Sunday, October 30, 2011


Am I allowed two aarrrrggghhh days in a row?  Well, I had one.  I had just put six butternut squash in the oven, halved and divided between two baking sheets on two different shelves, when I blew up my oven.  It was quite the pyrotechnic display, white flashing lights, sparks of white, yellow, orange and red, and then the smoke.  Oh, boy, the smoke!  I quickly turned off the oven and turned on the fan to disperse the smoke, then waited about five minutes before I dared open the oven.  Yup.  I fried the element.  Totally.

Thing is, I hated this stove.  Or should I say I didn't very much like this stove.  It was here when we moved in, it worked, kind of, so that was it.  It was our stove.  The broiler element never did work, the oven, supposedly a self cleaning oven, was not clean, nor would it come clean, the temperature wasn't accurate, and I just plain didn't like the whole stove.  Hubby says I jinxed it by saying I didn't like it, so it showed me!  Well, it sure did show me.  Right in the middle of baking squash to freeze for squash soup.

I do believe I will be stove shopping in the morning.  Early.  Soon as the stores open.  I need an oven!   

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Despite the lovely beginning to the day.......
and despite the fact that I had a cute new bag to carry........
it was an "aaarrrrgggghhhh" kind of day.
This is the fourth time this baby quilt has been hanging on my clothes line.  The directions for the new quilt marking pencil said "erase marks or wash in warm water."  Nope. Don't do it!   Do not wash.  The marks did not come off.  I noticed them right away when I took the quilt out of the washer, so I did not dry it in the dryer, but hung it on the line.  When it dried I erased the marks then rewashed it.   Hung it again.  Nope.  Not out yet.  So I used some mild detergent and rubbed the marks and rewashed.  Hung it again.  Nope.  Not out yet.  So I got serious and used Shout and a toothbrush.  Rewashed it.  Hung it again.  Nope.  Not completely out, although it is better.  I hung it out again and decided this was it.  I may just remake it.  Not a happy person today!

Though I did make some awesome gluten free pumpkin bars and a delicious gluten free pizza for supper.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yesterday afternoon we took a trip out to our LMSP (local Minnesota State Park), a place we used to frequent several times a week in the fall.  Now we live several miles further away from it so we haven't been out there as often.  It's a lovely park, full of hiking trails, trees, weeds, birds, and an old mill. 

The day began with a beautiful sunrise.  I love my back yard early in the morning, and the temps yesterday were such that I could sit out there for a bit and watch the sun come up.  With coffee, of course.
The leaves are getting sparse on most of the trees, but these red maples are still holding on to a few.  The sky was so blue when we left home that I grabbed the camera, hoping for good light for picture taking.
By the time we picked up Subway salads and arrived at the park, the sun was hiding under the clouds, but it was still nice and warm, so we had a picnic.
We drove through the park with the dusty roads creating a film on my just washed Prius!
I call this tree the Halloween tree.  It has looked exactly the same for 10 years, I think!  Kind of spooky, isn't it?
This is the old flour mill.  It is quite beautifully preserved.  I love our LMSP and will be heading out there more often as I have really missed the times I've spent hiking out there.

Friday, October 21, 2011


This in August became
this in October.  And today it was crispy!

And this is why.......see that forecast?  Brutally cold and dry for Minnesota this coming winter. 

We turned on the heat this morning.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It is most definitely the end of one season and the beginning of another season.  Some of the flowers in our back yard are a bit droopy after the 30 degree temperatures this morning.  The sun was shining brightly, but the air was nippy.........and I am one of those weird people who love it!

 These red beauties are still looking pretty chipper in the muted morning sun, but it won't be long and they will be finished cheering me up each time I step out my kitchen door.

Two weeks ago, during the hot, dry windy days, I thought this planter was done for, but it too is hanging in there.
However, these petunias that were so lush just a couple of weeks ago, are now on their last leg.
And the hanging plants are saying it's time to give up on them, too.

This is the on the bird bath this morning.  Time to plug in the heated bath tub..........
......and bake some more bread, like I did yesterday.  Have I told you how much we enjoy this GF bread?  I have started baking two loaves at a time so I don't have to bake every single day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Yesterday was our 47th anniversary, and today is daughter Kari and SIL Mike's   27th anniversary.

Aren't they young?  And skinny?  And beautiful?  They still are.  Happy anniversary.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I cannot believe that I haven't posted in almost a week.  I guess I've had too many things on my mind, and blogging just wasn't one of them.  We did go on an impromptu weekend trip, just Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, so I have a 24 hours excuse at least!  Our son called Saturday at noon, and invited us for  a dinner grill out and to spend the night.  It sure didn't take us long to pack up a change of clothes, our toothbrushes, and hubby's CPAP and get on the road for the two hour ride to their place.  And we had a wonderful time.  Kevin fixed a nice steak and grilled veggies, and we just visited with him and Molly, and grandson Justin.  Joe is in college in South Dakota, and was away from his computer on Saturday night, so we weren't able to Skype with him.
And, I have been working on this......... 

Isn't it cute?  It's going to be a baby quilt, and has another border in red on the outside of the white.  It is from Camille's   pattern, Sweet Pea, from her book Simplify.  I used two older charm packs that I had in my stash, one is Snippets from American Jane, and the other is Baskets of Flowers from Mary Engelbreit.  They mixed quite well,, I thought, and gave a much scrappier look than two of the same line would have.  And it was so simple to put together. 

Today is our anniversary.  I had my Tuesday morning Bible study this morning, and after coffee with the girls, I came home and we went back into town for lunch at Chipotle , our favorite spot.  Now I am going to work on the quilt, and hubby is in his recliner, wrapped in a fleece blanket to keep warm on this windy 43 degree day.  After 47 years of marriage, we can't handle much more excitement than that!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The cloudy skies and gloomy day were fitting as we stood quietly while the guns were fired to honor a member of The Greatest Generation.  Yesterday my Uncle Mike, age 88, who had served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, was laid to rest in a small town cemetery in northwestern Iowa.  His widow, my dad's baby sister Vonnie, received the American flag from a young man in his Air Force dress blues, her grandson.  What an emotional moment that was.
The pastor spoke about what a good man Mike was.  How he had served his country as a member of The Greatest Generation, how he had fed thousands upon thousands of people during his more than 60 years of farming, how he had faithfully and passionately loved his wife, children, and grandchildren.  But that even being a good man didn't mean anything when it came to his eternal life.  The most important thing about Mike was that he had been baptized as an infant, was a faithful Christian, and had always put God and his church first.  And that he was now in heaven waiting for the rest of us. 

We visited with aunts, uncles and cousins that we see only at funerals.  That is so sad.  I hope we can arrange a family get together soon without having to gather to mourn the death of a loved one.  I was struck at how much my dad's youngest brother had aged since I last saw him.   And another uncle, and an aunt, were not able to attend because of their health issues.  Even cousins of my generation showed their age, just as I do.

My thoughts as we left this little country church where Uncle Mike had been baptized, confirmed, and now buried were these:  We will miss you uncle Mike, but will see you soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011


The other morning I arose before the sun, and as it finally woke up, I snapped a couple of pictures.  The weather has been incredible in Minnesota this fall.  We are almost half way through October, and we're still hitting 80 in the afternoons!  I'm scared that we'll never have a real fall.  One morning we'll wake up, and we'll have 12 inches of snow that won't leave until next May!
I finished up this small table quilt this past weekend.  I really like it.  I used the rejected fabrics from the layer cakes that I used to make the quilt top shown here. I shouldn't say rejected, because I love Cotton Blossoms by Bonnie and Camille.....they were left over from the layer cakes for that quilt top.  I  followed Camille's pattern, Coming Home, from her book Simplify, except that I didn't put borders on,  I just bound it after I put the top together.  And I love it.  It is on my dining room table.

Tonight we had our two oldest granddaughters, and a grandson out for supper.  Kjirsten and her boyfriend Ryan are on the right, Katie and Clayton are in the middle, and their brother, Adam, has his back to us.  We had a very nice time, although the much needed rain did threaten for a few minutes.  No biggie......we threw a tarp over the pergola and all was fine.

We had invited their brother, Aaron and his girlfriend Callie, and cousin Caleb, but they had other things going tonight.  What fun to have adult grandkids who can appreciate Pioneer Woman's recipes!  I made her Rosemary Creamed Potatoes.....the ones with butter, half and half, whole cream, cream cheese and Parmesan  cheese.  Awesome! 

Now my friend Judy is coming to stay a couple of days.  I hope she likes left overs, because we have potatoes, green beans, and burgers left over.  Supper for tomorrow night is already cooked.  Can't beat that!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


We arrived home, safe and sound, late Sunday afternoon about 4:30.  It was another beautiful day to travel, and I didn't mind the drive at all, other than the traffic on I 35.  I am not a fan of heavy traffic all going at least 10 miles an hour over the posted speed of 70.  I tend to hang between 65 and 70, but am passed constantly.  Hubby spent the time listening to the Vikings get trounced for the 4th time in this new season which is only 4 games long.

Friday we arrived in Mountain View, Arkansas in time to head up to the Folk Center for a couple of hours.  We have been there before, and enjoyed our visits both times.  I love walking through the woodcarvers building, the pottery shop, the jewelry makers shop, candle shop, quilt shop, herb garden, and all the shops showing the lifestyle of the simpler life.  Well, I don't know about that.  Simple?  Having to grow or raise the food instead of shopping for it, having to cook everything on wood fired cookstoves after gathering the fuel, raising the sheep, processing the wool, creating the garments, or sewing all the clothing....simple isn't the word.  The Ozark Folk Center shows all the crafts of the area and is intent on preserving those talents and treasures.  And Mountain View is the folk music capitol of the world.

In the evening we attended the Folk Center's music show.  What a treat! 
This family beautiful preformed, and the babe in dad's arms did not say boo the whole time.  The children were happy, bright, talented and really looked to be enjoying putting on their show for the crowd.
This group was phenomenal.  I believe I was told that the boys are 13, 14, and 16, and the older gentleman is their grandpa!  They were very talented, and obviously enjoyed their music. 

The next morning we headed north again, back to Minnesota.  We arrived home Sunday night after another pleasant day driving.  The trees are changing colors and the sun was shining brightly.  Autumn is my very favorite time of the year.  This year it has been much warmer than normal which makes me wonder what is in store for us this winter.  Much colder?  More snow than average?  Everyone is speculating.....but my guess is that God will surprise us!

I just dawned on me that I didn't share with you the wonderful quilt shop I visited in Branson!  It is advertised as 7,000 square feet, easily the largest quilt shop I have ever been in.  And also easily the best stocked quilt shop I've ever seen!  They had everything.  Every patten, every book, every fabric, every was overwhelming.  However, I kept my wits about me and spent my money. All of it.  And some of hubby's too!  I came away with 6 charm packs, 2 from Joanna's Butterscotch and Rose collection, 2 from 3 Sister's Etchings collection, and 2 from Bonnie and Camille's Ruby collection.  And 2 layer cakes, one of Joanna's and one of Camille's, and a jelly roll, also from Camille's collection.  So you see a pattern here?  I love Camille's Ruby collection and can't wait to get started on a quilt.  However,  I have several UFO's to finish up first, so I'm afraid the new treasures will have to wait a bit.  So in my opinion, go to Branson for the quilt shop, and if you have some extra time and money, attend a show or two!

Saturday, October 01, 2011


I saw a sign along the highway today that made me chuckle:

The name of two beauty salons I've spied in the last couple of days:

Yesterday we went through a town in Arkansas called Flippin.  Along the highway was this sign with an arrow pointing left:

Last night I went into a large national chain grocery store.  I asked a clerk if they had any gluten free bread:
Well, no, not so much!

Do you chuckle at signs and license plate messages?  What are your favorites?