Monday, April 30, 2012

Iowa in the springtime...


...rolling hills.


...junk that weighs too much to haul back to SD in a yellow vw bug.

so, it was a quick, but nice way to spend a day or so. i'm always amazed at how i never, ever tire of seeing good junk. a good time was had by all, and now it's monday again. sometimes, i feel like a hamster on a wheel :)

happy day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

junk hunting

one more day of work, then headed to 'junk jubilee' in des moines, ia with lou...

i have a feeling i will probably over-spend :)

happy weekend, y'all!

lookit my new tshirt that came in the mail yesterday. yeah. i made that :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

thought for the day.

My darling, come with me.

The winter is over; the rains have stopped;
in the countryside the flowers are in bloom.

This is the time for singing;
the song of doves is heard in the fields.

Figs are beginning to ripen;
the air is fragrant with blossoming vines.

Come then, my love;
my darling, come with me.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

...woke up this morning with some heaviness on my heart. Must remember that peace awaits. Hope that you remember today also :) happy wednesday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


so, i was having quite a morning. busy with the 'list' of to-dos and all, and feeling completely inadequate for the task at hand. it seems the world will always tell you that you don't have what it takes, if it's the world you are listening to.

anywhoo, then my friend anne emailed me THIS. i called her. i screamed!! i cannot believe she MADE THIS FOR ME.

it's my backyard. click in on it so you can see it really well.

it is wonderful. perfectly wonderful.

i am blessed beyond measure.
isn't she insanely talented?

:) happy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

building is good.

hi all; how was the weekend?

i feel like life has taken a grand turn for the better all of a sudden; weekend was JUST the perfect blend of social and solitary for me. i have to get that cocktail just right or i am not happy.

oh, and no 'work' work was done. it was the first weekend in a string of several that i left the computer room. ahhhhhhhh. life is good out there without the machine :) it feels much better to sit back here on monday morning when you have stepped away for a bit. remember the days when you left work at 5pm and did not do it again until the next morning at 8am? i do. wow, i must be old :)


friday, i got the rest of my plants purchased for the initial 'fence' planting. i felt indulgent, even though i have planned for this since the beginning. 2 trees, 15 bushes, 5 hostas. except for the hydrangeas from mabel that my mom is keeping for me, the main 'structure' of the back fence will be filled with these goodies. oh, and anne and i walked it out and figured out the shape of the perimeter, which will probably be completed NEXT spring. so nice to have a friend with great vision to help do the 'fun' part! thanks, anne!

no, i did not quite get everything planted. i dug all the holes, though, and set everything out. i need some more compost and good dirt, so i'll have a chance to get my hands dirty all week long as i finish up :)

12 bags of dirt; 3 bags compost; 1 bag vermiculite; 1 bale peat moss; 1 back ache ;)

yesterday, i decided to try my hand at making a raised bed....whew. that is more work than it looks like on pinterest! ha. but, i felt like it was pretty successful. soon, my grandma's raspberries from aurora, sd will take up residence here. i hope they like my mix of soil, compost, vermiculite and peat moss. i could lay in this bed and be happy, it's very soft ;)

all in all, i feel like the thing i have waited most for in purchasing this house is worth it...i have missed mabel a little this spring. but soon, i will have the ability to go out and check on my babies in THIS yard, which will more than make up for the loss.

happy week guys :)) i hope you get to experience some nature first-hand also!

Friday, April 20, 2012

no, you cannot have 67% of my brain.

i woke up this morning and did my 'normal' routine....

* pee
* check email/facebook
* make coffee

um, yes, you saw that correctly. i have reached the place i thought i would never reach. the place where computers are more important than COFFEE. oh, woe is me.

let's don't even talk about where God is in the mix...however, i usually do say 'hello' when my eyes open :)

therefore, i am making a plan.

my plan is to check facebook ONCE A DAY. and only once a day. starting immediately.

pretty sure the above order will not change. but at least the time suckage of my life will not be quite as intense.

no plans yet for blogs/pinterest/email checking. however, they may be on the chopping block, too. oh, and tv. well, maybe not tv quite yet ;)

happy friday to you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sunny d

birdsnest evergreens

hicks yews

various sedums/succulents/ground covers

 ah! much better day!

the sun is shining.

my cold is already lessened.

i got my license plate tags, so i am now legit again.

i have carey for a business partner, and she keeps me from losing it.

plus, i am started on the landscaping purchases :) i have a few things bought, but many, many more to go. it's fun.

that's not me, but what if it WAS?! :)

oh. and i walked into my sunporch yesterday and was reminded that a sweet friend brought me an AWESOME gift on monday! it's an EZGo cart :) mine has lime green accents, and right now it also has some dead ferns in it. yay!

okay. i seem a little bipolar here, don't i? but seriously. a day can make quite a bit of difference. happy wednesday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

fear not

hi peeps;

i woke up today and was happy to have monday over with. yesterday kind of sucked, to be honest. lots of reasons.

i am fighting sadness because of the grey skies. i hate that the weather affects me so.

i just realized that my car license plates expired in march. kind of a sign of the outta-controlness of my life lately. wonder when i will actually get around to updating them. one year it took me 8 months before i was kindly pulled over by a keeper of the peace. sigh.

i also woke up feeling sick today. sore throat. i started popping the zicam, which gives me a tummy ache. double whammy.

mostly, i have been worried about work relationships and situations, and a couple of outcomes that i am awaiting. the BIG fear that always seems to creep in and consume me. i worry. i worry that people do not like or value or want me. i worry that i have done or said or not done something. i worry that i charge too much. i worry that i will have no bread tomorrow. you can see where this is going.

woke up today and realized i was in a bad place. turned to God, and read a few passages in my devotional...was reminded once again that i am not alone in this. that in all of these things I have a Father who sees and knows and cares and loves.

Sigh. grateful.

happy tuesday, guys.

I am training you in steadiness. Too many things interrupt your awareness of Me. I know that you live in a world of sight and sound, but you must not be a slave to those stimuli. Awareness of Me can continue in all circumstances, no matter what happens. This is the steadiness I desire for you.

He will fear no bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Psalm 112:7

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

Friday, April 13, 2012

rainy days

ah, we are finally getting a little bit of rain. it's hard to go through cold, rainy days since we had 'summer' in march, but the earth is glad. i got the ladder out and picked some lilacs this morning, it is only a matter of time before they dry off and start to make the house smell lovely.

it's kind of bittersweet, because i have decided to take these old lilacs out as the next phase of my fence project. they have not been lovingly kept over the years, and only bloom way, way up on their tippy-tops. because there are many new, better varieties of lilacs out there now, i'm thinking it best to replace them.

why do i get sad at the idea of killing plants? arrrrggggh. i wish i could fix them, but alas, not sure that i can.

i thought i would show you the 'behind the scenes' view of my photoshoot as well. a certain 'someone' always, ALWAYS has to be in the middle of the action :)

happy day, my friends :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

lucky us.

for a person who doesn't like boys, i am very ready to see this movie.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

loving love.

it must be spring again, because my thoughts lately have turned to love. i never really change in that aspect of things, although my concept of love is deepening.

yesterday, i was driving around town on an errand, and this song came on the radio. i felt an incredible 'rush' inside as i thought about God singing the answer to this song to me, to all of us humans. it was one of those times when God becomes physical, when all of your heart can see and feel and KNOW him.

it was awesome ;) today, i am thanking him and asking for MORE, more more.

less awesome is what my crabapple tree looks like this morning, after a 22 degree night. hoping that even though it looks pretty bad, that it might recover some and not be leafless for the duration of the summer. sigh. farmer troubles.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

88 and counting

well, the fence went up yesterday. i was impressed at the way my landscapers tackled the project, it seemed like FOREVER before they got to good part - filling in the fence panels - but they seemed to measure and use the level a lot. i guess that is good, because visually it looks pretty straight.

i admit that i am not normally one to want to fence out the world. in 22 years of living here in sioux falls, i've never really had privacy from the neighbors. but almost IMMEDIATELY after the fence was up, my mind decided that i wanted to completely close in the back yard so that NO ONE CAN SEE ME. i suppose that is sort of weird. but it felt kind of cocoon-like, and sort of good.

i'll have to save some dough first. i got the first 88 feet of fence done yesterday, with probably 40-50 to go in order to completely box myself in. for a girl who grew up in the country with lots of wide-open vistas, it is a shift for sure.

i had to go back a bit to remember the house when i first saw it last july:

to be honest, this is what i loved about fern from the beginning. the lush, green landscape. unfortunately, it really consisted mostly of weeds and invasive vines. it soon became clear that everything had to go in order to 'do it right' and recreate the lush setting with good things, not weeds and overgrowth.

over the course of the winter, it became obvious that my back yard neighbors were not nearly as neat and tidy as my FRONT yard neighbors, all of whom make a wonderful little landscaped mayberry-type street. nope. an empty home directly behind me with very little visual appeal, and a big ole ugly college dilapidated mess in the corner, and directly in my line of sight every time i stared out back. by the time spring rolled around, i just was having a really tough time dealing with all of that 'ugly.'

so, ta-da, for just a few thousand $$, they are now vanished. really, seriously, it seems like they are gone. do i love the 'look' of a huge wooden barrier?

not so much. in my head, the top pictures can now start to be built back up, with all kinds of interesting trees, bushes, shade plants and ground covers in trailing, lush little niches to give my eyes pleasure, and to provide habitat for all my little creatures, who seemed to have headed out yesterday for greener pastures elsewhere.

sigh. and now, i must try to get motivated to NOT worry about the large job ahead of me....mulching and beginning the 'filling in' process. just know that in my head, it's all already finished ;)

happy day!

Monday, April 09, 2012

post easter post.

hi all.

how was your easter?

i spent some time yesterday in the sunporch with siesta, sun shining on me, reading 1 john (and 2 john and 3 john, actually). what a good way to spend easter morning. truly soaking up the knowledge of God who loves us. what that really means, more and more and more.

the rest of the weekend was good, too. saturday i cleaned this place with a vengeance. what a lot of yuckiness to clean, from carpentry and winter and just general unruliness on my part.

as luck would have it, i ran out of windex. which sent me a googlin' and found me a great recipe!

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 T. cornstarch
2 c. warm water....

which is BETTER than good! my stupid, stupid very black and always showin' something yucky stove is sparkly. and streak-free, something i had a hard time achieving before.

yay for homemade cleaners! must. make. more.

 yesterday, i went home for the day.

my dad helped me with a few projects, like assembling my tiller and painting/rewiring my cool 1960s light fixture. which i love. both that my dad helped me, and the light fixture :) what a blessing family is. i love, love, love my family.

mom and i spent a bunch of time figuring out plants for me to transplant. i decided to wait a week, since there is supposed to be a killer frost tonite. not that it will matter, but i guess i figure it's best not to transplant and expose the plants to frost on the same day.

next week, i will bring home some of my grandmothers' raspberry bushes. very excited :)

today, i plan to take an extended holiday...especially since i worked on friday. not sure what i'll do exactly yet, i do have a couple of projects up my sleeve.

:) happy day after! see you tomorrow for our regularly scheduled post :)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

i dig dirt.

hey, guys, i wonder how many posts on dirt i have written in the last six years? probably as many as most other things :)

not just OK, but XL OK!!!

alas. dirt is on my mind once again. tis the season, right? i can hardly wait for a long weekend of playing in my dirt. unfortunately, the fence got delayed until next week, but still, i have lots i can be doing. i'm pretty sure i'll have a post titled 'mulch' next week as well.

anyway, those 'call before you dig' people are stealthy. i had no idea they were even here, until i woke up this morning to those flags. they have hidden meanings, which i am not quite sure of. but i think i'll go with the OK and assume things are good to go :)

meet my new friend doug.

i also went to lowes last night and picked up a digging partner. i'm going to call him doug. doug the digger. yep, i'm creative that way :)

ha. i decided that for all the yardwork i'm going to be doing the rest of my life, i deserve a mini tiller. i actually bought the whole thing with gift cards....! so thankful for people who know my priorities in life ;)

ha. well, i guess i better 'dig in' to a full days work today, esp. if i want to have most of Good Friday to play. happy almost, almost holiday to you!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


i was just talking to carey the other day about how we dislike getting 'tagged' on facebook. plus, you know how it is when your future employer sees those embarrassing photos that you have to make up an explanation for.

well, here's my latest one. hmmmmmmmmm. pretty sure any potential employer would be happy that anne and i adhere to the 'safety first' adage :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

spring colors

ooooh. chilly. today is a little more 'typical' for south dakota in april - cold and rainyish. i kind of forgot what that looks like!

yesterday was summery. my crab apple tree in the front yard decided to 'pop' with very beautiful white, floweryness. i hope it does not get blown away today. even so, i took it in yesterday, and it was good.

i also have some blossoms going on in the house. this plant has the deepest, darkest velvet color. i have a love/hate relationship with it because it is very finnicky, but when it's ON, it's gorgeous.

plus, i got a wonderful surprise when i woke up and stumbled out to the sunroom with my coffee this morning. i can hardly contain myself with anticipation of the new fence and the opportunity to shield the 'ugly' from my neighbor's unkempt back yard.

but seriously, people, LOOK at their tree! it's giant and old and kind of sprawly and is going to be bright, bright PINK. so even after the fence is up, my backyard in spring is already on its way to being 'designed' - this time by God, starting quite a few years back ;)

happy tuesday!

Monday, April 02, 2012

update on the lent thing

i always think of a million things to blog about over the weekend. then, on monday a.m. i have fuzzy brain and cannot remember anything!

sigh. i thought maybe it was time for an update on my lent decision this year. as you may or may not recall, i decided to give up 'sugar.'

quickly that decision changed to processed carbs/sugar...there is no way i could totally give up sweets, so i factored in eating fruit as part of the fast.

yeah. this weekend, i looked into my cart at hyvee and saw:

granny smith apples
frozen blackberries
frozen peaches
frozen mixed berries

ummmm. so, i guess it really did become a fast of processed food, more than a sugar fast. i don't think i could have made it FIVE weeks without protein smoothies (thus the frozen fruit). they are truly YUMMY, and quench my sugar desire while still giving me energy, and for the most part are really good stuff - fruit/milk/whey protein - with no added sweeteners. well, some of the protein powder has stevia in it. but still. not too bad.

i've only eaten ONE slice of cheese pizza, no chips, no white bread, no pasta except for one serving of whole wheat pasta (i really am not much of a pasta person, anyway).

what i HAVE eaten is lots and lots of these. i have gotten somewhat good at making salads. much thanks to my friend anne, who is a bit of a zealot on making homemade dressing. ps. she is giving up her blog roll for lent, so unfortunately she cannot defend that comment ;)

she has made some incredible viniagrettes at church, so i have tried to follow suit at home. plus, i like lots of little bits in my salad, so i've tried to have enough goodies on hand, which is not always easy.

salads require planning!

for instance, i grocery shopped yesterday and forgot to pick up a salty/crunchy addition to my salads for the week. doh. salty/crunchy is actually almost a necessity for a good salad. usually, i do some sort of salted nuts, or a whole wheat 'sesame stick' that i have found to be quite tasty.

fortunately, i had recently found a recipe for toasted chickpeas. they look good, don't they? plus, they add a lot of protein into the mix....not a bad thing.

tastewise, i could live without them. but they do serve their purpose in a salad, so i suppose i will gag them down this week :))) ha. not everything about this 'clean eating' is a bed of roses, i suppose.

so, i know you are wondering - do i feel better? do i still miss sugar? am i skinny yet?

answers: yes. not remarkably, but a little more energy. yes. every day. no, not even close.

i'm pretty sure i will continue on in some form after easter is over, however. for awhile, i was logging my food every day, but that got a little old, and also made me concentrate on food way more than i want to. i think a month of logging kind of showed me what to eat for a good balance and for the last week i've been 'free forming' it. which is a great relief. i really don't want to 'diet' anymore, but i look forward to being much, much healthier physically next year at this time ;))

i even took a couple of 'before' pics on sunday so that i will have something to look back upon! (no, this is not it, but i will not post those ;))

as for what i have missed the most? not chocolate. not cake. not bread. not all the things i thought. but i dearly, dearly miss DIET COKE. and i will most certainly have one, just one, for lunch on sunday, along with my easter meal!

thank you Lord, for helping me with a really hard thing in my life!