Laugh till you hurt

I just saw Kay’s blog. OMG…… Steve and I laughed so hard we cried. You really need to go see this post:

http://myolivebranch.wordpress.com/2008/02/21/wheres-the-camera/

And make sure you arent drinking or eating anything when you watch it. May also be a good idea to empty your bladder beforehand too!

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Oh what pretty skin!

Finally, William’s skin is looking good. YAY for his Mom who has been so persistent with Doctors and medicine. And YAY for William that he isn’t so miserable!

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I have been working on a batch of postcards all day.  I have no idea why, but I chose to do a more tedious, time consuming design.  What was I thinking?  Well….. I just like it!  Each one has machine embroidery on it, and that takes 10 mins to sew out.  I have about 12 more to sew out before I can quilt them and do the edges.  Good thing I have a month to do them!

The postcard theme is Your Birthstone.  Mine is aquamarine.  So the cards….. well….. think aquamarine.  The color aquamarine and sparkly.  Very sparkly.  Do you know what happens with sparkly, glittery fabric?  We will be finding sparkles forever, I am sure.  Now, if I could just get them all off of ME!  In places I never even touched!  They must just float around and migrate?  Oh my, you would be surprised what all can sparkle!

I also got these blocks done for a comfort quilt for Gina.  One of her sons was killed in a car accident, her other son was critically injured.  Ronda is putting the blocks together, then will quilt it and give it to Gina.  Hopefully, this is a way to help Ronda cope some with her own grief over the loss of her own son 2 months ago.

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Weather?  You really don’t wanna know.

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I am STILL reading  The Divide.  I should be done, but I haven’t spent much time reading.  (Steve, on the other hand, has read 4 books in the last 2 weeks.)  I may have to just sit under a quilt in my jammies and finish it.

I can do this

Well, thanks to the sweet emails from some of my friends, I can do this. Winter HAS to be almost over right? (uh huh, it is still snowing)

A very special thanks to Sally (and Paul too….. hugs to you both) who winter in Florida instead of Sandy Lake. Yeah, I know, they are smarter than I am. They are also talented artists, and wonderful friends. So Sally…… thanks for NOT telling me what fabulous weather you are having. And thanks for sending the hysterical Maxine cartoons.

Do you like Maxine? She is my favorite.

So I am going to try to escape……. to the beach…. somewhere warm……. tropical breezes…..white sand…..palm trees…… turquoise water…..hot sun on my body……. waves to frolic in…. like Hanauma Bay. Or Huntington Beach. Or Clearwater Beach. Or Puerto Penasco.

Got my bikini packed in my butt pocket…. flip flops on and tshirts and cutoffs on. Let’s escape to the beach!

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A girl can dream right?  (she says as she shuffles off to bed with her fuzzy slippers and flannel jammie dress on a cold snowy nite)

Yesterday’s Turkeys

Yesterday was all about turkeys. In every possible way I could mean that. So let’s leave it at that.

But how appropriate that I looked up while washing dishes and saw this:

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This is only a few of them, as there were more than 20, maybe as many as 30.

Flat Stanley Letter 3

Hi Princess,

I miss you. These people don’t dance as often as you do. When I come home, will you dance with me?

My schoolwork today was all about farming.  Steve was telling me today about his tractors. You really should only ask him about tractors if you want to hear him talk for a long time. Like forever and ever. Here is some of what he told me, along with some pictures he showed me.

He uses all 3 tractors for different things. If he was rich he could have one tractor that did everything, but even then, he would want 2 tractors to share the work.

This big orange one is called an Allis Chalmers 190XT. Allis Chalmers is a brand name, like Ford and Chevrolet are for cars.   The 190XT refers to the model.  He uses it to cut the hay. It has the most engine power, which makes the PTO go faster, which cuts the hay faster. (boy, I hope I got that right!) The PTO makes the hay cutter work while Steve drives the tractor down the field. He has to set the level of how high off the ground it should cut, kind of like the lawnmower can be set.

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After the hay is cut, he rakes it with his new rake. He attaches the rake to the Massey Ferguson 175 usually, but it can also go on the Massey Ferguson 285. The rake doesn’t take much power to operate, so the smallest tractor works fine for this job.  This is the 285 (the medium sized tractor)  pulling the rake.

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And here is his old rake. He really needed a new one, didn’t he?

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Next, he bales the hay. He bales square bales himself. They each weigh about 45 pounds. He uses the 285 to run the baler.

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Then he stacks the hay on the wagon to bring it home from the field down the road. The wagon is pulled with any of the tractors that is available, but usually with the 175. (the smallest, oldest and ugliest tractor)

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See? His method is to keep the haybine connected to the 190, so he doesnt have to hook it up, disconnect, and re-hook it. Since he works by himself, this is a faster way to do it. He usually leaves the baler on the 285. Then he uses the smallest tractor, the 175, to switch between the jobs of running the rake and pulling the wagon home.

One of Steve’s brothers sometimes comes help him when he is baling. And another brother and friend will come if he needs help getting hay bales off the field before it rains.

A neighbor who does custom farming bales all the round bales for Steve. (in this area, custom farming means someone who uses his own tractors and implements to work for other people, rather than on his own land) Steve still cuts and rakes it, then calls Paul to come round bale.

It is nice to have the round bales to put in the bale feeder during the winter. It takes the cows about 5 days to eat the whole round bale that weighs about 1000 pounds. If Steve had to feed square bales in the winter, he would have to feed them 4 or 5 bales every day. That would mean standing outside longer every day in the wind and snow. The cows also eat about 50 pounds of grain a day. He has 11 cows now.

Here is what it looks like when he is done haying, but before he puts the square bales in the barn.

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And here are some round bales, with the rake sitting in front:

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So…. those are all summer jobs with the tractor.

In the fall, he cuts down some trees, then pulls them into the pasture with a chain around the trunk… the chain is attached to the tractor.

Today, we woke up to 10 or 12 inches of snow.  That meant Steve had to put the back blade on the tractor to move the snow out of the driveway.

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Did you notice that Gayle made me a hat, coat, scarf and mittens?   Good thing, because it was about 17 degrees.

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It was lots of work.  I had to go inside an warm up.  Especially after I lost my mitten.

I hope you are doing your schoolwork too.

Your Pal, Stan

Arrival of Elves

The elves arrived at our house.  I sure hope Elizabeth likes them! Maybe she and William can take dancing lessons from them??  (Elizabeth and William are my grandchildren)

ELVES dancing

Bonding

 I have been bonding with my new machine the last 2 days.  If you dont want to hear about it, at least slide all the way down to the end of the post to find the link to an awesome artist’s little video.

Machine was delivered Wednesday.  Thursday I ran it for all of 10 minutes.  Just because I felt like I should.  Yesterday I quilted all day.  And most of today.

There are lots of things different about my machine.  It feels, sounds, looks, behaves differently from Steve’s.  Same model, but mine is 6 years newer.  I also have some new toys that came with mine, plus some new bells and whistles.  The electronics are newer, the wheels are new and placed differently for a smoother ride.  The laser lite, the thread holder, table, switches, light…. all different.  Not huge changes, but all good ones.

I have decided that getting a new machine is alot like getting a new man.  You have to break them in….. get used to them.  Get used to all the little nuances, find the sweet spot, find out what makes ’em happy.

So….. biggest thing to get used to??  The kitchen.  I like it.  I like the lighting better.  I like feeling “in the center of things”.  You know, the kitchen is the heart of the home crap.  Cept in our house it is really the living room… and I can  SEE the living room, so it seems to matter.  I had no idea it would.  It is kind of cramped compared to the studio, but it is gonna work.  I am gonna MAKE it work.

Other big differences that will take awhile to get used to:  the table height.  The hydraulics make it higher to start with.  That is VERY different.  Havent  decided if it is good or not.  But man I like the hydraulics.  Maybe I just need to grow taller??   My scissors.  Now this is BIG.  (ummmm….. it’s actually one of those OCD kind of things….I am SO very sorry that you inherited this from me Neil)  Steve has his favorite scissors that I hate.  I never use them.  They have very sharp pointed tips that I dont like.  I lay scissors on top of the quilt when working because I do custom stuff.  He always has them on the back of the table because he does pantos.  And we both always always always always have scissors in the same place.  His never move from their place.  And I have to have the pink handled ones at the right end of machine, blue at left end, purple on the ironing board, orange next to my domestic machine, black/blue ones for cutting batting…… well, you get the drift.  So…..my new machine was scissorless.  I had to “borrow” the orange ones for the right end of my machine and unwrapped the black ones that were for my Christmas stocking.  (of course now you all know who Santa REALLY is in this house!  I was good though, left the candy alone)

So the real question is (and yes, of course Steve had to open his trap and yammer around asking it more than once) WHY not go get the damn blue and pink ones off his machine?  He never uses them anyway!  WELL….. I sure as hell wish I could ‘splain it.  I can’t.  Cept to say that they belong on that machine and that’s where they are staying.  That’s my story and I’m stickin to it!

So here is what I did yesterday.   I also got alot of King Tut and SoFine thread as a bonus from the dealer.  I used King Tut here.   It is done with the spiral disc on the work station.

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Then I used my Renee’s Rays templates to kind of help fill in the gaps between the spirals.  I doubt I would do it like this again, but was fun to play with.  I machine bound the quilt too.  It is ready to go off to charity.

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Another thing I have been trying to figure out is what shoes to wear.  Sounds silly to some, but I used to wear my slippers, tennis shoes or AirWalks (cheap knock-offs of Crocs, that I like better than Crocs).  Yesterday I tried my clogs.

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Then my ended up back in my AirWalks.  Stylin’ huh??

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Today I tried my ankle boots.  I think I like the AirWalks best, which is good because I have 4 pair, all different colors.  I like the clogs, but I don’t wear them alot anymore and it will take awhile to get used to them again.

Today I did another quilt.  And had a MUCH better day.   Partly, it was better because I had some new music on.  (thanks for the CD Chet, I love it!)  I also found the machines sweet spot…. it’s happy place.  Where and how it runs best. And oh man does it.  The only thing I had trouble with was stitching in the ditch with the ruler…. but could do it freehand.  WHAT??  I have never been able to do that before, at least not easily.  Wow.  I am thrilled.

So here is the Steeler’s quilt.  I wrote Pittsburgh Steelers all the way around in the border.

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And this one is the back.

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It has been a great day.  I hope you all had a good one too.

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So, for your REAL entertainment, you can go HERE to see some wonderful, entertaining art! Sure wish I could do that!

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