Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh My Chickens!

So, as promised, here are photos of our chicken progress. We are getting dangerously close to completing the chicken coop project. When I say "we", I mean Greg is getting close to completing the project. He has been working diligently on it. I can say with complete honesty that this husband of mine is incredibly talented. I mean, to the point of I drew the chicken coop I envisioned for our humble little back yard, and with some minimal thought, he figured out what he needed and what we had on hand. I am pleased to say, our coop is pretty "green". Mostly out of necessity of very limited funds, but also because it would be a terrible waste to throw out the scrap wood we had laying around the place. So, our quaint little coop is probably the sturdiest structure on our property. The framing is our old sea wall from a few years ago that had passed it's prime. We have only had to purchase several 2x4's and the roofing (which is fiberglass panels).

The beginning stages, after several days of salvaging old boards out of the garage and back cement patio behind the garage and shed.
And, this was the coop/run as of last night. The framing Greg is finishing in this photo is for the external nesting box. We wanted something that was easy access in all weather that we could get eggs without having to enter the coop. The left side of the coop in the pic is of the "people" door where I will access the coop to clean it. All complete with a window that Greg was able to salvage from an old storm door. The run's entrance door is from an old screen door he found in the rafters of the garage. Clever man....
Some pretty nice digs for a few silly hens.... :) Without further ado... here are our girls.... They are about 6 weeks old in these photos. Ruby is our Partridge Cochin (the camera hog in the front of both pix). Opal is the Barred Rock, Pearl is the Buff Orpington and Esmerelda (Ezzie) is our Golden-Laced Wyandotte. Our sweet Sheltie, Garrett is enthralled with the girls. Spends most of his free time herding them from one side of their cage to the other. The photo above is right after Opal pecked him in the nose. Silly boy...

I will update with more photos once they are in their new house. So excited for them!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oh...how I miss internet....

So, in case you haven't figured out already... we are without internet service at home currently. We were having lots of problems with our satellite service - like there was none! I also joined the YMCA in February... I know... anyway, in our current budget strategy, it was either internet or the gym. How responsible of me to pick the gym - huh? To be fair though...I do have internet service on my blackberry...not the speediest or convenient for typing long-winded blog or Caring Bridge updates, but I am able to check emails fairly regularly through it. Our internet issues may be over soon as Greg is getting a new phone in a couple of weeks for his birthday and it is a mobile hotspot for wireless internet... I can smell the wasted hours on the internet already.

Anywho... we've had a busy few months. I recently entered my kind-of-in-shape self in a race in downtown Angola on June 19th. Please pray I can finish the race without either A. having heart failure or B. embarassing myself by tripping or (as a nightmare apparently confirmed last night) being late for the race while wearing jeans and having to pee REALLY bad. Ha! Silly what we do to ourselves isn't it?

We took Delaney camping over Greg's first vacation in May. Had big plans for spending a few days at Pokagon in our new ridiculously huge tent, but once again God had other plans...sent a nice little thunder storm our way for the second evening, so had to pack up after one (very frigid) evening. Between the freezing temps and the persistent racoons, my darling husband didn't get much sleep the first evening. As you'll see in photos, lil' D is wearing hat, gloves and winter coat on our camping trip. Always something with the Williams'!
Delaney has been riding "her" pony lately. Hasn't been riding as much as she would like, of course. It's like her silly mommy does that for a living or something and has a hard time getting up the motivation to take her riding after doing that all week! Anyway, enjoy some photos of her riding Duke. So cute! I'm hoping to get her in her first show by mid-summer. Stay tuned for details of that coming soon.

Greg and I had a great time at the Jimmy Buffet concert on May 15th. We took a party bus (seriously, it was a Cardinal motor coach bus - it's in the background of our photo here) to Indy to see Jimmy. There were approximately 40 of us on the bus... what else is there to say about that? :) Love how at the beginning of this post, Delaney is wearing hat, gloves and a coat and now this next part is her in her tiny bikini swimming in our bathwater temperature lake! We have been thoroughly enjoying our lake this summer so far. It has been warmer this last week than the entire summer last year! Crazy...She is such a big girl. Her hair is - finally - long enough to put in piggy tails...which she tells me "everyone loves her in piggy tails, but they really hurt me". So, like most women I know, she suffers with the pain to look good!

Our newest additions to the Williams' house... chickens!! We are now the proud parents of 4 beautiful little hens. Well, they are technically pullets (immature hens), but thought that might be a tad too much info for most of my readers. We (that means me and Delaney) love our girls! We have a Barred Rock (Opal), Buff Orpington (Pearl), Partridge Cochin (Ruby) and Golden-Laced Wyandotte (Esmerelda). Poor Garrett hasn't had a wink of rest since the girls moved in. Yes, I said moved in... they have been living in our home, right next to the tv since early May when they were only 1 day old! I wanted them to be bonded to us, quiet with the dogs and safe from whatever vermon is lurking in the shadows of the woods behind us. My very handy darling husband has been working on our chicken coop this week. Probably the fanciest chicken coop in Orland - not saying much... We are painting it white and I'm contemplating painting some flowers or something on it. Hey, they are girls you know. As you can guess by now, these are not "eatin'" chickens...they are "layin'" chickens. So...I'll have to let you all know in a couple of months how are delicious all-natural fresh eggs are! I'll post photos of them soon...they are getting soooo pretty.

Delaney is officially in a big girl bed. It was delivered this Saturday... it's beautiful! I repainted her room and changed the decor. I will post one photo, but now that we have the rest of her accessories up, I'll take another photo and get that posted too.

Thanks for checking on us! I need to update Caring Bridge too... and have really run out of time...so will update more soon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mini-vaca, Etsy shop opening and Intensives...

Hello from balmy, sunny, warm Indiana... right....
I know we live in the Midwest and it IS only February 1st, but my goodness, this is excruciating. Guess I'm more aware of it since I:

a. Was in Florida for a day and a half

b. Have been outside in it last weekend and for the next few weeks with the horses

Suppose I am just more of cold weather sissy as I age. Don't like to admit the sissiness to anyone, but I'm fully aware of the cold weather sissiness. Perhaps I should have learned to enjoy more outdoor winter sports as a kid, so that I could embrace the weather.

Speaking of Florida, my momma and I did a whirlwind trip to Venice, Florida last week to take our good friend's dog down to them in their condo. He was an absolute angel for the entire 2 day ride. Couldn't ask for a better dog...especially considering he is a 100 lb. standard poodle who is notorious for being a "bit" rambuctious. We arrived late Tuesday afternoon and due to the weather system coming through Kentucky and Tennessee the next evening, we left at 12:30am the next night. Thankfully, the weather was amazing on the day we were there, I even managed to scorch my delicate, sunscreen slathered, Indiana skin in a matter or hours.

Never mind the fact I have been ill the ENTIRE month of January...seriously...some sort of junk in the system since New Year's Eve. Driving home from southern Florida in one day sure didn't help with that bit of annoyance. But, mom and I did make it home in 21 hours. Anyway...thought I would share some photos:

Below is the debut of Nichole's Etsy shop J. Lea Designs! Not sure who/what is cuter...this awesome newsgirl crocheted hat or her sweet baby, Avenlea!? Check out her shop if you get a chance. She made an adorable pillowcase dress for Delaney for Christmas, that I promise I will get photos posted of soon. I'm totally lovin' all her crocheted hats, and more than a bit envious of her talents. I'm hoping to see what she has in store for little man Jackson's fashion. I'm assuming it will be an amazing newsboy hat in all the appropriate colors!

I start another intensive today...it's been awhile and the horses and myself are more than ready to get out and get connected again. Hoping to post some photos soon of some of the playing we have been doing together. Not sure who loves it more, me or the horses.... There are some incredible things happening in the coming months with the horses and the healing center. Between the 4-legged and 2-legged therapists involved...you should be able to see a warm magical glow coming from this part of the state soon. We had a great meeting a couple weeks ago about what our goals and visions are for the center and I believe we all have the same vision for what we can do for people and horses all over, not only our area, but the country. Really anxious to share all of the amazing stories with you. I am working on getting everything in to written form, so it will be a tad easier to share. Dreams really do come true...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Crafty Daddy...

Below is my newest addition to the domestic diva club... I have started to make my own laundry detergent. Hate to get all "Martha" on ya, but I LOVE how it looks in the glass jars. Almost hate to put it away in the cupboard where no one can see it ... almost.

I can only hope and pray that Delaney gets half the talent she is surrounded by. My mom is an excellent cook, seamstress, quilter, baker...my dad is great with woodworking and crafts... and my MIL is a wonderful quilt maker and decorator. I have a couple talents up my sleeve as well, but nothing like our parents. My dad made us the flag for Christmas. We currently have it hanging on our wall until the weather is nice enough to hang it outside. It's articulated so it can swing in the wind...very cool. The vase/candle holder to the right is also another of my dad's creations. He made this one for my birthday. I love that he used recycled glass containers to attach the stones to and then soldered copper wire around the rim. Cannot wait until it gets dark tonight so I can light it and see how it glows with the clear stones.

The random photo on the top left is an awesome milk glass vase I scored at a yard sale a few years ago for $0.25! And the lovely flowers you ask??? From my sweet hubby for my birthday...
Off to work on some more scrapbook pages while the sweet baby is in a full slumber... Dogs are snoozing on the couch, cat is recovering from his latest (daily) hairball and I'm being lulled in to a slight coma by the sound of our dryer working it's magic for the 3rd time on the same load of clothes... no joke.

More pages , Day 2

Here are a few more pages that I have recently completed. I am going to attempt to add the pages from now on to a link that takes you to Picasa. I believe I can then just add pages to the picasa page and you can click on it and see all the pages. My friends, Nichole and Darcy have that feature on their blogs, so I am going to attempt to do it as well. I really should try to embrace more of this free technology I am surrounded by.
In the same thinking... not sure how to pull this off, but I am also going to try and upload some videos of Delaney on here as well. I can upload photos and text on to her Caring Bridge page, but I am unable to add videos.
Below are a couple pages I did for Carter's book
This was a page I did before Carter was born. The right two are from Charity's shower.
Below is the page on Carter's room. Charity designed this room and the pictures really do not do it justice. It is gorgeous. Since these photos were taken, not only did they add a baby, but they also added some funky cool curtains and some chinese lanterns above the crib. Her 7 month pictures
Her 4 week photos
I haven't done too many pages that don't involve Delaney in some way, but this page was on our World Pulse Festival concert we attended in South Bend last August. So fun! Raining, then smokin' hot, but still tons of fun.
My first Christmas page. I have tons more ideas for our other Christmas photos, but thought this first one turned out acceptable.
One of my favorite photos... my little brother Alec and Delaney. Plus, I have been itchin' to use this fabulous paper. Love, love, love it!
I got an amazing Scrapbooking accessory rolling tote for my birthday from my Mom and Brianne. I find myself fantasizing about buying all kinds of little trinkets to fill it up with. I didn't buy many of those things before, mainly because I really had no good way of storing it and then also finding it when I needed it. Honestly, the other reason was I'm not sure what to do with the accessories. They all look so fun, but not sure how to use them. Guess I should do some more scrap classes to learn about all the money I could be spending on stuff that I really don't need! But, again... fun! I guess I look at this scrapbook as something Delaney will have to look at as she grows and I really want to make it interesting to look at so she can tell her own story about the photos as she gets older.
That's all for now, thanks for checking on us again!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where Have I Been?.... Scrappin' perhaps....

My oh My...how time does fly...
I cannot believe I haven't updated this silly blog for over 6 months! I should have a ton of excuses as to how busy I/we are and how I have a 2 1/2 year old (yep, 2 1/2 already) that takes up all my time, but honestly... I busied myself with other tasks, some important - like enjoying the summer, lots and lots of horse related stuff, outdoor concerts for the hub and me, then holidays... some not so important, like...hmmm, don't really remember the "not important" things, as it should be! You get the idea. So, got the opportunity to get caught up on some scrapbooking that I have also been neglecting and thought this was the perfect venue to show it off or to share photos with all of you that may have not seen yet.

We did have an addition to the family since I last wrote. Carter Richardson Middleton was born on August 28th of last year. He is absolute perfection! Delaney's first cousin and the first grandson. Part of his "thanks for being born" presents, I presented Charity and Seth with a scrapbook and paper (incompleted). I told her I would work on his scrapbook since I like doing it and she... not so much at this time. So, I was able to get about 10 pages done for him/her before Christmas. I have tons more to do - he's 4 months old already! He is so sweet and he's HUGE...seriously. When you stand him up next to Delaney, he comes to her shoulders. Poor D, she is probably always going to be the little one amongst friends and family. Guess that isn't such a bad thing.

I have tons more to add, but the computer decided it didn't want to cooperate this morning and it took over an hour to get these few pages uploaded. Awesome... anyway, enjoy, feel free to browse around and I will upload more soon (as in tonight if the mood strikes me!).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Garden...

I put a capitol "G" in the title to make it sound way more impressive than it really is! Thought I would take some photos of my landscaping/gardening. Not necessarily as an inspiration to others as much as a reminder as to what it looks like this year compared to next . I'll try to tell you what each are, just common names, I truly cannot remember any latin names. Of course, I'll have to throw in some random Delaney photos too.. she's too cute to not take pictures of!
The pictures really don't do it justice, I'm in need of a new camera for sure!
Catmint in full bloom... love, love, love this perennial! Hostas (sum and substance) in the background with new potted specimens!
Papyrus, bacopa, scented geranium, a mini daisy, ice crystal plant, silver dollars and gold lantana. Very happy with the pot this year... the papyrus is my new favorite annual.

Globemaster Alium.

My ginormous (it's a word, I'm sure) Sum and Substance Hosta. I planted three by the deck on the side of the house and the largest (pictured) is over 3 feet tall! It has completely enveloped this 3 foot tall solar light. The other two aren't quite as tall, but still just as full. I love it, but afraid this big boy will have to be divided this fall.
Stella D'Oro day lily, maroon columbine, bearded irises (that have obviously been messing around with the neighbors irises since I planted violet and now have yellow and lavender!), white impatiens (which I only plant white annuals, to connect all the beds together, they glow in the dark, fill in blank areas and give the chaos of all the colors in the garden some soothing consistency)
My new birdhouse from my mil for mother's day this year - we have a beautiful little wren living in it with her small family. Japanese silver grass (another favorite in my garden), buttercups, shasta daisy, maiden hair miscanthus, candy lily and black-eyed susans.

Candy cane dianthus, candy tuft (new this year), yellow yarrow, buttercups

Our new arbor that my dad made us for Christmas... I added lights, but it's in need of a redo, not happy with the way it looks in the day, at night... whole different story, it really defines the front garden from the back. My dad also engraved "Laney Bug" on the right side and "Greg and Kara" on the other.

Larger view of arbor. Buttercups, dianthus, Maiden hair miscanthus and white impatiens

Martha Washington Clematis. The "trellis" is old metal side rails to Greg's futon that he had before we were married. I put a rail on each side of the garage window. So far, so good. This is my first attempt at growing clematis. The key: keep their feet cool and their heads hot. Translates in to: a pot, large rock, small bale of straw covering the roots and in full sun.

I bought two cute little wooden chairs at a roadside junk sale on my way home from lessons a couple of weeks ago. They cost me $1 for both! So, they are now some "hardscaping" for the garden. This one is perched atop a hosta that has not been cooperating for a couple of years. It should look like the rest of them surrounding the chair, but has either succombed to being a snack for my garden visitors or has decided that it doesn't particularly care for it's neighbors. It has until next year to become a contributing force to this area, or it will be moved!

Another view, just trying to be "artsy"...

The other cute, el cheapo chair from the junk sale. Lime green w/violet spiderwort and dark green w/white spiderwort.

Buttercups... they are usually wide open, but it was sort of a gloomy day, so they weren't fully open, but just as pretty and interesting... oh, and they spread like wild fire, so beware if planting!

The cutie pie random Delaney photos I promised... strolling through the gardens...

Our buttercup smelling the buttercups!
Most of the rocks as borders and accents are compliments of the Talmage farm! That was many trips with small trucks and our little Suzuki to get that many rocks home. I am in need of another 2 or so loads, which means back to the rock piles.