August 14, 2017

When I think of last week, I can only think…chaos.  The best kind of chaos and I smile.  There is that warm feeling in my heart, contentment and joy.  The house was full of family and dogs (14 to be exact, 4 adults and 10 puppies).  The puppies were socialized.

The weather was hot.  Hot for here, hot for anywhere and no Ellensburg breeze/wind, 100 degrees, an old home with no A/C.  However, here it does cool off at night and the mornings are lovely and it is only the afternoons that are nasty.  We appreciated the mornings and by 4:oo pm, we instituted the ‘Mike hour’ and daily worked our way through a different Hard Mike’s Lemonade flavor.  The people were socialized.

There were birthdays to celebrate.  

Cousins came from over the hill with their Grandson, brothers came, friends came….kids and dogs and chaos…the best kind.  The family from different branches, with different names were socialized.More cousins came, San Diego cousins, because after all they were only in Portland and we had puppies.

We found them beds and said, ‘Just stay’.

The pond was played in.  THE Grandson helped me put the candles on his Mama & Daddy’s cake.

Water balloons were launched, because when I saw the launcher, complete with 100 self sealing balloons, I knew that my son, needed it for his 29th birthday.

The San Diego boy cousin rode the mini bike…and rode it into the barn, cut his leg open and it was time for stitches, ‘real life’ was in session!  They changed their flight, and as their Mom got them organized, I took these younger cousins into town…for ice cream and bought them books, because I like doing both of those things with kids.  I told them stories of My Special Uncle, their Great Grandfather, who taught me to do those things with kids, by doing those things for me.  I told them stories about their Grandfather, my cousin, the funniest man I have ever known, who died too young, and they’ve never know…

I guess, that is my job now, my gift…to be the family story-teller and help paint the family picture…and probably, to buy water balloons.

…and I am blessed.


6 Painting Tips

August 4, 2017

I do not really like to paint.  I do, however, like the results painting brings.  I hadn’t planned to paint this summer, but as we know here….plans are often over rated.  I have painted enough this summer to pass on 6 really crucial tips that will make any painting job you tackle better than ever!

  1.  Paint Value  Buy good quality (possibly pricey) paint.  High quality paint makes the job easier and looks better, which is the whole point.  Sherwin Williams and I are pretty much best buds.  I would love it, if they were paying me big sums of money (or even small sums of money) to say that, but they do not really know this blog exists.  Sherwin keeps track of everything I buy, so I can get the same color again when I need it, because if you think that I might keep track, you’d be wrong most of the time.  My Loving Spouse and I had one of our biggest discussions/arguments about the cost of buying paint for the barns for me to paint them this summer.  Decent paint for me to do the painting is not a frivolous expenditure.  Someone/My Loving Spouse was acting (only for a little while) like I was buying myself diamonds or cows or something!
  2. Appropriate tools  Summer time, farm, wasp spray…enough said.
  3. Crisp lines.  Good painting outcomes are always the goal, especially when you don’t really even like to paint.  Getting crisp lines in an old house was always problematic.  My Loving Spouse heard of a new way to get sharp edges and let me tell you they worked!  I zipped to Sherwin’s for some Alabaster White for ceilings, (after all Johanna Gaines loves it), so I figured I could not go wrong.  The room had already been painted green, but we needed to clean up the trim and the ceilings.  My Loving Spouse applied painter’s tape, a bead of caulk, ran his finger down the caulk, painted over the tape and caulk, then pulled the tape off to crisp lines.  We were practically giddy with excitement!
  4. Cleaning paint brushes.   Not everyone will agree with this tip, but let me tell you, it has made my painting life sooooo much easier.  Since I am the one who does most of the painting, making it easier on me is important.  I state this up front, because My Loving Spouse does not actually agree with my use of this tip, but I am standing by it.  The best way to clean your paint brushes effectively is to just throw them away.  No, I am not wasteful, this is just practical.  I cannot get them clean, and it drives me crazy and no, I do not want to learn how.  Remember, I don’t even like to paint.  New paint brushes are a small price to pay to have me do most of the painting around here.  P.S.  I think Sherwin probably doesn’t mind, that I buy new brushes.
  5. Find a Friend  I am blessed by a Sweet Friend with a love of painting.  No, I do not understand it and you can bet, I am not going to make fun of it, because she likes to help me paint!  I don’t like to paint, but I do like spending time with my friend.  I have even spent time painting her fence, because she needed help, and because every job is better when you do it with someone you like.
  6. Pat Yourself On The Back  Painting old barns is a lot like pulling weeds.  No one else will really notice that you’ve done the job.  People (other than you) will only really notice when it needs doing.  Sit back, enjoy your hard work and maybe…buy yourself something special like wine…or a cow.


Look Who Dropped By

Post image for Look Who Dropped By

July 25, 2017

What is better than visiting puppies?

Sharing puppies!  With 10 healthy little pups and a Mama dog, that is willing to let people hold her babies, (as long as they scratch her head first), there are enough puppies for everyone.Santa left these boys an IOU about 18 months ago, for a “Puppy when the time was right”.  Guess what time it is?  Right!  There was a brief discussion with their Dad, to try to talk him into 2 pups.  Dad wouldn’t visit the pups, because he knew he’d weaken and say, “Yes”.  We’re delighted that one of these little black male dogs will belong with this great family, be trained up and learn to hunt with these boys.Fuzzy tail picture, yep, someone is ‘wagging’ it!Our Friend the Farmer stops by for a quick visit, a drink and a puppy cuddle.We had no plans to keep any of the pups, but this little yellow male is working his way into our hearts.  He is calm and sweet.  My Loving Spouse says his name is “Gunner”, however, if you are British you pronounce it “Gun-na”.

Not all the pups have been spoken for yet.  This is a bit easier on me, because as soon as I know which family they are going to, it feels like I am caring for someone else’s dog.  However, I do prefer them to go to great people we know, or friends know, so I am trying to not be anxious, that they are not all spoken for at this time.  They are 3 1/2 weeks old, which means they will be climbing out of their whelping box soon!  Some of them are showing signs of climbing out, so we spent yesterday evening securing the perimeter of the yard!

Stay tuned for more puppies adventures, and if you live nearby…come visit!


Fresh Eggs

July 20, 2017

We have true free range chickens.Unfortunately they like to hang out on the porch on windy or hot days…or still, cool days…or rainy days.  Yep, just about everyday, hanging out, pooping on the porch.  They have a short memory, because they get chased off with a broom by me often!  Then they jump into what was supposed to be a strawberry patch-flower garden and take a dust bath.  The high price of fresh eggs.The girls do provide what I think are the best eggs in the valley.  Even Our Friend the Farmer, said, “Oh, I sure do like your eggs!”  He has geriatric hens that have stopped laying, so he has joined my small, but faithful collection of egg customers.I set out a dozen eggs, in a cooler.  I have a low tech, collection container for payment.It is all done on the honor system.  Folks pay for the eggs and then help me out by laying the sign down and putting the cooler beside the fence.

Do people steal the cooler?  No

Do people steal the eggs?  No

Do people bring back egg cartons, even when there are no eggs?  Yes, lots.Is life good?

You bet!



Those Pesky Flies

July 10, 2017

We have a few flies here at the farm.  Flies are ugly, nasty, gross insects.  Where there is poop, there are flies.  I can well remember my mother, Betty, hollering at us kids,

“Do NOT put the fly swatter on the table/counter!!!  Flies land in dog doo!”

It left a mark on me.  She was right.  Flies are gross.  They land in dog doo and any other doo they can find.  Fly swatters are gross.  Flies in the house are gross and annoying, swat them with a swatter and they smear on the surface.  Swat them with a random ball-cap and you might (I did) break a window.

We saw this video of a man shooting flies with salt.  My Loving Spouse was on the internet ready to buy it.  He found it for $50, gotta say, that did slow us down.  We waited a bit, after all….would it really work and $50 is one expensive Fly Swatter.

I was then off to JoAnn’s fabric shop to check out a sale in Yakima.  Some one was really thinking when they put this store in, because next door to the shop is a very nice Ace Hardware.  Not to stereotype anyone, but ‘if a wife is shopping for fabric, a husband does have somewhere to go.’

I needed a door magnet, so I popped into Ace.  There I saw it.I asked the Old Boy who was helping me,

“How much fun have you had with that Bug-a-Salt?”

‘I LOVE it!  It really works and it is a hoot!’

I was on the phone to My Loving Spouse.

“They’ve got the Bug-a-Salt at Ace.  Only $40.”

He said only two words, “Buy it!”

This is the most fun I’ve ever had killing those gross flies.  No mess, just a bit of table salt added to the dust we already have, (hardly worth mentioning).  Everyone who I’ve let try it, wants to know how to buy one and has a long list of people they want to buy it for.  

If you visit, I will no longer be embarrassed at our flies.  I will just hand you our Bug-a-Salt and let you have some fun.

Life is good…..if, you are not a fly.


Driving In Hay

July 7, 2017

I was driving in hay the other night.  Seriously, imagine me (born suburban girl) driving a truck and trailer through the edge of a hay-field.  The object was to drive slowly, stay out of the plethora of ditches, do not run into any fences or dogs and try not to actually drive over any of the cut hay.

Yes, I could do that…

My Loving Spouse and I were helping Our Neighbor The Fire Captain, who has a mid-sized hay operation.  Mid-sized means that he has all the fancy equipment to get the hay down and baled, but not the fancy equipment to get it picked up.  He does the picking up with hay hooks and muscle.  I drove through the back swath (back swath – fancy farm term for the perimeter of the hay-field, where the hay is first cut and baled and picked up, thereby allowing the tractor and baler to turn at the end of each row).  We were going to buy this hay for our herd, so by helping him load it onto our trailer, he could start work the next day baling the rest of his field.

I drove.   The Fire Captain walked along the trailer, hauling the bales up to My Loving Spouse who stacked them.

I could not hear the guys for any instructions and I couldn’t always see the bales behind me.  Frankly, I gave up trying to hear them and just idled through the field.  I figured, that if I was not going the right speed, one of them would eventually tell me.

Fresh cut hay smells so sweet.  It was a beautiful evening to be driving in hay, getting it all picked up.

I know I am living in the right place for me, because I loved every minute of it!


10 Puppies!

The last week has been eventful!  It started with our pregnant black lab, Zoe not eating.  Labradors typically eat as if their last meal had been days ago not simply hours ago.  Labradors eat everything and anything, that they are allowed to gobble up.  Zoe was huge (large, giant) and resembling a pot-bellied pig more […]

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We celebrated My Loving Spouse’s birthday in a big way! First, let me back up.  A few years ago we gave Team Offspring an IOU to go Tubing on the snow.  Then one of them broke their wrist, then there was no snow, then another of them broke their arm, then there was so much […]

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And the winner is…..

Thank you each and every one of you who entered the first ever ‘Giveaway’!!! Your comments and your entries made my day! Thank you so very much!   Winner, winner chicken dinner…. My best to you all! Update July 17, 2017 Today I received a photo from our winner with the table runner on her […]

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Lights, Action!

We have lights in THE Bathroom!  Lights as in, one walks into the room and flicks a switch and lights go on!  Not the lights we have had called, do not trip over the extension cord to the power strip, which led to the shop light leaning up against the wall. We had the lights […]

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THE Giveaway!

Have you ever read the most famous blog Confessions of a Pioneer Woman? Ree Drummond is sort of amazing.  I do enjoy her blog, her honesty and the cows.  How much she takes on could be a tad overwhelming, but I do urge you to check her out.  She also does…Giveaways!  Seriously!  This gal gives […]

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Off To The Hills

Sometimes in life there is that friend. The friend that inspires parents to say such things as, “If Johnny/Susie/Taylor jumps off of a bridge are you going to jump off of a bridge?”  Of course the ‘child’ always says, ‘No’.  However, if that friend invites them to jump off a bridge, then… they are probably […]

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