Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wintry-Weather Activities

With the cold, wintry weather here, I have been spending most of my time indoors.  I'm still working on more of the quilt works-in-progress.  One is almost finished and two more are getting close.

Yesterday, I made hamburger and brat rolls.  I had them on my grocery list, but decided to make my own.  I haven't bought any bread since last August, but for some reason I was going to buy buns.  How silly!  They are so easy to make, and I know what's in them.  We've been enjoying homemade multi-grain, pumpernickel, and Swedish rye breads for the past 5 months, so there's no reason not to also have homemade buns.  These are made with unbleached white flour, but in the future I'd like to make some with part whole wheat flour.

I've also been working on a binder with copies of all important papers and other information, including what Mr. M and I want in terms of a funeral, etc.  It'll be nice for our kids to have all of this in one place.  Obviously, we hope they won't need it for a long time yet.  Sometimes people don't want to talk about arrangements for funerals, etc., but we're all headed to that end point eventually.  So why not make things a bit easier for those who are still here?

Tomorrow my sisters and I are going to lunch for our dad's birthday.  He died just over 4 years ago, but would have been 93 tomorrow, if he had lived.  (My granddaughter's 8th birthday is also tomorrow; she was born the day my dad turned 85.  He was so excited about that.)  Our mother died 10 1/2 months after Dad, so 2009 was a hard year for us.  I still miss them terribly.  And tomorrow we'll be remembering good times with both of them.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Making Progress

This past week I was able to get a couple of my quilt WIPs finished.  Yay!!

This one is from a kit I purchased at a shop in Minnesota a couple of years ago during the annual Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop.  Blue and yellow are my favorite colors.

This is from a pattern, using some 30s reproduction fabrics that were in my stash.

Another one using 30s reproduction fabrics and a pattern from a quilting magazine of a couple of years ago.  I really love the 30s fabrics; they're so cheery and bright.

I hope to get two or three more tops sandwiched, quilted, and bound this coming week.  It's so nice to see that pile of unfinished tops getting smaller.

Freezing rain started here about an hour ago, and now it has turned to snow--great big flakes.  Road conditions aren't going to be very good for the rest of the day. 

Monday, January 21, 2013


Well, winter is definitely here now.  When I went to feed the chickens this morning, it was -4 with a wind chill of -16.  Mr. M just went to give them their late afternoon/early evening food and water, and the temp is still -4 but the wind chill is now -23.  Other than feeding chickens, we stayed inside the rest of the day.  The actual temperature tonight will be around -17 with possible a wind chill of -30.  I certainly hope that this will be the only really bitter cold days of this winter.  Spring can't come soon enough for me!

We have been seeing more cardinals around the feeder lately.  Normally, there might be one or two there, but the other day, I saw five males and one female all there at the same time.
Here are three of the males in a tree near the feeders.

And a female cardinal and chickadee waiting their turns.

On another note, the other day I counted 17 quilt tops (from bed size to wall hanging and table runner size) that I need to sandwich, quilt, and attach binding to.  I prefer to do the piecing of the tops, but have decided that before I start anything new, I need to finish several of these works-in-progress (WIPs).  My friend and I are going to the AQS quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky in late April, and I expect that I will find plenty of fabric and kits that I just can't do without.  So my plan is to finish 8 or 9 of the WIPs before then.  Right now I've got three in progress:  one is at the hand sewing the binding on stage and the other two have been sandwiched and are ready to be quilted.  I'll put up a picture of each as they are finished. 

I've made a little progress on the genealogy, but still have a ways to go on it.

Remember to stay warm and think spring if you're in a cold part of the world, and appreciate the warmth if you're in a warmer area!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


The seeds have arrived!  We ordered early this year, and only one of our choices was already sold out.

We order most of our seeds from Baker Creek in Missouri.  They have a huge selection of heirloom seeds, and we've had very good luck with them. 

It's too early to start any seeds inside (and definitely way too soon to direct seed), but we wanted to get them ordered to make sure we had the ones we wanted--not usually a problem, but you never know what with the increased interest in vegetable gardening.

Here are a couple of pictures of the beautiful early morning sunrise out our front door a couple of days ago.

What a gorgeous sight!  I have been trying over the years to do a better job of really seeing and appreciating the lovely views around here.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

De-Cluttering and Other Winter Projects

We're back from visiting friends up north over New Year's; it's become a tradition for us to head up to their place a few days after Christmas and stay until about the 2nd or 3rd of January.  We always have a good time.  We got home on Thursday, but both of us ended up with the flu.  We're better, except that now I have a bit of a cold.

Now that the holidays are over and the Christmas decorations are put away, it's time for the "beginning of the new year" de-cluttering.  Actually, I got started a little early; when I got out the Christmas decorations, I weeded out what I didn't want anymore and offered those things to my daughter and daughter-in-law.  They took a few things, but most of the items have already gone to the thrift shop.  Now I can begin working on the rest of the house.  There are so many things we have that were originally nice to have, but now have really become sort of fixtures that we don't even notice anymore.  If that's the case, why keep them? 

I have de-cluttered many times before but always seem to end up getting more things.  This year I'm going to try not to do that.  We'll see how it goes, since in some ways I'm a packrat, but another side of me is the one that hates clutter.  How can I reconcile those two somewhat divergent sides of my personality, especially when I haven't been able to do it before? 

There are a couple of other projects I'd like to get done during the next several weeks before we can do much outdoors again.  I've been working on genealogy on my side of the family for a couple of years since both my parents died, and I'd like to get more of that done.  Fortunately, my dad had already done quite a bit of research on both his and my mother's families.  Secondly, I need to get end-of-life things written down for us.  We expect to live a long time yet, but it was so nice that my parents had written down everything they wanted for funeral arrangements,etc. and I want to do the same thing so that our kids will already have some things settled when we die.  And the third project is research into our farm.  We know the oldest part of the house is 150 years old, and we know who several of the owners were over the years, but there's still more research to do on it.  So I'll be spending some time at the county courthouse to find out more.

It looks like the next two or three months will be packed full!  I won't forget about this blog though; will try to post regularly.