Sunday, September 27, 2009

Very busy summer!

Today is the last day of my "vacation" so I thought I had better explain my summer. It started in mid June with Trek. We had volunteered to go along as 'Ma and Pa' months ago. sometime last fall. We had training meetings, and were given lessons to prepare. Nothing, though could prepare you for the actual experience. For instance, the love you have for the youth that you are in charge of. I know it's like that for every calling, but this was so immediate. We had the very best group of kids on trek and knew it as soon as we met them. We all met at the church the night before to check in baggage and hear about what was coming up. Then we were back at the church the next morning at 5 am to drive up to the ranch. I won't even try to explain the incredible spiritual experience we had though I might have if I had written this down earlier. I just want to say that it was wonderful. Physically we had a bit of everything. Some sunshine, some cold, and mostly a lot of rain and mud. And we still had a ball. I'm sure there were some who absolutely hated it, but everyone I talked to had a great time in spite of the wet. (Maybe because of it. Without rain it would have been incredibly hot.)
The day after we got home my son brought my granddaughter to spend some time with us. He only got to spend a couple days, but the granddaughter spent three weeks and that was fabulous. My daughter and her daughter came next and that weekend was our family reunion. We had a lovely camping trip - perfect weather, lots of fun things to do and lovely family to do it with. The most fun for me was that my granddaughter got to go camping for the first time. I think she had fun. I know I had fun watching her.
Then it was the wedding for one of my sons. A couple of spouses didn't make it, but the rest of the immediate family did. It was such a great gathering. I wish we could have spent more time together, but some people had to get back to work. Sigh!
Then my daughter and I drove back to Washington DC where she was living at the time. It was 4 days driving, and we broke the trip in Iowa where we dropped my son's daughter off. I miss you Missy D! Interesting trip, but we were traveling too quickly to stop as see much. That isn't to say we didn't stop. With two little girls you stop a lot. Mostly at rest stops to let certain people run around for an hour or so. In spite of dvd's, toys and food she still got very tired of being in a car seat. (Who can blame her?) (I'm speaking of the 2 year old)
I was expecting to hear about a census job during July, and when I didn't I started think about what else I should do for work. I knew I could have my old job back and that would be fine, but I still needed to think about after. Before I left home my husband had suggested the new quilting business. My daughter and I visited a couple of quilt shops on the trip and I started thinking about quilting for a living. Spent a lot of August looking into the idea of running a long arm quilting business, but then I also heard from the Census Bureau. I will be the Assistant Manager of Quality Assurance for the Provo office doing the decennial census. I begin work tomorrow, which is why I thought I better post now. There has simply been no time.
The garden was very productive, still is. I took a class on a long arm machine, which helped me make up my mind that; yes, this would be a good job for me. I could choose my own hours and work around my garden. I can work barefoot, my favorite way to be. We bought a new sewing machine (regular type for piecing quilts - mine is nearly 30 years old) and I have been taking classes on how that works. We have shopped for quilt fabric and other things needed to start a business. I went to the Utah Quilt Guild Quiltfest, and took a couple of classes there on how to piece quilts. I also went to education week, more very instructive classes. We painted the area where we wanted the quilting machine. We made a lot of quilts to practice on. My husband actually made more than I did as I was always doing other things, but I had a lot of fun anyway. Since August I have made 7 quilt tops and my husband has made 8. His are mostly larger and more detailed than mine.
And last of all, Thursday our quilting machine was delivered. It was an all day affair and we were too tired in the evening to really catch the little bit of training they were trying to give us. Sweet C has already quilted and bound two of his tops. I have been doing sample quilt stuff on cheap fabric. So, there is the summer. Now begins the working life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Ok, so my photos are never quite right color-wise. Maybe you can't tell how wild but cute this is, but I thought you should see it anyway. I think I'll call it Jester.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bountiful harvest

Here is the morning picking of tomato and cherry tomatoes.I'll be giving away four or five small bags of "sweet million" cherry tomatoes. As usual. Oh, and I could have kept picking, I just get hot and tired and come in with many still undiscovered.

The top picture is the cherry patch immediatly after picking. ( I had them in the right order for once and somehow ended up deleting that one!) You can see how many I will have to pick tomorrow. I took a gardening class this spring. He suggested black plastic under the tomatoes and the vine crops. That was a great idea. He also suggested no support for the tomato vine. That isn't a great idea. I am wading around in the vines trying to find a place to put my feet that doesn't smash the vines or the fruit. He also said tomatoes like to be watered once every week to ten days. That is probably a good idea, my fruit tends to split a lot just at the end of the ripening process, however, I have a hard time remembering to turn the water on and off at the right times. It is set to water automatically twice a week, which the other crops need.
Here you can see half of my potato patch - ready for harvest but where would I put the potatoes? It is still too hot to store them loose in the storage room. We put in yukon gold and Pontiac Red. We have already pulled out potatoes at least 6 inches across. John and I shared one baked potato for dinner on Sunday and had way too much to eat. I will have to leave them in the ground for now, except to pick one to eat once in awhile. At the back of the picture you can see the sweet potato vines. They look great, but I don't know when or how to know if they are ready for harvest. Anyone?