Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Long update: Stuck, little sewing projects, winter goings-on

Fair warning: this is going to be a long catch-up post, and is likely to be scattered. I'm on a business trip and have access to internet, which is a rarity. My workplace blocks this blog site (for good reason), so I just have to have extended access to unbridled internet to update it.

First, farm news. In early November Ryan was working on our drainage behind the house and into a kind of a creek we have there, and got stuck. And by stuck, I mean really stuck:

We ended up calling a neighbor to pull him out of all of the muck, the truck just wasn't even beginning to cut it.
He had a little helper working back there too (on a different day, a little farther up the slope):

Speaking of little helpers, I had one come with me on turkey deliveries too.

We ended up doing Ames turkey deliveries amidst fresh snow, and at that point in the season snow was still a fun novelty!
Last Saturday we did our business taxes, and only filed for a $200 loss for the business this year! That is awesome and means we're getting much closer to profitability. Without writing off our mileage and our depreciation, we did make about $6000 last year. Total sales are around $18,000 and were about 40% beef, 35% chicken, and 25% turkey. I usually like to tell you all how we are doing as a business, partially because I think it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we are a business. I feel like the business had a good year overall, and I'm optimistic as we settle into our new location.

For my sewing, I mostly worked on a bunch of little projects. First up, Ryan needed a new Dopp kit. He threw out his old one when he opened it up to pack it for a trip and found it covered in mold inside and out. I did some googling to find a tutorial, and sewed something up:

The purple bag on the left is my Dopp kit (purchased from Target). That sad, mopey creation on the right was my first attempt. Not so much a win. So I thought about it, changed some dimensions, and tried again:

Much improved. This one actually looks like something and functions (and doesn't make Ryan cringe when he looks at it).

I also made some table runners, here is one example:

The pattern is "Triangle Frenzy" if you're curious; it's easy and fun and involves cutting striped fabric into 60 degree triangles.

For whatever reason, I also seem to know a lot of people having babies right now, so I made another small baby quilt, this one is about 3 ft square.

It was inspired by a pattern called Hugs and Kisses by Tamarack Shack, but I didn't quite get it right. Ah well, it's done and when it comes to baby quilts, done is definitely better than perfect.

On the house front, we've continued to work on all of the finishing projects. We almost got the outside painted before it got too cold to work outside, so this picture doesn't have all of the trim done and I do know it. Sigh. I blame Iowa winters.

I do like the color a lot, and I will get the rest of the exterior done when it warms up again!

Recently I've been consumed with tiling our master bathroom surround. This was an all-consuming project and I am SO glad to have it done. We actually took our first shower in it this morning, so that made today a good day for me.

Most of the tile is just basic 6" off-white tile, but my one luxury here was these beautiful heron tiles from a company called Earthsong Tiles in Canada. It's a couple that does them by hand out of their home, and I just love them. Here's a closer look:

I also had a little helper working on cleaning grout with me a few days ago, she did a nice job helping!

My last house/crafting item doesn't classify well so it's going to go here. When my grandmother died a couple of years ago, I inherited a piece of needlepoint from my great grandmother. It's floated around my house in a horrendously ugly frame since then:

My apologies if this frame is your style, but it's certainly not mine. So I had it reframed and it's found a place in our bedroom.

I also had them frame it a little tighter to get rid of some of the awkward space around the embroidery, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

The kids are doing very well, and are happy and healthy. When fall color first started, we made some window decorations using clear contact paper.

The kids were much more into this than I expected, with H making houses and flowers and Z making storms and monsters (can you find them below? Some imagination required).

Then in October we took a family trip to Disneyland with my dad, stepmom, brother, and sister-in-law. It was a great trip and it was nice to all go somewhere together.

For Halloween we had a cowboy and a princess. Not a lot of creativity here, I'm hoping they forgive me when they're older. There was a lot going on in October.

For Christmas, we did our traditional tree hunt, which meant trekking into the pasture and chopping one down. It definitely had a very seedy look to it, but it worked! (and there's my ham of a daughter being a camera hog.)

H and I also took a ski trip in December where she had her first skiing experience. Here we are all ready to go:

And here she is at the end of her first day, tired but you can see the satisfaction and accomplishment in her face. She enjoyed it and did well.

And since this blog has been a little heavy on my daughter, we'll finish up with some pics of my son.
Z sandwich - Daddy, Z, Nermal!

And Daddy indulged him with a motorized toy train engine for his train track. It's like heaven for him. Those of you who know us well know that I have a general "no batteries" rule in my house for toys because all of their noises and lights drive me up the wall. I hereby pin this one on my husband and maintain that I'm still trying to hold the rule...

And finally, the last few days he's been sick and on Saturday morning we persuaded him to take a morning nap in our bed. We lured him in with cuddles and let him fall asleep, where I couldn't resist taking a pic.

Sleep well, little one!