Thursday, March 29, 2012

spring giveaway


you have been selected as a 'winner.'

for a limited time only, the back forty is giving away an amazing prize package that includes:

note: can you find the hidden child behind these behemoths?

ferns. lots and lots of ferns. as you can tell from the picture, these guys are somewhat agressive if they have a happy spot to live. unfortunately, tacked to the 'low' corner of the house that invites water into the basement is not a real 'happy place.'

so, away they go. please come get some. i truly, truly hate to see beautiful plants being thrown away.

even though, currently, they are not exactly beautiful.

there is however, HOPE.

the landscapers are coming in about two weeks to finish up  their work, and this bed will be gone. a few of these guys are spoken for by my mom and myself, but if you have a shady, moist spot in your yard that could use some friends, i'd be glad to arrange a relocation :)

happy thurs!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

freshly dug

small south-facing bed
main south-facing bed

under the tree, where i will be most of the time ;)

giant space along back yard ... fence to go up in about 3 weeks.

hey, it's a rhubarb!

stone remnants from days gone by.

wow. that is a LOTTA bare dirt. i'm a little bit afraid.

not much to see after the gunk is gone, but there were a couple of archialogical finds ;)

schwew. i see some manual labor in my future.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

spring planting

warning to readers:

i'm really not sure where this post is gonna go, so i apologize beforehand for the rambling.

i've been fairly obsessed with planting lately. y'all know this about me, it happens every spring. i cannot explain the joy i get out of putting something in the dirt and watching growth happens. it's pure and lovely to me.

last night, my fairly superficial vision of growth and planting took a strange turn. it turns out that 3 of the women in my bible group (women whom i have grown to love) are going through extremely difficult, and somewhat sudden, circumstances.

we prayed and prayed, and God has continued that action in me this morning. these are not fearful prayers, but prayers to the One i trust the most with such things. He is the One who must rescue, this i know.

and yet, i wonder. i wonder about such things, and the turmoil of this life. i turned to the Word, and God gave me these verses:

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

that's from 1 Corinthians: 15: 35-44.

i did a little deeper digging, and found these explanatory words about this passage:

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 to teach the Corinthian church that the Resurrection gives us victory over loss, victory in this day, victory in the last day, victory over death, and victory in life. Paul launches into the mechanics of resurrection, how it works, and he begins with two illustrations The first one is a seed, and he says that it must be sown as a seed and die, and when it sprouts God gives it the body he intends for it.

and somewhere in here, i think, is the truth God wants me to hold today; that what we sow here on earth is important, the seed, but that it is NOTHING unless God 'sprouts' it and gives it the true identity He meant for it to have.

all the things we 'sow' that sprout into nothing make sense to me with this passage. and all that we 'sow' out of weakness and flaws and brokenness can be resurrected to glorious things because God made them to be, because He raised them from the ground.

oh, God, how thankful i am for the resurrection. You are our hope, Lord, for your resurrection assures us that our spiritual bodies are secure, even when our worldly ones are not. thank you for that today, and every day.


Monday, March 26, 2012


hey folks. it's monday already.


landscapers are here. joel (company owner) gets up at 4:45 in the morning; he is 'prayed up' and ready for the week. he is my model for Jesus these last couple of weeks. love when that happens.

here is my 'work table' = ugh.

i laughed when i went to kristie's house this weekend, and she had about 47 projects going simultaneously. it's a sickness. we share.

i did get some things done. wallpaper is not my friend...but it is fine for now. i did almost everything one could DO wrong....but still. it is kind of pretty :)

my biggest accomplishment is getting a hole in the wall for the light fixture. oh. and leveling the medicine cabinet using my iphone app. cardboard is a good thing ;)) he he.

and so it goes! i love spring. i love renewed energy.

may God power your day, friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

project land

hi kiddos;

what are your weekend plans? i know ONE crazy friend who is driving 9 hours today for a hockey tournament, then 9 hours back on sunday :)) otherwise, i have not talked to you lately about how your weekends are going!

mine is going to be good.

i have a garden meeting for our mercy church garden tomorrow. we're gonna grow some goodness over there this year!

plus, the wallpaper project is still hanging around. har. i am dreading that one.

PLUS, i might work on my aunt's old piece of furniture that i got from her estate sale. my cousins made fun of me for wanting this old thing, but i thought it was very charming.

Originally, there was a weird green vinyl "padding" on both shelves....

The detail is really pretty, though

Plus, a place to store books and magazines and cat treats...!

I have it sanded and puttied and ready to prime. I hope to get going this weekend on it!

oh. and after monday, my view out to the back yard will no longer look like this:

the landscapers are coming on monday to cut branches and dig trees and haul away yucky rocks. then my super burly 'husband' is coming with HER husband's old truck to bring in a new stone border around my lovely old pine tree. look out adirondack chairs, i'll be seeing you often starting very soon!

happy fritag, everyone ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

a recommendation

today i thought i'd post about men.

i know - whaaaaaaaaaat??

you see, i've decided that i don't like men much. it's not personal. i do have a few decent ones revolving around my planet light years away, but i'm kind of glad that they don't really come too close ever.

now that i think about it, i've always been more of a 'girl' person anyway. i'm not sure why i ever really thought that men were a good idea for me, but in the end experience has taught me that it's best to keep a good distance. i just don't get them. and i'll be honest in saying that at this age, i really don't mind at all!!! is that bad? shouldn't i be hopeful? hmmm. it's hard to imagine changing my mind, but i don't want to tell God what to do. i guess ultimately it's up to him if one ever shows up again to take the place of cats and other people and crafting...

for now, i have decided that there is really only one guy in the universe that i would like to have live in my neighborhood. too bad he is married to a fantastic blogger named alicia and lives in oregon with her :)

if you have five minutes, go over here and read about his attempt to learn cross-stitch for his wife's kits that she is selling. he makes me laugh so hard i cry. and if you google around over there, you'll see he is adorable looking, too!

as i write this, i am just remembering that i have lunch plans with my friend dave today. i am kind of hoping he has a busy morning and does not read this :))

ha. happy day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

orange dreams

"Wow, that is a lot of beige."

"Beige with stuff covering it up."

so, with the bathroom reno END in sight, i am turning my eyes to the sunroom, the last remaining above ground space that i have not touched yet. my initial thought was to make the room mostly a spring green color, with large doses of white trim, and some country pine (vinyl) flooring.

but then, i remembered that the sunroom doesn't actually get a lot of sun, until late afternoon at least. and also that orange is my favorite color ;))

so, i've been thinking about switching the palette over to orange and possibly pink! in that case, the last 3 fabrics here might be the ticket. i have been dreading sewing new cushions for my porch furniture for about 3 years now. do you think this is the year i actually DO it?

hmmmm. dunno. but i am hoping the thought of a little vintage hawaiian nest will push me forward to the next step.

oh home renovations, you haunt me sometimes!

Monday, March 19, 2012

goodbye march

Siesta remembers her old favorite spot...I think.

Yes, I did start planting this weekend. Rosemary (yum) and a baby fern, of course.

happy monday, folks.

i don't remember feeling so good on a march monday, well, EVER. probably because it's not really march anymore, it's more like june. after 85 degree days this weekend, we dakotans are confused. it seems too early for green grass, grilling and hot summer nights. but yet, here we are. and most of us are happy about it. last night, i went for a walk at 8pm, and there were tons of families doing the same thing! it was like a parade! it could be the new neighborhood that is just different from the old, but i think it really IS the weather that brought so many good.

today, the men come to finish installing the bathroom fixtures. i did NOT finish the walls, but I got a start. wallpaper is easier to install on HGTV than it is in person. i swear, i almost, almost ripped it all down. thankfully, it is not quite as hideous upon drying. i am not looking forward to finishing, however.

then next monday, because apparently i am into torture, the landscapers are coming. i cannot tell you how happy i will be to NOT have ron, glen, curt, dylan, paul and joel stopping over to mess up my house every day!!! sheesh! i'm not even lying! that is far too many people for this hermit to deal with :)

the good news is that siesta is becoming more comfortable with people again. like me, however, she is probably happier with the bunnies and squirrels that hang outside the window all day ;)

have a great day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

things not to do on a friday

....spend most of your morning with a CPA.

although mine is extremely nice, and actually gets EXCITED to find that he has the buying/selling of a home business to wade through tax laws over,

wow. did i ever want to be DONE with all of that for another year. unfortunately, he has some homework before i can close the books for 2011. he did tell me, however, that i should come pretty close to breaking even...which is the goal of every good freelancer.

this year, he even called me 'frugal' - i did not have the heart to tell him that all i want to do now that this is over is SHOP.

:) happy day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

tangerine dreams

well, since it's going to be another record-breaking beautiful day here in sd, i thought i'd switch topics and talk about the Pantone color of the year.

anybody who knows me very well at all knows that orange has been my long-time favorite color since i was a wee one....

so, i'm pretty happy to see 'tangerine tango' get some lovin' from pantone! i have been lamenting the lack of orange in my house for awhile now.

i have a couple more hurdles to jump through before i feel i can 'treat' myself to more home furnishings, but this lovely duvet with a 'tangerine tango' border is on my list of loves!!

at any rate, it makes me happy to have a happy tangerine header on my blog to match my spirits!

happy tangerine day to you as well!

Monday, March 12, 2012

the cliff is looming

oh, friends. i have to tell you about my weekend.

francis chan

i met a wonderful man (and i tell ya, i have been avoiding meeting him for awhile), and i have a feeling he might be part of the chain of reactions that is rocking my world.

it started on thursday, when i went to barnes and noble to pick up a devotional (jesus calling) for a friend who's been sick. i NEVER go there, i feel like i'm cheating on amazon. ha. but, on the table was a book i've heard about for about a year. so, anticipating a weekend in which i might need to read to decompress, i bought it. i actually forgot i have a kindle when i bought it!

so, the book is 'crazy love' and the man is francis chan. he spoke at lifelight last year, and i guess that is when i figured out that he's a pretty big deal. on friday, i mentioned to a client that i had just bought the book. he said 'uh oh. be prepared to have your world rocked'. and then he mentioned that when he and his family had sold their house in a gated community with a pool (last fall) and moved and now live in an apartment where he is starting a new business, and THIS book was the catalyst. oh boy.

if you're curious, you gotta check out this video:

I ended up staying up til nearly 2pm on friday, because i could not stop thinking about this video.

and all day saturday, while doing taxes and scraping wallpaper and painting walls, i thought about it some more. and then i went to church on sunday, and everything (i mean everything) that i had been thinking about was confirmed in the message and in the worship.

especially the part about our minds being like a coke can full of water, and God being the ocean, and there is no POSSIBLE way we can understand or comprehend the wonder, the AWE of Him, and in the most amazing way, HE LOVES US. and just wants us to recognize our place in His creation and LOVE HIM BACK. that's it. no other purpose. all other parts of our life flow from that truth. 

and i want to experience that love, more and more and more.

but, there is a cost. it means giving up the things i THINK i want. the things i THINK i have to do to make my own life 'right.' so yes - the 'me' part and my coke can brain. i have to give it up. all of it....for the OCEAN. which i have to admit, kind of scares me.

but oh. i do want the ocean. i do.

do you?
you might want to think about it...

Friday, March 09, 2012

friday photo essay

The state of things over here is pretty chaotic. Bathroom parts strewn everywhere, half done laundry and construction dust. Siesta finds solace in the middle of the madness. Good to remember that it can be done...

I discovered a new hardware store yesterday. It was like walking back in time, and the guy spent 15 minutes with me searching for a $1.58 part. I was once again reminded that the 50s must have been fabulous.

My amaryllis now has SIX blossoms. and 2 yet unfurled...I have been reading up on how to keep it going, but most everyone mentions that normally there is ONE stalk, not two, of blooms. A small miracle in my midst...thank you Lord.

wow. kind of a crazy week. finding beauty in odd places, though. hope you have a lovely weekend guys!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

50 on the horizon

ahhhh. end of the week in sight. after one dreary day yesterday, we are back to sunshine again! oh, the temptation! i am so so ready to be outside. i am squirrely to start digging in the dirt. i have so many plans. my head is just not able to sit still anymore ;)

i think it's a sign that i'll be turning 50 this year. don't you? the interest in weather is something that seems to go with that decade and upcoming ones. he he.

i think about how i am like a little flower, twisting its neck toward the sun. i just cannot make it too long without SUN. i think about what it would be like if we had warm temps all year round. i have a feeling we dakotans would be much happier people in general. i know the snow has it's delights. but SUN, sun wins every time.

anyway, from looking at the chart above, you might want to not call me on thursday or friday of next week. looks like i'll be at an important 'conference.'

:) happy day, y'all.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away

My current obsession, dolloped perfectly into the glass.

the amaryllis i got for christmas decided to 'pop' - oh my.  

my toesies saw actual sunlight for the first time in months! time for a pedicure ;)


yesterday was what i would classify as a 'near perfect day.'

i worked a little, visited a little (went back to the old hood and caught up with my favorite neighbors), played a little, and enjoyed a LOT.

today, it's back to winter. and the grind of mid-week.

sigh. yesterday spoiled me ;)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

new in the kitchen

i am amazed at how much i have been enjoying 'eating healthy' over the past couple of weeks. that NEVER happens. i think in the past i have equated healthy eating to severe rules and restrictions, and missing out on things i really love to eat. then, i start to crave those things i miss, and then, i fall off the wagon about 3 days after i start.

so, i'm doing it differently. NO DIET. i seem to be getting enough food to feel satisfied. here's a look at the program i'm following. the usda recommends these breakdowns:

carbs 45-65% total calories; protein 10% - 35%; fat 20 - 35%

that seems like a lot of wiggle room, but actually i've never ever eaten enough protein consistently. the daily smoothie has really helped to balance out my eating in a way i've never been able to do before. and since the carbs are not based on tons of bread and sugary things, i seem to be feeling more 'full' than before. thankfully, i love veggies and fruit. i think it would be tough if i did not.

Carey told me about this stuff. WOW! it's real peanut butter in powder form. no added anything. i kind of want to sit down and eat it with a spoon! ha. but instead, it goes into a choc banana smoothie. sooooooooooooo good.

I bought some almond milk last night! yum! i get plenty of protein/calcium from homemade yogurt and milk for the smoothies, so this is just a way to shake things up. it's spendy, but very tasty. going to try coconut milk next.

i have never eaten a brussel sprout! ever! until tonite, i'm going to roast them with olive oil and garlic and sea salt. kind of exciting ;)

i really love being in my kitchen, and cooking really relaxes me. it helps to make eating fun and interesting rather than rote or mindless. i'm finding that planning is kind of big. i have to go the grocery store more. but since i mostly stock up in the produce section, it's still a quick thing.

you know, i think the biggest thing in being healthy has to do with honoring God by living with things in the right perspective. food is a necessity, and a gift, and i want to put it in its rightful place in my life. not too much focus, but with joy and mindfulness.

thank you God for helping me to restructure the way i live! happy tuesday, guys!

LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1