Painting in November!

Painting in November … and in Iowa! Who would have ever thought? My plan is to take off work early and use some vacation hours to try to get some painting done. Well anyway that was the plan.

So I was able to leave early and beat it home to get organized and also to grab something to eat. Of course I couldn’t find anything that I thought looked good, so I made a huge pot of spaghetti noodles. After they were cooked, into a bowl they went with some butter and salt and pepper. Yum! Well at least for the first 10 minutes it was Yum and then I swear they expanded in my stomach Yimerz! OK, it probably didn’t help that I put almost 3/4 of the box into my bowl that probably should be feeding a family of four –  but I was pretty hungry! Now to go outside and work it off!

With my new paint brush in my hand off I went. I scraped the wood  last night so I knew that a good part of that was done. It was going to be windy today but I just needed to grin and bear it because you all know how much I just love wind! 

First thing is to find an ice cream pail. I like to use these pails for my paint instead of lugging around a big 5 gallon pail. Makes sense right? Then I changed my clothes and I’m ready. 

Well I started on the old milk house and to say that I had troubles is putting it mildly. I stopped a couple of times to see if my pail was leaking because I had more paint flying that I have ever had in my life. My ‘nice’ barn clothes were not anywheres being nice now! But I didn’t find any holes in my pail so it must be just because it was windy. With the time changing it gets dark so soon so I knew that there wasn’t any time to waste!  So I have to tell you what I did. As you can tell in the pictures – this is the shed that Daryl replaced the window. And when I painted the first coat on that spot, the holes where the nails were looked really bad. Well it kinda bugged me and after I got the other sides done I went back to look at it. And guess what? It still looked bad. So I thought about it for awhile and came to the conclusion that I think I knew how to fix it. I headed to the bathroom and found exactly what I was looking for. Toothpaste. Yup, Toothpaste. I mean if I can put butter on our garage doors and make them work better, why can’t you put toothpaste in the holes to fill them up?  I couldn’t come up with any reasons why not so that’s what I did. 20151104_124545And did it work? You bet! After it dried I put another coat of paint on it and it looked really good. It might not be the fix for everyone, but it sure worked for me! 

Just needing a little Love

Just needing a little Love

Looking Good!

Looking Good!

The only real trouble that I had (other than paint flying) is that I had a big wasp or hornet nest in the top peak of the roof that I had to knock down because I had to paint there. Well I did knock it down but the wind caught it and just like that it was in my paint! Of course your first instinct is to grab it and I was sure glad that there wasn’t any hornets in it when I palmed it out! Next was the cow yard fence. I sure was hoping that I didn’t need to fill in any holes on this fence because I was out of toothpaste for the night. But after putting the first coat on it last year I was sure that it was going to be OK. But what wasn’t working so well for me was my stupid paint brush. It was new and cost me around $10 and seriously should work so much better than what was going on for me. I even looked at my ice cream pail again to see if it was lop sided and was spilling paint. Dumb idea yes, but a Desperate idea! Well at this point I thought just roll with it and in no time – BAM this fence was done!

Just needed another coat to make it pretty

Just needed another coat to make it nice

Finished both sides of the fence

Finished both sides of the fence

I could tell that the day was winding down and I was getting even a little cold,  but I had one more fence on my list. And finally I figured out what was going on with my paint brush. The paint wasn’t sticking to the bristles for some reason. After I stood and looked at it with paint on it, the paint oozed out of the bottom of the brush. It was like if you cleaned out a brush with water and the water was coming out. Soooooo not cool! But the sun was on the West side of the farm by now and I just had to hurry to get it done. And guess what? Shazam!! I got it finished just as it was almost too dark to paint. Check it out. Whoo Hoo! Looking good even if I say so myself! With it being kinda late when I got done, I was sure glad that the rain isn’t supposed to come until later tomorrow night. 

I should paint two coats on it but for now she's only getting one

I should paint two coats on it but for now she’s only getting one

Done for the year!

Done for the year!

And for the paintbrush? I took the ice cream pail and paintbrush and threw them away for good! I also have to remember to pick up more toothpaste for tomorrow :)


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Thank goodness for yard lights!

The weather has been absolutely perfect these past few days and I mean perfect!! It almost hit 70 degrees today with a light wind AND being in November – who could ask for anything more?

So I decided that tomorrow I’m going to do some painting. I know it’s kind of late in the season, but honestly if the good weather is only supposed to last until Thursday this week, and tomorrow is already Wednesday, my options of getting it done is pretty limited. It’s funny because when we finally got the farm all painted a couple of years ago we made a deal that we were going to gradually paint things as we needed them and not wait so long. Yea, we really haven’t painted anything since! So much for reaching that goal.

Daryl and I both had places to go after work tonight, so we got a little bit later start at getting things lined up for tomorrow. I’m taking a half of a day of vacation to get a LOT of stuff painted and the amount of time to get all that done – well let’s say I think I’ll be running around the farm. And I mean literally running!  Some people take vacation days to go shopping, travel with their friends, go golfing… but I’m taking my vacation time to do some painting and to be honest I’m really looking forward to it.

So like I said Daryl was helping me tonight and got all the ladders around and spent quite a bit of time stirring a couple of 5 gallon buckets of paint. We had two half of pails and one full pail. I sure hope it’ll be enough! 20151103_165300As for me,  I worked on scraping the old paint off some of the buildings and fences that are on my list to be painted tomorrow. All I can say is Thank Goodness for yard lights! Because it was dark when I finished, and really was grateful for the extra light in the yard. At first I thought I’d get my flashlight that goes on your head, but the neighbor was in the field by us and I’m thinking he would just wonder what in the world kind of neighbors we are. I still debated on it because I thought well he really wouldn’t know if it was me or Daryl :) But it didn’t take that long so I just used the yard light instead. I think I got most of it scraped and I guess I’ll find out tomorrow just how well of a job that I did.

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Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time.


I hate it.


I hate it as much as I hate wind. And that is a lot.







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Craft Shows, whew!

There are some people who are Craft Show people and then there are others that are not just built that way. As for me? Well I usually don’t go to craft shows. Now don’t get me wrong. There is always a lot of stuff there that is really cool! But I’ve more stuff in my house that I usually know what to do with, so buying additional things probably isn’t the best idea for me.

But I did go to the craft show today. So I’m sure your’e wondering why since I just gave my spiel about really not needing too much right? I went purely just to scope it out. I think I might want to try to be in a craft show maybe next year, so I thought I better see just how people set their displays up and also how it all works. OK, I also went to stalk out my competition! Not surprised are you?

Well let me tell you that there are some pretty cool displays on these shows! The craft show that I went to was a two day show and I went the first day and in the morning when it started. I tried to be nonchalant when my eyes caught a glimpse of the first soap vendor. She looked me straight in the eyes and I tried to give the look back like, ‘oh you sell soap’ and then I switched my eyes to someone’s else’s stuff  and looked very intensely at the braided rugs at the vendor on the opposite side of the hall. Yup, I’m going to have to be cool if I want to learn the craft show skills from these guys. First impression is that it’s a tough crowd. I hope I’m wrong.

So I made it all around the huge hall and came up on another soap vendor. This one didn’t seem like she was so interested in what my motives were, so I really checked out how she did her display and also how she wrapped her soap. Now I did really like how she finished off her soap with the outside wrapping, but they were manufactured someplace because they were absolutely perfect and colored! Yea .. colored!! Again, they were pretty cool but I’m thinking at this point I might be still in the red in my ledger books so I better stick with printing and stamping mine upstairs in the craft room or at the kitchen table. I mean I haven’t even sold a bar of soap yet since I have my name established!

Finally I made it back to the first lady selling soap and I said, ‘oh I see you sell soap’ I don’t think I fooled her, but oh well. Then out of my mouth come the comment ‘you must do melt and pour soap’. Now she knew that I was also a soaper and said that she did. Well I was making small talk but when I was asking her a couple of questions about her soap and she wasn’t able to answer them, I thought that I better back off. I think she is getting suspicious. OK, I needed a new plan. So I started to ask what was in this one container. What it ended up being was a bath soak and when she wasn’t sure what was in that (weird huh?) I said that I usually just take equal parts epson salt to baking soda and then add some lavender essential oil. She gave me one of those looks that was close to a stink eye look and said that she was selling this to make money. Well I might not be the brightest light bulb in the room but I definitely got the hint! And honestly I wasn’t even looking for trouble but I was sure finding it and finding it fast! So I said something like that her bath salts probably smells better than mine (I fibbed) and said that her soap really smelled awesome (fibbed again) and then walked away. Man these craft shows are tough!

When I found myself heading back to the car and just finishing off my purchases of the hot dog and water that I bought earlier- I realized that I will probably need to go to another one of these craft shows for practice and try not to get in trouble the next time.

But for now – this is the soap that I made today. It’s called Pickin’ Apples and I tried something new and put in layers of soap and mica and then topped it off with mica. DSC_0324Kinda cool. 20151101_084926

And my photo of the day is Sassy. I had some apples that I bought today while I was in town and after I saw some of the cows just hanging out when I pulled into the yard, I just couldn’t resist sharing.20151031_134430 How can you not share when the cows have such a CRAZY taste for them? HaHaahaa20151031_134505

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Pure Lazy

If you would look up the word Lazy tonight in the dictionary I swear that you would see a picture of me! And honestly I would be the first one to submit the picture.

I know that sometimes you just need to step away and zone out. But tonight after 6:30 I did absolutely nothing. And I mean Nothing! It’s not like I don’t have things to do. Seriously I should be working on some Christmas stuff, some Thanksgiving stuff, making soap, working on some cards, laundry baskets are full …. well I’m sure that you get the picture.

But for tonight? I laid sprawled out on the couch in my pink reindeer winter flannel jammies covered up with a fuzzy blanket. And what show was I watching? I was watching how Egyptians made millions of mummies out of dogs and cats. And how they can tell that some of the Egyptians made mummies out of sacred bulls and birds.  Yup, pure Lazy!

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Guess what I did tonight?

Well if you guessed that I worked on tomatoes again – well you are the winner!!

It seems like these tomatoes just keep multiplying and multiplying lately. DSCN8338And the worst part about this is that I am kinda getting sick of them but I know that in about a month I’ll be buying them at the grocery store. But seriously they do look pretty good, don’t you agree?

Tonight I just roasted them and plan on freezing them for the winter. I tried to give William some when he was home this past weekend, but of course I couldn’t pawn them on him. I think he’s getting tired of my tomatoes also!

I also had a chance to make some Halloween cards. I kinda like how they turned out. DSCN8342

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Fall cleanup in the garden

The wind just keeps blowing and blowing… It’s probably not so bad for the people who don’t mind wind, but for the 99.9999 % of the population who can’t stand it – it’s bad!

So what else to do on this windy night other than work in the garden right? I want to get the frozen tomato plants pulled out and hopefully a bunch of the weeds that started to grow also pulled out of the dirt to get it ready for winter.

But first things first. Where are the chore gloves? Honestly this shouldn’t be that hard. I mean this summer I swear I put about 25 dozen (OK, that’s maybe an exaggeration) but I did put away a whole lot of the black and brown farm gloves that would be perfect for this job. And for tonight? Well I did find one lonely glove and of course it was the left hand! Well I was about to give up when I finally did find a right handed black glove but it was one of those stretchy gloves that you get from the discount stores. You know the kind. The ones that once you wash them and after they are dried they still do cover your fingers, but seem to have shrunk and now only cover about only half cover your palms of your hands. Yea, those gloves. Well it was better than nothing, and I put it on and outside I go. It was getting pretty dark outside and I almost went back in to get my head flashlight like the mining people wear. But once the yard light kicked on I could see better and got everything pulled out and raked together. It’s supposed to rain the next couple of days and then I’ll get back into the garden and clean it up a little bit better. For tonight it was a good job done!

So for now, I’m heading back into the house and looking at my glove situation. The left glove? It was looking dirty but not bad at all. The right glove? It only half covered my palm of my hand and had a big rip between the thumb and the next finger along with having the one middle finger tore completely off! Now I know that I should have thrown this glove away and be done with it. But after I took it off I put it into the laundry. Who knows, I might need it again. :)

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Pictures from this weekend

Not only was the weather perfect this weekend, but we sure got a lot done! 

Daryl spent some time in the field disking down the corn stalks and then put the rest of the machinery away for the year. You disk the corn down to help break down the stalks and so they deteriorate over the winter. He’ll probably disk again in the spring to break them up even more. DSC_0267Even though we don’t have that many acres,  it’s always nice to have everything in the shed in case the ‘s’ word happens. (snow!) 

I had a chance to spend some time with the girls on Saturday and we had the best day. We went to the river to do a little shopping and we also went out for a later dinner. It was nice to hang out with them and hopefully at our next outing even more of the gang can go. 20151024_125602


We had hard frost these past nights and it sure made the trees turn red. When we were at the river yesterday it was a little cloudy, but with the frost last night and the bright sunshine today, the reds in the leaves really came out. Remember this tree from a couple of days ago? DSCN8329Check it out now – DSC_0274I laughed when I was trying to take some pictures of the one tree in our back yard because Checkers just was sitting so nice right beside me and I think she looked like she was wondering just what in the world I was doingDSC_0277 and then she went kamikaze! Poor Smoochie didn’t know what to do.DSC_0285She kept picking on everyone all afternoon and I wasn’t sure if she was crabby or just wanting to play.Then later in the day everyone settled in and was nice and calm. Even though they picked their new sitting place on the table on the front porch. DSC_0320

The reason they are looking for a new spot is because the porch got washed today and all the furniture is tucked away for the next couple of months. They had taken over the porch furniture from the dogs this summer but now it’s gone. Hopefully for not too long and we’ll have an early Spring and it’ll come out again. 

More tomatoes got roasted and frozen for the winter DSC_0273and we also have a new window in our Old Milk House. Now this might not seem like a big deal, but for over 30 years there hasn’t been one in it DSC_0289and just like that now there is one. DSC_0322 Shazam! I need to get the building painted and it’ll look really good. For now it just needs a little love.  

And finally late Sunday night we had a chance to Skype with the kids. Yup, what a great weekend it was!


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And the winner is….

Well I finally did it. I have named my soap business. Now there was a lot of really good ideas and Thank You for sending suggestions to help me out. 

My name is going to be : SQUEAKY WINDMILL   soaps and more

It’s been a real struggle to try to figure this out and it was almost as hard as naming one of the kids. OK, maybe that’s a little bit drama queen, but it really was hard. I mean I talked about it a lot and poor Daryl was probably getting pretty sick of hearing about it. 

So today I found myself standing in front of the County Courthouse to register the name.20151023_150427 I thought well it’s too late to turn back now and I took a deep breath and went in. Everyone was really nice and I’m sure they knew that I was nervous. The reason that you register it is so that no one can use this name now in our county. I just wasn’t sure how much of a rush there would be to use this name – but heck I’m legal now! 

Then I had contacted the IRS to visit about what is needed for taxes. I wasn’t so nervous about this call but I think I might have had a lot more questions that he was expecting. So I’m pretty sure what type of tax ID number that I’ll need, now I just need to register for it on line. 

The last thing that I’ll have to check out is the CPSC. This is the Consumer Protection Safety Commission agency and I’ll call them tomorrow after work. There sure is a lot of work setting this up but hopefully once it’s set up then that’s all I’ll have to do 

So with all that said and done, I decided to make a couple of batches of soap also today :) I made New Chicks (yellow and white with Lemon fragrance) and also Morning Buzz (thanks William for helping with this name). Morning Buzz is a brown and white soap bar that has some coffee grains in the white top part. The fragrance is a Chocolate Expresso and it smells really pretty good.

I feel like I’m probably at the crossroads where it’s either move forward or call it quits. Well I’ve got too much soap in the house to call it quits so I guess I’ll just keep plugging away. Here’s to the new business SQUEAKY WINDMILL   Soaps and more ! Whooo Hooo!!

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Herding cats – Thursday’s job

Our two fuzzy kitties seemed to have picked up a virus in their eyes lately and tonight I had plans to take them to the Vet to have them checked out.

Little did I know that this whole job wasn’t going to be as easy as I was thinking it was going to be. When I set up the appointment I didn’t think that much of the time that we agreed on. I mean it gave me 30 minutes to get home grab the kitties and then come back to town again for the appointment. Making the appointment so close to when I get off work was probably mistake number one. Well I got out of work tonight only 5 minutes late but that really was going to cut my timing short. I beat it home and I know that the kitties are always waiting for me in the afternoon, so all I have to do is grab them and get back on the road. As I pull into the yard – no cats! Don’t panic right, I’ll get some food and soon they’ll all come running.

I decided to get the cat carrier out of the garage first and with all the dry weather that we’ve been having lately when I got the carrier out in the sunlight, holy cow was it dirty. OK, mistake number two – clean the carrier when you have much more time to do it. Like an hour or so! So I literally ran to the house and I noticed that the kitties came up to the porch and now maybe this won’t be so bad to coral them after all. I went tearing through the house and grabbed the broom and when I stepped outside on the porch with the broom all the cats scattered! Seriously? They must be as terrified as the dogs of the broom. I’ll deal with that in a little bit. So I took the broom and started to frantically sweeping and beating this carrier to get it looking halfway clean. And honestly it didn’t look too bad but I’m thinking I might have looked a little scary doing it. This look might be why both the dogs and the cats run when I have a broom in my hand? Just guessing…..

Next thing was to catch the kitties. I ran back into the house again and grabbed some hot dogs. All kitties like hot dogs right? Well I could see the kitties not too far away and when I threw down some of the broken hot dogs they did come up to the house – but then they grabbed their pieces and ran away to the garage! Urrrghh. OK, I had to think smarter than these cats because time was a ticking away. So back into the house I go and grab some more hot dogs and the plan was to try this again. I stood by our house and when I called the kitties you would never had guessed that the little kitties came but then also about 20 chickens! For some crazy reasons lately, when the chickens hear me call the kitties they know that I’m feeding them something that they might like and they come running across the yard like they are in the Olympics or something. Have you ever seen chickens run? Not a good sight at all! And if you ask me, I’d say that something is very wrong with them if they come running to ‘here kitty kitty’ don’t you agree? So of course the kitties grab the hot dog pieces and dart to the garage again because the chickens are chasing them to get the food. So it’s me chasing the chickens – chasing the kitties.

Let’s just say this whole experience on catching these two kittens was like herding cats and that is never an easy job. Well, after finally catching the white kitty and fooling the other calico kitty, I did end up getting them into the cat carrier. But as I’m putting it into the car the carrier looked terrible! I thought it looked so much better when I had swept it off, but it must have been the lighting or something. Because now it looked really bad. So I take off running into the house and grab a wet cloth to wash it down. And finally I was finding myself sitting in the driver seat of the Pacifica. As I turn the key something catches my eye on the dash and what it was is that the gas tank on the car showed it was on the red line and almost empty. Seriously? I really wanted to take this car because sometimes when we take our animals to the vet they get scared so much that they can mess themselves. Gross! And if they did have an accident I thought that the Pacifica had a lot more room in it and could absorb the smell more. OK, not the best logic but it was what I was thinking. So at this point I took a chance and thought that I just needed to go and would just roll the dice.

At the end of this appointment I never did run out of gas, the kitties didn’t have any accidents in the car, and I even was 5 minutes early to the appointment. Yup one more project checked off this weeks To Do List. :)

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