Friday, January 18, 2019

Farm Pants Are Becoming a Thing Around Here

It's time for my annual Christmas letter as blog post. Actually, it's a month late, but how much does it matter, really?

About this time last year I was making fun of Clark’s farm pants, and ironically, now I have farm pants too. Several pairs. I wear them on the weekends when I should be relaxing, but surprisingly I’m not.

There are things to be done, you know.

In fact, Peanut Head made a multiple page spreadsheet for all the things that need to be done around here, color coded by priority and difficulty level. For real. And one day last spring he came right out and declared one of our weekend days “Family Ditch Day.” He did. Just like he was King. It was so bizarre, that we were stunned into compliance. Now you might be thinking that “Family Ditch Day” sounds like it could become a fun family tradition, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not a day that we want to repeat. We know we will have to though. L

Peanut Head and I are physically and mentally preparing ourselves for Zoë to leave the nest in the fall when she goes off to college. I’m not ready, and I probably never will be. Regardless, it’s going to happen whether I want it to or not, so I’m going to hold her close as much as I can this year.

We bought a 2002 Subaru for the girls to drive into the ground (and to protect our cars). It has about 200,000 miles on it, and it’s not pretty to look at, but it’s a vehicle. 

The best part is that we spend less time driving them to and from all their activities. Zoë has been enjoying the freedom that comes from having wheels, and she now has a job at Cal Ranch. She started out as a cashier, but quickly moved to the floor where she can sling bags of feed and restock shelves. 

Zoë also has a boyfriend, but we’re not even going to go into that because ick. We choose denial.

Stinkerbell is still doing Marching Band and Pep Band, and has also added Jazz Band to the mix. 

She’s also still in Civil Air Patrol, and it doesn’t look like that is going to go away. Peanut Head was also sucked into it as a leader, and now they both have lots of extra responsibilities and grooming requirements. Stinky has set her sights on trying to get into the Naval Academy for college and then going into the Marine Corps as an officer. Of course I am completely against that because DANGER! It doesn’t matter what I think though. She is her own person and she always has been. I will cry when the day comes that she leaves me, I’m not going to lie.

The horses are good. The two that we were boarding moved to Boise, and it’s strange not having them around.

Gunny is good, still dumb as a post and very happy.

We got another dog this year. His name is Bane, which I’m not a fan of, but he’s five and probably wouldn’t appreciate a name change. I lucked out and found him on Facebook where his owner was trying to rehome him. He is a 170 lb. Great Dane/Mastiff mix, and he is the sweetest big galoot I have ever laid eyes on. I love him more than I ever thought possible for a dog. He’s my baby.

Aren't his little crossy legs adorable? That's the Dane in him.
My only complaint is that he drools. I’m not talking about elderly person sleeping with their eyes open drooling, I’m talking DROOLING. Long strands of thick, stringy drool which hang down from his jowls precariously, taunting germaphobes everywhere (Stinky and I). We have a dozen or so hand towels that are just for Bane’s drool. 

Bane wearing a drool towel :)

When we see the drool, we run to clean it up before he tries to shake it off his face. When that happens one of two things will result. Either the long strands wrap around his snout in a slimy rope, or they let loose and fly in an unpredictable trajectory, usually splatting on a wall somewhere, although there are still uncharted territories that remain. We count ourselves lucky when it doesn’t hit us. Walls can be easily cleaned and there is no mental anguish involved.

Bane can curl himself up like a cinnamon roll when the
opportunity presents itself. This is unauthorized behavior. 

Lucinda and Cecilia are still alive and meowing. I’ve been begging for a kitten, but so far nada. It’s my Christmas wish. [Wink. Wink.] We need a baby in the house.

We still have the two goats, Clementine and Trinity. Clementine is a bully and she has taken to slamming Gunny up against the fence when he gets too barky or she’s just feeling PMS-ey. She doesn’t mess with Bane though, because 170 lbs. is intimidating, I guess.

If you can believe it, we have eleven chickens now. Eleven. Who has eleven chickens?  We do. [Actually, since I wrote this letter it's now an even dozen. It's like we're chicken magnets or something.]

Zoë is responsible, as usual. It’s the same old story, although a slightly new variation. She was taking an animal science class. They hatched babies. She brought babies home. Three were hens and one was a rooster. We were never going to have a rooster. We now have a rooster. He’s ugly, and he’s mean.

You can be walking along the driveway, innocently minding your own business, and he runs up and starts attacking you. If there’s one thing that ticks me off it’s a rooster provoking me. The embarrassing thing is that it’s surprisingly more difficult to kick a rooster and be successful in actually connecting the kick than you might think. Maybe it’s just me. I’ve found that I’m more effective if I just turn and start chasing him while crazy screaming. 

We haven't had a dull moment since we moved to the country, and I have to admit, I wish we would have made this move a lot sooner than we did.

No complaints though. We are very thankful for everything we have, and most of all for each other and our health.

Here's to another year. Late as it is, Happy New Year! I hope it's a good one for you.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Farmhouse Love Episode 13: Sewing & Craft Room

Like most of my Farmhouse Love episodes, this post is long overdue. I'm over the late post guilt though. Ain't nobody got time for that. I'm just happy to have this room functional so I can use it for my ongoing projects.

Like always, let's start with some before pictures.

This is what the room looked like when we moved in. It's a long, narrow room, but it's really quite perfect for my crafty needs. 

The work surfaces and storage units were left behind. Thank you very much.

The former owner of this house used this as as a sewing room, as indicated by the themed curtain and painted drawers. Once upon a time, I would have loved this particular decor, except that I like color on my walls. Too many years spent as a renter have caused me to crave color on the walls.

So I scrubbed everything down and got to work. I went around and around about what color to paint my space, but finally I decided on pink. It makes me happy.

It really could have ended up being just about any color because I love all the colors. Color inspires me.  

My pegboard got a new coat of paint too.

After scouring Pinterest for thread storage ideas, I smacked myself in the head because I had the perfect storage solution right in front of me all along.

I love having my sewing thread on my pegboard, and I wish I would have done it a long time ago. It's so accessible now, and easy to put away. Which means I'll actually put it away.

This is the Making Memories unit that I tweaked way back when. That little letter board above it is a reminder message for my pink hating family. They do not like my pink room, and I don't care. It's mine. 😊

The four bins I have on the top shelf are for my current projects. They are full up to the tippy top. You might laugh, but my new rule for myself is that if I don't have room for the supplies for a new project in one of those bins, then I can't have a new project. 😟 It's for the best.

My dirty little secret is that I have a couple moving boxes underneath the work space which are also stuffed to the gills. It's the thought that counts. Regardless, it's good to have goals.

I've had this chair for at least twenty years. I painted it and added the stencil to coordinate with my new space.

I also painted and stenciled the storage unit and swapped out the hardware with these nifty cup drawer pulls.

I do have a a little problem with this unit, cute as it is. Before I painted it, the inside reeked of mouse droppings. I scrubbed it, and painted it with multiple coats of stain-blocking primer and multiple coats of paint.

Still it reeks. I put air fresheners inside several of the drawers but still, the drawers are stinky. I don't know what else to do besides drag it outside and light it on fire. That seems like such a terrible waste though.

If you have any ideas for me to try, please share.

I'm happy to report that these drawers are not stinky though.

This is my scrapbooking paper stash. I no longer paper scrapbook. I am 100% digital now. This stash does come in handy when the girls have school project boards to do though.

These shelves hold all my Cricut supplies, stamping supplies, and other miscellaneous things. The labels help me to find things when I'm maniacally crafting.

The other end of my room has turned into food storage and paper supplies overflow. It's okay. I'm not bitter about it. Really.

I made these little curtains for the window. They stay open most all of the time. Otherwise the laundry room, which is right next to this room, is as dark as a cave.

Right outside this window is a spooky shed which we haven't used. It's a dark, creepy place where I imagine a serial killer might like to bury the body parts of his victims. 

Sorry. I read a fair amount of Stephen King.

Happy thoughts only. This is my happy place.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Farmhouse Love Episode 12: Family Room

It might appear that I actually have my ducks in a row with two posts in two weeks, but that is definitely not the case. It just so happens that I completed both my kitchen/dining room and my family room over the summer, and I wanted to take the pictures and get them posted so I could cross them off my summer list.

Lame, I know.

Before I show more after pictures, let's revisit the before pictures. These were taken right after we got the keys to our house, and this particular picture was taken from the dining room.

This is just a straight on view. My biggest complaint about this room is that it is too narrow, and there are too many doors so it's basically a high traffic area without adequate room to travel and have furniture at the same time.

Yes. It's basically a very wide hallway.

We need a family room though, and nothing can be done about it, so we just plunked our furniture down and we're living with it.

I didn't hate the fireplace brick, but it didn't really go with my vision for the room. I spent a lot of hours staring at this brick and trying to decide what I wanted to do with it.

The wood stove gets a lot of use in the winter, and we have really enjoyed having it.

This area is outdated, but there's not a lot that can be done about it right now. Eventually we'd like to move the door directly to the left over and put a sliding barn door here. That's down the road though, in a major reno project which we do not yet have the funds for.

Story of our lives. It's called reality.

In the meantime, we'll make use of this space as best we can. The first thing we did is to recycle the television which the former owners so kindly left for us. It cost us $25 to unload it at Best Buy, and it was worth every penny just to see it go. And that only took us two years to do.

Now we can start with the after pictures. As I mentioned before, paint goes a long way.

I painted all the interior doors in the house pretty early on. I was craving something besides off white, and painting the doors helped me live with the rest of the house when I didn't have time to paint.

This is a picture of Rey, the Mustang we've been lucky enough to board for the past eighteen months. Zoë took some amazing pictures of her last winter, and I've been wanting to get a print made with this picture as soon as I saw it. I made this canvas at Canvas on the Cheap. It was easy to make and it was delivered to me quickly. The quality is good, and I would definitely do it again.

Sadly, Rey's owners moved to Boise and she is going to be leaving us very soon. We are going to miss her so much. She brings so much sass to our little herd. One day she even chased a coyote off our property! I love her sweet little heart.

The only reason this family room got painted this summer is because we bought a new wood stove. It's kind of different, isn't it? I like it because I don't have to get down on the ground to load it up. Getting down on the ground isn't so much the problem, it's the getting up off the ground that I don't like.

Anyway, since we were going to have a new stove delivered, I had to paint the ceiling and walls around it, and since I was doing that, I'd better figure out what I was going to do about the multi-colored brick. I had been pinning white washed fireplaces for over a year, so I just went for it.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

And once I painted that little corner, it was like my green light to paint the rest of the family room and it was on.

That spot where the television used to sit is what I am now calling my wood hole. I think it's going to be the next sought after feature for homeowners. I'm going to stuff it full of firewood, and then Peanut Head won't have to traipse back and forth to the garage for firewood all winter long.

Won't that be nice for him?

I really had no business doing any work inside the house over the summer since we have so much work outside that needs to be done. As you can see, that didn't stop me.

I carried my blue from the dining room onto the opposite wall in the family room. It makes me happy.

More doors! Can you even believe that? There is basically only one way to arrange the furniture in this room, and you're lookin' at it. If you see another one, please tell me, because I could use some help.

We probably shouldn't even have an ottoman in here on account of the fact that there's no room to walk, but we like to put our feet up.

I must tell you about these shelves.

We desperately needed an up high place to put two of our surround sound speakers, so originally I bought two cute little farmhouse picture ledges at Fred Meyer's. That was an extreme fail though, because they were very cheaply made, and I ended up having to return them.

So after we put the holes in the walls and I had to fill them, Peanut Head started grilling me about what it was exactly that I wanted, and then he showed me this piece of wood he drug in from the field.

Isn't it beautiful? Okay, maybe not yet, but can you see its potential?

I hosed it off, lightly sanded it, and then stained it. I didn't want to go too crazy with the sanding because I wanted it to retain it's original character, but minus the dirt and bugs. I'm all over farmhouse decor, but not the dirty kind. 😷

Originally I envisioned more of a barn wood grey, but there was something about the wood that compelled me to stain it. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

And that completes our family room. Next up is my sewing and craft room. It's 95% finished. I just need to make some curtains, clean the cat vomit stain off the carpet, and then finally take some pictures. With any luck I'll have three posts in three weeks. Look at me go!