Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Furry Butts

I'm still here. I've been working on a big project. I'll post about it when I get a bit further along.

In the meantime, here's a picture I took of my furry babies. They are eating. We have to put their dish on the chair for days when the chickens are out. The chickens LOVE cat/dog food.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Snowman- A Play By Play

The other day, we had our first real snowfall of the season, maybe of the last two years. It's been really dry here. Anyhow...

The kids wanted to make a snowman. Since I'm looking for any excuse to get them outside and exercising a bit, I told them to go for it.

They got all bundled up and headed out. First, they rolled a couple of large snowboulders. Then, they stacked them. Apparently, having lived a sheltered life has hurt their knowledge of the exact shape of a snowman. They proceeded to smooth all the roundness and make the snowman into a snow tower. They needed me. "Mama's coming!" I called to them. It's so nice to be needed. I rushed to the window. I'm not crazy enough to actually go outside, after all. I threw open the window and instructed them in the correct technique for making their tower into a recognizable snowman. I shut the window.

After a few hand gestures to continue my instruction from the warmth and quiet of the house, the kids finally got the hang of it. They were on their way.

Next, they needed to add a face and arms. The arms were first. Baby and the Boy went off to find suitable sticks for arms, while Sissy finished the body shaping. After consulting together on proper arm placement, the Boy placed the first one in. Baby promptly pulled it back out, discussing why it wasn't right. She stuck it in in a different position and headed around to the other side. The Boy obviously didn't agree with the new placement and pulled it out to reposition it. Meanwhile, Baby was sticking the arm in the other side. Diligently working, Baby went off to find rocks for the face. In her absence, the Boy went around to the other arm. Something didn't look right. The arms didn't match. So he pulled it out and repositioned it to match the other side. About this time, Sissy finished up the sculpting. She went to the first side and saw something was terribly wrong. The arm was obviously not done right. If she wanted something done right, she'd have to do it herself. Out came the arm.

Baby returned with her rocks and started on the face. Sissy finished one arm and went around to check the other side, just as the Boy went to the first arm, to check his work. Hmmm, something was wrong. They didn't match at all. What happened? Oh well, he'd just pull it out and do it again. Sissy was beginning her work on the second arm. Now it was just right. She stood back and noticed the first arm looked off. (The Boy was off with Baby to find some hair for the snowman.) She finished and stood back to admire her work. The Boy and Baby came back with more materials. Something was wrong. The Boy went around to the second side, noticing the arm wasn't right. He and Sissy collaborated and went back to work together to fix it. At the same time, Baby was fixing the first arm again. Absently, they switched sides and re-did the work done by the other.

Now, I realize this recap is dizzying, but I am actually not exaggerating how it went. They did and re-did those poor arms so many times, never fighting or even realizing someone had re-done their work. It was hilarious to watch!

Finally, they were satisfied the arms were just right and all came together to do the hair. The Boy started with sticks for a very imaginative mohawk. I was impressed at his creativity. The girls then added sprigs of evergreen for additional hair. Very cute. Sure their poor snowman would get a cold, the girls figured he needed a hat. Baby selflessly offered hers. Out came all the hair.

The hair carnage.

And there you have it. A snowman. Time to pose for the camera.


But something was missing. Ahhh, yes. He needed a sled. But it wouldn't stand next to him with that big arm out there. Off. Came. The. Arm. For the last time.

Now stumpy is perfect.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mr Farmer Gets Romantic

Don't worry. This is a G-rated post.

I woke up yesterday to an unexpected surprise from Mr Farmer. He let me get up and start my morning routine. Then, out of nowhere, his gift appeared. The biggest, most fragrant, most beautiful bunch of roses I've ever been given. He beamed as he presented them to me.

I was shocked! Stunned! Never had he shown such romanticism. Was this really my husband? Had I ever really known him?

Mr Farmer has never been one to give gifts. Typically I pick out my own gifts and buy them myself and thank him for the money. So I never expected anything from him on this Valentine's Day.

I guess he finally heard my subtle hints for a gift of any kind, showing his love for me. I know he loves me, that has never been in question. It's just that sometimes I like to see visible proof that he thinks of me when we're apart, or listens to me when I drop hints of things I like, or that he appreciates me and what I do because I love him.

And now I know. I had him pose for a photo so I could look back on this perfect Valentine's Day and his thoughtful gift.

Now, where to put it. I tried the kitchen counter.

The night stand on my side of the bed.

And, finally, next to my easy chair. Perfect! Now I can smell my roses and think of him throughout the day, whenever I sit down and rest.

Now, now, ladies. He's taken. You can't have him. He's. All. Mine.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Amazing Good-Buy.. A Love Story

There was a certain furniture store in a nearby town. This store was one I rarely visited, unless I wanted to dream big. It had three floors of beautifully decorated vignettes. I would walk through there and dream of having enough money to have a bedroom  like this one or a dining room decorated like that one. The prices were so far beyond what I would ever be able to afford, but it was fun dreaming. I often got ideas of things I could copy in a less expensive way to get a similar look.

On one of my trips through this store, I came across a beautiful rooster lamp. Surely a lamp would be in my price range, right? Nope! They wanted $189.99. For a lamp! I must really be out of touch with what things cost these days. I left the store knowing my brand new (at the time) $1 pair of lamps from the Goodwill store 15 years ago would have to continue lighting our home. And I'd still live. I guess. 

A while back, I heard that this store was going out of business. The owner was retiring, so it wasn't a sad affair. I figured one of these days I'd get in there to see if I could afford anything yet.

Now, I will break to tell you that I don't read the newspaper or talk to people, or get out much. I like it that way. But this lifestyle poses a problem to me when it comes to knowing when a certain store may have its last day in business. I pulled up and to my dismay, the store had closed two days before. TWO DAYS BEFORE! I had missed my chance. Oh well. Anything I liked was probably sold anyway. I like to look on the bright side of things.

I went in next door and got some groceries. When I checked out, I asked the cashier if she ever saw anyone in there. After all, I could still see a couple of pieces of furniture in the window. She said she didn't even see the owner anymore. Not surprising since the store was closed.

When I came out of the grocery store, there was a man just going in. Should I? The worst he could say is that they were closed. I went in.

"I know you're closed. Is there any chance I could look around at what's left?"

"Sure. I'll be here for awhile. I need to load up some of this stuff in the truck. Look around and ask any questions."

Woohoo! I figured they still wouldn't have anything I wanted, but it would be fun to look around a store that was closed for business. I found a pretty dresser, but I didn't need a dresser. Ooh, a luxurious couch. Still too expensive for something we don't need. As I walked around, I touched this thing and that. I sat on comfy couches and uncomfy ones.

Then I saw it. The rooster lamp. I stroked it. It was so smooth. And pretty. And classy. Just like me. Except for the smooth part. And the pretty part. And the part about being classy.  But other than that, just like me.

The outrageous price tag was still on it. $189.99! I looked around. Could I sneak it under my coat and dash out the door without being noticed? I doubted it. The thing was over two feet tall. And I wasn't wearing a coat. I walked away and continued to look around. I found a cute little rooster lamp. It was marked down 70%. I picked it up, knowing exactly where its home would be. I picked up a few other items marked down 70-80% off. Little things. Nothing to write about.

My little rooster lamp, at home on my coffee cabinet.

I went back upstairs. And back to my lamp. The owner was there. I asked him if, per chance, the lamp was marked down. After his hysterical laughter subsided, he told me to quit dreaming, I'd never own such a lamp as that. I wasn't good enough.

Just kidding. He told me it was also 70% off. My sharp mind went quickly to calculating. Maybe I'm not as sharp as I thought. After twenty minutes of finger counting, the man got impatient and just told me what the price would be. (kidding again about his impatience, not my finger counting)

I called Mr Farmer. This was still a big purchase for someone who had perfectly good, matching, $1 lamps at home. I was afraid. Mr Farmer is very practical. And likes to hold onto his money. Would he see just how wonderful our lives would be with this lamp in our home? Would he want his standing in the community to be increased and all the responsibility that comes with that? Could he handle the class?! My hands were sweating. I was going to throw up. I asked my question in a squeaky voice.

"I'll let you make that decision. You just have to live with the guilt," he replied. I hung up before he could say anything else.

Did I hear him right? I could get it? Did he really over-estimate my ability to feel guilt over it?

YES HE DID! The lamp was mine. I walked out with all my goodies. And my lamp. The clouds parted. Angels sang. It was glorious.

And I brought my rooster lamp home to roost.

The detail to make it look like wood is really cool. I love this lamp. And I've not had one minute of guilt over the purchase. Mr Farmer said it was nice. But several times that first evening, he exclaimed how nice it was-- the perfect height to be able to see me better and it gave more light than the cheap-o lamp. He was happy with my lamp. Probably not as happy as I was. After all, in his eyes, it's still just a lamp.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Note From The Heart

Baby has been writing little notes to us everyday. Sometimes we get several a day. The other day she came out of her room after quiet time and handed me one. Then, she set one aside for her daddy. 

This is the one for her daddy.

For those of you who could read it without translation, great job! For the rest of you, here is what it says.

"I love you dad. ps look behind it love (Baby)"

This is the back side.

It reads, "Woud you like a bak rub"

How precious! The only issue I have with this note is that mine didn't ask if I wanted a back rub.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Smile For You

Baby designed this and asked me to take a picture of it. I hope it makes your day a little brighter.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sissy Tells All

Our final installment in the kids' blog series is by Sissy. Sissy is 12 and my biggest helper at home. She loves babies and will convince any mother, stranger or not, to hand over their little bundle of joy to her.

And here she goes.
 My favorite stuff animal is a bear  I love the way she when I have a bad dream I hold her tight .I try to think of a good name so decided to name her Mary.

 I love to  read a lot  and my favorite book is Anne of Green is so funny and I also like to watch the movie why don't you sit back and get some popcorn and watch it too!

 I also like to read medical books too.I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

 There is one person I like the most and her name is Baby.I just need to move her to my room.

And this concludes our series of guest posts. I hope you enjoyed them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Boy Gets His Chance To Blog

This is episode two of my series of posts done by my kids. Next up is my son, The Boy. The Boy is 10 and loves to fight bad guys. He is all boy.

Here goes, and remember to forgive his spelling and punctuation. I say this as his mother and his teacher, who has tried her best but realizes he will never be an English  major.

I  got  my  hat  from  my  gampa  It's a  stetsen.

I  got  my  slingshot  from   chrismmas.

We got this pichir of our dog  Coby.

I  got  my gun  from  my birthday.

This is  my dirbbey car  and  I  built  it my  self  and  won.

Thanks for deciphering this post.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Refinishing and Antiquing

For my bedroom makeover, I refinished my night stands. These night stands are ones I got when I was the environmental supervisor at a local nursing home. They were remodeling and getting rid of all the furniture. These are so heavy, that even Mr Farmer grunted a bit when trying to carry them, even without the drawers.

Typically, I would remove all the hardware before painting, but I didn't want to replace it. I also knew I wouldn't find something to match my paint job and I wanted the hardware to be the same color. We don't get into our nightstands very often and no kids are allowed in our room, so I figured it was ok to just  paint them.

I started by washing them good with a good de-greaser and let them dry. There wasn't much of a varnish left on them so I didn't even sand them. Normally I would sand them to rough up the finish. The top was the only part that isn't wood. It's laminate. I figured I'd leave it and just paint antique-looking game boards to set on the top. I decided to try and paint the tops and they turned out pretty good. The finish will come off if it's scratched, but I placed a table mat on top to protect it. And, like I said, kids aren't allowed in our bedroom, so it's less likely they'll get scratched.

After de-greasing, I painted two coats of black paint.

Next, I sanded around edges and any places where normal wear would show, like around the handles. You want it to look like an old piece of furniture that has been worn in places used and touched over and over during many years of use.

The last step for me was to put a dark stain over top. I usually paint on and wipe of the excess, but this time liked the look of it with the heavy coat of stain. It did, however, take several days to dry. But I was waiting on my new bed and didn't mind having the night stands out of the room since I'd have to remove them anyway.

And that's how easy it is to refinish and antique a piece of furniture.