Archive for August, 2009

I’m thankful!

I don’t post much about my fibromyalgia because it just doesn’t hold me down much anymore.  🙂  Let me tell you about yesterday.

I had my usual day of some sewing mixed in with the rest of the day.  Up & down the basement steps a few times.  Made dinner.  Did some laundry.  Stuff.

I left at 2:45 p.m. for the rest of the day.  First took Phil to pick up his tractor.  (you know just driving 4 yrs ago was a problem for me!)  Then on to Menard’s (priced front & back doors) and Joann’s (they had 2 of the 3 things I needed).

Got to the fitness center and did 1/2 hr of weights, getting stronger and upping the weights on a regular basis.  Then 50 mins of aqua aerobics in the pool.  I started a bit early and there are those of us (veterans) that push the envelope a bit more and do more aerobics than this new teacher.

After that it was time for groceries.  But because I’m feeling better, I had lists for 3 stores.  The majority came from Cubs, then milk from Aldi’s (it is 1/2 the price of the other store!), and then Save A Lot to finish since they are the only store with sugar-free boneless skinless chicken.

I got home at 7 p.m. and JP helped me unload the truck and I put the groceries away.  Thankfully JP had grilled the brats so I could then eat.  🙂

This is my new life!  I’m nearing 4 yrs of reversing my fibromyalgia with guaifenesin. Take that you nay-sayers!  🙂

Wednesday… just finished my 3rd time of doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 day Shred workout.  Good workout.  I think it might be helping!!  🙂

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So I mentioned one day last week that Phil was drilling (planting) radishes.  Now I can tell you about it and this time I have pictures! 😀

radishes 1

Background info:

Phil raises wheat so he has a place to haul manure earlier in the year instead of having to wait until the corn is harvested.

By mid – end July (or August in this late crop year), he has open fields.

But that good nitrogen can dissipate before next year’s crop is there to use it.

So… enter cover crops.

radishes 2

This year radishes are a totally new idea!

These radishes are not for eating but are super as a cover crop.  They will grab all the nitrogen already incorporated with the manure (knifed in) and hold it for new year’s crop.  This variety of radish makes huge roots which help aeriate the soil.  (loosen the soil, allow air, better drainage, break up compaction)

radishes 2

Phil got most of his radishes drilled on Saturday, August 15.  Before moving day and before rain was due.

radishes 5

We checked the fields on Sunday, August 23.

radishes 6

He was thrilled to be able to “row” the radishes.  (See them the whole length and across the field in their rows.)  Its a farmer thing… we delight in this every spring with the corn coming up.  🙂

radishes 8

He finished up the radishes, ran out of seed, and finished with clover on Wednesday, August 19.   They are just popping.

The change in planting dates

The change in planting dates

The radishes will die off once we have 2 days of 17′ temperatures at night.   The stems & leaves as well as the roots will all decompose over the winter.  But the roots still have all the nitrogen they stored up.

radishes 9

radishes 9fThe new planting just coming.

radishes 9i

The other green you see in the pictures is either volunteer wheat or a weed that is impossible to kill off.  Phil is also hoping the radishes smother out some of that.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.   He has never grown radishes so all this info is just what he’s learned from others.  Time will tell!

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Jackpot Judge

In the midst of moving recovery, Phil got a call on Monday at noon and was asked to be a hog judge at another county fair held this week not too far away. Amanda said he could think about it.  He asked when the show was and she said, “Tuesday.”   LOL!  (Don’t think long!)

We talked about it a bit over lunch.

He asked if he should be thinking about it.  (He has never judged a show before.)

I said, “No.”  He nearly gasped in shock.

“So I shouldn’t think about it?”

I replied, “You should quit thinking about it and just do it.”


So he called her back and said yes.  She answered his questions that night.

We met after my swim Tuesday evening, left one car there, and drove together to the fair.  It was only another 20 mins or so.    I had wanted to see this fair in case I’d want to enter sewing & quilting things next year.  Another good reason to go.

We were quite impressed with the fairgrounds and they have a lot of nice buildings & a big swine building.  Once we found where Phil would report for duty, we walked around a bit.

Winn Co Fair 2

We went through the 4-H building and they have great tables to display the entries.   A good amount of sewing entries pleased me.   JP looked at the computer entries and … well… he wasn’t impressed there.  He hoped there would be some competion there.  (He can’t enter in another county anyway.  Just curious.)

I found the sewing/craft/quilt building.   They must have a lot less categories for sewing related entries but the ones there had several quilts entered.    I enjoyed seeing them.  This fair displays everything so nicely and it is then covered in good clear plastic.  Novel idea to keep fair dust off of the nice things!!  😉

There were 3 ladies at the information table so I interrupted their conversation to ask about entry deadlines and if that info was on their website. Yes it is but they also had a list for me to sign up to have the fair book mailed to me next year.  Yeah!  Here’s hoping I follow through!

Meanwhile, JP was getting hungry….

Winn Co Fair 1

Then we went to the swine building.   Nearing 7 p.m., the judges met each other.   There are 3 judges and they decide amongst themselves who the winners will be.

Winn Co Fair 3

This was a new kind of judging/show that we had never heard of before.   The pigs had just been brought on the grounds that afternoon and there had been no other hog shows yet.   To enter this show, the entry fee was $20 per pig.  You could enter as many as you wanted.

Winn Co Fair 6

There were only 2 classes: barrows & gilts.  (for the city folk that means: castrated males & females that have not birthed any pigs)

Winn Co Fair 8

All the pigs in each class are in the ring at one time.  That was a lot in comparison to our fair!   I think the barrow class had a good 14 – 16 and the gilt class had 12 pigs.

Winn Co Fair 7

It is called the Jackpot show because the winner gets 60% of the pot of entry fees and the 2nd place gets the other 40%.     The 3 judges were all local hog farmers so know what a good market hog looks like.

We like this concept!

Winn Co Fair 9a

As the judges looked at the hogs, they would point out one to send back.   The helpers around the ring had panels for moving the pigs back to the walkways and to separate them if need be.

Finally they narrowed it down to 2 pigs and one judge gave a short bit of commentary on why they picked these two and which one was the champion.

Winn Co Fair 9b

After the show, we talked with some friends from church (their daughter called Phil for this show) and then Phil & I got sandwiches for our supper.  We headed back to the extra car and JP came home while Phil & I got some groceries.

A fun night and I think we’ll be back next year.  😉

This night’s entry fee was free if you brought non-perishables for the local rescue mission so we donated there.  I thought that was a super idea!

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Another Moving Day

Sunday was K’s day to move to her first apartment! Yeah!!  We were slightly clouded over by remembering her last moving day the end of May.  You may remember (or this will jog your memory) that there is no place to load or unload at the Madison building.

So preceeding the moving day, my prayer was that God would provide a parking place for the truck & UHaul for Sunday, 8/16.   Then I thought, why not ask for more pray-ers.

I posted on Facebook that Friday and had many people give a thumbs up to indicate they were praying and several comments of support & prayers.  Then I posted to the Sonlight (curriculum) forums that I frequent.  And finally, I sent an email to our siblings & my parents.   I formed my “team”.

Now, the play by play:

Phil & I got up just before 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning.  I had awakened at 4 and he a bit later.  Phil headed for chores in the dark and I sleepily walked to the shower in hopes of awakening.

We finished the final packing of the truck (truck bed & back seat were full to the gills!) and headed to Chicago at 6 a.m.   (JP drummed for both services so was then home for dog care & chores in the afternoon. )

We arrived at the new apartment at 8:29 and K arrived just a few mins later (she had taken the subway to her new place).   So first, we unloaded the truck of stuff from home including her new bed/couch and microwave she had bought a few weeks ago.  🙂

We then went to the UHaul place just a few blocks up the street.  Once inside, K & I waited in a slow-moving line and 2 employees were helping people.   I questioned how much it helped to that K had reserved a trailer!  One man then entered and BUTTED-IN line in front of everyone!  I said we were waiting too and he shrugged me off.  Boy did that make my blood boil.   😦

A worker took him next and we could tell by the conversation he had been in already and his little car couldn’t pull a trailer so he needed a re-do.  So do you think that meant he could butt in line?

Finally, it was K’s turn and we actually got out of the office before the cutinlinedude.   :p   The trailer was quickly hooked to the truck, lights worked!, and we were off.  (about 9:50)  Off to drive through major traffic clogs as there was an air show nearby that day!  ugh!!

However, as we neared downtown and her old place, the traffic wasn’t bad and Phil was getting happy pulling a trailer through the mess.  ha!  K commented that it was doubtful we’d have a parking place.  I reminded her I had a team on that and she had seen the FB posts.

We rounded the corner onto Madison and her section of the street had 1 open parking place.  In the middle, so there was no way even just the truck without the trailer would fit.  We double-parked near that opening so at least we had access to the sidewalk.

K ran in to get the pre-loaded carts coming down with the help of Kyle, another RA who delights in helping anyone move.  🙂  (His pay is food which we took care of later.)

Phil & I got out and he started to open the back of the UHaul. I looked across the alley (same side of street) and there were TWO (2!) open parking places, on the end of the section, next to a fire hydrant (more open space), and next to the alley which is next to her building!!  Ha!


(K remembers seeing a van in that spot when we pulled up and let her out.  However, it wasn’t even a minute later that we were out of the truck and I saw the places were empty!)

I shouted to Phil to MOVE THE TRUCK, I ran to STAND IN THE PLACES!!, and he jumped in the truck and pulled down the 200′ to the places. He got out of the truck and with tears in my eyes I said, “He did it!”  Phil said “Yep.”   Wow!!

However, in my excitment, I didn’t text K that we got a parking place so when she came out of the building we were gone from where we had left her.  Oops!  Sorry!!  However, she could see us just a bit down the street.

She & Kyle hauled out 6 carts in 2 trips.  I helped to sort while Phil went to work packing the UHaul trailer. As K & Kyle were returning for more carts, I asked if there were 2 more.  K said no which I assumed meant less than 2.  Oh.how.wrong.I.was!!  🙂

DSCF4439(In this picture, you can see the end of the trailer is at the parking sign and then we had all this space to work!)

We wondered about the boxes sloshing around in the trailer.

Phil said, “Thank your team for me.”  🙂

Another 6 carts came down.  LOL!


BUT… Phil packed it all in, we packed the truck bed full, and packed the truck full…. leaving just enough space for 3 in the front and 1 in the back.  I had Mr. Fishy and a plant between my feet.

We were glad there was a space for Kyle to ride to the new place with us as his help was wonderful!!   I think we left about 11.

Back to her neighborho0d, it was mayhem with traffic but the traffic cops were at the intersections so gave Phil a good left turn area.  🙂

DSCF4442(alley to basement entrance view)

At the new apartment, while on alley duty, I got things to the back of the trailer and to the tailgate so it was easier for Phil to pick up.

DSCF4443(oopsie! – don’t tell but that plastic bin that tipped has hats in it!)

Phil took it down the steps to the basement and down the hallway to the freight elevator that K could use for move-in.   There Phil & Kyle loaded the elevator.  (It wasn’t that big.)   Kyle then took up the load and K met him on her floor.  Kyle & K then moved everything down the rest of the hallway to her apartment.  During that time, Phil continued to haul to just outside the elevator so after the first load, everyone kept going on the assembly line.  It worked quite slick!  …says the one not carrying boxes.  🙂


(selfish self-portrait but my mom reads this!  I’m trying not to look as hot & as tired as I really am at this point.)

And now I see that I don’t have a pix of the full trailer.  The one photo Phil asked about.  Just imagine every space full, OK?

By 12:05 we were headed back to the UHaul place to return the trailer!  Yahoo!!

We returned to K’s place and had permission to leave the truck in the alley the rest of the day.  🙂  We walked a bit to a burger joint for really good cheeseburgers & fries for the others.

Kyle took off to head back to the original haunts and refused my subway money.  :\


We returned to K’s apartment and found the floor covered in boxes! DSCF4452 So we knew we had out work cut out for us!  I worked in the kitchen, Phil assembled and hung a shoe rack & smashed boxes that were empty, K fed us more boxes and worked in her closet/storage area which is actually quite large!

Finally we had enough floor space for Phil to assemble her bed.   It started in that rectangular box I labeled too small in the picture above.

DSCF4454K likes it as a couch!

However, she needs to sleep tonight and I always make the bed when we move her.  🙂 DSCF4455

We took another break and walked the other direction up the main street to look for a supper place.  It wasn’t a long walk or a hard look as there are a lot of restuarants right there.  We chose one in an old home and enjoyed the woodwork and rooms inside.

After supper and the time in the air conditioning, we walked around for a few more blocks then headed back to the apartment.


This time we went in the front door!  😉

Here is the front yard:


We arranged a few more things but really needed to start the trip back home.   A new version out of the city with her new locale landed us in this jam but a great new view of the skyline:


Thankfully this only lasted a few miles and then we had open roads!

About an hour from home, we enjoyed this beautiful sunset as a storm was brewing for later:

DSCF4462 b

Home just after 9 p.m.  Exhausted!

So…. at this point the nest feels half empty with her in her new digs.  🙂  She needs more work hours so if you feel led, please pray on her behalf.

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Another Hat

While K was home last weekend, she worked on a hat for her friend, Beth.

Here it is before the lining went in:

coon hat

The fur is so thick and soft!  I could touch it once she had it cut out and I wasn’t really touching the whole animal. 😀  K has found the wonderful fur dealer where Phil used to sell when he was of trapping age.  What a funny circle & one we never expected!  😉  (He quit about the time K was born.)

I can’t find any finished pictures with Beth in her hat.  The lining was to be turquoise & purple plaid flannel!!

K has plans to make more hats like this and I think her own head will be warmed by fox this winter.  Beth however wanted the tail and a coonskin hat!!  No thanks.  😉

After she had a trip to the local thrift stores, I helped her get started on altering a 1980’s wool coat into a cape!  More on that after she completes it.  It is going to be so fun, I just know she’ll send me pictures.  😀

I’ve had a headache most of the week so haven’t accomplished as much as I had wanted.  But JP is ready for college and K is moving to her first apartment.  Yeah for big kids! 🙂

(I need a new category for life out of college for Miss K….)

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Phil is out planting (direct seeding) radishes for a fall cover crop. Imagine that! I hope I get pictures later. Can’t wait to see this!

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Various Sewing Projects

In the middle of all the fun of the past weekend, I did get in some sewing time.

1st on the list was “Kendra’s Thing”.  So named because that is what she wrote on my piece of paper for my planning.  🙂  Kendra is my niece, the other K cousin.


This is a curtain/wallhanging that she will hang from a rod behind her bed like where a headboard would be.  Kendra sent the fabrics she chose after we had planned the amounts while at Ronk-A-Palooza.  She requested something “made by my aunt” and after some brainstorming she thought of this.

It has tabs across the top for hanging and the tabs match their section, either hot pink or chocolate brown.

She got her box today and there was also a matching coaster in there for her nightstand.  🙂

#2 project was coasters. You may have seen K’s comment awhile back requesting coasters for her new place.   She chose hot pink & purple with some of her black lace on top.

K's coasters

With just the lace for the design, I only had to layer and quilt them.  🙂  Of course, the binding takes the longest.

K's backThe quilting shows up the best from the back.

Today I made JP some new pj’s.    I don’t think he has had store bought jammies since he grew out of the footed ones!  🙂  It is hard to find fabric for a boy so always takes some searching.

joann's bag

His jammies are from the beige camo & knit on the left.

You wanna hear the story about THAT shopping trip to Joann’s?  I took the picture of my purchase in case you wanted to hear about it.  😀

This was back on the day that Phil had a meeting and I got to ride along to the city but then I went shopping.  🙂   Of course, one stop was the fabric store.  I finally had made my selections and went to get the fabrics measured and cut.

One lady was at the cutting table, Miss Grumpy!  😦   She got to the beige knit and it was all in sections, not a long piece on the bolt!  Ugh!  On top of that… there were 3 variations of beige.  I had already selected the outer one to match the camo fabric.  I wasn’t sure there was enough for a top for tall JP on any of the pieces.  I asked for a measuring tape to double check the lengths against me.   (How long will I make the top?)

She asked again what I wanted.  A measuring tape.

Why?  To check some lengths to figure how much to get since I have to get it in 2 pieces.

As if she had never heard of a measuring tape!

But finally she pulled one from underneath the counter.  I figured there was one there.  AND I gave it back when I was done!  🙂

She said she could give me a remnant price (1/2 off) the other little piece I thought I’d need.  OK.

On to the ribbing… I asked for a 1/8 of a yard.  She suggested 5″.  Sure.

Then she cut the other fabrics.  The green & blues are for more napkins to match the everyday tablecloths in the kitchen.

I proceeded to the check-out.  As Miss Friendly Teen was ringing me up, I followed on the little screen waiting to swipe my credit card.  Part way through my total was at $147!!  Yikes!  I said that there must be a problem as it wasn’t going to be THAT much and she said she hadn’t applied my discounts yet.  Yeah  right!  There was a problem even so!

I looked at one of the cutting slips and Miss Grumpy and entered 25 yards instead of .125 yards on the ribbing!!!  Yikes! Just the ribbing was costing me $99!

So Miss Friendly Teen worked at correcting the error.  With no fault of her own, the computer froze up so I had to wait while the manager rebooted it and fixed my sale.    In reality, the ribbing cost me $0.50.  :p

Not that any of that is important but I’m keeping the tradition, “too make a long story longer, ask Joan”.   😀

(That's my mom. ;)  Wouldn't it be fun if she were blogging?  hint, hint)

So now the jammies are finally made and in the wash.

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I got


(and you thought taking pix of littles was difficult!)  These are from Thursday.  Maybe too much birthday pie and fair food!

kids 1

kids 2 disappeared

(quick disappearing act!)

kids 3(note the fake arm around sister…)

kids 4

kids 5(why the head shadows????)

kids 6(nice flash in the mirror and someone seems taller here ???)

kids 7

kids 8(Ugh on the shadows!!  And too bad I didn’t know this until after K went home!)

kids 9(So is this with the flash off?  I have no idea but no shadows but not great lighting either. )

On Friday, K had appointments for a massage and a haircut.  Afterwards, we all headed to the good shopping city.  We had another birthday supper for JP at bd’s Mongolian Grill.  YUM!!  And a picture again for Mom. 🙂

kids at bd's

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Birthday Recap

Sorry to keep you & JP waiting… it has been a tad busy around here!

When does this merry-go-round stop???

But back on Thursday, August 6th…..

We usually do birthdays at noontime when we have our main meal.   JP’s request was Subway but I did the override since I was cheating and buying supper out, I grilled steaks instead.  JP liked it all the same.  🙂

bday 1

Presents after dinner included:

bday 2Linux magazine & a Wii game

bday 3Can you read this t-shirt?  🙂

bday 4

A new cymbal for the drumset!  Yeah!!  And a refill on his card for the local coffee shoppe! 😉

After the parade at the fairgrounds that evening, we brought home 2 pizzas for a late birthday supper.  {I had asked Phil’s parents about coming over in the morning.  One wanted to stay at the fair to see exhibits and one asked again, “What time is pizza?”  🙂  It was cute!  And the pizza won out.  heehee}

bday 5The grandmas provided some flat & green gifts (what every 17 y/o loves!) and an old collector pig from Grandma M since he had done so well showing at the 4-H show.

bday 6Snuggles with Nina

The flat, green gifts are providing an MP3 player for music, videos, pictures, & books and some new Wii games for all of us to play!  🙂

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4-H Parade of Champions

Thursday evening we returned to the fairgrounds for the 4-H Parade of Champions.

JP's awardsJP had good reason to be in the parade!

parade 1

The 4-Hers that had won Champion awards were introduced and walked across the front of the grandstand track.

parade 2In the horse show, there is a costume category and this was the Champion – Wizard of Oz costumes!  🙂

parade 3

parade 4(I think this person in the Cubs shirt really meant to apologize for blocking the cute picture of my son, don’t you think?)  🙂

parade 5

parade 6Finding us in the grandstands.

After the parade, I called to the local pizza place and ordered 2 pizzas for JP’s birthday supper. However, you know the wait time so….

fair ThMuch discussion…

fair midwayA look at the midway.  We never go there and Phil was shocked how sparse it was.  Seems our county fair got the bottom of the barrel when they chose the rides.  There really was a reason why we never took the kids for rides.

fair foodAck! Fair food!

Next… birthday pictures!

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