Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ideas to Make Life Easier

 A couple of these I might actually try.....not the 'linen closet' however.....that looks like WAY too much work!  I guess I don't really care if my sheets match!  G

The first one reminds me of Liz when she stopped at the DQ on the way to Wentzville and got a strawberry shake.  A strawberry got stuck in the straw.....thus she stated she had two options.  "Either suck it up, or blow it out.".....that was the 'theme' for the weekend.

I wonder what the vacuum hose would look like if I tried that?  OMG!!  The dog hair!  Might be worth a laugh!



Why didn’t I think of that?!  We guarantee you’ll
be uttering those words more than once at these
ingenious little tips, tricks and ideas that solve
everyday problems.

strawberries easily using a straw.

Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture
will disguise dings and scrapes.  Rubbing a walnut
over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings
and scrapes.

Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or
computer screen with WD40.

Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box
by securing with a rubber band.

Overhaul your linen cupboard, store bed linen sets
inside one of their own pillowcases and there will
be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone & iPod
in a bowl.  The concave shape amplifies the music.

Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

Add this item to your beach bag.  Baby powder
gets sand off your skin easily, who knew?!

Attach a Velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.

Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls
against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the

Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a
stocking over the vacuum hose.

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting
crosses into a box lid.

For those who can’t stand the scrunching and
bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Forever losing your bathroom essentials?  Use
magnetic strips to store bobby pins, tweezers
and clippers, behind a vanity door

Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty
soles rubbing on your clothes.  And you can
find them in just about every hotel.

A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy.  Magnets
hold the plastic cups down to make them

Bread tags make the perfect cord labels.

Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones, so
much more fun and easier for kids to eat.

Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper
bag.  Much healthier and cheaper than the packet

Install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles.

Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough
over the top and voila, you have cookie bowls for fruit
or ice-cream.

Freeze Aloe Vera in ice-cube trays for soothing
sunburn relief.

Create a window-box veggie patch using guttering.

Use egg cartons to separate and store your
Christmas decorations.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Moving Goldfish

(Before) - above


Today I captured my 4 little goldfish to move
them inside for the winter.

They will have to be happy,
(or will be once out of their bag)
in a 60qt tote on the enclosed porch.

Hopefully they will be fine out there for
a couple more months.

My main concern is that Nettle
will decide to put her front
feet inside the tote, and start
paddling like she does in the
buckets of water outside.

The dogs haven't even noticed
them yet.  I'm hoping to keep it that way!

The border collies will NOT
be the problem! 

It's that Portuguese Water Dog!

Shoulda bought another BC!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Toads, Mud and Naked Ladies..........

A very busy weekend!!  
Friday began with watering the flowers, 
and the garden....AGAIN!!
I can't remember the last time we had rain!
It keeps missing us!

Saturday, the excitement continued. 
We've been losing pressure in our hydrant in the barn.  
Thursday is stopped completely, 
so Marvin the Mole (Jeff) told us we'd need to dig it out again. 
I missed out on all the fun last time....8-10 years ago? 
This time I got to have the fun!  
It actually was kind of fun. 

Bill and Jeff finished fixing it Sunday...
Thanks GUYS!!
I love my ponies!!

The Naked Ladies are almost done.
They are pretty, but don't last long.

They are also know as.....
the belladonna lily, the amaryllis, or an amarillo.

Finally, no matter the last of rain....
those "Fish-tunias" keep on blooming!!!
Nice Rilda!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fun At The Fair!!

I think I must have asked my sister a dozen times what date the fair was this year.  You see, last year I MISSED it as I'd entered an agility trial! UGH!!  Kids grow up fast enough without missing the fair!!

They live in Southern Iowa, so, I attended the Des Moines County Fair on Friday.  Yes, the Des Moines County Fair is in Burlington, not anywhere close to Des Moines!  Des Moines is actually Polk County, sometimes you're better off NOT asking why.  

As I arrived a little before 8 am Friday morning, the 'fair smells' hit me. 
The smell of funnel cakes?
Um, no.
The smell of sawdust, wet with manure and urine. 
Yep, I'm at the right place!!

The cattlemen put on a free lunch. 
Of course hamburgers were served!
They were Great!

 Here's my niece, Daphne, grooming one of her two steers.

I know Marsha would LOVE to put a bow in his hair! 
Crazy thing is, he wouldn't have cared!

Daphne did very well with her steers.
One ended up 6th in the weight of gain class.  
This is actually the most important factors for cattle.
How fast can you get them 'market ready'.
Daphne's gained 3.68 pounds per day over 222 days. 

The winning of the weight of gain class was an 1800+lb steer. 
With an impressive 4.68lb per day weight gain.

The judge asked the young man how he got him so big. 
He explained that his steer,
(which was his returning bucket bottle calf from last year),
kept eating his other steers food.
The judge commented that he 'might' have eaten one of 
his other steers.

The down side of the fair is auction day. 
Most of these kids have had these animals through two summers. 
They got them as little bucket bottles, they have feed them, 
watered them, groomed them, and taught them to lead.

Tuesday the kids will sell their animals. 
I'm glad I'm not there for that!

I guess that's why I took horses to fair! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pond In A Barrel

I'm happy to report, my pond in a barrel is a success!!!  
I started out with one each of these floating plants. 
My have they multiplied.

Okay, so my favorite part is feeding the fish!!

One of the water plants even sprouted a flower this morning!
How cute is that!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Carrie Does Fidley, MN!!

Saturday Morning Carrie, Nettle and I headed to Coon Rapids, MN for a one day PWD Water Trial on Sunday.  Nettle was going to ‘watch’, I was going to ‘judge’ and Carrie, well…..Carrie was taking us there, as usual. 

In case you don’t know this already, Carrie is our 2003 Honda Odyssey with about 212,000 miles and counting.  She’s a good girl!!  Unlike her ‘sister’, our previous van, Christine (yes, she was a Plymouth), who went through 2 transmissions in 196,000 miles.  Christine didn’t like me much; Carrie on the other hand has been perfect!  Okay, so she blew a tire the beginning of June, but that was NOT her fault!! 

I had a book on my Ipod (Jack Reacher Series Book #3), my phone plugged in to charge, a full tank of gas, some coffee in the console, we were ready to go! 

The book was good, the puppy was quite and it was an uneventful trip!  One of my favorite parts of going through Minneapolis is the underground tunnel.  I always think of Princess Diana when I go through it.  Not that I was a ‘fan’ of her, but I guess there was so much publicity around it that I can’t help but think if it.  The yellow glowing lights, the hollow echo….it’s just FUN!

I was about 15 miles from my destination when I took a wrong exit.  It was actually a lucky thing as the dash lights started to flash, then all the door open warning lights came on, as well as the break lamp light.  I later learned that that means you don’t have break lights.  I pulled into a ‘closed’ Shell Station, but left the van running.  Then the odometer started flashing, all the dash lights were blinking and fading.  This is NOT good! 

I started to unroll the windows, WAIT!!  It’s supposed to rain, if I roll them down, I won’t be able to get them back up!  It’s amazing how thoughts can race through your head, and the speed in which you can answer back.  Open doors?  Um….NO!  So, Carrie ‘flat lined’, right there in the Shell station in Fidley, MN, just 15 miles from my judging assignment. 

Not much to do but to “Phone Home”.  I turned on my trusty tracfone only to find out that instead of charging the phone, it was draining it!  I was down to one bar and that was flashing red.  Pretty sure that was NOT a good thing!  Luckily Bill was in the house, he called Linda in St. Paul…she called Stacy who was closest ….and the Calvary horns were sounded!  Help was on its way!!

Stacy arrived first, with Dave, her husband close behind.  Diagnosis, alternator.  CRAP!  What are the chances of finding a tow, a shop and getting my van back in working order at 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon?  NOT GOOD!

While Dave was performing ‘open heart surgery’ on the battery (which wasn’t holding a charge), Bill was back home calling around for shops that might take a late afternoon emergency patient. 

Luckily, Dave carries a spare ‘supercharged’ battery for Weather Chasing!  So, he Macgyver’d that bad boy into place with a couple copper welding thingies (technical term) and it started!  He tested the charge at 13 volts, it dropped to 12.75 after it started.  We then turned it off to conserve the charge until we could determine our destination.  Hopefully a repair shop within 5-10 miles, as Dave thought that might be a reasonable distance in which the battery would last.

Meanwhile……someone reports ‘3 suspicious white adults appear to be stealing batteries from cars in a parking lot’.  Hum…….turns out, “It was Only Dave”.  We were ‘Off the Hook.” 

Bill found Bernie!!  He was about 1.5 miles away and would be willing to wait for us and get Carrie fixed up that night!  AMAZING!!  It was now about 4:15 and not getting any earlier!  We needed to get there before 5.  Shouldn’t be a problem, we’re only 1.5 miles away…right?  Dave had his handy dandy IPAD with it’s GPS showing us the way.  We had 2-way radios for communication, Stacy would lead…I’d be the Sandwich and Dave would bring up the rear!  Off we went………….

We find a strip mall, no Bernie’s.  UGH!!  I keep counting the miles as I follow Stacy, and Dave heads the opposite direction.  After a bit of frantic driving in circles, we discover we were at the correct place to begin with and it’s ‘behind’ the strip mall.  Of course we didn't notice this 'tiny little sign' until it was time to pick Carrie up!

Bernie was AWESOME!!  He got the part and is waiting for us.  He takes Stacy’s phone number and tells her he’ll call when it’s done.  It’s 4:45 and he thinks it’ll take about 2 hours.  WHAT A GUY!!

We picked up the kids, there’s NOT MINE.  Took them and Nettle out to supper at some Noodle Joint.  Nettle stayed in Stacy’s car.  She was PERFECT the whole time!  Who would have thought??

Bernie called, the van was done!  New alternator, new battery…good to go.  It was 6:45 when we picked it up!  Need your car worked on in Findley, MN?  Go to BERNIE!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Polar Plunge 2011

It's OVER!!
It wasn't too bad!
At least I didn't think so......

Air Temp - 32
Water Temp - 40
Everyone had their own style of 
entering the water. 

We decided that if your 
hair didn't get wet, 
it wasn't a plunge!

You were suppose to go around
the backside of the rescue person 
standing out in the water. 

Estimated earnings - $19946
29 teams and 117 people

That's awesome!!

Top Fund Raiser was 
Kathy Davidson!
Great Job Kathy!

Marsha took some AWESOME pictures!!!
Check out her gallery at ......

Monday, March 21, 2011

Polar Plunge Saturday - Temp 26/41

Polar Plunge is SATURDAY!!!

(Me and my Sister, Dawn)

I know, running and diving,
into the water in March, seems like a Cheater's Plunge!

But....check out the forecast! 

Low of 26 degrees Friday night.
High of 41 on Saturday.
The plunge is at noon. 
(at least I think it's noon....hopefully they send us a schedule)

Our team consists of myself, my sister - 
Dawn, and my niece - Valerie.

Below is Dawn.......
I'm hoping she will be wearing something similar this weekend!

Here's Val!
She's a bit older now!
(Aren't we all!!!)'s me!
Yep, the Snow storm of April '73

As long as no one thinks they have to 
"out do" the others by 'staying in the longest'!!

Who would do that?????? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Stones and Water in the Garden

In the Spring, some people hunt Morel Mushrooms.
Me - I hunt ROCKS!
I attended a ‘FREE’ presentation by Jamie Beyer 
on Sunday afternoon sponsored by - - the topic 
“Stones and water in the garden”.  I do enjoy rocks, and have many field stones.   
My objective in attending was to get some new ideas on 
displaying these stones within my flowers and plants. 

The presentation was in two parts; the first on stones, the second on water.

During the stone discussion we learned that there are 3 types of stones. 

Sedimentary – Limestone and Sandstone are a couple examples of sedimentary stone.   
They crack flat and are often used for paths and walkways.

Metamorphic – These are existing rock types that are changed due to heat and pressure.

Igneous – Are formed as a result of cooling and solidifying of Lava. 

Most of the stones I have are Igneous, they were transported into this area by Glaciers.  
 How amazing is that! 

Jamie added Two more types of stones to our list.

Hypertufa – which is a ‘man made’ rock that weighs a fraction of real stone.  It’s generally made up of cement/peat moss and perlite.

Leaver-right Rocks  – these are the stones that are so big, you should “Leave it right there”  (I’ve spotted a couple of these – someday I might get brave enough to ask a neighbor to retrieve one for me)

A few of the reasons Jamie likes rocks – they:
Never Rot
Don’t blow away
Don’t Die

He also discussed the need for a variety of rock shapes, 
(as well as plant shapes) in your garden.   

He used the “E” principal to explain.  

 There are 3 shapes of rocks to watch for.

Round – E
Point – E
Flat – E

I really need to look for more Point-E and Flat-E rocks.   

I’m full up on Round-Es!!

He discussed how it was important to make it look like your stones were placed my ‘Nature’.  
 Mine sure don’t, so that’s a spring project for me for sure!!! 

He also discussed moving rock. 
I was pretty interested in this as I move almost all my own stones. 
I’d like to be able to move some larger ones! 
One of the items he uses is a Hog carcass moving cart.  


 Hum….Valentine’s Day present idea??  
 Probably not, since its $268 new, 
I’m thinking I’ll have to just use the good ole wheel barrow.  
 But a girl can dream!!

The second presentation was on Water in the Garden.  I was debating on staying as I know I would never have a pond.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them!!  I think they are beautiful!  I just know I’d never have one.  I felt they were too labor intensive, too expensive and I have DUCKS!  Can you even imagine!  LOL!  My pretty little pond would be surrounded by chicken wire to keep the ducks out.  One year the ducks even crossed the gravel road to ‘drool’ over the neighbors above ground pool!! 

I was wrong!  They do NOT have to be labor intensive!  They do NOT have to be big!  They do NOT have to have a pump!  They do NOT have to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  Did I mention I was wrong?

Sure if you’re going to have a water fall, you’ll need to pump.   
Yep, some of them are huge!!   
Yes, some of them are probably a lot of work…..but…..listen up!

You can have a water garden in something that holds a cup of water!   
WHAT!!  Yep!   
There are some very cute little ‘floatie’ plants out there that 
will do well in just a little water container. 

Mosquitoes will breed in standing water, but if you add a little 
mosquito dunk and it kills the larva.   
These are environmentally safe, so no worries there!

Want something a little bigger?   
I know now I DO!!!   
Find a large plastic barrel.   
Looking for some assistance here!!   
Anyone know where I can find one?   
Color doesn’t matter, but it would probably be best if it held a food item. 

Cut the top part of the barrel off, you’ll want to leave enough of the bottom so it can hold 30” of water.   This way when you put your water plants (in pots) inside the container, the tops of the pots will never show.  You can also put two gold fish in this container!!  I’ll be honest, that’s probably what really sold me!  I can get TWO FISH!!  Their job will be to eat the mosquito larva.  If you don’t want the fish, I can’t imagine not wanting a couple fish, you can use a mosquito dunk. 

One of the biggest problems is going to be picking out which plants to use.  Who would have thought there were so many to pick from?  One plant Jamie said is a MUST have, the Helvola.    It’s a small flower, so perfect for a container.  There are a LOT of little floatie plants that are cute!  Right now I’m thinking of getting some Frog bit and Water lettuce.  Toss in some Parrot feather, for fun.  The last plant to go into my container will be a Canna.  I’m not sure what color yet, but probably red or orange.  


 Frog Bit

Parrot Feather

Water Lettuce

Canna in water?  YES!!   

Jamie said that as long as you plant the tuber in dirt first and let it get 5-6” tall, 
you can then put it into the water container and it will go crazy!!!!  

As far as wintering, you can take the lily and parrot feather, 
put them in a black plastic bag and put them in your basement.
Keep them moist and you can use them again the next year!!   

That’s AWESOME!! 

I hate wasting money on plants I can’t reuse!!

I’m so excited about this! 

Is it Spring yet!!!!!