Friday, May 29, 2015

Plum tree is gone!!!!

Sadly we had to bid our largest plum tree a fond farewell. It had these terrible growths. The local plant nursery said it wouldn't hurt the tree but the fruit this year was half the size as normal and the warts had grown on every branch.

The tree was also at the top edge of our garden and shaded our asparagus patch so badly that they wouldn't produce as well as they need.
The warts were spreading to our other plum trees so we decided it needed to go. And strangely when we cut it, the wood inside something dead. Since we cut it, the asparagus has begun to come back in that area of the bed that was shaded. But it looks so strange to not see that old tree there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Radom shots

Just a few random shots....
These are some rivers in my area.
This is the Cossatot River. It is known for canoeing and can be dangerous at times. Very very clear spring water feeds it and it is so much fun to play in this river. I remember going there when I was a young child and getting leeches. Leeches will not live in any water that is not you know it is a clean enough river to drink if it has leeches. (I can hear you saying yuck!!!)
This is close to the headwaters of the Little Missouri River. This is a park area called the Little Missouri Falls. Many visit in the summer to enjoy sitting in the spa like falls. But watch out!!!! Water is cold enough to bring on hyperthermia.

I have been trying to eat better the last few years. My heritage is Danish on my mother's side of the family. Grandparents all immigrated from Denmark. Mother was full Dane. Anyway much of the foods they eat are finger type foods and I love eating this way. Here is a meal I would love.

I'm soon to work on a new outdoor project. I got some old wooden shutters a few years ago. I painted them red and used them in my youngest son's café for decorations. When he sold the café I then used them in my own collectible shop. I couldn't bear to sell them and so have had them stored for the past few years. I am now wanting to make some of these for yard art.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We ate our first new potatoes yesterday. We planted 2 kinds. We planted a yellow potato for the first time and the plants are huge and bloom so beautifully.
We only dug 2 small hills of the plants that looked the worst and we have a mess of new potatoes for at least 3 eatings.

Our squash and cucumbers have small fruit now as well. It is taking them so long to mature. Up in the summer with the summer heat, they can ripen overnight.

We have loads of sand plums or what we call wild plums. Hubby dug up the trees a few years ago on the side of a road and planted them in 2 spots. They spread by root and so now our tiny bushes are these huge masses. See the tiny fruit...and they make such great jam.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Our baby blue birds have left their nests. Sometimes they will nest up to 3 times in a season. They are such gorgeous birds.

As always in the bird kingdom, the male is brighter than the female.

Our garden is looking really nice. The corn is tasseling and the beans are blooming and setting little beans. The green sweet peas are about filled out enough to pick. We are going to dig a few new potatoes today for our lunch.

Today is Memorial day so I'm remembering the reasons why we have this holiday. Here are my main reasons. My dad, hubby's day, hubby and 2 sons.
Today is also a very special day as it is my hubby and my 36th anniversary. We are not doing anything special but just enjoying life and our home place.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

We are due more rain. So far for the month of May we have had over 13 inches. But it really hasn't drowned our garden too bad. It has stressed our beans is about all. But the rain we are supposed to get for the next 2 days are supposed to cause flooding.

We shop in Hot Springs, Arkansas at least once or twice a month. It is the biggest town nearest us. The town itself is a National Park and is known for it's Hot Bath houses. It has been a destination for people wanting to try healing hot waters. There are open springs and then there are the old historic bathhouses.

There is also the only horse racing track in our state. The town is known for the doings of the Mafia back in the 1920's. In fact Capone hung out at the Ohio Club downtown. The old Ohio Club is still there.

Hot Springs downtown lies between 2 ranges of the Ouachita Mountains and therefore it sometimes has flash flooding. They have asked people not to park on Central Avenue for the next few days due to the rain we are supposed to get.

I just love our area as you can tell.

Here is a photo of our oldest son and his family.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Our hawklets are flying the coop. We watched them all day yesterday as they ventured out onto the tree branches. They are gorgeous and fully feathered. The parents have left and now it is up to them to fly. Last year one stayed up in the tree for a few days with no food or parents helping until finally he got brave enough. This year they both seem to be eager to leave.

We got our cedar back from the little sawmill. I'm so excited. now it is drying in the rafters of our big shop. Then hubby will make me a new bed and chest of drawers. Can't wait.
On Monday, one of my Daughter-in-Loves brought Miss Molly out for a visit after school. Molly brought one of those old fashioned magnetic metal shavings hair shaker thing. We had so much fun walking around the place and playing.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Our state of Arkansas is just gorgeous. We seem to have almost all landforms. We personally live in the Ouachita National Forest and mountain area which is on the western side of the state. I thought I would share a few photos of places near where I live.

This first picture is of the Ouachita Mountains. You can see they are low mountains but spaced close together unlike the Ozarks.
Like I've mentioned before we are surrounded by many clear cold rivers and creeks all of which are spring fed. This next photo is of one of those creeks. I don't know the name of the creek but the area is a tiny camping area called Bards Springs. It is near Albert Pike where all those campers drowned a few years ago. This is a manmade dam on this creek.

I grew up in Texarkana. Texarkana is a dual city with part on Arkansas side and other on Texas. I grew up on the Arkansas side. It is a very historic city mainly due to the railroads that tended to meet there. In fact my grandfathers on both sides worked in some capacity for the railroads. There is a street in Texarkana, Arkansas that was a street over from my paternal grandmother's house called Beech Street. Most of the streets in that area are named for trees. I lived on Hickory Street. Anyway, most of the streets originally were brick paved as Texarkana had a brick factory. All have been paved over except for Beech. It is such a lovely street with stately old trees and houses.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

For some reason I could not download that last photo and it wouldn't let me edit it so trying again to add the old window with the cross stitching I did for my friend. It has their names on it.
Another thing I made one year was cross stitched pears. I got these patterns online I think on Not Forgotten Farms..but I just love these.

Usually during the summer months I spend time doing other stitchings rather than rug hooking. Wool is a little too warm to want to hook much during the hot months. So I then spend time either doing embroidery, cross stitching or quilt top designing. Anything that keeps my hands busy makes me happy.

I have spent many an hour doing lots and lots of cross stitch...mainly samplers. I just love the look of old type samplers. I then set them aside until the inspiration hits me to use them for something. One of the things I love using are old wooden windows. I was fortunate enough to get lots of old windows and doors taken out of an old Victorian house that was being remodeled. So this is a sample of what I do. This one hangs over my bed.
This next one I did for a friend who had bought her old grandparents house and had moved to her property and then has gradually remodeled it but left it really primitive looking.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

wool dyeing

I love dyeing wool for my hooked rugs. I always feel like a mad scientist or something. I love using naturals to see what can turn out when finished. I especially love dyeing white wool with onion skins. You can get a good person's skin tone and looks lovely mixed into a tan background. Here is my latest onion skin dyeing.
I also dyed some rosey color using ProChem and Cushing dye. I always write down exactly what I do and then when finished I cut a swatch and put it in a little notebook which is my Dye Book. This way I can always go back and try to recreate the same color.
Here is the Rosey dyed wool.
I used both these colors in the last 2 rugs I hooked.

Since then I've dyed 2 different shades of green using ProChem and Cushing dyes and also a rusty orange using Rit and Cushing mixed. I was aiming for a rosey orange but came out rusty. I will show photos of them later.

I'm going to try to feature some of hubby's work. He mainly works in wood but usually I can ask him to make me something and he can figure it out and come out exactly like I want.

I was wanting a bottle tree for my yard. I have some lovely blue bottles I had saved thinking I would slump them in my ceramic kiln and make windchimes but decided instead to use them for my bottle tree. He cut me a cedar tree and stripped the leaves and sunk it in cement so it would stay.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We have been so blest to raise 3 sons, who are all happily married and have gifted us with 9 grandkids. Out of all these 9, we only have one grandson. He is 16 I think and is growing up too fast.
We have a tree in our front yard that overhangs the house that we really need to have cut down. We can't cut it ourselves as we would probably fall it on our roof or the powerlines so we have just put off for several years. The main reason we know it is not healthy is it has this large crack on one side and every early winter or late autumn this big mushroom grows out this crack. I've been told it is a lion's mane mushroom and is edible but I don't want to take the chance that it is poison. But it is interesting to look at.
One of my interests are miniature things and gnomes. A friend of mine loves them as well and this is her newest little house. It is much smaller than the traditional doll house. I'm thinking I may try one like it some day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

new rug finish

My newest rug finish called "Bad Hair Day." I hooked this rug for a sweet young woman in our church. She has a beauty shop where she plans to hang it. It is amazing that sometimes when I plan the colors of a rug I have no idea what that person's color scheme is. I think God puts ideas in my head when I do these rugs for people that exactly matches what they have. Anyway the colors I found out exactly match her color scheme in her shop.
Sad thing about her is she lost her husband in a car accident a few years ago leaving her to raise 3 little girls that were all under age4. Our pastor and his family took her under their wings and she and our pastor's son are now getting married this Saturday. Such a sweet family.

This and that

We have a granddaughter that rides horses. She competes in barrel racing and has become quite good at it. She has been attending a camp of sorts for horse riding and has learned so much and it has made her become very responsible. Her younger sister likes to ride but hasn't been to camp like the other one. Their older sister could care less about farm animals of any kind. But this middle granddaughter lost her horse recently. It has been rather sad for her but she got 2 new horses since then. This is her on her old favorite horse. (RIP Georgia)
We live in the Ouachita National forest and mountain region of Arkansas. We have lots of fresh clear creeks, rivers and lakes. We are so blest. One of the rivers had a terrible accident several years ago when there came a flash flood. Many campers died. This is a small river called the Little Missouri River. At the headwaters of this river is what is called the Little Missouri Falls. They are lovely to sit and play in during the hot summer months. There are lots of hiking trails in the area as well.

I have this old planter that was my mother's. It is made from a tire. It was once on a wooden pedestal that looked like a flower stem with leaves but over the many years the wood rotted. So we place it on a car wheel and looks just as nice. We planted it with a succulent type moss plant. Not sure what it is called but there are some hens and chicken succulents in there as well.
A few years ago we made this trellis to grow some clematis. We bought what was supposed to be red, white and blue ones to give a patriotic look to the yard. But they turned out to be a deep rose and light pink and we do have a white which has not bloomed yet. But still it is lovely. This is about the 4th year of growth. We hang our hummingbird feeders here. Also there is a nest of chickadees living in the big birdhouse.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Our asparagus is winding down. Last year I had enough to can up several pints but this year sadly, not enough but we still have a big bag in the refrigerator for several more meals.
This is a typical meal...chicken grilled, steamed asparagus and rice with white sauce. With our fresh lettuce we are having now, salads make a preview. I love making a fresh taco salad. I grill chicken breasts and slice and add to our fresh lettuce, ranch beans, sweet onion sliced very thin, grated cheese, catalina dressing and frito corn chips. yum!!!
This is our small lettuce patch with 2 types of leaf lettuce and spinach. We have gotten so much off this small patch that we have been giving gallon bags of it to friends.

This shot of our garden doesn't do it justice. It has grown so much but sadly a little too much rain. Bean plants do not like this much rain we have been having. The tomatoes and green peas have fruit now and peppers are blooming.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Today is a cooler rainy day. We are spending today processing meat. Hubby is a big hunter and we process our own venison mix which is about half venison and half beef or is much leaner and fresher than store bought. Today is also bed linen change day. All is done and will be washing the doggy blankets tomorrow and giving Miss Gracie a bath.

Here is a shot of a wild thrillium plant. I dug and replanted them into a flower bed. They have thrived and seem to be spreading. They bloom in early spring.
We got a kitten last year and he was such a good kitty. We named him Charlie and he was the best cat we have ever had. He was a little bit afraid of everything. But he did like roaming at night so we usually put him outside at night and then he would come in and sleep all day..Never a bother and never got up on counter tops or tables. Then early this spring, he was out one night when a thunderstorm blew in. He got scared and ran off and hid. We called him for 2 days. The 3rd morning when the gravel trucks started running we found that the trucks had run over him. We have been very sad to lose such a sweetie. I've been looking for a replacement but so far none.

These are our outside dogs. Lulu and Freddy. They are both rescue dogs. Freddy is a Chihuahua but was unmanageable by people who owned him when he was really young. He absolutely loves Lulu and they are constant companions. Freddy is such a funny little dog and is mainly all we gave him a big name. Fredrick VonBlackballs. He has turned into a sweet little dog. Lulu is mainly hubby's dog and she loves riding in the Kawasaki Mule with him.