Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Even though we pride ourselves not keeping stuff that is, well, not worth keeping, sometimes... ok... quite often we accept free things that have no immediate purpose.

That is where this fencing comes in.

In my head I had pictured this fencing as flower boxes or a small shed (that one actually happened!) But instead it sat behind the garage for years, years! And then i needed plant markers for the herb garden. I wanted something rustic (and free!) As I gazed out my kitchen window at my garden, it came to me! And here they are...

So so easy. Had my husband cut the top 8 inches off the fence ( I know, cheating, but I am terrified of saws... and dinosaurs... and big trucks...) Grab some left over paint from the basement and find a child's watercolor brush. Then in the most imperfect way paint the herb names.

Watch your spelling, or have some extra fence just in case!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Review of Posable Mice with Clothes

Originally submitted at Magic Cabin

Quite possibly the most fashionable mice on the planet, this dapper duo comes with an assortment of clothes for every occasion - from bedtime to work to a night on the town!

The set includes wooden boy and girl mice, 26 pieces of clothing for countl

Posable Mice with Clothes

By Lauren the Gift Giver from Berea, Ohio on 7/20/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Lasting Fun, High Quality

Best Uses: Home, Outside

Describe Yourself: Parent

This was bought as a gift for a 3 year old girl who loves dress up. While she needs help dressing the mice, her older brothers LOVED playing with them too. Great quality that the whole family can enjoy and the birthday girl will love them for years to come.



Monday, August 10, 2009

90 Degrees & then some!

Well we have finally "enjoyed" some serious summer weather! I am being tested for so boldly proclaiming my love of the heat in my last post. I live for warm weather needs a clause before that statement in saying I live for warm weather as long as there is a proper adjustment period. Gradually working up to 97 degrees would be nice! We have no air conditioning in our little farm house and let me tell you the humidity and 97 degrees calls for a bit of AC. We went from a cool 50 degree nights to high 90 days and everyone and everything was caught off guard. Only the Beagles seem unaffected by the extreme heat. My stepson Corey got this great picture of Lacey, the Wire Fox Terrier, napping in an unusual cool spot! Now you KNOW why I can't keep this dog clean!!!

We are getting closer to finishing the fence. With a half acre to fence in, our dreams of beautiful and private fencing was quickly thrown aside when we priced out options. It has instead taken the form of what can we get for FREE! When we bought the yard it was already partially fenced across the back and half way down the right side of the lot (if you face the back fence). This fence is in poor shape and needs some serious repair/replacement but with some continual patching it should hold for another couple years. To temporarily fence in a safe area for our dogs and now chickens we bought cattle fence and used metal angles and wood available to us occasionally for free. With these materials we fenced in most of the backyard. We still have a large portion of the yard unfenced up next to and behind the house and because we live on a very busy street and I worry that one of the dogs or cat will slip past us into the road with serious results.

This summer we were blessed to receive two rather large decks that were destined for the trash! Wood is never trash to us and we snatched them up. Now as hard as we try this project isn't entirely FREE. It will require some wood purchase, paint purchase, and additional cattle wire purchased. We hope to begin painting the fence shortly and have plans to wire and complete the fence project before winter. I promise to post our total cost and how it turns out when finished.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is this a farm?

Lots of work has been happening around the house and yard over the last couple weeks. I live for the warm weather and I believe I am starting to realize that it will be over before I know it. That realization has caused me to push my chores and projects into high gear. At the same time, knowing fully that I won't get it all accomplished.

I often wonder if other people see our accomplishments in the exact same light as we do. To be honest you work so hard at something it is hard to look objectively at it. Trying to reuse as much free material as we can get our hands on causes me to worry that perhaps our creations are seen as an eyesore instead of as beautiful creations by those around us. I feel a responsibility to my community and neighbors to add to the neighborhood and not detract from it. I also certainly realize that my values might not be the values of those around me and want to strike a balance between building an urban homestead and respecting my neighbors.

We live on a very, very busy street and the house is set close to the road. Besides car traffic there is always someone walking, biking, running, driving a four wheeler, or whatever, down the side walk. I attempt at all times to be friendly to those walking by and was pleasantly surprised by a compliment given us by a gentleman walking by this weekend. I noticed him walking one way down our side walk and then back the other way, so I smiled and waved. Smiling back he simply said, "nice garden". This is my first garden EVER of my own and you better believe I beamed and shouted THANKS! Built out of discarded wood from horse stalls, with dirt from a cemetery, and surrounded by fencing to keep rabbit and deer at bay I can see the beauty of the garden but I can only imagine what my urban neighbors think. Well apparently some think "nice garden".

Then yesterday while harvesting baskets of beans, I looked up to notice a neighbor boy on the other side of the fence. About 9 or 10 he politely waited for me to notice him. "Excuse me," he called, "is this a farm?" I wanted to say yes but I don't believe I qualify as being a farm just yet. So I smiled and told him no. "But you have chickens," he said. I explained that the city of Berea allows chickens. I asked him if he had ever seen a chicken. "Ya, well not in real life, only on TV," he said. I couldn't help myself. I had to ask if he wanted to pet one. He answered so quickly YES I could walk fast enough to get him one and I honestly believe he waited all day to ask. I knew he was concerned about being bitten and I assured him that I would get him a very sweet and gentle chicken to pet. Having him wait by the fence I went and got Jo-Jo, our Polish rooster, who is just about the most laid back bird I have ever met. With his funny feathers flopping around his little chicken face I thought my little friend would really like him. I showed my young neighbor Jo-Jo and told him how there are hundreds of different types of chicken breeds just like dogs. He confidently pet Jo-Jo on the back and commented how soft he was and then in a flash he said THANKS and rode off on his bike. His mission was accomplished.
If all kids of my neighborhood would come and pet chickens I would be thrilled. I think to myself… is this a farm?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I have spent the last few months finding and reviewing blogs. I am amazed at the shear number, type, topics, personalities, and style of Blogs and their authors. Making mental notes of what I like and don’t like to read on someone else’s blog. What I mean is tone, style, and topic presentation. The diversity of people and opinions is always a delight to me and what a great way to share information both correct and incorrect.

I am not a professional writer and so I have to admit to being a bit intimidated about what I could possibly have to offer. What I have to say would someone find helpful to read?? Perhaps or perhaps not. I will however attempt to offer something of value so no excuses now. I will Blog.

  1. I love Blogs.
  2. Blogs were and are extremely useful when starting a new project or learning something new like organic gardening or keeping chickens.
  3. I plan on offering information that was easy for me to find on other Blogs, from my point of view of course, and some information that I had to learn on my own.
  4. This Blog won't be limited to one topic but will most often be about living sustainably, reusing what we have and find, animals, urban gardening,family, thoughts about life, and things that are funny and enjoyable.
That being said... I reserve the right for change topic at any time the whim takes me. Talk at you soon!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Starting Somewhere

Fascinated with Story Tales?

Well I know I am and I can promise that my life isn't, but I am in the endless pursuit of the Story Tale in my life! Who doesn't want to "Live Happily Every After"? I want to say at the end of my life, "I Lived Happily". It will be rough, difficult, and at times allusive but I KNOW it is possible. As this point in the story of Lived Happily, my husband and I are carving out a little Hobby Farm in the suburbs. Lets share how we Live Happily in our current situations!