Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weekly Recap #21


{May 23 through May 29, 2016}

General

  • Yesterday was a holiday here in the states which is the reason why this post is late.
  • My youngest niece came over with her two young children late Saturday afternoon to visit and spend the night before heading onto Garner State Park to join the rest of the family. We are skipping camping this year due to the fact that Dan’s is bogged down with work and deadlines along with our focus on getting the Barn built. Anyway, I really enjoyed having them over and I hope they will feel free to use us as a hotel again.
Gardening

  • I actually had to purchase more canning jars as we used up most of the ones I had to make Grape jelly and pickles. I didn’t get fancy colored ones this time – just clear jars. We made more pickles last Sunday modifying a recipe we used last year.

    I think we will have another batch of pickling cucumbers soon and we will make even more pickles! I will have to give some away because there is no way we will be able eat them all within a year!

DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • Dan worked on the Barn a little more on Memorial Day (May 30th). The day dawned rather stormy and we had a power outage. Our plans to go see family at Garner State Park for the day was cancelled mainly due to the fact that there was a Flash Flood watch in effect until 1 pm for that area. We know firsthand what flash floods can entail and we just did not want to be traveling through them should it happen.

    The storms lasted until late morning here and then Dan started working on the barn. The porch post braces were added and I really like the look. The beam to hold the upper porch trusses was also added and the braces for the Barn’s trusses were beefed up on the other side. Not much was done because it was a holiday weekend and Dan deserved to take some time off.

Quilting; Crafts

  • I made two more clipboard frames and am pleased with them. I used a memorial flyer of my Aunt who passed away recently to demonstrate the use of the clipboards in the above picture. These clipboards will be used to hang 4x6 or 5x7 pictures of family. The pictures are easily swapped out for newer ones which is exactly what I wanted. Plus, I wanted to hang more casual pictures rather than the nice formal ones.

    I do need to figure out how to streamline the crafting process and clean up the actual craft better. But hey, they are good enough to hang in a darkened hallway and I can always claim that they are supposed to look like crap! Ha!

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

~ Lilo and Stitch (movie) ~

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordy Wednesday {The Face in the Bracket}

Dan saw this, thought of me, and snapped a picture. I laughed when I saw the image!

edited to add a comment by Dan:

"For some reason, it reminded me of the skinny guy in the Dire Straits Money For Nothing music video".
{Skip to 20 second mark if you do not want to watch the whole video}

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Recap #20


{May 16 through May 22, 2016}

General

  • I have struggled for more than a week (and am still struggling) with chronic illnesses. It has made it difficult for me to focus on much of anything in particular. I am also beginning to be aware that I can no longer tolerate the Texas heat and humidity. More often than not, I will come down sick with headache, stomach and body ailments.
Gardening

  • I harvested and dehydrated more Basil this week. I also harvested a LOT of pickling cucumbers. We made (canned) nine jars of pickles! We will have another bumper crop of pickles come in within the next two weeks.
  • I did a lot of heavy weeding in my garden. I need a sign saying “Garden of Weeden”. The thing is I don’t grow marijuana. I grow good stuff along with legitimate weeds some of which are wildflowers too. So, I don't dare put up one of these signs for fear of someone getting the wrong impression.
  • For the first time since we moved here, my rain gauge reached the limit of 5 inches. There were a lot of storms that came through with one bringing 2-1/4 inches making it a total of 5-1/4 inches for the week!
Quilting; Crafts

  • I took the time to make a clipboard frame using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge. It will be used to display either a 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 picture. Now that I have made one, I think the rest will go quicker now I have a template to use. I want to make a bunch of them to hang in the hallway.
DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • A severe thunderstorm in the night caused us to make repairs to the barn trusses first thing Wednesday morning. I discovered a day later that there were some damages from wind in the surrounding areas. I think we were very fortunate that the trusses were just a tad tussled. I believe I mentioned and posted a picture in my last post about the shed.

  • I got fairly sick by noon Saturday which made me useless to Dan concerning the Shed for the rest of the weekend. I did help just a tad Sunday. In spite of this, he made a lot of progress. The porch roof in now going up!
Winning Love

  • I was notified not too long ago that I was a winner of a “super secret newsletter subscribers only giveaway” by Heather Kojan Quilts. That prize (pictured above) arrived last week and I am thrilled.
  • I also won another 100 Blocks magazine through Cora’s Quilts which was sponsored by Quiltmaker via blog hop. That prize came in last week also. I am wondering which relative of mine will claim dibs on this magazine first? We shall see.
Some Links to Share


A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.

~ C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) ~

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wordy Wednesday (The Barn Continued III)

The Beginning
Continued I
Continued II

I am utterly shocked that I did not take any pictures of all the walls on the shed. We had completed that one Sunday and let me tell you, that was extremely hard work just for the two of us.

Just pictured the below without the men on top and the trusses, and that is what it looked like. Ha!

My brother and sister-in-law came out last weekend to help us build the barn and I was thrilled that they did. I was so worried about Dan and I putting up the trusses. My brother had a framing nail gun that was awesome and a much taller ladder than we had which made the work go much faster! They built the lofts which you cannot see and then started putting up the trusses before I even thought to take pictures.

Here you can see them putting up the other side. They braced the sucker and put up studs.

And, then went to the other side to nail the siding into the studs.

Here is the almost current view of the barn with all of the trusses. I am proud of them and totally relieved that we had help.

A severe thunderstorm blew through last night and we discovered the trusses were in danger of falling this morning. So, Dan went out there and I joined him to fix the problem. We discovered that the brace for the side wall failed and one of the trusses was missing a nail through the bracing strip.

We leveled the side wall/truss and fixed the brace down once again. Dan added more bracing strips to both sides of the trusses with my help. I don’t think it is going anywhere now unless a storm wants to send it to OZ. Ha!

We had to do this before more thunderstorms blew through (which is predicted from this afternoon to tomorrow morning).

The plan now it to work on building the porch roof which will take us two or three weekends.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Recap #19


{May 9 through May 15, 2016}

It may look like I did not do much this past week; but, in reality, I did a lot. I cleaned house (spring cleaning style) and did the usual chores. I am looking forward to just doing usual chores and sewing/crafting again!

Gardening

  • I continued to dehydrate Parsley. The last bunch was done Saturday. I am going to start dehydrating some Basil. I have already picked five ripe pickling cucumbers. It will soon be time to make some pickles as a bunch of them should be ripe at the same time.

DIY Shed aka "The Barn"
  • One of my brothers and his wife came late Friday night to help out with the barn over the weekend. The lofts and the trusses for the roof were put up! I am so happy! And, I am so relieved because I was worried about being able to do this with just Dan and me. The next step is the porch.

Quilting; Crafts
  • My sister-in-law invaded my sewing room (I honestly do not mind). She discovered that I had some unopened packages, fussed at me and demanded that I opened them. I explained to her that it was delayed gratification and motivation for me to complete a section of the Gypsy Wife quilt. She understood but was still amused. She also liked my design wall and thought the blocks and strips for the Gypsy Wife quilt was colorful and scrappy.


It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ~

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bees (Macro)

I was thrilled to see multiple bees flying about last weekend. I captured a bumblebee and a regular bee. They never bothered me because they were too busy collecting pollen. I tried to capture a dark blue metallic looking bee; but, it did not come out like I wanted. I am sorely out of practice and the timing was kind of lousy as it was late morning and extremely bright.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gypsy Wife: Section 2, In Progress

splish splash stash

I have slowly and steadily working on the Gypsy Wife quilt. There were days when I just did not feel like doing much. But, hey! I am making progress and that is all that matters. All measurements are unfinished.

  1. Courthouse Steps Block, 7.5"

  2. A Bordered Square-in-a-Square 4.5' and two 3.5" Square-in-a-Square blocks

  3. picked out fabrics for the Old Maid Puzzle block (8.5")

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekly Recap #18


{May 2 through May 8, 2016}

Gardening

  • I have been dehydrating a bunch of parsley. I have way too much growing and hate to see them go to waste! The dehydrator I purchased works fairly well and I am pleased with my efforts.

    By the way, I see pickling cucumbers coming forth. I need to find a good dill pickle recipe soon. I found a tip to add a grape leaf to each jar which will help the pickles themselves remain crunchy. So, I shall give that a try as we have tons of wild grape vines growing along the fence out in the backyard. Speaking of which, I spied green little berries on the wild grape bushes! Just maybe, maybe we will have a good crop later this summer! I just hope it continues to rain periodically because this is what prevents grapes, berries and lemons to just shrivel up and die before maturing. I am watering our lemon and grape bushes when it has not rained in awhile. But, the wild grapes and berry bushes, I let nature take its course.

Quilting; Crafts

  • I sewed up the Bordered Square-in-Square block. I also picked out fabrics and sewed up two Square-in-Square blocks. By the way, I ended up paper piecing the square-in-square portions. All of blocks are for section 2 of the Gypsy Wife quilt. I picked out fabrics to make an Old Maid Puzzle block. I just need cut the fabrics and sew the block. I also hope to sew all of the blocks and strips for section 2 together this week. We shall see – slow and steady wins the race.
  • splish splash stash
DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • I was sick Saturday with migraine, stomach and even nausea / dizziness troubles. It has been a long time since I felt this way. I discovered one of the reasons why Sunday morning – TOM (Time of Month) came. I am sick of TOM. I wish there was a switch or a pill I can take to get it to stop completely. In the meantime, Dan built a bunch of trusses for the barn. I felt bad as I wanted to help him out.

    I was feeling much better Sunday and helped Dan finish building the trusses. We ended up having to run around to find more nails for the barn. I thought we could get it locally; but, stores were closed on account if it being Mother’s day and / or Sunday. Silly me, I forgot. So, we ended up making a run to the city for supplies.

    We attempted to put up a truss Sunday afternoon and failed utterly. It was tough because I have a fear of heights and ladders. As long as I feel safe, I can overcome that fear. However, I just cannot climb a ladder while simultaneously hauling something. We made scaffolding out of a ladder and it just was not high enough for me to hold a truss up. Dan is taller than I and even he failed. We eventually did figure out a way to get a truss up and even nailed it down; but, we could not secure it properly. So, we had to admit defeat and call it quits.

    Dan researched online for ways we can build the roof with just the two of us and discovered many possibilities. It is just a matter of him deciding which method is best (and safe) for both of us to us before the weekend comes. We may be defeated; but, it’s only temporary. We will not be down for long. We will find a way and we will succeed.

Some Links to Share


A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.

~ Ruth Bell Graham ~

Friday, May 6, 2016

Feline Friday (Epic Photobomb}

I have not let Gracie outdoors in eons due to suspicions that she is allergic to something, even when I brushed her upon returning indoors. When we mow down part of the back yard later this month or early June, I will let her outside once again. In the meantime, Gracie decided to sleep on my Mother's dry sink in the studio. She has been wanting to be close to me of late which is strange for her. But then, she has her moments. I decided to see if I can get a decent picture of her.

I then went to the other side to see if getting a picture from that angle would be better. I snapped a series quickly adjusting the lens and whatnot in between. (FYI: I rarely check the screen after snapping pictures.) The below is what I got.



You can almost see Abby Gail asking "what was that?" after the first click. And then, checking the camera out upon the second click. She made me laugh and I had to abandon the project after taking a few boring pictures with her in focus.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekly Recap #17


{April 24 through May 1, 2016}

Gardening

  • I harvested a few more strawberries. I am cleaning, flash freezing and packing them up into freezer bags. If I can collect enough of them, I want to make strawberry jam. If not, I will most likely make a dessert or two with them.
  • The cucumbers in the main garden have flowers. The peanuts have also sprouted flowers. It is beginning to look like I will have success growing onions this time around and I am shocked! If they are actually successful, I will have five or six onions -- a very small crop. But, I planted just a few to determine if they will grow in our new space.
  • I purchased a food dehydrator. I did not want to spend a fortune and this particular machine got decent ratings at Amazon and elsewhere. I purchased some more Clean-a-Screen trays so that I can utilize all the trays that came with the dehydrator to dry herbs. I am going to purchase more Add-a-Tray and Clean-a-Screen trays in the near future as the machine allows a maximum of twelve trays!

    There is just something about cutting herbs straight from the garden and laying them out in a single layer for the dehydrator that makes my soul sing. I started two layers Sunday morning – Parsley and Basil. They should be done between 20 - 24 hours.

DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • Dan managed to get all the wood cut for the trusses (the roof). He is now working on the things that support the trusses. His allergies hit him hard Sunday; so, he called it quits. There is no hurry. It will get built sooner or later.
Kitchen (Canning)


  • We made some grape jelly from a mixture of store bought red and black grapes. We did not get any wild grapes last year. I believe the reason is lack of rain during the summer. I am hoping that this year will be different. If so, I will make more jelly from wild grapes.

    In the meantime, I bought grapes on sale to make jelly for Dan and myself. We canned Sunday (May 1) using the Heritage Collection purple Ball jars that I had for some time now. That is why it looks so dark.

    We managed to make a mess and I burned my thumb. In spite of this, it is so worth the effort. Dan's words upon first tasting was "We are never buying store bought jelly again"! I am in agreement.

Miscellaneous

  • I started reading and finished a book, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. I first learned of this series (The Wheel of Time) years ago long after the first book was written. It is considered to be a classic among the fantasy genre. The first book was no longer being sold. And, I am one of those folks who have to start from the first book in a series. I finally landed the first and second book at Half Price books not too long ago.

    This book was an extremely good read. It has been ages since I was sucked into another world via written words. There were times I was in so deep and then I would be jolted out of the world mostly by Abby Gail (my cat) who demanded my attention. These are the kinds of books I once loved and the kind of books I used to seek because they were my escape from the harsh reality of life and loneliness in my youth.

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.

Charles H Spurgeon (1834-1892)