Pallet Look Plate Rack Thingies With Chicken Wire and Rebar

Once upon a time in a dining room far far away, (so far in fact one photo shows snow)
A crazy lady decided it was time to redo her dining room.

In November '12 she bought six chairs from craigslist, where she drove alone to a strangers home to see the chairs, and lived to tell this tale.

In February the walls were painted by the crazy lady's loving husband. 

A table was made, also by the crazy lady's loving husband.

Chairs, oh the evil chairs, were painted, painted again, maybe even three times - she has blocked that info out - waxed, sanded, tacks removed, seats recovered.

She tried to describe for the man of her dreams, the vision that was in her head for the redo.

He had a hard time recreating something he could not see in her head.  But he is a patient man and humored the crazy lady instead of telling her to build the darn stuff herself.

He labored in the melting snow.

 And wrestled chicken wire.

He built.  And rebuilt, to please the woman with the vision, because she did not like his first interpretation of what he could not see in her head.

He questioned her..... "you want steel rebar rods for what???  You don't care if they are rusty???".

He took her to the electrical department so she could find galvanized caps that matched her vision, for the rebar.  He did this probably because he was tired of trying to figure out what she was talking about.

And the patient man hung the faux pallet wood plate holders on the dining room wall, with their old rusty rebar and chicken wire, where they wait for the crazy lady to wax them.  Where they wait, to be accessorized.  Where they wait for her to finish the graphics for the six chair backs so the dining room will be complete.

The dining room is patient like the man.

But the crazy lady is loosing her mind over this.

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So 'Ya Wanna Aerate Your Lawn?

What is this big orange contraption?  Well let me just tell 'ya.......

It's called a plug aerator. 

Our lawn wasn't looking so great the past couple years and one supposed answer for that problem is to aerate it.  There are a couple different kinds of aerators, the plug aerator that pulls out hunks of dirt about 3" deep and chucks them all over your grass, or the kind with spikey things that leave little divots all over your yard.

The plug kind was what the rental place had - $50 for three hours - so that's what I got. 

Yes me.  I made the decision to aerate the lawn. 

Because it just made sense last weekend, with a to-do list of 30 things, to do something that wasn't even on the list.

And I also had to clean the dirt back out of those plugs to return it back to the rental place.  Pain in the you know what.   All the pressure washer did (FYI that's my all time favorite outdoor tool to use) was splatter me from head to toe with mud.

There were five of these big jugs that had to be filled with water to weigh down the big orange thing so the plugs could dig down into the ground.  Then you drive your lawn mower all over your yard and make holes in it. 

By the time I was done I was wondering why no one tried to stop me.

Don't drive on cement, or over landscape rock, or anything else you don't want a plug to put a hole in.

As each kid came out of the house, or in the driveway, I got the same question....

"WHAT did you DO to the LAWN?".  

I was asking myself the same question.

I'll tell you right now they don't think I'm Einstein.

THIS is suppose to help FIX my lawn?????

I read up on the process and the lumps should melt back in to the ground, but do they melt right back in the 3 inch holes they left?  I'm thinking no.  So will I be getting a big toe stuck in a three inch hole every time I run around barefoot?

 I am well aware what that looks like smeared all over my yard. 

The jury is out on whether or not aerating the yard will actually help it.  A layer of fertilizer gets put on, and some weed killer, so in a month I'll have to let you know if I see any difference I can directly attribute to the aeration. 

I'll also let you know if I get a big toe stuck in the ground.

Because nothing says "welcome" to a house like dirt clods all over the nice green grass.

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Chair Back Graphics

Coming soon.......... yes really.  
The never ending dining room redo is nearing completion.
There is only one "o" in correspond and two "r"s.  
It's spelled wrong.
You can corr, I'm going to coo.
I am not changing it.

I have been working on the
six chair back graphics 
and deciding which transfer method to use.  

The drop cloth has been washed and cut, 
ready to replace this velour type fabric.

All the chair back tacks have been removed.  
All 600 of them. 

 They will NOT be polished to return them to their copper luster.
Mostly because I don't want copper luster.

The vintage bronze patina works for me, since truthfully......
there is no way in helll
I am polishing 600 little tack tops.

The chairs have all been painted and waxed and sanded.

The seat bottoms have been patiently waiting for the backs to be ready.  

Soon they shall wait no more.

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Shake Rag Alley, Mineral Point Wisconsin

 My closet at the Mineral Point Hotel

Remember my dining room chairs?  Yeah, well they're still not done.  I'd work on them today but my family is crying there is no food to eat.  I'd do chairs tomorrow but it's thrifting day.  Friday?  Ok, Friday it is.  Forget about the 10" tall grass that needs mowing and the 10 FOOT high pile of laundry.  Or those dishes that I can't seem to get washed so the kitchen is clean.

If you can forget those things for me, I'd be happy too forget them as well.

 The Mineral Point Hotel, Mineral Point Wisconsin

The story is that I have been out of town twice in the last two weeks for a total of 7 days.  All that does is make more laundry with less time to do it.

 Stairway of the Mineral Point Hotel

Everyone knows if you have a trip, there is one day preparing to go and one day re-acclimating after arriving home, so if I count in those additional 4 days, then I've been worthless around the house for 11 of the past 14 days.

(Whether I count those additional 4 days or not I've been worthless around the house.)

Lobby of the Mineral Point Hotel

Have you ever toured Wisconsin?  It's more than just cheese, although if you want cheese there is plenty to be had.  And beer.  And wine.  I lost count of the breweries, wineries and cheese stores, and I visited my fair share of both.  Wisconsin is a beautiful state and I wanna go back there, if for no other reason than the beer.  And cheese.  And wine.

Leinenkugel Beer Crates holding tourist information

Our trip started out in the northern part of the state where my little buddy Janel from Nellie Bellie lives, and ended in the southern part.  I have not figured out how to combine traveling with people who don't know I blog and also visiting bloggers, so I peeked in her windows on my way by, ate a piece of cheese and downed a beer in her honor. 

Bessies Blend, an award winner from Carr Valley Cheese, and Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewery to be exact.

There are so many little towns in Wisconsin that have a story and ooze with charm. The town of Mineral Point is no exception.  They have a very active arts council that has helped oversee a revitalization to their quaint downtown.  And they have done it very well.

 Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts hosts visiting artists who conduct hands on workshops.  Say you wanna learn about blacksmith-ing, this is the place for you.  Jewelry making.  Hone your writing skills.  Bent willow furniture making.  Photography.  Gardening.  Community plays.  Just check out their list of classes.  Antique shops, entertainment, trails, restaurants, B&B's, this town has it all and the population hasn't even hit 3,000.

Have you heard of the Little Free Library?  Take a book, leave a book.  Cute little book stands like this scattered around town.  We traveled with friends, and George is a writer so he was intrigued with this concept.

Want some wine?  They've got that too.  Local and organic.

There is also a brew pub, the Brewery Creek Restaurant, where I had the best burger of my life.  The brewery is also a B&B.  I was going to take a picture of my plate of food like good bloggers do, but I was running out of reasons to give our travel companions for why I was taking photos of odd little things.

FINE... the truth is that I ate it all before I even considered taking a picture.  Do you feel better for forcing me into that confession?  I had the specialty fries too.

The pub brews it's own beers.

View of a room entry at the Mineral Point Hotel

The owners of the Mineral Point Hotel also help run Shake Rag Alley.  I noticed the hotel is for sale, and I'm guessing the way the town is booming with shops and tourists that the owners can't keep up with both.

Our huge bathroom.  No I did not take a long, relaxing soak in the tub.  I'm not sure why, other than the bed was so comfortable I wanted to sleep.

We discovered so many interesting towns in Wisconsin, if you get a chance to go, do it.   Mineral Point was by far the highlight of our little tour.  Stop by Shake Rag Alley and find out how they were able to turn the town into a thriving little artsy mecca, then tour the town.

*All photos taken by a crummy little point and shoot camera loaned to me by my daughter because it fit so nicely in my purse.

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The Ducks Have Names

While I was away for four days my daughter patiently waited for all your suggestions on what to name her ducks, or the duckens as a certain 2 year old refers to them.

She filled their old outdoor cast iron tub, let them swim, and walked them around the yard.  And like any proud duck mom, she took photos of them.

She learned they like dandelions.  So she put that word on her list of possible names.
Dandelion and Delilah were front runners.

I barely got in the door Sunday evening and she said "lets name the ducks".

I said lets not.  Tomorrow, Monday.

So Monday rolled around and I got half ready to go buy plants and took a nap instead.  That is till she plopped down on my bed and said, "it's Monday, lets name the ducks".

I went to my blog and composed a list of all your suggestions for her to look at, which of course provided some laughs as well as last minute off shoot suggestions by me. 

There was a front runner, a name I knew she was going to like.  It sort of rolled off the tongue with the name of her other duck, Clyde, plus had personality.

So with one name down I proceeded to continue my nap as she read me the top 100 Duck names from the web.  I listened with one ear open till she said, "that's it" and sounded firm.

There was Phoebe, Delilah, Honey, and Pearl.  Ethel, Jemima, and about 5 others she really liked.  But in the end there were only two ducks, which meant just two names that she had to choose.

So I would like to introduce you to........

That means Tina from WhatWeKeep will be receiving one of Beth's sparkly hand made cake testers for suggesting the name Clementine. 

Maybe now that the task of duck naming has been completed I can get back to things like completing a dining room..........

The duckens have joined the blog hop @FreshEggsDaily From The Farm Blog Hop

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Name The Duckens

This post really is for the birds.  

It's all that it's quacked up to be.  All that and a sack of seed.

Nameless new Ducken
One son has chickens and one daughter has duckens.  What is a ducken you might ask?  It is a combination of how a certain 2 year old refers to chickens and ducks; duckens.

And two of them are living at my house.  Two Duckens, not two 2 year olds.

Klous & Clyde as babies
Clyde and Klous arrived last year this time, and this year we have a problem. 

Klous died a couple months ago.

That's not the problem.  Well... actually it is sort of.

That's Klous there on the left in his better days, back when he and Clyde used to plot how to crap on my porch together.

Don't worry I wouldn't really eat them.  There is now a nice duck home and they leave my porch alone.  Well, Klous leaves it alone since he's gone to the big pond in the sky.
The problem is that since Klous has been gone, Clyde has been lonely.  So lonely in fact he has become one with my sons chickens.  Clyde spends too much time with the girls in the hen house and now Clyde thinks he is a chicken.  He mimics the chickens, and I fear this is causing psychological issues with his identity. 

So in effect, Clyde really has become a ducken!  I will probably have to use my vacation money to hire the Duck Whisperer to help him.

Like any good mama bird, I took my 22 yr. old duck queen, along with a 5 yr. old and a 2 yr. old and off to the farm store we went where a fresh batch of baby Pekin's was waiting for us.

My daughters friend met us there with her dad and they got four ducks.  Word on the street is that duck eggs make baked goods fluffier.

I wouldn't know about that fluffy thing, Clyde and Klous never produced any eggs, but I'll tell 'ya my son's poultry is being good to us.....

See that?  Those brown ones there, next to my giant bottle of ketchup, started arriving just after I bought a dozen at the store Sunday morning.  Guess fresh eggs was my Mothers Day gift.  I think I need to learn better quiche making skills.

So in honor of all my fine feathered friends, and in memory of Klous, I turned a bird seed bag into a BIRD SEED BAG.  Did you just roll your eyes on that one?  I said at the beginning that this post was all that and a bag of seed.

I wasn't joking.

Because if feeding chickens and ducks wasn't enough I do like to keep the Robins and Bluebirds happy too.

I walked by the plain sack that already held my bird seed - which mostly the squirrels eat - and 5 minutes later with the help of stencils, black craft paint, and broken pottery as a dabbing tray,  I had a bird seed bag.

I also had bird seed all over my dining room table.

Fastest craft ever.  So fast I was inspired to pick up 3 new canvas bags for a quarter each at a garage sale. 

Anyhow, the two new ducks need names.  The 5 yr. old suggested Scratchy and French Fry.  I offered up PteroDUCtyl, (get it - like the flying dino bird?) and Marshmellow since they grow up to be big white birds.  I also mentioned Kirby and Electrolux. They laughed at me.  Brawns ideas were just as bad as mine, I guess we ran out of good names a few kids ago.

All this bird talk will see me flying the coop.  I'm heading out of town and when I get back the family is gonna vote on names for our own little duck dynasty.

So what say you?  My daughter wants two female names or gender neutral ones, so what would you suggest?  I will add your suggestions to the list we will vote on.  If she actually uses your suggestion I'll have a prize for the winner(s).  Like maybe one of the awesome cake testers she makes.......

Sample of Beth's jeweled cake testers

I mean seriously...... you've read our suggestions.  Your odds of thinking up the winning name(s) are good.

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