Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

I got to meet Adam Gertler today! You may remember him from Season 4 of the Food Network Star. He was the runner-up. Well now he is the host of a show called “Will Work for Food”.  In this show he goes around the country learning different food jobs.  Today he came to Mountain View, Arkansas to the annual Bean Fest to learn how to make beans.  We got to watch him put together a pot of beans while they were filming.  During a break I asked for a picture and he was happy to do it. It was pretty cool and I look forward to watching the show.  We were in the crowd and might even show up on the Food Network when it airs!  Cool!


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I won a blue ribbon at the county fair for my Butternut Squash.  The coolest thing is that it grew by accident. I had given my chickens some butternut squash seeds last winter.  They must have left a few behind cause I had a few plants growing. I got about 12 squash.  This one won a blue ribbon!

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I have decided that for my 30 day challenge I will do something creative or something new everyday.  I like that this leaves me open to a WIDE possibility of topics and subjects.  I already have some ideas brewing in my mind.  I will be incorporating some ideas Sarah and Melanie gave me in their comments on my last post as well! 

For day one of my 30 Days of Creativity I decided to learn a new technique using the Photoshop Elements program I got for my birthday last year.  I decided to alter a photo of my nephew.  I learned how to use the adjustment layers to change and enhance coloring.  First I took this SOOC (straight out of camera) picture I took of my nephew Silas.

I think this is an adorable picture!  I love the way the color of his shirts compliments the bluish gray color of his eyes!  I decided to alter this picture by changing it to black and white but enhance the blue of his shirt and of his eyes to make them stand out a little more.  Here is what I came up with!

The change is not overwhelming but it definitely draws you more into his beautiful eyes! Juju love you, Silas!

Here they are side by side.


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I have had my chickens over a year.  Two of my girls went broody a few weeks ago.  I dont have a roo but I got some eggs from a friend who does to let my girls sit on.  Today we had a baby!

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We have four baby birds nesting on the fan blade on the ceiling fan of our carport.  They have been flapping their wings all day.  I think they will be moving out soon.  They are overflowing the nest!

I am finally starting to harvest good stuff from my garden.  I have been using herbs for a few weeks now but in the last few days have also found a few early cherry tomatoes.  There were six.  They were nice and red on the vines.  They were sweet and juicy in my mouth.  They made my belly happy!  Today I found my first two cucumbers.  Now if I can just get some more ripe tomatoes I could eat a nice juicy tomato and cucumber salad!

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25 Things

My sister sent me this thing on Facebook where you are supposed to list 25 random things about yourself.  Well I am a dork and can’t figure facebook out so I am posting it here.  If you are a facebooker and want to play along, feel free.  If you are a blogger, play along too!  Just post a link back here if you do so I can check out your random things!

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I am claustrophobic.  Sometimes I get the heebie-jeebies from wearing shoes to long.

2. I say “GOLLY MOLLY” real loud after I sneeze.

3. I killed a copperhead snake all by myself this past fall.  It was by my foot and I didn’t like it.

4. I have 3 english mastiff dogs.  The smallest is 115 pound and the biggest is 180 pounds.  They all sleep inside.

5. I’ve been married for 8 ½ years to Richie.  He’s a goofball.

6. My cat Eggnog is like my child.  Every time I meet someone new I want to whip out the pictures and start bragging on him.

7. I have 4 chickens.

8. I built my hen house all by myself! I even designed it!

9. My idol is Laura Ingalls Wilder.

10. I LOVE to read!

11. I probably have come dangerously close to pushing my sister in the Quechee Gorge more times than my mother would care to know while exploring the woods and property around my childhood home in Vermont. (HEHE – just kidding! I couldn’t resist!)

12. My sister is my bestest friend.

13. I know that “Funions” look like nasty worms if you float them in the pond and then come back a day later.

14. My husband and I were supposed to go to China – FOR FREE – but I freaked out and cancelled the trip at the last minute.  I don’t regret it.

15. I had a fetal shark in a jar until Friday when one of my kindergarteners dropped it and it broke.

16. I like to dip oreo cookies into cream cheese frosting and then eat them with milk.

17. I dip my french fries in mayonnaise.

18. My husband and I like to sing really loud to old songs on the radio.  Especially when we have kids from school with us.  Then Richie never knows the words so he just makes them up.  The kids think we are freaks!

19. I LOVE to cook and would like to go to culinary school someday.

20. I handmade almost all of the Christmas presents I gave this year.  Next year I am doing 100% handmade. (I’ve already started).

21. I am constantly counting in my head.  I count everything I see.  I think I have a problem.

22. I too have kissed Ryan Gagnon.

23. I would like to open a store called “50 States” and sell cool products from all 50 states.

24. I HATE eight graders.  Not the kids themselves, just the fact that they are 8th graders.

25. I once saw a dead body on the side of the road but it turned out to be a naked lady that was alive and then chased my car down the road when I told her I had called the cops for help.  The strangest part was that when I told people about it they asked if it was Penny, Susan, or the “old” lady.  Apparently it is all the rage in my town, population 198, to run around naked!

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This year I decided that I really wanted to try to do more handmade items for Christmas gifts.  I always try to include something handmade but I just wanted to try to do more this year.  I began working on several gifts back in September and finally got everything done just in time for Christmas.  Since all the gifts have been opened I can post pictures now.

For my mom I made a doily.

My mom and sister both got wellness bags.

These bags included hot and cold therapy packs, eye pillows, some lavender bath salts and a foot scrubber.  I made these based on this tutorial that I found over at Sew Mama Sew.

I also sent my grandmother and my aunt Sue one of the eye pillows.

My dad got a bird house.

My mom and dad own and run the Orchard House Bed and Breakfast and the Apple Blossom Farm House so I made my dad the Apple Seed Bird House!  The bird house was store bought but I painted it.

For my nephew Silas I made a mat that he can play with his toy cars on.  I designed the mat after the town that they live in and included their house and street and the buildings and landmarks in the area.

My mother-in-law got a pair of lounge pants I made from a pattern in an Amy Butler book.  I know I took a picture of them but I can’t find it.

Richie got a waffle maker which isn’t handmade but since he doesn’t cook and I will be making all of the waffles that come out of it I think it counts!

I also handmade all of the gifts I made for the staff at the school where I teach.  Everyone got a Christmas ornament made from a recycled aluminum can lid.  I found the patterns in the Dec/Jan issue of MaryJanes Farm Magazine.

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