Monday, August 31, 2009

Nancy gets a porch

Hi there Mary and Jeni,
I have wanted a decent sized back porch for a long time. Partly because my knees don't like the last step up into the house. Partly because the back steps are rickety and the 3x4 top is tiny.

I wanted it bigger and I wanted it level with the threshold and I didn't want to paint it, ever. Fussy aren't I?
My friend Deb found a couple of guys who worked on her church. She said they knew what they were doing and they were trustworthy. You can't ask for much more than that!
Then I found out one of them was married to Becky who I have known for 15 years or so and that sealed the deal.
They told me they couldn't do it until later in the year. I was thinking maybe October or so. However the weather has been nice and except for the rainy weekend that caused them to frame up the deck in their garage (I think) the work went zip zip zip! So the first week they framed up the deck and brought it out to the farm where it lay in the grass and teased me.
Then they came out the next weekend and put in cement post supports.
Last Friday when Jim and I got back from Minneapolis the trailer of materials was parked near the garden.
On Saturday they did the decking and the stairs.
Alice supervised from the mud room sink.
On Sunday they put up the railing and finished the trim.
I have spent the last 24 hours lugging things to the new porch to decorate it.
I just love it.
It is made of recycled plastic and wood and it will never need to be painted!
Thank you Karl and Knute!
You did a good job. Now when I pick up the tops for the posts we will be all set!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jim wins tickets to the Twins

And I get my picture taken with Bert Blyleven.

Hi Mary and Jeni,

Jim insisted and just look what happened. Bert wasn't even told that I have a long history of doing that to others. He is just that way. Jim says I am lucky he didn't give me a hot foot.
Jim got the tickets because he guessed the answer to a silly question on a radio program and then his name was picked out of the correct guesses.
So we went down to the cities and stayed with the parents and saw Jon and E and ran lots of errands and went to the game.

We also got a tour of the Metrodome which involved lots of climbing up and down stairs. We got to stand on the field and peek in the dugout
and look out from the area the newspaper guys sit in.
Here Jim is standing under signatures of famous ballplayers who have been in the radio booth.
We bumped into Bert on our way past the TV booth. He was nice enough to sign the baseball that the other winning couple had brought.
Laura and her husband are dairy farmers and so we had a nice little farmer fest in the great seats up in row 33 perfectly behind home plate.
The 'print media' were just above us. We could see the 'great' Sid Hartman reading the paper and ignoring the game from our seats.
We had a great time although the Twins lost. We got to see this play by Alexi Casilla which was showed over and over again.
Jim remembered the score book (after being reminded) so we have it down for posterity.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Forced to go to Quilting Shops and buy fabric

Hello Mary and Jeni,

It was all for the good of the economy and are we good!

Karen, Kari, Deb and I decided to do our bit during the Great Minnesota Shop Hop. We shop-hopped our way down to Minneapolis and then shopped around the metro area and then shop-hopped our way back to North Dakota.
Along the way we had many fabric adventures. The Wizard of Oz fabric was calling to one of us. (Not me)
Another one was seduced by the color orange.
It wasn't the first time.
Some of us bought more 'food' fabrics.
Kari and Deb.....
Someone hid her fabric in the car and didn't let us pet it.
Someone else spent all her ready cash the first day. It was a (failed) attempt at a budget. None of the rest of us were so silly as to bring actual cash. Well I did bring $40.00 for food and water, but that was all.
We missed seeing Jon and E but Jon did check on the air conditioning upstairs while we were away playing on Saturday. Thank goodness he did because it was a nasty humid hot typical Minneapolis day.
Then when we were finished shopping on Saturday (the stores all closed!) I went to my friend Annies house and bought my new 'red head' Singer 66 with just perfect decals. I am afraid to clean it in case I ruin them. Here is a before picture.
Really doesn't look bad at all does it? Maybe I will leave it alone for now.

After a light supper at the Convention Grill with Annie, we went home to sleep off Saturday and rest up for Sunday.
One final picture of the car on Sunday morning at our last quilt shop. I kept making the two in the front seat wave back at me.
I couldn't tell what I was doing as the sun was in my eyes.
Check out this last 'wave'.
The camera doesn't lie.
For the final picture here is a road sign found on the State highway on the way home. I took a picture through our dirty windshield but it didn't show up as nicely as this one taken earlier. What other state would ask you to take turns?
Of course there was no one else to share with at the time we came up to it. But we did obediently stop and take our turn.

Love you,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And I hear you got another sewing machine...

Hi Nancy,
   It's a mere 8 days since your last post, and I hear from the folks that you were in town last weekend and there is another sewing machine on their porch.  Do tell.  And just for interest, here are a few pictures of what's been happening here in Montana: 
Scanning old pics of Ben for Amanda - here we are making apple pie in 1981 or 2:
As I recall, the pie turned out wonderful, but then I caught one of the cats nibbling on it.
Below, I'm working at an independent study at the Main library in Kalispell - I get my own section to evaluate and select new stuff - and discard some things too.  Sometimes that's a shock for people - that libraries don't keep every book they've ever had - but there's a difference between a museum and a library.
And Fatty Tomato Salad on the back deck - with an orange tomato this time:
It's not as good as when I grew the basil and tomatoes myself, but it wasn't bad.  There's just something about picking your own stuff - and of course, there is no substitute for home-grown tomatoes.  Do you have any this year?   If so, I am envious.  
Love, Mary

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Aunt Josephine's Spartan Sewing Machine

Hi Mary and Jeni,
I spent several hours last night and today spiffing up the Spartan Sewing Machine that Cousin Mike bequeathed to me. It had been Aunt Josie's and I was thrilled to finally have a 'family' machine. Our side of the family is sadly lacking in sewing heritage.

It was sort of disconcerting to learn from Mike that Josie also disliked to sew, and hated the Spartan. Evidently Jim, her husband, sometime in the 50's decided that she had to modernize and get rid of her treadle. As a move towards upgrading her sewing he dumped the treadle and got her one of the cheapest sewing machines available at the time. Drat the man. Anyway Josie could sew on the treadle but seemed to believe the Spartan was the spawn of Satan and it went too fast, and I hope Mike will correct me if I exaggerate too much, but, it was never loved.

From it's condition I would say something loved it alot but that was probably a result of living in Mike's garage for several years. Jim had to take this outside
and remove these contents before I could start cleaning.
Anyway it is now clean and shiny and runs like a champ and I will try to make up for its sad earlier life. I will start by proudly taking it to my quilt club meeting this coming Thursday for Show and Tell.