Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Grand Day Out

BFJ suggested a few days ago that we spend Saturday at Estes Park. On our way there, we had to stop at my favorite quilt shop, Quilting Hands, in Lyons. They've moved, for anyone (like me) who hasn't been there since last summer.
As we entered Estes Park , there were three elk with velvety antlers by the side of the road. I got a couple of pictures of them as we were stopped at a traffic light but they are standing in front of the power plant and it just looks wrong. We passed the water wheel, and many fun shops as we walked through town. If you take little boys, a must-stop shop is the Ore Cart, where you can buy lots of shiny rocks. Luckily, everyboy had earned some spending money this week!

There are lots of goodies shops: cookies, candies, etc. I can't recommend this shop (above) as a kid cannot try the Colorado Pebbles without buying 1/4 pound, and that is more money than a seven-year-old has! Sad.


We saw lots of cute ornaments and Christmas decorations; lots of neat Jim Shore stuff, and many fun things for the home. BFJ was hoping for some Halloween figures but we didn't see much. The flowers were also nice, all over town. I love this picture (below), how you can see the blue door through the flower!


On our way out of town, we dropped in on Aunt Banana (yes, she knows we call her that) and Uncle Rich, who were conveniently home. Don't you like people who accept drop-in guests? (Don't you like it when people like you so much that they stop at your house the moment they realize they are nearby, even if they haven't had a chance to call you? I do.) They told us about their most recent neighbor, a bear, who luckily has not damaged anything, despite wandering by on a daily basis. I am glad we did not see him as the boys explored the cave, and other death-defying rocks. Aunt Banana got out some neat toys while we were there, too.

To top it all off, we got home early enough for me to cut out some pieces for a new quilt project. I have been collecting blue and yellow fabric for years, and haven't gotten around to making even a block. Since I acquired a new fq for this project, I finally got around to getting something started. I'll show you a finished block sometime soon.

For now, off to church! I hope you are enjoying your long weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Picture Day

Moving Along

squash blossom
Life is moving along; we are getting used to the school routine pretty well. Zoom's teacher sent home a letter explaining homework grades - a 3 for "met expectations," a 4 for "exceeded expectations." She must have explained this pretty well in class, he has made an effort most afternoons to do extra work. This usually amounts to random math sentences written on the back of the paper, but he wants a 4. I am so glad he's enjoying it. May God bless Mrs. Miller real good.

impromptu nap

We have several pumpkins, one that's huge (for us), which is a volunteer, of course. Maybe it will be a jack-o-lantern in a couple months. My cinderella pumpkin seems to have stalled out and there are no ridges at this point, but I guess it would make an interesting addition to the fall mantle. We still have lots of annuals, like the verbena above.

Last night, we had roasted chicken with lots of herbs from the garden, and corn on the cob with Lime-Chive Butter. Mmmmm! Don't you want to have Lime-Chive Butter on your corn? It's easy. Just let a stick of butter soften, then mix in about half a lime's worth of juice, and some finely chopped chives. Then if you want it to look nice, you can put it in fancy little bowl and chill it. Sometimes I add basil; I like basil, and have lime basil growing in my garden this year. You can also add salt and pepper, but I leave that out since we have different levels of preference. The lime adds a splash of summer freshness. I must warn you, though, it will make plain butter seem... plain.


after-homework activities


Our company is leaving today. Uncle Burl is doing well and will be transferred back to Montana next week, and we have an invitation to come for a visit sometime.

Today is Picture Day. I didn't order any. I feel sheepish, those people must think I don't care a lick for my handsome young boys. The truth is, I can take better pictures for a lot less money! I did order pictures the first year, and got about 8 or 10, for $20 or so, and we gave one to each set of grandparents. I suppose I should walk to school with my camera today and get some nice shots in the park. I DID make them dress up because they'll be in the yearbook, anyway.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Specs

The world is clear again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Swept Away


I was given a blue papier-mâché hat to decorate for a church project. I made a couple of yo-yos, found a button, made a band. I love crafty stuff, even something little. I am looking forward to some holiday projects.

We've had a packed weekend, including a marginal softball practice. I don't know if I'll stay on the team, I am due to have a conflict in a couple of weeks (beginning knitting.) If you know me personally, you may have to take a minute to get over the shock that I play team sports. I am a woman of many talents, some just shine brighter than others.

My weekend just swept away. I am looking forward to Monday routine. The weather is getting nice around here: warm enough during the day to keep the veggies growing, cool enough at night to snuggle up in quilts, if you are lucky enough to have one. I don't, but BFJ shares his with me. (Well, I did make it.) I made several little quilts before I ever got to one big enough for me to snuggle under while I stitched. I don't know if it's the physical quilt or the love it's made with, but there really is something about a quilt that just makes you feel secure.

This evening, I had dinner with my family, including Zoom and the Bruise. BFJ stayed home with Speed, who was not feeling well.

Story time at our house...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Family

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!


Aren't they a handsome couple?

Last night, some guests arrived at our house. My uncle Burl is having heart surgery, and his family is here from out of state, staying at a hotel. My mom mentioned to me the other day that they were being asked to leave their hotel. Apparently the Democrats are more important than people in town for medical situations. Can you believe that? Here at Short Story Long, we like having visitors. Today, we are blessed to have Aunt Ruthie, and cousins Debra and Phil. It is fun to have relatives you hardly know staying with you. You can stay up late talking and hear all sorts of interesting things, like places other people live, and things your parents did when they were little. And it's fun to know that someone will return the favor someday.

Speaking of the DNC, I hear from friends that all the post offices in Denver are closed, and they've removed the mailboxes from the streets. What? I guess if you live in Denver this week, and you have a birthday, you won't be receiving many packages. Isn't that sad? I mean, besides the no package thing, it is sad that the mailboxes need to be removed.

Well, it is laundry and yardwork day here. It's not my favorite sort of day, but it has its charm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coloring Can Be Exhausting



Or possibly it was the two walks to the school and back, with Mom.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Night

Trixie (as in Speed Racer) and Stitch (as in per inch)


Night

My kitten walks on velvet feet
And makes no sound at all;
And in the doorway nightly sits
To watch the darkness fall.

I think he loves the lady, Night,
And feels akin to her
Whose footsteps are as still as his,
Whose touch as soft as fur.
Lois Weakley McKay

... a childhood favorite from The How and Why Library. Thank goodness my parents moved last year and sent this book my way. Otherwise, I would have just the first line running through my head forever!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Old Quilt, New Quilt

I washed the quilt in the tub. YES! I soaked it right in the water and everything. This is the second rinse, still filthy! I used Woolite and walked around on it with my feet. I know I'm taking a risk, here, but I have a friend who did this with a similar old wool quilt and it turned out wonderfully, so I decided to just go ahead and take the plunge, so to speak. Our rainy weekend is over. I draped this quilt over a bench (on top of a blanket) and hopefully it will be dry tomorrow. I guess it isn't going to look different to you but I'm sure it will to me!

While I was letting that soak, I tried out the layout for my quilt with the sawtooth stars. Sometimes it is hard to tell how it's going when you're staring at it, but taking a picture of it helps. So here it is... I still have twenty stars to make. I was concerned that the star backgrounds are all the same fabric, and everything else looks kind of scrappy, but I decided it looks pretty good. I didn't realize the blues were so different, though. This quilt doesn't have a name... I saw something similar on the internet years ago; I think it was called Stepping Stones.


I think quilters appreciate the value of every color, but yes, obviously red is my favorite. I also like green and yellow a lot. I like my new banner but I miss the green, so I thought I'd add a little green back in here. This gourd thing is one of my volunteers. Anyone know what it is? I am assuming it is decorative, but perhaps you can eat it.

I just got back from friend Vicki's house, where I learned more about canning. She was canning salsa. Yum! It had very nice flavor but was a little hot for me. I brought a jar home for BFJ. I will have to make my own with a little less heat. She did give me a jar of some DELICIOUS strawberry-rhubarb spread stuff. I may have to get the recipe for that!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Old Man is Snoring



Thank you all for your comments and suggestions about the wool quilt. I do want to clean it. I'll let you know when I have some results. Wouldn't it be neat as part of the background for a fall family photo!


It's still raining here. We had an inch yesterday, and so far an inch and a half, today. I hope my garden can take it. I did have a lovely fungus growing in the kids' patch this week, which I dug out. Perhaps all this moisture will bring more interesting growth.


On the quilt front, I am working on a bunch of brown sawtooth stars. All the flying geese patches are done, so on to the easier steps. I hope to get all the blocks done by tomorrow night.

Well, I'm off to rescue the fellas. They all went on a walk to Grandpa's and are now stuck in the rain!

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Raining and Pouring Today

snail on chives
My garden sure can use it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trash or Treasure?

I really want to write about quilting. But being a handpiecer, it may be month or two at least before I have anything new to show. I am going to have dig up some of my "old" projects. Luckily, I just started blogging and most of you haven't seen them! (BFJ keeps grumbling about quilt clamps when I make him hold stuff for photos.)


A few years ago, my grandmother died (someday I'll tell you more about her, she was wonderful), and when she did, I helped clean out the home my grandparents had lived in the last several years. They had box after box, filing cabinets and cupboards, full of this and that. It was really amazing the things they still had, like a "sleigh robe." I didn't even know that it had a specific purpose. It was a really neat, old, heavy, wool blanket. It was not too big, just right for covering legs in a sleigh, with an ornate pattern. I only know it was a sleigh robe because my grandpa told me so; it was from the farm he grew up on. I didn't want to get rid of it, but it was practically disintegrating. Another thing I found in the garage was this old quilt. It's got mud, holes, cobwebs, etc. I think it is really neat, but it needs to be cleaned. I mean, it is so filthy I have it in my own garage. Not because I don't value it but it's no worse off than it has been for the last ten years and is really dirty. Do you have tips for cleaning this? Do you think it is worth keeping? I hope you say yes, because I am going to keep it anyway!



On a different quilting note, you can go here and help Lyn name her beautiful quilt.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Did You Learn Today?

We just got home and called Dad. This is the side I heard:

Hello?...
Hi, Dad. I like school! ...
Be nice and be quiet. ...
She told us, "Don't pick your nose," and I didn't! ...
Bye.

First Day

We walked.
We were early!
Hopefully this will set a new trend for the year.

I didn't cry. I'll miss them, but I know independence is a gift.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Pictures




1. honeysuckle at my mother-in-law's 2. my Mother's Day gifts flourishing 3. jumping in
I had to split this post up into two. I know enough html to link to other webpages, but I can't figure stuff out when I have to find an error in the html text. For example, if I download a bunch of pictures and then rearrange them, you can't click on and enlarge them. I don't know why. Therefore, I redid my post. It would be a shame to miss the little guy on the marigold, whom I didn't even notice until I was looking at the pictures on my computer!
I'd love to post a picture of the quilt blocks I've spent hours on this week, but alas! no such picture exists. Hopefully soon.

Pictures






1. Folksinger Rose 2. benches 3. potted plants 4. my veggie garden, obviously being overrun by the volunteer pumpkin 5. marigold (click on it and you may see a little friend)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pumpkin Baby


Is it just me? I think this little pumpkin looks like a baby doll with head, arms and a dress. We have lots of different pumpkins growing. We're looking forward to seeing what we have come fall.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bees and Borage

bee on my borage blossom

As I was planning my garden early this year, I found a chart of companion plants. I planted everything that is supposed to attract bees, including borage, although I didn't have much of an idea what borage is. In fact, I'm not really sure how to pronounce it. Does borage rhyme with porridge? Or is it French with an ending more like mirage? I keep reading that you can eat the blossoms. Does anyone? It has huge, hairy stalks, and if it gets a lot of water at once, it collapses for several hours with the weight.

Since I have the new shed, which is not in the exact location of the old shed, I had to move my garden. I also had to experiment with the sun exposure of my new spot. I have three cherry tomatoes, which seem promising, but so far they are just for snack-picking and I am not sure that they are going to end up in many meals. They do taste very nice. I also have several pepper plants, which I started from seed, I'm proud to say, but alas! no peppers yet. I have several volunteer pumpkin vines, and other miscellaneous curcubits which we have yet to identify. Beyond that, it's all herbs: lavender, sage, thyme, chives, dill, (all perennial here); rosemary, basil, borage. I haven't gotten the use out of my herbs that I should be. They aren't fresh all year round, although the sage does try; I should be taking advantage of them now.


I was reading a lot of garden blogs in March and April, and someone mentioned her lemon thyme, and how she didn't know what to do with it. She got lots of comments for uses, so I thought I should try that, and I have a decent spot of lemon thyme, now. I haven't done anything but pinch off bits and smell it. It does have a lemony scent.

PS I would like to acknowledge that, while I know Kristina may make fun of me for referencing Wikipedia, a la Michael Scott, I find it is often the most concise page on a given subject, and doesn't have a lot of personal comments or advertisements!

Untitled

View from my parents' house.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Family Treasures


I just got back from a day in the mountains with the boys. My grandfather died recently, and I went to my parents’ house to help clean out some of his stuff. Didn’t I tell you recently how he never threw anything away? He had at least eleven calculators in his room, not to mention his collection of nine watches, ten pocketknives, thirty-ish pill jars of state quarters, and so on. Not a lot of valuable stuff, a lot of “just in case” stuff. My mom got a big kick out of emptying his wallet, which had about 43 items in it, including ONE Driver’s License, TWO pictures, and NO credit cards; most were cards to organizations he belonged to, including the State Electrical Board in the 1970s, and his lumber measurements card. Maybe if you grew up in the Depression Era, you didn’t take stuff for granted.

So what did I end up with? Besides a few pictures and a quilt, I mostly have the memories of the kind of grandparents every kid should have – a grandmother who always had time to bake cookies – and whistled and wore an apron while she did it, and grew flowers, and canned stuff, who went to every party she was invited to, and loved to have her picture taken, and made a quilt for every grandchild she had, and crocheted a blanket for every great-grandchild she had, and prayed for them every day; and a grandfather who was a Boy Scout, and fixed stuff, all sorts of stuff, took whatever job he had to to provide for his family, and tried to invest well, and thought highly of being a law-abiding, country-defending man who loved his wife and kids, and prayed for his family every day.

Actually, I did end up with a lot of irreplaceable family documents – wills, deeds, birth certificates, death certificates, journals, etc. Neat stuff for a genealogist, which I aspire to be.

And it was nice to see my parents, and give my kids the opportunity to have the same sort of grandparents I had.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Awards and Fat Quarters





Thank you, Sara, for the award; I'm passing it on.
Rules: 1. Put logo on your blog. 2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. 3. Nominate seven other blogs. 4. Add links to those blogs.

I am not big on the emails that promise excellent things if you pass it on, and something otherwise if you don't. If you don't want to pass this award on, I'm not going to do anything to you. I do not rule the universe. This is just for fun!

1. Let's start with It's Lovely! I'll Take It! While not a quilty/crafty website, it has its own creative merit. I stumbled across this by chance and spent the next hour laughing with BFJ as we browsed the housing market. Brilliante. Makes my own realty experiences seem less painful.
2. And secondly, I would like to honor my friend, KJ, who always makes me rethink my attitude, and who makes very lovely stationary. I have some. I love it.
3. I always find something inspiring at House on Hill Road.
4.
Caryn - Pieceful Chaos
5.
Anna - ThimbleAnna
6. Erica, - Polka Dot Quilts and
7. Marcie, - Patchalot More, whose quilt blogs are so brilliante that I enjoy reading them regularly!

Shop Hop update: I did find some red, white and blue fabric. One of the quilt stores we stopped at was not on the Hop, but (therefore?) had their own sale: 20% off everything in the store! I asked about r/w/b and the owner showed me "what's left" of this line - five bolts, but luckily I found these two fat quarter tulips in the precut area. Hurray! And actually, I purchased a different fq from this line for my blue and white block exchange, and still have some left. I'm mulling over what pattern to make, now.

I also found some cherries at a brand new quilt store in Idaho Springs, Hen House Quilts and Gifts, as well as a handful of other items for my many WIPs.

Birthday Princess


Happy Birthday, Kristina. We love you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cherries


As if the broken arm wasn't enough for one summer, Speed split his chin open last night at our Care and Connect picnic, a good half inch wide. I was going to take him to the hospital for stitches, but there was a nurse in our group and she fix him up. Good thing! I was not looking forward to several more hours in the ER.

Today is Shop Hop day in the Metro area. I'm going out with a new friend and keeping my eyes open for red, white, and blue fabrics. Or cherries. I can't resist cherries.