Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wow! What a week!

I've been a little quiet lately. But it's all good! My step-son, Bob, came up from Colorado to start doing some clean up on my little Minnesota farm. Since husband Bob passed away six months ago we've been planning how the kids could help me to remove all the old vehicles and lots of old fences and buildings that weren't in very good condition. It is a gargantuan task and son Bob has done an amazing job for just six days of work! (Warning: The following journey through our junk may not interest many of you, but I thought my dad Glenn would enjoy seeing what we're up to here!) :)

Last Friday Bob showed up to begin work. He hung his hat at a local motel, rented a dump trailer and son-in-law Adam's dad gave him the use of his Bobcat. He also rented a construction dumpster which he and other helpers packed to the brim with all manner of stuff.

Missy came on Friday evening and stayed through Sunday to help. Her boyfriend Shane also helped on Sunday. What a blessing they are!

Missy and Bob tackle an old fence. Missy and Shane went around the property and removed many old wood posts like this one and filled in the holes. The fencing went on the scrap metal heap as well as the swing set in the background.
The steel posts were saved for Micah and Adam who still have some land to fence. The wood posts went in a pile that can be cut up for Micah and Adam to burn in their woodstove.

This stack of old cattle panel and dog kennel was the first thing to leave the place. One of Bob's friends actually paid for it!
Bob owns his own construction company in Colorado. There's his workin' truck.
The scrap metal pile. I mean, these folks worked hard! I have to say, I got up at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning (the only day I had off during this time) and spent 3 hours going through a pile of junk to pick out sellable items. Then when the kids arrived we could pretty much throw everything that was left. So, I DID do SOMETHING.
This is actually a picture of something that ISN'T there. Shane and Bob removed my rickety old deck. It will be replaced by something new in the future. It was a real safety hazard.
That's the deck you see cut into small pieces and stacked in the background.
Bob, filling the dumpster.
My trailer. Every farm lady needs a trailer. I decided to hang onto this one. Adam can use it to haul hay if he needs to.
This is a small part of our old vehicle graveyard. While I was at work today the scrappers came and hauled them all away. Except for the Fleetline in the middle of the picture. Bob rented a car hauler and is taking that back to Colorado where he thinks he can sell it for a good price. Things just don't sell well here. They didn't take the old semi trailer. We're still trying to figure out how to get rid of that. Burn it? That's a possibility.
When I came home from work on Monday I found that Bob had finished up my back porch. It's now very sturdy. He's the first to admit it isn't beautiful; he was just finishing up what husband Bob started. It serves the purpose!
I also found this! I didn't own any lawnmowers that actually worked, so Bob purchased this little number for me. This is all part of the "Let's take care of Mama" project that my kids have been involved in since day one. Their dad would be so proud to see them taking such good care of me!
The skirting blocks on the north end of my house are now insulated, an access door has been added and ventilation covers put where they're needed. No more skunks or cats under the house!
A middle rail was added to the landing on the ramp to keep Hazel from racing off the end!
One reason for all of this clean up is so I can apply to USDA for a loan so I can stay on the farm. I think I have a good chance of getting one. God is blessing me in so many ways. I think I will soon be able to stand on my own two feet and my kids will get a little breather.
This pair of JD's has been adopted by Adam and Doug (his dad). Neither is running quite right, but they enjoy tinkering, and I think Bob would be delighted at the idea that they stayed in the family.
I still have a bunch of antique farm equipment hiding at the back of the property. I will try to sell them one at a time online.

There will be another clean up effort later in the summer. In the meantime, I'll try to have a couple of "junque" sales to clear out some of this stuff...

I spent about an hour this evening with Millie the lawnmower. I got quite a bit done on the yard. I won't try to mow the entire lawn. I'll carve out a smaller version and Adam said he'll come over and do the rest with a rider.
Ah, summer is finally here! I have to drive to Fargo tomorrow to do some errands so Micah and the girls will come along with me to make it a girls day out. We plan to eat out and shop for some summer clothes for the kiddos. I may look at some bikes at Walmart, though I won't buy one there. I think they have the one I want at my local store, but I still have to figure out how to get it home. Ride it? Ten miles is a long way when your bike riding muscles aren't in shape!
I want a "Cruiser": one speed, wide seat, upright posture. An old lady bike, in other words, lol!
Enough of my yacking for now. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hello sunshine!

Yay! After several drizzly days the sun has appeared!

Before even eating breakfast this morning, I decided that my morning glory seeds had to be planted outside. I had sprouted them in water, and I hope I didn't drown them!

My little garden patch is looking rather unkept at the moment, but I'm going to work on it a little at a time. The two fence posts you see leaning against the cream separator will be used to hold up a short piece of  fence which will support the tomatoes and peas. That will be on the north side of the garden, to the left of the photo. By the milk can.

The rest of my seedlings are begging to be planted as well. I have to work today, but tomorrow I may get to this. I'd like to get these in before I have company for several days, beginning on Friday. My son, Bob, and daughter, Missy, are coming to help with cleaning up the old cars and stuff that Bob stockpiled over the years. Hopefully, we'll make good progress, though I'm working many of the days. I'll try to help in the evenings.
These crowded little plants are foxglove. I suppose I need to thin them a lot. Maybe snip some of them off?
More seeds waiting to be placed in fertile soil...
The trees have just started leafing out.
I planted the morning glory seeds next to the wagon wheels so they will have something to climb. I also added some sunflower seeds close to the upright posts.
I added more sunflowers here by the base of the cream separator. The old garden fork is just a decoration. It has lived a full life and is now retired. :)
Remember that place in Pride and Prejudice where Mr. Darcy's wealthy old aunt described Lizzy's garden as a "pretty little wilderness"? That's my yard! This grass was sparkling with morning dew, but you probably can't see it. Cheap camera.
I'm hoping we'll get my lawnmower running this weekend and I'll mow the yard...also a little at a time.

 Morning sunshine!

A little breakfast.

I have to be to work by noon, but I have a couple of hours to meditate on this beautiful day! Hope you all have a great day, too.

Shalom, friends.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jordan and animals that begin with C...

I'm glad to see that my son Jordan is enjoying his work as worship leader at his church in Burleson, TX! These two pictures surfaced on Facebook in the last couple of days.

Every week Jordan and a couple of the other youth ministers at his church make an announcement video. This is a candid shot of the chaos which results in a video each week.

Jordan on left.

This is an example of the shenanigans that take place at staff meetings. :)
And another group photo of Jordan and his fellow
church workers. A nice bunch of young folks!
And here is my latest set of ATC's for the Animals of the Alphabet-Letter C swap.
collared peccary



Boy, am I tired!  A long day of frying chicken. Tomorrow is a day off, but I'll be babysitting my grandgirls so Micah can make an hour and a half drive to the only dentist she can find who'll take an emergency patient! She has a bad toothache and her dentist said they could take her in 2 WEEKS! So, she's going to the Smile Center which is about 90 miles away. So, the girls and I will have fun. Hopefully, I'll also have time to run to town to do a couple of necessary errands.
Here are a few items Grandma picked up to make our day more fun...
I saw the cute little Doc McStuffin's wastebasket (we can use it to play basketball!) and that led to stickers, and coloring books. Then I had to get some fruit and veggie pouches. Oh, and fruit snacks. I think I'm prepared!
Have a great rest of your day!
Shalom to all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Animals starting with the letter B...

My current ATC swap involves drawing animals that start with the letter B. We're going through the entire alphabet! (I missed the letter A, but there will be a catch-up swap later for that.)

Here are my B animals:

 Binturong (Asian bearcat)
I'm off for the day. Have to run to town for one small errand. Yesterday I was in town from 8:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.! I had to switch bank accounts and do other business involved with all of my life changes. One just has to keep the nose to the grindstone and get this stuff done. Down the road it will all be worth it. (She said to herself.)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thrift shop finds!

A beautiful sunny day here in northern Minnesota! The summer breeze is blowing through my windows and it even topped 70 degrees!

I've already been to town to run some errands. I stopped in at the thrift store to buy a greeting card. I want to send a note to my late husband's oncologist to thank him for his wonderful care. Bob just loved him and he hoped to see the doctor in Heaven. The art on the card is created by Russian orphans and the money raised from their sale will go to build an orphanage in Mexico.

I was determined to buy just the card but, of course, once I got inside...The first thing I saw was this little vintage watercolor box. It's metal and so wonderful!

I'll actually use the paints and then refill the box with tube watercolors. I saw someone showing their old metal watercolor boxes on YouTube the other day and was hoping I could one day get one. Thank you Lord for remembering the little things that will bless us. :)
I also found this teapot for $1.99! This one is big enough to hold maybe four cups of tea. More my size for big mugs of tea! :D
I couldn't leave without looking over the book selection. Two for me and one for Audrey and Hazel.

Happy Mother's Day to me!
Tomorrow, Micah and I, along with Audrey and Hazel, are going out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant for lunch. Adam has some work plans that can't be changed, so we'll have a girl's day out! It's always a challenge when dining with young'uns, but if things get out of hand we'll put our lunch in doggy bags and bring it to my house to finish. Then the girls can run free while we finish eating. You have to be creative! ;)
Happy Mother's Day to all of you! Glenn, give Mom a hug for me!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Unearthing treasures!

I woke up in declutter mode this morning! A day off inspired me to look at my possessions and evaluate whether or not I really wanted and needed them, or I was just too lazy to get rid of them. I came up with several bags of books to go to the library for the book sale. (The book sale is today. I'm not going. That would only cancel out the good work I'm doing! lol!) I'm also going to get rid of some boxes full of old homeschooling papers. The only things I'll keep are artwork and stories the kids wrote. All of those old math and science papers that we feel guilty about throwing out don't help me to remember the creativity and humor of my three very original children. So, out they go! I'd prefer to see them cremated in dear daughter's woodstove than to think of them wandering around lost at the dump. Or falling into the hands of uncaring strangers. (Silly me.)

I've had this copy of Wanderings for many years. I accquired it through Paperbackswap. I'm thinking I'm more likely to read this than Josephus (which has a tiny font), so I set it next to my comfortable chair.

This was one of the books I used for homeschooling art class. He has lots of good tips on drawing. Worth another read!

I finally decided to part with my copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Remember that? Carla Emery sold thousands of copies because of the Y2K scare. We weren't really scared, but I loved the idea of all that info in one book. Glad I flipped through it before putting it in the giveaway bag. It was full of dried columbines and yarrow leaves!

I'm going to Mod Podge a couple of those in my journal. We'll see how that goes. An opportunity to write about my old herbalist phase. ;)

May 7. I fried chicken all day at work and drove home in the rain. :)

I had an old quilt stuck away on a shelf in my closet. It was totally shabby and ready to throw. Then I realized that there were a lot of really cute old pieces of fabric in it. I'm not a quilt maker, but it occurred to me that I could use this fabric for collaging on ATC's!

This is one of my favorite scraps. It appeals to the hippy in me!

There is so much stuff in kitchen cupboards that I never use. Jars, an old pressure canner and water bath canner, dishes, knick knacks. Someone else might need them, so I'm mentally marking them down on my garage sale list.

Here's that finished journal page. Mod Podged dried flowers always remind me of the insects trapped in amber that the Victorians loved to collect. It worked out pretty well!

Tomorrow Micah has an emergency dental visit, so I'll be going to work at 9 and then meeting her at the dentist's office at 1:30 to watch the girls while she has her teeth fixed. I think she'll be having two extractions. Prayers appreciated! (They're molars and have become infected.)

Off to enjoy the day! Hope you're enjoying yours as well. Looking forward to my weekend off! :)

Shalom, all!