Thursday, May 31, 2012

let there be light.

i've had this craft in my back pocket for a couple of years now, but lately they are springing up everywhere on pinterest, so i finally followed through and made some.

one of these days i'll remember to shoot a 'process' of how to do things, but not today. oh. and it's been raining. so the crafts are kinda moist. still. they are pretty.

here's what you do. go try to find CHEAP small solar lights for the yard. of course i went to walmart. $2.47 each. i think they were $2 last year, though. i got the dark brown ones.

then, take a cool old canning jar - or a new one - and spray paint the metal 'screw' lid to match your light. disassemble the light fixture - it easily unscrews from the base...and hot glue the screw lid to the bottom of the light.

then, you just have to screw the jar lid onto the jar! wha-la!

some people hot glue and seal the whole thing so that water will not leak in...i just open mine up and dump the water far, so good.

however, i gave 2 to kirst as a gift, and only 1 was working. not sure if the moisture did it, or if the walmart lights are just kind of crappy.

anyway, i have 3 of them in varying sizes lighting up the patio now. they are really very pretty! you can also attach wire to the tops and hang them from trees, my original plan. however, i'm pretty sure they would not catch enough sunlight to light up if they were hanging in a tree. so mine are out in direct sunlight during the day.

i love the rain - almost 5 inches in May so far - but wow. i really hope the sun comes out today.

happy whateverdayitis!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


i've been meaning to post about trader joe's for awhile now!

i got to visit my first one with lou in des moines last

then, kirst and i stopped in the one DOWN THE BLOCK from her house in st. paul. that would be dangerous for me....luckily, not for her.

i love almost everything about the store.

i especially love the SUPER nice staff! other companies need to figure out how to have friendly staff people!!! i had a nice chat with the check-out boy about south dakotans, and how we all flock to minnesota for vacation :)


lots of things to love. so far some of my favorites:

• roasted red pepper soup in a box
• chunky peanut butter
• whipped honey
• good, rich coffee (cheaper/better than anywhere else i have found)
• chocolate - pretty much all of it :)

i'm sure there is more. next time, i'm bringing a cooler along so that i can get some cold stuff. c'mon trader joe's, come to SF!!! we would treat you right!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

baby air plants hanging on a willow branch.
bird plates adorning the sunroom.

the beginnings of beautiful clutter.

new terra cotta planter. very heavy.

baby red canna popping out of ground. promise of good things to come.

miniature garden - 2nd try - hopefully a charm.

tuesday, welcome.

i already have a to-do list made and started. i would not say i am super excited to tackle it, but i have lots of visual inspiration today. so, time to get crack-a-lackin....'

bonus points if you know where that comes from :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

a time of rest

sigh. monday holidays are good, aren't they? i'm working a bit today so that tomorrow is not so stressful, but still. i am feeling relaxed and refreshed. getting out of town does that for you.

if you click in, take a look at the little snake on the table trying to get out of the cage. part of the reason they make me nervous!

quite the entertainment for little boys!

 it's always good to see kirsten. admittedly, this time i was a little nervous because she has a new family member since i was there before. medusa is a LARGE snake. to top it off, she also had a speaking engagement at an 8-year old's birthday party. FEATURING said snake.

yes, folks, i rode in a car with a snake. i cannot say i did it comfortably, but really it was fun after it was over :)) he he.

kirst is amazing. the kids LOVED her presentation. she has quite a knack for teaching, which pairs well with her passion for animals of all kinds. i am so excited to see what the next life phase brings - i am pretty sure it will be more education opportunities. i'm proud of her :)

meet perdi, she is a cutie....

2 bearded dragons giving kirst THE STARE.

naturally, i got to see the animals at home, too. funny how there are 3 kids, a husband, a cat and a dog in their household, and i only took pics of the lizards (for the record, i interacted with the others as well). i guess it's because it's so obvious that they love her. perdi (front reptile in bottom pic) was a 'rescue' that did not have use of her back legs - so neat to see her thriving because of the physical therapy kirsten does on her. yes, you read that right.

anyway. i had such fun!!! thanks kirsten for always being there for me, and for being the dear friend that you are. i'm a pretty lucky girl.

Friday, May 25, 2012

animal kingdom

 ah. a peaceful start to the day on the back i was gazing out on the land, only a lone bunny sitting in close proximity to some gnawed-off echinacea caught my eye. sigh. silly bunny.

 then, out of the corner of my eye, a little bit of movement in the yard...what IS that? i quickly ran and got the camera.

from far away it was kind of flopping around in the grass. i sensed that it was not sure what was going on, either.

okay. time to get a close look. sorry that the photo is blurry, I don't think he stopped flopping for even a second.

having a hard time dissecting this creature? here's some help. he was a baby mole...his little white 'claws' flopping around. my impression was that he had probably somehow gotten out of his 'entry point' into the ground, and was frantically looking for his way back.

he did not look UP once. his nose was completely intent upon burrowing back in. my yard is full of little clumped up masses of lawn to prove his point.

i did what i had to do. i went and got the shovel, like my dad taught me.

i picked him up, got a chance to really see his fat furry little body, pointy nose and white *serious damage* feet.

then i brought him back over to his entry point (which i noticed the very first day that i came to visit fern, and have since noticed because half of my lawn is dead).

and i pointed him in the right direction. there really are not words to describe. i got to watch him burrow and burrow and burrow into the soft, rain-soaked soil. and then, he relaxed a little bit. he made it.

i know. i now have not only the moles that have caused the problem in the first place, but also their offspring. it's something that i'll have to deal with eventually. but really seriously people, don't you kind of feel like today is a better day because a baby mole gets to do what baby moles do?

i do ;)
happy weekend, peeps.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

hidden treasure

yesterday, i decided to make a to-do list. just for work, not for any of the other things that i might have going on. 31 items. they vary in size, from a simple business card layout, to finishing a book layout. yesterday, i was able to check off 4 items. i realize that many days, i'm simply a person on a treadmill, trying to keep running because if i stop, there is impending danger of slamming my body onto the ground in a painful fashion.

and yet, stop i do. this morning for instance, which has been a perfectly lovely way to wake up.

perhaps you remember my post from yesterday. i find that whenever i have these sad, sad thoughts that speak more to hopelessness than hope, God will step in gently and softly and whisper a Truth that is like a salve to my soul.

He does that for us, you know.

so this morning, as i was sitting in the sunroom (which, btw, is mostly beige and strewn with unpretty things and should be another bullet on my to-do list) with the morning coffee, i prayed a little, and soaked a little, and read a little of my bible and of various other teachings. doing this in the morning is almost the same as having your mom read a bedtime story when you are little, only in reverse. do you remember that feeling? do you remember not knowing how things would end with the story and how exciting that was?

God sort of revealed to me that He wants the same kind of BEGINNING to my days. that He has a plan for this day, for me. in the words of one of my devotionals, He explained it like this:

Approach each new day with desire to find Me. Before you get out of bed, I have already been working to prepare the path that will get you through this day. There are hidden treasures strategically placed along the way. Some of the treasures are trials, designed to shake you free from earth-shackles. Others are blessings that reveal My presence: sunshine, flowers, birds, friendships, answered prayer. I have not abandoned this sin-wracked world; I am still richly present in it.

Search for the deep treasure as you go through this day. You will find Me all along the way.

'My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.' 

Collossians 2:2-3

do you see? do you see the way that God spoke to me about yesterday's post? do you see how He ALWAYS does that, if we enter in (and sometimes even if we really don't)?

ah....peeps. i pray the richest of God's treasure for you today. for there is no other treasure that can compare :)

happy Wednesday.

Siesta basking in the promise of her day ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the hurt and the healer

it started sometime last week. a deepening sense of sadness, a feeling of being out of sorts and out of solutions.

i guess it started when two people in my church family died ... as well as my pastor's grandfather. those situations, even though removed from me directly, coupled with another friend who is going through chemo right now and another pastor i know whose wife is dying a horrible death from sudden, aggresive cancer, were enough to send me off spinning somewhere not good.

even more, the illustration of my state of mind came on saturday, when i found this baby bird on the old fencing in my back yard. i spent the day watching, making sure he was okay. i got the pleasure of seeing his mom feed him a worm. i prayed that God would watch out for him, that he would be okay. i started to love him in his vulnerable little state.

a little later in the afternoon, i witnessed a ruckus involving a squirrel, and after a quick google search, i realized that my little baby bird had been ravaged. the mom hopped around the yard looking for her baby. i cried.

you see, when we look only to this world and expect to see God move only in our circumstances, we will be disappointed. it's not that God WON'T or cannot heal us in our wounded state. it's that healing is more than our expected outcome. healing means keeping our eyes ONLY on Him, the Healer, the one whom all good things come through. it's when we ask the WARzone to make us complete, to bring us joy, that we are disappointed. the WARzone that is this world cannot heal us. we need to stop hoping that it will.

i need to remember today. the impact of this world is most of the time harsh. for as much as goodness exists, injustices abound. people hurt and lose and are wounded.

and God is there, God is here ... waiting for our focus to shift, waiting for us to enter into the solution, the Healing, the place where pain cannot enter. it's our real home - HE is our real home, people. and i for one am so in need of living there.

my mercy church fam, and my brave friend elise sporting her new head, courtesy of cancer. isn't she gorgeous?

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. 
No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

Friday, May 18, 2012

friday photos

ah. friday has arrived. i only hope that today goes well, as i am nervous about a client meeting this afternoon.

with all of the busyness and action on the workfront, the home place is starting to have a 'back forty' vibe. i have settled into a routine that gets me away from the computer for a couple of hours each day to tend to things.

i did miss some watering, and a couple of my new bushes fried in the sun/wind yesterday. ah well, perhaps i can coax them back to life.

hope you all have a wonderful weekend....!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

gourd grief!

he he. gotta love my headlines lately. i seriously need a copywriter :)

okay. so, the little 'nest' here at fern is slowly taking shape. i find that in the middle of the weedfest, and the unmowed lawn, and the vast areas of ugly, i am making little corners of happiness.

last night, i started a little teeny garden behind the shed. i was visiting my old neighbor yesterday, and he gave me two tiny tomato plants, the inspiration. i'll take photos in a bit for you, but it was so fun to make a little area to garden! i even tried to bunny-proof it, ha. this morning two bunnies were practically sitting on my front step! whatevah. they seem nice...:)

okay. so on to gourds. i have had a long-held fascination with gourds. of course, i should just grow some of the durn things.

but last night, as i was eagerly perusing my latest 'this old house' magazine, i found a website.

wow. what a cute cottage business! those amish have got it going ON! he he. i have visions of a little hanging gourd paradise under my big ole evergreen. perhaps i will find the woodburning tool i have hidden somewhere in my craft mess, and try my hand at some decoration as well.

for today, i will tuck this dream away for a later time. happy day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

let's talk about cake.

yum.  let's talk about this one.

my friend loretta made this for our church potluck a couple of weeks ago. i remembered it when it came time to make a cake for my mom for mother's day.

best. cake. EVER. even my picky dad and brother ate some!

it's all over pinterest right now, so maybe you've already seen it. if not, here's the recipe:


Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tb. lemon juice, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. plain or vanilla, Greek yogurt
  • 12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sift together the 2 ¼ cups of flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 Tb. lemon juice. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 Tb. of lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
make one for your next special thing! or maybe just for yourself :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

glorious new day

happy monday!

i hope all of you moms enjoyed your weekend as much as i did!

one of the highlights of my YEAR is going flower shopping with my mom on mother's day...this year, we actually chose saturday for 'our day' to get in even more hours at the greenhouses :)

we hit pretty much all of the greenhouses within a perimeter of brookings, but one of our faves this year was 'norms' in aurora. it is always bittersweet for me to go to aurora, because it's where my grandparents lived, and where i spent time as a child while my mom worked at woolworths in 'town.'

we drove around and both of us cried a little. but, it is good to visit and remember.

norms was un-be-freaking-lievable.

um, how much is this room?
much of the 'stuff' is unmarked...staff is knowledgeable, but you have to catch em ;)
half botanic garden, half greenhouse. good luck figuring out which is which :)    

we wandered around for almost 2 hours. i had a list, but practically forgot to look at it! i did find my weird daylillies that i was after, on clearance. i also found an old co-worker from sdsu, it was fun chatting with her after all these years.

then, we were off to medary acres, another fine place to indulge our weaknesses.

i did not need many more annuals, but i did find a couple goodies for my front door planters. since i killed off all of my succelents by burning them to death this spring, i had to find a couple of replacements :)

yesterday was grand. i was able to finish off the front yard gardens, except for mulch which should get placed this week.

even though these new gardens don't do much for me visually (yet), i have to remind myself that just a few short months ago, things looked like THIS.

thank you Lord, for new beginnings, for sun, for your Love, and for the promise of a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

my love affair with bunnies

cute 'mini' hosta from my mom's house...which came from mabel originally....which came from a lady's TRUNK where she was giving them away originally.

um, what is left of cute 'mini' hosta after somebunny had a salad in the middle of the night. probably going to end like all of my other love affairs.

why do i always end up with bad relationships?! do you think there is any hope for us?


Monday, May 07, 2012

weekend happenings

plants purchased, planted, and dreamed about. i finally have reached 'plant overload' and just want to get the gardens mulched and stop to smell the roses.

oops. forgot to buy roses ;)

so glad my carey is alive today! wow. grateful for God protecting us at all times.

ready for a new week. i worked some over the rainy weekend, now it's sunny and Monday and i'm all mixed up :)

sigh. and so it goes.happy monday!

Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6

Friday, May 04, 2012

a rocking adventure

Bert and I decided to go on a mini adventure yesterday, anne came along for moral support and possibly because she has muscles.

Up and over the weigh scale.
Ah. here we are...the land of milk, honey, and ROCKS.

They don't look like much here, frankly. The important thing is to not be afraid :)

Before we got outta there with my new little stash, we had to of course look around. It was not difficult to find other things to covet. I especially found the rock of my dreams. Seriously people, it had PLANTS in it!! Growing!!! Blooming!!! Oh, to know the story of where these lovelies once lived...

i really, really really wanted to take this one home! if i knew a person with a bobcat, perhaps i would have :)

It's always good to take a photographer on your rock-hunting adventures.

, my work was cut out for me when I got home. luckily, it was a pretty easy task.

it's not 'there' yet, but getting closer. today, i'm going 'hunting' for a whiskey barrel. I think that it will help round out the old school landscaping. oh, and maybe a bird bath. and a couple pots. and more plants. and of course, MULCH. doh.

all of THAT, simply for THIS....but so worth it.

happy friday y'all!