Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30: Finally Starting the Garage Renovation

We have two renovations going on! The bathroom should be finished this week. The contractor for the attached garage renovations begins next week.  He will be changing the outdoor configuration, replacing the garage door with a wall and windows, and framing up two small bedrooms with small closets, a storage area, and a family/playroom for when the grandkids come to visit.  This weekend Kevin and Dad ripped out the ceiling and took off most of the items hung on the walls.  There is a little more that needs to come down, including the garage door opener, but we have to wait for the bathroom tear-out debris is put in the trailer on Monday.  It is all exciting, but there are so many irons in the fire, that it is hard to stay ahead of things. 

Life is GOOD!

September 30: Busy Weekend, As Usual

This has been a very busy weekend. I did a great deal of studying for two tests, and did some extra work on the another class. Kevin has been in the shop or ripping out parts of the garage the better part of both days.  I also worked in the shop doing a lot of sanding and finishing. Then we had a photo session and now I am sharing some of what we are going to be offering at the two shows we are doing this next month. There are also custom pieces, but I will save those for another day.

The first 3 photos are of various door harps.  Notice the shapes of the strikers - balls and spools.  Also made several birdhouse shaped door harps.

These are hand crafted comfort crosses that Kevin and I spent a number of hours cutting on and then we sanded and sanded.  I then put on a rub-on poly.    I have one of my own that I use daily.  It is something that I have found comfort in just holding when I am doing my daily readings and meditations.  The smooth, warm texture of the wood brings me a great deal of inner peace, and the shape of it makes my spirit rejoice.

The cutting boards and trivets are a variety of sizes and can be used for a number of different tasks.  These are attractive and the maintenance is actually very simple. 

We have been making some gorgeous routed  bowls, and plan to make them in a number of sizes and shapes.  What I am showing you is a photo of our first small ones, even though they are not completely finished.  The bowls have  one coat of rub-on poly.  When we have more finished I will add some more photos.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28: Lots Happening

Well, it might be a bit of an exaggeration but everyone around here seems busy all the time.  This morning Kevin headed off to his part-time job.  I hung around until 8:15 for the plumber/contractor to arrive to start the first day of tear out on the infamous whirlpool tub.  I snapped a photo before work started and then took off for accounting class.  Dad was left in charge and did so from his embroidery machine where he is currently working on a large set of whimsical dragons.

See the black on the back side of the tub?  That
Is where the water poured out and ran down the
inside of the walls soaking Dad's room and
closet before we had even been here for a month. 
Fortunately he had not moved anything in, yet.
 I got back from school about 12:15 and the guys were already gone.  The goal today was to rip out everything so Ben could see what damage would need to be repaired under the tub.  Fortunately, it was pretty much a non-issue considering that the tub could not be salvaged.

This is what the space will look like until Monday
morning when Ben comes back to do the next phase.
We are putting in, or should I say Ben and Rick, are putting in a large shower with 2 shower heads, a seat, and building shelves and safety rail.  Want this bathroom to work for use until they haul us out in a box, so to speak.  Once they finish we will have to do a little bit of painting, hang towel bars, put up the new light fixture, and enjoy.  ***Kevin installed the new sink top, etc a few weeks ago.

Once all of this is done, the big project of converting the attached garage to living space will begin.  That is scheduled to start sometime early in October.  By the holidays we should be able to host a couple of family gatherings!!!  Expect more photos along the way.

Now I need to go do my accounting homework, study more for my Marketing test, and begin preparing for my next accounting test.  Also plan to finish a quilt top and get it quilted this weekend.  If time permits and the weather holds out, we also want to get out on the pontoon boat and just enjoy an afternoon of toodling around the lake and maybe the guys will even get in a bit of fishing. (We have not even used 1/2 a tank of gas.this summer-- What is up with that????)

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26: Fall is Beginning

There are not nearly as many trees in South Dakota as Vermont, so thought I would share what I can see looking out from the house.  I LOVE FALL AND WINTER!  Must be the quilter-in-me that loves snuggling under the quilts when I am doing the binding.  EXACTLY, plus it is when I met and fell in love with my husband!

From the side of the porch looking toward the neighbor's horse

Sitting in the rocker on the front porch - corn is gone so
 I can see across the field.

Backyard trees

Also have to say that although I celebrated with Nancy on her birthday, I did not mention that I was wishing her happy thoughts and great moments this year.

Tomorrow is my sister Sue's birthday.  Probably will not be near this computer, so thought I would remind everyone that knows and loves her to sing "Happy Birthday" to her in your own special way.

I am beginning to settle into the routine of school.  Those "freshman 15" can hit anyone, and with so many friends and family around it is way too easy to also slip in a meal out in town(Love the fellowship and the food, but... really?  .I have decided to stop myself before I get to the 15.  I have worked too hard at getting in shape to fall back into the negligent behavior of eating just 'cause I can.   When I head in to school early, I can get in a 3-4 mile walk until it is too darn cold to do it,  i am finding that if  I have a decent breakfast and I carry celery or some other crunchy veggie and juicy fruit I do not think about the sweets in the bookstore.  Took me a while to develop this attitude but HOPEFULLY, I am back on the healthy path again.  NOT GOING TO CAVE IN AND ALLOW MYSELF TO CREEP BACK UP TO A LARGER SIZE PIECE OF CLOTHING!

Life is GOOD!

Monday, September 24, 2012


We started the day with a phone call to sing Happy Birthday to Henry!  Could not be a better start for grandparents.  We have 5 and each one is so special!

Life is GOOD!

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21: Very Productive Today

I only have one class on Friday - 2 hours of accounting.  I took great notes and found the homework to be quite easy to complete.  Felt good to do it so quickly.  =0)  Have only one paper to write by Tuesday, but I need to have some other research done by then as well, so there will be studying this weekend.  Just not as much as the last few.  I think the next couple of tests won't take place for over a week.

Yesterday I put together 8 backings for all the tops I have that are ready to quilt.  Then today before school and right after school, I also managed to quilt 2 of the cousin quilts with meandering loops and a twin size quilt with a medium meander that I made just for fun.  These are very busy scrappy quilts so anything else would have been lost on them.  I will attach the bindings in the morning.  There are several other quilt tops (5 to be exact) waiting for attention, but I have a simple panel quilt I want to make to hang in our booths at shows, so It may be where I focus.  It is a kit I purchased 2 years ago and now it will be put to use.  Hopefully it will be finished in the next couple of weeks.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19: Another Finish

This quilt was inspired by one on  The one one she made had a border, but I decided to go bigger and use up a few rolls of 2 1/2" strips.  I finished the binding last night.

Binding is one of my favorite parts of the process because it is a great way to just relax and enjoy touching the fabric.  Also, now that it is a bit cooler, it is just plain cozy to sit under the quilt as I finish up binding.

No more quilts ready to bind, so I will be quilting a few over the next week.  Hate to just sit and do nothing, right?

Life is GOOD!

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 16: Chilling With Friends

Oops!  Guess I have become a hermit of sorts.   I am one of those that truly focuses on a task, so going to college and taking 16 credits has a great deal of my attention.  I really am not as concerned about getting As I once was, but in many ways getting an A means that I have real dug into the matter and gotten quite a bit out of it.  Also, right now I am writing an ethics code for our business, a research paper on starting and growing a custom woodworking business, and a paper on my personality profile.  All things that fascinate me and cause me to dig beneath the surface - too in depth for a intro class, but very much my way of doing things.  teehee.

Anyway, we decided to take a good chunk of the day off with church, the church turkey dinner, and a pontoon/fishing outing with the Andersons.  All of these were good for the spirit and the laughter was well worth it.  See below.

Nancy found her perfect perch.

Nancy and Sarah - Sarah caught the first fish!

Dan - caught some rays!

I needed a potty break, so they dropped me off and went back
out to try for  few more fish.  - Dad was just washing the worms
this trip.

I stayed on shore and did some textbook reading while the fisherpeople
did their thing.  See the pontoon and the leaves beginning to change?

Gorgeous day!!!!

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12: Cassy's Quilt

I finished the binding on Cassy's quilt last night.   Wanted to share now, but will try for another photo in the sunlight later this afternoon.  I am calling it "Reach for the Stars" because she has just started college to become a veternarian. Cassy is the only girl cousin my children have on the Hempel side of the family and is also Kevin's goddaughter, so a special quilt seemed to be in order.

The pattern is a layout I created in EQ.  She wanted purple and blue so I thought the batiks would help blend the two.  The fabrics are blue and purple batiks. The light areas are not white or beige but blue and purple batiks.

The quilt and several dozen of Grandpa's chocolate chip cookies will be mailed to Cassy at college this afternoon.

Life is GOOD!

September 12: Happy Birthday, Kirk

Kevin's brother Kirk has his birthday today.  Hope he finds many wonderful ways to celebrate.  There will be bowls of ice cream eaten in his honor today. ;0)

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!
Life is GOOD1

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11: Happy Birthday, Ben

There are lots of reasons that September 11 sticks in people's minds.  I prefer the happy ones.  Ben is my nephew and one heck of a nice man with a mischievous nature.  We will be serving ice cream at our house tonight, just to honor him!

Life is GOOD!

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10: Finally Some Forward Progress

We decided when we bought the house in May that we wanted to change the attached garage into living space.  There is a detached garage right by the house, so my car will not be sitting out in the winter or summer weather.  Therefore it was easy for me to go with the plan.

We were not certain whether the space should be made over for Dad as an apartment or as space for family gatherings and guest rooms.  Dad seems to be totally happy living among our craziness, so we decided to go with option B. That way there will be space for big family dinners to spill over right next to the kitchen, and the grandkids will have romping space even if Dad is looking for something a little more quiet.  He would never complain, but by evening I do think he is ready for some really calm activities, or a couple rounds of Wii golf or bowling.

We did some considering and talked to the architect (Jamie) about all of it.  Then we asked the neighbor who actually built this house that we love to give us a bid on the whole thing.   We have no complaints about any aspect of the house so we are not getting a second bid.  Well, life got in the way and he has been VERY busy with finishing other jobs and dealing with some family health issues, so we have been on hold.  Last night we put it all together and will begin the construction in early to mid Oct.  (Deconstruction will happen over the next couple of weeks.)

OKAY, I know, I know.............We have way too much going on for this to be a prime time for adding another activity, right?  Well, we have to have concrete poured, doors moved, and windows put in, as well as taking off the garage door, so it is better to do it now that in the middle of winter.  We are doing the rip out, and when the framing, etc, is done, we are doing the finish work.  (Last time we put up interior sheathing, I had a cast on my right arm, but I was still able to hold the sections in place as Kevin ran the driver.(May still farm out that part of the job.)  Imagine we aren't that much older, and we always seem up for a project, so.....  Also, Kevin's dad can't wait to be involved.

I will try to keep a photo journal of what is going on.  I am thinking the finished project will be enjoyed for years to come, so I want to be able to let people see how we got to that point.

Life is crazy, but Life is GOOD!

September 10: Vegetables from Jim and Teresa

My brother and his wife had been our tomato and cucumber suppliers this summer.  We have had some very tasty BLTs and spicy spaghetti sauce courtesy of their generosity.  This last box of veggies contained a  special "potato".  Hopefully, the pictures will tell the story.

Now for the truth of it all.  This one was ROCK HARD because it really is a rock.  Truth in advertising would never let me fool you for long, but my brother is a jokester and I was going to make him suffer by never mentioning it to him,.  However, when I was telling the whole family gathering about the spicy spaghetti sauce from his tomatoes, he was grinning so hard, Not a proud grin but more of an impish one, that I knew he was waiting for the rest of the story.  We all had a great laugh.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7: Quilt Finish + First Test

Today has been very positive.  I finished the binding on Griffin's quilt and am delivering it later this afternoon.  The pillows are a bonus made from the 3 sweatshirts that were included in the bag.  Griffin is not only my nephew but also  my godson, so it just seems right to give him a little extra.

I took my first test of this new college semester - accounting.  Not worried about the numbers, but I do have to learn where to plug them all in on the account sheet.  That being said, I really did study hard and felt confident walking in to the test.  Results are already posted. 

Can't party about it too long because I have a new chapter to read in accounting along with an assignment, a paper and a chapter in Marketing, 2 chapters in selling, and two small tasks to do in my Microsoft Office 2010 class (Been using 2010 for a year, but I am learning all kinds of things in the computer class!).

Added to that, I have a number of bindings to do and am planning to quilt two cousin quilts early in the weekend.  Then when time permits I have 3 more door harps to paint, business paperwork, some time on the pontoon (Need to relax, right?), and time with my sisters and brother since Sue and Mark are in town. 

Have any of you figured out how to add hours to the day?  Love to keep busy doing what I love, so I am not complaining, just letting you know why the blog is not a daily thing at the moment.

Life is GOOD

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4: No TIme BUT....

I have been keeping very busy with 16 credits of classes in things I am unfamiliar about.  Business, marketing, computer apps for business, accounting, and selling.  Soooooo, much reading, and the homework is not for slouches either, if you want a decent grade.  Of course, I love being a student and demand a high performance for myself so I probably do it in overdrive.

I got Griffin's quilt quilted and the binding is attached.  I have found moments for hand stitching, but my first accounting test is Friday, so we will see which happens first.  The quilt looks great, though, so it will be worth the wait, right?

Also sold a set of bunkbeds -  first sale so we are making progress!

Life is getting in the way of blogging, but I will continue to touch base.  So much I could share. 

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1: What does the this tell you?


I had to test my new frame and my newly repaired machine before working on Griffin's t-shirt quilt, so I quilted the rectangular quilt.  Then because it was quilted with blue thread, I went ahead and quilted Cassie's quilt.  Both have the binding attached and ready for the hand sewing.  I am beginning to make a pile.  (Wonder how long some of the soon-to-be quilted tops will wait because of school and other commitments. I will have something to do any time I sit and relax, right?)

I also managed to squeeze in a high school soccer game around lunch.  My nephews, Nick and Riley, played against each other today.  I wore grey which we all know is the new neutral.  Good game --- tied so I did not have to feel bad for either of them.  Sunburned my nose. ;0)

Also took time to pay all the bills.  It is one of my LEAST favorite jobs.

Tomorrow I am going to quilt Griffin's quilt and go on a double date with our friends to see a movie.  THEN I have to study and get all my accounting problems finished.  Always something to do, but I don't mind as long as I am not trying to juggle all of my tasks and those of the world.

Life is GOOD!