Grasshopper Situation

Please don’t tell the grasshoppers but I think I’ve outsmarted them!  There are still a few of them left but not nearly as many as when I left.  If ever we get really cool temps, I think they’ll be gone . . at least till next summer.

We did have to resort to a supposedly/hopefully safe for humans systemic bug killer.  I had heard that covering the ground with flour would gum up their mouths and they would die so I used some of an old bag of flour that had been improperly packed and then stored in the heat and was no longer good to eat.  You can see that the plastic has been rolled back but not removed.  I think it’s now safe to remove the plastic and the metal pieces we used to hold it down.

The carrots are doing great.  Vince and I are going to thin the carrots and beets tomorrow . . so he says.  Otherwise, I’ll do it next week.  I’m afraid I’m going to have a  bit of a mess.  If you look closely, you will see something else sprouting.  When the grasshoppers ate the first crop and I replanted, I was so aggravated that I didn’t even pay attention to what had been planted where.  I tried to move the rows over a bit just in case things came up from the first planting, they wouldn’t be right on top of each other but since there was no indication of where I had planted because the grasshoppers had eaten every single bite of my plants, looks like I missed on the carrot row.  I could have sworn that was the same row on which I had planted carrots the first time but I guess we’ll have a bit of  a surprise with the garden this year.

The grasshoppers had almost totally destroyed the strawberries and look at them now.  The ones that are supposed to produce all year are blooming again and nothing has eaten the blooms.  Yay!!

The grasshoppers had eaten the top out of all the asparagus . . just chewed them off about 10″ above the ground and now they’ve all sprouted new tops and are looking healthy again.

I so hated to use chemicals/poisons and we try hard not to do it but it would have been no garden and probably a total loss to the strawberries and the asparagus if we hadn’t done something to stop those grasshoppers.  I’m so glad to see the garden getting green again.  I have a few more things to plant this weekend.  I don’t think the spinach sprouted but I have more I can replant and I never got the kale replanted.  I love having a garden.

Batting Costs

The cost of materials is kinda like gaining weight.  It all goes up in small increments and you never notice til one day . . you notice!  :)

This morning Vince found a 60% off coupon for JoAnn’s.  He was so excited til he noticed that it was in store only so . . being the bargain hunter that he is, he decided to look for an online coupon and found a 50% off coupon.  He asked if there was anything I needed.  No!  I don’t need anything!  Are you sure . . it’s 50% off one item?  No, really.  I have enough of everything to last me a very long time. Then he said . . what about batting?  Are you kidding?  For the past 15 years, I so often hear him moaning about how much batting I have around here.  Then I realized he had his credit card out.  Technically, anything to do with quilting or myhobbies, I’m supposed to pay for with my hobby fund but if he had his credit card out, yes, thank you . . I do believe I could use a roll of batting.

I almost had a stroke when he clicked on the Warm & Natural batting.  The regular price is right at $450 for 40 yards. With the 50% off coupon, I got it for $225, which is about what it would have been to buy it wholesale

While we’re not comparing apples to apples, I found a Hobbs invoice from 2001.  Know what I paid for a 30 yard roll of 96″ Hobs Heirloom 80/20 back then?  $88.50.  That was wholesale and it was for 30 yards where the Warm & Natural has always been a little more and it’s put up on a 40 yard roll but that’s still a big difference.

There’s plenty of batting around here and every bit of it was purchased on sale or wholesale when I was quilting for others.

This is the roll I’m currently using.  It’s Mountain Mist Gold, which is 50/50 (cotton/poly).  There’s probably enough left on this roll for three quilts.

Both of these are Warm & Natural.  Since I make mostly QOV or other donation quilts that are in the 60″ x 80″ size range, if I make 20 of those quilts and I cut 70″ off the roll for each quilt, that’s 1400 inches and there are 1440 inches on a roll so that leaves about 40″ for any errors in cutting That’s not bad at all for $264, which is what the on sale roll, plus shipping and tax ended up being.  That’s roughly $13/quilt for the batting.

Because the Hobbs rolls are 96″ wide, I usually use them for the larger quilts that I make.

The two rolls shown in the picture probably have enough for 15 quilts on the bottom roll and 18 quilts on the top roll.

On top of two food storage shelves are more rolls of batting.

The roll on the far away end is Hobbs Heirloom bleached.  The roll on the closest end is Warm & White.  It’s never been opened so there’s enough for 20 quilts on that one and probably 10 quilts on the other roll.

In the quilt storage area is a full never opened roll of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20.

Over by the buckets of food is another unopened roll of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20.  Those are 96″ x 30 yards so I figure I can get 15 QOV size quilts or 12 lager quilts from each of those rolls.

In another corner of a closet are three partial rolls of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 and Warm & Natural and I figure there’s enough for about 15 quilts total from those three rolls.  With another roll of Warm & Natural coming, I figure I have on hand enough batting for about 130 quilts, plus there’s probably 20 packages of batting around here.

Unless Vince is offering to pull out his credit card for more batting, I don’t think I’ll be needing any for a very long time.  A very, very long time.

When we moved from Kentucky, Vince was kinda fussing at the movers because they had assured us they could get everything on one truck and at the last minute, they could not.  The driver looked at Vince and looked at me and snapped “If SHE didn’t have 31 rolls of batting, we could have made it with one truck!”   It’s always nice to get the blame for whatever goes wrong!  :)

Now . . if you’ll excuse me . . I have batting to use!

Cookie Update

Yesterday afternoon, I got home about 2 p.m.  Thursday night I had stayed just four hours from home so it was an easy drive.  When I got home, Vince helped me unpack the car . . you know Vince . . he has to get every crumb out of the car.  I would take things out of the car as I need them and still be unpacking in six months . . which wouldn’t matter because it will probably be six months before we use that car again!  :)

For dinner Vince grilled steaks and I baked potatoes and made a salad.  Then . . I made cookies.  I used the recipe in the Decorating Cookies book.  It was delicious!  I made the icing.  There’s a good chance the author of the book will not be asking for pictures of my cookies for her next book.

They’re not terrible for my first try but they aren’t gorgeous either.  I was thrilled that I found my cookie cutters!  Nicole and I had bought 100 disposable icing bags and we were going to split them – 50 for her and 50 for me.  Then I found some I could order from Amazon so I ordered those and told Nicole to keep all 100 that we bought.  I figured with Prime, the bags would have arrived yesterday.

When I got ready to ice my cookies, I realized I had no icing bags.  I went back to my Amazon account and they were still sitting in my cart.  I guess I was pre-occupied by this sweet thing and forgot to punch the order button!

I used a ziplock baggie for my icing bag and it worked just fine.

Now I want to put up my Christmas tree.  The only time I ever make decorated cookies is at Christmas so making them in October has me confused!  :)

As much as I miss Chad, Nicole and Adalina, it’s good to be home . . with Vince, Speck, the chickens (who were scared of me!) and to sleep in my own bed.