Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bullen Birthday Club

For want of a better term, this is most of the members of the Bullen Birthday Club. Two people were missing when we got together on Saturday night at Tammy's house in Franklin. I have not been with them since last January due to the distance and the gas prices. The group was formed in adversity when we all taught at Bullen Middle School together. None of them teach there now. Three of us are retired, and several of them are envious of our position.......not without good reason. We are a diverse group and span the age barrier. One, who we are vastly proud of, is pursuing her Phd degree. We range from single to engaged to divorced to married. The married members are in all stages of married life. Some are grandparents many times over. One works in an administrative type position; two teach in a college part time. We span the width of teaching including math, 3 languages, reading, English, social studies and science. It is an unusual link that brought us together and forced us to start gathering when we were all employed in the same school. Adversity has its good points since it brought us all together. What a blessing. I am so happy that I am part of this group although I have lost touch since I am the only one who has moved hours from Kenosha. It is worth every minute for me to travel to the east to meet with this group of dedicated teachers and wonderful human beings. There I have said my piece, and everyone can know how I feel about the members of the Bullen Birthday Club.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More cats

The gingham dog and the calico cat just popped into my mind when I saw these two sitting on the trunk at the foot of my bed. At first they were just staring at each other, but they turned to look at me when I got the camera. I had the "calico cat" part right.

The other picture is Junior Minty Fresh up on top of the secretary at his leisure. He loves to pose for the camera when he is not in his "terrorist mode".

On Friday I tore the kitchen wall side of the stariway apart. Now we can remove the boards from the upstairs part. The lathe and plaster are all removed. It wasn't as messy as I expected. The next part for me is to take the upstairs bedroom wall apart when the new stairs will come up. The furniture is all removed from that side of the room, and it is ready for demolition. That is an invitation just waiting to happen. I must finish the quilt on the machine before I start that. I should be able to accomplish that by the end of Sunday. Monday morning should see some clouds of white powder coming from the upstairs.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mommy and Me

This is a totally awesome picture taken by Sue Smith, my sister-in-law, in December.
The mother is Tsunami out of Zodiak and Skittles from Nancy Krohn. The daughter is Lucy out of Tsunami and Tommy (my name) from Nancy Krohn. All the credit goes to Nancy. I will only take credit for being moral support at the birth of Tsunami's lovely babies. Lucy has a twin brother named Linus.

Tsunami did not take on her first exposure when she was a year. The next year she gave me twins. What a lovely surprise for a first time ever seeing a live birth shepherd. No words can express the extreme feeling of awe it inspired in me. The only live births I have ever been present at were my own children, and I was much too wrapped up in that to be an observer. There is no comparison. We go through so much, and that ewe just laid down and screamed and pushed and produced two lovely little lambs. How have we deviated so much from the natural state? I know everything went correctly, but that is the usual. I am eagerly awaiting this event again this year then I will have to stop since I cannot just continue to have lambs and keep them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Jungle gym

We are so glad that our human made us a new jungle gym to play on. It is especially good for me, Junior, because I still have my claws, and I NEED to climb and fool around. Pansy likes to be high up, and I love to devil her whenever possible.


Junior Minty Fresh a.k.a. Junior Terrorist Kitty

Today's demo project

The pictures show the "during" and "after" of today's demo project. I removed the lathe and plaster from the north wall. The stairways, up and down, back up to this wall. Tomorrow I may remove a few of the boards separating the room and the upstairs stairway. It was a messy job with lots of plaster dust. There were no interesting or scary finds. By the time I cleaned up, Sue, I had spent most of the day on the project. I really should quilt tomorrow.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Where are the pictures?

Here are the pictures that did not show up on the previous post.


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Well, it snowed. About 6 inches from about 4:00a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It was beautiful until we humans started pushing it around. Now it looks awful, but I took the pictures before we went out to work. In the tree picture you can see Mellow and Linus in their pasture wanting to know what I am doing outside. They always know when I come outside, and then Mellow starts her "signature bleating". Jake says she sounds like one of those old WWI machine guns. She is funny. The other picture is the same two when they ran away from me because my camera scared them. I went out with the camera and some cookies knowing that I could lure them over to me. They are too fast for me. They came running, and the pictures were not that good. But after the two sheep got scared away, I got a decent shot of them.

Today Jake did his first work on the demolition. He took the boards off of the ceiling. It was quite a disappointment. We were hoping there would be round rafters
up there, but they are just plain rafters. Now we have to decide how we will treat that in our "new" log home. I am thinking just leave them the way they are, but that is after just half a day of seeing how it looks. This evening he removed another part of a wall. What a difference!!!! Tomorrow I will remove the lath and plaster from the
north wall, and all the walls will be bared in that room. Everything we do makes it
look better. I do not think there was anything that could have been done to this house to make it look worse than it did before we started making changes. I am not saying that we are the "master remodelers", but it was just soooooooo poor. I cannot believe that we bought it. Both Jake and I have rose colored eyeballs. We can both see how something could change for the better. Thank heaven. Now, all we have to do is "Get it Done."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mommy & Me & A Jar

I just needed to put in a picture I call "Mommy and Me 1". This is Ami and Lucy. They are such a handsome pair. Maybe if I had more sheep, I wouldn't become so attached to them. But with just a few to baby, I can really enjoy them.

The other picture is a puzzle. I found two jars like the one in the picture in the "fruit cellar" here. They are in perfect shape except that they do not have covers. I think that they originally had covers. I have been told that they are cream separaters. Does anyone know different?

Another project completed and winter

Well, Happy Friday to everyone. It is just another day around here. The sun is shining; the wind is blowing; and I am sewing. The pictures are of the finished quilt, the whole thing this time, I hope, and the quilt on my bed with the pillowcases to match. The girl at the quilt shop is a good salesperson. She convinced me to make the pillowcases, and they are very complementary to the quilt.

It looks like we will get more snow this weekend. I waas hoping for just a little winter. I really don't want tooooooo much.

My next project is a quilt for a customer. It should be fun. Then I need to card some more wool so that I can go and spin with Nancy next Sunday. I guess that spinning should be one of my projects for the new year, too. I don't spin enough. I really need to take some of my fleeces to the mill and have them carded into roving. Maybe that would get me going. I really want to knit a purse out of the Shetland wool and then felt it. My cousin Sue had one that she had made it and was very attractive. That is on my project list.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


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This is the finished product of something that I
promised to do over a year ago. It is a good feeling to have it
finished. It is my third t-shirt quilt. I have made one for each of my
boys. Dave said he wanted to put his on the wall in his house in Three
Lakes, Wisconsin. His was really cool since his aunt helped personalize
it. He now has three quilts that I have made entirely or at least
quilted. This new quilt is by far the biggest one that I have made. I
hope it is not too big.

Today I tore into some more of the back rooms. I tried to take off the paneling
on the north wall of the office, but I was unsuccessful. I was only
able to get one sheet out of three off of the wall. I need a power saw.
If that I had that, I would really be an awesome demo mama. Maybe I
will hint around for Valentine's Day.

The new "Aprilaire" on the NEW furnace was not working. A guy came yesterday to fix it. I still got a shock from the sink in the kitchen tonight. This has to end. I am extremely unhappy with static electricity. I had three small humidifiers running before the humidifier was put in on the furnace. Now I have one in the kitchen and the big one on the furnace, and it is still not enough. This is not an acceptable condition for me. Jake turned the new one up, and it better be working correctly tomorrow.

Goodby from Dryland.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow and quilting

Now, who wouldn't love snow when your ewe looks as adorable as Ami does in this photo. She and Tommy were just hanging around in the snow on Monday and looking adorable. I love how these Shetlands are so hardy. The snow doesn't bother them. They are seldom in their shed. Hardy is not just a word to them. I am sure happy with my choice of sheep. Thanks to Nancy K. for the sheep and all the advice she has given me over the years. Without her, this would not have been such a successful experience for me. It gives me great joy.

Now, Lucy, Ami's daughter, is in the barn. I did not breed her. She leaps about in the morning when I go into the barn to feed her. It is a joy to see. She is just leaping around in her pen waiting for me to get down the aisle to feed her and her pen mate, Millie. It just makes me laugh to see her leaping about. She just started doing that, and I haven't seen her do it outside. I hope she continues it when I put her back outside.

The other photo is the office in its stripped down state. I have removed part of the wall going into the room also. The two walls are bared down to the logs. The outside wall is stripped, and all the chinking is intact. I will have to take it out, but it sure looks good the way it is. The logs are beautiful and have not been whitewashed like the ones in the living room. That means less work for me. My next task is learning to chink.

Bridget's quilt is finished and ready to be bound tomorrow. Then on Friday I can make the pillow cases to go with it, and it will be a finished project. I have another quilt to quilt for a customer. I will start work on that next week. It shouldn't take me longer than a week. It is called hidden hearts, and the main color is blue. After that I will start work on all the other projects that I have ready to quilt here. Maybe it will be placemats to put at the restaurant gift shop. I have the material ready. I also have to bind a small baby quilt. Maybe I could do that on Friday also and have it ready for the shop on Sunday. Time will tell.

The sheep are late to be in their breeding groups. (Small groups, for sure) I hope it wasn't too late. However, maybe Mellow and Millie are pregnant from their former home. We will see in March. It could be a big surprise for me. If they aren't, I will hope for lambs from Mellow and Ami in early May if they settled.

We have about four inches of snow as of Sunday/Monday. I guess it is good to have winter and snow. Tonight it is very cold, about 0 degrees F. It is our first really cold snap this season. That does not break my heart since the winter is well on its way.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

quilting and demolition

This is a picture of a quilt in progress. It is a t-shirt quilt for Jake's daughter who was in the U. of Minnesota marching band from 1999 to 2002. I said I would make this for her quite a while ago. I have already made one for each of my boys. I am finally going to get it done. I don't know what inspired me to get going on it, but it seems to be turning out OK. It is ready to go onto the quilting machine now. I have the backing already on and the batting cut. Now I just need to correct an error I made in the embroidery on the quilt top, and I can put it on the machine and begin quilting.
When I finish, I will make pillow cases to go with it since Carolyn at the quilt shop said that is "hot" right now. I have made some for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas, but Carolyn gave me a pattern to put a different colored material on for the trim. They should be a good addition to the quilt.

Demo derby began tonight. I removed those 12 X 12 inch acoustical tiles that were on the ceiling and some woodwork from the door to the laundry. Jake says that I can remove the inside wall and reveal the logs on the outside south wall. That will be the first outside wall that we have opened up. It shouldn't be a probelm since it is a southern exposure protected from the west winds, and I keep the heat vent in there covered. If it gets tooooooo cold, I will just open the vent. I need to visit a new acquaintance to see her log home. She did all the chinking all by herself on the whole house, inside and out. She said that she will come out here to see our house and to help me get started with my chinking job. I will chink the two walls in the office/soon to be laundry room before Jake moves the laundry in there. That should keep my busy for a while. I can hardly wait.

I am obsessing about when my two sheep would be due to lamb. I purchased them on October 14. At that time they were in with a ram. I have no idea when they went in with the young man so I have no idea when they might present me with lambs. I will have to keep a close watch on them. It is a lot harder to check for bagging up when they have so much wool. I think it will be a "hands on" thing. (That was always good in the classroom.) The older ewe is, like her name, Mellow. I don't think she will mind my "feeling her up" to check on progress. The ewe lamb is a different story although she is getting much better. They both have collars and bells, so I will be able to hold on to them while I check them out.

Note to Dream from Lucy: "Did you know that your mom is my grandma? Don't you think we look alike?"

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sorry about that

I a still getting the hang of this blog thing. I have to use a browser that I normally do not use since: I am an Apple person. I have no idea why it is all broken up. It was fine for a while. I will include the picture it didn't print here and hope for the best.

Lucky Me

It is finally going to happen. For those of you who don't know about my
living situation, I will recap. Jake and I bought this farm 4 1/2 years
ago. The house needed work (understatement), but the land was was we
wanted. After all was said and done we were living in a "shit hole".
The former owner was the original and the greatest cobbler. Nothing was
done correctly, but it was done. After selling our home inKenosha and
buying all the equipment we needed to be "farmers", there was not
enough money left to put on the addition that would make this place
livable. Neither of us had ever lived in conditions like this.

live in a two story log house with a one story addition to one side. Of
course, there is also a living room, a bedroom, and a small room added
to the log stuff which doesn't include the porch which has its own
porch. Speaking of cobblers!!!! We want to restore the log part and get
rid of the bedroom and small room and porches. THEN.....we would move
the one room school house on the property over to the log house and
connect the two with a dog trot. I know that sounds ambitious, but what
else have we got to do.

Now for the "lucky" part. We got a new
furnace in mid December. Because of the sheet metal work to provide
heat for my shop, the basement stairway which divides the original log
home in half is no longer usable. Jake said we may as well go ahead and
begin doing the work on the log house now. Praise God,Hallelujah !!!!
That means we will change the stairway, kitchen and bathroom----just
the basis of the whole house. I don't even care if it means that things
will improve. Hence the pictures that I have included. They show the
room that is the first to be cleared, where the piano went and how
crowded the back room is now. What difference does it make? It means
tha t progress is being made. I am a greatdemolition worker. I tear into things like no body's
business. All Jake has to do is say "I guess we could change that", and
when he comes home from work, things have begun to change. Movement is