Sunday, February 22, 2009

Log cabin quilt

This is what I've been up to lately. As you can see, I haven't had time to blog much...but just look at the cool stuff I've been doing.
This is a log cabin quilt, all layed out and ready to sew together. All vintage fabrics from 1920-1975 or so. The pattern is "barn raising" and it is 6 pieces x 8 pieces. Finished without the fancy bindings it is about 60 x 80. Since I want it bigger, I will add at least 2, if not 3 complimenting bindings. The back will be the normal muslin. So...first I layed it out. Then, I started sewing it in strips. Then, I sewed the strips together to make the main part of the top.

I made 2 tops so far, and I have finally found the right color binding. One is gold, the other a
neat swiss dot in turquoise with gold, red, and orange itty bitty flowers. It looks vintage, so I'm thinking it will look good. Below is one of the finished tops with some of the fabric I THOUGHT looked good, but decided they just weren't right for the project. You know how that goes. Well, anyhow, I will put some pics up as soon as I have the bindings on and before I take them to the quilter to finish.
I have decided I like making tops, but not quilting, and the time it takes the nice lady to quilt it, I could have another top done. Right? Please tell me I'm right!
Today, seeing as how it's Sunday, I got to work on fun stuff, and I started another top. This time I made red centers, the traditional log cabin block, with some more vintage fabrics. I have enough to make another 3 quilt tops! The biggest problem is finding the right color and style fabrics to go with the tops.
Tomorrow I go and get two of the three tops I already gave to the quilter. I am very excited, 'cause they are the first quilts I have made for a very long time (years). I am determined not to be a quilter, but with all the scraps I have sitting around, it's hard to pass it by. I had fun on ebay buying lots of quilt books, as far away as Alaska. I have plenty of ideas now, just needing time to accomplish it all. I have lots and lots of custom orders in right now for motorcycle chaps and horse packs, zipper repairs and other custom items. I can't always spend that time having fun, you know, plus I have to take time out for the Milk Man's wife and sons. Well, it's time for some serious shut-eye. Chores, church, ham dinner, 90th birthday party, sewing, and supper. All just today. Yep, some serious shut-eye is due. 'Night all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pioneer Days Parade and Log Skidding

Today was the 27th Pioneer Days. There were lots of teams that entered the parade and logging contest this year, so it was a great competition. Here is Kyle, my hubby, and our horse King pulling a log through the course. They came in 3rd in single horse pull and 1st in team. Great job everybody!!!
The pic on the right is of our team, with two teenagers at the wheel. No fear, the horses know more than they let on. They let the boys THINK they are in control. LOL!!!!!!!!!

Here is my brother in law with his horse, Cody. He did really well, was very calm and enjoyed the work. Two years ago, they went through the parade on a tractor tire, seeing as how they didn't have a wagon yet. Last year, they finally showed up with a wagon.

The rest of the pics are from the parade. Hope you enjoy them. I was told that the whole day is going to be in next February's Wisconsin Agricultural Magazine, and we were even interviewed. How very exciting. Hope it's true.

Well, first you gotta have the flag bearer. This is Larry and his horse heading up the parade. I had to holler at him to stop for this pic, and as you can see from the waving flag, it's windy. Next was a great team of blacks. My guess is Percherons, but I didn't ask. The fellas in the driver's seat look a lot like twins, but I didn't ask about that either. Everyone was dressed to beat the cold winter wind, whether it was chaps, dusters or coveralls. Anything goes in this cold, cold Wisconsin weather.

Here are two nice teams, small and medium! Those little horses really had to trot to keep up with the pace of the other units. Didn't seem to bother them much, however, and the little uphill grade just seemed like another day in the park. I love the contrast to the drivers in both pictures, don't you?
I'm almost sure the little ones would fit right underneath those others!

Here is Danny, driving a team of
dapple grey Percherons. They are a
beautiful team, and work hard at home hauling manure on a daily basis. Their owner is off on a trip to New Mexice, so Danny got to bring them in and show them off. I got pics of them coming and going!

Here is our friend, Barry, driving his BLIND horse. Yes, I did say blind. This old girl is a wonder to see. Very trusting, since she has to rely on voice commands without seeing what is up ahead. She was so smart and never faltered once. Barry is a strange guy, and you would have to ask why the blind horse? Well, thats just Barry!

Next, was a funny little team of burro's. They didn't bray in the parade, but we did get a few ear-splitters when we were all harnessing up. And what was in their wagon? Dalmations, of course. Don't rightly know the connection, but the dogs were at home in the wagon and even licking their chops (back dog).

Here is another picture of our team, King and Holly. Holly is on the right. King likes to be fancy and proud and attentive. Holly usually is just along to hold up her side of the pole! There ain't much get up and go in that old horse anymore. We had to start snapping her with the line now and then just to be sure she was still awake as we went along the way. Yeah, I guess there is always the outlook of retirement. Old Holly has had as many as 6 kids on her at once without complaint. She is a good sport and puts up with King like no other.

Well, that brings us to "the end" and I even have a picture for that. Hope you had fun viewing all these crazy pictures. I have to admit, cold as it was, it was a day of pure heaven for the horses and the nutty owners that love to just Horse Around!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The cat's meow

You know, if my mom were here she would say this "is the cat's meow", meaning it was really, really cool. So, there you have it, proof we do listen to our parents now and then! Also, the fact that you fellow bloggers are really generous and kind. Thanks for your posts!

This is our kitty Mn'M. He wanted to use the phone one day but his little kitty toes kept dialing the wrong number. He is very vocal, as you can see. His mom is named Itty Bitty Kitty, and is also siamese/mix. Just barn cats, so not pampered. Itty Bitty has violet eyes, Mn'M just has blue eyes, but is much noisier.
They all live together here in our barn, and get riled up when Pepper, the puppy wants to play. We also have mitten pawed kitties, those sporting 7 toes on each foot. See the kitty in this next picture, the one with it's paw up? That feature is called mitten paw. This was Mamma Kitty, and she died recently, so Paul, her last kitten, is the only one we have with that feature. The other kitty in the pic is Taz. They all attacked the dog one day, in a planned ambush. I will tell you about it sometime, but for now it is time for breakfast. Kyle just came in and it's definitely coffee time. Bye.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Riding in The Black Hills

This is Orin's "riding" horse, Buddy, a paint Belgian gelding. He is 3 and this was his first time out of state. We went to the Black Hills in SD, and Kyle and the kids rode up to Mt. Rushmore from our most fabulous horse camp. Buddy was so very tired, he just laid down for a much needed nap. The day was so perfect and they got lots of pics along the way. We stayed at Battle Creek Horse Camp, which you can find on the great www, and it was very near the trailheads, located between Hill City and Keystone. The steam train, which I got to ride, went right through camp. The ranch hand that worked there talket to me a lot and said he felt like Miss America, 'cause everytime it went through (4 times a day), everybody would wave at him. 'Course he had to wave back, naturally...Miss America, LOL. Here are the rest of the riders and horses. That little guy is my cowboy-husband. That good looking gal in the back is my niece, on her horse Smokey Joe, and the other chica -wrangler is my DDD on her horse, Canterbury (Canty for short). That old guy is 24 and going strong. His mamma, some kind of american pony quarterhorse, died at the ripe old age of 38. This is undocumented, but true. Ask Heidi. I think the entire family rode her through 3 generations or so! Yeah, that mare was remarkable!
If you're ever in the area of Keystone, stop in at the horse camp. Running water, bathrooms, showers, and great trail access. Not far from Harney Peak, Mt Rushmore, and Custer State Park! Yee-ha.

152 lb JV Conference Champion!

JV Conference Championship match, Feb. 6, 2009, Menomonie, WI. Look close. The guy is turning purple!

I am so proud of Orin, who won 1st place in his weight class of 152 #'s. He had already wrestled his 1st place match, when the officials found out he had wrestled against the wrong guy. So, they had Orin wrestle again, minutes after his last match. Pure adrenalin and less than a minute later, he won for real! Enjoy the rest of the pics here from his other matches.

Our school district ended up in 2nd place in this JV conference championship. Only two of our guys placed first, and a bunch 2nd. Two guys ended up with a severe a concussion, the other a possible torn ACL. I would have never imagined high school wrestling was so cool, but after 11 years of going to matches, I would have to admit it is indeed, very exciting to watch! Our school's wrestlers and parents are very committed to this sport, and we are a great team, with great team players! Here is a picture showing all the first place winners, and another of Orin's match earlier that day. Thanks for looking!

Surprise delivery

A couple years ago we went horseback riding "up Nort" in Danbury, Wisconsin, to a place called Tamarack Horse Camp along the MN/WI border. It was the 4th of July and the Horseflies were big and fat and MEAN. We took 4 riding horses...and came home with 5! You see, my Morgan mare, Horse (original name, huh?) was due to foal in a month or so, and we figured it was safe to take her along for the ride as long as we went easy on her. Well, we also took 4 teenagers along. Knowing teenagers, they gotta be up til all hours...and it was a good thing too. Around 1 am, on my dear darling daughters birthday, along comes this little fart. "Kyle! Kyle! Your horse is foaling!" came the shouts from the teens. Easy delivery, cuz by the time we ran from the tent to the maternity ward near the zip lines, Gus-Gus was born (Named after Gus, the mouse in Cinderella, because he was a visitor). He was so cute and cuddly and soft and new. Mamma loved him right away, of course. I built a "fence" for her out of a 100' rope, which only made the mare upset when the naughty boy escaped under it. When it was time to come home, we had a heck of a time loading. There was NO WAY any of the other horses could ride with her and her new baby, so we put her and Gus in front and the three geldings in back and cruised on home. That was in 2007. It was Horse's 2nd baby, her first being Lily. She had another foal last year and his name is Dollar. She gives a foal with a little more white every time. She isn't bred this year, but she will be for next year and maybe we will actually
notice the paint in it...who knows? Her daughter, Lily
will be bred this year for the first time, and we are
hoping for an outstanding baby. Lily, Gus, and Dollar all have mamma's Morgan disposition, which is sweet and loving. Here is our Paint Belgian stallion, Chico. Him and Horse throw marvelous foals together.
Lily will be bred to a Paso Fino (did I spell that right?) Peruvian stallion in May. We are hoping for a good sturdy horse for packing in the mountains, as Kyle's pack horse died last summer. Good riding to all, and we'll see you on the dusty trail!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Logging contest

This is the best Belgian we have ever owned! His name is King, and he is 21 years old. His work ethic and Kyle's are the same, when it comes to logging. You will notice the "toothpick" King is pulling is fairly easy. In the woods, he pulls out 16 foot oak logs that are 12-24 inches around. He gets help from Holly, another Belgian, with the bigger logs. Somewhere I have a similar picture, where all 4 feet are off the ground and it's like he is flying! Oftentimes Kyle rides the log out of the woods, as he is doing in this picture. I made the harness King has on, which I would appreciate no one copying. Custom sewing is my livelyhood, and I make a lot of harnesses, tack, saddlebags, panniers, and various other horse-related items. I have a notion of making a saddle or two one of these days, and I bought all the leather, books, and tools to do it. With that investment, I could have bought a very expensive saddle, but then the pride wouldn't be there, would it? I am having a hard time finding the right tree, however, so if anyone knows where I can find a rawhide covered wooden tree for a draft horse, let me know.

Tired Reindog

This is our little dog, Pepper. He is an Austrailian Shephard, the second best dog here on the farm. He is only 4 months old in this picture, and dead-dog tired. He was in my sewing shop and I had a single elk horn on the floor with a bit of garland hanging down from my counter. It was just too good of a picture to pass up. I was setting up for Christmas in the shop, for the 2nd year running, and the poor old reindog was beat from all the Christmas cheer. He is 6 months old now, and the smartest dog on the planet. Kids had him help put cows in the other day and they sent him out to the cowyard for ONE particular cow in a bunch of 12, and he got only her and brought her in and put her in her stall. Cool. I would highly recommend this breed of dog to anyone who has a lot of work to do, such as cattle, sheep, piggies, and yes, even ducks. I have learned they can herd ducks with ease! Go figure. He isn't afraid of water, loves kids, plays, and is very social. Unfortunately he also thinks he is in charge, as in he is an "alpha male", but with time and patience we think we can teach him we are...after all, he is only a "teenager" in people years, right?!?

Maple syrup sap suckers 2008!

Well, there are normally 4 seasons in a year but we have many more than that here in northwestern Wisconsin! There is Winter, Sapping season, Spring, Planting season, Haying season, Summer, Threshing season, Harvest, Fall, Coon hunting season and Deer hunting season. Here, our friends lent us their kids during Sapping season in March 2008. It takes a lot of hands to tap the trees, string the line, put up buckets or bags, and then collect the sap. We use a team of horses to get in and out of the woods simply because it gets pretty muddy and tough going with a tractor or other equipment. Been doin it like this since 1987, when my husband and I met and broke in his team of quarterhorses for the job. Since then, we have switched to Belgian drafts...much easier for them to pull the heavy load of sap out of the woods!