Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Pictures of Those Raspberries

We have a bumper crop this year:

Big berries so sweet and ripe they pull away from the stems:

Had to hurry the picking this morning to rescue them from the grackles. Sydney "helped" and ate every one that he picked. We still had two cookie sheets full to put in the freezer. Oh the heaven in the middle of winter when we can't even get to the raspberry patch, we can pull some out of the freezer and be in summer again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Burgers at Grandma's

My kids gathered to "burn a burger" last night, our term for grilling them. The three little ones had so much fun together and the food was great. The little ones invaded my raspberry patch. We had to follow them so they would only eat the ripe ones-didn't want any tummyaches!

Sam went after them with a vengeance.

Happy smile!

Gotta get the ones underneath.

Not too full of raspberries to eat a good supper.

We finished off with my homemade strawberry ice cream. From my own patch, of course!

In other news, the school pants are finished and safely in Gracie's hands. She really loved the hot pink ones.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Tomorrow, my youngest son has to make a huge decision, one that will affect many people. I know he will stick to his guns and do what is right, but my heart bleeds for him, knowing he will go through pain that Mom can't take away from him. Pray for his 5 year old son, too, especially for his safety.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My New Blog

I'm so excited! I finally started my cooking blog. I've been wanting to have a place to chronicle my quest to eat allergy-free, so here it is:

Pop on over and take a look. I'll be thrilled to compare notes, share recipes, and hear your allergy stories.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

They're Ready!

The raspberries are ready-Stan picked a handful a while ago. What a perfect berry!

Then I ate it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Finally Did It!

Our local food co-op has been around, in one form or another, since the early 70's. Finally yesterday I joined. Nothing slow about me! I really am looking forward to finding a few more foods that I can eat, just by the fact that fewer ingredients means lower odds of having an allergen in the product.

They serve meals there and have a divine salad bar. I can eat the honey-mustard dressing they make because they stay away from high fructose corn syrup. This will be great for when I need lunch on errand days. I have eaten the chicken they prepare and haven't tasted anything that good since the "olden days" when I was a kid and nobody added hormones or antibiotics to their poultry.

They were so gracious, too, making sure I had all my questions answered and telling me how pleased they are that I belong. The price was right, too.

Yes, I see a long, happy relationship.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Going Fishing!

Grandpa decided to take the kids fishing, one at a time. Sydney is staying with us for some spoiling so he's the first in line. I had to pack his own cooler, he couldn't share with Grandpa, and we had to have the string cheese and Nutella sandwich. Some crackers, a can of pop and a carton of chocolate milk and he's ready to go.

After the truck was packed, Sydney said, "Now what do we do?" "Now we get in the truck and drive to the lake," was Grandpa's reply.

Not a problem, "why isn't Grandpa in yet?"

"Okay, now we can go, don't forget to shut off my airbag, Grandpa!"

"Bye, Syd, catch some fish!" "I'll try, Grandma!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finished Object

Got the green sweater done. Actually I finished it several days ago, I've just been lazy about posting it. Sydney really likes it.

The worst thing about knitting a sweater-sewing the dumb thing together! I know, use circular needles, but I hate them, they're not comfortable for me and there are still seams that have to be sewn.

Syd isn't mad in this photo-afterward he said, "What did you think of my funny face, Grandma?" The buttons don't show up very well but there are three cars and two trains in various colors. I bought enough for Sam's sweater, which brings me to the next project.

The color isn't true in this photo, it's darker, close to a wine color. I thought about bright red, which is Sam's favorite color, but decided the slightly darker color would wear better. By the way, Sam is improving nicely. Millie is able to change his dressings at home, and he only has to go to the wound clinic once in a while to have the dead skin scrubbed. (Ouch!) He was well enough to go to Vacation Bible School today.

I finished Gracie's pants, hope to post some pictures in the next day or so. I have to finish my last pair, but there's just a bit left. I should be sewing right now.

The other day I decided to make Linda Permann's Swiffer cover. I just love how it cleans the floor-much better than the purchased cloths. I decided I wanted a tighter fit, and being the glutton for punishment I am, I made up my own pattern. I have one finished and am very pleased with it. I might make these for Christmas. (Millie, you didn't read that!) I hope to post instructions, or maybe even a tutorial soon.

I had my coffee date at the Co-op today. I need to go back more-I was checking out some cheddar potato chips that, at first look, seem to be "safe" for me. I should eat there more often-they serve wonderful food. I had a heavenly flourless chocolate cake, oh my!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Owie Weekend

First, Wyatt, the son of our good friends, was bucked off a steer at a Little Britches rodeo. He was rushed to the ER, and after three or four hours and many tests, they sent him home. Thank goodness he's just really sore and doesn't have any internal injuries or broken bones.

Then, grandson Sam fell into a campfire. He has third degree burns on his arm and leg. They spent three hours in ER too. He was sent back to camp with dressings and painkillers. They're home today and have to take him back to the ER for a dressing change. Being only almost four, Mom and Dad decided to make sure he got his pain meds regularly. I'll bet that poor baby screamed his head off!. They managed to have some fun on the camping trip in spite of the injury, but it was a good thing they were close to the hospital.

Jim and Millie should have a wing of the hospital named after them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

School Sewing

Gracie has a unique problem. She is built straight up and down. Therefore there are no hips to hold up her pants. Combine that with her being so small, and the goofy way they manufacture clothing nowadays and you get a condition known as "plumber's butt." We're constantly nagging her to pull up her pants, but it only last a minute or two and they slide down again.

Grandma to the rescue. I cut out six pairs of basic pants based on the pattern for her birthday outfit. The pants are supposed to be capris but she's so short they went all the way to her ankles. I took advantage of that, and cut them just a bit longer, since I didn't put the ruffle on the bottoms.

Most of them were cut from small pieces in my stash. Shorty only needs about 3/4 yard for a pair.

I did buy two pieces-Grandma gets matching pants out of those two.

Hopefully they'll be done by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ode to Yogurt Containers, Dutch Tupperware and Last Year's Strawberries

Our strawberry patch has yielded quite well this year, so I got out what was left from last year in the freezer and made freezer jam. First, I am so unhappy that they don't put yogurt in reusable containers anymore. I saved every one of those handy little guys and still use them. They get washed and stored for the next project. That's where the term "Dutch Tupperware" comes from. My husband is Dutch and we live near a large Dutch settlement. Dutch people are known to be frugal, and tend to save all the yogurt containers, whipped topping tubs and margarine cartons they get. Hence the term, "Dutch Tupperware." I'm not Dutch but I am frugal and it makes sense to me to keep these containers and use them. Besides, that means less plastic in the landfill.

The pectin instructions said I'd get 5 cups, but I can put 6 in the freezer.

With just enough for samples!

Love my label maker.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Memory Bears

So has Mrs. Claus done any sewing? Some-life has really seemed to get in the way lately. I think part of what's holding me back is a mental block.

There is a project that is connected, I think, to local Hospice groups called Memory Bears. Someone takes an article of clothing or blanket that belonged to a lost loved one and turns it into a bear. Google it-you get tons of hits. Some are instructions, some are stories about the bears, some are people who will make the bears-for free or pay.

I have a sewing friend named Teresa who makes these bears for the Gallatin Valley Hospice as a ministry. A couple of months ago the Bozeman Chronicle ran a story about them which resulted in a bunch of calls requesting a bear, not for free but the callers would be willing to pay for the service since their loved ones hadn't been through the local hospice. Teresa felt it wasn't right that she make some for free and some for pay, so that's where I come in. She asked me if I was willing to do the bears for pay and of course I said yes. It is kind of tough-so far I've made three, two for one family and one for another. The tough part comes from thinking about where the clothing came from and that a living person wore it and now they're gone.

I finally have prevailed and the bears are done. The first I got was two western shirts worn by a woman's dad. She wanted two bears, one for her and one for her mom. Then came the harder one. A grandma brought a blanket that was wrapped around her 18 month old granddaughter when she died. Wow!

Well, here the guys are:

I took one of the pocket flaps from the shirt and sewed it on to the tummies of the Western bears. It even snaps! I cut down the cuffs, sewed them into a little sleeve, and slid them onto the bears' arms. It looks like they're wearing Western shirts.

The baby blanket was from the Linus Project, and Grandma wanted to keep part of it intact. I actually got a pretty good size square. I cut the bear out from one end of the blanket, leaving about a 27" square.

This was hard. Grandma wanted the baby's name embroidered on the feet.

It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but I also embroidered a little double heart on the bear's left chest.

I don't think I'll get a huge amount of these bears, but at least I'm comfortable with the pattern now, and can put my Grandma emotions aside and do a project like this. My doctor mentioned having something done with one of her late mom's garments, but doctors are busy and I think she probably forgot as soon as she left the exam room!

Monday, July 6, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Since there were only three entries in my 100th blog contest, I ran the numbers five times on just to be super fair.

And...............the winner is the lovely lady from Backporch Blessings. Thank you for your interest in my blog, and contact me with your address so I can send the purse off to you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


A few snaps of our local fireworks display last night. They do a really nice job. Stan took these, I took some, but my camera battery died, and therefore it decided to act up just before it croaked. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless the USA!

Sitting here waiting for my pies to bake and watching the flag waving out on my porch, I started thinking about what it really means to be an American. It occurred to me it's kind of like what it really means to be a Christian.

First we must welcome the stranger into our fold. We can't judge and we need to be sure said stranger knows he's welcome. ("Give me your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.")

We must know, even though we have this wonderful "thing," we must respect those who don't share it. We must communicate our message of hope with love and kindness.

We should learn all we can about others and their ways. How can we tell anyone we have the better answer if we don't know what we're up against?

Remember, just as Jesus started a "new religion," the founding fathers of this country also started from scratch and formed it with people from other cultures who wanted something better.

Most of all, leave your judgementalism at home. Love others as Jesus did, sacrificially, and realized no one person is superior to another.

Have a blessed holiday and remember all those who sacrificed so that we could come together as individuals to form this wonderful country.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

This Is What Happens When You Don't Pay Attention

I found this nice crisp fabric on the $1.50 table at Walmart. Being the conscientious sewer I am, I serged the ends and prewashed it. I had a bit of trouble when I "zoned out" and looked away:

A big fold of fabric fell over the presser foot and got caught in the needles. I sat and looked at it for a while, and finally decided the quickest and lowest stress way of fixing it was with my big scissors.

I bought four yards so I'll have tons of fabric even with the nice little notch.

Lovely little wad of fabric, eh? I vow to pay much closer attention when at the serger from here on out! It did wash up nicely, though, in spite of the chunk I cut out of it. It'll make a nice cool summer outfit. (Not sure which summer, but hopefully this one)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Things

Beautiful peonies:

Fresh strawberries:

Playing catch with Grandpa:

But I could live without the mosquitoes!