Archive for July, 2011

2011 Garden Checklist: August

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Let’s just say it; “Here in the Midwest it’s HOT!” But with these little tips and tricks our garden can beat the heat and those veggies can last into the winter. Summer and I have a love/hate relationship. I love summer for the beautiful puff ball clouds and the long days, for the joys of the harvest and the way everything seems to just slow down a little bit as if the world senses we should pause and enjoy. I hate summer for the long heat waves and droughts and the daily work of watering. It’s summers like this that really get to you… In the Midwest it’s so hot my poor plants are wilting from the top down even as I pour the water to them. Luckily I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to keep my little green friends happy. Mulch is a big one, a strong watering schedule, and a good hat! I’ve got my favorite big brimmed straw hat… I look like a crazy old man wandering around the garden (somewhere in between Gandalf and Wild Bill)! So now that I’ve rambled along, another side affect of the heat and the south, I’ll let you get to your Garden Checklist.

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Grandma’s Small Stuff

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A couple of weeks ago I went to KS to help my almost 90 year old Grandma move from full-time independence to complete dependence upon her family. It turns out several months ago she had an un-detected minor heart attack that has now left her happy little heart pumping at only 20%.

We rummaged through old photographs and shared old stories but I couldn’t help but wonder, what has made her keep THESE things all these years? What makes THESE things so special to her? It seemed that each item whispered a little secret that I just had to know.

At times it felt weird divvying up her stuff knowing she’s still with us so I kept telling myself; “This is how Grandma wants it to go down so by golly this is what we are going to do!”

Once I got past the initial “this feels weird” stage I started hoarding like a mad woman! I hoarded so many things that Cale had to tie up an extra luggage rack on our little truck just to get us home! :) I kept feeling like I was going to miss something. Something that meant something to Grandma. Something that she would want SOMEONE to have.

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Garden Finds: Sprinklers

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1) Bamboo Garden 2) Bamboo Garden 3) Sea Star Sprinkler 4) Water Chain 5) I Heart Water 6) Flower Power

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Canning with Leslie: Pickled Green Beans

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Ok so you all know last year my canning series titled “Canning with Grandma“? We’ll this year I’m continuing that series with some of my close family and friends! It turns out I still have SEVERAL jars of last summers’ pickles so my goal this summer was to come up with several fun and “functional” recipes that I could guarantee would be gone before next summer!

My friend Leslie left her job almost a year ago to start her own catering business; Out of the Box Cooking. She’s the type of gal who’s a professional and full-time mom that somehow seems to keep it all together (so it seems! ;) )! A fellow gardener herself she enjoys canning her fresh veggies and was simply thrilled to share one of her favorite recipes.

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Creatives Near You: Jeremy & Kathleen [Lifestyle Bloggers]

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I have to be honest and say since the first time I visited Jeremy & Kathleen’s blog I was hooked! Kathleen is a freelance art director, design and lifestyle blogger while Jeremy is an electronics engineer. The perfect left-brain/right-brain combo Jeremy & Kathleen are  young dreamers who love family and all it’s annoying quirks, appreciate the ideas of simple living and love design in every form and fashion.

I know this might sound juvenile but they are honestly the type of people that just by knowing them you somehow feel cooler! I (Meg) was never in the “cool” group in high school so it’s exciting to get to introduce you to some of our “cool” friends… ;)

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Love on a Dime: Melon Carving

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Throughout history, wars have brought nations together to fight a common enemy.
We’re not condoning or condemning war here.  But this month’s date on a dime brings that philosophy into the relationship.

Competition.

Not just competing for the nicest house or car, or best behaved kids – but a competition which stimulates the creative juices & brings a couple together to work as one.

Introducing melon carving.

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Everyday Design: Bamboo Architecture

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It’s not often you see bamboo in Oklahoma, but bamboo is quickly becoming one of the most widely used naturally replenishing resources we have in this world. So why wouldn’t it be a major part of great art installations. Meet the Starns, a couple of amazing artists that have made a name for themselves with bamboo.

“Doug and Mike Starn were born in New Jersey in 1961. Identical twins, they work collaboratively with photography and continue defying categorization, effectively combining traditionally separate disciplines such as sculpture, photography, painting, video, and installation.”

-Starn Studio

Working even now the Starns have just finished an exhibition of Big Bambú in Venice, Italy. Here are some images of that work, and a link or two to other works of theirs… Enjoy!

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Garden Finds: Canning Jars

1, and 3) Weck Canning Jars 2) Terrain 4) Overstock.com 5) Target.com 6) Container Store 7) Crate&Barrel

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Fourth of July Raise the Roof Party

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I know we’ve shared some about how much our family enjoys working together but seriously we enjoy helping each other out and bonding over everything from cheesy crafts to chopping wood.

This past holiday weekend you may have been at the lake sipping on your favorite summer time beverage but we actually volunteered to spend our Fourth of July pounding out some aggression while perfecting our farmer tan. No really, we re-roofed our sister and brother-in-law’s roof. In Oklahoma. In July. Now, either we are completely crazy… or we REALLY do love spending time together.

It reminds me of the old saying; “The family that roofs together sticks together!”

And… cusses a lot!

And… is given the tools for cheap marriage counseling!

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This vs. That: Flavored Drinks

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This is something I have been trying and experimenting with in the past couple months. I will be completely honest and say I am a McDonald’s Coke drinker. Yes, only McDonald’s…and for those of you who are a groupie to that, only you can understand that their Coke just taste’s better than any other Coke you can get on the market. …I have no idea what they do to it…but it’s different. However, I do not like all the problems that come with drinking soda. Caffeine highs, sugar highs—then lows, $$$, headaches, itchy skin, loss of appetite, and my kids want to copy me…eeek!! So let’s contrast these soda and sugary drinks with some health promoting drinks.

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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