Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Boredom

So it is a Sunday evening and it was such a busy day and now everyone is off in their different directions and I am bored.  Bored to tears.  Bored and anxious because I have all these projects floating around in my brain from all the "stuff" I have acquired in the last week either through gifts or auctions or yard sales.

So to help deflect some of that I thought I would share my $5 bookcase with y'all.

Here she is before:

I found her at a yard sale over in Barryton.  I would have passed her by because I thought she was just there holding up knick-knacks for sale.  Then I noticed some masking tape across the top that said $5.  I thought maybe it was a mistake.  Then I almost talked myself out of it.  What if it is a mistake and she says $20.  Do I still want it?  Even if it is $5 where would I put it?  Then I started to imagine her all fixed up with cookbooks and canned goods on her shelves.  So I finally asked if it was a mistake.  Nope.  Sweet!  Quick call to Cameron to come pick her up and we were on our way again.

The bottom edges were a little rough and one side the bottom was cracked.  No big deal.  I got out the good ol' wood glue, some nails, and a clamp.  Then I borrowed more of the hubby's tools, this time I reached into the power tools.  I got to work sanding down all the surfaces to get off the shiny varnish.

Thankfully the hubby came home after all of this was completed.  I love him to death and love that he always wants to help me with these projects but usually what happens is he completely takes over and then I don't get to enjoy that part of the refinishing.  Plus I tend to be a little more picky about things than he is.  So this way we avoided the "compromising" that I usually do and then the finding that "compromise" everytime I look at a piece when it is finished.  And when he finally did come home and looked over what I had done, he gave it his nod of approval and said he was impressed.  How's that for a day's work?

Then I rummaged around in all the paint we have around this place and found a white that was not too gleaming white and not to yellowy-white.  Z. is always dying to help me paint so I let him tackle the back while I worked on the front.  He lasted for about 15 minutes before he was "so exhausted" and had to go inside.  Silly boy.

I put on three or four coats of paint.  My plan was to distress it and then apply a final clear coat.  I got started on the distressing but decided it could wait awhile.  I was too impatient to have it in the kitchen.

So there she is with her many layers of paint.  Much, much prettier now.

And here she is in the kitchen with a tiny bit of distressing.  When I get a little more ambitious I will empty her off and get to work on that distressing.  But for now, she looks pretty happy just the way she is.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 25 - Insects

Week 25 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Caterpillar

This cute little fuzzy guy was first found walking up the outside wall.  We thought he would be more happy on the hydrangea bush.  Who knows, we probably disrupted his travel to a very important destination.  In either case he happily posed for us for a little before moving along.

And just for giggles.  Here is Z. examining one of the many dragonfly visitors we get here.  They love the garden and these hydrangea bushes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

There Is A Hippo In My Yard!

You have all been warned of my mutating vegetables.  We pulled this guy out of the garden yesterday.  He was not discovered until today when we were sorting and storing.

Apparently the extra growths occur when there are big changes in moisture levels in the soil, which we definitely had this summer.  But thank goodness.  Because look what cute little creatures it creates.

Of course as crazy as we all are around here we are always finding weird things with our veggies.  We found this one a couple years ago.

I told the kids it was a reminder to love their veggies!

Last Weeks Theme? Food!

If ever a week had a theme, it was this week.  The whole week felt like it centered around one thing - FOOD!

Monday was picking food from the garden.  Monday was also securing half a cow so we could add beef to our freezer cache.  Tuesday was canning said food from the garden.  Wednesday was freezing more food from the garden.  Thursday was husking, boiling and freezing corn, making pickles, and making jelly.  Friday was not necessarily food related unless you count picking up a paycheck so we could pay for food :o)  Saturday was go to town to get groceries day (boo) and Sunday was making bread and getting food gifts!

Here is our week in pictures:

Here are some of the green beans and pickles.  It's a good thing all that hard work also looks pretty on a shelf or it just might be not worth it.  :o)

Just one of the pounds and pounds of corn that came through this kitchen.  It sure is yummy!  The one lesson corn taught me is that it really is not so bad to process green beans after all.  Ugh removing the silk is a pain in the patoosky!

MMMM, MMMMM, MMMMM  Remember that little ditty on Sesame Street?  Where the little girl dances around with her big ol' "M" and sings "Me and my M we go mmmm, mmmm, mmmm"?  Well me and my everything go mmmm, mmmm, mmmm with this yummy apple cider jelly.  So, so yummy!

And these delicious looking things were a present received Sunday.  A brother and sister in our congregation make their own BBQ sauce and on Sundays they cook up a ton of ribs and sell them from their house.  This week he showed up at our house with a big huge tin full of them and said he had made too much this week.  Happy us!  These are delicious!

And finally this yumminess.  Reuben and Aubrei have squash coming out of their ears so we try and help them out by taking some.  I have been wanting to try zucchini bread so that solves the green squash but what about yellow?  I found this blog with a recipe for blueberry yellow squash bread.  Hmmm, that sounds yummy.  The best part is the only dairy contained in this bread was the butter.  So I substituted that out for some vegetable shortening so that my sis-in-law who has to be milk deprived for a little while could try some.  General consensus was super yum and must make this again.  It is really oh so good.  This weekend I found a pick-your-own blueberry place so later this week we are headed out for more blueberries and make up a bunch of these little goodies.

I guess last week's theme could just as easily have been "YUM"!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 24 Clear Lake

Clear Lake, Atlanta, MI
Week 24 of 52

Location:  Atlanta, MI
Subject:  Clear Lake

This my friends was our camping spot last weekend.  A beautiful little lake in northern Michigan.  Cleark Lake in Atlanta, MI.  It definitely lived up to its name.  The water was crystal clear.  It is a spring fed lake with the deepest point being 100 feet.  We swam out pretty far, according to the depth map they gave us it was about 60 feet deep where we were swimming and you could still see straight to the bottom.

All the kiddos had a blast.  We got rained on a couple of the days but they still went swimming.  And when they weren't swimming we were playing cards or they were picking on each other.  Saturday it rained all day so we got in the vehicles and headed over to check out Lake Huron.

A. and her buddies enjoying Clear Lake

And just for fun, I found these beauties out back last week.  Gotta love what a soft rain shower will do for a flower.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beautiful, Busy Day

Have I mentioned our green bean issue?  Yes, I know - but really, it is crazy the amount of green beans we have picked and the plants are just getting started.  Monday we picked a 7 gallon bucket FULL of them.  So yesterday we headed over to our local canning expert (a.k.a. Aunt Carol) and got to work.  We washed, cut, canned, and pressure cooked for hours.  All told we canned 9 1/2 quarts of green beans.  Tomorrow, we get to start all over again - yeay us!

I also froze some corn yesterday.  And of course we ate some for dinner.  Sooooo yummy that fresh corn is!  Dad also went with a couple of brothers tonight to a farm in Stanton where the farmer lets people pick for free.  Yes FREE!  He walked in the door and I said how much work did you bring home for me.  His reply?  "Lots"  and he was not kidding.  Three 5-gallon buckets full of corn.  Ugh!  So tomorrow A. and I will be busy with green beans AND corn.  I shouldn't complain.  We will be eating good this winter.

Today we went and picked up the green beans and dropped off a couple of worker bees to help Aunt Carol and Uncle Larry.  Then Z. and I headed home for chores of our own.  Top of my list was tackling the $5 bookcase I picked up at a yard sale.  I will be posting picks of that tomorrow.

On the way home Zack and I stopped at the Winchester Dam to checkout these massive mushrooms and the plentiful flowers.

These mushroom were really big and they grew in a large circle.  Pretty awesome until Z. decided that they would make great footballs.  Boys!!!

These pretty little flowers are growing all over the place, along the edges of the roads and out in the fiels.  Can you spot the two creatures feasting on its bounty?

Funny thing about these little wildflowers.  I stopped and snapped a picture because these little blue flowers are so pretty.  They bloomed once and then disappeared and I was so disappointed that I missed them.  But they came back.  I stopped along the road on the way home in front of this house where a lot of them were growing.  Didn't think much about it until I drove back by that same house a few hours later and they had come out and mowed them all down.  I hope they didn't think I was taking photos to report them.  Ooops.

And the latest and greatest from the garden.  The tomatillo plants are going crazy but we have only gotten a couple of tomatillos to date.  They are getting close though.  Today I pulled these little beauties off.  I guess J. can get a tiny little bowl of his green salsa he has been anxiously awaiting.

It has been a beautiful, busy day and we all got a lot accomplished.  Yeay for all of us.  Boo for having to get up and start all over again tomorrow.  Bring on the blizzards this winter so we have an excuse to sit around a fire with a mug of hot cocoa!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 23 - Pickles and Carrots!

Week 23 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Pickles

This folks, is my first ever jar of homemade pickles.  They look delicious and smelled delicious as I was making them.  Unfortunately we have to wait three weeks before we can taste them.  We stare at them everyday willing them to be ready early.

Also we pulled some of the carrots.  They came out so-so.  Some were really good and some were tiny malformed something or others.  But some of the colored carrots came out pretty good.  This week we pulled some more and they were better looking.  Here are the first few we pulled up.

Red, white, and orange.  They really are pretty.  I cut into one of the red ones.  I was imagining that it would be the same color all the way through.  Nope.

Pretty little carrot.

Sorry for the late posting.  We headed up north to go camping with some friends this weekend.  Actual camping where you are not rushing around to get ready for the convention.  It was beautiful.  But that is another post for another day.

Love ya all!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Photo of the Week - Week 22 - Photo Editing

So this weeks photo is for getting opinions.  I have been playing around with my photo editing software, really learning all that it can do.  Having lots of fun with layers and the time machine filter.  So let me know what you think of this edit:

Cropped and Edited
So here is what I did to the photo.  I cropped the original image so it had only what I wanted in the photo frame.  I softened the exposure just a tad and then added a couple of different textures from this awesome blog.

I am loving the look of layering textures.  How bout you?

Captured Moments
Week 22 of 52

Location:  Mecosta, MI
Subject:  Chive blossom