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, July 15, 2017

When the Going Gets Tough....

The two Betsys hold Betsy's ( on the left) patriotic whale rug!  She used a great gold wool to hook the background!  Just love how it's turned out!

You know what they say!  Yes... "The Tough Get Going!"  That's my mantra these past few days.  The heartbreak of  losing our dear little Smokey is still fresh on our minds but you know what helps is having good friends come around and share their delightful work.  Several of us in our hooking and sewing group have lost those close to us in the past few months.  Some are undergoing health issues... Saundra, Lorena, and Sharon we are thinking of you and hope you can join us again soon!

Betsy ( it's so fun having two Betsy's in our group) and they are SIL's, has finished her little patriotic cat rug with that same gold background I believe!  So sweet!  And look at that darling little leather suitcase she found at a flea market!  OMG it makes the perfect little sewing tote!  So jealous you found that Betsy and only 15.00!!   

Betsy has finished her hooked rug footstool!  And it is GORGEOUS!!  

And she's started this chicken rug... this is only a day or so of hooking.... she's catching up to Lisa!!!  

Rhonda our newest member is making more wool appliqu├ęd and crocheted bags.  She's used the designs in Rebekah Smith's first Wool Applique book.

Love her beautiful stitching!!

The colors in this one are fabulous!  I believe she sold this one to one of our gals here!!

Rhonda starts hooking a new rug also!  She has a great eye for design and color!

And Nancy with her handy dandy needle in hand is working on a quilt block! A winter theme and of course I can't tell you who the designer is!  Please help me out and comment if you know.
I'm so bad at writing things down during our hook-in day as it gets so busy!

Had to show you my Mullien weed!  Would you look how tall this crazy thing has gotten!  Dave measured it and it's over 7 feet tall!   The yellow flowers keep blooming up and down the the top stem thingy!   I know there must be a name for it... comment if you know! 

I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind words of sympathy and caring about the loss of our Smokey!  
It sure helps to know so many of you know the feelings we have, having lost a dear pet of your own. 
Your words and cards have meant so much!
I can't begin to tell you how much it means also that you keep following here on the blog. 
I'm determined to post a little more now that I have a little more time.
There's projects in the works here at the Greschner household.
Some things I've been wanting to do to the house are getting a start!

Here's a sneak peak until next time....

Cathy G

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Smokey Our Beloved

On Thursday June 29 we had to put our beloved  little Smokey dog to sleep.  Our hearts still ache and  I can't even write or talk about it much without having to grab the box of kleenex.  
Life is sure different around here.
He would have been 15 years old this Sept.
The vet said you hardly hear of diabetic dogs living to that age.
Even so.... we didn't have him near long enough.

Here I go.......
just can't write about it yet.
But I wanted you to know.

Cathy G.

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