Saturday, June 30, 2012


Graphic courtesy of
Today was a stormy day.  This is just one radar loop of the storms that moved through the area today.  I went to the farm, 2nd Man had to work from home for awhile, and I got there hoping to spend some time on the BGZM (Big Green Zen Machine, i.e. John Deere).  Alas, I pulled up just as it started sprinkling.  I did some stuff around the inside, then I checked the radar and it was getting worse and getting closer, so I decided to head back into town.

Will give it another go 'round tomorrow.  Hope you are staying dry in your location this weekend.  Hey, one advantage to the bad weather, our high today was only 92 degrees.  Hey, we'll take what we can get!


Open storage
With the distinct lack of larger wall mounted cabinets in our kitchen, we decided to use the open portion of the yellow hutch (baskets above!) as the storage for our dishes. This is a service for 8 that we had in storage to sell at a future garage sale.  This was before we bought the farmhouse.  Anyway, the last time I was at the storage unit, I found the box of them and took them all out to the farm.  They will be perfect for use out there.

We've never done this before but I think we like it.  It looks good and neatly organized, it shows you everything you have all at once and it will be easy (once we start hosting dinners at the farm of course) to just grab the dishes we need and walk to the table.  Anyway, do any of you have open storage like this?

Off to the farm today, to enjoy some truly relaxing time.

More later!  Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing!

Friday, June 29, 2012


My postings, and replying to comments, have been sporadic this last week, mainly because I've been going through an interview process.

To make a very long story much shorter, the picture above says it all!

I got the job!

Same industry as before, better salary, better benefits, different responsibilities better suited to's the job I hoped I could find when I started looking.  Ironically, I was laid off one month ago today.  I am truly blessed that I was able to find something so quickly when I know that so many others have trouble finding anything at all.  Luckily in my industry (insurance), there are usually lots of openings, it's just a matter of finding the right fit, or being in the right place at the right time.

It was a nice, albeit stressful at times, mini vacation I had but now, next Thursday as a matter of fact, I will be starting back to work full time.  I'll get some more pictures at the farm this weekend. It will be nice going out there and not worrying about the job situation. I'll get you all sorts of updates.


OK, this isn't farm related, or food related, or gardening related, but it's just too funny.  Besides, don't a lot of us have a cat or too roaming around the house/garden/farm/barn?  And I'm sure we've all danced to the the iconic Village People song at least once in our lives
(wedding, graduation, birthday, club?).

This little guy seems to be doing his best attempt at the "M" portion of the dance for Y-M-C-A, and it's cute.

Hope you enjoy and have a laugh.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Mysterious underground structure
This one is a bit unusual.  Don't ask me what draws me to this photo because I don't know. Obviously something does.  Maybe the age of it?  The mystery of what lies behind the door?  Maybe the greenery that is encroaching it?  The fact that I was born in Oklahoma where practically every house had a storm shelter of some kind?

I can't remember where I found this picture, but I've had it saved on my hard drive for a few years.  When I saw it again, the other day, I realized I had saved it because I thought "oh this would be a cool thing to have some day".

I suppose we could do something like this, albeit not with old stone like this.  But if I envision that hill peeled back, there is probably a solid structure with walls of some sort underneath the ground, which was then covered with dirt and planted with grass and plants.  Maybe there are some stairs that go down below grade?  I just enjoy looking at it and in my mind, I imagine that the inside has shelves lined with jars of canned fruits and vegetables.  Maybe even some old quilts and an oil lamp or two.

See you back here tomorrow, enjoy your day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Was driving around running errands and glanced at the outside temperature.  I about drove off the road!  Yes, that's 108 degrees.

So of course I immediately  thought that maybe it was off a bit.  I decided to check the weather on my phone.

iPhone showed the same, the outdoor temperature at that time of day was 108 degrees.  Maybe once I was home, I could check  the weather there and make SURE.  

So when I got home (city) I checked the wireless weather station I have that shows me the outside conditions (from a sensor mounted on the fence) and yep.
It was only 107.4.


With our humidity, the "feels like" temperature was over 110 (I think it was close to 115).
That's about all we can do.  Stay inside, drink lots of water and stay cool.


You may remember when I put my grandparent's old clock on the wall in our living room at the farm?  Well, recently, 2nd Man was reunited, after about 10 years, with his brother and his brother's family.  It wasn't anything negative, just busy lives and drifting apart.  Well, he introduced me to him and I was welcomed into the family as well.  It was a very touching moment for me since I grew up with no siblings and therefore, no nieces/nephews either.  Now I feel like I have some!  2nd Man is very happy to be back in touch with his brother and his niece and nephews.  They have even added a great nephew now!

Anyway, when we were over there recently for a graduation party, his brother surprised us as we were leaving by giving us this clock that belonged to their grandmother.  Since he knew we have the farm (he has visited the blog), he wanted us to have it for use out there.  Needless to say, I wanted to get it put up in the perfect spot.  It has a wonderful chime, so we decided to switch it out with the one I had already put up and hung it in the living room.  That way, we can enjoy hearing it all over the front part of the house.  This was a very thoughtful gift and I'm so very happy we have it at the farm.

As for the one I had, I moved it to the dining room, and put it above this stand.  It's kind of fitting in fact, because at my grandparent's house, it always hung in the dining room!  Now we each have a piece of our childhood memories, and something from our Grandparents, at the farmhouse.
I believe everything is where it should be!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This is a view from where we park the car, looking back down the driveway.  It's a long way down the driveway to the road.  We own from the fence line on the right side of the driveway, over to off camera left. That area by the fence line is the back pasture of 2nd Family, they live on a section up toward the front. Notice all is freshly mowed, LOL!

Here I just turned around from where the car was parked and I had just taken the picture of the driveway, this is toward the back.  The house is obviously there on the left, and that tree on the right is Barnabas, the party tree.  Off camera, to the left, is the front yard, and to the right of where I'm standing is the future garden site.
More tours coming!


Closet shelves before
I promised some pics of the rainy day projects I did last week.  This is one that I'm very happy with how it ultimately came out.

On the lower portion, there was already one board on each side of the closet as a support, but no shelf.  I figured that there must have been a shelf over the closet rod once upon a time.  I then found two small strips of wood in the scrap pile, cut them to the same length as the lower ones, painted them white, and screwed them into the wall above the lower ones.  I'll take some white paint and touch up the screw heads.  These closets extend to the full 7 1/2 foot height of the ceilings in the house so I was able to effectively double the space that was already there by putting another set higher up.  I put two shelf boards on each set of supports.  These are 3 foot long boards, 12" deep.  The best part is that since the support boards on the sides were 24" deep, I was able to use two of those 12" shelves on each support.

Below is the end result.  It makes use of that dead space way up high.  The baskets were just there for photo purposes so we could see what it will look like.  There is another closet in the guest room, exactly like this one,  in fact it's the one we are using as the cleaning closet, and I did the same thing in there.  Now we just need to figure out how best to utilize all this new storage space.

Closet shelves after

Monday, June 25, 2012


One of the things we need, especially since the grass is just now recovering from last Summer's epic drought, is a sprinkler (or two or three).  This weekend, I did some watering but it was a tedious process.  I need something better.  So I started looking and I guess I didn't realize there are so many options.  We can't have an in ground system, not this year anyway, but I'd still like to keep the yards around the house green for this season.

SO, I need to see what people use, what they like, what doesn't work, etc.

I have narrowed it down to the three main types:

Oscillating Sprinkler 
This is the one I call the "old school" kind, the oscillating sprinkler.  You just put it where you want it in the yard and it arches back and forth to water a specific swath of the yard.

Tripod or stand sprinkler
This kind probably has the furthest reach, at least I assume, since the sprinkler head is attached at the top of the stand and then shoots water outward in a 360 degree radius around the yard.
Traveling or tractor sprinkler
This one is the one I know the least about.  It has a gear drive that lets it "travel" along the length of the hose.  I'm not sure if it covers as much, I just don't really know.  It does appear to be the most expensive of the three styles.

So do I just go old school and get an oscillator or two and just move them around in the yard?  Or get a tripod and let it go round and round?  Or get a tractor and let it move back and forth along the hose?
Thoughts and/or all suggestions welcome!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Pasta drying on rack

2nd Man took some flour, olive oil and some farm fresh eggs from 2nd Family and worked his magic with them to come up with a rack full of pasta, like the one sold here: Marcato Atlas Pasta Drying Rack.
Then he used his mixer pasta attachment and turned it into fettuccine.

We had some basil in a large pot by the back door, and he pureed that up with some olive oil, nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese and made pesto sauce.

It was very simple after that.  We just boiled the pasta, drained it, tossed in some pesto and put it into a couple of bowls. Then we poured some extra pesto sauce on top, added some fresh grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper and we were good to go.  

Mmm, it was a yummy dinner!


WWI Victory Poster, "Eat Less Bread", courtesy of: UK Historical Archives
Here is an interesting poster for today.  It dates from WWI and was used to remind people that they needed to eat less bread because of the fact that the food rations needed to be directed toward the soldiers overseas.

"The Kitchen is the Key to Victory"

Wheat was a valuable resource that could be shipped to where it was needed.

The way 2nd Man cooks bread around here, I'd really have to think about this one, LOL.  I suppose in the interest of victory I'd have to do it.
Hmm...could I still have pasta?  They did only say bread...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Here is the project taking up my spare time the last couple of days.
It's an old dresser we had that was green (sorry all you color green fans, ha) and we needed it in the bedroom which is blue and white.  So I cleaned it up and got out the cans of spray paint.

Dresser being painted
I sprayed it a navy blue.  It was a pretty easy process.  The dresser itself was easy as it didn't really require any covering, I just removed the drawers and painted.  It took several coats, spray, let dry, spray again, but it wasn't bad.  Side note, I love painting at the farm, I can just plop it down in the yard and paint away, no worries of over spray getting on something "nearby".

Dresser drawer being painted
The drawers required a bit more preparation.  I got out some painters tape and a trash bag (hey, it's all I had on hand at the time) and covered everything but the front and edges.  Sprayed them as well.  Then came the hardest part.  I knew for weeks I would be painting this blue but I could NOT find the right knobs.  I went everywhere looking for them.  There are six, two on each drawer and it seems every time I found a style that might possibly match, there would only be two, or three, or five.  Ugh.

Blue and white comforter
This is why they had to be JUST right.  I wanted something that matched this comforter set that we got last Fall.  It is the focal point of the bedroom and what everything is being decorated around so I figured that eventually, the perfect knobs would find their way to me.

Blue/white ceramic knobs from Hobby Lobby
Today, on a whim, we stopped in a Hobby Lobby in a part of town we don't normally go to, and found these!  I think they are a pretty perfect choice don't you?  They are ceramic, a nice size, have a hand painted look to them, and best of all, they were 50% off.  Oh, and guess how many they had?  SIX!

I'll finish it up this week and post pics of it in it's new home.  For now I'm basking in the glow of a shopping mission accomplished!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Typical of life in the country?
I thought I'd share a few random photos of the last few days adventures.
Little frog
I was mowing on the big green zen machine and saw movement in the grass.  It was this little frog.  Seeing as how they are a good thing to have around, I couldn't run over him. I got off the mower, then spent 10 minutes herding him into a safe area.  Have you ever tried frog herding?  It should be an Olympic sport!  Thank goodness there was no one around to see my herding dance.
The frog was saved to live another day.
Loose cow
No, not THAT kind of loose, the "just escaped from her pasture" kind of loose!
I was on my way to the farm the other day, and I drove by this cow and thought cool, a cow....and then realized, wait a second, she's on the SIDE OF THE ROAD outside of her fence.  So I put it in reverse, snapped her photo (so she can be famous on the blog of course, LOL) and then drove to the house nearest her.  They knew who she belonged to and as I left, they were off to get her back home.  It's very dangerous on a dark road at night, so I'm glad I was able to help her get safely back home.
The cow was saved to live another day.
Wasp nest!
OK, funny story on this.  This is just above the mudroom door on the porch ceiling.  I must have gone in and out of the door a dozen times that day.  Slamming the screen door, putting stuff on the porch, opening and closing the door, etc.  Never gave it a second thought.  Then I happened to glance up and saw this.  New in just a week!  Of course then I ducked every time I went in and out and ran in and out as quickly as possible (boy aren't we brave when we don't know what's just a couple feet above our heads?).  I bought some wasp spray and I took care of them.  No saving, no rescuing, I killed them.  All of them.
None of the wasps lived to see another day.

And I was happy.  :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Garden Chair, courtesy of:
Sigh.  Yes, it's hot.  Yes it's humid.  But how pretty would it be to sit in this chair and enjoy these flowers?  We all need to take a bit to stop and smell the roses, or view the flowers as the case may be.

OK, so my hat wouldn't look like this one, but I do love the wicker chair.  It's got a vintage style that looks so cool in the middle of all those flowers.  I think even in the heat I'd have to stop and sit for a moment (with a cold drink of course!).

Have a good day and I'll be back to the blog tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I just love how cats find the most awkward (to us anyway) places to sleep.

This is one of our cats, Hobart...he was sleeping/sunning himself the other day on the 2 inch wide ledge of a double hung window!  How you might ask?  Well, he gets up on the bed, jumps up to the headboard which backs up against the window, and walks along the top of the headboard until he gets to the curtain.  Then he pulls the curtain back with his paw (hand?) and gets in behind it, utilizing the fabric as a hammock to support his (ample) back end.  He leans up against the glass window and stretches out his front legs on the top part of the lower window frame and goes to sleep.

He gets some sunshine, a nice view of the birds, and a comfy place to sleep for a few hours...I get to vacuum the curtains once a week.

Still, I wouldn't trade the little furball for anything in the world.


No outside work Monday, yesterday, or today.

We need the rain so I won't complain. However, I don't want the bad stuff that sometimes comes with it (hail, lightning, wind, etc).  It's definitely been some days for inside projects, and I've done a few of those.  I'll share the pictures of those soon.  They call these pop up's nice and sunny and then in a matter of an hour or so, the skies get dark and the few clouds in the sky have blown up into huge thunderstorms.

The weather down here along the coast is definitely odd at times.  We get storms that come up from the Gulf, we get storms that come down from the North and sometimes we get both of them at the same time that collide and it rains for days.  Of course last year, it barely rained, so I'd rather take this.

I believe tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be better, and this weekend it will be hot and dry and back up to a high Sunday of 97.  Ugh. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This is something I did for 2nd Man a few years ago for his baking/cooking needs and of course, now I had to make another one for the farm fridge.  There are many times you need a calculator in the kitchen.  Sure you keep one in a drawer or laying around, but it never seems to be there when you reach for it.  I bought an inexpensive solar calculator and a package of adhesive magnetic strips.

Flip the calculator over, peel back the adhesive portion and stick them on.  In this case, they didn't even require cutting, they were already the perfect length, but if that's necessary, they can be simply cut by scissors. After that, you're done.  Just flip it back over and voila... have an instant magnetic calculator that you can hang on anything metal in your kitchen.  For us, it works best having it on the side of the refrigerator but you could put it on the stove or dishwasher or vent hood or wherever you can get to it when you need it.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Here is another weekend project.  I took this little plant stand that I had and decided it would be repurposed into a small bedside table. I made sure it was clean and then I took it outside to paint it.

I spray painted it using Rust-oleum's Painters Touch 2x paint in the same navy blue I used for  the mirror the other day.  That round thing under it is a Lazy Susan that I use for painting items, it makes it easier to rotate things as you paint them.  It came out very nice and I couldn't have been happier.

Here it is in its new home!  Because of the queen size bed on the small wall, there is not much space for a large piece of furniture like an end table.  All we needed was a place for an alarm clock.  So one plant stand, some spray paint, a crocheted doily and one wind up alarm clock later, we have an "end table" that fits the space and looks great.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


This is a cool vintage poster image from our friends up to the North, used
during WWI (ca. 1918!).

The Canada Food Board was set up to help with food production.  During the first World War, Canada was the main supplier of food to the Allied forces.  As more food was shipped overseas, they urged Canadians to grow their own food so as to not limit what could be shipped out.

And today, on this Father's Day, I thought this poster was most appropriate.  Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!


Saturday, June 16, 2012


Here is the mirror I found for use in the master bedroom.  This color wood, while nice in other rooms, wasn't going to work for the blue and black color scheme in the bedroom.  The first thing I did was cover up the mirror portion to keep paint off of it.

Here it is, freshly spray painted a dark navy blue.  I used a couple of coats, and this is the almost end result.  I let it dry for about an hour and then it was ready for hanging...

...and here is the finished mirror hanging on the wall. It originally hung horizontally, so I had to change the hanging wire on the back to make it vertical.  I think it came out pretty good!  It's above a small chest of drawers that is currently green but in a few days, the next project on my list is to repaint that.  Should look pretty cool with the rest of the furniture in the room.  I also painted a small table the same color blue, just forgot to get pictures of that.  Will get those this weekend while I'm out there.


Here is the second mirror, the $5 thrift store find from the other day that I blogged about.  I did the same thing, covered the mirror portion to keep the paint off and then  spray painted it.  I chose a kind of yellow green that was a good match to the guest room colors.

...and here is the mirror hanging on the wall in the guest room.  Once again it came out exactly as I had hoped.  The color is a nice compliment to the yellow of the furniture.  You can't see in this picture but there is a quilt on the end of the bed that has some of the same color green.

The dresser top decor on each is not complete, they are a sort of work in progress with just a few things sitting on top.  For the master bedroom, I'm waiting to get the chest of drawers painted to see what colors need to be on top of it.  The guest room dresser top will be next week's project too.

Using spray paint for these two projects was great and so easy. I didn't even prep the wood first.  Not sure if you are supposed to do it that way, but they were clean and not that "glossy", so I figured what the heck, if I mess it up, I'll just do it over.  They both came out nicely.  I'll have a review of the paint I used later in the week, one was a mess, the other was awesome.  

Friday, June 15, 2012


Here are some pictures to share with you all. I wanted to show you some of the property, and per my wonderful cyber friend Kymber at her great blog Framboise Manor, I've promised these to her as well. This is the view at the back of the property toward what is behind us. Skies are pretty here, that's for sure.  Hot of course, but pretty.

This is looking the other direction, off to the side, again just pretty flat, typical land in this area.  This property is owned by one family and is a couple hundred acres and is used mostly for cattle grazing.  They allow us to walk it if we want and there is a pond back there in those trees. I'll have to go back there sometime and take a picture.

Those of you in parts of the country with rolling terrain and hills will see how different this area is.  Very flat. A different kind of tree down here too, notice no pines of any kind.  There are some around, but mostly it's more known for just Oaks, Mesquites, etc.  I will post more pictures later. Hope you enjoyed seeing a different part of the country!


This is TOO funny!

I think this definitely fits the weather here over the last couple of weeks, that's for sure.  And it probably fits the weather for many of you as well.

It's going to be a hot Summer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Photo courtesy of: Southern Fences
Those of you who are regular readers know that I have a love affair with fences.  Of course, do we have one yet?  No.  This is one of the reasons.  I just always find ones that I love.  Then I find another.  And another.  And my mind races at the endless possibilities.

So here is yet another.  Maybe it's the combination of of flowers, and plants and fence...or the trees and the fence...or the zigzag arrangement...or the fence itself?  Ha.  Not sure what this style is called, I think it's just a "split rail" fence, not in a straight line.  I do like the chunky look.

Someday, soon, we'll be deciding on fencing.  Of course, with different areas of the property that could actually use fencing, maybe we can do a little of all?

Yesterday was productive at the farm, mostly inside, but I'll share details and photos tomorrow.  Today is my blog day off, so enjoy your day, whatever you do, and I'll be back here tomorrow morning starting the day with a Friday Funny!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


No, this isn't a tableau on an end table or something.  It's the three fun finds from my afternoon of thrift store running around yesterday.

We need a large mirror above the dresser in the guest room.  Have you priced "new" mirrors lately?  Yikes.  $50 and up!  For a mirror that won't get used on a regular basis?  No thanks.  So I walked into the first store and found this one for the whopping total of $5.00!  I think you can still see the price written in the corner of the mirror.  My plan of course is to paint it. I'm thinking pale yellow or pale green, to match the guest room.  Now that I have some time on my hands, this should be an easy project.

Then I found another large basket (I know, do we NEED another one?), that we're going to add to OUR COLLECTION in the farm kitchen.  I can see this one filled with biscuits or muffins (or something equally good).  $1.00!

Lastly, I found this clay wine bottle cooler (bottle of wine wasn't included, that was ours).  What you do is soak it in cold water and then you put your bottle of wine inside.  The evaporation causes cooling which in turn keeps the temperature of your bottle nice and cool.  $2.50!

Total spent:  $8.50 + tax.  I love a bargain!

I'm off to the farm today to do some painting of that mirror (and another one), install some doorknobs, hang some curtain rods, and work on a couple of other projects too.  Update later today!