Sunday, April 22, 2012

A "friendly" day

Sporting her new glasses, Caitlyn invited a friend for a belated birthday sleep-over Friday night. She lives down the road a few miles; they ride the same bus and have been in the same class in school. Cadence was thrilled to chase chickens and spend some time outside at the "Skattebo Ranch."

After lunch on Saturday, we took a trip to the local greenhouse to load up on some seeds and fertilizer (even though planing season for Wisconsin is still a few weeks away.)

The three girls enjoyed some time in a make-shift sandbox while Paul and I perused the seed shelves inside.

The seedlings in our own mini-indoor greenhouse are growing nicely. We are about 6 weeks away from being able to move them outside into the dirt, so still LOADS of time to grow into transplantable plants.

Back at the homefront after the greenhouse trip, Cadence was more than willing to help out with some chores to prep the pigpen area......
because.......the PIGGGGGGIES arrived!!!!!

We have "Dotty" and "Pinky" this year. {{Paul wanted them to be called Snort and Squeal......**shaking head**...... clearly he needs practice when it comes to naming animals.}}
BUT, he does NOT need help at trapping naughty chicken-eating culprits!!! This is what showed up in the trap he set out after we lost another chicken last week. Naughty-naughty cat!!!!!

My only quilty note:  I put in only one hour of sewing yesterday; nothing that I deemed worthy of taking a picture of.  I sewed together the sashing strips for my mom's BearPaw quilt.

 It's 10:30 AM right now; I've already taken care of transplanting the seedlings into bigger pots; spent some time on the tractor with Paul, and now taking a short coffee break before heading back out to transplant some raspberry plants that we dug up a couple of weeks ago.  They are being moved to a better location than where they currently are since the patch has outgrown its original location.

It's an overcast day; high 40's. Not a SUPER great "outdoors" day, but Paul and I are BOTH antsy with "garden-fever," so we're doing what we can.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last weekend kept me away

When my weekends take me away from home, it's difficult for me to fit in blogging time. It's not that I don't have the time, but it just takes discipline to do it.

 Last weekend was Cassie's State Destination Imagination performance.  They were one of the first teams to compete on the entire (LONG) day;  8:54AM, which meant a VERY early rise to get to the campus of UW-Stevens Point.

This is Cassie's 3rd year to compete in DI (in the blue cap on the left).

Aunt Jenny and Uncle Derek made the event this year and once Cassie was released from her team to whittle away the day until awards, we all spent some time at the Natural Museum of History on the campus.  
T-Rex here gave them quite a scare with his LOUD enormous roar.....

But Aunt Jenny knew that she'd be safe if Cassie was "thrown to the wolves".....

Finding things to do to burn up the four hours of down-time before awards was challenging.  Cassie and Jenny spent much of the time playing some 'brain-games' on the Kindle.

I enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL sunshine!!!!! (Even though that concrete was quite hard.)

And the kiddos.....waiting, waiting......and waiting 
After an hour delay, the awards finally began, and despite being hard to watch the faces fall in sadness realizing they won't be advancing to Globals in TN, the day was over and filled with memories.

All the pictures are courteous of my mom's new camera.  When sifting through all the pictures, there were a BUNCH of shots with these beautiful boys!  "Yup," she says.  "Those were taken from the living room window."  What a glorious and magnificent looking animal when in full-strut!!!!!

I'm looking forward to a weekend HOME;  the days are both wide open (for the most part).  Caitlyn has a friend over for a belated birthday sleepover and  I think I'll plan a short visit to the High School tonight to peek in on Prom.  Other than that,.......pretty much wide open. :D

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A good day with a run

Being a teacher of statistics...I love numbers. I love data. I love conjecturing hypotheses and testing them out. My newest hypothesis: Having "mental" break days scheduled in the school year leads to positive mentality and increased production."
Unfortunately, I've only come up with it today during my after-school run and haven't had any time to design an experiment to gather data. But, speaking from my own personal experience these past two days...........**non-stressed sigh**....... I REALLLLLLLLLY needed those two "spring break" days last Friday and this Monday. I've had two days of decent lessons; a little more patience with the students that need it, and productive prep periods to get done with MOST of my school work during the "working hours" of the day.

Additionally, I've been successfully scheduling AND accomplishing some running during my after-school hours. A coworker of mine, (I'll call her Jen :0) ) and myself have been keeping each other honest with scheduling in some runs every week. We both tend to use "I have so much to do" as an excuse to avoid running/exercise/strength-training----but that's ALLLLL in the past!

We both are good at being mad at ourselves for allowing our summerly training to go by the wayside once the winter months hit. :0) Therefore, much (not MOST) of our running time lately has been filled with LOTS of heavy breathing....LOTS of "why do we do this to ourselves?" and "why does it take SO LONG to get back into shape?" wails :0) BUT....we persevere because we know we will get back into shape sooner than later if we continue with a regimine.

Today was a good day running, which is good seeing that I took the entire last week off :\ We aren't quite back to non-walking 2 miler, but we're close; only 3 small walks today between some hills and quicker paced stretches.

AND, I'm just shy of being 5 miles away from running more than I did in 2010 altogether! (Oh......that was such a sad, sad running year for me)

Happy Sunshiny Wednesday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

On my bed.....

On our bed? We have a HEAVY denim-camoflage quilt for the winter months, with Bonnie Hunter's Roll Roll Cottonboll design on top. The RRCB remains on our bed during the cooler months of least until another King size quilt gets made for it. I REFUSE to put a store-bought quilt on our bed anymore.

What's on your bed? Post it and Link it (Bonnie's "What's on your Bed" Linky)

36-patch and RWB Heartstrings progress

Both of these UFOs have seen more progress today. The 36-patch center is nearing completion. The borders are still being played around in my mind, so nothing sewn there yet.

The RWB strings were increased by another eight blocks. Additionally, twelve red-string blocks are being auditioned in an attempt to help the heart-center be seen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Some UFO tasks

I have to repeat a phrase that Angela shared with an earlier post.....

It has been ages since I finished anything and I am starting to feel
that there are too many irons in the fire.

Only I would alter this a bit to say........
It has been ages since I finished anything that
I have officially deemed EVERYTHING a UFO!

Back on July 20, 2011, I started this 36-patch Quiltalong with CrazyMom. I wasn't too sure about the whole thing since I'm not a big fan of 36-patches. However, today as I was finishing up the 10 blocks I prepped so long ago in July , I started thinking about how I would put it all together. An on-point setting similar to what's pictured came to mind. I'll still have to play around with how exactly I'll do the sashing and setting triangles.

Then Cassie and Caitlyn came down to see what I was up to. Cassie didn't last very long, but Caitlyn did, and she was raring to do some sewing.

OUT came the RWB strings!!!

Can you BUH-LIEVE that the first 8 of these blocks were pieced in July, Two-Thousand-NINE!??!?! Goodness me! They are a great 'puttering' block that see the day of light every so often. I'm not at ALL certain how they'll be pieced together since I didn't establish a "center" strip to have them "go together" nicely. Anyone have any great ideas? I thought of maybe a small 1" (finished) sashing strip between each??

My weekend has one more day to it, thankfully! No plans, no definite goals....but I can bet I'll be making it downstairs yet again for some more puttering tomorrow.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Organizing scrap boxes

Alright...I KNOW this doesn't look very organized, but this IS my "AFTER" picture. :\ On second thought....perhaps I shouldn't call it an "AFTER" picture quite yet. It's definitely more like a "DURING TRANSITIONS" picture.

THIS was the "BEFORE" picture. You can't even SEE much of the carpet, or even really determine how many boxes are present. Yesterday and part of this morning, I spent time sifting through these boxes; pressing, cutting, and reboxing fabrics that were not quilt-worthy (some homespuns, lots of polyester and some too-flimsey-fabrics that have been given to me in garage-sale-find boxes).

I've been cutting up loads of "nickels" and piecing a few more "Scrappy Pieces".

And when I had had enough of that.....I headed over to the quilting frame and spent a couple of hours behind the machine.

I just ran out of wound bobbins, so I took that as a sign for a needed break. A little coffee and bagel....checking to make sure the girls are being respectful to each other (aka: not killing each other), and I'll be back at it all again soon.

Happy Easter Saturday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Powerful evening

Despite having lived in my town of Shell Lake for 14 years, I had yet to make a performance of the Easter Alive "passion" that a local church offers out to the public. However, this year, being my first year HOME for Easter weekend, and with a personal invitation from a special student in hand, my girls and I dressed up for an evening of Easter Alive - "How He Loves".

Growing up, I recall watching a live "passion" that my mom had taken me to.......and I'll have to ask her where that was held, because I was VERY little and only faintly recall it. I remember seeing the crosses in the distance. It must have been quite "powerful" for me to remember it.

And that is yet again the word I choose to describe the hours spent at Shell Lake Full Gospel this evening. POWERFUL. Cassie and I were both moved to tears that lasted long after the stone was rolled away and the audience was bathed in the bright light of resurrection. I am certain the girls, specially Cassie, will not forget tonight.

And Grandma.....(I know you are reading this)...... there were many questions tonight that I am certain will be directed your way next weekend

May you all have a blessed Easter weekend.

Garden Prep and a Birthday

I figured it was time to get this post written seeing that all of these "garden prep" pictures were taken last Sunday!

We have been asking my parents for the past two years if they would be willing to bag up leaves they rake up each fall. And of course they come through. THANKS MOM!!! {{as a side-note, now that Mom is freshly retired (first full week of retirement under her belt), she should have LOADS of time to help bag leaves for their OWN garden :0)}}

Anyway.....Cassie and Candace helped load up bags onto the tractor bucket in order to deliver them to the garden.
Meanwhile, Caitlyn spent some time raking out some "old" dead stems from last year's growing season
Kicking around the piles of leaves to spread them out..... turned into play time?

What's a kid to do, right?!?!?!

Strawberries having a good seasonal beginning.

Paul moved a group of chickens we had to a new run. They immediately took to the grass!
All except this one. She watched from the doorway for quite some time before venturing out.

The day was another warm (unseasonal) day. So, it kept me away from my sewing machine; therefore, NO QUILTING PICS to share :0( That should change with my 4-day weekend looming ahead of me :0)

We celebrated Caitlyn's 8th birthday yesterday.

I wish she would show a little excitement :0)

Cassie informed me of a Highest Points award she earned with her Accelerated Reader points, so I took the camera to school yesterday to get a snapshot. I'm certainly happy that she enjoys reading so much.

So...that's a quick update! Not much writing but lots of pictures :0)
I'm looking forward to a weekend HOME for the holiday! As badly as the house needs a top-to-bottom cleaning...... I don't have the gumption right now this minute to take it on. Rather......some coffee, a bagel and a couple of hours in my sewing room sound AMAZING!!!!!

Happy Friday

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Eye Opener

Are you a coffee drinker? Sugar user? While sitting at the breakfast table this morning, Paul wanted to make a point to me, and HE DID!

One a typical day, I probably have three cups of coffee, and each of those cups.....I use 2 (heaping) teaspoons of sugar.

The picture -- my daily consumption of sugar (6 tsp) JUST in my coffee!!! (not to count the sugar that's included in the French Vanilla creamer). I certainly had an eye opener, and will be determined to drop my consumption down to one tsp per cup........and eventually none???? :\ I'm not going to push it too far just yet.

On another note....the seedlings are emerging! It's crazy how exciting it is to see those lil' green buggars popping out of the dirt. All of our starter seeds will continue to grow and be nurtured until we are able to transplant them out in the garden. The typical transplant date for our area: Memorial weekend.