Archive for October, 2009


No news is NOT good news here!

It continues to rain and we haven’t seen the sun since LAST Wednesday.  OK, it peeked out a bit last Saturday.   Not enough to do any good.  Not even for a full day.

By November 1st, usually 80% of the state’s corn is harvested.   As of today we (personally) are at 0% harvested.  They have had 3 days of soybeans in but those are short days b/c beans are finicky.   Because it is so wet, they couldn’t start until 1 and have to quit near 7 when the sun is down and the dampness returns.   That was on the dry days.

The fields and paths out of the fields are so very muddy.

Phil and the other farmers could use some prayers for endurance, long-suffering,  safety, AND SUNSHINE.

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Weekend Visitors

My nephew brought his wife & 3 littles to visit the farm this weekend. Josh tractor ride Josh got to ride with Uncle Phil to another farm to take feed to the pigs!  Delightful!!

josh & sam visit nina

Josh & Sam visit with Nina.

lucy snackLucy was quite good at feeding herself.  It could be I’ve just forgotten milestones & ages but she seemed to do well for 21 months.

reading with lucyI was talking with K while the kids had baths. However, once Lucy was out she backed down to me with her book.  It was fun!! 🙂  She brought a book for olders so we paraphrased.

Saturday a.m. they got to see little & big pigs and Josh had his tractor ride.  In the afternoon, they played out by the swing set & took a walk.  Uncle Phil was working in the shed and let Josh have another ride.  This time Josh got to steer which sounded like a huge hit to him!!  His dad said he wouldn’t be driving for a long time yet.  😉

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Isn’t that a cool date to be born?

Kenneth Ronk's 3 kids & dog

(he is the youngest in this picture – later a little sister came along)

Today is my dad’s birthday!


Joyce & Dorman 6 07

I hope you have a super day Dad!  JP will have some ice cream for you and I’ll entertain another generation of Ronk boys for you.


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Quilt Show Recap

The quilt show on Saturday went great and we had so many positive comments.

I was in charge of admissions and had numbered sign-in papers for the guests.  We had 141 attend to see the 167 quilts that were displayed.

The quilts were in the sanctuary.  Then in the basement we had a lot of samples to try from the cookbook recipes and a boutique called Mulligan’s Stew.  Both of those went over quite well!

After the sign-in table, this was the way to see the quilts.


If I turned around from this spot, the raffle quilt was displayed next to the door like this:


I have to tell you about the raffle quilt.  First of all, that was our 2008 project as a guild.  The committee for the raffle quilt chose the pattern and the fabrics.  (fabrics in the line by Jeanne Horton, Ann’s comment gives the delicious details (THX!), … yummy!!  You could send me the whole line in fat quarters for Christmas if you’d like.  🙂 )  Then kits were made up and each kit made 2 blocks.  Each member could take 1 or 2 kits home to complete.  I like that each of us have a hand in helping.  A guild member quilted it on her long-arm machine.

(Honestly, I am tired of seeing quilts done on a long-arm just.to.be.done.  I like the variety of quilting I get with my plain ol’ Bernina!)  OK… Just shoot me now….  (I am in so much trouble!!)

Bernie was the spokesperson (so dubbed chair) of the quilt show committee.  She said her mom was excited about the show so had her spend a few nights with her over a long weekend.  It was so fun that she brought her to the show on Saturday.  It was bright & early as Bernie & others arrived before 7 a.m.!!  (I opened the church at 6:50 a.m.) I commented  to B’s mom that Bernie had sure gotten her up early but she said she was dressed before Bernie even got up!  🙂

What a wonderful surprise that Bernie’s mom WON THE RAFFLE QUILT!!  🙂  I love that is stayed near the group.  Bernie’s mom then came to our guild meeting on Monday and had a wonderful thank-you note for us.  So very sweet & a fun lady!  Also a former quilter so she appreciates our work.   🙂


(L-R: me, Susan, Sandra (navy), Beth, Bernie)

Part of the committee and I pose before the rest of the guild arrives Saturday morning.  See our name tags?  Most of the guild members wear these for the meetings and for the show.  It is fun to see how everyone expresses themselves with their name tag.


In the basement, Kathy organized our boutique called Mulligan’s Stew to continue the cookbook theme.    We donated items we had made to sell at the shop.   We could also sell patterns, magazines, and fabric we didn’t want anymore.  It was a HUGE success and made over $700!

You may remember I made 4 embroidered clutches.   Two sold to a member before we even opened and the other 2 sold during the day.  I was thrilled!  They were priced as a donation and to sell, surely not a compensation for the time.  I didn’t need them to stick around.  🙂   (Marci, someone else saw my pink one and wanted that too! 🙂 )


Don’t you just love this?  It is so fun and actually quite quiet having the quilts displayed in the church.   We were asked to have the yellow tags with our name and a brief story about the quilt.   About 3 quilts fit on a pew.


This is the other side of the church.  Bernie & her mom are looking at the baby quilts in the front.  By the sunshine, you’d think baby Jesus was in that crib!  🙂


This display was near the front as well and corralled the smaller quilts.   Here are my Illinois Star wallhanging (blue & pastel batiks) and my Mom’s Tulip wallhanging.


Here is my Galena BOM ’08 quilt.

And some pictures of it I took at home…

BOM full

BOM close up

close-up of some quilting

(Sarah R…. can you see the circles I talked about adding to those triangles?  Just stitched through all the layers.)

BOM corner

I quilted JM 2009 in one corner.  🙂

I quilted this with Superior Thread, Rainbows.  I love their threads!!


I love this quilt!  I’ve seen it before and want to make one like this sometime.  I sure don’t have such a collection of batiks.  A kit would be lovely!  The flowers are appliquéd in the embroidery hoop.  All wildflowers.


I was touched that SL friend, Sheila, came with her 2 daughters!  A super place for a meet-up!!  I think her older DD just might catch the quilting fever.  🙂

Two friends from church/ladies Bible Study came, my MIL, and my friend, Elinor.   🙂

A fun & very tiring day!  We headed home at 5:12 leaving behind a cleaned-up church all ready for their Sunday.  Hopefully, no spare threads were there!


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1st Day of Harvest

Oh my goodness have we EVER been so very very late?

I think NOT!!

Phil said today was  a PERFECT day for soybeans.  🙂  Sunny, nearly 60′, and a good strong wind all night kept the dew off.

The mechanic from the new dealership came mid-morning so Phil was glad to have his opinion on the first few passes.

After lunch, all 3 men were out with some equipment.   Bob (FIL) was in the combine, JP was hauling the wagon loads back home, and Phil was drilling wheat, probably right behind the combine!  (I was putting primer on the peeled & flaking bare wood trim around the outside doors.)

It is late to get the wheat in as well and that gives Phil an early place to haul manure next summer.   Plus the crop insurance for wheat has a deadline for planting.   Because we lean towards the no-till side of farming, Phil uses the drill and plants right into the corn stalk stubble.  Super compost and the “trash” (good trash!) holds the soil and prevents wind & water run-off erosion.

An error light came on in the combine around 5 p.m. which sent Phil & JP on a quick run to the dealership.  The part wasn’t in but will be by 7:30 a.m. tomorrow!  Meanwhile, Phil jiggled the part and the light went off so they continued on.

Phil only got to make 1 pass in his new combine.   He liked it tho!!

Score today: 25 acres of corn combined + 25 acres of wheat drilled! 🙂  Keep up your prayers… rain is due again!

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What She Does

Have you been impatiently waiting curious to learn more about Miss K’s new full-time job???? 🙂

Her job is Wedding Gown Coordinator for THE dry cleaner of Chicago.  They cater to the Oak Street shoppers.   The amount of business they do is tremendous!  K is swamped and works an hour or so of overtime nearly everyday.   She barely gets a 10 min break and sometimes lunch is late in the afternoon.

K works with brides to help them with the various preservation packages they offer and schedule appointments for preservation and/or alterations as well as all the paperwork to do such things.

This is the area’s “natural” dry cleaner and they use safe preservation for the gowns.   After the wedding, the dress is cleaned, pressed, and packaged in an amazing way!!  In the box, lined in triple-washed muslin that is embroidered with their names & date, and packed so that using the gloves provided one could open the box and lift up just the bodice for a peek.

They also do cleaning & pressing before the wedding, and any alterations or color restoration needed for those wanting to wear Mom’s or Grandma’s gown.

K does extensive documentation & paperwork for the gowns coming in the shop.  Photos and sometimes video of the gowns and checking with a blacklight for any hidden stains.

When she arrived home last weekend for her 18 hours (*sigh*), she brought home a few goodies from her new bosses for me.   Lynda said (when she heard K was coming home), “When you tell your mom about your new job…”

LOL – how little she knows about us. 🙂  We love to chat and do so usually every day.  Phil & I just love hearing her stories.  This is more new territory for us.

K 1

Lynda took K’s picture so we could see her “at work”.   Uniform is anything white, gray, or black.  K wears the lab coat they provide.

K 2

This is a Chicago Social magazine – the brides edition. Chicago Social Bride edition

Inside there is an article on the preservation they do and it is a super description of K’s job. magazine article

Looking at this magazine is amazing!!  It features how to make one’s wedding in the city ultra-special and I just can’t believe some of the weddings!  (Our wedding was so plain-Jane in the 80’s!)  It is filled with ads for Chicagoland wedding services.  Wow!

A big tote — tote

And a folder with some of their press releases.  Huge places for name dropping. DSCF4916

K is happy with her job and thinks this is the 1st place she has worked that she can ask the boss (either one) how to do this or that and they don’t get mad at her for asking.  Novel idea, boss!!  🙂   Rick & Lynda have been so nice to her even midst the few slip-ups and learning days.

With her car there now, it is about 1/2 an hour to get there for work.  (vs a good hour using feet, the El, and a bus)  Traffic hasn’t been much of a problem and she does a reverse commute which helps.

She also answers the phone when the receptionist isn’t there or is already on the phone.  And many of the calls get sent to K for appointments and gown questions.

One day she finished with “Mary” and had to get back to her later.  Later, Rick asked if that was Trump Tower.

K said “It was ‘Mary'”.

He clarified, “at 555-1212?”


“That is the concierge at Trump Towers.”

Yaw! 🙂 🙂 🙂 All in a day’s work.

And where is YOUR wedding gown?

Mine is hanging in Phil’s side of the closet with a plastic garment bag from a Richland Mall store over it.  I hung it like that after I had put shout on the frosting glob and run it through the washer & dryer…. 26+ years ago!  LOL!!

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Out with the Old…

After Phil’s brilliant idea to put his combine at the end of the lane with a For Sale sign, THE FIRST DAY brought him a buyer.  No real calls (real buyer – not dealer) from his ads online and in ag papers.

The green left about 2 weeks ago….


And FINALLY last Friday…

The NEW RED ONE arrived!!


Phil had several reasons he went red:  The green guys don’t really keep any around in the US  (let alone our area) in our size range, he has heard from several places & from real farmers that the red has better ‘guts’ and does a better job with cleaning grain, and this deal worked out when there were no options for green here.


He also got a bean head from them and has put an adapter on the new combine to use his current green corn head.  (That is a very doable combo and not as odd as it sounds!)


I was gone when it arrived but he brought it to the house and offered rides! 🙂


I thought the rear view mirrors were huge so I took this picture.  A few days later JP & Phil were saying how much they like the rear view mirrors.  🙂   I was right – LOL!!

Meanwhile, we are halfway through October and have not picked one single bit of soybeans or corn.  😦  We usually start mid-to-end of September.  This is even later than last year.

Phil has heard of others who have tried to combine corn and it is in the 30%+ moisture level and it can be stored at 14%.  Not good.   A semi pulled in to dump a load and nothing came out the hopper because it was so wet it all stuck.  Ugh!

Please pray for some sunshine! We have had WEEKS (the whole summer!) of rain.  Also pray for the safety of all the farmers.  I’m concerned that once they can go, there will be little sleep and long hours.   (Except that the bin will be full and take a long time to dry…)

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