This corner of the world

I have been wanting to get out into the woods a lot more lately it seems.  My house needs some major attention in the cleaning department, but I keep finding really important things that seem to take priority. There are plenty of wet days ahead to take care of the “have to’s”, so I plan on taking advantage of the less rainy days to enjoy what is outside in this corner of the world- the Pacific Northwest and my backyard.

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Fresh Eggs

We have this saying around our house that has us always in project mode- “why not?”.

We’ve had this corner of our suburban yard that has long housed a large purple rhododendron that was adored by me and despised by the Handsome. An agreement was made that it could be removed upon the addition of something really cool that doesn’t require pulling weeds.  Enter the chicken coop. (Why not? Remember?)

Crafted with our own four hands and a bunch of amazing reclaimed fence materials, in three (maybe 4) weeks after work and on weekends, we made this little gem.  It houses nesting boxes for three chickens, a roosting ladder, a window, garden space, and a small, self-contained chicken run. A friend had more than her share of mature hens and was happy to re-home three lovely ladies.  I will be introducing them in the future, one by one, as they allow me to hold and take their photo.

After getting them settled last night, we woke up to a beautiful brown egg this morning, only to be followed by two more by noon. We can’t wait to see how we do on the daily with this backyard flock, but if the eggs keep looking this beautiful, I think we will all get along just fine. Why not?

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In the Garden

I have this little piece of paradise. It happens to be in my very own backyard. It is so peaceful and calm- in the middle of the Suburban west. Slug destruction aside, this is a quiet little delicious sanctuary that I take pride in every time I clip a leaf of kale for salad or pull a carrot fresh from the soil.

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My Back Yard

When the sun comes out after a gloomy winter, we go immediately to the back yard.  We have worked for a few years to make it just the spot to enjoy when that bright light makes its way to the great Northwest.

I have been feeling sapped of all of my creativity in the last few weeks since we’ve had what can only be described as a weird April around here, and I am looking forward to a better month of May.  Here are a few snaps from my afternoon prepping the garden and spending time with my sweet girls.

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Up-Cycled Centerpiece

We’ve completed a lot of projects around our house over the years, and it always seems to be that we have an abundance of useful supplies.  We’ve been consolidating wood supplies from an old deck that we rebuilt and have been enjoying for a couple years. So much used/worn lumber stacked in the shed.  The Handsome is always building something new and exciting, but was at a loss as to what to do with some short 4×4 boards that were previously stained.

After a quick trip to the hardware store and an unanticipated popcorn purchase from those ridiculously cute Boys Scouts that stake out in front of the store and see me coming from a mile away, I was ready to dive right in to my quick little project.

What to do with such a short board? Make a multi use centerpiece!

I made two sets- one with more stain showing and a clear coat added, the other I sanded almost all the stain off- the untreated set is my new favorite addition to our table.

If you’re interested in making your own you’ll need:

Chop saw

Drill with a 1 1/2 paddle bit

Sander

4×4 post (at least 18 inches long)

About an hour

Instructions:

1. Without cutting your fingers off, make a cuts for the three columns: I chose 8 inches, 6 inches, 4 inches

2. Find center of each column, drill continuously to desired depth (I chose a shallow depth to match a tea light candle)

3. Sand it and make smooth- the softer the corners, the better in my opinion.

4. Stain or use clear coating to protect from dust

5. Insert candles, plants, or whatever your little heart desires.

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Brave NW Gardening

For some, May seems like the absolutely appropriate time to start a garden. Here in Western Washington, things are a little different. Tomato plants shiver thinking of frost, beans wither just by the sight of cold dewy mornings, and gardeners unite in one brave move to get their plants in the ground at the first sight of sun.  The Hubs made another planter box for me this  year, since the last years have proved the need for more room.  It has been unseasonably warm this week (today we were the hottest state in the country), and the weather offered the perfect window to get my plants started.  We’ll see how they do, I have a lot of travel scheduled for work this summer, so if half the plants survive, I will call the garden a success. (also, I am not a magician, the Hubs also helped to take photos)

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April Showers

There are stark differences between last weekend and this weekend. Last weekend it was sunny, cloud free and 70 degrees. This weekend, it is dark, rainy and a cool 55 degrees. I’m glad I listened to my intuition and didn’t plant my little tomato seedlings outside just yet.  They are happily growing in their atrium perched on the kitchen window. Luckily, the outside plants have started to bloom- weeping cherry trees, magnolias, as well as my pansies and primroses.  Here is a tour of our backyard blooms.

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