Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Michael on the Farm

My Mom, getting hay for the horses - one of her chickens supervising.

Michael playing with Harry-the-raccoon.

All of us at the swimming hole! Michael, Kieffer, Keegan, Me, Andie, & my niece Ally. We only saw two snakes that day, it was a success.

The boys found an egg hiding in the hay pile.

They egg-hiding hay pile in question...

Michael riding his very first horse, this is "Shadow", the cornerstone stallion in my Dad's breeding program.

Shadow again.

Shadow looks like a model horse, he's just stunning. Look how calm Michael looks too!

Michael & Kieffer getting ready to help my Mother give the horses hay.

The barn we saw along the way decorated on two sides with KY license plates. Very creative.

New Project!

No, not knitting... I'm stripping the paint off some old metal chairs my brother gave me a couple years ago. They will be repainted a wonderful color & they will become part of my outdoor set once they're refurbished. We are using his power drill and some wire wheels. I started the chair Sunday night and Keegan has put a few hours in Monday & today. We're not making a lot of progress but I have to admit that it's more than a little addictive using the power drill to remove the FOUR layers of thick paint on these chairs. From the outside, down to metal, the layers are black, white, robin's egg blue, & teal blue. There is also some small degree of rust which I thought would be a LOT worse once I got going but it's not worse than surface discoloration so far.

I was pretty sure the rust was the cause of most of the bubbles and disfigured patterning, but it turns out it's the layers of misbegotten paint forming warped bumps. Once you get down to the metal there's no rust pockets and the design is very delineated. I think once we get this tedious paint removal done with, the chairs will turn out lovely. Above is the before picture of one. Below is the one Keegan is working on now.

That's Sunday evening when he started. Now most of the bottom is done and we're getting ready to move onto a new part of the chair. It's very slow going, but it's addictive work. I'm worried about Scot's drill overheating or breaking from the hours of constant use. I hope he's in a forgiving mood if it happens. :)

Here's the seat bottom as of tonight, at bedtime. I really want to work on it some more myself, but I only got a few minutes in before we had to do other stuff. I'm eager to go to a local hardware store & see if I can't find some more wire wheels too. Something to get into the little crevices and corners.

I'm getting excited about the color possibilities now too. I think I've settled on a yellowy-cream color for them, with details hand-painted in corals & greens but I'm not 100% sure. If you've got any ideas, be sure to share them with me. I personally love how they remind me of Dresden Plate quilts and a white and blue color scheme isn't entirely ruled-out either!


(By the way, the set I have is a bounce-chair and a rocker. Both appear to be in fantastic condition now that I've started removing the paint. This is a set that was made sometime between the 1930's - 1950's and it's in a very rare "Piecrust" pattern. That's an FYI in case you're interested in old stuff like I am.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Rebuild Project, COMPLETED!

So today I dragged PJ & Kieffer to both the Habitat Homestores to look at what was there. We found a perfect man-room door! Our fabulous neighbor Carl gave us advice on measuring & damned if he wasn't right! We finagled and improvised and managed to get it hung so now we can keep raccoons and stray dogs out of our downstairs! I feel like proper-folk now. Not to mention, I think this is a much prettier door than the one we originally had.

Unfortunately, my darling DH hasn't yet considered that the man-cave needs to be dark and dungeonish to facilitate the playing of video games & watching of movies during the daytime. I haven't offered that little fact up to him, either. I think this is a beautiful door and it's the one I would have picked for sure. It'll let the dogs look outside without having to stand up on the door!

Next step, we'll have to get a prettier door knob & bolt lock for it.

Also, I have a product endorsement! I have these lovely laminate floors in my home. But I'm not the most attentive housekeeper, I'm not going to sweep twice a day and I have dogs that run across my floor & scratch it up & we wear shoes inside and very soon your floors start looking scratched & worn & nothing really makes them SHINE again even when they're perfectly clean.

It's been driving me crazy! I've tried all kinds of cleaning products, from vinegar water of all temps (on a damp mop) to specialized wood floor cleaners - all with the same results. Nothing made them shiny again!

So my last trip to Wal-Mart I picked up an inexpensive green bottle of something called "Weiman Floor Polish". It was around $5 and is self-touted as eco-friendly and safe for wood, laminate, and tile floors.

It freaking worked!!!!!!!!!!! Look at the before picture below. Clean but dingy.

Then the area I slicked-down with the polish... do you know how hard it is to get a picture of a shiny surface? Too many tries, let me tell you.

The shine is what it looks like wet AND dry! Look, my toes are on it and it's perfectly dry and it looks like glass! I'm so freaking happy I could do the dance. I am going to run back to Wal-Mart and buy all they have of this stuff. A lifetime supply!

Hope y'all have a great weekend, I'm off to go to a friend's wedding in Bowling Green.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Playing Catch-Up!

First-off, I have done a lot of planting in my yard lately. I try to get some stuff done every year with the ultimate goal of having one of those pretty yards that you drive past just a little slower on your way through the neighborhood.

There are several of those around my block, I'll try to get some pictures of my favorites to show y'all! I wanna be in that club.

Bonny got me 3 blueberry bushes and my Mom gave me one too. With help from the husbeast and the Kieffer I got them all planted! (Before they died in the pots waiting for me to decide where to put them) Now, I had all four of these before the flood hit so they've all been waiting a VERY long time for their forever-homes! There are four different kinds, all will berry-out in different months so in a few years when the bushes are huge I will have a metric goat-ton of blueberries that I'll be desperately trying to give away before they rot.

Then I took a quick trip around town to all my favorite nurseries & home superstore garden centers & picked up a few great deals. Below is a planter with a yellow-flowered climber that will grow up (hopefully) my back porch hand rail. It's called Thumbergia and the dark centers of its flowers are really deep purple that looks almost brown. It's planted with purple salvia and purple petunias from my Mom and a purple iris-thing from my neighbor Carl which actually may be a pink gladiolus - his are blooming now and they're magnificent. I'll transplant it somewhere more permanent this fall so it doesn't die in the freeze.

Below are some more of my lucky purchases. I got two beautiful asiatic lilies; a coral & cream color & a bright yellow, a silver mounding artemisia (sp?) and a knock-out rose that I got for TWO DOLLARS! Yup, it had fallen out of its pot and they were going to throw it away. I bought it instead. They normally run somewhere between $15 - $25 for this size bush.

I've also been knitting. I haven't quite got the knitting mojo back, but I'm trudging along & trying to keep interested. Y'know, it's hard for me to knit in spring when the gardening bug takes over what's left of my mind & compels me to do crazy things like spend money we don't have on plants we can't eat...

Below are two socks from one ball of yarn knitted toe-up on one long addi lace needle. Yes, the socks don't look like they come from one ball but it's a watermelon-colored yarn with really long color bands and very soon they will start looking like they're related! I'll post more pictures as the garden and the knitting grow.

Just for updates & giggles, we did finally receive (yesterday) 1/2 our flood insurance check from Bank of America. They only held onto it for a month, collecting interest, prior to kindly giving us half. So we'll be starting to rebuild soon! And as an added benefit I'll also be able to do laundry again too.

I hate Bank of America, I hate them so much it's like a dark physical pain in my soul. I hope someone goes postal and kills every BoA executive in some kind of slow fiery conflaguration that's so horrendous I will barely be able to concieve of the carnage when watching it later on the news. If you're considering it, have faith that I will come to your trial and support you with signs and sincere love. BoA is the devil. Only barely more evil than Regions and only because Regions hides their evilness behind a very thin veil of civility. VERY thin!

The rest of you, have a wonderful & happy day. And keep blogging! I love to read about what's going on in your lives.