Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Retro Apron

My mom sent me an e-mail last week called The History of Aprons and it reminded me of both of my grandmothers and the aprons they always wore. It made me really want to have my own brightly colored retro apron. So... I made one.
First I found some bright colored fabrics...
and the perfect pattern with a few unique styles of retro aprons.

Then some quick sewing... and tada... a new Retro apron!

The girls loved the apron too, which means I will to be sewing up a couple more!
Here I am with my favorite cookbook, which is coincidentally, from the 1950's. And below is the e-mail which inspired this project.
The History of APRONS

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will; replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Send this to those who would know, and love, the story about Grandma's aprons. Or it can be a good history lesson for those that have no idea how the apron played a part in our lives.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.

But Love ! !

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guess who is celebrating a birthday today...

SALENA! Please wish my tall, beautiful, funny, generous, witty, chatty, fabulous friend a HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Enjoy your special day, Salena {or week as the case may be}!! Looking forward to officially celebrating at GNO on Saturday. :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Having some "doggone" fun!

Yesterday was all about Bella. She got to have a "spa day" at Rainbow Kennels in the morning. It was the first time we have taken her to get groomed and boy did she need a trim. Plus she needed a pedi/mani as well as those nails were WAY too long. Anyway, we felt bad for her because she was so scared when we left her. And we could hardly recognize her when we came to pick her up. It looked like they put her in the dryer and shrunk her up! She looked so tiny with her fur clipped.
Oh and her fur... it was absolutely as soft as velvet and snowy white. Plus she smelled so wonderful... ummmm! This darn cold weather and her new short hair cut has made bathroom time extremely fast. Not that she was ever one to daudle anyway... but seriously... she is lightning quick!
We took some pictures of our three girls dressed up so we could make a Valentine's day photo. Bella, always the extra tolerant dog, was so patient and relaxed. I am surprised that the girls haven't dressed her up in some doll clothes yet. Notice the little pink clips and bow in her hair? Again, a super tolerant doggie.
Today, I could hear the girls giggling in Kippy's room this afternoon. I didn't know what they were up to until Abby came out and showed me these pictures she had taken of Bella. Kippy had Bella on her doll bed and wanted her to be friends with "Jack".
Then Kippy added "Maya", her samoyd webkinz dog for Bella to be friends with.
Finally, Kippy added all of her stuffed puppies to make a "dog-pile". It makes me laugh to see all of the various "doggies" that Kippy has. As you can tell, she has pretended to have a puppy forever! Oh Bella, you are so loved!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This old dog learns a new trick!

Hey, guess what? I learned to crochet this week! Well, I did know how to crochet a chain, but I have never actually made anything before. I am so excited to learn a new skill!! Here is how it began... Abby's girl scout troop was invited to go to Crates of Yarn on Monday for an introduction to crocheting class. Since I had the day off (thanks to Martin Luther King) I decided to tag along for the class. I have always wanted to crochet because my Grandma Ruth made it look so easy and make such wonderful things. Whenever I tried to, I was always confused by the pattern directions. They read like a foreign language... "Ch 3, sc in next stitch. *dc in next stitch, sc in next stitch* around. Slip stitch to join. Ch 1." What the heck are they talking about?

Prior to the class, I picked up crochet hooks, a free pattern and some yarn at Wal-Mart. Actually, Steve picked up some camouflage yarn which had a free pattern next to it and said, "Why don't you make me this?" The pattern said it was for beginner and I was hoping that I could follow along enough in Abby's class to actually make something.

At the class, I sat next to a mom who had crocheted before. She tried to advise me on how to start. Eventually, I borrowed a "how-to" book from one of Abby's sister-scouts and tried to make heads or tails out of the instructions. As I went along, I would mess up, take out stitches, ask questions and try again. Finally, things started to click. Hey - I'm doing it!
I made myself the orange beanie hat first. Abby asked me to make her a hat, so I whipped a hat out for her. Then today, I made Steve's hat. I kind of winged it with adjusting for the different sized heads involved, but the loose weave was pretty forgiving.
I went back to the Crate of Yarn store for some more yarn today and picked up a cute book on making simple daisy chain flowers. I added some flowers to my hat and to Abby's... Didn't think that Steve would appreciate a flower, so skipped his. I now have yarn to make a beannie for Kippy, plus instructions for some other fun things. This old dog is enjoying a new hobby!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gran Torino... go see it!

Steve and I went to Gran Torino last night and we highly recommend it. Of course, Steve & I are BIG Clint Eastwood fans, plus we are all about "politically incorrect" humor, so maybe it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Anyway... Clint is a bad @ss... I want to see it again... two thumbs up by Steve and Renae....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Too old for sledding?

I think I may be too old to go sledding. Why? Because on Sunday, we went sledding with my brother and his family and I hurt myself. Who hurts themselves sledding? It is supposed to be fun, right?
I borrowed Noah's super fast sled and made a very quick trip down the hill. The problem was in my navigation (or lack thereof). I made the fatal mistake of hitting all the "built in jumps". For some dumb reason, I didn't let go or jump off the sled, I just clung on for dear life and got some major air. My left wrist took the brunt of the action and got hyper-extended.
Nephew... Noah.. the guy with the super fast sled
Abby... screaming her way down the hill (as usual)
Kippy is the Evel Knievel of the group.... look at joy on her face as she zips by.
Russ & Nixin trudging back up the hill to go for another ride.
Steve found a little broken piece of sled and was able to go for a ride. He sure kicks up the snow, doesn't he?

Kippy and Noah had one of the wildest rides. They had so much speed build up that they made it all the way to the chain-link fence, which abruptly stopped them. Luckily, there are no injuries to report.
Steve and I on the same sled just don't fit as well as the kids...

I guarantee that none of these kids were sore like I was Monday morning. My back, shoulders and neck... not to mention my wrist, which has been in a brace ever since!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Mont Du Lac experience

Mont Du Lac is a small ski resort in Wisconsin, just 20 minutes from Russ & Kristy's home in Esko. We had several choices of ski resorts to go to, but decided on Mont Du Lac because it is generally less crowded. Since this was going to be both my nephews first skiing experience, we wanted to have some breathing room on the slopes. Not only did we luck out on not having to deal with crowds, but the weather was cooperative too. "Cooperative" to me means no wind and the temperature a balmy 5 degrees. I am not a fan of skiing in sub-zero weather. I know, call me a pansy.
Here is Nixin (age 3) getting his ski boots put on by his dad (I thought I would point out who that headless person is in the picture.) Although Nixin gave it a good try, skiing didn't work out for him. Nixin didn't like the sensation and wanted to sit down in the harness instead of stand up on the skiis. In retrospect, we think sledding or tubing would have been better.
Here is Noah (age 9) and Kippy getting ready to go out on the slopes. Noah was so eager to try out skiing. Abby & Angelique already knew what they were doing so they quickly headed to the lift. While Russ & Kristy were struggling to get Nixin geared up and harnessed, I worked with Noah. After successfully navigating Noah over to the Pancake Run (aka "the bunny hill"), Noah and I struggled a bit to get him back to the top using the tow rope. I think it would have made a funny video. After getting Noah's skis put back on several times, I turned to Steve and said, "I don't think I can teach someone to ski." Thankfully, Noah had low expectations and was patient, because he did catch on.
About an hour after Noah started practicing, I took him on the lift for the first time. He was a little apprehensive about it but he hung in there. He listened carefully and had no problems getting on or getting off! I took this picture of his beaming face as he road the lift for the first time. When we took a break for lunch, Noah exclaimed, "Auntie, you said you couldn't teach anyone to ski, but you can!" Truthfully, it was 90% Noah and only 10% me.
Abby and Kippy at the top of the hill - it was a beautiful view...
Abby and I squinting in the sun in a self portrait while riding the lift. Did I mention that I dropped my glove while doing this? I had a cold trip down with one bare hand to retrieve it. As I tell my kids, "That was not my best idea!"
Russ & Steve after exiting the lift.
"I'm king of the world!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Dad, sorry this is "a-day-late-and-a-dollar-short"!! We are sending our virtual {{hugs}} to you and hope that you have a fantastic day. We are glad we got to celebrate your birthday early with you before you left on your 3 Month RV Adventure.

Thanks for being the best Dad, Father-in-Law and Grandpa!! Love you lots!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First act of puppy vandalism...

committed by Bella on Thursday, January 8th was to tear a hole in Abby's comforter. In all fairness, I think Bella believes that Abby's bed is actually HER bed and didn't feel like she did anything wrong.

Thursday, morning, shortly after the girls left for school, I heard a knocking sound in Abby's room. At first, I thought that Abby had forgotten something and run back into her room to get it. However, after a few seconds, I realized that it had to be Bella. I went upstairs and found Bella in the middle of Abby's bed making herself comfortable. Over the lunch hour, I went back in and made Abby's bed (which normally Abby would have done but she was having hair issues that morning). As I pulled up the comforter, that is when I saw the hole.
It isn't too big, but big enough. Funny thing... Abby asked 2 weeks ago if she could get a new comforter and I said, "No. There is nothing wrong with the one you have." Seems like Bella and Abby were scheming together to make something wrong!
Guilty as charged!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

She's a keeper.

We have officially adopted Bella into our family. Our one week trial was over yesterday and we had a family discussion and vote. It was unanimous... we are in love with her and I think from her reaction today, she is in love with us too.

Today, the girls went to school and poor Bella cried and cried. I mean for over 2 hours! She was home with me, but that wasn't enough. It wasn't even enough when Steve was here. You have never seen a more excited doggie when the girls came home on the bus at 4:00 PM. She wiggled from head to toe and tried to lick them to pieces.
Bella sleeps with Abby at night. Since Kippy has a loft bed, she decided to sleep in a sleeping bag on Friday night so that Bella could sleep with her. I told Steve that I wouldn't be surprised if Kippy asked to have a different bed so she could have more Bella time.

I did notice my eyes bothering me and some nasel stuffiness by the 5th day, but decided that I am willing to take a Clariton pill and use eye drops as needed just so we can keep her. This also means that the girls have primary grooming/care-taking responsibilities. Just look at this precious little face.... so worth it.

In true "Sell" tradition, Bella has a bunch of new nicknames.... "Bellarooska", "Bella-Wella" and "Itchty-Scratchity-Bo-Bo" (taken from Good Boy Fergus), which gets shortened to "Bo-Bo".

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our Spidahl experience...

Yesterday afternoon, we bundled up and headed to Spidahl's to go cross-country skiing. It is funny that there are these wonderful opportunities near Fergus Falls and we are still discovering them!
We are a fairly inexperienced at cross-country skiing, even though we can all downhill ski. Steve & I had tried crossing-country one-time before in Breckenridge, CO almost 4 years ago. Abby had tried it out about 9 months ago at Long Lake, MN. Kippy was giving it a shot for the first time.
Gearing up took us a while. Getting our boots to click onto the skis was not very easy. I'll have to say that the boots for cross-country are WAY more comfortable than the boots for downhill. Check out how "Bob" the black lab is supervising everyone. I think he sensed our inexperience. Perhaps we were entertaining to him as we tried to figure everything out.
We had many different trails to choose from, but we stuck with a beginner trail that was 1.1 miles long. Notice the grooves that Abby's skis are in? Those are there to help a beginner out.
The trail wound through some beautiful natural forest. It was so serene and quiet. We all shuffled along trying to get a rhythm going. Abby just scooted on past all of us.Did I mention that it was pretty cold? I think it was 5 degrees or so. I was freezing my fingers off at this point because I had to take my gloves off to work my camera. I figured I would need to go back to the lodge and warm up.
Don't I look like I should be cozy warm? I was wearing insulated snow pants, on top of insulated sweat pants, which was on top of winter cuddle duds, one sweatshirt, two pairs of socks, a Columbia coat, insulated mitten/gloves, turtle fur and a headband. I am surprised I could move at all!
Kippy had a hard time staying in the "grooves" and fell countless times. Steve ended up skiing with Kippy so he could help her, while Abby and I went off on our own. Once I got some momentum going, I got toasty warm.

I loved how everyone of us had frost in our eyelashes (Steve's was in his beard). Some of my hair had actually gotten frozen to my turtle fur! I can't wait to go back again!
Today my shoulders and quads are sore, so I guess that means I either got a good workout, or am really out of shape. Either way, I finally found one winter activity where I wasn't freezing to death the whole time!