Nikon 1 J1. It’s not just a camera it’s a lifestyle

Dude, I am not ready for this amount of awesome.

It’s just too much.

I literally couldn’t touch it for almost an entire day because I was too intimidated by it’s Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff crazy coolness. If you don’t know who the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff are stop reading this blog. It’s just not for you.

I mean are you seeing this? Are you?

I should not be in possession of such a piece of equipment.

I am not worthy! (shout out to my boys Wayne and Garth. Again, stop reading if you don’t get these references. They will keep happening)

I am so thankful that my husband, bless his heart, thought that I was worthy in his mind of such a birthday gift. He truly made having a December 28th birthday seem like a real June birthday! You know, the kind that isn’t sandwiched between two of the biggest global holidays, thus making it extremely impossible to ever have a normal birthday.

Yes, he accomplished that feeling by surprising me with something so wonderful and thoughtful and not a heart locket. I hate hearts. File that away for future jewelry buying reference. Hearts = Vomit.

But here is the deal. I need help. And yes, the kind with the white butterfly nets would be great but I’m talking serious here. I need camera/photo-taking skills 101. Times 10. So I can be awesome. Just like Nikon 1 J1.

They are taking about revoking my membership. Like I said, not just a camera… a lifestyle.

I really didn’t read the fine print when I said that I would love, honor and be worthy of this camera.

Help me? Give me links, youtube videos and tips on how to be base level camera cool, ‘kay? Thanks. I appreciate it.

So does Lucy. Since she is the subject of all this training…

"The sooner you help her, the sooner she stops interrupting nap time"

A plea from an already overly photographed dog.

~L

Vintage love

You may or may not have known that I am a lover of vintage furnishings. I am sure I have mentioned it many a time and yet maybe that was a conversation that I have had only in my head. These things are possible!

My vintage heart has had but one MAJOR desire. While it is true that I want many things this is the one true love that my heart could not rest without….
imageA Black and White Enamel Top table! Lord you know how I have coveted this very item in my mind, craigslist and e-bay searching! I have scoured antique shop after antique shop only to find this little bit of love right in my own backyard!

You may remember seeing it here among the many items I wish I had room to love! Truly it is the size of my home and my anti-clutter disease that keeps me from stocking up on every piece of antique vintage love that I find. Bless you small home and your finite bounds!

image

In addition to the lovely table and chairs (which I scored at half price for only $80!) I also indulged in this great little cotton printed table cloth. The heart wants what the heart wants!

Really, I couldn’t resist. I have been looking for a way to incorporate teal/aquamarine blue into my kitchen and viola! There she was!
image

Note her awesomeness. I know I did.

So peeps, what do you think? Are you as in LOVE as me? Is there some elusive bit of lovely furnishing out there that you seek?

~L

Boondock Chic

Lately B has been working on a certain section of the lake. Which means we take the same route to and from work everyday (yes we ride together. I know. Aren’t we just precious?)

On this journey into the real boondocks I have seen this stone marking the end of a driveway, that would otherwise be completely swallowed by the green and nothing that surrounds it.

I happen to be very interested in this rock for a couple of reasons:

1. How clever to paint an initial on a rock

2. What a personalized and not common way to signal the entrance to your private drive

3. It very nicely makes you take notice but not in a way that detracts from the lovely, land of the lost, vibe that goes on in the middle of the woods.

4. IT HAS MY INITIAL

imageAnd there you have my very real analysis of the best rock I have ever seen. Completely Boondock Chic!

Speaking of Boondock Chic, check out my fav Centsational Girl’s post on my type of Rustic style. It completely jives with my idea of what Rustic really means. And yes, I did just use the word jive.

Enjoy and Rock out!

~L

Getting lost in the land

I’m a little obsessed with agriculture lately. I know. Weird, right? I checked, and no, I do not have a fever. But that doesn’t mean that I am not a little sick in the head. Or maybe it’s thick in the head? Depends on the moment.

Anyways.

This year we were able to have our first little garden at home. We equipped ourselves with as much knowledge as our schedules allowed by taking gardening classes with our local Cornell Cooperative Extension.

It was great. It was also overwhelming. Master Gardeners are crazy awesome people who know EVERYTHING. They are a great resource for newbie, wannabe green peeps. But they do make you realize just how unprepared and removed you are from the whole food to table business.

I knew this year we would really be losers and just get our feet wet with the whole gardening thing. B made two small raised bed and we planted some seeds and some plants and let it go. Let me just say, there is no better way to learn than by doing. As expected we were losers. We started late, didn’t make a plant map or schedule (as I so desired) and have had some issues with crowding. The damn seeds are so small when you put them in, that really, how could they all take and grow into huge plants? But nature proved to me that impossible things are happening everyday (anyone? Rogers and Hammerstein, Cinderella. anyone?).

*Note: this image was taken in June. Current photos to follow.*

So I pretty much lost my first crop of radishes due to this issue, which created a fungus, and caused the little radishes to not have enough room to bulb out. My phrase, not an approved official radish phrase. Just wanted to clarify. Lucky for us however that we had enough time this season to replant some seeds and start again. Live and learn.

What I did not expect was that everything would grow. And grow. And then grow some more. I was fully prepared for puny, little, half dead things to sprout and die as though all their ambition was reached once they go to the surface. See Lindsey Lohan.

Instead I got the hanging gardens of Babylon.

This garden is crazy. Green, lush, tall and sprawling. We are in desperate need of more room. I am simultaneously proud and nervous. It must be a fluke. I am not expecting this to happen again. I must have just gotten magic beans or tomatoes or something. But, hey, I’ll take it!

Next up on the Boondock learning agenda is canning. Because, what the F am I going to do with all this bounty? And this again is where newbie farmer L failed. I never read up on canning, preserving, drying etc. I also never read up on how to tell when things were at their peak for picking. That has made for a very cautious summer. Sometimes I pick a bean and think, will this kill me? Is there some folk wisdom about fresh food “what not to do’s” that city girl L missed? Damn my urbanite parents and their grocery store ways! If it’s not on the store shelf how do I know if it’s ready? I jest. But not really.

Honestly, this has been the most challenging part. So I second guess myself and have ended up picking too early or picking too late this whole season. Occasionally, I am right on the money. And those are tasty times!

So wish me luck as we close in on the end of the season. I will be cutting and hanging herbs and canning tomatoes with B’s grandma soon. Let’s hope I make it!

~L

Progress

See how nicely the house now matches the garage? image

Yes, ladies and gentlemen this is the progress I have made painting my abode. Day Four of painting has left me feeling pretty satisfied. I love that the ugly blue/grey that our home hath been is completely erased from view with each brush stroke!

Let’s just take a minute to see where we were:

Don’t be lulled into thinking the blue/grey looks okay because of my snazzy Halloween decor. Focus on it’s hideousness. And then look at the cute doggy in the window and the newly painted shutters and exterior!! 🙂

image

imageSo, it may not be the best paint job in the world. I admit. However, it matches our garage and allows me to look at my house with out vomiting. I call that progress 😉

One side down, three to go!

Wish me luck!

~L

The day I replanted thirty thousand hostile hostas

We bought our house and unbeknownst to us it apparently included a hosta farm. A farm that truly had no rhyme or reason. Crazy hosta designs in the middle of the yard, thousands of hostas in every flower bed, literally hostas as far as the eye could see.

See?

When we built our garage two years ago I needed to move most of them and thus crowded them together around a lilac bush and called it a day.

That doesn’t work so much for me now as it did then. You know, when I was tired, hot and overwhelmed by the shear number of plants I was some how dedicated to saving for “later.”

When do I ever save anything for later? But somehow, these hostas made the list. I knew that one day when things in construction-land calmed down I would want them.

That day came last week. Whilst home on one of my glorious stay-cations I decided I would plant these lovelies along the garage and the hideous concrete wall in the backyard.

Here, in some kind of  chronological picture order, is proof that I moved 30,000 ka-jillion hostas:

By day’s end, I felt completely insane from all the splitting and carrying and planting and digging and splitting and carrying and planting…

At least the husband was nice enough to rota-til (is that how you spell it?) along my walls, so the planting actually went pretty swiftly. Of course, someone thought that all that lovely, turned over, cool dirt was there for her to lie down in.

Precious doesn’t cover it.

In the end, they are moved and ready to expand and cover the ugliness that was, and I am moving on to the next home project.

Tune in next week for the new, L thought it was a good idea to paint the house by herself this summer, episode of “That Damn House!”

~L

Death of my bonsai aka truffula tree

We bought our house and this weird scraggly tree was at the end of the driveway. Before it bloomed and we realized it was a Hydrangea I took to calling it our bonsai. And so it remained the Bonsai tree. My husband then erroneously began calling it my truffula tree. As a huge Seuss fan and I let the error slide.

But sadness stuck in the winter of 2010/2011 when my mother accidentally backed into the tree and knocked off its temperamental branches.

This spring, it did not make a glorious come back. In fact it made almost no come back. BOO!

Then hub asked me what should we do?

Uh, duh! Leave it and circle it with love, water and a 24/7 candle vigil as “I will survive” plays in the background!

Clearly, that answer was laughed at and then he said, “Seriously, what should we do? Cut it down?”

Ugh! Pang, pow! Right to the kisser!

But alas. He was right. And so the wounded solider marched back toward the battle for one final blow. Are you impressed with my drama here? Yeah, me either.

I’m such a bad photo-taker! Must improve in the coming year.

B did however notice my sad face as I documented the destruction and then said that it would probably mean more if I used the chainsaw to make the final cut.

Ugh, sad face.

But duty called.

I cut my tree. I laid the final blow that destroyed the most interesting, fascinating weird little tree.

I’m sorry Bonsai. It was really for the best.

That’s what I keep telling myself.

Sad tears and lost leaves

~L

Ridin’ Dirty

I sometimes get these snapshots of my life that make me realize just how influenced I have become by the country boy I married.

This for instance…

Is my dream vehicular.

You may be thinking, “damn, our girl has lost her cotton pickin’ mind!” Actually, if you would even think of saying something like that then you would already understand the deep lust I am having over this here Bronco.

Maybe it’s all those years I’ve spent riding in lifted rigs, rock-crawling in trucks and samurai’s, splashing through endless mud puddles. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve seen them in many movies and often think, “Isn’t that just the cutest thing?”

Yeah, it’s probably that.

I mean really! Couldn’t you just eat it up? Imagine cruising around the lake, on our twisty mountain roads, with the top down and the radio blasting on a warm and sunny day. We are probably on our way to the beach. There is an awesome picnic basket packet with chips, sweet tea and ice pops. True chick lit. consumes us as we are tanning and snacking. And then another awesome ride home in the sweetest vintage Bronco, with a cool breezing cooling us down from a fantastic day of girl beach fun. (Yes, I am including you in this fantasy! Duh! I’m not going alone! And sorry, but it is a chick day only. The Bronco of my dreams is the color of mint ice cream, not manly, and yes it’s on purpose. How else could I keep it from getting trashed by thoughtless boys who want to break her axles on a hard and treacherous trails!)

You can see I’ve put some thought into this. My fantasy of a summer day like that is not so unreasonable. And sure, we could pile in any old car and have the same fun. Except we wouldn’t look as cool. The feeling of awesome would not be the same. I assure you. I have tried.

So if anyone is looking to buy me a random, large and expensive gift just know I drive stick only! 🙂

~L

And I lived to tell the story

Every now and again my ambition takes a hold of me and gets a little unruly. It forces me to do things that normal mortals would not think sane.

Like replacing counter tops in your kitchen when your carpenter husband is at a race for the weekend.

Yeah.

And I lived to tell the story.

It started on a Friday night. After he left for a race with his rocking crawling team, Miller Motorsports, I executed my scheme.

See really, it’s not my fault. The counter tops were begging to leave! “Please Mrs. D get us out of here! We can’t stand your new sense of pretty style!”

Who could argue with a plea like that?

Plus, B is all go big or go home. So any upgrades to the kitchen are a no go, unless it involves ripping it out putting on a million dollar addition. While we may have style, we will not be coming into renovation cash for a few years. And L is motivated.

And so I took these:

*Please also make note of the hideous copper, arrow end pulls on the cabinets.

And with the help of awesome friends, made them these:

*Note the awesome new black cabinet pulls that BFF SWS donated her German strength and some finger flesh to.

Oh, and that would be the curtain that I previously wrote about here. Don’t look to close, you’ll see how not straight the hem is.

Can you believe I did all this in one day? And that B came home and let me live? I’m still in shock.

Carpenters do not take kindly to other people working on their homes. But after a panty adjustment he has admitted that it is way better than what was there.

“Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you. If your overly ambitious…”

~L