Friday, December 31, 2010

A Safe & Happy New Year to You!

Mia on the way to the farm.
We just got to the farm & thankfully it was just foggy, no freezing rain like they were predicting. We are heading into town soon for pizza and then home to watch a new DVD we got for Christmas, the Northern Exposure series, and maybe The Great Outdoors if we can last that long. :-). Party animals we're not, nor want to be. I am feeling better today. No sinus pressure, finally. Every day a little better, I hope. Completely better by next weekend which is Jaelyn's first birthday & party. Can't believe it's been a year.

This morning we went out to eat with Amy & Rob for Steve's birthday at a great new restaurant in St Charles, IL. called Prazino which means "green" in Greek. The food was excellent and they are organic for the most part. They have fresh-squeezed juices and wheat grass shots....our kind of place.
Foggy day, but at least we could make it into the driveway this time :-)

 We want to wish all of you a very happy new year! May this new year be even better than the last!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sick (again)

So really, body, what's up with this? I can't believe I'm sick again.  But I guess that's not totally true. Since we have moved from the townhouse last spring, exercise has been at a minimum, if at all. Also, our healthy diet, pretty much out the window. No, we are still vegetarian, but other than that, the diet has suffered. I went for years without getting a cold or flu. Now this year, first the flu, then this cold. I guess this body really needs a good detoxing, which is what I consider this to be. Steve & I have been talking over our lack of exercise & more crappy diet a lot. We have decided to start ordering fresh, organic veggies & fruits from a place called Timber Creek Farms Organics here in Illinois. They also deliver to other states, too if you are interested. We had this service in the past (pre-farm ownership) and loved it! They deliver right to your door. I don't know about you, but I hate to waste food, so I will use what they deliver. They have a produce box called the Picky Produce Box. They put in 5 items that they choose & you pick from a long list of just about any item you could want, to complete the box. I know it's not local, but we really need to start juicing to start feeling better. Steve has what we call his "winter cough" (chronic bronchitis) again. The only time it has completely gone away is when we were juicing fresh fruits & veggies. So we will be making our first order next week. Yesterday Jaelyn went home sick from daycare with a fever. Feel better my sweet baby Jae! Just the other day, Kristin got her webcam going & we got to see a video of Jaelyn almost live. We have the "live" thing figured out now, so maybe this weekend we can talk to her & see what her reaction is.

Since I was taking naps on & off all day yesterday, I didn't get the chance to post that it was Steve's birthday! It's that last birthday before the big 6-0 & I feel bad that I was sick for it. He did go out to eat with his dad though & we will be having breakfast with daughter Amy & her husband Rob tomorrow morning before heading to the farm. I hope to feel better this weekend so we can have a pizza at The Driftless Cafe in Viroqua.

Steve is out buying the paint for the bathroom right now. I guess even if it wasn't No VOC paint, I wouldn't be able to smell it with this cold. :-)

There are a few more things I wanted to post that I have just forgotten to do. One is, my niece Lindsay got accepted into Vanderbilt University in Tennessee! This is a great accomplishment! She wants to be a veterinarian so this is a great college to go to. Congrats Lindsay! Another niece Kellie's husband had a video and print interview with Yahoo about his photography. Here it is...
Congrats again Eric!  My nephew Andy (Lindsay's brother) just came back from studying in Lebanon for the semester and took some amazing photos that we got to see before Christmas. He also told us quite a bit about the culture, food, etc. Thanks Andy!
So many good family things going on now. Some day I will sit down & write about our many family members who have been on commercials or had a brush with fame. Fun!
Ok...Steve's back & it's time for my nap :-).
If I don't write again before New Year's, have a happy one!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Gift & Monday Afternoon at the Farm

Doll Beret & Scarf sets
Noelle & Addie with their American Girl Dolls
This is the gift I couldn't show a picture of last week because my great-nieces hadn't seen it yet. So glad they liked them! I got the idea off of a blog I love to read called Resweater.  She has such good ideas. It's funny because I have been reading her blog since I started collecting wool for projects and she and my niece sat by each other at a local craft show this fall. Until then, I didn't realize that we lived so close to each other. One of the next projects I want to make is longies. They are baby or toddler pants made from the sleeves of felted sweaters. Thanks Kris for the ideas!

We finished the day at the farm yesterday by priming the bathroom. I didn't think we would get to it until next weekend so we are ahead of schedule. Now I need to get the low VOC paint so we can finish that this coming weekend.
Next week the medicine cabinet & mirror
Not too happy to be away from the farm again, but we will be back there in a few days. Have a lot to do at home so maybe it will go by fast. :-)

Mia in her favorite spot

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Know I've Said it Before....

I guess I can't say it enough. We have great neighbors here at the farm. Yesterday Jim knocked on the door and offered to help us load up firewood he had waiting for us at his house & bring it over. Steve went with him & they loaded up a pickup truck full, brought it back & stacked it. They Jim offered to plow the driveway. So they went back & got his tractor and he plowed the driveway up to the barn.

Jim told us to email him whenever we are coming up & he will make sure the driveway is plowed for us. Between them & the Amish next door, we feel very fortunate. This morning before breakfast, Lavina (one of the Amish girls), brought us some cookies and visited for a while. Life is good at the farm :-)
 Steve is mudding & sanding in the bathroom again today.  It will be ready to prime & paint this coming weekend. We will be driving up on New Year's Eve & staying until Monday afternoon so that will give us plenty of time to paint & maybe put in the medicine cabinet & mirror. We also have some ceiling lights we can put in too. After all the snow we have gotten lately, it is supposed to be in the 40's and rain this Thursday & Friday. Don't think we'll be snowshoeing New Year's weekend.

I really should get busy here instead of writing...only a few hours until we head back to Illinois.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at the Farm

So good to be back at the farm! We hadn't planned on being gone so long, but a snowstorm kept us away the last time we were planning a trip here. We left yesterday morning at 8am after an all day snow on Christmas Eve. We drove on the main roads instead of the back way & they were fine. The worst road was the country road that we live on in Wisconsin and that wasn't bad. The driveway always seems longer after a snow though :-).
We started up the hill & didn't quite make it to the barn. The county plows the long country driveways in case of emergencies but had plowed in the part going to the barn. So we stopped and trudged to the barn with the cat and her litter box & started to shovel.
Road to the farm.

So good to be at the farm again.
Snow was deeper than it looks in the picture.
After shoveling for a few minutes, Eli & the boys came down with a couple shovels.
Our Amish helpers.
That was a good Christmas greeting! After they were done they brought out their sleds and had a great time sledding down the driveway.
Kids getting ready to sled.

We got the wood stoves going and took a nap for an hour or so. It was snowing big puffy flakes when we woke up and was so beautiful. I had planned to make a Christmas dinner but we decided to watch a movie (Scrooged) and snack instead. What a great Christmas day. So relaxing once we got settled in at the farm.
This morning is sunny and in the teens. I went out after breakfast to take pics of the frosty trees. They are shimmering in the sunlight.
The long, steep driveway. Fun for sledding though.

I think I will go make some cinnamon rolls & coffee now. Later I'm going to inventory the seeds from last year and start planning the order for next year's garden and maybe start crocheting an afghan. Hope you all had a joyous Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! Hope you have a day filled with love & joy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Exciting News to Share!

Last week, my niece Trisha who writes the blog Roundabout, was interviewed by someone from the Associated Press. She has been selling wreaths on her Etsy site and they got the attention of a really nice hotel in San Francisco who bought a bunch of them. Then the reporter called her. This is the link to the article. She is written about near the end of the article & tells how to make the wreath.
I am so excited for her! She just started the Etsy shop & blog late this summer & she is already making it big! We are so proud of you Trisha :-)
Check out her blog. She is so creative...

here is the link to the article...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Back

I really took a vacation from posting this time! Not intentionally, though. We have been so busy with making gifts that I just haven't had the time. On Sunday, we had our Christmas celebration with the kids. This was to allow Kristin, Tim & Jaelyn to spend Christmas morning with Jaelyn at their own house. It really was a great way to do it considering it didn't matter to us what day we celebrate the holiday, just that we could be together at some point. We do have one more celebration at my brother's house on Christmas Eve and then we will leave for the farm Christmas morning. We have Monday off, so it will be like a normal weekend.
Rob, Amy, Steve, Tim, Jaelyn, Kristin, Shane & Joe (Steve's dad), eating delicious food that Amy & Rob made.
 It was a great time at Amy & Rob's. The food was so good. Every time we eat there, I want the recipes they use. After eating, we opened the gifts. If you have read any previous posts, you know that Steve & I were making snowman benches for gifts. Steve cut out the straight pieces and painted them  & I cut out the snowmen & painted them. Then he put it all together. Here is a pic of the finished benches...
Jaelyn sitting on the bench

After the benches were made, we launched into making the rest of the gifts. This is what Steve made...
Rob plays the guitar, so he really liked cutting board.
This is for Tim's sports equipment. It will hold three basketballs on top plus misc stuff on the shelf.

 Next, I'll show you what I made...
Jaelyn's stocking made from repurposed felted wool sweaters & the lining is from her daddy's old suit jacket.
These are Shane's curtains for his Scamp trailer.

Bears throw
Laptop sleeve out of repurposed sweaters & leather jacket
Purse ( I forgot to take a picture of it finished :-( ) made out of repurposed a sweater then lined with a cotton fabric & new bamboo purse handle.
"Minky" blanket for Jaelyn
Wool gingerbread person for Jaelyn

Four pairs of fingerless gloves made out of repurposed wool sweaters. (forgot to take a pic of the fourth)
Felt food. Eggs, pancakes, syrup & butter for Jaelyn.

We also gave knitted washcloths & raspberry jam. There is one more gift for my nieces that they haven't been given yet, so I'll post that after Christmas.
I have been reading all my favorite blogs, but hardly ever commenting on them lately. Now things should get back to normal so I have more time to relax.
I really enjoyed making all the gifts. Have you made gifts this year? If so, what are you making?
There are other things going on too. I'll try to post about that later this week...