Archive for September, 2007

Blog-less Week

I haven’t written much this week, mostly because I feel like I need pictures to go with my writing. I love pictures!

This week I have been busy with getting some soap batches ready to sell. In August, I went on a soap making marathon and now 4 – 5 weeks later there is a lot of soap that needs trimmed and wrapped. I think about 10 – 12 batches!

So on some days between school work w/ JP, housework, and keeping up w/ P in the fields, I trimmed those batches of soap. Some then moved to in front of the dehumidifier for just a bit. They had fully cured but were still a bit soft.

I printed a pile of labels, checking each fragrance with its recipe so I have the ingredients correct on each tag. I wrap my soaps in organdy ribbon and attach the tag with its name and ingredients listed on the back.

On Tuesday, I moved some inventory to a local fall show for this weekend. Friday and Saturday were beautiful days for the hostess so I hope she had good attendance. On Thursday, I took another order to my wholesale account in Mt. Carroll. They are doing really well with selling soap. They just started to carry my creams and lotions in August and have had sales already.

Here are a few bars from my inventory:

Today I took off to Rockford for shopping. Molly needed food, I needed equal tablets and only have found them there (!!), plus I need an outfit for next weekend’s wedding.

I tried Burlington Coat Factory first at K’s recommendation. Found it! I’m happy with it and you can see pictures after next weekend. I even had to buy a necklace and earrings since K can’t get a set to me by Saturday.

I am searching for a fabric for the current quilt project. Seems the book has an error so I now need several more strips and the fabric is gone! I checked w/ all 3 Rockford shops to no avail. I will make a trip to Galena this week to get the missing fabric. Meanwhile, I found a super cute clutch pattern to make for the wedding next weekend! That will be posted later as well.

Phil continues with soybean harvest. The beans are refusing to drop their leaves but test at 10% which is quite dry. He continues and the combine growls.

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Another Day of Harvest

Today Phil combined some corn, clearing an area where he wants to plant wheat. Some of the soybeans need a little more time. Today’s corn tested 20 – 24%.

The calendar says fall but my tomatoes are still going strong…

and I have little pink flowers around my pond…

But my mums are blooming here and the cream ones are getting ready to burst open nearby….

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Sunday visit to K’s

Sunday we headed out bright and early at 7:20 a.m. to see K. We stopped by her building (9:35) and she took a load up to her room, trying not to slam the door as N was still sleeping. Then she jumped in with us and we headed to our usual parking garage. We walked about 5 blocks to her church and had time to visit the restrooms before the service.

She attends a Willow Creek campus that meets in the Auditorium Theater. It is beautiful!!! We entered from the second floor and were just a bit higher than the screen so had a great view.

The music was like our church and the drummer was terrific!! JP said, “he doesn’t need mikes!” The auditorium was nearly FULL and K said when she was there in the spring, it was 1/2 that much. Next week is their one year anniversary so they have grown quickly and well! We could hear the kids singing nearby. 🙂

The sermon was by Bill Hybels and I don’t think we’ve ever heard him before. P thinks he’s read one of his books. It was a great message!! He uses a large tablet for writing / drawing his notes for the audience. It was great! He referenced Romans 8:1, The Best NO in the Bible. No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! And he discussed the vicious cycle of I do what I don’t want to do and don’t do what I want to do… hence I feel like a wretch! But what Amazing Grace that saves a wretch like ME!

After the service, we went to lunch at Bennigan’s, a frequent stop. We walked through Millennium Park and over the bridge that wanders around and crosses Columbus Avenue.
We sat and watched the traffic on Lake Shore Drive a bit and then decided to cross and see the boats up close.

We sat ON THE EDGE of the dock and enjoyed watching the shuttle boat take owners to their sailboats. Some boats came near to pick up the rest of their crew & s.t.u.f.f. We were along a bike path so there were lots of walkers and bikers. K has ridden there, down around the Planetarium and back.

On the way back to K’s room, we stopped at the neighbor business to Pizano’s, owned by the same man, for ice cream for P & JP and popcorn for K & me. We hung out at K’s room for another hour or so. I got to see her projects and the men enjoyed a movie on her cable TV. N is so sweet and the girls get along well.

We left just after 4 and K had to be at work at 5. This is the outside view of K’s restaurant. The patrons were a bit pickier about their seating last night so they could have a good view of the Bears game on the TV screens.

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More Needle Cases

K asked for a few more in case some friends are interested. I love these!! I used smoke ribbon floss on 3 and the other 2 have a pink shimmer ribbon floss.

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Lost Geranium

This quote and picture were on The Quilt Show blog when I read it this morning. I just love this little lost flower! I’m saving it here in hopes it will inspire a project sometime.

Ricky wrote: …..However in this unattended, barren area, enough sand and debris collected, enough rain fell from the heavens to allow this orphan sprig to take root and scream, I’m alive! I will survive! I will not give up and I will find a way to inspire others to suck it up, be brave, tackle adversity, and thrive, live, celebrate life.” This abandoned, isolated sprig of a geranium, living in the most difficult of conditions, will have done more today than all the pampered blossoms on the porch. It encourages me. It makes me realize that there is always hope. Nothing is too difficult to overcome, and when I experience adversity, discouragement, depression – perhaps, instead of giving up, I too can dig in, survive, find a strong determination to overcome the situation and ultimately be an inspiration and encouragement to those around me.
Today on a good day, I can read that and accept it. On bad days, I’m not so quick to accept the yuck that is going on.

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It’s Harvest Time!

Today was the first day of harvest for us! The soybeans are quite dry, testing at 10% instead of more normal 13%. It was 90′ and very windy. P opened up the field just north of the house along the highway. It was so windy and the beans so dry, he said he was sure the helmet-less motorcyclists weren’t too thrilled as they passed by.

I’m hoping the injuries are done for the season. A few days ago, P landed hard on a post in the finishing building bruising his landing spot severely and scraping his arm. Today a wrench slipped and whacked him in the head, giving him a cut through his eyebrow into his forehead. I’m not very good at nursing but we cleaned and applied steri-strips to hold him together. He was soon back at work…. with a large band-aid trying to keep it all clean.

K reminded us of the myth of accidents happening in threes. I’ve had enough. Two is plenty!

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Needle Cases

I made these 2 needle cases for K & her roomie. I made a couple after Machine Embroidery Club a few months ago. K said she wanted one, too! Last night she begged for one as her needles are “all over” and I know she has been toting her projects back & forth from work.

This is in process…. I didn’t shrink the design enough the first time so I have a bigger one beside my machine. This technique is bobbin work embroidery so it is worked upside down from normal. The bobbin is loaded w/ ribbon floss and used to make the design. I’m using a design from DigiBobbe, Collection 2 Woodland Swirls.

The needle cases are like little books but the pages are wool felt to hold needles safely. I used batik fabrics and smoke colored ribbon floss. I just love those new crystals to add a touch of glimmer. So easy!

Back to my previously scheduled project….

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Golden Birthday!

I really thought today would go all right, almost like any other day. But it hasn’t. I’m having a hard time keeping on task.

Yesterday I thought that now that I have a blog, I’d post pictures and write about my twins. My big boys having their Golden Birthday today. They are 18 years old today, on the 18th of September.

Wow – is that selfish to wish they could celebrate it with us instead of our Father? I guess. Or just human.

Zechariah and Jacob were born at just 20 weeks. And back in 1989, even at the best neonatal hospital in the region, they weren’t able to keep them in me or keep them alive after birth. They lived about an hour. We held them the whole time. I guess it was a lot like numb stunned amazement.

Yep, I checked. Twenty little toes all lined up like matchsticks. Just like Dad’s, not like my crooked toes. Square ends.

And little boy parts too. I checked.

I regret that K didn’t get to see them and hold them. I regret that we didn’t have more time with them. I wish the grandparents could have seen them.

The hospital didn’t know all they do now about grieving parents. They took 3 Polaroid pictures for us. That type of picture fades quickly so I had negatives and prints made. These are the best two pictures. The boys’ skin looks dark because it is still so thin. Not fully developed yet. They had all their parts inside but the lungs weren’t hooked up to do the job yet.

While we held them, they made sucking movements with their mouths. Zechariah was born first and didn’t have as much anesthetic in him. He wrapped his tiny hand around my finger. Jacob didn’t move much because he was born some time later so would have been more drugged. Jacob had a rough entry into his short life when the doctor and all the nurses were out of the room, he landed in the pan. Poor P was holding Zechariah at the time and ran out to the hallway to call for a nurse to come.

I was moved to a surgery floor for that night so I didn’t have to be in L&D or the new moms unit. That was good. But on the surgery floor, it was like everyone knew my babies died and no one wanted to be near me or touch me. It was very lonely & sad. P had to make some arrangements with the funeral home the next morning. I wrote the obituary while I waited for him to come back to the hospital.

I went home that next day with empty arms. Still in shock.

We had a private graveside funeral a few days later. My mom & dad came from Ohio and helped a lot around the house. K asked lots of questions…. how hard to wrap an almost 4 year old mind around burying your brothers.

Happy Birthday Zechariah Robert & Jacob Lowell

September 18, 2007

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Sunday at the Park

On Sunday, after we previewed a farm equipment auction, we visited the local park, Lowden Park, home of the famous Blackhawk statue.

It was a warm fall day, a bit cool when we got in the shade. We hiked a bit of the trails but nothing over taxing.

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Girl in Curls Embroidery

Here is K’s embroidery so far. Next is adding a border….

The word “hair” is frayed (hairy) but that is hard to see in this size of picture. I think a good job on her 1st embroidery project!

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