Monday, June 27, 2011

Wowwy Wowsers Weekend


There are weekends that are so productive that it blows your mind.   This past one was just that.  It all started when my mom and dad showed up to stay with our littles while my husband and I ran off to the big city.  Yep, it was a productive weekend and I didn't even have to be here!!  Clancey anxiously awaited the arrival of Mema and Papa...... 

...helped Papa bring in all the tools. 

And my dad got right to work. 

Remember this lonely corner in the kitchen?   

Remember how it looked a few months ago?   

Then I found a couple sad cabinets at the ReStore. 

This one was so sad they sold it for $5.  That's pretty sad. 

With the magic of paint, trim and new hardware.....we have this! 

And then Dad produced THIS!!!!!    Shelves all the way to the ceiling.   

How awesome is that?  Yep, shall I mention again how much my dad ROCKS?! 

Look at that beautiful detail!!!  Love the curvy shelf feet.  The wood wasn't quite "cured" I will have a nice little painting project waiting for me when the kiddos go back to school in the fall. :-)  I will paint it with the same enamel paint that is on the cabinets down below.

THEN, Dad whipped this curtain rod up....that's been sitting around for a jillion years.  Leveling....Dad is GREAT at leveling.  I, on the otherhand have a deficiency in this I leave the leveling to him.  Ignore the unplanted tomato plants on the lovely folding table, the Cozy Coupe, the roller coaster and my $1 chair that needs a slipcover....admire the lovely curtain rod and curtain panels....and my sweet baby boy. ;-)  Focus.  Focus on the window. hehehe

THEN, as if all that wasn't enough.....Dad installed our bedroom ceiling fan!  We've had bare wires hanging in that spot for oh.....about.....two years.  Ever since our other fan started making an annoying noise and went away.  My husband is very thankful, as his body temperature reaches approximately that of the space shuttle launch, while he sleeps. 

THANK YOU DAD!!!!!!!  And MOM for taking care of EVERYTHING else while Dad worked!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Day in the Life of a CSA Farmer

So the title is misleading....all right, all right.  Clearly this is not a "day in the life" since he was giving me a tour and farmers don't typically do THAT all day long.  I had SO much fun touring the J&W Freshwater Produce farm and went a little crazy with the photos.  I'll only show you about 345 today....come on over if you'd like to see the rest.  I should probably put a SLIGHT disclaimer on this post at this point.  The farmer is my brother, Mike Walters.  He he he.  But I STILL had a ton of fun seeing all the parts of the farm.   We live far apart and I don't get over there as often as I'd like.

First we checked out the cows....isn't the one in the middle a gorgeous lady?  She was just about to have a that's something I'd like to see once.  Probably only once.   

I wished I had a video recorder with you could hear this cat.  Funniest.  Meow.  EVER.  It REALLY sounds like she's talking. Oh, and she has no tail.  Strange breed that's been wandering around this particular farm for decades.  It would totally freak you out if you were out there in the dark.  Okay, I'm a scaredy cat. (no pun intended) 

And what is possibly my favorite part of farms?  The junk.  You got me. 

And more cool junk. 

We checked out the ducks....who run this way (except for a couple smart alecs running the wrong way)....

....and that way.  All in a pack.  They are really fun to watch....and I think they know that...look at the smiles on those

Mike chased down the prettiest rooster ever so we could take a closer look.  He was really not interested in being photographed. 

 Ha ha....gotcha anyway Mr. Rooster.

Mike showed me his super cool compost tea dispenser.  I'm sure he used a more technical term than that, but I was busy taking photos. ;-) I think I need one of these.

He pointed out that it kinda looks like sewage...umm....yeah it does.

But it's really super awesome for your plants he explained.  Snap snap snap.


 He loves me....I'm his big sister.  So he tore the door off and showed me inside anyway.

Just look at that awesome junk!!

Moving the chicken tractor.  This is REALLY neat (and Mike built it by hand).  If I was a chicken I would TOTALLY want to live in a chicken tractor. 

Strangley enough, the chickens were about as interested in being photographed as the rooster.

 Are you lookin' at me?  Are YOU.  LOOKIN'.  AT ME??

I like to tease Mike that my garden is bigger than his garden. He he he. garden would fit approximately 300 times in this garden. LOL  He and my sister in law, Michelle, are growing ALL KINDS of wonderful ORGANIC things here.  All the shares are purchased for this year....but if you're interested for next year be sure to give them a holler. You can also catch them at farmers' market if you're lucky.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Those are seriously THE BEST looking carrot bundles you've ever seen. It's okay, I know.   I MAY have been in charge of bundling carrots.  Just sayin'. ;-) 

The day I visited, the full share CSA members were getting deliveries.....they got swiss chard, kale, strawberries, carrots, lettuce, arugala, snow peas and sugar snap peas.  Um...JEALOUS!!  I did make off with some strawberries though....that promptly found their way into my homemade strawberry ice cream tonight. ;-)

And finally, I left.  And took Puffer (and my husband and kids) home.

You can check Mike and Chell out on their blog

or on Facebook

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Please Love The Hippies

The weather in Iowa right now is squirrely.  Down.Right.Squirrely.  Cold, hot, rain, wind, cold, wind, rain, hot.  I can't keep up.  So in the meantime I just stay in the house....and paint. 
I've had this sign on my mind for a while now.

Do you remember my homage to The Lettered Cottage's Tybee Island e-zine?   LOVE everything about this beautiful cottage.  That sign near the door was quirky and fun.  However, try explaining why this sign is quirky and fun to your seven and three year olds.  After describing what a hippie was, what they stood for, their place in the political climate of the 1960's and why this sign might have been displayed., my seven year old found nothing fun and quirky about the sign.  My husband said the same thing.

I still like the sign. 

I distressed the edges....because that's just what I do. 

Hey, there's a hippie!  Okay not really...but close.  I was going to ask what fun accessories you would add to the backdoor besides a Cozy Coupe, but I think the sign is coming back inside...maybe for the guest room....or upstairs bath...that would be fun.  I have a feeling my neighbors might not "get" it it either. 

Maybe good old stars and stripes will be going back up. 

What decorates your back door?  Are there any hippies hanging around?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Go! Go Now! The Plants NEED You!

 ALERT FOR ALL PLANT LOVERS!!  The middle of June to the end of the month is a great time to keep an eye on the prices for lots of landscaping plants...they drop like a rock....starting NOW!  Today we made a trip to the nearest store that carries flipflops for a little boy who decided he desperately needed flipflops RIGHT NOW.  The forelorn landscaping plants were scattered about. 50% off.  I was just thinking I needed a couple more hydrangeas.  NEEDED Honey....I NEEDED them. 

And see!  They were 50% off for a big ole jug of hydrangea. 

They need love...but as you can see they're ready to shoot like crazy. 

And they are the BLUE ones!  Okay, I acknowledge they probably won't turn blue...I hear that's pretty tricky.  I'll give it the ole college try. 

This is part of our north yard....I've added all these things since we've moved in.  Hostas REALLY like the north side.  I REALLY like them.....they REALLY like me. ;-)  i.e....I plant them, forget they exist, they grow huge.  They are my kinda plants.   

My little hydrangea  loverlies will go there and there....and hopefully grow huge and block out all those weeds I don't want to pull. ;-)

Friday, June 10, 2011


We're in our first full week of "summer break" around here.  We've been doing a lot of chilling.  No where to's awesome.  It lasts for approximately one more week....then the hubbub begins.  Swim lessons, Summer Discovery camp, Weather camp, Vacation Bible School....lots of fun...and lots of running.  While we're still chilling we've had some fun!  The youngest little has been asking for approximately three months to make heart shaped sugar cookies.  Why hearts?  I really don't know. He's just sweet like that I guess. ;-) 
The biggest little is meticulous with his decorating, placing each sprinkle just so. 

The youngest little....a bit more of a "dumper".  God love him. 

The cookies turned out delicious...and very high in sprinkle content. 

We had lots of fun. 

And discovered that the more we lick our fingers, the more the sprinkles stick to our fingers, therefore requiring us to lick the sprinkles off our fingers, and starting the whole process over again. ;-) 
He didn't mind. 

We've picked lots of spinach....and frozen most of it.  Hello spinach artichoke dip....
in the middle of January. 

Summer Reading Program started today.  The VanOorts made a haul.  Besides seeing a fun skit, hearing a cool book, making a goat and eating homemade cookies.....there was a "guess how many M&M's in this jar" contest.  Marshall, being the analytical one, looked the jar over and guessed 685 M&M's.  Clancey, being three, decided his guess would be 686 M&M's (because it sounded like Brother's guess).  The time came to reveal how many M&M's resided in the jar.  687 M&M's.  Can you believe it?  The kid is a freakin' genius.  Just sayin'.  Clancey won the M&M's, using his brother's guess essentially.  Marshall couldn't have been happier for his baby brother....they're THOSE kind of brothers.  They rock.   

And Marshall won an Earth bouncy ball.  He was thrilled with that.  He asked me "how do you think they knew I love space?"  He's a cool kid. 

And Clanc walked away with 687 M&M's. :-)
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