"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Friday, November 19, 2010

Regifting w/Gratitude

I am so grateful for all we have.
I am also often overwhelmed by all we have.

We operate on a very very tight budget so making, baking, thrifting n gathering clearance priced gifts has long been a part of how we manage giving.
Within a week of Christmas, my daughter and mother celebrate birthdays.
The Farmer/builder and I also have clients we like to remember at this time of year.
We also like to give to charities.
It's time for the Holidaze to begin if I'm not careful...

I found an answer that works for us.
Besides Freecycle and donating the gently used, I keep the unused new w/tag items separate...
Some stuff was given to my kids that they can't use at that time (extra pencils, stickers, party favors, gifts received for the wrong age or interest).

All through the year I also gather up extra items for stockings, birthday parties, rewards etc etc
Mostly clearance from the dollar bins, crafts aisles, back to school etc.

And at this time of year I liquidate the leftovers!

Toys for Tots gets a big bag.
We also pack items and bake for the troops overseas.
Stockings are stuffed, baskets are filled and now I found another awesome idea ~Operation Christmas Child  over at Meg Duerksen's awe inspiring blog.
Maybe you Dave Ramsey folks already knew?
click here if video below's not working or click black box

I have already filled three shoeboxes without shopping at all!
Tonight the kids can make cards, then I'll deliver locally.
There are easy drop off locations EVERYWHERE! (just click)

And check this out too - craft QUICKLY or shop for a wonderful causeWater for Africa
Even I am making something simple and will shop for family.

I Love it.
(Yet another steal from Meg's)

I hope to be finished w/most of our giving long before Christmas so that I might enjoy this special time at a slower pace.
I've already started w/baked treats n pretty tags saying "we are grateful for you" to get an early head start on teachers, mailmen, bus driver, neighbors and clients...
Cards are next...

I am so grateful for all those we have to give to!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Bert eats broccoli for breakfast!
(oh well, at least my kids thought this was hilarious)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you Veterans!

As I drove my kids to school this morning we passed an older man running the flag up a pole in a special garden he'd created at his home...

Made me stop and ponder what else he might have done to show his love of country...
Had he fought in ugly wars to help keep his family and community safe at home?
So many Vets have stories to tell...
Next time maybe I'll stop n chat and learn...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Clearly, winter is near.
I must accept it.
But I'm slow to give in.
I blanket my flowers but not my veggies.
Sad huh?
 I do admire this...

If I could just stop shivering long enough to take a pic!

Oh well, here're a few taken 'round our farm this fall ~

The first frosts made me scramble to dig out horse blankets.

The last clematis clung to it's support.

The dappled shade lightened on our old springhouse.

Crab apples glowed.

Berries of all types became the color stars.

And the gorgeous view of our neighbors farm changed again with the seasons.

 I guess I have to appreciate the new scenes cold temps bring.
I mean, its that or become an early snowbird...

"Snowbirds are people (mainly retirees) from colder or northern places who spend significant time in warmer places. It is a type of seasonal human migration."
Sounds good to me ~ where're my wings?!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jack's Cow Boy room!

Yup, my little man is all about cows.
and ponies.
and tractors.
and trucks.
and all things farm.

I don't know why I've taken so long to get this posted. It's actually been one of the most finished rooms in our house. Guess it's poor light and tiny size (9x14?) made for difficult (terrible!) pictures...

The quirky wood cow cutout I found at Goodwill is now a blackboard that wishes Happy Trails (or Happy Bday!). It's hung over a window treatment made w/scrap fabric and an old singletree (wagon part) given to me by a friend ages ago.

Love the bed... Besides the (found in attic) headboard, new mattress and duvet cover I SEWED(!!!!) all was thrifted. 
I was so happy to have found the Ralph Lauren red gingham twin set and two new baby blue chenille shams and bed rail. Even the cow pillow was a thrift! A crude bedskirt was made outta burlap.  Over the bed are pages I cut from a super cute cow ABC book by Woody Jackson. Beside the bed is a framed greeting card of a vintage tractor.

Hoarder lucky me, already had quite the decor collection going and it was nice to have a fun place to put it all.  I put the room together first as Jack's nursery with crib and rocker (vintage pine Jenny Lind that I painted white/sanded out)... Besides the cute vintage toys I'd bought before he was even born, I also scrounged up this mess of furniture.

The old radio case now stands up and holds books. I found a free corkboard, .75 scrounged wall light parts, and three wooden applique starts from Lowes that went on the headboard... The red bedside table was the perfect size for a tight fit- just a bad paint job had left it an odd orange... For $5 and one can of spray paint, I could deal with that!

Finding the right tiny dresser (off Freecycle) for his tiny room and brown paint to coordinate with the old armoire and various wood tones was tougher than it shoulda been! The dresser was white with drawers and top covered in stickers and gloss navy paint w/beat up chrome knobs. I already had several small wooden knobs, then used extra cowboy fabric for pulls. As they wear I've considered switching them to baling twine...

I really love the barrel/laundry hamper I made outta an old nail keg. I used a contrasting red version of the cowboy fabric.

The mirror I made with vintage blocks, glued on a flat wide frame. Finally added the twine edging to make it look  more finished. Reflected is a vintage toy gun rack that says Saddleview Ranch. That holds his dress up clothes and old canteen.

I made one lampshade with my inspiration vintage inspired cowboy fabric plus red pom pom trim, and sprayed a couple of old brass wall lamps with just rusty metal primer and some black paint splatters. Worried about our late talker, I made and hung a collage over the rocker/chair with the prayer;
"Dear Father, Hear and bless thy beasts and singing birds
and guard with tenderness small things that have no words, Amen"

The chimney closet was fitted with beaded board and shelves to hold vintage books and toys.

I picked up the old armoire at a yard sale for $20. Our 200 y.o. house has no closets! Jack climbs up to find what I've tried to hide in those old pails. Note how he's scratched the veneer by spinning the handle/ knobs!

The metal wall piece was a salvage that I wrapped with thrifted gingham wallpaper and topped with tin cows. I used the rest of the wallpaper as drawer liners in the dresser and to make door sign with letters n frame I had in my stash.

The Farmer was very worried about using my "dirty junk" at first, but seemed proud of the finished room.
But the best payoff: Jack ADORES it!

I'll leave you with a tease of Sarah's room. Also all vintage/thrifted.
One of these years I''l get it posted. Hopefully before she's into "Goth" or the like...

Meanwhile, linking here at Cindy's fun kids party...

and also at sweet Marian's
Furniture Feature Fridays

and here to meet new friends!

New Friend Fridays