Thursday, October 24, 2013

Busy, but Happy!

  After my last post, I had the best of intentions to post more often. As you well know, that didn't happen! I have been up to my elbows in paint, stripping compound, dirt, and goat manure. Yes, you read that right. Not all at once, of course. I have every room painted except the guest bedroom, which I hope to tackle this weekend. I have hung curtains in every room and put lots of holes in walls hanging pictures, shelves, and quilt racks. It's really looking and feeling like home now.

  I was able to strip the mantel once the garage got built. I was in full safety gear and having a ball uncovering the hidden beauty in the wood under the dark finish and not available for phone calls. Randy answered my phone and I heard him say, "Becky is in the garage stripping." I can only imagine the disturbing mental picture the caller got from that statement! The mantel turned out gorgeous, beyond what I'd dreamed. It still sits in the garage though. Hopefully, it will find it's way to the living room in the next week or so. In the meantime, I am firing up the fireplace everyday after school. It's been in the low 40's all week, so a cozy fire is very welcome when I get home from work.

  I hauled topsoil and had goat manure delivered to create my new garden.  I've planted 3 Redbud trees, 6 rose bushes and 2 tree roses on the south side of the house. In the area between the garage and porch enclosed by an arching sidewalk to the front door, I created my woodland garden. With cold weather coming, I wasn't particular about placement of my hostas. I spaced then 3 feet apart and can rearrange them come spring for a more pleasing look. The important thing is to get them safely in the ground before a freeze. I still have a few evergreen trees to plant. The perennials intended for planting along the dry riverbed found temporary homes along the south and west sides of the house. The riverbed will wait till spring too.

  Randy harrowed the new topsoil till it cried, "Uncle!" and sewed the grass seed last week. He spread 30 bails of straw all over it to keep moisture in the soil. We've gotten only sprinkles, however, and lots of wind up on this hill. The straw has rescattered itself not near as nicely as Randy did the first time, much to his displeasure.

  I've spoken and taught in Owatonna, MN (last month), Ankeny, IA and Wapello, IA this month. I'm speaking and teaching a workshop in Kirkwood, MO November 8th & 9th. After that, I have a break till February when I have a 4 day engagement in Naples, FL. What a hardship that will be having to spend 4 days in Florida in FEBRUARY when it will be zero or below here in Iowa! I'll try to enjoy myself. Heehee.

  This is the view of our house from the corner of the southwest intersection.
 And from the west...

 The garage door was just installed last Friday. It was a welcome sight when I came home from school.

I love my porch...

 The sidewalk was poured the day before this picture was taken...

I stopped at Sass Family Farm on the way home from Breakfast Club Saturday and bought all these pumpkins for 50 cents to $5 each.

I got this mum there for $8!

   These are pictures of my workshop and program in Owatonna, MN for the Heritage Quilters Guild of Southern Minnesota. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. What a fun group of talented quilters they are. (Deb P, you never did give me your chicken wild rice soup recipe!)

Class attendees, I'm in the pink and brown top, front row.
 Their work space was wonderful.
 They opted for my Civil War trunk show.

This is my mantel in the first stage of stripping.

  This picture is of the Civil War style show held at the Civil War event this past Sunday in Wapello, Iowa at the Louisa County Historical Society. I was one of several speakers. I was able to hear the other presentations before the intermission when I had to change into my costume. It was a wonderful day. I'm so glad I was included and got to enjoy the other speakers' programs.

  Next post I'll have some indoor pictures of my house. I thought I had them loaded on my computer already, but I can't find them. With any luck, I'll be quilting again soon since our house is complete. We'll begin finishing the basement this winter. I have my sewing area set up on a temp basis for now and putter around in there a little now between home projects. Life is starting to feel almost normal again and I'm very grateful. Till next time, keep stitching.