Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrift store mirror and the gardens are still going strong!

I love finding a treasure at the thrift store. I don't love when I go there and its a "dud" trip. It seems like there used to be a lot more of the good stuff to be found, but there are too many "pouncers" nowadays who just sit and wait for the new stuff to be put out, and they snatch it up, mostly to resell on ebay or some other shop. Sorta takes the fun out of it, but more power to them.

I found an old dresser mirror that was pretty beat up and the finish all scratched up. I taped the mirror off, and spray painted a coat of spray primer. Then, I sprayed it the color I wanted, which was a cream color. Easy peasy. Took  no time at all to transform it into just what I need in our master bedroom at the cabin.

After I painted it, I distressed it a bit with the power sander. Again... easy, peasy. $15.00 well spent.

I have about a hundred inside projects to work on right now, which puts me in quite a quandary. I want to get working on them, but I also know that everything outside is still growing and lovely and needs attention from a gardener (which would be me).

The geraniums in my little goat cart are amazing and oh so beautiful right now.

The pond is clear and the fish are hungry and growing fat for their winter hibernation.

It almost looks like early summer...

And then you look again, and some plants are nearing the end of their growing cycle. I so badly need to be working outside, but I also need to be getting to some of my projects. Quite a quandary.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Family Reunion!

We had our family reunion this past weekend up at our cabin. It was for my side of the family (my parents, sisters, and their families). We had 41 total, which was pretty good considering all of the other things that were going on that day! My mom and all 6 of us daughters were all there, which was a pretty big feat!

We had it as a one-day affair, so it was really easy to plan. We had everyone bring their own lunches, and then had the family gathering at about 3:00, where we had some games and activities planned. Linda made up Bingo cards, using our family last name instead of Bingo, and then using all the first names of the family members filling the little squares. It was fun to play the games and hear the names of every last family member. That will definitely be a "keeper" for reunions to come!

I didn't do much in the way of decorating. I got some photos reprinted at Costco and hung them up on a piece of twine. The photos were of the cousins all through the years. (That was sort of the theme of the reunion... cousins)

Bob gave the kids (and adults) rides in the Mule. The fall leaves were absolutely gorgeous, so there were plenty of sights to see! The kids couldn't get enough of the rides.

After the family gathering, I passed out the cousin photo books that I had made, and Bob passed out the little keepsake ornaments he had made (both shown in the last post). In the book, I left an extra page in the back so that if one wanted, they could get others to sign the back of their book, just like a year book.

Here we are signing the books, just like in high school. Pretty funny.

The kids went out on a nature walk, led by my niece Joanna. 

Joanna had little boxes for each of them to put their treasures in. It was a darling activity!

For dinner, we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. The daughters brought salads, the grandsons brought chips and the granddaughters each brought plate of cookies. It worked out perfectly with plenty of food!

It was a fun day and it really was pretty easy to plan. We have so many people in our family who are willing to help. It sure makes it nice when have family gatherings and events. 

Don't you just love family? There is so much comfort and peace in being together. Its so important to do what we can to have gatherings and opportunities to be together and feel that love and support from each other. What an amazing blessing! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall leaf decorating

As mentioned in the last post, Bob and I go out collecting fall leaves every year up near our cabin. We use them in the cabin and also at home to decorate for the beginning of fall. For me, it is still a bit early to actually put up Halloween decorations, but I do like to have just a touch of fall in our home in September. 

I love this kind of decorating... putting branches here and there, and calling it good. And maybe lighting the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle from Bath and Body. Yum.

Another great thing about this kind of decorating, is that when I'm done with it, I can throw it away, instead of having to box it up and then finding some place to store it.

I know, I know. I've heard it a million times. Is that bike part of your decor? And yes. Yes, it is. Its an old bicycle built for two with a story behind how Bob acquired it. I love it to pieces, and its just outside of my bedroom door (that you can't see), to the left of the photo. As you can see, I've put just a few fall leaves in the basket hanging from the handle bars.

And then some tucked in a corner of the living room...

In the entry...

In the family room across the mantel...

Another shot of the mantel. Yes, it is a lovely, lovely time of year.

It was nice to be able to do my fall decorating in 15 minutes. I have a lot of other things I am trying to get ready for. This weekend we are having my family reunion at our cabin. It won't be huge (maybe 40 people), but we have been busy getting ready for it.

Bob made these little wooden Christmas keepsake ornaments with the reunion date on them. They turned out great. You can't tell from the photo, but it started out as just a piece of thin wood, and he laser cut the design (deer, pine cones and branches) into it, the circle shape, and the little hole at the top for the tinsel. He made 25 or so, for my mom, the grandchildren and the daughters (me and my sisters) that are at the reunion. Again, that laser cutting machine is pretty awesome. The possibilities are limitless.

I made a photo book of the cousins using Picaboo. It has photos of them through the past 35+ years as they have interacted together. I had so many good photos to choose from, that it was hard to keep it small. It ended up being 52 pages. I think it turned out great, though. We had enough made so that each of the 33 grandchildren will get one, as well as their parents, and my mom. This year the reunion is focusing on those grandchildren -- the cousins -- and the fun they have had together through the years.

We have a few other things planned... some games, activities, etc. It will be on Saturday, though a handful will be with us at the cabin on Friday night. 

Should be a fun weekend!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The strongest man in the world

Today I am going to tell you how it is being married to the strongest man in the world. I didn't have any idea when I married him how strong he was, and how much stronger he would become. In every way. 

On Friday we were up at the cabin. Our project for the trip was to build a set of stairs that would go up the middle of a rocky hill. It is just outside of our garage area, so we always cut up that hill to get to our trail, or to cars parked on the hill. The problem is that oftentimes, when one would be coming down the hill, one would slip on the gravelly dirt. I've done it more than once.

We started at the bottom, making steps out of logs held in with stakes. When I say "WE started", I really mean "BOB started". But, he does like me to be there for moral support and to offer the occasional opinion on either world issues, or the project at hand.

As he started digging for the third set of stairs, he hit upon what seemed like a fairly large rock. He started to dig around it, thinking he could pry underneath it and just move it out of the way. As he dug, he realized it really wasn't a rock, but a boulder. He stopped trying to find the underside of it, and decided he would run to Home Depot and get a sledge-hammer and try breaking up the rock so that he could fit the logs across it. I'm pretty sure if it had been my project (without the help of the strongest man in the world), breaking up a boulder would never have crossed my mind. I would have shook my head in disgust, maybe even shook my fist at the rock, and then pulled the steps out and made my stairway in another spot. (We had some couples up for dinner later on that night at the cabin, and one of the guys even offered my way as a suggestion) 

With his new sledge-hammer in hand, he started going at the boulder, and actually beginning to break it up! What?! Pieces were flying everywhere, and I actually had to take cover behind a post. As he was swinging that thing, we heard a "zing" and the sledge-hammer flew apart.

He broke the sledge-hammer as he was breaking the rock. See what I mean? Who can swing a sledge-hammer at a rock hard enough to break the sledge-hammer? The strongest man in the world, that's who.

Off to Home Depot again, to return the sledge-hammer and buy two additional ones (just in case another broke). We came back and he went to town on the boulder and in no time at all, had broken enough of it apart so that he could continue on with the steps.

How amazing is he? Um, pretty amazing.

And here is the finished project. Doesn't it look awesome? My part was to build up the sides with rocks so that we don't have erosion when it rains.

Its going to be so nice to use stairs instead of slipping and sliding down that hill!

After the stairs were all finished, we had our second project to work on: our annual collecting of fall leaves. We went out on the Mule and the leaves were absolutely breathtaking. 

I don't know what it is about the fall colors, but the beauty of it makes me want to weep. I'm not exaggerating, either. I get tears in my eyes, and can't stop saying "Oh my... that is the most gorgeous bold color yet".

One of the most endearing things about being married to the strongest man in the world, is that he "gets" me. Cutting branches of fall leaves may not be his favorite thing in the world to do.

In fact, my assignment is always to watch out for cars, and let him know if I see any coming. I don't know what he would do if I gave him enough warning that a car was coming... maybe jump back into the trees and bushes, which would leave me sitting at the side of the road, in the Mule, by myself in the passenger seat. Might seem a little suspect. The problem is, I don't ever give him enough warning about approaching cars, because I am always too busy taking photos of him and also directing him to the best clump of leaves.

I can't think that we're doing anything wrong, though. We (again, by "we", I mean Bob) get the leaves on the underside or backside of the trees, and all of them are so profusely growing, that you never even see a hole where we've cut a branch away. He only gets one or two branches from a particular spot, and then we move on to another clump of trees. We're probably actually doing the trees a favor with a little pruning.

But back to the strongest man in the world. He "gets" me enough to listen to my "Oh isn't this the most gorgeous clump of trees yet?" and to look at the tears in my eyes when I see incredible beauty, and to smile and jump out of the Mule and clip another branch or two for me. Not only the strongest man in the world, but also the sweetest. Quite the extraordinary combination!

And what do I do with all those fall leaf cuttings? I'll share some photos in a day or two.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pear-picking and a temple walk

Bob and I picked apple-pears last Friday. They were at the perfect stage... huge and not overly ripe. We filled boxes and boxes, and then called it a day. We cleared most of the trees, but left a few for the birds.

We have a list of people that we deliver pears to every year, so we were anxious to get them off the trees and delivered to our friends and family. My mom and sister came a couple of weeks ago and picked to their hearts content. Many years, we make calls and have friends come and pick, too, but this year there were fewer pears, so we just decided to pick them ourselves. Plus, the yard isn't in the best of shape. I'd be embarrassed to have people roaming around my yard. To be honest, I am looking forward to snow blanketing my flower beds and hiding the weeds.

Considering Bob's hands are pretty big, these pears are huge! We kept finding extra large ones that we saved in a box called "the world record box". We had a few good world record contenders. The next day we went out and bought a food dehydrator. We want to try drying our apple-pears. Now I just need to find a minute to actually get some in the dehydrator. I'll keep you posted on that venture.

The next day, Whitney and I went on a stake women's walk from the Draper Temple to the Timpanogos Temple -- 13.1 miles. In these photos you can see the long line of women hiking across the mountains to get over to Highland. It was great! I loved being with Whitney, getting some good exercise, enjoying the amazing scenery, and now saying I have done a half-marathon (albeit mostly walking). Lindsay was going to come, too, but ended up not feeling that great the night before, so we let her off the hook.

We ended up running some of the last of it. Whitney is almost 5 months pregnant, so we didn't want to push that too much, but had also hooked up with Kristen and Megan, and Kristen was rarin' to go. She is a real runner, and she also had to get to the finish line so she could go to the BYU football game.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wedding Photos - Part 5 - Yard and food

To view the rest of the wedding photos, click below:
Part 1 - The Temple

I have a few more photos to show of the reception details and food. Lindsay chose perfect colors and style for a garden reception. It had such a cottage-y feel, but some really pretty details to "fancy it up". Isn't her dress gorgeous? It was a soft blush color with layers and layers of fabric.

We used our mason jar candle lanterns that we have used for many a reception in our yard. We hung them from the Asian pear trees, and they add just the right amount of glowing light around the yard.

We also had some vintage things that were placed in and around the yard. (It may or may not have been a strategic move on my part to block the kiddies from running all through the gardens.)

See what I mean about the little kiddies in the yard? They are all as cute as can be, but I had another reception the next week, so I needed to keep things looking pretty good!

Bob did a laser engraving of their wedding announcement, and we had that placed on an old chair. It was such a cute announcement, that it was fun to have it displayed in that way for the reception.

We had burlap bows tied on all the chairs in the tent and also around the yard. I found that burlap ribbon was way too expensive for all the chairs we had to tie bows on. So, I used big rolls of burlap tree wrap that I got on for so, so much cheaper! It was a great find, and I know I'll use that burlap tree wrap for more projects down the line.

We had a friend of ours (Kristen) cater the food. She is awesome and did the food for our other daughter's reception. Kristen and her husband used to own a reception center, so they know their stuff! She had the plates and napkins and utensils in this perfect little rack.

This is the drink station... a yummy pink punch and water.

And delicious fruit kabobs! Kristen always has such a great way of displaying food.

Capreze kabobs. Yum!

And delicious croissant sandwiches and also little cucumber bites.

We also had cheeses and crackers. It was all delicious, and we had plenty of extras.

I think I may do one last post with just a couple of people photos so you can see how great the colors worked even with the clothing. Be back soon!