Monday, October 17, 2011



My husband hunts crows.

They are smart little devils.  And mean, too.  But, alas, they have found their way into our home (and you haven't even seen the stuffed ones yet!).

The crow puzzle is Amish made.  It was my Christmas gift to him one year... but he had to put it together.

I'm not big on "grubby" candles, but the smaller one had a crow on it... 'nough said.

I'm trying to stay away from the primitive look and the country look, but there's no getting around that when your main theme is crows.

If you're admiring our paneling... well, that's one project we just haven't tackled yet.  This is an old house... with old fixtures and old carpet and old paneling.  Colored paneling in each room to match the colored carpet.  Boy, aren't we lucky?  This stuff isn't too bad, at least it's neutral.  Same with our master bedroom.  But the blue wood grain paneling to match the blue carpet and the green wood grain paneling to match the green carpet... well, let's just say... those projects can't come too soon!

I purchased the pie safe in California when I lived there.  It has literally traveled across the country with me.  It has a matching 6-foot tall floor clock.  The pie safe used to house our set of china, growing collection of Polish pottery, and a few other dishes.  I am currently re-working it with crocks, cookbooks, and a few other things which have not been discovered yet.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Mulligan

In the world of golf, a mulligan is a retaken shot on the first tee box, usually due to a previously errant one.

No, I am not a golfer but I'm taking my mulligan shot none-the-less!

I originally started my blog to digitally record my new garden adventures.  I planned to track exactly what I planted (plant by plant, seed by seed), when I planted it, where I planted it, and how it did in it's new home that I had chosen for it.  All complete with weekly progress pictures.

Somewhere along the way, I veered off my initial course... but that's what I do... I digress...

Being a Virgo/Libra, I'm told that I get caught up in the details too often.  It didn't take me long to start putting off my progress blog posts because something wasn't quite right... I didn't have a picture, or I wanted this-and-that to be organized first, or... the list could go on and on!

Procrastinators, unite!

In the meantime, I finally took the leap of starting my own business...

... The Old Park Homestead ...

Why a homestead?  Because I have grand visions of living off the land... becoming a self-sufficient family... gardening, canning, cooking, baking, quilting, knitting, crafting, painting, remodeling... you get the picture.  And, of course, blogging along the way!

Stay tuned for updated posts... as I "go confidently in the direction of my dreams"!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later

September 11, 2001 - September 11, 2011

In loving memory of my step-brother
Edward Veld Rowenhorst
... we will never forget ...

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Picket Fence Planter Update

Here's another update on my Picket Fence Planter. At the very least, I am happy they are growing and enjoying our kitchen porch. The trailing variegated vinca is doing nicely and and the white "Snow Crystals" alyssum is flourishing. I will need to rethink the spike plants. I like them and they add interest, but they are distracting in this planter. I am definitely not doing the wax begonias again and the impatiens aren't really doing anything for me. The metal pig watering can was a *must have* addition.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mr. Toad

Each morning, I sit outside on our small kitchen porch while the dogs run and play in the yard and I revel in God's handiwork as I watch my flowers and veggies grow and bloom.  I tend to each garden spot, flower bed, and planter.

As I was checking on the Hedgehogs & Crocks, I went to remove what I thought was a dead leaf.  As my eyes adjusted, I realized it was a baby toad.  He was no bigger than a quarter!

How he got there, I don't know.  I guess I really don't care... I am just tickled that he is my guest.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tinted Pentas & Zinnias

I recently downloaded the trial version of Adobe Photoshop CS5 and have been playing with it, trying to learn it as I go along... there is no manual or instructor with a trial version. With the help of AdobeTV and a few tutorial videos (some watched over and over in full screen mode until I finally understood what they were saying), I was able to turn a color picture into black & white and add color tinting just where I wanted it. The text addition was simple, but another thing learned none-the-less.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hedgehogs & Crocks

I have a thing for hedgehogs. I'm not sure where it started, but it's alive and well today. I added them to my original Crock Planters display and thought it made a cute display.

The latest addition is this ceramic hedgehog planter. I picked it up at a large nursery just north of us. They were closing down for their summer break the following weekend and all pottery was 20% off. When I saw it, I just knew I had to have it and I immediately knew more Hens & Chicks would go right along with his pointy exterior.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Entenmann's Chocolate Chip Cookies

We got a new camera... and a new camera means tons of random pictures. I took this picture as I was playing around with the settings while reading the User's Manual. I love how the cookies are so clear but the edges are blurry. The lighting was just right. And, who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie?

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Crock Planters

The leftover spike, begonia, impatiens and alyssum were not doing well in the small crock so I replaced them with Hens & Chicks. I don't know what exactly it is about Hens & Chicks, but they make me smile! I replanted the leftover flowers in the Picket Fence Planter and it is chock full and looking great!

My friend, -B-, graciously planted Creeping Jenny in the big crock and gave it to me. She said it didn't match her stuff... but it matches mine perfectly! Thanks, -B-!!!

My husband had the piece of slate laying around and I painted the crows and sunflowers on it (names have been blurred to protect the innocent! LOL).

I love this corner of the porch!

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

First of the Season

I am very happy to present our first vine ripened cherry tomato of the 2011 growing season!

This is just one of the many babies growing in our cherry tomato hanging basket purchased at our favorite Amish greenhouse for only $8! With multiple plants in the basket, I have some trailing over the side and some trellised up (if that's not a word, it is now!) the hanging supports.

I am so excited about this basket I'm itching to drive out there yet again and buy another one. When I was there a few days ago they only had 2 left.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Picket Fence Planter - Week 2

Success... but next year I'll pick different flowers. Ones with more color, ones with different heights. And NO WAX BEGONIAS! Double impatiens, dragon wing begonias... but no wax begonias! Other than that, the rain has added much needed moisture and this part sun/part shade planter is loving it!

As I mentioned in my first Picket Fence Planter post, the remaining flowers were planted in a crock I purchased from an auction. The crock does not have drainage holes, so I gathered rocks from around our property to put in the bottom.

Again, I'd choose different flowers, but for now I'm anxious to see if the rocks solve the drainage issue.

Since all this began, I have discovered Creeping Jenny... a trailing green plant perfect for planters and ground covers. What makes this find even better: one of my very good friends is named Jenny! I guess you'd have to know her to realize how funny this actually is!

We have had so much rain over the past week; the Lamppost Flower Bed is patiently waiting...

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Picket Fence Planter


The Picket Fence Planter was our first garden project of 2011!

The planter was a gift from my husband a few years ago. I just love that thing! All of the plants were purchased (for next to nothing!) at one of the nearby Amish greenhouses:

2 Spike plants

2 Trailing variegated vinca

3 White "Snow Crystals" alyssum (from 6 pack)

3 "Super Olympia" mix begonia (from 4 pack)

4 Impatiens (from 6 pack)

The remaining flowers, and a 3rd spike plant, will be planted in an old brown glazed crock purchased from an auction. It will be a great accent in another corner of the porch. The flowers I originally bought for this planter turned out to be sun-loving and would not have been happy here on the covered porch. So, instantly I have a second project (or is that now a third project?)... a Lamppost Flower Bed!

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The Old Park Homestead


Hello and welcome to our adventure!

On a trip scouting crows (yes, he hunts crow... among many other animals, all of which I really don't understand), my husband came across what soon became our dream home. It was up for auction, in the country, and had all the space we had been looking for... not to mention minutes from the conveniences of the "city" (in Central Podunk, the word "city" is used loosely). We won the auction and have been here ever since.

After settling in and letting things fall into place, it's time to get dirty and have some fun! The house is old but has good bones and good space, but it's all very dated. Blue carpet, red carpet, green carpet... and colored paneling to match! Peel-n-stick vinyl floor tiles. Dark wood cabinets. Need I go on???

So, where does this adventure begin? Stripping wallpaper, painting walls and replacing floors... only to name a few! And let's not forget the endless craft projects, auction finds, and garden additions I can get myself into!

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