Monday, July 26, 2010


Last week at the Amish auction, there were a few acres of old, mostly horse drawn equipment for sale, including these big machines. Can you guess, what they are? Yesterday it came all back to me. It was the yearly Antique John Deere tractor show in Drayton and while we were there one of there threshing machine was in action and I remember how noisy, dirty and dusty it used to be. When we took over from Laurence's father there was one of these old machines up in the barn. I grew up on a dairy farm in Holland, but since we only grew hay I had never been involved with the grain harvest. I was about to get educated. A few weeks after we took over, this machine came out of the barn and was put on the barn hill. The tractor was hooked up with a long belt and this belt turned all the parts in the machine. The long spout blew the straw back to the straw shed and the auger delivered the grain to the grain bin. It was hot and dusty and it took a lot of know-how to keep it all running.After a few years we sold the treshing machine and bought a small combine. This was much better and since then each combine has been bigger and faster and with a.c! We had rain again on Friday and Saturday and Laurence was sure, that the grain was still too wet to start this year's harvest today. But one of our neighbours showed up with a sample and he wanted him to come over right away. 5 minutes later he was gone and he is still combining. The weather for the coming days looks promising, except for Wednesday. With any luck the showers will miss us. I have been busy making apple sauce. We have a large harvest apple tree on the farm. Every other year there is an abundance of apples. This was the off year, but there was enough for everybody. These are the jars, the rest went in the freezer. It looks like a lot, but come next year ,it's all gone. The border has been sewn down on the quilt and I'm in the process of sewing the lace on both sides. I can see the end nearing and it is getting time. I'm just getting slightly tired of the whole thing.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another busy week

It started on Thursday evening with the Listowel Fair parade. We like to go and watch, since it is a good size parade for the size of town. But this year the weather would not co-operate. Right in the middle of the parade it started to rain, then to pour. But the parade went on! Friday after noon Laurence decided, that we had not seen a play at the Theatre in Blyth and since there were still tickets available we spend an enjoyable evening at the theatre. This brings us to Saturday, the day of the Amish Parochial School Auction. I love going to this sale and each year it is bigger and better. The money raised will be used for their schools. Each year it is on a different farm. This year it was not as close as we are used to, so it took some time to find the place. But once you are close you cannot miss it. It is a good place to meet friends and neighbours. First thing we got was our bidding number. Just to show you how busy it was, we were there by 9 o'clock and we were number 1590.After that Laurence and I split, since we are not interested in the same things. I looked in a few of the tents and watched the local Bernina dealer, quite conservative , trying to sell one of the latest and most expensive embroidery machines to the lady on the right. There was quite a conversation going on. I did not stay around long enough to find out if she made the sale. Next stop was the "Baked Goods" tent. Besides all kind of baking and home made donuts there were hundreds of pies. It was not uncommon to see people walk away with 6,8 or more pies. I guess they freeze alright. It was getting time to walk over to the quilt tent. The first few years, the quilts were sold right outside on a hay wagon, but the last few years there has been a tent. The hay wagon is still there.This year there were 120 quilts, from crib size to king size. This quilt was one of my favorites and brought $700. Most of the quilts are consigned, but at the end of the sale there are quilts that have been donated by the different school districts. The top went for about $700 to $800, but most large quilts sold in the $350 to $500 range. I would have loved to get one, but either the colors or the design did not work for me. I did not last the whole sale. I have never been that hot!. There was a breeze, but only outside. After a lunch of a hamburger, pie and icecream ( you don't think of nutrition) it was time to watch the horse sale. This year there were about 200 horses and ponies. When I came closer I saw this black horse's head, what looked to me like a Frisian. But since there are only a few hunded in the whole country, that was very unlikely. But no, it was a FRISIAN! It was a 5 year old stallion by the name of Piper. He was not there to be sold, but just for show. Later I talked to the owner, who had bought him not that long ago and hoped to use him for breeding purposes. Seeing that horse made my day! By that time Laurence had more than enough and he wanted to go home. That evening he went to the tracor pull in Listowel . I stayed home with the excuse that I had to get food ready for our yearly Sunday School Picnic the next day. You see all these activities and some more beside, took care of most of the week. At times I feel like we are in the tropics right now. The weather is hot and it seems that every few days we have rain or a thunder storm. Laurence is more than ready to start combining the wheat, but it has not been possible. I have a few more pictures, but for some reason I can only upload 4 at a time. The rest will come in a few days.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pieces of the puzzle

Finally I'm back in the garden. Even pulling weeds feels good. And there are a lot of weeds. I try to take my time and slowly do a little more each day. The flower beds in front of the house look good with lots color. Around the house there are a few empty spots. Today I bought enough plants to fill those spots with some new perennials. The Zehrs store in town is closing its garden center in a few days, so everything was 50% off. I love taking pictures of flowers and bugs. Just now missed out on a butterfly. I was on the phone and by the time I was done, the butterfly had taken off. Another 14 seam treatments and they are all done. It is hard to come up with something new, so there will be a few repeats in there. At the bottom I want to put this picture of my parents in their Frisian costume.I have a few more pictures I can use, but that will depend on how it all comes together. To finish I needed a background for the border. I wanted black velvet, but had no idea where to get some. Friend Elizabeth to the rescue. She mentioned a good quality velvet by the name of DeBall. I had to do some searching, but found out, that it is used in Scottish costumes. So a call to friend Judy, who is involved with a Scottish festival. From her I got an address in Hamilton. I was lucky. They had some in lay-away, but could spare me one metre. Two days later it was delivered. Now to the lace Next week I will show how I want to put it all together, but I would need at least 10 meters of lace, 1/2 inch wide and preferable old. Here friend Lois came to the rescue. When I told her what I'm looking for she mentioned, that she and her husband were going to Northern Michigan for a few days. They love to go hunting for antiques, so she would keep an eye out for lace. A few days later I got a call. She had found an antique store, that specializes in laces. There she found this card with over 15 meters, never used. It was still on the card. When new it had sold for 10ct a yard. That was the last piece of the puzzle! I figure that by the end of the week the seams are finished and I can start to put some flowers or charms on the block with empty space. It well certainly is nice to have good friends!
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Heat wave

The last few days have been hot,hot,hot. But I was told it is good growing weather. Laurence has this saying of " corn knee-high by the first of July" If the corn is that high it usually means, that we get a crop. The first picture was taken mid June. We have had a lot of rain ,way to much really, during June, but that small field beside the house did well, as you can see. It is knee high. Now let's go to the next picture. That one is taken on July first. You can barely see Laurence 's head behind the corn stalks. And no, I did not sit down on the job.It was taken straight from the edge of the field. Now I have to admit, that not all of our corn is this tall. And our white beans and soybeans have a tougher time. The wheat is coming on fast. Laurence is all in a panic and he has the combine all apart for " preventive maintenance". Last week was a week I rather forget. I found out, that if you are told to take it easy after surgery, you better listen. I seem to have a hard time doing that ,so I had to slow down again. Besides that I had a nasty intestinal bug. Between the two of them I rather forget the week. But I'm on the mend and back to some applique. This morning I gave myself 5 minutes in the garden, pulling some weeds. So far so good. Despite my lack of care the flowers are doing well. My pots look colorfull and seem to be doing well, as long as they get some water in time. I'm lucky to have a hose long enough to get most watering done. I'm still plodding away with my crazy patches. By now 2/3 of the border has been covered. I even managed to get 16 yards of lace for the border. Or not me, a friend ,who loves to go to antique stores found it for me in Northen Michigan. Can't pick it up just yet, since she is on holidays. So it seems that I have everything to pull it all together. All it will take from now is time. And with this weather it is no hardship to sit in a cool room.
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