Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer ~ 2015

In spite of a slow start, due to so much rain, we've had a busy and productive summer, and it goes on.

This has been the view from the back window of my office tractor several days this summer.  I've raked over 1000 bales of hay;  we still have two fields left to cut but will wait until these big chickens are gone.  There's always a worry to leave them on hot days when we go to the field, although we have a monitor that calls when the temperature rises, and a generator if the electricity goes off; we aren't too far away either.

All our hay is hauled, except 175 bales, and insured.  I hate to "put all our eggs in one basket", as the saying goes,  in  case of fire.  Should something happen to the hay, insurance money would help, IF we could find more to buy.

Two days were spent gathering in calves to send to market.  I like to work with the cattle; get right in there with them, and let the adrenalin flow.  

The garden was successful for the most part and I froze good things for next winter; now I will plant turnip green seeds and hope for one more thing to freeze.  We're going to miss the fresh tomatoes.

Not every day was spent in the field so I have worked in the sewing room too.  The flying geese quilt has been up for most of the summer, and the last border is now visible after working on it a few hours in the afternoons.  My left hand has a tremor that shakes the whole frame some days, thread just will not go in the eye of the needle some days, leaving me to wonder how much longer will I be able to do a reasonably good job on my quilts.  I don't need the quilts, but it brings me so much happiness to make them.

Isabelle needs new school clothes; I'll show you some of the ones I've made soon.

Summer sun is slower coming up over the tops of the pine trees now, and the chores must be finished not long after 8:00 p.m.  Mornings feel cooler but give way to hot afternoons, so we know the fall season will be here soon.

Have you had a good summer?

Charlotte



Friday, July 24, 2015

Two weeks ago, our older grandson got married.  This was the place they chose for the wedding,
on top of a bluff!  
The trail going down to the spot they had picked, was so steep that a man stretched a big heavy rope from tree to tree for us to cling to on the way down.
Guests were seated on square bales of hay.
Informal ~ but very nice.
An extension of the bluff.  I would have felt much more secure if I could have worn my lace-up shoes and jeans.  The heights really bothered the farmer; he kept holding on to me.  I guess he was afraid I'd fall on the rocks.  Or, was he thinking, "If I fall off, I'm taking her with me!"

Charlotte




Monday, July 13, 2015

We're having temperatures in the upper 90s these days, so an afternoon in the water is a good way for a young lady to cool down.  Since I'm a country girl, I go swimming in the creek instead of a pool.  I have a new swimsuit,

and because the water is so fresh and cold, my teeth begin to chatter, and I have to come out to warm up now and then, wrapping up in my terry cloth swimsuit cover-up.


Of course swimming always makes me hungry and I look forward to having a backyard cookout with my family and a few friends.  I picked my newest sundress to wear for this.

Mama Charlotte used to swim in the creek, but she says now she wouldn't be caught dead in a swimsuit.  Do you swim?


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Clothes for Isabelle

Isabelle has new clothes for vacation Bible school.  Did you ever attend a vacation Bible school?  I did, when I was a young teenager.  As a girl brought up in a home where we were in church every time the doors were opened, I think I knew most of the Bible stories, so I enjoyed the games we played: red rover, red rover, let Charlotte come over, and I would run and try to break through the line of children on the other team; any, any over, and someone threw a ball over the building to the other team.  And it was at Bible school where I developed a crush on a certain tall, good-looking boy who showed no interest in me whatsoever.  I carried that crush with me for most of the rest of my high school years, watching as he started dating my very best friend and then marrying her when she graduated.  I look back on it all now and think how similar this storyline was to Scarlet and Ashley. lol.  But this is suppose to be about clothes I've made for Isabelle:

pants and top, twirly skirt and top


simple sundresses,

fashionable jeans and top for playing red rover, red rover,

enough for one week of activities.   So much fun!  Now all she needs is a pair of sandals.
Hope you like them. Charlotte

Pattern credits:  pants and top, Simplicity A2086
Twirly skirt, www,polkadotchair.com, page 23 of My Tutorials
Green sundress, www.BlissfulSewing.blogspot.com
Jeans, from an old pair of my jeans with three snips, washed and dried with other jeans.





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My latest string quilt top is finished and put away to be quilted later, maybe next winter.  Each individual block is not very interesting by itself, but I really like the effect of using dark and light strings to make this pattern.  This would be a nice quilt for a boy's bed or a dorm quilt.

I'm making clothes for Isabelle now and when they're finished, I'm shutting down the machine for a while and concentrate on quilting the top that's been on the frames for a few months.  

Charlotte

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Standing the Test of Time ~ part 2

(Please read the previous post first)

It had to go.  Time caught up with it.  The tree was full of berries in spite of its beginning to split where the three trunks met.  The trunks were also beginning to lean and we were afraid sometime when the wind was blowing strong during a rain storm and the cattle had come for a bit of shelter, that it would fall on them, probably killing more than one cow.  So the sad task of taking it down began last week.


The farmer put a chain around the west trunk and pulled it down.  This picture shows the condition of the roots and the splitting of the trunks.


After attempting to pull the center trunk down, and breaking the chain, he decided to push the other two trunks down.

 Nothing was damaged or destroyed, not even a broken wire in the fence, just a mess in the yard to clean up and a residue of memories:
Daughter one, "I love that tree!"
Daughter two, "I remember us making mud pie crusts and using the berries as fillings."
Daughter three, who was only two when we moved here and therefore her memories are not as vivid, "We have lots of memories of the tree."
Birds, "Oh no!  Where do we go from here?"

Charlotte

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Repost: Standing the Test of Time

Forty four years ago we moved onto our own land, ten acres, with plans to build a new house. The Farmer was just finishing work on his doctorate at the university, and after feeling more or less as a stranger in the big city, I felt happy to be in the country again. We rented a trailer to live in while the house was being built, and had it put in the shade of this mulberry tree.

The month was May, and the berries were at their peak of ripeness, falling and covering the ground underneath. We set up a swing set for our three little girls who now could run and play without the confinement of a fenced back yard, and their beautiful childish voices echoed across the land as they sang "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so." And every night their little feet and the seats of their panties were stained purple from the mulberries.
I have no way of knowing how long the tree had been here before we bought the land, but it's weathered many storms; perhaps the three trunks give support to one another. It is just outside the yard fence and the cattle take shade underneath its branches in the summer, wearing away the dirt from the roots on that side of the fence.









The dead limbs are signs that the old tree is under stress; most of the time, before I mow the yard, there are several sticks to pick up.









But the roots inside the fence must be providing moisture for the tree, because once again, the limbs are full of green berries, and when they get ripe there will be a mass feeding for the birds, raccoons and terrapins, not to mention the flies who come to drink in the intoxication of the souring berries.
I guess old-timers used the berries for making jelly, but I don't particularly like the taste of them.
I wonder how long a mulberry tree can stand the test of time. Do you like mulberries or do you have a tree on your property?
Charlotte

[This was originally posted in 2012; watch for an update tomorrow]