Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Little Furry Angel

My friend, Amy, lost her best buddy of 10 years, quite suddenly about 2 weeks ago.  His name was Colby.  Here is the ornament I made for her to hang on her angel Christmas tree....

It is so hard to take a picture that really shows how cute he is. 
I'm sure she will love him when she gets him in her hands tomorrow.  And that makes my heart happy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

TALL Ladders, New Windows and a Whimsy

We are getting ever closer to weather tight...a race with the seasons!  When I left on an art job trip to the southern part of the state this morning, we needed 4 more windows and 3 doors.  Tonight we need 2 windows and 2 doors, thanks to Mike for helping my little husband today.

Here is the house on Thursday, last week...

Then, my little husband and I got busy on the TALL ladders:

It is quite the process.  The little middle ladder is for my little husband to climb as he pushes the window up in front of him.  I am waiting inside to grab it and pull it into the window hole.  He holds it in place while I make sure it is level and plumb on the inside.  He nails 2 nails in the top corners.  Then he goes down the little ladder and we both go up the TALL ladders with our nails and hammers to finish nailing.  The last step is putting the weather tight flashing around 3 sides.  We got the 3 windows done on the front!  Even with two fun visits from friends, Karyn, Lydia and Aiden first and then Anne and John, the architect!  It is fun to hear from others how much we have gotten done, since mostly all I can see is how much still needs to be done!
Today, my little husband and Mike got the windows in the back done...but no photos.
Here are the views from some of the windows....ahhhh!  Love it.

I can't wait to watch the scenes change with each season.
We took our Mercy dog with us one day to supervise...she's such a good and pretty girl.

And here is the reason I drove, with my friend Stevie, to the south of the state today.  I got invited to participate in a show called, Whimsy, at Tamarack: The Best of West is my contribution.
She is called, "Tutu Cute" and is framed in a black 11x14 frame.   Did you smile?

Tomorrow we are off to the south of the state again to visit my dad, who is having serious memory issues...dementia? alzheimers?...
He needs some help, but isn't willing just yet.  How do you have that conversation?
Say a prayer, please.   Thanks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ladybug Showers, Violets and Red Leaves

We are making progress on the roof...progress like it might be all on today!  Five new windows are in.  The weather is stunningly cooperative (for the last day in the next few).  Some guy from the state came to cite us for paying our helper bees who are not licensed contractors....aaaarrrrggghhh.  But, he said they could finish getting the roof on, so there is that.  Live and learn.
Today it really rained ladybugs...the pictures don't do it justice.  They were everywhere!  Ears, hair, shirts...I only squished one that I know of.
OH!  Everywhere like one just crawled out of my cleavage right now! 
All those tiny dots are ladybugs.

As are all of these...but there were really more than this seems.

On one of my many trips around the yard today, picking up things, moving things and dodging ladybugs this is what I saw.  The purple stopped me in my tracks.  Purple at this time of the year?  Asters, yes, but not low to the ground like this...
Nice, huh?
And I sent out my ornament exchange package to England...wanna see?
My exchange partner has three daughters who are all about pink so I hope they each enjoy one of these especially.  It's my first exchange and I can't wait to see what comes to me....anticipation!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Perfect Fall Day

Just sayin' up front that I don't have any photos of this perfect fall day because still photos just won't even touch its wonderfulness!
The sky is blue, yes, that perfect sky blue, just like the crayon, with puffy white clouds scooting quickly through on their flat, slightly gray bottoms.  The wind is blowing so that it sounds like the proverbial mighty rushing it Pentecost?  The leaves are dancing.  Twirling as they fall and swirling into little choreographed circle dances on the ground.  The branches are swaying and sighing and delighting in the dancing.  The grass is green, the light is bright, the air is brisk...ok, cool, like in I might take a blanket to wrap up in as I sit outside.
I am going to take some felt and thread and sit at La Ti Da and work on Christmas gifts while "the boys" work on the roof.  I kind of miss it being just my little husband and me doing things, but I don't want to be on the roof, so I will watch and sew and revel in the perfect fall day.
Hope you are having a perfect fall (or spring) day, wherever you are today...and hoping I have at least half a roof done by the end of the day.
How can you not see the glory of God in nature?

Later that same day....
OK.  So, I couldn't stand it.  I tried taking a little movie with my little camera and now I am going to try to put it on here....

Also, I couldn't decide between the two that I tried, so you can watch both...or neither....
I think I was wrong when I said the branches were sighing ... more of  full throated chortling!
And here is a quick picture of my monkey helpers on the roof...way up on the roof....while I am safe on the ground - praying!

It is probably that I have a really old computer....and she is very slow, but I just can not wait will probably be able to see where the little movie was going to be...
Sorry.  It was cool.  You could hear the wind and everything.
Not to worry, though.  I enjoyed it enough for all of us. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

One Fourth of a Roof

So, yesterday they delivered our metal for the this tiny pile.  This is the tiniest pile we have had delivered...
How can this tiny pile be enough to keep me safe and dry for the next 45 or 50 years?  Really?
We needed a whole other big truck for this????

It's long, but...

That's it.  That's all there is.  For that price?????
So, today they started putting it on and got the front of  the tall part almost completed.  I'm impressed.  It was a really windy day here today.  Can you see the leaves on there already?

And the ladder?  That is the invention of our roof guy, Mr. Bob. 
It hooks over the top of the roof so you can climb up and down....very helpful.
Everyday, I can see clearer and clearer what my new home will be.   Ahhhh.

And for these rainy days, I invented the rain blocker for our generator....very helpful.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

San Antonio & Progress

I flew, for the weekend,  (which brings up many other thoughts of largesse and blessing) to San Antonio for a Women of Joy conference.  I laughed, I cried, I learned and grew (and not just from all the yummy food).  There was joy, conviction and challenge...oh, and there was San Antonio! 
I was challenged to dance on the battlefield and reminded that we are indeed in a battle in this world.    Battle to be the best I can be as a child of  God and to call others to the dance.  Anita Renfroe (google her, because I don't know how to add that click here thingy)makes me laugh hysterically and the singing always makes me cry...that many  women of  faith singing their hearts out to God...powerful.  I love seeing all of us there together for no other reason than to worship.  We would be a force to be reckoned with if we could hold that power and share it when we get home.
We are not promised one more day...each one is a gift.  I want to wake up every morning and rip that gift open with the abandon of a child...well, I really still do open gifts like that...I can't wait to see what it is...and the gifts that God gives are ever so much better than the best gifts given here...
But I fight my feelings of unworthiness all the time...I know...I shouldn't...and I'm working on it...
So, that was the conference and here's San Antonio:
Good morning!  While we were there it rained some of each day, after a 4 month or so drought,
and they had a little tornado that stacked up about 19 mail trucks.  We couldn't even complain about the rain
because they so needed it and it was still warm, if not hot, outside.  We walked everywhere.

Our hotel used to be First Alamo Bank...can you see the Alamo?  And I just have to say that my
history teacher was not clear enough on the whole Alamo thing...we didn't win!
Just goes to show the power of believing in a cause and being willing to stand up...
I didn't know they lost, but I knew they were courageous to the end...heroes!

The River Walk....amazing.  We took a night time boat ride, but the little
camera just can't do night photos!  Sorry.

We went to the Marketplace and ate at Mi Tierra, because Tanna told me about the tortilla soup! 
She left a good bit of information out....while there....

...we got serenaded...

...and amazed by the decorations!  Yikes.

Hey!  What's wrong with this building?
And speaking of building...while I was away the roofing fairies were hard at work.
They might prefer being called roofing worker bees, but it seemed kind of magical
to go away and come back to a whole new look on the house.

We're going to need lights soon, since they covered up most of the sky light we used to have. 

Ahh, progress....

While the worker bees were working today, I mowed and took the garden fencing down.  I want to move it next year.  As I was taking it down, I found this wonder....and felt bad about messing up the web....

Unwrapping the gift of this day...gratitude for my ever wonderful husband and his worker bees...amazement at the wonders you can find in the garden fence...and joy at being home.  Oh, and anticipation for a fun time at Zumba!  Pretty good gift, huh?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Small Beauty and Joy

While we worked in the really heavy mist, but not quite rain, at La Ti Da yesterday,
 I kept being overwhelmed with sparkles and shine...

There was so much.  So much beauty in such small and insignificant places.  As soon as I noticed these drops of diamond, I tried to walk only where I had already walked so as to not dislodge anymore of the magic.  How can a Creator who creates diamond drops for the weeds to wear, not care about me?  If  only I would look and see, I am sure there are diamond drops on me, from time to time....

I really tried to not be in the picture, but there I am in both of them.  Still water and shiny.

And I will be gone for a weekend to San Antonio for the Women of Joy conference...that was paid for long ago, while I was still working.  The last one I went to was within driving distance.
My take away from that one was the song, I Am A Friend of God...He calls me friend. 
Some days I am not a very good friend to my God...forget to talk to him or check in with him. or stand up for him...and still he showers my life with beauty...sparkles and shine!
So. perhaps no computer while I am away.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buckwheat Festival: Sunday!

Off to church we went this morning...drove through some rain trying really hard to be snow!  Gotta wait to love the snow until I get a roof on.
Anyway, at church, a friend put out a plea for help in the buckwheat kitchen for his wife who is the  co-director of the high school band who was in charge of 2 kitchens today.  So, rushed home, changed clothes, rushed to the buckwheat eating place for our final feast of the year and then started helping in the kitchen...flipping the cakes.  I so much prefer working at the frantic pace in the kitchen than being on the eating floor trying to keep everyone happy. 
Here's a quick look at the process...which is all done in a sort of neverending (if you are doing it right) assembly line.

Step #1    Stab a piece of pork fat, left over from the sausage making process, and slather the hot grill as soon as it is empty.
                    (see the lady in the dark blue shirt)

Step #2    Pour the batter as close as you can without touching...if you are really good you can get 21 on the grill at a time!  (except for that skinny first grill that only handles 2 rows)

Step #3    Flip the cakes.  The first flip comes when the wet part of the batter is about the size of a silver dollar in the middle.  The second flip comes about 1 minute after that.
Hmmm.  Did I flip one too high?  Or am I just waiting for my silver dollar?

Step #4    Stack them 3 high and hold them out for a plate.
Step #5   The one I have been doing all weekend...ENJOY eating them.

So, I was happy to help and I got out before I had to be on the clean up crew!  A little chocolate milk and a nap for me.
Thanks to Stevie for the pictures.

Oh, we ordered our metal roof on Saturday!  Soon, very soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Buckwheat Festival: Farmer's Day

Today it is cold and wet and windy.  Not the weather you want for the Festival, but it happens now and again.  Makes for an even better day to go inside, sit down and eat some more buckwheat cakes!

There are 3 kitchens in the Community Building and various community groups staff them for a fund raiser.  We used to do this when we were in charge of the Special Olympics.  It is a long hard day, but the pay off was pretty good.  One of the things that I enjoy is that always there are people eating with me that I don't know...and we get to chat.

A little, well, OK, a lot of rain didn't keep everyone away.  The sensible people came prepared:

All the little ones in their rain gear.

Very near the end of a long, cold, rainy parade and still smiling...but not everyone is waving!
Lots of antique tractors in the Farmer's Day parade.  There are also lots of animals
that are on their way to become, I don't watch all of this parade.

Horses for you Kristen.

And this little family on their way to have fun in spite of the weather.  That's the spirit!

I had a request for any knitted crafts, so here is what I found for you, Tanna.
 This is a shawl, I believe, with a lovely fall colorway...see, I'm learning the lingo! 
Here is a close up.

This is an upside down baby blanket...too tired to fix the photo....sorry.

And here is first and second place in the hand spun natural fibers.

For those who don't know about is not a grain, but rather a fruit.  I have never really looked this up, but have been told this since I moved here.  It grows on these plants

and you take the groats, after the bloom fades,

that are this cool 3D triangular shape, and grind them to use. 
Kasha is also buckwheat. 
Some people use the hulls to fill pillows. 

Here is a final food, just wow.

Some of the things I missed this year were the bicycle decorating contest, pet show, lamb dressing contest and the livestock sale.  I never go to the livestock sale, but try to hit the others.  Tomorrow is just buckwheat cakes and recovery for me, but there is a car show and Irish road bowling which I have never seen.
Hope you enjoyed my enjoying of the Buckwheat Festival.  Let me know if you need a native guide for next year.
Sometimes do you stop and look at your town as if you were in a foreign country?  I do that sometimes and it give me a wonderful new perspective on things I usually just take for granted.
My little town has it problems, but it also has it perks and the BWF is a big one, in my opinion!