Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today I am being "neighborly". We have these very nice people who live across the North Canadian River from us. Depending on which way the river is running, our properties touch in the river or on the south bank. These neighbors are part-time residents of Oklahoma right now. O. is a doctor in Germany and hasn't quite decided to retire to our rural life, though his wife, S. is ready to move today. They originally were planning on raising and breeding horses for sale, but have found that today's economy lends itself to a need for rescuing and caring for abandoned horses and dogs.
Meine freunde (see, y'all can understand German!) have appointed me doggie nurse until they return. They have a ranch manager, but his main purpose is daily care and feeding of 40+ horses and 7 dogs. I, on the other hand, have control of the heartworm pills and veterinary visits. And today was a particularly stressful visit - for the dogs, not me.
This is Bonnie (black) and Clyde (brindle). So named for their marauding escapades on the back roads of Oklahoma. There will be no little Bonnies or little Clydes after today's visit to Dr. Stan Jenkins, DVM. He has put his mark on them. Don't you just feel for them?

In addition to major surgery ( Ask any human male you know and he will say Clyde went through MAJOR surgery), the poor puppies had to have booster shots, tick dip AND they have tape worms. So, they are lounging on my sun porch for at least 3 days in order that I might give them their daily worming.
And, how are my darling Border Collies handling all this attention Bonnie and Clyde are getting? They are relegated to their kennels for the duration. Now, that isn't as bad as it sounds. There are four 4' by 10' kennels with sleeping igloos and a 40' by 90' run. And of course, they follow me around during my gardening hours. They just can't sleep in the house, while we have company.
So S., this post is for you. I'm taking very good care of your puppies. See you around the middle of September in Germany.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Work, Work, Work

Well,  the ceiling is repaired and refinished - after one mishap that caused a week delay.  It looks great - pictures possibly on Sunday.

In the midst of the ceiling repair, we had what the Oklahoma weather forecaster called a "blizzard" - six inches of wet, blowing snow (no snickering from you northerners).  It was bad enough that the electricity was out for five hours.  That was no problem for me since I have wood and propane heat.  But, that meant no electricity to the cattle fencing.  So, off I went chasing cows in the snow.  My sister helped me fork several carts of loose hay to them since we had to lock them into corrals.  Very unhappy cows.  After the snow melted, fence patrol revealed no breaks and the cows were happily released into their pasture.

In the ensuing days, the bull got out - that resulted in a couple of days of fence repair in his pasture.  He's such a big baby that he follows me anywhere with the promise of special feed.

I have sold my 90' by 20' greenhouse, so am in the process of removing all the gardening equipment that I am keeping and creating storage space for all of it in the barn.  The difficult part is trying to find somewhere for my pottery kiln and weight machine - guess we will have to build a workshop for me.  Since my horses have died, I also have saddles and other gear to find a home for.  Maybe, I can sell them at the Lincoln County Cowboy Day - flea market for ranching and cowboy STUFF.

Since the living room is cleared of EVERYTHING, I have begun painting the walls.  I am using much deeper hued colors that I have used before.  It is intimidating and may require slipcovering the sofa, but the color scheme is growing on me.  I will have a hard time convincing my husband that the re-decorating will enhance his world though.

Gotta run.  My alarm says it is time to clean house.  I am working inside today - 35 mile an hour winds are just no fun for outdoors work.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Living Room Ceiling Repair

The result of the last several hard rainstorms - the stain is about 15' long.

So, every item had to be removed and most was STUFFED into dining room and bedroom.

Now it will look like this for the next 3 days! (Notice how I have absolutely no control over the placement of these photos).

The ceiling was done in that horrible popcorn junk in about 1983. This process is a mess, but I will be so glad to have a ceiling that I can dust. Now, if only I could afford to remove the popcorn in the other 9 rooms! I did successfully paint the bedroom ceiling and it didn't come crashing onto my head in a big messy goo. Maybe I'll try that again.

Anyway, I am going to have a nice clean, (stainless), bright living room ceiling.

And notice the paint chips on the sofa in the third picture. After all those years, living in military housing where you were forbidden to paint the white walls, my creativity has lain dormant. But, I am going to be brave and paint those white walls a nice Craftsman-style green. I DO have a degree in Art, you know. I CAN do this! I WILL do this!?

Friday, March 20, 2009

This'n That

I wouldn't normally chronicle my day at home, but my husband is in Seattle for three weeks and I thought this might keep us in closer touch AND it will also fulfill my blogging goals.

My day usually begins at 0500 hrs (military time for Lieutenant Colonel Husband) and by 0730 I had walked two miles on the treadmill while watching an old movie about Lord Kitchener's defeat of Khartoum - can't remember the name of the movie or the actors. The treadmill is so loud, I really can't hear the dialog - just like the "silents". I really must get wireless headphones for that television.

Just to prove to Husband that I am taking care of his cats. Here are Rusty and Tuxedo Tom having a hearty breakfast.

A quick visual check of the weather
before donning mucking boots and heading out to clean the cow corral, showed the clouds building for a bit
of rain. We do need rain.

Notice the hay field is greening up.

So, alternate plan: move afternoon projects to morning. Hooray! Work-
ed on my Quilt Along wall hanging and the Big Quilt. Also, made and hung a bulletin board for the sewing machine area. That is a big help.
Finally made it to the greenhouse to weed and feed the strawberries. If you look closely you will see one red berry. There were several more, but a rabbit or someone must have sneaked in when I was not looking and ate them all.
This is the start of a second raised bed for lettuces. I tire so quickly that my projects take forever to finish. It doesn't help that the greenhouse doors are too narrow to accept anything larger that a small garden cart. So, there are many, many trips to fill the bed with soil and compost. Good exercise, though.

I did make it back to the cows before the next round of rain. Recharged the fly spray dispenser. We really need to move that down. It was originally put in place for two very tall horses. These guys don't get over 40" tall!

This little guy is still unnamed. He is the son of Sir Aaron and Meadow Rose. We are taking suggestions for a name -- something strong, red and Irish. (Hey! Stoney River Farm. Can you help me?).

After another dash to the house through the rain drops, I decided to reacquaint myself with my manual pasta maker and made some semolina/whole wheat fetticini. I had not forgotten how.

Blogger wouldn't let me add those pictures - something about a label limit.

So, there you have my day on the farm. Today proves to be less productive since I slept in until 0730 and here it is 0900. After all the walking and working, my pain required Tylenol PM last night and that always makes me sleep like a baby. Great stuff.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

PIF from Osage Bluff Quilter

I have been very remiss in not showing everyone the wonderful gift I received in a Pay It Forward round. This incredible wall hanging was done by Patti at Osage Bluff Quilter. I wanted to post a picture of the hanging next to a picture of my Border Collie that most resembled it, but none of the little critters would hold still long enough in the proper pose. My next thought was to take a picture as it will hang on the wall (it will displace a painting of Montmartre, Paris, FR that I bought at a street art fair while in Paris) with an artfully arranged plant sitting in an antique fruit scale (purchased at the Metz, FR flea market) which sits atop an antique oak barrister's case (that was purchased at an auction in Virginia). Whew! But, I'm still trying to locate a rod to hang this amazing piece of
fabric art from.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my friend at Osage Bluff Quilter.

Now to some not so amazing fabric art. This is my progress so far on a wall-hanging that I am doing with Judy's Quilt Along. I have had a really hard time doing this. I have a spatial relationship cognitive problem, so it took me several days to work out a system where I could see how it all fit together. I can't just look at a picture and figure it out - I have to get one section correct (after numerous incidents of ripping out seams), then memorize how I did it. (Beware of me when parallel parking or backing a vehicle!!). In spite of my mental limitation, I am enjoying this project and it is a good exercise for my brain.

Sunday is always my day for my hobbies - even though I should be doing farm or garden work. So, in addition to working on the above wall-hanging, I also worked on the BIG quilt for my bed. I am still in the process of tracing the pattern from one of my sister's books - 100 Best Quilt Blocks and Borders by Phyllis Dobbs. I'm doing the pattern, Hearts, Bars and Shooting Stars. I'm working under a handicap here, too -- my husband. Since this is for HIS bed, he wants no flowers (he's getting tiny flowers), no feminine colors (is pink a feminine color?). At least I added lots of green and a strong brown (with tiny flowers). He doesn't understand how hard it is to avoid flowers when I want to use colors and patterns that will compliment our dressers that are from 1890 to 1920.

I chose this pattern because we have a heart theme going - two framed quilted heart pictures, a cross-stitch alphabet sampler, and this chalk and crayola drawing that our granddaughter did for us when she was 8 years old. The chalk is beginning to fade - K. is 16 years old, now - so, I plan on transferring it as exactly as I can onto fabric. One will be a wall-hanging to replace this picture and I will do another which will be a quilt for K. I'm hoping to get the quilt done by her high school graduation in May 2010. Wish me luck! And offer advice!
Copyright 2009 K. Nessle

Speaking of high school, ya'll should read the book I just finished - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Chilling! I am so glad I don't have children in high school and that my two grandchildren will be finished by 2010. And, don't miss my cousin's blog about her grandparents . She has sent me into research mode concerning something I have never heard of about the Depression.

And, here is a link to just a hint of what I found out about another government policy during the Depression.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"There's No Place Like Home"

The next time I say that I am going on vacation for 3 weeks, hide my car keys!  I swear it will take me 3 months to get caught up on all the work that was not done and repairing all the the things that BROKE while I was gone.  The rain gutter that BROKE from the ice storm has been replaced; the water pipes in the well house that BROKE from freezing have been replaced; the window that BROKE while cleaning windows is repaired, but not installed (still have plywood over that window); the water line to the corral that BROKE for whatever reason is still not repaired; the electric line to the barn that BROKE simply to join the crowd has a temporary fix (3 electric extension cords stretched from house to barn); the chicken house door that the cows BROKE has been torn all the way off during someone's (?) lack of patience with it all;  the roof leak that appeared after a frog-strangler of a rain storm has been repaired (we hope!).  

Thanks to my Dear Sister, all the animals and plants were healthy, happy and safe under her care.  Usually, there is some major event that she has to take care of -- birth and/or death emergencies.  Once, she discovered that during her after-work plant watering, she had been watering one of my deceased cats -- that's a story she doesn't want me to tell.

While in CO, I began a Quilt Along with Judy at Patchwork Times.  I purchased all the fabrics and began the cutting and was looking forward to getting back to my sewing machine. Well,? guess what?  It couldn't be left out of the fun of making my life miserable.  It is a 40 year - old Pfaff 1199 and something BROKE! 

After a few days of trying to keep up with the Quilt Along by doing piecing by hand, I gave up and bought a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0.  Of course,  I am so far behind on sewing machine technology that 
I am required to take classes to figure out how to use it.  And a new sewing machine meant reorganizing the sewing room, of course.

Sooo, Judy,  I am behind on the Quilt Along, BUT since I am only making a wall hanging, I am sure I can catch up.  It took me all day learning to use the 1/4" quilting foot 
 to get this far -- only need 2 1/2 more squares!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Conservatory Overcoat GIVEAWAY!!!!

Check this out!  But, remember that I want this for my granddaughter.

The Conservatory Overcoat GIVEAWAY!!!!

Quilt-Along Progress

I apologize for these pictures.  I forgot to bring my camera download cord on my Colorado vacation.  So, I've had to get pictures of my fabrics off the store website.

Yesterday's post showed a picture of Confetti Mult Stripes that will, of course, be used for the striped fabric in Judy's (Patchwork Times) example of Bears in a Farmhouse (Not the first photo, Silly.  That's sushi!).

    Kona Cotton Mustard will be used in place of ecru
Confetti Multi Squares will be used in place of the yellow.  

The remaining fabric requirements will be taken from my and my sister's stashes at home in OK.  I should be back early next week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I have been visiting my son in Denver for a few days and will return to Colorado Springs this afternoon for my last week of vacation.  My 16-year-old granddaughter has shared her bedroom with me for the past 2 nights and we whispered and giggled together until 1 AM.  So, I slept later than is my usual habit.  Still, I was up by 7 AM and it is now 9 AM and the house is as quiet as a mouse.  These city-dwellers have missed a lovely sunrise and wasted a lot of work-time!  At home, farm animals would have been fed, breakfast prepared and eaten, house picked up, and preparations for Sunday worship completed by 9AM! After two weeks here, I have yet to find a compelling reason to sell the farm and move to the city.  

My son's treat for me today is a Japanese restaurant and an introduction to sushi.  I'm not overly enthusiastic about this adventure.  Granted I love very rare beef, and any seafo
od or fresh fish, but I have always felt raw fish to be a bit too fresh.


But, as I am always telling my 78 year-old mother, learning something new builds new brain cells.  I have my fingers crossed that this new learning experience doesn't also exercise the gag reflex.

Hope to find a Hancock Fabrics on the way
 to Colorado Springs (providing my stomach is behaving).  I'm looking for this fabric that I found on their website.

I would like to use it for the basis of a wall hanging that I will be doing with Judy's Quilt Along.

For all of the reading clubs out there (or for gifting), here is a Give Away for you.  

Have a blessed Sunday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Super Sister or Poor Patty?

Do you know that I am spending three weeks in Colorado Springs CO?  My husband went back to work part-time for Northrop Grumman Corporation and this entails traveling all over the world on three-week assignments.  I rarely accompany him, but this assignment is at Ft. Carson, CO.  Our two grandchildren live about eight miles from Ft. Carson, so there was no way he was going to leave me back on the farm.  

The only obstacle to my going with him was the question of who we could get to stay with all the animals and keep them and the house from freezing.  Did you know my sister can leap tall buildings?  AND, she is taking care of all my animals, plants, house, etc -- for three weeks!  She is even sleeping in my house on sub-freezing nights in order to bring all my dogs and cats inside.  I once made the mistake of leaving my oldest Border Collie in the laundry room during a severe thunderstorm and she destroyed the lower half of the door trying to get out, so we know she needs extra attention during weather extremes.

I have taken short vacations of five or six days at a time (never in the winter) and Patty has always checked on everything for me.  Invariably something has either died, been born, or broken while she was on watch. The water lines have broken;cows have been born; cats have died (One cat died behind the houseplants that I had put out on the front porch and Patty had watered the dead cat along with the plants for several days before she realized it.  Poor Patty!).  So far, she has only had to sleep over three nights with the dogs and cats, and it doesn't look like the heifer is even pregnant - we may be having RainLily hamburgers, if something doesn't happen soon.  

The rain gutter fell down and the water pipes in the well house broke during the ice storm two weeks ago and I broke the window the day before we left, so Patty can't feel responsible for any of that.  

So far on her watch, only the electricity to the barn has gone out, which means: the light in the chicken house is out, the heater in the cows' water trough is off and  the electric fence for the two heifers and little bull calf is not working.  No electricity means fewer eggs being laid;  if the water trough freezes, water must be hauled from the house;  we have our fingers crossed that the cattle are not smart enough to realize they are no longer penned.  

After this trip, I think I'll make Patty an honorary farmer as well as my most-loved sister.  I have a really great gift for her in thanks for what she is doing, but I can't tell you, yet -- it's a surprise.

Sisters image by Denise Van Patten

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stashbusting Report

I spent 24 years following my husband from US Army postings all over the world - 22 moves in 24 years, so my fabric stashes were constantly being purged.  Now I have been in OK for almost 11 years raising crops and animals, so have had little time for quilting.  But there is a shining star in every adversity.  My Lupus has worsened, so we are downsizing the farm work and I am upsizing the quilting projects -- hooray!  
Check my comment in Liz's stashbusting report to see my present projects.  I read all the reports weekly to keep my stashbuilding impulses in check.  Thanks for your help.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pay It Forward

I am in Colorado Springs, CO for the next three weeks for a much-needed rest and even more-needed visit with my grandchildren.  But I wanted to quickly tell everyone that I have joined Patty at Osage Bluff Quilter in a Pay It Forward passing game.  And since it is time for me to use the hotel exercise room, I will copy Patty's post ( who copied Marlene's ).  So, click on Patty's post  read the rules and join me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


My sister, Patty, and I are participating in 
our first online Quiltathon  this weekend.  We will link up with Judy Laquidara at Patchwork Times  and post our progress there. Patty is a more experienced quilter than I and even has a dedicated sewing/quilting room, so we will spend the day at her house. Also, it is the only way I can quilt without constant interruptions
from Border Collies, Irish Dexter cattle, chickens, etc. that are always calling for my attention. 

Though our main project for the Quiltathon will be to finish Patty's redwork quilt, which I have yet to see, I have a couple of small items I would like to accomplish.  I have always cut my quilt blocks individually with scissors.  There is a rotary cutter in my scissors drawer, but I have never used it because of  pain in my hands when I press on the cutter - another little gift of Lupus. Patty is an expert with the cutter and will help me figure out a different way to hold it.  I don't really mind using the old, slow way of cutting, though. I am just beginning a sampler quilt for my new king-size bed and will cut a few blocks for that.
It looks like I was in a pink mood when I purchased these fabrics. Perhaps I should find a few more greens or another dark color to appease my husband, since he is NEVER politically correct and thinks pink is for girls only.  I tried quoting scientific articles which maintain that the color pink induces calmness and would therefore help one fall asleep easier.  He is not buying this argument.

I am looking forward to the Quiltathon as an impetus to get me started on my quilt and as a chance to spend time with my sister.  She is my next door neighbor (1/4 mile apart in the "outback" of Oklahoma) but we rarely see each other more that a few minutes each week.  If we enjoy this weekend, I hope that we make it happen again.