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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Quilty Pleasures: Scrappy Trip Around the World

Many of us love to start quilts. The thrill of making something new, with different fabric,  and learning new techniques certainly gets me going. I'm gung ho all the way, up to a point.

Finishing in a timely manner is another matter, altogether. I am a paralyzed perfectionist, so finishing means I must accept any mistakes, real or imagined, if  the task is complete. So there it sits.

That's why there are about 15 neatly stowed away project boxes illustrating this petrified perfectionism. But I'm working on it.

This photo was taken a little over a year ago, when I had almost all the blocks complete.

Other, more juicy projects intervened, so it isn't until this month that I finally finished my Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. It's from a Bonnie Hunter tutorial.

I have to say it was quite the stash buster, but of course there's always more where that came from.

It's queen sized, with enough to cover the pillows and to have a ten inch drop off the sides.

The batting is bamboo, something I haven't chosen before. The quilting was done by Michael Siewert at ThreadBear, my local quilt shop in Las Vegas, New Mexico. If you don't live nearby, you can mail your quilt to them and they do an excellent job. I chose a widely spaced, loopy design because I didn't want the quilt to be too heavy.

The backing is 108 inches wide, by Kaufman.

The binding is scrappy and machine stitched because it's going to be used a lot. I used this tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew. In a perfect world, the stitching is unobtrusive on the front, and I am still working on that.

So even if it's not perfect, it's done and I love it and it's on the bed.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Schlubbing Through Summer

Okay, I admit it: I've been a schlub this summer. That's Yiddish for an unkempt lazy butt.

Well, not totally lazy, but blogging has taken a back seat. Priorities. Work on that.

What have I been doing this summer?

Sitting on the porch, watching this little feller grow up. Miss Bonnie almost killed him, but he shook it off and survived. Bonnie is still patrolling the perimeter of the porch, just in case Little Bunnyboy gets careless.

Watching Mr. Robot while the lawn grows is an afternoon must. The rain has been amazing this year.

I've been outdoors a lot, pulling weeds and tending The Potager, which is a fancy way of saying The Garden.

We had asparagus and strawberries early in the season. Grasshoppers ate the shallot sets and the garlic was small this year since the rains started late.

The tomato plants look great, with lots of green ones, but the picking has been slow with all this rain and the clouds.  Hope reigns, though, since we a few moisture free days forecast. And those tomato bags may be my saving grace since we can take them into the Growing Dome if it gets too cold.

The climbing purple green beans are thriving, an homage to my dad who loved showing off his purple green beans. When they are properly cooked, they turn green. Magic. "Purpipple." He liked to say that.

The steers are growing large and still curious. Here's St. Thomas, saying hi.

We've had time for dinner with friends.

And I've been tidying up the fabric and sewing area. This is an ironic pic, don't you think? You may recognize this best selling book.

There are a few finished quilt tops and a couple quilts finally quilted, but minus their binding and a load of unfinished projects, but isn't that how it goes?

Next post will be quilts. Yep.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Life With Cattle

We are playing host to three young heifers (teenaged virgin cows) because our friend has a bull at his place romancing the older ladies. If a heifer is bred too young, they most likely will have a difficult time birthing their babies and you don't want that.

So the three girlfriends (AKA The Supremes) along with our four steers (castrated bulls used for meat), can really wreak havoc. The term "Bull in a china shop" is real: cattle are big, curious, opportunistic galoots. Check out what happened when another bunch got into the growing dome.

This morning I was troubleshooting the drip irrigation system, finding leaks and digging up the hose to determine what needed to be done. Like many people with ADHD, when I am concentrating, I am in hyperfocus mode. So I was in my own little world when all of a sudden I felt hot breath on the top of my head. When I looked up, I was eye to eye with St. Thomas, the brown one. He's a nice boy, but he's getting very big!

The cattle have an entire creek full of fresh mountain water, but that water leak in the drip line was just way too interesting and before I knew it, I was surrounded. So I turned off the water, closed the gate and went inside, hoping they'd go away.

They didn't. They decided they liked it just where they were.

 Don Everly, one of the girlfriends and Ace Frehley were polite squatters. They didn't attempt to smash any plants and were perfectly happy under this pine tree.

 St. Thomas,  Phil Everly and Girlfriend 2 decided they liked this patch of chamisa. It's the last plant to flower each year and signals that fall is coming. I think the cattle were there because it is supposed to rain today--check out the rain clouds gathering. When it's fixing to rain, flies start biting and maybe this was their way of keeping the flies off.

St. Thomas is hilarious. He just buried himself in the chamisa and at first all I could see was his big old head.

The picture of contentment.

 Also looking quite comfy is Girlfriend 3, guarding the grand entrance gate. Before she lay down, she gifted us with a big pile of poop on the driveway and Tom stepped in it.

We like to keep it classy at the Nickel and Dime.

Until next time....

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Well, Finally A Blog Post!

Hello, it's me.
I was wondering if after all these months you'd like to meet
To go over everything.

Thanks, Adele.

Yep, it's been awhile, and I am sorry, but also not sorry because I've been concentrating on being healthy, visiting doctors and wondering what the heck was wrong with me. It started this past summer, a weak, shambling, dizzy, heart pounding, hurting-in-every-joint, mentally confused and depressed kind of summer. I was very scared and had many blood tests to figure it out. All was negative except for a slightly low normal B12 number which my local physician's assistant pronounced as normal. After a little reading, though, I learned that low normal B12 for people over 55 may signal a deficiency. Hmm.

After all that I can say I am well and what might have been Lyme disease/something autoimmune/rheumatic/hemochromatosis or what ever else I've been Googling on the internet has boiled itself down to a plain old Vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoarthritis. So after taking the B12 in megadoses and beginning a keep-the body-moving regimen, I'm much better and ready to forget all this nonsense.

So let's catch up and go over everything so far this winter:

We've had snow, more than ever since we moved here. Z came for a visit around Christmas time and we did a little hiking. Isn't it just like Californians to go for a hike while it's snowing?

Then it snowed some more and melted. Then it snowed some more and that one lasted for a couple of weeks because it was cold. Last night it snowed again and it's absolutely gorgeous. Tom went walking around this morning before the sun came up and then decided to plow the driveway. Ms. Pearl likes to ride in the Polaris Ranger, but doesn't like the whirring sound when the plow goes up and down and bails out of the vehicle.

That's it for today. Hope you like the pics.

For my quilty buddies: I have one top finished and another one almost there. This will be the Year of Finishes. Yep, it will.

Tom shot all the photos.

Z and B hiking in the snow-That chubby person is wearing lots of layers, just so you know.

Snowy Beaver Dam

Cabin Before Sunrise

Front Gate of Nickel and Dime Ranch

A Sleeping Garden

Snowy Rimrock

Sheepherder's Wagon-The Sheepherder is Out

Growing Dome and Rimrock

Looking West

A Snowy Woodpile
Ms. Pearl is Plowing