• gardening and landscape,  Ireland

    Living in Ireland: That Time A Tree Came Down

    In mid-August the Irish village I live in started replacing sections of sidewalks (aka footpaths) on our street. It’s now October and they are still working on it. One might assume I live on a really long street. Nope. Not at all. There are probably 14 houses along this stretch of road. One might also assume this construction crew is juggling projects all over the area. Wrong again! I know this because I finally broke down and asked. Anyway, the point is I like to judge things I have no expertise in I don’t understand why, but it’s taking a really long time to replace the sidewalks. So imagine my surprise when…

  • decorating,  gardening and landscape

    Natural Rock Soap Dish

    The last day of our trip to the U.S. was pretty special. First, we got to spend the morning playing with friends. Can’t go wrong there. After that, I ran into my very first piano teacher. There are a few people God gifted with a sweet spirit and an abundance of talent and she’s one of them. You really need to see her portfolio of oil paintings. (image: Nathelle Norfleet) Then, my son got a lesson on how to operate the tractor bucket. Apparently, he now thinks that makes him qualified to help Grandpa make hay next year. He’ll be 8. Finally, we capped the day off with a trip…

  • gardening and landscape,  Ireland

    Living in Ireland: Spring Flowers in Our Yard

    Can you believe it is April already? Time sure is flying! Last April we visited Ireland for the first time. It was rainy, windy and miserable. To which we said, “Yeah! Let’s move here!” Now that I have an Irish winter under my belt, I can say spring in Ireland means the rain is…a little bit warmer. Ha! There are nice days too. More than you’d think. One thing I’ve learned is that the Irish do not squander a nice day or a nice hour. I’m a quick learner, so I try to follow their example! Sunday was super nice here (upper 50s Fahrenheit – practically summer weather), so I spent…

  • decorating,  gardening and landscape

    The Tale of 3 Houseplants

    I bought a houseplant. Yay me. It’s still sort of alive a month later. Yay me? It’s not looking good though, which is a shame because I had to carry it home from the grocery store like this. People don’t even look at you strange here for carrying home a plant on the train. I’m not confident the plant is going to survive. Something weird is going on with the soil. And the stem. If we’re going to be thorough, then fine. The leaves too. As for the obvious question, yes, I have watered it. And not just that one time. I have dutifully followed the directions that came on its…

  • decorating,  DIY,  gardening and landscape

    Shovel Head Owl Art

    It’s hard to find an appropriate title for “she took a rusty old shovel head and a bunch of random metal scraps and made something cool.” But that’s what happened. As you might have guessed, this is a Junk Whisperer project. Who else do I know that would turn a shovel head into a funky, awesome piece of outdoor art? No one. The Junk Whisperer had the vision for this shovel art project, but she used the mad welding skills of my uncle to make her vision come to life. Interestingly enough, my uncle is quite the talented guy, as are many of my relatives. He made my first car –…

  • gardening and landscape

    Riveter Tool Turned Hanging Flower Basket Holder

    (House hunting in Ireland has commenced! Updates coming soon! If you’re just joining me today, I wrote about why we are in Ireland on Monday.) If chippy paint makes your heart skip a beat, then consider yourself warned. Heart palpitations may follow. Behold the machine I call Red the Riveter. (Rosie was already taken.) This gorgeous, chippy red hunk of equipment is an old rivet press. At least, that’s our best guess. It would have been used to make rivets in leather and textiles. Now it stands tall and proud in the backyard of the Junk Whisperer’s home. (The Junk Whisperer is my stepmom and she really needs her own page on this blog.)…

  • gardening and landscape

    My Childhood Bathtub

    We arrived safely in Ireland (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this post) and are recovering from jet lag. We’re also waiting for our luggage to arrive, but that’s not the end of the world. Enjoy this post while I try to figure out what time zone I’m in.  Like a lot of people, I grew up in a house with one bathroom. We had a bathtub and no shower. It was super awesome. Want to see what that bathtub looks like now? Trust me. This is a MILLION times better than the bathtub used to look. I didn’t even know the bathtub had those awesome feet,…

  • decorating,  DIY,  gardening and landscape

    Bowling Ball Lawn Orb

    What do you do when your local bowling alley is getting rid of old bowling balls for free? Uh, jump for joy? Not while holding the bowling balls though. I’ve heard bowling alleys often end up with cracked or damaged bowling balls and they’d rather give them away to DIYers than fill up their garbage cans. I imagine the garbage man likes it a lot better too. I’d like to know if this is true in places other than my small hometown. Let me know! One thing you can do with an old bowling ball is make a decorative lawn orb. It’s easy to make one, but it does require a…

  • decorating,  gardening and landscape

    Rusty Machine turned Bird Bath

    Have you ever heard an artist or songwriter being interviewed about their latest work of art or song? The interview always asks them to tell the audience what their creation stands for or how it should be interpreted. I keep waiting for someone to say, “I ate a messy cheeseburger, wiped my hands on the canvas and then decided to see if anyone would pay for it.” No one ever says that! Instead, many of them will be super ambiguous about their creations and want to leave it up to the viewer or listener to form their own impressions of said art. Well, that sort of happened to me this week. Not…

  • decorating,  gardening and landscape

    Where’s Your Happy Place?

    The Junk Whisperer has a “this is my happy place” sign on the outside of her potting shed. It does beg the question. Where is your happy place? Have you ever thought about it? I’m guessing a lot of people would say the beach or the mountains or the lake is their happy place. I used to think my happy place was standing outside the car for that 5 seconds of quiet after you buckle your screaming toddler in the car and shut their door. Of course, that 5 seconds and a few deep breaths does go by so quickly before you have to open your car door and get on with the…