April 30, 2018

A Lovely Hometown-Style Sunday...

Badging On A Fire Truck

Yesterday, Handsome and I spent part of the day about six miles north of the farm. The EMS/Fire Station that serves our township hosted a brat fry and raffle for the residents of the above townships and village. This is some of the badging on their beautiful fire trucks.

Blocking The Road

Just after we arrived, we noticed two of the trucks pulling forward to block the road, as well as each side of their driveway area. I initially thought it was so that everyone could walk freely at the event, however, we noticed people looking skyward, and quickly realized what was happening.

Covering Her Ears

It got a little noisy, so some of the little ones were plugging their ears. This daddy was making sure his daughter was safe in his arms.

Helicopter - In For A Perfect Landing

We all stood on the edges of the parking lot as this pilot brought the Flight For Life helicopter in for a perfect landing. It was pretty impressive!

Handsome And The Pilot
Having been a working passenger (as a photographer) on more than a few helicopters, Handsome made his way to the cockpit to congratulate the pilot on a flawless landing. Others went to the back of the 'copter to see the ambulance accommodations for sick passengers. It was pretty impressive.

Fire Truck Detail

Inside the firehouse, freshly grilled Midwestern favorite brats (pronounced "brots", like "hots"), homemade desserts and beverages were served for their service area residents. As handsome and I stood in line, a familiar voice called my name, and an old friend hugged me when I turned around. Handsome and I have been friends with her and her husband for decades. We all ate lunch together, and found out that they now live very close to us! We'll be getting together again very soon.

The weather was perfect for great food and dear friends. It's so good to be back home with all the best rural America has to offer. We're grateful every day for our life here, and so happy that we made the decision to move back.

Later in the day, I met up with my pal, Kathy D. to take a little drive. I'll tell you more about that on Wednesday. 

April 29, 2018

April 28, 2018

Farmhouse Finds - Kitchen Table...

Hickory Hill Kitchen

If I do much more to our kitchen, it won't be necessary to install cabinets and other modern amenities. Darn that Facebook Marketplace! Handsome said I need to stay away from that portion of Facebook for the foreseeable future. giggle

When we were first married, my parents gifted Handsome and me with a beautiful, antique oak table that used to belong to my paternal grandfather. It's a table that I loved, as much that it came from a man I adored, as the fact that it was a fabulous old table that pulled out to twelve feet! We had leaves made for it that enabled us to pull it open to eight feet.

When we made plans to purchase the farm, I knew that someday I would gift it to another family member who would cherish it as I do. Someone who wouldn't abuse it (or even sell it). I decided to ask my youngest sister if she would want it when we finished our kitchen remodel, and she responded with an enthusiastic "yes!".

When we were unloading our belongings on moving day, my sister was here to help along with her son, and another nephew. They worked their proverbial "buns" off to help us. At one point, I went outside to see what would be coming into the house next, and saw her taking the table leaves to her car. I laughed and said (halfheartedly) "Hey, not yet!". Well, I let her take the table with her that day (a little ahead of our schedule), but that's how much she wanted it...and I couldn't have asked for a more grateful new owner for our heirloom.

Our Old Kitchen Table

I found this little used table, which served us well for this first year in our farmhouse, but it really didn't fit the style I had in mind. Enter, Facebook Marketplace...again.

Legs and Top Of New Kitchen Table

I found a thirty year old solid oak table. It's in great shape and is just the right size for our kitchen. It came with two leaves, should we ever want to make it larger for more "kitchen" guests.

Handsome and I drove around the lake (Winnebago) to Oshkosh, and we picked up the table yesterday. It began to rain as we headed home, so once back at the farm, we waited to unload it until the rain stopped. We had the table inside in time for dinner.

New Table Settled In The Kitchen
I love this table so much that I may rethink whether or not our remodel will include an island where the table sits. We may just have to keep this beautiful table right where it is. We're seriously happy with this find. Wouldn't you agree?

April 27, 2018

Working On Little Monkeys...

Little Monkey Quilt Top Detail

I pulled out a UFO (UnFinished Object) to complete yesterday. I had all the block elements assembled, so it was just a matter of putting them all together into the pinwheel configuration until I had the finished top.

Little Monkey Quilt Top
What you see if just half of the quilt, as the rest is hanging over the rail, and on the back. The top is finished, so today, I'll layer up the top, batting and back and quilt the layers together. My plan is to spend this evening sewing on the binding. I'll have it finished in plenty of time for the Birthday boy. 


April 26, 2018

Royal Purple...

Royal Purple Strawberry Rose Sachet
Filled with crushed walnut shells, and stitched in three shades of royal purple, this sachet is complete and awaiting adoption. You can see it in my shop,  HERE.


April 25, 2018

Lilac Buds...

Lilac Buds
We've had 60º plus weather the past two days. Sadly, we weren't able to save all the birds. Bella brought two robins that had died in the cold to Handsome, and I found a dead sparrow on Sunday. I feel bad that they didn't make it, but our efforts weren't too late for so many others.

Yesterday, we had a pair of brown-headed cowbirds visiting, and the purple finches have been hanging around. Three large blue jays are enjoying the sunflower seeds in the bird mix, too. The rest of the birds, stop in for a bit now, but their regular food awaits them now that the snow is (mostly) gone. (It lingers in areas of northern exposure where the direct sun can't melt it yet.)

I noticed our lilac bushes have started to bud now, too. They promise that Spring isn't far behind. Soon, I'll be spending more time outside, but for now, I'll be in the studio, making more pretties.


April 24, 2018

Tuesdays With Tag - Under House Arrest...

Corgi Under House Arrest
Hi, Everybody!
If I had a tail, it would be hangin' down between my legs. Seriously. I'm under house arrest, but I'm tellin' ya, it was an accident. I didn't mean to do what I did. It was like a "perfect storm". I feel awful. I really do.

Remember Mom and Dad puttin' out all the feeders and food for the birds last week? It was all over the place. When we went outside, Bella and I just wanted to check it out. So, Mom would take me out on a leash to do my business, and Dad would monitor Bella to make sure we didn't bother the birds or get into their food.

Well, last Friday, Dad let me out with Bella, but he didn't put a trainin' collar or leash on me, and I decided to taste the block of suet they put out for the robins. There were fruits and even dead grubs in it. I kinda heard Dad's voice behind me, but I was really focused on that block of tasty, gross morsels.

Just as I was bitin' down on the block, Dad stuck his hand in my face to take it away from me. I didn't growl or fight or anythin', but I accidentally bit his hand. Dad's on special medicines since a couple of years ago that make sure his blood doesn't clot up, so you can just imagine all the blood. Well, I was horrified. Mom was horrified, and Dad had to get her to help him stop the bleedin'.

Fast forward to yesterday. Dad was worried that he might have an infection, so he went to Urgent Care, where they took a look at it and prescribed new medicines for him. He had to tell them what happened, and even though he said it wasn't my fault, they said that the sheriff would have to come out and talk to him. Mom was afraid they were gonna take me to jail!

The officer was real nice, and after Dad explained what happened, the officer said that I'm under quarantine (house arrest). I have to see our vet three times in the next ten days to make sure I'm not foamin' at the mouth or anythin'. It's the law. They even gave Dad a flyer about "domestic abuse". Wait. What? Anyway, I'm up to date on all my shots, so now that Dad got a tetanus shot, he is, too.

I already saw the vet yesterday afternoon. One down. Two to go. It's the least I can do. Mom and I feel just awful that Dad got hurt, and now that Mom knows they're not gonna take me away for a mistake, she stopped bein' sad and worried. We're gonna make sure nothin' like this ever happens again. I sure don't want to wear a muzzle every time I go outside! That would be awful, too.

So, if you're lookin' for me, I'll be here at the farm. Mom's not even takin' me for any car rides until after next Sunday. She said I'm grounded. If I had thumbs, I'd write a "sorry" note to Dad. You know I don't, I'll just hang out with him to let him know how bad I feel.

I'll let you know how we're all doin' next time we talk. I'm gonna go put on my striped pajamas now.
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...  
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

April 23, 2018

Playing With Needle & Threads...

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot) Web Image
Since posting my most recent strawberry sachets last week, I have three new orders. I'll be playing with needle, threads and/or silk ribbons this week. I'll also be in Menasha tomorrow with my pal, Kathy for the monthly Sit & Sew at Primitive Gatherings.

The sun was shining last weekend (with more expected), the snow is melting, the birds are singing, and my loved ones and I are all healthy and happy. What more could one possibly ask for?


April 22, 2018

Sunday Scripture...

Web Image

Just a few, uncustomary Sunday Scripture words today. This verse was spoken by Barbara Pierce Bush's funeral, by her granddaughters, yesterday. It's one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.

Web Image
These are the lyrics to a song that was sung at the funeral, too. It's a personal favorite of mine. My British grandfather played the pipe organ at his church in England. When he came to visit us in Wisconsin, he played this on the piano for us.

When I heard it, I was moved to tears, imagining my Granddad playing that magnificent pipe organ in the Bush family's church. The lyrics are beautiful, but if you're not familiar with the hymn, I encourage you to look it up on YouTube, or see if you can find a recording of Mrs. Bush's funeral. That reading of this hymn was magnificent.


April 20, 2018

Shabby Silk Roses...

Brynwood Needleworks Silk Ribbonwork
 This will be my next Strawberry Rose Sachet. I love these soft, shabby colors.
I may have to keep this one, but I'm sure I'll make more. Did I say I love these colors?

April 19, 2018

Silken Ribbons and More Guests...

New Silk Ribbons For Brynwood Strawberry Sachets

Part of the new silk ribbon colors I recently ordered arrived yesterday. These are so beautiful, and they'll make for lovely Strawberry Rose Sachets (pincushions and other pretties). I still have another package which should be arriving soon, but I'll have fun starting with some of these.

Ribbons, Threads and Seed Beads
I've chosen the two colors shown here, along with the floss colors (and possibilities for bead embellishments) for my next strawberry. I'll choose the final bead color(s) after the stitching is done. I'm itching to start this one.
Mourning Doves
I guess our bird guests told their friends about the new neighborhood buffet. We had new birds join them yesterday. Joining the other birds at the feeders were juncos, purple finches, bluejays, and mourning doves. 
We got more snow, too, but we have plenty of seed, suet, fruit and feeders, so we'll clear off those feeders right away this morning, and they'll be right back in business. I'm telling you, I was beginning to feel like Snow White. Wherever I turned, there were happy, singing birds, a squirrel and a bunny enjoying the banquet. I would have started singing, but didn't want to scare them all off! hee hee
Appointments for Handsome and me (in different directions) today, but I'll definitely get some stitching time in. I hope you find time for something (or someone) you love today. 

April 18, 2018

It Was A Day For The Birds...

Early Morning View From The Farmhouse
When we got up yesterday morning, the sky was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it. Every morning offers another blessing for us, and I always take time to stop and be grateful.

I had read that this new-fallen (deep) snow has stressed out all the wild birds (and likely other wildlife, too).  The robins, especially, could use a little TLC because they're ground feeders (worms, grubs and other tasty earth-dwellers). We don't usually put out feeders, as we think the natural growth around the farm supplies the birds, but we decided to help them out for the rest of the winter - and future winters.

Handsome and I went to town and purchased two chicken feeders (which hold 20 lbs. of feed each); a covered feeding station we're called in the "Cedar Feeder"; two suet feeders; two 40 lb. bags of wild bird seed mix; four or five different kinds of suet, including one especially for bluebirds and robins, which contains dried fruit and grubs; and fresh apples and raisins.

Feeding Stations Are Set Up

We had fun deciding where to put the chicken feeders. One is on the side porch, because we saw lots of little bird tracks in the snow there. The other is across the drive under the large lilac bush, for protection from the wind.

We hung one of the suet feeders from the old apple tree, and the other from a wrought iron shepherd's crook, also near the lilac bush. Then, I scattered birdseed on the snow near the far feeders, as well as on the top of the pillar and on the boards of the porch (just to announce that there's food to be had around here).

We took the special suet for the bluebirds and robins, broke it up and scattered it in the bare ground to the right of the porch feeder. I'd seen those birds hanging around that area. It's warmer because of the south exposure, protection from the house, and because our dryer vents right there, outside the house.

Our Guests Have Arrived
It didn't take long at all for the birds to come in. By mid-afternoon, red-winged blackbirds, cardinals, crows, robins, bluebirds, chickadees, sparrows, wood tits and a few other types I don't recognize (yet) had come in to feed. Everyone was getting there fill, and there was plenty left so breakfast will be waiting for their return. 

Handsome and I both smiled, checking out the windows all day, knowing that we'd done something good today for all those hungry birds. We'll make sure their tummies are full the rest of this winter - and we'll do it again next year. It was a good day for the birds at our Hickory Hill Farm.

April 17, 2018

Tuesdays With Tag - Dear Mother Nature...

Tag Has A Question
Hi, Everybody!
We really thought Mother Nature was done with the white stuff for this year. Boy, were we wrong! It snowed Saturday, Sunday, part of Monday, and might even snow some more today.

I don't know if she noticed, but if we get more than a couple of inches, my business is draggin' through the snow! Seriously. Enough already! I'm goin' back in the house until she gets sober again.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...  
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

April 16, 2018

Queen Anne's Lace In The Snow...

My Latest Embroidery

The snow started Saturday, causing us to cancel a trip to Milwaukee to see a much-anticipated symphony concert. We were quite disappointed, but felt it was better to be safe than sorry after seeing the latest weather forecast. In the end, we made the right decision.

Sleet, ice and snow caused dangerous road conditions, and they continued through Sunday night. Handsome cleared some of the mess on our driveway with our utility tractor and a bucket attachment, but there was obviously too much snow (with more falling) for our tractor to get ahead of it. I tried shoveling near the doors, and the ice, mixed with snow, was a booger to clear. We weren't regretting our move north, but didn't see any reason to fight with Mother Nature, so we headed inside to wait out the storm.

I decided to start another strawberry. This one is going to be a Birthday gift for someone special. I decided Queen Anne's Lace, forget-me-nots and ribbon flourishes were in order, so I'll work to finish this one today.

When I showed it to Handsome, he remarked that he was impressed that I was doing such fine work in white-on-(nearly)white. I smiled knowing that, after all these years together, I still do things that impress him. (He manages to do the same for me, by the way.)
Andy, Clearing Our Driveway
Andy made the rounds yesterday. He went into town to clear his daughter's yard, and then headed up the west shore of the lake to clear his mom's yard, too. When he got home, he hooked up his snow blower attachment and brought down his trusty tractor.
He told us that the ice underneath made plowing with his truck impossible, so this was the way to go. He used to drive this tractor on his dad's farm when he was a kid. It still serves him (and us!) well, making quick work of the mess that was our driveway. He finished his day outdoors, but clearing his drive as he headed back up the hill to his and Shelly's home. 

When I posted pictures and a "thank you" on Facebook, our humble friend replied, "It's what neighbors do." If anyone wonders why we love the Midwest, our farmhouse, and even being back in the snow belt...this is one of the reasons. We love the way people live, work and play here. It makes the snow (which was more than anything we had all winter!) worth it. Oh, and if anyone thinks that farmer boys aren't tough, let me introduce you to Andy some time.


April 15, 2018

Sunday Scripture...

© Pam Coxwell Designs

April 14, 2018

Sweet Strawberry Rose Sachet...

Brynwood Needleworks - Strawberry Rose Sachet
This sachet is leaving for its new home today. I'll be making more in the next week, with stunning new colors of silk ribbons that will arrive shortly. I can't wait to show you the new colors!


April 13, 2018

It's Blooming In The Studio...

Creating Roses

 I'm still stitching, so I'll just share a few images of what I'm working on.

Beads, Ribbons and Threads

 I love looking at (and using) my seed beads.

Doing What I Love

 I always use my mother-in-law's embroidery hoop when I do these sachets.

Blooms, Foliage and Flourishes

Progressing nicely.