Motivation Friday

Friday, July 30, 2010
A post without pictures is boring.  I have to find a replacement camera!  I did a lot of sewing this week.  My two camper projects are ready for more pressing.  After that--the blocks are ready to piece into tops.  Tomorrow we are heading out of town for a wedding.  

 And the weather?  More rain.   Yeah, we're pretty soggy.  

Monday Goals

Monday, July 26, 2010
I'm still enjoying summer.   Yesterday I finished the first set of blocks for the red/white block swap.  No pictures--I've dropped my favorite camera, and I have to read the manual on my backup camera. 

This week some of the gates on the spillway opened for the first time since 1997 for flood control.  We had over 4 inches of rain one night.  Some places received much more.  The lake level increased 2 foot overnight. 

I had these pictures on my card before I dropped my camera
I always wondered how they decide which gates to open.  I asked, and I haven't enough space here for the answer!!  

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Quiet stash report.  Nothing bought, nothing finished.  There was sewing this week, and I'm pleased.  It's summer and I'm enjoying it!  What are you doing this summer???

Happy Birthday Hector!

Saturday, July 24, 2010
One of the perks of volunteering is the people I work with.  There are National Park Rangers--some permanent and some seasonal.  Meet Hector--today is his birthday!

Hector gave me a big smile for his picture.  Thank you Hector!  All National Park rangers carry a small notebook in their shift pocket.  I'm not sure what they write down.  I suspect Hector writes down ladies phone numbers!  Just teasing--I've heard Hector has a girl friend.  Happy Birthday Hector!!


Friday, July 23, 2010
Last week I took a few minutes to take pictures--it was a GLORIOUS day75 degrees with a light breeze.  Perfect.  

I never tire of the view looking down onto the lake/river/dam.  The skies are usually this bright blue.  Do you remember earlier this year when I planted flowers at the Visitor Center?  So far they are doing well, flowering wildly.

The Visitor Center has eight large decorative concrete planters.  Usually it is very hot, windy, and dry--so finding flowers that survive that and look nice is a challenge.  I went for a wide range of colors and varieties.  If one doesn't do well, I'll mark it down and not have it on the list for last year.  I've only had one surprise.

The red plants are a bit tall.  Not sure if they were supposed to grow like that.  It's been suggested I pinch them back, but the growing season is so short here, by the time they recover, they will be killed by frost.  I've been asked about the flowers--how come they are growing so well this year?  I haven't a clue!   After plunking them in the ground they've been watered well, and I fertilized them with long lasting fertilizer.  

The summer has gone so fast.  Soon it will be August and summer winding down.  I AM NOT READY!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I will drive back to the camper today.  Have errands to do on the way.  The camper projects have been pressed and packed back into their totes

Last night I saw my garden vines had squash bugs.  Ick!  I hope the Bug Be Gone works.  
Photo from Internet

Found a box of "things" I know came from JayTreasures!!  Had a good rootle through it.   I am participating in a block swap, so decided I would use some of the fabric in that box to practice blocks.  When I get to the end of the swap, I will have several blocks for a scrappy quilt.  Here are the two I've made so far-Anvil blocks.  

On my Design Wall
All the "parts" are cut for the red/white blocks, but my hands and arms are sore tonight, so they will have to wait.  

And Jay, my sister found that book you suggested.  This week I will read "No Time On My Hands" by Grace Snyder. 


Monday Goals??

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Well, maybe not goals!  This weekend was spent with our relatives from southern Missouri.  Sunday was spent at a local museum I had not realized was as big as it was.  Oh, they had a bit of everything!  Mostly items of local history.  Yes, sewing machines.  The curator caught me taking a shuttle out of one and explaining how it worked to my sister.  He asked if I could make it sew?  Oh--definitely!  He teased me that I should come and give demonstrations when they have "Schmecktfest".  There were whole buildings--a church, a "summer kitchen" (do you know what those were?) and a school.   House hold items, clothing, antique vehicles, the list would go on and on.  We realized that we recognized most the items, and have used them!   It was an afternoon of "see that, remember mom had one?"  

 Grandmother's Flower Garden

Wool rug

The lighting made for very dark pictures.  We were there for three hours.   It was the best afternoon.  

That evening we celebrated my aunt's birthday.  Yes, we sang!  

We chanted out the years, and my aunt jumped up when we got to her age!  My relatives left this morning and I miss them already. 

Tonight I have been pressing the strips I sewed at the camper.  I've been pressing for two hours.  Can you get a blister from pressing?  In between I have been reading blogs.  Maybe I will be caught up tomorrow.  

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, July 18, 2010
I didn't finish anything this week.  Nothing bought either.  But I have been sewing.  There isn't a lot of room when I'm in the camper, but I work on my projects in steps. 

My featherweight on the table surrounded by strips I am chain piecing.  When I have sewn together all my strips that I have, I take the project home to press.  I use my couch to sort/count my strips.

This project is from a couple of years ago.  Stalled because it required much unpicking, I had sew about 50 strips together wrong.   I store my projects in these totes with handles.  The directions are in there too.  Baggies separate the different strips.  

Earlier this week the corps had a barbeque/potluck.   A general, a lt. colonel, and, umm--some other officer flew in.  

Ric, Eddie, Toni, and I represented the Volunteers.  

 This is our boss Karla talking with General Zook(??)

Mark and Moose manned the grills.  I have learned so much from them.  Always answering my questions and explaining how things work at the powerplant.  Moose was talking about what he was working on after lunch at the powerplant.  I asked "can I watch and take pictures Moose?"  Sure--come on down.  

Later that afternoon I met Moose.  His project was done early--but he asked Andy to show me the inside of the generator shaft and answer questions.  We went WAAY down inside the generator shaft.  Next to that spinning shaft--nothing but about 5" of air between it and me.  Down, down DOWN!  We walked across the working parts--not on walkways.  Saw parts I had only seen in diagrams.  And I totally forgot to take pictures!  Thank you Andy and Moose!!

This afternoon my family are all going to a local museum--my sister has been there and knows my dad and aunt would enjoy it.  I am looking forward to it, she said there are SEWING MACHINES there!  

It was very hot here yesterday, parts of South Dakota had triple digits and the humidity was very high.  Last night it showered a bit, and today it's cooler. 



Saturday, July 17, 2010
My Aunt and assorted cousins are visiting.  Ken and I are off to socialize.  Tomorrow is my Aunt's birthday, and instead of cake she requested--you guessed it--KUCKEN!  

Not the best picture, but if I wait too long--one or two might be missing.  4 apricot, 3 cherry, and one prune. 

Yes, I've sewn this week.  Some pictures to post.  I'm catching up on my blogs.   Later!  

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, July 11, 2010
Okay, I bought fabric this week.  It was great!  I am participating in a swap, and the colors are red and white.  I didn't have enough red and white fabric in my stash.  The top row is what I bought--7.5 yards.   The pieces on the bottom are scraps salvaged from my stash.  Some of the scraps are very small, but I may be able to use them in a few blocks.

Bought this week  7.5 yards
Bought year to date  69.10 yards
Finished year to date  45.60 yards
Donated year to date 44.75 yards

I have reduced my stash by 21.25 yards.  Summer is taking a toll on my sewing--but summer is so SHORT here in South Dakota.  I will enjoy it as long as possible.  

I Love Flowers

Saturday, July 10, 2010
A few pictures of what's blooming.  Here are the blossoms on the Yucca plant outside the Visitor Center.  I have Yucca, but mine are babies compared to this one.  Did you know it takes a certain species of moth to fertilize the flowers??

I have several clumps of these perennial sweet peas--they are as tall as I am, and the bushes are at least 3 foot across.  The flowers are from a very pale pink/lavender--to a dark purple and pink.

I have lots of these purple coneflowers.  They are also perennials, and quite hardy.

I have just a few annuals.  My runner beans are starting to bloom.  There are some morning glorys in there too.  I plant these in the corners of my deck, and they twist and twine along the railings.  

Even my garden has a few flowers.  I have a large row of old fashioned day lilies I moved from a flower bed in front of my house.   I just couldn't bring myself to throw them out.

It's very lush here from the rains.  The zucchini and summer squash have babies.  The pumpkins and cucumbers are blooming.  My tomatoes have small tomatoes, and the peppers are blooming.  Last year about this time we had hail.  The other night golf ball size hail and 100mph winds were within 25 miles of us.  I won't count my produce until it's picked!

Trying Out the Oven

Friday, July 9, 2010
I've tried all the burners on the stove.  Set the clock.  Tried the oven light.  Today I used the oven--I made a pan of bars and a sheet cake.  Works great--its even level.  

The pan on the left is Peanut Blossom Bars.  The pan on the right is Peanut Butter Sheet Cake.  Yes, there are two different kinds of kisses, I was cleaning my baking cupboard and emptied some partial bags.  Ken could hardly wait for me to take a picture, he wanted to eat them--not look at them! 

Afternoon Out

Yesterday Ken and I met our friend Sally.  A little shopping, a new straw hat, and a great supper.  Sally was picking up her horse trailer.  Ken and I looked in all the nooks and crannies.   

Sally travels thousands of miles with her truck, trailer, and horses.  Sally carefully thought how she wanted this trailer built, and I think it's going to be a good fit. 

Auction Fun

Thursday, July 8, 2010
Ken enjoys an auction.  I enjoy digging through all the "treasures".  Last week's sale, the older couple was selling everything to live in their 5th wheel traveling.  First--Ken bought me 3 large plastic garbage cans for $2.50.  You never have enough of those big plastic garbage cans.  I bought an office chair for $30.  We stood while they sold trailers full of household goods.  Furniture.  Tools.  Some of the last items to sell were the appliances.  This couple had bought all new appliances not long ago.  We bought the kitchen stove.

My old stove had some issues.  $$$ issues.  I had been pricing new stoves.  But, this one was only $190.  Yes, a brand new one exactly like I wanted would have been nice.  But, I try to live by the phrase "is it a want or a need??"  This stove works great.  Looks new.  Has every option I would use.  Yes, I wanted a stove with five burners.  But--there are TWO of us!  The old stove went in the basement--it is wired for one down there too.  I'm happy.  

Last item to sell was a pickup.  Alycia--we did get another truck.  This is a 1999 Ford 350.  Basic truck.  No 4 wheel drive. 

Was it a wise buy?  We'll see.  It wasn't that expensive.  We wanted a heavier/more powerful truck to pull our camper and horse trailer.  We have two other 4 wheel drive pickups.  It's a ton truck, automatic with overdrive (I can shift just fine, but it makes my shoulder sore) and the air conditioner works great.  Will have our mechanic check it over, and have the ball and fifth wheel hitches put in.  Yes, I would have loved a new 350 diesel dually crew cab with 4 wheel drive.  But, it's those "wants vrs needs" again!

The other thing I got at the sale was a bad sunburn.  My shoulders, a bit of my neck and my nose.  The 2nd and 3rd layers are peeling.  It's not very sore anymore, but the skin is stiff and brown.  Yes, I forgot the sunscreen and I'm paying for it.  Ken was in the sun much more than I was.  He didn't even get pink.  

I did sew a bit last night.  Josh--I mended your pants.  Josh is a summer National Park Ranger who works sometimes where I volunteer.  Two pairs of his pants had holes/seam rips right below the fly.  Josh does not sew.  He is a bachelor and his mother and girlfriend do not live near him.  First--he tried to STAPLE it shut.  Uhhh-Josh--I don't think that's a good idea.  Then he tried to hand sew it.  Nah--didn't work.  


These pants are well worn.   The fabric is missing in places.  I used a zigzag that makes little stitches from side to side in the zigzag.  The thread matches very well, the pants are dark olive green.   I'm satisfied.  Josh will be happy he has two more pants to wear without a hole.

Tomorrow I am meeting a good friend in Sioux Falls.  I have a few items to pick up, Ken is going along.  I need some fabric!  Yes, a need!  I am participating in a group swap.  The color they chose was red.  I have very little red.  Not enough to make blocks to swap.  Its a controlled color swap (so not me, but that's OK!).  Only red and white.  Now, if they had choose green...........!

I Can Follow Directions!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Over the weekend I put together a lawn swing.  It's not hard, the directions were clear, and I put it together in less than an hour.

I tried it out while I drank a Mike's.  Perfect!    A new place to read (nap) in the evenings.  

Oh, I had to clean up my mess when I was done.

Now that I think of it, it's a lot like quilting.  Read the directions, look at the diagrams.  Have the right tools.   Voila!  


It's A Small World Out There

It's late and I'm sitting here thinking.  

I'm thinking about Tanya, and her neighbor with the cat.   I hope he's well.  I'm thinking about Natalie, and wish she could drop in for kuchen and coffee.  Sarah--are you having fun on vacation?  Raisins??  Can you stop in with the kids and play?  Alycia--send your boys over for a week of meals.  That would be great.  But hey, I've had that type of lawnmower, and I know EXACTLY what kind of presents they leave!  Stephanie--who's trying to stay cool and plan for Halloween.  Henrietta--whose husband LIES to me and says the weather is "72 degrees with a gentle breeze", no matter what!   

It's a small world out there.  

Back to blog reading.

Ranger Buddy

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Karla--my Ranger boss--was gone for a few days.  Ranger Buddy filled in.  Most days you can find him outside supervising construction issues--his specialty is dam building.   Ranger David stopped to help him with his email. 

We enjoyed having Buddy at the Visitor Center for a few days.  Ranger Dent was seen eating some jelly beans.  

The weekend was very busy--lots of campers, kids, reunions.  What did you do over the 4th??