Starting to thaw out

Last night I heard a strange noise and it woke me up.  Rain on the roof!  It has been months since I have heard rain.  The rain really helps the snow to melt.

Here is the Nishnabotna River in our back yard.  (I have no idea what that means, but it is what Steve calls the swail that fills with water often.)

In the top right corner, you can see the pasture is flooded and partially frozen. So my friend Sammi was worried about the cows standing in that water.  They aren’t.  They are in the other pasture that is higher and gated off from this one.

That swail runs into the swampy part of our property.  The birds were above it all.  Isn’t she a beauty?

Lots of rivers and creeks are rising and flooding.  The grocery store parking lot was flooded today, which made it tricky for lots of people who were trying to drive or walk through it.

And these guys were REALLY happy.  A flock of 60 (Steve counted, not me) headed right over to the neighbor’s corn field.

pretty wings!


this one is for Vicki…. because she likes chickadees.



You can’t fix stupid

“You can’t fix stupid.  Unfortunately, stupid doesn’t go on vacation either.”  (one of Steve’s favorite sayings that most often applies to his Mom’s boyfriend.  I refer to him as Dickhead)

So this afternoon, Steve’s Mom called.  “There’s a fire in the garage, come quick!”  Steve pulled on boots and coat and raced out the door and drove off.  I called 911 because I had no idea if his Mom had done that.  (later I found out she had…. after she called Steve).  I closed up the fireplace, turned stuff off, pulled on clothes, boots & coat, grabbed my camera and cane and started walking up the road.

Steve’s niece lives next door to us, on the other side of our front pasture.   And Mom lives next to them.  So it is only 2 driveways up…. or about a 5 acres away.

This is what I saw when I got to the driveway:

Yes… that is his grand niece standing so close.  She told me later….”I was standing right there when the tractor exploded!” (you can’t fix stupid)



In the picture above, you can see the first fireman on the scene (he arrived before I did, but after Steve did) and Steve.  Mom’s house, their car and truck are on the right.  The van on the left is right behind the garage that is on fire.  Dickhead wanted to pull that van out with a chain. (you can’t fix stupid)  Steve wouldn’t let him, said it was too dangerous.

In the picture above, you can see niece’s garage right next to Dickhead’s garage that is on fire.  Niece’s husband does lots of car painting.  I was waiting for it to blow.  And on very left edge of photo is their house… a trailer.


A welcome sight.


Running more hose down the driveway to the tankers in the road.  (For you city slickers reading this… No fire hydrants in the country)


Truck above is first of 5 on the road.. all full of water!

All volunteers.  All well trained.  All are appreciated!

The photo above and the one below were both taken from my driveway again.  5 trucks along our pasture fence that is along the road.    And another one out at the end of the road to stop traffic from coming down our road.


So….. the reason for the fire?  Dickhead was working on a tractor in the garage.  With the propane heater going.  Knocked over the gas tank that he had taken off of the tractor that had gas in it.  And the rest is history.  He is really lucky he is alive.  And all he can do is whine about losing his stuff.

You can’t fix stupid.

The Commander on the scene asked him if he had insurance.  no.  (You can’t fix stupid)  The saddest part of that is that Volunteer Fire Departments recoup some of their money through homeowner’s insurance.  So that won’t happen in this instance.

THANK YOU to all the firemen who responded.  Sandy Lake, Stoneboro, Sheakleyville, and Jackson Center VFD’s…. a huge thank you to you all!


On a personal note… I was feeling a little bit of my family roots this afternoon, shooting pictures of a fire.  My Dad started the Chicago Fire Department’s Photo Division.  I think he would have smiled at the thought of me grabbing my camera before going out the door!




We had more freezing rain, snow, sleet, ice drips.



Guess what?!  I did not forget how to quilt.  I haven’t gotten too far on this, and it is taking much longer than it should, but I am working at it.  Only a couple hours a day at the most while in a flare, but doing it.  I have never done these curly feathers and not sure if I like them or not.  But it is good to try new things, right?

Playing with Possibilities

I got a few more dies for my GO! cutter and have been playing with so many possibilities!  I have always been smitten with hexes.

Combine hexes with stack n whack and I am in my glory!

And the taxes are done.  That is cause for celebration!

We had several days of warmth and snow melting.  Last night it snowed, sleeted, rained, froze, dripped, froze some more and snowed again.  Ugly.  And more to come tonight and tomorrow.


Learn to like it

This is my weekend excitement:

I have been getting all the data entry finished started for taking a data disk to the accountant.  I will never learn to like data entry or tax stuff.


And this is what Steve has been up to:

Wow.  Bright huh?  Much darker than we thought.  MUCH darker than the paint chip.  Lots greener too.  We had hoped for a pale turquoise.

Like Steve says…. we will learn to like it.

I have a quilt top ready to quilt for our bed when we move to this new bedroom.  I thought the paint would go with it.  If the paint had been the color we thought, it would have been perfect.  I may make another quilt top.  Or …… we will learn to like it.



I have been sick this week, so life at our house has been really boring.

Signs of boredom include watching paint dry in our someday-to-be-finished-but-dont-hold-your-breath bedroom:


And looking for signs of spring, like the color of the finches changing:


And best of all, I was watching the movie “Signs” when Steve walked in, dressed to watch it with me:


I love him so.


How to make peanut butter cookies

Steve had to run lots of errands today, including several for me.  When it is below 15*F I don’t breathe well outside, so he was the errand man in the zero weather.

I decided I would surprise him with…


…peanut butter cookies.  I started with this recipe.  Checked to be sure I had all the ingredients.  Oh good, enough to make a double batch!  I put the butter in the microwave to soften.  Put the peanut butter and sugars into my mixing bowl and got to mixing with my super duper handy dandy kitchen aid mixer that I love so much.  Mmmmmm smells good already.   Can you smell it?  Added the eggs and mixed some more.  Then the flour and other ingredients.  Mixed some more.  It should be ready to put onto cookie trays.

Or not.  Wow.  It looked like gritty crumbly nasty pie dough with dirt mixed in.  What the hell?  Tried to make balls… it won’t hold together in fashion.  I have no idea what to do.

So I call my friend Mary Jane, who bakes alot of cookies.  She says to add oil.  Maybe another egg if I think it needs it.  Ok…..

I add oil.  More oil.  An egg.  More oil.  Not hanging together.  Add some milk.  More oil.  More milk.  FINALLY I can smoosh a ball together that mostly holds in a ball.   This is the weirdest experience of cookie baking I have ever had.

Baked the cookies.  All 8 dozen.  Steve thinks they are great!  Whew!  I feel successful!!  (I don’t eat PB cookies, so will have to take his word for it that they are great)

I cleaned up the kitchen, got the cookies bagged for the freezer and sat down to do some other things.  Several hours later I walk in the kitchen and notice the microwave says “Food is cooked”.  huh?  I don’t remember putting a cup of coffee in to reheat.  I know Steve didn’t because he was gone and hadn’t even been in the kitchen.  I open the microwave….



…yep… that softened butter ready to put in my cookies.


Oy.  Not feeling so successful.

We both laughed so hard that we cried!

Steve thinks they must be a diet version since they don’t have butter in them.  I am just glad they are edible and he is enjoying them.

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