About Me

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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

From A Child's Eye

Having exhausted himself, swimming all afternoon, young
GrandLove decided to work on a project.  When I asked what he was doing, he said, " I'm making a board game. "  OK, and so he was, busy drawing, writing playing cards, clipping paper pieces for spaces to the finish line,  making a 3D cave, bridge, whale and whirlpool., oh, and prize package.
 He enlisted his curious Grandma to write out his playing cards only if I wrote exactly what he said.  I could do that.
He also asked me to help him color, but he would do all of the gluing.  That also worked for me.
 By the time 'his' project was complete, he had 4 playing pieces made with stencils, and at least a couple dozen playing cards with   additional instructions besides the number of steps to take which are counted off a shake of 2 dice.  Everything folds easily so he can slide it within a very large envelope.  His board game even has a name.  Click the photo and you can see some of what  he wrote on a few spaces.  My favorite is the Whale's Tooth Cavern.
I loved working with him while we visited.  I asked him how he came up with the ideas.  His answer was, " Oh, I just drew it out of my mind, and now I'm making it.  Thanks for helping me, Grandma. "  
His curiosity and ingenuity is captivating.  

Kids seem to have much more smarts earlier in life. 
 No wonder I'm not smarter than a 5th Grader.  (In this case, a 4th Grader)

I hope you enjoyed seeing through a child's eye, if just for a moment or so.

Thanks for stopping by on your busy day.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dealing With the Unexpected

We have had some miserable hot weather for northern WI.  Oh, we do expect to have to run the air conditioner for a few days a year but not weeks on end.  
Our small wading pool, you know, the kind that holds about a foot and a half of water, finally gave out after 4 years or so.
Of course it had to be replaced, just for fun and cooling off.
 Last fall, we had to also dig a new well due to the 7 yr. drought we had been experiencing...
but what we did NOT expect, was the excess iron in our water.
Though we have controlled the problem for the immediate use within the house, drinking water, showers, dishes, etc, was solved with a filter system and water softener.  Hooray!~
BUT, what we did not expect, was the miserable brown stuff coming out of our faucets Outside.  It's like chocolate in large quantity, at least it looked that way.
 NOT wanting to load our pool with dangerous chemicals found in things like Iron Out or OxiClean, (we have tender skin and eyes with our little GrandLoves), we had to find another way.
Research, ( I love Googling for help ), we found the safest way to try was to attach a towel to the ladder of the pool where the filtered water returns into the pool.   It seems to be working!!!!
Many times the towel system that collected the iron, had to be sprayed off, rehung, and done over and over again until, finally,
 Two days later, we finally had 5,300 gallons of pristine water to swim in.  We can see the bottom of our 48" deep, 16' pool.  We are finally ' happy feet ' splashing away to keep on the cooler side of a day.  
 We live close to the highway, we don't care.
Our fun resides downhill just enough that, unless you know the pool is there, no one can see the water rise as we enter.  Besides, next year, it sounds like we will have the pool on a platform with a deck and a changing room.  ( I love that Bill is so handy to do these things, and we have all of our own supplies. )
All that really matters, is comfort!
Also, did you know how therapeutic swimming is or 
like I do, just walking in water?  It's wonderful!

Don't peek now, I'm going in!
The sun is trying to work it's way through the clouds.
It's a good day for a swim.

Thanks for stopping and 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Done, Phew!

Phew!  Finally!
A week later of 8-10 hr. days and I'm done.
Our son is restoring a mid-70's camper, The Old Timer.  Needless to say, the fabric on the cushions was rotted, worn and in great need of repair.  He informed me ahead of time that he may not have this camper for too long, so not to put much expense into the recovering.  OK.~~~
 He had already removed all of the old fabric, cleaned the cushions and dried them in the sun.   They actually were in good shape, just needed cleaning and a face-lift.  That's where good ol' Mom comes in.
 Having not yet seen the Old Timer, I imagined the cushions to be the standard middle of the line in size.  Was I in for a shock.
The shortest were 28x16 inches up to 86x17wide, all except 2 were 5-6 inches thick.  They were only 2inches thick.  There also were 2 round pillows.  I hate round pillows.
 For the most part, all of the fabric was what I had in my stash or what was found at garage sales.  Total number of cushions was 17, yes, Seventeen.  (Am I nuts?)   No wonder it took me a whole week's worth of time.  That's also a whole lot of sitting at a sewing machine....geez, I understand the lack of opportunity to be where I really wanted to be....in our new toy.  (Another entry, another time)
 The cushions do not all match but they carry the same color scheme, blues, beige, burgundy and green.   Each was sewn into long sleeves that were then rolled on from inside out, until they unfurled into covers, much like a pillow slip, but tight.  Below is the orange they once were.
 The section which is orange above, is the pieced back to the table surround.  This piece is actually padded and screwed to the wall with decorative buttons.  You will see the table next.  
 The table seating is of a nice size in this Old Timer.  The table drops down and the cushions lay flat to make extra sleeping space, as
 the back bed cushions also lie flat.  There  are two sections that lay between the benches to make them into a king sized bed that actually sleeps four 6 ft. teenage girls very comfortably.  I'm still amazed at the room in The Old Timer.
Above the king bed, you can see a glimpse of blue cushions that lay out in the bunk above that sleeps another couple kids.
Our son and his girlfriend have 3 girls (who always have friends with them) and a little boy to pester them, when they camp. 
The guys (Bill and son)  put a lot of hours into getting the stove, water lines,  gas lines, wiring, etc. going on the camper  while I did the sewing.
There is still a lot of cosmetics to work on but everything works, the kids have already tried it out with a camping weekend in an actual campground and made it there and home again without incident.  The tires do need replacing, as well as the awning but for now, it's all they need for an adventure. 
As for me, I'm very happy to have completed my part of the 
' project.' 
I had forgotten how much I love sewing but hate finishing work with a needle and thread.

That's it for now.
You may not see or hear from me for the rest of the weekend, for
I have ' another ' project to enjoy.  (that other entry)

Thanks for stopping by and

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It Happens

Peep, peep, peep.  
Listen! It's coming from the garage~
Peep, peep, peep, peep.

Andy and Little Ben went to investigate and what did they find by the truck tire, but this Little Fella, still bald-headed, barely feathered, with no tail feathers for balance, and shaking like a leaf.  When Andy put his hand down next to him, he hopped up on his finger like he had just found his Mama, when, 
 really?  You didn't!~~~
  Little Guy was quickly forgiven.  Afterall, he was so scared.
He must have been trying out his wings and ended up in the garage instead of the tree.   After settling down, he tried flight again, from the garage door to the tree by the barn.  So determined, yet his little wings just were not ready to carry him to the lowest branches of the tree, as he glided to the flowerbed below.
This time, Young Ben found Little Guy among the grasses, offering his finger to hop onto, so he did.  Young Ben immediately fell in love with the little fella, wanting to take him home.  After explaining that his home was with his mother who would find him and feed him, Young Ben agreed he should stay in the tree.
 Up on the lowest branch, was where the Little Guy was carefully perched until he caught his breathe on such a hot day.  By the early evening, Mama Phoebe called, Little Guy answered and they were reunited.  Eventually, he found his way back to the safety of the Phoebe nest on the ledge inside of the barn.
Two days later, Little Guy is all feathered out, chirping from the highest branches and as happy as a baby bird should be.

Just Maybe, he will find a fine morsel like this one to feed on for days.  I found Ugly Dude in the water nearby.
Having never seen one, I had to do some extensive research on the Ugly Dude.  He measured at least 4 inches long and  nearly as wide with his legs outstretched.  His sucker lips were menacing as well as his stinger-like tail.  Creepy bug-eyes and pincer fingers kept me cautious.  At first I thought it was dead until I reached for it and it began to swim. 
Ok, I know you way southerners and tropic folks are laughing by now, but like I said, I have never seen one before.  We are not supposed to have this insect around here.  It's too cool for them,  but then, it has been tropical-like weather here since early summer.  I suppose it is the reason we are seeing so many different insects and  their habits than is expected.  

This peculiar fella is a Walking Stick.  They are know to play dead, the reason I thought he was.  And, it's a good thing I did not pick him up.  When they feel threatened, one of their defense mechanisms is to spray a fowl spray, precisely and successfully in the predators eyes.  I would have been the predator.  Ugly One's spray stings and can cause temporary blindness.  

There is no more tonight, nothing profound to share, just a day at Dar n' Bill's.  Back to the ' project ' at first light.
And so it goes in the country!

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Slow Down, You Grow Too Fast

The deer were as happy to see the sun and a few sprinkles as we were.  Just look at them kick up their heels.

This morning the Burgundy Stella D'Ores were ready to burst open, wide open, with So many buds. 
 The cucumbers, summer squash and zuchinni should be ready by the end of the day, and they were.
 It's been busy in the gardens.  The peas are so plump so they were picked once the shade came around to cool the garden.  It's been another hot, sultry week.  It doesn't matter.  There is still harvesting that ' must ' be done when we grow vegetables.  The veggies do not wait around for  my comfort.   When they are ready, they get tending.  We did not plant this beautiful garden, then water it on days needed, just to watch it go to waste.  We labor now so we can enjoy the feast of freshness in mid winter.   Yum~
 What Summer Squash and Zuchinni does not get grilled, sauteed, grated in salads, transformed into relishes, etc. I bake breads, muffins, and cakes with for the freezer.  Of course, some sweets get eaten right away, you know, the loaf or cake that never had a chance of getting frozen first.   We just cannot help ourselves.
 I've already done a couple batches of Basil in the dehydrator for all season use.  The flavor of fresh basil, however, cannot be beat in our favorite pasta sauces, bruchetta and dips.  I cannot believe how well it's doing this year.  Basil is a family favorite.
 Just like the variety of lettuces, we munch away on these every time we come off the deck steps.  That's why I put them in the old washtub on legs, so everyone can pick and eat all they want.  Already, it's been cut several times, to grow back within a week, thanks again, to the heat and humidity.
  Besides the basil, I also grow onions, rosemary, thyme, parsley, peppers, celery.  I can hardly wait to fill these bottles in my  my 'new-to-me-old' herb spinning rack, with dried herbs.
 I'm getting a little off track here, but I also found this sweet Rose Breasted Grossbeak picture for my dining room.  I'm so ready for a change, and this will be one of the additions.~.soon!
 Back to the garden, before getting side-tracked by ' finds,'
just look how the Stella's popped open during the day!
 One last look at the Oriental Lily of no name.  It's flowers are each about 6 inches across and much darker than this.  These were a nice surprise.  I forgot I had planted them.  hmmm
 Last but not least...have you held your ' frog ' today?
My GrandLove Sy, just loves his frogs.  They are tree frogs.  He found them under a rock while looking up information on the rock, like, "What kind is it, where did it come from and how old do you think it is?"  I thought he was talking about the frogs but here he was looking at a guide book on rocks and minerals.  That a boy, just keep asking questions!
I'm working on a huge project!  As soon as I've finally finished it, I just may show you.  Here's a hint~~~
It's heavy, it's light,
It's cheap, it costs.

Have a great Sunday and

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Work Denial

 I have So much to do but all I want to do is
Make Footprints in the Sand.
Have some fun today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Garden Tour

Please, come walk along with me as I check out the gardens and the flowers.  It's getting late so some of the moths are hovering about.  Look, a Hummingbird Moth, so named for the way it flits quickly from one blossom to another, in search of a sip of nectar.If you click on any of the photos, a closer look at their delicate wings will be seen, as well as their tongue.

One of my favorite flowers in the gardens are the dancing purple skirts of the Harebell.  How such a pretty flower deserved such a silly name,  is beyond me.  Though it is not, I grew up calling this  stem of lavender Blue Bellflowers.  I was close, for they are of the same family., relatives of sorts...

For those of you who know about our test potato 1/2 acre, these are the blossoms of the Red Norland variety, most common of the three we are growing.

The next in line is the Viking Purple, which only has a deep purple skin, with snow white flesh.  I'll be curious to see how good these taste.  They do have a pretty pale pink blossom.,  We will see if they survive well in this Green Bay Packer country...Of all the spuds in our field, I am looking most forward to the German Butterball.  We have been told that the flavor is beyond buttery and keeps better than the Yukon Gold that we had been raising.  I sure wish they were ready for eating....oh, Bill has some of these at the cabin,...I taste an early meal of new potatoes fresh out of the soft-turned soil.
Their blossoms are white also, with the darkest  green leaves.

Yellow Hollyhocks are growing way beyond tall this year, and that's without much rain.  I love these, too.        The Beebalm smells so good.  I guess the moth thinks so too...I don't think the Beebalm will survive the ferns that are pushing them to the side.

The early cabbage is nearly ready for kraut.  Only if it would rain, they would burst with ' crispness.'  The late cabbages, however, will be quite late, should the rains refuse to shower us soon.

I was so surprised to look out the window yesterday and see this shining beauty yelling, "Look at me!"  Wow, she's a beauty, tho her color is more the color of this deep burgundy I write with.

The bees have been busy, busy, busy, collecting pollen and flying from one flower to yet, another.  Just look at all the pollen on his legs and body.  He throws it all over.  Have you ever watched them...they are amazing.  Another of God's miracles, the life of a bee and his business.
Ok, help me out, is this next one a Verbena?  Geeez, my mind is a blank....it's coral and so pretty against the varigated Spider Plant.
Next to the deck are the flowers the hummingbirds, moths, butterflies and spiders are loving.  Remember how I said the Beebalm was so highly scented, well, it's one flower the deer refuse to feast on...and the purple Monkshood is poisonous, so they leave that one alone too.   Enuf Said Bout That!
There's more of my favorite little skirts of the Harebell doing a curtsy just for you.  They have little scent but are prolific growers, seeding themselves wherever the wind may carry them.
We even found some in the middle of the woods...so did the birds plant those?  The deer don't eat these either.
Any guess?  So what is this bud unfurling...it's a Hollyhock., another Cottage Garden favorite, looking so old-fashioned and lovely.  I see why my Grandmothers and Mom grow them.
Finally, a picture of the ' true ' colors of the Violas on my deck.  There is a little peek of the smiling faces of the Johnny-Jump-Ups at the bottom edge of the planter...sweet!
Another pale yellow, almost white, Hollyhock.
And a small patch of the last of the ' Sweet Williams.'
Shucks, the vegetable gardens are beginning to burst too.  Here's a few celery wrapped in plastic pop bottles to keep their stalks clean.  Behind are a few onion rows, spinach, swiss chard, carrots, cucumbers and zuchinni in the largest leaves to the back and Patty Pan summer squash.  I'm happy.  Just planted more beets and radishes that were up in 2 days with this heat.
I don't know about you , but I'm getting tired of this walk around the yard.  I promise, we are almost outa here.  The test potato strip is doing great, bugs under control and hay has been baled.
The bees still are at it, even at this late hour.  It's after 9 already.
I hope they save some Buttercup Squash for me...I love that stuff.
And, what's with all of these early fall blooms.  Do these plants know something we don't?  The Raspberry Semps are WOW!
I'm really having a hard time believing the New York Asters are blooming already....come on.  Summer has just begun!

 This looks like my last White Rosebud...really?  I should be seeing these for at least another month...I'm getting sad.
 Even the Black-Eyed Susans are opening so early.

 A tiny kiss of rain fell this afternoon, only enough for a droplet on the golden baby violet with it's nose out from under the steps.
 The poppies by the apple trees came and went so quickly, I nearly missed them.  I wonder, will the birds transplant some for me, please?
 And finally, now that the sun no longer shines, the birds are at rest in their nests, the air is heavy with the scent of the Phlox of many colors.  There is still a hum in near darkness.  The hummm of the Hummingbird Moths.  The above photo shows two of them. Can you tell the female from the male?  They are a wonder to watch.  So fast, so serious about their work.  Buzz on, Hummers.
You would think I loved my outdoor space.  I do, but most of all, I love that you stuck with me for the garden tour.  It got long, but wait, can you smell the sweetness of the night air.  Now I can sleep and Yes, I danced tonight.

Thanks for tagging along.  We will finish another day, for there is still so much to see....that is, if you want.