Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Family Fotos!

This picture of granddaughter Amanda was taken in 1998 - when our darling little granddaughter was 5 years old. This was during the craze of hunting and buying all the beanie babies that came out! I had so much fun getting those beanie babies, and years later just to give them away or sell in rummage sales! Her mother also bought many beanie babies for the kids. So mine were extras - and to play with when they came over!

Tonight I'll be helping Amanda get ready for prom tomorrow evening by putting on "her nails"! I'm glad she wants me to help her do some things. It seems like it was just yesterday when she was little like this picture. Now 16, almost 17! They grow up too fast.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Now that I'm retired I don't have to like "Change"! When I was working, I had to be promoting "change"! Like it or leave it type of change! Well, last night doing my post, I also had trouble with loading pictures. Couldn't get them out of my windows picture file. Had to get them out of Picassa. Which I have downloaded a couple of weeks ago, but I don't get all my pictures to load there. So I went into the settings file here, and went back to the "old" way of loading pictures. Now I'll try that for awhile to see how it goes.

Oh, I'd forgotten how this worked. Have to highlight and move the picture where you want it, and then do a preview to see how it looks. Dah! May have to change and go back to the new way!

I know that some bloggers do their writting, etc. outside of blogspot. Where do they do it, and do they add their pictures, etc. etc. I may have to try that. Do they do it in Writer - windows live? I haven't tried that.

This picture of hubby Steve, and son-in-law Steve back in 2004.

Well, this change they have made is a change I'm not too happy about. How about you all? I have to figure out the best way to do things, so I don't bitch about this "change"! Think I'll try the other setting too.

Our Sale Day

We had our production pig sale on Sunday afternoon. I bet that many of you are wondering what a production sale is. Hubby Steve raises and breeds  hogs. We have a yearly sale at the end of April each year to sell young pigs to area youth that are in 4-H. The 4-Her's need to have their little pigs bought and at their homes/farms before the first part of May. Many families that have kids in 4-H do not live on active farms, but do have a place to keep a couple of pigs so that the kids can feed them and take care of them until they go to their county fairs.

The small family farms are not as plentiful as years ago, and that is where we come in. We are still a small family farm! Hubby Steve and Kenny have done this the last six years, and this year Allen and Cody also sold a few pigs.  Years ago when we were producing many more hogs than we are now, we had big sales and sold breeding stock that went all over the states and into Canada and Mexico.  We would have up to 850 pigs on the place.  Now we have scaled down to about 20 sows, so that means we may have up to 250 to 300 pigs now when little ones are born.  I'm retired from my paying job, he's semi retired and still farming, but on a smaller scale!  Spose you'd call it his hobby! 

There were  buyers there from our area here in mid Minnesota, southern Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and even a phone bid from Nebraska.  It is fun to watch Moms, Dads and kids come to the sale, check out all the hogs; kids getting excited and writing down the ear tag number of their favorites, so that they can bid on the pigs they like best.  We had 83 pigs that sold.  Our Durocs (red pigs) are all registered, and we did have a few cross-bred Hampshire-Duroc pigs.  Kenny and Sharon had cross-bred pigs, Hamp-York cross pigs that end up colored white with grey markings across the rump (called blue butts).  There was a feed representative there with several 50# bags of show feed, show sticks and t-shirts to give away.  We gave them away by drawing of bidder numbers throughout the sale.  Our auctioneer Wayne played a "Heads or Tails" game with the buyers and gave away a ten dollar bill.  A young boy won, and was he ever excited.

Hubby with the mike, me and our auctioneer Wayne

A pen of Durocs waiting to go into the sale ring

Sale clerk help - daughter Leah, Sharon and me.
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Sharon is the wife of the other hog producer.  There are others helping also, Leah's husband Steven, son Blake,  girlfriend Dena and daughter Amanda. Sharons husband, son and brother are there also helping.  Allen, his son Cody and daughter Brooke also helped.  There is alot happening before the sale that most buyers don't realize.  We have the sale about 2 hours from home.  Kenny and Sharon are about 3 hours from home.  Al and Cody are about 1 hour from the sale.  That means that they guys are up early, loading the pigs into stock trailers, loading shavings, feed, and the panels used for a sale ring.  The sale is held at a county fair grounds and started at 3 pm.  The guys get there about 10 am, set up pens and put in shavings for the pigs.  They set up a show/sale ring.  We then make a sale list of the pigs by pens.   This list is used to make up the sale order.  About 2 hour before the sale, the guys let each pen out so the buyers can look at all the pigs.   We had about 60 bidder numbers that were filled out, so with kids and parents there were a lot of people there.  The building was quite crowded.  Then when the sale starts, there is help getting the pigs into the sale ring, each pen of pigs is brought into the sale ring and as each pig is sold, the guys remove that pig and put in back into the pen it came from.  So it really does take a good group of guys to help.  This sale is really a family affair for the 3 families that put it on.   Before a buyer can load his new purchase into his truck or trailer, they have to pay the clerks and show his paid receipt to the guys.  We now have a good routine going, so each year it gets easier to do.

There is a 4-H club that is there serving sloppy Joes, bars, pop, water and coffee.  I am glad for the club to do that, as people come to auctions hungry, and it's one less thing that I don't have to worry about doing. After the sale is over,  all piggys  gone and on their way to their new homes we clean up the barn, take down all the pens, clean up all the shavings and leave the barn like it was before we got there.  Then we all go out to eat and relax a little.  When we got home Sunday night it was after 9 pm.  We were both very tired.  We had hired our neighbor Donny to do chores for us that night, so they were done when we got home. 

I worked on the sale record keeping all day Monday and finished today.  Deposited the checks and figured out the commission, expenses, etc. etc.  Printed out all reports to share with Kenny and Sharon.  Glad to be done for another year!   Now Steve keeps in contact with those that bought our pigs to check with the kids to see how the pigs are growing and if they need any help.  Steve goes to as many of the county fairs as he can to see the kids show their pigs.  He loves going to the livestock shows!  He'll be delivering pigs down south and delivering the pig to the Nebraska buyer, meeting them half way.

So that was our busy weekend.  Now on to another busy week!    I anxious to get back to my sewing and crafting!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thank you Karen!

Karen from Sew Many Ways had a quilt magazine give away and I WON! Yipee - it'll be coming to me shortly and I can't wait to get it.   She has the best ideas for creating crafts out of whatever she has on hand, and she posts a Tool Time Tuesday craft idea and todays needle keep instructions are the best I've seen yet.  So easy anyone can make it.  Go check out her blog - searching back through a lot of creative  ideas!   Thanks again Karen.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 2 of Garage preparation!

The second day was only a half day for the crew.  They installed the drainage system for the floor, so when we wash cars in the winter in the garage the water has some place to go.  Also got the trench dug for changing a span of overhead wire to underground.  When the garage is up, we'll connect that wire to the garage junction box, and take out the pole and connect the existing underground wire to the garage junction box. 

There will be drainage from the center of the garage floor, and then the water will flow to the black tube and drain out the bottom.
Back hoed a trench from this pole (where our meter is) over to the north side of the garage.

The electrician holding the wire and eye measuring to make sure it will be long enough to go up the pole to connect when we're ready.  They unrolled the wire, and then back filled over it. 

They also covered the area that the sand was dug up behind our barn.  Now you wouldn't eve know that there had been a huge hole dug there.   Saved a lot of money by using our own sand!  Didn't have to pay for sand hauled in.

Oh my !  Someone already has parked in our new garage!
Leah and Steven did that the other night when they came over! 
Funny kids!

Now we'll wait until next weekend to start the cement.  This weekend we'll be busy getting ready and then having our Pig Production Sale.  So with all that going on, no time for the garage.  More blogging pics when we do work on it again.  Hope you all have a great weekend.  I'm praying for some rain this weekend.  We need it bad here.  Steve has all is wheat, barley and peas planted.  This is the earliest he's gotten that done.  Next week, he'll be getting corn in the ground.

I delivered 2 boxes of pin cushions to a lady that has a small consigment shop in our area that tourist and locals stop.  She was very excited to get them.  I'm hoping they will sell.  It is so much fun to make them, and I have several more at home, and more to make, but don't want to make any more up until I know they will sell.  It'll be a shame to make too many up, and then not be able to sell them.  So we'll see how it goes.  I many even try to find another place to consign them, but that will have to wait until next week.

A demi cup and saucer.  Had two of these, pink and this green one.  They are so dainty!

Changed the ribbon on Amanda's friends wrist corsage from black daisy ribbon to purple  so it matches her dress better.

Odda, our Bernese Mt Dog has the kennel that now is too close to the new garage.  She has not been eating good the last 3 days, and I think she may be nervous over all the excitement and loud machinery we've had here this week.  We will be moving the fenced area of her kennel so it will be easier to enter.  I don't think Odda likes to walk on all the uneven dirty ground now.  She also hates mud puddles, so we'll see how things are for her this weekend before I take her to the vet.  I got some Lamb and Rice food for her again - maybe a little change in her food will help. 

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Stephani!

Happy Birthday to our second born girl!  Wishing we could be there to celebrate your day with you and Cullen.  I'm sure you are busy at work today, and possibly going out for supper tonight or this weekend on the money we sent you for your birthday.  Take a break and save some time from your busy days and evenings to have some Steph time!  A nice relaxing bubble bath, dress up and go out!

Steph lives in southern MN, south of Pipestone Minnesota, and she and her husband Cullen both work in Sioux Falls SD daily.  Their evenings are spend doing chores for their many horses and other animals.  She still has her one "piggy" that is growing good and plays with one of her little dogs, Spot.  Spotty is part JR and Rat Terrier.  A  little cutie!

Her 4th birthday with "Cookie Monster" cake baked for
her by Grandma Arvilla.  Steph loved, loved Cookie Monster!
You can see how delighted she was with her cake! 
Oh how I miss those days of our Happy Birthday Parties for the girls.

Steph's 5th Birthday, with Snuffleupagus!  Cood dudes!

6th Birthday cake make by Grandma Arvilla!

Grandma Arvilla and Birthday Girl - One of my favorite pictures.

Her 8th birthday - moving on the Strawberry Shortcake!
Altho, Sesamee Street characters weren't forgotten.
Auntie Georgia and Uncle Vern got this cake for her.

Teen years!  What a beautiful girl!  So much fun to be with.

As Stephani grew up, her interests turned from Cookie Monster,  Snuffleupagus and Strawberry
Shortcake to the horses.  She was out with the horses all day long and during school months;
daily after school with the horses, as were all three of the girls growing up.
Here she and Jessica are out for a ride with Joker pulling them.  Sheph trained Joker to pull and
had bought the cart and harness with money from her first job.  Her love of horses hasn't lessoned.
She and Cullen are very active with their horses, breeding good Quarter Horses, in showing, games 
and active in the area horse club.
During her teenage years, I'd bake "dirt cake" for her to share with her friends.  That was a fun
cake to make for her, as today is also Earth Day!

Mom and Dad

Monday, April 19, 2010

Garage Groundwork

Today started early with the sound of the big equipment starting up and running.  Last week Son-in-law cut down the tree, and today the crew came in to remove tree stumps, the old garage foundation, an old silo ring, and tv tower.  Pictures below will tell the story.  Our ground is not level, and I could hardly believe the level after all was done.  We will now be moving Odda's kennel, as the new garage will be so close. 
The old foundation of the little garage, the contractors dump truck
Odda's red kennel, and the tree stump by the front that looks
like it is next to the front tire of the truck.

Removing the tree stump.  It was larger than I thought it would be.

Removing the old foundation and loading into the dump truck.

View from our back step.

The old tv tower coming down.  The bird feeder was pulled out so we
can reinstall it.  I now want it closer to the kitchen window!

Big equipment sure does the job!  It beats doing it by hand.

Added many loads of sand for the base to prepare for new floor and foundation.

After the guys were done.  Look at the ground level of Odda's kennel
compared to what the garage floor will be! 

Later we cut down the lilac bush that is to the top rightof the picture.  It encircled the main power pole, and we will be changing from overhead service to underground service coming from the pole where the lilac bush was; and the pole by the right edge of the picture will be coming out.    It will be hard to get used to the fact that we won't be able to see the barns now from our kitchen window!  That will take some getting used too!

The guys come back tomorrow to install the drain in the the ground.  I don't know if they will be doing the trench for the power or not.  Now things will go a little slower.  We won't be home this weekend to work on the cement work, so that will start the weekend of May 1st.   

This prepared area for the garage seems to make our house look really little!  That's a thought.  Maybe we should move into the garage!  All one level, and you know, we're getting older!   ha.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Talking to Baby Renee!

This is how we talk to our granddaughter Renee in Louisiana!

Renee is attentive when we first start talking to her, and then she wiggles and gets bored with us, and just wants to play with the computer keyboard.  That doesn't stop us from visiting as often as we can. Our actual talking to her at this point, is still making silly faces and noises!  She likes that, and being told that we love her!  She likes it when our dog Hooch gets on my lap and looks toward the screen because he can hear moms (Jessica's) voice.  Hooch gets so excited, that if we don't let him on our lap, he will bark when he hears their voices!

Thank goodness for our webcam - so we can see how big she is getting every week.  In fact we visit with them at least twice a week. I am so thankful for this mighty piece of technology - can hardly believe we got this mastered!  It was just the other day I was saying we were technology handicapped! 

Just hung up with the kids again, and will wait for another day soon to see and talk to them.  This has to be the best invention ever for families that live far apart.  I think of our soldiers and those families so far apart now being able to use the webcam to keep in touch.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Saturday!

A beautiful day here in Minnesota!!!!!!!!!!   My yard is calling me by name - believe that or not!  But I have bookwork to do and continue on my crafting, and the yard is already raked, and it's too early to plant.  Altho, rhubarb is growing, and the trees are starting to bud.  
We are further behind in our growing season here in MN than my blogging friends out East, South & West!

 I was a good girl this morning and did take Odda on a mile walk after working with her off lead.  But she's not ready yet to do off lead for an outing down the road.    Did our walk early, and need to do that daily- we BOTH need the exercise.   Oh, I just hate to sweat or perspire!  And I don't have to exert my self much to be wringing wet.  I have ALWAYS been like that and I HATE it!  Even when I was thin.  (Hubby says, loose weight and you won't sweat as much!) Well, I am going to try to stick to it better and get daily walks in with Odda and Hooch.  No excuse - just do it - right?!?!

I have some new followers and I LOVE it!  Thanks everyone !   I also found out I have some followers that aren't bloggers.  That is great.   I love to hear what everyone thinks of what I'm making or doing. 

A few pictures of new pin cushions I made yesterday!

Isn't this little boot a cute pin cushion! 

A 1950 Lefton Cherub Bowl made a beautiful pin cushion.

Sakura China, Tango pattern cup & saucer.  Had two of these, so one has blue material and the other has green.

Made some other ones too.  Kept busy all day and evening as Steve was out of town, so I could have a mess and just leave it.  I did have it cleaned up by the time he got home at 1:30 am this morning.  You can tell by the pictures, which ones had sunlight coming in the window!  They're brighter.  Spose I could have fixed the photos, but too lazy for all that monkey business!

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More preparation for new garage!

On Sunday evening Leah, Steven and Amanda came over and Steven and Steve cut down a tree that was going to be in the way of the new garage.  I hated to see the tree go, as it was nice shade, but it was a messy tree, and dripped on the vehicles, and branches broke off all the time.  I will replant another tree in the yard, but away from the vehicles and the garage.

wood chips just a flying!

Leah, Steve and Amanda loaded cut up pieces into the bucket, so we can keep for the fire pit! 
 It will be put away to dry out for a year.

Then on Monday about 5 pm, the contractor (neighbor fellow, Josh ((Connie's nephew)), came by with equipment that will be used to break up the foundation and get rid of the tree roots, and to help with the preparation of the ground work.  They left it here and will be back in a couple of days to start the job.  Of course,  that all depends on the weather.  If we get rain, plans get delayed.  They didn't need it for their other jobs, so left it here.

It's just unloaded here, Josh did move it further into our yard.  More pics when something else happens!

I'm so excited for a garage.  Never have had one we could park our car or truck in.  All the years I worked and had to scrape ice and snow off that car!  Start it in below zero weather to warm up before going to work early in the morning!  It will be so nice - just a lot of years too late!  Better late than never!   Now at least we'll be able to keep our vehicles in better shape during the winter months.  Woohoo!!!!  Can't wait!!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Busy as a Bee!

I made Amanda our granddaughter and her friend wrist corsages for their prom. 

for Amanda

for Molly
Then while I had all my ribbon, pins and crafty stuff all out on the kitchen table, I kept right on creating.  I made up some pin cushions out of some mismatched china, etc.

This had been a candle holder.

A miniature cup and saucer!

Fine bone china!

This one is spoken for! 

Fun, fun, fun.  But I did clean up my kitchen table tonight.  Just couldn't stand to have that mess for too long.   But it will be messy again tomorrow, as I have 9 other pieces ready to do finish.  So will get the mess out again to get them done.  Can show you more pictures as I get them done.  I plan on selling these, and hope to consign them at a nearby boutique shop.  Makes a nice little gift for someone that sews.   Adding a little embroidery sissor tied to the handle of the tea cup would be cute.    I might make some needle holders to go with the pin cushions.  Will just have to see how long these creative juices keep up!!!!!!!! ha!  Like daughter Leah said when she saw these - "You couldn't just make one!" 

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Rae at MyWeatherVane tagged me with the challenge to go to the tenth photo from my first Picasa or photo album, post it with a note explaining the photo.  I started keeping photos on the computer we bought in April of 2008, and here it is.  Cute picture.  Funny how you overlook so many pictures, choosing to print or only share a few.  I probably had not shared this one with anyone.
This one was taken the last weekend of April in 2008, at our annual Project Pig Sale.  It is of our grandson Blake and another 4-Her that helped us at the farm and at the sale site.  The sale was held at a town 80 miles away and the two boys were tired after having loaded, unloaded pigs, setting up the sale ring, and marking pig pens; helping to get everything ready for the sale.   I think they had changed into clean clothes and were waiting for the sale to begin and took a quick snooze before having to get busy again.   

Now I'm supposed to tag five other people.  If you choose to participate then go to your first Picasa album or computer photo file and pick the tenth photo.  Post it to your blog and explain a little about it.  If you choose not to do this, that's fine. 

Connie at Far Side of Fifty'
Shelly and Scout at The Bernese Mountain Dog
Buttercup at Buttercup Counts Her Blessings
Jessica at Country Whispers
Gayle at Gramme's

Hope you have fun!