Sunday, June 29, 2008

The past two days have been full. I have stayed busy and gotten in some sewing. I have been working on my project. It seems that I only get to work on it for small sections of time so it is not quite finished yet. It has proceeded smoothly though. I finished the machine quilting and put the sides together. I attached pockets and now am at the zipper.

The gardens look good. I have blossoms on my beans, small tomatoes and cucumbers on the vine, even okra starting. My spinach never came up. When we finish pulling the radishes we are going to replow that area and sow some more bed lettuce.

Friday morning the boys went in the bee hive. They are still trying to locate the queen when they check the hive. They find larva, but she seems to evade their eyes when they look for her. The bees are busy. It has been very hot here and the hive is on a hill with no trees around it, so no shade. When it gets really hot in the afternoons the bees can be seen all in swarms sitting on the front of the hive. It is too hot in the hive to do any work. The General put up a shelter with a tarp over the hive to give them shade. Since Friday morning when he did that it has been in the 90's and the bees have been busy all afternoon Friday and Saturday instead of sitting on the front of the hive in large groups.

Last night I made a dessert I found at Chas's blog called brown sugar cinnamon focaccia bread. It was easy and totally delicious! Thanks so much Chas for the recipe!

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We have been testing. We finally finished. We haven't done much else. I have been machine quilting a little on a project. It is not finished. I did get to read a great book during testing. The Homeplace by Gilbert Morris. It is book 1 in a series called the Singing River Series. It took place right before The Great Depression. I ordered book 2 through the library website this morning! That is one advantage to testing. I have to sit quietly and man the timer while they do the work and so I get to read! It is probably the most I get to read in one sitting at any time!

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Skunk part 2

Last night when I left the house at about 3 a.m. to deliver papers I heard a noise in the live animal trap. That pesky rabbit has been back in my gardens lately. He sits there in it most mornings and stares at me. I looked at the trap and there was our little skunk friend! I left him because I had to go and I needed to figure out how to get rid of him without getting sprayed. About 6 a.m. I called the General. Needless to say he was not happy I had caught a skunk. He wanted to just let it go in our back yard. I reminded him that skunks eat bees. I told him I would get our oldest son up in a little while and get him to help me take the cage somewhere and let the skunk go. At 6:20 when I got home the skunk had dug up all the grass under the cage and made a bed and was laying down sleeping. I think he was a baby skunk because he was so small. I waited until 8:30 and got our oldest up and ask him to come help me. Now you must know the trap never really actually was locked all the way. One of the bars that is suppose to fall so the animal can't open the door didn't function and so the skunk was never actually locked in. When we went out the skunk was gone. He had tore up trap also. He broke the tray that holds the food that also causes the doors to swing shut. He must have finally figured out that the door was not really shut because there was no other way he could have got out. The General calls and ask if I took care of the skunk and I told him what happened. Now he is worried about his bees! Off to find a natural repellent for skunks.

Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Friday I spent the day shopping. If you don't know I hate shopping. Saturday I embroidered three blankets for a customer to give at a soccer banquet today. I have also been working on a new bag and the fabric you see here will make that bag! It calls for seven different fabrics. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I usually make my own patterns up, but I wanted to try this pattern after I saw some bags made out of it. JoAnn's had a 50% coupon and a 10% off your total purchase on some holiday weekend a while back. 60% was a good time to buy a pattern.

I need to make some cards, maybe I will get to that this afternoon. I hope so.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Perfect words to describe the my life. My life has been a precious gift from God. Some days I forget that. I need to remember to be thankful everyday for the all the precious gifts God has given me; Jesus, my husband, my children, my home, my friends.... Actually, there are so many more, more than I can count and list.

These words are on a pillow I finished yesterday for a baby gift. I love the color of the fabric. It is for a little girl with a very Irish name. A precious gift to her lovely parents.

Yesterday was another lovely day here. The weather was nice, the windows were open. I worked in the garden and it is looking good. I hung out clothes and worked with the children on school work. I did household chores and went to the grocery. I sew this pillow and pulled out fabric to try to decide about making a purse. Just an ordinary day, put a precious gift. How I love days that are ordinary. Today looks to be similar and I look forward to it!

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It was a nice summer day yesterday here. The sky was that beautiful deep shade of blue with only whisp of clouds. It was not to hot and there was a nice breeze blowing. We shut off the a/c and opened the windows. I didn't do any sewing. We went to the post office, the library, the bank, and the gas station. I tied up my tomatoes. I spent some time sitting on the back verendah.

For supper I had ran out of salad dressing so I found a recipe for ranch dressing from a back issue of Country Home magazine and made that. It was good, not as thick as store bought though. I used parsley from my herb garden in it. I had also cut some kale earlier in the day and used that in stir fry for supper. Fixing supper was a nice chore yesterday because captain kitty and the little bee keeper both helped me cut up vegetables and get it ready. It was nice to have them in the kitchen and all three of us working together.

Early this morning it was in the 50's. Today promises to be beautiful. Temperatures in the 70's and sunshine. This is the kind of weather I love.

Sew Long for Now!

Poster from

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yesterday I took the sleeves off this shirt to make it a summer shirt. It's 100% cotton. I had bought it at Goodwill and decided to make it sleeveless for summer. The other shirt I did this to took me two days and a lot of work. I was beginning to think that making a shirt from scratch would have been easier. I spent some time thinking about how to go about it before tackling this shirt. I knew there had to be an easier method than ripping the whole sleeve out and then either trying to hem it on the bias or using binding. I decided since I paid so little for the shirt I would try another method and see if it worked. I cut the sleeve off, but left 1 inch of material from the former sleeve attached. The I folded that material under once to cover the raw edges and again to make it even with the shoulder seam already on the shirt. I pinned it and then stitched it down using the seam already on the shirt as a guide. Since it was 100% cotton and lightweight already there wasn't a lot of bulk to the seam. It came out nice! It took maybe 1/2 hour to complete. I was happy with that method. I don't know if you can tell by the photo, but the shirt has a collar and buttons down the front. I would like to find some thin cotton, very thin and make some shirts for summer with long sleeves for myself. This one was for Captain Kitty. She always seems to be hot and wants sleeveless, but we have to find something decent for her to wear that doesn't show everything. Most of sleeveless shirts we have around here in the store are either too dressy (silky or some other unsuitable fabric) or too low cut for our standards. I would prefer something to cover up my arms from bugs and sun burn. As I was thinking about this project I was thinking that a really thin breathable cotton would be nice to try.

Sew Long for Now!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today is the 14th and so I am participating in another day in my life with Jenny Wren and Co.

This morning I got up at 2:30 a.m. and our little bee keeper and I deliver papers. It was a nice morning. The temperature was not too hot so it was pleasant to deliver. We got home about 6:15 a.m. I was really tired for some reason so I decided since it was Saturday I could go back to bed and get a nap. I went back to bed until 8:30.

When I got back up I went out to check the gardens and water them. I decided not to weed today because I have them caught up pretty good. Everything is looking good. The General and I sat on the back verenda awhile and watched the bees. The temperatures have been so hot and this morning was not as hot with a nice breeze blowing. I called my Momma and talked to her awhile when I was sitting outside. The General was getting hungry so I came in to make breakfast.

We had egg burritos for breakfast. I made them with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and added grated cheese. After breakfast the customer brought me back the 12 shirts. She wanted the initial of the company embroidered on the middle of the back one inch below the collar. I went down to the sewing room to work on this while the General, Captain Kitty, and the little bee keeper went outside and cleaned the verenda and the basement stairwell. Below is a picture of the smallest hoop I own. I used this to embroider the initials on the shirts. I very rarely use this hoop because of it's size so it was fun to get to use it today.

We all finished up around the same time. I started a load of whites. The General and I next worked on our budget. We made a spreadsheet and worked on numbers and while doing this it started to rain! Yes, I was so happy to have rain. God watered my garden instead of me having to do it this evening. A friend called and his son was locked out of their house a couple of blocks away and he ask the General to let him in, but we couldn't find our copy of his house key so the General went and picked him up. Not long after the General got back the friend showed up and they went to have a chat so I went on line to read e-mail and blogs.

After our friend left I cooked supper. We had hamburgers, beans, salad, and fried ocra. The General came to help me with the hamburgers and ocra and I started making muffins because I have to help bring breakfast for Sunday School in the morning. We had supper and I packed the General's lunch for tomorrow, set up his coffee, and finished making muffins. I made 12 lemon seed poppy, 12 mixed berry, and 12 blueberry. The blueberry are for dessert here tonight. I laid out some frozen zucchini and thought I might make a batch of zucchini bread in the morning also. Captain Kitty put the laundry in the dryer. Whites are the only load I dry each week. I don't like my neighbors seeing all our unmentionables hanging on the line. Since she will be cleaning up the kitchen I came down to post this and then I am off to bed. It's a little later than usual, but since I had an extra nap today hopefully I will not be so tired in the morning. Sunday papers are a lot of work.

Here is a picture of Captain Kitty's cat Orion asleep on our bed. This is the life and how I would like to spend my days! I think I would like to spend my days like this, but I really know it would drive me crazy to lay around all day! He looks so comfortable though!

Sew Long for Now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our latest foe in the garden. Yesterday about 11 a.m. the little bee keeper went out to check something for me and he was growled at by a ground hog headed for our lower garden. The little bee keeper didn't take it well and went after the animal. Does that boy ever fear anything? After chasing it into it's hole he set the live animal trap back up.

What bees can do in a week is amazing. When they replaced the frames they couldn't do them all because the bees had filled up the lower plastic ones. On the second level when they pulled out one of the plastic frames it was dripping honey. They put that back. They only ended up replacing the ones in the top two levels. It all went well as far as I can tell.

I spent all day yesterday embroidering. I finished 12 shirts! Off to work in the garden.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I am trying to catch up on things. I finished making a table runner and three valances for a customer yesterday. Today I am embroidering 11 shirts for another. I have spent at least 1 1/2 hours everyday in our three garden patches. They are still over run with weeds right now. Why don't rabbit and birds like to eat weeds instead of the good stuff? That would sure save me a lot of work and frustration.

Last evening the General, Captain Kitty, and our little bee keeper went to our friend's home on Bent Mountain and made frames for the bee hive. I hear they will be replacing the plastic frames this evening.

Tuesday was a very hard day. We went to a viewing. One of our friends passed away. She was the wife of a man my husband used to work with. He took early retirement and so she was still young at 65. They treated us like part of their family and always included us in family celebrations and picnics. He has always been the one to till our gardens up until this year when we got our own tiller. She went to bed early Saturday night because she was tired and never woke back up. It has been harder on us because they had invited us to the annual Memorial Day picnic at their house and we couldn't go because we went to my neice's graduation from high school. The things you reflect on at times like these. I just pray it will help us to hold those we love nearer and dearer while we can.

Sew Long for Now!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Boy has it been busy around here. Lots of errands and outside work. We also went out of town Saturday and I ended up going out of town Sunday with the children. I am so behind on household tasks and sewing.

Thursday evening the General and little bee keeper opened up the hive for the first time by themselves and checked on the top frames. Not much was happening. On Friday the General's friend who is helping him learn this stuff came by and showed them how to take all the supers off and look down through them. They found brood in the main hive body. The queen is on this frame. They wanted to check on her and she is busy doing her thing. One thing they did notice was that we were given both wooden and plastic frames. The bees like the wooden frames better. They have not done as much work on the plastic frames. One day this week they are going to build wooden frames and replace all the plastic ones in the hive.

Saturday we went to Lt. Col.'s girlfriend's graduation in another county. We went to her folks house afterwards for a graduation party. It was mostly family and some friends. It was nice and laid back. I found out while there that she and Lt. Col. were singing a duet in church Sunday morning. While he is at college he attends church in that town and that is where he met this young lady. The General and I decided on the way home that it would be a nice surprise if I went up there Sunday morning to hear them. I called him when I got to the parking lot and he still didn't know I was there. Finally, I ask if he saved me a seat. He was surprised to find me standing there! He was really happy also. They sang beautifully. It was a Casting Crowns song off their new album, I think it is called East to West. Two more weeks and summer school will be over. Lt. Col. will then be home for a little while before heading back to college in August.

I cut out a matching table runner and three curtains for a customer last week that I need to get sewn up today. I also have lots of shirts to embroidery.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The perils of living in a big city! Last night when I went out to deliver the papers I was met by a skunk on the back verenda. I found two cucumber plants missing their leaves this morning. Hmmm, do skunks eat veggies? I will have to look that up. I know they eat grubs and we have found many holes dug in our yard this spring. I also know they eat bees and since we don't want this one eating our honey bees I will have to find a way to drive it away. Mothballs is one idea, but I don't know if they really work. Another may be to leave the back lights on for awhile. I doubt if that will work since I see lots of skunks while delivering papers and they don't seem bothered by peoples porch lights. I think we will move the live animal trap down the hill next to the where I saw it go under the fence and see what happens.

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

This picture was taken yesterday by the little bee keeper. A lone flower that popped up in our back yard. It had bloomed a few days ago, but by evening all the petals fell off. Yesterday we saw it again in the same spot. I think it may be a poppy, but am not sure.

It rained last evening. I was happy because we needed some for the gardens. It was a bit of a storm; thunder, lightening, and such. Last night I found out a tornado touched down in the Tanglewood part of town. We don't often have tornado's here in this valley between mountains.

Our little bee keeper's recital went great last night. I was so happy for him. He was nervous. This is only the second recital he has ever played. He took his books up with him when it was his turn, for security, but he had memorized all four pieces that he played. He really has a talent for the piano and I pray he will pursue it if for no other reason than music can bring such joy to lives.

I put the elastic in the casings of the bee suits. Thursday they will be opening the hive to check on the progress of the bees. They must be doing something up there they are always busy. Even during the rain last evening I saw them coming and going. Today I am hoping to work on a table runner and kitchen valances for a customer.

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Yesterday was busy, but not too bad. I hung out two loads of laundry. Captain Kitty and I worked on weeding the upper garden. We did lessons. I finished CK's shirt and put the casings in the coveralls of the bee suits. We went to the grocery and library. I made supper and all the other every day chores that it takes to make a home.

Today our little bee keeper has his end of year piano recital. I look forward to it because to me he is doing so well and plays beautifully. I could be biased I guess! BWG.

I had best be off,

Sew Long for Now!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Today promises to be hot and sunny. It was very humid and warm this weekend. We had rain forecast all weekend, but it skirted around us here. Saturday morning Captain Kitty and I went to the downtown farmer's market. They had peaches from South Carolina and we wanted some. I can't wait until our local peaches are ready. The man I always buy them from said about a month more. He said in two weeks he would have cherries ready. I am so looking forward to making a pie. I found cucumber plants and planted eight more. I also picked up some lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It will be about a month before ours are ready.

Saturday afternoon Captain Kitty and I helped a friend's daughter and her dance group dress at their recital. Captain Kitty has helped for the past three years and this year my friend ask if I would help. It was so cute. We had 5 and 6 year olds. They had two dance numbers. The first one they had these beautiful ivory ballet outfits. The second number they dressed like ducks for a tap number. We had nine girls and they were great. They listened and did what they were suppose to. They went when they were suppose to. I don't know if I could ever be involved in that field all the time though. The chaos of hundreds of girls back stage getting ready and the coming and goings was just too much for me. I am so used to quiet and calmness. Even our little bee keeper is easier on his most chaotic days.

Today I hope to be busy. The garden is going to need more work than we have had to give it so far. I have several loads of laundry to do. It's library day. Just puttering on and of course there is sewing to do. I had to take in the shirt I took the sleeves off of because without sleeves it had a bigger gap around the arm hole than we would let CK wear. I finished that part and now just need to bind the edge of the armhole.

Sew Long for Now!