Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's all good.
It's fun, it's crazy, it's exhausting.
It's been too long since I've posted but I
want to take a moment to wish everyone
a very Merry Christmas.

photo of the Chihuly glass art taken at Meijer Gardens
in Grand Rapids, beautiful

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

At Least It's Not Snowing

And we have power.'s cold.
But there aren't any big snow drifts.
The water lines aren't frozen (yet).
Look honey...there's a beautiful ice skating rink in the back yard,
look how the sunlight makes it all look so pretty.
Oh goodness..the ice skating rink even goes into the barn!
We can do a loop-de-loop!
Let's call our friends and have an ice skating party ;)
We'll have to move some of the furniture...oh's stuck to the floor by the ice....oh well...they'll just have to skate around the furniture.

Isn't it pretty?

It reminds me of that pretty pond we had in the back yard last summer.'s a good thing.
Just trying to make a positive out of a negative.
Life is good.
Ice dams in the ditch in front of my house are good.'s all just stinking good.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Man Camp Week

It's "Man Camp Week" in the Methow Valley.
Oh yes...deer hunting season.
Where 99% of the hunters make the other 1% look bad.
Every year it's the same story. We're working on our property, we cross paths with a hunter, we tell the hunter he's on private property.
Hunter tells us he's on state owned land.
He has a map in his truck.
He's been hunting here for years.
We don't know where our property lines are.
He has permission from the owner.
Those fence wires were cut when he got here.
The gate was open.
There aren't any No Trespassing No Hunting signs.

I'm curious.
Are all these corny excuses printed in the Hunters Manual?
Because every cornball camo wearing beer guzzling binocular peering doofus in a pickup truck going 30 mph in a 50 and shootin' from the side of the road seems to spew the same drivel.

There...I feel better.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ladders and Bits and Pliers...Oh My!

And saws and dust and giant messes.
Soooo...the "remodel recess" is over - time to start whacking away again, on to the dining room!
More layers of flooring to peel back, once again we're having to cut a grid with a skill saw and use pry bars, hammers - and lots of muscle.
Just like the kitchen, five layers.
Berber carpet, over glued down 70's "indoor/outdoor" - isn't that what they called it? The indoor outdoor was glued down to some old 60's beige fake stone linoleum...which was glued down to plywood - which was megga nailed into some groovy 40's linoleum-ish stuff that I kinda like. Under all those layers is the original t&g fir flooring which is in pretty tough shape.
I'm throwing in the towel on that one and covering it up with a floating wood floor.
I'm tough...but not that tough, no more refinishing of wood floors for this least not on the main floor.
Maybe ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Light on the Horizon

I make a dash to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for a cook-a-rama.
While I was stopped at Main waiting for my turn a low rider sedan passes in front of me...all three passengers have sideways ball caps and are slumped down in their seats. Odd...I think to myself. I pull out behind them and we get to the stoplight. While we're waiting for the light to turn I watch them pass a crack pipe - lovely.
It made me sad...what the heck is happening to my little town? Did they just come from the grade school? It was only a mile back from where I noticed them passing.
I had visions of them parked at the convenience store right next to the school, it's a huge hang-out for's where they buy junk food, pop and deep fried joes. Guess it would be a good place for the creepy peeps to hang and set up shop.
I wild imagination.
Fast forward.
This morning.
Still working on the cook-a-rama. Cracking the last of the crab to put into the freezer, blanching and shocking corn on the cob. Still wondering about my little town. Out of the corner of my eye I see someone in a hot pink sweatshirt coming down the driveway. A woman I don't know...must be car trouble. I open the front door and she asks me if I know a specific young lady, whose name she gives me. In her hand is a handful of credit cards with the young lady's name on them. Ms. Pink was out for a walk and happened to notice the cards alongside the road, our farm was the next stop so she came down the driveway, knocked on a total strangers door and asked if I could help her locate the owner of the cards.
Thank you Ms. Pink.
You didn't know it but I really needed someone to remind me that this is still the sweet town I've always known and loved.
I got in touch with the young lady's husband...they're stopping over tonight to pick up the cards.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Be Still My Heart

I'm in love.
The search is over...I've finally found it.
The barn of my dreams, OK....barn(s).

This is it, they don't have barns like this where I live, so I guess I have to move.
To Michigan.
Where it seems there is a plethora of beee-uuuu-tiful barns.
The Husband and I took a short trip to see my fabulous cousins - honestly...they're fabulous. R.W. and M.E...their initials stand for Really Wonderful and Marvelous Entertainer!
We had five days and four nights of perfect sights, wonderful company, lots of laughs...serious R & R all the way around.
I know I know...we were there in September so the weather was perfect for this sissy girl. I know the summers are hot and muggy and the winters are bitter cold my favorite gal at the post office who used to live there says your nose hairs freeze...ow!
But I love barns...serious barn love is a problem.
I think I could handle the weather...
if I lived in a really cool old barn.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What's That Weed?

Weeding like a at the farm and over at the cabin. I've been weeding here at the farm for 30 years...I know every weed, when it sprouts, when it sets seed, how deep the roots go, if it's clumper or a runner...and if I have to get nasty and use an herbicide.
But the cabin...oh goodness gracious the cabin.
The weeds there are evil, mostly stickers.
Last year a new weed sprouted at the cabin, and it didn't have stickers! It was even pretty, and it thrives in the heat with very little's even my favorite color of green.
I've asked several people if they know what it is and if it's noxious, but nobody has a clue.
So...I'm calling on a professional. My neighbor at the cabin, he's a weed patrol extraordinaire.
Can I keep it or do I have to clobber it?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's moo-thirty you know where your cows are?

I mean...2:30 a.m.
The husband's cel phone rang this morning at 2:30, it was Antonio the night milker - there was a cow having a calf and he needed hubby to come over and "pull a calf"...guess you could call him the mid-wife for cows.
Hubby heads out to the other farm, I snuggle in hoping to go back to sleep. I start to drift off...
I hear a moo, the moo is coming from the wrong direction. After living here for thirty years a girl gets to know which direction a moo should come from, if it's a stress-moo, a horny-moo, a get the picture. This was a stress-moo...and it was coming from the northwest - moos here should come from the south.
That's it, if a moo is coming from the wrong direction this could spell serious trouble.
I got out of bed, went to the upstairs window to listen, "moooo, moooooo".
Downstairs I go, my jammies and sandals. Walked into the backyard and out to the veggie garden, no moo. Walked back to the house to get a flashlight, moo, dang it...moo bouncing off buildings. Walked out to the silage bunker, hear stress moo. Brain wakes up a little more, perhaps it would be"hoove" (pun intended) me to get my car so I can drive behind the barn and use my headlights to scan the field...grab the cel phone and dog too! Drive out...and there she is - what the cow-crap??? She's brown - at least I think it's a she...the bovine is in the field and with the lousy light and long grass I can't see so good and I for sure can't see her "privates"! I know I can't chase her alone, in the dark, with a bad ankle to boot. If I did chase her...where would I chase her to? I don't know anybody in the neighborhood who has reddish brown cows - where on earth did this beast come from.
Think to call hubby, who I think is still at the other farm, get hubbys voice mail - I'm thinking he's busy with maternity duty and can't answer. Sooo...I go back to the house, thinking I'll wait for hubby to come back...then I hear the beep - his cel phone voice mail alert...he doesn't even have the stinking phone with him.
What's a girl to do?
Go back to bed, not my cow, can't chase it alone, where would I chase it to?
It's stinking dark, my ankle hurts, I walk verrry carefully - I dO NOt RUn!
Go back to bed is the only clear answer, I wouldn't even know who to call because I don't know anyone who has cows that look like the dark I was guessing she was a beef cow. She's in the field, there's lots of grass...settle down missy and we'll deal with you in the morning and don't you daaaare get lost in the corn field...cuz we'll neverrr find you in there.
Hubby comes home an hour later...he had been home earlier but when he didn't see my vehicle he went down the road where he saw a lot of other trucks. When he was at the other farm there were two cows on the road, he also had no idea where they came he locked them up and came home, he figured when he didn't see my rig I went to help with the rodeo-round-up...little did he know I was in my rig behind our own barns scanning the field for strange bovines.
We jumped in his truck, ( I changed from jammies to jeans fyi ), there were more cows, more guys in trucks, and some ATV's...while we were telling them about the beast at our place two more moosies came running out from some body's back yard. They were WiLD! CRaZy! BEaStS! The other farmers told us where the strays came from, and it was wayyy up the road, and they were scattered over a couple of miles - these gals crossed busy roads and nobody got hurt...a-freaking-mazing.
When we got home we checked the pool for cows, just in case - cuz it's happened before. No cows taking a midnight dip...whewww.
This morning when the sun came up there were three brownish/red cows hanging over the fence trying to make friends with our black and white girls.
Somebody came while we weren't home and loaded them up in a cattle trailer and took them back to wherever it is they belong, I hope they ship them someplace far away, becaue these girls obviously have a serious case of wanderlust.
Somebody owes me somethin', I hear the cattle hauler that was housing them at his place was out fishing or crabbing or something ....I think that a nice fish or a dungeness crab or two would be a lovely trade for a lost night of sleep.
Doncha think?
Just sayin'

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Happy Cook

Oh my...I'm a happy little cook.
The kitchen isn't finished, but it's in hold-mode so that we can take some time to enjoy the last bit of summer. Remodeling isn't for sissys, especially if you're trying to do a lot of the labor yourself - but I wouldn't change a thing.
Last week I put the kitchen to the test and cooked like a maniac for our annual Garden!
I loooove my new kitchen.
I have counter space, and lots of it! Well, I guess not compared to the McMansions that I've seen, but when you consider that my washer and dryer took up a lot of space in the old kitchen it was always a little challenging to do serious cooking.
But now? Ooooo la la!
This girl has room to spread out! The photo is of the bar which has become command central in the kitchen, I can really spread out. I can cook three recipes all at once, I can get out all of the ingredients and line them up like little soldiers in my cooking army! I know I sound over-the-top giddy but cooking in the old kitchen was like cooking with one arm tied behind your back.
Now that I've rambled on and on about counter space...can I tell you how much fun it is to cook really seriously with a dishwasher? A dishwasher! Now that's somethin' I tell ya...washing dishes never really made me cranky, but it ate up a lot of time...especially during a cook-a-rama. I'm calculating that I can cook twice as much stuff in half the time with my little friend from kitchen-aid.
I gotta watch it, I don't want to have to buy bigger jeans because of all of the good food I'm planning to make.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The cabinets are coming, the cabinets are coming!

Ok...they've been in the garage for months...but tomorrow they're getting installed, I wish it was me (and hubby) doing the installation but he's drawing the line - he won't budge - he won't install cabinets with me.

Sunday we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, two months ago we took a wonderful sailing trip, a gift we gave to each other...we think thirty is a really big deal, we love sailing so that was how we opted to mark this memorable occasion.
The photo is of us after a great week on the boat...bliss baby.
We both want to take another sailing trip, the dream is to go to the South Pacific.
What do sailing and cabinets have in common? In my cajoling conversation with hubby about cabinet installation...he said "you really think we'd still be married if we tried to install those cabinets on our own?"
He has a point, cabinet installation is tricky,
and I want another anniversary so we can go sailing again.

I give.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My New Reflecting Pond

I love reflecting ponds.
When I travel I love to go to beautiful gardens... water features always catch my fancy.
My new reflecting pond was installed last night courtesy of my upstream neighbor.
He mowed his ditch...all 40 acres of it...and then he let the long canary grass fall into the ditch....and then it rained last night...and it rained some more.
All that canary grass worked its way downstream - until it ran into my culvert -
where it stopped.
And it plugged.
And the water had nowhere to go.
Except my back yard,
and my front yard
and my field,
and my veggie garden,
and my party barn...
where I was storing my dining room chairs,
and my rugs,
and some furniture.

I would like to take this opportunity to present my upstream neighbor with...
drum roll please....

THE DARWIN AWARD. nobody died...and to officially qualify for a Darwin he would have had to trip and fall into the ditch and croak.
Can I just give him the "ISNY"?
That's Inconsiderate Stupid Neighbor of the Year Award...
works for me.

I have to go now...I'll check back in a month or so after I finish cleaning up the mess.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Here Chicky Chicky

I want chickens.
Everywhere I look I see really groovy chicken coops, cute chicks following mama hens. Hubby is totally against the idea, he says I'm too busy...and he's right.
The kitchen remodel is still hanging in the balance.
There is a garden to be weeded and planted.
The cabin is a work in progress.
There is a half-finished waterfall in the back yard.

Monday was the frosting on the cake, we were standing in line to board our plane on the way home from vacation...and there were chickens on the runway.
I think they're trying to tell me they want to come live at my house.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


The kitchen floor saga continues.
If Bob Vila was doing and episode of "This Old Farm" and someone had asked if this old kitchen floor could be saved, two days ago I would have said no...give up girl...go shopping for something to cover up that nightmare.
But today...the sun is shining...and the floor looks like something I just might be able to live with.
The journey to this point was long and arduous.
It consisted of peeling off all of the layers of old flooring - I won't go into that since I already posted about our escapades on the floor peel-a-rama.
Next up came...
sander rental, big...
but not big enough or mean it the sissy sander...
another sander rental and the meanest roughest sandpaper on the market...
two buckets of gap filler goop...
a palm sander for edges...
a random orbital sander to sand out the ruts and gouges from 100 years ago...
four batches of stain color trials...
first coat of stain...yuck
next coat of stain...uh ohhh...nooo likey!!!
fix it with the third coat of stain...
Hubby peeked in at it last night when I was close to finishing up the final coat of stain..he said "looks good hon" was like music to my ears. I think both of us thought this floor was probably more work than it would be worth...but neither of us wanted to spend a bunch of money on new flooring - since I was willing to tackle it he got out of the way, smart man that one ;)

This morning - - the floor looks decent. I think I'm ready to put on the first coat of sealer.
Unfortunately I don't think my knees will bend for me to get down there with a bucket and a brush.
I don't even want to think about how many hours I already have in this floor...and there are still several more to add to the tally.
Where the heck is that ibuprophen?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hurry Hurry Stop!

We pulled it off.
Everyone is happy.
I love spending holidays with family.. but sometimes it's a bit of a challenge to make sure that we don't play favorites.
Easter Sunday was fun, lots of family, food, chatting, driving...and it went off without a hitch.
But then I saw this field of tulips...take a right and pull over honey!
Hubby pulled over, he doesn't really get the whole photo thing...sweetie...I really need you to come to a full stop so I can get a good shot ;)
I really wanted to get out and take more photos, actually I just wanted to stand and stare at this glorious riot of color.

Isn't this just crazy beautiful?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What are you feeding your kids?

I'm stunned.
I just saw a clip of Jamie Oliver in a classroom with what looked to be first graders. Jamie held up a cluster of vine tomatoes...none of the kids knew what they were, the same thing happened when he held up a beet, cauliflower, eggplant...and on it went.
I've been mumbling, sometimes ranting - about what the average American feeds their child, it's pretty pathetic. Chicken fingers and tater tots seem to be the norm...along with mac and cheese and drive through mickey d's...lovely.
If you love your kids start to feed them like you love them...stop poisoning them.
Heck...plant a garden and show them where food really comes from.
And yes...the gardening here at this old farm has already started, the raspberries are tied, we've planted two kinds of peas, beets, spinach, arugula...and four kinds of lettuce.
The cilantro is growing like crazy...time to chop up some tomatoes and make some salsa!
I still can't get the image out of my head...a whole classroom of kids and not one had a clue what that round red veggie was.
Heartbreaking actually.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tile Time

Okay...that was fun!
Here's a shot of the back entry - we couldn't decide what to put on the floor, I was a little obsessed with the possibility of the washer leaking - been there done that...too many times. I stumbled upon this flooring at the local home improvement store, it was really inexpensive and I was hoping it would match the other flooring - the colors were perfect! This weekend I decided to see if I could put it down...what a breeze, it was so easy I could hardly believe it - sometimes this home improvement adventure is just plain fun...and sometimes it's not... but we won't go there right now.
I don't know how long this flooring will last, but for right now I don't's in....I love was super easy - - - I'm happy ;)

And now for something pretty outside.
The magnolia is ready to pop...this is always my favorite stage of bloom,
this amazing promise of beauty

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Oh dear's been forever since I've posted a pretty picture.
The weather has been absolutely beautiful here so I've pressed the "hold" button on the remodel to work outside...I've been weeding like a maniac, pruning roses, getting a few of the raised beds ready for spring veggie planting.
While I was weeding my little sedum bed I was reminded of this shot I took last year when The Husband and I went on a garden tour.
I love this!
I don't have an old urn lurking in the barn, but I do have a pretty terracotta pot that would work...and it's a great place to plunk some of the rocks I've collected on my adventures.

The weather report says rain for I'll be back inside stirring up the dust and taking more photos of chaos.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What's That Stuff?

The biggest challenge in the remod has been the kitchen floor...testing my patience I tell ya.
100+ years of flooring, one stacked on top of the other. I've had several people tell me it would be best if I just covered up the mess by adding another layer.
Uh uh.
The top layer was curling linoleum, and there were soft spots where the dishwasher and sink each had their little hissy fits over the years. There was no way I was going to stack my new cabinets over potential dry rot?
Dumb...approaching stupid.
So, we got busy. We're down to the original t&g fir flooring, lots of water damage but no rot. The base layer of linoleum was backed with tar paper that was stuck to the floor with some kind of adhesive - I was able to get that off with my favorite Jasco stripper. But the Jasco doesn't touch some kinda wierd gunk that was under the tar looks like floor wax, or glue of some kind.
After a lot of internet research I thought a steaming process would take it off.
Mineral Spirits?
Paint thinner?
I talked to another know-it-all guy at another paint store and he asked me if I'd tried Denatured Alcohol...he was sure that would take it right off - so I bought it.
Then I remembered that a friend had told me her husband had the same problem with the floor in their bungalow. He'd tried absolutely everything and then someone told him to use boiling water. I tried it...scrubbing with steel wool right after pouring on the water - - - it worked! The boiling water/steel wool scrub turns that gunk to muddy water. It's a really slow process and the water has to be boiling or it's a no-go.
I talked to that friend this week and asked her who told her hubby about the boiling water trick...he told her it was me.
I hate middle-age brain fog...I seem to have lost a few chunks of really good data.
If you find my data would you please be so kind as to send it to me?
Oh ya...and if you have a really old house with strange gunk on the original wood floors...try srubbing with boiling water first before you buy buckets of chemicals.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's a Dirty Job

The dust is flying, landing, sifting, migrating.
Why does he have on a hood but no dust mask?
Oh honey, I guess I should ask you what you ask me all the time lately.
"Where's your mask?"

The Treasure Hunt

Oh. My. Goodnes.
I'm on a little remodeling break, this stuff isn't for sissies ...or for that matter fifty year old women with back issues. It's still fun, even through a haze of muscle relaxers and pain killers...better remodeling through chemistry.
I keep looking for treasures, for that wedding ring of Carolines that was lost more than forty years ago, anything! There was a newspaper from July 27, was stapled into the soffit in the kitchen - that was fun to look was 69 cents a pound. It's obvious that every farm family that lived here over the last 110 years was on a shoestring budget, nothing was wasted, this old house was built sturdy but without any frills. The remodel from 1961 gutted the kitchen and changed the footprint from what I can tell. I was told that in the late sixties they blew in insulation...well...they did that on the north side of the house, but not a spec on the south wall...I guess insulation was considered a frill. Bare studs, not a spec of fuzzy stuff anywhere - unless you count spider wonder my heating bills cause choking and gasping every winter.
I've taken little snapshots of all of the different wallpaper samples...some are pretty...others...not so much.
But last night while we were peeling back layer after layer of linoleum, sub floor, plywood and tar paper...I found this flooring.
I like it!

I wish I knew the stories of the families that lived here before me...because I think I would like the lady that chose this flooring for the living area.
I can't help but wonder who she was and how she spent her days.
These are the things I think about while I'm crouched on the floor with my nail puller and pry bar.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

For "the girls"

Or....the project that ate me up...hopefully it will spit me out ;)

My girlfriends haven't seen me for a while...heck...I haven't seen me in a while!
The kitchen remodel is in full swing, walls are coming down, windows are changing or getting eliminated...all in the name of progress. I love it, most of the time. Except for times like today when I had a rather intense discussion with a plumber, then my hubby, then my helper, then the electrician...ayyyeeee!
When it was finally all over and I thought I could finally put away my hammer and start diner...the washer overflowed, over the floors that I SAID should get sealed first.
Crabby farm girl.
But I have a laundry "room". My washer and dryer are no longer in my kitchen...they can no longer be seen from the front door...I am over-the-moon-happy!!!
I guess that makes me a grown-up now, because I have a la la la laundry room!
This photo is for Mary...look Mar! No back entry wall! Cool huh? The kitchen feels huuuuge.

Lookie lookie...I have a "laundry room". All smiles. can't see the washer and dryer because they're hidden behind that little wall, groovy baby.

And a back door! Where farmer hubby can come in, hang up his coverall and not get hay all over the kitchen.

I'm doing a happy dance and singing a happy song.

Now that all of that water from the washer flood is cleaned up....and the guys admitted that I warned them this was going to happen.
Just so we're clear.
Right boys?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cuckoo for Coco

The uncertainty over the living room color is over, no more doubts, no scrunched up nose, no more squinting of the eyes.
Saw this photo over at Houzz.

It's Coco Chanel's living room, hey...if the color was good enough for Coco I think I can look at it in a little different light.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Just cracked open my fourth gallon of paint...for the living room alone.
Stucco = yucko...and no...the room isn't huge.
My paint guy said he loooves stucco...of course he does!
Not even sure I like the color, keep telling myself I need to just finish and put everything back where it belongs before I start all over again with another color.
Still haven't come up with "my word" for 2010...
maybe it should be a phrase.