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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Another Week Flies By....

We had a pretty quite week. On Wednesday Amber took the day off from work and we took four boys to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, always a fun outing. Of course masks were mandatory and the boys did a good job in keeping their masks on at all times. It was an absolutely beautiful day and as we went early in the morning the heat was not an issue. The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is one of the top attractions in Indiana, so if you ever are in the area you might want to plan a visit.

Charles 8, Ralph 3, Peter 6, George 4, ready for their zoo adventure

Charlie 8 is being home schooled this year, he is working on mastery of times tables, he earned an ice cream treat reward from the Dairy Sweet in Grabill. Good job Charles.

On Saturday I made my weekly trek to pick up groceries, as I drove through Leo I noticed there was some kind of arts and crafts fair getting set up, The Bloom Fest. Since I basically had the day to myself I decided to go. Later in the day I drove back to Leo, just a couple of miles, I would have preferred a bike ride but it was extremely windy, and parked at daughter Amber's house. Henry and Patick decided to walk to the fair with me, Amber took the younger boys with her to run some errands. It was a lovely stroll to the park listening to my grandsons as they talked about school, siblings, friends, and noticed giant lily pads in the river. We enjoyed the fair. I was touched when Henry said that since his mom had given them twenty dollars to spend they should really buy their mom a gift. What a nice unselfish thought. We walked past a booth full of crocheted items the boys wanted to stop there, they looked at everything and eventually selected a beautiful green and purple crocheted turtle and purple headband for their mom as she loves the color purple. We then proceed to walk around, I purchased a pair of earrings and a bracelet I really liked, and a vegan t-shirt from a vegan baked goods booth. I asked the boys if they wanted to get something to eat, they both said no and asked me if we could return to the crochet lady booth. I was a little amused that ten and twelve year old boys would ask this of their granny.  So we headed back to the crochet booth, they wanted to get some crocheted super heroes, they were 3 for $25, the boys only had $7 dollars left. I suggested they pay the $7 and I would pay the difference since they had been such good company. The boys picked out their superheroes and the crochet lady threw in a crocheted donut for free! Her booth was a hit with young boys, another grandma was drug in by her grandson while we were there.  The crochet lady said that the little crochet characters are a great seller, she had Ninja Turtles, Star Wars characters, I really rather liked the Princess Leia, Super Heroes, Peanuts characters, Princesses, and Harry Potter.

After the fair I returned home, the bread I had left rising was well ready to be punched down and made up into loaves. Then I sat on the front porch to finish my latest pair of socks. 

 Later in the evening I worked on the wildcat quilt and listened to a dramatization of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John LeCarre. The quilt is nearly finished, perhaps later today it will be.

Today we don't have much planned, I will head out for a walk in a little bit, do some much needed housework, and a bit of weeding. It is a nice calm day today, so perhaps a bike ride to return some library books might be in my future. We will finish out the day with a trip to a lake in Wolcottville, IN this evening, our daughter Emily and her husband Joe are to be baptized. What a lovely way to begin a new week. 


A Month Of Birthdays

 August is a big month for birthdays in our family. We start the month with three birthdays all on the same day, August 8. My husband, our son Ben, and our grandson Peter all share a birthday, our daughter-in-law Taylor follows up on the August 10, and our son-in-law on the 14th. Then a brief reprieve until the August 26 then our grandson Henry celebrates his birthday, and the following day, the 27th, is my Mom's birthday. Our youngest grandson Harrison just squeaked by the August madness and made September his very own birthday month, he will be one on September 6. It is a fun month of celebrations. And here are some pictures of all the birthday celebrants.

Peter 6, sitting to the Grandpa's right, Dave (grandpa) 62, Ben 29 holding his nephew Harrison, and in the back with the fine beard, Brad 35. 

Taylor on the right, 26

Henry celebrates his 12th birthday.

And finishing the month, my mom celebrated her 81st birthday.

And, baby Harrison got in a bit of practice eating birthday cake in readiness for his 1st birthday coming up on September 6th.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Satifying Afternoon

Over the weekend I rode my bike over to Grabill, about 5 miles away, to pick up some greeting cards at the Dollar General and some canning jar lids and bands at the hardware store. It was a lovely bike ride, all the more enjoyable because I took care of a couple of errands.

I needed canning jar lids and bands because of the amount of ripe tomatoes we have at this time, I can only eat so many tomatoes by myself! I headed out to the garden and pretty soon had a large bowl piled high with tomatoes. Our grandson Peter, who is six, was very, very interested in the whole process of canning tomatoes. It was a nice activity and didn't take too long as I only had one canner load to process. I finished with eight pints of tomatoes. I should have at least one, possibly two more batches to do.

  Back in the day, we would plant around fifty tomato plants and it would be quite a chore canning them all, a large bowl of tomatoes is much less daunting then several five gallon buckets stacked high with tomatoes. 

For me there is something very satisfying about jars of freshly canned produce cooling on the counter.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Week In Review

 As all weeks seem to do, this past one flew by. I am now officially working from home permanently and I really like it. As our office only has 9 employees, all but me have worked from home since April and I only work two days a week, our building has become a ghost town. The building lease is up next month and the corporate office decided to permanently close our physical location. Almost all of the staff at offices all over the US, Europe and Australia are working from home, and have been for the best part of 2020. Our company has found that productivity has not suffered in the least, employees are happy, and travel expenses are almost non-existent since very little in person contact is taking place. I am really enjoying the experience of working from home.

My "office" is set up in my sewing room.

I am knitting another pair of socks, I just love the colors. The yarn is by Yarn Bee and called Cozy Toes and the color is Fierce Flame, I found it at Hobby Lobby. 

While visiting my parents in June my Mom gave me this cute little bag she made several years ago. She thought one of the granddaughters would like it. I looked at the cute bag and thought how perfect it would be for small knitting projects, and it has become my sock knitting bag. Sorry granddaughters :).

I am busy hand quilting the wildcat quilt.  My Mom gave me the 7 wildcat blocks she made some time ago and then not knowing what to do with them she put them aside. I played around with the blocks and decided on the colors I wanted to use with them, made 2 more blocks in a similar style to the wildcat blocks, sashed everything together, added a border and binding and like the end result. I have a couple more blocks to quilt and I need to figure out how I want to quilt the sashing, then the project will be complete.

Earlier in the week my dear husband brought me a dozen red roses for no reason at all, isn't that the best reason to get beautiful flowers. 

We continue to get melons from the garden, the watermelons are small but mighty good. So juicy, so sweet, so delicious! I have enjoyed a lot of melon this week. Earlier in the week I made my usual vegan bowl of goodness for lunch, I thought it looked especially pretty with the dark green of the kale, the vibrant orange of the sweet potato, and the deep, deep red of the beets. I like to mix my cooked lentils and diced tomatoes together with some nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, tumeric, lemon pepper salt, and lime juice, then I add all of my steamed veggies mix it up bit and enjoy.

Yesterday we finished up the week with a wedding, Dave's nephew Alan married his bride Stephanie. We went to the marriage ceremony, held at the County Court House, but due to Covid decided we would not attend the reception. When we returned home Dave went upstairs to change his clothes, he only changed his dress pants for a pair of shorts. I laughed when he walked into the kitchen, I told him he really looked like an old man with that kind of dress sense, LOL. 

Earlier in the week a friend messaged me with questions about canning food and what kind of canner should she buy, we message back and forth for a bit and then I remembered my Ball Blue Canning Book. I took a picture of the book and recommended that she purchase a copy, it is very inexpensive, I think I paid $4 for mine, but that was a good number of years ago. If you are new to canning, the book gives very good step by step directions to get you going, and if you are an experienced canner there are recipes for pretty much anything you could ever imagine canning.

Well that is a little bit about my past week, I hope you had a good week too.


Monday, August 17, 2020

An Enjoyable Weekend

This weekend our grandson Masen hung out with grandma and grandpa. On Sunday I took Masen on a bike ride, he rode about six miles, which I think is pretty good for a little guy who just turned five in July. 


A few scenic pics from our bike ride, and Masen trying out the giant Adirondack chair in front of the Grabill Dairy Sweet.

After our bike ride we went home. Grandpa made chicken strips for Sunday dinner, Amber and the boys joined us. Amber brought corn from her garden, and a greek salad, and I added a couple bags of potato chips and some cut up melon completed the meal. I feasted on melon. The Honeydew melon was divine. After dinner Aunt Amber gave Masen a haircut. I was amused by his before and after pictures.

Below is picture of a pretty cloud I saw while out walking early Sunday morning. The sky was very overcast except for a little break in grayness that revealed a white puffy cloud reflecting the morning sunlight.

A very silly headline I saw while waiting in the check out lane at Walmart. "7 Ways To Calm Your Pet's Covid-19 Anxiety", Seriously!!!

Bounty from the garden. Our very first canteloupe from our garden. Some lovely cucumber from our daughter Amber's garden, and luscious tomato from our garden along with some delightful green pepper. I enjoyed some cut up veggies with a little scrambled tofu for lunch, it was perfection.

And another quilt update. I have finished the border and am pleased with how it really finishes off the quilt top. I purchased green fabric for the backing, and blue fabric to make the binding along with a king size natural cotton batting. This evening I will seam the backing together and then layer the backing, batting and top and safety pin the layers together to hold everything in place. Next step will be to make the binding and put it on. Once the binding is added I can begin hand quilting, I purchased a golden-yellow thread to quilt with.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Mask Making

 Recently a mask making tutorial displayed in my YouTube feed. I watched the video and really liked the pattern, it appeared easy to make and looked like a comfortable mask to wear.  Here is the link to the tutorial. 

A brown paper bag provided good sturdy paper to make the pattern. And I picked up a few fat quarters of fabric so  I could have a variety of cotton fabrics to use.

I made a whole bunch of masks for our daughter Emily. She is training to become a paramedic and is spending hours and hours doing clinical training and has to wear a mask the whole time. Now she will always have a few extra clean ones available.

In the video tutorial the lady uses little clips to hold the binding in place. I asked my mom if she has ever used them, she said she has a box of the clips and uses them occasionally. Yesterday a package arrived in our mailbox from Amazon, Mom had ordered me a box of 100 clips. Thank you Mom!

Here is my husband humoring me by modeling one of the newly made masks.

 I was amused the other day when grandson Patrick drew a picture of a Lego character wearing a mask. A sign of the times we are living through.

Quick Quilt Update

I finished piecing the quilt top together and am now working on the outer border. I think this weekend I will be ready to buy batting and the fabric for the backing and binding.