Thursday, April 30, 2015

day trip up the mountains

Scribs and I took a trip up to the mountains for a little day-date sans-kids. Thanks Mother-In-Law for  watching them! Let me tell you, I understand why Pacific North Westerners say PNW is best. I am becoming one of them. I love it here, it is unbelievably beautiful!

Cascade mountains

Everything is covered with moss which is both magical and destructive. But lets focus on the magical part! It's like living in a fairy tale. 

There's more photos after the break, a by more I definitely mean more! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Photos by a 3 year old.

A. asks to use my camera almost every time I have it out. I usually let him (with help). He point the camera where he wants looking through the view finder, I hold it where it puts it and he presses the button (focusing and all).

Here's what he shot the other day. I think they're pretty good!

by a 3 yr old

photos by a 3 year old

I think that kid needs his own camera!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Garden update!

I've been meaning to talk about the garden for a few weeks but sadly I haven't made much progress until the last 2 weeks. We were planning on getting straw and top soil to build up some raised rows but after a visit from our favorite master gardener we scraped that idea. He suggested that we were just making more work for ourselves since our soil is good (I wouldn't say good, but what do I know), it's already tilled and has a lot of compost and organic materials. His suggestion was to just build up raised rows using the tiled earth. That's what we've been doing.

It takes me about a hour and 15 minutes to get one row finished. Our soil is heavy clay and is especially tough around the edges. We bought this Prohoe hoe and that is helping a lot but a lot of the soil still needs to be broken up into smaller pieces. I've found just stabbing and twisting it with this hand cultivator works best.

We have 11 30 foot rows. I've already planted most of a row of tomatoes, I'm going to wait a few weeks to plant the rest so we don't have a billion tomatoes that are ripe at the same time, aside from tomatoes I planted a row of onions, a row of various carrots, half row bell peppers of varying colors, half a row of egg plant, broccoli and cauliflower. Something…rabbit… has eaten 2 of my broccoli plants. I went out to check everything is morning and 2 were mysteriously missing. You want to play this game rabbit, you will lose!

I've got to say that my body is sore. Last week I hurt my already sore back and needed to let it rest. Unfortunately things still need to be done, after almost a week of resting it's finally starting to feel better. And it's going to rain today. The perfect excuse not to garden.

Raised rows

Next month I'm sure I'll be able to show you a bit more! One of our tiny pepper plants already has the beginning of flowers! Thank you started in-doors seeds!

I'd love you hear how your garden is coming along, I know after the longest winter in history it's going to take some work!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Motivation!

crazy weather

Last night... What a night! And not in a good way. A came crying into my bedroom at 1am. I put him back to bed and that was pretty much it for sleeping last night. I, of course, stayed up too late watch Game Of Thrones. And my photo editor decided to take a vacation after the most recent update. On the plus side it's raining so I don't need to water the garden!

Last week my Mother-In-Law was here and of course 2 days before she got here I hurt my back. It's been almost a week and I'm still sore and not able to lift anything. I definitely don't have time for this!
Our weather was crazy-town while she was here! It was sunny and hailing at the same time. Then it was raining, then sunny and raining at the same time. Then super windy and hail. Crazy-town! A said "It's snowing into my boot!"  I love the sound of the rain and hail on the metal roof. In the barn it is so loud! The picture is from the bananas weather.

Wednesday we're having some landscaping done, not the fun kind but having things removed, I'll show you Thursday. I'd like to get the grass cut but it's raining and my back is a mess. I need Scribs to make some more rows in the garden for me, I've planted all the ones that I've made so far. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

I've found a editor but it's slow going, I'm going to keep looking but we'll see how it goes! I've got lots of posts coming up and I'm stuck!

What are you working towards this week?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Photo Friday


No this is not in my house! I hope you have a great weekend!

The chickens are 6 weeks!

I can't believe the little peepers are 6 weeks! A few are no longer peeping and doing an almost cluck! The ducks are 2 weeks and they are almost as big as the chickens! This week the started trying to quack, it's not quite a real quack yet, but it's coming! Ragnar and Barred are 4 weeks, they are starting to get their head feathers! They are in the their ugly stage while the rest are full chickens. Ragnar has a dark spot on the back of his head. It goes nicely with his blue head.

The ducks continue to be hilarious. They nibble the chicken's toes when the chickens are up high. Ragnar has started to jump around and the rest of the big girls are being very chicken-y. They dig in their shavings and when they're put outside have started exploring. I'm hoping Scribs gets the coop finished soon. He's a busy guy but those stinky chickens need more room. The ducks are almost as big as the 6 weekers.

Here they are!

2 week ducks

Nancy Drew is the one with the white, she is our mystery bird, we're not sure what she is.

barred rock

The ducks are about the same size as the 6 weekers and definitely bigger than the 4 weekers.

duck photobomb

That cuckoo Chanel is a tricky lady. She is super hard to get in a picture without her being a blur.

rir rooster

Little Ragnar has yet to lose his head fluff and blue boy spot from the sexing.

Those ducks are so silly! They're starting to get their tail and wing feathers. They make the silliest, quiet squeak toy sounds. 

6 week rhode island red

One of the Rhode Island Reds and Cuckoo Chanel pecking around for who knows what. And of course a duck bum.

6 week rir

This is the most pictures of Cuckoo Chanel not being a blur I've been able to get ever! She's becoming a pretty lady!

4 week rir rooster

No one escaped while taking these pictures, unlike last week. I'm crossing my fingers that next week they'll be in the coop, their brooder has had it!
I'm amazed how quickly they've grown into real chickens! My instagram feed is filled with chicks, love those little fluffers! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tied and Timber fiber arts

This ain't your grandma's macramé! My wonderful friend Janelle and her business partner Tarryn just launched their beautiful website Tied and Timber. They make really cool fiber art in Nashville, and even use natural dyes upon request! What could be better than a small business selling awesome decor that's made in America, and run by women! Bonus!

I've been drooling over their beautiful creations ever since I saw their first one! Here is the Tied and Timber Etsy shop. I would absolutely put one in every room! I'd love one for each of the kid's rooms once I get around to decorating.

1 2 3 4 5

The orb-hanger and the last black and white are my favorite! I'm not-so-discretly dropping hints around the house! I even have a hook in my kitchen ready to go.

Check 'em out and I'd love to know what's your favorite piece?

I am in no way compensated for this post, I just love sharing cool things in hopes that someone else will find something they love. I'll make it extra easy for you too, Web, Etsy, Instagram, Pinterest

Monday motivation

I love barn wood! I could take pictures of sun bleached barn for days!

sun bleached barn

We had the most beautiful weekend! It was warm, slightest breeze and no cow-poop smell (one of the joys of country living in the spring)
Scribs did some great work on the chicken coop. Let me tell, that thing is nice! 
I did some more work in the garden. We got this hoe and it is a game changer! It's making quick work of the hard clay soil. I still have a ton of work to do and I need to get those seeds and plants planted. 

This week my mother in law gets here! Hurray! That means I can hopefully get some real work done. She's only here until Saturday. I'm hoping she'll come back after she visits the rest of the grandkids. If I get the garden planted I will be happy! That's it. I say that's it like its a small project that'll take 15 minutes. Each row takes an hour to form. I'm so unbelievably sore already. I just hope my hands (and back) don't fail me! My hands are a blistered mess, every time I use different gloves and I get new blisters in different spots. I can't win! When I'm finished the rows I'll post a picture of my mess of hands!

Any goals for this week? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Honey yawning

That silly face! I love that stinky dog!

Have a great weekend!

Chickens week 5

Well week 5 for some, 3 for others and 1, I think for the ducks. Everyone is doing well, the ducks are hilarious! Have you ever seen a duck try and jump onto a roost? I'll try and get a video next time!
Cuckoo Chanel has almost all her feathers, just a tiny bit of fluffy sticking out. Same with the rirs, and buff orpingtons. The red sex link and mystery chick... I don't know, they're a mess! Fluff and feathers. Messy!
5 week mystery chick

Ragnar and Barred Simpson are bum and wing feathered and still have body fluffs. They are hoping around, jumping onto the roosts. Ragnar is starting to show those ladies who's boss. One of the rirs ran at him, he stood up tall and stood his ground. Take that Henny Penny. I'm pretty excited for that little guy to start crowing but I still have a few months to wait.
5 week red sex link
Ragnar won't have a blue head for too much longer!

1 week duck
Everyone seems to be getting along, and the ducks think they're chicks. Oh well! 

3 week rir rooster barred rock 1 week khaki campbell duck

buff orpington pullet

RIR cuckoo maran buff orpington red sex link barred rock

Cuckoo Chanel the cuckoo Maran is by far the biggest she also doesn't like my camera.

I know this picture is out of focus! One of the Rhode Island Red girls keeps jumping onto of the duck's water bottle. I'm not sure if it's just one or all of them. Those girls like to be high! 

5 week cuckoo maran rhode island red red sex link buff orpington

Barred Simpson wasn't having it! 

jumped out

The first successful escapee! The 5 weekers are trying to hop out every time I take the top off. This little hoppy lady was the first to succeed! She just stood there and the others just looked at her! Silly chickens!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Growing Pineapples

Did you know that you can grow a pineapple from the leafy top? I didn't, but I guess it's true. I found some very simple and intriguing directions on how to do it from Tickled Red. And I just so happen to have a pineapple.

I chopped the top off, put it in water and into the sun for 3 days as directed. Isn't this picture glorious?

growing food from scraps

After 3 days plant it in a pot, indoors unless you live a tropical location. Water it twice a week and wait.  and wait and wait some more. Forget it'll ever grow a pineapple and just wait some more. In 2 to 3 YEARS you'll have some a new pineapple. Like I said, forget it's a pine apple and just pretend it's a house plant.

planted pineapple top

I planted mine in half a milk carton. I'm skeptical that it'll grow but it's worth a shot! If I don't kill it and it actually shows signs of life I'll make it a nice hanger in a decent pot. But like I said, I'm skeptical.

I'll let you know. Have you tried this? Did it work?

Just a little light gardening.

feeling good!

I think my hand says it all! I've been working on getting the rows of our garden done so we can get it planted asap! Needless to say I'll be taking the day off and by off I of course mean doing something else! My other hand looked about the same before it exploded. I hope they're magically better by tomorrow, as I said with my tweaked back, I don't have time for this!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Living room part 4 Paint Prep

It's been a while since I talked about our living room, here's a reminder of parts 1, 2 & 3.  Once we decided on the colors (valspar ultrawhite and metropolis), we bought all the supplies. I mean everything, we didn't even have a paint brush.  The first paint job is expensive! Holy Moly! Our living room isn't small, the walls are textured and were dark and we needed to paint the ceiling too. How much paint did I need? No idea, I took a guess. I bought 2 cans of white, 2 cans grey and 2 cans of primer.

Before I could even think about painting I had to caulk everything. All of the trim needed filling and caulking. What a process! I did quickly get the hang of it and once I started it was a breeze!
I primed everything starting with the ceiling, just painting the ceiling made a HUGE difference in the how bright the room was. The walls went pretty quickly but the wainscoting was pretty slow going. It took 3 coats of primer to mostly cover the red. 3!

living room during

I was pretty eager to get the grey on the wall after priming for 2 days. It covered really well and went up quickly! 2 coats and I was done (with a few little touch ups here and there). Painting the trim was a whole other situation. It took a lot of paint to get decent, even coverage. I think the trim took 5 coats and the wainscoting took 4 even with primer. Thats a lot of work for the bottom half of a room!

The best idea I had while painting was to paint that black ring at where the wood stove attaches to the wall. I primed and painted it the same as the wall. Looks much better now!

thermostat removal

A few weeks after I finished painting, we got a new thermostat and moved it out of the living room. Look at that huge hole! It was about half an inch in diameter! Huge and unnecessary! But you can see the color. 

I always under estimate how long it takes to paint. I didn't think it would take nearly 6 hours to paint the ceiling, but when you think about it the room is huge, cutting all the edges and trying to get an even coat on a texture surface all while looking up!

It has been less than 6 months and I'm mostly happy with the results. The baseboards are a little dinged up from the kids and the dog. I think I'll have to do some touch ups this summer but over all I'm happy with it. I've been starting to notice some missed spots in the texture, a friend of mine said "Welcome to textured walls, you'll be seeing spots for the next 5 years!" I think she's right! Every time I go to touch it up, I can't find them!

We currently have nothing on the walls, the wood stove has become a catch-all for frames and other breakables that I had no where to put. We purchased a credenza for the TV and things. We were hoping for something old and antique but after months of try and searching nothing met our size requirements. I'm very happy with the piece we bought!

I'm really happy with the colors we picked, when I walked in the living room the next day I said "This doesn't even look like the same house!" You can see the fireplace in the reflection, the big black ring is painted and has disappeared into the wall.
Our mirror update is here

Up next will be decorating. I'm trying to be patient and only get things that I love but with two little kids the things I love aren't always realistic!

Monday, April 13, 2015

monday motivation

moon and clouds

Scribs made some great progress on the chicken coop this weekend. I can't wait to get those chickens in there! They are rowdy and ready for more room! All that is left is painting, roofing and their feeder and waterer! I'll share as soon as it's finished.

We did some light landscaping, just like my light weeding. Our neighbors trees have been creeping into our yard for what looks like years. When we're done we'll gain another 30'x5' strip. Scribs lumber-jacked our stinky laurel tree! Our deck looks much bigger without it and a lot of bugs are gone!

The weather was crazy this weekend! It was beautiful all week and then at around 11 on Friday it got super windy (6mph to 23mph within a few minutes) with cold wind, dark clouds but didn't rain until the evening. Then it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and Sunday. That didn't happen, of course!

Last week I did manage to get my floors vacuumed, not that you can tell! The lawn was cut and we were told not to bother with straw for the garden. We are lucky enough to know a master gardener (or two) and he said we were just making more work for ourselves. Now to build up our garden rows and get things planted! Hopefully by the end of next week everything will be planted.

I tweaked my back putting groceries into the car on Saturday. How? I'm not really sure. Dummy move for sure. I'm still laid up but after 2 days of laying around with a heating pad I've got things to do, I definitely don't have time for this!

This week I need to get a good cleaning done in the house as my Mother-in-law will be visiting next week.  I can't wait until she gets here! I'll be cleaning all the things that no one will notice, no one but me like dining chairs and light switches. Most of my house has been deep cleaned (remember? here, & here), so it shouldn't take too long. Do you do a company-is-coming, crazy person clean?

What are you working towards this week?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Photo Friday

Spring Blooms

Chicks 4 weeks

The ducks have arrived! We have two Khaki Campbells. They seems to be mixing in with the flock quite well. Those little ladies are funny! The wag their little bums like dogs!
Barred Rock chick 2 weeks
Barred Simpson checking out the ducklings
The chicks are very chicken like, trying to get as high as they can, scratching in the shavings and catching any fluffy down floating around. They are mostly friendly, especially the Rhode Island Reds, they let me pet them when I change their food and water. Except Thursday morning one bit me! It was after I checked the ducks bums, maybe the RIR didn't like that. 

Barred Simpson and Ragnar have their wing feathers and some bum feathers and that's about it so far! The rest are mostly feathers with gross-looking heads. 
2 weeks
Ragnar the rooster showing off his tiny feathers!

4 week old chick
Buff Orpington

4 week old hen

water nipple
Buff Orpington

2 week RIR rooster, barred Rock
Cuckoo Chanel is pretty elusive, she's starting to get her white spots! She'll be a beautiful girl one day!

4 week roosting
They're getting pretty good at getting up on the roosts.

4 week feathers
Look at those real chicken wings!

4 week RIR Buff Orpington

I've become hyper-aware of predators in the last month. I've always notice the hawk and eagle calls but now I'm aware of them hunting our feild and close by. The Eagles rarely come close to the house as their net is right by the river, but the Hawks are around usually between 10am and 12:30. Not to mention our daytime coyote sighting! Good thing the chicks (and kids) weren't outside!

I can't believe that we've had most of these girls for a month! Next step it's time to get out of the brooder and into the coop!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Strawberry plants

One of our neighbors brought over some strawberry starters a few days ago! We are definitely enjoying the friendly-neighborly life out in the sticks! The strawberries are planted where our compost dune used to be. It was about 20'x6' (at its widest)x3'. As you can see it was huge! Almost all of the compost has been added to the garden (what's left instead ready yet) and is now a wet, fertile strip just waiting for something. Why not strawberries?

Compost tumbler

This is only a some of the starters she brought over! We have the nicest neighbors! I'll definitely have to bring her some eggs once the flock starts laying.
ready to plant

I started the planting process by transplanting dirt from other beds to build up mounds for the strawberries. What's left of the compost is wet and doesn't drain well, as you can see by the puddles. Each plant has it's own little hill of dirt and compost. Each hill is about 2' apart. Once they are all planted I will be covering everything with mulch to help with drainage, weeds and pests. I planted 21 plants and still have more to give away! The little mounds are doing great, they dry out after the rain and morning dew while the ground is wet or have puddles. A few even have tiny little flowers starting!
It's too bad we won't get any berries this year. Gardening isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. 
I had a great idea for mulch, using the shavings from the chickens. Why not? It goes into the compost anyways, strawberries do well with pine and I've got a never ending supply. 

Freshly planted

freshly planted

Are you planting this year? I know it seems like winter is never ending for much of the country, but hang in there. Spring is coming!