed glasses. Kind of fumbling around among the discarded bird seeds looking for food. Cool, eh? I thought so until a little while later I saw…

Raccoon looking for bread.

Raccoon looking for bread.

Yeah. A raccoon. Very cute. Very smart. Very much trouble if they get too friendly around your house. They have been known to make such a pest of themselves. Hubby was not so happy and so he curtailed my feeding of the wildlife. :P

He was inspired to make a new squirrel feeder though.

Squirrel Jail

Squirrel Jail

It is really cute! The little squirrels go into it and eat the seeds. Alas…the coons like it too so it had to come back into the house until there is more food from nature. Oh well.

Enough about the weather. I know you want to look at quilts right? ;)

My quilt guild had garage sale the other day and I managed to snag some fabric in colors that I LOVE.

Fat Quarters

Fat Quarters

I have such a hard time thinking about what colors and patterns would go together that I am always thrilled to find things all together. With all the grey and mud and dreary that this spring has given us I decided I needed to make a spring time quilt. As you know, I am a new quilter. This will be my 4th quilt I think? Anyhow, I asked around and was directed to a link that showed how to make a Disappearing 9 Patch. The end result looks complicated to a beginner like me, but it was super easy. This first picture is it laid out on my bed as I was trying to set the pattern.

Disappearing 9 Patch

Disappearing 9 Patch

And here it is all pieced together.

Pieced Disappearing 9 Patch

Pieced Disappearing 9 Patch

Try to imagine how it will look without the fuzzy slippers. ;) I think I will do some free motion quilting on it and keep it this size. For a baby quilt. If someone decides to give me a niece. ;)

I have a few other projects in the works, but no photos of them yet. With the weather warming up I am looking to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and perhaps with my rain boots on enjoy a walk on my mud road.

Thanks for popping by!

Posted in DIY, Fiber Arts, Home, Life, Quilt, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Quilting Again!!

Life has been really crazy lately. With the holidays and then a family vacation to Florida, and now trying to help Kid 1 get all her college applications filled out…well I haven’t had much time to quilt.

Things are slowing down a bit. ( And daughter has been admitted to 8 of the 9 colleges she applied to. The last one we are still waiting to hear from. ) The weather had been crazy with super cold temps and the most snow ever recorded for a January. This all means that I have had a little more quiet time with needle and thread.

I finally finished my practice 1600″ quilt!! Yay. And we even have more winter to go so I will be able to use it. :-D

Before I get to that though, let me show you my favorite Christmas gift. Remember me telling you about using the TV as my quilt rack in my last quilty post? Well, the best Hubby ever decided to take matters into his own hands. Wanna see my best gift?

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Isn’t that just the coolest ever? Did I tell you he had no pattern? No siree bob. He just thought it all up and created it! I LOVE that man!! The bars come off so I can hang bunches of different quilts in all stages of creation. Here is a picture of the side. See the hidden Mickey Mouse?

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I love having all my projects close by. Hubby loves having his TV back. Win – win!!!

So the quilt that I just finished is the blue, white and grey one. I forgot to take a picture of it all spread out. Sheesh! Anyhow, this is the quilt I really struggled with while learning to free motion quilting it. Here is a picture of my beginning stitches. See how big the stitches are? And how rough and jerky the pattern is. Ugh.

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Like I mentioned before, the thread made a huge difference. I also probably got a little better with practice. Lol. Here is a photo of some stitches near the end. Hopefully you can see they are smaller and smoother.

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My husband says I shouldn’t point out the flaws. But I think it is good to see where I have been and how much I improved. :)

I was reading a post yesterday from a new quilter who was asking for tips on storage of sewing supplies. I replied back that I use a band aid box from Costco (That translates into a really big band aid box!) to transport my small scissors, thimble, thread and needles whenever I travel. I also posted this picture that shows how I store my embroidery floss and other little things. And a cute jelly jar for buttons.

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I have another glass jar that holds loose tea bags in my kitchen. It says “tongue depressors” on it. Makes me smile every morning. :D

It has been a very snowy 2014. The most snowiest in recorded history actually. As you can tell by how high the snow is on our 3 ft candy canes. (That Hubby made for me out of conduit pipe! Love ‘em!) This is just a small portion of our approx 800 ft driveway!

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See that tight turn to the right? Well, last night our plow guys got stuck in that area for a couple of hours. They dug and dug to try to get themselves out. Finally they had to call some other guys with another big truck to pull them out. A couple of trees didn’t make it, but we were just glad we didn’t have to host them until the Spring thaw! ;)

And last, but not least…our dogs Honey (the Lab) and Mojo (the Havanese) took a walk to the mailbox with me today. Honey took the easy path that Hubby dug out. Mr. Mojo is looking on wishing he would have taken the easy way too!!

Thanks for popping by!

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Posted in Crafts, DIY, DYI, Family, Hobby, Home, Quilt, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thanksgiving in California

I was lucky enough to get to spend Thanksgiving this year in California. My newest nephew was making his state-side debut. He was born in Germany and hasn’t had a chance to meet my side of the family yet. So off I flew to meet him. Well and also to visit with my wonderful Sister in law and my brother. I really don’t get to see them often enough.

On the flight from Michigan to California we flew over the Grand Canyon. I have never been there and was really excited to see what it would look like. It took 10 min to fly over, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. First we just saw the beginning with snow on either side. And then to see the depths and layers and size was just awesome. Sadly the pictures are not, but here they are anyway!

Beginning of the Grand Canyon

Beginning of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon opening up

Grand Canyon opening up

I wish this would have shown up better. Real life was much more impressive!

I wish this would have shown up better. Real life was much more impressive!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. 22 of us were there at one really long table! The food was great. The company even better. We went to Napa Valley and stayed at a cabin with a vineyard.

Vineyard in November

Vineyard in November

Door of an old house on the property.

Door of an old house on the property.

On the property there was also this HUGE redwood tree. I love redwoods.

On the property there was also this HUGE redwood tree. I love redwoods.

Artsy Photo of a Light Bulb

Artsy Photo of a Light Bulb

Outdoor Fireplace. Sadly I didn't have time to use it.

Outdoor Fireplace. Sadly I didn’t have time to use it.

While we were there we were lucky enough to spot the Bobcat who lives on the property! It was very exciting. I was very glad it was during the day and he was running away from us! Sadly no photo of him. :(

The day after Thanksgiving, instead of getting up at stupid o’clock to do some Black Friday shopping, (yes I am one of those crazy people! Just for the record I have never knocked anybody down to get a Tickle Me Elmo nor Cabbage Patch Doll. I am very civilized!) we gathered all 22 of us and headed to the beach. Talk about strange. In Michigan it is usually 10 degrees with a windchill of 4 the day after Thanksgiving. So the thought of going to the beach is a very alien thought. And I LOVED it. With just a light fleece on I was warm. The breeze was brisk, but walking on the beach is just amazing. I have always loved the beach. I tried to get some good shots of the waves crashing on a large rock, but only managed some decent ones.

Goat Rock Beach

Goat Rock Beach

Waves Crashing at Goat Rock Beach

Waves Crashing at Goat Rock Beach

A closer look at the waves.

A closer look at the waves.

Some kids, or kids at heart had made a rather large tee pee out of drift wood. Quite a lot of work, wouldn’t you say?

Drift Wood Tee Pee

Drift Wood Tee Pee

While we were leaving I saw some people jumping off of  a perfectly good cliff. Crazy people!

Jumping off of a perfectly good cliff over the ocean.

Jumping off of a perfectly good cliff over the ocean.

And there were 2 of them...

And there were 2 of them…

I must say. This is NOT on my bucket list. But it does make for good photos. :D

I must say. This is NOT on my bucket list. But it does make for good photos. :D

Upon leaving the sun was shining and the arched rock below made such a nice picture. Can you believe I took this with my iPhone?

Sun shining through and arched rock.

Sun shining through and arched rock.

On the way back to the airport we found that they grow hot air balloons in Napa Valley along with the wine. ;)

Hot Air Balloons in a Field

Hot Air Balloons in a Field

It was a very quick trip. Out on a Tuesday and home by Saturday. Long flights and time changes. And it was SO worth it. As a final photo I will post the main reason for my visit. Meet Alexander. I am in LOVE. <3

Baby Alex. In the little hat and sweater vest I bought him. So he can look like a mini PhD.

Baby Alex. In the little hat and sweater vest I bought him. So he can look like a mini PhD.

Posted in Family, Home, Life, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Little Quilty Progress…A delayed post

Well rats! I had this post all typed up and just had to upload my photos from my phone. Alas, while trying to move the photos from my phone to my computer I managed to delete them all instead. ARGH! So now about a month has gone by and I still have this silly old post to upload. I did manage to find a few pictures of my hexies which I will post. Otherwise everything is old news, but I thought I should still post it! Sorry about that lack of photos. Thanks for popping by!

Post from November …..

Life has been flying by fast! Summer is definitely over! We had our first snowfall earlier in the week. Some nights it has gotten down to 20 degrees F. Brrr. That means lots of fires at night and often throughout the day if we are home. And time to really get back to work on quilting. :D

I finally finished quilting a strip quilt I started over a year ago. I got stumped for a bit. I am doing free motion quilting. Teaching myself actually. I knew this quilt would only be for me to cuddle under by the fire in the winter, so I wasn’t all that concerned about how good it looked. I hate to “practice” quilting on something and just toss it out. So I figured this would be a good way to go.

In the beginning my stitches were horrible! Jagged and huge! The thread kept breaking. I was very frustrated. Then someone told me to switch threads. I was using Coats 30wt thread. I switched to Aurifil 50wt and I am in LOVE! I could just quilt with it so much easier! I think the problems I am still having (other than being new to FMQ) is that I have a basic machine with no speed regulator. I have a hard time keeping my speed even. Also I don’t have a flat surface all the way across. In other words, my machine sits on top of my table so I am constantly picking up the quilt and repositioning it.

I am saving my pennies to buy a Janome with a few great quilting features. I think the right tool for the job would really help.

I have also been plugging along with my Hexies. I can’t tell you how often people imply that I am crazy for doing these. I realize it takes a lot of time and tremendous tiny stitches, but man! I love doing it. I can bring them with me and within an hour complete a flower. So even though the majority of people think I am crazy I am going to keep plugging along, thank you very much. ;)

Hexie Quilt so far.

Hexie Quilt so far.

Hexies in Progress

Hexies in Progress

Extra Hexies Added to a Tea Towel

Extra Hexies Added to a Tea Towel

I recently took a hand quilting class from a local quilter. It was great fun and I learned a lot. Like a need a new thimble. My birthday and Christmas are coming. I hope I might find a little tiny box with a thimble in it. Not just any thimble mind you. A special thimble. A Roxanne thimble. (Did you know they came with names? LOL) This one has to be fitted with a ring sizer so it just fits your finger. The one I use now flys across the room if I move too fast. :/

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So that is the end of the delayed post. Just as an update, my hubby did indeed get me a Roxanne thimble! I can’t wait to use it. Our Christmas tree was just brought into the house today. We will decorate it tomorrow with a cheery fire in the fire place. I LOVE Christmas.

:D

 

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Summer on a Dirt Road.

Hmm… I have been really bad about posting this summer, eh? You’d think that with no school and all this free time I would have time to post, but nope. I just am too busy being on summer break to think about posting. :D

So I shall try to catch you up on all the news of Summer on a Dirt Road. In reverse order. ;)

We started from seeds some giant sunflowers. They took FOREVER to grow. And then they kept growing and growing.  But they never had flowers. :( Well, finally this week they bloomed.

Giant Sunflowers

Giant Sunflowers

But you really can’t get an idea of how tall they are. So I asked my daughter to help. She just had all 4 of her wisdom teeth out and was such a good sport to go stand in the garden for me. Can you see her way down there???

Sarah and the Sunflowers

Sarah and the Sunflowers

We figure the sunflowers are about 15 feet tall!!! In front of Sarah you can see our 4 spaghetti squash plants that have over run our garden. We do have a lot of squash and we aren’t quite sure when they are ready to pick. We had one last night and it wasn’t very flavorful. So I think we need to wait longer.

My family came out to visit us. My Nanny, Mom and Quilty Auntie.  I really wanted to finish this rocking chair by the time they got here. Alas, I finished it 3 weeks after they left. LOL. There is a little story to the chair. Do you have a minute?

I love shopping for “Deals”. Salvation Army is a great place to do that. I get Fine Bone China tea cups. Silver plated flatware. All for dirt cheap. Well, one day I was shopping for deals and I saw this rocking chair. It was so sturdy and wonderful. I sat in it and it was so comfy! And it was a great price. So I bought it.

When I brought it home, after my husband rolled his eyes at me asking if we needed ANOTHER rocking chair, he notified me that it smelled so much like smoke it had to go on the porch. So on the porch it went for a couple of weeks. Sitting outside on our porch one day he told me it still smelled really bad and he had to move to the other end of the porch. :( This wouldn’t do. I decided to strip the varnish off and refinish it. Brilliant!

I have learned a lot from this process. #1 I hate stripping varnish. It is hard to get all the spindles clean. So I got frustrated and quit. Then Hubby said, “Let me power wash the strip goo off!” He tried that and ended up splintering some of the wood off. :( Shall we try to sand it? I hate sanding too I have found. Hows about if we paint it? Sounds good. :) But first you have to sand some more. Waaaa. By this time over a year has gone by and my Hubby was threatening to charge me rent to keep my unfinished product in his garage. I finally got my rear in gear.

So after stripping, power washing, sanding, sanding some more, painting with an odor killing primer , sanding again and THEN painting (many many coats) with some outdoor enamel my wonderful (non smelly) rocking chair is finished!! TA DA.

My Blue Rocking Chair

My Blue Rocking Chair

While my family was here we were in the end preparation for my youngest daughters 1st musical play “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”. Daily rehearsals and all that. Here is a photo  after the performance. She was a Napkin and a Villager. She did marvelous.

Family Photo after Beauty and the Beast

Family Photo after Beauty and the Beast (The one with the flowers was in the play)

This summer we also went to the 4-H County Fair. The girls entered jewelry and won ribbons. I judged in the craft area. We went to see the animals and the Demolition Derby.

Funky Chicken

Funky Chicken

Piggie Nose

Piggie Nose

Demolition Derby

Demolition Derby

We had a gas line installed so we could switch from propane to natural gas.

Gas Line installed

Gas Line installed

My wonderful Hubby built a bridge so we could continue to create a trail in our back woods.

Wonderfully handy Hubby built a bridge. :)

Wonderfully handy Hubby built a bridge. :)

The garden was growing…

Cherry Tomatoes waiting to ripen

Cherry Tomatoes waiting to ripen

And in the beginning of summer our strawberry patch grew some amazing baby bunnies.

IMG_1359There was a lot more to our summer. But you get the idea. :) I was lucky enough to spend 3 days at a quilt show…but that is another post.

Back to today. It is 73 degrees out with 80% humidity this morning. High will be in the upper 80’s. It feels like a tropical rainforest outside. School starts next week. We have just a few more days to sleep in, spend the day reading books for fun. Eating too much sugar and watching too many movies.  Summer on a dirt road was a blast.  I am a little sad to see it end.

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