Friday, July 10, 2015

Recycling Flowers


I have been stocking my little stand now every weekend, and have made a little.
Mostly, I just enjoy the creating and sharing of what flowers I have blooming in the garden.
Flowers just evoke happy thoughts, memories, and cheer people's hearts.
They bring me joy, and the recipient joy.

One dilema I have run into is what to do with the bouquets that don't sell.
It breaks my heart to just throw them away.


I have had a plan to start bringing mini bouquets to the nursing home on a regular basis once I had enough to share.
After finding THIS site, I am just going to bring what I have left in the stand and share even a couple of flower arrangements with the residents.

This idea...oh it warms my heart.
I would seriously like to take on a project like this in the future.
Just watch this video...

                 


What do you think? 
Doesn't it just inspire you to take a few blooms, even from your yard, to someone who is hurting, or recovering?

Flowers have such a presence and capacity to ease burdens, bring a little happiness, evoke joyful memories.
I will definitely be recycling and sharing the love :)

Hope your weekend is a lovely one!

~Julia

Monday, July 6, 2015

At the Lake

 














A late afternoon dip in the cool waters.
Just the thing to break the monotony of a scorching heat wave that has not let up.
Days that have required a little siesta in the afternoons to renew energy levels.
The gift of water, refreshing and cold.
Laughter with cousins and friends was the perfect thing for our 4th of July.
No fireworks required, we made our own sparks of entertainment well into the early evening.
Topping things off with giant oatmeal cookies and laughter all the way home.

Hope you are having a great start to your week and that your 4th of July was a safe one!

~Julia



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Simple Things

Sometimes, it's the simple things, like a well-run home that make all the difference for a family.
Mind you, I am not the shining example of this trait, but I do still strive to keep the days running smoothly and effectively.


When the kids were younger, the schedule was much different...naps, lunch, playtime...I look back and it was all I could do to keep my head above water!
When my hubby came home, sometimes there was chaos. Kids crying and jumping everywhere, babies neeeding a diaper change, me ...looking like a wreck.
But if I stuck to a plan for housework, a loose schedule for the kids, shopping, etc. my days were much more peaceful, my energy level stayed up. When Darren walked through the door, he felt relaxed and able to rest a little after a long day.

That loose schedule, always open for a change in plans, became sort of a staple in helping me feel peaceful.
I know everyone is different, but for me having a house that is picked up really keeps me from feeling like I am overwhelmed with life.
I started a cleaning schedule after reading books by Emile Barnes.
And you know what?
After 10 years, I am still stuck on Emilie's idea of tackling one cleaning project in the house a day.

This might be overkill to some of you....but here is my week.
I usually stick to it, unless life is incredibly busy.
Then I skip the task and just get back in board the following week.

Monday: Dust and wash all windows. Sometimes even outside.
Tuesday: Dlean bathrooms and wipe down/organize drawers.
Wednesday: Vacuum house, look up and vacuum any cobwebs on ceiling.
Thursday: Clean car
Friday-Sunday: Free days
 Everyday we mop, sweep, tidy the kitchen, pick up/wipe down the bathrooms, make beds, pick up rooms, sweep the porches, file, throw out unwanted papers, and do 4....yes 4 loads of laundry. 
I have help.
Don't worry!
Does it happen ALL the time? 
Nope.
But we do try.
{Lily during her riding lesson with my sweet niece}.

I try and have a menu plan for the whole week and only shop once.
I have this planner and love it. Over the weekend, I write in all upcoming dates and include a menu plan.
It makes my whole day go smoother if I have dinner planned/ started early.

And...instead of "spring cleaning" I clean 1 room top to bottom per month.
Usually, that includes touching up paint, washing walls/ceilings, cleaning light fixtures, and cleaning closets.
It's a wonderful way to keep life from getting overwhelming at certain seasons.

These simple things really have made my life more organized, peaceful, and less chaotic.
Our lives are busy, full of work, yet being a little organized has helped me clear out time for fun and play.

{Just for fun....me in my irrigating attire!}

The simple act of being loosley organized is what makes my husband feel more rested and comfortable when he gets home.
It's amazing to me that even now...being able to try and provide a smooth, functioning home is important to my husband and kids. 
I thought as they got older, it would take less time, but it still takes a large portion of the day to keep things running in the right direction.

Every day is not perfect, and it doesn't have to be!
 Life happens.
Over the years, I have found that getting anxious about it only worsens my attitude, which then affects the whole demeanor of the household.
I just get back on track the next day.
No biggie.

And the way to a man's heart....or a teen's heart....or a kid's heart?
It's true.
A plate of chocolate chip cookies makes the world a better place.
Darren loves it when I have something he can eat right when he walks in the door.
So today, I am making these.


Because life is good... and simple things like a well-functioning home make life more content :)

~Julia

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Farm Stand

Over Christmas my hubby built me this darling farm stand.
You can read about it here...

This week I finally have enough flowers to open a couple days a week.

Lily and I have been working hard to stock a few blooms to sell, along with some fresh herbs, and potted perennials.


I love that my girl loves flowers just as much as I do!



 Our little road side stand is in business!
And, as with any venture, we are learning a long the way.
I had to play around with howto place the stand.
After watching how the sun danced around the cart during the day, we angles it so that the products have shade until about 7pm.
{I have posted some end of the day pictures}.

Keeping the flowers cool has been a little challenge, too.
Right now we are in a heat wave!
Frozen water bottles have done the trick. 
Placed in between the jars, the water stays cool for most of the day, and the flowers fresh!


We live out of town, so it is a bit of a drive to our stand. 
Right now, I only have a few things blooming.
Hopefully, by mid-summer we will be able to offer flowers 4-5 days a week, and people will think it is worth the drive.
We may consider moving the stand to a more visible location if traffic is an issue.




It really is just a neat project for the family.
The kids are excited about it and it is fun to think that THIS....


became THIS...



Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

~Julia

Monday, June 22, 2015

On Boys and Fishing


They live, breathe, and dream of fishing, these boys of mine { + an extra one who feels like my own}.
I hear it in their conversations, see the many You Tube videos that they watch, researching techniques.
Their tackle boxes look like the inside of a Cabellas fishing aisle.
Two aren't driving yet, the other can't take extra riders in the car for another few months....so secretly, I really love that I can drive them to a fishing hole and see their excitement for the thrill of the catch.
Even for just a few more months.
Fishing and boys...it's a good thing.
A wholesome focus in life that keeps them busy and wishing for more time in the golden sun on the bank of a well stocked pond.


~Julia

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Horse Named Tugboat




My day starts with dropping my kids off with my sister who is going to a feedlot to rescue a horse for my neice.
Thinking the kids... my two horse lovers....would probably like to see what really happens at a feedlot, I send them along for the day.

Hours later I can hear the desparation in his voice as he pleads with me that he has found his dream horse.
A horse like no other.
A ranchy looking, big built gelding with a kind eye who lost his owner a few weeks back.
A sturdy, sound, beautiful steed who is destined for slaughter in just two days.


"He looks like a tugboat," my sister says.
Tug it is.
A perfect name to fit a sweet looking horse.


So, even though my planner did not have written under Tuesday "NEW HORSE", my boy who saves his money for big things, brought the big tugboat of a horse home.



And we are all just slightly smitten with big Tug.

Rolling with the many exciting and unfurling changes each day brings!

~Julia

Monday, June 15, 2015

Today...


Today...
I am thankful for the hands that made this little mini greenhouse.
A birthday present last Fall, his eyes so thrilled to give me a gift that will keep giving.



                                       


And given it has....
snippets of fresh greens early on in the spring, so delicious.



It has been the perfect size and the perfect design, fitting right in a corner of a raised bed in my garden.

The warmth is wonderfully made for growing, and when it's too hot, I just lift the lid and let the plants enjoy a breeze.



I am so thankful.
And even more proud of my kind hearted boy who always looks for a reason to make someone happy.




How about you?
What are you thankful for today?

~Julia

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Simple Things





















Sometimes it's the simple things, like carving out time in a busy season for an overnight camping to trip.
Our favorite spot.
A little place like home on the lake where I grew up fishing.
Memories flood my mind and my heart is saturated with love seeing my kids enjoy the same simple things I did.
A pole, a worm, some bait, a boat, and the calm breeze on the lake.
Fish jumping, being reeled in, and fileted, frozen on ice to be fried at home. 
A dip in the icy lake nearby after a hot day.
Hot dogs and potato salad for dinner.
Easy Cheese {my kids think THAT alone spells a camping trip....it's the only time we eat it} and crackers.
Forgetting all worries and responsibilities.
Everyone needs that from time to time.
A chance to recharge and just relax, living intently in the right now.

Sometimes it's just a simple thing that renews.
The just let it go and living that feels like a breath of fresh air.

~Julia

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tin Can Scarecrow

I have had a few readers ask about Gertrude, our tin can scarecrow, and thought I would revisit this post published a few years ago.
She has weathered a bit and sports a nice tan now, but I just love her garden presence!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Meet Gertrude...


She's sweet and quite stylish...and helps me EVERYDAY in the garden.


She keeps those birds away...
and tells them where to go {our hens pay her no mind}.
Tim thinks Gertie might like to boogie and that this is her John Travolta move:).


She just means business.


We made her from recycled cans, a garbage pail, chicken wire, and metal roofing.
The idea came from Mary Jane Butter's book, MaryJane's Ideabook.
After collecting all of the materials, it is a really fun Fall afternoon project and the possibilities are endless.
I was inspired after my friend Kimberlee made her tin can scarecrow girl...and HAD to borrow her metal roofing idea:).


I used 1x2 pieces for her body and arms and screwed on each tin can.
I left enough 1x2 to secure Gertie into the ground. Mary Jane used a pitch fork so that the scarecrow could be moved from place to place.

Her hair is another coffee can with the top removed. 
I cut strips and then curled her hair.
Much better than sticking straight up:).


Gertie's skirt is a garbage can with metal roofing extending it to the floor.
She's modest...
in spite of the Travolta moves.


We added a little frou~frou apron of sorts with chicken wire.
It gives Gertie that fashion edge along with a little lace to compliment her garden gloves.


Her belt is another strip of metal roofing.


 Gertie has been a fun addition to our garden!
She is a hard worker and always happy to see me:).
As she ages, she will get a great tan...making her even more adorable.
If you are looking for a fun family project, all this takes is a little ingenuity and creativity.




 Happy Fall!

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