Saturday, October 25, 2008

Punkin' Crochet

Karen recently made an adorable crochet pumpkin hat for Elizabeth. (If you would like to make one, directions are here. )
It even has a perky little stem. A good idea is worth copying, right? Helena decided she would give it a try and made a slightly larger version for Kate, with a matching vest.

When I saw Kate's vest I was reminded of the very first vest that Helena made when she was just a punkin' herself. She crochet a bunch of granny squares and sewed them together. She was 9 years old at the time. Here's a picture that was taken when Grandma Jensen came to visit in January of 1981.
Grandma Helen E. Jensen (age 74) is holding two-year-old Betsey. The boy with the big grin is Peter at age 4. Helena, wearing the vest, is in the middle at the back, and 11-year-old Kirsten is next to her.

And just for fun I thought I'd try scanning in Helena's very first crochet project. She was 5 years old when she made this doily. If I remember right it started out to be a pot holder, but morphed into a doily when it became round instead of square. Adding the lacy border just made it more fun. I wonder how much she remembers about doing this…

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ta Da--Announcing Hazel Christine Mills

Kyle just sent this:

Hey everyone;

I would like to announce the birth of Kyle and Barbie Mills' first child, Hazel Christine Mills. Hazel was born at 4:47 A.M. on Sunday, October 19th, 2008. She was 20.5 inches long, and 7 lbs 12.5 oz at birth. She is beautiful and healthy. She hasn't done much since yesterday except sleep, but we expect her to be more active in the next couple of days. We are excited to have her in our family and anxious to get her and Barb home soon. We have attached a couple of pictures from the hospital. Enjoy.
All our best;
Kyle and Barbie Mills

It looks like she's a keeper! ^o^


I am such a wimp when it comes to being c-c-cold, but I'll be darned if I'm going to turn on the furnace. You see, I have this insane game that I play every fall. It's called "Can You Wait Until November First To Turn On The Heat In The House?" Even with a built-in humidifier the air dries out once the furnace is turned on, so I like to put it off as long as I can. (My eyes are already dry enough and they don't need the furnace to further complicate matters!)

I actually did make it to November first once, but I usually don't make it that far even though our house is very well insulated and holds the heat well. If the weather is co-operative and we get some solar heating during the day, it usually feels quite pleasant in here. The problem is that this morning it got down to 33 degrees outside. I don't know what it is in here right now. Actually I do--sort of. The thermostat says 68 degrees, but said thermostat is in the warmest part of the house. It's on a nice cozy inner wall in the center of the house, surrounded by heated rooms.

I would love to know the temperature of our bedroom, for instance. It is not on a cozy inner wall surrounded by heated rooms. Our bedroom is on the southwest corner of our house with two (count them) outside walls that are not surrounded by anything let alone anything having to do with heat! (play martyr music please).

In our part of Ohio the wind comes sweepin' down the plains clear from Oklahoma, or Indiana, or Idaho or someplace. (BTW have you ever noticed how many people get Idaho and Ohio confused? Completely irrelevant, but that makes it more fun.) I think Jim is going to buy some sort of cheap thermometer so I can document my complaints at least once before I wimp out. I'm sure it gets down to 46 degrees in that thar room, but it's probably more like 64. (I would not have made a very good pioneer.) So until that thermometer comes I will just put on an extra sweater, and come up with something else to think about.

The insane thing is that from one year to the next I never remember how long I made it the year before anyway, so you see, it really doesn't matter does it? ^-^

Friday, October 17, 2008


My daughter-in-law Karen tagged me in a blog game she got from her mom. "where you pick the fourth folder in your My Pictures folder and post the fourth picture in that folder." Well, I don't really have a My Pictures folder and I didn't really know what I should do. Jim suggested that I click the button that puts pictures in a list by date, and go to the fourth folder and select the 4th picture.

Well the 4th folder happened to be the one where we put a few pictures that Jim wanted to display on his PDA. The fourth picture happened to be of our four girls that was taken this last summer in California. L to R Betsey, Barbie, Kirsten and Helena. (Note: Barbie is due to have a baby any day now, and Helena's is due Dec. 31st.

So Karen, this is for you. And I now tag Jenni (golonghorns), Allyson, and Julie Beth.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I have a tape that I listen to that helps me fall asleep at night. Sometimes when I wake up during the night I play it again.

The other night Jim suddenly shrieked during his sleep. I mean it was really LOUD and it scared me! I asked if he was OK. He assured me that he was and that he was only dreaming. The next morning I asked him if he remembered what happened during the night. He said that he did. I asked him what he was dreaming about.

He said he dreamed that he was in a meeting and that he wanted to say something, but a woman in the room was talking to the person next to her, and she wouldn't stop. It was very frustrating for him. After he woke himself up, he realized that he was hearing my tape. ^o^

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


We didn't have a lot of excess energy for planting flowers in front of the house this year, but I did want a little spot of color during the summer, so we planted one solitary red geranium. All summer long it has held its own, sometimes shining like a beacon against the brown and green of its surroundings. In the last couple of days I noticed that it was down to one flower and wasn't producing any more flower buds. It appeared to be blooming its last. I'm not quite ready to let it go though, so I decided to try an experiment. I put a banana peel in water and let it soak over night. This morning I watered the geranium with the soaking water. (If the jar looks crooked, it's because it is. I set it on the slanting hood of Betsey's car to take the picture. ^o^).In the past we have been able to produce flower buds on roses, zucchini, morning glories, and peas when it looked like they weren't going to form. Sometimes our homemade compost in the garden is too high in nitrogen because of the large percentage of kitchen scraps and grass clippings that we put in it. Leaves will help balance that in a compost pile, but they are not always available year around. When we wanted flower buds in the garden right away, we found that burying banana peels in the ground near the plants, caused them to start blooming within a week or so.
I have no idea if a banana peel soaked in water will do the same thing, or if it will work this late in the season, but I thought it was worth a try. Yes, I could use Miracle Grow or some other commercial bloom-boosting formula, but I thought this would be more fun.

ADDENDUM added Feb. 2009: The experiment worked very well. Five bud clusters were produced in just a few weeks, but it proved to be too late in the season for them to have a chance to bloom.

I dug the geranium up and took it inside. I did my best to keep it going, but it slowly died. We just don't have enough light in our house for a plant that likes full sun. Also, when I knew I was going to dig it up, I should have pinched the flower buds off. It would have been painful for me, but if I had done that the energy might have gone to the roots instead, and perhaps it would have survived.

Unfortunately I really killed it when I poured some full-strength banana peel water on it. I soaked a banana peel in a jar of water for two days. Then I just poured some on the geranium right out of the jar. When I used the banana peel water on the geranium while it was outside I diluted it quite a bit with water first. Full strength it was too strong, and burned the roots. The poor thing didn't have a chance.

Well, it's one of those things that I learned a lot from. And I am very impressed with using banana peel water to help plants bloom. ^o^ I will definitely be doing more with this.