Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Better late than never, right?

I knew I had been neglectful of my blog for a long time but just realized today as I was looking through some old pics that I never posted pictures of the quilts I made for the kids last Christmas.  The lighting isn’t very good but you’ll get the jist. 

They first two are winter type prints but not so over the top that they can’t leave them out all year long.  You have to look hard to see the snowflakes at first glance. Smile  I love, love, love the fabrics in both of these.


This last one obviously isn’t a winter print.  Our oldest is very much into collecting old Minneapolis Moline tractors so it seemed appropriate to make something that resembles the side panel of those tractors.


They were all very simple big block designs patterns which I prefer to look at and to work with.  Unfortunately, these were the last quilting project I’ve completed.  I’ve got tons of ideas percolating and even a couple of projects in different phases but nothing even close to being finished [sigh].  I even have a great craft area now which I’ll show you in a future post so I really have no excuse other than time.  Isn’t that always the way?  or am I alone in that?  :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall is here!

We’re starting to get a few glimpses of Fall here in Northwest Illinois.  It really hasn’t felt like Fall as we’ve had warmer than typical temps and much sun.  Today, it was sunny and cool in the 50’s.  We love riding in the Fall so we bundled up a bit and off we went.  When we left for our ride, the sun was out but 3 hours later, the clouds had rolled in and it got flat cold.  A bowl of hot soup and a cup of hot tea and I’ve still not warmed up! 
A few scenes from today’s ride…IMG_1948_edited

I love seeing the sumac when it turns in the fall – such a pretty red.


Some trees are turning but we are far from most of them yet.


Corn and beans are ready for harvest.  Many farmers are already at it but we didn’t see much corn out of the fields just yet.


We took a spin through a local park. Well, to be honest, we stopped to use their facilities…shhh!  When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Winking smile


I’ve always liked the Adirondack chairs outside of their lodge.  Today the only thing sitting in them were piles of pine needles.  A bit too cold to lounge outside I guess.


I read this morning that due to the warm spell we’ve had the last couple of weeks, that our leaves won’t be very vibrant this fall.  The Maples that had fallen here look pretty bright red to me.


We’re hoping to see more fall colors when we head to the mountains the end of this week.  I can’t wait.  We both feel long overdue for a relaxed few days away.  Not sure what our service will be like at the cabin we’re staying in but if I’m able I might post a few pictures or I might just throw technology out the window and truly unplug, which would be Much easier said than done for me.  Happy Fall Y’all!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Warning – photo laden post…

Since I’ve last posted we’ve been busy, busy, busy…

We taken a few bike rides, nothing very long but those wonderful, glorious evening de-stressor type rides that make me go “ahhhh….”  Work has been very stressful lately so I treasure these evening rides.
IMG_1636  IMG_1600     IMG_1601      We outran a nasty storm while on the bike.  We had been getting a few sprinkles so decided to head for home but when we looked back after a few miles, this is what we saw.  Yikes!  Needless to say, we moved a bit faster at that point.  0519131357

We played at the park.  Our local small town has a very nice little park.  The grands love this wooden train.

We led another disaster relief team.  This time to Moore, El Reno and Little Axe, Oklahoma to assist in tornado clean-up.  While there we walked wheat fields picking up debris so the farmers could combine the wheat without running things through the combine that could total their machine.
Fellow blogger, Patti from Osage Bluff Quilter blog saw our posts on Facebook and her daughter works for Channel 9 in Oklahoma City so Patti told her about our team.  She sent a news crew out the next morning.  We were somewhat reluctant at first but were pleased with how it turned out.  Thanks Patti!  It was nice to see something positive on the news.
Here’s the link if you’d like to watch the segment.  No Excuses Disaster Relief
Our team also helped with a couple of house demos and general debris cleanup while in the area.
While in Oklahoma, I was also able to meet up with another fellow blogger, Saska.  We’ve followed each others blogs for a few years and were finally able to meet in person.  So glad she made the drive into OKC!  
Note: (me on the right) This is what mission trip hair looks like.  :(  Yikes!  No time to do much more than shower and go. :[

We’ve eaten out.
Deep fried oreos with a caramel sauce at a little local eatery called This Is It.  Amazing!  I wouldn’t want them too often but for a rare treat, yum-o!  Their burgers and salads are wonderful too!

And lastly, last night, we enjoyed fireworks with the grands and their parents.  No fireworks are complete without playing with sparklers while waiting for them to start.  :)

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HAPPY 4th of July my friends!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

After supper ride

Yes, here in the Midwest we call the evening meal supper and not dinner.  We mostly call the midday meal lunch but sometimes the noon meal is called dinner especially if it’s on Sunday, then it’s definitely Sunday dinner.  Breakfast is breakfast no matter when.  :)  Just a quick lesson on rural Midwestern culture.  :)  I digress.

So tonight we took our first “Supper’s is done, what the heck, let’s go for a quick ride” ride.  We probably weren’t gone 45 minutes but it just plain felt good!  Two summers ago we did this quite often.  Last summer it was just too darned hot.  Yes, I am a fair weather rider.  I don’t like feeling as though I am riding into a blow torch.  Tonight was just about perfect temps.  No need for a jacket but a coolness to the air as it blew past.  Hopefully this is the first of many this summer.

The sun was setting beautifully.  You’d never know that we’re supposed to be pounded with severe storms in a few hours from the looks of this sky would you?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ten Things I’ve learned in the last few days…

On Saturday, we caught a flight to Boston to pick up a car we purchased through eBay.  Most A few people think we’re crazy when we do something like this but honestly, we’ve had good experiences.  We bought a car in Texas a few years back and it worked out okay plus we’ve sold cars, motorcycles, trucks, etc on eBay and had no issues.  We bought this particular car “right enough” that if we got it home and hated it, we could flip it, get our money back out of it and chalk it up to an adventure.

Anyhow, back to the story.    We bought a Honda Civic.  Those of you who know us, know we are not vertically challenged.  I am 6 foot tall and Dan is 6’4”.  Again when we told people we bought a Honda Civic we received more surprised looks than not.  However, we fit and fit rather well.  The car was surprisingly roomy and comfortable.  I guess they re-modeled the cars for 2012 to add more interior room.  Well, whatever they did, it worked.

So we flew into Boston on Saturday, spent a couple of days driving home taking in parts of New Hampshire, Vermont and New York (never been to any of those states) and arrived back home last night.

So what did I learn on this trip…

1)  When going through the metal detector at the airport, a person really needs to take their belt off or the TSA agents aren’t very happy with you.  :(  It really didn’t help when asked if I had anything around my waist and I said no.  I honestly, never thought about my belt.  Yes, I received a pat down and didn’t especially enjoy it.  However, DH thought it was pretty funny since he sailed right on through.

2)  With Spirit airlines, you get what you pay for.  The flight was cheap – Yea!  However, the backseat of our new car has more leg room.  :(  Poor DH was stuck in one position for the whole flight with his knees jammed between the seats in front of us.  Thank goodness it was only a two hour flight.  Also, there was a really strange noise that sounded like a barking seal before we took off and again when we landed.  Not sure what it was but the flight attendants didn’t seem concerned.  To be honest, it freaked me out.   I had all sorts of thoughts going through my head – was it an engine?  was it landing gear?   Then, it was a bumpy flight at times – not fun!  DH said it was average bumpiness but it was too much for this chick!  I don’t fly well anyway so I really don’t need anything adding to that, thank you very much!

3)  Things aren’t always what they seem.  Yes, a Honda Civic is a compact car but this tall dude fits!  :)

4) New Hampshire is beautiful.  We will come back and spend more time here.

5)  Vermont is beautiful and we’ll come back to spend more time here as well.IMG_1458

6) New York?  We weren’t a fan of the Adirondacks in New York.  I’ve always wanted to see upstate New York.  We took a scenic route (which I neglected to take a picture of).  It was supposed to go over the mountains.  You couldn’t prove it by us.  It was close to 100 miles of tree lined curves where we saw nothing but trees on both sides of the road with an rare glimpse of a lake.  The mountains were probably there but we couldn’t see them.  Disappointed.  It probably didn’t help that we got behind a bicycle race of which due to the trees and curves there wasn’t anywhere to pass.

New York did redeem itself with the Finger Lakes region and Allegheny Mountains the next day though.IMG_1479

Lots of wineries and gorgeous lake views.  Unfortunately, it was early Memorial Day morning so nothing was open yet.


7)  We were reminded how blessed we are to have good black soil here in the Midwest.  We think it was corn they had planted here.  IMG_1483

8)  Lake Erie is still really cold this time of year.IMG_1492

9)  My husband has a competitive streak I never knew about.  Imagine 33 years and not knowing this!  He was so proud of himself that he was able to get 40 mpg with the car.  Let me just say that he drives slow like a grandpa (love ya honey!) carefully or maybe I should say he obeys the speed limit.  I on the other hand have a bit heavier of a foot.  He was pontificating of how he was getting 40 mpg because of the better way he drives than me.  When it was my turn to drive so he could take a nap, I woke him up and show him I was getting 43mpg at 70 mph.  Take that!  After that it was game-on.  I have to concede that he is the better fuel efficient driver as this was his top reading.  Shhh…don’t tell him I actually said that, ok?    0527131459a  10)  After sitting on my backside in the car for 4 days, I shouldn’t have thought I could go out and weed flower beds the day after she gets home.  It might be a tad tough to get the muscles moving tomorrow morning when I get up to go back to work.  Limitations, it’s all about limitations. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

I’m back (again)…

So I've wanted to get back to blogging but have struggled with how to gracefully enter back into something I’ve neglected for the past year and a bit.  I finally decided, with the admittance that I’ve never been “graceful”, that I’m just going to start back in like I’ve never stopped.  Work for you?  I guess it will cuz it’s how I’m going to roll with it. :)  So here goes …

Yesterday was our first ride of the season.  Someone[ahem] forgot to buy the new license plate sticker so we stayed close to home and mainly on back roads.  As we were riding we stopped by a farm that friends of ours recently purchased.  They wanted the surrounding crop ground but didn’t have a use for the the house and buildings which are now for sale.  The house is an old stone house that I’ve always admired, so with our friend’s permission, we took a tour of this little 3 acres. 

I didn’t take any full view pictures of the house as that seemed a bit weird since it’s not ours and it’s for sale, but I took a few inside pictures and a few others around the farm. IMG_1208It had a beautiful old front door. (Notice the birds nest in the upper left corner)

Love the crown molding over the living/dining rooms windows.  Check out the way the walls curved into the windows.  The walls must have been a foot thick and on most stone houses, they are squared off so we thought the curve was very unique.IMG_1210

Loved the widows walk!  However, getting to it was quite the challenge – up attic stairs and then a ladder.  Ladders.are.not.my.thing!  I’m tall enough, I don’t need a ladder to be taller but yesterday it was a means to an end if I wanted to look out from the walk.IMG_1240

I love old barns …


Especially weathered red ones. 

IMG_1259 Looking up into the silo.  Years back this would have been full of feed for the cattle housed in the barn.IMG_1219

Very cool brick stave corn crib…



And what country home is complete without a tire swing?  The manufactured plastic ones nowadays just aren’t the same. IMG_1253  As we rode home, the sun was starting to set on the fields that are worked up waiting for planters to run.  IMG_1275


We’ve had an unusually cold and wet spring so our farmers are a bit behind.  Last summer we were in drought so we’ve been thanking God for the rains.  Now that we have forecasted nice weather for a few days, they’ll be running hard for sure.  Prayers for their safety is appreciated.