Monday, October 18, 2010

Where The Heck Have I Been????

Well, as you can see, I haven't been blogging in a very long time. Why you ask? Because I opened a home daycare and now I'm overrun with kids! LOL!

Actually, it's not all that bad. I currently have two boys age 6 and 10 that I watch three times a week, from 6 am till school, then after school till around 8 pm. I also have three boys age 9 months, three years and 6 years that I watch full time, the older one being after school.

So, really, it's not all that bad, but they do keep me busy and away from the computer and more importantly the sewing machine! It's so sad, I haven't had a chance to touch my quilting in over a month. By the time the kids leave and I clean up, all I want to do is kick back and relax.

The one really great thing about that, though, is that I've been able to pick up on my crocheting again. I haven't been doing a lot up until lately but boy oh boy is my hook smoking now! I'm almost finished one granny square afghan that I'm making, I'm about 1/4 of the way through a Tumbling Blocks afghan and 1/3 of the way through a scrap Granny Stripe Afghan. I'm working like crazy to try to get some Christmas presents done.

I'm hoping to be able to keep up with my blog a bit (well, a lot!) better. Hopefully I'll be able to find even 5 minutes a day to stop by and say hello. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Night (Afternoon) Sew In

Once again, I wasn't able to sew last night, which meant I had to do it in the afternoon instead. I had the boys last night, so I kind of had to be responsible and not leave them to their own devices. :)

But, I had an amazingly successful FNSI!

I completed my very first ever quilt! It's a mini quilt, but it's my first and I'm so very, very proud of it!!

It may not be perfect (and actually, it's really not! LOL!) but it's very, very special to me. :) There will never be another first quilt.

I also finished putting together the squares for The World's Ugliest Quilt. Avert your eyes, if you must. I completely understand.

Now, I need to add a border to it to square things up a bit, then quilt and bind it and it's done!

Lastly, I was able to sew up 6 sets of 6 strips

These will be sewn into tubes, then cut into 2.5 inch strips. Those strips will then be sewn together into squares like this

Which will then be sewn together to look something like this Scrappy Trips Around the World quilt. I'm making this one for hubby, hopefully for Christmas.

That's all I managed to get done, but I'm very proud.

I'm not sure how much more I'll manage to get done. I'm sick and miserable and I'm on the road all day today and have company all day tomorrow. So, I'm thinking the sewing machine won't be seeing much of me this weekend. :(

Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Busy, Busy!

What a week! I've been so busy. Crazy busy, one might say.

Ok, well, for most people, it's not all that much, but for me, since I stay home most of the time, it's been busy. :)

I now have two boys that I'm babysitting three days a week. Tuesdays and Friday's I have them at 6 am until the bus comes to pick them up for school, then after school until around 8 ish. Wednesdays, just after school. Not a lot of time, really, but it's thrown a wrench into things here. We'll get used to it, get a new routine down soon. Just until then, things are a bit screwy.

I've been so busy that I haven't even had a chance to work on Christmas presents. I still have everything on my list that needs to be done, I haven't even started on the quilts for the kids and October is starting to rear it's head. I really need to get busy otherwise there is no way that I'll be done anything, much less everything, in time.

My stress level is rising!

So, today, I'm going out for a nice relaxing lunch with my mom at our favourite restaurant. It's going to be so nice! A chance to sit down without children, without pets, eat food someone else cooked. It's going to be heavenly! LOL!

Have a fantastic day everyone! I know I will. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hell Holes

It sounds so ominous, doesn't it? Hell Holes....

But, as ominous as it sounds, it's actually an amazing local natural attraction. From their handout that you receive when you go:

"The Hell Holes Site with all it's natural and mystical wonder relates back to the glacial period for it's unique geological formation. Millions of years ago, this was the route of the Salmon River, now situated north of here. The constant movement of water wore the limestone into a "Karsts feature" giving an itricate pattern of rocky ground with overhanging ledges, mushrooom shaped rocks, caves, gullies, potholes and sinkholes."

We took our last trip of the summer there a few days ago and I thought I would share our photo's as well as some information about the area.

My son, very helpfully pointing the way we need to go. :)

One of the problems with being the one who takes the photo's is you're always in the back. My husband and my daughter, not waiting for me. LOL!

Although the beginning of the trail is filled with neat little crevices in the rock and huge holes that invite exploration, this is the first actual  site that is marked. The Devil's Horse Stable Cave

"The Devil's Horse Stable Cave which once reached far underground was dynamited shut for safety reasons whne it collapsed in the early 1900's. Legends tell us that Satan visited this area frequently and stabled his horses here! One strange legend was told of a headless horseman seen in this area on moonless ights in November looking for a new head to replace the one he lost to the Devil!"

This is my daughter exploring the Devil's Horse Stable Cave

My husband and son taking an even closer look

Right outside this cave was the most interesting rock formation. It looks like two slabs were dropped from the sky and landed standing straight up. If you've ever read The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, we called this one The Narrows. :)

The Hell Hole Cave is the main attraction of the site.

"The one well known Hell Hole Cave appears to be a large crevice in the limestone, but is a narrow shaft dropping down approx. 7.5 meters and widening into a cavern that wold hold 20 people (approx. 2x5x3.5 meters).

My husband taking the first descent. He was followed by the kids, with me bringing up the rear.

At this point, I need to tell you that not only am I afraid of heights, but I'm also very claustrophobic. The only reason I went down into this cave was to get photo's. I will never, ever do this again.

Here is what the cave looks like from the top, with someone going down the ladder

And the view from the bottom

The trip down is in complete darkness once the sunlight can't reach, with the rock wall brushing against your back the entire way.

I sat at the bottom of the ladder and gave the camera to my hubby to take some photo's of the interior. It branched off to the right and to the left. To the left (when you're facing the ladder) it extended quite a ways and reopened into a bit of a cavern.

I was never so glad to be out of a place in my life! Right out of the cave, the trail turns into the yellow brick road!

Next was The Natural Stone Bridge

And then on to the Valley Floor

And the Grumpy Old Man rock. It's not a marked part of the trail, we just found it highly amusing!

At this point, I'd like to just share a few photo's I particularly like from the valley floor. This was by far my favourite part of the walk. It's a gorgeous area!

If you look very closely, you can see my husband in the bottom left corner of the above photo. It gives you an idea of how far down we are. 
And some toadstools that we found growing out of a log
The last point of interest on the walk was Pillar Rock
 "Various shapes of rocks and boulders can be found throughout the valley with The Pillar Rock, showing distince features of glacial effects. During the Ice Age, rapid action of movig water under thick layers of melting ice broke down the softer layers of limestone at the base of the rock creating a pedestal pattern."

And last, but certainly never least, a photo of my family at the end of the walk. 

It was such a fun trip. A nice 3.5 kilomter walk through gorgeous natural wonders. Who could ask for anything better?

Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The End, Or A New Beginning?

I never know which one the first day of school is. Is it the end of summer, or a the beginning of a new year? It's so hard for me. I adore having my kids home during the summer, and I miss them so much when they're gone. But at the same time, this is the start of a brand new adventure for them. New class, new friends, new subjects, who knows what the school year will bring!

So, regardless of how I feel, I always send them off with a big smile and a hug. Well, no hug for my teenage daughter. She doesn't "do" hugs anymore. LOL! But, my son loves his hugs so he gets a really big one this morning.

The upside for me, is that now I have a ton of time to work on getting my house back in order and conquer my mountain of laundry. And, even better than that, I have time, lots and lots of time, to quilt! I have almost all my 4 1/2 inch squares sewn together, soon I'll be able to start assembling the quilt top for the World's Ugliest Quilt. I also have the Log Cabin Pine Tree's wallhanging I need to get started on for the FNSI. And, I've finally decided on a quilt for my son using my dad's old dresshirts. I'm going to make him a Brick and Stepping Stones quilt. He's going to love it! And it's a nice easy pattern for me.

So, I have lot's to keep me busy.

Tonight for supper, we're going to be having

Inside Out Ravioli's

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
Garlic salt to taste
10 oz package spinach
1 can spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups small pasta shells, cooked and drained
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup oil

Brown beed, onion and garlic salt. Add salt and simmer. Cook spinach, drain. Add salt to sauce. Combine spinach, shells, cheeses, bread crumbs, eggs and oil.

Spread in a casserole dish. Top with sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

We didn't get to have it last week, so I moved it to this week instead. It's such a yummy dinner!

Have a fantastic day everyone!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Another Fantastic Giveaway!

I just stumbled upon a wonderful giveaway at The Quilted Fish. If you're a quilter, or a wanna-be quilter, you're definitely going to want to get in on this one. It's filled with tons of fantastic goodies for you!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Country Fair!

This is a two part post. First, I'm so excited to remind you all of the upcoming Friday Night Sew In! Just click on the image below and it will take you to the sign up form. It's a ton of fun, and you just might win a prize for participating! This will be my second time participating. I will be working on (hopefully finishing!) the pine tree log cabin wall hanging I'm making for my inlaws.

Be sure to mark September 17 on your calendars! You don't want to miss this!

Now, on to part two. :)

Yesterday the kids and I went to a local country fair. I have to say, I love, and I mean love country fairs. There is something just so, almost wholesome about them. We went on a couple of rides, ate fresh cut homefries, homemade pies, fresh made doughnuts and played bingo. It was so much fun!

The best part, though, as it always is, was the quilt show. I need to apologize first off for the quality of some of the pictures. The lighting wasn't very good, so I had to use my flash, it was cold outside, so everyone was in the barn to get warm, so there was a lot of jostling and I couldn't get into a very good position sometimes for the shot. But, I do have some gorgeous quilts to show you!

This first set of photo's are the "showcase" quilts and wallhangings. These are what greeted you as you walked in the door.

Some gorgeous wallhangings.

And the prizewinning quilts

I really love the middle quilt in this photo of three. It's hard to see in the picture, but lady who made it, used pits and pieces of different sized scaps, sewed them together to make squares. I will definitely be trying something like this when my stash gets a bit bigger.

That shouldn't take much longer. :)

This is my favourite quilt from the show. I love, love, love the colours and the pattern. I could have stood there for hours just admiring it.

There were some beautiful wall hangings inside the barn as well

And this is my favourite photo of the day. This little hen was very curious about my camera and what the heck I was doing!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Finally! Nature Walk Photo's.

I mentioned the other day that the kids and I went on a nature walk. Well, I finally got all the photo's off my camera card and reworked so I can share some of them with you. :)

Here are my two angels by the river. I have to say, I was amazed at how much they look alike in this photo. They have my apple cheeks when they smile too, much to their dismay.

Right across from where they are standing, my daughter found this piece of birch bark that looked like a face.

Then my daughter found a very sad tree that looked like it needed a hug. So...

My daughter was a little more reserved, though. LOL!

I guess the tree was sad, but not all that sad to her. :)

This is my favourite part of the walk. You have to hike up a very steep hill, then back down the other side, but then you come out into a gorgeous gully filled with ferns and trees. It's so gorgeously green. I wish I could build a house and live here.

This is the bridge you walk on to cross the gully.

The kids were getting a bit silly here. This is my son pretending to be his favourite video game character, Link.

And my daughter. We all have a little Captain in us. :)

This tree is fascinating to every child (and adult!) who walks this trail. They call it the Grandfather tree. It's incredibly old, although I can't remember how old now, and the kids all want to climb it. Those who run the conservation area won't let them though. The tree would be destroyed in no time if they let the kids climb it. So, we just enjoy looking at it every time we walk by.

After our walk in the woods, it was off to the swamp

It's a fair hike across the boardwalk

But there is lots of life to see in a swamp, turtles, frogs, geese, ducks, depending on what time of year you go. This time all we saw were turtles and frogs. Cute, though. :)

And of course a tree that looks like it's sitting down, taking a rest!

Finally, waiting for us at our car was this little fellow.

As cute as he was, there was no way I was making friends with him. It's hard to tell just how big this snapping turtle is from this photo, but lets just say a hand reached out in friendship would not come back. :)

It was a fantastic day. Everyone had a great time, there was not was heavenly. :)

We're planning on taking one last summer nature walk, but I'm not sure the weather is going to cooperate for us. There is a place nearby called Hell Holes with some natural caves and a gorgeous trail through a gully carved by glaciers. It's beautiful!

Have a fantastic day!