Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Today we were combining soybeans but didn't get started until after noon as the stalks were too wet from the frost overnight to start earlier. The beans combine better when the stems and pods are dry. Here is a shot of John driving the combine through the soybeans. I am in the tractor and grain cart sitting at the end of the field waiting for him to turn and go the other direction.
I zoomed in on the combine - the special bean head with the reel helps gather in the stems where they are cut off about 3" from the ground. The cut stems and pods are fed into the combine where the beans are separated from all the chaff. The chaff goes out the back and falls to the ground behind the combine and the beans go into the bin. This is a close up look at the bean head behind the reel. The yellow auger like thing directs the bean plant into the combine.
John moving away from me.
Now here is a look at what I drive. Yes, it is a big red tractor pulling the grain cart. Took this photo before we got started today so it is just parked near the field we are going to be working. When I drive alongside John in the combine he augers the harvested soybeans into my grain cart. After he is finished filling me up I drive back to the trucks and fold out the auger and fill the trucks. We go back and forth like this all day. I gave the camera to John right before we headed out to the field and had him get a shot of me standing in the doorway to the tractor. I keep my cell phone and other necessities in my fanny pack and you can see my red cooler sitting inside the tractor cab. I didn't need my lunch along today as we ate before we headed to the field but need to have a supply of water bottles.

It was really cool this morning when we got up. There was frost on the lawn and the temperature was down to 35 at 8:00 am this morning. I think it was up to 60 degrees by noon and was around 70 at 4:00 pm. With all the glass in the tractor it gets warm so had the air condition on all day.

Fixed a hot sandwich, potato wedges, cookies and pudding in sack lunches for supper for the 3 guys. I usually just run the grain cart until our part time help arrives around 5, but today I had the trucks and grain cart full as the other part time guy that works for us had not returned from his school bus driving so at 4:00 I got to go home. It gave me a little more time to think of something to make to take to the field for supper. The guys don't want anything they have to use a fork or spoon on so have to get inventive. I like to take something hot as we all eat cold sandwiches at noon most of the time.

Think I am just rambling......should close and get my laundry out of the dryer and folded then get myself to bed.

One more thing....I did sew, press and trim some more of those half square triangles this morning. Slowly but surely I am getting them done.

Good night,

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Beading

Beading that first needle case was so much fun I wanted to do more beading right away. Looked through my sewing stuff and found this needle case that had been given to me so decided to use it. I didn't have any of the Delica beads but did have some seed beads that I thought could work so used them. I wanted to bead another round item right away so I wouldn't forget how to do it. I didn't use a pattern but put 3 rows of the iridescent blue beads on then on the next round added half the beads of the iridescent red and half of the blue then off set them each row so they would swirl around the tube. Was an easy pattern to do and I could tell if I made a mistake right away.
Here is the finished needle case. For the lid I just did 3 rows of the alternating colors then did something similar for the top of the lid. I did do the bottom all in the blue beads. I think the tops and bottoms are the hardest, especially when you get to the tiny center. I just guessed where to put the final beads and it looks OK.

This was certainly fun and really didn't take all that long to do. I am anxious to find some of the Delica beads and another project now.

Must finish this up as I need to get out and start running the grain cart. Wish me well and that I learn the controls of the new tractor and grain cart!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello Again!

We purchased the new computer, monitor and printer and I have spent much time getting everything set up and working this last week. It takes a lot of time to install the programs and to make sure they all work like they supposed to. Hope we don't have any more computer problems now for a long, long time.

I have been working a little on stitching the half square triangles from my cut up scraps. It isn't much to look at and it will be a while before I have enough to make anything with. Plan to sew on them when I can but have a couple of other quilt projects in the works now too.
Yesterday was a fun day with a couple of my "quilty" friends. We get together for each other's birthdays and yesterday we were celebrating my birthday which was last week. We met at one of my friends quilt shop and the other gal taught us how do do beading using the tiny, tiny Delica beads. She has been beading for a while and brought the supplies we needed and got us started beading around a wooden needle case.

The first couple of rounds were a little confusing but after that it was pretty simple. I finished the red and white stripe bottom part of the needle case last evening and started on the blue lid this morning. The beads are woven into the first ring of beads one at a time building up the design as you go. We were using the Peyote stitch for this project but there are other types of stitches you can use too. By mid-afternoon I had the top done and had filled in the bottom of the case with beads too.

This was a really easy project to do and I am thinking of trying another beaded project. The pattern for this case was easy, the dark red beads were supposed to be scattered along the left of the red, and there were sparkly white beads woven every so often. Having the stripes the same all the way up made it easy to see if you had a wrong bead somewhere.

Harvest has started here now. John started combining soy beans yesterday but he is having a hard time finding a field that the beans are dry enough. Beans that are too wet have to be dried down and that takes fuel and gets very expensive so we try to let them dry down in the field if we can. So far I have not had to be in the field helping yet. I will be driving the grain cart when I am needed so am enjoying my time in the house while I can.

The days get really long when we are harvesting and helping in the field is not my favorite thing to do. In fact I told my husband if he ever wanted to hire someone to take my place it wouldn't hurt my feelings. He said not to count on that - Rats!

Guess I will go sew some more half square triangles as I won't see John until later this evening when he quits for the day. There won't be any interruptions so should get a lot done.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Toast!

Took the desktop computer, monitor, and printer to the repair guy today and found out the lightening strike we had on Friday evening pretty much knocked out everything, even though we could still turn it on and do some stuff on it yet. I called my hubby and asked him what his opinion was as they could fix part of it but not all of it and we decided to just get a new desktop computer since they said other stuff might and probably would go wrong with it before too long. After several calls to John we decided what model, etc. we should get, purchased it and I hauled the old one home too in case the insurance company needs to see it plus all the required paper work for them.

I hate getting new computers or having to re-install programs on old ones as it takes so much time and the computers are always different than the old one. I have my stuff saved but it still is a big pain to start over fresh! After our virus problem last summer and having to take it up twice to be fixed and installing everything twice I get to do it yet again. UGG! I guess I should not be complaining as the insurance will help pay for everything as we are over our deductible now for sure.

Keeping my fingers crossed we don't have any other problems with stuff because of the lightening. We have been told that sometimes it is a couple of weeks before some problems show up. This is the first time we have ever had our house hit by lightening so am grateful for the 38 years we have been married and not had a strike on our house.

Took my friend up for her chemo and radiation treatment today too so didn't have to make a special trip just for the computer. My friend will finish her radiation treatments this week but has to take this one kind of chemo every 3 weeks for a year. She is doing well and has a good attitude. She is a young person (under 40) to have breast cancer and is lucky she found it and kept after the Dr. as they first said it was nothing. She has gone through surgery, 8 chemo treatments and 6 weeks of radiation plus this last kind of chemo for a year so it has been a long haul for her and isn't over yet.

I have taken her up (an hour and a half trip one way) a few times and so have several other people so she didn't have to drive when she was/is taking the chemo but she has driven up for most of the radiation treatments. The trips are long when she is by herself I am sure.

Think I need to mow my lawn so will be doing that now before it gets any later. The mosquitoes come out in swarms when it starts cooling off in the evening. We have not had really hot day times anyway.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Zap - Pow - Bang

No I am not talking about a cartoon. We had lightening strike near our house, real near, on Friday evening and it ruined a few things and other things are not working right.

The power to the house went off then on twice, then on for good when the lightening hit. We don't think it was a direct hit as we can't see any burned spots but it was mighty close. I saw a large flash of light between the house and driveway when I was standing at the kitchen window that evening.

The strike knocked out our Internet service and has made our desk top computer do some odd things since then. The Internet service guy came out yesterday and had to end up replacing everything but the cable from the roof top to the computer. He had to test all the things individually so he was here a couple of hours.

The Direct TV (satellite TV company) repairmen came out yesterday afternoon too as we had not been able to get any TV since Friday. They too had to test all the cables etc before determining that both our boxes were no good and had to replace them.

After the electricity came back on that evening I ran to my sewing machine and turned it on and it seems to be OK. I sewed on it the last few days to make sure. It was turned off at the time but so were the TVs. From now on it will be unplugged when I am not sewing.

Lightening is a strange thing as it made the garage door opener not work, one phone, and turned a lamp on in the basement. Everything else seems to be working so far anyway. The Internet repair guy said to watch as sometimes it takes a week or more for some of the damage to show up - great! :-(

Will see about the computer tomorrow as I am taking it in to be looked at. The Internet guy thinks there is probably damage to it too as we can't get sound, can't print as well and the Ethernet connection to it doesn't work. Thank goodness we have the lap top computer now. I sure was lost this weekend with out TV and Internet. Good for me to have to do something else but sure depend on getting emails and being entertained by the TV, especially in the evenings.

We asked about stronger serge protectors as the Direct TV units, Internet, and computer were plugged into them. The power company said with lightening strikes it is hard to find any serge protectors strong enough as there is such a big burst of power rushing through and it is strange that it just goes certain places and not all over the house at times.

Working on sewing some of my scrap 3" squares into half square triangles the last few days. Not getting too far but it is nice to sit down at the machine. Am wondering if I should take my machine in to have it checked out too? It needs it's annual check up anyway so will probably call soon to have it done.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nebraska State Fair 2009

Quilts, quilts and more quilts at the fair. There were 456 quilts entered this year at the Nebraska State Fair open class. There were probably at least 100 in the 4-H dept. and an around 18 in the best of County category.

My friends and I arrived bright and early last Wed. morning to white glove the open class quilts and had time to spare so we could look at the quilts a little while before the public arrived. Wow what a display!

The top quilt was made by Sandi McMillan. Sandi is known for her beautiful machine quilting and is a prolific quilter finishing and entering several winning quilts this year alone. She has deservedly won top quilt honors for several years with her wonderful quilts and this year is no exception.
The second place quilt was made by Sharon Armstrong and I believe it was in the professionally quilted category. It is a beautiful quilt.
The quilt below won the hand quilted category. It was made by Kim O'Grady. Her applique was beautiful and her stitches were so small.
This last photo is of my quilt at the state fair. It was in a glass fronted case so the photo is not very good. It won the special occasion quilt category. I was very pleased to win the first place award and it was fun to have a quilt at the last fair in Lincoln. I plan to enter quilts in Grand Island and hope the rest of the exhibitors will do the same.
The time went quickly while we white gloved as it is always fun to visit with people as they view the quilts. We are looking forward to doing the same thing next year in Grand Island.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

State Fair Quilts

Today is going to be a fun day. Five of my friends and I will travel to Lincoln to help in the quilt department of the Nebraska State Fair. We have done this for many, many years and look forward to getting a chance to help out plus the added bonus of spending time with the many wonderful quilts on display.

There are more quilts on display at the State Fair this year than for many years. This year there are 456 quilts entered from 177 quilters. I entered one quilt and have learned it got a first place ribbon. Will get a photo of it and others. Will post some of the winning or quits that catch my eye.

This is going to be a nostalgic fair for me and a lot of people. The fair is being moved to Grand Island next year. Won't get into a discussion about all the politics of the move but it is the last year. The fair has been in this location since it started. My mother showed at this fairgrounds, I showed, our daughters showed and our granddaughter has an exhibit on display this year too.

Grand Island is working hard to get everything ready for next year and I am sure it will be nice but not the same. We plan to attend support the new venue but will miss the old one which always brings back great memories of years past.

John and I will be going back on Sunday, like always and I plan to take lots of photos of buildings, streets, activities, etc. These photos will preserve those memories or at least trigger memories. I want to make a CD of those photos for my mother so she can stroll down her own memories.

She really would like to go this year but just is not able to anymore. My brothers and sisters and I did get mom to the State Fair in 2005 and we all had a good time and she enjoyed seeing everything again but it really wore her out.

Until Later,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Right - Left - Right

Right, left, right ......No I am not marching, I am cutting fabric with my rotary cutters.

I have had the original Olfa cutter for years but recently purchased one of the ergonomic cutters when I found them on sale. It works wonderfully but I do have a problem with it.
The problem starts because I cut with both my right and left hands even though I am left handed. The original one worked easily with either hand because I could flip it over to use with the opposite hand but I have to make a choice with the new one. I can put the blade on one side to cut left handed or the other side for right handed cutting.

I decided to make the new one a left handed cutter. What I am doing is laying my fabric out, trimming the right hand side to straighten it with the old cutter, then I position the ruler for the size of cut I want to make and grab the new cutter to slice off the pieces. So far it is working even though it might seem a little strange. I lay one cutter on each side of my mat so it is handy to grab with the corresponding hand. Could just use the old one but I like the way the new one handles and don't want to flip my mat around. I have one of the rotating mats but am cutting some larger pieces of fabric and they don't fold that small.

Not a lot to blog about lately when all I am doing is cutting up scraps. I could show my shrinking fabric box and my growing piles of squares and strips but in actuality you can't see much difference. I am not spending all my time cutting so the box is not getting empty too fast nor the piles of cut shapes getting bigger very quickly either.

I do the newsletter for our quilt guild each month so spent a lot of time today getting it done as much as I can until I get the rest of the information. It takes more time than one would think to get the information and put it in newsletter form. I like to get it out the first of the month so it gives members time to gather supplies if needed for the meeting, etc.

Happy Quilting,


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