Garden Prep

Planting a garden would have been on my “not to do” list this year but Reed and I ordered our pumpkin seeds last January! So today Reed’s dad, Kevin, came to help get the garden ready to plant.

He hooked up the tiller to the tractor – now this is truly beyond my capabilities.

And we talked about how much area to till.

Pumpkin vines take lots of space but after the vines cover the ground, the weeding is done.

I wanted to have room between the garden and the fence to mow.

This small area on the other side is for tomato plants, pepper plants, onions and cucumbers – tomatoes for slicing and the rest for making hot dog relish and pepper jelly, my favorites.

I love this view!

Everything is so green and the dirt is so black – it’s beautiful!

Guess I needed to whine yesterday but as I read the comments, I know I’m not the only one that has ever struggled with overwhelming work. I’m better today – today I feel like I can handle it. Thanks so much for your support! God is on my side – I can do it!

Memory Lane

Yesterday I delivered flowers to a couple cemeteries and I drove the long way around our old farm neighborhood. As I came to our home place – the farm we grew up on – I could see it had fallen into shambles even though someone lives there. It was very sad – siding falling off the house, windows actually boarded up, grass that looks like it hasn’t been mowed in years and trees and bushes so overgrown I couldn’t see the buildings. Oh, Mom would be devastated to see this – she took real pride in a nice yard and the house looks ready to fall over! I didn’t even bother to take a picture – I want to un-see it.

One half mile south of our farm is the country church we attended all our lives – Upper Flat Evangelical Free Church.

I have Sunday School attendance bars for 13 years and I started playing for services when I was a 5th grader. There’s lots of memories here. In those days everyone in the neighborhood attended this church. All families were farmers and the country church was the central meeting place. My childhood is in this building – I remember how long that center aisle seemed as I was walking up to the piano to play a solo. I walked as fast as I could because I hated everyone looking at me. Mom would always scold me and tell me to slow down.

On the road again – I wanted to stop and see Dakota, the beagle that I kept for many years when her owner, my cousin’s daughter was so sick with cancer. Dakota is 14 now and failing somewhat but still can chase a rabbit. It will be a sad day when she crosses over the Rainbow Bridge – sad for all of us but Heidi will be waiting with open arms and it will be a glorious day for her to be reunited with her beloved Dakota.

Tanya, Dakota’s mom, is a quilter and as we were looking at projects in her sewing room, she opened the closet door. Have you ever seen such a neat quilting closet?

I love it! Maybe it will inspire me to be neater.


Here’s what I worked on last week for my round table. It still needs two borders.

All this mowing and yard work is exhausting – I get up in the morning tired so don’t any of you think that this is easy for me. Rick is in his wheelchair 15 hours a day while I’m killing myself. Next Wednesday we go back to Mayo and we hope he gets a walking cast. It’s discouraging to have this much work to do all the time. On Monday I have two kids coming to help me clean the barn. I wonder if I’ll live to tell you about it!

Now that I’ve whined, I’ll try to take a lesson on how to relax from Millie! She’s doing a good job of it here.

Miscellaneous – 2nd Post

The first thing I want to clarify is Connie’s choice of fabrics. I wish I could tell you that she used one specific pre-cut pack but sadly she did not. She never would. Connie is an expert at combining fabrics and always uses yardage from her stash – now that’s not to say she didn’t use a piece of a layer cake or charm pack along with her other choices of fabrics but in general she picks fabrics independently. I think many quilters are actually afraid of this step and they shouldn’t be. Give yourself a little credit. If you’d be more comfortable starting with a precut pack, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just add to that pack – don’t use every single fabric of the same design in every color. We think our quilts are more interesting using a wider range of fabrics.

I hope this answers your questions.

She’s Back!

Ok – I’m trying this post for the fourth time. Wish me luck.

Moe is back for the weekend and we were all glad to see her. Haz l was even glad to see Scott – she climbed right up in his lap.

Moe is very well behaved when she visits.

She and Hazel like to horse around – even on the couch!

I stopped at Connies yesterday to look at her gardens.

The stone walkway leads through the garden to her kitchen entry.

I love her huge jade tree/plant.

Connie’s Cobblestone quilt pattern is still available for $3.00, cash or check to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave,Garner, IA 50438. We sent out a bunch yesterday and got another bunch of orders today that will go out tomorrow.

I’m going to quit here before the site crashes. I’ll continue in another post.

This is crazy!

I have tried to complete a post three times now and every time I try to type the name of the American Idol winner, the site crashes! I kid you not! It’s a long post and every time I end it with that name and paragraph it crashes and simply disappears. I should tell her, right?

I’m giving up tonight, having a beer and going to bed. I’ll talk to you tomorrow!


Overflowing gutter – again!

Gutter unplugged – again!

Almost another inch of rain.

Puddles everywhere.

The feed room is always fun – almost empty though and today was the day I had planned to call for feed because the yard was pretty nice and dry. The big feed truck will tear up my yard badly and so I’ve been delaying my order. Ugh!

JB spends lots of time in the barn.

And here’s a stack of tubs I cleaned yesterday – more inside the shop.

I’m off to buy a new dehumidifier – the old one quit and I have a wet basement! Smells so bad!

My Big Day Continued

It was a wonderful day! I worked very hard and got so much done. The weather was perfect – warm, but not too warm, no wind and lots to do. I’ve had many antiques in my yard and around the barn for many years. After the barn was sided I hesitated to pound nails into the new steel siding in order to hang them all back up again. So all of those tubs, etc needed to be cleaned to be sold. These are larger items – not shippable but Connie and I are considering a local consignment store for junk we’ve collected through the years for Country Threads. Forgot to take a picture – will include it in another post. Right now it’s raining too hard to go out.

Next on my list was mowing. It’s always the mowing and if we get a day without rain, we’d all better take advantage of it and hit the mower running! Connie always says why do I mow so much area. At 70 years old I can’t pull weeds but I can ride a mower and it’s the best and easiest way to keep several acres looking nice. I mowed around the gardens and the road TO the gardens. Looking at the garden plots I wondered when we will ever get to plant. First it has to be tilled and it’s too wet. Yesterday was getting close and now it’s been raining all night!

Then I mowed north of the house here the grass hardly grows – it’s so disheartening.

Pictures later when it quits raining.

Then help arrived – Becky and Jenny came to help me wash windows and move plants outside. My windows are the very easiest windows to wash and put screens on but when I do it alone I make many trips back and forth inside and out. Three of us worked together and they washed all 20 windows and helped me put the screens on.

Hazel helped – mostly she wanted somebody to launch the ball which we all took turns doing.

Then we moved at least 100 plants outside. Good grief! This has got to be pared down by next fall when it’s time to move them back in for winter. Hmmmm…..more things to sell.

Here are the plants, some of them, this morning getting a sweet drink of rainwater.

Today I will “play” with the plants, moving them around and cleaning them up – when it quits raining.

We changed clothes and went to one of our favorite restaurants on the lake, The Muskie. Why didn’t I take a picture of the most delicious lightly battered shrimp in the world????

They wouldn’t let me buy their dinner because helping me was a kind thing to do and was not to be “paid for”. I always say small (or big) acts of kindness can change the world. Thank you, Becky and Jenny, for helping me with two of my biggest spring jobs.

And a farm update:

The geese are in competition for one nest – must be everybody’s favorite! And the picnic table is also a favorite sunning spot.

After chasing the ball many times, Hazel heads to the tub of water to get cooled off!

So that’s why I was too tired to post last night. After two beers and with a full stomach, I collapsed in bed.

Later…..with more pictures.

Connie’s Quilt

I played and played with Connie’s sweet little quilt today. I tried it out on my table with various Antiques from my cupboards.

Three white figurines of little girls, two with umbrellas.

I added an old white milk pitcher.

A shallow painted wooden bowl in coral and turquoise blue – same colors in quilt! Lovely!

What could be more traditional than blue canning jars?

How about a Fiesta ware turquoise water pitcher and a blue canning jar?

And I knew you’d appreciate some close ups.

It was just a treat for my eyes to place these antiques on Connie’s quilt. We can send you this pattern for $3.00. There will be no photograph but you can download and print your choice of the ones I just showed you. We cannot be in the pattern business with pictures and bags anymore but I think this is a pattern many of you would like to have in your to-do file. I know it’s in mine!

Please request the pattern Cobblestone when you mail your check or cash for $3.00 to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave, Garner, IA 50438.

Rain is moving in for Sunday so I won’t be able to spend any time here in the porch, my favorite room in the house – if only for 3 months a year!

Spring Planting

Finally – yesterday and today the farmers got in the field to work ground and start planting. Rain is forecast for Saturday night so they are working hard to get as much done as they can before it rains again.

Here’s the view from my porch – which I’ll be showing you throughout the season as the corn grows. It’s really pretty exciting to watch the farmers and the fields come to life!

I mowed every place I could and remowed the ditch. I mowed it yesterday and the grass was so tall it laid in clumps! I no more than put the mower away and went in the house than I heard thunder and it started raining!!! Oh, the poor farmers! They finally got one really good day and now it’s wet again – not inches of rain but enough to keep them out of the field tonight and probably tomorrow. Ugh!

I hate autocorrect – when I read the title of the last post I couldn’t understand why it said “more”. I meant to say “Moe”. Ugh again!

I have accomplished many things this week- several really big jobs – I won’t bore you with the details – but I just have screens to get on and I’ll feel like I really can get back to my sewing. Tomorrow I’m going to get a picture of Connie’s newest quilt which just might be my next project. Maybe yours, too. Until tomorrow……..