Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lost is now found!

We knew Sophie had hidden her newborn kittens, but we had been unable to find them.  Well, now today, she has brought them back to her box that is in an empty pen in the barn with the piggies.  Steve had a box for Sophie and Sophia when they were new to the farm, and now Sophie has brought her four babies to that box for their new nest.  Their eyes must have just opened up.  This morning when Steve did chores, there was only one in the box, but now there are four.  Will there be more later?  I don't think so, as Sophie is a small cat, and I just couldn't believe she had any more than four.  Three are yellow and one grey.  One little yellow one is so friendly, and already crawling out of the box.  Hooch wanted to get into the pen so badly, but we wouldn't let him.  He will get more acquainted with the kittens soon enough.  They are really little, but oh so cute.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watermellon Boy!

We were at the Minnesota State Fair yesterday - watched granddaughter Amanda show her pig and other kids from our local 4-H Club.  A long day, as we had driven the 4 hour drive on Thursday evening, getting to Sister-In-Law's home about 10:30 pm, and then up early to go to the fair.  Had to get up at 4:30 am, to be there before 7 am.  Watched the swine show, and ate lunch (a big cinnamon roll!) and walked around with daughter Leah and Amanda.  I have always bought the kids some clothing from Farm Boy/Girl booth, as they have loved their apparel and it's my treat to get them something they can wear to school. 
Here is Watermellon Boy!   Amanda was wishing he was there for real!  So many people were looking at him, (older people too).  Amanda kind of wanted her picture taken, but didn't want to do it in front of anyone, but we finally got a picture!  I kept telling her to get closer - but she wasn't having any of that.  But after we got done, she said she was going to post her pic with Watermellon Boy on her facebook page!
Note, the old boots she is wearing - with shorts.  She changed out of her show clothes, but left her boots on!  A true farm girl!
We laughed at this couple.  We couldn't hear what they were talking about, but they were having a good discussion about Watermellon Boy!  Maybe they really knew him!

You can't see it good, but Amanda fed her pig a marshmellow after they got done showing.  In fact, her pig got two marshmellows!  I just didn't get a good picture.  He sure liked his treat!

Amanda showing her pig.  Competition was very tough.  She did just fine, but didn't get into the top pens.
After our walking around and working our way to see the things we wanted too, we headed back to the barns.  We left the fairgrounds at 2:30 and got home about 7 pm.  We didn't have anyone to do evening chores, so had to get home to get them done.  A long day.
This crowd was on Friday afternoon.  Today on Saturday, it will be even worse.  Glad I'm now home where it's nice and quiet!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mother-Daughter Pic

 A beautiful picture of our oldest daughter and her daughter Amanda. 
Taken when her other graduation photos were done.  I've been waiting for Leah to show this picture, but she hasn't done it yet, so proud grandma is posting it.  I just love this picture!  I know that Amanda hasn't picked out all her pictures yet, but I'm going to need to get a big one of this on my wall.  There's something about Mother-Daughter pictures that warms your heart.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day trip with Friends

My day trip today with two friends started out at a place where Connie "Far Side" and I have talked about going, and haven't gotten there yet.  I met my two friends at the "Living Legacy Gardens" at Staples MN.
The gardens are beautiful, but most of the flowers are done or on the down side of pretty.  Next year Connie and I will have to make that road trip and go just a little earlier in the year.  The grounds are still beautiful tho.
There were some hostas still flowering, but most of them were done.  I think I have at least one of each of the hosta plants that was there.There were names for most of the plants on stakes in front of the plants, but there was one without a sign that we didn't know what it was.  A close up picture and then picture of the whole plant.  It kind of looked like sedum, but not sure.  I have never seen this plant before.  It was taller than we were.
There were several areas for sitting and there were some volunteers there building a couple more arbors.
Wish my garden looked as nice.  Sure takes a lot of work to keep this garden so nice.

Then before we got through the whole garden my batteries died in my camera!!!!!!!!!!  And I'd left all my new extra batteries home.  Couldn't believe I did that.  So my good intentions of taking pictures of the 4 quilt shops we went to today died too!  I was kind of mad at myself!  But, I did get some new quilting kits, but haven't taken them out of the bag yet.  Will show you as I make things up.  I have a LOT of sewing to do!  We ate lunch out today at "Up North" in Brainerd, and celebrated Jackie's birthday with the 3 of us sharing a triple chocolate piece of cake.  It was quite big, so divided it 3 ways it was still a generous piece to eat.  We all got our chocolate fix! Now to get some other book work done before "hitting the hay"  (going to bed!).  More later, jo

Pea Pickin is done!

This is the storage shed that was built to hold the peas that were combined this afternoon, just before the rain came again.  Look at the dust in the air.  Combining and working the fields is a dusty job.
This is Steve's first pea crop, and he's glad to now have it in storage before another rain came.  It's been hard to have cut hay / grain / or these peas laying on the ground trying to dry out because we've had so many days of humid  weather, with rain showers every couple of days.  The black specks is some of the weeds that were broke up and went through the combine too.  Now next year Steve knows that he'll need to do something about the weeds.
Here the combine is unloading peas. 

Just to the west of us, it was getting real hazy and getting heavy and darker.  It wasn't 20 mintues after unloading all the peas that it started to sprinkle and it rained good for about 2 hours.  Now as I'm sitting here writing this, I hear the crickets and frogs outside.  They must be happy for the moisture!!!!!!!!
Spose I'll need to mow the yard again here by Wednesday.
Tomorrow I'm spending the day with friends that I used to work with that live about 2 hours from me.  We are meeting in the morning and going quilt shop hopping and out for lunch!  Should be fun.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Accuquilt GO giveaway at Sweet P Quilting

Oh you need to stop over at "Sweet P Quilting and Creations" on Sunday, Aug 22 post date and sign up for her Accuquilt GO fabric cutting machine.  That blog makes me really want to be a winner and if I don't win, I know that is something I'd like for Christmas.

This is going to be for quilters what the Cricut is for scrapbookers!
This giveaway ends Aug 31.  Go register!
Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Odda Passed her CGC testing!

Good job Odda!

Our Odda, Bernese Swiss Mountain Dog, at 1 year 4 mos of age has passed her Canine Good Citizen testing.  We had missed the original testing date, so this was a makeup date and she was the only one tested today.  Our dog trainer Susan is moving back to Yuma Arizona and leaving Monday morning.  I was so glad that she took the time out of her busy schedule to test Odda. 

Leah and Lennie went with for moral support.  We were at Heartland Park where there are several picnic areas, play grounds, tennis courts, and boat ramp.  There is a lot of parking there, as the park is adjacent to the Heartland Trails that is a walking and biking trail.  It connects several towns, so this park is always busy. 

We went an hour early, as it has been a month since I've had Odda to town, I was worried she'd be really hyper.  It was very warm and muggy out and by the time that Susan got there with her clip board and ready to test, Odda was doing just fine!   Here's the rules::::   The dog cannot fail any of these 10 items on the test:  1.  Accepting a friendly stranger: where they shake hands with the handler. Does not touch the dog.  2.  Sitting politely for petting: Evaluator pets the dog, dog must show no shyness or resentment.  Also several strangers asked to pet her before Susan came, and she did great.  3.  Appearance and grooming:  Evaluator inspects the dog, combs or brushes lightly, examines ears and each front foot.  4.  Out for a walk: Handler takes dog for short walk including right turn, left turn, about turn and stop.  5.  Walking through a crowd:  Dog and handler walk close to several people; dog may show casual interest by not jump up.  6.  Sit and down on command/Staying in place:  Handler shows dog can do sit and down, then chooses a position, leaves dog and goes to the end of a 20 ft line and then return.  7.  Coming when called:  With dog on 20 ft line from test 6, handler walks out 10 ft and calls the dog.  Handler cannot pull lead, dog has to come willingly.  8.  Reaction to another dog:  Two handlers and dogs approach, shake hands, exchange pleasantries, move on.  Dogs can only show casual interest.  9.  Reaction to distractions:  Distractions are presented; dog may not panic or show aggression.   (If your dog growls or yips at any time they automatically fail -  even if this would happen before evaluator actually started testing, and was in area to hear or see.)  10. Handler goes out of sight for 3 minutes, while dog is held on lead by an evaluator. 

I'm glad I've taken Odda to dog classes.  We've met some wonderful people and their dogs.  Now we'll have to try other training classes as they become available.  I do want to start Odda in harness and pulling, but want to do it correctly, so need to do some investigating as to where we need to go for good training, etc.  If it's not available somewhat near, we may have to try agility or something else.  I think if I'd thought of it,  that Hooch (our Jack Russell) would also have passed this test.   Do you know Far Side and Chance the Border Collie?  I also think that Chance should have gone for testing, as I know he would also have passed.   This test wasn't as strick as the Obedience testing, and sure is good for all dogs and their owners. 

You know, at the dog training classes, most of the training is for the owners!   As an owner of a pet, we humans sure can do a lot of wrong things, creating monsters out of pets.  It's so gratifiying for a trainer when at the completion of a session of classes, where dogs and handlers are able to do it all.  In the classes that Odda and I attended this last year, we had a couple that were handicapped and had just gotten a Pug puppy.  It was so fun to watch them progress with the rest of us.  Husband and wife would take turns as they would get tired out.  Mr. used a cane and couldn't bend over to help teach the pup to sit.  Well, it didn't take long for that puppy to learn that just a tap on it's top hip from the cane meant that she needed to sit.  It was so cute.  This little pupply learned that she had to go very slow and she learned it all by the end of that 6 week session.  
In July - before cutting up her nose!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Babies and More

Sister in law and her granddaughters came over yesterday for me to help the older girl with learning how to crochet.  She can make a very good chain, but struggled with getting the single crochet.  With some practice she'll do great.  Before they left, the girls wanted to see the baby pigs.  They are so cute. 

The girls didn't want to hold them-petting was enough. 

At this age (less than a week) they are so soft.

Getting ready for the state fair. 
Next Friday granddaughter Amanda will be showing her pig at the MN State Fair.  Her last year.  Last of an era!   Now the other kids in the county will be saying - "So glad the Nilson families are all done!"  Our girls and grand kids have done very well at the county fair and state fairs throughout the past years.  For me, I'm having the same feelings like I did when the last daughter graduated and was leaving the nest.  Makes me teary eyed!  After this year, won't have the need to go to the state fair 4-H show; but I bet we may go down to watch other local kids that have bought pigs from us.  But it won't be the same for me.
We have had so many good years with our girls and Blake and Amanda.  4-H events, fairs, and open class showes have been our family time to get together.  I'm sure daughter Leah and I will both have some good pictures from the state fair to share with you all next week.

Another picture of Odda with her sore nose.  She and Hooch have been digging under things, and her big nose is getting scraped and cut.  Now is scabby and sore.  Not so pretty in pictures until her nose heals up.

I've been so busy this week, mowing between rain showers.  Have cut out flannel for a new quilt.  Those pictures to come. Tomorrow, Sat. I get to take Odda to town for make up date for testing for CGC (Canine Good Citizen).  We were out of town on the original date.  I sure hope she passes.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  jo

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I want to make this!

Today we attended our annual get together with our friends that also raise hogs.  We have a picnic and an afternoon of visiting at Bill and Kathy's cabin on Twin Lake.  Of course, just like in school, the guys all sit together talking "pig talk" and us girls talk about everything else but pigs!  We all catch up on where our adult kids are now and all the grand babies.   Then we walked to the neighbors house; as the women there had gotten together and made bird baths out of rhubarb leaves and hosta leaves.
Isn't this awesome!  These were dried and see the one with the green leaf still there.  The green needs to be peeled out, and then they paint it and seal it.  When they started the girls made mounds of wet sand in the form of how they wanted the leaf to look, or how deep etc.  Drape plastic sheeting over the mound of sand, and then lay the leaf face down on top of the sand.  They used sandcrete, and mixed it to a consistency of a brownie mix.  Once the leaf is covered with about 3/4 inch thick sandcrete in the middle of leaf, and at the edge about 1/4 inch thick; they said you then cover the leaf with plastic wrap and if it's really hot outdoors, put a piece of moist burlap over the plastic so the concrete dries evenly.  Giving it about 48 hours to dry.
After all dry, and removing the plastic, turning the concrete leaf over, you then peel of the second sheet of plastic and start pulling out the leaf.  They were using dental tools to get the veins of the leaf out of the cement.  You then need to let it cure for a day or so before painting.    If you don't want a painted leaf, you can seal it with Thompson's Water Seal. 

In process of peeling out the leaf on this one.  Guess that takes awhile.

Oh I didn't get all of Cindy in the picture!  But this is how she will have her's in her garden.  When her sandcrete was wet, she turned her little bike upside down and pressed it into the forming leaf.  It made indentations so it fits nicely on the bike.  Won't that be cute after her leaf is all painted and sealed!

Here's one all painted on one side.  Sharon painted it all green first, and then rubbed on a little yellow and red to give it a variation.  Looks good to me!
Sharon said you can go to this web site for the directions:
then click on WebExtras.
Think I need to make some.   Now to town to get supplies. 
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

AccuQuilt Go Fabric Cutter Giveaway!!!!!

If you like to sew and quilt like I do, you need to go check out  Karen's blog "Sew Many Ways" and sign yourself up also to have a chance to win.  Be sure to sign up for the give away on her Saturday Aug. 14 blog.  ((click on her blog name above to get to her blog))

This handy dandy cutter will sure save some time - especially if I'd win!  You'll get precisely cut die cuts every time.  I don't do some types of quilts now because I don't like to cut smaller pieces.  With an AccuQuilt Cutter, I could have so many done quickly -won't that be nice.

Karen at Sew Many Ways will be doing some tutorials for us on this new AccuQuilt Go Fabric Cutter, so
keep checking out her blog.  Her tutorials are fantastic!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Drive

As a kid we used to call these "hot dogs" on a stick!  Cattails grow in our area in ditches that have water.  Years ago the indians and early settlers ate the greens after peeling the top layer and also used the plant for medicinal purposes.  Not me - I just like to watch the tall grasses blow in the breeze. 

Soon these cattails will become white with the brown turning into white fluffy seeds. 

Took a drive through the woods, and it was pretty and quiet.  The different shades of green call to me. 
If the bugs weren't so bad, I'd have gone for a good walk.

Then I drove out of the woods to farm land.  Soon this stubble of straw will be plowed into the ground.  I love the color.  I think it would be awesome to fly over our area during this harvest time. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corn Husker Help!

This was another busy weekend with about  9 dozen ears of corn delivered early on Sunday evening.  Barry was still here from Oklahoma (guy in grey) and we had plans on going to a nearby casino on Monday.  I had kind of forgotten about corn coming, so I had help with all of us husking the corn and then moving inside and the guys shaved the corn off and I  did the rest.  The recipe I use is:  9 cups of corn, 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup sugar and it said 1 tsp of salt, and I misread it and put in 1 Tbsp of salt on most of the batches I did.  It still tasted good.  Then you bring it to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Then I put 3 cups into quart freezer bags.  I also put a butter slice into the bag before putting into the freezer.  We were done by 10 pm and after the guys went to bed, I scrubbed the kitchen floor.  Twas a little sticky!  I was so lucky to have help, or it would have taken me all night!

Yum - looks good!
Monday morning then we went to the casino.  I came home about $68.00 richer and Barry had won about $150.00.  His mom lost and so  did Phyllis.  It's been a long time since I'd been to a casino, so I enjoyed it.  The only thing was that the club card didn't work and I had to get back in line twice to get new ones.  Don't know what was wrong with it.  It just delayed me in giving away money, as I had to stand in line at least a half hour each time!

We also had birthday pie for hubby on Saturday afternoon.  His brothers and sisters were here for the all class reunion and also his cousin from Omaha, so we had another little party in our new garage!  I won't tell how old Steve is, but he's 3 years older than me!
Birthday boy had the red & black cap on.

Barry is a classmate, and came for the class reunion also.  We had our 45th reunion and had our class of  '65 doings on Friday evening and Saturday evening, and then joined the all class gathering later each evening.   Saturday night was the sit down meal planned, and Steve and I and Barry missed it because the guys were bailing straw and wanting to get it all done and in the barn before the forecasted rain came; so we missed the meal and the group picture!  Oh well - not a big deal.  We stopped at a local hamburger joint to eat before going in.  The all class gathering was at the Legion and the music was so loud you could hardly visit.  There were tornado warnings just after dark, so the croud thinned out a lot real early.  But of course we stayed til the band quit and the bar closed! 

Our class has many successful people and I bought a book at the reunion that a classmate wrote.  He was selling them from his car and I wondered what everyone thought when a whole bunch of us followed him out to his parked truck, stood around exchanging money and a package/book.  He is a retired Minneapolis policeman, and this book is a murder/mystery about agent Jack Andresen, a character based on himself.   I'm a 1/4 into the book and it's very good.  The name of it is "Painted Faces" by Paul Heeren and published by Bascom Hill Books. Paul is already working on another book. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Having a Rooster Party with Barb

Barb at Barb's Good Life is hosting a Rooster Party with everyone posting pictures of their Rooster collections, however many you many have.   I have several, and my kitchen is full of them.  I also have a youth chair that has chicken hens and eggs painted all over it, and I also bought our granddaughter Renee a Rooster painted high chair and mailed it to them in Louisiana.  She uses it all the time, so there are pictures of her also.
This was after they got it, and the foot rest is not attached yet.  Our granddaughter tried to pick up the fried eggs when they first started using the chair!

Renee messy face from 1st Birthday Cake and sitting in her Rooster High Chair!
There is also a picture of Renee when she was 10 months old  giving us a wave on my sidebar.

The painted youth chair, and wool hooked rug chair pads for the kitchen chairs.  Each chair is a different rooster.  I've had them for years, and they just don't wear out!

Big guy on top of the frig.

Wall border above the kitchen counter has roosters and a quilt theme.  A unique nesting rooster that I never have seen another like it.  I collect nesting hens too, so was thrilled to find this rooster several years ago.

Newest addition that was found at an antique store.  Just had to have it!

Kitchen window with plates and a canvas painted rooster on the wall.  I made the valance to match the border on the wall between the counter and cabinets.
I have quite a few more Roosters and Chickens in salt and pepper sets; some we use, and the rest are sitting on top of the bread box.  Also have rooster picture frames, and even a big rooster planter outside.
So after posting these pictures, I'm on my way to check out other bloggers that are posting their collection
Have a great time, and I'm glad you stopped to visit me.  I love comments.  After leaving me a comment, click on "Barbs Good Life at Bella Vista" to check out the many others that are posting tonight and the 6th!  Thanks, Jo

A try at a New Crop

Hubby planted field peas this year to substitute for soy meal when he will be grinding feed this winter.  He has friends that use peas in with their hog feed and it works out for them, so he thought he'd give it a try.   Steve planted only about 20 acres so don't know how long it'll last for the few pigs we have, but he sure has had fun planning, planting and now son in law cut them tonight.  There sure are a lot of weeds in the field tho, so they'll have to dry up before combining the peas.  I had meant to take a picture of the pea plant earlier when they were blooming, but didn't get that done.  We sure did have the neighbors baffled and guessing what was planted.  No one else around here plants peas. 
The pea pods are very dry, and just touching them, they open and the peas fall out.  So after the weeds dry up, combining should go great - if the deer don't eat them all!

Leah rode Ace over to check out the field too.  It was such a nice evening for a ride.

You can see all the weeds that are green!  With all this good rain we've had this summer everything grew!  Now we wait a day or two for the weeds to dry up.

View of our windmill from the field. 

Then after I got back in the yard, our friend backed in with this combine.  Tomorrow (Thursday) he will be combining the oats and barley. 
End of a busy day, and this was pre-sunset.  Very pretty.