Thursday, December 24, 2009


I opened my Christmas present early and this is what I received. It is just the coolest thing!!!! A John Deere Gator!!!

I had asked my cousin Duane to find one for me earlier this fall and this is what he found!!!! Well, not exactly. He asked Joedy if he wanted to give it to me as a Christmas present so it was spruced up, quiet a bit from what I understand.

Duane sandblasted the metal areas
and repainted them, new
stuff on the floor so that it is not slick, new fenders and hood as they were all torn up. He placed new decals on it and then he detailed the seats and tires. It looks brand new, thanks to my cousin and his expertise and I thought it might be for a few moments when I first saw it!!! He can fix, build, re-design or repair anything. And THANK YOU to my dear husband who gave him the go ahead to make it great!!!

The box will even even raise and lower. Should come in very handy when hauling things around here, running errands and when I have to help the g
uys re-nozzle the sprinklers. It is also living in the garage.

And Duane even threw in the bow!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my family and friends who read the blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009


We celebrated Christmas yesterday. Might have been a good thing as it sounds like Christmas day or rather the next few days leading up to it might be a little messy. We are under a winter storm warning starting tomorrow night until 5am Christmas morning.

Two of the items we gave for gifts this year were quilts. Yes, quilts
I made and quilted. I actually do piece and quilt. One is the Irish chain and the other is the Lucky Star quilt. Both Jennifer and Chad were pleased.
Merry Christmas to all who read this. Hope it is a Blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A little dyeing

Sometimes I actually do dye fabric. Not as much as I did a few years ago though. Probably has something to do with the stacks of hand dyed fabric in the sewing room. Need to start overdyeing it and working on complex cloth techniques. There is always next year.

The online dyeing group I belong to recently had a blue/orange swap. I was pleased with the results. I used DT Midnight Blue and DT Deep Orange. I think the colors are a little richer in person than what they show in the photo. The results were intersting and I thought everyone ended up with some wonderful pieces.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


They finished picking corn today!!!! Oh happy, happy, happy day it is too!!!! I can't remember the last time we were in corn harvest this long. I believe the length even exceeded the lengthy and stressful wheat harvest we went through earlier this summer.
The photo is honor of the last day of 2009 corn harvest. I took it a few hours before they finished the last field.

Two long harvests in one year is a momentous thing. Some friends who live here also raise sugar beets and it was a long, muddy harvest for them as well, so they got 3 long harvests. Plus the grapes in their vineyard were hailed earlier in the summer.

We use to raise sugar beets. I remember some of those mud grinding, grueling harvests. The first year we farmed, we lost 1/2 of our sugar beet crop. It snowed and snowed and then the ground froze. The beets were frozen in too. And to think we still wanted to farm after that.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Tomorrow will be December 1st. I cannot believe it is time to start thinking about Christmas. I am sure I just finished putting all that stuff away yesterday. I will admit that one year it didn't get put away. It was much easier to decorate that year.

Our grandson will be 14 months old tomorrow. Seems like only yesterday that he stole my heart and there was "another man" in my life. He is such a fascinating little guy to watch. He is so busy and can figure out something to do with whatever he comes across.
Our daughter was married in April, we went to their home for Thanksgiving last week and she set a beautiful table with the china they received as wedding gifts and served a great meal. I remember when she would dump everything out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen and crawl in it and play.
I thought it might be about time to book my flight for the class I will be taking in TX this coming Feb. Doesn't seem possible that it will be a year in a little over 2 months that I was down there for the last class I took with Hollis on color.
And I was going to work on color this summer, but summer is over and fall is quickly following and guess what, I have done little work on learning more about color. I did take Sharon Boggen's journal class though. One of the best classes I have taken on line, ever! So I did accomplish something.
So here is to the last day in November. I had to post something.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hmmmmm, 3 weeks

It has been 3 weeks since I last blogged and I was really going to make an effort to get one a day this month, so much for that. In about 6 weeks, it will be a year that I started the Photo a Day challenge. Hmmm, that didn't work out so well either. This is the reason I don't belong to Facebook or Twitter, I have too much technology in my life now that I don't manage well. I don't need anymore despite the urging of some friends.

It is only 2 days before Thanksgiving and we are still picking corn!!!! It is not going to be done before then either as it will not dry down.
I did ride in the combine several weeks ago with my husband and took some photos of the inside of the cab. The technology that is inside the cab is amazing to me. When I grew up, combines didn't even have cabs. If they were lucky, they had an umbrella over their heads during wheat harvest and there certainly wasn't a heater in the fall and winter.
The orange joy stick is what he uses to run any number of things, i.e. as the unloading auger. He will pre-set some operations so that he just pushes a button and it will automatically go back to the pre-set postion.
There are monitors around that constantly put out all kinds of information pretaining to how the combine is operating and grain being harvested. One screen is telling him the number of bushels being harvested, the moisture of the corn, what it is making per acre, and lots more info that has been saved from other operations during the year.
This is one of the monitors and it is showing the number of bushels being harvested and charting it in colors. He sets it to record at certain levels. Each color represents a number of bushels. Such as 190-200, 200 to 210, etc. The trick to making this work is fine tuning, in a word, accurate calibration. Everything is recoreded on to a flash card and he will be able to bring it in after harvest and print off whatever information he wants.
We have used two grain carts this year as this combine picks corn much faster than our older one did and it is not good to have the combine sitting in the field waiting on a grain cart. It has also been very muddy and part of the time they have not been able to load the carts to capacity.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall colors

The time in the harvest field was short lived. They finished one field, moved to the next field today and the moisture is too high in the corn. It is to be in the 70's tomorrow so hopefully we will get some drying.
Walking around our farm this evening I came upon the locust pods that had fallen off one of the trees. I love the deep reddish brown. A color to strive for the next time I dye fabric.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back in the Field Again

The photo is some distance away, but I was unable to get any closer than the
edge of the field. If I were to go out there I would get stuck and be on my own as far as figuring out how to get out of my predicament. No one would have any sympathy for me if I did something that illogical and rightly so.

It is wonderful to see the combine and grain carts back in the field again. The sky is dark to the north and the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees in the last 10 minutes. Hopefully the moisture will stay away so everyone can harvest corn and sunflowers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The photos in this post were taken on Friday, after the snow and wind subsided. This is the end result of the blizzard we experienced Thursday afternoon, through the early morning hours of Friday.
The first photo is the north side of one of our fields of dry land corn. The snow drift is up to the top of the tassels, the corn is over 6 feet in height. This drift covers at least one pass of the corn head in width, which is 12 rows of corn, and the length of the drift is 1/2 mile.
The next two photos are taken at at another field, part of it is irrigated and the snow drifted into the corner on the irrigated section because the dry land to the right caught most of the snow and kept it out of the irrigated field. The drift is again over 6 feet in height, across the road where we would normally travel with the trucks. The grain carts will have to come out of the fields with
half a load and meet the semis on the road when
loading them.
The sign marks an underground pipeline. It is in the ditch, the ditch filled with snow and continued on out into the corn field. One would be hard pressed to find a corn field in eastern CO that didn't have a drift in it somewhere on the northeast, north and/or northwest side.
It has been warm the last two days, 67 yesterday and today it is in the 60's with a good strong breeze. Hopefully we will be able to pick corn tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday in those areas not covered by snow drifts. Not sure when we will be able to pick the corn buried in the snow drifts, only time will tell. I'm still counting on the forecast of the woolly bear caterpillar.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Snow Day!!!

As the sun rises over our backyard, one can see the combinations
of wind and wet snow. I think my favorite photo of the morning is that of the "snow pleats". The scrunched area of snow is actually several inches from the window.

As I was making Joedy's coffee this morning I was extremely happy that I didn't have to go outside and retrieve water from this old pump.

The stream needs to be cleaned of the oak leaves that have fallen into it in the past few days. I can't think the fish have enjoyed the change in water temperature. Actually, I am sure they aren't enjoying anything about the fall weather we have had.
Bottom line it is just a cold, snowy morning on the plains of eastern Colorado. I have no idea what the cornfields look like and I know our backyard is better than those to the north of us.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here we go AGAIN!!!!!

At this point, nothing surprises me!!! I stepped outside to take a couple of photos of the NEW SNOW, which is falling as I write this post, and saw a petunia still blooming away right up next to the house. How these plants have survived in the past few weeks is beyond me. I thought it only fitting to take a photo---Petunia in the Snow. Anxious to see how perky that plant is by tomorrow morning.
The other two photos are of our backyard. I thought the flash captured the falling snow very nicely. So nicely in fact, one cannot see the pond, only snow. Of course it is blowing over the roof of the house and onto the deck. That accounts for the look of a lot of snow.
The bottom photo is taken looking toward the flower garden. I don't think I will grill any hamburgers for supper tonight.
I had thought earlier this morning that we were going to escape this storm. That was wishful thinking on my part. We did get a few loads of corn picked before it hit. Hope we aren't still picking corn at Christmas time.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall is over!!!

Yesterday brought rain and wet snow during the night, totalling 2.15"!!! We would really have preferred to receive the moisture a little later on this fall, after the corn is all picked, but that is not to be. I was thinking back to 1997 when we had a blizzard at this time in Oct. and received 24+ inches of snow, so it could have been worse. We were able to farm in November after that blizzard.

Hopefully the fields will dry out enough to start harvesting again next week. My brother in law was working on soy beans
when this hit, not good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New York Beauty

A friend and I have decided to make New York Beauty quilts. This is the second time I have decided this. I am using Karen Stone's pattern that came out more than a couple of years ago, let's see the copyright is 1997. One friend has already finished her quilt sometime back. It is the only reason I still want to make one of these as hers is beautiful.
I started this thing at least 6 years ago, maybe longer. I did get 6 blocks made the first time around and I am really hoping I get
all of them made this time.
I thought it would help if I chose all the fabric for each block, then cut the required amount that I need for that block. The photo shows rows 5 and 6 waiting to be cut. Notice the three blocks in row 5 that are completed.

This pile all but the block at the top of the post. I finished cutting out the pieces this afternoon and pieced the block shown in the top photo. I changed all but one piece in that block so I really hope that is not a bad omen of things to come. I really wasn't sure about the original
fabric I had chosen for the block, but at this point, feel comfortable with the ones that are cut.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I cannot believe that it is Oct. 11th!! I need to get in gear if I intend to get anything done in the way of quilt making this year.

Our guild held our every other year quilt show yesterday, Oct. 10th. The attendance left a lot to be desired, but then I can't say I blame people for staying home. There was ice on everything yesterday morning. Driving was hazardous, walking was hazardous as well. We had 69 people attend the show. We usually have 375 to 400 attend. Apparently they wanted to
stay home wrapped up in a quilt instead of seeing them hanging from quilt racks.

This was the first year at the Burlington Community Center using quilt racks to display the quilts. The past 3 shows have been held at the Old Town Museum and we placed the quilts over old buggies, wagons cars and numerous other things to display them. Everyone liked the new setting better.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nice surprises

Most days come and go. Now and then things occur that are unexpected and turn out to be a nice surprise. Yesterday the unexpected occurred when we received hail. It was very small, but did do tear things up in the garden and the flowers are a bit tattered looking today.

I picked peppers the last two days and needed to do something with the ones we have been referring to as pizza peppers all summer even though the tag was marked 'Anaheim'. Joedy and I were examining them and we knew they didn't resemble the pizza peppers we had grown the previous year, so he decided to roast one. Guess what??!! They are Anaheims AND we have a lot of them and we didn't think we had many at all. The really nice thing about the Anaheim discovery is that I know I didn't mislabel the plants during transplanting. I was really getting a complex about it.

The other surprise of the summer has been the tomatoes. I put up another 4 1/2 pints today. I didn't expect much out of them after the hail on the 17th of July.

I have made sourdough bread a number of times in years past, but always used yeast when making it and have been disappointed that it didn't have the sour taste of the commercial bread I have tasted. I have been doing a good deal of reading about sourdough lately and found out that the real stuff doesn't have yeast in it, just the starter and has to rise for hours. Those two loaves are the first two without using yeast. I am very pleased with how they turned out. I would like to improve the looks of the crust, but the flavor and texture is great!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


As I mentioned in my last post, the importance of taking one day at a time has really hit home.

My aunt passed away. Fortunately she did not have to suffer the month the doctors predicted she might live after she found out she had cancer the first part of Sept. She was at peace with dying, she was not afraid, a great testament to her faith and the way she lived her life.

She chose to have a simple burial beside her husband who died
years earlier, bypassing the usual rituals we have come to associate with death and dying. I totally agree with her choice.

The flowers are in her memory. She was a special person in my life and I will miss her.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What a month!!

I knew September was going to be a little hectic, but didn't have a clue as to how crazy it would become.

It has been been more than a good reminder that one should take one day at a time and make the most of it, as one never knows what lies ahead. This will be for another post.

The other day I walked around the yard and found the most interesting growth, which I assume is some kind of fungus, on one of the railroad ties behind the pond. I have no idea what it is as I have not had time to look it up. It is very firm and I plan on watching it for awhile. I have not seen anything like this before in the yard.

The flowers continue to produce masses of blossoms. The gazanias are finally doing something. I think it was too cool and
wet during June and July for them. They are getting with it now along with the purple daisies.

Since the cabbages are maturing and we are not going to put any sauerkraut up this fall, I decided that I needed to figure out what to do with all that cabbage. So I made 26 Bierocks on Tuesday. The first time I have made these delicious little pockets filled with hamburger, onion and cabbage. Have no idea why I haven't made them before now. I was pleased with how they turned out. Didn't have time to get a photo of them sitting on the cooling racks and took this one out of the freezer this morning for its photo shoot.
I picked some sand hill plums this morning and will make some jam and I noticed the grapes were ripening. Not sure if there are enough of them yet. And I need to get that salsa going.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall is fast approaching

I thought I should post a blog in Sept. before the first week had passed. I have no idea where the first 8 months of this year have gone. But the signs of fall can be seen in the garden. The mums are blooming and the garlic chives behind them are a little late, but in full bloom as well. I saw some pasta made with garlic chives at a Farmers Market I attended on Sat. in Denver. Might need to gather a few for that. They smell delightful when crushed.

The asters are blooming now. We have others the color of the
mums in the above photo and some are white. Most need to be thinned and moved to different parts of the flower gardens. I enjoy seeing the asters as they herald the coming of fall, my favorite season.

One of my favorite smells can be found in our kitchen when I put up tomatoes. They have done better than I thought they would after the hail earlier this summer. So far I have put up 32 pints of stewed tomatoes and 6 pints of some very hot salsa.

Friday, August 28, 2009

a walk thru the garden

I thought I would take a walk around the yard this afternoon. The light is changing, always a sign that summer is drawing to a close.

It is difficult to see the stream in the center of the photo. Thought it might show up better than that, so another attempt will be made one of these days. There are sparkles off the water in the camera lens and if I would get out the manual and read how to slow down the shutter again, I could probably capture a few.
I believe this is the last of the day lilies and was surprised to even find this one blooming today. It was a nice surprise as it is truly a pinky peach colored one. I had ordered one of the "pink/peach" collections several years ago and was disappointed to find mostly "orange/peach" to just plain apricot colors in the group. This one will be moved to the flower gardens this fall or next spring. The day lilies were outstanding this year.

The Bonica roses are still doing their thing. They seem to just keep on blooming. Actually they have become my favorite rose because they are the only rose I can grow. I do have a Rugosa Rose that does its thing, but these little roses never let me down.
There are many other flowers and plants I photographed today and have in the file now. The red berries on the high bush cranberry are very pretty and there was some tickle grass blooming behind the pond. I didn't realize how interesting it was until after I had pulled it then I was trying to find a place to "plant" it so that I could get a photo of it. Perhaps these and others will show up in the dead of winter, when I am dreaming of green leaves and the shadows they create in the yard.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Not sure what is going on with this sourdough thing, as I have another starer sitting outside gathering wild yeast. It is easy. All you do is mix 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water in a bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and sit it outside to gather wild yeast. It took less than 12 hours to get the last starter going. It rained last night so thought there might be some other type of wild yeast floating around here.
Here are a couple of websites that are interesting and helpful if one wants to start on this adventure. Sourdough Baking by S. John Ross and Science of Cooking.

So today I baked the first loaves of sour dough bread from the starter. They didn't waste any time doubling in size so it must be a good starter. They turned out rather tasty and have a wonderful crust on them. Flavor is pretty good as far as the sourdough is concerned. I like mine a little more sour so will have to work on that. We had some with our lunch.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer's Bounty

I have finally been getting enough cukes to can a few jars of dill pickles. This one jar at a time thing is not a whole lot of fun, but after seeing the ripped up cucumber plants right after the hail storm on July 17th, I am thankful to be doing one jar at a time. I tossed a cayenne pepper in this jar. Have several types of cucumbers in there so we will see how they fair.

This was the pickings from yesterday. The yellow zucchini decided it didn't appreciate being pounded by hail and took off. There are a number of Jalapeno peppers in the photo. Something I really don't need a great many of, but due to mislabeling on my part or the seed companies, I have a lot. The majority of them were suppose to be Anaheims. Peppers I find much more useful.
The onions are starting to mature. They aren't going to be very big, but here again, glad they are still out there. All in all I am pleased with the amount of items I have harvested so far due to the beating it took in July.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The photos are of some of the flowers that grace our deck area this summer. They have been under cover more than once when hail threatened. I started all of the flowers from seeds early in the spring.

Some of you may remember the bicycle planter I received for Mother's Day from my daughter's family. It looks a little differently now. I have had trouble keeping the top container wet so I will have to look for a different one next year.

I was happy with the little purple daisy. They have started blooming profusely. The other photo is of the flower containers on the steps . They contain petunias, poppies, verbena, fan flowers, lobelia and alyssum. Found a nice peach colored alyssum that I really like.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's that smell?

The other day I decided to get a sourdough starter going again.
I use to have one years ago and baked sour dough bread frequently.
So the other day I mixed up flour and water, covered the bowl with a moist towel and placed it outside during the day to catch some wild yeast.
This morning when I came into the kitchen I noticed a strange smell. Then I remembered the sourdough starter sitting on the counter waiting to be feed. Sure enough, that is what it was and it is going to be a good starter.
I have another one going using a different method and it is rather poky, so I inoculated it with the one that was started when I took the crusty outer layer of dough off and added more flour and water. I will have to wait and see what flavor it has, hopefully the two will be a little different.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

40 Years!!

I thought I should post something since it is August already!! Hard to believe the year is going by so quickly. I was cleaning things up in the kitchen this morning and had a pleasant surprise when I looked out toward the pond. They Egyptian Lily was blooming. This thing might have another name, but I think that is correct. It has several more sets of blossoms. I was glad it survived the hail.
The other photo is of a candy lily. I raised this from seed several
years ago and have not seen any seed like it since that time. They are a very dainty little flower. They come in pink, yellow, and red/orange. Their foliage is similar to the foliage of an iris.
I was cleaning the kitchen because my high school classmates are here this weekend for our 40th class reunion, my how the time flies!!! Some of them came out to our home last night for a get together. It was fun seeing a number of people that I only see at these gatherings. I am enjoying them a little more, must be my age!