Thrifty Dish

The story starts like this…

Once upon a time a friend and I went “hunting”…

We saw lots of inspiring things:
I love how the “O” is made of u-panel and told cowboy I MUST (pretty please) have an “R” double the size.
I’m “anti-border” but this collage of antique plates is S-o VE-ry CHArm-ing
DSCN3500 And how simple would this be to make from an old door! It would look marvelous in the foyer of the 1800’s house!

During all that hunting though, the only exciting thing I found for myself was these…
 DSCN3503 …until that evening when we made yet another trip to our home improvement store…
and there they were!

I finally found a set of all white, high-quality dishes at a steal of a deal! I’ve waited (im)patiently and now I have them!!
DSCN3508Count ‘em up! TWELVE complete servings for $39 and…its Pfaltzgraff. At the HARDWARE store!!!

Moral of the story: Never stop hunting.

Beauty of the story:
Empty tray…extra dishes…are you thinking what I’m thinking?!
…and the dishes live happily ever after.

The End

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1800’s house foyer

I’m inspired to write this to participate in Kelly’s Corner Show Us Your Foyer Party. I don’t really have much of a foyer in our apartment although it has improved since we did this…DSCN1283


That’s the best I have to show how we took out two apartment doors and moved the wall back 3 feet to create an entry for shoes and coats. It’s only 3’x6’ and not very pretty yet so I’ll have to work on that and maybe it will look closer to these!

I L-O-ve these foyers and will purposely put an area in our home someday just for such.

550_101328022 mudroom-bench mudroom-ideas opt-mudroom-maps

Now back to the topic. This is a view the prisoner-like foyer that existed in the 1800’s houseDSCN2523

That shelf that I re-purposed for a bedroom makeover is 7’ long and seemed to say “don’t come in” which is the exact opposite of what you want a foyer to do – well except when the kids and cowboys have muddy feet. Truthfully though, the entryway of this farmhouse is one of it’s most enviable features for me. Look at the end of the jail cell there’s a hall to the half bath, garage door is on the right, and mudroom to the left. A dream come true for busy, outdoorsy families!

The first thing of course was to rip out the shelving and all of the old floors. Now standing in the entryway you feel welcome in to the whole living area. See where my handsome, hard-working nephew is standing in the doorway (if you have a 17 year old daughter…pray she meets a man like him – he’s incredible!!)…where he’s standing is a dining room entry. Just in front of that is a similar doorway to the kitchen. I made my decision on where to put the floors based on that kitchen door. I know for our family if we are in the house with our shoes on it’s because we A) forgot a tool B) need food or drink or C) need to use the restroom. I wanted wood flooring to access a family to be able to do all of these things without tracking on a plush, light-colored carpet.

IMG_1474 living room

I also painted the entire foyer the same color as the living room for a cohesive, spacious, flow.


Yes…10’ of foyer…15’ of living room. I L-O-ve it.


That glorious light is shining from the mudroom – glorious isn’t it?! This foyer has so many key components. A large closet just inside the door, a section of wall begging for a mirror/bench or table combination…access to all the key areas. So now you have it! An empty 100+ square foot foyer. Your turn…what would you do with it??

In His Time

I love the song In His Time. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Today, though, I was reminiscing of our sweet Hudson and in his time! Hudson is true blue offspring. Stubborn and wild as his cowboy father.

I was enjoying the beauty of our large table today…


…and recalling the recent days when it was full. I believe in letting kids work out their own pecking order in most issues and they had decided from oldest to youngest they would take turns praying. Hudson had to interrupt the flow each time and I just know he loved getting the girls al worked up about his praying order defiance before meals.

So weeks later we board the plane -their first flight! It's around 9pm and we had luggage chaos and were finally staring at cold McDonald's in our laps otherwise known as supper. While the rest of us indulge or bicker, our man Hudson closes his eyes says thanks for the food and prays for a safe flight.

I am humbled.

I am enlivened with hope!

In His time.


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Happy 5th birthday!

Today is my other cowboy’s birthday. We used to call him little man or little cowboy but now he insists he is just a cowboy. Not little in any way. After all he weighs almost 35 lbs. now!
I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night while he was away because I got an idea on rearranging his room. After an hour of tossing and turning, I actually got out of bed at midnight went in his room and started shoving furniture around until I was convinced it would work. (Tell me I’m not the only one who has ever done this!) Knowing that with a little persuasion (aka…lip-pouting and eye-batting) we could tackle his room in a day and surprise him when he returned home. Well…tackle we did!
Step one was run to town. That’s not literal…that’s what we country girls call it when we have to drive down the highway 20 or 30 minutes to find the nearest grocery store and hardware store. I decided if I was going to do all that rearranging that we might as well paint it. He informed me a while back that bright green suited his taste. I tried and tried to sway toward muted, dusty versions of green and blue, but cowboys stick together so I was defeated.
I know some of my young blog readers are still gaining their expertise at creating homes so I want to share my two favorite paint tips very quickly…spend money on one good “cut in” brush and guard it with your life. Put it with your make-up or your unmentionable monthly necessities where no one else will get there hands on your $15 paint brush. Secondly, you can leave these wherever you want, but start no paint project without them handy --- wipes up any oops’s in a jiffy!
Now where were we? Oh yes…I washed down this shelf I pulled from the living room of the 1800’s house. I know you are dying to see that living room but not today!
I put it on the wall where his bed was before. The open shelving is so great for him to be able to SEE what he has and put it to use. Someday I would like to paint the shelf also, but for now it’s staying wooden and

We removed his bookshelf headboard to give the feel of a daybed and open up the space a little.
Stuffed animals are always a challenge with this tough, tough cowboy so I used this old white store crate that I bought years ago. It’s served many purposes and is now the “cage” for his many animals.
The existing curtains (were the inspiration for adding blue to his desired green and the albeit generic the best toy sorter ever had to stay! The curtains by the way were the cheapest and simplest curtain EVER -- $2 sheet from the thrift store. Cut a little whole on each end of the top hem and put it on the rod!DSCN3554 The lamps came from our master bedroom identity crisis. They had a more grown-up and cozy feel.
Let’s look again…
  DSCN3523 DSCN3564
A few more shots if you wish…
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Home Stories A2Z

Beyond The Picket Fence

Iowa’s version of YUM!

I've never been an overly big fan of my home state. However, I couldn't help but celebrate in my heart today. It was our first day of shucking. Now I've been shucking corn ever since I can remember. I believe that I have perfected my favorite way to prep and freeze it for winter. Much credit to my dear friend who led me to this perfection.

Every body has their own way...some add cream...some freeze it on the cob...some like whole kernel, and on and on go the variations -- but try this and I promise you rave reviews from your hungry family!

Start with decadent selections such as Kandy Korn or Peaches ‘n Creme.  Try to get your ears in the morning when they’re fresh picked and work it right away.


You know you have a delicious cob when the milky juice squirts all over you while shucking. (For those of you wondering what that big metal thing is in the background – it’s a snowplow. Love Iowa.)

After it’s all shucked, rinse it and pick off all those annoying little hairs that you can…


I slice my corn off of the cob and into a bowl in the sink so that clean up of the mess is simple.


Now here’s where the cutting controversy begins…


See how this cob is being cut at the base of the whole kernel.


See all the juice ooze when you cut only half of the kernel. Repeat this step to get the bottom half of the kernel.

And then even if you’re determined to cut whole kernel always back “grate” the cob to get any leftover good stuff.


After you have it in the bowl, cook it quickly on the stove at a medium-high temperature. You are NOT cooking the corn simply a quick “blanching”. I add my butter and salt and pepper at this stage.

I only do this next step if I’m freezing it – not if I’m serving it fresh…I don’t know why it works but it DOES! Health nuts – I admire you but scroll no further…


That’s a deceiving scoop – it’s actually only a table spoon to what would equal a gallon of corn.

Then it’s ready for scooping into freezer bags.


Plan ahead. Make some smaller bags just for your family and larger portions for holidays and having company. Mostly, remember that you must taste each batch to insure perfection. Or just because you deserve it.

Also helpful to remember…if it’s too sweet add salt. If it’s too salty…a little sugar will balance the taste.


Think how good fresh sweet corn will taste with your Thanksgiving feast!!!

Your turn…how do you prepare and store your favorite fresh summer delights?

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