A little gift

I’ve had a bit of a dilemma lately.

What do you get a 90 year old for her birthday?

I mean, by the time someone reaches 90, they pretty much have everything they want and need by then.

Ah, but there is an added twist.

The 90 year old in question is my mother.

My mother is… difficult. And often obliviously cruel.

Still, the family is planning a birthday party for her, and I will be driving her to it.

Yesterday, I finally settled on getting her a necklace. I already know she will complain about it but she might actually wear it anyway.

I also decided to make it a double gift, and stayed up late last night to make this little bag, rather than wrapping the necklace in a jewelry box.

It’s about 3 inches square, and the necklace is already in it in the photos. I figure she can use the bag to hold her rosary or something, afterwards.

This was done using a tulip stitch, which I’ve never done before. Here is the video tutorial that I used. It’s really quite simple.

The main difference is that I worked the bag in the round, rather than a flat panel, so I just needed to have a total number of stitches divisible by three, without the +1 needed in the starting chain when having to turn rows. The single crochet rounds in the bag are 48 stitches.

The yarn is from a package of cotton mini skeins in 8 colours, similar to Lion Brand’s Bonbons. It was gifted to me, and I’ve hung on to it for years before finding a project I wanted to use it for! 🙂 The bag used four colours, and I used a 2.25mm hook. After the bag was completed, I did a round of single crochet to finish the edges and create a button loop, then crocheted bobble stitch flower petals around the button loop. The button itself was from a bag of mixed, vintage buttons.

I’m happy with how it turned out. My mother will probably hate it. At least out loud and in public. Privately, she might actually like it. It’s really hard to know, with her! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Early birthday gifts, and working on the kibble house

Today, we were able to make an unexpected trip to do some shopping, thanks to my husband’s disability payment coming in early. Top of the list was to replace our broken vacuum cleaner! 😀

Of course, with making a trip to the city, even if it’s the smaller, closer one, we were going to take advantage of it and get other things we need.

I’m happy to say that we not only found a new vacuum – marketed as being particularly good for pet hair – we happened to catch a sale and got it at half the price I’d budgeted for!

We were also able to pick up more mesh for the squash tunnel. They didn’t have the same type we’d used before in stock, so we got more chicken wire. I don’t think the squash and melons care what shape the mesh they’re climbing is. 😉

Another one of the things I really needed to get was a new pair of work shoes. Not only have I worn my old ones out to the point they’re falling apart, but the cats have discovered how to take the insoles out and have been tearing them apart!

Considering the sorts of things I’ve been doing for the past while, I also wanted to get steel toed shoes.

Much to may amazement, the very first pair that I tried on was perfect! I’d actually looked at casual shoes first – in the men’s section, because women’s shoes don’t fit my feet – hoping to get a pair of slip ons. I normally get a men’s size 9, triple wide, but I couldn’t find any wide ones. I couldn’t even get my toes into a size 11! So I wasn’t holding out much hope with the work shoes. Particularly since none of the boxes were marked as wide. So getting it right on the very first pair, and for them to be so incredibly comfortable, was like Christmas!

Then when we went to pay for our stuff, my daughter stole the box and bought them for me for my birthday. 😀

No, it’s not my birthday. It’s not even my birth month, yet. But that’s how we do things. 😀

I also got myself an early birthday present.

A 10′ x 10′ canopy tent, to replace the one that broke last year. That one was so handy when we were painting the picnic table, and didn’t have to worry about it getting rained on or whatever, I really wanted to get another. It’s just a Walmart cheapie, but we’ve had a couple of them in the past, leaving them behind when we moved. According to the box, they’ve improved the design, and added a feature to make it easier to set up with just one person.

This evening, I set it up.

And promptly discovered a problem with one of the new features.

This handle in the middle is made so that, once you have the canopy on and the legs set to the height you want, all you need to do is push up on it and it will open fully and lock in place.

Have I mentioned that I’m short?

I’m not THAT short, but still…

I had the legs at the lowest level, yet when I pushed up on the handle, I couldn’t get it far enough to lock in place. Not only that, but the entire tent would start lifting, instead! 😀 I did eventually get it, of course, but I had to jump to do it.

I suspect this was designed with the average height male in mind! 😀

But I got it, and that’s the important part!

Which means we can now paint the kibble house. 🙂

There is plenty of space for it! 🙂

Nutmeg seems distressed that the floor is gone! 😀

You can see part of the floor in the background.

The two sections of the floor boards got a thorough scrubbing to take off many months of muddy paw prints! 😀

The rest of the kibble house got scrubbed inside and out, including the muddy bottoms of the legs.

Once it’s dry, it’ll be ready for painting.

By the end of the day, my new shoes got a pretty decent workout!

I’m really glad to have gotten the steel toed shoes. Very handy, just in case I almost, *ahem* sort of, just about, *cough* maybe, could have dropped a kibble house on them.


I caught it in time.


The Re-Farmer

I have awesome daughters!

When we moved out there to take care of the property for my mother, our adult daughters could have stayed behind. Instead, they chose to give up their jobs and move out to the sticks to help me in caring for their father, as well as the property. They gave up a lot, though considering what’s going on in the world right now, it turns out to have been the right decision on a level no one could have expected.

One of the things I love about them is their sense of humour. Especially when it comes to mundane things.

Like descaling the kettle.

Our well water is very high in iron and minerals, so it doesn’t take long for the bottom of the kettle to get thickly coated. I decided it was time to do the vinegar treatment. After scrubbing out as much as possible by hand, the kettle is half filled with a vinegar water mixture and brought to a boil. The mixture is left to sit until the water has cooled down to safely give it another scrub. Rinse and repeat. It had been way too long since we did this, so I planned to leave the vinegar to soak overnight.

With that in mind, when I started the process, I make a sticky note to leave on the counter for the other household members to know what was in the kettle.

I decided to get cute about it.

Did I mention our water is high in iron and minerals?

As the vinegar mixture came to a boil, the liquid turned a very nasty rusty-orange colour, and was completely opaque.

The girls came down to use the kitchen while it was in the cooling down stage.

They added to the note.

Too funny!!!

The daughter that added the hilarious doodle is having a birthday this month. We don’t tend to celebrate birthdays on the actual day, but prefer to do things for the birthday person throughout the months, so she got her gifts from my husband and I already.

Her younger sister has been spending the last several weeks working on a gift for her. Today, she finished it, and it is amazing!

Who doesn’t want an octopus for their birthday!

I just love the eyes!!!

Also, she made this completely herself, including the pattern.

She taught herself to sew about a year or two ago, and starting making plushies using patterns she could find for free online, as well as clothes for herself.

Me; I baked a cake from a box.

At least the icing was home made. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Ready for Tea

I got some early birthday presents in the mail today!

My dear friend didn’t listen when I told her not to buy be a birthday present. 😀 The white one is from her. We’ve been using a stainless steel tea pot that has been here for many years, for every day use. We have other tea pots, but they’re sized for one person. Before the move, we threw out my huge teapot, as it was starting to show cracks and the edges of the lid were starting to crumble.

I’ve been looking for replacements for both since the move. I could find 4-6 cups ones, easily enough, but I wanted something slightly bigger. The rare times I found them, I couldn’t justify spending the money. The white one is a 6-8 cup size, which is perfect for regular use.

The big one is a 75 oz, with is just over 2L. I love the extra handle above the spout; my old pot didn’t have one, which made it difficult to pour when it was really full. Bracing it from below meant burnt fingers! It actually is smaller than the one we had to throw out; 75 oz is about 7 1/2 cups, but I thought our old one was a 14 cup size. I could be remembering wrong. Maybe it was a 10 cup size, because the old one was definitely not twice as big as this one.

Not that I’m complaining! It’ll be perfect for when we have company over for tea. 🙂

I am very happy with my new teapots!!!

The Re-Farmer