Quilting, Farming, Variety

Monday, September 26, 2016

Now Is the Time...

"...now the warm days grow shorter, and the cool nights grow longer."

Taken from Now Is the Time, by Alvin Tressels

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mystery Solved

Ilene, aka therockwhisperer, identified the plant as an amaranth, the species being Love Lies Bleeding.  She said she has been trying for years to get one started.  And here I have cut the plants down!  The weeds we have in the pastures are also from the amaranth family and they take over if left.  They have sharp stickers and make millions of seeds; it's a terrible plant to have in a vegetable garden.  Maybe this plant wouldn't have been so aggressive but I just couldn't take the chance.  There are a lot of good pictures of its blooms on the internet and I'll admit, it's an interesting plant.

So thanks, Ilene, for sharing your knowledge.  Wish you could have had these plants.

And, thanks for all who commented about the mystery plant.


After reading some latter comments, I wanted to add that the flower in my header photo is called a Spider Lily.  They reseed every year, although I've never been able to get one started from purchased seeds.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mystery Flower

In early summer, I planted a packet of flower seeds of garden favorites.  The print on the packet was so small I couldn't make out the contents.  Much to my surprise, it seemed every seed came up.  One plant in particular grew tall, about four feet, in fact, and finally has put out its flower.  I have no idea what it is.  Maybe someone could help me identify it? 

I'll wait a few days to see if anyone knows what it is, then it's coming out, for two reasons: 1) the first being, how dreadful it would be if it is an invasive plant, to have its seeds spread all over the vegetable garden!  It really resembles a gross weed we have in the cattle lot and pastures.  2) I grow flowers for their blooms, not for big leaves and thick stems.   The pictures make these blooms look larger than they actually are.

So ~ let me know what you think....


Monday, May 30, 2016


I feel like I'm competing with Jack and his beanstalk...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gardening Girls

All three of my daughters like to have their hands in the dirt.  The oldest one and her husband  put aside their teaching jobs when summer comes, to raise vegetables for the farmers' market and to sell boxes of mixed vegetables to people who order them.  They also have a "you pick it" blueberry patch.  The second daughter leaves her webmaster position at the local university to roam over the pastures and woodlands, each weekend, searching for wildflowers and collecting seeds to plant in her yard, and documenting them on her Flicker page.  Daughter number three takes her weekends and after-school hours and has started a "cut flower" garden and sells them at the farmers' market.  Her activities are shared on her Facebook page, including how she unloaded a 200 pound tiller by herself, quite a fete for a 100 pound woman.  I don't know much about Facebook, but I think it goes by the name of Andrea's Garden.

Maybe their love of gardening comes from the Farmer and me.  We were both raised on a farm, working on the land and helping with the family harvests.  We always had a big vegetable garden when they were small.   They still remember picking up potatoes in the hot June sun, and just when we thought they were all picked up, their daddy would plow through the rows again, exposing a few more potatoes to pick up.

I love planting seeds, waiting anxiously for them to germinate, pop up little green leaves through the ground, and watching them grow to bloom.  Of course all seeds don't do so well and my thumb seems to be brown rather than green.  I have better luck with flowers grown from bulbs.

This Asiatic lily has spread and is probably three feet across the top.  It will need to be divided this fall.

On Mother's Day, Andrea brought this wreath to me.  Isn't this a clever idea: a stryofoam base, covered with empty flower seed packets and a pair of gardening gloves.

We have started the hay season.  The steps up into my tractor seem to be higher this year, and the constant back and forth bouncing over the rough field make the old muscles tired when evening comes.  Fall away, fall away; when you're happy, the years just fall away.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Farm Update ~spring 2016

Recently I heard a song, Fall Away,  which made an impression on me.  These are some of the words: "...when you're happy the years fall away, but when you're blue, days go by 'a draggin..."  I must be terribly happy; this year is rapidly falling away!

Our winter was not so cold this year and we both made it through with not so much as a cold.  I had dreaded my "new" job,
thinking I would have to stand out in the snow and ice when I waited at the gate while the farmer put out hay for the cows.  But I had a heated side-by-side to sit in while I waited, and we had no snow anyway.

Now we're a month into spring; the early garden seeds have been planted, irises, foxglove, daisies, and columbine are in bloom;  the third flock of chickens for the new year have been started.  We've sent calves to market and vaccinated cows and small calves.

There was a rash of cattle rustling in our county during the winter, which made all the farmers around us watchful and uneasy.   The farmer decided to use branding on the cattle as a means of identification.   (I hate having to be a part of this.)
There are a lot of new baby calves.
I try to spend an hour or two in the afternoons to work on the quilting project, until I hear the farmer's footsteps coming down the hallway, and he asks me if I'd "like" to do this or that. lol  I'm on the 9th row of twelve rows.
"When you're happy, the years just fall away."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Finished? Not Just Yet

They're finished; 120, six and one-half inch, paper pieced, scrappy blocks.

Each block is made up of 37 pieces, small enough to use all those little scraps I've saved from other quilting projects.  Paper piecing makes it possible to achieve perfectly straight seams when sewing such small pieces of fabric.

I had wondered if the quilt would look too "busy" or a jumbled mass of color, but in my opinion it's one of the prettiest I've ever pieced.

The block pattern is called the pineapple block; I suppose it's because of the way the pieces radiate out from the center square.

This is where I got the pattern, inside the April, 1999, American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  It is called Scrap Apple since it's made from scraps.  And, as you can see from this picture, my quilt is not finished, only the center part; it will have a border with appliqued flowers and vines.  So I still have much work before I can really say "It's finished!"  I'm getting a real lesson in patience!  


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

So, today was super Tuesday and time for us to cast out first votes.  I know the person I voted for will not win, but I picked him as the person I feel is most qualified for the position of president of this great country.  He doesn't jab at the other candidates, but simply states his qualifications and his experience.  After all, since when is the amount one sweats a concern of this country?  And don't we try to teach our children not to bully their peers, or call them liars?  Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves.  

A Bible passage, from the book of Ezra, chapter 9, verses 5b-6 describes how I feel about all of this:
"...I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, and said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God, for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up into heaven."

I wonder if people in other countries think all Americans act this way.  I surely hope not!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016


 If you are a dog lover, this post may anger you ~ be warned...I've given much thought to the subject before writing.

This is the farmer's little dog, a drop-off who was accompanied by a dog-child, and who gave birth to seven puppies soon after making her home here.  Two of those pups are still here, much to my dismay.  For you see, I don't like dogs, and for good reason.

I remember Daddy's hunting dogs and how valuable they were to him: black and tan breeds.  One small dog I was very fond of as a teenager, was Little Fido, also a drop-off, and who was bit one night by some animal and had to be killed.  Recently I found a note I had written, and at the bottom of the page was a blurred spot where a tear had fallen.

Our first dog as a married couple with children was a bird dog, Goliath, then came others.  Ginger was a favorite with the little girls and they saw her hit by the school bus one morning.  Then there was Bo, who sniffed everyone who came to visit; Stanley, a companion for middle daughter, and others who I don't remember too well.

The last dog we had that I liked was Annie, a reddish retriever, another drop-off, who stayed under the culvert at the drive-way until she realized we wouldn't hurt her. 

Now come the reasons I don't like dogs: 1) they've killed many of my cats over the years 2) they bark at night, dig in the flower beds, chase cars, jump up on visitors, and the little rascal at the top of the page will bite if she takes a notion to do so. And, number 3) the most serious reason, they can become vicious enough to kill cattle.

I won't show the pictures of the cattle after being attacked; it surely must be an awful thing to be chased until the cow or calf falls and then the dogs start chewing and biting them.  Maybe you will recall that I was feeding a small calf with a bottle and how well she was doing.  When she was about three months old, two big dogs got her down at the barn and tore her up badly; she lived a week and then died.

This winter we had at least one cow hurt so badly by a pack of dogs that she had to be put down.  Shortly thereafter, they were in the process of taking another one down when we got a phone call and the farmer got there in time to save her. 

This afternoon, the neighbor's dogs killed a young heifer, right here behind the house! 

In all this, we have learned that laws favor the owner of the livestock, and they have the rights to destroy the dogs.  But getting a chance to do that isn't easy; they're very crafty.  In all these cases, the main breed of dog involved was pit bull.

I realize there are many people who love their dogs and act responsible  with them.  I hope I haven't angered anyone with this rant, but I HATE dogs!  I'll try to be more pleasant next post.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Doll Clothes

I'm a bit late with these new clothes for Isabelle.

Imagine our surprise when we found a Christmas present for her, mixed in with all the other gifts.   And inside the box was this sweet knitted sweater!  My oldest daughter had made it for her and it goes perfectly with her plaid, pleated skirt and her boots.

I made a velveteen jacket for her to wear with her bias plaid skirt.  Notice she's wearing black, Mary Jane shoes; these were a gift to her from my middle daughter.

This dress was for school.  I've always loved plaids; I guess you can tell.  Well, anyway, I've put the doll clothes patterns away for now, and have started piecing quilt blocks; I find it a lot less stressful!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Ready for the Cold Front

"They" say we'll be having a cold front move in on Monday night and next week will be a lot cooler.  I think we're prepared now since the girls have new flannel gowns.

Isabelle, in her extra soft, pink flannel gown, and 

my sweet Fannie Marie in her red flannel gown.

They both have quilts for their beds, and Isabelle's bed has flannel sheets and pillowcase.
We'll be all cozy and warm.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hello Folks ~ ~ ~

The middle of January, already!  I guess the world hasn't slowed down yet!  I've been tucked away in the house doing things I love to do: sewing and working jigsaw puzzles.  Each year, around Thanksgiving and through Christmas, I get very nervous and my tendency to be agoraphobic takes over.  Sewing and the puzzles help calm me.

One of my daughters gave this puzzle to me a year or so ago, and when I saw the colors of the pieces, which seemed to be all the same in parts of it, I just put the lid back on the box; too difficult it seemed.  Something told me to try it this year; I wouldn't be outdone!  I do think it was the most difficult puzzle I've ever worked, but what a pretty one!  Now I'll leave it out a few days, then break it apart, put it back into the box and give it back to her, because, it's for sure I won't be working this one  again!

The sewing part involved Isabelle, so I'll save that for now.  I hope everyone is well and staying warm.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year