Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last of the Tomatoes

 The last of the tomatoes!!  Makes me sad--Wayne loves them.  Also makes me glad -- I don't and  now I'm done picking them!  We had a good crop of them but not enough to can much.  Next year (anyone else say that?)  I'll plant more so I can can more!
   This picture was taken around our supper table last night. Tyler (center) and Bryce (next to him) came down from Augsburg and Northwestern colleges to power wash hog barns.  Now doesn't that sound like fun!  When ever the barns are emptied of pigs, they have to be cleaned before the next batch of little pigs come.  Sometimes I wish I could power wash my house.  I know when my kids were little, I used to wish for a drain in the middle of the kitchen floor - would have made life so much easier!
  The bottom picture is Shawn, a bit of Suzanne, Brandon, Taylor and Tyler.  Taylor's new haircut was courtesy of the rest of the football players.  They head up to Minneapolis to play Washburn (where Tyler went to school and Morgan now goes.)  This is for the sectional semi-finals.  Taylor is on the Blue Earth team and Morgan is one of the trainers for Washburn.  Need a picture!! 
  After supper Bryce and Tyler went to power wash and Shawn, Wayne and Brandon went to pick and haul corn and Taylor worked up ground.  I collapsed. 

There weren't many leftovers when they got done!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kamikazi Birds

  No picture.  
  It's just too sad.  
  We have Kamikazi birds. 
  For the last 3 days they have been trying to fly through our kitchen and sewing room windows. They have left little tufts of feathers at their attack site.  This morning I actually found one that didn't just leave with a headache, it was dead.  They look like little chickadees - black on top with a white belly.  It is not because my windows are so sparkly clean -- that is never a problem.  Wayne thought maybe it was because it was so dreary outside.  The sun has now come out, so I hope the little bombers will find something else to do.  10 in 3 days.  Sad new record.
  At least I know why the cat is sitting under the kitchen window.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birthday Boy

   Ah, today is Shawn's birthday -- but we celebrated Sunday!  As I have promised to not "try" to embarrass my kids, we won't go into age.  Don't know why -- they're all younger than me!  Including Wayne! 
   Bryce was home from college (center) to join brothers, Taylor(left) and Brandon (???right).  They all  helped in the fields and hog barns. 

  Had to get a picture of the yummy lasagna, garlic bread and fruit salad that Suzanne fixed.  
  Other birthdays this month include Brett (Jill's husband), Wayne and Our oldest son (Kelsey).  

  Weather in southern Minnesota continues to be cold and damp.  Talk of snow further north... not ready for that!  The guys hope to get out in the field again tomorrow.  Tonight they're loading 3 semi loads of hogs.  Next week they will start filling barns with little pigs.  Makes for an even busier harvest time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time for Quilts

 First of all, Brandon was driving the grain cart (not auger).  I knew that ...but I just can't think of a good excuse why I forgot it.   (Did you know if you "click" on the picture you can get an enlargement and see each picture close up!!--I'm learning.....slowly!)
  Some more quilts from the DesMoines show with more traditional blocks.  I wish I could read the information on the yellow paper  so I could give the quilters credit.... I love how they add the applique in the outer border to spice up the blocks. 

This is made of equilateral triangles.  Love using them, but this must have sewn a zillion of them.  I like the effect of making a large diamond using all the same fabrics.  Really a crisp looking quilt. Not sure I'm ready to make one like it. I always get carried away cutting out fabric and would end up with enough for two quilts! And what would I do with two of them?

I'm not sure if this is a new or old quilt.  But I do like that they didn't use all the same background fabric.  Makes it more interesting.  

I think this large wall hanging is on my list of "To Do".  Again a touch of applique surrounded by a traditional block set on point.  I think the pattern I have of this one shows it in Civil War Reproduction fabrics of all browns and pinks.  

College Football

   We get to see the two grandsons that live near us at most of their home football games, but our grandkids that live in the cities and NW Minnesota-- we're lucky to get to one game.  Tyler is a Jr. at Augsburg college in Minneapolis.  This last Saturday I drove to Northfield to see him play at St. Olaf college.  It gets to be some rough games and Grandma wants to scold the coach and refs, but..... I try not to embarrass my kids.  I do try.... 

  Tyler with his folks, Marque and Janeen. (our daughter)  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Everybody helps!!

 Our church has a ministry we call the "casserole ministry".  We try to line up meals for members who have been hospitalized or are in need. (sorry -- colds don't count) I had volunteered to take a meal today  to a young Mom (and family) who had just had surgery.  I like to take 4 things --hot dish (yah, you betcha --this is Minnesota), a salad, homemade bread and a sweet.  They live about 18 miles from us, so on the way home I swung by where Wayne and Shawn were working.  Someone was running the grain auger and I wondered who that 3rd man was.  Turns out -- it was Brandon.  He had just grabbed something to eat in the first picture and Wayne was laughing at his stuffed cheeks (Shawn was imitating Brandon)
 This picture, Wayne was just going to hold Brandon's cheeks in.

  And this picture is of Brandon on the tractor he was driving (with his mouth still full!)  

Family and Friends

   This past week we've had wonderful help.  Tim came down from the cities and spent Monday through Friday helping out.  The top picture is of Shawn, Tim and Wayne.

 The guys are confering. (or whatever it is that men do when they stop and talk)  Tim was ready to head home.  New to the picture are Dallas (Wayne's nephew), Charles (Wayne's brother) and Bryce. (our grandson -- Shawn's oldest son)  Bryce was home from college and helped load hogs and work in the field.  Taylor (not on the picture) also helped.  It's true that many hands make light work. What a blessing to have family and friends!!!  Sunday it was misty all day, so things have slowed up a bit - well, not really, they just use this time to catch up with other things.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Decorating

( First of all, Wayne corrected me on an earlier blog, it's not a field cultivator--it's a chisel plow.  Guess I need some educating!!
  Also- if you try the Rye Bread, add a couple pinches of sugar to the yeast to make it raise.)
  I love the fall colors and enjoy using them to make quilts and other things to decorate our home.  This pumpkin one is quite large, but I have a round oak table that extends to make it pretty big so that this looks ok on it.  The little round pincushion in an old zinc jar lid was made by Linda Bakken. (thank you)
   The icebox sits in our kitchen and I always like to hang a seasonal towel on the door.
   Old pictures fascinate me so I use them throughout my decorating.  This is Wayne and his siblings (a few years ago).
   Country Threads put out this pattern a number of years ago and it says "Fall".  It looks horribly wrinkled in this picture, but I assure you in person ---it's worse!!  Have to be more careful how I hang it between seasons.

  Oh yes, I even have a "quilt" rug in front of the stove. 
  I really need to count how many quilts I have in my house.  Any guesses?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baking Rye Bread

  OK--if you don't want to learn how to bake bread---skip this blog.
       RYE BREAD
  Boil 2 cups water and pour over 3/4 cup dark molasses, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1 Tbls salt, and 2 Tbls Crisco.  After Crisco has melted, add 2 cups warm water. 
  Put 1 cup water in 2 cup measuring cup and microwave for 40 seconds.  To this add 5 tsp quick rise yeast.  Let rise.  Add to first mixture.
  Mix in 3 cups rye flour (I prefer a medium -fine ground) and 3-5 cups white flour.  Add more white flour until you can no longer stir it.  Put in large tupperware container and knead (you will have to add more white flour).  The first picture is of me kneading a batch right in my container. It will probably take up to 11 cups white flour- I never measure --sorry.

   This is what the dough looks like after I've kneaded it. (should be nice and smooth)
   Put cover on container, or cover with cloth and let rise until pushes the top off.
   Turn the dough out on greased surface and divide into 5 equal ( hopefully) pieces.

 Shape and put into greased bread pans.
  Cover with a towel and let raise. Bake in 335 degree oven until the bottom is nicely browned.

And here's the best part - slice and eat. (Peanut butter and honey is my favorite!)
  Jolyn (let me know how yours turned out--I do give private lessons - bring your own flour)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Farm Help

   Well, this should be interesting...I downloaded 4 pictures and only 2 are showing up.  We'll see.  If you see 4, the first is our meal yesterday.  Always a challenge to think of something different to serve each meal.  I like to make enough so we can have leftovers for another time.  Often, food is better the second time around anyway.  The scenery picture is facing east just as the sun is coming up.  Can see some water still standing from our torrential September rain.
  The last two pictures are of our city farmer, Tim.  He came down last spring and helped work up ground and took time off this week to run the field cultivator.  There are supposed to be 2 pictures.???  It's such a blessing to have the extra help.  Today Charles, Wayne's younger brother, is helping haul corn. They are still able to just dump the corn in the bins without running it through the dryer.  Other years they would dump the corn in the dryer until it was full and then would have to wait for it to dry and then empty.  So much time is being saved this year.   Jolyn

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Farmers in Action

   This morning the combine sat in the yard -- needing repairs, but this afternoon the harvest is in full swing.  Ears of corn waiting to be harvested.
 Here's a look at the combine coming at me.
 The fields ripe for harvest.  Almost made me dizzy watching the stalks going into the combine.
   The combine is emptying its load into the grain wagon.
  And the grain wagon dumps its load into the truck which takes it to the bins.  Normally they would have to run it through the drier before going in the bin, but this year is very unusual as the corn is dry enough to just put into storageSaves a lot of time and money. 
  I had a picture of the "fuel" for the guys, but forgot to download it--next time.     Jolyn

Monday, October 18, 2010

What if......

 I confess, I'm a "What if..." kind of quilter.  After I've made a quilt and if I like it, I get to thinking ...what if I made it in different colors, or what if....I made it smaller or what if....I made a whole bunch of them.  The top picture is of a quilt designed by Terri of Atkinson Designs.  I believe the name is Monterrey Medalion, but couldn't find my book to verify it.  Anyway, the original pattern was for a full size bed quilt.  After making that, I decided what if...I scaled it down and made a wall hanging.  It is 53" square and hangs in our living room during the fall season.  Tracy quilted it.

The bottom picture is of the ten minute table runner.  The original pattern is the large one, but what if.....I scaled it down and made smaller ones getting more for my money.  I made 31 of them Saturday, so you know I was having fun.

The pattern comes free with the purchase of the kit from Calico Hutch!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Pros and Cons

  There are so many things I really love about the fall season.  The beautiful trees and even the individual leaves.  I always think it's kind of sad that we can't save them all!  I love seeing pumpkins in garden patches, corn being harvested, and the lawn finally stop growing.  Hearing the dried leaves crunch under foot and buying fresh apples off the tree.  I never miss the summer's high humidity.  A person feels like baking and sweatshirts help hide the results.
  But there are a few things I don't like about fall...  The bottom 2 pictures are 2 of them.  Black walnuts.  They're dirty, turn ankles and make lawn mowing turn into missiles!  (The resident squirrels wouldn't agree with me on disliking them.)
  You have to look pretty close on the second picture to figure out what it is -- look close -- see any Asian beetles or boxelder bugs?  ugh!!  go away!! They seem to be everywhere.  But soon we'll have a hard frost and even they slow down although some always seem to sneak out come winter.

  I missed a perfect photo yesterday.  I had come home with a load of groceries and parked outside by the sewing room door to unload.  Sammy, our horse, was up by the house on his lead rope and halter.  We put that on him so he can mow the lawn.  But he is like a great big friendly dog.  well- more like a huge over-friendly dog.  He would come up behind me as I tried to grab bags to carry in and he would rub his head on my back.  And he is no little pony.  I had to shut the van door each time I carried loads inside as I was afraid he would start sorting the groceries left in the van.  Then I made the mistake of giving him his favorite treat - a peppermint.  I think he would have followed me in the house if I hadn't shut the door in his face.  But here's the picture I missed as my camera was in the van, Sammy peeked in the window in the kitchen as if to say - what cha doing?  Then he went to the sewing room window and did the same thing.  It looked so funny!  But - no camera.  Next time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Quilt Show Quilts

 Here are a few more quilts from the AQS show in Des Moines.  I don't know how this top one was made, but it was pieced.  I studied it for a long time to see the blocks.  Don't think I would like to tackle making  one like it, but it was a very interesting quilt. 

This quilt was so striking.  The quilter had chosen just the right fabrics and though it looked simple, it was a very sharp quilt.
  This quilt caught both Tracy and my eye.  It was so sharp!  Again, using black for the back ground of the bright blocks really made these appliques pop!  I also liked where the blocks ran through the borders. 
  Quilt shows always inspire me to want to go home and make a quilt!  Trouble is, when I get home there are all the "home" things to get done first.  I guess that's why we quilters like to go on retreats where we don't have to clean house, wash clothes or dishes, and someone else makes the meals!  (But I do like to sleep in my own bed!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Will Work for Food

   Every so often the Calico Hutch at Hayward, MN has a "Will Work for Food Day".  They furnish kits (all cut out) for making Quilts of Valor.  Each person that comes usually sews up a quilt top, pillow case, binding and the backing so that it's all ready to go to the quilter.  When finished, the quilt will be put in the pillow case and given to one of our brave US soldiers!  It's our way of letting them know we appreciate all that they do.  You can get more information on www.quiltsof valor.  I'm terrible at remembering names, but I do remember we laughed a lot and ate really good.  Carolyn at the Hutch always comes up with a scrumptious lunch for us, but first we have to have her world-famous scones to get us started! 
   At the same time we were working on these quilts, a bus load of women stopped by from the Duluth area.  Somehow I got talked into doing a demonstration on a 10 minute table runner that I have never made!  I must have done ok as they were grabbing them like hungry quilters--I even sold myself a bunch of them.  Of course Arlene had to sew one on the spot to see if it could be done in 10 minutes.  Our system of timing wasn't the best plus she stopped to eat - but we figured around 7 1/2 minutes!  (give or take a few minutes)
  Was a fun day and we went home full of food and the satisfaction of doing something for others!
  Oh yes, almost every sample in the Hutch has a kit you can buy to make one like it for your own!  

 Carolyn - owner of the Calico Hutch (applause please!!)

                    These are those world-famous scones!!  (Why didn't I put some in my pocket to take home!??)