Busy Week

This week has turned out to be a busy one. Yesterday saw me walking, then home to do laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. Cleaning out the chicken coop and taking care of the cats we brought home Sunday evening. They are in the shop but they won’t come out when we are in there. Hopefully they will be a little braver today. Then Dad and Mom came over with some apples to share and to see the cats. They stayed and chatted until dark.

Today I’m up early – no earlier than usual but I’m heading to Kalona to meet Abby. I’m going with her to a doctor’s appointment in Iowa City. Jeremy couldn’t take time off work so I volunteered to tag along. Nothing is wrong, just checking for gestational diabetes. I had it with my second two pregnancies and am hoping she doesn’t but since she didn’t pass the first test I won’t be surprised if this one comes out positive. So, I get to spend some quality time with her today which will be nice.

Tomorrow should be pretty normal. Nothing specific planned anyway. Just normal routine. Although I do need to do something with the apples Mom brought over. And I finished stitching my Fancey Blackett I working on so I need to decide on a finish for her. I love those days! Then Thursday and Friday I’m subbing at the elementary school. Friday is homecoming so that should be fun – the kids will be all excited to go see the parade. Not sure I know what I’m getting myself into! It’s nice to visit the school now and again to see how things are run and to get to know the teachers. Especially with Drew there. And he likes having me there. There will come a time when having his mom working at the school once in awhile won’t be so fun but for now he thinks it’s awesome!

And best of all – it’s supposed to be ten degrees cooler today than yesterday and then it’s supposed to drop down into the 60s. Yeah – hopefully fall is here!

A Little Bit of Fall Decorating

I was soooo sore after walking yesterday. I think we might have overdone it a tad – four miles right out of the gate! But, after walking this morning I’m loosened up and feel much better. Still sore but it will only get better from here right??!! Yesterday afternoon, instead of working on Drew’s room like I had planned, I got some fall decorations out. Every year I do less and less and this year is no exception. I’m mostly using my stitched stuff. The less I get out, the less I have to put away later and the less cluttered the house looks right!

More Black

Looking at this picture, I think it needs some distressing and some staining. That will have to wait though – too much going on, at this week. No fun crafty projects for awhile.

I think I shouldn’t be allowed to have black paint. I’m not sure why I bought this cupboard due to the color. It’s green. Not a color that I decorate with. But I do like the cupboard. It’s solid and very well made and I love the make do handle. Due to the color though I had stored it away and had not used it for a few years. Then recently I brought it out but was just not happy with it because of the color. Then I thought, why not paint it black! And I love it. It fits in with my black bench in the dining room. But now I have to decide whether to leave it like this or to distress and stain it. I’ll live with it for awhile before deciding. In the meantime, I wonder what else I can paint black??!!

Rain Beautiful Rain and Packing For Tomorrow

We are getting rain today – lots of beautiful rain! It’s dark outside and thundering and sweatshirt wearing cool and rain! After being in a severe drought this is oh so welcome. Our yards are dry and brittle and full of cracks. Everything green has turned to brown. The crops in the fields are suffering. We’ve been trying to watch our water usage due to having a well. Our “chance of thunder storms” has turned into this beautiful beautiful rain that looks like it might actually stick around for awhile. We will take all we can get!

I might not be ready for Eric to move out but I am ready for this pile to be gone out of my dining room!

Today will see us packing. We take Eric to college tomorrow. Sending your child off to college is so bittersweet. You’re so excited for them and this new journey in their life and yet at the same time you’re sending your baby off into the big old world. It’s scary and knowing you’re not going to see them every day. Eric was my baby for 12 years and we definitely thought he was always to be the baby. I spoiled him I’m afraid more than I did the other two because he was the baby and he was that much younger than Abby and Aaron. But, he’s ready for this. And we are so very proud of the person he has become. He’s focused and has plans and he knows what he wants. Now it’s time for him to start on the next step in making those dreams come true. And he’s only going to be an hour away so I really can’t complain – I can visit whenever I want!

Photo #8

August 4, 2017 – We need rain. We are now in a severe drought area. We had approximately 1/2 an inch of rain this week but hadn’t had anything for so long that the little we got didn’t do anything to help.
June 8, 2017
Ma7 3, 2017 – The sun is shining, the trees are budding out. It’s looking like spring! First day in almost a week with sunshine.
April 3, 2017 – Overcast skies but the yard is greening up. Joe has rolled it and run the mower over it already.
March 3, 2017
February 3, 2017
January 3, 2017


Recipe Wall

I finished a project today that I have been working on for awhile. I gathered up recipe cards handwritten by family members and framed them in little vintage frames. After getting my cupboards painted I decided it was time to put everything together and hang them. So far I have a card from my mom, my mother-in-law, my Grandma Houseal and my Step-Grandma Houseal. My aunt is looking to see if she has one from Grandma Ward and I’ve asked her if I could get one with her handwriting too. I love decorating with anything family and what’s more family than handwritten recipe cards from your loved ones. I’m afraid recipe cards are becoming a thing of the past. The same with cookbooks. It’s so much easier to get on Pinterest, find a recipe and print it off. I find myself doing this all the time. But they just aren’t the same as a handwritten card. Now I have something to look at when I’m doing dishes that reminds me of the many wonderful meals I’ve had, cooked by the wonderful women that have been and/or still are in my life. Cherished memories for sure!

I found this postcard in one of the frames. You never know what you’re going to find when you take apart an old frame. I always keep the things I find. I put this postcard back in the frame behind one of the recipes.
I love the different handwriting. Cursive is becoming obsolete and yet its so pretty and personal. My mom and her moms writing looks so similar. My mother-in-law hated her handwriting. She was left handed and when she was learning to write she said the nuns would tie her left hand behind her back and make her use her right.

A Road Trip, A Visit, And A Walk Around The Yard

This is where we’ll be on Labor Day

This weekend has sure flown by. We decided to road trip on Friday and head up to northern Iowa and check out the campground we’re going to be staying at over Labor Day. Where we have had excessive heat and no rain, they’ve had excessive rain and storms. They were working on cleaning up downed trees and downed power lines and it was raining while we were there but they were super nice people and I think we’re going to have fun staying here!

Saturday saw us heading south to Lake Rathbun. My sister was camping and asked us to come spend the day. So, off we went for a nice, relaxing afternoon and evening spending time in another campground! We have camped at Lake Rathbun but never at Island View and what a beautiful campground. We would like to stay there sometime – it was so nice. Beautiful views of the lake, huge sites and playgrounds in the middle so you can sit at your site and watch the kids play. Perfect when you have littles!

When life is not coming up roses look to the weeds and find the beauty hidden within them.” –L.F. Young

Today the temps and humidity broke a little and Drew and I and the chickens took a nice walk around the yard. My flowers are really suffering from the heat and lack of rain but the wildflowers are abundant. Drew picked me a beautiful bouquet that we’re enjoying in the house. I am amazed at some of the beautiful wildflowers in this area. Many consider them weeds but they brighten up the landscape with so many beautiful colors. I love them!



I’ve been busy painting the past few days. It’s so hot outside – we’ve been under an excessive heat warning – so I decided it would be a good time to pain my kitchen cupboards. Joe has been gone too so that gives me more “free” time to work on bigger projects. And, I decided to go with black. I know the trend right now is a light and airy farmhouse look and I think it’s beautiful but I’ve never been one to fit in with the norm or to follow the trends. I went from light colors to black! And I love it! And even better, when Joe got home he said he was really surprised but he likes it too! I don’t have nice cupboards and they’ve been painted a few times but the black really sharpens them up and this time I went all out and painted the insides of the doors too. That made a huge difference. Before the insides showed all the different colors they’ve been painted and didn’t look nice at all. Next is different countertops and flooring and trim and backsplash around the stove and a new refrigerator. But who knows how long it will be before we get around to that. No sense in getting into a hurry – the kitchen isn’t going anywhere right??!!

Please ignore the clutter – I hadn’t picked up after painting and the paint is still wet!


Then, spur of the moment, I decided to bring this bench back into the house. I saw one on another blog and loved the way she had draped a blanket over the back. Joe’s dad made us this bench years ago and I had it stored out in the garage because I’m not a fan of the heart cutout in the back of the bench. I had racked my brain trying to think of something to cover the heart and never once thought to drape something over the back of it. I brought it in today, cleaned it up and painted it black. It still needs another coat in areas and some touch up but I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to look in the dining room! Then I dug this old quilt out of the bedroom closet (I didn’t even remember having this quilt. No idea where it came from. I was actually looking for my doll quilts made by my grandmas but I didn’t find those in my search). I love the way it covers up the heart and I’m loving that I brought the bench back in the house. Albert loved doing woodworking projects when he was younger and I’m blessed to have this and a hutch that he made. Treasures for sure.

What’s For Supper?

Cucumbers and onions from mom’s garden – oh so good!

It’s raining! Yeah! We were in a draught. Great big cracks in the ground, brown grass, the farmers were starting to worry about crops, gardens were suffering. I had stopped watering everything but the cucumbers and tomatoes. We aren’t hooked up to rural water. We have a well. In the 26+ years we’ve lived here our well has never run dry but there’s always a first time so we were starting to be extra careful with our water usage. So this rain is greatly welcomed by all!

Not very colorful – I need the cherries on my plate – but oh so good!

Supper tonight – I’m trying to watch what I eat for health reasons and because I really need to lose some weight.  Tonight’s supper was so good thanks to my mom’s garden! Baked fish with homemade tartar sauce, fresh green beans, cucumbers and onions and cherries for dessert. Eric was home for supper which hasn’t happened much lately so no leftovers but that’s okay. I didn’t know he was going to be home and yet I served lots of his favorites. Score! I love this time of year and eating fresh garden veggies!

Not So Colorful Decorating

A splash of colorful flowers – a mix of wildflowers and garden flowers with a splash of blue in the old quilt square on the table.

As I visit different blogs, check out different decorating groups on Facebook, peruse Pinterest and scroll through Instagram I am amazed at all the beautiful colors that people use to decorate with. I’m especially drawn to vintage and cottage style decorating and colors. And yet, as much as I am drawn to them and love looking at them, I look around my home and that is not what I see. I don’t have bright cheery colors. I don’t have a lot of fun vintage shades of aqua that I am so drawn too. I live mostly with primitive colors. Everywhere I look. And I feel the most comfortable with this. It fascinates me how color plays such a part in our lives. It would be a boring world if we didn’t have color and it would be a boring world if we all liked the same colors. I’m thankful I can appreciate all the different colors and decorating styles out there but give me the primitive browns, burgundies, blues (got to have blues!) and golds with a splash of a little brightness here and there and I feel comfortable and at home! There’s nothing better than a piece of old wood that is weathered and worn from time and use – that to me is one of the most beautiful colors in the world!

Old books, old bowls, old bowl and pitcher on an old Hoosier cabinet. The old wooden box on the wall holding my antique sheep – a favorite corner of the dining room!

An old shelf I just painted black. It still needs to be sanded down to show wear and then a coat of stain. I’m thinking I need to paint the little blue frame on the bottom shelf. Or give it a coat of wax to dull it down!

Old ironstone on a chippy old shelf in the kitchen. The grater on the left was a gift from Eric one year for Christmas. He knows me well! The spice cabinet on the right was a Goodwill find I painted, sanded and stained then added the material under the glass. The tea towel was a gift from Abby!

Old frames are a favorite of mine. And if they aren’t old – a can of paint and some stain will help to make them look that way!

Peace Be Upon Us. A favorite stitched sampler I stitched years ago framed in an old frame found at a favorite antique store in town that has now closed its doors.

Old, chippy and blue. My favorite combination!

Even my stitcheries have to be coffee stained and left wrinkled to look right to me! Add a touch of Sweet Annie to smell good and add that drab touch of perfectness! The frame on the left holds the lyrics of a song called Fading Echoes written by my Great Grandma Houseal. A treasure for sure.

A splash of color in the kitchen. But of course it’s sitting on a doily I stitched and stained for that beautiful prim goodness. These faux lemons smell wonderful! I do have a splash of color here and there!