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Secret Dreams coming True!

It’s no secret that I love using vintage and antique “found objects” in my home décor.  These types of items have so much character and I love thinking about their history.  Repurposing something into a beautiful home accent brings me so much satisfaction.
For a couple of years now, I’ve been secretly dreaming of having a barn sale where I would sell some of these items.  It started about three years ago when I stumbled upon The Junk Refunkery’s occasional sale.  Dori’s stuff is just so cool, and the way she creates little rooms in her barn is adorable.  I wanted to do something like that.
There are so many times when I come across something and think, “That would be really cool in a ____ room” but it either doesn’t fit in my house or doesn’t go with my décor.  I love to collect unique “things” but there’s no way they all fit in my house.  And so, I admit, I have a couple of outbuildings full of “projects” and random junk.
Bart and I have talked about doing a sale off and on.  We talked about it again this spring, but decided our farm just isn’t the best place to do it.  So we scrapped that idea.

But then, things fell into place.

I met Nicole, from Red Granite Farm, at a Pampered Chef party earlier this summer.  She’s just 4 miles up the road from me, has kids my age, and we’ve become good friends.  She is trying to get more people out to her farm, and mentioned that she wanted to display some garden junk and get on the Junkin’ in June route.
img_8086She called and asked for my help arranging some “junk” in her flower beds and taking photos for her blog. She was planning to BUY junk somewhere.  I told her that wouldn’t be necessary. :)
So, Nicole and I (with the help of our good friend Amy) are partnering up to do an occasional sale!  The sale will feature unique vintage home décor, repurposed farm junk, furniture, accents, etc. and Nicole’s AMAZING perennials and produce.  Since the sale is at the end of September, she will have pumpkins for sale, and it will be the perfect time to plant perennials and spring bulbs!
I’m so excited.  Sounds terribly corny, but I feel like God brought Nicole, Amy and I together to help and support each other.  We are all working together and can utilize our various strengths.  We each benefit in different ways, and we’re creating a “village” (you know, the kind it takes to raise a child.)
Anyway, the sale will be September 28th and 29th at Nicole’s place, Red Granite Farm, as part of Fall for Junk, a central Iowa Junk Jaunt. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some furniture makeovers and scouring the countryside for “merchandise.”  And you can visit Nicole on her farm (and buy perennials or produce) every Friday!

Shared at: Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special 

Summer Blogging: Photo Dump

Summer’s just too busy for blogging.


I’ve got lots to blog about, but for some reason, it’s just not getting done.

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This is the first year in over 20 years that I don’t have to go “back to school.”  K-12, college, and then 4 years of teaching has me trained to dread fall, and feel like I have to jam a million things into the million degree heat that is Iowa’s summer this year.  I’m trying to slow down and enjoy summer, but I still have a feeling that I need to rush, rush, rush.

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There’s someone else going back to school this fall, though.  Adam will go to preschool for the first time.  Four afternoons a week in our rural school district.  I’ll drop him off after lunch, and The Grandma Bus will bring him home (she’s the school nurse.)

Speaking of Adam, my big boy turned four a couple of weeks ago. FOUR!  Time goes so fast.


I made a new friend earlier this summer, and I’ve been helping her out a bit with her blog and some other social media marketing for her farm.  Although she hasn’t posted an update on her blog lately, we have been working on the static pages to give visitors more information.  If you have a chance, visit Nicole at Red Granite Farm on Facebook or www.redgranitefarm.blogspot.com and say Hi!  (Aren’t her coral bells gorgeous?)



My Grandma has been in and out of the hospital this summer.  Out right now, and doing well, but the situation was pretty scary for awhile.  She’ll be 90 in December and is as spunky as ever.

I also wrote a few articles for our local paper.  I’m not sure if I ever even “announced” it on my blog, but I am writing part time and enjoying it, although it does make me busier!  For this series of stories, I got to visit with three really neat people.  I can’t find a link to the articles right now, but if I do, I’ll share it.


Remember this headboard?  Here’s a little teaser, but it’s done!  When things slow down, I’ll take some pretty pictures of it.


And this bathroom?  *this close* to done.  Had a few hiccups, but we’re almost there!  (Should I spray paint the light fixture?  It’s crooked and has to be re-hung anyway…)img_9271-1(rev 0)


Last weekend, my parents had a small house fire after a burner on the stove was accidentally turned on.  Thank God no one was hurt, and not much structural damage, just lots of smoke damage.  They are busy working with the restoration company to pack up 25 years’ worth of belongings to be taken away, cleaned and brought back.  My dad made these cupboards and insurance will pay for a custom cabinet maker to replace them.


And I spent this last week helping with Vacation Bible School.  The counselors from Riverside did the lessons, but our church hosted it.  As a “Board of Education” member, I helped organize volunteers, snacks, etc.  This was Adam’s first time at VBS and he had a great time!  (Adam is in the light blue shirt in the front row “fishing for men.”img_8929(rev 0)

And finally, we survived another Watermelon Day, and are trying to survive a bout of the stomach flu.


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So that was a quick little summary of what we’ve been up to.  Seems crazy that it’s almost August!

Addition Ideas and Goals

We have gone back and forth on whether or not to add on to our house, but have ultimately decided to do it. While the turkeys and heat (thank God it’s over) have been on Bart’s mind, I’ve spent most of my time thinking about the house.  We’ve got lots of ideas and not as much money so we’re trying to figure out the best way to accomplish our goals, which include…
(Please pin responsibly – click the picture to go to pinterest and pin from there.  I have pinned these from their original sources.)
1.  A separate entry and space for Bart to change out of chore clothes.  This will probably be the landing to the basement stairs.  It will be nothing special – just keep the dirt and feathers OUT OF OUR WAY!

2.  A “clean” entry for me, kids, and visitors, with storage. I want a "drop zone" where there is a place for all the bags, shoes, coats, carseats, future musical instruments, sports equipment, etc. etc.
Source: houzz.com via Katie on Pinterest
3.  Laundry on the main floor, close to the stairway.  It will probably be near the formal front door, so I am thinking about doing something like this…when the doors are closed it can look like a beautiful built in buffet.
4.  More space for entertaining – kids can hang out with their friends, we can host family gatherings or have friends over.  I want our house to be the hang-out spot for our kids when they get older.
5.  A dedicated space for toys/playing.  I’m tired of stepping on tractors!!!
6.  Another bedroom
Source: bhg.com via Katie on Pinterest
7.  Storage – baby gear, boys’ clothes, Christmas décor, craft stuff, etc.  All the stuff that would normally go in the basement but can’t because our basement is gross.

Source: amazon.com via Katie on Pinterest
8.  Open up the possibility of an attached garage.

Wow.  That’s a lot to cram in!  Not all of those goals will be met with the new space…some will happen after re-thinking and re-working the current space we have.  But I’m ready for suggestions.  Lay it on me – advice for choosing a contractor?  Any parts we can DIY?  Storage ideas to incorporate?  Things you wish you would have done?  Things you think I should do?  A good, cheap wine to drink while I ponder all this?
Thanks, you guys are the best. :)

Shared at: Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special 

Record Breaking Heat

Did you have a good 4th of July?  Ours was a little different this year.  It’s been a rough week for hubby – really rough.  We’ve had record-breaking heat here, which means back-breaking work for Bart.  He’s been working his tail off to keep the turkeys cool.

Our barns use tunnel ventilation.  See those big fans?  They are 52 inches in diameter, and there are 14 of them in each building.  They suck air through the barn and produce a really nice breeze for the birds.  img_8716

Inside the barns is a mister system…rows of water pipes spray a fine mist into the air.  This helps cool the air that blows over the birds and helps cool the birds themselves.

99% of the time, those two things do a great job, and our turkeys have no problem staying comfortable.  This week of record-breaking temps has been hard on them, though.

Younger birds can deal with extreme heat.  Our other two flocks are doing just fine.  But one flock is nearly market weight and they have more trouble handling the high temps. 

So Bart has been spending his days and evening spraying water on the birds from this tank.

img_8715(rev 0)We had one really, really bad day at the beginning of the heat stretch.  It was hot during the day, and didn’t cool off much over night.  When Bart went to bed, he hadn’t lost many, but when he woke up the next morning, it was a disaster.  Then, while picking up the dead, he ended up with heat exhaustion…I was really worried he was going to get heat stroke because he insisted on going back out to “wash birds” with the water hose to keep from losing more.

Since that day, he hasn’t lost many.  But he’s been working 14+ hours in the heat. It’s been pretty crazy, but he’s been able to keep the barns a couple of degrees cooler than the outside temp, which is the goal.image

I am constantly amazed by his dedication to the turkeys and the farm.  He has continually sacrificed his own comfort (and health) for the comfort and health of the turkeys.  And I know he’s not the only farmer out there who does that.  The longer I’m on the farm, the more and more I’m realizing how hard farmers work, and how thankful I am for them and the food they produce!