Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Changing the attitude....

It is early September and I am already in "hunker down" mode.

You know -- from the moment fair season ended ..... county fairs, state fairs ..... my mind set always went to blue jeans, wool sweaters and apple cider fresh from the press.

And I am there now.

I'm thinking about spinning and knitting, teaching classes and cooking soup.  Yea ... I'm ready to turn the page on this summer.

So .... it is time to prepare for the long winter.

This weekend tomatoes took center stage.  My friend Debbie and I canned 44 quarts of tomatoes on Saturday.  Honey was right there too!  A true community effort.

Which was totally awesome ....... but we really do need to do more.  So next weekend -- we are at it again!!  We need salsa.  I am down to the last two jars..... which I must have been hoarding or they would have been gone by now!

You have all heard the tales of our storm damage ........ over and over and over again!  Well ... FINALLY! Honey has most of the downed trees cut, split and stacked.  And we would never have been close to this without the help and the log splitter of a dear friend!  :)

We've got wood!!!!

And more wood!!!!

And still more wood!!!!

Yea ... the woodstove will be going full blast this winter.

And finally, still in the warm-me-up-mode, I bought my first quilt kit.  

Yea.  Yea.  Yea.  (Insert the sarcasm font!) I bought a kit.  And what should be a simple kit at that.  

Yes.  I do know how to sew.  Yes.  I can pick out my own fabric.  But I didn't.

So a preview of warm things to come ....... my new quilt kit. It is a lap throw .... I hope to use a wool batt in it.  The flannels are so soft and the colors will warm up a cold winter night.  I think it is the perfect starter quilt.

This picture is from Fern Hill's website.   If you sew or antique or restore or eat .... you have got to go to Fern Hill in South Amana Iowa.  I have shopped there since 2002 ..... and I love it!  The nicest women ... beautiful fabrics ... antique quilts.... antiques ... architectural salvage .... and really great fudge.

Which pretty much sums up what I love about winter.  Good friends, antiques, fabrics and yarns, good wine and really great fudge.  

Sounds perfect to me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Maybe ?????

I get the same question over and over again.

When is the best time to come out to the garden to pick flowers?

My first response is mid to late June.

The lilies are in bloom ... there is color everywhere.

And then, August and September roll in.

A bucket I cut for a customer.

And suddenly .... the colors are deeper and brighter and richer.

 There are bold, beautiful, golden Black-eyed Susans.

Another everlasting .... see the white statice in the lower right corner?

There are everlastings, such as strawflowers and cockscomb that will last through out the winter.

There is the deep blue of the ageratum, the pink of the gomphrena and the rainbow of china asters, waiting to brighten the day.

Benary zinnias are so beautiful!!!

And the intense brightness of the zinnias.  Orange, red, pink, purple, and yellow.  They scream Summer!!!!

Champagne and pink picotee lizzies

It was a rough season for the lisianthus this year.  But the ones that survived ... have thrived and delight me with their rose-like beauty.

So when is the best time to pick???


Maybe now.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some days ...........

Years ago, I asked a guy that I was dating why he had asked me out.  And I got this answer.

Some days, you just have to do things that scare the sh*t out of you.

(I was just a tad intense at the time!)

But he was brilliant ..... and that simple line impressed me.  Since I married him, I have been reminded of that line often.

Earlier this month, I was asked to do flower arrangements for a wedding reception.

I quickly responded with my usual answer .... I grow the flowers.  I don't do arrangements.  I don't drink that much.

Yea ... arrangements, brides, weddings .... scare the living daylights out of me.

(Obviously, I have seen one too many episodes of Bridezilla.  Actually, I have only seen part of one episode and that was too many for me!!!!)

But some how .... I pushed my fear aside and created these.

And I learned something.

I survived.

And again .... the lesson came back to me.

Fear of failure keeps us from soaring.

When I taught my first cooking class .... I was terrified!!  I was not a teacher.  I'm a good cook ... I'm fairly knowledgeable ... I'm funny and I like to include the class in the process.  But a teacher .. no way!!!  But I did it.

And I survived.

I was a bundle of nerves for my first sewing class.  Again ... sleepless nights, worried, worried, worried.

And now ...  sewing is one of my favorite things to teach.

I survived.

They say the world is full of nay-Sayers waiting to take you down.  And I know they are there. 

But the most powerful nay-Sayer lives in your own home.  Sleeps in your own bed.  And looks back at you in the mirror.

Honey is right ..... again.

Some days, you just have to do things that scare the sh*t out of you.