Friday, March 31, 2017

Five on Friday - A Little Dittty about Dicky Bird's Week

First, this really isn't a ditty.  Which by the way, is my first of Five on goes....

1.  I google search, wikipedia and spell check every post - it still amazes me how many errors I miss.  Anyway, I was thinking of a catchy (wait..."how do you spell catchy?"...I'm back now...LOL) title for my post for this Five on Friday.  I didn't know ditty was a song and not a story, but the title is cute with Dicky Bird (smile).  I love Wikipedia and use it every time I post.  

2.  I will be teaching around 100 Girl Scouts how to needle felt this weekend near Milwaukee, WI.  There will be rotations of different folk art classes, so I won't have all 100 at the same time, thank goodness.  I needed to buy some foam for cutting into squares to felt on so their needles won't break.  I went to the fabric store, was I shocked at the price!  I found a bin of remnant pieces, so I took my arms full of them to the cutting counter.  As I approach, I see the girl grab her head phones...."yes, it looks that way" "I don't think so" "I don't know..." "yes, all of them..."  I could gather from their conversation it was about me.  So, I tell the girl...."tell her I'm teaching ..... and I explain it."  Really??  As I walk with them up to the check out, customers were asking, "what are you going to do with all of those?"  People, it doesn't matter what it is or where I am this this literally happens to me all the time.  I could have 4 loaves of bread in my cart and someone say, "why are you buying all that bread?"  "Because,I'm hungry?!?"  LOL

3.  Once home with the sheets of foam, how do I cut them into smaller squares?  I saw something once where you could do this with an electric knife.  Now, you all know I "buy out" total household estates, I think I remember seeing one I go out to the barn and dig.  Luck would have it, I found it.  Wow, what a handy little tool - I'm keeping it!  I ended up with 63 squares BTW - now I need to teach more classes.  Anyone want to learn how to needle felt?

4.  Another handy crafting tip a friend shared with me this week, was using "press and seal" plastic wrap to hold your pieces together while you hand applique them.  It worked great!  

5.  I started back on my diet.  I thought of a handy tip to help me keep on track.  I take a picture of my plate at each meal and email them to me at the end of the day.  I print it off and write down the nutritional information I am keeping track of and put it in a binder.  I am a visual person - I love looking back at my pretty plates of healthy food!  Also, I have a reference for future use when I don't know what to eat. Win/Win!

So, that is my list of five.  Off to Waukesha (Milwaukee) where my daughter and son in law live.  We will be thrifting all day and eating Pho for supper!  Yay!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin!

Here is the link to the FAST blog, go over and read some of the other interesting Five on Fridays

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hodge Podge Wednesday - Beauty

From This Side of The Pond asks the questions and we answer for Hodge Podge Wednesday.  Link here:

1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

The sunrise the other day - orange, pinks, blues - beautiful.

2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

We focus too much on outward beauty.  Beauty is only skin deep.  True beauty is within.

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

Age before beauty - I'm feeling my whole 50 years today.  

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

Well, that is some list...several of them actually.  However, sharks would be it.  Obviously, JAWS - even the "da da da" - peeks my fears.  I've only swam in an ocean a few times in my life, but each time, I was afraid of a shark encounter.  

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

It was actually some one's phone.  Those silly ring tones.  It was both musical and alarming because I didn't know where the noise was coming from.  

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?

Mashed potatoes!

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

Our well failed and we didn't have running water for 33 days, so mine would go something like this....

In March it was, the well did fail
so we marched to the barn with bucket and pail
to carry the water so we could flush
33 days we did march and mush.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Shallow Hal the movie.  I really like that one.  Jack Black's character has a problem with outward beauty - he is very shallow.  He has an encounter with Tony Robbins, who hypnotized him so that he sees people for their inward beauty.  It shows us how we tend to judge others from the outside before we get to know them.  Growing up chubby and getting teased about it - I can relate to this movie.  I know many pretty people who are ugly on the inside!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.      

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Great American Melting Pot

I, like most multi-generational Americans, am a complete mix of many nations and cultures.  They don't call us "the great melting pot" for nothing.  Watch this little clip from School House Rocks:  I remember watching this when I was little.

While on our trip to Scotland and Ireland, I learned so much about my maternal past - her paternal side - the Clan Kincaid.   I felt such a connection to the Highlands of Scotland - almost the same way I feel when I am in the woods here in Wisconsin.  I know my past has roots there, I felt it in my  heart.

Scotch-Irish, English and I've just learned also Welch Traveler.  Welch Traveler?? Are you kidding me...I was tickled about it!   That explains a lot!  I know, to some, claiming to be a "traveler" might not be something your family is proud of.  While in Ireland, we passed a traveler's park, our guide, John, said these people are actually hard-working and not everything you hear of them is true.  I've watched My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and Gyspy Sisters - with their Irish/American connection based in Appalachia Kentucky.  That is where my Kincaid family comes from.

We all are made up of those in our past who have passed on...literally and our "genetic puzzle" lets say, of what we are made of.  My grandma Kincaid (Roach/Flippo) must have some traveler in her as well.  I think I received a double dose. 

I did a bit of research on Welch Travelers, I found it very interesting.  These families tend to stay in "clans" - close knit units, lean on their Biblical faith, choose matriarchal leadership, tend to be self-employed, like to or at least don't back down from a fight...(smile), they are people people and "know no strangers" and it is said they might not have a lot, but what they do have, they share with others.  All of this made me laugh.  I can see all of those traits, woven into our family from the past, up to mine and the next generation.  

So, I embrace all the piece of the past that make me - me.  I just happen to love that I am Welch Traveler - and it fits me to a T.  

                    (picture of Welch Travelers off of Wikipedia)

Picture of "American Welch Travelers" outside my grandpa and grandma Kincaid's house.  That is me in the yellow shirt on the left end of the glider.  Picture is with cousins and my grandpa Kincaid.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Easter Egg Tree

While going through some boxes of inventory from a recent estate buyout, I came across this little turenne that was missing it's lid.  I thought it would make a great base for an Easter egg tree.  

So easy, to do with a styrofoam cone, hot glue, eggs and moss.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Day 33 Without Water - A Series of Unfortunate Events

Little did I know back on March 6, when I wrote a post about our well - it would be 33 days and counting....without running water.

Yes, 33 days....hopefully, today will be the last of a series of unfortunate events.  The ONLY thing that has made this tolerable for me, has been Al, my loving, caring, thoughtful husband.

He was able to finagle something (I can't explain) and we were able to at least have some water come into the house from the old well.  This was enough for each of us to take a quick shower at night.  We are fortunate to have another well by the barn for the animals.  We carried buckets back to the house for flushing the toilets.  I think I only had to carry over about 2 buckets in 33 days...he did the rest for us.  Every morning he made sure that the toilet tank was full so that when I "needed" to flush it, I could (you know...if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down).  He did all of this for me, us, not because I nagged him or even asked - he did this because he loves me and cares for me and our needs.  I'm so blessed! 

So, in a long series of unfortunate events, some I can't even believe, we finally had our well hooked up on Saturday.  The men ran it for like 45 minutes, emptied it, watched for retention time and left with plans to come back Monday to hook up a new pressure tank.  We were happy, we could take a bath, wash some dishes, do a load of laundry....or so we thought. It wasn't even 5 minutes after they left, that we heard hissing from the basement...the pressure tank blew.  So, after a long day of hooking the well up, we couldn't stand to call them back.  We were getting a new pressure tank Monday anyway, so what is another day or 2?!?   

Anyway, what has this taught us?    

1.  We are not in control
2.  Running water is a blessing 
3.  Prayerfully consider your response to situations
4.  Be thankful for a helpful partner  - tell/show them so
5.  ....other's in the world have no running water
6. can consume less water 
7.  ....lesson in patience
8.  ....lesson in thinking of other's first - including well guy
9. everything there is a season....
10. ...this too will pass 
(and more I'm sure...)

Fingers crossed...that hopefully tonight, I can wash my dishes, run a load of laundry and take a warm bath.   If not, I know I can make it a few more days....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Blogger Reflection - Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?

I've been writing Dicky Bird's Nest since December 6, 2010.  It's almost painful to go back and look at my first year of posts.   However, reading them, I had some insightful ideas and advice.  Therefore, I plan to revisit, revise and repost.    

A blog is as unique as it's writer.  Some use it as a tool for families to keep in touch, a venue for a political voice, a catalog of recipe keeping and a virtual diary of all your activities.  The "blogosphere" is full of anything you would want to look up or know how to do. 

I do write this blog for me - a piece of my heart and life that I choose to share with my followers and others who "happen upon" my page. 

Over the years, I have met some wonderful people in "blogland."  Many are still writing, others on hiatus and some just vanished.  It's the later that I've noticed lately.  Some of my favorites no longer show up in my daily reading lists.  I just wonder, where have all the bloggers gone?

I do understand, blog "burn out" is real.  The pressure to come up with creative, unique posts, competing with last month/year's page views, finding new hops or linky parties to join, not to mention the reading and leaving comments on other's blogs - it can become like a "job."  

I've been reading many posts on blogging lately.  What I found is that by chance I happen to do some of the same things these bloggers do.  When I started, I had no instruction on how to do this, I just do what I do the way I do it.  I enjoy sharing and writing and so I continue.  

If you are a blogger, what tips would you be willing to share with us.  What do you enjoy about your blog?  What blogs are your favorites?  Share with us.....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Week 36 - Spiced Coconut Crinkles

I made this one up too - it's a "Dicky Bird original" 

Spiced Coconut Crinkles

1 C soft butter
2/3 C brown sugar
2/3 C granulated sugar

Cream together, add:
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
Blend together and add:
1 t allspice
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Mix well.  In separate bowl stir together:
2 C flour
2/3 C coconut
Add gradually to the wet mixture

In small bowl, mix 1/3 C granulated sugar, 1/2 t allspice and 1/2 t cinnamon - this is sugar coating

Roll dough into walnut size balls, shake in the sugar coating mixture.

Bake 325 for 15-18 min.  Makes:  4 doz. cookies

I hope you give them a try, they are tasty.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Top 3 Cheeses in United States 2017

They don't call us cheese heads for "nothin" - you might think that is for the yellow foam wedge fans at Lambeau wear during Packer games - that is true, but we also have some super talented cheese makers here, where making cheese is "in" their heads.  

The top 3 2017 cheese makers and their award winning cheeses are within an hour from our farm.  The winners are:

1.  Satori Company, Antigo, WI for Matucheski's Satori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano (99.02 score).

2.  Terry Lensmire, Agropur, Weyauwega, WI for Cheddar (98.81 score).

3.  Marieke Penterman, Holland Family Cheese, LLC, Thorp, WI for Gouda Belegen (98.59 score).  

Here is a blog post about Holland Family I did a few years back:  They now have a larger store right off the highway.  

Wisconsin,"America's Dairyland."  In my lifetime I've seen many small family farms fade away, sad but true.   What has not changed, what any multi generational dairy family here will tell you is their love of the industry and desire to keep it in the family.  Wisconsin will always be America's Dairyland based on that fact alone.  California now dominates per head and claim to have the "happy cows."  If you ask me, happy cows make happy milk and happy milk makes award winning cheeses and that make everyone happy.  

So, congratulations you wonderful "cheese heads" - keep making those award winning cheeses for all of us to enjoy!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

What I'm Working On This Week

This week I've been working on things to take to the Theme sale:

This is an occasional shop - open 3 days a month.  These are some of the items you will find from me there.  

I have had these cupboard panels - they were seconds - I bought years ago from a guy who worked for a cabinet maker.  I've painted signs and such on them over the years, but I saw something like this at the Shop Hop....this is what I made....I painted, distressed, stained the boards - added the screen, moss and flowers.

If these sell...the plan is to make more for the Urban Farm Girl and Tansy Hill Farm shows in May.

When you "buy out" an estate, you always have items that won't sell the way they, in digging last week in my boxes of inventory, I came up with several items to work on.  These wood pieces were so dated...1970 I painted them and added some spring decorations

I also found several miss matched and single pieces of glass, goblets, serving bowls - what to do?  I came up with these...

I "scored" with a huge amount of ceramic Easter eggs...I had to do something to make them sell too... I think they look nice.  

I have had some nice glass jars....I did this to them...

But, what I spent the most time on was the buffet.  It was so unusual.  When I bought it, I could see all the layers and colors I wanted to paint it.  I did pay $100 more for it than I usually want to pay for pieces I paint.  However, it was so cool and I bought it from some good customers of mine for over 15 fact they just bought that huge cupboard I worked on a few weeks back.  This piece was his grandparent's.  I think it is around 100 years old.    

I had to sand it, wash it with steel wool and mineral spirits, fix the nicks and scratches, paint two coats of base (clay color), dry brush on the gray and then the linen - stain and wax...this was a labor of love as it took all week!  I don't' want to sound prideful, but I LOVE it!  I know I have a different style in that I LOVE imperfection....layers of imperfection.....stop it!!!

Before - After

I think I just came up with a Motivational Monday post..."Layers of Imperfection" 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Motivational Monday - Oh Well

It has been 1 full week without running water in our home.  I'm thankful we have another well by the barn.  We are able to get buckets of water, so we can at least flush the toilets...(smile).

I told Al last Monday, that we could probably "make it" without water for at least a week...easy to say, harder to do.  On one of my trips to the barn with buckets in hand...I started singing..."Jacky and Al went up a hill to fetch a pail of water..." I thought it was funny.  It was a L O N G week.  

Coming out the other side of it...not knowing if we will have a new well this week...I think I can "make it" another week.  After all, I'm in a warm house, I can use paper plates, my animals have water, things could be worse and I am thankful for what I do have.  

I keep thinking about all the other women in the world who don't have water.  The ones that have to walk miles to get their daily amount.  No long warm showers for them.  So, as I sit here and write this, I don't know what this week will "throw at me," but thinking on those less fortunate than I and counting my blessings, I know, with the Lord's help,  I can handle it.  

My hope for you dear follower, is that whatever this week "throws at you" you can handle it too.  Count your many blessings, it helps!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vintage Shop Hop - What's Hot

The Vintage Shop Hop is organized by Nellie's Barn Sale - here are the links:

If you happen to miss the "hop" this past weekend, please go look at the map for the list of all these wonderful shops that are located in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Use the map so that you may still visit and find them.

I will start out this post with saying - I didn't take any pictures of items in shops - because I don't like it when people do that - I've had people take pictures of my booth and art instead of buying, I NEVER do this...good thing I have a photographic memory.  (smile)

I was lucky to be invited to go both Friday and Saturday.  On Friday we started in the Madison area and ended up in Whitewater.  On Saturday, we started in Appleton and ended up in New London.  This is the 3rd year of our going.

I was so inspired by all the vignettes, unique props, displays and creative art!  As an artist and antique dealer, I was looking for ideas and to see up and coming trends.  Here is what I saw.

One common item that was creatively displayed, uniquely used, artistically repurposed was......books!  Yes, books!  I know from watching "Fixer Upper" that Joanna Gaines loves to decorate with books.  I am sure some of this came from that as well...but, I was blown away with the other uses for books.  I hope to recreate some of these for my booths.

Barn boards...still in...and still hot!  In the rough or polly, waxed and sealed - everywhere.

Bird could be because it is Spring...but so many displays with bird cages.  

Baskets galore...I know it is close to Easter, but many, many baskets made of all types of materials.  

Painted furniture - there were so many pieces.  I saw SOLD stickers on those pieces that were uniquely painted - soft, yet colorful and pieces that were paint and original wood combined.  

Signs, I personally think some of these are on the way out, but by the look of what other ladies were buying - original sayings, hand made, unique...not the "cookie cutter" ordered ones.  

Recycled and upcycled clothes.  Tshirts with cute country sayings and shop logos.

For the most part, I noticed that the customers were being very smart with their purchases.  Standing in line behind some younger ladies, I overheard them talking about how the were going to use or display this and was interesting. 

I start a new week with projects still in my entry, paint brushes on the kitchen table, boxes of estate buy out items to mark and my head spinning with inspiration.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What I'm Working on This Week - March 1-8

Here is the before picture of some of the projects I'm working on this week.  

I LOVE the small buffet and all the details in the wood.  This piece has several condition issues and I need to work on fixing before I paint it.  I hope to do a post just about that.    I have some small shelves, benches, boxes - all from estate buyouts and thrifting - that need a little "updating" to bring them back to life.  I hate to do it, but the picture of a young Jesus has been in all of my booths, marked down to $3 and no one bought it...I have a plan to paint over it...

I finished a few of them yesterday.  I added some old hardware from another piece I repurposed to the recipe boxes - these could hold postcards, index cards or photos too.  All of these items will be available at the next Theme sale.  

I also taught our ladies bible study on "the JOY of the Lord is our strength."  I have resigned from teaching Sunday school and took up a more leadership role in the ladies ministry at our church.  I started making these color/journal sheets for each of our bible studies.  

I'm off today to take inventory to my booth at Jackie's Antique Mall and to make and stage the window display at the Theme shop.   

I have to say, that weekly, someone comes up to me and asks, "how is your shop doing?"  I have to keep saying..."I don't own a shop, Jackie's Antique Mall isn't mine and neither is Theme..."  Last week, even Jackie's aunt commented on something I did and thought I was her, even our family get us and our business confused.  It is what it is...  I was sad to find out that the historical brick and mortar building Theme rented was to be sold.  I certainly didn't have the means to purchase the property or ability to create a new LLC to start another business (I'm already in too many).  I'm happy to say, that the new owners like Theme and have agreed to keep things the same for now.  Also, Theme is official, as the one who found the location to rent, created the LLC.  So, I will be able to continue to sell there.   

I hope to pick up some more items from the farm/barn pick from last week...since I looked at the items, we have had 2 snow storms...just my luck!  

Thanks for the interest.  
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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