Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hunting Weekend Wrap Up 2009

Well, it wasn't the weekend I had planned earlier in the year, but it turned out to be a good one. Friday my husband emptied our small walk in closet, fixed all the shelves, we each went through our things and tossed a lot of junk and we again have a usable closet. He also put some shelving over his dresser to more easily store some things.

In cleaning it out, I found this. A nice bag of yarn, all rolled and ready to use. That gave me an idea. I had a couple of small gifts I needed to make and hadn't yet decided what to do. I pulled out some knitting needles and have been knitting like crazy.

The pictures don't really capture the color just right, it's a bit deeper pink and has a sparkly pink thread running through it. I decided scarves would be quick and easy. I'm making at least 3, maybe 4. One is done and will be given away this weekend. The next two have to be done by the 11th and then I have until Christmas to make the 4th. These knit up really quickly and are a nice diversion, though I really want to get them finished and get back to my quilting.
This next picture was taken in our backyard, but it shows so well Jonathan's dedication and ingenuity when he decides to do something. This is a big chunk of a tree trunk someone brought to us for our firepit, only we didn't have a great way to cut it up. He decided he wanted to use it as a firepit, chipped out an area in the middle it so wasn't flat on top and would contain the fire, drilled holes for air and so that it would burn into the trunk some and placed the wood around the bottom for extra safety as far as sparks.

Though he got it started easily, he had more trouble than usual keeping it going and restarted the fire several times. He spent a few hours out there and really enjoyed it. He and our oldest, Joshua, really like camping and spend a lot of time just sitting by the fire when they do.

And of course, Ruthie. She loves blankets of any kind and will often bring one to be wrapped up in. She is talking so much these days and comes out with things that really surprise us sometimes.

Here she is with her little Cubbie Bear. She loves this little couch and settles there for at least a little while a couple of times a day. Usually covered up with a quilt and often accompanied by a dolly or stuffed animal.

Our hunter's (Joshua and Jonathan) did well, each getting a deer. This group they went with party hunts (shares what they get) so they came home with 3 leg quarters and a backstrap (to cut into steaks) so they were pretty pleased. They hunt again in two weeks here in Illinois and my husband will be able to hunt then, also. They generally do well here and are counting on at least two, but hoping for 4 or 5.

They've processed what they brought home and it's in the freezer. It's a big help to the grocery budget when they fill the freezer each fall!

Today I baked 3 pumpkin pies, a pecan pie and a pan of bakery style apple slices. Tomorrow I'll be prepping from the time I get up, though once all the chopping and prepping is done, there should be some time to relax before I really have to start cooking and getting it all together.

We have a really busy 4 days coming up, with Thanksgiving tomorrow, friends coming on Friday (her dishwasher broke and flooded her house, there is major repair work going on at the moment and Friday is her birthday), Saturday some of the kids' friends are coming for my annual making of turkey soup and we have other friends coming on Sunday for dinner and football. Is it Monday, yet?? LOL.

I hope you all have a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hunting Weekend....sort of. And a Challenge Update

My husband and two older sons are on their way to where they meet up with a few other guys for their 6 hour drive north.

Unfortunately, my husband isn't able to go with them and is dropping off our sons and coming home. He decided quite some time ago that going this year is probably not going to be possible (not enough money, nor enough people to cover his work while he's gone) and, though he's disappointed and I'm sure wishes he was going with them, he is excited about the list of projects he has in mind to do because, you see, though he is unable to make the trip, he took the usual days off his second job anyway. His last evening (he works second shift) was last night and he doesn't go back until the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Which means *I* don't get hunting weekend either. I think I'm taking it worse than he is, LOL.

Hunting weekend for me means as little cooking, dishes, and cleaning as possible, combined with as much sewing time as possible. It means stretching out in our big bed instead of being scrunched on one side (my husband is tall and restless when he sleeps) and it usually means staying up until all hours of the night sewing and watching movies.

This year, it means projects that my husband decided to do that he will inevitably need me to help out with, cooking regular meals, and not really getting a break. I told him that, while I'm really sorry for him that he can't go, I'm a little bit sorry for me, too. He told me I should sew as much as I want to :) So we'll see how the weekend goes. I'm glad to have him home more for the next week and a half, that's for sure, but launching into the holiday season without my little 5 day respite makes me sad.

BUT, I'm a cup half full kind of girl, the emotional adjustments have been made and I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time (except when he's frustrated when a project isn't going just as he planned *snort*) We're going out to breakfast tomorrow morning with Ruthie and Lucas so that should be a good start to our day.

Amvets is coming tomorrow so we cleaned out a bunch of closets and drawers. The big project of the weekend is redoing our closet. The organizer is falling apart (it's 25 years old) and he's basically pulling everything out, repairing or replacing what he needs to and then putting it all back together again. I actually went through a lot of my stuff already and hopefully by the end of the weekend we'll have a more functional closet (I've barely been using it for some time now.)

I did try to plan easy-ish meals which will buy me some quilting time and I don't sing this weekend which means no practice Saturday and not getting up extra early (I'm NOT a morning person) on Sunday.
As for quilting, Debbie's quilt is done. It's actually been done for a couple of weeks already and, though it wasn't really fun to work on, I do love how it came out. I'm thrilled to have all the big Christmas projects done before Thankgiving!
Here is a closeup of the quilting.
With Debbie's quilt done, the Flying Geese quilt is in the hoop. This one is really enjoyable to quilt on and I love how it's coming out. So far a single geese strip is quilted, as is a double and the connecting border strips. I'm on another double geese strip now. This one will go quite quickly, it seems.
Usually I plan a special project or two for hunting weekend, so decided to abandon quilting on the flying geese quilt for a few days and to focus on the posy and celtic quilt. I may spend a little time on other challenge quilts, too, but I don't multitask with my quilting as well as I used to and do better working on one thing for at least several days at a time.
After sewing some of the posies onto the border vine several weeks back, I decided to match up the rest to make sure I didn't end up stuck with too many of the same color at the end.

Here is the posy basket, holding all the matches, some of the leaves (there are still more to be cut), and the threads needed for sewing.

I've finished sewing on a posy set and now am on a set of leaves and hope to settle in after dinner for an evening of hand applique.
Here are Rachel and Ruthie, camped out watching a TV show. See the grin? She knows the camera is out, the little ham. She loves this little couch, and often settles on it later in the evening when she's getting tired. She also goes running to it whenever Say Yes to the Dress or So You Think You Can Dance are on the TV.
Ruthie turned 5 this past Monday. We had her family dinner on Sunday (though some of the family had previous plans, they gave her due attention on Monday) and we decided on ice cream instead of a birthday cake as she's not a big cake eater. At first she was hiding her face until we said we wanted a picture, then the smile came out.

All in all, life is good. Everyone is happy and healthy, we're headed into this holiday season much less stressed than the last couple of years and for that I'm very thankful!

And now it's time to run, my sewing is calling me and I need to take advantage of every minute I can find.

Happy Quilting!