Places to Party

Monday, October 2, 2017

My QBQ Quilt

The holidays are coming fast and furious. I have at least two and possible more gifts I have to make, one including a quilt I haven't even started yet, and here am I doing my QBQ quilt!

What is a QBQ quilt? It is my Quilt Between Quilts quilt. Have you ever done that? You have something that is pressing but because all the material is right there and it would really be a shame to put it away only to bring it all back out again, so...why not make this quilt.... it's calling to you..and you can get it done quickly right?... right?...

Well, not so right. This really is an easy quilt, MQC's Dangling Charms. I had left over precut strips and several precut 5" squares so I figured it wouldn't take that long-zip, zip...sew one side then the other and join them together, no problem.

Then I realized that I probably didn't have enough 5" squares to make a queen sized quilt but I did have a lot of small leftover fabric that would also work. And there was that fabric that I bought at the library's fundrasier...and.. you see where this is going right?






So I finally got it done but now it's October and I really have to get with it as I have one more quilt and a set of aprons I've promised myself to get done for holiday gifts. This came out pretty well though if I do say so myself. I love the way the squares step down the quilt. I'll probably put a border on it at some point, or... maybe this will be that holiday gift .... who knows?






Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spring Babies!

Time to overwhelm you with cuteness!

Memorial Day may have just passed but with all the rain (No one is complaining here after last year's drought!) the agricultural calendar is about two weeks behind. The strawberries are still in the flowering state, the cherries are still green but we do have rhubarb.

What could be better this time of year than the new babies? 

We lost quite a few of our girls this year to a pesty fox who did all he could to break my storm door that serves as the coop door. We lost three including my beloved Morninglory. She was too headstrong and decided to get out of the coop one Tuesday morning and all I found were the feathers. Poor baby.

But, time to pull up the bootstraps and replenish the coop. This year I bought two of the Easter Eggers, two Copper Morans and two Andalusians. Aren't they cute?

Forgive the redness... heat lamps.









We also added a new furry family member. Meet Tori cat, 2lbs of furry energy. Babygirl climbs on everything and annoys her older brothers excessively. 





She's very much loved. 


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

FIESTAWARE


In general, I try not to have too many things in my house that are not usable. I have very little free time to dust and polish any more than I have to (I'd rather be making something!) so the fewer knick-knacks around the better. 

There are usable collections however....







Every April, there is a wonderful tent sale in Sutton, West Virginia and this year we hit it right during our vacation time. While I've been there twice, I've never once made it into the store because the tent sale was so wonderful!

Pitchers!

Bowls.. and in so many colors!

Genuine Fiestaware!
Cereal/soup bowls!




Fiestaware is not cheap by any means but you pay for quality. This is an American made product and it's very hefty and long lasting. 

 


However, during this tent sale, the factory sells it's 2nd run. Sometimes this means a little dibit in the bowl or a place where the glaze did not cover even. Many times you can not see where the supposed "error" is. Tons and tons of boxes of plates, mugs, casserole dishes, pitchers, salad plates, gravy boats, serving boats in one huge tent! There were what I guess to be a few mom and pop restaurants outfitting their businesses with boxes of them!









The costs for these is as much as 75%-80% off. I don't think most of the bowls, etc. were over $4 with most of them about $2.75 or so. Young couples, young people outfitting their new home could come away with almost an entire set for next to nothing. As they are seconds, the colors will vary and be limited to what is on hand but as you can see below, they have a lovely amount to choose from. 








































Now I'm not telling you this to brag. I'm telling you this to share the wealth because when I was down there last, I was told that there will be another tent sale in August. So if you are in the area and in need of dishes, check out this tent sale. You'll be glad you did!*


*No I do not work for Everything Fiesta or anything associated with Fiestaware. I just love to pass along a good deal!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Winter Sowing

Until February of this year, this lifelong farmgirl had never heard of "winter sowing". After reading about it in Cappers Farmer magazine, I decided, what the heck?

Winter sowing is based on the idea that in nature, plants will germinate and begin growing at the proper time, not before, not after. So, if you plant your seeds in a protected environment and set them out into nature, they'll go through the normal thaw/freeze cycle that they normally would if the plant just dropped the seed and begin growing when the environmental factors are right.

Essentially, lazy gardening.


Be like the lazy cat....


Oh boy am I in!















Figuring I had nothing to loose but a few seeds, I gathered all my old milk jugs and some seed starter soil.

Step 1: Clean out your old milk jug, juice jug, whatever. 

Step 2: Puncture some drainage holes in the bottom and top of your chosen container. Slice from handle to handle a cut about 3/4 ways from bottom. 

Step 3: Fill with soil starter and sprinkle your seeds on top. Cover with a thin layer of soil and water.

Step 4: Tape your milk jug back into a solid piece with some straping tape. (You will remove it after the plants start to grow
a bit). Take the top off and put them outside into the elements. I put mine in my herb garden, don't treat them in any way special. It's time for mother nature to take over.


Cucumbers






Cilantro
Broccoli!
Now, for a couple of months I saw nothing and thought, "Gee, lost money on that one." But lo and behold, all of a sudden I saw growth! And on things I never can get grow, like broccoli and lavendar!

Lavendar, I think...forgot to label it..
So I'll give it another month and we'll transplant these into the garden. I'm excited this worked! For anywhere from $.99 to $3:49 I'll have hopefully more plants than I would if I bought them at the garden center! Next year, give this a try...



































Of course though, I did hedge by bets. I grew quite a few tomatoes as well.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Roasted Hotdogs and Snow Cream

Happy New Year!

Yeah, I know. I won't give you the typical excuses of how busy we've been (I spent the first six hours of Christmas in the emergency room! Fun times...) or the craziness of daily life as we've all been there. So let's start here.

81 mile an hour winds. Yep, you heard right. Sitting at work last week when all the power went out. The weird thing was that it was a beautiful day outside. Warm, 50+ degrees and blue skies. My son called and said that the power went out at our house. They sent us home early when the emergency generators died at work and when I went out to get in my car, the car rocked. 
Shingles from my roof everywhere.


2 1/2 hours to get home! I attempted to go home the back way and all but two lights were out. Four roads intersecting with one turn lane each and as I got half way home, I had to turn around an go back as they closed the road. Lots of devastation from wind. We lost power at our home for 3 1/2 days. We are on a well so no power means no water. Things get really earthy, really quick. They finally returned our power Saturday afternoon. Thank goodness!



Then the snow came. After a season of virtually no snow, we got hit a week before spring. We got well over 2 feet of snow. With the drifting, it was actually thigh high yesterday and we could not open our front, side or back doors until we shovel out way out.  







 
But when life gives you lemons...


 

During the outage, we got so sick of eating out but how do you make a home cooked meal without electricity?
Well, the way they would have done it 100 years ago, you go to your woodstove. I grabbed
the longest meat fork I could and threaded some hotdogs on them. Holding them over the wood, they roasted to hotdog perfection. This was a fun little experiment that worked.






Snow is really pretty but pretty ugly when it causes everything to be ten times harder than it needs to be. I decided it was time to make something good out of all that white stuff. Remembering reading the Little House books when I was a girl, I always remember Ma making something called "Snow Cream". So I looked it up on the internet (I so love the internet) and sure enough there was a receipe. I made it. God it was good but you have to eat it fast. Here is the receipe.

SNOW CREAM
1 cup milk
1/2 sugar
1 tsp flavoring of your choice.

Mix together until sugar is dissolved and then add as much fresh snow as needed to make a fluffy ice cream like consistence. Eat immediately. Yum!

So I hope things are going great for all of you in blogland! Missed you much!
 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Getting Cozy...



The red maple beside our house turned a magnificent orange this year and the aspen in the front of drive a sunshine yellow. I love the fall season!
 


Far from being complacent however, the fall is probably one of the busiest months because the winter follows not far behind. I'm sad to say that with the water situation this last year, there is not much that I got canned as the garden did nothing and I was too afraid to use too much water as we were constantly running out of it. (Actually turned out to be a bad gauge but after three months without water, I wasn't taking any chances!)









It's also time to start thinking about how we are going to heat our house this winter. Last year we didn't get in any wood due to finances and let me tell you it was cold! There is nothing like a warm woodstove heat! It's a consistent heat instead of  oil heat which relies on the room getting cooler before the furnace kicks on.  

So this weekend we stacked four facecord of firewood. Economically, with what we pay for a whole season of firewood, would only pay maybe one month of oil heat. 



Also, there is no better exercise that getting out in the fresh air and stacking the wood. My son and I stacked most of it and we have such great conversations as we work. When we re done, we can stand back and feel a sense of satisfaction... and sore muscles for days to come.   


I also turtlenecked the chickens with the cutoff tops of socks. I have one of my girls who has developed a bad habit of snatching the feathers of her fellow coopmates and eatting them.

The instigator...looking at the sock and contemplating.



 I'm not sure what the deal is with that but needless to say I have a bunch of naked necked chickens! The thought came to me to put socks over their necks to allow for the feathers to grow back before it starts getting cold. Needless to say, the girls are not happy with the situation.

We still have more chores to do before the first heavy snowfall but winter prep has begun!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Ghost Walk 2016

Have you ever been on a ghost walk?

If not, why?

Far from being morbid, ghost walks or cemetery walks are a wonderful way to get to know the history of the area in which you live. When I lived in Flint, MI, one of my girlfriends and I did one and I do believe there is probably one in Rochester. Most cities or towns may have them and I was finally able to do my local village's ghost walk this weekend.




The Ghost Walk is in it's eighth year and it is performed by students at the local Albion High School. They did a phenomenal job! Each year they select about 15 individuals from the community and with the help of some local historians, research their personal history. Apparently, it various every year who they present and they give you a overall insight into the history of Albion, NY.


In 2000, the students at Albion High School collected monies to construct a monument
to celebrate the black pioneers of Orleans County.



No actual animal is buried under this monument.
It was constructed to remember the love and dedication
the dog had to his departed owner.



The students dress up and present the individual's history right at the gravesite. This year we learned about the first millionaire in Albion, the only person to be executed in the county itself and the man who started Citizen's Bank.. all of them buried with the remaining 18,000 individuals in our little local village.














The cemetery itself is on the historic register and dates back to 1843. A building on site was constructed with local Medina sandstone and we learned that this was shipped all over the world and can be found in the Brooklyn Bridge as well as Buckingham Palace!









The cemetery was designed as both a cemetery and a park and the Victorians used to come to the park and enjoy a picnic lunch. It is so hard to imagine going to a cemetery to each lunch with tombstones all around you, although people jog in this cemetery all the time.

The history was amazing and so interesting. The students were very reverent in their presentations and threw themselves into the performance. I will definitely plan to attend next year.


If you like history or are just interested in the town you live in, I highly recommend searching out your local historical society and find out if there is a ghost walk or cemetery walk in your town.. more than likely there is. I urge you to attend and discover your local history for yourself! It's absolutely fascinating!