Sunday, August 31, 2008

Avoiding, Freaking & Escaping

Ta Daaa! Finally, the unveiling of the new driveway diva at
this old farm. I don't like major all. I freak out, I hate spending large sums of money.

So this is kinda perfect for me, the girl that likes to avoid, hide...and even run away once in a while when things get too sticky.

There's enough power to get over those steep mountain passes, that's important for this farm girl.

But hokey pokeys there are a lot of buttons and doo dads.
All those buttons just for music? Sheesh! The funny thing is that my radio in my car had been broken for a few years, it would work when it felt like it...and sometimes not at all. The cassette deck - read correctly....well, I don't think that has worked for about four years. I got to the point where I really liked the silence. When the radio would pop on all by itself I was appreciative, I'd sing along and then when it would stop I didn't really care.

I like things that are plain and simple sometimes. This is the radio in the farm truck, no CD or cassette...just a radio with four buttons. Doesn't get much more simple than that.
This is how we roll down the windows in the farm truck. I gave somebody a ride not too long ago and they couldn't figure out how to roll down the's called a handle and you crank it.

I'm in my major purchase freak out phase. I've been escaping out to the party barn in the back yard at this old farm. There a tons of projects waiting for me to focus on out there, I could be out there for months on's a bit like therapy. I posted earlier this week about painting this little vanity, in my freaked out mental state I decided to paint the inside
of the drawers hot pink. The shelf that I hung above the vanity has a drop down desk-top, so I've paired it with this little $5 chair that I bought at an estate sale. It needs a little fixing so I'll recover the seat with an old piece of leather from a coat that I had back in the eighties. The back of the coat is perfect to cover the seat without any piecing.
So, I'm asking for your opinions here.
Should I strip the chair and leave it raw wood? Should I paint it white and scuff the edges so it looks shabby-chic? Paint it gossy white? Glossy black?
Any ideas?
*bloggers note - The chair and desk will stay where they are in the party barn, the walls are all primer white..kinda rustic looking, the ceiling is old raw wood rafters showing the back sides of the old wood shingles. The furniture is all rescue stuff...kinda retro, there is an old black leather couch from the 60''s a crazy mixed up space but we love hanging out there and sharing it with friends and family.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bells and Whistles

We went to pick up the new car late this afternoon. I know it was a huge blogging/photo opportunity but I didn't even take my camera. Remember how this stuff freaks me out, I'm simply not myself.
Last night I went to a really great concert at the Woodland Park Zoo and I forgot the camera for that groovy outing as well.
Freakin' out I tell ya...freakin!
We've never owned a car that had one of those key-fob thingies, it's a whole new world. After we picked up the vehicle we went for dinner, The Husband turned the car off but the radio kept playing...we freaked (yeah...more freakin') out a little bit, and then we just looked at each other and laughed while we tried to figure out how to turn it door = radio off.

I'm not sure I like this, I feel so HML (high maintenance lady)'s kinda creepy for a girl like me who would much rather go to Home Base than Nordstrom's.
Speaking of Home Base, I think I might be able to fit my cement mixer in the back of this rig...wahooooo-eeeee!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Decisions, decisions,

Diane over at Martinis for Two left a comment on my last post, since the post was about needing a new car (or just more reliable transportation) she asked what kind of car I had in mind...ayyyeee....I wish I knew! I envy those people who know for certain what kind of vehicle they want. I detest making major purchases so I'm sure that has a lot to do with my dilemma.
Here's the checklist.
*We're tall, I'm 5'10" and The Husband is 6'1", we don't fold like we did when we were younger so legroom is a big deal..oh yeah...and if I sit in the back seat I hate it when my head grazes the ceiling.
*I need something that handles steep inclines, I make a lot of trips over mountain passes...steep ones. I'm still healing from a foot injury so I haven't used my skis in a couple of years...I'm really looking forward to being able to ski again, so a rig that handles snowy roads is a good idea too.
*My last two rigs were two-door models, I'm thinking a four-door is a good idea, cramming folks into the backseat is a bit of a drag.
*Room for a dog crate would be pretty cool, but I don't want one of those giganto gas hog SUV's...nooooo....I'm used to 30 mpg - that's not great but it's not horrible either.
* I've never owned a foreign car, don't know that I want to start now...not sayin' I won't...just not sure that I want to send my car dollars to another country - I'm quirky that way. Maybe it's because we've made a living farming for 28 years, I try not to buy foreign food either - but sometimes that European cheese jumps into my shopping cart! Oh yeah, and Italian wines...I'm inconsistent at best...I'll own that.
Avoiding the whole thing sounds like a great idea to me, until Mrs. Greenthumbs refuses to start again...

One of my avoidance tactics is to go out to the barn and "work" on stuff. I bought this funky little vanity at the Re Store for 14 bucks, it was a mess...but nothing a little sanding and painting couldn't fix.'s how freaked out I am. I painted the inside of the drawers a screaming pink, the name of the color is American Beauty - I don't even like pink. Freakin' out here I tell ya, freakin'.
I hung a shelving unit (ReStore agian ....$11!) above the vanity - it has a drop-down panel that works as a little cute is that? Hey man, I can work on projects out in the barn until the end of the year...heck...more like forever there is so much to work on out there. Eventually I'll have to go to town to get more paint...I'm gonna need a car that starts to get to town.
It's a vicious circle I tell ya...vicious.

For some crazy reason I really like know, and it's in a barn no less.
If you're wondering, The Husband just looked at me, smiled...and shook his head.
He does that a lot.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reliable Transportation

Push has come to shove. I need to think about getting a new car, dear old Mrs. Greenie is starting to get a little finicky...okay..a lot finicky. Twice this week she didn't want to start - and she chose rather inconvenient times to act up like that....the old bat has some nerve!
I make too many long distance trips not to have reliable transportation. Bear with me folks, major purchases aren't my strong suit.
We went to the rodeo last night and while I was looking at my photos this one cracked me up...reminds me of how I feel right now about spending all that dough on a dumb car.
I'm bucking this one every step of the way.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reflections, Take Five

More Italy! This charming courtyard was behind our hotel in Siena, I went crazy over it. This photo was taken looking back at the hotel, at the back side of the courtyard there was a hedge and some big trees. When you stood at the hedge the view over the Italian countryside was absolutely stunning.
I posted this photo for Quillly's reflection meme. The big trees at the back end of the courtyard are reflected in the back doors of the hotel.
To see more reflections, check out Quilly's site...I think there is only one more day left. I've been out of town so there's a lot of catching up to do around here.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reflections, Take Four

Okay, so I got a little carried away looking at my pictures from Venice...the reflections were everywhere! This boat was varnished and polished beyond belief. I loved seeing all of the gorgeous wooden boats, sure beats all of the tupperware boats a gal sees here in the states....allright, I take it back - if somebody offered me a ride in a tupperware boat I'd jump on board in a heartbeat.
Speaking of heartbeats. My oh my farmgirl - take a moment to gaze upon the reflection of the gondola boats in the water. We were out for a late afternoon stroll in Venice, when I saw this reflection my heart skipped a beat, I stopped in my tracks, and I think I may have gasped... I'll never forget the moment. I was so proud of myself for being the first one to spot this stunning sight, I was traveling with a couple of girlfriends who are really good at spotting beauty...and I saw it first! Wahoooo!
I've posted two pictures for Reflections today because I'll be out of town working on a project tomorrow. Hope to catch up on the other Reflections posts when I get back, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reflections, Take Three

Reflections of getting lost in Venice.

It's been a while since I've wanted to travel...I'm cool with a little road trip - no freeways please...back roads would be my preference. Airplanes? No thanks.

I was looking for some old pictures that mom gave me and I found my Italy photos from a few years ago. Ahhh...Venice, the pictures are so lovely it almost makes me want to cash in some of my air miles...oh my....I can't believe I actually said that.

Reflections of good times, good's a good life here at this old farm, perhaps that's the reason why I don't feel any great desire to leave.

Reflections, Take Two

The best thing about photo challenges is the fact that it really makes a girl like me pay attention. Last night I was painting out in the Party Barn , the sunset was outrageous! When I saw it I had to run to grab my camera before I lost the moment...this has happened to me more times than I care to mention. There's an idea...that could be a work-out, I need to leave my camera a couple of miles away and I could run to get it....naaaa.
The photo doesn't really capture how incredible the sky looked, it was all shimmery and so incredibly colorful.
This shot is straight out of the camera. The back of the barn is white but the sky was so colorful it was reflecting pink tones on the was so pretty.
For more groovy Reflections check out Quilly's place.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reflections, Take One

The last couple of weeks I've been thinking it would be nice to stumble upon a photo challenge..and ta daaa....Quilly announced her Reflections Photo Challenge.

Here's my first entry. It's an old fish bowl that sits in the entry area of the Party Barn. The reflection is of the sidewalk going back to the house. Can you see how the shape of the bowl flips the reflection? It's just to the right of the center of the photo. Cool!

What's not cool is that I'm working out in the party barn, and everything out there feels like it's upside-down. In my attempt to get things organized out in the barns I've essentially destroyed any semblance of organization that previously existed.
Why do I do that? Why oh why oh why.
This photo is perfect for how I'm feeling right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Punny Sunday

Quilly does a little contest called Punny Monday, it's a play on words tied to a photograph.

She inspired me to play that little game here on my blog.

I spent a couple of days at the county fair this week, enjoyed some fair food, okay...I like to eat it but five minutes later I regret every greasy bite!

Here we go.

This photo was inspired by fair food. Any guesses?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cows & Kids

Meet Max & Wiloughby.
Max is one of my favorite kids, he calls me Auntie Shelly but we're not related. He's been showing cows at the fair for about five years now...and he's been winning for that many years too, the kid has the magic touch. He works hard at it ...don't let this casual pose trick you into thinking that he's not going to be all business once he walks her into the show ring.
Isn't she a cutie?

Howdy missy, nice to meet ya.

There are a whole bunch of kids that take this thing pretty seriously, they've been working with their animals for them to lead, cleaning them up, clipping them...even getting their hooves all shiny.
See what I mean? This is Max in the show ring...this is serious stuff.
Oh, and here he is with Petunia...another showgirl. I think Petunia had a bit of a runny nose, it was miserable in the show barn...100 degrees at least...I was a sweaty mess just sitting there watchin, looks like the heat was getting to Petunia too, her nose was running.

Oh my, this is the judge...I remember when he was just a little tiny kid. We were still in the cow showing scene with our own animals, he called me "Cowboy Mans Wife" he's all grown up. Yikes.......time sure does fly.

Whooops! I know, I'm supposed to be taking pictures of Max...but dang...these girls are just too cute.

That's Max on the left.
Max - Hey man, sure is hot in here.
Other kid- Sure is, you know that lady taking all the pictures?
Max - Yeah, that's my Auntie Shelly...she does this a lot...just pretend you don't see her.
Other kid - But Max! She's taken about a hundred pictures by now.
Max - Probably more than that, like I said - just smile at her...eventually her batteries
will go dead and she'll have to stop.
Other kid - Okay..but it's kinda freakin' me out.
We have a winnah folks!
Congrats Max, You did it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fair Time

It's fair time around here. I grew up really close to the fairgrounds and spent a week every summer listening to the sounds of "fair". You could see the ferris wheel from my parents back yard, hear the shrieks of delighted kids on the still lives there and last night when I came back to pick up my car I think the noise was louder than ever, it's great to listen to that chaos.
I went to the fair for a little while yesterday, the band Chicago was playing at the grandstand...I couldn't let myself skip catching a great 70's band when it was playing just a few miles from this old farm.
But first...fair food, if I'm going to the fair I gotta get some curly fries - and yes...I felt absolutely horrible after I ate these greasy devils.I went to the grandstand with my sister and my friend Tami...ate my curly fries and watched the trick ponies, this one didn't even have a bridle!

How cute is this little one?!

I love to watch the chariot races...of course I was cheering for the "woman driver"...Yayyyyy!

And here they are...Chicago! A serious blast from my past. At my Junior-Senior Banquet in high school the theme song was Chicago's - Color My World...we listened for a while and then I puttered on home, my high school self would have stayed til the end, but my farm-girl self wanted to be home and in my jammies...the farm-girl won out.

Gotta friend Max is showing his cow at the fair today. I missed watching him take first place in fitting and showing on Tuesday - today is open class...Go Max!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fire Power

Last night as I was leaving the valley to come home from the cabin I noticed this giant bank of smoke in my rear view mirror. There is a wildfire burning several miles away but the smoke settles in the valley and always reminds us how volatile the situation can be. I checked on the status of the fire this morning, it started in somebody's pumphouse - scary to say the least.
The crews are mopping up another fire that burned 1500 acres and now this one is taking off fast and furious.

Speaking of utilities...wahhooo-eeee! The crate with the main panel for our solar system arrived, I will have lights! The funny thing is I've grown attatched to my lanterns, candles for night lights, the whole "roughing it" scenario is about to change....not quite sure I'm ready for it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The August Freak Out

It happens every August, the freak out. I walk around the farm and I see all of those projects I had such high hopes for. Painting the barn, redoing a bit of lawn, fix the pond, trim the hedges...blah blah blah, there just isn't enough time left in the summer to do it all.

I took this photo of my garlic last week.
I don't harvest my garlic, I just watch it grow...I know I'm not supposed to let it flower like this but they're just so stinking cute. I really wanted to pick the scapes and use them is some kind of fancy dish, maybe even pickle some - I have a recipe saved on my computer.
Shucks, another thing to add to the August freak-out list.
The old Shelly wouldn't have taken this photo, at least I can share the pretty flowering garlic with blog-land..hey man, I might even dig some up tomorrow, you just never know.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Orzo Pasta Salad

Last weekend my girlfriends came from Seattle to spend a day at the farm. I made an easy dinner of shrimp on the barbie, orzo pasta salad and some grilled garden veggies. My friend Di, who loves the party barn, asked if we could have dinner out there...of course, I enjoy a summer evening in the party barn just as much as the next gal.
The orzo salad was a new recipe that I found on, we all decided it was a keeper recipe. I took the leftovers on my glamping trip this week and my sister and niece liked it too, those two are my favorite recipe testers. It's been a while since I posted a recipe and I figured this would be a good one to share.

Orzo With Everything
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
1/3 cup (packed) chopped drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar - I used about half that amount, that was plenty
1/4 cup (packed) chopped Kalamata olives or other brine cured black olives
1 cup finely chopped radicchio - I skipped this ingredient
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan - I used feta instead
2 cloves minced fresh garlic, I used my mortal and pestle and ground it with a little salt
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo pasta according to directions on package, next time I'll cook it in chicken broth - I was out and didn't feel like running to the store. When orzo is cool add the rest of the ingredients.

optional ingredients: chopped marinated artichoke hearts (I added a small jar), chopped scallions, cherry tomatoes, chopped red bell pepper, substitute arugula for basil. is one of my favorite sites when I want to do recipe research. The part of the site that I really like is the reader recipe reviews, if you want to print a recipe you have the option of printing the reader reviews you like along with the recipe.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Roughin' It

My friend Tami gave me this book for my birthday. It's the perfect book for me, I mean...I've been known to set up a tent for the long term with a mattress, rugs, end tables, duvet...the works! Sorry about the photo, I snapped it last week in a hurry and now that I'm back home from my little get-away with "the girls" I don't have the book here at the farm - left it at our cabin in the backcountry.
Backcountry Betty is all about roughing it in style, I'll be reading this one cover to cover - there's always something for us glampers to learn.

The get-away was great, but there are nooo photos! I know - sad but true. Guess that's a sign of a lovely time, good conversation and great company. I can hardly believe it, four women, four days and not one single photo. I was "in the moment", reverting to my old self...the old Shelly wasn't the girl with the camera - I've had lots of adventures which don't have photos to record the I guess I'll need to add this last one to the list.

Oh, and I have a new obsession...playing Trivial Pursuit in a new way - one person asks the questions and the rest of the group tries to be the first to answer correctly, no teams...just group play for the ever-curious. When you answer a question correctly they say "congratulations on being a genius" was so dang much fun, it was a great game to play with my sister, my darling college age niece and her dearest friend. I loooooove smart women and these gals are it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Crooked beachy-tinis

Ahhh.....the beach. I'm a water girl...oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds - you name it...if there's water you can color me "there". When my girlfriend called this morning to ask me if I wanted to come out to her beach cabin today I was thrilled, but since I'm leaving on a little four day get-away tomorrow morning my to-do list was huge. I told her I'd love to come but how about late in the day...we could both work our hineys off and attack our list of chores and I'd drive out later on for a visit on the beach. She's so easy going, she thought that was a great idea and said whenever I was ready I should just drive on out. Boy did I get busy!
It was a perfect late afternoon break, I got to hear all about her vacation last week...we talked about where I'm headed tomorrow and what we have planned.
Of course we had a little beachy-tini...this shot cracked me up. We were using a stump for our cocktail table and no matter how many different ways I tried to take this shot they all looked kooky and crooked.
Aw heck...I'm just a kooky, crooked middle-aged woman...the shot is perfect for me.

Have a great week! I'm headed off on another glamping trip....yippieeeee!
More summer fun ;)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ready, Set, Guests

The guest rooms are ready.
I just need to run outside and pick a few flowers.
Spritz a little lavender water on the linens,

and we'll be good to go.

My girlfriends are coming up from Seattle today. We're
planning a little backyard R & R here at the farm.
The pasta salad is in the fridge, later on we'll throw some
shrimp on the barbie...grill a few veggies that we pick fresh
from the garden.
The sun is shining, the girls are on their way...
this is summer.
Happy farmgirl

Party on the Patio!

Yesterday my friend Tami called and invited The Husband and I over for drinks on her patio tonight. It was my birthday today and I thought we would just pop over for a drink or two and then maybe hubby and I would go to town and grab a quick dinner.
I love hanging out on Tami's patio. It's cozy, it's's pretty high on my list of favorite places. Tami and her husband Fred are fabulous hosts, they make such a great team - they make entertaining look effortless.
We had settled in with our cocktails - I brought a bottle of champagne and the fixin's for bellinis, it's been my drink of choice this summer.
Lo and behold, in walked a surprise guest - Tami had invited our friend Adeline, Ad was a teacher at our high school, Tami and I both took Spanish from her.
She's so much fun, she has the best stories - I love to listen to her.
Teacher and student...just a few years after my graduation...ok, more like 30+ years.

A few minutes later the next surprise guest walked onto the mom!
So.... drinks turned into a fabulous dinner. Grilled chicken & veggies served with pasta and alfredo sauce...oh yum, this photo doesn't do it justice. Tami says it's their quickie summer dinner, our house a quickie summer dinner is called a sandwich. See why I love hanging out on her patio? Fred calls us "patio rats" - I want to have T-shirts printed that say that...I'll wear mine with pride.
Then Tami brought out this wonderful homemade chocolate cake, she served it with ice cream of course....I'm probably going to dream about this cake tonight - it was so good.

What a great day...this is what I'm feeling like, I'm off to dream about great friends and surprises...and cake.
Oh wasn't a dream, it was real.
I'm such a lucky girl.
Thanks Tami and Fred, you guys are the best!