Category Archive: Life

2019
02/11

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Blessing of rain

It’s raining! It’s raining.  You cannot imagine the blessing of rain until you really need it.

Our back yard – as beautiful as this is – and it truly is beautiful. It is also difficult to take care of the livestock when snow is 12″ deep and coming in over the top of the boots. Did I mention, it is cold and wet and COLD?    Fortunately we prepare for this and don’t leave when it snows, there is plenty to keep us busy  This snow keeps returning.

 The dogs have been loving it!

 The house not so much, but will wait until this is over

My mornings consist of making meals and sitting in front of the fireplace alternating with the computer to work on the taxes.  Bookkeeping was badly neglected last year.   I must do better.

The blueberry and grape netting is holding so much snow that the 4 x 4s and the pipe are bent.  It has made a room under the netting .   So there will be some reconstruction this spring as well.

Last fall, I chose not to breed as early as I had before because February can be such a cold month.  It  is our worst winter month.  It looks like that was a good decision.  Babies are due starting in March.   Then, we will be even busier, hopefully without snow.  This rain is such a blessing, even for 2 days to melt the snow and get ready for the next batch.   Then the forecast is for more snow.  This is already one of the snowiest winters I remember.  I hope you are keeping warm.

2019
01/22

Category:
Life
Sewing

COMMENTS:
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Fabric basket

Today I made a fabric basket using Connie’s tutorial (blog: Free motion by the River) which is here.   I have also added my own photos so you can see a different look.  Above is my finished basket.

I started with two 17″ pieces of fabric, right sides together and a piece of batting on the bottom.  I sewed a 1/4″ seam around them, leaving about 3″ to turn them right sides out.

I used a chopstick to poke the corners out and then just sewed across the opening, before quilting the piece.

After quilting I put right sides together (the inside of the basket is what  you see).   Then on the diagonal I marked 3″ from each side and sewed this line.

 I refolded the basket so those two seams are together, marked the other two and sewed them.

With all 4 seams sewn, I turned the basket right sides down and using a button stitch, stitched the flaps out.   The buttons are just decoration and have no weight on them.   The measurement for this basket is 7 x 7 x 4.3″

 I will be making more of these for gifts in various sizes.   They are so handy and easy to make.

2019
01/21

Category:
Life
quilts
sheep

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Churn dash blocks

This morning, I stopped to have some fun with those half triangle I was making yesterday.  They make the best Churn Dash blocks.  Playing gave me the energy to go clean the barn.

Did you see the moon turn red last night?  Here are some photos in case you missed it.   The first is one I took, but my Iphone would not capture the red color, so I borrowed a photo from the news.  It was amazing!

 

2019
01/20

Category:
farming
Life
quilts
sheep

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Sewing triangles

I tried a new to me way to cut half square triangles.   First  I stiffened my fabric, because somehow drawing on fabric tends to distort it.   So on the stiffened fabric, I drew corner to corner both way.  Then a scant 1/4″ on either side of that line, I drew a sewing line.  I sewed the 4 sewing lines, then drew another line across the middle of the block each way.    I cut on those lines as well as the diagonal lines

Then after pressing these squares open, I trimmed them to size.  I loved the fact that they didn’t stretch and I got 8 squares out of each larger square.   

 These half squares can then be used in any pattern using half square triangles.

AND THE LIVESTOCK

The sheep know that when I have done the cleaning for the day, food mysteriously appears in their feeders.    As soon as I have unloaded the last tractor load, they are on their feet waiting to eat.

Chickens don’t herd like sheep, but that doesn’t keep Bracken from trying.

I’m for more sewing time this week, though it will be slow while I’m still working on taxes.  I hope you are taking time for fun.

 

2019
01/13

Category:
farming
Knitting
Life

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Tractor was stuck

I requested this be done several times over the last few months and it seems it wasn’t important enough to get to the top of my handyman’s list.   I was so tired of the mud, I thought I’d give it a try myself, even though I’m still learning how to operate a tractor.  Well, I had 4 spinning wheels, the tractor was stuck and I decided to leave it where it was.

Today, my neighbor came over and showed me the proper way to move mud.   I will need to practice this technique and will probably get it stuck again before I get good at it, but I love what a tractor can do.

I did get this little wash cloth knitted, which helped me relax.

Best laid plans

Oh, yes, I had the best laid plans.   I was going to finish the lamb quilt and start the quilting on the machine.   However, without warning, we had a major windstorm .   Really major and we were without power for 2 days.  I spent much of the last two days tending the fire, cooking here, and sitting in front of it.  We were so thankful when power returned.  We were technically okay and  could have survived longer, just too spoiled to want to camp in the middle of winter.  But now we have POWER and are very thankful, having just relearned how wonderful it is.

 

So today, I finished the front of this quilt which is now waiting for quilting, backing and binding.  It was done on the embroidery machine, which is a technique useful for someone who doesn’t really know how to quilt, but I found it more cumbersome.

When I make this quilt again, I will embroider the pieces flat and put them together and then quilt it.  I think it makes a cute baby quilt.  It measures 38 x 42″.

 

2018
12/25

Category:
Life

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Merry Christmas

We wish each of you and your family a very MERRY CHRISTMAS filled with love and happiness.

2018
12/19

Category:
Life

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2019 goals

Life has been a series of surprises the last two years, and I didn’t make goals last year like I usually do.   However, the result was that I got even less done.  So this coming year, I will make fewer goals, but they won’t be as ambitious as they have been in the past.

  1. Move worship to morning

  2. Knit 12 items – sock and scarves.

  3. Spin 2 hours weekly

  4. Make 12 quilt tops- mostly lap size – they do not have to be quilted

  5. Finish the paper piecing animals that I have started.

  6.  Use 200 yards of fabric

  7. Design and maintain a year round food garden

  8. End the year with all fleeces sold or in production

  9. Redesign sheep area so one person can do sheep maintenance

  10. Try 12 new recipes

  11. Blog here 3 times a week

  12. update MassenaMeadows Facebook weekly

This may be a bit ambitious, but better to shoot for the stars than rumble along.

I am linking up with Yvonne@QuiltingJetgirl and her #2019quiltingparty.

2018
12/18

Category:
farming
Knitting
Life
Schedules
sheep

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Hopscotch socks

These are the socks I started with the Felici yarn pattern called Hopscotch on number 2 needles.  The photo is true to the colors.  Since I am a slow knitter it takes me about 40 minutes to do each color stripe and this pattern is just k3, p1 around and around.  I am ready to do the heel.  After  I  finish the heel and the turn it, I’ll put it in the car to work on while waiting for appointments, etc.  So far, I’ve been working on them in the evenings when I’m too tired to do anything else.

Today was a good day.  I have 2 stalls 12 x 15 each, this being one.  The other area is 12 x 30.  I cleaned the larger one yesterday and this one today.

Then I worked at getting hay down.   The shadows changed the color of the hay, but you can see a bale on the tractor and I did manage to get another bale on top of this one.  This type of work takes more thought and tractor maneuvering, because I don’t have the strength yet to lift these 100# bales.  But I did get it loaded and moved down the road and into the rams area to be able to feed them.  Usually my neighbor man does this, but was not available today.

After this and lunch, I took DH to the chiropractor and while he was there, I was able to get the groceries. After dinner, I rested for a bit.  I don’t want to spoil a night’s sleep by resting too much.

It makes me happy when I can see accomplishments like this and I feel like I didn’t waste the day. I’m hoping to get back on track after too many of life’s interruptions.   Well – after the holidays anyway.   Part of the problem is that I didn’t set goals and make schedules for myself this year like I normally do.   When I don’t, it seems I don’t get much done.

2018
12/13

Category:
farming
Life

COMMENTS:
1 Comment »

Swollen wrist

What an experience – not to be repeated.   It was so wet when I cleaned the barn last week, I put down extra shavings.  That worked great because it was much easier to clean this week.  The problem: because of less weight I used the shovel instead of the pitchfork.   That would have been okay if I had handled it like the pitchfork.   Instead, without realizing it, I used a different motion. I have been unable to use my right hand because of a swollen wrist from muscles not usually in play.   For an extreme right handed person, eating or writing left handed is a challenge.  Needless to say, I felt very tied down during those days and I am so happy to have wrists and hands normal again.

Before the wrist incident, I knitted these socks to this point, but find I don’t like this wool and gauge for socks.  I will start over with a different yarn.

GOTTA LOVE a SON

We have an adult son who lives in a part of the house and with whom we share a kitchen and laundry room.  I told him, it was his turn to buy laundry detergent.

Here is what I saw when I walked into the laundry room.   We only use 2 a year and he informed me that he had just saved us several trips to Walmart.  I don’t think that is the only reason I shop Walmart.   But we have laundry detergent for what looks like 4 years.  Sometimes, life is just amusing.