peg board

For Christmas, I made my mom this peg board for her jewelry. She has wanted one for a few years now. She was going to make it herself, but she is not too fond of the table saw. It was not too tough, just time consuming. I found a frame at the second hand store and painted it white. I cut the peg board so it would fit inside the frame and painted diamonds on it. I outlined the diamonds with silver paint. It worked out pretty good.

Christmas Doll house

Christmas was quite fun this year. My beauty girl asked for a barbie sized doll house for Christmas. Have you ever priced a plastic barbie house? $150 is a "Good deal". So I found a bookshelf ($60)that was in the shape of a doll house and converted it! My mom helped with the wall papering of the whole thing (which was lots of work) and I did the decorating and furniture placement(and making in some cases).

The bathtub was a bread pan with glass rocks glued to the top for faucet knobs and to the bottom for feet. The pedestal sink was a candle holder. Both were spray-painted white. The dresser in the upper room was a jewelry box, painted white. The nursery was for twins and the curtains are tassels. The kitchen table was a 19 cent tile glued to a candle holder. The couch was a trinket box, that was stuffed with a cushion (that I made) and the rocking chair was a pincushion, reupholstered and painted white. The fire place was a print out from a website of an actual Victorian replication gas fire place.

The fridge is an actually Barbie refrigerator. But that is the only thing that was truly "Barbie" The rest was a knock off or started out as something quite different.

It was an absolute hit! We finished opening gifts at 7:45am and she played with it until we left at 12:30pm to visit family. When we got home, she was back into her doll house until bed time.

Saddness...bye bye chicks

With heavy hearts, we said goodbye to our beloved chickens. We had a move, and try as we might, we just could not bring them with us. NO! we did not eat them. We found them a happy home with more yard space and lots and lots more bugs. About three weeks after we got the birds settled into their new home, my beauty girl and I went over to visit the chicks. Those dang birds did not even remember us at all. It made my beauty girl so sad. We cried together about the loss, but we were also grateful for the safe home for the birds. We felt like that visit would bring closure to her about the birds adoption by another family. That was at the first of November 09. Today(December 30, 2009), in the car, there were big tears rolling down my beauty's face. She was silent otherwise, not a whimper of sniff, and if I had not looked back, I would not have known. I asked what was wrong. She said that she knew that the chickens had a good home, but she really missed them. I tried to comfort her the best that I could, and still watch the road. Sweet girl. She raised the chicks from day old bird to about one year (almost exactly). Those silly chicks were so good for her. She needed the responsibility and carefree nature of the chickens. But most importantly, those silly chicks brought a sense of purpose for my beauty girl. She needed to have someone depend on her. Some day! I really mean it, I will have more chickens. They are MOST definitely not as high maintenance as a dog, (which we did get to bring with us to our new place.) They are as relaxing to watch as fish in a bowl. Plus, they give back with little white and yellow ovals of protein. Chickens are easy maintenance and quite fun. Good bye big chicks. We will miss you.

The swing--swinging

Lets all take a turn.. . The day the swing was finished, in fact, about five minutes after it was finished, there was already heated discussion on who was getting a turn.

It turned out perfect. And it is fun! Even my 13 year old, big-ol-boy goes out to swing.

The swing

I really wanted a swing in the backyard. REALLY bad! I had priced out the ones that stand alone with a little umbrella. Spendy. I looked at building my own, but the price was prohibitive, like $75 just for supplies. Then I talked to my brother about my issue . He suggested a simple pattern. And wouldn't you know it. I actually had everything I needed right in my garage! It didn't cost me a Dime! Here is what I did.

step 1. find some wood that is the right size. These are drawer pieces of real wood. Also, get some sturdy roap. I have some 1/2 inch roap that my husband does not remember having. His loss...My gain.

2. Glue the pieces together and clamp them with ....clamps
3. drill 1/2 inch holes for rope to go through
4. paint - I primed it with white first, then went back over it with Lime green.
5. cut two lenghts of roap. Length from the ground to the branch and back.
6. loop the roap over the branch so it hangs evenly to the ground.
7. tie a knot in each rope about elbow high (your elbow)
8. thread the roap through the holes and tie a knot on the bottom.
9. tie the roap off on the bottom of the swing, cut any remaining roap, knot the end and burn it with a match (this keeps it from fraying. I could not bear to cut the beautiful rope, so i have TONS of knots under my swing.
10. Take it for a test swing.

Rose - chick to Chicken

Rose as a day old chick. She looks like the standard yellow chick with a hint of red. She was so fluffy.

Rose as a teenager. She was kind of mangy and scraggly looking. She was also more aggressive than the other birds. We were afraid that she was not a Rose, but that she was a Randy (Rooster). Thank goodness, she started laying a few weeks after the Older chicks.

Rose as a full grown chick. She has a beautiful red color with white lacy collar of feathers. Her comb is huge and brilliant red. She is not the biggest bird, but she ended up being pretty.

Rose lays a nice medium sized brown egg. And she is consistent. Thank you Rose.

Ginger's growing up

Ginger - baby chick, beautiful, stripes, the prettiest one of all of the baby chicks

Ginger - young bird, good coloring

Ginger - full grown chicken.
She is now bearded and has a squashy comb - ugly bird

But, she lays a light green-blue egg which is pretty.

Sometimes the most beautiful things turn out to be something other than you imagined.

Wire Connectors....or something else?

I know you did not know, but these
wire connectors have found a new use.


I feel like Shrek, or Frankenstein.
OK, here is the story. I was running the table saw, all by my self. You know the really loud one on it's own free standing table with the large whirling blade in the center. I was looking all over the garage for the earplugs, which obviously my husband put in a very safe place, when I came across an item that resembled ear plugs. So I thought, why not....I need to cut the noise, these may help.

Low and behold, they actually worked really well. Not soft, but also not going all the way into my ear canal. It worked in a pinch.

Pretty neat.

Not my shoe!

We played a game at a family function a month or so ago. My 6 foot tall sister let my older brother borrow her shoes. They fit him. Then my big-ol boy put them on. Then everyone needed a turn. There are four different people in the same shoes. Can you guess who is Who?
The Options are
- Oldest Brother
- Big-ol boy
- 6 foot blond bombshell
- Me!

Not my shoe - Answers

Do not read this if you are still playing the game!

Picture 1 - Big-ol boy

Picture 2 - ME

Picture 3 - 6 ft blond bombshell

picture 4 - Oldest brother

Did you get it right?

Eggs - Backyard or store

I have a comparison . There are two eggs from different sources. the brown shell is from our big black chick, Sparkle. The white shell is from the store. See how the egg whites from the brown egg keeps its shape, while the one from the store spreads out. The brown egg also tastes richer.

Here we see two eggs. The one on the left is from our big yellow chick, Dandaleen. The one on the right is from our big black chick, Sparkle.

Fence Pots Garden

Okay, I found this really cool idea in a BHG do it YOURSELF magazine. Their project cost $70. not bad...not good either. So I took their idea and looked around my house to see what I had that I could use. (the pic with the words "on he fence" is from the magazine)
I had the pots from last season $0, they spent $20.
I had the paint from some leftovers $0, they spent $12 on spray paint
I did not use painters tape because I used a brush and not spray paint $0, they spent $3
And the fence hangers, I used a screw on the back of the fence post and an old chain hooked around it. $0, they spent $32 (plus when I went to the hardware store, those fancy fence hangers were no where to be found!)
Oh yeah they spent $3 on screws, Me $0... I already had them.
Their total for a really cool project $70, me $0. Yeah ME!
(The bottom pic is of my little picket fence on my porch.)

Fence Pot Garden - a "how to"

pots, scrubbed of excess dirt from outside

Chain from old bunk bed screwed to fence post

Pot, unpainted, fits nicely and hangs in chain

End result -- Pot painted with freshly planted flowers.


Hatcing chicks?

Dandaleen, our big yellow chick has been displaying some really strange behavior lately. She lays an egg and stay on it in the egg box all day. Every time we go to get the egg, she puffs her self up until she is twice the size of her normal chicken self. We think she is brooding--trying to hatch some eggs. Sorry sweetie, you don't get to be a mommy. We need a rooster for that. The behavior lasted about a week, and then she stopped the antics.

(you can see her normal size compared to her puffy size.)

Marigold- King-Daddy...Fist size

I got these seeds several years ago, and to my surprise, the seeds produced lots of marigolds, but not the typical quarter sized buds, but fist sized blossoms. I dubbed these King-Daddy marigolds...because they are the most majestic in size and color of any other marigolds I have seen. Here you can see the two kinds of flowers, side by side.

Dragonfly Wall Hook

I found this cool wall hook at Goodwill, but someone had written on it and it was baby blue. Not my color.

So I improved it!. I painted the outer edge white, glued some cool dot paper over the top and added glitter swirls (to the dragon fly too).

I just love sparkles.

Fake fruit...the conclusion

Well, the peaches have bloomed and become fruit... The fake fruit, which you can now see on the ground did actually help, but it did not solve the birds eating the fruit problem completely. However, I still think I will opt for a bird net next season.

You can see that I did get some peaches off of this tree. I was shocked because it was only planted last October.

Here is the first peach, cut open and ready to eat. It was good!

DIY Endocrine System - Oral Report

I took a class that was for Nursing Assistants. It was an intense, four week class. We were in class from 7am till 3:30, Monday through Friday. We had a test every day, had to learn clinical skills (like changing a bed with a person in it). We actually went to a long-term care facility, for four days, 6 am to 3:30pm. And we had an oral Report on different systems in the body. We were randomly teamed up with fellow class mates. I got the Endocrine system. We had to teach the other students all about our system. We came up with a way to show our body system with "Bud". Bud started out being a simple life size Dale Earnhart Jr, Budweiser poster. But he turned into our model. You can see stuff over his face, that is a vellum brain, complete with the pituitary, hypothalamus and pineal glands. Then the rest of the glands are placed over the remaining parts of his body. Bud turned into a he/she at the end, getting both male and female reproductive glands. We got a good grade, and It turned out well. "Right Bud?"