Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 Atchison County Fair, part 2

A few pictures of the open class entries. 


The flowers, only half shown here, are so pretty. 


Some of the cross stitch.



My friend Dede's beautiful hardanger piece.


Dede win Reserve Champion!


And Grand Champion!!! 

The flag is full of specialty stitches and beads! Its beautiful!  Congratulations Dede! 

There were a lot more pieces entered than shown, but I would have had to white out a lot of addresses, so this is all that I'm sharing.  The decorated cakes/cupcake open class category was rather lacking this year.  I'd love to try decorating a cake for the fair and have saved several ideas in Pinterest.  Maybe next year, but don't hold your breath!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Atchison County Kansas Fair, part 1

I love the fair!  I already can't wait until the 2018 Atchison County Fair!  If you've never been, please consider visiting an area fair next year.  There are a lot of fun things to see and eat!  Such as rabbits and chickens! 




Cows!   It was nap time in the barn!  I love that you can get close to the animals at the Atchison County Fair.  At my counties fair, the animals, with the exception of the ducks, chickens and rabbits, the animals aren't close and public isn't allowed back to where they're at. 


If you know someone or you kindly ask someone in the barn, they'll even let you pet one!  The first year I saw the cows at the fair I was shocked, still am, at their size!  They're HUGE!  So much bigger than cows appear when you're passing them at 65 MPH on the highway! 


There are pigs!  I can't stand how the pig on the lefts leg is stuck out straight.  I stared for a long time to see that he was alive. That doesn't look comfortable.


While at the fair, please consider visiting one of the animal shows.  I've attended part of the pig show the last several years and its always interesting to learn what the judge is looking for and watch the kids ribbon. 

Sheep, they're so pretty!


And goats!


This goat's name is Anna.  The sweetest little girl told me all about her.  She was dressed in bright shorts, tank top, flip flops and a big fake pearl necklace!  She was styling at the fair!  Elsa is their other goat, but she's never been to the fair.  Anna likes to eat shirts, she shared while looking down at my chest.  I glanced that way and saw that Anna had a hold of my shirt!  The little girl shared that Anna also likes to eat hair and I jumped back in fake surprise and alarm and said Oh No, my hair is short enough.  She giggled. 

Not shown are pictures from the horse show, though I did catch some of it. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fair Should-of-Beens

Last week was the Atchison County Kansas Fair! I'll share pictures soon, but am first showing what I had stitch and intended to enter into the fair, but didn't as they're not fully finished. 

There were 3 framed categories for cross stitch and I was hoping 1 or 3 of these pieces would have fit the required size;





For Christmas decoration I had hoped to finish this piece into a flat fold. 


For pillow it was going to be one of the following. The rabbit was going to be a large sofa pillow. The second piece will have stitching on the front and back and was is in memory of my friend Sharon who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year. 




For non-Christmas decoration I had hoped to finish this into a flat fold. 


Last but not least, this piece was going to be entered into the mini cross stitch category. 


All open class entries have to be made (stitched) between the last day of this years fair and entry date of next years fair. Basically anything I stitch between Aug 2017 - Aug 2018 can be entered into next years fair. I have to start anew. I love the Atchison County Fair and I always have plans to enter a dozen different categories, not just cross stitching, but my plans always fall short. Even so, I've printed out the open class list from this years fair and can't help but make notes, consider patterns and think about the 2018 fair.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Two finishes and a start!

I recently finished two WIPs (Works in Progress) from my stash. The first was No Bees No Honey designed by Birds of a Feather.  I've had this pattern for 10+ years and have always enjoyed it.  I'm glad to have finally finished it.


I'm thinking I'll remove JLA and either stitch in a lighter color or replace my intials with another bee. Thoughts? 

The second piece is Everyday Sampler by Hands on Designs.  I started this earlier this year, January I think and completed the middle section.  I made a mistake starting the border, couldn't identify where the error was and put it aside.  I am determined to stitch from stash and finish some of my WIPS, so pulled it out, struggled with it until I found the error, frogged it and got it stitched correctly.  Ta Da!  I love it!


My current project is part two of a series of patterns released by Lizzie Kate. Part one 6 Fat Snowmen was released in 2011 and the next year Lizzie Kate released another series called 6 Snow Belles.  I finished part back in 2012, but hadn't ever gotten around to stitching the second series.  Both series are for my mother and she wants matching frames, so time to get the second set stitched and both framed.  Here's a picture of the first set of snowman and I hope to be back soon with a picture of the second set. 


Friday, August 11, 2017

Today I army crawled through the desert!

Okay, so it wasn't today, but that sounded better than; Recently I army crawled in the desert. And it wasn't really the desert, but there were some similarities. It was very dry, dusty and dirty. When I showered afterwards I had to wash my hair twice! It was hot, but actually it wasn't. The humidity levels had dropped and it was rather nice out, unless you're army crawling in the desert. There were threats all around. Spiders, silverfish, bugs... There was desert wildlife; camels! Well, camel crickets. Hate them. I don't really know what an army crawl is, but I crawled lots. Kneeled and did the worm too. My core and arms were rendered useless afterwards. So, can you guess what I was doing?


I was knocking a biggie off my forever long house and yard to-do list. I was cleaning out under my front porch. It's a big porch. The width of the house and maybe 7' deep. There was a TON of wood under there. Crazy amount of wood and I did not want to encourage termites, so finally after 12 months I got it removed. Unfortunately it's still on the property. I moved it to the backyard and suppose I'll slowly throw some of it away and some of it I'll burn. A few pieces were good and I've kept as scrap lumber. 


In addition to a bunch of scrap lumber, old trim and who knows what wood, I found; 2 dead squirrels, a big old Sears mower attachment to catch grass (I guess that's what it was), two big circles of old wire (looked like barb wire but without the barbs), some brackets for attaching wood to other wood (decking), an old door thingy (looks kind of like a tar gun, but it's what opens and holds open the door), some odd (to me) cinder type bricks (I hadn't ever seen ones shaped like these before), two really heavy metal L things (they were maybe 3' and HEAVY), some trash, screws and a rabbit nest. 


There was so much more pulled out than shown in the pictures. I was too hot and dirty to take more pictures. 

I spread diatomaceous earth under there to kill the bugs and spiders. This stuff is good stuff. It'll kill spiders, silverfish, roaches, fleas, crickets, etc. If you get the food grade kind, it's safe for use around children, pets and poultry. I found it at Orschelns. Three quarters of my house sits on a basement, the remainder quarter is a crawl space. I plan to dust it and the garage with diatmaceous earth. It's safe for use in the garden, but will kill both bad and good bugs, so I haven't used it there. I have so few bees coming to my garden, I wouldn't want to do anything to harm them.  Oh and hopefully no one ever has to deal with this, but it is effective against bedbugs. 

It took me far longer that I expected and I have two lumps under my knees from kneeling and crawling on all kinds of stuff, but it's so good to have that behind me and to have had no signs of active termites. It was especially nice to have nice weather at the end of July to do it!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Unstuffed Skillet Peppers

This smelled and tasted soo good, but needs some work!

I had some bell peppers from my trip to Bates County Produce several weeks ago that needed to be used.  I was wanting to make stuffed bell peppers, but its been too hot to turn the oven on.  This last Saturday we got up to 103 degrees actual temperature, but with the high dew points the heat index was 120!  Too Hot! I opted for unstuffed skillet peppers instead.  Actually the blogger calls it One Pot Wonder Stuffed Pepper Skillet and you find the recipe HERE

Its very easy to make and I'd make it again with a few changes.  First you brown and drain ground beef.  Add some dry rice and brown for 2-3 minutes. 

Then you add tomato soup, diced canned tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped peppers, Italian seasoning, minced garlic and brown sugar.  Bring to a rolling boil, cover, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 40 minutes if using brown rice, less if using white.

I used brown rice and simmered that baby for well over an hour and the liquid wasn't getting absorbed. It was bubbling on the simmer level, so slightly boiling and I had used a lid. I sent panicked texts to my friend Jenna who without knowing many details said a tablespoon of oats will help soak up the moisture without altering the taste. 

In they go and I cooked it another 4-5 minutes.

Still really soupy.  I tried a spoonful and the rice was crunchy!  So I added some more beef broth, brought it up to a rolling boil, lowered to simmer (it still bubbled), covered and cooked it some more. 

I called it quits at 2 hours.  Its good, but the rice probably still could have cooked for a while longer.  I will definitely make this again, but use white rice or plan to start dinner at 3 in the afternoon! 

Monday, August 7, 2017


I got Ring Pro for my front door and am planning to put a second at the back door.  Ring is door bell/motion detector that allows you to live view, record and view missed movement and answer your front door from anywhere you have internet access on your phone.  I love it! 


Expecting company and have to pee first, go ahead.  The Ring app chimes when movement is detected in the areas I've specified and I am given a heads up that someone is pulling in the driveway. Forgot to check for mail, check the app for motion detection alerts while I was at work to see whether mail was delivered. 


This is a screen shot of a recorded motion detector video. Ring began recording when he entered my yard and continued to record for 45 seconds, by which time he'd moved out of sight. I'd have taken a better picture, he's easy on the eyes, but I don't have a signed consent to share his picture. The image quality is really good. 

How about if someone is at your door at 10 o'clock at night? You can view who from your bedroom and then speak to them through the App on your phone.  This is great as my old wood floors creak and I doubt I could get to the front door to look out the peephole quietly.  Potty training your toddler and someone rings your bell?  Check the phone app and answer through the app if you desire; Hi So-and-So, I'll be at the door in just a few minutes. (My friend Jenna has been blogging about potty training!) Someone casing the house to see if you're home to break-in and you're at the store, the app will notify you of movement even if they don't ring the bell and you can talk to them; May I help you with something?  The other night after 9 pm the app alerted me to movement on the porch. Spooked, I quickly looked at the live view.  Turns out it was a pretty orange tabby taking shelter from the rain.  


This is a screen shot of the live view. To stop live view, I press the red button. If I want to speak to someone outside, I press the green button. 

Motion detection works by heat, so trash blowing through your yard won't set it off, but vehicles will.  You control the motion boundaries and unless you're worried about some vehicles driving around, you shouldn't include the street in your boundary. At least thats how it works on the one I purchased.  There is a cheaper version, so read specifics before purchasing. 

You also control the frequency of alerts that you receive. I have it set on the second highest frequency and get alerted when ever there's movement in my front yard or porch. If motion continues, you get multiple alerts. The following screen shot was taken after I had been out front feeding the birds. 


Mowing also triggers a lot of notifications. I don't mind it, but if you did, you could turn notifications off while you were out front. 

I ordered mine through Amazon, but I've seen them for sale at Home Depot.  In addition to the purchase price, Cloud recording storage costs $3 a month or $30 a year per device or $10 a month or $100 annually for unlimited cameras.  I alsp purchased a extra piece that I installed first that the Ring doorbell goes on top of. This extra piece allows me to angle the doorbell to include the driveway. Depending on your layout, you might not need it. 

I am not getting paid for this commercial and only sharing as I'm very happy with it and think you might be too!