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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mini Bucket for a Mini Farmer


I love miniature versions of Bart’s farm “gear.”

Like mini Carharts.


And mini boots.



And mini buckets.


Thanks to the folks at Red Hill General Store, Adam has a bucket to carry feed in.  It is the PERFECT size for him – he can carry it even when it’s full and it doesn’t drag on the ground.  img_9084img_9087

He LOVES helping Bart chore the baby turkeys, and really is starting to be helpful!  He can fill the feeders in one ring in the same amount of time Bart does 7 or 8 rings.  It may just be a “drop in the bucket” but every little bit counts!!img_9090


The Real Farmwives of America & Friends are having a give-a-way on their website and one lucky reader will win a Galvanized Embossed Tub from Red Hill General Store.  Go over to The Real Farmwives of America to enter! 



Red Hill General Store did provide me with a bucket to blog about for this post the pictures, ideas and opinions shared here are my own.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Karen and the Boys

(Wasn’t that a Babysitter’s Club book?)


When my best friend Karen was here last week, we did a lot of fun “girls only” things, like playing with power tools and building custom storage systems.  But I also let her hang out with my boys a little. 


It’s safe to say that Adam is quite smitten, and I don’t think Isaac minded the extra cuddling, either.


Miss you, Karen!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIY Pull-Out Pantry Tutorial

When we remodeled our kitchen, we left space for a bigger refrigerator, incase we ever upgrade.  That space has just collected clutter for the past 3 years, until now.
Last week, Karen and I spent one day (and a couple margarita filled hours of painting) and built this pull out pantry. 
DIY pull-out pantry
That’s right.  WE did it. 
By ourselves.  No men involved.
We think we’re pretty awesome.
(A lot of the inspiration from this project came from here.)

Want to build your own?
Wood – we used cheap pine (6 1x8x6 ft boards)
1 1/2 inch wood screws
3/8 inch dowels – 2 per shelf
cordless drill (I used this thing, which I love!)
drill bits to predrill holes
3/8 inch drill bit for dowel “pockets”
casters – we bought four 2 inch, 125lb stationary casters (not swiveling)
carpenter’s square
margaritas (optional)

1.  Measure and determine how big you want your cabinet to be.  We decided it would be as deep and tall as the fridge – 30 inches deep and 64 1/2 inches tall.  My space was 9 inches wide, so we used 1x8s (which are actually 3/4 inch by 7 1/2 inch, roughly.)  Then, we took an inch off the height because we didn’t want the front/back boards to drag on the floor.
2.  Measure and cut the boards.  We used a compound miter saw to make our cuts.  This was our first time using one.  My dad supervised the first cut and then we did the rest on our own.  Pretty awesome.  Had my dad not stopped by, we probably would have used the jigsaw.  Not ideal, but I’m comfortable using it, and it would have worked.  A table saw would have worked, too, but that’s not in our repertoire.
(I think this is the saw we have.) 
Our measurements:
2: 63 1/2 in boards (64 1/2 – 1 inch)
8: 28 1/2 in boards (30 minus the width of the front and back boards)
14: 29 inch dowels (the dowels need to be slightly longer than the shelves so they will stay in their little “pockets.”)
3.  Pour margaritas.  Prime and paint.
4.  Mark holes for screws and dowels.  (Best to do this the next morning, after the margaritas have worn off.)
I actually laid the back board on the floor, and laid groceries on top of it to decide the spacing of the shelves.  We wanted heavier things at the bottom, so that the finished cabinet would be less likely to tip.  I’m writing this post with a sleeping baby on my lap, and I don’t have the exact measurements, but we ended up with something like two 15 inch shelves, two 10 inch shelves, two 8 inch shelves and a 6 inch shelf.  Or something.
5.  We predrilled the holes for the screws, and made the holes for the dowels.  The holes for the dowels are 2 inches up from the shelf, and 3/4 inch from the edge.  They are 1/4 inch deep. (We put blue tape on the drill bit at 1/4 in so we knew how deep to go.)
6.  Assemble:
We put two screws per shelf, although if it were wider, we would have used more.  And we totally would have just used the nail gun, but again, not in our repertoire.
build a custom DIY pull-out pantry
That’s Karen, popping the dowels in.
7.  Screw casters to the bottom, and pack with groceries!!!
how to build a DIY custom pull-out pantry
(See how that front board hangs in front of the caster, but doesn’t touch the floor?  That way, you don’t see the casters from the front.)

Left to do: 
1.  Finish the front.  I’m thinking about putting a nicer piece of wood on the front, or some molding, and a handle.  Not sure yet. 
2.  Figure out a way to stop it from being pulled too far.  I don’t want it to come farther than the wall/fridge, because that way it won’t tip on my babies.
3.  Deal with the uneven floors that come with 100 year old farmhouses.  When you push the shelf in all the way, it tips, and that drives me nuts. I may install a drawer glide thingy along the top shelf that will help with both #2 and #3.
4.  My dad thinks it needs a “back.”  I think maybe a diagonal brace across the back.  eh.  We’ll see.

What do you think?  Have you ever built something without the aid of menfolk?  We had a blast doing it, and we’re giddily proud of ourselves!

Piece of Work Wednesday 
The Lettered CottagePhotobucket PhotobucketFunky Junk's Saturday Nite SpecialA Little Knick KnackWeekend Bloggy ReadingJoin  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap <br /> up           party!


Turkey Tuesday: Mess Hall to Bistro


Jen, from Mess Hall to Bistro, is an amazing cook.  In fact, she hosts a recipe link party every week, Made From Scratch Tuesday


She’s also raising four step kids, and in addition to working full time, she helps her husband run his business, too.  She says, “No matter how busy we are, his stomach rules the house! I love to cook which is a perfect match to his love of eating.”

These Taco Burgers that she recently posted look amazing…And you could EASILY substitute ground turkey!



Jen also submitted a recipe to the National Turkey Federation’s contest that I posted about last week.  Here is her entry:

I followed the recipe below from, with my changes in italics.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Note: May be made 1 day ahead.
1 T. flour
1 T. butter
1 c milk
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
¼ t paprika (sometimes my stomach doesn't like paprika, so I cut this out)
¼ t sage
¼ t dry mustard
Few drops onion juice (onion juice? I diced one small onion and sauteed it with the mushrooms)
1 t. lemon juice
2 c. cooked chicken, cut in pieces (I used turkey, chopped into pieces, didn't measure, but it was enough to serve 5 in the end)
¾ c cooked spaghetti (I cooked some angel hair pasta, again didn't measure)
½ c chopped fresh mushrooms (I used 2 portebella mushroom caps)
2 T. butter
¼ lb. grated Parmesan cheese (I used about 1/4 c.)
2 c. chopped spinach
Sliced, fresh mozzarella
¾ c butter bread crumbs
Make a medium white sauce of the flour, butter, milk and salt. Add the pepper, paprika sage, mustard and onion & lemon juices to the white sauce and heat to the boiling point. Add chicken turkey, spaghetti, spinach, parmesan cheese, and mushrooms and onions which have been sautéed in the butter. Fill 2 individual greased casseroles or one larger casserole with the mixture and top with mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the crumbs are very brown and ingredients are warmed through.

Doesn’t it look delicious?!?!   Thanks for letting me post it, Jen!


Check out From Mess Hall to Bistro for more amazing recipes and a weekly linky party, going on NOW!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turkey Tuesday: Recipe Contest!

My BFF is here to visit, and we’ve got lots of decorating/crafting/shopping/playing to do, so I’m going to make this quick. 


(That was her, on her last visit here, with her husband.  This time, we have her all to ourselves!)


The National Turkey Federation is hosting a recipe contest and the grand prize is an all-expense paid weekend for you and a guest to meet, cook and dine with Chef Lisa Schroeder of Mother’s Bistro & Bar in Portland, Ore.

The winning recipe and blogger will be featured on the Meal Upgrade Calculator.

The winner may also be used in media appearances (local broadcast segments, print media interviews, etc.) as the blogger spokesperson for the national Upgrade It! campaign.

The contest ends July 31, so get cooking!  For more info, visit

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Inspiration Station: Color

Here are some fun, COLORFUL pictures for my friend, Amy.
Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Okay, Amy…I guess you’re right.  Even my “colorful” pictures have a pretty big dose of neutral, huh?  Can’t help it!  That’s just the way I roll!

Happy Father’s Day tomorrow!

The Handmade Home

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Cinderella Diaries


My aunt decided, at the age of 40, to write a book.

And she did.

And I read it.

And it’s gooood.


THE TIP TOP CAFE' (on submission)
YA/Romantic Women's Fiction Crossover
One month shy of her eighteenth birthday, a small-town waitress’ self-proclaimed oath of spinsterhood comes to an unexpected end when her meddling sisters do a bit of matchmaking at the family café. But when the love of her life is convinced by his parish priest and overbearing mother that he should enter the priesthood, her dreams of a future with him vanish as quickly as he can get his truck packed. After all, who can compete with a call from God? Four long years, three doomed relationships, and one passionate, chance encounter later, she learns that this call from God was just a sham based on a clever concoction of lies, manipulations, and one whopper of a secret. But now, the young woman has a secret of her own, and it may cost her more than just the love of her life.

You can’t read it yet, but you can read her blog where she talks about the process she went through with the book, as well as some real life stuff written in her very entertaining style!


Go visit her here, and someday you’ll be able to say, “We were imaginary internet buddies way back before….”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things I learned the hard way...

The fact that your couch cushion covers are removable does NOT necessarily mean that you should put them in the washing machine.

I may have to trim the foam on the cushions a bit to get these babies back in here.  Oops.
(And, as cute as she is, Sally’s not really very helpful.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Pick a Color


My living room generally feels dark and gloomy.  (Or maybe it’s the rainy, cloudy weather from the past week?)

I got a wild hair and painted one wall white on Sunday.

But it’s too bright.  So I started mixing colors I had at home and trying out some new ones.



Linking up at:

Pinke Post

Tatertots and Jello

Live and Love...Out Loud image

Friday, June 10, 2011

Better Life


"Better Life" by Keith Urban

Friday night and the moon is high
I'm wide-awake just watchin' you sleep
And I promise you you're gonna have
More than just the things that you need
We ain't got much now, We're just startin' out
But I know somehow paradise is comin'

Someday baby, You and I are gonna be the ones
Good luck's gonna shine
Someday baby you and I are gonna be the ones
So hold on
We're headed for a better life
Oh now there's a place for you and me
Where we can dream as big as the sky
I know it's hard to see it now
But baby someday we're gonna fly
This road we're on, you know it might be long
But my faith is strong
It's all that really matters

Hey we're gonna leave this all behind us baby, wait and see
We're headed for a better life, you and me
We're gonna break the chains that bind and, finally we'll be free
We're gonna be the ones that have it all, you and me
Just hold on tight now baby


When that song came out, Bart and I were engaged, getting ready to officially begin our life together.  Every time I heard this song, it made me all lovey-dovey excited.


Today, it makes me feel the same way.  My life is better than I ever expected.   I have two beautiful boys, a farm that I am incredibly proud of, and I get to stay home part time with my babies.  Yep, it truly is a better life, thanks to the man I married 5 years ago today.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Big Boots, Little Boots

Hubby said we only lost a handful of birds due to the heat the past two days!  Thank goodness!  The extra measures he took to keep the birds cool seem to have worked!

And now, Wordless Wednesday!


You can link up here!  (Anna M and Amy C – this is for you!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Turkey Tuesday: Heartache

***This is a repost from last summer, to show you why this heat wave we’re experiencing is so hard on the farm.  Heat doesn’t always affect the turkeys this way, but one of our flocks is only a couple weeks from going to market, and they are not used to this heat, so it is especially hard on them.  Since last summer, we have installed more misters in the barns to keep the birds cool, and hubby also spent yesterday afternoon spraying water directly from a tank onto the birds and will do the same today.***

My husband works hard.  Really hard.

And in the course of a few hours, the fruits of his labor disappeared.


Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer so far (and pray that it was the hottest for the rest of the summer, too.)

The heat index was 115 with over 90% humidity.


Because of this, Bart spent the day doing odd jobs around the farm, while checking in on the turkeys regularly to see how they were handling the heat.  We have fourteen 48 inch fans in each building that suck air through, creating a 10 mph breeze.  We also have misters that spray water on the birds, keeping it moist, although that wasn’t much help with all of our humidity yesterday.  We do everything we can to keep the turkeys comfortable, although it’s hard to get the barns much cooler than it is outside.

But these measures worked.  Until about 6 PM.

Between 6PM and 10PM we lost approximately 2000 birds due to the heat. That is 10% of our flock, in just 4 hours.  Normally,85-90% of our birds live long enough to go to market.  10% gone in one day is a HUGE loss.  About 80,000 pounds of meat.

Bart has taken care of this flock for almost 4 months.  In a few short weeks, they would have gone to market.  Those 2,000 birds had hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of feed in them already.  And at 80,000 pounds, we will be losing out on thousands of dollars that would have been used to pay the feed bill, the electric bill, the construction loan, the equipment loans, and our mortgage.  With yesterday’s loss, we will be lucky if we break even with this flock.  More than likely, we will lose money.

But even bigger than the financial impact is the emotional impact.  Can you imagine what it must have been like for Bart last night?  The turkeys crowded against the walls of the building when they got hot.  (We don’t know why they do this, but they do.  Bart’s dad, at his farm down the road, let his turkeys out into a fenced in area, and they crowded the edge of the fence, too.)  When Bart noticed his birds crowding, he immediately began making passes up and down the walls, shooing them back to the middle of the building.  And no matter what he did, they crowded back, suffocating each other against the side of the building.

For 4 hours, he went up and down the .1 mile long buildings, trying to save the birds.  And for 4 hours, he watched as his birds died.

He came in, exhausted, around 10 PM.  He had not eaten since lunch, and felt sick to his stomach from stress and heartache.  Then, when he finally calmed enough to sleep, he was woken 3 times by alarms in the buildings.

Before 6 this morning, he went out to the barns with a couple high school kids, the skid loader, and a dump truck to clean up.


I was hesitant to post this.  Some animal rights group may come and say that we are mistreating our turkeys, blah, blah, blah.  But this post isn’t about the turkeys.  It’s about the men and women who work so hard to feed America, and really, the world.  And no matter what you think about farming, or meat, or whatever, I’m sure you can identify with the loss we are feeling right now.  I’m having trouble putting into words the heartache I feel for my husband.  He works so hard everyday.  Seven days a week, day and night. While Adam and I go to the zoo, he works.  While I sit here blogging, he works.  When all his friends are tailgating at the football games, he works.   And sometimes it pays off.  It just seems like that much hard work should ALWAYS pay off.  He doesn’t deserve this.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Miscellany Monday

It’s not too late in the day to post this, right?

1.  Getting two children fed, bathed, dressed and out of the house should be an Olympic sport.  And I would NOT win a medal.

2.  We had a great playdate this morning.  While the kids played, we worked on our Father’s Day gifts.  But they’re still a secret, at least until I “unsubscribe” my husband’s email from my blog. :)  Here are the two sweet girls we played with:

  img_8058  img_8166

And my boys:


3.  Adam is really great at recognizing when OTHER kids are not sharing, but not so good at recognizing it in himself.  Apparently almost-3-year-olds have trouble sharing.

4.  It’s really hot.  This means 2 things:

1.  I sweat.  A LOT.

2.  Hubby is stressed because of our turkeys.  Remember this post from last summer?  Yeah.  He’s trying desperately to avoid that again.  He installed more misters in the barns, and he is spraying water from a tank directly on the turkeys to cool them off.  Tomorrow is supposed to be just as bad.  Sigh.

5.  I am pretty good with a palm sander, drill, and jigsaw.  Next, I will conquer the compound miter saw and nail gun.  I can’t wait!


Happy Miscellany Monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters