Monday, June 30, 2014

June in the Rear View Mirror

Well, summer is here; by date and by temperatures.  As the song goes, ‘…those hazy, lazy days of summer…’ have applied to this month.  Our pace has slowed and we’re enjoying it.

We made one trip this month and that was up to Missouri for Little Hoss’ 4th birthday.  The trip was more exciting than we had planned though.  One night lightning struck the tree next to my parent’s house and arced to the house!  Everyone is OK and there was not all that much damage.  You betcha there will be a blog soon on this.  I learned a whole lot about lightning and home safety in a short amount of time!  (Firemen are happy to tell you how to be prepared for trouble.) 

Back on the home front, we’ve been working on small outdoor projects to increase our curb appeal.  And inside I’ve been focusing on my studio.  A night of watching the weather radar made me realize that we had NO place to hide if those strong cells became a tornado. 

Next morning I was pulling all the boxes I’d stashed in the under-stairs closet to sort later, and putting them in an area in the garage.  A July project is to build a safe place for us to go to.

Otherwise, we’ve had a few friends over for meals, done a bit of dog sitting while friends go on vacation, worked a Whole Foods class based on ‘crab’ (YUM!), and we’ve hit a few yards sales. 

With my studio coming together, I’m more able to play with my creative projects and I’ve been having a blast with that! 

June has been a good month… can’t wait to see what July holds!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ode to the Waffle Iron

Who would have thought there would be an official 'waffle iron day'?  Somehow it came to be and today is the day.

And in loving tribute to our waffle iron, I give you this blog!

This well used waffle iron was given to us by my grandmother.  I'm not sure where she got it from.  My mom says that they didn't have waffles as a breakfast food but instead for dinner as Chicken ala King Waffles.  

I'll take a pass on that one...

What good is a waffle iron without making the waffles?

When we received the iron, we headed to my trusty 'Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book' that I received as a wedding gift.  Yep...almost 32 years old and it is still my go-to recipe book.


Later on my aunt sent us my grandmother's waffle recipe.  Shhhhhhh... we like the BHG one better!

The back of the recipe card reads:  ...beaten egg whites.  Preheat iron and bake 3 - 4 minutes.  Makes 6.

Here is my one contribution to the preparation... separating the eggs.

Himself fools with the rest of the recipe.

Our blender is a wee bit loud...

There go my egg whites!

Fill the grids...

... but not too much!

Then you wait.

Time to eat!  

Some farm tapped maple syrup, blackberries, and a pat of butter.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ethiopian Tailor

Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
July 2003

Friday, June 27, 2014

Organized Office Space

Time for another challenge at Mary Organizes.  This week was "Office Area".  

Oh my...  that meant a trip down to my studio again.  

In working on my studio I've done a lot of piling... way too much piling.  But sometimes that is how it works out, you know what I mean?

Time to take care of the mess!

Amazing what a bit of clearing and putting a way can do for you.

The dresser and desk were already in good shape.  I had done them in Jan '13 and have kept them maintained.  I'm kinda proud of that.

The dry sink to the left of the desk belonged to my husband's uncle.  We got it at his estate sale.  On the top I have a couple of organizers.  The drawer holds clipboards and accordion files.  And inside are my note cards, greeting cards, and the notebooks that will hold all of our instruction manuals (we're going to put them in as we find them).

In case you're curious, that to the left of the dry sink is a cream can (from Himself's family farm) holding walking sticks we've gotten from all over the world.  Those colorful ones were given to use by our Maasai sponsor child's father.)

The desk was cleared of everything except these two things.

The photo holder is something I made.  I call it "Count Your Blessings".   The little dragon was giving to me ages ago by the high school boys my Dad football coached.  Our school mascot was the dragon.

On the wall in front of the desk are a few inspirational pieces.

On either side of the desk is my collection of model horses.

The TV is basically for the DVD player.  I can put my tai chi DVDs in and work out, or watch them while I'm on my elliptical.  Or I can listen to a CD.

Anyway, this is another area done in my studio and I am VERY happy about it!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

All Aboard the Birthday Train!

While Little Hoss turned 4 on the 23rd, Sis had his party on the 21st.  He wanted a 'train' theme for this year and that is what he got!

I made the birthday banner this year.  It was so much fun!  

Sis has the babies parties over lunch, so there is always a nice spread for noshing.  Big J made sliders, Great grandma L made a jello salad, Mom made a Caprese pasta salad and a wild rice salad, I made a tzatziki dill dip, and Sis filled in with things like cheeses, chips & dip, and so on.

After we lunched it was time for the gifts!

A new train set.

The bags are part of the gift now.  He loves his super heroes too.

This is the first time Himself has gotten to be part of the celebration!  

Himself and I found this Amish quilted throw in Kentucky.  It's just right for a fun blanket for him to play with.  

Recognize the hard hat from our yard sale finds?  Himself gave it a major scrubbing and it's perfect for our little construction dude.

The big moment... blowing out the candle.

The three of us.

There is not a happy male in this picture!  It takes an engineering degree to put together some of these toys.  And Little Hoss wants to play with his new truck NOW.

Soon enough we were dodging and the dog was running as Hoss worked the controls of his first remote control car.  

Good times!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

River Otter

River otter at Port Townsend, WA.
May 2011

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Hoss

Happy Birthday Little Hoss!!

You snuggled right into my heart the very first moment I saw you.

I thought you were so big... yet so little.

Now look at you!  You are our rough and tumble whirlwind!

So big... and yet still so little.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

20 Miles of a 400 Mile Yard Sale

A couple weekends ago Himself and I set out on a treasure hunt.

It was the annual Kentucky Highway 68 Four Hundred Mile yard sale!  Hwy 68 runs not too far from here so it was a perfect day trip.

There were signs all along the highway to lure in buyers.  The towns along the route were also full of yard sales.  Figuring out which ones to check out was the big trick of the day.

A sign pointing down a narrow gravel country road gave me a feeling.  Good things are down little country roads...

In this case, great things!

Mr. Tom and his great grandson Dylan were getting rid of 'junk'.  Stuff everyone else calls 'antiques'... with a bit of funky junk thrown in to make it really fun!  Yep, that's Himself carrying a box for me.

Mr. Tom and Himself hit it off, which worked for me.  The more they talked... the more I shopped!

I mean... look at this wonderful treasure!

He was getting rid of a "few" of his old fishing poles.  A few...yeah, right.  There were 32 poles there!  I wonder how many he kept?

Mr. Tom's sale was the first one we hit... but it sure wasn't the last!  It was truly a target rich environment.  

The back of Little Red when we got home.


The wheel barrow was $10, the pry bar was $3, the floor jack was $5.  The cool metal gas can was $2... you'll be seeing that later in a creative project.  The milk crates were $1 each.  One of them is now my 'weeding seat'; which saves my knees hugely!

Kitchen items.

All from Mr. Tom's sale.  The antique candle stick was $1, as was the refrigerator glass container and the vinegar cruet.  The platter was $2 and the peeler was .25c.  

Stuff for Little Bird and Little Hoss.

Great books for .25c or .50c.  The hard hat and 'construction' blanket are going to Little Hoss.  And they will each get a cowboy hat.  

A couple things for organizing in my studio.

OK, the plants aren't from the yard sale.  A friend has an herb business and we stopped by there first to pick up my French tarragon and rosemary.  She threw in the mint and a tarragon alternative (does better in the TN heat and she says tastes just like tarragon), plus a red basil she is having issues with.  I'll try it in my garden and let her know how it does.

The stone face is a planter I'm going to put sedum in for 'hair' and the little owl will sit in one of my succulent pots.

One of the yard sales was at an Amish farm.  

Love this display case I got at Mr. Tom's.  Talk about solid!

And a box full of funky junk for creating!  

Oh yes, it was a grand day!