"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Wind Down

I shouldn't complain because I have been off work since Wednesday, but.......Sundays are such a downer anymore ;) It only means the next day is Monday and I have to head back to work - BLECH!

The hubs had been feeling a little under the weather and now I think it has passed to me. I tried to be productive today; I cannot stand not accomplishing anything. I got as far as 2 loads of laundry, one of which will sit in the dryer [for tonight]. I am not interested in sorting, matching and stuffing a load of white socks - ick! I also got 2 out of 4 horses groomed - although that isn't really like work for me. They are all starting to shed their woolly winter coats.

Mossy played King of the Hill for awhile in the snow. I snapped this on my cell and then tried to jazz it up some for his royalness ;)

And, to top off the evening, the hubs taught Mossy to enjoy Whipped Cream from a can *sigh* Because that is so much more important that teaching him OBEDIENCE!!!

Note how all he needs to hear is the sound of the can and he comes running *sigh* I can see it now - 4th of July party....grandma's putting whipped cream topping on her pie and gets pummeled like she is on the 10 yard line about to intercept the ball............pummeled by Mossy!!!

*Disclaimer......MOM, if you are reading, do NOT watch this video! You will be mad;)
**Double Disclaimer .....I no longer use this can of Whipped Cream ..... It is specifically marked for Allen & Mossy ;) So have no fear if you are over my house and being served something with whipped cream!

video
P.S. Whinny is afraid of the can
P.S.S. Yes, Allen called Whinny 'Mia' - see here for explanation :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Round of Etsy Finds!

Ok, so I am a tad behind on posting my Etsy Favorite Finds for the week, but better late than never!

This weeks Favorite Etsy Finds go by no theme other than my own! A 'Mismash Variety of All Things Wonderful' :)

I have been finding some wonderful pottery on Etsy and I love this bowl. It is from Jason Russell and I love the color. He has lots of great serving bowls and cups and mugs in his shop! Check it out.


I stumbled across this vintage cuff bracelet over at Cherry Lipped Roses and fell in love :) Isn't it spectacular!? This shop has all kinds of Vintage goodies and they are new; show them some love!


How about this woven rug? AWESOME! I love the Raspberry & Chocolate color combo. Textures Gallery has all kinds of hand woven rugs & runners as well as wall art and even totes!!! You know I love my totes ;)



I have a new nephew on the way and another niece/or/nephew :) Wouldn't it be nice to give them one of these crocheted stuff animals from Wigglysee Crocheted Toys? Their special little welcome to the world gift from 'Auntie Horsey' :) They are all so cute I had a hard time even deciding which one to put on the blog!!
And how about this photograph, The Road Less Traveled, by Photograbee. There is something so calming and mystical about it - I love it! And who doesn't love Robert Frost! Incidentally, I grew up on 'Frost Circle' - it was a residential development in which all the streets were named after dead poets ;) And there is your useless fact for the day ;) Ok, seriously though, check out Photograbee's shop; she has great photos. I like this one too!


Thanks for peeking at my favorite finds for the week! Have a great rest of the weekend.....what is left of it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Seeing Green

With this new round of snow storms coming through, it feels good to see some green!
Even if it is inside :) We had the day off work with the intention of working on pruning the orchard trees, but with the snow, that didn't happen. So, this is where I found the hubs at 8am!

Planting more herbs!

He sees green!!

I realize you probably cannot even see the green in this picture! ha!

Oh shoot! How does Whinny keep getting in here?! Oh well, as long as the gal is comfy, right? I pulled this lepoard arm pillow out of the closet; it was from college. Glad she likes it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Night Cap

It's been a long day! And my, where does the time fly?

Tonight, I decided I was going to try a new recipe from the files of 'The Pioneer Woman'; this one, Dulce de Leche Coffee! To bad hubby went to bed. He is missing out, that is for sure!

Sit back, enjoy, savor, and maybe start your coffee pot after you read through.


Get a pot of coffee going :)

Patiently wait for it to brew

Then, grab your mug* and your Kaluha and pour it on in! You MUST enjoy this with Kaluha!!
*Disclaimer, I don't have fancy mugs like PW does in her post, so I chose my favorite mug to use instead ;)


Then, Pour your freshly brewed Coffee in with your Kaluha
[this is difficult to do with my left hand since I needed by right to snap the photo! How does PW do it!?]
WHOOPS!
Don't add Whinny....and don't mind her. I caught her pouting under the kitchen table while I was making my Night Cap. I think she was pouting, more so because Maggie the 7pound kitty was being mean to her, and not so much because I wasn't sharing my drink!
And please, don't mind the dust on my chair! Gesh, who thinks to dust THERE!

Moving on! Next, the 'Dulce de Leche'....or as most say, Caramel :)
PW used a 'brick' cut into pieces but my local store only had this. I am sure it taste just as good, all the same!

Pour that Sweet Goodness on in......
[My teeth hate me right now]

Give 'er a Whirl

Top that baby with some whipped cream & ENJOY!
[PW made 'homemade' whipped topping, but it's way past my bedtime AND I am now feeding myself coffee with Kaluha in it....so I wasn't interested in pulling out the mixer!]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Around the Farm

Some random updates for you today since I don't have much of a post :)

The hubs built his growing light stand over the weekend! I looks fabulous! It looks professional! Store bought! He has now moved it into our spare bedroom [ugh] where it can stay warm and help our seedlings sprout! Right now he has a menagerie of herbs germinating.


Also, I received last week, my custom order from Xenia Home on Etsy; fingerless wool gloves. I LOVE them. Aren't they cute! Addicted.to.Esty :) Everyone with upcoming birthdays - beware - I am getting your gift from a shop on Etsy!

This evening, I walked into the family room to this! Sometimes they do love each other.


Now, I am curled in bed [did I mention I LOVE the Wi-Fi] with my hound dog next to me :) He is a wonderful blankie! I wish I could roll myself up in his ears!! [Foster Cat Maggie Po Poo is outside the door meowing! We're talking adoption...more on that crazy thought later] I have a linen 'sac' hanging from the headboard post next to my pillow filled with Lavender I picked throughout the summer in the yard. I just scrunched the bag and the smell is wonderful. It makes me want to go to sleep right now.......

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday in Pictures

'Love you Daddy'

Treat for a kitty kitty


Allen and his other woman





Me & My Kids, Apollo & Gypsy


My Weekend Wind Down ;) A Hay Bale and some wine ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Favorite Farm Finds on Etsy!

I'm so excited for my finds from this past week on Etsy! They are all things I have found with the theme "farm" in mind! Let's 'plow' right in...no pun intended!

*****************************
These adorable little barn farmyard friends are from Etsy Shop, Down in the Meadow! I had an opportunity to chat with Suzanne and she is lovely! She lives in South Africa with her husband and children; they have some fruit trees in their yard including figs and peaches!! Check out Down in the Meadow - Suzanne has some cute Easter things up now too :) Check out her blog too if you get a chance.
This photograph is a staple of 'farm' if you ask me! Don't these eggs looks gorgeous! Looking at this photograph from Etsy Shop, Willow Dawn, makes me second guess my decision to allow my husband to have chickens ;) If he could bring eggs in like this every morning, I might have to consider!! This picture also promotes buying local, which I am all about!
I love my kitchen. I love being in it and cooking! And I need a good mixing bowl; especially when I am doing up some kind of sweet like cookies! This beautiful mixing bowl is from Illyria Pottery. Take a chance to check out all the goods in this Etsy store! There are bowls, mugs...even sushi bowls :) Ok, so Sushi doesn't really scream farm.........

And, it wouldn't be a favorite Etsy Finds post without me posting a tote or apron, right? How about this awesome gathering apron :) So Cool! This is from Etsy shop, Frog Creek Cottage. I could surely use this once the gardens start harvesting, and for sure once the orchard starts it's harvest! If you have little harvest helpers at home, they make these aprons in their size too!
Now these are something new to me and really cool! Green too! They are Farm Fresh Dryer Balls from Farm Fresh Fiber. Eco-friendly, you pop 'em in the dryer and they take the place of your dryer sheets! This Etsy shop is also a small family farm; stop by their blog and show them some love!
And last, but certainly not least, what kind of farm theme/topic would be complete without a red barn! This wonderful watercolor painting is by fellow Cleveland Team Etsy Member Red Maple Studio! Amy, over at Red Maple Studio, lives in near vicinity of myself and she is also an equine lover!! I will have to have her over to the farm when the orchard is in bloom :) Amy also has a blog and you can follow her on twitter. If you Facebook, check her out there too!

Thanks for popping in today to check out my Favorite Etsy finds of the week! This was a fun 'theme'; I may just have to continue it on weeks to come! The horses are itchin' to get outside and my crazy kitty loving niece is begging to take a trip over to Kitten Krazy! Have a good weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

All About Me!

Well, I have just had a jammin' week for shout outs! Last night at dinner Allen made a comment that was HILARIOUS and Embarrassing for him and my response, while laughing, was "you know I write a blog, why do you give me this material"? And.....I forgot what this hilarious and embarrassing material was :( I have racked my memory all morning and I just cannot remember!

So, in place, I want to thank the following people and urge you to check out their site!

Thank you to fellow Etsian, Beth at The Ruby Needle, for showcasing me on her blog today as one of her favorite Etsy shops!

Thank you to Etsian, Modred12, for featuring one of my photographs in her current Etsy treasury!

Thank you to Nathan over at FollowNathan.org for the interview on running an orchard.....as a couple of novices ;) Nathan traveled 4,300 miles across country on his bike visiting farms and farmers -- check out his story. It's very interesting! (PS, cut my look some slack, I had just finished cleaning stalls in 10* weather!)

And, thank you to fellow Clevelander & Estian, Valerie Tyler of Valerie Tyler Designs, did an interview with me and it is now posted on her on her blog, Art Addict! Check when you get home from work!

And in the mean time, no worries. As soon as Allen's very hilarious and embarrassing moment comes back to me, I will blog about it ;) Happy Friday

** Please take a moment to read this post from A Dog Rescuer's Life -- it's an eye opener and the more people educate themselves, the better off our animals will be. **

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Going Green....transportation

I knew there was a reason why, when I was little, my mom said I used to wish I was Amish! (I know, I am queer!) I always thought it was because they had horses. Let's be honest - who doesn't love their plumbing...when it works!

But as of late, I am convinced that driving a horse and buggy down quiet country roads might not be such a bad idea after all. I cannot STAND the city congestion. I am so glad, every day, that my morning commute to work is not what it used to be. The only traffic I hit now is an occassional school bus or, the actual horse and buggy ;)

People are erratic in their vehicles. And I am not going to lie, sometimes I am one of them people.....ok, maybe a lot of times! And the stress just isn't worth it. I will take my country life and open roads any day over the bumper to bumper heart attack of the city.

So, with that being said.....which one of my lovelies is ready for the challenge?

Apollo: *gulp* Nah! Even the mere thought of hitching something up behind him makes my (and I am sure his) heart palpatate and extra beat a second ;) Let's just do all ourselves a favor.

Gypsy: Sweet Queen Gypsy...she'd look at me like I am nuts. "Pffst - I am in semi-retirement! You are lucky I let those kids on me!"

Daisy: Well, I must admit, the carriage would be 100x's her size and it would garner some interesting looks from people!

Romeo: He sure would look pretty pulling a cart with all that high stepping action he has going on naturally! But with his firey attitude, I may as well start my car and keep the road rage to myself.

Who am I kidding - as long as I work outside of my home, I'll need some horsepower...the man made kind....the get me there. *sigh* Maybe I can hitch a ride with a buggy that comes down my road ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Novice's Take 2

We are in the midst of seed ordering, sorting and starting! I just dropped an order in the mail today for some pepper seeds & tomato's and came to the conclusion that we are NUTS! On top of the orchard [120 some trees], Allen is planning on adding 2 more gardens and the pumpkin patch behind the pasture. We are NUTS! Oh yeah, and mom and I are going to attempt to revive the grape vines ;)

We ordered 8 different pepper seed varities which we're excited for. And this doesn't include a few pepper seeds I believe we already have. They are:

White Habenaro
Giant Ghost Pepper
Italian Pepperoncini
Chicken Heart Pepper
Early Jalapeno Pepper
Jamaican Pepper
Flourescent Purple Pepper
and....the 'Peter Pepper' ....and I will leave this vareity at that until I have pictures of it to post ;)

From this same supplier, I also ordered Yellow Brandywine and White Bianca Tomato's.

We are still awaiting in the mail an heirloom seed company's catalog where I hope to order leeks, cucumbers, cabbage, edamame, tomatillos, kale and onions.

I am sorry, did you just ask me if we are crazy? Why yes, yes we are! To Be Continued......
Oh, PS, don't forget about my herb garden too!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dinner for My Honey!

The hub's party last night was a success! Everyone loved the sandwiches and hubby got lots of cool gardening things :)

After all my hard prep working yesterday and all the slaving I did in the kitchen, I couldn't bring myself (or the wallet) to slave up a wonderful dinner for him again this evening. The night of his actual birthday - Valentine's Day.

I should have. I could have whipped up a wonderful Birthday & Valentine's Day Dinner. Surf & Turf - 2 favorites for a double whammy holiday. But I didn't. I couldn't. I was whooped. And honestly, hubs said he wasn't that hungry at dinner time anyways.

So we did what any people who live nowhere near any decent restaurants would do. Or any sane couple looking to go out on Valentine's Day without reservations would do!

We went to the 'truck stop buffet'!

That's right folks! Here is the hub getting his share of the all you can eat salad bar.

And here is our heart attacks on a plate!...yes.....it was edible.....or so we were told......

I think we treated ourselves quite nicely if you ask me ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Favorite Etsy Orchard Finds

Well, I guess with it being Valentine's Day and all tomorrow, I should do a Etsy Fav's on Valentine's Day Related items, however, tomorrow is also the hubs birthday! We've been doing a lot of planning for the past week for spring and our gardens and the orchard, so instead, I have decided to showcase some of my favorite things I have found on Etsy that are 'orchard' related!

Enjoy!!
=====================

First is this lovely apple & pear baby quilt from Sandbox Quilts! How cute; wouldn't my lil' niece Maddy look so adorable wrapped in that!! They also have another quilt in their shop that I l.o.v.e. and would look super on my couch ;) Again, this one is hearted by my inner gypsy!


How about these cool coasters....in the shape of pears! In this shop, MonikaDesign, there are all kinds of apple & pear related coasters in all kinds of colors ;) How ca-ute would those be considering I live on a pear & apple orchard!


I know, I know, I still need to 'do' my office. It needs painted and I have about 10 million pics that need hung up in there. So why wouldn't I want to add this awesome cork board to it! This is from Buckaroo Bear; she also has the cutest 'Donkey Cupcake Toppers'!!! I wish I would have found those last week! They would have been PERFECT for the hubs bday cake tonight!


My Saturday weekend Etsy finds are never complete w/o me featuring a tote or apron, right!? So how about this cuteeee Retro Apple Tote! It is from the shop Sam & Alli, ran by two sisters.



Also, this week I received one of the custom orders I placed on Etsy with a shop called Yoopers. It's my new Vendor's Apron for the farmers markets!!! Woo Hooo I am so excited! Michelle was wonderful to work with; especially putting up with my ever changing decision on which fabric to go with! She did a great job on the apron and it even has a zippered pocket for cash and a pocket for business cards. I LOVE it! And I am so happy with the fabric I chose! If you are looking for a Vendors Apron, I HIGHLY recommend talking with Michelle at Yoopers!

And last, but certainly not least, I will take this opportunity to shamelessly plug one of my photographs, which also goes along with my orchard theme!

This photo is not altered or edited in any way! I only had to crop out the stupid date because I forgot I had it set on the camera! I snapped this photo looking out the back window of the truck into the truck bed.

This was a tuck load of bushels hubby and I picked until after dark one night in August -- our first true few trees at the beginning of last harvest season that were ready to be picked. Then we hauled them all into the basement (about 15 bushels) because we didn't have the cooler running yet, and we shinned up every.single.apple! I think we were up until 2am. The next day, we brought them all back upstairs and loaded them into the truck to take to a larger scale 'apple house' in the area! Ahhh, memories!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Run Down

Thank you to LaFemme Jewelry,
a fellow Etsian, for featuring my blog on theirs!
Hubby's birthday is this weekend.
He'll be the big 2-9! One birthday away from 30!
We are celebrating with my side of the family on Saturday and on the menu will be lot's 'o goodies from The Pioneer Woman, including her Drip Beef Sandwiches (which I am in love with....so I feel everyone else should be too!) and her Chocolate Sheet Cake as the Birthday Cake!
Looks like that also means I will be a cleaning machine tonight!
Happy Early Valentine's Day everyone! The sun is shinning here and I cannot wait for the horses to run around in the snow and enjoy it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Balance

I was recently interviewed for someone else's blog [more to come on that!] and one of the question asked was "How do you balance everything?"

That is a good question. Here is how I answered. "What is balance?"

I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person and I am ok with that! I take things in stride and as they come at me and sometimes I make decisions off the spin of my heel ;) Sometimes though, life catches up, wears you down and gives you days like today *sigh*.

My husband is correct; we have a routine and there isn't much more room for anything else! That's just the way it is. But sometimes even our routine causes stress. I don't factor in 'laundry' as part of the routine. So now, case in point, I have overflowing piles of dirty laundry waiting to be done and my husband is out of boxers to wear - lol. Sorry, TMI maybe ;) I don't factor in floor mopping and dusting and organizing.....can you see where I am going with this. So one day, you turn around, and all of the sudden you cannot breath because your to-do list has just gotten 10x longer than usual.

So here is hoping for a better day tomorrow.......after a long night of folding laundry!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pffffstt Says Our Water

Ok, I am really on the verge of a breakdown with our water.

For those that haven't been reading up, we have 2 cisterns in which we get our water from. A Cistern is a large, underground 'vat' that holds water. (Scary I say!) Our front one holds 8,000 gallons of water and is only filled with water by the 'water delivery man'. Our back cistern (as in, in the backyard!) holds 3,000 gallons and can take shipped in water, but it is also hooked up to underground pipes to allow intake of rain water. This is the 'green' version of the cistern ;) And yes, don't worry - we have filters and add all that good stuff to make it ok to shower in and cook with etc.

It is still hard water though which stinks because it takes me half and hour to brush my hair when I get out of the shower, it leaves nasty water stains the require me to constantly scrub the shower walls and if we don't flush one of the toilets on a regular basis, I am scrubbing that bowl out with bleach too.

Ok, anyways....I am getting off topic. We have been having problems with both the front and back cisterns. The front one, we believe, has some kind of crack near the intake line from the inside of the 'vat' and so once the water level hits that line, it doesn't want to pump correctly into the house. Allen cannot fix it until it warms up outside since it requires him going INTO the cistern, in the water!!!! (You couldn't PAY ME to do that; It totally freaks me out!) So for now, every month, we have to get it topped off. This kills me because there are still THOUSANDS of gallons of water in there!!

Our back one is on crack! It seems there is air in the line somewhere and we cannot figure it out. Right now that is the one we have hooked up because at least it gives us water....but not without a fight. When I turn on the faucet, it sounds like it is spitting the water at me - pffffsttttt ta ta ta -- then, once I am totally aggravated, it then makes a sound like a machine gun blowing out bullets. But wait, it is NOT a machine gun with bullets, it is a WATER TAP with WATER. By this point, I want to hit it because it sounds like it is trying to shoot and kill me!! Well, it probably will kill me after all the stress I endure from it!

The worst is trying to shower with a shower head 'spitting' at you! So why, do you ask, why do we not just hook up to the city water at the street and been done with this misery we call our water? Well I will tell you why.....

Because when it is working properly, we are lucky if we need to have the water guy come out 3 or 4x a year at $65 a trip. That is a total of about $260 a year for water.

Because if we get tapped into the city water, we have to pay roughly $5k for the tap-in FEE and then another $5k for the installation. And no, they wouldn't allow us to do it. It doesn't matter that my husband is completely capable of installing the lines and can get the machinery to do it - you have to use a contractor recommended by the county. (HA!)

Because after I pull $10k out of a hat to GET the city water, then I have to pay roughly $70 a month in a water bill! SERIOUSLY!? Yes, seriously!

So now you know why you will have to occasionally put up with my ranting blogs on my water spitting at me situation until the weather warms up and Allen can go swimming!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowed In Etsy Finds!

We got pounded with snow last night. And the look on my husbands face this morning as he went out to help me feed was priceless! He is such a kid about the snow and he's dying to get out there in it....but not, I told him, before I get out there with the camera and get it all untouched!

So today, for my favorite Etsy finds, I am going to feature some things in my favorites that I have stumbled upon that would keep you warm! Some cool jewelry I found and some other just.cool.stuff! Have I mentioned I love this site; everyone is so nice and the shops are great!

My niece lost her first tooth so I had a card shop make a custom card with her name on it congratulating her :) I also have 2 other custom items being made (I told you it's addicting) but they are a surprise...I'll showcase them once they are done!


*****

Now, let's dive right in. I am having a hard time narrowing it down to 5 or so to feature!


Over at Socks and Mittens, you can find all kinds of wonderful knitted things. They look great. Her patterns and designs are really wonderful. These mittens caught my eye. These socks look wonderful too!

Or what about this Pumpkin Afghan to keep you warm in front of the fireplace :) I LOVE handmade blankets and I heart this color! Northern Lodge has all kinds of fun stuff for the rustic, cabin-ish, lodge decorator :) She has a cool horse pillow too!



I love this stocking hat from jkalthof family knits! Isn't it so cute! They also have the cutest knit hats for babies and kids. Whatch out Benny Boo! Auntie Horsey is going to be getting you to look like a wizard soon!


Now, onto some jewelry!

I love turquoise stuff! How about this bracelet from Le Femme Jewelry! LOVE IT! I see some really cute things in this shop that I know would be my mom's taste too! *Mental Note, birthday gifts!!*


I usually don't wear earrings unless I am dressing up for something (and I don't mean work!), but these caught my eye and I love them! There is something about them, maybe the color combination. Whatever it is, they are great! Little Tesoro has some great hidden treasures in their shop!

This bracelet caught my eye awhile ago. Again, something about the colors drew me to it. And it's by Smashing, a fellow Cleveland Handmade Team Member! Smashing has all kinds of stuff in her shop - even cuff links! Ladies, here's a gift for your man! Check out her stuff, you'll be in love!

And then, there is Wearable Art by Jude! (She also has a WONDERFUL photography shop which I will save to showcase in a photography blog!) I just love Jude's photos and she takes them in this shop and turns them into wearable art! How about this bookmark! (ok, so you can't wear the bookmark, but...) I am sure you can guess why I love it!


Alright, well, I could go on for days on all my favorite finds on Etsy, but I'll reserve until next week! The sun's coming up and the snow is calling my name! I should have some pics later of the horses romping around. Until then....stay warm.....