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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Bit of Family Heritage... Homestead Grain Sack Pillows

This is a project a long time in the making... like 20 years!

When my late father-in-law's estate was divided, there was a small pile of old feed sacks in box of rags.  I pulled them out and asked if anyone wanted any.  Nobody wanted the 'rags'.


I have no idea how old they are but they were in with cloth items (unfinished needlework of Himself's grandmother) dating back to the early 1950s and earlier.

Although vintage, they are not rare... in fact, they are pretty common.  

But they are a bit of Himself's family heritage.  His grandfather homesteaded in North Dakota in 1901 and the farm is still in the family.

A snip here... a tuck there... and I have a great set of throw pillows for our guest bedroom!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Transformed Into a Five Year Old!

June 23 has rolled around... and that means Little Hoss has a birthday.  5 years!  It really doesn't feel that long.

On his actual birthday Mom (his Grandma) made a delicious family meal... country fried steak with all the trimmings.  Then the following Saturday was his party.

He chose to have a 'Transformers' party this year.

So a Transformers banner was made.

Let me tell you... there are a LOT of Transformers out there; not just the ones from the first few movies (which is where my Transformers knowledge ends).  After a couple phone calls I had the A-list of the best ones.  ~wink~

Hoss loved it.  He rattled off the names and general dispositions of every one of them.

Sis found some fun plates and napkins.  (Those are Optimus Prime and Bumblebee... I do know those!  Don't know who's guarding the dinnerware tho.)

Here's the adult food.  Smoked turkey and roasted pork tender loin, with little Hawaiian dinner rolls to make sandwiches.  Plus a ramen slaw, a wild rice salad, and a avocado salad.

And here's the Birthday Boy's food choices... cheese and crackers, fruit plate, an Oreo cookie dessert, and chips...chips... and more chips.  Oh... forgot the Kalamata olives over on the other table.

And of course birthday cupcakes baked by Big J.

After stuffing ourselves it was time for presents!  The boy made a nice haul.

One of his gifts was a set of "Paw Patrol" backpack water blasters.

They work very well.

Our gift to him was a 'gravel pit' where he can play with his much loved construction equipment.

Busy boy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Look At The Sky: July

The Solar System in JULY 2015 :    

A very poor month for planet viewing, with SIX of the nine planets (yes, we still consider Pluto as a "planet"!) bunched in early evening twilight skies; only distant Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are placed for favorable viewing late at night!  .

Mercury - A very poor month for viewing our innermost planet; it starts out the month very close to the horizon at the start of evening twilight, very close to the also difficult planet MARS; however as the month progresses Mercury moves rapidly eastward and ultimately at month's end groups with Jupiter and Venus, both very bright by July 31.
Venus -  Very bright and in a spectacular very close conjunction with the also-brilliant JUPITER in western skies at sunset.  Watch as Venus glides by yellowish (but not as bright) Jupiter on June 30 and July 1 as the sky grows dark after sunset;  closest approach as we witness this conjunction will be on those two dates, after which Venus moves higher in the sky eastward night after night and attains a slightly higher position in the sky than Jupiter by month's end. Both planets are also grouped with the bright white star REGULUS throughout the month - in LEO.
Mars - Mars is teamed up with another bright celestial object:  MERCURY at mid-month, but is deeply surrounded by bright twilight at dusk in western skies
 - in GEMINI
Jupiter -  The mightiest of planets, Jupiter, is in a fantastic conjunction with much brighter VENUS the first of the month (see VENUS above).  Low in western skies after dark and not favorably placed for detailed observations - In LEO
Saturn - As dusk ends, Saturn will be very high in the eastern sky, nearly overhead by 11 p.m. and will be the only large planet viewable by telescope this month - in LIBRA/SCORPIUS.
Uranus -  Nearly overhead, but a bit east, by sunrise, Uranus is a scant 3.8 arc seconds this month, tiny even for its normal size.  This planet rises about 12 midnight local time nearly due east.  Typically Uranus' disk can be discerned (as a planet rather than a point of light like a star) in a good 8" or larger telescope; however at 3.8" arc, it will be difficult to tell that this tiny greenish orb is much different than a star.  High magnification is needed and steady skies.  6th magnitude - in PISCES.
Neptune - This distant world rises slightly ahead of Uranus and will be south of overhead at 4 a.m. local time.  At 8th magnitude a telescope and good finder chart will be required to find this bluish world.; it appears star-like in all but the largest telescopes. - in AQUARIUS.
Pluto - Our most distant world, PLUTO will be rising in the SE about 9 p.m. local time, and overhead about 1:30 a.m. local time, well south of the zenith for northern observers.  At 14th magnitude in early July, the planet is about as bright as it can be seen from Earth.  - In SAGITTARIUS.

Comet C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) - Continuing to brighten in the sky, this comet sets early (about 11 p.m.) in northeastern skies, so get out after dark to see our best comet this summer.  Just below naked eye brightness, this beautiful comet is in the constellation of LEO, setting just ahead of the bright star REGULUS.  The comet is magnitude 7.3 according to the predictions as this is being written, but may exceed that brightness; look for an eastward facing tail, nearly one degree in length.
Comet 29P (Schwassmann-Wachmann) - a very fine comet in the constellation of Libra, recent observations suggest that this comet underwent outbursts in early months of this year.  Look for the comet far south of overhead about the end of twilight and setting about midnight in the SE sky.  Although this comet is predicted at 15th magnitude currently, you really never know when this one will undergo outburst.

JULY METEOR SHOWERS:  Nothing worth mentioning.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Travel Theme: Tiny

For the theme this week of 'tiny', I traveled a tiny distance.  Just down the way to the lake!

The water striders are zipping along the edges of the lake... you have to be tiny to make a dent in the water that you can stand on!

Nearby are limestone rocks full of tiny crinoid fossils.  The bigger ones are about a quarter of an inch across.

Not sure what sort of flower this is but those 'stars' are quite tiny.

The flowers of this dead nettle plant are smaller than a pea.  They look just like tiny little orchids.

A tiny but very fast beetle.  Wouldn't his color be great on a car?

Hope you enjoyed this little post!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

After a Month...

... Little Miss Persia has fit herself in as though she has always been here.  

"Why yes... I do own this house!"

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Out and Around Cole's Forge

There is so much eye candy around Cole's forge that it really does take more than one post to show it off.   So here are more shots to enjoy...

I'm not sure why, but I really like this shot.

So much character in this doorway.


Different angle.

His wife has decorated an old storage shed.

How fun!  I want a cute little shed to decorate!

Oh yeah... I do have a shed.  But it's so BIG...

Just look at all the cute things.

Chippy shutters and a kerosene lamp.  Perfect.

I think that is an oil can.

Chippy rocker and an old tobacco basket.  I'd love to get my hands on a tobacco basket!

Fabulous texture!

A peaceful vignette.

And a beautiful magnolia tree.

It's such a lovely yard to walk around in.  Every where you look is another little patch of pretty.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cole's Forge

Himself's blacksmith meeting in May was out at the forge of his friend Cole.

I love his shop!  He's been blacksmithing for about 30 years and makes very high end stuff.  His shop is loaded with eye candy so I zipped in before the meeting started to take some photos.

Fun stuff, eh?

Then it was time to get the iron hot.

Straight out of the fire.

Look at how the heat makes an image above the glowing iron.

He keeps working the metal until it comes out just as he wants it.

In this case, a beautiful cross.

Isn't that fantastic?

Next part of the meeting is show and tell.  I'm not sure what was so interesting about that anvil but it had the guys looking hard.

Then it was time to show off the challenge pieces.  See that fork on the right?  That angle makes it PERFECT for getting steaks off the grill without frying your knuckles.  I was so over the top about it that the man who made it slipped it to Himself to give me as a present.


The last order of business is the 'iron in the hat' raffle. 

Folks bring in this or that, tickets are bought then dropped into the cup next to the item.

I won THREE things this meeting, including that jar of homemade salsa you can see on the table.

Then it is time to stand around and visit.

The guys talk about guy things...

...and the girls talk about interesting stuff!

Til next time!