Thursday, December 31, 2009


I'll probably will be asleep on the couch and hubby in his chair when midnight arrives and the New Year begins - my crash after eveyone  left has me almost in bed!  I have a doozy of a sinus infection and my eyes look like I've been bawling all day!  Which reminds me, I did really well when our Grandbaby and family left.  Just a little tear.  Wishing I was able to rock her to sleep some more.  It makes you warm all over to hold a little baby, and we all enjoyed it.   Baby Renee rolled over for the first time while they were here.  Now she'll be on the move! 

A little something I read earlier:

A Happy New Year!
Grant that I may bring no tear to any eye
When the New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived  and loved and labored here,
And made of it a Happy year.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring happy bells across the snow,
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true
Happy New Year 2010

When the mid-nite bell rings tonight...
Let it signify new and better things for you.
let it signify a realization of all things you wish for,
Let it signify a year of courage and beliefs,
Wishing you a very---very prosperous 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

House isQuiet!

Grandma and Grandpa picking up kids at the airport in MPLS.

Here is our Wonderful newest addition to our family - Baby Renee!  She will be 6 months old on January 2nd.  She was the best baby while she was here.  She slept all night, took many naps during the day.  IT  WAS  SO  FUN  to have a baby in the house again!

Christmas Day afternoon we were getting snow, snow, snow!  It was above freezing, and the snow was made for making a snowman   Our snowman is about 10' tall - had to use the skidsteer to get the top done!     It was alot of fun - snowballs flying by, dogs running all over catching snowballs!  I even rolled the head of the snowman, but the guys did the heavy work!   We got alot of pictures taken, and there will be more to show.

Steph, Cullen and Nick left on Saturday morning - drove to southern MN on more bad roads, but they needed to get home to plow out their own farm yard and get ready for work.  It took them 8 hours to get home (normally a 4.5 to 5 hr drive).   Floyd and Jessica went snowmobiling with Blake, Steven, Leah and Amanda.  Floyd rode alot, and was kind of sore today on the ride to the airport.  We couldn't have had a better Christmas.  The snow made it perfect for playing outside.  Some years it has been too cold to snowmobile; but the weatherman brought new snow to the area for us.   We were lucky - kids arrived before the snow came in and didn't have to leave until today, after most of the other holiday travelers.  They flew out of MPLS and into Houston, then to Lafayette, LA; arriving there about 8:30 pm this evening.  Glad they are also home safe and sound.

With the last of our company leaving today;  I'm now going to crash for a few days!  Didn't get any blogging done while everyone was here = just too busy.  I'm sure going to miss everyone, but already making plans for going south later this winter.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Preparing for our gathering!

We made pork patties!  The kids in Louisiana want to take some seasoned pork patties home with them when they come for Christmas, so yesterday we got the job done.  I think the southern MN kids will want to take some home also.  We use unseasoned pork that was ground from the front shoulders the last time we had hogs butchered.  Since we didn't think we had enough, we went to the local meat market and bought another 15 lbs of course ground pork.  Ours had been packaged as 5 lbs in bags, and so we made up 25 lbs into seasoned patties.  Steve has made up our own seasoning (I don't even know the recipe for that), and depending on how spicy you like your pork patties, depends on how much is mixed in.  You mix the seasoning in with your hands, and then use the press to make your patty.  We like ours about 1/3 lb.  On a bun, it is the best "Ham" burger around!

After pressing out patties, we put them on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for a couple of hours.  We had to use cake pans too, and covered them with tin foil and put out in the pickup because we didn't have enough room in the freezer.  And, believe it or not, those patties out in the truck froze faster than those in the freezer.

After frozen, we then put the patties in plastic and vacuum sealed the packages; ready to stay in the freezer until either grilled or pan fried for breakfast, lunch or supper!  They are best grilled, but we put our grill away for the winter months.  I fried up a couple to have as burgers for lunch - yum!

I have been so busy lately getting things ready for our "family gathering" that I am sorry to say I haven't been good about blogging.  I won the giveaway of a coupon to use for a new Rowenta steamer iron, and will be getting the mail in coupon soon in the mail.  Thank you Cathy from "Hazelruths" blog.

Below are pictures of some of the pillow cases I've been making for all the young people in our lives.  These are fun and easy to make.  I also have been busy getting other things made and in the mail.  Boy is the postage cost out of this world!  It costs more to mail things than I thought it was going too, but had some gifts done that needed mailing, so mail them, I did. 

The pillow case with the puppies has an appliqued cut out picture of a couple of the puppies, and then I embroidered around each puppy, and filled in the eyes, ears, and markings, as this one is for Marcus.  He is about 9 and has been blind since he was 6.  I thought that he'd be able to feel the detail on a couple of the puppies.  His brother and sister are coming with Stephani.  We consider them our adopted grandkids.  Marcus won't be coming becasue he needs to have some medical attention daily that I'm not able to do for him.
We are anxiously waiting for everyone to get here.  It will be a full, full house!!!!!!!!!   But fun!

I still have a couple of projects I'm working on, but having serger problems, so drove that to Fargo, ND (80 miles) to get repaired.  They called yesterday, and it is ready, so think I'll drive to Fargo on Friday to get it.  I'll make some other shopping stops too!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 Hooch has a favorite spot to sit and watch what is going on outside.  His eyesight is so good that he can see the barn cat when it is out of the barn - he yips and runs to the door, and runs as fast as he can to give the cat chase.  Of course he doesn't catch the cat.  It's just the chase he loves!  He chases deer out of the barn yard from the spill over of ground feed, rabbits and birds!  Love that picture of him looking out!

Merry Christmas from our  house to you!  Took alot of pictures today trying to get dogs to sit  where we wanted them!  To wearing hats and head bands!   Wanted one in  front of the Christmas tree, looking toward the camera - didn't get that one!  Tried treats.  That was fun.  Hooch would sit up on his hind legs a long time waiting while Odda would get in the right position - don't think the RIGHT position ever happened, but we had fun trying.   After awhile Hooch would get mad at Odda, and get bossy!  As big as Odda is, she lets Hooch have his way!   All in all, we did get some good pictures anyway.  Will show you more another day.

I got some gift wrapping done today!  Need to get to town and make copies of some pictures.  Made some cookies yesterday, but they're almost gone.  Steve had help getting corn delivered, so fed extra guys today and for coffee breaks.    Have to get up early to play bells as a substitute bell ringer at another church in town.  Have to be there before 7 am.  That puts a crimp into sleeping in!   

Next week I play at our church and we have a bell concert in the afternoon on the 20th.  We will be having a concert with 3 different church bell choirs,  and  have done this annually for quite a few years now.  I'll be playing with our bell choir, and also subbing for another for the concert too!   I do like ringing bells.  It is alot easier than being in a band.  Was in our community band for several years also, but got tired of the practicing.  For me, the bells are a lot easier; and so is the sight reading of music. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa Dog supervised decorating the tree!

Santa dog "Hooch" watched me ALL day, putting together the tree and decorating it.  I need to remember to get another string of lights, as I have lights two different sizes on the tree.  Never remember until I'm in work mode, and not wanting to drive 15 miles into town and then back again with more lights.  I'll have to remember now when the lights go on sale after Christmas to get more!

I know I have another plastic tub full of decorations, but didn't dig them out from under the basement staircase.  But the tree has plenty on it.  There are the ones from the grandkids Blake and Amanda that they have made during the years and from friends.  There are some very old (now antique) ornaments that were on our family tree when I was growing up.  They still have the old white string on to hang them up with.  I just don't want to cut that string off.  These are just plastic.  There are a few glass ones, but they must be in the other tub, along with alot of the ornaments our kids made.  Next year I'll have to rotate. 

Hooch was wonderful as Santa Dog,  sat so perfectly on command.  I want to have Odda in a picture by the tree also, but think that job of getting her and Hooch to sit quietly may be more than Odda can handle.  But think I'll try it with help either from Connie or Leah one of these days.  First I'll take Odda on a long walk -wear her out a little.  That will help.   

Maybe we'll even try a Christmas picture when Stephani gets home with her 5 dogs! Wow - 7 dogs by the tree. That's a stretch! Think I'll try for a picture of the DOGS all together outside! Will leave the indoor pictures for baby Renee and the rest of us. In our little house we will have Leah's family and possibly a girlfriend and boyfriend =4 or 6; Steph and Cullen and Nick is coming with them = 3; and then Jessica, Floyd and Renee = 3 and Steve and I=2; and then my sister and hubby=2; total of 16 to try to get a picture in front of the tree. Well, maybe we won't be in front of the tree, there probably isn't room enough for all of us, but we will get a picture of all of us together!

Then when I told Santa Dog "OK, done", he took care of removing his santa hat and beard!

Now that the tree is up I can get some more sewing done and baking!  Yesterday daughter Leah and I spent a day together shopping in a neighboring town.  She crossed alot of things off her list.  My list is in my head!  dah!  Need to wrap things to make sure all is well on the gift list!  We had a fun day together and had a wonderful salad lunch at Perkins.  Just our lunch was a day brightner, as it was so good! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flooding worry!

Got a wake up call from our daughter in Louisiana and now will be worried about them for the next few days.  She had told me yesterday that it had been raining every day there, but I had not realized that it was so bad for them.  It has been heavy rain, nonstop stuff.  That creates a problem for them there.  When I stayed with them last winter it flooded into their storage shed, and they had the vehicles moved out.  But this time, they got wet.

Jess says at 12:30 am last night she woke up, really hot, and checked and the heating/air system was not working.  So spose the motor on that got flooded and quit.  She woke up Floyd and got baby Renee up, and they went over to the babysitter neighbor and spent the night. 

But not before damage to their car happened.  Jess said there was water inside and the seats, etc. all wet.  The guys did get the car moved to higher ground and now they are waiting for insurance adjuster to come out.   She didn't go to work today, and is home trying to get stuff cleaned again.  She said it is suppose to rain again harder starting this afternoon again.   The clean up there is so bad!  The bad yuk that gets in the yard comes from the drainage ditches. 

I remember when they moved to Louisiana and bought this house.  It was a good deal, and I think they bought a little in haste.  But their world was so up in the air then with Floyd getting shipped overseas in a few weeks, and a new teaching job for Jess starting.  Floyd was in the Marines then and was sent to Africa for a tour of duty.  They were so excited to have found this cute house, and had assured us that they weren't in a flood area.  Oh well.  We all learn and grow from experience.  The only thing is, it would be really hard to sell this property now I'm sure.  I think they'll be talking to some engineers about building up the area/lot.  The neighbors across the road do not flood.  So the kids have some big decisions to make here.  Some costly decisions whatever they decide. 

Picture below was taken when I was there this past spring and it flooded.  Cleanup was so yukky!

So Hang int there Jess and Floyd.  We're praying for you and better weather to come.  I know clean up is a gruelling job, but you will get through this.   love you - mom

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dog Ball!

Hooch has us kick a ball for him to fetch - every time we go outside, he comes to us with this ball in his mouth.  Drops it at our feet and waits until we kick it.  Odda runs after him and gets in the way!  Hooch then wrestles with the ball to get a good bite on it.  The ball isn't a hard rubber one.  It 's suppose to have air in it, but it deflates easily.  The hot sun makes it stay inflated, but when it gets cold out, like now, it collapses!   But he's still in the game mood, and wants us to kick this stupid poor deflated ball!   Will have to wait now until spring - and we'll get you a new ball Hooch!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Past!

The countdown to Christmas is upon us!  I love this time of year.  Making gifts for family, trying new recipes, having to clean for over night company coming.  Putting up the tree - not a real one.  Decorating the house with Santa dolls, garland and lights.  Sometimes getting myself worked up over it by being too nit picky!  Don't know why that happens, it's just the kids and family coming home.  But like any mother knows - you do want everything to flow perfectly.

                                                         2005 Jess & Steph with Grandma & Grandpa

 It's can be a depressing time of year for many people.    I chose instead to remember past holiday seasons with alot of warm memories of a mother and father in law that lived on the farm, just across the drive way from us.  Grandpa passed away this past Memorial Day, and Grandma passed away a year ago in April.  When we got married (soon to be 40 years) we put a new mobile home across the drive way from the big farm house.  Our girls grew up having Grandma and Grandpa so close, and it was wonderful.  Not many kids have that experience.  This will be the first Christmas that now both are gone, and there will be times when sadness will creep into our thoughts and memories of a full house of relatives over at the farm house.  As grandkids got bigger, rather than everyone over at the farm house, the teenagers seemed to gravitate to our smaller house, to watch tv, play video games, or just hang out without so much adult noise!   At one holiday gathering one of the nephews broke his leg on the exercise nintendo mat!  That was something!

We always had a big Christmas Eve meal at Grandmas, and then HAD to clean up before we could open presents.  Boy, the little kids sure had a hard time waiting!  Then there would be Grandma and Grandpa in their special chairs, and all the rest of us spread around the living room and into the kitchen.  A couple of the older grandkids handed out packages, and parents had to try to keep their little ones from tearing into them right away, until all packages were passed out.  There were so many of us that we couldn't take turns opening up packages, because there were too many little kids that just couldn't wait - so each family sat together, so at least each mom and dad could control what was going on - making sure nothing would get thrown into the garbage bag that was put out for the paper that was to be thrown out.  As the evening got later, our family went to candlelight church service.  Jessica sang the song "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" every year for about 6 years.  People would start asking in October if Jessica would be home to sing on Christmas Eve.  One gentleman came up to me one year after Jessica sang the song and had tears in his eyes.  He said that his wife used to sing that same song in church on Christmas Eve every year also.  I love the candlelight late church service.  Visiting with friends, driving back home, with all of us singing Christmas carols.  Everyone can sing good, except me - so I mostly listen (or sing very quietly!).

As years went by, we eventually stopped buying presents for everyone, and just bought for Grandma and Grandpa, and then drew names.  Later the drawing of names for us adults even faded, and just the kids changed names.  Sometimes there would be a silly gift show up for one of the guys, that no one would be able to figure out which Santa had brought!  Bird poop, deer poop, silly hats and alot of other silly things showed up throughout the years.

After we didn't draw adult games  we started a dice exchange gift game.  Each woman brought a womans gift, man a mans gift, etc.  Then we used two pie tins and 2 dice in each plate.  We used two plates of dice to pass because we were so many.   You had to get a 7 or 11 before you could take a package to open up.  After all the packages were out to everyone in the circle, we put the timer on for 2 minutes, and still having to roll a 7 or 11,  you could then TAKE a package away from someone; giving them the package you had.   It would get pretty wild.  Throughout the years we'd have different monitary values set.  Sometimes it was around $20.00 that you could spend.  Well, some people, just wrapped up a twenty dollar bill in a box, and alot would want that twenty dollar bill.  There would be cases of pop; towel sets; tool sets; flashlite sets; drill bits; perfume; new kitchen gadgits, etc.  The kids always loved the stuffed animals.  A cute Santa doll for decoration, or fancy couch pillows, new slippers, etc.     One year we did white elephant gifts.  That was a FUN exchange.  We didn't have a value, so some gifts were or had been real expensive, but never used much.  Some antiques that year, some kitchen gadgets that had been the rage the year before, but never used, etc.    Of course, it got real wild when the exchange got going good, and alot of 7 and 11's were rolled, and everyone wanting the same gift.  You'd no soon roll your 7 or 11 and take what you wanted, and then loose it to the person next to you because they wanted it!    I remember we'd all take note of what Grandma liked, and when she'd get what she liked, we all kind of backed off, so she would end up with it.  This will be the second year now that we won't be playing that game, and I think I'll miss it more this year than last.   

But one of these years, that game will come back as we get more in our household!  We know many  families have gone through heartache during this past year and the holidays can be very hard for some.  Being a caring friend to someone hurting can help both the giver and receiver!  Try it, it works.  Remembering the real reason for celebrating Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Ollie Owl Angel

I made my challenge owl today out of a left over felted wool sweater that I had made into a purse earlier.  There were just enough scraps to make this little owl, and put felted angel wings on.  I had trouble with the halo sitting just right, but that's ok, as this little owl is kind of quirky anyway.   Except this is a Cancer Awareness Ollie Owl Angel.   The little top knot of gold doesn't show real good in the picture, and I wasn't sure I wanted to add beads, etc. to his little tummy.  His tummy is the cable knitted cuff of the sweater, so that gives the tummy some dimension!  The pink ribbon is decoration enough.  I used yellow felt for his beak, and yellow and blue felt for his feet.  I had some little silver beads, and strung them on wire for the halo.  Maybe that should be larger.  I used a dark grey felt for behind the eyes of old buttons.  This Little Ollie Owl Angel is in honor of a friend of mine and I'll be giving it to her so she can hang it on her Christmas tree.   She recently had a double mastectomy, and will soon be done with her chemo treatments.  She is anxious to have her hair grow back and has been active every day that she hasn't been sick from her treatments.  I admire her so much for the strength she has shown to her family and friends. 

I can see where each and every little owl would turn out different.  Mine isn't real round as I thought it should have been, but you make do with what scraps you have.  This was a fun little project to do.  Thanks to Daisy Quilts for the suggestion.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I've been doing!

I think I'm crazy, but enjoy being that way!   I've been busy trying to get stuff done - cookbooks that I've been working on for 2 years, and now decided that they will be done before Christmas to give to the girls; making a crib bumper for when Renee comes home for Christmas and sleeps in crib I have here; a special project I've started for my sisters in laws that aren't finished yet; a cloth booklet for baby with our pictures, so when she goes home, she'll have her own book of us Minnesota relatives; etc. etc. etc.   Yes, there are a couple more things in the mix too, oh ya, a table runner or two;  and more,  just can't name them all.    Oh and baking to be done too!

Here are the cook books that I've worked on the past 2 years!  Want to get them done, so the girls can use them. 

Not completely done decorating the cover. 
Want to have the girls' names on each book cover.

Opened, with the inside of the front cover showing a picture of us seven
sister in laws and Grandma.With a note from me, and then my tab picture. 
I didn't have the plastic cover slipped on yet here.  You can
see the plastic at the bottom.  The plastic will save wear and tear on
the pages.

Here you can see how we have decorated pages.  The bottom pages are what
sister in law Sue made, and the stand up pages I made.
I can't say that it wasn't fun, but scrap booking isn't my
choice for a hobby.  However, we did have fun working together on them.
The cookbooks that WILL get done are being made by us 7 sister in laws for all of the neices and nephews - 20 of them.  So we each made a couple pages with recipes on them (scrap booked) and also did a tab page with our picture on it.  We also decorated the hard cover of the cookbook.  I am waiting to get pages from 5 others to complete the three books for my girls.   I made plastic book covers for everyone = 20; and also plastic covers for the tabs for my girls books.  What a job.  Used the food sealer to make some of the book covers, but then tried sewing the plastic, and I liked that option better.  I used 8 guage plastic for the covers, and 4 guage plastic for the tabs.  A foot with rollers on it worked great.  By using the roller foot, the plastic didn't stick to the regular foot on the sewing machine. 
I also then sewed a  bottom seam to make the covers for the tab pages.  The tab sticks out, but that is ok .    Hope you can see the pictures well enough to get an idea of what they're like.

Oh, Robyn over at Daisy Quilts has a challenge for anyone to wants too, to make your own Otto the Owl, decorated as each individual wants too. So naturally, I want to do it! Think I must be crazy, but I will start tomorrow. I'm sure it won't take long. My owl will be for a tree ornament. Already have in mind what I want it to look like.

Here is a picture of one of her owls: Otto the Owl.

I'll show you mine as I get it done.