Friday, September 30, 2016

To Bring A Smile

Sometimes a very little thing can become a very big thing.  I wish I could embed the video but this is the best I can do.  The link is below the photo.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Minnesota - 10,000 Lakes...10 Trillion Mosquitoes

It's been a beautiful year up in Minnesota.  Plenty of rain.

Isn't this corn crop beautiful?

You know how I am about pretty rocks...yet it is Himself out looking at this roadside rock pile.  

Oh, I had been out there.  For a few minutes...

Take a close look at the reflections in the rear view mirror.  See all those 'spots'?  Notice you can see wings on some of the 'spots'?

THIS is why I am grumpily sitting in the car and why Himself was back pretty quick.

There were clouds of them!

Oh. My. Goodness.

(BTW, Himself braved the mozzies long enough to get me some very beautiful rocks and an awesome old, old brick.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

KonMari The Cloth

After spending several days doing the KonMari on our clothes and accessories, it was time to turn our attention of the rest of the 'cloth' category.  Just like with the clothing, Himself washed everything before we put it away.

Sheets and blankets.

Easy enough as we don't have a bunch.  Two sets of sheets for each bed, and one flannel set.  One extra blanket for winter use (we keep it cold in the winter months).  Two old blankets were discarded (each made a bag).


Next stop for the KonMari train was our towels and hot pads.

Confession time...not a single towel left the house.  In our home, there is no such thing as a discarded towel unless you can see through it!  Ratty towels become cat driers, car polishers, wet mess cleaner-uppers, etc, etc.  And having them available sparks great joy for me!  LOL

And so the upstairs cloth KonMari is finished.

Next stop...books.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just Like Making Mud Pies...Hypertufa Planters

Back in July, I arranged a hypertufa container class at 'Diann's Greenhouse' for the members of my EHC club.  Then serendipitously Himself's Bro #1 was visiting at the time.

We started by viewing a video of the process (that is Diann in the middle).

There are different components you can use to make hypertufa concrete...the trick being they have to be lighter than the normal sand and stones that are in regular concrete.

There are a lot of recipes on the 'Net...even one from Martha Stewart.  The recipe Diann used was 1:1:1 concrete, perlite, and peat moss.  It makes for lightweight concrete.  (I know that sounds like an oxymoron!) 

Diann does this in a big way and has her own concrete mixer!  I'll be using a wheelbarrow to mix mine in.  While it is dusty make sure you wear a mask.  It's pretty nasty stuff.

Once it's done, it just like making mud pies (except you have to wear gloves so the lime doesn't burn you).

Himself and Bro #1 busy at it.  Our container molds were plastic food containers; like those you get salad, fruit, or baked chicken in.

Working on our second container.

Just keep packing it in tight.

Make sure to do it in a flat box so you can move your container without bending and breaking the sides.

The containers had to cure for several weeks.

Then we cut them out of their molds.

They weren't completely dry so we had to be careful.

The big one Himself made.

Here they all are unmolded and drying a bit more.

And here they are about a month later all ready to go.

I'll be making more in the spring once I've decided where I want to place them.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Creating My Own Serving Set - A Sunflower Tray

A few weeks ago Team Red, White, Blue had a social at "Horsefeathers", a local 'paint your own pottery' shop.  A little noshing and a lot of painting!

I wasn't interested in a figurine of any sort, so I picked out a nice sized platter to work on.  I decided to free-hand a sunflower for my design.

Then I picked my colors.

Before long everyone was busy painting.

I was a little ambitious for the amount of time we had allowed.

Keeping at it.

Phew!  Finished... I was one of the last ones out the door.

And there it sits with all the other pieces done by the group; waiting to be glazed and fired.  I was kind of nervous on how it would turn out.

The finished tray!

I'm really pleased with it.  Next social I think I'm going to keep with the flower theme on the teal background.  Maybe a peony...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

St Martin's of Winona, MN

While we were in Winona we visited St Martin's, the church that Himself's uncle (actually 2nd cousin) used to attend.  His great grandfather was one of the early elders here too.

The look on the colt's face made me chuckle.

Beautiful organ.

Around the back of the church were flags of the countries where they have mission work going on.

I really like the stylized stain glass windows.

Himself was invited to try out their grand piano.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

KonMari Clothes - 20 Bags Gone

Let the KonMaring begin!

See?  It's in my planner so it had to happen!  

The first category is clothes.  So here we go.

Even tho I did a discarding in March, I apparently was not too serious.  Look at all that stuff!

As per the method, I pulled every. single. thing. out... out of the closet, out of the dresser, out of storage tubs.  The only thing that wasn't on that bed were the good winter coats because I couldn't find them (I did later on).

It took way longer than I thought - but was way easier.  I had thought ahead as to what I wanted as an outcome of this discarding.  I wanted clothes that fit.  There were a lot of things that were now too large for me, and only a few that I haven't come down to that size yet.  And I wanted them to fit a certain way.

So not only did I 'touch' every single piece of clothing, I tried them on.

It was exhausting.

But in the end, I discarded TWELVE bags of clothes.  Most will be sold as they are really good quality, a few went to Goodwill.

Then, although it's out of the KonMari order, I went through my accessories.

My able-bodied assistant lent her opinion.

I did not realize how much you loose in shoe size when you drop weight!  Some shoes wouldn't stay on my feet anymore.  More eBay items.

I went from 2 drawers of socks down to one.

Jewelry, only a few things were discarded.  I've been careful curating my jewelry collection.

Three bags from the accessory category are gone.

Now here's the GRAND thing... Himself agreed to KonMari his clothes too!!  Gone are the faded, the stretched out, the too short.  

He loves the fact that now everything in his closet and drawers looks good and fits.

In addition, he volunteered to wash everything we kept so it went back into the closet and drawers clean.  Poor man was washing for days!

We both agree it was so worth it.