Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Classroom Pets

Awww, aren't they cute? This sweet little group of fishies was at the Foothills Animal Shelter last night when we went to look at ratties (hopefully another post - they are still on medical hold and Sara is about to explode waiting for the call to let us know if they are to be ours or not.). They were supposed to be feeders for a group of red-eared slider turtles that were brought in - the turtles got adopted out, these guys were left behind. I think they make a nice addition to the room here, and they are mesmerizing to watch (particularly for Alex, while he is supposed to be doing math *sigh*)
 

Check it out!

Never thought I would see this day. Yes, that is both of them, reading, willingly. *happy tears*


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Has it really been a year?

Yep. It sure has. So add to the list of resolutions for 2015 - blogging a bit more frequently!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy New Year (cough,cough, hack, hack)

Fly by posting to welcome in 2014 - 16 days into it, mind you. Got a wretched cold, darn it. Kids are watching documentaries, we're calling it school for the day. The best of intentions and all that!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

One of my favorite "rooms"

Our back screen porch is one of my favorite rooms at the Green Grass House. It was here when we moved in and I like to picture fifty years of people enjoying a respite from the rain and summer sun, mosquitoes and Colorado winds in this cozy room. It got junked up early in the spring when we started on the basement remodel - what was supposed to be a few weeks of having boxes everywhere turned into months instead. The kids and I decided we needed it back and ended up with the perfect excuse when my cousins came into town from CA to visit. Nothing like a deadline to get you moving on clean up!
Horsey chairs! These are vintage, from my grandparent's long ago basement set up. The windows above them transom up to leave half of this wall screened and open for summer.

My folks' table and chairs - I grew up using these and love that we still get to enjoy family meals on them.

A lovely bench from my mom's friend Sally - I believe it came from her mother in law? Found the cheery bright red wool pillows at World Market at end of season last year - yay!

Sara's favorite spot out here - this big, squishy papasan chair is a great spot to curl up with a book! It was my brother's before it came our way - I just made a new cover for the big pillow my mom had already made for it.
Toy chest built by our neighbors and used by their kids for years before coming our way - full of outside games, blankets for chilly nights and hammocks.

My grandparents' wood burning stove - she cooked many meals on this for ranch hands, family and friends. We are going to pipe it in this fall and hope to keep the memories alive by baking in here ourselves. The cabinet next to it was here when we moved in, tucked back in the garage amidst the other random stuff. Check out the vintage apple press on top - hoping to put that to work this fall!!

My grandparents' tete-a-tete  - it was red wood once upon a time, we have had it for about 15 years now, through two moves and three sets of cushions.

Breakfast set from our first house, with the tiny kitchen and no room for a full table. Little water stand came from my friend Kristy - we just tiled the top a week ago. Funky hutch was built by David for our first apartment - the base and counter are sides from a butcher board style desk that was being thrown away. Our first microwave just about filled that space on the counter LOL!

Cabinets from my grandparents' kitchen remodel years ago. The corner was in the kitchen here, but we had to take it out to fit the bigger size of the '57 stove. Counter topped it two summers ago to make a lovely long buffet for parties here - we can fit all three chafing sets, or lots and lots of trays and platters. The cupboards have all the hand me down melamine that has come our way and lots of other outside entertaining goodies. Right now it is holding drying garlic.
Nearly everything in this room has come our way from someone else. In most cases, it was a treasured piece from someone's past that just didn't quite fit their lives anymore (my parents' table set, horsey chairs, neighbors' toy box) but were too loved to be given away.  In some cases, they are sweet curb dive finds or discarded things that we have chosen to make into something functional and fun.  In one case, it came back to us the long way - the wood burning stove went to one of my cousins' in-laws when the old farm was sold. They used it and enjoyed it for many years, before remodeling the screen porch they had it in. Before moving it, they contacted my cousin to see if she wanted it back.  She didn't, but bless her, she thought of us and our crazy little farmstead. A weekend drive to southeastern CO, a pleasant opportunity to reconnect with people we hadn't seen in years, a trailer and truck drive home to Lakewood and it was back in the family!

When I sit here in the quiet of a late evening or early morning I always feel like there are whispers of so many life moments floating through the air. When I work in this room, gathering the tools for a project, drying a harvest, shaking off shoes or peeling off gloves from the garden,  I feel like they are nodding in agreement that working is part of a full life. When my family is all together in here, listening to some vintage radio, reading or chatting, I feel like they just might be smiling in agreement that relaxation is part of life, too. When I have the pleasure of sharing this room with friends and family, enjoying a meal together or just chatting over a glass,  I feel like those whispers have to be agreeing that sharing our lives with others is one of the best parts of life.
The reminder above the door before you head out into the "real world".

July Garden Recap 2013

A bit early, it isn't quite the end of July, but I have some time to kill today while I wait for a load of laundry to finish drying and that is a rare, rare thing so I'm taking advantage!

The Garden! Ahh, the garden. First time here to (more or less) plant the whole thing.
Things we've learned so far:
  • We planted too light. 
  • Reseeding stuff that doesn't come in is necessary if you want a pretty, consistent garden look.
  • Straw does indeed contain weed seeds, however they are less horrible than the weeds we already had, so it has been totally worth it anyway.
  • Wet cedar fence board walkways are VERY slippery.
  • Shredded bark mulch hides grubs very well, but when you find them, the chickens love to munch them down.
  • A really good base tan from working outside doesn't mean you can't still get burned like a toasty little marshmallow the morning you decide not to bother with sunscreen.
  • Getting a yellow jacket stuck between your foot and the top of the too-big garden slogs you are wearing results in multiple little stings before you can think to yank off the shoe and throw it.
  • Ice on those little stings is a miracle worker!

Aeriel view of the garden - Sara was kind enough to climb on the chicken coop to snag these for me!


Aerial of herb garden and our old cinder block shelves that have made two moves and been around for 15 years now!
 

 My grandfather's hand me down garden bench and the compost piles (in desperate need of a turning, watering and covering on two of them)

My ham-n-cheese balls posing for a picture in the herb garden.

So far the harvest is...underwhelming...for the amount of work the kids and I have put in. A whole lot of the early summer was spent doing a lot of permanent work that took time, but doesn't result in harvest. The walkways. Fencing between the herb garden and veggie garden so we can do chicken rotation this fall/winter. Putting up the cinder block shelves and Sara's garden tire. Drip systems and other irrigation. All fabulous things that will mean much less work and an earlier start on planting next year (yay!) but set us back for getting stuff in this year (boo!).

So what have we gotten so far? Lots of lettuces of all sorts of varieties. A few tiny tomatoes. Even fewer tiny (but oh, so heavenly) strawberries. Even fewer cucumbers, but more are coming. Tonight - green and yellow beans!  Herbs of several sorts - nearly all of my perennials made it back - our lovage is not happy, but it is there. We lost the sachet lavender (not a huge surprise, it is very borderline for our zone 4/5). I put in many new plants this spring, but that will be another post for another time because I would have to check the garden book to remember them all - we have 35+ varieties of herbs out there.

All in all - not a bad first year on here - particularly considering this has been nearly all the kids and me - David has been working 70+ hours a week for nearly three months now. We are lucky to see him at all some days! Again, a post for another time, but it has been a pretty stressful summer in that respect!

How does your garden grow? :-) 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer is kicking my hiney.

What a season so far. David has been working at least 65 hours and often many more at the camper shop, so everything around the Green Grass House has landed on the kids and I so far this year. Whew! My aches have aches, and I keep thinking that SURELY with working this hard the scale should be showing some difference, but it isn't, so far.  So, what have we been up to? 

We planted this year - for the first time - the whole of our garden space. Tomatoes, pole beans, bush beans, potatoes, garlic, melons, squash, basil, leeks, peppers, lettuce and other things I'm forgetting right now. (Luckily it is all in the garden binder I have been working on - that will be another post, though...)

We curb surfed this rolling counter-cart thingie and are fixing it up to use for a FAC market idea I have buzzing around in my head. Maybe. Someday soon?

We had to tear apart our shower (the only shower in the house, mind you) because of rotting tiles and wall. We knew this when we moved in here, but really, really hoped it would be several years. It did make it five years from move in, but finally bit the dust seven weeks ago. Yes, I said seven weeks ago. What was supposed to be a one week or so project has morphed into one of those projects from hell that is still not done nearly two months later. Sigh. On the bright side, I have new-found appreciation for how much I really like showers after two months of tub bathing. :-)
We work with our two new adoptees quite a bit - they both had some rotten habits from before they came to us. Ruby, on the left, is a muttly little girl, theoretically boxer, but definitely not ALL boxer. She came from Fremont County Humane on foster transfer, but she's our first foster fail -she'll be here for the long haul. She is scared of many things but is getting better all the time. Chester is a boxer from Maxfund, he is mostly standard lunkhead boxer. They were both skinny little things (you could put fingers in between every rib on Chester - he was found hiding under a bush in a park in Denver) that are filling in nicely and just want to be near us all the time.

It isn't all work all the time - more posts later on that - for now I'm off to feed kids!