Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the night was aglow

I was doing something in the house (can't remember what) and I looked up at the skylights. The sky lights are foggy so you can't see the trees through them but you can see bright colors...usually that means fireworks. But tonight was different. The light was so purple. I grabbed my camera and ran outside.

Wow, so beautiful! I don't usually get to see sunsets here. The trees are always in the way! I am so grateful when I do finally get to see one! Everything was glowing purple.

See, I told you so. The trim on the house is all white but it was glowing purple too. Bear was too afraid to actually come out.

I LOVE sunsets!

Monday, June 27, 2011

unfinished business

I work hard and I enjoy all the things I do but I do miss the feeling of a job well done at the end of a project. I was feeling pretty down on myself about never finishing anything since my projects tend to take months to years to complete, or other things, like dishes and laundry will never be done.

I was at work one day and this idea hit me. It wouldn't leave me alone. So I had this idea that this project I had in mind could be something I could finish in one weekend...and that was something I was sorely needing right then. A few days later, I bought the foam board. I didn't know exactly how I was going to execute it but I just knew it was doable. I was wrong, however.

I wasn't going to blog about this until I was finished but Sheri suggested that I do so here is what I have so far. It measures approximately 39" x 23".

I had this picture open on my computer screen and was working on the dining table directly in front of the computer. This is one of my favorite pics. :o)

I drew the dogs freehand onto the foam board. I finished Bear, Jack and Tucker before I realized I didn't have enough room for Jack. I had to erase them and start all over again.

Once all the drawing was done, I started cutting with an xacto knife. I'm very good with an exacto knife on card stock but I've never cut foam board before...I'm not as good. Oh well...I say it gives it character.

Now, it' all cut out. I bent Tucker's leg (on the board) in the proccess. Oh well...more character?

I was actually feeling pretty good about my progress and I had to clean up to go to a bbq Adam was at. I was going to stop by Home Depot to get some wood trim and Hobby Lobby to get some burlap...both are for this project.

I bought the burlap but I didn't know the dimensions of the frame I needed to build yet so I didn't get the trim. So, another project not finished. It took me a few days to get over this failure. I will still finish it when I have the money to buy the trim. There are a few more steps I can work on before I need the trim anyway but haven't had the opportunity to work on that in the last 3 weeks.

So, after I go over not finishing it and was able to take pride in the bit that I did finish, I wanted to get some pictures with it. Tucker, my ever present buddy, wanted to be with me. As soon as I held the picture up, he distracted me by looking cute and offering his paw to shake. It wasn't the picture I was after but I like it better than whatever I would have gotten. :o)

When it's finished, it will go above the bay window. It has always bugged me a bit to have such a large space empty...not that the other walls are full of things...that's one of those other projects I'll get to someday, rehanging pictures. I hung the pictures once already in this house so it doesn't excite me to have to do it again.

So, true to the way I work, I distracted myself from my work at hand before I got around to cutting it out. I had this overwhelming urge to decorate my desk. I couldn't stop myself. I must have ADD. I have a growing collection of crocks. Some of them were tucked under my desk and others were hidden in the basement. I played around with arrangements and finally decided on this...

The box is a woodens hipping crate. The table toppers are from thrift stores. The large crock with the wooden lid was given to me by a friend back when I only had the butter churn. The churn and small drink crock on the desk are from thrift stores. The lidless crock was one of three I bought from craigslist.

Besides the small crock, on my desk is also a vase that really reminds me of arts and crafts and an oil lamp. They both came from thrift stores. The stuff in the vase are the seed heads from my fern garden.

Not my dream way to display them but it will do until I figure out something better. Besides, this isn't even all of it. I have another (larger) drink crock, a couple pitchers, a plate, a bowl, a vase and a few small crocks with no lids. I'd really love to be able to display them all together.

Friday, June 24, 2011

the magic bean stalk

So I've never joined in a blog link up before but I am so entirely excited about this that I just wanted to share with as many people as I can. Rhonda at hosts one every week for whatever is on your mind that day.

On Saturday (6 days ago) we planted our garden. We don't really know much about gardening so it was kind of like "Well, here goes nothing!"

It rained all week and seems to have been a great day to have planted. We started everything from seeds. Today, these are our beans. They are monsters!

The peas and squash are starting to peek out as well. It's absolutely incredible to me that I get to have a garden. So what if it's 9 miles from home...I am blessed!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

riding during wild blackberry season

Before I left for my last bike ride, I called to see if I needed to bike by our garden to water it but James had already done it so I took a route I don't often take. It's out past Dacula and a nice country ride.

I wanted to make it to the barn before I turned around. The barn is in an empty field across from this old farmhouse that has its own barn. This is the barn that belongs to the house.

This is the porch of that house. Seems like the perfect country house to me.

This is the barn. It's covered in kudzu. Obviously, it's not used anymore. I love this shape of barn. When I get one, I want it to be like this.

All during this ride, I was seeing these blackberries on the side of the road. It's not in the thick of berry season yet but it has definitely started. I stopped and ate my fill. Yum!! I checked them first this time. Last year I ended up with ants latched on to the inside of my cheeks after eating the berries they had been crawling around on. I was safe this time.

All this berry goodness means I'll be biking by with a container next time so I can collect some for making jam and pie. :o)

There's going to be a lot this year!

compost and canning jars

Adam's friend's mom has a room in her house called the fruit room. It's basically where the food storage has been kept over the years. It was abandoned for some reason and they started storing their food somewhere else in the basement. Adam has been helping James clean out the house after his father's death a month ago. Adam mentioned the room to me. He told me there were 200-400 jars of home canned food that is no longer any good. Ann wants to get rid of it and did I want the jars? Who would turn down that offer? Not me! The catch was that we had to empty out the jars before I could use them. Luckily, Adam built me that much bigger than planned on compost bin. It will make fine compost! The oldest jar we've found so far was from 1964!!!

We went one evening after work to collect the first round of jars. We got 244 jars and that was only about 1/3 of the total jars in that room! Unfortunately, a lot of them are old condiment jars that she reused, even with the original (not canning) lids. I won't be canning in those so they are no good to me.

We carried just over half the bins over to the compost pile and started working. Adam unscrewed the lids and bands. I pried the canning lids off and emptied. We worked at it for about 4 hours.

Look at how old and vintage these lids are!

These 3 are my favorites. I have a couple of the sliver ones. I am hoping they come off in one piece because I have a DIY project in mind for those.

We had a wedding reception to go to so we quit before finishing. We had about 40 jars left to open and empty. But this is what food from 200 jars gets you. Much less than we were expecting... Well, we still have 400 more to add to that. Oddly, nothing stunk. Some came out like molasses, others had already turned to dirt inside the jar. Almost every jar still smelled exactly like what it was. I wouldn't have expected that since most of the jars were from the 60's to 1970.

We sorted the jars to keepable and those to be recycled. The recycle ones went in one large bin while the keepable ones got a quick rinse off from the hose. I think I got to keep about 40 of them.

Poor Adam got a giant blister on the palm of his hand from opening the stuck on lids and bands and he was wearing thick leather gloves! I tried taking over but I was much too weak to get those open.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The garden

Adam's friend, James, had seen that I had prepared part of the yard for a garden and that I wasn't able to plant anything because there was no good dirt there. His mom has a huge garden area that they haven't used in a few years because of declining health. He told his mom and she offered us the use of her yard. :o) That was Friday night, Saturday morning, we were at her house with seeds in hand. The part that we planted is maybe 1/3 of her total garden area.

We planted spaghetti sqaush, acorn squash, spinach, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, canteloupe, watermelon, snap peas, green beans, kidney beans, bell peppers, butternut squash. We will be going back and planting a row of cucumbers as well...Adam was really sad that we didn't plant any. We used way more space than the little garden spot I had carved in my yard. I guess I'll have to expand my garden area for when I do get to plant...because it's just going to seem way too small now. We will be planting some lettuce at home in containers and we'll be planting different plants at her house for a fall crop after these plants have lived out their useful life.

Because the ground was so soft and fairly free of rocks, this hand cultivator worked really well to make furrows to plant in.

We set the seeds in the holes and poured a little fertilizer over the tops. That's Adam and James. James grew up gardening so he was really nice and helped us and gave us advice.

After you plant and pour on the fertilizer, you take the cultivator and run it right beside the furrow. It pushes the loose dirt back over the seeds. Super simple. I told Adam we needed one of these neat gadgets!

Here's what it looked like when we left. There are two seperate beds, technically. We ran out of room in the first one so we tilled more ground but left a space between them. It was so much fun and doing it with someone else (2 someone elses) was nice. It made being in the beating sun bearable.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meeting Familyonbikes

I visit a website called It's a website where you can post your bicycle tour journal for everyone else to read. It's a very active community. I happened upon an already completed journal of a family of four who had done a 9,300 mile tour over the course of one year (the twins 3rd grade year). I saw that they were from Boise and we already knew we were moving to Boise so I emailed her.

I found out through the emails that they were planning another trip. This time they would be biking from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (the farthest point North) to Ushuia, Argentina (the Southern most point). Once they reached the end, their boys would be in the Guniess Book of World Records as the youngest people to bike the Pan American Highway. They would be leaving a few months before we were to move out there...but they were possibly going to come through Utah as they made their way to Mexico. We talked and she agreed that I could ride with them for a few days. I was super excited about it. But, my bike accident made sure that didn't happen.

Since I was living in Boise, I was thinking I would meet them when they finally got home. Well, we didn't stay long enough. They finally got home 2 months ago. It took them nearly three years to complete the journey. They boys are now 13.

The first 500 miles of the trip is on the Dalton Highway, an unpaved road that has one gas station. So they had to carry all their food for those 500 miles.

I followed along on their blog It is a great read and makes me wish that I could take a similar trip!

Here they are at the end of the road...they finally made it!

Since coming home, they've been to several conferences and one of them was here in Atlanta. Tonight, they were at Stone Mountain for an impromptu presentation. I left straight from work because I HAD to meet them, but Nancy especially.

She and John are both very friendly and it was a lot of fun visiting with them after the presentation. It felt like I was visiting old friends...but then I have been reading about their daily lives for years so in a way, I was.

The woman taking the camera took a long time to snap the pic and I just started talkng to her so not a fan of the pic of me, but oh well.

Each of the 4 of them took turns talking about life on the road.

The boys introduced the 4 family members and discussed each person's roles.

This is Daryl.

This is Davy.

John talked about the challenges they faced. And Nancy wrapped things up by talking about the lessons those challenges taught them. She summed it up by saying that we should all find what we are passionate about and to live life the way that we think is right for us, even when it is against the norm.

I really enjoyed listening to them talk and seeing their pictures, even though I've seen them on their web. They are definitely an example of what can happen when you consistently take small steps toward a goal.

Finally, I got to meet them! Who knows, maybe someday we'll live in the same town again (at the same time) and I'll even get to take a ride with them after all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

power outage

Adam and I both tend to be doing something most of the time...we don't relax a lot. But yesterday, we both crashed about 6. We woke up just before 7 to a loud bang. A huge lightning storm was on top of us. The power was out. We pulled out a flash light and cooked dinner. After dinner, we pulled out the chess board and played a few games.

The chess set is from Mike and he bought them in the Phillipines while on his mission for us. It is hand carved and very unique. We really love it.

The power came back on at some point but we left the lights off and continued to play in the dim light. We had had enough though and I went and did the chores. I got to vacuum my carpet for the first time in 1 1/2 months! The vacuum's been broken. Adam welded that and my rug beater. I can't tell you how happy the clean carpet made me! I've been sweeping it, but sweeping it only does so much to combat all the dog fur!

It was a very enjoyable evening!

Monday, June 13, 2011

rope braid

This braid was hard earned! I had been trying to get it for about 3 weeks before I stumbled onto the correct way to do it. I was giving up for the morning and did something a little different. Well, that little change I made was the thing I was doing wrong and I was able to finally get all the pieces of the puzzle. It's so easy once you know what you're doing but figuring it out is not!

Here it is with a flip through at the top. I really like the look of this one, but it makes my hair look shorter.

I did it again a few days later to make sure I knew how to do it. This time, it was just done with a regular ponytail. Success, finally!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Samuel is born

Yesterday, my newest nephew, Samuel Emrys was born. We had Isaac fora little bit. Adam took him on a tow, then we got home around the same time. Played some Mario Kart for a little bit, then took him to eat at McDonald's (YUCK!) since that's what he really wanted. Then, we made the drive up to the hospital where we got to spend about 45 minutes with their new family.

Isaac was so cute! He kept commenting on how cute Samuel is and how soft. He even got to hold him. I asked him how long he thought it would be before Samuel could lay with him and he said, "Probably in 30 years, then he'll be 4 or something like that." lol He also kept telling both his parents how much he missed them and was giving them hugs. He's such a sweet boy and I'm sure he'll be a great big brother.

Aaron, Isaac and Samuel.

Here he is. He is so cute...looks exactly like Isaac did when he was born, though Katie and Aaron don't think so. Lanette agrees with me.

He was opening his eyes a lot toward the end of our visit...time to eat, he was thinking.

Long fingers!!

Samuel was 2 weeks early. They called us at 5 in the morning to tell us they were headed to the hospital. When the embroidery shop opened, Adam called and ordered these to things for Samuel...a hat and a bib. He'll have to grow some in order to fit into them.

Adam was pretty pleased with his gifts. lol Aaron and Katie thought they were cool too. Aaron was the one who designed the logo so it means something to him as well as to Adam. If you look at the first pic, Aaron is actually wearing his Road Ranger shirt as well.

Katie and her two boys. She's so happy to have him there healthy and alive. There were many disappointments while trying to have a second baby. I'm glad she was able to finally get her second...just 4 more to go. But for now, she's very happy.

It's always fun to have a new member of the family, especially a baby, since you get to see them develop into a person. I'm excited to get to know him and see him grow.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

fun with macro

We lent the camera to Aaron last year for a few weeks so he could use it for a class he was taking. He wanted to take some macro pictures so he bought three filters that magnify things. I just screw them onto the end of the lens and it's like magic! When he returned the camera, I tried giving him his filters back but he told me to just leave it with the camera. I didn't use it for months but then I decided to see what it was like. I use it a lot now. Here's some pics I have taken using them.

This beauty is a small portion of a cross stitch piece done by my VERY talented sister, Sheri who has been so kind as to gift me several pieces over the years. Sheri, you can rest assured that they are definitely appreciated over here!

This one you have to view large so you can see ALL its eyes! CREEEEEEEPY!

I may be having a little too much fun with these!
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