April 30, 2008|Comments (29)
When creating trendy outdoor living spaces… don’t forget to give the chair rungs some flare.
Break up the monotony of green grass with tasteful lawn ornaments.
Adding accents to flowerbeds keeps spaces interesting and also serve as a great places to hide your spare keys. Dual purpose landscape-design details are always a plus.
A classic country item like a barrel or trough can easily be converted into a fountain. To keep water from becoming stagnant, it is a good idea to install a windmill water pump.
When updating your country kitchen, keep in mind that faucets are one of the most important components of your kitchen area. Select a faucet that is not only functional but also gives your kitchen a customized look especially when matched with a unique and stylish spout.
If you choose to carpet the bedrooms of the house, be sure to select shades to compliment any color or style of furniture.
The garage should be outfitted with workbench and storage. Artwork may be added to define the space. Remember to bring the outdoors in with elements of nature in every room.
———————Interesting Stuff to Check Out———————
Click on the mailbox to stop junk mail, save trees, and have a tree planted on your behalf. It’s free!
I also wanted to touch on a more personal issue: depression. We keep it pretty light around here — with plenty of animals and adventures but we weren’t always so fortunate. Before moving to our home in Georgia, we lived in Washington state. Washington is a beautiful area of the country but spends several winter months with reduced sunlight and a great deal of rain. It’s difficult to imagine that such a gorgeous place could ever be dark and dreary when you experience the summer there:
Oh, but winter is NOTHING like summer. Constant rain fell for twenty-seven days in a row during Josh’s first deployment of our married life together. I could scarcely drag myself out of bed and tasks like like leaving the house or getting the mail became incredibly taxing. Apart from intense loneliness (I was 3,000 miles from home and my husband was in the war), I had no energy. Zip. All I wanted to do was curl up in a big blanket, wear my husband’s pjs, and sleep.
I discovered that I was suffering from S.S.A.D. or Subsyndromal Seasonally Affective Disorder, which is quite common in the northwest and other regions where there is reduced sunlight in the winter months. My husband and I began researching natural treatments for my depression. We found several easy ways to create positive energy in our home to combat the depression. Guess what? They worked. My good friend, Robin, encouraged me to share this information with you:
In order to increase the flow of negative ions into our home, Josh converted an inexpensive resin planter into a fountain for me. He added some bamboo and an elephant (because I LOVE elephants):
He also spent his leave (military vacation time) helping me buy and plant flowers so I would be surrounded by natural aromatherapy and vibrant colors. Color and scent are known to promote feelings of health and well-being.
Josh surprised me with a rose wreathe (which he made using real roses).
He also brought me flowers from the yard to arrange in vases throughout our house. I ended up with potted plants and flowers in every room. See why I love him so much?
We also replaced all of our lights bulbs with white light bulbs. To mimic sunlight during the darkest months (when it honestly didn’t matter whether the shades were drawn or not — the light was the same).
There are many ways to combat depression naturally. Simplifying your life and immersing yourself in the activities which promote happiness may not cure your depression or be a substitute for medication but it can’t hurt to give it a try.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with depression of any level is not to isolate yourself but to reach out because while you feel as though you are the only one — you are not.
Want to heal the past by living in the present? Check out Holly’s site, Looking Through the Glass.
April 29, 2008|Comments (13)
The evening began with Josh running around the house gathering the emergency kit, Nalgene bottle, and boots. I followed behind peppering him with questions about the child that had gone missing at the Christmas tree farm down the road which we knew about because of a police roadblock Josh passed through en route to the house. We drove down to our friends’ house (because they were a quick jog to the area being searched). Upon pulling up, we saw someone in the yard and I rolled down the window to ask if we could park at the house while helping with the search. She told us that the little girl had just been found curled up by the electric fence about 100 yards from her home. The child was fine and quickly returned to her parents. Relief washed over us and we sat in the driveway chatting with our friends while a long line of cars belonging to volunteers streamed by.
This community is not the type to bring you a ham when they find out your grandmother died or even invite you over for dinner to welcome you. In fact, you may never see them unless they are riding a lawnmower alongside the road and you can just make them out through the red clay dustcloud. BUT if your child wanders from your sight or a powerline is down and has struck your vehicle — in a few short moments, you will be surrounded by altruistic country folks with gentle south-Georgia drawls, who heard about your situation and dropped everything in their lives to help you.
And that is exactly what happened last night.
Of course, while all of this was going on… one of our guineas was plotting escape. Maybe it was the flashing lights in the distance and Little Man (our wayward guinea fowl) thought the disco was in town. Who knows? He was certainly dressed for it:
After Josh finished eating, I went to close up the guinea house and discovered that Little Man was bedded down in the neighbor’s lot. Now if he had been up in a tree, we would have left him alone but this winged and flight-capable bird decided to abandon all logic and curl up a few yards from the fox’ den of iniquity (certain death for a ground-dwelling guinea fowl). Josh brought out a blanket to throw over Little Man and I held the flashlight beam in his eyes. So Little Man waited patiently for his daddy to scale the fence and come within one foot of him to launch himself deeper into the dark woods. Josh and I ran with flashlight beams darting this way and that as we tripped, leapt, and fell over fallen trees and brush.
This is where it would have been nice to have my pick of superpowers. (Come on, like you never thought about it…) I’m thinking that x-ray vision, invisibility, and super-speed would have been just about perfect for guinea wrangling. Which would you choose?
We crashed around the front lot and attempted to herd our winged fugitive towards the guinea house where our three normal birds were snuggled on their branch with tiny white heads tucked into gray polka dot wings. Just as we rounded the corner of the house, the flood lights came on and away Little Man ran. It was close to midnight when Josh and I finally cornered Little Man between the house and backyard fence. Josh threw the blanket over our runaway, picked him up, and carried him to the guinea house. All was well on the Razor Farm. The best part? I got to cuddle up safe in the arms of my Superhero on the front porch after he’d saved the world. Golly, I love my husband.
April 28, 2008|Comments (15)
After suffering death-by-internet-provider this weekend, I began making soap (and not the soap in the ad above but if any of you have the recipe, for goodness sake: send it my way). I must tell you that soap making is one of the most relaxing activities one can tackle. We make cold-process soap around here except when I have an order from someone who needs it right away. Good old fashioned lye soap is terrific for scrubbing dishes and can be poured into luffas (like my aunt has done for years):
Somewhere along the line, lye soap got a reputation for being harsh but this has never been my experience. Washing dishes in homemade soap leaves hands baby-soft and is very gentle on the bank account (always a plus). And it gets you so clean that your mother won’t know you (I couldn’t resist):
My friend, Amanda, came over last evening for some time away from the kids and helped me make a lovely batch of oatmeal & honey soap with a mixture of fats (beef tallow, olive oil, & cocoa butter) for the base. (Finally, a good use for fat, eh?) I use silicone baking and cupcake pans as soap moulds because they are flexible and nonstick. Aren’t the little soap muffins cute? Confession: I can’t look at them very long because they make my tumbly rumbly. Want to learn how to make your own soap? Click here.
Just on a side note: have you ever noticed that in every gangster movie someone gets whacked in a bubble bath? Very clean fellows, gangsters. I guess even gangsters know the value of a good hardy soap and a warm bath.