2dirtydiggers



2018
 
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04/09/18 Monday – Sisters


Seashore smiles.

grandkids

Image credit: Parent.


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04/08/18 Sunday – Spuds


We planted potatoes using empty chicken feed bags given to us by our butt nugget friends. This is our first attempt at planting potatoes; we opted for Yukon Golds and Red Norlands. We're hoping for a plentiful crop yield since we have plans to donate them to the homeless shelter because the chef there told us that they always run out of potatoes. So, ya, I'm crossing my fingers for Beginners Luck.

potatoes garden

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04/07/18 Saturday – Fishin' Time


Little Man. Big Boat.

little man boat

Image credit: Parent.


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04/06/18 Friday – Nirvana


Marigolds to deter nematodes, hornworms, and whiteflies common to our garden. These flowers play a significant role in protecting our flourishing plants that will soon produce delicious food for our tummies. They're pretty too!

marigolds and herbs

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04/05/18 Thursday – Branching Out


This is a first. I've never seen a goose rest so confidently; especially atop a snag near our fencerow that stands at least 60 feet high. Perhaps he is smart enough to know that it's not hunting season yet and is well aware that he is safe from those small spherical pellets that are blasted through a shotgun by our neighboring hunters whom are eager to kill any kind of game to provide food for their families. I'm glad this goose is safe. What a beautiful sight!

goose

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04/04/18 Wednesday – Hit The Slopes


Ski buddies.

ski buddies

Image credit: Parent.


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04/03/18 Tuesday – Lily Family


Time to establish a crop of asparagus. When it comes time to harvesting it each and every year, fond memories of my grandma will be revisited. Makes me smile.

asparagus

Image credit: Hubby.


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04/02/18 Monday – Roto Chicks


Now this is how rototillin' should be done! Right on! I gotta get me some chickens. Yeah. And a rooster. Yep, yep!

roto chickens

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04/01/18 Sunday – Happy Easter


It smells like pretty in the farmhouse with the pink hyacinth in full bloom. What a beautiful spring scent that compliments the release of green leaf volatiles as I watch Hubby ride the lawn mower around and around the farmhouse.

pink hyacinth

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03/31/18 Saturday – Color Me Easter


It's raining Easter eggs here on The Farm.

easter egg rain

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03/30/18 Friday – Get Organized


I finished painting the antique windows while my husband finished building the much needed garage shelves. Finally, an organized garage. It's my OCD in a sea of bins, each filled with like items and stored for easy access. I still have plans to maintain my "minimize" goal. I can probably squeeze another truck load of stuff out of this farmhouse. Keepin' it simple, people. Keepin' it simple.

garage shelves

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03/29/18 Thursday – Pea Pods


...and then there were peas.

spring peas

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03/28/18 Wednesday – Spring Garden


Today we planted broccoli, cabbage, onions, and garlic. Let the gardening season begin!

spring garden

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03/27/18 Tuesday – Load 'Er Up


How many cubic feet of potting mix, compost, and garden soil can you fit in a Subaru? Huh, huh?!

garden soil

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03/21/18 Wednesday – Camouflage


Can you find the lil' birdie?

bird

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03/20/18 Tuesday – Open Wide


Boneless, skinless chicken thighs. In a ciabatta bun. Sweet onion, tomato, and spinach ta boot. Can you say, "Aioli!" Go on...take a bite!

chicken sandwich

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03/19/18 Monday – Gifted Artist


Saphy! You did it again! Another awesome painting! This Rock Fish Rocks!

saphy art rock fish

Image credit: Saphire.


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03/16/18 Friday – Don't Be Fooled


This girl can ski! Watch out! She just might be the next Hilary Lindh.

sweet pea ski

Image credit: Parent.


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03/15/18 Thursday – Orchard Blooms


It's been so nice and warm outside lately. I'm loving the warmer weather and so are the plants. Even the fruit trees are blooming. Winter isn't over with yet and these will most likely get froze out. We don't do anything to protect our fruit trees from frost or freezing. And we don't use commercial herbicides for bugs. They are young trees and we want them to grow up fighting strong. There are numerous organic fruit trees on Acre 8 that were raised the same way that we are raising our fruit trees. Those trees are 20 years old, strong, and healthy. They produce an abundance of fruit each and every year. We are hoping for the same results.

fruit tree blooms

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03/13/18 Tuesday – Sweet Pea


She's growing up fast!

sweet pea

Image credit: Parent.


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03/12/18 Monday – Pumpkin


Hi there!

pumpkin

Image credit: Parent.


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03/11/18 Sunday – Bye Bye Baby


One of THE MOST, THE HARDEST, THE SADDEST things I've had to deal with after moving so far away from Alaska is not having my kids near me - at arm's reach. Even though the kids were grown and busy with their own lives, I loved the fact that they'd popped in and out of our home at any given time. Sometimes often. Sometime not. They made our house a home. Each of the kids had their own key and they knew that they never had to call before they came over and they never had to knock. Whether we were home or not, they knew that they were welcomed to come in to raid the pantry or raid the frig. Kick their feet up and relax. Visit a while. Or whatever it was that made them happy to come home. THAT made me happy. Then we moved. And all I can think about most of the time is my kids and grandkids. I wasn't prepared for these feelings before we moved. And I still yearn to be near them. I don't think I have the human gene that makes it o.k. to be so far away from all of my kids. I'm working on that.

Recently our youngest son flew to Tennessee for a visit. When I learned that he was coming, my jaw dropped to the floor because out of all our kids it was him that I thought would be the last one to visit. He hates Tennessee. He hates bugs. He hates the sun. He hates warm weather. To my surprise, he was the first to visit our new house and it was then that I started to do the happy happy dance. And. I kid you not. I did that happy dance until the day he left.

You see, I believe a house is just a house. It's family that makes a house a home. And although we built this farmhouse, live in it, work it, and sleep in it, it just hasn't felt like home to me. Now. Now this house is a home, because my son came "home". He filled my heart with so much happy that it poured into this house and made it a home. Family.

jc

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03/09/18 Friday – Up Next


Next project. The kitchen garbage unit. This was another project that was left half-ass and undone by our contractor. It's basically just a hole in the bottom unit of the kitchen cabinets that was suppose to have a garbage compactor. Other projects took priority over this one so we threw a waste bin in there and dealt with it. After a couple of years we decided that it wasn't practical to get a compactor. A regular garbage can would suffice, keeping in mind that later down the road this project would need to be revisited. I knew I wanted ease of use, easy to clean, and easy to access so I did some research on the Internet and found that the pull-out box-bin would be the best solution for me. Three years later, this project remains on the To-Do list. So, recently I took entry measurements and planned to purchase a tension rod and curtains to add that timeless country cover to this area that is common in old farmhouses. Well, Hubby saw this on my shopping list and proceeded to make his own measurements and wood purchasing list. I didn't ask. Nor did I argue. Curtain. No Curtain. No box. Box. Stay tunned for pictures of the finished project.

garbage

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03/08/18 Thursday – Ooey Gooey


I'm spreading the chocolate love. Brownies. Ya, baby.

heart shaped brownies

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03/07/18 Wednesday – Chalk It Up


The antique windows are finally prepped for paint! If you like the antique window look and plan adding some to your decor, please keep in mind that there are several steps to preparing antique windows before bringing them into your home. Testing for lead paint is a crucial step in addition to thoroughly cleaning them, drying them, and reinforcing them. This is just to name a few things that must be done to ensure safety. There are many tutorials on the Internet about how to restore antique windows and I encourage you to read those articles and watch at least a handful of the related videos before diving into your antique window project. Don't let me discourage you. Even though this has been a bigger project than I imagined, it has been a fun one. I only wish it was going a lot faster, but I'm a Get-'Er-Done kinda instant satisfaction type of woman. To me, projects with multiple time consuming steps seem daunting. I'm sure not everyone feels the same as I do - so go for it! Besides, when I face any overwhelming or time consuming project, I always keep in mind the rewards it will reap when it is done. And that, my friend, makes all of the hard work worth it.

antique windows prepared for paint

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03/06/18 Tuesday – Take The Plunge


It's almost time to power this puppy up! Well, maybe not for most people that live around here but after living in Alaska for so long, this weather feels like a summer tease to us.

pool

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03/05/18 Monday – Tacos For Two


...And then there is the Two Ton Taco. I make these with Italian sausage that I doctor up with taco seasonings and some ground chipotle peppers. Top with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, sweet onions and cheese of choice. Served on fried yellow corn tortillas. They tickle my toes.

taco

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03/04/18 Sunday – Mouthwatering


Homemade food is the absolute best and chicken sandwiches are a favorite around here, especially when I find nice chewy ciabatta buns to fill with fresh scrumptious ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. I haven't tried to make ciabatta buns from scratch yet, but I plan to.

chicken sandwith ciabatta bun

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03/03/18 Saturday – Unfolded


The Giant Red Peony Poppy; she's a beauty!

giant red peony poppy

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03/02/18 Friday – Meconopsis


See! She's enchanting! The Himalayan Blue Poppy.

poppy

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03/01/18 Thursday – Poppy


She has something beautiful in there!

poppy

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02/28/18 Wednesday – Lunch


Porcupine eating my beautiful fireweed.

porcupine fireweed

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02/26/18 Monday – Remember Me


The Alaska state flower is the Forget Me Not.

forget me nots flower

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02/22/18 Thursday – Button Bee


Bachelor Button; many people consider it a beautiful wild flower and few know that it is actually considered an invasive weed. It is even listed on the Noxious Weed List in some states. I think it's uniquely attractive.

bachelor button bee

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02/21/18 Wednesday – The Other Side


I see art; looking through the glass at my giant red peony poppy. She's pretty.

giant red peony poppy flower

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02/16/18 Friday – Blossom Love


Flowers of love. Bleeding hearts.

bleeding hearts

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02/13/18 Tuesday – Pretty In Pink


Saxifrage. Pretty flower. Pretty name.

saxifrage

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02/12/18 Monday – The Rock


Sitka. Where the sea meets the sky.

sitka

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02/11/18 Sunday – Lips To Hips


Cinnamon Roll Cake! Ooo la la!

cinnamon roll cake

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02/09/18 Friday – Bedside Manner


The rustic nightstands are complete with hardware and they now sit beside the bed. What a beautiful addition to the farmhouse. I adore them. Thank you, Hubby!

farmhouse nightstand

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02/05/18 Monday – Hog It


It's almost bush-hogging time!

bushhog

Image credit: Hubby.


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02/03/18 Saturday – Beside The Bed


Hubby did an excellent job on the nightstands that he built. I absolutely love, love, love them! I wanted a rustic, imperfect, farmhouse look and that's what he delivered. Awesome!

solid wood custom nightstands

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02/02/18 Friday – Humble Hill


The cold weather has us inside working on farmhouse projects but we also take the time to enjoy the view.

snow on farm

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02/01/18 Thursday – Tackle Brattle


I have some projects in mind that require me to dive into some man-tools for the very first time, so Hubby bought me what he thought I needed. Oh, I can hear some of you powerhouse women out there, "Man tools? Us women use them too!" Ya, I know. And I envy y'all. So the tomboy in me is gonna give these woman-tools a try! Wish me luck.

man tools

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01/31/18 Wednesday – Sands Of Time


Butterfly kisses and sand between her toes. Oh how I love her.

granddaughter katelyn playing in sand

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01/29/18 Monday – Syringa Vulgaris


I'm ready for the flowers to start blooming in springtime.

lilacs

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01/27/18 Saturday – Favorite Feature


I think one of my favorite features in the heart of our home is the mason jar lights that hang over the bar in the kitchen. This was another difficult project but more than worth it. I believe I purchased the light fixture from Pottery Barn, but what you see here in the picture is not what you will get if you order one. We had to modify ours by adding a box unit that Hubby built and I then I painted it white. In addition, this unit required a custom rod and connecting units because of our cathedral ceiling. But I had a vision for this space and I knew that I wanted mason jar lights suspending over the kitchen bar way before we sat down with the architect to design the house. So even though these lights didn't come ready to install right out of the box, I was stubborn enough to know that the modifications were going to be well worth the efforts. And I was right. Hubby agrees. These mason jars rain sunshine into the heart of our home - each and every night.

mason light fixture

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01/26/18 Friday – Farmhouse Flummery


There's one thing that I keep in mind when decorating the farmhouse. Dust. The more things I have the more there is to dust. In more ways than one, less is more. Besides, I like simple. When we designed the kitchen I didn't want the hoity-toity cabinets. I opted for shaker style, straight lines, nothing fancy. I was quick to notice that it was common practice for contractors to add a fancy angled crown molding at the top of the cabinets. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not for me. Remember? Straight, simple, clean. That's what I got, but I have to admit - I don't particularly enjoy dusting the rustic relics that sit 10 feet high atop these kitchen cabinets.

antique glass milk bottles

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01/25/18 Thursday – Pillow Talk


Tractor Supply had some decorative wall panels that I swooped up in a hurry after seeing them on sale. Bingo, headboard project! At the time I thought it'd be a simple level-and-secure project but Hubby told me otherwise. With joint effort, we hung the panels and I'm quite pleased with them even though this project is not completed. I think the wall needs a single large piece of barnwood directly below and horizontal to the panels. Only then will the headboard project be complete. After the nightstands are done and the barnwood board is in place, I'll share a picture of it with you. I think it will come together nicely.

panel headboard

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01/24/18 Wednesday – Wash Room


A while back I told ya that I'd have to get creative with the guest bathroom because it turned out much smaller than I had imagined when designing the farmhouse. I've been wanting to show you how I decorated this bathroom but taking pictures of it in such a confined space is a challenge in itself. I might just have to piecemeal parts of it for you to see. Even though it is a tiny bathroom, it was fun adding some farmhouse charm to it, like this little table. We adopted it from a subcontractor who, instead of throwing it into their burn pile, asked me if I'd like to have it. It was used and beat up but I liked the scars and thought it only needed a new, yet shabby, coat of paint. Then I added a clock that I purchased on sale from Hobby Lobby. And I'm not an expert on antique perfume bottles, but I found the perfect clear yellow jar with a copper pump-spray top that worked perfect sitting next to the clock. Then I found an antique copper pot that I filled with an extra roll of tooshie tissue. The drawer on this table is tiny and it originally had a single handle, but I like to be different so I added two single brushed nickel knobs to tie it in with the brushed nickel hardware throughout the rest of the bathroom. The drawer holds simple restroom amenities that company might find useful without having to go buy them. If I ever find the right angle, I'll post a complete image of this bathroom. The farmhouse feel is worth the effort.

guest bathroom farmhouse design

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01/23/18 Tuesday – Bedside Manner


While I've been working on other things, Hubby has been busy building nightstands. My very first nightstands! Solid wood, soft-close drawers, and made with love! Perfect! But they still need some doctoring. Hubby built them; I have to stain them. It's on my to-do list.

nightstands

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01/22/18 Monday – Chippy


I'm told that these antique windows came out of an old schoolhouse. Every time I revisit them I'm careful not to erase the charm that they hold and while I work on them I imagine all of the little children sitting at their classroom flip-top desk made of solid wood and forged iron. Inquisitive little minds working studiously on their assignments and others daydreaming while they peer out these windowpanes. What did they see in the distance? A playground? A pasture? Or maybe an imaginary friend calling them to come outside and play a game of Kick-The-Can or Hopscotch. If only windows could talk...

antique windows

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01/21/18 Sunday – Knock Knock


Come on in and visit for a while!

farmhouse living room

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01/20/18 Saturday – We Gather Here


I'm still busy glazing the antique windows. These windows will hang on the wall next to the entryway. There are three giant walls in the living room that await individual attention. Projects. Projects that take time. Project one is the West wall: Antique windows with farmhouse coat hooks on a large rough-cut maple board, and maybe a bench. Project two is the North wall: Giant wood forest (hand cut, hand made, hand painted trees) with a giant antique windmill clock. And the final project is the East wall: Gallery (art and pictures of our children and grandkids). This will complete the heart of our home, as odd as it sometimes feels. When we designed the living room with a corner fireplace, the household details were not considered. We didn't own a couch, recliner, or entertainment center at the time and we had planned on purchasing these items after we moved into the farmhouse. Little did I know that arranging living room furniture in this space would be so challenging. I bet I moved furniture around twenty times or more trying to get it to feel right. But this arrangement is the best that it's gonna get. I'm still not pleased with the layout but nevertheless it has purpose. Just discombobulated purpose. I'm counting on the wall projects to pull it all together.

farmhouse livingroom

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01/19/18 Friday – Hang It Up


Now that the two small closets are done, I've been focusing on other projects.

bedroom closet

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01/18/18 Thursday – Icicle


Frozen stiff. We're trying to keep warm.

icicle

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01/17/18 Wednesday – Zero To Sixty


Alaska winter in Tennessee...Brr!

snow on farm

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01/14/18 Sunday – Sugar 'N Spice


This was my first attempt at making hand pies. Outcome? Winner-Winner! It's super easy, super quick, and super messy. Here's the recipe; give it a try!

Ingredients:
Pie Crust
Jam (your choice)
Cream Cheese (room temp)
Sugar
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (whisked)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Roll out dough 1/8" thick and cut out 4" circles
3. In center of dough circles add 1 teaspoon cream cheese and 1 teaspoon jam
4. Brush edges with egg wash, place dough circle on top, press together using fork
5. Brush top of hand pies with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and cut small steam hole on top
6. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
7. Place on wire rack to cool

handpie

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01/12/18 Friday – Of The Sea


Another awesome painting done by Saphy!

octopus painting by saphire

Image credit: Saphire.


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01/11/18 Thursday – Old Man Winter


Winter needs to go away; I'm done with it. Bring spring!

garlic

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01/10/18 Wednesday – Family Tradition


In Alaska, we have big bears! And Harley seems to approve of this teddy as he watches my grandson cheerfully greet his newfound friend.

big teddy bear

Image credit: Parent.


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01/09/18 Tuesday – Between The Toes


Who's ready to go to the beach?!

five kids on the beach

Image credit: Parent.


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01/08/18 Monday – Solo Silo


Lately, Tennessee has had winter temperatures that reminds me of the weather common to Alaskans. Brr! One of the reasons why I agreed to move to Tennessee was because I got pneumonia year after year after year. And of course my husband got sick right along side of me. The last time we got pneumonia, it pert near sent both of us to The Gates of Heaven, I kid you not. And lately the thought of fighting off another bout of that crud scares me enough to keep my heinie inside by the warmth of our fireplace as much as possible. Perfect time to get my antique windows done before blue sky and warmer temperatures return to The Farm.

barn and silo

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01/07/18 Sunday – Flower By Ice


Glacier lakes have flowers too.

mendenhall glacier lake juneau alaska flower

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01/05/18 Friday – Microgametophytes


Nectar...love potion that attracts pollinators. Pollen...key to plant reproduction. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds - love them. All them other bugs...well, I'm learning to love them too.

hummingbird

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01/04/18 Thursday – Acres Of Love


I'm learning to love it here on The Farm, especially since more and more things are coming together in the farmhouse. I'm looking forward to completed projects and moving on to some personal interests that I have in mind. My goal is to achieve these things this year and I will share them here with you. I'm excited!

farm heart

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01/03/18 Wednesday – Farmhouse Fun


I cleaned up the antique windows back in June of 2017 and they have been waiting for my attention ever since then. These are single pane windows that require me to pry out any loose chunks of glazing compound with a putty knife before I can apply new glazing. Please let me interject one thing here: I am not the type of person that is One-With-A-Knife, let alone anything else that is sharper than a butter knife. Me and tools do not get along. Although the Tom Boy in me has always had the itch to learn Man Cave things that involve dangerous power tools and whirligigs. But, you know those lil' voices that sit on each side of your shoulders? You know. That voice on the left side is always saying, "Ya, man! Go for it! No problem!" And that other voice on the right side is always saying, "Whoa, man! Don't listen to the dude! It's goin' to be painful! Don't Do It. Dooon't Do It!" I tend to listen to that voice on my right side more often than not. But not today. Besides, a putty knife isn't technically a knife per se. It looks more like a...like a miniature trowel. Yeah, we'll go with that. So with tool in hand I set forth to conquer my antique window project. It was all going awesome until the very end. Busted. Yep, cracked a pane. I pondered with the thought of leaving it for "added character" but to avoid any potential mishaps from a cracked pane, Hubby and I agreed to replace it. That's done and I have yet to get back to that lil' project. Coffee first.

cup coffee

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01/02/18 Tuesday – Here We Come!


Let's get started! Hello 2018! May it be a year full of blossoms and blooms.

2dirtydiggers flowers

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01/01/18 Monday – Goodbye 2017


For me, 2017 was a year of learning many new things. If I had to pick just two lessons that had the most impact, I'd choose compartmentalizing as one and gardening-in-the-south as the other.

The deep rooted gardener in my soul beckoned me into the sweet clay soil of the south and despite my fear of all fugly bugs, each and every insect that I was unfamiliar with was documented in an image, then researched so that I could learn their pros and cons in our garden settings. I hooped, I hollered, I divided, and I conquered. I may have said a few too many of them dirty little cuss words too. But I lived. I learned. And in the end, my husband and I were most humbled by our blessings and the ability to donate large portions of our harvested produce to the homeless shelters. And that, my friend, makes all of the hard work worth it.

Then there is patience. More often then not, I crave the completion of our farmhouse. There are still many projects to get done. But we must have balance too. So I've learned to compartmentalize this list of projects, allowing myself to only think of them in segments for a brief amount of time. Then I concentrate on what is right in front of us. One. Thing. At. A. Time. Getting projects done has proven to be painfully slow, but...I've learned to bite my tongue much more than I use to, so I guess that's a good thing. Heh. Besides, even at snail's pace, some things seem to be coming together much better than I had envisioned. How does that ole idiom go? Oh ya, "All in good time." Ya. I like that.

tennessee sunset

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