THIS dog. Farmhouse38.comWell, this time, this photo of this dog got selected for Sunset Magazine’s Pet of the Week post on Facebook.  For once, the only trouble she got into was being too darned cute.

See it on Facebook here:

Garage to Studio, Phase I

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The front of the garage/barn, in all it’s 100-year-old glory.

One of the things that I loved about our house, upon first sight, was the ramshackle barn that is the garage.  It is the perfect spot for something that I have always dreamed about having: my very own, grown-up art studio.  But, in its current condition (though it is such a fun photo-shoot backdrop), it just doesn’t pass muster: dirt and debris seem magnetically drawn through the cracks and crevices of those old barn doors, the electrical is worrisome, at best, and with no insulation, it is a sweat lodge in the summer and an ice box in the winter.  For the last four years, I have pined bitterly for my studio, but with all the work that needed our attention/funds in the house, it has routinely found itself at the bottom of the priority list.  But finally, finally! we are moving forward with it, and I am beside myself with excitement to be able to get my art back on.  It’s going to be a lengthy process, so to adequately cover it from start to finish, there will be many more posts to come.  Everyone’s on the edge of their seat, I know.

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The west side of the barn, though charmingly shabby, is getting a face-lift, too.

So somehow, after starting the weekend like this:Garage renovation at

….we managed to get our butts to work.  The current interior of the garage, I am embarrassed to say, is a dark, disorganized, post-apocalyptic outpost that looks something like this:

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Notice the chubby kitty to the left. She’s hard to miss.

The first phase of the project called for building a large storage closet in the back corner of the barn.  But first, the area had to be cleared, including removing all the haphazardly attached odds and ends of wood that were tacked along the walls, as well as removing the morning glory vines that had grown inside and turned it into The Not-So-Little Shop of Horrors.

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The cool salvaged machine-shop shelving is staying….just had to get it untangled from the death-clutch of the vine beast.

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The Texan measures the freshly-cleared space. Notice the ‘window to nowhere’ on the right-hand side. That’s staying. It’s awesome.

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The white dog helps the Texan with an engineering issue.

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A small handful of the THOUSANDS of old nails we pulled out of the various mish-mash of materials that were tacked up to act as interior paneling.

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The growing pile of mish-mash that was pulled off the walls….keeping all of it, of course, to use in future fun projects. This place is an old-wood gold mine!

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One of several sets of old, rusted, lovely shelf brackets salvaged from the barn walls. Definitely going to be up-cycled! I love me some junk.

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The skeleton of the new closet goes up!

Unfortunately, since we are far from done, I am going to reserve all ‘after’ shots until the whole thing is done.  Oh, the humanity!

Phase II coming soon….

The Inaugural Egg

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And so it begins….

So….that happened.

I’m being all cool about this right now, but, believe me, all my friends and family got a photo texted to them like someone had just given birth.  Which is funny because my sister-in-law is actually about to give birth–three-days-passed-her-expiration-date-about-to-give-birth– and that’s what we should really all be focused on right now.  Sorry, Lindsey, I am not trying to steal your thunder!  I’m sure she’s really worried.

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Neighbor, R, shares in my enthusiasm. He’s three. But he gets me.

It is a lovely, lovely egg.  The prettiest shade of palest pink….and I found it sitting directly in the middle of the garden path, like someone squatted and ran.  I almost stepped on it….let’s all be grateful this did not occur….I would have been inconsolable.

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Pretty little egg.

Many have asked me, “Well, who’s is it?” And, really, I have no idea!  I have my suspicions, though….

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Pretty sure that this is the responsible party.

Millie has been doing the ‘egg squat’ for a couple of weeks now (supposedly a sign that they are ready to lay), but beyond that, this situation is just so Millie.  It is just so like her to drop that first egg in the center of the path, like, “Yeah.  I did it.  Don’t be jealous.”  But time will tell!  I have read that sometimes you’ve got to put a couple of decoy eggs in the nesting box to encourage them to lay there….think I might have to try that and see what comes of it.

Eggs!  Finally!  I am way too excited about this.

Cocomojito Sparkler

Cocomojito Sparkler from Farmhouse38.comThe Texan’s parents are visiting us from, well, Texas, and we ended a lovely weekend with some Farmhouse front porch-drinkin’.  It was so hot (around 100 degrees), and so, after much serious debate, it was decided that we would revisit the Mojito Sparklers we made over Memorial Day.  With one minor tweak….instead of light rum, as the recipe calls for, the bartender got creative and used coconut rum.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Hands down, this is a better cocktail than the original (if you like coconut–if not, stick to the non-coco-mojito sparkler).  So, at the risk of being redundant, I am including the revised recipe:

In a highball or glass that will withstand the muddler, muddle together:

-approx. 5 fresh mint leaves (in this case, we used pineapple mint from le jardin)

-1 teaspoon golden brown sugar

-1/2 oz. simple syrup

-1/2 oz. Rose’s lime juice (or other lime juice)

Muddle that junk together.  Fill glass with ice, then add:

-2 oz. coconut-flavored rum

-2 oz. champagne, or other sparkling wine (we used Cava–delicious!)

Give it a good stir, garnish with mint (and a wee umbrella if you are awesome and just have them lying around), and put it in your face!

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The Texan gets his muddle on.

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A little doggy-style front porch-drinkin': muddled mint and ice water. And cocktail umbrella, of course.

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The view looking out from my corner of the shade.

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White Dog and the General finish the evening watching a bit of Olympics.