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No More Mudwalk!

I’m a little behind posting this.  That’s okay, though, right?
Here is the first part of the project.
After we finished excavating, we laid down some water permeable weed barrier.  In my gardens, I usually use newspapers, but we went for the real stuff this time.
We anchored it with bricks, and then dumped the rocks.
There will be an intersection in front of the door, and hubby wanted the corners to be round so that it was easier to mow around.  He did 3 corners exactly the same (five bricks, measured where the curve started and where it ended) but the 4th corner was giving him fits.  He spent almost an hour working on it, and at one point said, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!  Why isn’t this working?”  I couldn’t get it to work, either, but I wasn’t on crazy pills so I didn’t care.
(Don’t you love Adam’s mismatched socks?  He picked them out himself. :)  That’s the way we roll around here.)
We used patio paver bricks to line the walkway and I LOVE it. 
Trust me, the curves at the end of the walkway are perfect here, thanks to hubby.  I just wasn’t standing square in front of the house when I took the picture.  Oops!
We haven’t tamped it down yet – still spreading rock and dirt.  But I’m pretty confident that it will compact and make a nice, water permeable sidewalk.
Here is the new patio!  See all the shade?  Can’t wait to enjoy it!
Overall cost:
$270 – load of gravel delivered to our house.  LOTS left over.
$200 – patio paver bricks and weed barrier
= $470 – A LOT cheaper than concrete (but still kind of an investment.)
Now comes the fun part – decorating!
I'm linking up to Bloomin' Tuesday!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Turkey Tuesday: Cleaning the Brooder

Biosecurity is a big deal on livestock farms these days.  And we do everything we can to be sure that we raise healthy animals.  Part of this includes cleaning between flocks to help ensure that any illnesses are not transmitted from one flock to the next.

Two weeks ago, on Turkey Tuesday, I showed you how we move the poults to the finishing barns.  Since then, Bart has been working to clean the brooder house for the next flock, which will arrive in about 2 weeks.

There are several steps that he follows to make sure the building is spic and span for the new birdies.


1.  Use a backpack blower to get the dust off the walls.  (Backpack blowers remind me of the Ghostbusters.)

2.  Use a skid steer to load the manure spreader with litter, and then split the litter between the two finisher barns – 6 loads in each barn.

3.  Wash water lines with soap using a power washer.

4.  Wash the building with soap using a power washer.

5.  Use two hand held squeegees and a skid loader to push the water out of the building.

6.  Then, the entire building was sprayed with disinfectant using the power washer.

7.  The feed pans get washed by hand.


The entire process takes between 7-9 days.  We prefer that the building sits empty for at least a week before the new sawdust comes.  The longer it sits empty, the better.

I’ve got one boring picture for you:


The feed lines, water lines, and heaters were all raised for step #5 (push water out of building.)  There was still some water out there because of the heat wave we’ve had the last few days – the concrete was sweating.  So now, the fans are on and it should be dry before the sawdust comes in the morning!

Recreating Romance: Charleston Gardens

My husband and I honeymooned in Charleston, SC.  Then, we went back for our first anniversary.  We consider it “our city” and honestly, one of the biggest “cons” when deciding to raise turkeys was that we wouldn’t be able to go back and visit for years.  We love Charleston so much.
So if we can’t visit Charleston, we’ll just have to bring her here.  We have little reminders all over our house – a large, gorgeous reproduction map that hung over our bed in our first house, a Low Country Cookbook in the kitchen, a Columbus-type-ship souvenir on a shelf in our living room, and on and on.
And now, with our new walkway and patio going in, I want to create part of Charleston outside our home, too.
There are four elements of Charleston that I am trying to incorporate:
1.  Brick.
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This is Boone Hall Plantation.  You may recognize it from The Notebook.  The white gravel driveway is lined with brick.  I remember talking about it with my hubby, and asking if “we ever have an acreage with a gravel driveway, can we line it with brick so it looks prettier?”  He has no recollection of this conversation, and says we can’t line the driveway, but we are lining the walkway like this!P1020127
honeymoon 1602.  White railings.  These beauties were everywhere!  Charlestonians built these piazzas to catch the breeze coming off the ocean.honeymoon 147

3.  Wrought Iron.  It is at least as common here as it is in New Orleans.
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    honeymoon 265 
And just for fun, here’s hubby and I on our second trip to Charleston, in our favorite restaurant, 82 Queen.  Mmmm…now I’m hungry for she-crab soup, and that’s one part of Charleston I have NOT been able to successfully recreate. I guess we’ll just have to settle for a garden!

I want to move to Indiana.

I've been meaning to post about these gals for a week or so, but this week has been crazy busy and I hadn't gotten to it.  And then, they went and spoiled it all by giving me an award!


Technically, I got the award from Whitney at Life's a Highway and Mine's Surrounded by Corn, Heather at 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs, and Leah at Beyer Beware. But there are a few others that I feel are part of the group who has "adopted" me.

It all started with Cris at GOODEness Gracious.  For some reason, she was one of my first followers, and always left the sweetest comments.  So I began following her.  I found out she works in agriculture, and knows all these other women involved in ag, too.  I am new to the agriculture arena, and I have a couple of women in real life that I consider mentors when it comes to farm life, but my new bloggy friends have really filled a void in my life!  It is SO nice to have other women who understand what it's like to have a farmer husband, young children, and the issues that farmers are facing today.   Oh, and apparently they all live in Indiana and know each other in real life.  I'm jealous.

So anyway, some of them gave me this award.  And now I get to pass it on.  Only, the gals I'd like to pass it to are the ones who gave it to me.  And I've given the Sunshine Award to a bunch of my other favorites already.

AND THEN – I got a versatile blogger award from Meg at A Little Knick Knack, too!  I’m so flattered! I mean, she has over 200 followers and a TON of great home and kid projects!

So now, here are 7 things about me:

1.  I am the oldest child and I totally have the typical first-born personality.  Yeah, I'm bossy.

2.  I totally love my students.  Each and every one of them.  For serious.

3.  I wish I were a better photographer.  I'm trying to learn new things in my free time. 

4.  I want to get my masters and I think it would be totally AWESOME to get my Ph. D. someday.

5.  My BFF lives in Ohio and I miss her a lot.

6.  I want to be comfortable using power tools, but I'm kind of scared of them, and I can never remember how to use them.

7.  I like to drink coffee every morning, and I like it to taste like candy.


And now, 15 bloggers to pass it on to…since I can’t come up with 15 that haven’t yet received the reward, I’m linking up to some that I know already have.  If you have received it and passed it on already, DO NOT feel like you have to do it again.  A nice “thank you” will be enough. :)

Friendly Farmer Blogs:

Liz and Amy - Two Maids a Milking

Whitney – Life’s a Highway and Mine’s Surrounded by Corn

Meggie – Hoosier Farm Babe Tells Tails

Cris – Goodeness Gracious

Jane – Going Jane

Megan – Gal in the Middle

Barbara – Frugalista Farm Life

Jeanette – Fencerow to Fencerow

Leah – Beyer Beware

Ott, A – A latte with Ott, A

Heather – 3 Kids and lots of Pigs

Home blogs:

This Fresh Fossil – I just started following this blog today but I love it!  GREAT DIY decor!

Decor Happy – Another new one for me, but I love her room makeovers!

Impatiently Praying for Patience – Love the thrifty home decor projects!

Now, I need to go notify all these gals!  And work outside.  And do some laundry.  And other productive things.


What is the rule?  Budget 5% more money and time for every project?  At our house, it should be 200% more money and time.  Because things just never go as planned.
Last night, we finally started on our new gravel walkway.
This is the old sidewalk.  It was very uneven, causing water to puddle, and then in the winter, freeze into a wonderful ice skating rink.  And then, part of it was dug up in order to bury an electric line last fall.  So we decided it was time for it to go.
We decided on a gravel walkway for several reasons, but mostly because of the cost and ease of putting it in.  If I had everything I wanted in the world, we would be putting in a sidewalk made of antique, reclaimed brick, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

I cannot believe I’m showing the world these pictures.  We did a lot of work on our house by ourselves before we got our first flock of turkeys, but since then, hubby hasn’t had time.  He says, after two more flocks go to market, we should be able to hire someone to side the house.  Thank goodness.
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This picture really shows how uneven the sidewalk was.  Water would pool right here, in front of the door.
We are going to use the brick to line the new walkway, and we may imbed some in the intersection here, just for some interest.
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A small patio (12x14) will be nestled in the shade of the lilac bush.  It will be separated from the driveway by a perennial bed and antique stair railing.
I am so glad we have the right tools for the job!
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Right about now, we started smelling smoke.  A poor momma birdie had her home burnt down.  But maybe if she hadn’t built her home INSIDE the bobcat, she wouldn’t be rebuilding right now.
So this is where we’re at right now.  Lots of mud.  Lots of standing around talking about how exactly to grade the yard so we don’t have the same water problem again.
Remember how I said LOTS of mud.  Well, now there are lots of dark rain clouds, too.
And they are scheduled to hit just as hubby was planning to do the grading.  So he’s grading this morning and the little turkeys will just have to wait until this afternoon.
Any bets on what will be next?  Broken water line? Tornado?  We haven’t spent any money yet on this project (except for the load of rock) so maybe it’s our budget that will be taking a blow?  It’s anyone’s guess!

(Linked up to Ms. Green thumb Jean's Bloomin Tuesday.)

A Lazy Slipcover


This post at Southern Thresholds reminded me of something I did in my first house.  And since I’m fresh out of projects in this house, I thought I’d do a little “My First House” tonight.

Sorry the pictures are such poor quality. :(


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This Target loveseat is one of the few brand new purchases we made for our house.  And whaddayaknow? After a few months, I hated it.  It was way too contemporary for the look I was going for.

But what’s a poor-newlywed-whose-husband-hates-when-she-changes-her-mind to do?

Throw a vintage bedspread over it!

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Much more of the cottage look I was after.  Of course there was a lot of fabric, but I just folded it over in back.

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And that’s how it lived forever after. (Or at least until I sold it to my sister-in-law when we moved.)


(And see the ugly turquoise basket that I repainted here?)

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Copy Me Challenge

Tice Thursday Reaction

My new friend Cris, over at GOODEness Gracious, has started a weekly feature called Tice Talk Thursday. 

She is on her 3rd week of telling us about Lou Tice, author of Smart Talk, and it is changing my life.  Truly.  I have not read Tice's book, but Cris's summaries and reflections are enough for me right now.

Every time I read Cris's Tice Talk posts, I do some serious thinking.  The past two weeks, I have simply commented on her post, but this week I thought I should do my own blog post.  In order for this all to REALLY make sense, I suggest that you read Cris's posts, and then my replies.  But I think it would kind of make sense even if you skip her posts.

After reading week 1 I commented:

I generally feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Work stresses me out, but bores me at the same time. My home is a completely messy disaster, and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done.

I think this all stems from my lack of ORGANIZATION. So that's my goal. Get organized. And then, I think a lot of the stress and overwhelmed-ness will disappear. Am I doing this backwards? Should the goal be to eliminate stress and the "way" be organization?

Even as I write this, I'm thinking of excuses - places to put the blame. My thyroid, my husband working too much, my little buddy who keeps me from getting things done, etc. etc. But I'm going to put those out of my mind and work on organization only!

In week 2, I replied:

Another great post. I, too, feel kind of like I struggle through the days sometimes, but I can't pinpoint why. I feel as though I am being true to my values. HHHmmmm...this one is making me think.

(I think I should re-read week 2.)

Here is week 3.  

I have to admit, I haven't processed it all yet.  I got to THIS LINE and had to write.  I do plan on making my own mission statement though.

"Tice teaches that sanity is subconciously more important to us than success."

This line really hit me, because with many of my goals, it's my desire for sanity that gets in my way. 

I am seriously disorganized and messy, but:
a) Subconsciously, I have a pretty high "messy" threshhold, maybe because I grew up in a messy, disorganized home? (sorry mom.)
b) When it comes to the moment of deciding whether to get off the couch and clean, or lay on the couch with my laptop, it SEEMS as though hanging out with my laptop will help my sanity more.  But in REALITY, I think cleaning would keep me more sane in the LONG RUN. 

So I think I need to adjust my thinking on both things - adjust my level of messiness threshhold, and remind myself that even though I'm tired now, putting away laundry, doing dishes, etc. etc. will benefit me in the future.

This realization is kind of ironic because I am generally very good at thinking long term about the consequences of my decisions...apparently, though, I sabotage my own organization goal when it comes to that little moment of "hang out or clean."

So now, I need to absorb this for a little bit, and then come back and make my mission statement.  And I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Cris for this series.  It is so inspirational and helpful!

Elvis has left the bathroom...

So I’m kind of an Elvis fan.  It’s a long story, but I used to be a back-up dancer for an Elvis Impersonator Tribute Artist.
I bought this garbage can when we were in Memphis in 2002 for Elvis week.  And I’ve been using it in my bathroom ever since.  It was kind of cool then, because I was a college student, and had blue striped bedding. 
But now, not so cool.  In fact, pretty gross.
The inside had rusted, so I sprayed it with rusty metal primer.  Then painted the whole shebang, inside and outside, black.
I wanted it to look like old enamelware, so I rubbed some candle wax in a few places before spraying it white, hoping that the white wouldn’t stick to the candle wax, and some of the black would show through.  WRONG!  Oh well, I still think it’s 100x better than before!

Thank you, thank you very much.

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special