Quiet Days

After such a busy weekend it’s nice to have a quiet week. We haven’t done much of anything this week. Joe has been busy with work. The boys are gone to school every day and I’ve been getting the house back in order. It never fails, when we have busy days the house becomes a mess. Laundry and picking up – that’s my week so far and that’s fine with me. Drew starts soccer tomorrow night, prom and birthdays next month and graduation in May. Busy days ahead. I need to enjoy these quiet peaceful days as they will be few and far between in the coming months.

Busy Days

Wow – the last three days went by like a blur. Friday was a fun day. My mom and I spent the day in Kalona with my daughter Abby as she lives there. She was off work for spring break. We visited the antiques stores and specialty stores and went out to lunch. It was the first time we’ve ever done that and it was so much fun. No pictures were taken of course. We’re not a picture taking bunch. Kalona is such a fun little town to explore. It’s an Amish town. You see horses and buggies everywhere and lots of fun little shops. Our first stop was the Amish bakery. Lots of yummy pastries and fun things to see. Then a little shopping and lunch at the family restaurant and more shopping. We didn’t buy much. I picked up a little yellow vase and a potted plant. We just enjoyed the day with each other. Hopefully we can do this more often.

Looks like a serious discussion going on here.
Two ornery boys.

Then Saturday Joe and I took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. It felt so good to get so many things out of the house. Just the beginning of clearing things out and trying to simplify. Grocery shopping while we were out and then back to Kalona to babysit our grandson Braxton so Jeremy and Abby could go out for supper. He’s such a sweet little boy and he and Uncle Drew have so much fun playing together. I can see they are going to be quite the pair when they get older as they are buddies already. We could have our hands full!

Coco enjoying the sun

Then Sunday was spent in the timber at dad and mom’s cutting down trees and splitting wood. It was a beautiful day – a nice cool breeze and sunshine. A perfect day to be outside and working. The timber is my happy place. I spent hours and hours down there when I was growing up. Wandering around, exploring the creek, sitting quietly for hours watching the squirrels and the fox play, picking wild raspberries, riding my horse, Cherokee. It was heaven for me. Now I hardly ever pass up a chance to spend time down there. We have wiener roasts down there and just take the mule down and ride around and spend time cutting down the trees that have died. It’s a great place for Drew too – he loves to spend time exploring and playing as did all the kids as they were growing up and they still do when they can.

Standing back while Joe cuts down a tree. Mom will hate this picture but I love it – this is how I will always remember them when we’re down in the timber.
Some of the wood we got split.
Pretty little woodpecker.
And the chainsaw is stuck – time for a wedge.
Time for lunch!
Wicked thorns.
Drew taking a nap on an old log.

A busy, busy weekend. Very little time was spent at home. But a lot of time was spent with family. There’s nothing better.

Keep Saved . . .

Keep saved the memories of your ancestors. – Family record sampler

I love this quote – and the fact that it comes from an old sampler makes it mean even more! (Not a good picture but I didn’t want a picture of me in the photo!) One way that I keep saved the memories of my ancestors. My great-grandma’s dressing table. Dresser scarves stitched by my grandma. The glass powder container was my mother-in-law’s and a cigarette case that belonged to my grandfather. And a couple of pictures of my mom when she was little. I love keeping saved the memories of my ancestors by decorating my house with their possessions. These possessions mean so much more to me than anything new I could buy in a store!

Tuesday

I realized the other day that Pierre is getting fat and lazy! He still runs around and wreaks havoc once in awhile but he’s spending more of his time sleeping. He likes it here on the couch in the mornings (when Drew isn’t around!) and then gravitates to Drew’s bed in the afternoons. He likes to curl up in blankets if he can. He comes to life though when Drew is around – he will lie in wait for him and then attack. The life of a cat!

I love my tea mat. I even found Grandma Ward’s teapot to sit beside it. I love this teapot and need to keep it out on display more. I have so many things of hers and I love to keep them out around the house to remind me of her.

My new stitch is Harvest of Plenty by Tammy Black of Scattered Seed Samplers. After getting started on it I remembered why I had put this one in my someday pile. I love the design, the fabric, the colors and I love anything with an alphabet. But the alphabet on this is stitched one over one and I find that so challenging. My eyes just don’t work like they used to and it can be a struggle to stitch something so tiny. But I love the way it looks and I’m up for a challenge so I will keep plugging along. When I get it finished I will have a beautiful sampler ready to display this fall!

Winter Wonderland

 

We woke up to a white world this morning. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen snow on the ground and it’s so pretty. I love how it changes how everything looks and how hushed everything is. It reminds me of a blanket – soft and inviting. I remember in years past the huge snowstorms we used to get. Being snowed in for days, losing electricity, blizzard like conditions. We don’t get snows like that anymore. But with that being said, we also don’t get the ice storms we used to get either. I never liked the ice storms. Ice is scary! I’m sure we’ll see those kinds of storms again. Everything seems to cycle. This snowfall won’t stay long – not this time of the year and that’s okay. It’s time for spring to arrive now. I’m ready for warmer weather and to see everything come alive again.

Unfortunately we got just enough snow that my mom and I have to cancel our plans for today. My aunt is going through some health problems right now and we were going to take her out for lunch today and have a nice visit before she has some tests done later in the week. She lives a few miles away, in a remote area, and the roads to get there are not in the best shape due to the weather. I was really looking forward to visiting with her but we’ll just have to try again for next week. Something to look forward to!

I bet dad’s timber looks pretty right now all dressed up in the snow!

 

Time In The Timber

We spent some time in the timber yesterday. It was a beautiful day so Joe decided to head over and chop some wood. Dad had one dead tree down on the bottom he wanted taken down and hauled away before spring. Once it starts raining and the creek over flows its banks they won’t be able to get back there again anytime soon. Mom, Drew and I headed down for a little while to check out the progress. We didn’t stay long – it was just too cold! But it was nice to be outside and getting some fresh air for a little while anyway.

Heading for the bottom. It’s a good thing Dad knows which trees are dead and which aren’t – you can’t always tell this time of year.
Coco keeping an eye on the progress.
These old thorn trees are wicked.
I’m always amazed at how they know where to cut to get the tree to fall where they want it to.

Joe is back down there again today. Drew and I stayed home. I made a homemade strawberry pie and we’ll have a nice warm supper waiting for him when he gets home. According to the weather we may be in for some snow tonight and in the morning 4″ – 7″ is predicted for our area. That’s okay with me. I love the snow and in March you can enjoy it knowing it won’t be here forever as spring is on it’s way!

Connecting

Sweet prim bunny mounted on an antique oil can and little Easter cupboard tuck – both made by me years ago.

The kids didn’t have school today due to parent teacher conferences. A good day to run to Walmart. We don’t go very often but once in awhile there’s just something I need and Walmart is the place to go. I like going on a week day too – there’s a lot less shoppers around! Another reason I like to go to Walmart – I get the boys in the van with me and it’s a great place to connect! I’ve driven to Oskaloosa or Ottumwa many times throughout the years for a “necessary” trip to Walmart or Fareway to get one or the other of the kids to open up and talk. There’s just something about being alone in a vehicle with a nice long drive ahead of us to get them to connect. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe because I’m driving and so can’t really look at them. Or there’s nothing else to do and no distractions to speak of. Whatever it is, it works. I let Eric sleep in a little then got him up and away we went. A quick trip for chia seeds – definitely something that can’t be bought in town. Drew put his headphones on and watched The Land Before Time and Eric and I had a nice conversation. It was nice to connect with him. He’s 18 and it seems like he’s never home anymore. I miss talking to him. I learned a lot – what his plans are for prom. What’s going on with some of his friends. How he feels about President Trump and the state of our country. He’s a smart kid with very definite opinions of his own. I miss spending time with him! And we got home and he was off – heading to Iowa City with friends. I cherish the times I’ve had in the van with my kids and connecting with them!

Beautiful fresh eggs from the farm!

When we got home I discovered the neighbor had dropped off some eggs. They have chickens and I love to see them out in their pasture. Once in awhile they cross the road and wander around our yard. They are so pretty and they are fun to watch. I love fresh eggs. There’s nothing better and there’s no comparison to store bought eggs. One thing I miss about working for the city – there was a local Amish man that made his rounds on Fridays selling eggs. I so appreciate Colleen dropping off these eggs today. I’ll have to do something for her – maybe drop off a couple crochet dishcloths to show my appreciation!

These strawberries are the reason for needing to get chia seeds. The high school Student Council sold these and Eric brought some home. We had some for supper last night – they were so good – and I’m going to try making Crock Pot Sugar-Free Strawberry Chia Jam. It sounds good and easy. I sure hope it works! Then a strawberry pie to use up the remaining strawberries. I’m hoping to plant some strawberries this year. There’s nothing better than fresh strawberries straight from the garden – unless it’s tomatoes of course!

Heirlooms

 

These dolls came from my dad. I cherish them so. Dad’s mom made the clothes for them. She was such a crafty person and the best grandma. She was always making something. I loved her Christmas gifts – they were one of a kind and handmade with love. Notice the doll in the middle – the bigger one dressed in yellow? I love this one because it is in the picture below that I’ve shared before! It was my dad’s doll and it looks like he and Aunt Konnie liked to play tea party with it! The doll on the right was my grandpa’s and the one on the left was also dad’s. Treasures for sure.

I’ve started on a new cross stitch project and I’m loving it. It’s called “Tea Time” Kettle Mat. It’s a kit from a Scattered Seed Sampler club by Tammy Black. I love all of her designs. I don’t drink tea, although I wish I did, but I still love this kit. The little tea kettles are so sweet. It’s a fun stitch! I worked on it last night while watching This is Us. I always cry watching that show. I think it’s one of the best TV shows on right now.

Stormy Night – Beautiful Morning

We had a little wind last night. Actually we had a lot of wind last night. But we are thankful – the only damage we had was to Drew’s swing set. We heard something hit the house with a loud bang and we could see during the lightening flashes that the swing set was down. We assumed that part of it hit the house. We’re not sure what actually did hit but it wasn’t any part of the swing set. Thankfully no damage was done to the house. A tornado warning and 60 to 80 mph hour winds were predicted so we consider ourselves lucky.

Our neighbor’s horses. I never tire of this view!

This is what we have today. Big, beautiful, fluffy white clouds. There’s a cold breeze blowing but the sun is out. A beautiful March day in Iowa.

Sunday Surprise

My springy kitchen window display. I finished this cute little pin keep by Tammy Black of Scattered Seed Samplers and wanted to be able to enjoy it so what better place – I see it everyday while doing dishes! It goes well with my quail eggs and sweet little nest from Gable House Goods

We had a nice surprise Sunday morning. Jeremy and Abby were out for a drive and brought Braxton over to visit! I love unplanned visits from my kids! The boys played outside for a little bit but it was just too chilly and windy so they ended up inside. Drew was so excited to get to see Braxton – he’s been so bored being at home now that he’s feeling so much better. We sat and chatted for awhile then went to town for lunch before they had to get back home. I didn’t get any pictures. I guess I was too focused on their visit!

Another finish – Ann’s Sampler Sewing Tray by Stacy Nash. I love how it turned out.

It’s nice to have Joe back too. Saturday we ran to Washington to pick up his deer meat. We tried to get Aaron to go out to lunch with us while we were there but he was at work and couldn’t get away. Later in the afternoon we ran over to my dad and mom’s to give them some deer meat. Since Joe hunted their timber and that’s where he got the deer he thought he should offer them some of the meat! He had it made into sticks, bologna and summer sausage. Perfect for snacking on. We ended up staying for supper before we headed back home. We didn’t get much accomplished over the weekend but we did get to see family and that’s what’s important!

A very quick stitch. I changed the colors of the birds to blue – my favorite color! Keep Song in They Hearty by Country Rustic Primitives – Jenny Hoffman.

Last night Joe grilled for supper. Our small town grocery store has changed hands and they have put in a full service meat counter and we have definitely been taking advantage of it. So far we love their bacon wrapped three cheese chicken breasts, their butterfly pork chops and their bacon wrapped asparagus spears. Yummy stuff! With Joe being gone last week and Eric being busy most nights, I hadn’t really cooked a big meal. Eric was home last night and he sure enjoyed his supper. I couldn’t believe how fast he ate a pork chop! We also had homemade macaroni salad and ranch potatoes and carrots. With plenty of leftovers for tonight – which always makes me happy.

We had a nice relaxing weekend. Nowhere we had to go, nothing we had to do. Just time with family and at home. Those weekends are always the best! And I had just enough time to get some finishes done to enjoy too!