Thursday

~ April Mash Up.. aka... stuff keeping me busy this spring ~

 Goodness.
Now that warmer weather is here, we have been super busy.
You know, that old adage.. "make hay while the sun shines"?
Well.. we've been making hay!
Catching up on our 'to-do' list, and getting projects squared away.
We've thrown in a lot of fun too.
Yard sales, trips, anniversary celebration {the reason we took a trip}.
All, great stuff.
 Snagged the above dishes at a yard sale.
Both sets of dishes for just a few dollars.
Neither set is complete, but that's really ok with me.  I really love the design on the dishes and there are so many great pieces, that it really doesn't matter if the sets are complete.
Both sets of dishes, from what I've researched, are from the 1930's and 1940's.
 I've been busy painting.
Inside and outside {as you will see, later on in the post}
Inside, I re-painted this old buffet table.  Believe it or not, I've had this buffet for about 10-12 years. Found on the side of the road.....literally.
I repainted it with a soft yellow paint, and dry brushed some white glaze over it, and replaced the knobs with giant glass knobs. This buffet has had many a transformation, and has been used as storage in many a room in our house.
I'm digging it in it's current finish, and in it's current location: as a entry way table.
I also snagged the mirror from our youngest son. He had it in a closet and wasn't using it.
So, a coat or two of white chalk paint later, and a marriage to the buffet, and presto- change... a great combination for the entry.
Oh, and I spray painted the buffet lamps a brushed nickel color, and white chalk painted the lamp shades also.
 On one of our yard sale buying jags, I bought the above oak framed artwork for just 25 cents a frame. After scrubbing the frames, and taking out the dated art work, and painting the mat boards with black chalk paint, and the frames with white chalk paint.......
 presto - change... some cute and simple art work.
I hung the daisy-like pictures in our master bedroom.
Love the simple graphic flowers, and the 'shabby chic' frames now.  All for a dollar, and little creativity and elbow grease.
That's what I call a win!
 We've been having a lot of rain storms.
So far this week, it rained on Mon., Tues., and Wednesday.
Finally, the clouds have cleared a bit and today should be a warmer and dryer day.
For all those folks that have had little faith, I say, "Have Faith"!
In this time of drought, the Lord will provide!!
Heavenly Father has blessed us with lots of wonderful rain!

 My sweet husband and I just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary!!
Yippee!! I've been wed to my very best friend for 28 years now!!
We celebrated by getting away on a little anniversary trip.
We went to sunny St. George.
We had so much fun!! We shopped and shopped.
We shopped all the thrift stores, and antique stores, etc.
I found the above treasures at a thrift store, and right away I knew just what I would do with each item.
 Previously, I had a small picture on the right side of my dining room hutch.
I've really been digging French Farmhouse d├ęcor, and wanted to add some copper accents and baskets in our dining area/ kitchen.
 Ta-da!
After giving the large platter basket a coat of gray paint, then a dry brush coat of white chalk paint, I now have just the look I wanted in that space!
Oh, I just adore that old copper fish.
Those old copper molds were all the rage in the 1970's.  I loved them then, and I love them now..... although I am partial to the fish shaped molds.
And, who doesn't love a great basket?!!
 Ok... so back to the painting.
Remember how I mentioned that I had been painting indoors, and out?
The above picture is of our youngest son's house : Dunravin , it's the name of his house, and it has needed to be painted for a long time.
He has been the owner of Dunravin for about 16 months.
All of the electrical has been replaced, the plumbing, the insulation, inside painting, etc.. etc..
On the outside, we were waiting for good weather this spring to give the house a make-over.
Boy did it ever need it!
I'm not really sure what color it was.  Our son called it baby poo yellow/green.  Yeah.. that's about right.
 Now: Yay!! A fresh coat of paint has done wonders for Dunravin!!
A soft gray color : Gray Mist by Behr. 
The body of the house is done, but we are steadily working on getting the trim done.
Of course on an old house, it's much easier said than done.
Windows have to be caulked, scraped, some wood filler used, and then painted. Trim work is hard work because it is so high off the ground, and there is so much of it.
One of our biggest challenges, has been the weather. We'll have a few hours of sunshine, and then the rain begins.
I have a newer picture than the one above {taken last Sunday}, we have made progress and I'll have to post those pictures one of these next times.
Finally, a rainbow!
After a few days of rain, across the meadow was this beautiful rainbow. It was actually a double rainbow... if you look to the left upper hand corner, you can just see a faint double arch.

Yes.. this is a busy time of year.
All of us are busy, busy. Yard work to do, renovation projects for some of us, etc.
We also have a fence to build here at Mill Hill Meadow this summer.  So, if I am absent for a bit, you'll all know that somewhere I'm working my fingers to the bone ****giggle**.
Miss you all, and I hope to catch up on what you've been up to, very soon.
Smiles, and hugs... ~~~ Kerin

Attitude of gratitude:
~Grateful for my wonderful family! I couldn't get half the stuff done with out all the help that they give me!
~ Feeling grateful for the rain that we've been blessed with! Although, I seriously want to wring the neck of the farmer just East of us. He's had his wheel lines going night and day, even though it's been pouring rain for 3 days. What gives??
~I'm so thankful for good health!! We all caught the cold that is making the rounds, but thankfully, in just a day or two, we all felt great again. We are blessed not to have had the cold hang on, and not to have had that horrible cough that others have had. Whew!
~I'm thankful that the drive-in movie is open again!! We've had a blast on the past few date nights; going to the drive in!! Cup of chili, drive in movie, and my sweetheart = a great beginning to the summer!!

Monday

~ Country Attitude~

A nice reminder to pause in our day, and enjoy it!
I don't personally know the family that put this sign up, but I love it!
You can't help but smile when you see it.
Slowly the country is warming up, and greening up.
Farmers have the wheel lines going.....
Fields are greening up and the meadow is coming alive again.
I love this new barn.
It's in a nearby country town, and when I saw the fence, I just had to snap a picture!
The front fence is constructed with poultry fencing... aka.. chicken wire.
The back fence is constructed with recycled tin roofing.
Here in the county, so many times, options are limited.
 We don't have any big box stores in which to buy supplies.
 We have to have a "can-do" attitude and nearly every project that gets done is a DIY project.

Another look at the back fence... tin roofing & simple lumber.
Very creative.
It's a good thing when recycling, and creativity creates such a thing of beauty.


Right now, we are in the process of planning fences for Mill Hill Meadow, and helping our youngest son build fences at his place: Dunravin.
We want to build a fence that has a casual country feel, has personality, and of course with materials that are available to us.
I am inspired when I see fences, like those above.
  They are creative, cost effective, and have such great curb appeal.

The fences at Dunravin will be a mix of posts, and wire panels.
Trees had to be cut down.
Limbs hauled to the landfill.
 Fence post holes dug, and fence posts set.
I did my part by raking up branches, and loading them on the truck and trailer.
I left the heavy lifting to the guys~~cutting up the tree trunks and loading them.

We have always worked together as a family to get projects done.
No matter what the project is, we know that with hard work and team work, we can accomplish great things together.
Putting in fences this summer, is just another one of those projects that we will do as a family.


 "If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting".
Laura I. Wilder

It's been hard work clearing the yard at Dunravin.
Previous owners had tried to train various vines up and over structures and trees with rebar.
You can see what a mess it has been to clear out the debris.  Rebar, old lights, limbs.. etc..
Lots of hard work.
Above is a picture of what remained after we had already hauled off an old shed, and about 3 truck loads of debris. For some reason, the previous owner had built these wood decks all over in the yard.
Of course they were rotten, poorly built, and taking up valuable space.
 The above is a shot of the same space after it was cleared out.
The wire panels will be used for a new fence, much in the same style as the fence that is around the barn {3rd picture from the top}.

Here at Mill Hill Meadow, we want to do a mix of wire panel fencing, and I would love to do a section of fencing with the tin roofing.
Our son has about 20 panels of the corrugated tin roofing at his place that we can recycle for our fence here.
Now, we just need to draw it all out, buy the materials and get to work building the fence.
The fence at Mill Hill Meadow, will be built after the fence at Dunravin is finished.

 Keeping with the "can - do" country attitude, I found a solution to the very small windows on either side of the French doors.
In our kitchen, we have French doors leading out to the patio.
On either side of those French doors, there is a small side window.  That window is only about 8 or 10 inches wide. Too narrow for blinds, and too awkward for drapes.
 ~~The solution, was to make a paste of cornstarch and water, cook it down and apply a section of lace.
I had the lace in my fabric stash, and simply measured and cut a piece to fit. "Painted" on the paste, smoothed out the lace and once everything dried, I have the perfect window covering for an the window.  We have the advantage of light coming through the window, and yet we have privacy.
Just a little country ingenuity!

~~Attitude of gratitude:
~I am so grateful that I was privileged to be raised by loving parents that taught me the value of hard work.
~I am grateful for a husband that is so willing to work with me on my idea, and goals. I absolutely love old stuff... old metal, bottles, furniture, etc..  My sweet husband always jumps right in with me and my ideas. He's not crazy about the galvanized fencing, but is more than willing to build it for me.
That's what I call love.  I am grateful for him.

Tuesday

Spring mash-up

 It's a beautiful day outside.
The sun is shining and the temperature is rising.
With spring here, there is a lot to do.
Gardening, spring cleaning, projects, crafts, holidays, etc..
I've been working on a little bit of everything.
Our youngest son bought me this gorgeous galvanized tray. Isn't it wonderful?!
It's really quite large. I placed it on the table and put some spring-ish items on it for display....
little hen and rooster, angel vine, faux fluffy orange flowers in a large glazed clay pitcher that I bought last weekend for just a dollar!
Yeah!
Yard sales have begun again, and there are all sorts of treasures out there just waiting to be snagged up.

I've been doing a lot of reading, and making a good dent in my personal reading challenge for 2015.
Have you read the book " All the light we cannot see" ?
Such a good book; a real page turner, with an ending that came as a surprise!
 
I love the following quote by Gladys Taber... sums up books and the love of reading in a great way.
 



 “And whether rich or poor, well or ill, happy or sad, books can be a refuge, they do not change with changing circumstance, they are the open highway to yesterday, today and tomorrow wherever you will to travel.”
Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Daybook

The mantle has been decorated for spring with a gardening theme.
An absolutely adorable fluffy sunflower yellow wreath is the centerpiece... a sweet friend gifted it to me, and it is even more adorable than a picture can convey.
Our youngest son, Spencer brought me over some of the old junk wood from his place and built me a miniature garden fence.  I really love that little piece!
The seed packets are actually seeds that we will be planting later this spring..... once it warms up some more.

 We've been slowly collecting these little stained glass stars.
I bought four of them when we moved to Mill Hill Meadow, and just last week, we added two larger stars to our collection.

The aqua blue star and the red star are about 8-11 inches in diameter.
I am hanging all of them in the transom window above our entry way.
Lastly, a picture of the library doors, now that they are painted black.
I have never second guessed myself on painting them black.  So much better for our house, than the wood tone natural stain that they were previously.
Maybe it's all the British mysteries I've been watching recently, but I love the rich, dark color of the doors now, and they have so much more character now.....they look older and more substantial. Love the result of a little black paint.
Now they look like library doors.

Hope you are all enjoying this spring.

Attitude of gratitude:
~Feeling grateful for a wonderful family celebration. Celebrating my husbands birthday with all of our children. So happy that they were all able to be here with us!
~I'm grateful for daily devotionals with my sweet husband.
~Feeling happy and grateful to have gotten all the hostas divided and re-planted this past weekend.

~ Summer Everlasting ~

 Success!
When the weather started turning colder last Fall, and I knew that the growing season was coming to an end.
 I decided to save some of my outdoor plants, re-pot them and grow them in the sunny kitchen window.
Here it is, March, and I feel successful in preserving a bit of last years summer season.
 Geraniums and herbs still growing.
Bar any disasters, these plants will make it back outside to enjoy another summer season.
Did you save any plant to winter over indoors?
 My one small rosemary plant has given me two additional starts, and two more plants growing to enjoy.
 The decorative angel vine, which I never guessed would have made it this long, is thriving.
It's actually a bit older plant than the others, I bought it last Spring, so that means it's been growing in the sunny kitchen window for a year now!
The basil is getting leggy, and I need to pinch it back, and perhaps take a few starts from it.
I love fresh basil, and the recipe below is one that we use at our home, at least once a week. It uses fresh basil, and fresh lemon juice.
It is such a delicious marinade, and so far we've not only tried it on steak, but on chicken as well.
I would declare it my all time favorite marinade.

Best Steak Marinade Recipe ~ 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce 1/3 cup olive or grape seed oil 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (1.5 lemons) 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoons garlic powder 3 tablespoons fresh basil 1 tablespoons dried parsley flakes 1 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 tablespoon minced garlic.... So Good!!!!
 Marinate meat for at least 4 hours and then grill meat for best results.


We buy our lemons in bulk, at Costco, because lemons just don't grow on trees in Utah you know.
I recently found out about pink lemons!
I've never tasted them, and I haven't seen them for sale in any of our grocery stores, but I would LOVE to have some!
Has anyone else bought, grown, or tried pink lemons??
While I have summer everlasting in the house, in the form of wonderful plants, and herbs, and delicious marinades to use... outside it is still winter here.
Still snowy.
Hey, but just look at that bright blue sky, and the sun shining down on the snow.
Before we know it, the snow will all be melted and the meadows and mountains will start to come alive again.
 Sleepy winter will be over, happy Spring on it's way.
On my kitchen window sills..... summer continues anyway.

Attitude of gratitude~
~Feeling grateful for things to do, and the ability to do them.
How blessed our youngest is, to have his own home. This weekend, we hope to help him out, and clean away a ton of debris from an old shed that was on his property. We'll haul off all the junk to the landfill and that space will make him a fine garden plot.





Little by little....

It's hard to believe just how quickly the weeks are speeding by.
I never meant to be absent from blogging for so long.
Little by little, time just flies by!
Each new day has a full schedule, before the sun rises.
We repainted our master bedroom.
The before:  The wall color was tan......"clay beige" to be precise.
Also, you can see a bit of the dresser in the above picture.
All of our bedroom furniture is maple, and it was stained and left the natural maple color.
After. Freshly painted furniture, and room.
I painted all the maple furniture. Fresh, clean and white.  I love it!
The color that I used is called " Dover White".  I mixed up my own chalk paint and used on all the furniture.

I really love how " Farmhouse ~ Cottage" the furniture looks now.
A fresh coat of paint made all the difference!
Of course a fresh coat of paint in the room made a huge impact as well.
This is the color that we used on the room : "Whitened Sage", by Behr.
It's a nice neutral color, with hints of green, and soft blue.
We painted the master bedroom, and of course the master bathroom also.
 
We ordered and bought a garden shed.  It had to be built in St. George, and then delivered to us.
We also bought paint for the garden shed, and once the weather co-operates, we'll be painting the garden shed.
My sweet husband is also building my a potting bench inside the shed, and some shelving for storage.
We are also adding another window on one end, and adding shutters and a window box.
We want to give the garden shed a make-over, and add some charm to it.
Our only daughter celebrated a birthday last month too!!
For her birthday, she had cheesecake fresh from New York city!
It was a fun treat to have, and a little extravagant.
Hey, but it was her birthday.... a special daughter on her special day deserves a bit of spoiling.

Sadly, we also said 'goodbye' to two of our friends, in the past weeks.
Our dear Archie {above} passed away.  He was dear to our family, and we are so blessed for having had him in our lives!!
Also, we said 'goodbye' to Steven.  He will be sorely missed!!
How Steven loved his family, and especially his Grands!! He passed away just 2 days before his newest little grandson was born.
I like to think that means that Steven got to see him before everyone else, and send him to his earthly family.

Just another thing... a little thing.
I did get the library doors painted black.  Although, this picture obviously doesn't show them painted black.... I did get them done.  Painted around each and every pane of glass.

So, little by little the past weeks have just sped by. 
Seems as I get older, time just speeds up. You know, there are actually scientific theories as to why it seems that time speeds up as we get older.
I've linked an article about time, and how it seems to slip by faster as we get older.
Feel free to read it..... if you have a little time **smile**.
http://www.bustle.com/articles/38204-does-time-perception-change-as-you-get-older-why-life-goes-by-faster-and-what-you


Attitude of gratitude:
~Believe it or not, I am grateful for the snow that we've gotten in the past few days.
After all, we've had a pretty mild winter.  We planted around 200 bulbs and tubers last weekend however, and I think a nice blanket of snow will be good for them.
~I'm grateful that the bursitis that I've had in my hip is beginning to heal up.... finally.
Good grief! I have felt like the oldest woman on the planet, trying to navigate and paint with that hip giving me fits!
~I'm grateful that our amazing daughter was able to find her a car. She has been so blessed in finding the car that is perfect for her: reliable, and budget friendly, and best of all... it's really cute!









Wednesday

~Morning Has Broken~

 "Morning has broken, like the first morning.........
"Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day."


A few line from the Cat Steven's song : Morning has broken.
{Cat Steven's goes by a different name now..}

Each morning, I look out at the mountains to see the morning, and this song always comes to mind.
Every day is a new day!
Every day is a miracle, in and of itself!

Being solar powered, as I am, I love the sunbeams rising up over the mountain tops.
Promise of a new day.

Golden mornings. Even in the midst of winter, the new day feels like a warm hug.
Comforting, full of promise, and life, and happiness.

So, do a little happy dance this morning. It is a new day, and new week, and a brand new year.
Anything is possible!

Attitude of gratitude:
~Feeling grateful for new books, new music, and new sheets. How I love the feel of crisp new sheets, the smell of freshly printed words on the pages of a new book, and the beat of  new song playing!
~I'm grateful for daily blessings!! The beginning of a brand new day, a warm house, plenty to eat, warm water, and for flip flops! It's warm enough {un-seasonable so} that I wore flip flops to run errands yesterday. Hip hip hurray! There will be plenty of shoe wearing weather left in the new year, I am certain, but for today, I am grateful for a bit of flip flop wearing weather.