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Fitzgerald Farm House Phase II

I went to Fitzgerald yesterday to see these people. Well, these people and Nana.

These are my parentals, Mark and Pam. Mama and Daddy. Pay and Reggie. Call 'em what you want.

They are building a house at our family farm and we are all very excited about it. I drove down yesterday to visit and to take a look at all the progress that I had heard about on the house. It was sort of a yucky rainy day, but it cleared up enough for me to get the grand tour and take a few pictures.

Before you see the new pictures, let's remember what the house looked like last time.

So, a little less than a month ago, the Farm House looked like this:

Hang on to your drawers folks,
because now it looks like THIS:

Pretty good, huh? We are all really impressed with how fast the house is going up.

Here's the front view from the road that you drive in on.

And here's the side.

It's fun to walk around the house and see how all the rooms are laid out now. We've been looking at the building plans and the little drawn picture of what the house is suppose to look like for so long that it is hard to believe that it's actually going to be a real live house. 

But here she sits.

The house is perfect for my family because it has lots and lots of porches. One third of the house is porch. We all love to sit outside and the farm is a good place for sitting.

From various porches on the house, you will be able to see this...

Bovine of the field...

Fishes of the sea...err...pond...

The road less traveled...

...Fruit of the Vine.
These are actually gourds. Are gourds fruits or vegetables? I don't think you eat gourds...but maybe they are squash?

A great place to sit on the porch, right? Markus and Pamela think so, and I think so, too.

Until those porches are finished, though, Daddy will sit here, on his backhoe.

The back hoe is also a good place for sitting. It's one of many backhoe benefits.


Race Day

Wow, folks! We have really been busy around here lately. I'm glad to be back to report all of our latest adventures with you, though. Let's start with this week's cross country race.

Middle school cross country races are typically 1.5 miles long whereas regular cross country teams typically run a 3.1 mile race (which is called a 5k.)

What would you do without me to let you in on all this running information?

Well, this Saturday was David's middle school cross country team's first full 5k. It was a chance for the kids to try out a longer distance and see how they would hold up.The race was right here in Macon and was a fund raiser for the Humane Society and their new shelter.

Of course since the race was "All About Animals," there were lots of doggies in attendance. I made it my job to pet every single fur ball there.

There were puppies...

and bulldogs...

and weiner dogs...

and mutts...

and this guy.

This was a fun race for the team because they were not really competing against other schools. It was a community organized race that they participated in simply for the experience of running a 5k. It was also especially fun because David got to run the race with them, rather than just getting to coach from the sidelines.

They were "all in it together," as they say on High School Musical. You have to be hip to things like High School Musical to hang with middle schoolers.

Here's the team stretching it out before the race. You have to stretch so you don't pull a hammy.

Look at this little group. Adorable. That's David in the black shirt and shorts. He is the Johnny Cash of running.

David loves these kids. He loves to run with them. He makes them love to run. He gives them popsicles.

Now, once the race actually started and everyone had taken off, I pet all the dogs again and then sat on a log to wait for the runners to come back in. This usually takes about 20ish minutes. While I was sitting on said log, something bit my toe. This bite has caused my toe to swell up to enormous proportions. 

I have since had to ice, medicate, lance, and soak my toe. I've was strung out on Benadryl all weekend.

Spectating ain't easy.

While I watched my toe swell and waited for the runners to arrive back at the finish line, I overheard some cross country parents talking to each other about how they thought that some of the kids were going to beat David. "I wonder how many of the kids will beat Coach Dark?" they snickered.

I, however, knew that Dave-O would dominate those children. Sorry man has still got it.

Coach Dark
4th Place Overall
1st Place in his Age Group

There was time after the race for canoodling with the puppies. Middle school cross country races are never too serious for a little canoodling. 

A fine time was had by all.

Happy Weekend

"Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not enjoy it enough."
Garrison Keillor

Have a happy weekend.

Circus Peanuts and Book Wreaths

When I was little, my friend Jason and I would walk to "Taylor's," a little store that was very close to my house, and buy a candy called "Circus Peanuts." They are orange and marshmallow-y and shaped like a very large peanut. My favorite color was orange and I really liked the movie Dumbo, so I think that's how I arrived at eating the Circus Peanuts. It can't be because of the way they taste. They are kind of yucky.

But despite their yucky-ness, I can't resist buying Circus Peanuts when I see them for sale anywhere. (They are not readily available these days...I can't imagine why.) When I eat that peanut shaped marshmallow, it makes me feel like I am a little girl rejoicing in the simple pleasures of summer and spending time with sweet friends.

Camp Take Me Away is like eating a giant Circus Peanut.

CTMA is a retreat for women who camped or worked at Camp Desoto in years gone by. For 5 days, they get to be campers and re-live the summers that they spent on the mountain. Many of the ladies are dear old friends and some are new faces, but they all have a common experience that binds them together.
Can you imagine how fun it would be to go to one of your favorite places with your favorite people?!

It is probably my favorite week to work at camp. Thank you, Camp Desoto, for letting me be a part of this retreat!
Now, let's get down to business. I taught crafts for Camp Take Me Away, and this year we made fun fancy wreaths. Just look at these Craft Mama's working their fingers to the bone!

The ladies made so many different and beautiful wreaths...I wish that I had a picture of each one to show you.

Here is an example wreath that I made. This one is wrapped in burlap and decorated with bright felt flowers...

The other example I made is covered with pages of an old book. How great would this be for a book club? It could be cool to use an old hymnal or music book for this project, as well. Love it!

What's that?
You want to know how to make your own book wreath?
Well, let's do it!

Book Wreath Tutorial

First you will need a straw wreath form and burlap cut into approximately 2 inch strips. For a 24 inch wreath, you will need about a half yard of burlap.

Wrap the burlap strips around your wreath. Secure ends with hot glue or straight pins.

Next, you will need an old book. You could just as easily use a new book, but the yellowed pages of an old book give the wreath more interest. Carefully cut, or gently tear, the pages from the book.

Roll each page into a little scroll and secure with hot glue.

Tie each scroll with twine. I mostly tied singular scrolls, but I also tied a dozen or so multiple bundles (2 or 3 scrolls tied together). It will take about 75 scrolls to cover a wreath.

Use strait pins or hot glue to secure the scrolls to the wreath. Here's a helpful hint...I glued my multiple scroll bundles (2's and 3's) to the wreath first in even increments (think of a clock- tie bundles at 12, 3, 6, and 9) and then filled in between those.

Glue a small loop of twine to the back of the wreath as a hanger.

Hang. Enjoy. Admire.

That's all there is to it! Easy Peasy.

Go find yourself some Circus Peanuts, pretend you're at Camp Take Me Away, and make a book wreath.

Lovin' ya.
Mel Dark

handmade projects

The Price You Pay

This past week I went to Camp Desoto to teach crafts for a retreat. The retreat is called Camp Take Me Away and I will tell you all about it. But not now. Now is not the time for that.

Right now, I am going to tell you about how I paid $21.34 for this tube of chap stick.

I'm going to level with you.I have a lip balm addiction. I have approximately five tubes stashed in strategic places around our house and I keep one tube on my personage at all times. There are two tubes in my purse, one in my nightstand, one by the couch, and a back-up supply in the bathroom. Putting on chap stick is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to bed.

I am aware that I have a problem. I am not ready to change.

I use Burt's Bees Lip Balm Replenishing (the pomegranate kind). I love it. It treats me right.

Due to a series of unfortunate packing events, I found myself at camp with only one tube of Burt's. This would have been just fine, I mean I really only NEED one, but on Friday night that tube ran out.

I panicked. I pushed the stick all the way up and ran it over my lips, the plastic edges scraping my mouth, to try and get the last little bit out so I could sleep.

As soon as I had a free moment the next day, I drove out of camp and into town on a mission. Camp Desoto is in a teeny weeny town in Alabama. The nearest drugstore or grocery store is about 45 minutes down the mountain. I went to the little market in town, sure that they would have SOMETHING. I would have been happy with just generic chapstick. I was desperate.

I looked around and all they had was Carmex. The kind you put on with your finger. I am adamently opposed to applying lip balm with my fingers. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I got back in the car and drove a little further down the mountain. I knew that the next town had a Dollar General, just a few minutes away.

I pulled into the Dollar General parking lot, quickly grabed my wallet, hurried inside, and found good ol' cherry ChapStick. Thank goodness. I paid $1.34 and headed back out to my car.

The car doors were locked.
The keys were inside.
The motor was running.

How does that even happen?
I opened up my chapstick. Applied it about 5 times and thought the situation over awhile.

I determined that things were not so good.

I swallowed my pride, went back into the Dollar General, and explained to the sweet cashier what I had done in the name of lip balm.

She told me to call 911 and see if the police would come. I didn't think that they would, but I called 911 anyway because I had never done it before and I'd always wanted to. (Did you ever watch Rescue 911 on television?)

The police would not come unlock my car. I understand their reasoning... lawsuits and whatnot.

Then, the manager of Dollar General came out of her office and the cashier told her what was going on.

The manager, who was about my age, asked me who my husband was. To me, this seemed like a weird question, but I figured I had time, so why not.

I said, "David Dark" and applied more chap stick.

She said, "I thought so."

It turns out, she had known David when he worked at Alpine and lived on the mountain. Her name is Lori. Thank goodness for small towns.

She called a fella named Skippy. Skippy arrived clad in his overalls and with toolbox in hand. I felt better the moment he stepped on the scene. He was the type of person you inherently trust. Within 20 minutes Skippy, with the help of several other concerned Dollar General patrons, had unlocked my car. Everyone yelled "ROLL TIDE" in celebration (I was in Alabama and it was gameday).

I hugged Skippy, Lori, and the sweet cashier.

Skippy only charged me $20 for unlocking my car. Just enough to cover his gas. He had driven his big wrecker truck from 15 miles away.
I am so grateful for kind and helpful people in my path.

For the love of chap stick and good people.

Outside My Window...

Hi friends.

I've been out of of town for 5 days and just returned today. My trip was so much fun and I can't wait to tell you all about it, but I have to say that I am very glad to be home. I missed the Dave and the dogs.

When I got home today, I was so suprised to see all the comments from you guys on Facebook and here on the blog. Thanks, everyone, for reading. Its nice to feel connected with you. You're nice people and I'm proud to know ya. Let me know how your granola turns out!
In other news, look what's growing outside my kitchen window...

It makes washing dishes almost enjoyable. I'm excited that fall, and some cooler weather, is on its way, but it won't be long until I'll miss all the bright green trees, the blue sky, and the mounds of flowers around our house. They'll be back, though. I love that seasons give us something to look forward to, don't you?

It's good to be home.

House Tour: Upstairs "Before"

Welcome back to the House Tour. Now it's time to take a looksy upstairs, where all three bedrooms and our bathroom are located. Let's go.

I love these stairs.  I want to have an "eighty's prom" themed party and take all the couple's picture on the stairs. I think they are the perfect "prom picture" stairs, don't you?

Here's the lovely carpeted landing, from whence all the rooms branch off.

David thinks this little light is hilarious. It is bedazzled and when you turn it on, it casts a eery red glow. He wants it to be the last thing we change in the house.

Here's our bathroom. We pulled all the wallpaper down before we took this picture. The paper would just peel off in your hand. I wish you could have seen it, though. It was brown equestrian themed Ralph Lauren wall paper. Top that.

Here you can see the brown paint that matched the brown wall paper. Can we just all say that this is a poor color choice for a bathroom? Okay, good.

Here's our bedroom.  That's the closet door. With one of those fancy schmancy tie holders on it.

Here's where the bed goes. Check out those sconces. Wow!

This is the view of the bedroom if you are standing in front of the windows. That door leads back out to the hallway.

The guest bedroom, or what we like to call the "shiny navy blue room."

That's the closet door sticking out in front of the window. We have no explanation to offer you as to why the walls are painted glossy midnight blue. Your guess is as good as mine.

This is the third bedroom or office. That's another open closet door. I'm not sure why all my closet doors were ajar when I took these pictures.

When is a door not a door?
When it's a jar.

Get it? That's my Nana's joke. You can send the fan mail to her.

Well, that's it for the "Before" tour. I can't wait to show you all the work we've already done and the projects that we have planned.

Happy Hump Day.

P.S. If you subscribe to Greener Grass in a reader, you probably got a partial post from me this morning. I accidentally hit publish. YIKES! That post will be finished and coming your way later in the week. Thanks.
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