Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cat Magnet

Just a quick FYI--the cat magnet is on and my next new friend is hanging out in the hay bales at the barn. I "made contact" today. Cerra and Cheyenne were already getting pretty chummy with ---him, or her, don't know quite yet. But "he-she" let me have a little pet while the horses were there in the sunny spot. I brought dinner out a little while ago and he wasn't ready for me to get close. Maybe I can get a photo op tomorrow. Looks like a youngster--not in terrible shape--eyes are clear but watery, isn't too thin. Just very hungry, tired and scared. All white with a dark gray patch over the left eye and a dark gray tail. Undoubtably a "throw away". Could be this little guy's lucky day.

Get Ripped in 365 Days!

Well, the jeans were ripped and I've had them for over 365 days, in a pile cut into 6" squares for the magnificent rag quilt and pillows that I envisioned for the guest bedroom. I think quilting is going to be one of those things that I had better start out big because I probably won't want to do it again. Technically this is called a rag quilt and there is no quilting involved. It's a pretty rustic looking production which should fit right in around here.

I was pretty happy to get the two pillows done and several more strips on the main quilt. Until I ran out of blue bandana squares. Drat. That old "planning ahead" thing popped up. A trip to the fabric store is planned in the near future before I lose interest and go onto something else. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thunder Snow

Today started like any other winter day, some filtered sunlight and I was really surprised to see on the 7 AM news that Wabasha-Kellogg school, across the creek (Mississippi) from us, was CLOSED for the day! We went to Wabasha for feed and chuckled with the feed store staff that they had better close now and get home before the BIG STORM prevented them from missing dinner tonight. At this point there was not a flake in sight and there would not be one until 1 pm. I don't know about Minnesota schools, but in Wisconsin if they show up and get sent home at noon, they count it as a completed school day which equals dollars to the district in state dollar support. Which made it feel so strange that schools were closing just on the prediction that there would be snow later in the day.

So that brings me to Thunder Snow. At 1 pm when we started getting our blast, it came with rumbles of thunder which sent the horses flying from under the eve out to the pasture. I was in the studio and grabbed the camera as they went charging past. The snow and wind did their thang and it was over in about two hours. I hope the kids had a fun snow day--even if they didn't actually have much snow--and I hope they don't mind making up for it in the last days of May. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sneak Peek

I am in the middle of a great project! I have wanted to do equine art for a long time and never took the time to delve in. I did a little horse-trading over a saddle and found I could also trade some of my work for my purchase. 

My subjects are two of the cutest little equestriennes and their trusty mounts in various stages of barrel racing and pole weaving.  I have a number of pieces I'm working on, and this will be the only sneak peek until they are all done. 

So, Amy, you'll just have to WAIT a little while longer! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gramma's Dishes

Sometime this past fall I needed a few plates that weren't chipped or cracked for our dinner with our friends, the Ormson's. So I went to my storage boxes in the basement and dug out four dinner plates and salad plates. The only time these dishes see daylight is at Christmas for one day at The Lutefisk event. I'm from the era when nice things had to be "saved for good". They always seemed too fancy and delicate to actually USE. I'm afraid of breaking them...they might get chipped.....but on the table they went.

My grandma Norma Harstad (Jensen) owned this set and they were only used for official "dinners". I remember them at her home in Chicago and later they moved up to Frederic with her in the 80's. They stayed at my mom's house until she was here no more and I decided I wanted to keep them from their auction. They even escaped being put on my own auction five years ago and not much escaped that purge. 

Some pieces of this set are crazed, and I wasn't even sure how hold they are which led me to the Replacements online site where I found out more about this set. The manufacturer is the Edwin Knowles China Co. and they made a zillion designs over the years. But there was a photo of this design and I found out it's called "Blue Dawn" and a replacement dinner plate was going to cost $9.99. Wow! I have 12 plates--I'm rich! This design was from 1943 which makes them 66 years old so they are 13 years ahead of me. Poor old girls stuck in that box. I'm at the end of the line heritage-wise so who wants them after me? 

Who uses fancy china anymore? Well...I guess now I do. Compared to cheap pottery plates, these are like iron. Beautiful and tough. I like that. I brought up the square salad plates, the bread plates, sauce dishes, (remember sauce used to be a course?!) The teacups, saucers, gravy boat, assorted oval platters, large covered bowl, sugar bowl, creamer and vegetable bowls are waiting their turn to move upstairs. This is going to involve a reorganization!

With my set of twelve place settings I should have enough dishes to take me to 90. Whatever is left at that point.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Walk in our Enchanted Forest

The evening squall left us with a nice coating of sticky snow. It actually improved the icy walking conditions that have been here all winter. Helga and I took pictures and hiked around the horn. The transformation from the day before was like stepping into another world. This photo is of my favorite place in the woods to enjoy the quiet fairy world quality of a day like this before the wind sweeps it away.

Escape to Catfish Corner

The Geezers made their way down to the creek when the weather warmed up. Their spring juices are starting to flow and they are up all night chattering and bickering--presumably about who gets to sit next to the only female! With four males in contention it does indeed become contentious. Helga and I walked down the bank to visit them. We went further down the trail to the big bend where there is an eagle nest on the left side. We can't see it from the house but we do see the eagles soaring in to visit it most evenings. The "aerie" is a huge pile of impressive sized branches which forms the cozy resting spot for two or three eggs that will be laid in the months ahead. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

WOA Reception

The Wings Over Alma artists reception went well yesterday. A beautiful 40 degrees, lots of sun, and many visitors to the center. The ice has almost all melted below the dam so the eagles were moved out to the edges. There was one tiny island of ice that provided a perch for one-at-a-time hunting. 

Ben Golden's oil paintings (in photo) were next to my table and they got lots of attention. Carol Knabe's eagle photography was awesome! She has a terrific eye for catching action shots. Show co-organizer, Gail Pommerening, had pastels and prints of song birds in all four seasons, in addition to note cards. Jeff Byrns (table top display) uses various media, and subjects. His bulldog portrait was a favorite of mine. 

Our guests sipped wine, sampled the tasty hors d'oeuvres, and generally seemed to enjoy the event. Some of them even brought some of the show home with them! Thank you, patrons.

I was surprised Don's doctor from Eau Claire came to the show and later joined us for dinner at Catfish Corner!
Thank you so much Dr. Olson--we hope to get you back here again soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Coldest before the dawn

It was 10 below this morning but it's supposed to be warming up starting tomorrow. Maybe four days of above 32 degrees ahead of us. The frost was spectacularly alive looking on this window as the sun was just starting to come up.

This was a special day because I got a call from cousin Christine from Memphis. We reconnected following a long interim where we both moved to new homes, had retirements, etc., and it was like we had just talked a day or two ago!

Hi, Christine! Hope you like the blog. Gulf Shores sounds very inviting. Thanks for your kind offer!