Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Belated Christmas

Hey all, just a quick note to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I realize it was 2 days ago, but really the Christmas season lasts until Epiphany (Jan. 6 or is the the 4th--maybe I should actually check things out before I write them) anyway (and doesn't start in mid-Nov or earlier as Walmart would lead us all to believe).

I received a few wonderful things from some very wonderful family members who know me so very well. My brother and sister-in-law (well maybe just my sister-in-law) gave me a giant bag of beautiful wool yarns. My sil used to go to the Yarn Cafe every week for their knit night, so when they went out of business this fall (sadly) she was at least able to help them out by picking up large quantities of yarn (for me of all people--how did she know?).

The other gift that brought tears to my eyes was the item I have stolen so often in the past few years from my dad. He gave me his Canon. I was in shock. (and am hoping that he has plans to replace it with a brand spanking new one very soon) Now, I won't feel guilty grabbing it and taking lots more pictures.

Monday, December 01, 2008

December One, the Year's Almost Done

I feel like Fezzik from The Princess Bride sometimes when I write titles for my posts.
Pretty soon someone is going to say something like, "Stop it, not, I mean it."
and I'll shoot back, "Anybody want a peanut?"

Last week I was thinking about the Tie One On Day and thought, "Hmmm what should I do about it all."

I ended up making a bunch of whole wheat dinner rolls on Sunday afternoon (23rd) and was thinking about how I might be able to get some kind of apron. Now, I currently have three aprons and I am very attached to each one of them, so I was thinking I would go out and buy one. Then thought, "Hmmm, there is no money in my checking account right now and I don't think Dan will consider me getting an apron that essential of a thing to do, so I guess I will have to make one."

Then I remembered all of my mom's old sewing patterns are still at my house (they've never left actually).

And I found her old apron pattern!

With that I looked through my stash of fabric (Tuesday morning--I am a procrastinator after all). And started to work.

I was up all night (because other things had to get done that day too) and I was able to finish it off in time to bring it over to a woman I know who was in need of some encouragement.

I turned out sooooo pretty that I had to take a couple pictures of it!

And now, I have to make one for my mom. (She saw it and now needs one, too).

I am so excited that I was actually able to make something so pretty and this woman I brought it to just loved it (and the bread) so much. She told me that she has really been wanting an apron and doesn't have one!

So that was that and then . . .

Dan and I had a good Thanksgiving weekend. On Thursday we went to his aunt's house for the big Thanksgiving. I would say there were at least 40 people there. (And that wasn't even the whole family). Friday was pretty much a day of resting (I came into work for a couple of hours, though) or rather getting the house ready for my brother's family to stay the night on Saturday. Then Saturday we had my family's Thanksgiving dinner here in town at my parent's apartment. Two of my older brother's and their families came and we had a brief video conference thingy with my other brother's family from Idaho.

Keep thinking of things that we can do to help others out!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Take him out back to the woodpile

Back when I used to work at the school for boys who had gotten into trouble, they used to have to move woodpiles back and forth as a punishment for doing not so nice things.

Well, at our house, it isn't technically a punishment because, ummm, even if it isn't much fun we still have to do it, so the house can be warm.

Dan wanted me to take a picture of him and all that he (his brother helped a bit) has accomplished in the past year in regards to woodpiles (this doesn't include what is already in the basement).

Now, take special notice in this close-up of the dangerous hazards that can befall you while working in the out-of-doors around our place.

Dan might be wearing a warm fur cap (it was really windy that day), but I don't think it was supposed to come with a Siamese Cat attachment.

I promise to help Dan move these woodpiles into the house slowly, but surely as Winter progresses . . . no more snow since the bit that had fallen earlier in the month, but it has been chilly, chilly lately. Ice is now covering the lake just down the road from us. Dan is hoping that it will continue to freeze well, so that he might be able to go ice-skating the day after Thanksgiving.

Ohh, one more picture.

This is from Thanksgiving Day 6 years ago (Dan and I were just married). We went ice skating on this little lake not too far from his parents' place with his old dog, Ginger. We had so much fun! She loved ice skating and would even pull you around out on the ice!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kindness and other qualities that are kinda nice . . .

(Here is a random picture I took of Dan's aunt and uncle's shed just to distract you from the fact that I am a rambling person lately)

So anyway, kindness . . .

I don't know how many of you have come to my blog lately and seen on the sidebar that I have a link to National Tie One On Day (the day before Thanksgiving). By participating in this day you would make (or goodness, even go out and buy) a loaf of bread, write a little note of encouragement of some kind, wrap it up in an apron, and deliver it to someone in need of sustenance or encouragement. (If you have the means, go ahead and give more than a loaf of bread, I say, especially if you know a family is in need of sustenance).

This day perfectly wraps up what we should be doing for eachother every day. In some small way or in large ways let us all think of something we can do to encourage our neighbors whether near or far. I know I need it often enough and I know that you all need it, too.

Other organizations that do similar things to this are Operation Christmas Child, Heifer, your local food shelf, your local church, Feed the Children--the list goes on and on.

Just last night on the news, I heard of a woman just North of where I live that put an ad on Craig's List to give one family a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. Now, there is a woman that we can all aspire to be.

Let us do likewise, and not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but in January and May and August. I am not perfect in providing care and encouragement to others and I certainly need to work harder at it and not get frustrated when there are those who will take advantage of other people's kindnesses.

Let us love one another . . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things and all

It snowed this past week. At the moment it has all melted and gone, but it will soon be back. This week has been a rush of so many things-dance classes (being taught by me because the instructor was sick--aack!--and the recital is only a few weeks away--double aack!), driving to the cities, going down to Iowa last weekend to see my brother in a beautiful 0pera, The Sparks Fly Upward, (I knew he had a part, but goodness, I mean this was a PART--it was the premier of an opera about the holocaust in which there are three main families-two Jewish and one Christian-all friends. My brother played the part of the husband in the Christian family that helped to hide and protect the other families----it was a wonderful and moving opera. The composer has been working on it for 15 years and is hoping that it will get picked up by a producer or go on tour or who knows.), getting ready for an open house at the gallery, and more and more . . .

Let's look at a picture or two instead of having me write, huh?

All Better!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm not sure on a good title . . .

Hey, all---I don't know if you are a person like me (probably not, I suppose), but I have mixed feelings about events this week.

Don't get me wrong, I do think that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will do a decent job being in office. I really do think that somehow, some way people will be able to work together on things again and I am hopeful for our future.

I am a person that gets sad when people are rude to one another and who likes to see people being kind to one another. I guess I say this as an Evangelical Christian person who feels hurt by how Evangelical Christian people are shown as being ignorant of the world and extremely unkind to others who hold different beliefs from them. For me, being a Christian means that I should love others around me, including the people that are mean to me and who I disagree with, and that I should constantly strive to all around me with the same kindness Christ showed to those around Him. Maybe I am thought of as silly and naive, but I would rather look dumb, I guess, than to be someone else that I am not.

I may not be making a whole lot of sense to anyone, I am just writing out some thoughts I have had in the past few days. I was reminded recently of one of the administrators that used to speak once a week at chapel during college. He was doing a series from the Sermon on the Mount and would often tell us college students who worried about what we should be doing with our lives and what kind of jobs we would have later on and who we should be dating and all of that, "I don't know what major you should have or the person you should marry, but I do know that God's will for your life is to . . . (love one another, look at your own faults before you look at the faults of others, or care for those in need depending on the section from the Sermon on the Mount he had been preaching from that day).

I guess I think back on those days a lot when I see some controversial subject being talked about and I think, "Hmmm, God wants me to love my neighbor and my neighbor is everyone, right? I guess I need to be conscious of doing that whether I understand their life or not. God knows what He is doing and things will turn out well."

I think back on those days when Dan and I are wondering how money situations will get handled and I think, "Okay, God has things under control and I don't need to worry. Just keep going and doing the work that needs to get done and somehow things will be fine." Fine doesn't mean things won't be hard. Fine doesn't mean I get everything I want, but fine means that I will somehow have the things I need when I need them most.

Ummm . . . anyway, let's try and to be kind to one another and not be mean to someone who might have voted differently than you or I or whomever else. A little love and kindness to those who are hurting (and even to those who are not hurting) can go a long way to making people whole again.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Weekend and Horse Adventures

Well, Dan and I had a wonderful weekend, for the most part. Fun times on Halloween with a bonfire, hayride, and friends over on Friday night. Saturday was a beautiful day as well. We went out into the pasture and had a little campfire out by this little cabin my brother built many years ago all by ourselves (well, Little Hank and the dogs came out with us and the horses were munching on grass in the background, so we weren't totally "by ourselves" I guess)

If you look straight above the round bale a little ways, you will see a little whitish thing on the hill and that is the cabin. My mom took this picture before Dan and I were married (over six years ago now, but the landscape hasn't changed all that much except that we make small square bales not round bales)

Sunday we went to church and then ate out at Carlson's Orchard which is a restaurant and apple orchard open only in the Fall that I worked at for one season (the year Dan and I were married in fact). Mmmm . . . we had tasty fresh foccacia club sandwiches, cider, a little soup, and apple pie!

We came home and Dan decided he would like to try out riding Beauty. (My horse that I have not yet ridden, but she has been ridden about three times and worked with some and all that, ummm, but she is still stubborn about stuff (hmmm, much like me)).

She behaved really quite well as Dan was putting the saddle on and adjusting and tightening things. I mean not perfect or anything, but she wasn't mad at all. Then Dan got on her and she was just like a bucking bronco. (and I was standing right next to them--eeeeks)

Well, I ran away, Dan flew off her, and then she came running back for me. Then I had to run again. Dan said she looked like she was about to pounce on me and I thought it seemed like she was trying to slow herself down not to hit me, but there are now huge skid marks at the spot I had been standing. Poor Dan got the brunt of it all though. It has been a while since he was thrown off a horse (In fact, I believe he has been thrown off of all of our horses now. Old Reno used to be a fighter and Checotah was even worse. They have calmed down a great deal now that they are in their mid-twenties). Nothing is broken and I gave him a good back massage last night, but he may be needing to see the chiropractor. We'll see how he is feeling tonight. His neck felt stiff this morning, but he wasn't dizzy or anything!

Beauty calmed down, too. She was able to get led around and have the saddle get pulled on and pushed around on her and all of that without getting upset. Next time Dan will take more time getting up on her (he said that she seemed so calm up to that point it didn't seem like he would have to do the normal just leaning on the saddle a bit and that kind of stuff, but he figures that was a bad idea now) and hopefully she will respond a lot more nicely.

Poor Dan gets the tough jobs around our house--all I really spent the day doing yesterday was washing and folding clothes and doing some Christmas knitting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

She's Got Personality

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Non-conformist, Visionary, and Independent

4 Abstract, -6 Islamic, -6 Ukiyo-e, -1 Cubist, -4 Impressionist and -14 Renaissance!

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists independently of what may appear to others as visual realities. Western had been underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. It allowed the progressive thinking artists to show a different side to the world around them. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a 'new kind of art' which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Abstract artists created art that was diverse and reflected the social and intellectual turmoil in all areas of Western culture.

People that chose abstract art as their preferred artform tend to be visionaries. They see things in the world around them and in people that others may miss because they look beyond what is visual only with the eye. They rely on their inner thoughts and feelings in dealing with the world around them instead of on what they are told they should think and feel. They feel freed from the tendency to be bound by traditional thought and experiences. They look more toward their own ideas and experiences than what they are told by their religious upbringing or from scientific evidence. They tend to like to prove theories themselves instead of relying on the insight or ideas of others. They are not bound by common and mundane, but like to travel and have new experiences. They value intelligence, but they also enjoy a challenge. They can be rather argumentative when they are being forced or feel as if they are being forced to conform.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Friday, October 24, 2008

Alarming ;o)

Well, guess how I spent most of my afternoon . . .
Dealing with an alarm system and trying to get ahold of people who can fix it. Thankfully, all is well now and has been fixed, but golly-gee these systems are a little screwy sometimes.

Anyway, now tonight I get to go to a play with friends (wooo, its a double date-how exciting). We are going to see a community theater production of Arsenic and Old Lace starring the director of our old high school one act plays plus a couple of other productions I have been in. It should be fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I am cold today--been chilled all day ever since I got out from underneath my warm, cozy covers this morning. (I didn't want to leave them, but I had to go and do things that just aren't getting done all that well today because I never really wanted to leave my warm, cozy bed). We have 3 quilts and one of those warm fuzzy blankets on our bed right now and that sound so nice . . .

I am currently wearing these cozy leg warmers-in fact I did last night, too along with socks and a pair of fuzzy slippers with a blanket wrapper around me as I knit and watched TV

It was 52 in our house this morning when I woke up--I don't know what it was when Dan left for work this morning at 6, but he was cold, too. He even said so and his poor hands and nose were cold, too. I know this would be a fairly easy thing to fix. We could plug in our electric baseboard heaters, but I hate to have to pay for too much electricity as it is only October and we have a whole winter ahead of us.

Soon you will begin to warm our home, won't you?

We were going to bring wood into the basement this week (and still will), but it will take a bit of situating as things with the well and other stuff happened in the basement this summer and the spot where we haul the wood into has some shelves in it at the moment and so an old fruit cellar has to have scary spider webs and nasty things taken out of it to put the shelves into it,blah, blah, blah . . . all fine and good and we even could have brought in a little bit of wood just to last us a few days, but then it rained good and plenty on the wood, so I am cold today . . . not the worst thing ever, but I just wanted to whine for a few minutes.


I think I will make some nice eggs with ham and toast for supper tonight. That sounds warm delicious. mmmm

Monday, October 20, 2008


It has been chilly here lately. Enough so, that we need to start bringing wood in the house to warm up this week. (Our house has lately been ranging in temperatures between the mid-fifties and mid-sixties) If we weren't such cheapskates we would have already had some kind of heat on for the past few weeks. Instead we have big blankets on the couch, nice fuzzy slippers, and plenty of quilts on the bed. (I think I am going to put the flannel sheets on this week, too).

With the cool days come beautiful colors and the need to get things out of the garden!

I went out on Saturday and picked the remaining butternut squash and gourds. Everytime I thought I was done picking the gourds, it seemed that I would find another couple hiding out under a leaf or in the carrots!

Even Hank got involved!

I also went for a walk out into the pasture to get some pictures of the fall color before the wind blew all of the leaves off of the trees. We have had some wonderful color around here this fall!

Dan worked up on the roof finishing up a small section of siding . . . you never know, someday the whole house might be sided and looking pretty again.

On Saturday I also got a little something in the mail! It's my October sock mailing from Sundara Yarn. This picture doesn't show off the color the best, but it is a beautiful deep purple that has some darker and lighter hues spread throughout. I think these might become some Christmas socks for my mom!

Finally, I have been working on some socks of my own again. I have two skeins of this yarn and I think that these could turn into some nice knee socks. I love having long socks to wear in the winter and fall in our old, drafty house.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Last time I posted it was Summer (I think . . . technically)

Well, it has been a while since I have posted (I am actually at the computer every day, but you know how it goes--the longer you go between posting, the more stupid and guilty you start to feel about not writing anything and so you don't write anything and you see how interesting other people are and that really you don't feel all that interesting and on and on and on) Today I bit the bullet and finally decided to post.

I was sorting through some photos that I have taken and I saw a couple that were noteworthy.
First off-----The Barney.

Barney is now a full-fledged outdoor cat. He doesn't want to believe it, but he is. Last winter he decided to start peeing on our bed in the basement and spraying furniture in the house. Yuck . . . he wanted to be in charge and knew he wasn't, so he started to fight back.
I feel bad (Dan doesn't) sometimes when he is meowing outside, but he has plenty in the out of doors to keep him busy and we hug him and cuddle him and feed him his yummy, yummy food.
When he isn't up whining by us at the house he sleeps in the hay in the barn. I love it when he does that and then comes up to us to get petted and picked up. He smells of dry alfalfa. Mmmmm.

Now for old tires . . .

Remember last Spring when I wrote about going to the scrap metal yard? Well, we took some of the money we got from the metal and were able to get rid of the many, many old tires we had sitting behind our old shop. (This picture doesn't even show all of them)
Soon the old scrap area will be beautiful (or weed filled, whatever) and eventually we will be able to reseed out there and have the area between our barn and shop and stuff like that made back into a little barn yard (maybe even for the dogs to be able to run around in when we are gone for the day!).

Alrighty, I have work to get to, so see you all later. Oh, and knitting has been happening, too. I am working on a fine Christmas present (oh, it is so pretty that I really want to keep it---but I won't---if you are reading this Melissa, I won't tell you what it is, but you probably know that I would be doing something along some lines as I did for Linda and Barb.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

This is why "they" hate "us"

Please, I don't often just put random links here or anything, but please go watch this. It is terrible and awful to watch, but please watch it. You might regret it, but hey, you trust me, right?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Can I tell you something? I am sooooo disappointed.

I was going through all of my picture folders and all of our flash disks and I am missing some stunning pictures that I took about a month ago. I recently started sorting all of my pictures into categories and getting things all updated for the last month and all that and a whole disk of pictures is gone . . . GONE!

Never to be seen again. Erased at some moment thinking that they were safely already put onto a computer or a CD or something. I am very sad. The only picture I have from that disk is this one

Do you see the gorgeous light I was working with? I had pictures of the horses in the tall grass on the back of our property. I had pictures of kittens playing just outside the barn door. I had close ups of these fuzzy thistles with the setting sun warming them and making the beautiful. Those pictures made me happy that we have thistles in our pasture growing out of control in places. It was the only time I was ever happy to see thistles that I can remember.

Will I ever come across the same lighting and time of year again. Maybe, you never know, but once, I happened to take this silouette of myself against our house that turned out so nicely and I have tried and tried and tried to recreate that moment on other farm buildings around our place and I never been able to do it.

Why, why, why . . . oh, the humanity---I took this one picture off of that little disk because I didn't have time to do more.

Can I say it again?

I am soooooooooooooooooo disappointed.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fun photos of the weekend!

Lot's of chicken

Dunk Tank!

At the parade

Niece and nephews at the picnic table--sippy cups and mac and cheese--what a picnic!

Little Halle on the deck!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Red Rooster Days!

I made this little ad for our chamber of commerce back earlier this summer--whatcha think?
(The rooster isn't mine--it was designed for our city by a guy named Andy Grams and it will be going on the town's new water tower--he did a good job, huh?)

It is Labor Day weekend once again, but around here we know it as Red Rooster Days (and it is the reason I have been so quiet lately). We've been a-printin' banners, a-hangin' art up town in the Ergot Museum, a-updatin' info. on the local cable channel and city website (that's one of my part-time jobs), and a-workin' on puttin' together all sorts of people's frames.

Oh, and I've been a-gettin' ready for comp-ny, too because my brother from ID and his family are coming for a visit this week!

In the meantime,

. . . Lil' Hankers has been growing up.

Isn't he just the sweetest . . .

I think he likes me--okay, I know he likes me and Dan. He braves coming up onto the deck past the big, scary dogs that sometimes like to see if he is a good and tasty morsel just to meow at the door to come inside.

Speaking of big, scary dogs . . .

. . . they can be so vicious sometimes. See how they have crowded up around this guy? I bet they won't let him go until he gives them a belly rub.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Some days just get so busy that it is nice just to sit back and look at pretty pictures.
(stole the good camera again!)
Well, back to the job, grrr (or not grrr, considering the months of Jan-June were really slow!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A logo

Hey, I am back from my trip and have yet to scan in any photos of our trip (my dad seemed to want his digital camera on his camping trip rather than sending it along on mine--crazy, huh?)

Anyway, this is just a quick post to show a logo I did in photoshop and a brief description of how I did it. (maybe of no interest to anyone, but you never know).
© 2008 elisabeth schmieg and the midwest garden company

I made this logo by combining a couple of photographs. (The cabin in one and trees in another-erasing stuff and layers and all that)

If I remember right after I had done all that:
1. I then went in and upped the contrast
2. Went into the unsharp mask (under filter and then sharpening) and way over did it until it looked neat to me
3. Then did the poster edge filter (under artistic) moving the sliders around until it looked interesting.
4. Lastly, I did the palette knife filter (also under artistic) moving stuff around until I liked it.

I've done a bunch of fun things with these filters layered upon filters actually-

I thought this looked cool, but half the time I don't recall what exactly I did to stuff--I suppose I should write down what my favorite things are to do, but golly I have a bunch of knitting, drawing, musical stuff to do (plus the garden and my 3 part-time jobs---and the dishes (I think I'll do them last--do they make paper pots and pans that I can just through away once i am done cooking?)), so I probably won't get around to it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Going on Vacay!!!!!

Well, tomorrow morning Dan and I are going to be headed out on a nice little vacation. (Well, not overly little--10 days!!!!!!)

Sometime mid-morning-ish (because when it comes to a vacation who really wants to be up at 4 am and on the road by 5? maybe you do, but not me!) we will drive away into the wild blue yonder. I know, I know gas prices are terrible, but if we want to go out to Glacier National Park and then on to my brother's place in Idaho it is still cheaper to drive than to take the airplane or the train. (crazy, I know it)

Anyway, before I go I thought I would post a couple of pictures of a couple fun items.

First and foremost, I have made and finished my socks from the Lorna's Laces Grumperina colorway that I won this past Spring!

I put a nice little picot edge on the top because I thought it would be pretty.

Here they are in all their glory!!!!

Next, I have now gotten the yarn to make a nice Clapotis. It is Malabrigo in the Loro Barranquero colorway (purchased from the Yarn Country)

Ain't it purty . . .

and a close-up of the gorgeous yarny goodness!

I will be working on this shawl on my trip (along with a cotton market bag, and a bunch of little Viking Hats for the nieces and nephews)

Last, but not least are some photos I took of the dogs a week or so ago playing in the yard. The battery was dying on the camera, so it wasn't wanting to auto focus very well and with the speed that these pups were going I couldn't keep up, but let me tell you even though a couple of these shot are blurry, they are well worth it for the sheer enjoyment that these pups show when they get to wrestle around!

Here they are being pretty sedate . . .

then . . .
they're off!

I think this might be some fancy wresting move that they use on the WWE (is that what it is called? It used to be the WWF back when I was little and I don't keep track of such things)

Now this last one is quite fuzzy, but it is quite a fun one anyway.

Look at the wild looks on those faces.

I think that not long after this dogs went to their separate corners--Dakota goes under the deck and Montana runs to the garage.

Have a good week all-see you again after the 12th (I'm not sure if you will be able to expect photos, though because I don't own my own digital camera and I don't know when we will get the film developed-we just developed a bunch of our film from last fall through the present a few weeks ago)