Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Late May Photos by Scott

It was such a pretty evening Tuesday with cooler temps, low humidity, and no wind (for a change.)  Scott took the telephoto out to see what he could see.
Driveway Deer
Recently, a group of young, skinny deer has been hanging out around the edge of the driveway.  I hope they develop an appetite for the neighbor's thistles!

Little Bird
You ornithologists out there can identify this little guy which Scott called a Nut Hatch.

Beautiful Moon

Smoky Ridge
The house in the distance is the original farmhouse on the land being developed by the Irvington Fire Department.

What photo shoot would be complete without a picture of our ol' friend?
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Leo and Bibbers are developing a healthy respect for each other.  They no longer spat or try to attack...mostly, they just sit and stare until one of them gives up.  I'm not sure if there will ever be a "winner" but I'm glad that noTTafarm is home to two orange tabby cats.

Tile Work Continues

Scott spent the majority of his Memorial Day weekend working on the tile in the 1920 bathroom.  Carl stopped by to help Friday and Saturday afternoon which was a big help!   A coat of waterproofing was added to the shower stall (the dark walls at right in the photo) which needed time to dry, so the tiling slowed a bit. Scott is nearly finished placing the field tile around the perimeter of the room.  The challenge of creating the shampoo/soap niches lies ahead this week.
Stay Tuned for More Progress! 

Pretty-fied Porch

Since I am so proud of the newly-rehabbed and cheerfully painted picnic table, I convinced Scott to let me try another project.  We purchased our Adirondack chairs more than five years ago, and their weathered appearance didn't do much to enhance noTTafarm's south-facing porch.
Before. . . 
I chose Sherwin Williams 6875 Gladiola as my inspiration...just the right deep coral tone to contrast the white painted porch and all of the green scenery.
The fun part was getting the color mixed at the store.  Since I used exterior enamel, the tinting was tricky and took about 45 minutes of tweaks until the paint experts were satisfied that I would be a happy customer. 
After a thorough sanding and wipe down, I was ready to paint - this time with the help of a new friend . . .
 Behold the new paint sprayer!
I was smart and selected a sprayer that can handle latex paint (such as the Gladiola enamel) as well as stain.  Perhaps we can utilize the sprayer to help us get all of our woodwork ready and back in the house.
I started with the underside of each piece so I could get used to using the sprayer.  It worked really well, and we are really happy with the overall finish after two coats.
The finished result!
The porch looks very welcoming now - especially with the addition of Boston ferns and a new light fixture.  Such a relaxing spot to sit and enjoy the beauty of noTTafarm.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Holiday Weekend Lead-in

Scott is taking Friday as a vacation day to extend his Memorial Day Weekend to four days.  He got a jump start on home improvement projects by putting up a bit of drywall.  This particular piece fills in the former site of the powder room door which has been relocated to the north wall.  Still lots to do in this area of the first floor but it sure felt good to accomplish this first step!
Looking forward to the long weekend ~
Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Night Time is Tile Time

Scott knows how to spice up an otherwise boring Tuesday night.  After dinner, he started installing tile on the east wall of the 1920 bathroom. 
Go, Scotty, Go!
Leo was a good helper, as usual!

By midnight, the majority of the east was was complete.  
Good job, Scott!

Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Dress Up Time!

Last spring, Tim and Teresa donated their unused picnic table to noTTafarm to retire in the country.  The standard sized, cedar plank table was nicely weathered from several years of suburban backyard life.  This week, I decided to spiff it up with a new coat of paint so it will be fresh and ready to use for a full summer of fun!
Before:  Ready to Work in the Barn
I dusted off the spiders from the underside, then sanded the whole thing with the palm sander.  (Yes, I used a power tool all by myself!)
After sanding.

I chose a  color from the Sherwin Williams Coastal Cool collection, SW6773 Rapture Blue.

It's a beautiful aqua reminiscent of every girl's favorite jeweler, Tiffany.  After the first coat, it looked pretty good.
After one coat.

All Done!

Almost immediately, Bibbers appeared and curled up under the table.  It's nice to have his stamp of approval!

What Should I Paint Next?  
Stay Tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let the Tiling Begin!

Finally, after months of delay, weeks of prep work, and two days of suffering from a head cold,  Scott was able to begin the tile installation in the 1920 bathroom.  The first major step, of course, involved a new power tool.  Scott assembled his new tile saw and then was ready to roll!
Assembling the new Ryobi on the driveway.   
The saw uses water from the garden hose to help the blade . . . plus the cutting makes a mess so it's best to do this task outdoors.  Scott made a lot of trips up and down the stairs to trim tile to fit!

The southeast wall was the first to receive the tile, beginning with the smoky gray base.

The saw in action!

The white subway tile will be at wainscot height around the perimeter.

Originally, we thought we'd put a few courses of white tile above the glass strip but after consideration, we decided it would work best at the top, just below the smoky gray mud cap.

All done! (almost...)  The mud cap pieces will be applied when the rest of the room is ready since the corners have to be mitered to fit.  

We're excited about the progress, aren't you?
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Coyote! Or Pup?

So I was sitting at my vanity this morning, putting on my makeup, when movement through the south bedroom window caught my eye.  I shouted, "coyote! coyote!" and Scott shouted, "get the camera!"  He was able to get two pretty decent shots.
He cut through the yard and sauntered into the neighbor's pasture. 

Scott ran outside and snapped this picture with the telephoto lens.

So what do you think?  Was this our first coyote sighting?  Or did our imagination get carried away at the sight of someone's pet?
The Internet offers this guide to coyote identification.  
(Thanks, Marie, for finding this!)
I'll leave it to my brother, Tim, the avid University of South Dakota graduate and proud Coyote to offer a definitive answer.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ready for Summer Fun!

In anticipation of summer fun activities < like Lumberjack Days! > we decided to purchase a screened-in sunshade.  Such a cumbersome name for what it really is . . . let's call it the Party Tent! 
"We" (aka Scott) set it up in the west yard and put our patio set inside. 

Carl and Marita came over for dinner Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day, and since the weather was so nice, we enjoyed dinner al fresco.  The screens will come in handy when mosquito season arrives!

This weekend, I also got organized and replanted the pots displayed in the Gleaner on the east pasture.  I left the six pots in place over the winter, and boy, did the weeds ever take over!
 No making fun of the boom box in the foreground . . . I like to listen to NPR while I work in the barn.

Since I struggled getting the petunias to live in the dry and hot conditions last year, I took some advice from a NebGuide and found plants that were drought-resistant and that would survive in bad soil.  Perfect for my partly-green thumb!
Each box contains moss rose and a purple cape daisy.

We used the Ranger to help tote the flower boxes to their spot atop the Gleaner.
Thanks for lifting the boxes up, Scott!

Ready to grow!  Just need to add water and sunshine.

Keep your fingers crossed for a pretty display!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pretty Peonies

The fabulous spring weather we are experiencing this year has created a great environment for our peonies.  I was disappointed last year as the cold, late spring dashed any hopes of enjoying the fragrant flowers.  The bushes are planted in several locations near the house, and we're lucky enough to have some of each of the traditional colors. 
 Pretty Pink!
 Wonderful White!
Radiant Red!
Now if I could find a vase somewhere in the stack of boxes in the basement, I'd be set!

Thank you, Doris, for planting all of noTTafarm's peony bushes! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Permit Issued!

The City issued our building permit this morning!  It's nice to have this portion of the red-tape process completed.  The final step before beginning construction will be the financing, which we should get handled next week.
Stay Tuned!