Balloon Rally

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I have been taking it easy lately. It feels good to spend time out doors, and catch up on things behind the scenes. My son and I took a side trip to see the Balloon Rally going on in the Monroe, WI. It’s a lovely small town in the southern part of our state. We ate hamburgers and ice cream from the food vendors, and listened to live jazz and blues music while we watched the balloons. A perfect summer’s evening in my book.

Blue balloon stripes

I have always wanted to see the Balloon Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had no idea such a thing existed here in Wisconsin. I happened to see an ad for this event that they haven’t had in almost 5 years. What are the odds?

Balloons rising

We arrived at the fair grounds just in time to see the balloons filling up and taking off into the horizon.

black balloon rising

They are of course absolutely huge!  So graceful and beautiful!

Pilots in the balloon basket

We were fortunate enough to be right below the flight path….

Bottom view of balloon basket

You would be surprised how loud they are as they release the hot air into the balloon. It seemed like we were so close we could have touched the basket!

2 balloons

Have you ever read Around the World in 80 Days? Seeing the balloons makes me want to read it again, such a great book!

Balloon glow

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As the balloons disappeared behind us, we would turn around and there would be another one up in the air ready to take off. There were 6-8 balloons total. They all took off at once and made a short 6 mile trip into the countryside. Then they descend to the ground, pack up the balloon, and bring it back to the rally for another go. The last take off of the day is just before sunset. They call it “The Balloon Glow”.

Rainbow balloon overhead

This balloon was even more beautiful than the first! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go for a ride in a hot air balloon? Definitely on my bucket list! #yesIamcrazy

Balloons on the horizon

There were dozens of photographers at this event. I couldn’t wait to see how the pictures came out. I wasn’t disappointed.

Tuscan sunset balloon3

The last balloon to take off was named Tequila Sunrise. What a great name! Such summer fun! What are you doing for fun this summer?

 

 

 

Planted Chicken Coop

Finished red coop

I miss my chickens. The yard is so quiet without them around. The coop has sat lonely in the back yard for nearly a year. I decided it needed some flowers.

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If you recall, we built the coop from plans that we purchased on Ebay.  You can read more details about it here. It has been a focal point in the yard ever since.

Last fall, we had problems with raccoons and birds of prey in our yard. We lost 3 chickens, and decided to give the other two away in order to keep them from being eaten.

Sometimes, being a pet owner is hard.

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My sweet Alfredo and Barbie-que would approve of the new decor.

Finished red coop

The coop was planted with 3 plastic window boxes that I screwed into the top of the the roof. I filled them with Miracle Grow soil, and plants that I purchased at 75% off retail.

I am always looking for a good deal. It cost only $10.00 for the geraniums, vinca vines, marigolds, and dahlias that filled the boxes.

They will bloom until frost, as long as they are dead headed and watered regularly.

I am looking forward to getting some more hens next spring!

Adieu!

Ye Old Car Show

54 Ford Truck

 

It’s a hot day in the summer, and there is nothing better than a visit to the local antique Car Show. My teenagers had no interest in going, I can’t understand it.

They would rather tinker with their own cars, than see the old ones. They don’t know what they are missing.

There is nothing like the look of chrome on an old car. There just isn’t. These cars tell a story, that’s what makes them so fascinating.

My Daddy had an old Ford truck like this. His was old, rusty and without an engine. He had me help him haul it to the storage facility one time, when I was 12 years old. I did not appreciate being dragged away from my sewing to help haul some junky old truck.

Ford Grill

Dad didn’t have a legal towing bar, so he towed it with an old chain and a very unwilling teen sitting behind the wheel. My job was to steer and hit the brakes to keep the old truck from slamming into the back of the car as he pulled us along. I practically pushed that pedal through the floor, I was hitting it so hard.

I cried in terror the entire time. I have never forgotten it.

Trucks still scare me for some reason. Don’t ask me why.

Mustang

 

My Granny had an old Plymouth Fury in the 1960’s. She had it for 20 years. It had red leather interior with white leather seats, and a gorgeous chrome dashboard. Her car had the coolest push buttons inside, I used to love to play with them. Then I would polish them to remove my finger prints. It was such fun.

Grandma would drive swiftly down the road with the windows rolled down, her white hair flowing in the breeze, wearing her cats eyes style leopard sunglasses. She was quite a looker, even in her older years.

Watching that red car sail down the road, was a sight to see, let me tell you!

Chevy Truck

My cousins like to name their vehicles, I remember they had a big old blue truck, aptly named BIG BLUE.

This truck looks like a BIG BLUE, doesn’t it?

Chevy Grill

grill

Then there’s the  “Gansta style” cars, reminiscent of old movies, Durby hats and women with silk stocking wearing red lipstick and mink shawls.

headlight

I adore the headlights with their own hood. Did they really think this would help keep them dry when driving down the road?

Mustang BlueBy far, my favorite had to be this blue Mustang convertible. Love everything about it.

Mustang Blue trunk

What stories it could tell!

side of blue car

Have a beautiful day!

Seasons of Change

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I have been sick this week. Stuffy nose and sore throat are no fun in the summer time. I haven’t had much energy to create anything new, let’s just say I am in my planning phase.

Summer is winding down, I am planning for fall. I see lots of things around me, ready for the change of seasons.

My plants are looking tired and wilted. They are ready to be replaced with some beautiful cool weather varieties with the coming of fall.

I am ready for seasons of change too. I am craving cool nights in front of the fire, and I just found my knitting basket today.

I can’t wait to sit and knit in front of the fire. It’s one of my favorite past times. It gives me time to think and plan just about anything.

I began organizing our homeschool books today, I am eager to get started on the school year. My older boys are going back to college soon, and those still at home have begun some early homework assignments. I have noticed all my kids seem more mature than they did at this time last year, they are taking on more responsibilities and have become more independent. I have more time to work on projects (which is not necessarily bad), but I miss the days when we would curl up together on the couch and read a good book together.

Fall isn’t far away.  Our rowing time on the lake has been cut short lately, it is getting darker each night, the air feels cooler. The crew team will continue until late October to row on the lake but I am not sure how dedicated I will be to the sport when the colder temperatures come.

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Our chickens have been under attack from a family of raccoons. We have fortified the coop with extra hardware on the doors and lock them in the peak of it each night. My husband came home to see the entire family of coons jumping up and down on top of the coop late one night.

Their time with us is limited I fear, the hunters will not give up until they have gotten what they want.

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We have decided not to winter the hens this year, since we don’t have the space in the garage anymore, but it makes me sad to think they will have to be sold in the near future.

We lost one hen to a hawk last week, Dumpling disappeared one day leaving only a small pile of feathers behind. I miss her.

We have also had a battle with chipmunks, mice and a big, fat wood chuck in the yard. There seems to be more wildlife here in the city than when we lived in the country. We are filling holes, insulating and hoping to get ahead of the critters before they try and nest for the winter.

Are you ready for the coming change of seasons?

What sort of changes are you making at your house?

The New House Tour: Summer 2014

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Welcome to the New House Tour! We are finally moved in and getting settled a little bit more each day.

I still can’t find my shoes.

Or the sheets for all of the beds.

I am dying to paint and decorate.

I am sick of boxes. My legs are full of bruises from tripping over them.

I want to go HOME.

I want a house that’s clean, with everything in it’s proper place, a house that doesn’t smell funny and has windows that open wide for the summer breezes.

I want my garden to be planted, and all the work to be done, YESTERDAY.

Alas, it will be a long time before my visions come true.

We are now settling into a charming little cape cod home. It is situated on a quiet street not far from the lake.

This means that there are 10X the mosquitos that are last home had.

First thoughts, I would love to chop down those scraggly bushes out front and put up a flag for the 4th of July.

I also think a few hanging ferns would be very charming hanging on this porch.

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This is the living room. It’s the first room you enter, and I love 6 over 6 windows and the the hardwood floors. It has baseboard heating which is also a big plus for those of us with allergies.

On the downside, this is a north facing room. It is very dark with the beige walls and the covered porch.

I think it would be smashing decorated in white.

I can also see a mantle on this far wall. Every living room should have a mantle.

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Off the living room, we have the kitchen/eat-in combo.

It is very small, you can stand in the middle and touch all four walls without too much effort.

The cabinets are sold wood, probably originally to the home from 1961. The cabinets have been painted white, which is okay.

However, they are horribly laid out and it took a good deal of organizing to fit my family sized cookware into them.

They will be the first things to go when we gut the kitchen next year.

Until then, I will be on a mission to make them work.

The tile back splash isn’t too bad, the floral tiles are outdated and not my taste at all.

A plus: the appliances are all in good working order, and the sink is actually Corian with a nice European style faucet.

The eating area is far to small for a table, we are working on options at this time. More to come on this at a later date.

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This is the recreational room in the basement.

I hate it.

It’s pea green, with the ugliest bar you have ever seen.

The carpet is a lovely stained beige.

There are spiders everywhere.

The only plus is the track lighting.

That’s not saying very much.

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The bar is plywood and has carpet staples hanging out of it all over the place. It has an uneven top with two hideous shades of vinyl. To top it off, the wall behind the bar has a giant hole in it.

The previous owner left a few broken bar stools behind as well.

Yikes!

There is lots of room for improvement here.

Tons of room.

Frankly, it’ couldn’t be much worse.

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One redeeming feature of this home is the huge back porch. It is easily twice the size of the living, kitchen and dining rooms combined.

It must have been an add on to the house, as they never removed the outdoor porch railing.

I don’t mind, I find it rather charming.

I love the rustic barn boards they used to finish the inside of the porch.

I didn’t even know they were there until we moved in.

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The porch is full of floor to ceiling windows.

I can honestly say this is probably my favorite place in the entire house.

I look forward to dining out here.

I have already taken naps here, and I am sure I will take more naps on this porch.

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One of the other great features in this room is the giant Ben Franklin Stove.

I can’t wait for fall.

I love fires in the fireplace.

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The bedrooms are all about the same size in this house.

Several of them are painted the same pea green.

Yuck.

This is the master bedroom. It has a slightly higher ceiling than the other rooms, and two closets.

The best thing about this room is the full ceiling height. Most cape cod homes have low ceilings upstairs.

This room lacks charm and pizzazz.

I can see it in white with a fabulous feature wall of some sort.

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This is one of the other bedrooms. It is painted a deep shade of periwinkle blue.

Not horrible, but not what I would choose.

It is currently being used for storage, there is much work to be done to make it livable.

That’s about it, hope you enjoyed the tour.

Time to dive into the projects!