Friday, August 30, 2013

Give a Guy a Tractor and...

yes, he will dig!
This is our front 'lawn' at the moment.
Ain't it just a bute?
It will actually be nice.
We are putting in underground sprinklers
and while we're at it,
we might as well level out a few spots.
I say 'we' like I've done anything
but take pictures.
We've been having issues with voles for the past year or two.
This made me think of that movie
where he goes after the mole on the golf course.

It all started...
back here, behind the shop.
'WE' are laying rock and gravel
under the lean-to and
decided to gravel clear back to the fence.
There are plenty of rocks,
and good topsoil is valuable so
it has become quite the operation.
He is referring to this as the 
redneck sifting outfit.
Our poor trailer.
And when it's finished here,
it's off to haul fire wood.
The pile of dirt in the back ground
is 1/2" minus for the garden.
I think it's all getting closer to finished.
The front yard is a mess,
and he has sifted just about everything.
He has been leveling things
out front and getting it 'all pretty.'
Still need to finish trenches
for the sprinkler stages,
but that should go a little quicker than all this.
It's getting there.
Someday - hopefully by spring
I will show you the after shot.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Monday, August 26, 2013

Buggy Barn Quilt Show

Mom and I went to the wonderful
Buggy Barn Quilt & Folk Art show
in Reardan, Washington.
This is the wonderful Buggy Barn quilt shop.
I will just let the pictures do the talking...
 It started at 10am.  We were 20 min. early.
This is the view of the cars in front of us.
And the cars behind us...
We didn't have to wait a long time,
though when waiting for a quilt show,
it does seems like forever.
Now quilts...

 That's Mom saying, "Look how they..."

This is the second barn that 
they use as a sort of annex during the show.
There was a shower that came through as I was
taking the picture so it's a little dark.
By the time we made it around the barn, 
the sun was shining.

Even quilts on the old water tower base.

Folks are usually pretty nice at quilt shows,
but this was exceptional.  It seemed as though
all of the attendees were as courteous as
the great families that hosted the event. 
I wasn't sure what to expect.
There was a great basket weaver,
wood work, metal work, and several
vintage style booths.
I kinda forgot to take pictures when we were 
looking around at the booths.
I did get one of this great little wagon.
After the rain, I was trying to shade my lens with my hand
(also in the picture) from the sun.
This was probably the most unique 
show I have attended.
It was a beautiful day in spite of the shower
in the morning.
I can't imagine the work that went in to putting
all of this together as
they had to wake up early in order to 
hang quilts the day of the show.
Due to the sketchy weather,
I am guessing they took them down
and re-hung them Sunday morning.
All I can say is
"Job well done!"
If you ever have the opportunity to attend,
I would highly recommend it.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Finish

Just a little finish,
but a finish none the less.
This was an order that I had.
Don't you just love those little woolies?
My hand quilting is improving all the time,
and I am finding I enjoy the results.
I somehow jammed my thimble finger
shortly after finishing this.
I don't even know how???
Guess the quilt that has been on the frame
for the last few years 
with the stick and pick method of quilting
will have to wait a few more days:)
as well as getting the binding on the
Christmas Quilt, and...
the list goes on.

This weekend, my mom and I are headed to Rearden, WA
for the Buggy Barn Quilt and Folk Art Show.
I should have some fun pix next week.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Sunday, August 18, 2013

On The Right Track

There are certain things that one does
that are just right.
There is that feeling inside like
it's how it is supposed to be.
( Please ignore the messy little corner of sugars:?)
This past week,
I invested in a pressure canner.
This weekend, I canned...
one batch of green beans
and two batches of stewed tomatoes.
(It might not sound like much,
but all the laundry is done, 
washed the living room curtains, etc...boring stuff)

I have to admit
I see those pictures of peoples pantry shelves
all lined with home canned jars,
and I am a wee bit jealous.

However, we must start somewhere.
So the above is where we are~
a combination of store bought and home canned.
I have more tomatoes,
but they were cooling on the counter.
I am hoping to get corn this week.
The other thing I have been doing
is dry oven canning.
The dehydrated veggies have been
hot oven canned and last nearly forever.

It's all a process, and every little step
we take around here
is towards a point of self-sufficiency. 
We both appreciate the old ways.
Hold that thought,
we do like such things as showers & deodorant.
Not quite thaaaat old of ways.
We just feel the less dependent we are, the better. 
Wait until I show you what Mr. LB has been up to.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You're Not Going to Believe This: Another Singer Sewing Machine

Evidently, I collect sewing machines.
No, not on purpose.
They are like strays.
They just show up at my doorstep,
and I can't let them go unloved.
Meet Jane (as in Jetson.)
She is a 1961 Singer Rocketeer.
Sounds like a do-op group doesn't it?
I cleaned her up and
she stitches like a dream.
she doesn't have her attachments with her.
(Her luggage must have been lost on the flight over.)
She reminds me of the cars from that era-
with the fender for the light.

And check out under the hood. 
The spool holder for the top is to the left 
of the two that are spring loaded 
and pop up when the lid is opened.  
To the right is where the attachment discs are inserted 
for those snazzy stitches.
Unfortunately (somewhat) this is another cabinet machine.
That makes three cabinet machines
plus the treadle!

I won't share how many cased machines
are living here.
I am running out of room.
I think this weekend, 
I will get them all out and
try to figure out which ones can stay
and which ones I need to find homes for.
In the past,
I have sold them to 4H-ers
for $10-$20 depending upon
how much I had into them.
They are great for beginners.
They are inexpensive, and
there aren't a bunch of plastic parts
that can break easily.

I wonder if there is an adoption agency for these???

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

On Organizing: Before and After

I am usually pretty organized.
There are those hot spots though.
This reminds me of that episode of 'Friends'
where they break into the closet at the end
of the hall in Monica's apartment.
It is just packed full!
She says that it is all the stuff
that doesn't fit into a category.

I think we all have this 'stuff'
in our lives.
The question is what do we do with it.
Obviously, I love the fact that my computer is
in a closet so I can shut the door.
And you can see why.
Well, at some point enough is enough,
and we just have to deal with it.
Now, I am one of those that my spices are alphabetized. 
Please don't judge me -
see above photos.

So after a couple of shelves,
a few arguments with spider webs and dust bunnies
(they almost won,)
and some good ol' elbow grease,
this is what I came up with.
It's still not entirely complete
as I have lots of papers to go through.
My solution for those was at the $ store.

I bought a couple little notebooks
and started writing all the information
that I had on sticky notes and corners of paper
into the notebooks.
I can flip through pages
much easier than digging through a pile.

So far so good.
Now I just have to figure out where to put
the filing cabinet.
That will probably lead to another project:)
Just how it goes around here.
The other thing is 
every time I really clean, I end up with 
a stack of things to take to the bargain counter.
Look at the 'extras'
just in time for back to school.
And this is after I kept
a generous supply.
They were in there - 
you just couldn't see them behind
the file cabinet:)

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hunter/Gatherer Diet & A Very Healthy Recipe

Mr. LB & I began a one month trial
being on only a basic hunter/gatherer diet.
Say what you will,
it's more difficult than you think.
We can eat all the meat, veggies, & fruits we want.
We can also have tea, coffee, & milk.
(except I'm allergic to milk so that ones out for me.)
We can also have a few things like
vinegar, sea salt, and a few cheeses.
This is not a no carbs diet, we can eat a spud,
nor a no sugars diet,we can eat apples.
It is just a diet that you would have
if you were to hunt or gather your food
(for the most part)
Hubby thought that the no grains,
white flour, & processed sugar
would be the tough part for me.
(I am Italian after all)
Oh no, the tough part is figuring out
what's for dinner.
This diet means no 'processed' foods & no chemicals!
(processing as in chemical processing)
Preservatives, artificial anything, coloring, etc.
I can't believe how many things have color preservatives 
in them - really???
Do we really need those?
Even apples have a FDA approved shellac.
We had a talk about it last night.
If we lived in the 1920-30's,
it wouldn't have been nearly the challenge.
Town for us is a bit 'rural.'
Finding something organic is almost impossible.
We have a farmers market which I have been attending.
Even they use chemical fertilizers.
Think back woods 'bigger is better.'
I figure at least it is fresh and unprocessed.

After 3 days, I told him
I was ready to say 
mixed salads for a month.
Mr. LB wasn't too keen on that idea.
He works hard and eats a lot.
His issue is getting enough calories to keep him going.
I will keep you posted.

We do have a garden,
but it's not quite producing yet.
This is the first garden in about 3 years,
so we don't have a store of home canned foods
to work off of.
Nearly everything canned has preservatives
of some fashion.
I almost leaped for joy
when I found organic kidney beans.
We had chili for dinner last night.

I will share a little 'recipe'
that I have used in lunches
rather than sandwiches.

The Mr. LB Roll-up
 6 leaves of lettuce (good sized leaf lettuce)
1/2 avocado (cut lengthwise then into 6 slices)
fresh real cheese (it's a soft goat's milk cheese)
6 onion slivers (I cut a lg. onion like a pie & use crescents)
6 slices or strips of meat of your choice.
Pepper - optional

Lay out dry lettuce leaves.  
If you have a thin slice of meat,
lay one slice on each leaf.  
If you have strips, lay it in the middle.
Next add a little cheese along each strip of meat, or
down the middle of each slice of meat.
Now add a slice of avocado, onion & pepper.
Begin rolling from the end of the lettuce that was closest to the stem.  
I just stack them in a container,
but you could put a tooth-pick through 
each one.
Makes 6
(Mr. LB tried cutting the avocados a little different this time - they were a little harder to roll up, but still tasted the same:)

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Friday, August 2, 2013

Rain & prayer request


Today, I listened to the rain.
At first it was blotting
a splat here and a splat there.
The individual drops could be heard
with no particular rhythm.
Then they began to corral their talents 
and work together forming a more
methodical and consistent soft drumming.
As I continued to listen,
each drop, it seemed,
started competing for my attention 
and threw itself down 
from the heavens creating
a voluminous collision of water and earth.
Then as if exhausted from the effort,
the drops softened; 
their strength waned, 
their size became emaciated,
and their music grew fainter and lulled
until at last they were,
all of them, ... quiet.
They left only the moisture of their being
to nourish the foliage
and the memory of their song 
to nourish the soul.

Lightening started 80 fires in Oregon
yesterday & night leading up to it.
One fire fighter is lost~
They just said lost.
I don't know if that means missing
or if it means lost his life.  
My brother went on a fire last night
at 8:30 PM.
It's not him, but please pray
for that missing or lost soul.
Thank you.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches