New Year, New Goals

Hard to believe it’s a New Year already.  Today officially marks the 1 year anniversary of my blog.  Go me for following through with my goal from 2018.  Every new year we hear the same clichés about change.  This year I’d like to look at it as a new outlook on life.  The weekend before Christmas we had a health scare that landed the hubs in the hospital for 3 days.  Good news is all the tests came back fine, bad news is that they couldn’t find what was causing the problem.  It was enough of an eye opener that we really started thinking about the choices we make in life ranging from the careers we have to the food we eat.  

I am a firm believer that everything in life is a choice.   You, and you only have the power to make those choices.  Do you want to continue working in a stressful career so you can keep up with the Joneses?  Do you really need to eat out as much as you do?  Do you really not have time to slow down?  These are just a few of the questions I asked myself.  It’s amazing how little changes can make a huge difference.  For example I took a whole week off over Christmas allowing me to spend some much need time at home to catch up on chores & all the while had time to actually cook meals at home.  Strangely enough, just during the week I was home I lost enough weight to fit into some jeans that I haven’t been able to wear for awhile.  I did nothing special other than not eat out.  That just reiterates to me how bad eating out is for you. 

Obviously we can’t just up and quit our jobs and live off grid, but small steps will eventually lead to big victories.  We have to start somewhere & no time better than now to do it.  My goal for this year & the future is to concentrate on making better choices.  Less impulse buys & more intuitive to pay off what I already have, better food choices and taking time to better myself physically & mentally.  In a perfect world a debt free life would be ideal, but let’s face it that probably isn’t going to happen.  However, by living a simpler life & not requiring the best of the best will allow you to see that life is about living & making the most of the time we have.  Working your life away just to pay the bills is not living at all.  I think if we can change our mindset on that, we will reach the ultimate goal which is freedom!

You may or may not agree with me, but I see it first hand.  I went from growing up in poor household to being pretty blessed.  I have come to realize that no amount of money buys peace or happiness.  The more you have, the more you want & the cost of your happiness becomes more expensive.  For me, this is one time that taking a step back & slowing down is a far better choice than moving full steam ahead. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do yourself a favor and take a minute for reflection.  Remember you’re not here long, so make the most of what time you have.  We are perfectly capable of living a simple and less stressful life.  We come into the world with nothing & we go back out with nothing.   Just a thought to chew on.  

till next time…

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Winter Forecast

Welcome first day of winter, although I feel like you’ve already been here awhile.  For a little fun today I wanted to share the Persimmon Weather Forecast with you.  Per folklore if you cut a persimmon seed in half you will be able to see what type of winter you’re in for. 

As the saying goes if you see:

A spoon- expect to shovel a lot of wet snow

A knife- expect cold winds that cut through you

A fork- a mild winter with good eats

I know what I think I saw and so far its been right on.  What do you see?

Either way, winter is here whether we like it or not so enjoy the sunshine when you can and take advantage of the snow.  Bundle up, breathe in the brisk air and get out there while you still can. There will come a time when we can’t.  Snow angels and snowballs don’t make themselves folks.  Just don’t break a hip!   

till next time…

DIY Overload

As if we weren’t busy enough getting settled in after the move, here comes the Christmas season where I go into DIY overload. 

If you follow any of my blog posts or Instagram feed you’ll see I’m always up to something and also have a project in the making.  You’ve all heard those adrenaline junkies who are like let’s try this…… well I’m not that person, unless of course it comes to DIY/crafting.  I like my feet on the ground and my hands busy.  It’s a much safer way to calm the mind & feed the soul. Although I do tend to get carried away sometimes.  I scored a vintage screen window (my featured post image) from my mother-in-law and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with when we got moved into the barn.  Long before I could get unpacked, I had to stop what I was doing and get it hung.  Ah, the relief and joy I felt when I finally saw it hanging on the wall.  What a great way to display photos when you’re super tight on space.

From that point on I kicked right into holiday project mode.  There is just something about making things with my own two hands that make me happier than just buying something out right.  Let me tell you that the saying “why buy something for $7 when you can spend $92 at the craft store and make it yourself” rings so true.  The time and money I spend making things is much less economical, but it truly brings me joy and I think it means so much more.  Here is peak of what I’ve been working on.

Soy candles, Christmas Jam and homemade lip balm
Concrete Planters

This was my first time ever making jam.  I kept one for myself just to be sure it was edible before I handed them out, and it was pretty good and I don’t even like cranberries.  Who would’ve knew! And you can’t possibly go wrong with soy candles and lip balm can you?  I don’t think so.  My favorite DIY project so far this season is those concrete planters.  Are they not the cutest little things ever? I’ve got some ideas for the next batch, but with Christmas sneaking up on us, we will see if I have time.  I just hope I keep the plants alive until they find their new home.  Cross your fingers for me.

That does it for my inside projects. I did manage to squeeze in one outside project with the help of the hubs and a chainsaw.  I found a dead tree in the woods about to come down on the fence so the hubs dropped it and I found its new purpose.  I made two of these, one for each side of the entry door.

Cedar and Bittersweet displayed in a tree trunk
Snow Covered Bittersweet

Let me tell you those stumps were heavy & no way was I going to be able to haul those uphill out of the woods, so thanks again to the hubs who drove the tractor down and got them for me.  I couldn’t do half my silly projects without his help.  I had previously picked my cedar and bittersweet with this project in mind so all I had to do was drill a hole big enough to fit the cedar and bittersweet and viola, an au naturel holiday display.   I discovered bittersweet a few years ago and I absolutely love the plant.  To some it is an obnoxious plant and it can, and will kill other plants due to its smothering vines so, if you can find a place to grow it on its own and away from other plants, it makes beautiful wreaths.  It’s also nice to see that pop of color as everything else in the winter is dying out.  Not to mention it’s super gorgeous to photograph after a snow.

There you have it folks, I think I’ve accomplished a decent amount in the last few weeks on top of the otherwise hectic schedule.  So, here’s to all my DIY’ers out there, stay busy my friends.

till next time…

A Simple & Humble Season

Christmas is just around the corner as is another year come and gone.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays seem to overpower the reason for the season.  It all starts on Thanksgiving as we give thanks for everything we have and the next day the crazy comes out and won’t end until the New Year.  However, this year may be our most humbling and simple Christmas to date.  As we finalized our move over to the barn we realized just how much stuff we had accumulated and it was overwhelming.  As we are limited on space (4 people in 600 sq ft) we had to decide what was most important to bring with us and what to store until we get the house built.  I did manage to squeeze a small Christmas tree in.  Although the ornaments are in storage it luckily still had lights on it and I chose to display old vintage Xmas cards I had so the tree was not completely bare.  Nonetheless, bare tree or not, it will not make or break Christmas.  As we were making our holiday schedule for the rounds my mother told me things were going to be different this year at grandmas. This year there will be no presents and we are to bring our own meals as she can’t do it anymore.  Instead of presents or a meal that requires cleanup and/or hectic pot luck planning she just wants to break bread and spend time with her family.  I will not argue with that.  She is from a much simpler time and I think we could all use a good dose of her holiday spirit.  Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season get to you.  Remember what’s most important is right in front of you, you just have to stop and slow down to see it!

till next time…

Fall Ya’ll

Happy fall ya’ll. For me that has meant more fallin’ behind on my blogging duties. We’ve been working away on the barn & getting ready to start the house. Good news is we should be moved & unpacking on Thanksgiving. No big dinners for us this year, but we are definitely grateful for selling our house so fast & having the opportunity to build a new old. We’re making great progress considering we just broke ground late July. We started the barn first so we could live in it while we build. Since we didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it, I took my mother in law up on an offer of some antique cabinets & a door she had in storage. While the hubs has been working away trying to build our living space by himself, I’ve been piddling away trying to bring back life to the antique cabinets & door. I think after the time & money I’ve spent, it probably would’ve been more wise to just get new ones, but who doesn’t love pieces with a story. I still have to finish the hardware installation and need the hubs to install the countertop & sink before we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. And let me tell you, I put in some serious time on these cabinets.
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(Quick note, the cabinet hardware was date stamped 1945)

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As you can see from the photos I had my work cut out for me. Good thing we kept half the barn as work space, because my project has been scattered in and out. Had to get creative & make a work space outside (hence my make-shift saw horses outside) since I already had the saw horses set up inside and full.  The hinges were covered with layers of paint & those handles, oh my. I cleaned the hinges the best I could & sent them to be powder coated. For the handles I ordered new bolts & after a serious cleaning they now sparkle like new. You’ll have to wait to see them completed & installed. I also have an old wood screen door that I’ve decided to use for the bathroom. It has a glass insert so I had to do something for privacy so I decided to do the mercury glass effect on it. I think it turned out pretty neat looking. Once it is hung I will share a photo.  If you’re wondering about the mercury glass effect, here is a peek of an old window I did it on.
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For a step by step guide on how to do this, check out my Instagram page.

As far as the barn progress goes, we are in paint mode. I decided to do something I’ve never done, nor even thought about doing in the past & that is a white on white scheme. That’s right, white walls, trim & cabinets. I figured the time to experiment is now since it’s just the barn. That is why I decided to paint the bathroom door and vanity black so there is some sort of pop when you come in. I’m eager to see it all together & decide if I like it or not.

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I’m also trying Magnolia Paint for the first time. True White is what I went for on the walls & trim. For the cabinets I chose Shiplap White.  Again, I’m so anxious to see it all come together & share it with you. But until then, I have to sign off & get back to work. Got alot to do considering we’re a two person crew.

till next time…

Ponder & Wonder

Hello all! I can’t believe August is already upon us. I just had a birthday so here goes Chapter 39 in my book of life. We never know what the road ahead of us will bring or what is over the hill, but you gotta keep going to find out. Things have been busy as usual around here as we have another a new project to share with you. Just as we started enjoying the lake house that consumed months of our time, we decided to start a new build. Yep, that’s right, juggling 3 properties right now. Good news is that we are just 2 weeks in and the barn is already partially framed up. We decided to build the barn first so we can live it in and be on the property while we build. Shouldn’t be too much longer and we will be barn dwellers and back down to 2 properties. This won’t be our first rodeo living in a barn. Our poor kids can actually say yes when asked if they were raised in a barn.

 

All I know for sure is as we get older this doesn’t get any easier trying to work and build. Both are full time jobs. Somehow the hubs manages to squeeze them both in a 24 hour day. Brings a whole new meaning to blessed & stressed. However, a new house will sure be nice. Our last new build was in 2006 and we flipped the house so we weren’t there too long. Maybe, this time we will hang around a little longer. Ha, who am I kidding, we’ve never stayed in a home long enough to establish roots. I suppose that’s why my gramma called us gypsies. I am a firm believer that home is where you make it so I’ve never been attached to any particular property. Just as long as the ones I love are there, then you can count me in.

Back to starting Chapter 39 in life. As I get closer to that dreaded 40 mark, I realize I’m about half way thru my life (if I’m lucky) and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I ponder that a lot these days as my profession is very stressful & I wonder if it’s worth it. However, I haven’t found a way to make a living yet being a wandering gypsy. I am open to any suggestions! Until then I will continue to ponder & wonder about the future as I march on.

till next time…

Back Road Baptist

Wow, did I let time get away from me or what?  It’s been about a month since my last post.  This adulting thing is really cutting into my extracurricular activities!  It has been a busy month and I don’t even know where to start.  I suppose I could start with an explanation of this week’s title.  I will be the first to admit that I lack in the participation department of going to church.  I did not grow up in church and my both sides of my family were complete opposites, so I guess you could say I fell somewhere in between.  I may not get my attendance in at church, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have faith or believe.  In fact, I feel at most peace when I am outside wandering around in nature, and if you don’t believe then I don’t know what could change your mind.  We are so busy (including me) making a living that we forget to slow down & make a life.  This past month has been crazy busy and there hasn’t been a lot of down time to unwind, but that’s when you make the most of the time you have.  A few weeks back we got some pretty substantial rainfall and strong enough storms to knock the power out for several hours.
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That might drag some down, but remember without the rain, there is no rainbow!
I am also happy to announce I finally got another project done. I had started a project & it wasn’t until Memorial Day came creeping up me that I had to get it done. I drug some old metal out of the scrap pile and I made them into flowers to place on my dad’s grave. I am happy with how they turned out and I know he would’ve loved them being a junker himself. I used some pretty thick metal so they should/better hold up.
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Talking flowers, the wildflowers around here are blooming and I have been taking advantage of that. So if you see a crazy lady braking and jumping into a ditch to pick flowers, that’s probably me, so please don’t run me over.

 


Around the lake has been busy. We had a houseful of teenagers a few weekends back and I think I am still re-cooperating. The hubs hung my outside party lights around our fire pit and it’s the go to place to chill. Of course the s’mores are a bonus and that night-time view…WOW…believe folks…
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With the amount of rainfall the lake has been up pretty high which made it somewhat challenging to put the boat in and out, but that didn’t stop us from boating. We also did some night-time fishing off the shore and I was able to catch some beautiful night sky photos.

 


In between the chaos I still managed to catch a few great shots while being out and about. Even the smallest amount of time spent outside during the lunch hour can made a huge difference in your day. At least, it does mine.

 


Finally before I sign off today I’d like to share a video of me and my bestie enjoying the fresh air and freedom on an evening drive. Enjoy and till next time…

 

Continue reading “Back Road Baptist”

Mother’s Day Weekend

Another great weekend for the books.  With already great plans in mind & then to get spoiled because it was Mother’s Day just topped it off.  However, I am blessed in the fact that anytime that I spend with my favorite people makes it a good day.  Saturday started off cloudy, but by the time we made it on the water, the sky opened up and it was beautiful.  The kayaks made their maiden voyage & they were a hit.  I think float trip plans are in the making for later on this summer.
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When we bought the lake house I certainly had reservations because I’ve never been much of a fan of water.  I can’t swim so I tend to stay away from the water and I am very cautious when I am around it.  However, I think having the lake house might be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  It’s a blessing to be able to come down every weekend and unwind from our busy schedules and just focus on family time.  The kayaks had me a little concerned but I took the leap, strapped on my life jacket, brought along our little companion and I loved it.  I’m finally coming around to the lake life.  My family are lake lovers and we’ve never gone much because of my reservations, but it’s been amazing.  Our oldest who works full-time and is always on the go has even been coming down to visit & I couldn’t be happier to see everyone loving it.  It’s nice to know that while we are working our tails off Monday Friday that we have something to look forward to every weekend now & that’s why we’re working.  Continue reading “Mother’s Day Weekend”

This is the Life

So I didn’t get my post up on Monday like I try to, but sometimes we’re all a dollar short and a day late.  That was a good one!

We had amazing weather this weekend here in the Midwest.  It was perfect Jeeping weather.  If you follow my Instagram account you know I like to sneak a few Jeep pics in there.  My daily driver may be a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but our 1997 Jeep Wrangler that the hubs built tugs at my heart strings.  It stays in the garage and only comes out on nice days.  Hard to believe it’s 21 years old.  When the top comes off it’s comparable to riding a motorcycle, it’s just you and road and your mind can wander freely.  It’s the best therapy anyone can ask for.  It don’t get better than that.

Our kids are at the age now that we can get out and enjoy more time to ourselves.  So we spent our Saturday cruising the lake roads and exploring a few paths.  The Wrangler isn’t exactly comfy for a backseat passenger anyway.  I shot this video of one of the paths we took and we had no idea where it would come out, but we ended up at the lake with a spectacular view.  I took it upon myself to edit the video by speeding it up and adding some music.  It was a miracle that the song was the perfect length for the video and obviously the lyrics were perfect.  Thank you Joe Nichols for my go to road-trip song.

 

 

 

20180505_122134 Continue reading “This is the Life”

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