Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Welding Wife Project

With a shop and two year old taking up most of my days, I haven't put much effort into sprucing our home lately.  It was time for a project so I called my helper and we got to work.
Not really.
I waited until naptime since painting and my helper do not quite mix.
I scored this huge frame at a garage sale for $1!
I used some leftover paint from Lily's bathroom vanity so this was a project on a budget.
I remembered seeing something on Pinterest with photos on wood so decided to look around a little and go with that.
I used Picmonkey to make the photos sepia and resize them.  I printed them on off white card stock.
I cut boards from scraps that were in Mr. Welder's shop and spray painted the edges black.
The photos were attached to the boards with ModPodge.
(Definitely glad I used card stock to help with the wrinkling-wasn't bad but think regular paper would wrinkle too much.)
After they dried, I sanded the edges and applied a top coat of ModPodge.
Most of the tutorials I read had fancy hangers but I had nothing like that and needed to get it off my floor before my helper helped.
So I used little nails to tie a piece of twine around and hang.
Simple and not so perfect just like I like.
And we finally have some pics of my pride and joy decorating the walls now.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Favorite Job

I've "worked" since I can remember.
I've always wanted to sell stuff.
Koolaide at the end of the driveway.
Hard job when you live in the country.  We had two customers.

One summer I even convinced my mom to have a garage sale at the end of the driveway.
We had a little trailer full of random wares.  Probably stuff left from other garage sales.
I remember some tourist stopped one time-most likely looking for the compound.
They bought some of my Bart Simpson items-ha.
Then a job that accounts for countless hours of my youth-the art room.
I just knew the word would get out and people would find my little shed in the woods and buy all my lovely items such as a cow or pig made from a crushed soda can or spray painted cedar branches for Christmas d├ęcor.  And if you wanted to craft your own items, you could always tune into my Christmas special to learn how to make jingle bell ornaments, potpourri doilies, or gift bags.
And in the summer if you got on the list quick enough, you might be lucky to take part in some art classes.
"Babysitting" was another of those early jobs.
Early in the morning, I walked next door to my cousin's house and hopped into bed and slept some more until we got up and played all day.  She is two years younger than me.
And every few weeks I made extra money by cleaning the house.
I stashed my cash in an envelope hidden in a book on my shelf.

My first real job was at a veterinary office.
My biceps grew that summer from lifting the crates from the cages and the first dog that bit me was named "Angel."  I experienced many different things at this job such as putting a turkey (that had fallen off a truck) to sleep with an injection.  Poor poor turkey.

My next job involved countless hours of standing at the front desk of a hotel.
This is where I learned to talk a little louder on the phone and deal with all kinds of issues.
My favorite was turning away customers that thought they had a reservation because on certain busy weekends, the hotel would be overbooked so whoever arrived last was scooted off down the road to a rat hole.  Those were some happy travelers.
And this hotel also taught me about the parking brake on vans and how it stinks really bad and smokes if you don't turn it off before going to the airport to pick up customers.  They get a really good whiff as they load their suitcases in the back.
My next two jobs were at insurance agencies providing clerical services.  Believe me I understood insurance junk then as much as I do now.
When I moved off to college I had a few jobs in the big city.
First, I went to what I knew and worked at another hotel that is no longer there since it was demolished for the new Cowboys stadium.
They must have checked my references because they told me their insurance company only allowed employees 25 and older to drive the van.

I decided to join my best friend and work at a restaurant as a hostess next.
This job made my college years a tad more exciting meeting and working with lots of interesting people around my age.  Plus employees got a 50 percent discount on food and you know I like a bargain.
My last college job was secured days before my last semester began.
I was able to make a little money and receive college credit with this job.
I learned lots...mainly that I do love to sell but you really have to love your products to be successful at this.  It wasn't that I did not think the products were good, I just never fully grasped all the components of the binoculars and spotting scopes that were being sold but I did look like an expert gazing into one of the scopes on the brochure :)
Then it was time to move back home.
Some sad stuff happened around the time I moved back so I worked at a school with my mom for a semester, which I loved.  I just attended the high school graduation of a kid I worked with quite a bit during my time there.  He'd grown into a nice young man and probably does not remember the day he stuck his finger in his ear before licking his finger and telling me it tasted like poison ivy.
During my time at the school I had the opportunity to open my very own business, where I would sell Lady Primrose products.  I did this at a cool place downtown in a collection of shops owned by different vendors.  I had a little wall that hung by chains from the rafters and was open right before Mother's Day that year.

When school was out for the summer, it was time to look for a real job and put some of my college skills to use.  I applied for a job with a vague description in the newspaper and was lucky to get it.
At this job I learned a ton.
  First, I learned what philanthropy even meant and what a foundation was.  At the interview I was thinking I should have looked up some of the words from the website in the dictionary instead of just being excited about going to the cool old house! 
Thank goodness for a boss that taught me so much about so many things.
I grew up a lot during this job.
I got married, built a house, and helped my husband start his business.
Then we decided to start a family.

After many prayers and discussing so many options (keep working, close my shop which was now a little bigger than a wall selling Lady Primrose, stay at home with the baby), we finally decided I would quit my job after the baby was born to stay home, keep my shop open, and continue to help my husband with his business.
Two years later I couldn't be happier.

I love being a mom.
It's my favorite job.
I love my husband's business and being a part of it.
And I still love having a shop.
 Especially the time I share with my parents and husband who help me so much with it.
Oh, and who could forget my newest boss.
Thanks for giving me the best job ever, teaching me the most yet, and adding to my favorite memories.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

If Only GRASShoppers Ate the Grass in the Flower Beds...

We've had many ups and downs with our garden this year.
It was our first year trying out these new raised beds, which are each tied into our rain water tank and set up with drip irrigation.
I bought all of the plants for my herb garden at the beginning of Spring except for the front left Sage plant that was planted in the Fall in a container and survived all the crazy freezes we had.
This bed started out the strongest.
In the back bed we planted tomato plants, jalapeno plants, onion sets and cantaloupe seeds.
The tomato plants and jalapeno plants were happy and grew.
The onions rotted or disappeared.
And the cantaloupe seeds sat in the soil forever before finally deciding to sprout.

And this last bed was planted with a variety of seeds.  Cucumbers, squash, zucchini, green beans, butternut squash, and green peas.
It did not look for impressive for a very long time.
Most seeds did not sprout and those that did looked sad.
So we enjoyed the herb garden and I made my first batch of mint mojitos.
Lily had her own special drink :)
And we also enjoyed our wild blackberries.
They produced like crazy for a couple weeks.
And we took advantage and made daily visits.
Lily learned to pick the black ones and leave the red ones for later.
I made my first blackberry pie.
It overflowed a little.
The rains came and came and things were really happy.
Seeds began to sprout.
Tomatoes began growing and reddening.
And then the grasshoppers came and started destroying it all!
The cucumber plants were eaten first before we had any veggies.
We got a few squash.
The plants looked great but the squash were never that appealing for some reason.
The grass guys ate chunks out of the tomatoes so we started picking them green and letting them ripen in the window and have used them in soups and salsas-yum.
And the berries were eaten by those greedy hoppers so Lily tells us "Gone Gone" every time we pass the bushes.
Most of the herbs were stripped too so I have a bag of limes and no mint leaves for mojitos-boo.
My mom and dad have cucumbers growing out their ears and I have been making refrigerator pickles, which are delicious.
I had to buy the dill instead of using it from my garden since the grasshoppers snacked on that before I got around to using it.
My parents also had a great crop of corn, which we all love, and tons of potatoes for all kinds of dishes.
I tried to tell the varmints to go hang out in my flower beds and eat all the grass and weeds coming up, but they started munching on my shrubs and roses instead...
On a positive note, we have had been blessed with beautiful rains, the blackberries were delicious while they lasted, the mojitos were marvelous, the salsa and soup was super, and I did 12 jars of pickles last night!  Thanks seester for your help and glad I noticed the missing ingredient from the list before it was too late!
How has your garden grown this year?