Friday, March 4, 2016

Changes, rebirth, and retooling

A lot is going on in my life right now, not the least of which is that I am working on retooling this blog and simplifying my message and find a clear direction.   My platform may change, I haven't decided yet.  I am working on a redesign, something I have never been completely satisfied with, through the years.  I want to make navigation easier as well.  I am also intent on improving my picture quality. I am going to invest in a great camera soon but until that happens, I will be using my digital camera starting Monday.  It is a point and shoot so don't get too excited. 

 I also have my personal laptop fixed and ready to go.  Up until now, I have posted mostly from my phone.  Getting my laptop clean took several days at Geek Squad since, even though I don't use it, the thing had almost 3000 different malware and virus' on it.   How does that happen when it is never hooked up to the internet anyway?  (Yes, I had virus protection it and it didn't work, so I changed to a new program.)   With that in mind, I ask that you stick with me a little longer and I will have a great new layout and plan ready soon.    I am putting an extra lot of thought into this so that I finally get it right.   

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you a little bit about what I have been working on the last few weeks that I haven't blogged.   First is the desk from hell.   I have never worked so hard at prepping a piece of furniture in my life.   That includes the antique dresser I had to basically rebuild drawers on last summer.   This piece will finally be ready for refinishing this weekend and there is a chair that I am going to paint to match and recover with fabric for my almost teen.   I can't wait to share with you the finished piece.   

I have been sick for the last two weeks and been on antibiotics and steroids.  In fact, 2 weeks ago, I was in the ER trying to get better. It hasn't worked.  This delayed my work on the desk more than once not to mention that I was too sick to work on the blog.  I apologize to everyone who missed me.  Did anyone miss me?

My chickens are going to be a big part of the remodeled blog.  I wanted to share this picture I took last night.  This is what happens every single time I walk out the door.   They come running up to me in anticipation.   Yesterday morning I gave them some grapes and if you have never seen chickens with grapes, well just suffice it to say, chicken football is better than the puppy bowl! 

I have also been working on the yard and spring is finally showing it's beautiful face in North Texas.  Finding plants my chickens won't eat is a challenge.   Luckily, I have managed to salvage a few from their hungry little beaks.  

Last year we planted fruit trees in the front and back.  The peach, pear, and plum trees are in bloom and while they won't bear any fruit for another year or two, they are making the yard simply beautiful.

I love just looking at the blossoms and enjoying the beauty of nature.   Finding happiness in the simple things in life is my major goal right now and a big part of my future.  (Hint, hing!) 

My bulbs are starting to bloom as well.   I can't take all the credit for the plants in my front yard as the previous owner did a really good job starting the yard off.  I am adding roses and more chicken friendly bulbs and plants.   This is a huge challenge and something I will share more about in future blogs.  

I am also in the process of removing a lot of weed barrier in the front flower beds.   The weed barrier probably seemed like a good idea to the previous owner but two things about it make them have to go.

First and most importantly is that it does nothing to stop the weeds from growing.  In fact, last year I spent a good amount of time trying to kill the weeds that simply planted themselves on top of the weed barrier and grew down.    Second and almost as irritating is that I can't plant more flowers without cutting through the stuff.   I know you can't tell in the picture above, but this flower bed is huge and while there are lovely plants already in the garden, I am in the process of adding to them to make a more English garden feel.  I will be posting some better photos when I get this thing worked out.   The garden has a good start but there are too many empty spaces.   The flowers above are something I planted last weekend and I was thrilled to see they are already starting to bloom.   I also planted some lily bulbs.   I am hoping they take because halfway through I realized I planted them upside down.  Bulbs are new to me.  I planted only tulips in the past, my favorite flower.   The problem with tulips in North Texas is that you don't get a cold enough winter for long enough to actually grow them without giving them an artificial winter.   As much as I want to plant a ton of tulips in my flower beds, I also realize that I have no desire to dig them up every fall and put them in the fridge for weeks on end.  

For Valentines Day my husband bought me rose bushes.   I laughed that, with him love comes with work, but instead of getting roses for a few days, I will have them for the rest of my life.  You can see just one of the 5 bushes I planted a few weeks ago.  

I am excited for spring and the rebirth of nature.   I have come to realize with everything going on in my work life lately (more on that some other time, it is depressing), that finding your happiness is about the place you feel most at home.   For me, it is my old, sprawling, 1970 ranch house in the country with a yard full of chickens and dogs and flowers surrounding me.  Peace comes with finding shelter from the storm that brews from things you can't control.   There are a lot of things that I can't control and a few things that I can.  Staying positive is my main priority right now.  Being surrounded by so much beauty in my home centers me.

So where is your happy place?   Where do you escape to when life throws you curve ball after curve ball?   Do you have any 'favorite' things I blog about?  What would you like to read more about?  Chickens, DIY, Crafts, recipes, gardening, being a step parent?   Give me a shout out and tell me what you are most interested in.

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