February Art Challenge: Take A Picture Outside Your Home

This past week has been interesting weatherwise. Sunday through Monday it snowed. It didn’t snow on and off. It didn’t snow a little. It snowed consistently for at least 24hrs.
Those in the northeast will mock me. Those is the deep south will be horrified. Here in my little part of eastern Kentucky, we got between 15-20 inches of snow.
Thankfully, it was light snow. If it was the heavy stuff, a collapse in society may have taken place. More on that shortly.
The light snow came, then the below freezing temps, then some more snow (the heavy kind), then the sleet, then just ice, then the temps went up above freezing, and finally the rain.
The light snow from earlier in the week had melted and refrozen where the salt trucks had scraped and have created barriers to the water causing it to sit in the roads. Water that does make it to the creeks, along with ice chunks, have caused some flooding. To add to the water misery, our water utilities have been shut off.
I could go on a tirade about the water, or how people seem to believe that it is OK to put your truck’s front bumper right on my back bumper. Yeah, I’m looking at you large pickup truck obviously bought to compensate for SOMETHING…ass…but I’m not.
As much as I hate being stuck, it has been nice to just read a book, do a sketch, play the ukulele, see my parents, and not feel like I need to run anywhere. The snow was beautiful…the ice, not so much. I got to spend my birthday with my parents just enjoying the day. I was able to help my Dad shovel his road and I’m really thankful I could do that on a couple of levels.
So, while I probably will gripe about certain aspects of this last week, particularly that douchebag in the pickup, there are a lot of things I am truly thankful for.
I’m going to try to remember that while I boil water for my sponge bath.

Oh! Here’s my pic from outside.

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This was taken while on a break from shoveling my parent’s driveway. My Uncle Preston and my Papaw built a treehouse for me and my brother. Since our home burnt down in ’04, it has served as a storage place for items we are still too bound up to look through.
We always say we’ll go through it, but we don’t. Maybe it’s easier to forget what you have than remember what you lost?
Still, it’s one of my favorite places and seeing it reminds me of games played, times with friends, and, most importantly my uncle, grandfather, and brother – my first friend.

My buffalo chicken tacos

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For our 1 year wedding anniversary, my husband took us (me and the baby!) out to this new Mexican restaurant we have in town called Coba Cocina. It has this beautiful fish tank, and the food is delicious! It’s a very modern take on some Mexican dish favorites. We had nachos for an apetizer; they were individually made nachos. Amazing!
My inspiration for today’s recipe came from the delicious buffalo chicken tacos I had! At Coba Cocina, they lightly fried the chicken, then covered it with delicious buffalo sauce, and topped it with a coleslaw. Since, I couldn’t fry to save my life, and I’m a busy mom, I came up with a recipe that takes 5 minutes to put together, and you let the crock pot do the rest!

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Pinterest Pin Review: Colorful Wood Frames

Me and my husband have lived in our house for almost two years now, and I hardly have anything on the walls! I finally hung a few prints, but no family pictures. Seriously, I had a wall full of family photos in the apartment we occupied prior to buying our home. Pitiful, I know! Part of my reasoning for not hanging anything is, the frames I have are cheap, and are falling apart, and I haven’t brought myself to replacing them all. The other reason: pure laziness!

This week I’m going to use Pinterest to motivate me to finally put pictures on the wall! Today’s pin is from Chic Shindigs. She has a few DIY home things to enjoy, and recently she blogged about her new house, and I hope she has more to share! The chosen pin: colorful wood picture frames.

I have to admit, I almost didn’t do this pin. When I walked into Hobby Lobby, a few steps into the store, there they were! Already painted and (some) ready to be hung wood plaque frames! So, I decide to check them out. They are really nice, and would save time, but there was a few things I didn’t like. Only some of the frames were ready to hang, and the ones that were, only came in one size. The larger sizes were basically wood plaques with a square cut out of them. No backs, no hanging wire on them, and no glass. My biggest hang up was the price. Prices ranged from $15-$30. I would not mind to pay that if I didn’t know I could make it cheaper! If you’re like me, you prolly have half the things you need for this project; mod podge (and if you don’t have that, you can make some), paint (I’ll be using spray paint), you may even already have some pictures you want to use. All I had to buy were the wooden plaques which were 2.99 for the size I picked. I didn’t make time to check other stores, but, you may be able to find them cheaper. By the way, one of my favorite places to get pictures, especially if I want them fast and cheap: Walgreens. I only paid $.80 for 4 4×6, and they always have great deals!

This project hardly took a day to make. Like I said, I used spray paint, and I would do a quick coat in between taking orders from my baby (sometimes that would mean I would only have a 10 minute window of time!). One thing I love about this project is how creative you can get. I decided to center a smaller picture, making the plaque frame the work. The blog took the picture to the edge, which. My next set I think I might experiment with texture like lace. I also like how fast the turn over is. Waiting for things to dry is the longest/hardest part! The one down side to this project is figuring out how to mount it. The blog shows you one way, by using a stand. I have a picture hanging kit that I will be using. I’m sure you more creative people out there could fashion some kind of hanging system…channel your inner MacGyver.

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Our favorite spray paint is Valspar paint and primer in one. It takes less coats to cover your object, and it has such a beautiful finish!
You’ll notice that the pictures look white from the mod podge, don’t worry! It dries clear! Make sure to do light coats of it though, and with each coat, finish in a different direction. It’ll give it a beautiful, hatch mark finish, like a canvas and, if you bought the glossy mod podge, there won’t be such a glare in the finish. One of my pictures I thought I did hatched, but didn’t, and you will see in my final pictures, it looks a little more glared, and it looks like I painted it VS a more canvas finish. Also, on my blue picture you’ll notice I used too much hod podge, and you can tell. It’s still a nice product, but, it’ll be something I will notice forever!

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Here’s a picture of my final product! I let them dry over night. Another boo boo I made last night was, I didn’t wait long enough between coats, and the previous coat tried to come off. So, be patient, and allow ample time between coats.

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I love this way of framing pictures! I love bright, bold colors, and my color choice on my walls can attest to that! The best part though, when people come over and ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ ‘where did you get those done?!’ You get to tell them ‘I made it!’ And please, give your best super hero/heroine pose when you say it! You’ll be beaming, I promise!

This is an awesome project, it didn’t take up a lot of time, space, or money! Have fun, and post any ideas for this project in the comments. Also, I recommend giving any blog I link a read! These are some awesome people, with some kickass ideas!

Classic Rock Thoughts

‘A love struck Romeo…”

This has been the first real winter some of the kiddos have ever had.  Snow falls in large, fluffy, flakes, covering the ground with the promise of adventure.

I am inside cleaning, fighting an internal battle between what makes sense (finishing projects, including laundry) and the absurd (running outside with a camera or driving out into the mess just to do it).  Through the cable box, the classic rock station plays.  Songs that I skip on my iPod because of the memories they encapsulate are allowed the freedom to be heard.  Why don’t I delete them from the playlists?  Well, it’s not like I dislike the song.  Its the memory that becomes the problem.

“Play your love songs all night long for me…”

It’s a haze of white outside.  The pull is stronger now.  I would love to call my friends and see who else wants to be ridiculous.  The voice in the back of my mind, the worried looks from loved ones, stops me.  You dislocate one kneecap….you almost dehydrate and have to be put in the hospital…. you are involved in a car accident….when you live too far for those loved ones to help, and their fear seeps into your thought process.  It’s not just their fear though.  It’s also the fear of the pain you felt, the worry of the possible result that you so narrowly missed, that keeps you in as you get older.

I just couldn’t bear providing any more pain to them. 

Still, you have to take a risk sometimes.  It gets to a point where the itch is too strong and a reaction is needed.  Newton had it down pat – you can only pull back for so long before it has to flip the other way.

The nice thing is, if you are lucky (and I am lucky) you have the support system that just wants you to be. 

“Gimme three steps…”

Here I am, being me….now, where are my boots?

Summer Time = Good Food

Being that I haven’t posted in a while, I have a lot to talk about, but one thing that has been more on my mind (as it always is this time of year) is food! Wait…I don’t think there is a time of year when I don’t get excited about food! Summer is an amazing time for food, especially when you have good friends and family that farm and garden, and got their crops out earlier than you and have things ready to eat! My favorite summer food; tomatoes! My husband’s family introduced me to my first garden fresh tomato, and I haven’t looked back! I don’t even buy them in the winter time, and if a salad has tomatoes on it, I push that mess to the side! I am a bit spoiled. Mama Kay Lynch has a ton of summer recipes, and one of my favorite is this tomato pasta salad she adapted from a side dish served at Lambert’s Cafe (home of the throwed rolls). Anyone touring through Missouri, or in Alabama has to stop by a Lamberts. they only have three locations, unlimited side (the tomato salad, fried okra, fried taters) and yes, they literally throw the rolls at you! Best dining experience of your life! Me and the husband are lucky enough to have family in, or close to two of the locations lambert’s has, so we have had our share! So yeah, Kay created her own version of the tomato salad, and I have to say, I like it better than Lambert’s! shhh….don’t tell! But it’s simple, and so delicious! Without further ado, here’s what you need!

-tomatoes (depending on how big the bowl, one to two medium sized ones)
-elbow macaroni
-lots of bacon
-onion
-salt and pepper to taste

get your noodles boiling, however you cook it! I oil and season the water.

cut up the bacon into small cubes ( I have those kitchen scissors that you use to cut chicken and other raw things. ) cook up until crisp

while waiting on the bacon and pasta to cook, cut up your tomatoes into cubes (you can cut the skin off first if you prefer) and cut your onion, and put it all in a big bowl.

drain and rinse your pasta in cold water, add to the bowl

add the delicious delicious bacon!

salt and pepper that mess and mix it up with a big spoon! You will prolly want to eat it straight from the bowl, I guess you can resist temptation, that’s optional of course.

So there is my first recipe for the summer! Hopefully I will be sharing a lot more as the crops come rolling in. I am still eagerly anticipating the ripening of many of my crops, in the mean time, I’m sure my fellow gardeners will keep me well stocked! So, go cook delicious food! sniff your tomatoes hard, and enjoy thier summer flavors!

Having the “Want To” – Being Home

Sadly, I think when people say “I’m going home,” others look at them as if to say “how sad.”  Through popular media, going home has come to represent the last move of one who has failed – at a career, in a relationship, in life.  Yes, after going home, learning a valuable lesson about what is important in their lives, these poor, broken, people are strong enough to leave again.  They go out into to the world and make the difference they were always meant to do. End scene.

That’s not why I wanted to come home. More