A Little of This and a Little of That

It has rained for 3 days now and some areas near us have had 6-8+ inches of rain. We haven’t had that much but everything is certainly soggy. We had some wind last night, too – seems we always have wind and limbs break off in the grove all the time but this time it’s in our yard – the ditch actually.

And this is how it’s supposed to look.

It will definitely require a chain saw.

Someone asked to see the onions coming up.

Pretty unimpressive so far.

This was the orchid cactus last week.

Here it is today.

It won’t be long now until it blooms.

I’ve had two sewing days this week. The first one I shared with Reed and while I supervised him as he learned to do machine binding, I made this birthday gift for Sam’s oldest boy, Aidan. It matches his pillowcase.

And yesterday I got these 16 patch blocks put together. Blocks were made way last winter so now it’s time to get it quilted because it’s also a birthday gift.

And while I’m showing quilts, a reader named Eleanor sent this picture. It was made with an older jellyroll – don’t you love it?

And I get questions regarding Connie’s Cobblestone pattern. Yes, it is still available for $3.00.

Two “bad hair day” hens outside.

And I have just a very few lilies left. This one is so beautiful!

Country Living At Its Best

Another great day in the country – I don’t think I could live in town but my friend, Jane, is leaving her wonderful 10 acres in Michigan for parts unknown. Jane is a free spirit, in my opinion, and is ready for a new adventure with her husband, 2 dogs and 2 cats. They’re going to live in their Colorado condo until they decide where they want to land next. If I had to move I’d have a panic attack! Jane has two delightful Jacks and she is the Facebook friend who found Hazel for me – so she’s Aunt Jane to Hazel.

So why do I tell you this, you ask? Her acreage is for sale and even though I have not seen it in person, the pictures are simply lovely. I would love to have a barn like hers! And just because sometimes things just happen, I’m including the link in case any reader might be interested. Maybe the reader knows somebody that knows somebody else….you get the idea.

Here is the link – take a look and see if you don’t agree that it would be a nice place to live.


I hope this link works – if not I’ll try again tomorrow – when I’ve got time to ask someone how to do it.

And Hazel says “look at me up here on this cupboard with all the dishes”!

Measuring the Corn

I measured the corn on Saturday and then forgot to post it. It measured 35-1/2″. Here’s a picture – we can hardly “row it” anymore.

I will continue to measure it – it has passed knee high long ago! Tim’s oldest daughter is getting married this Saturday so he’s got other things to think about right now.

Here’s my night blooming cereus, sometimes called orchid cactus, getting ready to bloom. I think there are over a dozen buds! I will take pictures for sure because the blooms are spectacular! Very short lived but gorgeous.

And Hazel in her favorite spot!

Sunday Update

Rain is coming and I wanted to weed the pumpkin patch with the tiller before the ground got wet, dried out again and the weeds grew another few inches. This is a job I detest. In fact this little garden is about as much as I can handle.

This is the hot dog relish and pepper jelly garden plus 2 tomato plants.

And this is the pumpkin patch. After the vines get big and cover the ground, my work is done until harvest.

In my zeal to till up the weeds, I also tilled up two hills of pumpkins. Honestly, it’s two steps forward and one back. Good grief! I just about cried right out there in the middle of the garden.

So before I could call it a day, I had to replant those pumpkins. I also replanted 3 rows of onions – all of the sets came up but not one of the onion plants so I replaced them with sets. Does anybody know why the plants didn’t grow?

The sky got very stormy looking but this line of thunderstorms went south of us. Interesting clouds, though.

Here’s one of my UFO’s that I’m going to work on. The old pattern was called Chicken Salad – eewwww! How could we have named it for a dead chicken????

My upcoming week is much calmer than the past week – like I mentioned, the big jobs are done with just a couple exceptions. Maybe it’s a sewing/reading week! By the way, I loved all the detailed comments about what’s happening in YOUR lives! Much appreciation to all of you who wrote!

HOT Saturday!

How can it be Saturday already? The days fly by! Since very hot temps were predicted for today and tomorrow, I pushed myself to keep mowing yesterday. I love a newly mowed lawn.

As I walked around the yard this morning, I saw lots of beauty including Telly who is hoping that squirrel in the tree would magically come down.

The hydrangeas are profuse!

As is the hops vine which is downright invasive.

Boston Ivy is beautiful as well but Rick hates having it growing on a building so he kills it whenever he gets the chance! It’s growing nicely this year since he’s not outside! Smile.

On to the barn where the chicks have earned their freedom to go outside.

They are happy little teenage girls – running here and there, flapping their wings and loving life in general. Every night they roost in the same place – where I had them locked in originally – and that’s good that they know where to go at night. I count to 14 every night but last night I only found 13! I looked and looked for the 3rd white one. I had to give up and assume she was there – somewhere. Sure enough, this morning when I opened the feed room door for Hazel, there she was, wanting out to get a drink first thing.

This is Hazel’s position in the feed room wanting a mouse to come out of the wall.

She’ll be waiting a long time – Mama and the kitties are super mousers – there are no mice to be had in our barn!

And what’s this????

A newly hatched chick! Please pray that it’s not a rooster! I swear I’ve been watching the ceiling area for hens sitting on eggs – obviously I missed this one. Please, be a girl! Please, be a girl!!!!

Kevin dug the holes for the hostas last weekend and they look so nice.

On to the shop – these shirts are begging to be a quilt!

I finished The Outsider by Stephen King and really enjoyed it actually. Now I get to read the Beartown sequel Us Against You. Connie also gave me the audible book by Patterson and Clinton, The President Is Missing, which she loved.

Reed is coming to hang out today – there are so many things we can do!

Maybe the next post will be Misc because I’ve got about a dozen little things to tell you about- I enjoy your comments about your own lives and activities.

Flag Day

Just a short post today – it’s Flag Day and our anniversary.  This is the quilt I made to celebrate the occasion.

Rick went outside and drove the golf cart to the garden – a first!  I’ve had time to spend in the shop planning my next project.

its been a good day!

Start With Strips

This is the book I’m talking about – Start With Strips, 13 Colorful Quilts from 2-1/2″ Strips by Susan Ache and published by Martingale.

We both bought this book without talking to one another – great minds, etc. Connie returned from Florida with this quilt top.

It’s one of those quilts that has to be put up on a design wall to make the connecting blocks the same color. Kind of pain but the results are worth it. Here it is in the book called Double Date.

I was at the grocery store today and happened to see the new issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and the cover quilt really caught my eye. Here it is:

I turned to the page where the quilt was called Summertime.

And guess who the designer is – Susan Ache!

I guess I like her style, huh? Here’s another from her book, called Train Tracks that I just love! Since I have no time to sew, I make these in my mind.

I also love to set up and take photos – today I picked some peonies and moved them around for pictures. I think I’ll get some prints and make a few cards.

I love peonies but they’re so short lived.

If you made Connie’s Rhubarb Muffins, did you like them?

Is anyone out there going to participate in Moda’s Blockheads II this year? I printed out the first block in hopes I’d find time to make one.

There was a comment awhile back that said something like “everybody in Iowa works that hard” and it’s true. I’m not the only person who mows all the time. Everybody who lives in the country does. It’s the easiest way to control weeds. It’s impossible to pull all the weeds but I can sit on a mower and cut them off. If you could look at the farm places around me, you’d see that each one is nicely mowed. Don’t think I’m working above and beyond what’s normal when it comes to mowing – we all do it!

And now the grass has dried off enough to hit the mower so I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Rhubarb Nut Muffins

This is Connie’s muffins recipe – I’m going to try to make them this week, too.

Rhubarb Nut Muffins

1-1/2 c. Flour

3/4 c. Packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/3 c. Vegetable oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 c. Buttermilk

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 c. Diced rhubarb

1/2 c. Chopped walnuts


1/4 c. Packed brown sugar

1\4 c. Chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.

Combine oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fold in rhubarb and walnuts.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over Muffins,

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. lol on wire rack. Makes 10-12 Muffins.

Now you’ll have the recipe for next weekend’s brunch, if you need it. I’ve been too busy to even cut my rhubarb but this is very tempting to try.

It’s gotten sorta cool here this weekend – tonite when I was working outside I had to wear my jeans. My porch door is even closed – too cool and too breezy.

I’m still reading The Outsider – it’s very good but now I’m ready for it to end. So often I think books tend to drag on. I guess I’m easily bored. Went to the movie “The Book Club” this afternoon – guess I wouldn’t give it much of a rating –just my personal opinion.

Connie has another finished quilt which I’ll show you tomorrow along with the book it came from.

It’s Saturday – Time To Measure the Corn!

Tim’s corn popped out of the ground two weeks ago today, May 26. Last week it was 12-1/2″ tall.

Today, June 9, it measured 22-1/2″!! It grew 10″ in one week!

Amazing! I’m from Ioway, Ioway! That’s where the tall corn grows!

And baling the alfalfa. Someone asked how it can be cut, raked and baled in such a short time. It all depends on the weather. It was raked at least twice – turning it over helps the drying process. Whenever a farmer has “hay down”, rain is not welcome. We got lucky – it rained 2″ in the night after this was baled!

Our friend, Dean, had some help getting it baled – Rick sometimes drives the tractor.

This morning Dean brought his daughter Brittney and they put it in the haymow for me. How’s that for a good neighbor?

We have a bale elevator that the bales ride on up the steps. Brittney takes the bale off the hayrack and puts it on the elevator while Dean waits at the top to take it off and stack it. I am so thankful for this help!

Reed and I went to Mandy’s Open House at Farm Chick Quilts today. I ran into so many of our old customers who were there shopping. Connie was there, too. Very fun!

After that fun we went on to a nursery near Mason City. Just look at this wisteria vine!

We looked at everything and it’s all so tempting …. but so much work when I get it home. We bought one giant hosta and Reed’s dad, Kevin, is going to dig the hole tomorrow.

When we got home Reed wanted to learn punchneedle so I showed him. And then he drew his own design, a chicken, and got started. I foresee another 4-H project before the fair.

Check back here tomorrow for Connie’s favorite rhubarb muffin recipe.

One last picture from the farm – Emma can find the darndest places to nap!

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Rose’s Visit

We had a great time yesterday. First we visited Reed and met Alta, Edna and Eunice.

Then we brought Reed back to play music with Becky and Bill.

Bill brought along a “strum stick” so Reed could play along. I wish you could have heard these three play If I Had A Hammer – it was great!

Rose brings treats for absolutely everyone – including cheese balls for Emma.

We played with fabric in the quilt shop and met again this morning for breakfast at their hotel. Today they were traveling to Lincoln, NE to the International Quilt Museum. Connie and I loved our visit last summer.

So we caught up on family news, quilting news and played endlessly with Hazel. It was a great visit!