Kermit, cover your eyes…….

There are people in the world who love bright, shocking, glow in the dark colors.  I am most decidedly not one of them. Gray is my absolute favorite color and I’m also quite fond of taupe. Now don’t get me wrong……. I do love a splash of red here and there….I’m not completely boring.  Just mostly.  😉

Recently, while out antiquing with George, I ran across a hutch just like I had been looking for. It was perfect……the price, the form, the shelves, the storage underneath….except for one thing.  It was green.  And not any remotely lovely shade of green. No, no.  It was the most obnoxious, rude, offensive–what other negative word can I think of to insert here–oh yes, repugnant shade of green that you could imagine. It was very disagreeable to my senses. Even Kermit would’ve been offended–hence the title of this post. Okay, I think I’ve made my point.  But here it is in all its glory.  You decide.

IMG_3362The Dr. Suess-ish knobs are the icing on top.  Why, why, why would anyone paint such a lovely piece of furniture this color? I’ll try not to be so critical. One of my “artiste” friends loved it. And like I said–I love taupe and gray, so who am I to judge? Maybe for a kid’s room…. okay, I’m done with the conjecture. Let’s move on….

I decided that it would work for my 1765 farmhouse if I refinished it. I wanted to “antique” it. I had the perfect spot in the kitchen in mind. Imagine my husband’s surprise when I announced we were taking this lovely piece home.  I thought I would like it much better if it had an antique black with red undertones. So I bought all the supplies, and got started. First, I primed it……

IMG_3365Looks better already, right? After the primer dried, I painted on the red layer…….

IMG_3366Once the hutch was completely covered with the red paint (which I was initially appalled at–it looked like borscht had been poured all over it!),  I let it dry completely and sent a picture to my sister in law. Turns out, I really, really liked the dried red color, and my sister in law did, too! I decided to just leave it for now to see how it works in the kitchen. I put on the new hardware and voila! Done! IMG_3372

Here it is after I put my lovely summer dishes on it……

IMG_3381I can always paint the black over it and “antique” it as originally planned. But for now, I think I like it just the way it is. Here’s to venturing out of the gray and taupe comfort zone!


Let the Gardening Begin……..

As most of my family, friends and casual acquaintances are well aware, I love having a garden. Especially a vegetable garden. That’s my favorite. Every year, I plan my vegetable garden to the nth degree. I tend to bite off more than I can chew (Ha! Puns :D), and then I end up trampling through the brush every August to fetch a tomato. I don’t think I’ve have really solid plans in the past.

But this year will be different. I started in the planning stages of said garden back in January,  because what else would I be doing on a -18 degree day in 600 feet of snow? Okay–maybe a bit of an exaggeration there–but you get my point. I downloaded new software (Thanks Mother Earth News! You can find their info here) and began to plan in earnest then. I bought the seeds in February. I love Annie’s Heirloom Seeds.  You can get to that website here. I started planting the seedlings indoors in February, but wasn’t able to actually transplant them outdoors until the middle of April, which is when we started building our raised beds.


Another change I’ve made this year, that I believe will help in my quest for a less labor intensive, more successful garden is that I’ve decided to use the Square Foot Gardening Method (read all about it here). In years past, I have had all great intentions when marching out to the garden area armored with all the appropriate tools, but the weeds invariably roll over me and I give up. This year, I vow things will be different. We cleared the ground before the weeds had a chance to take over, put down landscaping fabric and put the raised beds on top of that. I purchased a carefully constructed loam/manure/compost mixture (way cheaper when bought in bulk–even with the delivery fee!), laboriously filled the beds, and when the time was right……… the seeds were planted and seedlings transplanted. I started with the cool weather crops, of course. The broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, carrots, onions, and peas went in first. Love the peas…….if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the peas. Only about half of them actually make it into the house. I usually eat the other half in the garden while I’m picking them. Delish!!


Just this past week, I finally got my beloved tomatoes in. They’re my other favorite. With the SFG method, I was able to plant 48 (that’s right, 48!) plants in 48 square feet of space. Canning season should be fun around here.Then there’s the pak choi and more Swiss Chard than George and I will ever consume.


I’ve also planted  jalapenos, radishes, all kinds of lettuce, yellow summer squash, zucchini, bush beans, pole beans, beets, kale and potatoes. And I can’t forget the okra–we’ll see how that turns out. I don’t know that I’ve ever tried to grow that north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

IMG_3317I won’t lie, that one bed is crooked and it makes me twitch a little bit every time I look at it. I am only consoled by the fact that when the plants grow bigger, I won’t be able to tell it so much. But I digress……

Here’s the okra in the same bed as the spinach. While the spinach is growing at the speed of light, the okra seems to be lagging behind. Okra really likes the heat of my native south Georgia, not the coolness of May in southeastern Massachusetts. We’ll see how this turns out.












When fully filled, there will be 17-18 beds. I already have little tiny, barbie sized heads of broccoli……


The potatoes are growing almost faster than I can keep up with in their bag. They’re a lot of fun to grow. If you have children, you should definitely try this–kids love it! It teaches them the basics of gardening and they get to eat the fruits of their labor!



The radishes are already almost ready to be pulled out of the ground…..



And our bees have found their way into the garden!! That’s super exciting to me….


You really get so much more bang for your buck with SFG, not to mention not having to weed the space nearly as much. I can grow plenty of food for George and myself in our little 20′ x 40′ space!  And with a little luck, I’m sure there will be plenty left over for the neighbors and our friends, as well. Thank goodness Spring is finally here!!


Spring is here. Wait, what? SPRING IS HERE!!!

And it couldn’t have shown it’s long awaited face a minute too soon! After the horrible winter we here in New England have just been through, the first 40 degree day felt like there might be a chance that we’d actually survive. Of course, it’s currently the middle of May, and I’m not real sure we’ve broken 75 degrees yet, but I don’t care. Surviving the brutal winter and finally seeing the beginnings of Spring have renewed my faith in the human spirit.

IMG_2855The chickens finally came out of their coop (after 6 weeks of captivity! Ouch!). We did not lose a single chicken over the winter. For that, I am thankful. We’ve actually just gotten some brand new baby chicks. More on that later……

And egg production is back in full swing! I didn’t realize how much I had missed my daily fresh eggs!



The dogs love being outside again. Turns out, we were all sick of being trapped indoors. Although Cleo is a poodle–not known for their herding capabilities–she does a pretty impressive job of keeping the chickens in line. Whether they need it or not! Here she is in action……


So at this point, my attention has fully turned to Spring-type activities. Getting the garden going, putting all the winter clothes away, spring cleaning, sleeping with the windows open, all things soul-renewing for me are in full throttle now. Let Spring begin!