Sunday, January 12, 2014

This, That & The Other

Well, I had hoped to be more consistent with my blogging, but time has just gotten away from me.   The grandkids have been out of school for three weeks, and it seems that something has been going on every day.  This post has no topic.  I will just do a review of the past few weeks.
Last Friday, my friend and neighbor invited me to attend a breakfast with her that her sister was hosting in Yorba Linda.  And then after that, we were going to go pickin' at their family property nearby.  Their family owns a large parcel of land with several acres, that has recently been sold to developers.  She comes from a very large family, and they all grew up here on this land.  There was many, many years of collections to be seen.  But first, the breakfast at her sister's house.  Jane's sister, was chosen on one of the first episodes of Extreme Home Makeover, with Ty Pennington.  She had just lost her husband to cancer, and had 9 children to raise.  I saw the house being done from the outside, 10 years ago, but had not ever been inside.  I didn't have my camera this day, wouldn't you know it.  But what a fun morning, at the ladies breakfast, and then later at their family property!  Martha greeted us at the front door, with a fresh smile, and her kitchen smelling divine.  She poured us coffee, and soon the ladies began to arrive.  She served a lovely breakfast of Pioneer Woman's baked ginger and coconut french toast, fresh fruit, and breakfast breads and goodies. I brought this loaf of banana and blueberry bread.
 Martha's kitchen was warm and inviting, with much of her own artwork gracing the walls.  Roosters and the like, just my cup of tea.  The ladies quickly became acquainted and were merrily chatting along while enjoying our breakfast and coffee that Martha prepared.  During our meal, several of her children appeared to say goodbye as they made their way out for the day.  I was so struck with how obviously devoted, each of her children were to her, as they kissed their Mom goodbye for the day.   She was a gracious hostess, and obviously, very used to large crowds filling her home.  After the ladies had said goodbye and left, she gave me a tour of her home to show me the fabulous things that Home Makeover had done for them. She said, over and over, how very blessed she felt to have had this opportunity.  I can't imagine anyone more deserving than she.  The only photo I took at her home, was of the delightful playhouse that they built out in the back yard.  It had a whimsical feel, sort of Disney'ish, with what were, I am sure, many bells and whistles.  Mind you, this was 10 years ago, and her children are grown now, with her youngest being 14 years old.  So now, for the most part, it is used as one of her son's art studio.
Can you just imagine how fun this must have been for her children!  Hidden up underneath the the eave, is a projection screen for watching movies.  They had set it up for an outdoor theater as well.  And since she had that enormous tree in her yard, they planned and built this around her large tree.
Jane's other sister, Mary lives in the home that they all grew up in.  I had not ever been there, inside, and had so looked forward to this trip.  Mary also raises chickens.  I was eager to see her set up.  When they were children, their family raised hundreds of chickens for eggs.  Now Mary has a couple dozen or so.  Along with ducks, goats, turtles, dogs, rabbits whatever else I may have missed.  Meet Skeeter.  He was quite curious about our visit, and seemed to take a liking to me.  And he stunk to high heaven too!!!
The other Nubian Goats didn't smell.  Just Skeeter!   Skeeter followed me around the entire afternoon too!   We walked all through the property, finding our treasures.  We got to the chicken coop, and I said, "Mary, I think that one of them is dead!"  She had gotten her head stuck in between the ladder and the lay boxes somehow.  Her husband removed the bird, with hardly the same emotion I would have had, had this been in my coop!
They have a farmer's attitude toward death among the animals.  Me, not so much.  I would have had a funeral, and a proper burial.   Poor chickie.
Strolling along, we came upon this odd thing.  It was a homemade chicken plucker.  I have never seen anything like it before!
There are long rubber bolts on bottom of trash can, and all throughout the sides, and the lid as well.  It spins from the top and somehow removes all of the feathers.  Again, my chickens are like pets, and I know I could not raise them for meat.  But many do.
Mary had two beautiful Silkie Pullets for me.  But I decided not to take them.  I will wait for Spring and raise my own chicks, as it is much easier to incorporate new chicks to an established flock than mature birds.  But I was very tempted.
Oh how I wish that I had somewhere to put one of these glorious old stoves!!!!!
 This beauty is one that they have hooked up to gas on the patio of their home.  Mary says she often cooks bread in it in the summer time when she doesn't want to heat up the house.  I fell in love with the green and cream color of this one!!
One of the homes on the property is emtpy now.  It was a lovely home though, in it's time.  With beautiful original hardwood flooring throughout.  Built in niches for the telephone, and closets.  Original tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.  And this lovely piano...sitting all alone by the front door of the now empty house.
My son is a musician, and has wanted a piano in the worst way.  This shall be his.  We have to have it moved here, and then tuned.
I was hoping to find an old apron front farm sink along the way on our pickin' trip.  I didn't find an apron front, but I did get a large cast iron utility sink, and another double sink. And a fabulous Maytag Wringer Washer, and footed bathtub!  They were delivered last week, and I haven't even cleaned them up yet.  But just you wait......

I would love to put this tub in our bathroom!!!  It will need to be glazed, of course.  I couldn't even tip it over, it is heavy!!!!
The wringer washer is going to be a patio cooler!  It is on casters, and cleaned up, I think it will make a wonderful holder for ice cold drinks by the pool!  The sink will be used in my garden as part of my potting area.  I still need two of the feet for the tub.  Oh what a fabulous time we had that day!  I wish that I had taken my camera. These were all taken from my iphone.
We went to Big Bear weekend before last.  It was cold and there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground.  We have some friends who have just bought a cabin a stone's throw away, and they were moving in that weekend.  So we went down the road and helped them unpack their cars, and  have a look around at their beautiful new home.
 Every window has a gorgeous view of the lake.
What a fantastic place this is!  They are going to have so much fun here!  And so will we!!!
Their new place is near our Swedish friend, Stins.
This is Stins' dog, Forest.  He can count.  Honest...he can!
Stins will say, "Forest, count to four."  And Forest will tap Stins' hand as many times as the command asks.
Stins is a very talented crafstman, and does beautiful work.  If you need any finish carpentry work done in the Big Bear area, call Stins.  He has an add in the Grizzly newspaper every week too.
Greg went to town and got some firewood.  And I went to town, to visit some of my favorite thrifts.
This is one of my favorites in Big Bear City.  I ALWAYS find something interesting here!  And so cheap. 
On my drive back, the traffic was terrible, since this was the weekend before New Years.  There were a lot of people vacationing up the hill, and driving anywhere was a challenge.  I made the best of it, and just enjoyed the beautiful scenery.   This is the walking bridge at the Stanfield Cutoff.
 And then out the driver side door, this beautiful shot of the sun glistening through the trees, onto the snow that lay melting on the ground.
I made a quick stop at the quilt shop in town.  I refrained from making a puchase though.  But I did get some ideas for things I want to make.  They have a nice quilt shop in the shopping center where KMart is.  They also have a lovely yarn shop in Big Bear City, called Yarn Boutique.
We always bring the pups up with us.  They are good mountain dogs!
There is no fence at Mom's cabin, so we have to bundle up and take them out for many walks!   When inside, our favorite thing to do is this.

And this.

Dusty NEVER gets on the furniture here at home.  He sleeps on our bed at night, but not until I lay a special blanket down for him, and invite him up.  But for some reason, he loves to get on the couch here!  I always throw a sheet or blanket down that I can wash, because he is such a shedder.  He loves this spot on the sofa underneath the window!
We stayed until almost dark on Sunday night.  The sun was so pretty as it was setting.  It looked like a ball of fire, falling from the sky!  I took this on the drive home, with my iphone.  (All of these photos are with my iphone)
A few other random things we have done in recent weeks.  We went on the Newport boat parade.  My brother has a new boat, and we are enjoying spending some time on it with him.  This time, it was a group of my Mom's friends that he took out.  I begged to go along too.  Here are my Mom and a few of her friends.
Can you tell which one my Mommy is?  And just for fun, here is another one that was taken in the bleachers at one of my niece Deanna's basketball games.  Same group of gorgeous ladies!
 My Mommy is the one on the left in the above photo.  Isn't she pretty?!  Oh look, my husband Greg is photo bombing this one.
I uploaded the photos from my phone to my computer for the first time ever.  I had quite a few on there.  So this post is to document these things.
This one is of Greg and I on the fly bridge of the boat.  He was driving, and I went up to sit with him.  It was COLDY, COLD up there!  I didn't last long.   Greg was looking down, and I didn't get a good picture.  But you can see his smile.
You can see how bundled up we were.  It was a beautiful night on the water though, and the boats and houses were so pretty!!

My Mom and I.
I don't know how I didn't get a photo of my brother, Dave, the Captain?  Probably because he is never in one place  for long!
A week or so before Christmas, I had a little craft night with my three little ones.  They had a ball, and so did I!  I will be doing this every year with them.
They made candy cane beaded ornaments, and colored wooden ornaments.  I used card stock and cut out the shapes of mittens, stocking, and candy canes, and then took a hole punch and went all the way around the shapes.  I threaded plastic darning needles with yarn, and let them "sew" them up with the yarn.  Then they decorated them.  So cute, and they all had so much fun sewing them.
We used beads, foam shapes, washi tape, markers, glue, wire, you name it.  Fun, fun, fun!!!

We went as a family to see the play SNOOPY at our Civic Center, put on by our local CATS group.  This was to celebrate Hannah and Claire's birthdays.  November 07, November 14th.  They turned 5 and 7!!! 
Greg and I snuck out one cold night before Christmas for dinner and a movie.  We enjoyed walking around the center with our Starbucks and seeing all of the pretty lights.
Lovely angle, eh?  More chins than the Chinese phone book!
One night at my daughter and son in laws house, I spotted this quilt upstairs.  I hadn't seen it for many years.  I made this for them as a wedding gift, 11 years ago.  Her husband Jake is from Boise Idaho.  And they were to be living there. So I made a Northwest pattern I had seen in a Fons & Porter magazine a long time ago.  I personalized it some, adding the applique shapes of the states from where they come.  Idaho and California.  Then made an applique heart with arrow through it, for them to go on.  I also put a cruise ship, underneath the stars, as this is where they met.  We were on a cruise with our family, and he was on a cruise with his family.  We sat next to their table in the dining room all week.  It is done in all flannels, and backed in a beautiful Northwoods print.  I didn't show it here.  I unfurled it from their landing upstairs, and Greg took a photo of it with my phone.
I loved working on this quilt.  And I love it still.  I wish I had one in my home too!
 We took Noah to see a fun house near us that decorates their entire front yard for months ahead of the holidays.  With manger, train, and the biggest Christmas Village I have ever seen.  Music and lights, and so much fun!!
We went to see Walking With Dinosaurs.  (So cute!)
I made dozens and dozens of these, and sold them for the holidays.

Yes, we had a lot of great family fun during the holidays!  Tomorrow, the kiddos go back to school.  And I will be home cleaning the house all day!!
Thanks for sticking it out to the end, if you made it, that is.
I will be back soon with some January photos of what has been going on since New Year's.
Time to go watch the Broncos win, and sit in front of the fire with yarn and hook.
XO  Kris


podso said...

Wow! You have had a lot of interesting things going on and a lot to comment on. But I was so delighted to see that old stove! Amazing! And she uses it for baking. That's just like the one I used. And I also had an old washer like you bought, when we lived in Africa. It was quite an experience to use it…washed all my kids diapers with it. The house stories were interesting and the view of the lake from the cabin is so pretty! I hope you have a quieter January! And have fun cleaning this week.

Gracie Saylor said...

No wonder you have not posted as frequently lately, Kris! Thanks for sharing some of your latest adventures with us. I enjoyed seeing photos of you and your family, and "your" beautiful lake :) The ear warmers you have made are all so pretty [and you are a lovely model by the way] The quilt you made is wonderful!!! Maybe it is time for you to make another one...this time for yourself :) I liked the book Greg is reading! xx

Deb~in~Denver said...

Goodness, you've been busy! I'll bet it was a blast to go pickin', you found some great things! How cool to get that piano for Drew!. That old washer will be perfect as a cooler, we use an old Maytag as a planter and a couple of old wash tubs on stands to hold drinks for big gatherings, they are perfect. I would have been a bit unnerved over the dead chicken, I'd be like you and have to have a funeral!
I love the picture of you and the dogs up at BB, you look darling! You and your mom look like you could be sisters, both so beautiful! Glad to see that you were able to relax for a bit! I can't believe how many ear warmers you made. Did you dream about them while you slept?
Your friends new cabin has gorgeous view, you'd never tire of those!
Aren't those days with the grand-kids wonderful? They are so lucky to have you for their Grandma! Enjoy your quiet, tomorrow. Glad the Broncos were able to hang on to that lead, I was holding my breath! Hope they can pull off another win next weekend against the Pats!


Betsy said...

Goodness! I don't even know where to begin with a comment. This post is so full of fun and love for your family. The "picking" looked like a blast as did craft day with the kids, the lake, the boat. The quilt is absolutely gorgeous and on and on. No wonder you haven't posted. You've been too busy living! Good for you! Have fun cleaning tomorrow. Some day I'm going to show up on your doorstep to visit your chickens and you. (Hubby and I have both read the book Greg's reading. It was great.)

Home Meadows said...

You certainly had a full holiday. Sounds like you enjoyed the time with your family. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the treasures you rescued, you always have wonderful ideas. Take care, Heather

Bethany said...

I am pretty sure that stove is the same one they have in A Christmas Story. And no, I don't think I've seen that film too much :)

Teresa Kasner said...

What a nice newsy post, my good friend! I enjoyed the whole read from top to bottom. I love the quilt you made.. it's amazing! And all the ear warmers.. you're fast! I swooned at the 2 tone stove.. can you buy it? The old washer will make a super ice bucket by the pool! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Grammy Staffy said...

My goodness you have been busy... what fun. No wonder you have not had any time for blogging. This has not been my best Holiday season. I got sick with a cough and cold Christmas eve which has lasted 3 weeks now. It made us miss our trip to Utah but I guess it is just as well because I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery 3 days ago. This was not my plan for starting the new year but what I'm recovering more each day. That is a good thing.
Surely the year will get better from here. Hugs, Lura

Poppy said...

What a medley of marvellous fun and downtime during your holidays, Kris! Big Bear is such a wonderful escape. Knitting all those colourful wintry necessities is very satisfying, I'm sure, especially when so many can benefit from their warmth. That old green and cream stove is storybook pretty; I'd take it in flash! My grandmother used to have a washing machine like that, and I'd sit there for the whole cycle, just staring in amazement.

Thanks for all the great pic and commentary and you cracked me up with your 'chins' comment!!;-D


Debbie said...

wow...SOO much going on! I will never remember everything I want to comment on so I will just pick a couple. First, how FUN to see that I would have loved to go on that tour too. And yes, your mama is soo pretty! And you look soo much like her. And in one of those pictures of you I would have sworn it was Genn. She sure looks like you too. The girls are getting big! And Noah is such a little doll. OK, I know there was more, but that's all the old brain can think of for now. Enjoy your day!

Debbie said...

Oh wait, I knew there was something else! That quilt Kris is sooo neat! I LOVE it! That's the kind I am dying to create. Meaning and beauty! Good job! OK, now I might be done!

priscilla said...

Love that old washing machine , great finds !! Your quilt is beautiful ! I need to learn to quilt :) You have been busy, busy,busy!!

Mereknits said...

My goodness it looks like you had a fabulous few weeks, so much fun to see. Love all your family photos, your trip to big bear and of course any I can see of you. The Piano is going to be great for your son.

Linda said... you guys ever stop?
Love the pics of you and Greg...fantastic!
You are so lucky to get away to the Lake...
I am jealous of you!
You crocheting looks super....and that quilt! Beauty!
Perhaps you can get some quiet time, are can take it!
We will be off to Florida in a couple of weeks...YAY!


Astri Bowlin said...

Oh my you have such a good fun life Kris. Love the photo in front of the fireplace with the yarnie project and mug. That's heaven!

Big Bear looks like a lot of fun and that shop: wow! My sis and bro-in-law have a cabin there as well, but we've never made it up - I think it's about a 12 hour drive for us. We hope to travel there some day.

Very cute headbands, and the one you are wearing in the photos with the dogs looks so good on you. Very flattering with your pretty blonde hair. :-)

Have a good week Kris!

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I love catching up on all your going-ons. Love hearing about your time going to your friends who family member was on Extreme Home Makeover-I was a faithful fan every week. You got some great finds too.
Hope you are enjoying pleasant weather. Sending love your way.

Susanne said...

I can see why you have been unable to post, heavens, you have been so busy. I was stuck in the house 4 days when we had those 40 degree below zero days and didn't get nearly anything done. I laughed at the stinky goat, don't it just figure that the one that wants to latch onto someone has to be the stinkiest. Poor thing, maybe it was lonely cause no one wanted to be near it, poor thing :( and you will be busy now cleaning up all your antique finds and re-purposing them for far grander things. The quilt you made is lovely and I bet it is also warm. Much too pretty to use, it looks great hanging on the balcony railing or on a wall. Does it not figure, everyone has a quilt but the quilter herself, lol. I see the book your hubby is reading is one I have read this past year. I found it to be very good and enlightening.
Hope you are staying warm.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Gloria Baker said...

Dear Kris, always love (and enjoy) your pictures, especially today after a hard, really hard week, (hope the next be better) and all look amazing love the pictures of you and your mom, you both smile beautiful!!
huggs xxxxx

I made agalette maybe your like!

(you know when Im sad I bake lol)