Sunday, March 30, 2008

We interrupt this message...

... beep...detedeep... detedeep... beep... beep...

Attention Kmart shoppers! Today's Blue Light special is the announcement of the engagement of Almost Grown and JP (must get a better blogger name for him!)

A wonderful photo of the intendeds at the vineyard.

The sweethearts have known each other throughout college and in fact were partners in a Stage Combat class freshman year. In that class, Almost Grown whacked JP "where it hurts" a couple of times (once during a performance. Very real reaction, JP!) I think he may have punched her in the kidney once. After all that, plus swinging swords at each other, I figure marriage should be safer!

The two plan to graduate from college in, um... six weeks and enjoy a long engagement while they work to earn enough nickels to rub together.

JP called and formally asked for permission, but Stud Muffin would like to meet him in person before agreeing. There will, of course, be a discussion of the transfer of a herd of goats, oxen, flat screen tv, or whatever the going rate is these days! I'm not even sure who has to give the other all this stuff.

I think it is great for them to have found each other, regardless of the goat exchange rate!

Any "mother of the bride" jokesters will promptly be hexed with geriatric pregnancies, children who won't leave home, or more than your fair share of cellulite!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pay It Forward Revealed

So by now all my victims for the Pay It Forward Handmade should have received my humble offerings. I know that Penny from Sew Take A Hike got hers, because she wrote a cute post about it.

I thought I would show you what I sent. All received an upcycled shopping tote, a covered notebook, and a knitted Eggman, so named by Penny, which contained a chocolate egg.


Shannon's (from Cotton Gin Studio)

Chris from Tutti Chic

A trio of Eggman (and eggwoman!)

What else has been going on?? Well, today started with a bang as a(nother) thunderstorm rolled through starting at 4:30 AM and apparently struck the local electric substation. Thank God for our mega generator that keeps us running even when the power goes out! The lightning also fried the telephones and when I called AT&T, the repair line said they could get it fixed by Tuesday! Stud Muffin, at work, correctly diagnosed the problem as being in his office cordless handset. After I disconnected that phone, I could get dial tone on the other phones! Yeah!

Oh, and it hasn't stopped raining all day... and will tomorrow too. Assuming I could get down the mud road, I wonder how much more of the road has fallen into the creek and washed away.

I have been trying to tidy up my studio a bit and tending to my plants. These are pictures from Friday.

And these are photos from last week!

The last frost can't come too soon for them!

But all is not lost in the garden. Here is a salad I made last night from lettuce and spinach I grew in the raised beds, topped with a shredded carrot I grew too!

Add a little balsamic vinaigrette... yum!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Houston... we have a problem!

Two days ago, I decided to take the Buggy out and check on the wild blackberry bushes that grow all over the property. I thought that the ground would be dry enough to drive over, even though we have been having major erosion problems with the road. So off I went.

I got down the road okay, picking my way carefully around the holes, until I got to the first creek crossing. It had occurred to me that I really needed to get out here and trim back the weeds and blackberry canes that are clogging the creek before they sprout again. As I approached it, I wondered where all the shrubs and weeds had gone!

Looking back. See the road tracks (dangerously close to the edge?)

Oh cr*p! The rains had washed a large portion of the roadway into the creek! Of course, now I don't have to trim the weeds, but, hey! My road is floating down the creek!

As I continued to the second creek crossing, that separates me from the lower field that I dragged not too long ago, I saw a large dark shadow. Oh, double poo!

The whole road across the creek is gone! Gone, I say! Stud Muffin's pose says it all... sigh.

Oh wait! There's some of it! Maybe we can just glue it back on!!

But then there's the problem of this crack right next to the hole.

I don't know what it is going to take to fix this, but it will probably take more $$ than I can earn redeeming soda cans!

On a happier note, Stud Muffin and I plus the dogs took a little trip in the motorhome to Tunica Mississippi for a manufactured home trade show. It was great to be in the Turd without driving it in to be repaired! We spent the night at the RV park, but it wasn't as restful as I would have wished. The wind howled most of the night and I kept hearing the same motorcycle driving around and around! Studly thought maybe there was a racetrack nearby, but I think it was just the late night gamblers out for a ride.

The trade show was my first and was very interesting. It was fun to see what the various manufacturers are going to offer this year and to be able to compare quality and building plans. I enjoyed talking with Stud Muffin about which homes I thought would be good product to offer at the lot that he works at (not that I have any input at all!) All in all, there were more models that I liked than ones that I didn't care for. I didn't take any pictures, because I was so enthralled walking in and out of all these houses!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Apron update

I took everyone's suggestions to heart and finished the apron this way:

With both a pocket and a removable towel!

See the crooked buttons? Adds to the dorky homemade look!

Fringe treatment on the pocket.

Got the handles on the tote bag.

In other news, as I was working in my studio, I was greeted by a very dirty dog!

What is that schmutz on your face, Nick?

And those feet!! Where have you been?

Both dogs were out enjoying the day, but while Sassy sticks close by me, in case I feel like throwing toys for her, Nick, like boys of any species, runs off to explore. Well, I think he explored right up the hind end of the neighbor's bull! Nick has become a real country dog and he thinks poop of any sort smells beuuutifull and needs to proudly wear it like perfume! And I thought my days of cleaning up gross stuff went out with potty training!

These are for Catty Ax Lady who is in desperate need of sunshine!

Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy...!

Although today's sun didn't pack much warmth, it should get back up into the lower 70's later this week!

And finally, since nobody suggested naming my new tiller Wanda Whoopass, I will defer to the most popular choice and call her Tilly!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What a little garden clean up will get you

After planting beets this afternoon, I decided to thin the carrots, that I planted in the fall, a bit. And looky!

Wait! You need a better perspective!

The different sizes and shapes are due to my flinging the remnants of a bunch of carrot packets into the garden!

Needless to say, I don't know what's for dinner tonight, but at least for me, there will be carrots!

But let me back up a little on my day. I started by planting 3 varieties of peas (yeah, I'm thinkin' of you, Toni!) I watered everything by carrying a watering can full over from my studio. Repeatedly. See, I didn't *quite* get the ball valve closed this winter, and a sprinkler shattered. Until I get the PVC replaced, no water at the garden. *Sigh*

Then I needed to run some errands including getting the gas cans filled with fresh gas for all those gardening tools. I also needed to mail the last of my Pay It Forward Handmade boxes, and since I was heading that way, I called Stud Muffin to see if he wanted me to bring him a pulled pork sandwich from the Barbeque Man. Funny thing was, he was on his way to the very same place to get sandwiches for all the guys at work! Oh, and I forgot that the little post office out that way is only open on Saturdays from 7 AM to 9:15 AM!

After lunch with the Muffin, I stopped by the R & J Feed store to see what kinds of seed potatoes they might have (none) and bought 2 bunches of Tennessee Beauty strawberry plants instead. I will plant them after I use my new tiller on the spot I have yet to determine!

The red bowl they are soaking in was a happy coincidence, but they look great!

R & J also had new little chicks and ducklings to tempt a farmer girl, but I resisted. Who says I have no willpower! Now, if they had been chocolate....

I stopped in to my studio when I got home, to look at a project I've been working on. And I think I need your advice. If you haven't blown it all on my name-the-tiller question, I present the latest apron.

A delightful combination of alternating panels of blue flowers and blue/green/purple striped fabric. My question is, do you like it as is or perhaps with a pocket, or like this

with a blue fingertip towel attached?

Of course, there is a matching tote bag:

Well, it will be a tote once I sew on the handles!

I scored big the other day at a thrift store and got a bunch of the hard-to-find fingertip towels,

plus some larger hand towels that I think might work on these aprons.

And since I was in the studio, and I don't have any pictures of food to include, I just knew you wanted to see how the plants are doing this weekend!

Supposedly, our last frost date is April 15, and I really know I started these too early! They are starting to take over the joint! I have vague thoughts of the Little Shop of Horrors plant swallowing me whole one of these days!

Happy Easter everyone!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Senior citizen for the day or at least the morning

So today was the day I was told to come down to the local Sears store and get my tiller. They were on sale with an additional 10% off for seniors. So that's what I am today! Well, at least as long as it took me to buy the tiller!

Isn't it purdy?

I also hooked up the trailer to my truck by myself, drove over to the store and hauled the baby home! A first for me!

Just as nice from the back!

Ed Plunk (yes, that's the owner's name!) told me that in exchange for the 10% discount, I must bring in excess vegetables that this tiller helps produce. Ah, living in a small town.

One last look. It will never be this clean again!

So now I need a name for this baby! I already have Kubota Jane the tractor, Steve the shed ('s a pretty name!), the Big Rolling Turd and I have named various cars in my life. We want the tiller to feel welcome, don't we? So, everyone, make a suggestion and I will pick one out. Might be a random pick, might be the one I like best!

My "senior moment" over, I hauled all the seedlings out for some fresh air while I worked on draining the water tank in the Turd. It is 75 degrees today and a perfect time to do this job. I drained the tank that had been sitting overnight with a bleach solution in it, and refilled it, ran water through all the faucets, the shower and the toilet, and only got myself a little bit wet in the process. The dogs *helped* by chasing each other around and tossing toys at me.

I also planted some Swiss Chard in the raised beds and put my peas in to soak until tomorrow.

Ran some errands in town (I use the term loosely!) like taking a load to the dump, and mailing the tax return (money back, yeah!) and came home to do some sewing in my studio. But, sewing was a hard chore today for some reason, and when the steam iron ran out of water and popped it's safety valve with an enormous hiss, I decided to stop for the day.

I am now sitting with my feet up, drinking an iced cappuccino and contemplating a nap. But, I probably won't take one. The weed eater is calling and telling me to knock down the grass growing against the trees in the backyard. There was mention of a Chia Pet, so you know it must be bad!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring has sprung!

Sassy using Nick's rear for a pillow during nap time!

but that doesn't mean we won't get backhanded by the weather again! We had a heck of a storm the other night that caused the weather radio to blare 3 times in the dead of night. The first time was a tornado watch, but since the radar looked okay, and the watch was in effect for 3 more hours, I went back to bed. The next two were various stages of thunderstorm warnings, but all I did was jolt out of bed and say some "blue" words! Woke up grumpy!

But today is beautiful and tomorrow will be even better! I uncovered my raised beds that I planted in the fall, just for a little sun bath!

Leaf lettuce

Spinach that didn't really germinate and romaine lettuce

The carrot forest needs thinning!

The garlic from Halloween is up!

Daffodils in front of Steve the shed

Close up of Steve's finery

Incredibly short peach tree in bloom

Even the poor apple trees that the deer stripped in the fall are blooming!

Oh, and I had a great birthday on Monday! Stud Muffin and I had lunch out and I got gifts!!

From my sister Christina, I got a box overflowing with thrifted pillowcases and sheets! Does she know me or what?!? She also included a big Ziploc bag of our favorite iced cappuccino mix that I can't get here in the boondocks! I'm about to have a cappuccino coma and die a happy (older) woman!


From my younger sister Cheryl and her son, I got the most perfect dozen red roses!

Stud Muffin is getting me a tiller which I will go get tomorrow. Sears is having a fabulous sale on them and since I know the local store owners, they are also giving me the additional "senior" discount available only that Friday. At least I think it's because I know them (and have spent a ton with them!) that they are giving me the extra discount! Maybe they think I AM a senior citizen!! That would certainly be a blow to my ego!

I even got a handwritten birthday card from Catty Ax Lady from Whilrwind Lodge, who, by the way, isn't nearly as scary as she sounds! Thanks Kel!!

So, it has been another wonderful day here at Kilohana (or Feet First Farm, as I like to call it 'cause that's the only way I'm going to leave it!) Tomorrow is supposed to get up to 71 degrees and I plan on working in my veggie garden. There are seeds to sow, you know!!