Wooden Wall Rack

The 1800's house (some day I will get all the after pictures up) has been a great place to dig up hidden treasures like crocks for my shelf in the dining room and the screen door I have fun with seasonally...

Another gem from the old buildings is this wooden rack...not too sure what you would call it...

I have known from the start that I wanted to see this hung on the wall, but I imagined it somewhere as a magazine rack. I'm so glad I waited. I L-O-ve getting to combine these things that I l-o-ve.

For all you pallet wood inventors out there this would probably be easy to reproduce...
(Just send me the royalties)

I've wondered about it's original purpose many times. 
I had never noticed this until the light from the camera made it more visible.
Still have no idea though of its purpose.

It's purpose for me is obvious...holding my very favorite cookbooks.

This looks like nothing special but I remember clearly receiving it as a gift from my aunt and uncle. As a junior high student at the time, I remember thinking what an odd gift...maybe I'll use it for photos...
Oh how they knew so much better than I did!
I have really enjoyed having a place to keep all of my favorite family recipes and new favorites from friends.

And then there's this...
Indeed...this find from a garage sale has given me so many new ideas and helped me through those painful moments in the kitchen when I had no idea how to stick my hand up the rear of that raw chicken and such...
C'mon gals...I know you were there once too.

You've already noticed this in the pic above.
Niece, cousin, or friend getting married this summer? Get her this.
It's a new version that's made in vintage style.
Again. a life saver. Well, supper saver.
I rarely follow the recipes exactly, but it's a reference guide that even google can't keep up with.

The church cookbook. Enough said. Those faith-filled ladies' reputations were on the line. 
It's good.

Still no trim. That pantry door will someday soon be a chalkboard.

Linking to...

Why I teach Gifted & Talented

 When teachers move between two buildings and two classrooms it can be easy sometimes to lose the "momentum" that is created in a standard classroom.

Days like these though make it so there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. Students at Washington crowd into our corner without a complaint in the world. Little kids still in primary grades contentedly crowded in with students ready to soar off into the world of middle school. 

Some making movies, some doing math, some writing, some using creativity to make cartoons and plays...all engaged. 

Most not even noticing me perched up high to photograph them...


Today Cowboy and I enjoyed a full day of work around R7. One of the projects was running more pasture fence. Building a fence can really be therapeutic.

You get to see a finished product, it involves nice even posts, and a bit of simplicity that doesn't come along nearly enough.

In January, we had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Act of Marriage conference by Family Life. It was really a wonderful experience of sharing and investing in each other. Last night I was reviewing the workbook from the conference --- all marriages have "review" kind of days...

This thought from researcher John Gottman, who interviewed thousand of couples, really stuck out to me.  He mentions that the presence of four behaviors is the apocalypse or signs of a probable end of a relationship: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and withdrawal.

Ouch. Criticism. (I prefer to call it analytical...ahem).

This is so true. Hmmm...withdrawal --- I think even before dangerous walls are built in a marriage comes the fences. These are my areas of responsibility in the family. This is me time. These are my friends. This is my side of the bed....Fences. Boundaries.

I love to think of the wild prairie days before the fences went up. Sometimes those fences went up to say "this is mine." Other times though, just as the fence we built today, the fence is built to keep what you value near. It's built to keep danger out and what you love in.

Those are the kinds of fences we want to build in our relationships and families. The kind of fence that holds us together not divides us up. 

Today I had that little moment when I realized the best way to build that protective fence is together. Working side by side. Walking hand in hand down the road.

Comfort in a Crescent

I've been meaning to share this little secret recipe for some time now. It's a little something I created. My inspiration was the chicken casserole recipe that I shared in Cooking in Haste -- good read too if I say so myself. If the casserole is delicious then this is decadent!

Sometimes I make little party puffs for a crowd.

Sometimes I make great big pouches of comfort for supper at the end of a long day.

Now...the simple recipe:

1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 package of cream cheese
shredded cooked chicken

Just mix it up and spoon the filling into an unbaked crescent triangle. 

Roll that bad boy up and bake for 8-10 minutes -- Y-u-mm-Y!!

If you want to add a little zest -- chop up some green peppers and add to the mix!!

Linking to...

Feeling Blue on the Floor

I believe in creation. 

However, when it comes to the home...I am forced to believe in its evolution or I would lose my sanity. 

After making my bold move in the dining room and adding no-sew painters cloth curtains...this is where I found myself in the evolutionary process of a dining room.

(don't mind the random red -- it was Valentine's day) 

I'm certain you see the eye sore too...
We aren't ready (aka we are moving walls still) to add flooring through the main living spaces). In the meantime -- this is so ugly and gross!

Hmmm...are you thinking what I'm thinking??

Talk about entertainment on a snow day!
I didn't paint anything but the trim. He did it all!

Snow day??
No - we don't live in Alaksa.
 Yes -- it's taken me three months to share this!!

Look for the next phase of evolution coming soon!

Taking a moment

Its easy to stay so busy that you forget to enjoy the reason you live in the middle of nowhere...

Enjoying a nice evening. Summer is coming. It is. 

Pep Talk

Because I needed one and students <3 them...

Hope the pep talk makes your Monday brighter!

Casual party tips

Cowboy’s 40th birthday was a chance for a little casual BBQ and Bonfire. I was determined to keep it simple, but I couldn’t help but add a little vintage panache and organization to the affair. I picked up a few pointers I thought I would share…
A metal milk bucket is a genius way to have a huge stack of plates keep from falling over or blowing away - and you don’t have to wrestle with the plastic sack. Plus it’s kind of irresistible to look at.
Stop looking at the messy garage. It was casual.
  A wooden tote for the napkins will be ready for all of our summer BBQs!
Find me the person who can resist a mason jar --- even over the now infamous Red Solo Cup. Different color straws helps a little to keep track of your glass.
Most normal people won’t understand my love for this next trick…
Hates a strong word we don’t use lightly but I really really don’t like when the packages of buns are all over and you can’t find the ketchup and mustard and so on. I told you – you’re normal. You don’t understand. For me though, having a neat box to stack the buns in and a can’t miss it place for the mustard and relish (notice the ketchup is still missing!) was a magic discovery!
  And the man of the hour…

Linking to...

Signs of Spring

I know that my southern friends are gearing up for the heat of summer. You know that old saying March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. Well the lamb is taking his sweet time leaving!!
DSCN6164Speaking of SWEET!!
This “little” fellow is really quite giant for a 2 month old!! His name is Macho and he follows us all around. Sometimes we are quite cheesy and even sing the little song…
DSCN6158 Last summer I went a little more contemporary near the front entry, but this year I decided to let it be more rustic. A little spinach and strawberries tucked in for good measure. If we are running late in the morning we can just pick a little lunch for school on the way out the door – ha!
DSCN6162 Because I know some of you antique, rustic, vintage, junk-lovers are wondering…that box is a mink house. The 1900’s house was a homestead and in the 70’s and 80’s when furs were the rage --- they raised minks on the farm.
DSCN6163  Lanterns and milk buckets….
While we wait on summer…happy long-lasting Spring!

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