Monday, April 30, 2012


The Sisters' April Birthday Bash that was held on Friday was a success, as far as I have heard.  We gathered at Sister 3's house (I am the oldest, therefore am number 1!) where she served muffins and fruit, and of course coffee.  Thus fortified, we took off on our adventure. 

First stop was the annual book sale in a nearby two-college town.  I did well, spending only $14.00 and coming away with two quilting books, both originally $29.95, one of which seems to have never been opened, and 6 non-fiction books.  Three of them have Minnesota connections, one is a book by a Native American, one the story of newsman Bob Woodruff's accident and healing, and the other by another newsman,  Tom Brokaw.  Sister 2 won the prize for buying the most books.  Then on to the Penzey's Spice store, where I did spend a bit more moola!  However, my excuse is that I was also picking up a couple of things for my daughter.  Next came lunch, where two sisters had salad and wild rice soup, and two of us had a piece of grilled chicken and veggies.  Our table, right in front of the warm fireplace, was a welcome contrast to the gusty winds outside.

On to a nearby picturesque town nestled in the rolling hills of eastern Minnesota.  We visited a winery, and yes, I did purchase a bottle of wine.  It's for a gift though, so I don't show up on my patio expecting a taste test!  An antique shop was next, but it didn't take too long for the musty contents to drive us back out into the cool fresh air of the Minnesota afternoon.  We hit a quilt shop, where wonder of wonders, I resisted!  Honest!  One sister did find some great fabric to make a couple of pillows for her living room.  Next came a nearby farm market.

L to R:  Sister 2, Sister 3, Sister 4  (they made me promise not to use names!)

I think a couple of the sisters did make a purchase here, as one did at the next stop, a local pottery shop.  Whoops, I almost hit publish without including the stop at a bakery.  Not gluten free, so I wasn't even tempted, although it smelled delish!

The last stop was a cheese shop in Sister 3's hometown.  I did buy a very good smoked Gouda and a white cheddar with cranberries.  Then it was time to head off in various directions toward our respective  homes.  It was a fun time, spent with sisters who get along very well.  We had good conversation, a good lunch, and we helped out the economy just a wee bit!

Total miles traveled 203.1 with a MPG of 51.3.  Not too bad!  Have I ever told you that I love my Prius?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


My Big Brother and I will be spending some time apart for a few days.  He is having a little problem with his bobbin thread, causing our little baby quilt making activity to knot up and make me crazy.  I took him to the repairman this morning, and he is going to have to stay there until he can learn to behave.  Even if I probably was the cause.  Just because I was cleaning the lint out of the bobbin case and put the throat plate back together wrong, he still should do what he's supposed to do.  And I didn't do it that wrong....just put the wrong piece in first, which shouldn't be that big of a deal, should it? 

Anyway, my Big Brother is banished from the sewing room until he mends his ways.  I hope he misses me as much as I'm going to miss him, but he has to learn his lesson.

Monday, April 23, 2012


What do a spice store, a winery, and a farm market have in common?  Well, I guess we could purchase things to make dinner.  But throw in a used book sale, a pottery shop, and a quilt shop.  Now what do you have?  You have the Annual April Birthday Sisters' Fun Day.  And it's coming up on Friday.

Two of my sisters have April birthdays.  Our youngest sister and I have December birthdays.  So we combine them into two fun celebrations, and the April party is scheduled for  Friday.  We go to a nearby college town that holds a wonderful used book sale at the end of April each year, and usually walk out with a couple of shopping bags full of treasures.  A bit north from there is our favorite Penzey's Spice Store.  Do you know Penzey's?  Well, if there is one in your area, you need to become acquainted.  Now.  They are the best.

Of course by then it's almost lunch time, so that becomes a priority.  The exact spot hasn't been chosen yet, but I'm not worried.  It will be good.  This year, sister Ruth has found some fun destinations in another nearby town, so we plan to check them out.  Of course I never turn down the chance to go to a quilt shop, I love pottery, the farm market should be interesting, and I need to purchase a gift for someone at the winery.

I will have my camera around my neck, so I'll be able to invite you all along on our adventure.  Doesn't this sound like a perfect day?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Good morning.  Don't you love the pink and purple rays of a new day?  So beautiful.

And within minutes, the huge orange ball appears and the color pallet changes to golden hues.
I love mornings.  Alone, on my patio,  wrapped in a blanket, with a cup of coffee.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Do you like soup?  We really like soup.  Almost any kind of soup.  What is your favorite?  Do you like vegetable beef?  If so, you should have come over for lunch this noon.  I must have been expecting a crowd because I made a large amount.  But soup never goes to waste does it?

I had plenty of room when I started, but after adding the potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, green beans and peas to the beef roast and home made stock....oh, a can of diced tomatoes, too.....the pot was full.  We each had a large bowl for lunch, and after we finished eating, I packed up the rest of the soup.
I had five quarts left!  So the plan is: two for the frig to be eaten in the next couple of days, two for the freezer for days when I don't want to cook, and one to send home with my friend, Judy, who is coming for supper tonight.  She just moved back to town, and is still in the process of unpacking boxes, and not really set up for much cooking yet.  We're having her out tonight for pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, cold slaw, and chocolate cake.  I think she'd appreciate a quart of soup to take home with her for a couple of easy lunches while she finishes up unpacking.

And do you remember a couple of months ago when I told you all that I was going to be great?  A great grandmother, that is?  Well, we found out yesterday that the baby is a girl.  Pink!  Let the shopping begin!

Friday, April 13, 2012


I made a new cover for the little ironing board that sits on my sewing table.  Isn't it cute
And here is the beginning of a new day.
This is a new bread recipe, that I will be making again.  Today as a matter of fact.
 These are the new flowers on our little crab apple tree.  I know, blurry, as all of these photos seem to be.
What do I have the camera set on anyhow?  And it's raining today, so that accounts for some blur.

Monday, April 09, 2012


you would have seen a nice variety of photos of some of my kids and beautiful grandkids.  However, because I neglected to take the camera out of the basket on top of my desk, you will have to imagine my attractive family!

First to arrive was Jacob, my 21 year old handsome grandson.  He is good looking, slim, tanned, and did I say good looking?  Jacob starts nursing school in June, and I am so proud of him!  He had to leave early to go to work.

Next came daughter Kari and the world's best son-in-law, Mike, and awesome grandson Ben, 14,  who helped me move my friend into her apartment on Saturday, and Anna, 9.  Anna had on a lovely dress, with a huge crystal heart necklace and a couple of lovely tattoos for accessories.  Older brother, Adam, 17,  who also helped move my friend on Saturday, was forced to drive by himself so he could show off his new car!

Soon came the beautiful granddaughter, Kjirsten, with her rounded almost 5 month pregnant belly (yes, my first great!).  We had fun suggesting baby names for her until she also had to leave to go to work.   Georgeous sister, Kathryn (who was happy I had vegetarian beans)  and hubby Clayton, joined us shortly thereafter, even though Clayton was not feeling well.  Their tall and handsome brother, Aaron, arrived soon, too, without his Callie who also had to work.

Daughter Gail, her friend Adam, and their friend, Jane came carrying some tulips for me!  Gotta get them planted quickly!  Gail's youngest son, the very good looking Caleb, came a bit later.  Caleb just turned in a big project at college, involving a video he produced.  Hoping for a big A+!

Last to arrive was youngest son Lance, and his wife Tya, and the girls.  Jaden, 14, had been up for hours, participating in two church services and serving the Easter breakfast with the youth group at their church, but it was little sister Madison, 9, who was so tired she wanted nothing but to go home and go to bed.  I offered her a bed here, but she didn't want to sleep at grandma's house.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my kids and grandkids who joined us for Easter dinner!  They are much better looking in person!

Now we have to get ready for the big freeze tonight and tomorrow night when temps will dip into the 20's for the first time since February.  That's what we get for being above average for so long.

Monday, April 02, 2012


No, I did not fall off the face of the earth.  Still here.   I went for a walk last Tuesday and never returned.  Ummm, no, that's not it either, although I did go for a walk last Tuesday.  I hiked the trail just a couple of miles from our place.  I had my camera, and I climbed down into the ditches to snap pictures of budding plants and blooming grasses and bushes, and that was the beginning of the end!  I started sneezing that night and blowing my nose the next morning, and it has just now let up.  The worst allergy attack I've ever had.  Yuk!  Misery!  Awfulness!  And now the cough.  If I try to recline in any way, shape or form, I start coughing.  And once I start, I can't stop!  Which means, no sleep!  Finally this morning at five, I fell asleep in my chair in the living room, and slept until six thirty.  An hour and a half of the best sleep ever!   It had gotten to the point that I was too tired to even cough.  But I slept uninterrupted for an hour and a half, and now, I really think I am going to make it! 

 I have done very little to blog about.  I'm sure you don't care how many boxes of kleenex I've gone through (4) or how many bags of cough drops I've sucked (2), or how many ounces of water I've drowned myself in (well over over 100 a day) trying to shake this thing.   So on Friday I decided to work on my Schnibble's Little Houses, and I sewed one side of the sky to the roof on backwards.  And clipped the point before I realized it.  Well, because I clipped it, when I noticed the mistake and tried to redo it, the piece didn't fit.  And I did not have a single piece of that fabric left.  So, I am making a little change in the pattern, but it's not a big deal.  So lesson learned.  When you put a project aside for a week and then come back to it, make sure you are not in a sleep deprived allergy fog!

I am so ready to go grocery shopping for myself.  I have sent hubby to pick up things a few times, but I have to tell him brand, location in the store, and numerous other details.  I wanted soup, but gluten free soup is not found in the soup aisle, it's in the natural food section, second to last aisle, on the right.  I wanted chicken broth, same thing.  Laundry soap.  Same thing.  He does not go with me to buy groceries, and if he did, he wouldn't stand there with me as I read labels and compared prices, etc.  He'd buy whatever his mother bought!  And she was a good cook, but so am I.  We just cook differently.  Anyhow, I am thankful for his help, but so ready to get into the store for myself and get what I need.  And I have to make some kind of plan for the Easter cookout and buy those ingredients, too.  And now the weather isn't looking as nice as they were talking about last week.  Bummer.

Today it's laundry, but I'm not going to hang the sheets out until this current batch of whatever pollen it is has left!  The dryer will have to do.  I have a roast (thank you daughter Kari who just bought a half a beef) in the crockpot, and I have invited my sister out for supper.  I haven't heard back from her yet, so don't know if she's coming or not.  And tonight I am going to hear a missionary husband and wife speak on their work in Zambia.  Life is returning to normal, and not a minute too soon.  That was one long week.

And today is my sister Ruth's birthday.  We aren't celebrating until the end of the month when we're having a SIS/SIL weekend, but I should call her so she has so some good wishes on her actual birthday.  Happy birthday, Ruthie Toot!

Oh, and yesterday was the 29th anniversary of the day 4 kids blessed us by joining our family!  Love you Gail, Chuck, Lenny, and Lance!