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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another Weekend Around This Old House

We spent the entire weekend alternating between projects and relaxing and also watching a VERY tense Packer Game on tv today.  (overtime tie!)

Some of the projects around the house needed to get done.  First on Steve's list was wrapping all the hot water pipes in the basement with foam insulation, and then Steve stuffed some extra insulation in between the floor joists here and there where it needed it.  Now that the furnace is running (our temps were at 5 degrees this morning with wind chills below zero)  we did a few things to make the house more airtight.  Steve added some foam and insulation around the attic trap door, and around the edges of the upper door leading to the shaker porch.  No more drafts!

I spent some time down in my workshop in the basement.  I got another batch of sock machine weights dipped 3 coats in Tool Dip (rubberized coating)   They are one pound deep sea fishing weights that I order from a place out on the west coast.

Steve hammers down silver forks flat and bends over just the tips of the tines.  Then he drills a hole in the end of the handle.  From there, I add the weights with split key rings.  I sell them in sets of three to circular sockknitting machine people who use them for holding tension on the heels and toes as they knit.

Steve happened to find an old fashioned lock box unit for inside the door of the Munchkin toy closet. The old fashioned door knobs themselves were fine, but the inner workings (box) was broken.  He drilled out the old one and inserted the replacement... it needed a little bit of tweaking... and now the door shuts properly!

There has been a project on my mind for quite some time... so I got Steve to help me tackle this one.  The diningroom originally had a built-in hutch that we moved into my Loom Room when we bought the house.  The carpeting had been installed around that hutch, so after moving it, all that remained was the unfinished hardwood flooring underneath (YAY!  we know that we have a hardwood floor in our diningroom if we ever want to rip out the carpeting!)     Our new buffet sets in the same place, but it was kinda setting down in the open gap, and I didn't care for the looks of that.

The buffet is very, very heavy so Steve helped me put it on those sliders called "Moving Men" and we moved it up and out of the hardwood gap on the floor.   Those "Moving Men" are GREAT!   We have used them for so many things, now that we are not as young and strong as we used to be.  (grin grin)

Steve cut two boards for me that would fill in the gap, and I stained/poly'd them in the basement.  I only needed to stain the edges where it would show.   Once the boards dried, we carried them up and slid them into place, nicely filling up the gap!

AHHHHH that looks MUCH better now! 

Seeing as I had out my staining brushes, I also added a coat to this old clock.  Steve's dad had refinished it years ago, but it was more brown and satin finish to the wood.  I added a bit more reddish poly/stain and gave it a bit of a shine. I cleaned the pendulum disk and found out under the dull brown it was a lovely copper or bronze!   

It is now hanging in our foyer, but Steve forgot to get the key... so we have not wound it up yet.  We will be seeing Pa Pfundtner on Thanksgiving, so I hope we remember to ask him to bring the key to dinner!  LOL   

Also on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was the big Open House fiber event at Hidden Valley Woolen Mill and I brought out four baskets of inventory to be sold on commission in the shop. I had an array of quilted hot pads, woolen socks, and knit winter hats. 

Remember a couple blogs back I wrote about making felt 
from sheep wool at Hidden Valley in our guild meeting?  
Well, I took my sheet of felt I created and made this clutch purse and added it to the sale. 
Don't know if it sold or not till I talk to Carol tomorrow. 

During the very very tense Packer Game on tv today, 
Steve was sitting in his chair and hollaring at the television.  
I hung out in the dining room and set up the Janome sewing machine to do some quilting.

This is a kit from Nancy's Notions that had patterns for four different stained glass looking quilted wall hangings.  But there was only enough fabric in the kit to make two of them.  I had originally done the first two hangings from one of the patterns so they match.  They are hanging in my livingroom on each side of the big window.

I wanted to try out some of the other patterns in the kit.  I had some extra fabric to add to the leftovers from the first ones and I had bought two more rolls of the thin black bias tape to sew in between each colored section.  

Here are two more that I did today during the Packer Game.  
They still need the black binding around the edges. 

I am working on one more of the fourth pattern yet tonight, and might finish it up tomorrow.  I might hang one up behind Steve's chair on the other wall.  Then perhaps the other two will be runner mats on our endtables?  I didn't know when I made them what I would do with them , just that I wanted to make them.  LOL There are enough scraps now to make some matching coaster for the livingroom end tables. The ones we are using now I made for the motorhome and should go back out there.  

We have a busy week ahead of us...

Wednesday I am taking grandtot Jameson because he is off school and is coming to help me with a project.   Plus, he gets to spend the night!

Thursday we will take him along with us as we trek over to Waupaca, you know----  over the river and through the woods...  for Thanksgiving with Steve's family.  We will meet up with our kids there for the celebration.  Then Heather and Jesse will take Jameson home afterwards.  

Friday I am taking Chelsea and Clayton to watch them because their day care is closed for the Holiday weekend ... One of the busiest days of the shopping year for Erin's stores, so she has to work.  Plus it's hunting season so their daddy Mark will probably be in the woods.  We are keeping them overnight here too...

Saturday we will take those grandkids with us up to Green Bay to attend granddaughter Allegra's fourth birthday party!  Oh my.. four years old already???  Seemed like just yesterday--------  

Well, that's enough for tonight
heading to bed....

Nighty night! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday Morning

Oh my, I found MORE pics in my phone I forgot to unload last night!   I might as well put them up here so our daughterinlaw Heather can copy them and put them in her album too.

Yes, it's

Every morning our sheltie, Duke, does his "job" of holding socks on his nose one at a time.  Then Steve removes them to put on his feet.  Duke is very very serious about his job, and the kids were delighted while watching him preform his duties.  Steve removes the sock from the nose, and puts it on his foot as Duke barks his approval!   

Granfaddah had to chase down Mason to get his socks back on, after he was busy putting them on and off Duke's nose too.  Poor Duke had to do his job about 20 times to make this boy happy.  And now Mason don't look too happy having to put his socks back on!  

Allegra helped me to get dressed and insisted I wear my "family necklace" ... all birthstone charms of each member of our family.  The females are shaped like girls with triangle stone dresses, and the males are oval bellies for their stones.   All of the grandtots adore figuring out who is who for which family....

Speaking of getting dressed.... look who managed to BOTH dress alike???   TWINS! 

The weather was quite warm when we got up, so we sat out on our front enclosed porch while it was raining outside.  Temps in the 40s and 50s in November are almost unheard of!   We turned on a little electric heater to take out the dampness, enjoying our coffee out on the front porch.  This rocking chair was given to us from the previous owner's daughters.  It had been their mother's chair, and they let us have it for our porch, now rocking in it's rightful spot.

After our big breakfast, it was time to load up the dishwasher.  Allegra and Mason were the most helpful little elves putting things into the machine.  Steveio is usually very particular on where things are stacked and what goes where for the "Optimum Cleaning Potential"  ...  I think he had to let go a bit and let the kids decide how it should be loaded.

I decided to cook up a pot of chili to take along at noon to our son and daughterinlaw's house... so I got out a big pot.  Mason hopped up on a stool to "help" me.  As I carefully chopped up onions and celery and tomatoes, he would put them into the pot on the island.  I still had a few green ones that ripened from our vines in the backyard.  Now finally red, we were able to use them in our chili. Mason tried eating a raw onion, which didn't taste so good.  But chunks of tomatoes were good! He might have eaten more than what went in the pot!

Once we had that done, we put the kettle on the stove to simmer out of his reach.  Later after the meat and veggies cooked down, he helped me open cans of tomato sauce.  After I rinsed out each can, he was so happy to haul the empties to the recycling bin.  Perhaps a little Chef in the Making?

Now it was time to spend a little creative attention on Allegra.  While Granfaddah played with Mason, we took out some crafty beads!   Since Allegra loved my necklace, it was time to make one of her own.   Using heavy plastic threading cord and beads with large holes, she was able to work on one all by herself!   The joy of seeing her pick out the beads, decide the order of the colors and shapes, it was so heartwarming!  The crafty little jeweler created her own unique style.

The chili was done simmering, and it was getting close to noon.  Packing up all their gear, arranging all the toys back into the toy closet, and then piling into the car with all their stuff.  Whew....  where did the morning go?

We got up to their house and of course they were happy to see their parents, but started to act up I think because we kinda spoiled them rotten?   I think we did our job well.

Steve and Dan got the new garage door opener up in no time, and it works well for the upcoming winter months.  Nobody wants to have to get out to open up the garage door the old fashioned way in the middle of winter, for sure!

We had our chili lunch, 
and then this very exhausted Granfaddah and Granmuddah 
headed back home.

To take a loooonnnggg nap! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Alright, most of you who have been reading my blog long enough to know we have FIVE grandtots.  Yup, and we dote on them and adore them and think they are the brightest and bestest grandtots ever.  Of course.   Doesn't every grandparent?

So yes, this is a Gushy Grandparent Post!   

It's my blog so I can write what I want, right?   LOL  All of our grandtots are ages 5 and under.    This VERY BRAVE Granmuddah and Granfaddah opted to take ALL FIVE in ONE day!   wheww......  

It started on Saturday morning.  Our daughters Erin and Heather wanted to get in some early Christmas shopping.  In the morning, they hauled down three grandtots to be deposited at our home for the day.  All three came in grinning and hugging and filling the aches in my arms that happens when it's been too long in between visits. 

Granfaddah had to leave and run to work for a couple hours, but I held down the fort and got in lots of hugs and cuddles and wrangling the little stinkers. 

By mid-afternoon, our son Dan and his wife Heather (yes, we have two Heathers in our family) brought their two for an already planned out overnight visit so they could go to the UWBadger vs UWGB Phoenix basketball game.  So now we added two more grandtots the pile! 

Soooooo , here they are .. it's very hard to get them all in one spot 
to take a photo of them sitting still.  
As it was, both Allegra and Mason turned their heads.  

I did try the trick I used to take a photo last year at Christmas.. 
I told them all to "PICK YOUR NOSE" 
which made them all look right at me as they did it.... 
 it didn't work out so well this time either.  
I think they are catching onto me. 

We had a VERY full day.
and a pile of pics to prove it:

Who can resist a couple little darlings having a tea party with a REAL china tea set?

The weather was warm enough to sit out on the front porch
a great place to watch for Big Trucks going past.... 
a favorite past time of the boys! 
 It's great that we live on a busy road, with a lot truck traffic going through town.  
They are supposed to slow down to 25mph, 
which gives the boys a chance to really see the trucks!

The watch for the oncoming trucks and guess what colors are coming next.

The livingroom was scattered with toys from one end to the other

And the foyer is the biggest toy area, 
as they haul the toybox out of the Munchkin Closet

I got in some snuggles and even got the littlest, Clayton, to nap for a while. 
And got some hugs with the oldest one, Jameson 
while he read me a story book he made in kindergarten! 

Granfaddah helped me tag-team all of them and keep them occupied and happy
 Looks like a tough job, eh? 

The girls, Allegra and Chelsea, decided they needed to "fix" the nails in the Munchkin Closet.  
Armed with plastic tools, they did a great job on it! 

Mason was checking out the photos on the quilted wall-hanging in the kitchen. 
I think I will have to print out some of these newest photos to swap them out.

Granfaddah herded them all into the kitchen for snack time! 

When we bought our house, there were two old fashioned telephones inside.  
They have become the most well-loved toys in our house!  
For children who only grew up with cell phones, these must be really "antique" to them!

I think I will call this photo "Crossed Party Lines"   LOL 

With all the toys scattered all over, one of the most favorite places to relax a bit 
is on the landing of the stairs in the foyer.  
We put up a baby gate to keep them on the main floor 
(so we don't have anyone tumbling down the stairs!) 

Another well-played-with toy is the old Fisher Price Farm 
that used to be at MY Grandma Kafehl's home.  
My children also played with it, and now my grandchildren.  
They would be her great great grandchildren!  
 I bet she is smiling down from Heaven each time it's taken out of the Munchkin Closet. 

Well, we played, we fed, we cleaned up, we hugged, we read stories, we literally wore ourselves out.  Whew!   By suppertime, Erin and Heather returned to pick up their three tots.  By this time all of them were pretty much played out, tired, weepy, and beyond naptimes.  The energy level was petering out of Steve and I as we fed the final two, and I got them into the bathtub to relax them down a bit before bedtime.

Relaxing?? Hmmm not to be.   We noticed a LEAK in the bathroom while I was taking little Mason out of the tub!  That Granfaddah hauled out some tools and a flashlight, which immediately drew little Mason to his side.  Tools!  Lights!  Fix it !     Check out his Little Assistant!

And they did, (we hope)  it was a loose fitting by the P-trap.  So far we haven't seen any more leaking in that area, so once it dries out good, we can tell for sure.   That was too exciting for us, as we just remodeled that bathroom and didn't need plumbing problems when everything is now more or less enclosed under new flooring and subflooring.  Ack!

The two bealers were still pretty hyped up, and it took a bit to get them asleep.  I crept off to bed about 9pm and we both drew deep sighs of relief.

By midnight, one woke up, and I was able to change him and coax him back to sleep, while our dog Duke cuddled up to him.  I tip toed back to my bed and hoped that was it for the night.

Then at 2 am, in toddled BOTH of them to our room (we move the baby gates to the tops of the stairs to keep them from wandering too far or falling down)   A cheeery little Mason piped up "HI!"  as he peeked over the side of the bed!   So after a potty break and a diaper change, BOTH of them landed into our bed for the rest of the night.  Ahhhhhhh

By 6:30 am, they were both up and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!   
I don't mean Granfaddah or Granmuddah!  
 But those early morning snuggles, giggles and stories are priceless! 

We brought them both home by noon, so they could be with their Mommy and Daddy again.  Steveio helped Dan with a garage door opener installation and I brought along a pot of chili to share for lunch.  Our ride home was quiet... too quiet....   we were missing them already.

And just so you know, we don't play favorites... Jameson is slated for the next sleepover on the day before Thanksgiving, and then both Chelsea and Clayton get a turn on Friday after Thanksgiving.

Gotta be fair and treat like them like my Grandma Kafehl did to us! 
(she had 12 grandkids to treat fairly and take turns) 

I wish to be as good a grandmother to my grandkids 
as she was to me.... 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Taking on the little ones overnight

With great joy and fun, we offered to take little Allegra and Mason overnight last night.  It was our son Dan's birthday and they could go out and have a nice time without having to worry about little ones bouncing on their bellies first thing in the morning!

They packed up their little suitcases and I picked them up Friday afternoon.  I really enjoy listening to their stories and observations as we drive the 35 miles back to our house.  The stuff they come up with keeps me in stitches!  It really makes my heart swell to see them roll their suitcases into the house, so excited to spend time with us.

They helped me unpack groceries and get things ready for supper.  Allegra decided she would set our dining table up for a "tea party" ....   She and Mason had little candies for their tea, and she baked "tea cupcakes" in the tin pans and served us all tea.

Even though she set the diningroom table, we do try to feed them in the kitchen on the vinyl flooring instead of the carpeted dining room.  That's okay, they like that too!

Granfaddah Pfun came home work to squeals of delight and silliness and games.  By the time Steveio gets home, I get help tag-teaming both of them, so we can enjoy what they are up to and watch what they are playing with.

This little guy Mason keeps us amazed with all the things he does. He could hear the water running in the dishwasher so he had to get down and inspect it himself, trying to figure out how it works!  (he is only one and half years old)    He also decided my treasure chest by the fireplace would make a perfect bucking bronco riding horse for a little cowboy!

After supper, we bundled the wee ones up in warm clothes and went for a walk. It was a dark and windy fall evening, but we went 2 blocks up to the Dairy Queen for a treat.  Mason didn't want any ice cream at all....  but Allegra gobbled down her cone and the rest of Mason's too!

It was a shivery walk home but we got there in time to watch the segment on Undercover Boss featuring the stores that our daughter Erin manages in her district here in NE Wisconsin.  I think we wore out Allegra from the walk, because she was zonked by 7:30 p.m. sitting straight upright on the couch!  

Steve carried her up to bed, and we got Mason down by 8:30, so at last it was peace and quiet for us for the rest of the evening.   Or so we thought.

By 11:30 p.m., little footsteps came down the hall and into our bedroom.  Upsie Daisy I lifted her up and into our bed came Allegra!   She tosses and turns and flip flops all over the bed, but we made room for her.  Then about 2 a.m. I could hear little Mason stirring and crying in the other bedroom.

When I tried to get up outta bed, too late, I realized Allegra had moved my little stepping stool alongside our very tall bed.

(here is the stool I use to get up into bed) 

Well, like I said, she had moved the stool when she came into our bed.....  and WHAM!   I fell down on the stool, slamming my arm, shoulder, and ribs on the stool, and my hip down onto the hardwood floor!!!  OH my.....   I was hurting pretty bad and checking for broken bones, while Steveio jumped up and took care of Mason.  Allegra slept through it all!  LOL   I gingerly felt all over and slowly got up into the bed.   Soooo in comes Mason now to hop in the bed with us after a diaper change.  Now THAT wakes up Allegra... not my falling or swearing or her brother crying.

It's 2:30 in the morning and we have TWO kids up in the middle of our king sized bed and I am feeling so sore I can't even move or think to return them to their own bedroom with my aching body.

I was hurting and trying to keep from tossing and turning, trying to get both the kids in between us back to sleep.  Of course in ten minutes Steve was snoring.  I found some cartoons on tv in the middle of the night on PBS of all things, and that kept the kids settled till their eyelids drooped again.

I think about 5 a.m. I was able to sleep a bit, but by 6:30 both of our little sweeties were up and bright as birds in the early morning sunrise!   LOL   I love our early morning snuggles, and it erases all the memories of the long long night of kids and bruises and broken step stools and snoring husbands....

We read our favorite story book in bed this morning.... actually Allegra "read" it to her little brother, what a cutie.  I made a little video of it:

It was a good snuggly morning, full of innocence of grandchildren.

Sadly it was not to last.

Because their grandfather (our daughter-in-law Heather's dad Phil Dufek)  passed away during the night. Dan came to get the kids.   Our sweet babies had to learn today that they would no longer have their "Pop Pop" in their lives.  It breaks our hearts to know someone who loves them as much as we do will be gone from their day to day fun and growing up.   But he will be in their hearts.

Our deepest condolences to our daughterinlaw Heather's family on this sad sad day.