Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Porch Project

I was reviewing old blog posts and realized that I had neglected to finish one I had started from 2010.  It was a stroll down memory lane for me and I thought you might enjoy it as well.

It was a sad looking little farm house when we first bought the farm. Tired paint colors, strange porch railing, no front steps, broken lattice. Just sad. Sniff.

The Porch - Before

Then Pop devised a plan. He and I bought wood. We bought ballusters, 4x4s, 2x6s, stair treads and risers. We asked for help - lots of it - even more help than wood. We followed Pop's direction and leadership and put the wood together to create a new porch to make the house look happier. Oh, yeah - we also repaired and painted the house. It took us much of the spring and summer. We think it was worth it.

Our renovated porch already holds many memories...late night visits...iced drinks while sitting in rocking chairs...Fourth of July celebrations, etc.  Good stuff.

The Porch - After

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Words on my Wall

I had a space I wanted (okay, needed) to fill up above the "pass-through" window between our kitchen and living room.  I checked out custom ordered vinyl lettering but decided it was a bit pricey.  So like any good do-it-yourselfer, I searched Pinterest and came up with what I thought might be a good solution. (here's a link to one of the tutorials I found.)

So I went to work at my computer and found just the right font and figured out the height to make the letters look right in my space.  Then I printed out what I wanted to say and cut/spliced my paper to put it all together.  This is what it looked like when I taped it up on my wall and tried it out for a few days...

Then I took it down and scribbled on the back side of the whole thing...each letter.

After that, I taped it back up in place and traced around each letter, which left a faint outline of the words.

I just now noticed that the word I focused on for the outlining picture is "love".  I think that is perfect.  It makes me smile.

I used an ink jet printer, regular printer paper, transparent tape (of course you could use about any tape), a regular #2 pencil, black acrylic paint, and a small slanted/angled artist paint brush.

I am really happy I gave it a where else do I need to put words on the walls?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Like Here...Only It's There

Pop recently invited me to accompany him on a weekend trip.  Sounds exciting, right?  Romantic, right?

While Pop truly is increasingly more romantic as time goes on, this was not a warm and fuzzy invitation.  It was purposeful.  He was making plans to hunt at one of his favorite places in the world and he takes his hunting very seriously.  Did I say VERY seriously?

This trip involved preparatory work.  Did I say WORK?

We had to begin planning for this trip several weeks in advance.  We had to shop.  We bought fabric.  We bought PVC pipe.  We bought weatherproof foam.  Then we started to work preparing to prepare.  That's right...preparing to prepare.  We drew out plans, we  measured, we cut, we created.  We made a sand blind and we made pads for tree stand seats (out of camouflage fabric of course).  We patched and painted an old deer target to be re-purposed as a decoy...then we repainted get it the right color.

Pop Scouting for Deer
Then, when it was time, we loaded up and headed out.  Pop drove while I worked on some tee shirt rugs (that may be another blog later on) and we visited on the way.  I had been there one other time but it had been a while and it was a really short visit, so I was excited to go and visit with our friends who live there...we have known this couple for a long time...we actually got to know them because they are related to other (even older) friends of ours.  They are really special people and their place is special too...It's like here...only it's there.

When Pop has gone there, I've noticed he comes back calmer.  I have known that this place touches him somehow in the deep recesses of his being.  It's rejuvenating for him even though he works hard as he hunts.  By the way, it is compound bow hunting for deer.  It is for the iron-willed, tough-minded folks who appreciate the hunt as much as they do the venison.  So anyway...
The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy

When we arrived, we stopped and talked to The Cowboy (not one of our grandson cowboys but an authentic, boot and hat wearing cowboy who rides horses and works with cattle) and let him know we were there.  His wife, Mrs. Cowboy, was still working so I rode off in the truck with Pop to begin preparing for his hunt.  We toted a camo blind and other essentials off to a tree row where The Cowboy had seen signs of deer activity.
I helped Pop set up the blind which involved a lot of thought on his part.  He had to determine the right place for it most importantly.  Setting it up was's sort of a pop up nylon tent thingy...then the hard work started.  We had to camouflage the camouflaged blind with branches and brush and make it nearly disappear into the tree row.  In the process, I walked into a tree limb and got a nice scratch on my forehead and tripped while walking and did a nice belly flop on the ground.  But my best trick was when I felt something crawling up my leg.  Turned out it was just a long piece of tumbleweed that had sneaked up in between my jeans leg and boot...the harder I tried to shake it out, the higher it "climbed" up my leg!!  I nearly disrobed to get rid of all happened SO fast!  Pop just shook his head.  I think he felt sorry for me in a "bless her heart, she's pitiful" sort of way.  Oh well...I would do it again...all of it...because besides spending time with Pop, it allowed me two incredible things.

1.  I got to see why he loves hunting there, and 2. I got to spend some time with The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy.
(We got bonus time with one of their three awesome offspring as well.)

This place where The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy live and work is incredible.  It is beautiful and it is peaceful...It's like here...only it's there!  There is a river.  There are trees everywhere - the cottonwood tree branches were loaded with golden leaves that reflect the rays of the sun.  There are miles of land to be explored.  Hills to climb.  Rocks to study.  History to learn.  It is an incredible place.

Like Four Sisters Farm, it is is much larger and offers a wider variety of beauty...but it is the peace that makes it feel like here.  It is lovely... incredibly lovely.  It's like here...only it's there.

Mrs. Cowboy and I tagged along for part of the time we were there keeping Pop and The Cowboy company while they did some of the prep work.  We visited about all kinds of important heartfelt matters and mulled over some of the world's problems.  We also perused catalogs and pins on Pinterest while we talked about their plans for renovating their kitchen (and then some).

We looked at rocks, found some old bones (probably cow bones) near the river bed, marveled over God's creation, and compared notes about grandchildren, among other things.

We visited with Pop and The Cowboy over meals and when it came time for us to leave, I can genuinely say that Pop and I had a hard time just going.  The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy are people we love.

I am grateful we got to know them...grateful for the way God puts people in our lives who share our love for Him and others...grateful for the way they share what God has given then...grateful that they love us too...grateful that His peace abounds in ways that we can feel in different places...places that make me say, "It's like here...only it's there."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Blessings of Choosing Obedience (I'm Not an Expert)

I was reading in John 9 about a man who had been blind since birth. Some thought he had been born blind due to his sin or the sin of his parents.

Jesus said that neither had sinned...that the man was born blind so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.  Wow!

What struck me as I read this passage is that after Jesus put mud on this man's eyes He told him to go wash...which means that the man had a choice. He could have continued on His way, ignoring Jesus' words; but instead, he obeyed and was healed.

There is much more to the story and to how this chapter of Scripture could apply to our lives; but it makes me wonder how many of us are choosing to wander around blind...needing Jesus' healing touch...but too stubborn or proud to just "go wash" or do whatever it is that Jesus is telling us to do.

I hope you will take the time to read and ponder this chapter (

I would also love to hear what you think and/or how this story relates to something in your life.