Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Weed Like No Other

Last year when I let my gardens go entirely to weeds because of not being able to work in them, a strange plant took root on the edge of my rock garden. I thought about yanking it out... then just never got around to it.  I didn't know for sure what it was but remember  as a kid we'd see them growing alongside the dirt road by our farm. They got about 4 or 5
 feet tall and grew a stem in the middle where the yellow flowers bloomed along the side. We kids used to call them Indian Tobacco. Of course my younger brothers had to try rolling up a leaf and smoke it to see if it actually was tobacco. I don't recall them getting sick or anything... oh the stories I could tell ( five kids growing up on a farm) but I digress.
Maybe the real reason I let this thing keep growing, knowing it was a weed, was the memories it brought back of my childhood.

It is really quite pretty as far as weeds go.  The silvery hairy leaves are gigantic. I got a chuckle as I read more about my prized weed online.  Out west where the plant grows on the prairies they call it Cowboy's Toilet Paper! Oh man... I think I'll pass on trying THAT out! But I know two brothers who maybe would give it a whirl.... just sayin'! LOL!

Anyhoo... the real name of this glorious weed is Common Mullein. (Verbascum Thapsus)
The Reader's Digest North American Wildlife Guide says they are also known as Velvet Plant or Flannel Leaf. 
According to Wikipedia the plant has astringent qualities.  It was used in making torches.  Witches might use these torches to ward off evil.
Hmmmmmm..... lots of interesting stuff you can learn about something growing right in your own backyard!

Here's a pic of something else we have growing in our side-yard this year....  I think Hubby is down-right proud of his little gardening effort this year....

He usually doesn't entertain much interest when it comes to gardening. Probably because he works long hours and has more projects going around here than you can shake a stick at!
I had purchased a few Red Norland seed potatoes on a trip to a greenhouse and had intentions of planting them myself in a garden. Well, the gardens I have right now are just little rock gardens and don't have the proper room for growing potatoes.  On youtube I found a video of how to grow potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket! 
Wow... I was intriqued so I told Dave the potatoes were his responsibility. He reluctantly watched the video and followed all intructions to a T.   I am happy to report the taters are growin' like weeds... just not as big as MY prize weed though!  LOL!

If you want to grow your own spuds in 5 gallon buckets go look up Hollis and Nancy on YouTube!  I LOVE their gardening videos!  I just love listening to Hollis' sweet southern accent!

Well, there's more going on but I will save  it for another post!

Happy Gardening!
Cathy G

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our June Second Tuesday H00K-IN at Red House Wool Studio!

A most beautiful day with cooler temps this morning brought eight lovely ladies to the studio for our monthly Hook-in or stitch-in!  We all shared our works of hand,  ideas and helpful hints!  There's always a wealth of info. and everyone  is so willing to share their knowledge and talents!  Well ......except for her recipe for zucchini salsa LOL!   Rhonda  ( in above photo)  whom you met a post or so back is carefully guarding her family recipe and for good reason... she sells the salsa to friends and relatives!  Now if everyone had the recipe I imagine sales would drop off quite a bit!  I think it's wonderful when someone is so enterprising and can make a few bucks from a family recipe!  I think she should sell the recipe!  But I do imagine mine wouldn't turn out like hers anyway!  LOL!!

Our dear beloved Betsy is back after some heartbreaking things that have happened to her.  Betsy's husband passed away suddenly a month ago.  We are so thankful she has decided to not let her sadness overcome and is keeping busy with making changes and of course keeping her hooking and stitching a focus. Here she shows off two cute pincushions she created ( can't remember the designer)  but aren't they adorable! 

Betsy loves to make these wonderful large pillows and they are awesome let me tell you!  You just want to hug them and cozy up with one on the couch or bed! I especially love the sheep! 

So as tender hearts are broken, they can slowly mend. Just looking at this playful bunny rug Betsy hooked makes you smile! The colors are so soft and playful!  It's always a treat to see what she brings along for show and tell!  

Shirley and Saundra are busy getting something accomplished!  

Holly completes another block of this wonderful quilt! 

Lisa is working on a great patriotic rug with an Uncle Sam! Can't wait to see this one with the unusual background wool she's using!  It's getting close to that 4th of July holiday... will she get it done by then?  Remember she's a hooking maniac!! 

The girls wanted to have me in a couple of photos as I am usually taking the photos!  So Saundra grabbed my phone and took a couple of yours truly watching the girls hook!

Watching and helping is usually what I get done and what I enjoy the most!  There's just too much excitement and color planning going on for me to sit and hook on my own rugs!  I will share some projects I am working on soon... promise!

Our other Betsy is hooking on something... hmmm... it looks patriotic!!  What ARE you hooking on Betsy B.??? 

Oh MY star spangled... FISH!!   A whale I presume?  He is great so far!!  And wait until you see the great background wool she chose for this spiffy guy!!  You will love it! But will have to wait til next time so see it!

Saundra and Cindy prepare our lunch from the variety of dishes everyone brings to share! 

These mozzeralla balls with baby cukes were delightful!  Cindy always makes the best fresh goodies!  So appreciated when one doesn't eat the gluten anymore!

 Will you look at this yummy spread!  And look at the second bowl next to the tortilla's.... YES... that is Rhonda's SECRET zucchini salsa!  Be sure and put me on your list of buyers when you start to make your next batch for sale Rhonda!!  I just have to have more... and am thinking wouldn't it make a great gift! 

Thanks for looking in on us this month!!
Cathy G

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Magic of Gardening

My Garden of Weedin'! 

If you've been following my blog for very long you probably know of my love for gardening.  My mother was an avid gardener.  She loved planting, digging and trying new plants.  Her gardens were lovely. 

Along with her love for gardening, my mother left me a menagerie of gardening stuff! I decided to honor her life this year by using some of her things in my gardens and plantings. Perhaps in new ways she wouldn't have thought of...but I'm sure she would  have appreciated the results!
She collected rocks, shells and crystals when she and Dad used to travel south for the winters. She had bags of the prettiest little crystals and rocks. 
I made a fairy garden in an old wheelbarrow and used her crystals and rocks to make a little path for the gnome who resides among the plantings.

The coral bells are from her garden. She had both the dark purple ones and the green ones. 

I moved my fountain closer to the house this year.  I love the sound of water trickling while sitting on the deck in the evening. 

One of the things I've been putting to good use is this little electric Neutron lawn mower! Mom bought it several years ago and didn't get the chance to use it much. Hubby mows the lawns for the most part but I've been tooling around the yard with this little battery powered thing!
It's so light weight and starts up so easy! 
I am getting a lot of excercise as well!
We were going to sell it... in fact we tried it on a recent garage sale and no one bit! I am so glad... 
It's been working out perfect for me!

Did you catch a glimpse of my little gnome?  He is the cutest and has a paint brush with blue paint on it! I think he painted all those little blue stones in the magic of the early morning light!

There's even one blue one among the crystals in the little pond!
He sure must have been busy!

Any time spent in the garden, digging in the dirt, planting and watching things grow is magical for me!
I know exactly why my mom loved it so! 
There's never a bad day spent in a garden!
Like magic it heals the heart,
nutures the soul.

My bones may ache after a day filled with vigorous work!
But the magic keeps me going... and the weeds promised they would be back!

Cathy G.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Surviving A Tornado!

You may have heard about the deadly tornado that ravaged through Chetek, Wisconsin yesterday afternoon leaving one man dead and 25 people injured! My sister and her family live right in the path where this dangerous twister went through!
Gail was home babysitting four-month old Carter,  when the sirens started going off and the hail started to hit the house.  She has two dogs and a cat that would not follow her down the basement stairs when she gathered up the baby and made a mad dash for cover!
What she said "seemed like an eternity" the wind howled and there was so much noise she was certain the house above was gone!
Praying and holding on to little Carter ... who didn't even cry... Gail heard the window break out of the bedroom next to the one they were in!  She said you could just feel the pressure!

Thank goodness the house survived! Broken up a bit but the roof stayed on! 
Gail, Carter and the dogs and cat made it through!
When she came upstairs and looked out the window.....  the barn had collapsed! (above photo)
The little shed behind the house was completely gone with only the cement foundation remaining!

It was devestation everywhere she looked!

My hubby surveys the remains of the barn ( I think he's eyeing up that nice old barn wood)  and will probably be down there tomorrow helping to clean up and rescue some of that wood!

And Maggie, Gails horse has survived as well!  She was somewhere near the barn and I can hardly believe she didn't get hurt!

My brother-in-laws machine shop... part of the roof blown off and insulation covers everything down below!  What a mess to clean up!

The Ford tractor met some leaves from a smaller tree!
Lots and lots of  big old pine trees are down.
The landscape... which was so pretty with all the trees is now open and the neighbors can see one another!  Not good when you live in the country and enjoy your privacy!

The Oriole feeders were busy and they all were left hanging just like this after the tornado.... and the birds sure were feeding.  I wonder where they all go during these huge storms? 

The chickens survived! Their coop was in the barn but not sure where the chickens rode out the tornado!  Shortly after the storm Gail's dog Babe... grabbed hold of one and injured it. They don't think it will make it!  Sure...  a chicken makes it through a tornado only to be brought to an end by the family dog.
Ah yes Babe..... but then maybe it was your brother Duke who was the culprit. I don't think he's telling...
The local restaurants Red's and the Bowling Alley in Chetek donated Pizza to all who needed food after the storm.  With the electricity off cooking is hard!   The kids...my niece Alicia and her hubby Justin chow down after helping clean up! 
Justin is a logger! How convienient that your son-in-law happens to be a logger and knows just what to do!  

A processor picks up the big logs, cuts them in eight foot sections and loads them up! 
Clean-up made easy.... the power line crews  were pretty impressed as they stood watching! 
Hopefully they get those lines back up and electricity restored!

My sister Gail is still smiling through it all!  She is one tough cookie but was not looking forward to using this Luggable Loo... a toilet seat that fits over a 5 gallon bucket!
She was pretty darn happy when her hubby got the generator hooked up so water now flows freely to the toilets and showers!   
She said the Luggable Loo is going back to the store.  
I don't know Gail.... they say more storms are coming tonight!  
I think you better keep it around for awhile and go buy some flashlights.... which she said they didn't have one in the house that worked!

You done good little sister... and I hope you get your life back to normal soon!

I also would like to send prayers to those who are injured and the family who lost their loved one.
We have to count our blessings even after the losses we've endured.

Cathy G

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Second Tuesday Hook-in At Red House Wool Studio

Cindy brought this cute pin cushion she made!  
Isn't it adorable! 

After having to cancel our last month's Hook-in here at Red House Wool Studio it was sure great to have a nice group here again this month!  The projects are awesome as you will see in the photos!
Nancy ( above) finished this adorable bunny pillow in wool appliqué!  I was super busy and neglected to get the name of the designer. 

We have some seriously talented stitchers in our group and Holly is one of them! I am totally in love with this  Christmas stitchery.  Again I didn't get the name of the designer.  I will try and update the blog later but if anyone knows please leave a comment! 

Kathy is working on her own design in this wonderful hooked rug! A rainbow will grace the sky and I can't wait to see as she gets  more hooked! Way to go Kathy!  She is new to hooking and already a designer!  LOVE that! 

Cindy has a Polly Minnick design all enlarged and ready to transfer onto linen!  This is going to be one big and beautiful rug!!  Love love love it!! 

Shirley is making good progress on her colorful rooster rug! 

Our snowbird Betsy has returned from her winter home in the south!  And she has brought with her a work of many colors and techniques to show! 

Quilling, proddy, beading, as well as use of ribbons and fun fabrics will all come together in this rug! Fun fun fun!  She is inspiring us all!

Cindy has finished this adorable sheep rug and I believe she told me the pattern was from the back of a rug hooking publication.... again... I wasn't writing things down and cannot remember what book she said.... it gets pretty crazy around here on hooking day!

She is going to add these GIGANTIC vintage buttons for wheels on the cart!  How adorable is that!

Nancy brought this FABULOUS stitchery!  It is just gorgeous! 

A close up of her exquisite stitching!

Lisa is starting another wonderful primitive rug!  You guessed it... no clue who the designer is! LOL!

Well this rug I DO know who designed it because I did! LOL!  Yes Saundra is hooking my smiling white Jack-O-Lantern design!  Her hooking is wonderful and Saundra is looking fabulous!  She had a heart attack last fall and has recovered after having heart surgery! We are so glad to have her with us and are reminded of how precious life and our friends are to us! 

Celeste is almost done with this fun and whimsical runner!  I think I recall that it's a Threads That Bind design!  It is going to hang in her mother's room at the nursing home!  It will brighten the days for her Mom and the room for sure Celeste!

The first Mother's Day without my mom will be this Sunday.  This photo was taken of her on Mother's Day in 2010.  She was so pretty that day holding a bouquet of lilacs we picked from our tree in the front yard. She'd had heart surgery just a few months before this picture was taken.
Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy Mother's Day this Sunday!
Cathy G