Have you ever watched a 4 year old try to spin a gun on his finger like gunslingers do in westerns?  A great big life-sized plastic 44 MAG on a stubby little chunky finner?  If you have you are laughing as hard as I am at just the memory.  The tears started when he clocked himself on the ear/forehead/cheek with one “spin”.  By tears I mean MINE from laughter-they became uncontrollable when he brought it to me and asked me to show him how.  😆


I wish I had thought of sunglasses-he could have TOTALLY pulled this off if it wasn’t soooo bright!

(this photo staged just for Mary at Hope Echoes) link deally is fussing with me so google her if you need to.

I started another batch of homemade vanilla extract…I think it looks purty.  In six weeks I will think it looks dark but smells wonderful!. And from the who-needs throw-pillows-when-you-have-me department…

Gratuitous Lizard…

The hazards of keeping a big melodious windchime in the tree outside your bedroom window year-round because you like the sound…

And because I feel like I should since I spent so long on it–the completed Quilting With Laura quilt–all pieced and quilted by hand from designs taken from and inspired by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Books. (FYI –the more “problems” I have with a quilt the more I embellish to try to “fix” or camouflage.  You can readily tell how my first try at hand-piecing miniatures went! 😆 )

Uh–boys? When most kids build a fort they play inside it. And what’s the deal with the cat? Nevermind-don’t think I want to know…


Yes, if you count highschool! I was pretty good background filler in The Music Man (if I do say so myself)…I had a LOT more fun in my early twenties helping with costume creation and changes for a community playhouse though. Why do you want to know?

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In celebration of the fact that our camera started working again (with the old batteries that were in it) after months on the shelf in lonely exile for poor performance–I give you my new bedroom paint!

I wanted a sweet, innocent, barely there pink.  Not Barbie or Pepto or baby girl pink; but antique rose throats and old-fashioned cameos-that color that is in the little crease on the underside of new baby toes.  You know?  Menard’s did not have a baby-toe pink so I went with Tuscan pink…after (I kid you not) hanging 7 choices on my wall for a month to see them in differing lights and ask everyone except the UPS man their opinion (he looked busy-plus he was wearing all that brown-what kind of color sense would he have anyway) anywhooooo…I give you PINK.

Turns out I am not a pink person.  I knew that but a sweet old-fashioned pink should be an exception-I do like baby toes after all.  Do I give up and paint over it? Are you NUTS?!?  That was a lot of picky work–I will make this work somehow, someway,some…what?

I used Laurel as a sounding board while we finished the trim work in there.  sponging? nah-everybody does that.  ragging-we like that but have done it so much. Wouldn’t it be cool to do an all-over stencil?  ooo yeah-one that overlaps and is at different intensities! Yeah! SATURATION level!  spray would work best for that-really light–ooooo through LACE! YEAH! Let’s try that!  She brought some spray paint home from work-we tried a cre

am and a brushed nickle on a test board and went with the nickle.  Here is a process shot:

You know you are homeschooled when you tell your daughter holding spray paint to flash a gang sign and she gives you “Live long and prosper.”  😆  We just taped an old curtain to the wall and sprayed through it trying to be random.  Later we started trying to hit nearly every area-apparently “random” to our hands means “always miss the middle”.

This effect is soooo cool!  Kind of a grunge meets victorian meats metallic shabby chic? (then they all beat each other up and my wall is the survivor of the decorating elements grudge match) The spray paint is a brushed metallic so just barely shiny-when the light hits it just right it looks white or pewter and straight on it is a silvery color so lots of variation from the light plus lots of variation from our painting technique (which was differing distances and speeds and spray-over amounts…AKA random with extra variables) It is really very striking and I love the pink now that it is not the forefront.  It is NOT easy to photograph though so here are my few tries.  The lace patterning shows up really nicely on the walls but it blends away when the flash goes off–so add more patterns in your imagination K?

Now lets add antique prints and kid pictures:

I really like how warm and romantic the room is now!

PLUS: bonus 2 YO cute from inside the camera–him was sooo widdle and waiting for supper took soooo wong!

I am pre-shopping for a camera and would like any recomendations…my requirements:

  • point and shoot option so anyone in the house can use it
  • common battery size/ long life
  • I like a lot of zoom for catching kids when they don’t know I am there.
  • I am going to say less than $150–thinking I can probably find one in that range for about $80 after Christmas.

I want sturdy, and long-lasting and if you can tell me what to look at I can earmark the one/s I want to snag in January.


What do you use?

The most intriguing sunrise I have seen in, like, ever!

Picture a perfectly deep plum overcast sky-got it?  Now a near-white pale/slate/powder/barely blue space at the horizon-with an absolutely perfect defining line between the 2  with a visual 3 foot space of the bright/pale sky between the 2 horizons.  This is sounding so lame…you still reading?….NOW the sun is coming up right? but you can’t see it yet-just the light along the bottom of the clouds forming the top horizon (as if the bottoms of the clouds were lit)!  cool aye?  Now turn around and picture the farm–every thing out here has white frilly snow formations stuck on one side-every blade of taller grass/weeds-every single branch and building.  It is all being hit with bright sunshine adding spotlight-grade shadows to the pure white landscape–all of which is backed by the perfect plum sky which you only see when it is overcast deeply.  seriously magical.  Also pretty much gone by the time  I got anyone awake enough to see it.


What a perfect morning after Thanksgiving!!

bad picture alert:

Add in warm bovine breath and springy kicks and 2 perfect white polka dots on her chocolate forehead and you can imagine our new heifer!


YES I said HEIFER!!  Heifer means we can milk her or sell her as a milk cow-we don’t have to send her to freezer camp!  She will help support our expensive experiment out here AND we can get “attached” without knowing we will have to eat her!  😆


Happy happy happy dance!!! and a heartfelt Doxology!

My poor sweet Buttermilk died yesterday.  I took him to the vet Saturday morning when he had a hard time walking.  X-rays and bloodwork were fine ans since he was only 3 it was not age related.  The vet decided he had some sort of head trauma from one of his outdoor hunting trips-did he get tumbled by a car on our nearly empty gravel road? butted too roughly by a goat while hunting mice under their feeder? maybe stepped on by one of the steers?  Did he visit a neighbor and get clocked with a shovel?  We will never know.  She gave him fluids, steroids, antibiotics and pain meds and we came back home.  By Monday he was walking around and sleeping in comfy chairs-sleeping a lot.  Yesterday morning he was nowhere to be found-we searched off and on all day.  Scott found him in the evening in a little crawl-space cupboard we keep cans of paint in-located in the back corner of the basement.  It looks like he wanted to be left alone to die in peace and privacy.  So I think today, the day we bury him while sleet and ice chunks rain down, I will post happy memories of my Buttermilk.  He was one of those once-in-a-lifetime cats.

Buttermilk was born to Mama kitty in my bedroom closet-I watched.  She was too tired and he was twice as big as the rest of the litter so she did not help him out of the sack.  I did. I rubbed him until he squeaked and then Mama’s instincts kicked back in and she took him out of my hand.  From then on he was mine.  He was mine enough that at one point Mama hid him in the basement (only him) and continued feeding the rest of her babies in my closet.  I must have been messing with him too much for her liking.  She brought him back a week later.  As Buttermilk grew we saw that he really had nice manners and made the decision to have him neutered so he could always be our house kitty.  He grew big and sleek and sweet-getting along with dogs and cats and kids alike.  I think I will post random memories of what he liked and did interspersed with pictures that may or may not have anything to do with the words.

Sleeping in a patch of sunshine was a gift.

My vase of pheasant feathers was irresistible.

He never outgrew playing with feathers or chasing strings.  It was always so funny to watch a 13 pound cat tumble with kittens and try to beat them to the moving string.

Got distracted by the wee chubby widdle finners-thats what a walk through picture files can do to a mama…

Never once in all almost 4 years of his life did he scratch a child…and he has been packed and dragged and dressed and pushed and squeezed and stuffed into small spaces.  I think Patience was his middle name.

Every time we did a birthday we left the paper on the floor for a little while so we could watch Buttermilk slide in and dive under.

This one is Logan blowing out a candle last Advent…I love the spark! Forgot I had this one…

It seems like nearly every picture file on my pc has at least 1 of Buttermilk in it.  He was smack in the center of every event we put on film and right there for all the non-event day-to-day living as well.  Comfort on a cold night, comic relief in tense moments, as ready to curl up with you as to play chase-the-broom,lover of catnip and green olives, that was Buttermilk.

Times like are times I wish I had developed writing skills equal to my thoughts.  If  I were able I would write him something like Lord Byron did when his Newfoundland passed away I would.  Something that did not deny his beasthood and elevate him to human and possessing of a soul.  Something the showed how his life as a beast glorified his creator in a way I think I as a better-able human am still struggling to do.

Instead I will just say:

Buttermilk: He was  a GOOD cat.

I have not posted since the 11th! Go figure!

roman gladiator

STOMP! Quick and terrible death is my spider policy. I have never understood the scream and let it hide to come out and get you while you sleep approach–if you hate spiders for real; then you kill them, kill them dead plus an extra stomp and one of those grind your shoe into the floor with a twist moves just be certain! It's even better with a loud "HA!" at the end and a victory lap of the house brandishing the twisted remains on the end of a broomstick!

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These were fun-now maybe I’ll knit something for me…

The next time you get the extremely bright idea of using dry-erase crayons on your windows and make a huge rainbow and allow boys to practice writing B on another one keep this in mind.  “Write-on-wipe-off” is purely figurative language.  It merely means that it will “wipe off” more easily than, say, acid etching.

It would be prudent to test an area first, or, at the very least, refrain from bragging about your brilliant resourcefulness in discovering a white board already in your school room that takes up NO valuable wall-real estate.

That being said, PLEDGE multi-surface spray cleaner (the kind you buy for electronics and stainless steel appliance polishing) melts the stuff off like magic.  Apply once to dissolve all and smear it around.  Apply a second time to remove.

In the event of an entire window covered with Wartburg castle and little squares in all the open areas colored in to make the whole thing look like stained glass; go buy more-lots more!

“Every society rests on a barbarian base.  The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did.  The hitchhikers.  The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do isenjoy what they can understand of it-luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? phooey!  What do they have a government for?….And now the hitchhikers think they know more about the car than the people who designed it, so they’re going to grab the controls.”

–From “Space Viking” by H. Beam Piper

I seem to be identifying with cats a great deal too…although Linden’s turtles with nothing to do but bask under the warm lamp look to have a mighty nice life right now…