Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Birthday, noTTafarm!

July 30 should be declared a holiday:
~ a day when you don't have to go to work ~ 
~ a day for relaxing ~
~ a day for enjoying country sunshine ~ 
~ a day you spend at the Best Place on Earth: noTTafarm! ~
Thursday is the fifth anniversary of the date that the 
acreage officially became ours.
Here's To Many More Happy Years!

Barn Window Project Kicks-off

It should come as no surprise that the barn is not exactly weather-tight. We know there are holes in the roof, holes in the siding, holes in the doors, and holes in the windows that let Mother Nature have her way. Scott has decided that the first project to tackle to try and strengthen the barn is the replacement or repair of the barn's 15 windows. After evaluation, he determined that eight of the windows were either too far gone or completely missing but seven could be repaired with a little putty.

For only $18.99 each, we purchased simple "wood utility sash" windows at Menard's in nearly the perfect size. While at Menard's we also picked up a gallon of exterior enamel paint and painter's tape. By the time we got home with the goods, Scott had vowed to have the windows project complete by the end of September. (This seems quite reasonable to me.)

Here's what's happened so far:

The new windows are 22" x 29" which is just a few inches off of the original 24" x 28" barn windows. These sashes are not meant to be operable but may pivot or slide after installed. The wood frames are held together with long screws which, when removed, allow disassembly for access to the glass panes.
All of the windows (new and those we repair) and surrounding frames will be painted white.
Scott did a little bit of thinking and measuring before starting the process. The windows on the west wall of the barn will be replaced first (so that Bibbers' condo is better protected this winter.)
Scott used the table saw to trim the windows' width from 29" to 28".
Go, Saw, Go!
Once the windows were trimmed, Scott turned his attention to the sills that will help hold them in place. Using pine from the post-construction stockpile, Scott first cut them to the right width, then cut them at a 15-degree angle to help shed water away from the barn.
A quick check to see if the fit is right. 
The depth of the sills was doubled by gluing then nailing a second piece of pine. With this beefed-up sill, the top and bottom of the window will fit snugly in the opening.
The eight new windows and their sills will be painted before they are installed. Scott began the tedious task of taping off the glass on Sunday.

This project is off to a great start. Be sure to . . . 
Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Quick Craft Adds Color

After a year of thinking about it, I finally accomplished a Craft Project this weekend. Last July, I went to Overton to the junk/antique shop with Amy B. and Chelsie which I described here: 
Among the many awesome items I purchased that day was a darling oil painting of two little cows in a pasture. The only thing holding me back from hanging it was the not-so-darling frame. So, into the closet it went for "someday." Fast forward to this past April, when Chelsie and I went to Rural Route Rust where I purchased (among other things) two little oil paintings in carved gold frames. These also ended up in the closet - but only until Saturday. I chose to refresh all three frames with a few good coats of gloss spray paint in slate gray which gave the out-of-date frames a modern touch.
It was hot and humid outside this weekend but I muscled through the time it took to paint the frames.
The completed cow painting now hangs upstairs in the connector, next to the small linen closet. It looks right at home.
The two 8x10 flower paintings are now in the 1920 bathroom. They look so sweet against the lemony yellow paint, and the gray frames complement our gorgeous gray subway tile.

The good news is, I still have plenty of gray spray paint left in the can. What should I tackle next? Tune in to find out!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

21 Things to Like about July

Yes, I know it's already the 21st of the month. But since I'm so late in posting, I'm giving you a special treat:  21 totally awesome things about this month (so far.)  Read on:

We had the Camp Family 4th of July Celebration at noTTafarm, so of course, I had to tack up the patriotic bunting.

We grilled chicken and Marita brought some yummy ribs - so good! Note the awesome galvanized metal cake stand purchased last month at the Walnut Antique Walk.

The Newlyweds (Pat and Kathleen) brought Emma along for the party. She is such a good pup!

Kathleen didn't have to fight for hammock time; she brought her own!

A few competitive rounds of croquet took place on the west lawn.

Pat, Pete, and Karly were enthusiastic players but Uncle Scott won every match. 

Carl played a few rounds of croquet then challenged Karly to a game of cornhole.

Fast forward a few weeks and ...
Our flowers are in full bloom. The perennials I planted last summer have taken off and are filling in nicely.

The pink cone flowers on the west side of the barn are Bee Heaven!

The ol' wheelbarrow near the barn sports a bright load of marigolds.

I finally got all of the cottonwood flower bed cleaned out (that big area is a beast to keep weed-free) and discovered quite a few blossoms.

I sneaked up on the groundhog near his home along the driveway and was lucky enough to snap this photo before he disappeared down his escape hatch.

Yarrow along the driveway.

The alfalfa in the pasture south of our house was cut, baled and hauled away last month but the second crop is coming along nicely. Every day, you can see turkeys wading through the green sea.

Mother Nature gets a little supplemental water from the tap. 

While on a nature hike this evening, Scott used a "counter" app on his phone to keep track of the number of cedar trees he spotted along the west trail.

Clover along the west trail.

Our nature walk this evening was one of the all-time best noTTafarm events! All three kitties came along, trotting right behind us. They did such a good job!  Who needs a dog when you have cats like this?

Woodpecker along the west trail.

Watch out cedar trees . . . Scott counted 93 of you! His chainsaw will be happy to bring this number down to a reasonable level.

New Chair!
We found this cute chair for the great room at Pier One on Sunday. It looks great and is very comfortable - or at least I assume it's comfortable. It always seems to be occupied by one cat or the other.

And there you have it!
21 totally awesome 
things about July - so far. 

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Wrap-up

I'm sure you've noticed the blog has been a bit quiet this month. With only three articles published (plus the one you're reading) June has turned into one of the blog's slowest. Our noTTafarm-centric activities this month have included mowing, weeding, and cleaning - none of which are very exciting to take photos of, to write descriptions of, or - for you - read about. So, what have we been up to?

Here's the skinny:

The weekend of June 14, we went to Kearney to see my folks. The big celebration in town was the Princess Party for our great nieces' birthdays. Allie turned 4 on the 16th, and her little sister Maggie turned 2 on the 26th. Their cousin, 18-month-old Kitra made the trip up from Wamego to attend.
The highlight of the party was the appearance by Snow White, 
beautifully played by our niece Karli.
Mom and Dad's house is undergoing some renovations. Saturday morning, a crew removed most of the deck. The siding is also going to be replaced.
Kitra is such a doll! She is always on the go, and always has a smile. It is Great Aunt Kristin's goal in life to hide that pacifier, however. ( Sorry, Monica ;) )
Gramma LuAnn with the beautiful birthday girls. 

On Thursday, June 18, Mom underwent a hip replacement in Omaha at Nebraska Medical Center. Mom and Dad, along with our niece Chelsie stayed at noTTafarm the night before. We arrived at the Med Center at 5:30 A.M., and Mom was resting comfortably by 11. 
Pre-surgery:  Mom was excited to hopefully get relief from her deteriorated left hip. It's been especially problematic since Christmas.
Post-surgery: prior to her release at Sunday noon, Mom entertained all the nurses, and hosted a steady stream of visitors including my brother Tim. And, even though they were in town for a serious reason, it was such fun to have Daddy and Chelsie stay with us for four days!

Mom's recovery hit a bump-in-the-road this weekend, suffering from a flare-up of painful bursitis in her shoulder and swelling in her leg. When you read this, please offer your prayers for relief from pain and patience with healing. I'm looking forward to having her back on her feet and up to her usual shenanigans soon!

Back at home, Summer has arrived in a burst of color. We've been blessed with plenty of rain and plenty of sunshine, so our flowers have really put on a show.
The planter boxes in the Gleaner are coming along nicely! The lantana and marigolds were great choices.
The daylilies are are blooming in the south yard in two huge patches of happy orange blossoms.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sod Buster

Ever since the "Great Water Line Rupture of November," Scott has been planning to add fill dirt to the major areas affected by the backhoe. Lucky for us, we have neighbors that just happened to have an extra pile of dirt from a recent construction project. Scott chatted with Jody who agreed to deliver the dirt last week.
Before we had a chance to plant grass, it rained on the clay soil. After just a couple of sunny days, the top crust of dirt was almost as hard as concrete.
Scott first attacked it with a hoe . . .
. . . then used the tiller. I helped out, too, if you can believe it. We took turns using the hoe, tiller, and rake.
With the dirt finally tilled, Scott did some fine-tuning on the grade with the rake.
First, he added the new-grass-starter-fertilizer . . .
. . . then tossed on some grass seed . . .
. . . then used the garden weasel to work the seed down a bit. We finished with a nice sprinkling of water. We also worked on a smaller patch closer to the house, following this same sequence. Now all we need is some sunshine, water, and time and we'll have some nice grass. 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

More Garage Progress

It's a rainy Saturday (again) so Scott planned a good indoor activity: creating counter tops for the garage cabinets.
Counter tops are important. Where else would we stack junk? The cabinets have nice drawers which are kinda silly without a top covering their contents.
Lucky for us, we have a seemingly never-ending supply of tongue-in-groove pine, remnants from our great room ceiling. Scott hauled them from the barn to the garage for processing.
This was a pretty easy process, started by measuring and marking the final length.
The chop saw did the hard work. 
As each piece was cut, Scott handed it to me for placement on the cabinet.
The rubber mallet helped create a snug fit between the individual boards.
Ta Da!
That was easy! Now, of course, he's trying to decide how to permanently affix the boards to each other and to the cabinet below. Then he wants to add a backsplash of sorts. Then he's toying with the idea of sanding, staining, and finishing. Then we've got to stain and finish the window trim, stairwell, door trim . . .etc., etc.!  The to-do list never seems to get shorter. 
We'll worry all about those details another day. For now, the little remnants were hauled back to their place in the barn.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!