Friday, June 28, 2013


Sometimes it's good to just sit and absorb a peaceful evening.....

.... because you never know what's around the next corner.....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Relaxing on a hot summer day

Josie knows how to do it!

Okay, so she was in air conditioning and didn't even realize how hot it was outside. :)  But she sure does know how to relax!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Here's the pic of the corn from last week Tuesday:

This is how it looked yesterday:

We've been having some good growing weather in the past week... sunshine, heat, and also some more rain. Let's hope it keeps on! (Keep dancin', Annie Dee!)

This corn is already knee-high... at least by these cute knees. :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Interesting clouds

I took these pictures yesterday morning as an area of rain was moving in. The clouds were moving across the sky pretty fast, and that straight whitish line in the first photo went clear across the sky, but by the time I got from a window on one side of the house, grabbed the camera and headed out the door, it had changed into this:

A few seconds later it looked like this above the cattle shed:

Take note of that little dark area above the silo. Here's another shot, seconds later:

Kind of weird, huh? But they passed through quickly, dumped some rain, and it was over. Not stormy or anything. Just interesting.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Shopping, anyone?

Courtney and I had a fun little project last Tuesday. We made shopping bags! Very LITTLE shopping bags. American Girl doll size, in fact. There's a free printable PDF file here for use as is, or to use as a template to make bags out of other paper or to color as you wish. Here's what the partially cut out bags looked like:

Courtney had already cut hers and was using the scraps to make something else. Josie was making use of some scraps, too. Grandma's always a bit slower. That might have something to do with taking pics at the same time.

Here's how our teeny shopping bags turned out. Aren't they adorable?

I used old shoelaces for the handles, which worked well (sometimes it pays to save everything!). Any kind of cording would work, too. My regular hole punch broke some time ago, so I had to just poke holes with a little stiletto... that's why they're so small... but it worked okay. We even reinforced the holes on the insides of the bags with self-adhesive reinforcers.

If you look closely at the blue bag in the back, you'll see that Courtney used glitter glue to trace the design that was already there. It added some sparkle and a bit of dimension - nice touch!

Here are Marie Grace and Kit, all ready to fill their bags with goodies! Yes, the bags are very tiny!

And below is my little photo bomber! :)

Okay, girls.... let's go SHOPPING!!

We didn't know what to put in those tiny bags, so Courtney had the great idea of just drawing little things for the dolls to purchase... like clothes, jewelry, etc. We started that but didn't get finished, so no photos... yet, anyway.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Scoot's babies

Since Rainbow moved her babies to a secret hideaway, Courtney and I made our way over the electric fence to go visit Scoot's babies on Tuesday. Unfortunately, Scoot abandoned two of hers, so she only has these two left. (Sometimes I think mother cats don't know how to count, and they end up forgetting some of their kids!) They are still pretty little... about a "foot" long:

I'm not sure what we'll call the black one, but the little guy below is already named Spotty:

This one seemed to love snuggling:


Anybody for tummy rubs?

Courtney and I also discovered a brand-new day-old batch of four that day. The mother is all black... the babies are mostly black. And Mama kitty finally brought one of hers over from the neighbor's last night. It was the first time I'd seen any of her current batch. Guess what color it was? Ha - black and white. I sure hope Rainbow brings her little orange guy back. Also, Patches is about to have another batch any day now. She will hopefully have a little more color variety!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Did anybody (besides Grace) notice?

I have a new blog header! Actually, I've had it for a week already. It's almost not new anymore. I thought surely there'd be floods of comments on it. ;) After all, I hired a well-known designer to make it for me, because I wanted something a little more attractive than this ol' thing that I had way too long...

... and I knew I was too lazy I'd have a hard time coming up with something that not only looked good but also fit in the header space.

It's costing me. Good designers don't come cheap, let me tell you! Just how much is it costing me, you ask? Okay... I'll let you in on how much I'm paying. I haven't paid for it yet, but I will hopefully soon, before the interest starts adding up. It's costing me several hours' worth of painting! As in painting walls. No, not murals... just plain walls. House walls. In Cincinnati! Pretty crazy, huh?

To no one's surprise, I'm sure (unless you're new to my blog and haven't come here via How About Orange), I "hired" the fabulous graphic designer, Jessica Jones*. Why is the painting job in Cincinnati, you ask? Because she and her hubby are moving there next month!!

I'm looking forward to visiting their new home, and even to helping paint its walls. One of the most fun times I had in their Chicago home was when we helped paint it, so I'm counting on this "bill paying" to be a great time. I'll bet we'll even get to do some sight-seeing and eating at fabulous places, too. :)

Thanks for the header, Jess! I love it, even if nobody but Grace noticed it. Haha.

Incidentally, the flowers and oriole used in the header are from recent photos I've taken and posted here. (Want to see if you can find them? You won't have to go too far back.) Lucky for her, I seem to have taken pics of lots of orange things. ;)

*(For anyone who might not know, Jessica Jones is my daughter... and I'm very proud of that fact. :) )

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Will it make it?

Wow, it's June 19th already... doesn't seem possible, what with all the crazy, cool weather we've had. The 4th of July is only 2 weeks from tomorrow! This is a photo I took yesterday of our nearest cornfield:

Here's my little 6-year-old assistant standing out in it:

She's showing you just how short the corn is... looks like only about 10 inches.

Whaddya think? Will it be "knee high by the 4th of July", in order to make a decent crop?

Here's what it looked like last year by the 4th:

It has some growing to do, doesn't it?!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What would you make...

... if someone (e.g. Courtney's mommy) gave you a pair of pants (e.g. of Courtney's) that could no longer be worn because the elastic in the waist was worn out, and she said "do whatever you want with them"?

What if you just happened to have already purchased the perfect Liberty Jane pattern...

... and a package of pretty little separating zippers?

What would you make? You'd make an American Girl doll hoodie, of course! At least that's how it worked out for me. And here it is:

I knew as soon as I saw those pants what they'd become! The waistband had ribbing over the worn-out elastic. It became the ribbing for the cuffs and the bottom of the hoodie. There was exactly enough!

Here's my little Kit, modeling it for you:

If you noticed, the pants had an applique on them. So does the hoodie!

It's for Courtney's Marie Grace. If she wants it, of course. Haha. I think Kit would like to keep it for herself. I guess I'll just have to make another one! It was actually very easy to make... much easier than you would think by looking at it. The pants fabric was quite stretchy, so that made sewing it a little more challenging, but it still wasn't bad. I guess I'll have to hunt up some more fabric and ribbing. Anybody have any worn out pants? ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sometimes procrastination pays!

Friday evening after supper, I was still at the table, the dirty dishes still there, too. I was procrastinating on the cleanup by reading a book on my iPad. I happened to glance up and saw this beautiful blue bird in my birdbath! Of course I grabbed the camera, hoping he'd stay long enough for me to get at least one photo, and he did!

It was almost too dark for picture-taking, especially from inside the house at a distance. But the pretty bird stayed around long enough for me to quickly adjust some settings and snap a few shots.

Just look at that gorgeous blue color!

He bathed a bit...

... sat for a few seconds...

... then flew off with his mate. They actually didn't make a very cute couple - the female was just a plain light tan, and I'd never have paid her much attention if she'd come by herself. I'd probably never have been able to identify her, either.

I'd never seen a bird like this before! I did some researching and found him to be a Blue Grosbeak. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, he "is an uncommon bird of shrubby habitats across the southern United States".  The map does show that they're in South Dakota during the summer. Well, guess what, folks... he's now been to Minnesota! I can hardly believe I got to see him, much less get photos. Hurray for procrastination (sometimes)!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Robins update

Here are my final shots of the robin babies. I took these on Monday. The next time I looked in the nest (Wed., I think), they were gone. Two weeks. Kids sure grow up fast nowadays, don't they?

The green growing things were all gone, but it looks like mama robin added some grass clippings to the edge of the nest.

There were still three of them, although you can only see two beaks. The color is also off, but I didn't hang around long enough to do camera adjustments. I didn't want to scare them out of the nest prematurely.

Their mama's been working hard taking care of her young'uns. Here she's looking a bit frazzled and grumpy, certainly in need of a spa treatment, and deserving one, too, no doubt!

Not looking any better here. Maybe a towel would help?

I think she hears her hungry babies calling... again. Guess it's time to get back to work, whether she feels refreshed or not.

Okay... I really have no idea if this is the mama of those babies or not, but it made for a good story. ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kitten update

Courtney was here for the day on Tuesday, so of course we had to check out Rainbow's kittens. In fact, we checked them out four different times. :)  They're at such a cute age now, and are just beginning to play well. They're also great to hold:

We took them out into the grass for the first time. They wanted to explore and weren't very good at posing for the camera. My assistant tried to help:

It worked for a few seconds...

... and then they were quickly on their way...

... in different directions... away from the camera, of course.

Here are my best shots of the day... taken before we went outside with them. Is this adorableness or what?!

Talk about posing!!

Yes, Rainbow feeds them very well. :)

We finally have them officially named! The orange one is Tony the Tiger, and the other one is Pete the Cat (he even has white "shoes"!). Heehee.

Here's a fun video:

I'm not so sure "Tony" was having fun, but Courtney sure was. :)