Sunday, May 31


There is this little spot above the kitchen sink that has had me stumped!! Not big enough for something substantial, a tad too big to ignore. Then I thought I could paint something there. So I literally have been trying to decide on WHAT to paint... and I think my solution is so very clevaaaah!! Hee-hee!

Sorry the photos are so dark... clueless how to take photos when shooting right at a window like that.

Now this week, I'm hoping to get our mudroom functional. Wait till you see these before and afters. When the money ran out during the build... all closets, and smaller rooms like mudroom and laundry were left undone. So we keep plugging away... plug, plug, pluggedy, plug.

Friday, May 29

Rough Ride

Savannah first rode a horse several years ago at a summer camp she attended. She was hooked instantly. She went to that summer camp for 4 years and hanging out at the stalls was where you could always find her.

So when we bought this land, it was never a question that she wanted to eventually own her own horse. That hasn't quite happened yet, we hope it will soon. But meanwhile, several of our neighbors have and board horses. Our neighbor, A, invited Savannah to ride with her yesterday. Savannah was thrilled and she rode Buddy, one of their boarder horses.

Next time I set eyes on Savannah, this is what I saw....

Seems Buddy got tired of being ridden and took Savannah on a little trek through some trees. She got a slew of scrapes across her face and arm. In typical Savannah fashion... she was very unphased. I asked what she did after the rough ride? She just shrugged her shoulders and said that a little after the 'riding through the trees' episode, she actually fell off too! What?! "Mom... it happens!" "Now can I got right back over?"

She is such a tough chick!

When I saw her for the first time this morning I mentioned her 'flesh wounds'. She looked at me perplexed, totally confused, she had totally forgotten about her scratches. Rough and tumble, I guess I should just be glad she is made that way!!

Wednesday, May 27

I only need 1 bazillion MORE...

I am addicted to hydrangeas. Seriously addicted. Do you suppose there is a support group for that? But I have a real problem, because I love the blooms on the plant....

then I get clippers in my hand and go crazy. If I didn't control myself I would have a bunch of nakey hydrangea bushes and blooms in every vase I own! So there is only one thing left for me to do....

plant AT LEAST 1 bazillion more hydrangeas and then I won't have to choose. SOLD!!!

Tuesday, May 26

On the Flip Side

Well, I posted about how May has offered some challenges, BUT I just must point out the wonderful things about May too. Its only fair and just!!

First, our baby goats were an absolute joy. It is still amazing to me how quickly they are up and about. These kids were quick learners and I had to quickly shew them away from munching on my 'pretties'. These cuties now live with a sweet young family with 6 children, so they are sure to get plenty of loves and attention.

Lots of homeschooling on the back porch!! May offered quite the range of weather, but through rain, sun, quiet breezes, etc... sitting on the back porch doing school was a HIT. Confession... Callahan School took a very extended Christmas break, so we are still finishing up school. Should be done in about another week.

We adopted a little kitten. He will be an outside cat, and so far he seems to blend well with our other animals.
We'll call him Sox. He has little white paws, and when he is dashing back and forth, that is all you can see is the flashes of his white sox.

I've enjoyed planting this month too, when it wasn't raining, grin. Spruce Globes make me smile. They just do! I have 2 of these and hope that when we get our front lawn done, these will be planted at our gate. So cute, and funny!! Now I have some massive weeding ahead of me with all this rain. I usually like the tediousness of weeding, actually relaxing for me, but the task is so large... I fear that I will never get it under control, grrrrr.

Now for our weird animal sightings. I was out and about real early one Friday and noticed the cat was having a fit over something on the driveway. As I got closer, this is what greeted me.

It was so massive, I mean HUGE! I immediately went inside to wake up my slumbering family to see it. And I wanted Shawn to pick it up, hee-hee, cause I was too chicken! I thought turtles, even ones as huge as this one, were s.l.o.w...... NOT SO! When Shawn tried to heft this big boy up, it snapped back and I screamed real loud to add an extra dose of drama. It about got a chunk out of my sweetie! It had the most vicious set of claws and even its shell was spiked!

And I've never seen such a long spiked tail on a turtle. Since it was so defensive after the whole 'pickup' attempt, we couldn't get very close to it without being hissed and snapped at. Sure wish I could have taken a picture of something next to it so you could fully realize its mammoth size, whew!!

Just an hour after this turtle sighting... Shawn walked outside again and lo and behold... a wild turkey was just standing next to the truck. Shawn just assumed the noise he was hearing was Mr. Roo (our rooster) and was quite startled to see a big turkey. Crazy Day.

And of course, May was a wonderful month of baseball! Ty would even sleep in his uniform, nevermind it was filthy... little boys don't seem to mind that kind of stuff, no matter how yucked out their moms get.

So to clarify... May was a normal month of ups and downs, but as I think on them... those ups sure come more often, thankfully! Now I am off to do some weeding.

PS - Shawn ran into town late last Saturday to get some gas for the tractor. Do you know what he came home with?! A weeks worth of groceries!!! Let me preface by saying when my husband usually goes to the grocery store, he comes home with random ingredients that don't much go together, giggle! BUT this time, he made 6 dinner menus, got everything from fresh fruits and veggies to snacks, etc. I had no idea he was doing this, he had me a tad worried because I wondered what was taking so long getting gas, but when I saw what he did, all was forgiven :) I really, really, like my guy!! And he was the one that found the camera so I could post with pictures again! Life is so good for this bride!!

Monday, May 25

The Great Popsicle War

Christian was away from home all day on Saturday. Which he took to mean that he could eat whatever he wanted therefore proving the point... you CAN eat until your sick! And at 11:30pm, he was learning this lesson. Poor guy!

So come time for church the next day and he was still very much regretting his food choices of the prior day. I was not thrilled to leave him home alone sick, but Shawn and I both had assignments to see to. So we went on to church and I worried about my son the whole time.

Upon our arrival home I immediately was reassured that Christian was ALL better. Seems he felt better about an hour after we left and so he got bored. Until he found Ty's box of 1000 popsicle sticks. And this is what he created in the TV room while we were gone....

Sunday, May 24

'Murphy's Law' reigns supreme in May

May sure has been a crazy month for our gang. WHEW!!

Our phone service seems, for the moment, to be restored. If anyone called me recently and never got a call back, please forgive... and call again if it was something important, grin.

Now it seems someone, that someone is probably ME, has misplaced the camera. Yep. I'm truly blessed that my family loves me enough to keep me around after all my flubs recently.

And do you remember my 'truck stuck in the muck' fiasco? The muck issue that drove my husband to be a man of very few words... and eventually he saved the day and freed my vehicle. Seems I didn't learn my lesson! Exactly one week from the day I got the truck stuck and hubby got it UNstuck... you guessed it... I got it stuck again. I had been working so hard outside and I was also on animal duty because my resident Barn Bum, Savannah, was off to DisneyWorld. I panicked that I had not given the donkeys water in 48 hours and loaded up water in my truck and drove to the back of the property... isn't this sounding verrrrrrry familiar... and successfully filled their water troughs and yep, I should have known, got stuck on the return trip.

I called Shawn at work crying like a 2yr old, seriously sobbing, he really doesn't need his sweetheart doing dumb things like this right now. Poor guy, seems I had him so worried with my crying fit that he was glad it was only a truck stuck, and not a child hurt or house on fire. I really had stuck it bad this time... had to get a tractor to heaveHO it out.

New priority... our 4 wheeler needs a big tune up, it is usually the vehicle I drive around, so it MUST be up and running so I can give my husband a much deserved break from being my 'knight in shining armor'... that can be a full-time job sometimes.

We sold our 2 baby goats. That was tough for us. We are trying to keep our herd of animals to a minimum at the moment until we get more fencing and new barns built. So, with Savannah's blessing, we sold the babies to a sweet family of 8 that are sure to love them to death. Now we are milking Amelia, our mommy goat, and won't have to buy milk for a good long while, yippee.

Chicken coop is almost done, need to hang main door and paint, and by then I hope to have located my camera so I can document the 'cuteness'!

Do you know what else reigns supreme in May? Mowing... add to that a large side of mowing with a heaping spoonful of mowing. And for dessert? WeedEating, double decker scoop of weedeating. Do you know anyone willing to mow 15 acres for about a buck .50? Nope, me either.

Seriously, we are having lots of fun mingled inbetween little mishaps and stuck trucks. Just hoping June is a little less eventful.

PS - has anyone seen my camera?

Wednesday, May 20

spit, sputter, whimper

Total technology meltdown on the farm this week. Phone only working hit or miss, very little hit... more miss. Computer not working either, currently next door at mom's, to document my sad plight. I've got stories and pictures of prehistoric turtles and wild turkeys to share, and yet I must be patient, sniffle!!!

Tuesday, May 12


I love art in all forms. I look forward to finishing the entertainment room (someday, whimper) and I want art ledges wrapped around the entire room so I can have ever changing collections of art.

I sat on the front porch with a few of the neighbor kiddos one day. We had just had our family portraits taken by Kim Greenfield, and Ty was telling the kids that she got pictures of him climbing his tree... a favorite past time of his. I mentioned that I couldn't wait to have every wall in my home plastered with these photographs and other art that I have collected and made, etc. One of the kids, E, said she likes to draw too. I told her I would LOVE to see her 'art'. She giggled!

I not only got to see E's art, she gave me a couple pieces... I love them!!! I have them currently located on my linen boards in the family room. I love them, ummm, did I already say that?!

And this one... truly shows an artistic eye. See how the baby turtle is slightly offset with the large turtle crawling off the page, brilliant. I hope to receive many more of her masterpieces!

And speaking of our family photo session with Kim G... Here is one of my daughter's favorite photos taken that day. This is her little blonde donkey, Jenne, that is in very ill health. Savannah is determined to love her back to life and so far, has been successful. I thought for sure Jenne would not make it through the rough winter, but she did...thankfully!

I want to get several, OK... MANY, of Kim's pieces done in Gallery Wraps! I love the texture of the printed canvas and I think it looks like a natural fit on an Art ledge. Problem, Gallery Wraps can be pricey, whew! I used an online site, www., and I am thrilled with the product. The corners are nicely wrapped, and the back is neatly finished with matt board and hanger (although I usually lean canvases), and the detail of the original photo is intact! And the quality rivals that of one my sil got for twice the price. Hooked. Now if I can just get some ledges up so I can plaster my home with art!

Monday, May 11

'Being Home' Winner

Since I've only ever been inside my own head, it was nice to read the comments and find out that indeed, we are all so very similar. I've never been a deep person per say... but I got this pondering thing down to a science, grin.

And the winner of her own copy of BEING HOME is.... Karen B.!!! I'll send it out to you asap :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I was able to be home with many of those I adore. My daughter is in Florida and I am being quite silly and missing her terribly. Her first trip this far away and for this long and I sure do love my girl, looking forward to her return.

I was spoiled rotten from my 3 fellas and we ate some of my favorite things... brie and fruit for breakfast... BLTs and salad for lupper (our Sunday lunch/supper meal). Had a fun time visiting with family and relaxing.

I love this quote from Joseph F. Smith: "I learned in my childhood that no love in all the world can equal the love of a true mother. I did not think in those days, and still I am at a loss to know, how it would be possible for anyone to love her children more truly than did my mother. Her love was life to me; it was strength; it was encouragement; it was love that begat love in myself. I knew she loved me with all her heart. I was counseled in my youth to spend my life seeking to fulfill the prayer that would always be in the heart of my mother. That is perhaps the most precious gift a mother could receive from her child. As her son, I am indeed honored to "arise up and call her blessed."

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8

Once Upon a Farm's Very First GiveAway!!

I just came in from outside. I was hanging out some blankets to dry. And I realized that I was out there for a very long time getting this simple task done. Not surprising... my mind had wandered and I found myself thinking on one of my favorite books again. It is a tiny little book that has thoughts in it about those everyday, sometimes tedious, little tasks that feel our days. But the author, Gunilla Norris, thinks deeper on the meaning of small tasks accomplished each day. I've mentioned this book before. While Gunilla does not have the same understanding of her Heavenly Father as I do... I really do appreciate her understanding of not taking any moment spent in this life for granted. For Example:

Hanging Out the Clothes

As I hang up these clothes let me think
about what it means to be "on the line."
It may not be about courage or bravery
or intention. It may not be about social action,
good works, or justice. It may be
something before that, something much earlier,
more simple and humbling.

It may just be about clinging for dear life.

I pin these wet clothes to the line...
an image of joining, of clinging to something.
If I really know You are my lifeline
then to cling to You is my primary business.

There are so many spiritual traps
if I am the one who puts me on the line.
Instead, let me be simpler, let me just cling to You.

Then all the other lines in my life shall fall in place:
the line of duty, the line of business,
the line of poetry, the firing line.
Please help me to cling so tenaciously
that I find myself in line with You-
aired out and shaken.

-Gunilla Norris

I was at the Bailey Cove Library a few days ago and they had a few paperbacks in a basket for sale, most were a $1-$3. I just glanced at the basket when I entered, but as I was leaving I thought I saw something familiar. There it was... a steal of a deal!

It has been sitting on my nightstand (I tear up as I type nightstand, because it is so nice to finally have one). I wasn't sure what to do with it until I noticed that I have almost hit 15,000 on my blog's visitor meter and I thought I could do a giveaway.

Would you like a free copy of one of my favorite books, BEING HOME, by Gunilla Norris? Just leave me a comment, and please tell me what you tend to 'think on' when you are going about your daily routines. Do you sing a favorite tune? Do you make lists in your head? How does YOUR mind work?!!! I would love to know.

Here is a little door that I painted and put on my front porch. I hope it reminds me as I enter my door to slow down and enjoy the everyday life I have.

Random drawing winner will be announced on Monday Morning, May 11th. Maybe a little belated Mother's Day Goody for someone :)

Thursday, May 7

Please Vote today

My youngest sister, Cari, nominated my younger sister, Misty, for a Mother's Day Gift drawing. Please help us show Misty some love! Go to the following website, scroll down to Finalist #4: Misty Mayfield. You'll see her there with all her nieces and nephews, whew!! You can also read below her photo why we ALL feel she deserves to be recognized. Cari summed it up beautifully! In the introduction paragraph it gives an email address that you send an email with 'Finalist #4: Misty Mayfield' as the subject line. As simple as that!! Thank you!!! Dawn

Tuesday, May 5

Mr. Roo

I desperately wanted a cockadoodledooer. Word around these parts though, is that they can be aggressive, rough with the ladies, and an all-around headache. Shoot!

But then I remembered that I read something about a miniature rooster. It took me a good google session to find it again... a Serema Rooster. It maxes out at under a pound. So the hens will be much larger helping with mating issues. Serema Roosters are still wonderful cockadoodlers, which I love, and they still help protect the others and prance around and look pretty!!

So I've got a little bit of a theme going on her... miniature goats, miniature donkeys, and now a miniature rooster. Hello there, Eeyore!!


Truck stuck in the muck update:

Still stuck!

Husband not happy with Wife. Wife still got a kiss from Husband when he returned home from work though. Husband man of few words, just wondering what possessed his Wife to drive in the muck in the truck. Wife had to take Husband to work this morning and will be going back to get him from work...until further notice. Which means until the rains stop coming down and the floods stop coming up and the foolish wife learns her lesson.

Nuff said.

But Wife is still happy because she has a pretty roo!!

Monday, May 4

Just Another Muddy Monday...

I'm in trouble. The really, really BIG kind of trouble.

I was reckless... I fooled myself into thinking I was being productive.

I was hasty... fooled myself into thinking I was being proactive.

I was less than smart... fooled myself into thinking... oooooohhhh... I wasn't thinking... that's why I am in this predicament!!

How I reasoned that driving to the back of the property to measure fencing... today... after many days of heavy rain... was a good idea is now causing me to really question myself. Because, said truck is now miserably, hopelessly, terribly stuck! Really stuck!

Like sooooo stuck, I am forced to decide between two impossible choices: Does one in my position call dear sweet hubby at work to WARN him of what he has waiting for him at home? OR does one in my position let him enjoy his day, enjoy his relaxing drive home... only to be blindsided by my truck hopelessly SUNK in the side lawn? Oh Rhett Butler, what ever shall I do?

PS - the kids think this is mighty funny. why the sudden enjoyment of their mom saying 'oh no, oh no, oh no' over and over again. And I got no sympathy, none, when I finally emerged from sunk truck and plopped right into an ant hill. Their laughter from what must have been quite the spectacle is still ringing in my head. Naughty children. They better make this show of obvious enjoyment of mom's hectic Monday convert into MAJOR Mother's Day giftage, come Sunday!!!

Saturday, May 2

CopyCat Extraordinare

Before I explain by extraordinaredness.... ps, I know that is not a word, but it works!

I carried around my dream house plan for 10 years. We were in Nebraska, going to dental school... I was at a Piggly Wiggly checkout stand and a Southern Living House Plan book called out my name, seriously, it sweet talked me!!! We were so very desperately broke and yet I HAD to have this book. I seriously could have been an architect, or interior designer, or landscape architect and been deliriously happy... not saying I would have been any GOOD at them... just happy.

I remember the guilt I felt when I got home and unpacked the few groceries we could afford and then pulled this frivolous house plan book out of the bag. At $11.99, I wondered if Piggly Wiggly would take it back. Ugh!

Several days later, Shawn was in Honduras, and I decided to cuddle up in bed... alone with my guilt inducing gold and diamond dust plan book. I didn't feel awful for long... because on page 66, there it was. I fell in love with the simple, cottagey, yet modern elements of the 'Country Chickering House'.

For the next 10 years I carried this plan # around. It was packed and moved to California, and Mississippi, and then made it home to Alabama.

So by the time we were ready to actually build our home, I was pleasantly surprised that the house plan was still able to be purchased. We removed a few walls that were in the original plan but otherwise everything stayed exactly how I had seen them all those years ago. Until....

'the great stair debate of 2007' aka, 'the stair saga'!!! I got a call from our builder one day and he simply stated... we have a big problem. I met him on the land immediately.

Seems that stair codes had changed quite dramatically in 10 years. The original stairs, the ones I loved dearly, were no where close to current code and we had to come up with a second option. No lie, I cried! Because the original design was so perfect and I especially loved where they exited on the second floor. I regained my composure and asked my builder along with the head carpenter to give me some options. I hated both options offered. This was the only time, other than taking my kitchen cabinets clear to the ceiling, that our builder and I were polar opposite on a resolution. They were pushing me for a decision. I dug my heels in and refused both options... There had to be another alternative that would give me at least some of the features I loved about the original plan.

2 weeks later, yep, I stalled out the whole building of the stairs for 15 days... but they finally came back with a 3rd choice. It included a slanted ceiling in my foyer (builder hated) and I lost height to my coat closet (carpenter felt was unacceptable) but otherwise... plan 3 gave me most of the features of the original except for the ideal exit at top. SOLD!!! Builder and Carpenter shook their heads, looked at each other, sighed dramatically, and said...'if your sure!?!!' Yes, I'm sure fellas...!

When the stairs were done, I got apologies from both those fellas, because it worked out near perfect. The unimaginable task of finding walnut handrails and steps (to match flooring) was even accomplished.

And this is the base of the stairs. Love the flair of the final steps, very important point as the foyer would have seemed very plain and boxy with out the width of the base.

The handrails were custom built for this job. I'm so thankful I gathered the gutsoes to fight this battle. Else it could have looked very patchy.

In essence, for the amount of space we had, and the steps required, and the landings required, we did not have enough room. So originally the top exit of the stairs would have been perfectly situated in the middle of the hall upstairs. Central for all the kids bedrooms. In the end, the exit is on the right side at Savannah's bedroom and the boys have to turn and walk back down the hall to their rooms. But for as big of a deal as I made the exit... I've never heard a complaint from the sons. Go figure.

Now, to my world-class Copy Cat skills. Because the stairway opening to second floor is 20+' high... I have struggled with what to do with that! And I might add that the drywall is a tad 'off' here too so it always drew my eye to it. I didn't want to hang a light here because it would have been off centered to the tray ceiling upstairs. Yet I needed something... something architectural... something huge!!!

I was searching ebay and saw a 12' orchard ladder for sale. Loved it, wanted it, got giddy... until I realized it was in England and with shipping would have cost me $2600.00!!! At least it was so CRAZY that I was able to easily walk away from it. But I looked real close at the pictures the seller posted and made detail notes.

Thursday, I made this 'knock-off' 12' orchard ladder. It fits perfectly!! The landing is so huge yet when I put baskets or floor vases there, they came too far out into the pass space. The ladder hugs the wall and adds that needed 'interest' without taking up too much landing space. Stinkin' happy, I mean s.t.i.n.k.i.n.........and hubby thinks it is perfection. Never want to have to make another one, very heavy and unruly, but I'm so glad I attempted it. Task done! And while I fully embrace that I am not one for original creativity (you know who you are.... DANA)... I am one first class Copy Cat... meowwww!