Week 3- The hero and the clowns

hello again!

Work is coming along nicely at the Finny Farm. Beginning week 3 we were finally able to bring in our electrician. We needed a separate circuit for a dishwasher, which means we got a whole new sub panel, which in turn means we now have a lot more capability for future circuits, etc.
With the ceilings ripped out we also had a blank canvas for lighting options, a big must, due to the house being relatively dark. Of course, we also hit a few minor bumps in the road this week, but hero Steve, our trusted electrician, was able to sort out wiring, clean up circuits, and install 3 way switches, as well as clean up the old 3 way wiring (and No! you absolutely CANNOT use the ground wire as your third “hot” wire… well, you can, but you absolutely should not!) Thank you, hero Steve for catching that and cleaning it up!

This week we also ordered new windows for the house. Snag number 2: the window “deal” ends up almost doubling in price by the time you add low-e argon and exterior wrapping into the price. Ok, we will only do half the windows at this point in time…

We were working hard in the heat (still no AC/insulation) and I felt terrible for the hero, who was stuck all day in our oven. So we decided to bring in the clowns. Of course, we had had no idea they would become the clowns when we hired them, but I want you to know that it is a term we use lovingly. The clowns brought with them a truck, machinery, and a whole lot of spray foam insulation. They failed to mention that hero would not be able to work due to fumes, they also failed to mention the TERRIBLE mess they would make. But by the end of the week we had a nicely insulated house, a running AC, and a mess on our hands that I still shake my head over!




This is the inside look at our “cave”!

As we are beginning to put our house back together, we do have a tip or two to share:

– recessed Halo cans can be easily screwed to the joists. Don’t bother using the nails that are pre fitted- half of them bend on first impact.

– place your cans far enough away from any ceiling fans in order to avoid strobing!

– connecting cans is easy-peasy. White to white, black to black, ground to ground- with handy dandy clips. Wow! I can be a hero, too?

…until next week


Vacation project

I enjoy painting. Recently, I have discovered chalk paint, thanks to my friend Kayla at http://www.paintoutsidethebox.com . She has some great ideas and encouragement- you should check out her blog! I digress…. There is a coffee table at my mom’s house that used to be in my room. I think it was a hand-me-down from somebody. During my last visit, I mentioned that I’d like to paint it and my mom liked that idea. With this in mind, I brought paint and supplies with me and got creative over the weekend.


It was such a beautiful October day. Temps in the low 70s, slight breeze. The perfect day for taking a project outside!


First, I lightly sanded the table. Technically, you don’t have to sand when using chalk paint, but I decided it couldn’t hurt.


This is the first coat. As you can see, it’s a messy paint job, without complete coverage. Another benefit of chalk paint: it’s perfect for a shabby-chique look!


This is the final color. I also used sandpaper to lightly distress the edges and legs. A creme wax is used for further distressing and also to finish the chalk paint. It is very porous and will chip if not finished properly.

I use Americana Decor products. You can buy them at Michael’s or Home Depot. I have made my own chalk paint using Kayla’s recipe she shared on her blog, but for the sake of bringing my supplies to Germany, I decided to go with ready-made for this project.

chalk paint is fun and easy- but be warned: it is terribly addicting! You simply cannot stop after just one project…


Dont say, I didn’t warn you!!!

Creative Juices flowing

I have had many plans for Little Bit’s room.

This past week I completed them- FINALLY! (he’s only 7 months old…it’s about TIME)

Originally, I sewed his curtain, crib bumper pad, and crib skirt. These I actually finished before he was born.


My mother-in-law made him the precious quilt to match.


The bigger boys actually helped with the appliqué on these throw pillows.


My plans had revolved around utilizing the main main colors of his bedding (teal, red, yellow, orange) around the room. In April I finally got around to painting his changing table. I love the combo of teal and the orange on the changing pad.


In May I managed to have a little time to paint his crib. Isn’t the butter cream yellow delicious looking? I like the combo with the red sheet and the bed skirt and bumper pad kind of pull it all together.


Finally, last week I finished the paintings I had so desired for his walls. I pulled a few elements from his bedding (which, btw, is called “Boy Crazy”) and painted them on old cabinet doors. Don’t you just love the friendly little robot?


I also painted and distressed his book shelf and a step stool to complete the room.


The rocking chair would look good in red, but Pop had refinished it for boy #1 when he was a baby and there is no touching it with paint….

so I at least made a cushion to match!


Landesgartenschau Schwäbisch Gmünd

We took many field trips while in Germany last month. Here is one that I would like to share with you. My words won’t do it justice, so I will post a few pictures.

Every couple of years, a particular city in our home Bundesland (kind of like a state) of Baden-Wuertemberg, gets to host what is called “Landesgartenschau.” This is a garden, flower and plant expo, that utilizes big parts of the city, including structures, city parks, surrounding forests, you get the picture. It is quite a production and the vast variety of plants and flowers is absolutely amazing:


This tower was at the top entrance of the expo. It was built specifically for this event and each of the nearly 200 steps was sponsored by a particular business or family. We were able to get a general grasp of the layout and decide from there what we wanted to see up close!


This was taken from the tower. It is to give you an idea of how creatively the flowers and flower beds were arranged!

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Aren’t these stunning? I wish it wasn’t quite so hot in Georgia to allow for some summer gardening, but also to be able to grow some of these species here!

What was also really cool, is how the kids were engaged along the way. There was an enormous water play ground, with wooden floats, sprinklers, sand, gravel, you name it. We had a terrific lunch picnic while J was busy playing.

There was also a marble track that ran through the forest. This was brilliant! The walk down into the city was about 1.2 miles or so and to keep the kids moving, they had built a marble track that ran along most of the path. Both J and P were entertained and I never heard one of them complain about walking!

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At the end of our walk, we arrived at the Limes. Did you know the Roman empire expanded all the way into Germany? The Limes is the approximate line of how far into Germany they penetrated. Periodically, you can find remnants:


Once in town, we went into an exposition hall. While the whole expo runs for several months, through October, the expo hall features weekly displays of cut flower arrangement. We were privileged to see a rose exposition.


This was my favorite display. Doesn’t it just look yummy?

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Here is the website to the event if you are interested and want to find out more: