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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bargain Storage Ottoman

***Updated to edit this post!  This ottoman has NOT stood up to daily use over the past two months!  Half of the buttons are gone and one of the hinges is broken.  I emailed Coaster - no response.  I called Coaster and they told me to contact Amazon.  Argh!  I guess there's a reason it was so cheap!  I'm headed to Amazon to write a negative review, now.  Don't know what else to do, as I couldn't find a way to contact Amazon about my dissatisfaction.***

My friends know that I get on a kick where I’m just absolutely positive that such-and-such piece of furniture or change to my house will just make it perfect and end all my troubles forever.
Usually, the way this plays out is that I do some online shopping, decide it’s all too expensive to buy sight-unseen, and forget about it until the next “this-will-solve-all-my-problems” obsession comes along.
But this time was different.  This time, I actually bought it.  And this time, I really DO think it will solve all my problems.
Well, almost all of them.Coaster storage ottoman
I ordered the Coaster Storage Ottoman with Tufted Accents from Amazon, and it is such a multi-purpose, smart furniture choice. I’m stoked.
1. It gives us a place to put up our feet when we stay up watching Netflix after our boys are in bed.
2. It has a TON of room to store all those tiny toys we’re constantly stepping on.
3. It is the right height (and length) to use at the dining table when we have a big family dinner.
4. It’s beautiful and adds some visual weight to that side of the living room.

Leather Storage Ottoman

And now, the best part!  The price!  I mean, seriously?  Amazing, right?
Leather Like Storage Ottoman
Here’s an affiliate link in case you want to go order one yourself, right now. :)

With my Amazon Prime membership, the ottoman shipped for free.  I ordered it on Friday and it came on Monday!  I was also VERY impressed with how well it was packaged.

Coaster Fine Furniture
There was some assembly required, but the directions and process were so easy.  Even Isaac could have figured out how to screw the beautiful feet on.
Assembly InstructionsStorage Ottoman Assembly
The ottoman is sturdy and spacious enough for two of us to sit on (if we decide to pull it up to the table for dinner) and the lid has those fancy hinges that keep it from slamming shut on my sweet monsters boys.
Storage Ottoman for Toys

Tufted Storage OttomanStained Trim, Gallery Wall
Great price + great function + incredibly beautiful = no online buyer’s remorse for me!

Shared at Furniture Feature Friday

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Getting Ready for the Big Storm

I started this post last week, when we were forecasted to have a big blizzard.  The meteorologists talked about it for days, and then we got a dusting of snow.  Today, we’re in another blizzard.  This one was supposed to stay far south of us.  It didn’t.

When “they” predict a big storm, we do what everyone else does…we make sure the fridge is stocked, take care of any other errands, and prepare to hunker down.

big storm turkey farm

But the fact that we have 40,000 (and sometimes 60,000) turkeys in our care adds a whole ‘nother dimension to storm preparation.

How does Bartastic make sure his turkeys will be okay during a storm like this?

1.  Check the generators.  Our turkey barns have generators in case of a power outage, and they are tested automatically every week, because we just never know when disaster might strike.  But those generators are significantly more important when a storm is coming!  (By the way, our HOUSE does not have a generator…just the turkey barns. I could pause here and list all the ways that the turkeys live more comfortably than I do, but that is a blog post all by itself.)

farm generators and LP tanks

2.  Check LP levels.  LP is short for liquified petroleum, which powers our generators.  In a winter storm, LP trucks would have a hard time getting to us if we were to run out.

plowing snow on farm

3. Prepare the machinery.  The skid loader is in charge of clearing snow.  Bart fueled it up so that he would be ready to clear our driveway, the driveways to the barns, and even our gravel road if need be.  When we get a lot of snow, he uses the skid loader as his main method of transportation, and has even dug out the neighbors a time or two.

4.  Check feed levels.  Some farms mix their own feed on site, but ours comes from a feed mill that specializes in turkey feed and is located 20 miles away.  Bart makes sure that our feed bins are as full as possible, in case the feed trucks are unable to make it to our place.

turkey barns

5.  Make sure he has all supplies on hand.  Bart always has extra parts for water lines and feed lines, and he also checks his supply of sanitation products.

If all goes well, the turkeys will never know that a blizzard raged around them while they were warm and toasty in the barns.  They’ll go on with their comfy lives as if nothing has changed.  Our goal is always to minimize stress on our birds so they will grow big and healthy, and that goal doesn’t change during a blizzard (whether we’re forewarned about the impending snow or not!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

A quick tip…

If you follow along on Facebook, you might already know that we are currently battling our first ear infection.  Neither of my boys had ever had one until Isaac (almost 2) ended up with a double ear infection earlier this week. 
I have to say…Thank God for antibiotics.  I’ve written about antibiotics and turkeys before, but I can’t remember another time my kids have needed the wonder drugs.  But seriously, they are amazing because I could not stand another night without sleep.  It. was. terrible.(Oh, and I guess maybe the little guy was in some pain, too, although he couldn’t tell me because he doesn’t talk yet, but that’s another post for another day.)
I’m not a pro at administering antibiotics to my children.  But I remembered a tip I saw somewhere (pinterest?) and decided to give it a try. Of course, my version isn’t nearly as pretty as the version I saw originally, but it gets the job done...
antibiotics for ear infection
Since I’m still recovering from the sleep deprivation caused by those darn ears of Isaac’s, I was having trouble remembering whether he’d had the proper dose.  So I made a quick grid on the bottle with a sharpie – 10 days, 2x a day – and I’ll know exactly when to stop, too (which is much harder than it sounds.)  And don’t forget to attach your marker with a rubber band, so that the little stinker doesn’t get ahold of it and try to make a grid on the walls.

Now, if only I could figure out how to get the medicine into him without an Olympic level wrestling match…

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Use for an Old Door

I picked up this door a couple of months ago when I was out picking for The HomeShed, and I fully intended to sell it.
turquoise chair
But…then, I moved the cabinet that had been in this corner to another part of the house.  And all of the sudden, the corner was so empty and the room felt off balance. 
And so, the door has found a new home, nestled in next to my beloved turquoise chairs.
turquoise chair
Indulge me for a minute – let me tell you why I love this door so much…
- The dark wood and straight lines add some masculinity to the room.  I love a good, frilly, shabby chic room, but let’s face it.  I live with three boys.  Our home will never truly reflect “us” if it’s too feminine.  My knock-off pouf has the same effect – add a little masculinity to the feminine wing-backs.wood trim, turquoise chair, old door
- The hinges are so beautiful and detailed.  Have you ever seen anything more lovely?old door hinge
- The style reminds me of the door on my classroom my first year teaching (before all the antique doors had to be replaced with new, bullet-proof doors.  And yes, this was pre-Newtown. School safety is not a new thing.)
turquoise chair

What do you think?  Do you love the “new” door as much as I do?
Shared at Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special
Thrifty Decor Chick's April Before and After Party

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Behind the (Blogging) Scenes

Alright, ladies and gents…I think it’s time that I let you know the ins and outs of my blogging behavior.
behind the blogging scenes - On The Banks of Squaw Creek
I have been blogging regularly for 3 years now, and have learned a lot about what works for me and my blog along the way.  These “secrets” are not the keys to having the most popular blog on the block and they probably will not help you become a professional blogger.  But neither of those things are really my goal.
My goals are:
-to share positive information about agriculture – specifically about my farm and other farms like mine.
-to connect with those who share a passion for home décor.
-to share what I have learned about children (and teaching and parenting) through my experience and research, in order to make other moms’ lives easier.
And now, without further ado, the methods to my madness…

The Writing Process:
With those three broad topics in mind (kids, farming and home) I am constantly thinking of blog post ideas.  I do a lot of “mental prewriting” where I rehearse the post in my head while showering, snuggling my munchkins, driving, etc.  When I finally get a chance to sit down at the computer AND I’m in the mood to write, I usually start a few rough drafts and save them.  At any time, I have 5-15 rough drafts sitting and waiting for me, and a few more ideas floating around that I haven’t even drafted. 
Later, I sit down with the intent to finish a draft and get it posted.  This involves editing and revising my writing, as well as editing and inserting photographs.
I think my blog took a turn for the better when I realized last spring that I am a writer.  I started using the good old fashioned writing process more and taking myself more seriously.  Not only has my writing improved, but my confidence has as well.

The Technical Process:
I use three main software programs to get my ideas out of my head and onto the blog.
1.  Windows Live Writer: I downloaded this a couple of years ago and use it to write my blog posts.  I use blogger and am happy with it, but writing posts online just about made me crazy.  I could never get them formatted correctly and get my photos where I wanted them.  Windows Live Writer came to my rescue.  It’s a free download, and you connect it to your blog.  It makes inserting photos and formatting blog posts 10,000x easier and even offers you a preview so you can see exactly what your post will look like on the page.
Windows Live Writer
2.  Memory Manager: This is a photo editing and organization program from Creative Memories that I absolutely love.  There is absolutely no way that I could keep track of my photos or have them looking so good without it.  I have done a few posts on editing and organizing photos using Memory Manager, but I need to update them.  A new version came out and it is even better than before!
Memory Manager by Creative Memories

3.  Storybook Creator Plus: SBC+ is another Creative Memories program that is meant for digital scrapbooking, but it is super flexible, so I use it to created all of my graphics (including my header, facebook profile photos, photos with titles for pinterest, etc.)  I also use for my printables and word art, like the Laura Ingalls Wilder art found here.
Digital scrapbooking/ Storybook Creator Plus

I have learned many technical things about blogging as I went along.  I learn the most by looking at other blogs and then googling. :)  For example, when I started noticing all those pretty facebook, pinterest, etc. buttons, I googled to figure out how to put them on my blog.  It’s a lot of work to make a blog pretty and user friendly, and I know my blog could use more work, but not right now. :)

The Creative Process:
My blog is about things that I am deeply passionate about and I truly believe that is what has kept me going for 3 years.  I have had slumps where I don’t post often, and times where I have so many posts that I have them scheduled for two weeks out.  Creativity ebbs and flows, and I have learned to just go with it.  My blog had the most traffic and pageviews when I was posting three times a week and really promoting it a lot through twitter and linky parties.  But at this season in life, I don’t have the time or motivation to keep that up, and that’s okay for me.  If my goal were to be a professional blogger, I would have to be much more disciplined about it, but that just doesn’t work for me and I’m okay with that.
Three main categories is probably too many by most popular blog standards.  Most narrow in on only one or two.  But again, that just doesn’t work for me.  My interest and attention to those three topics ebbs and flows, too, and I have learned to work with it.  Whichever topic seems to be dominating my life at the time is the inspiration for my writing, and I’ll often draft several posts about parenting all at once, or several posts about the house, or several posts about the farm.
I have learned,through my blog and reading others, that I need to have a creative outlet to stay sane.  Sometimes, writing on my blog IS my creative outlet, and then you may see more posts that are quite wordy, like this one.  Other times, décor and the home is my creative outlet, and you’ll see more posts about the house (or not, because I’m too busy working on it to take a break and edit photos!)

I love blogging…the whole process.  But without such a deep passion for farming, kids and houses, my blog would feel like work and I try to avoid that at all costs.  The best part of blogging, though, is something that I have little control over – my audience.  I love the people that I have “met” and the interactions we have over common interests and shared knowledge.  I know that without that interaction, I never would have continued blogging through my “slumps” and my blog and I would not be what we are today.  So thank YOU for your role in my blogging behavior – you have no idea how much it means to me!