Thursday, April 29, 2010

Watch Out For Spots On The Road!



Everywhere you look is a perfect picture

Not long after we moved into our Victorian home my sister in law asked if I'd like to take a trip with her to Phoenix Arizona. YES!!! I had never seen this part of the States before so I was thrilled. We headed through Kansas down into Oklahoma and then into New Mexico where we stayed in Santa Fe for the night. Oh MY did we wish we had more time to look around....we did take a quick drive into the old part of the city and stopped for breakfast in the morning in a French Bistro of all things! Then we were on our way again. We got to Phoenix fairly early ...took care of business and stayed the night. It was the first time I had seen palm tree's actually growing outside...and cactus everywhere! The next morning after breakfast we took off for the Grand Canyon. Donna had been there before years ago but it was my first visit. I can not describe to you what I felt when I got my first glimps of the canyon.....it was...for lack of a better description....AMAZING! That word doesn't even come close to describing what I saw and the feelings I had taking it all in. No words can describe the enormity of what you see! The colors are incredible. It was a little hazy that day but even then it was breathtaking.

It was a little hazy this day

My pictures do not do it justice. Even the professionals can't capture what you see first hand.

It's more than what you see...

I came across this little plant growing near the edge

It's hard to believe anything can grow in this dry rocky ground



This is one of my favorite pictures

This little fellow kept us entertained for a while

A woman designed this lodge
We had dessert in here....oh my I wish I had taken a picture of it!

The same woman designed this Hopi building.
I can't find my information on her...sorry.

Our last view of the canyon before we left. You can just see the Colorado River way down in the middle of the picture.

We stayed the night and spent a good part of the day looking around and walking trails but then we were on our way again. We came back through Navaho country and up into Colorado...Durango. It was not far from Durango that we saw a sight I NEVER want to see again. I started to notice black spots on the road as we were driving...LOTS of them. I started looking closer and realized what they were OMG...TURANTULAS....thousands of them crossing the road and some were flattened by cars!!!! I wanted to get a picture but we were to scared to stop for fear they'd get on the car and we'd take them home with us...geepers creeeepers what a thought!!! The funny thing is...where we saw them it was dry desert...then it's like we crossed a line and everything was green and no more spiders on the road...strange. Anyway...we stopped a little further down the road for a break but we were sure on the look out for those ugly fury creepy crawly critters.

Donna on the left
This photo was taken just before we saw the spiders.
Believe me...if we had seen them before...we wouldn't have been standing there!

We got home that night safe and sound...no spiders...no nightmares thank heavens!

If you haven't been to this part of the country before I hope you'll go one day. It's well worth the drive and it will be something you will NEVER forget (the Canyon). It will take your breath away.

One more thing...if you go to Durango Colorado and you travel east from there....watch out for spots on the road!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh Happy Day!


This past Saturday was a beautiful calm sunny day.....then the skies turned black and we got hit with driving rain and hail. All the animals ran for cover....so did we. Later the sun came out and we slowly made our way outside again to check on the garden and jump puddles. I noticed a puddle in the chicken/goose pasture so I lead the goslings out to it to see what they'd do. It wasn't very deep but they seemed to like it. Then Pricilla took off skidding across the water on her belly! Hmmm I wondered what she'd do if she could get into a pond....so yesterday my 'farmboy' got on the tractor and used the backhoe to dig a little pond for them. It's not too deep as we don't want to have an accident with the chickens. I pulled the hose over and filled it and then brought the goslings over. At first they didn't do much...I didn't blame them as it was a muddy mess ...not exactly what I'd call call a 'pond' with nice clean water and grass growing around it. It was a MUD HOLE. Well...what do I know.


Pricilla was the first one to step in the water....then Percy put his toes in....then the preening started. Oh boy did we preen! And we preened and preened and preened.


 I figured they weren't really interested in the 'pond' after all...they were more interested in their 'looks' than the water. Finally Pricilla walked in until her feet came off the bottom...then all HELL broke loose!




She was SO HAPPY....she started diving and swimming around so fast that she was scaring the chickens who had come over to watch and the cats went up tree's to get away from what ever monster was in that water.



 LOL 'Farmboy' and I just stood there and laughed....she was in 'pond heaven'!!!


Percy finally got in but he didn't get as excited as she did...at least not then.









Finally Pricilla got out and started preening herself again and I guess that was Percy's chance to have the pond to himself. He started swimming and spashing diving under the water...he just couldn't get enough of that water on his feathers!!!




 Oh My where 'we' happy!  Just before all the action started I ran into the house and got my camera...I'm so glad I did. If geese could smile I'm sure they'd have been grinning from ear to ear. I know 'farmboy' and I were.



Finally it was time to head back to the coop for a bite to eat and a rest.

It was a good day.






Sunday, April 25, 2010

Front Porch Memories and Dreams




Now this is an awesome view!

Have you ever spent time on a front porch? Do you have wonderful memories of sitting on a front porch with someone you love...like Grandma and Grandpa? Or are you one of the lucky ones who has their very own front porch to sit and while away a beautiful day? My first wonderful memories of spending time on a front porch was at my Grandparents home in Manitoba Canada. It was actually a veranda but had wonderful windows with screens so you could enjoy the fresh breezes and the scent of lilacs and peonies and roses. Then in my adult life my husband and I built a front porch on our home that we eventually sold. Next was a beautiful old Victorian home with a front porch that we enjoyed for a short time before moving here to the farm.

This is our small front porch here on the farm

Now we have a tiny front porch that has room for an old cast iron and wood park bench a few plants and that's about it. The great thing about it is that it faces one of our lilac groves and happens to be downwind of that wonderful nostalgic scent that takes me right back to my Grandparents home.

I love this porch..look at the sky lights to bring light into the bow window...love it!

We have a plan...for the future. We are going to build a front porch across the whole front of our little farm cottage. It will certainly be a labor of love as we will do the work ourselves. I'm not looking forward to the work...again....but I look forward to spending time on that porch and recalling precious memories of happy times with my dear Nana and Grandpa and making new memories here in the country. 


Now this is a wonderful sunny porch...love the door and the wicker furniture and flowers!


Wouldn't you like to put your feet up with a glass of Iced Tea out here?



Nice deep porch and what a lovely garden to enjoy as you relax.


Wouldn't you love to be sitting here sipping lemonade?


Our porch swing is waiting to be hung on a new porch.


This porch needs a flower garden surrounding it but what a nice place to sit.


I think you'd be sipping a mint julep on this front porch.

I hope you've enjoyed visiting these porches....have a wonderful day! 
(hopefully on a front porch)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our Kitchen

(You can click the photo's to make them larger)

I thought I'd share some more pictures of our kitchen here on the farm. It's a good sized kitchen and it's one of the 3 rooms that haven't been renovated yet. Former owners fairly recently put in these cupboards

and installed a dishwasher. The dishwasher was black and so was the microwave and the sink was like plastic that was stained because of the high iron content in our water. I found a near new Whirlpool dishwasher and microwave and a cast iron Kohler sink for $325 on Craigslist and DH installed everything. He's so darn handy! The cupboards only have one coat of finish on them so they are a bit rough and the plan is to paint them sometime over the next year or so.
Before we get to that though....the ceiling has to be covered with beadboard and we have to do something with the walls. They are covered with some kind of beadboard type panelling that was never cut to fit correctly so there are gaps here and there. On one wall they used Z brick to cover the old chimney and over half way up the wall then above that is very old wallpaper. Yep. (you can see it in the top picture)




I took the doors off under the sink and put this skirt up. I like the cozy feel it gives and it works perfect for us!

The floor is sticky backed floor tiles which really isn't that bad and it's easy to clean with animals coming in and out but I'd really like to tear it up and the plywood and go back to the original wood floors. I think I'd paint those and maybe stencil something on it then protect it with a clear protector.


When we moved in my DH put these temporary shelves up for me...these REALLY make life much easier!


Later he added these little shelves in a wasted corner.
Eventually we plan on building an old fashioned tall hutch type cupboard where the cabinet is.

 
The door to the left is the bathroom and the laundry/entry is on the right.
Both rooms have to be renovated along with the kitchen.
I'm not looking forward to it but it has to be done.



I found this old kitchen table on Craigslist last year. It was made in Germany and was brought to this country when the owners family moved here in the mid 1800's
The elderly fellow gave me old photo's of the table sitting in his uncles house covered with canning jars filled with food. His uncle had passed away years earlier and the table was stored down his basement to be restored but he left it too many years and didn't feel he was up to restoring it. 
The table was in bad shape but my dear brother in law planed the top (it was badly warped and broken) and stripped the stained painted legs (must have been used in a garage for a while) and I applied tung oil over everything. The base is walnut and we aren't sure what the top is. This is the natural color of both woods.I think I will have to put a tougher coating on the top though. Both sides fold down, I have one side up in the pictures.

 

The table legs had dry rot so we had to cut them off a couple of inches and we added these 'feet'. since the legs are natural walnut color we didn't want to mess with a stain that didn't match so we just left them natural like the top.

Take a close look at the feet...see the rope?
The table came with the original rope around 3 legs and he told me that this rope was dipped in
kerosene and tied around the legs to keep ants from climbing up the legs and getting into the preserves.
Pretty smart thinking...but I bet it smelled!
We replaced the rope.

Now you know where I spend a good deal of my time when I'm not blogging.
So..we have our work cut out for us sometime in the future.
For now...we're just enjoying what we have and are very grateful to be living in the country.

I hope you enjoy your home...or maybe you are dreaming of something different in the future.

What ever your dream is...I wish you good health, happiness and contentment. 

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