Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cozy Cottage Camping

Ironically, it was exactly a year ago to the day, that we last took our cozy cottage camping. 
And we wondered... why did we wait so long!
Because seriously, I do not know of any place more attitude altering...
 and just a mere two hours away. 
What a wonderful get-away with my husband. 

Our dog Koda loves these overnight retreats. We are so isolated, not a camper in sight. 
She can be unleashed the entire time... but never leaves our side.

Our evening meal was a cast iron skillet meal... fried potatoes, mushrooms and peppers... 
added to fried medallions of Polska Kielbasa. Yum! 
And perfectly paired with a bottle of Rex-Goliath that our friends Rod & Debbie gave us.

Come to think of it, we cook everything in cast iron while camping. Love cast iron!

And get this, we actually slept without a white noise... because it was absolutely, totally and completely silent. I'm not kidding you. Not a single sound. 
So we decided not to use Randy's white noise sounds off his iPad. Well, I still didn't sleep all that well. But with temps down in the 50's, who cares, when you're snuggle warm in your cozy cottage on wheels. And later in the night when we heard elk bugle calls and coyotes howling in the distant.... well, it doesn't get much better than that. Ok, maybe bacon & eggs in the morning... Koda's favorite part of camping.

Koda loves long hikes in the forest with Randy & I...

but she adores her master over me any day.

I love the state of Arizona ~ I love the Mogollon Rim.
(Be sure to click the pics to enlarge) 

The stand stretching from Flagstaff along the Mogollon rim to the White Mountains is reportedly the largest continuous stand of Ponderosa Pine on the continent. 
(quote taken fromTHIS article)

I keep a journal book in our cozy cottage, so I can record each of our camping trips. I am so grateful that we can take these little retreats... and come away refreshed, refocused, renewed and reminded...

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:2)

Monday, July 25, 2011

cozy cottage on wheels

Randy, Koda and I are heading up to the Mogollon Rim above Payson, Arizona ~
for an overnight retreat in the mountains.

We're like storm-chasers, on the hunt for some thunder, lightning and rain.

And my little perch on that rock is waiting for me to be still...

and know that God is in control.

 ‎"When you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life.... As you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder." 

- A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Monday, July 18, 2011

emolyn & elsie

I am completely en love with these pictures of my granddaughters!
Yes, EN LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY captured these breathtaking images of emolyn & elsie.

Oh my gosh, I'm en love.

emolyn kate ~ 3 years old

elsie lane ~ 6 months

Monday, July 11, 2011

recording studio~office

Where do I begin? So much to tell you...
First off, this recording studio slash office remodel came about because my husband has the summer off. So he was able to devote many hours to his much anticipated dream recording studio/ office... and he's so dang handy and can do just about anything he puts his mind to. 

You see, what was once the hottest room in the summer and coldest in the winter... is now the best room in the house. While we were facing a major kitchen remodel because of the flood, we decided to go for broke and remove all the old ducting and raise the ceiling and run flex-tubing ~ to make that 5th bedroom that nobody wanted to inhabit, more appealing. Well, as I said HERE, it was the best decision in the whole kitchen remodel.

So Randy is now claiming that room as his new studio. And it quickly became painfully apparent that we had bitten off more than we could chew! Because not only were we starting from scratch after gutting that room... but our youngest is moving home next week. So we're also preparing Randy's old office for Tyler to inhabit. And let me tell you ~ overwhelming!

Randy's brand new studio ~ office!
What also jump-started this whole project was finding over 400 square feet of brand new carpet tiles on Craig's List. That's enough to do this room (for around $100.00) plus another! We LOVE carpet tiles... and these were the perfect color, 18x18 and rubber backing. You don't even glue them down... and I dare you to find the seams. And if an area gets ruined or stained, you just replace a tile. That's it. 

And then I found that red IKEA chair on Craig's List on Saturday for $40.00. Seriously, the most comfortable chair with the perfect neck support for my 6'2" husband. And I'm telling you, like brand new! I was anticipating a faded washed-out red fabric. Nope, mint condition. And what I love about IKEA, the slip covers are removable and machine washable. 

I found the IKEA lamp stand at a yard sale a year ago for $5.00. I couldn't believe how it matches the chair perfectly. The armless chair (for playing guitar) was $4.00 at the ARC. We stopped there to drop off our cast-offs, on our way to pick up the red chair. I know, two awesome chairs in one day! And the steel shelving unit was $75.00 at Lowes. Again, love the carpet!

Randy is using my two banquet tables till we can find the perfect counter top and cabinets on Craig's List. The floating shelves and the other shelf were IKEA 'as is' finds from years ago.

That wooden drawer unit is one of my all-time favorite finds... half-off at Goodwill for $15.00. I found it years ago and it holds a ton of stuff.

Check out the vintage galvanized pail on rollers that Randy is using to store all his cords. He was not at all in favor of the idea at first, but quickly realized how handy it is to roll it out and gather up his cords when setting up for a recording session. And come on, what's a room remodel without a little galvanized goodness anyway!

Oh and please forgive me while I shamelessly plug my husband's brand new blog ~ 

I am so excited to share my studio/ office transformation post at ~

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Phoenix dust storm

Ok, so I often whine about the lack of extreme weather conditions here in Phoenix.
You know, other than the usual extreme heat. 

Cuz, last night THE DUST STORM OF ALL DUST STORMS slammed into the Valley 
We're talking 100 miles wide and up to 2 miles high!

This morning we found everything outside covered in a thick layer of dirt.
Very strange... very creepy.

Check THIS out ~  courtesy of The Weather Channel.
Stunning footage! You won't believe your eyes!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Old Dutch popcorn

If you grew up in the Upper Midwest, then Old Dutch was a part of your summer memories.
We always had a box of potato chips on top of our frig ready for picnics and cookouts.
What's a burger & brat without Old Dutch potato chips? 

Well, 20+ years ago, I started making CARMEL POPCORN using Old Dutch Puffcorn.
Puffcorn has no kernels or hulls... umm, need I say more.
CARMEL PUFFCORN is truly the best stuff on the planet. Pure gold.
We never leave Wisconsin without bags of puffcorn on board.
So you can bet that my Carmel Puffcorn was a huge hit at my daughter's Grad Party
upon returning home from our trip to Wisconsin. YUM!
Here's the recipe ~

Microwave Carmel Puffcorn

Put the following in a 2 qt. glass batter bowl-

1 stick butter (not margarine)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white syrup (Karo syrup)
1 tsp. salt

Microwave mixture till it begins to boil, stir and microwave another 2 minutes. 
Take out of microwave and add 1/2 tsp. baking soda and stir. Immediately add the mixture to a brown paper bag that contains a bag of puffcorn. (or 3-4 qts. popped corn) Close the bag by rolling top and SHAKE THE BAG HARD. Microwave 1 minute, take out bag and SHAKE HARD. Put back in microwave for 1 minute and SHAKE HARD. Put back in microwave for a final minute and take out and SHAKE HARD.
Store in airtight container.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Pyrex tablescape

Here's my first Pyrex tablescape on my new 50's formica table.
Ok, so the white bowls and cola mugs are Fire King... but the rest is Pyrex.
I love how I can mix 'n match the two.

I found each of those cola mugs one at a time, years apart... under a dollar each.

You can get the scoop on how my Pyrex dishes collection came together here.

I'm sharing my 4th of July vintage tablescape with ~

Friday, July 01, 2011

vintage formica table

Did you have a formica dinette set growing up in the 50's & 60's? We did. The yellow set.
And then 32 years ago, just weeks before Randy & I married, my girlfriend and I went to Park 'n Swap in Phoenix and I found the gray table with two matching chairs for $25.00. I was so excited to carry on the formica table tradition.
We used that gray table for several years until my Takamine guitar was stolen from our church and we used the insurance money to buy a brand new oak table and chairs for $500.00. We used that set for 25 years till I found this farmhouse table after the flood. I have yet to part with my oak table. Too many fond memories gathered around that table. Maybe some day.

Well, guess what? I now own the Virtue green formica table!
Last Saturday I got on Craig's List looking for carpet tiles for Randy's office...
and stumbled upon the formica table-of-my-dreams. 
Actually a formica table with the price-tag-of-my-dreams.
The table was listed at $40.00 or best offer. So we drove over after church 
and I got her for $30.00.
I'm thinking she could give us another 50+ years on our back patio... 
that is once these triple digit temps dip a bit. We're looking at 115 degrees today.

And seriously, she photographs so well, I couldn't narrow down my favorite images. 
So here you go ~

Doesn't she look great with the chairs I found several years ago at a yard sale for $5.00 each.
I can't believe I only bought 4! They are ridiculously expensive brand new here.

The green plastic insert encased in the T-molding around the edge of the table
was rather cracked and chipped, so I popped it out. But it looks ok without it.

Then I spent way too many hours researching Virtue Brothers of California ~ 
"The West's Largest Manufacturer of Chrome Furniture"...

... and the many ways to care for my formica table top.
To restore the lustre in your vintage formica, you rub on Howard Feed-N-Wax
And man oh man, did that do the trick!

My favorite part of the table are those sexy legs! I'm serious!
Ok, but if a table could have sexy legs, these would be it.

Oh my gosh, I love my new patio table!

Wait till you see all the tablescapes I photo style on this beauty!
I'm thinkin' a PYREX vintage photo shoot coming right up!

And I did! You can check out my Pyrex Tablescape post HERE!

I'm linking up with ~