Time Flies

Somehow, it’s been over 8 months since my last post, which I believe was shortly before our family took a vacation to the Missouri Ozarks. In the intervening months, we made the decision and moved to the Ozarks. I couldn’t even begin to explain how that all came to pass, except to say that things all worked out when we needed them to every step of the way.

Here’s a quick preview of some of the things we’ve been up to since we moved, all photos completely unedited due to a slower internet connection than I’ve been used to

The only room in the house that looks somewhat pulled together.  If you don't look at the floor.

The only room in the house that looks somewhat pulled together. If you don’t look at the floor.

The one room in the house that didn't need to be painted.  (except for the trim, some day).

The one room in the house that didn’t need to be painted. (except for the trim, some day).

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Goodbye to honey oak cabinets.  Now we just need some drawer pulls and cabinet knobs.

Goodbye to honey oak cabinets. Now we just need some drawer pulls and cabinet knobs.

Tomato and pepper seedlings, just waiting for the danger of frost to pass.

Tomato and pepper seedlings, just waiting for the danger of frost to pass.

The Taterbug and the one large fowl chicken that moved with us.  Somehow we missed her when giving all the big chickens to a friend.

The Taterbug and the one large fowl chicken that moved with us. Somehow we missed her when giving all the big chickens to a friend.

Daffodils?  Jonquils?  I know they're not tulips, crocus, hyacinth or iris, but they are all along a fence line, and I can't wait to see them open up.

Daffodils? Jonquils? I know they’re not tulips, crocus, hyacinth or iris, but they are all along a fence line, and I can’t wait to see them open up.

One of the most level spots in our yard, we hope to grow pumpkins, corn and melons here once the ground warms a little more.

One of the most level spots in our yard, we hope to grow pumpkins, corn and melons in this spot once the ground warms a little more.

Green buds on the lilac bush.  That means spring is coming,right?

Green buds on the lilac bush. That means spring is coming,right?

One raised bed down, one to go.  We hope to be able to use these as temporary greenhouses in early spring and late fall, and as regular raised beds during the growing season.

One raised bed down, one to go. We hope to be able to use these as temporary greenhouses in early spring and late fall, and as regular raised beds during the growing season.

The chickens have settled in nicely, and all came through the move in good shape.

The chickens have settled in nicely, and all came through the move in good shape.

Oscar the cat who was here when we moved in, and who has decided to tolerate the other cats and Boodie.

Oscar the cat who was here when we moved in, and who has decided to tolerate the other cats and Boodie.

A batch of baby chicks in the brooder, because I can no longer imagine spring without them.

A batch of baby chicks in the brooder, because I can no longer imagine spring without them.

New TV stand, can't wait to get busy painting it.  And the subfloor that is so much better than the carpet.  Let that sink in for a moment.

New TV stand, can’t wait to get busy painting it. And the subfloor that is so much better than the carpet. Let that sink in for a moment.

We are settling in, getting back into the swing of schooling and living, and eagerly waiting for eggs to hatch, calves to be born, and warm soil for the garden.

On a completely different note, I love reading Herrick Kimball’s blog, and wanted to share that his book is available for $.99 as a Kindle Download. And I don’t get a thing for saying so.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

A China Cabinet of My Very Own!

Painted Hutch--Mel'sFunnyFarm

When we bought our dining room set almost 8 years ago, there wasn’t room in the budget for a matching china cabinet. I’ve come to be thankful for that, because the finish on the set was a compromise which made nobody happy.

I got by with storing my Depression Glass in a glass-front bookcase from Kmart for several years, but it really never was big enough and it was so dark inside that the beautiful colors of the glass were completely hidden.

Over the past year, I scoured thrift stores, secondhand stores and Craigslist in hopes of finding a used china cabinet that wouldn’t break the bank. A few months ago, I found one that I thought would work, but we were 120 miles from home without a vehicle to haul it. The next week, we went to the same store (this time with a pickup), and it was still there!

The former owner obviously got their money’s worth out of this cabinet. Lots of scratches, lots of wear, and the glass in one of the doors had been replaced. Basically it was worn and dated to a degree that I didn’t suffer one second of guilt for painting it.

Hutch Before

I did have a hard time deciding what color to paint the hutch. Part of me really wanted to use a bright turquoise or emerald green. In fact, both The Taterbug and The Husband were in favor of turquoise. One of these days, I’m going to find a cute little corner cupboard and do exactly that! Since this hutch was going to be the new home to various colors of Depression Glass, I decided it needed to be neutral so as not to compete with the dishes.

The paint for this project didn’t cost me anything, because I used what I already had. I painted the inside a bright glossy white so that my depression glass would show up against it. Taking the back off made the inside much easier to paint. I let the paint cure for a couple of weeks before I put the dishes away to prevent them sticking to the paint. So far, so good.

The paint for the outside was a flat grey that I had bought for the dining room, only to discover that it looked white once it was on the wall. I mixed it with water and plaster of paris to make chalk paint. On the cabinet, it’s a nice khaki/grey that contrasts nicely with the white hardware. Most of the cabinet took two coats, but a few spots needed 3 coats of paint to cover.

Hutch Progress

I sanded very lightly before applying the clear wax. I bought new pulls and knobs at Hobby Lobby. The original “flying bats” drawer pulls were flat and dated, but I kept the original hinges and backer plates for the knobs, and sprayed them and the new drawer pulls glossy white.

Hutch Empty

Hutch Full

I’m seriously thinking about dressing up the front of the doors with some plaster scrolls and roses. They seem kind of bare. what do you think?

Linking up with: Weekend Bloggy Reading

Posted in Decorating, General | 12 Comments

Let It Rain!

Last year was so dry that we didn’t put up a single bale of hay. When the pond in our front yard dried up, my waterfowl were very perturbed. They spent a lot of time roaming the yard in search of their missing swimming hole.

I’d been encouraging The Husband to consider enlarging that pond whenever the next drought gave him the opportunity to get in there and work on it. I’m still not sure whether he got tired of listening to me, or whether it just takes years for an idea to percolate before it becomes a “good idea!”, but in any case, he spent a lot of time this past fall and spring moving dirt with a tractor and scraper. The result was an empty hole with 4x the capacity that it previously had, and a lot of bare, dry ground all around it. So we prayed for rain. We’d get a few tenths of an inch here and there, but mostly the rain would go north or south of us. Mud for a day or two, and then back to the packed bare ground.

This photo was taken April 20th, and after a few days the puddle dried up:

April 20, 2013

April 20, 2013

The week before Pentecost arrived, and we were planning to host a barbecue in our back yard. The forecast indicated we’d be having it in The Husband’s shop building. It was a great day, in spite of the mud. We enjoyed friends and listened to the rain fall all. day. long. After such a very, very dry year, we couldn’t get enough of that sound.

It’s been raining off and on ever since. In between showers and a couple of bouts with hail, I got some raised beds built in the garden, and some seeds planted, but more on that later. Yesterday, I took a picture of the pond, intending to share how happy my ducks and geese are now that they can swim again (I suspect the chickens are happy to be rid of them, too!).

May 29, 2013

May 29, 2013

I estimate that the water was about a foot deep, though it covered a lot of area. Over night, we’ve gotten more than an inch of rain.

May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013

If you look closely, you can see that the high water mark is still a few feet above the current water level, but you can also see that it has risen quite a bit since yesterday. Maybe The Taterbug will get to go canoeing in the pond this summer after all!

And it’s still raining.

Linking up at: Weekend Bloggy Reading

Posted in General, Poultry herding | 1 Comment

Chickens are Weird!

While I was standing at the kitchen sink, still in my pajamas at lunchtime (don’t judge) yesterday, The Husband came in and informed me that there was something outside that I just had to see. It was a bit chilly out, so I asked him to consider very carefully if I would truly think the sight was worth standing outside freezing. He insisted that yes, I would, and to bring the camera.

Out I went, camera in hand, to see this wondrous sight:

spare chicken

spare eggs

Now the whole picture:
spare pickup

That is the spare tire, mounted underneath the bed of The Husband’s work pickup. It’s been parked for about a week, waiting on repair parts.

There is no doubt that chickens are weird creatures. I tell them so every night when I come out to make sure all is well before locking up the coop. They just look at me, as if to say “You’re the one talking to a bunch of chickens, now shut the door, it’s cold outside!”

Posted in General | 4 Comments

Pink Candlesticks

Since we’ve had a few days of sunny weather lately, I decided it was time to spiff up a pair of candlesticks that have been collecting cobwebs and dust for oh, several years now. I picked them up for $1 at a thrift store, back in the days before thrift store employees thought they were in the business of selling antiques.

They had collected a heavy coating of candle wax, so first I chipped off as much as I could with my thumbnail. Then I fired up my teakettle and poured boiling water over them, which quickly melted off the rest of it. A quick scrub in soapy water, and they were ready to paint.
candlesticks before

I sprayed them with a light coat of primer, and about 20 minutes later, I sprayed on the first light coat of paint. All told, it took 3 light coats of paint to get good coverage from all angles.

pink candlesticks
I like the way they turned out. They remind me of pink Vitrock depression glass, but much less fragile.

Have you fixed up something you already had, rather than buying something new recently?

Linking up at:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Posted in Decorating, Repurposing | 6 Comments