Category: Lovin’ Life

New Blooms Bring Hope

I’m a gal who loves change and I certainly love the changing seasons of Iowa.  I’m not sure how the winter days went by so quickly but I’m not complaining about the wonderful springy like weather we’ve experienced the last week or so.  Each fall I drag as many plants into my shop as room allows with the hopes of keeping them alive over the winter.  About this time of year I take cuttings from the plants that survived and attempt to start new plants for the upcoming growing season. Basically I just need my “fix” of getting my hands in the dirt and awake the gardening monster that lives within me.  You die-hard gardeners know about this monster….as soon as we see the first signs of spring, our heads start to spin about this year’s growing season.  I was granted a wonderful surprise this morning when I went out to the shop and found two of my “winterovered” plants blooming.  Early morning songs from the birds, warm winds from the south and old plants coming to life brings me great hope that spring is here….well…very close at least!

WoodGal Post March 14 2015

Mr. Scraps Scarecrow



Mr Scarecrow


I just love fall time, especially in Iowa. Just thought I’d share one of my favorite fall decorations……Mr. Scarecrow. Would you believe this guy was all built out of scraps from the shop? Like most woodworkers, I hate throwing wood away so I look for any way to use up even the smallest pieces if possible. Mr. Scarecrow is mostly made out of MDF which paints up really, really nice. I hate working with the stuff as it’s terribly dusty but there’s no better material to paint on. I painted this from a paper pattern by Renee Mullins many years ago when I was a new mom. Having an infant left little time for me to do woodworking so I turned to painting which still allowed me to scratch my creative itch. Hope you have a great rest of October! Oh how I’ll miss the beautiful colors!

Trash to Treasure

Although I love to build fine furniture there are days when I enjoy taking something old and turning it into something useful.  Allows me to be extra creative!  I was invited a few years ago to go with some pro trash-to-treasure pirates to a town that has a city-wide garage sale every year.  What people don’t sell goes out on the curb and people like me come along and snatch the rejects.  I was embarrassed at first but it didn’t take me long to come out of my shell and grab 2 redwood fence gates some guy put on the curb after replacing his backyard fence.  To tell you the truth I think I was invited because I had a truck and trailer but it allowed me to throw the other pirates stuff off when I needed more room for my finds.  On our way home we looked like The Beverly Hillbillies with the amount of stuff we had piled in the back of the truck and trailer.

Here are the steps for creating my treasure that hangs in my 18′ foot open foyer of my house. It’s big…..5′ x 6′ but it fits perfectly on a huge wall going up my open staircase.

B&A Fence Flag

Brag Time!

Aaron in Navy UniformSome of you may have read in my bio post that I’m raising my 2 sons on my own. We lost my husband to cancer over 5 years ago when my guys were 9 and 11 years old. Although single parenthood was a huge adjustment for me the years have gone by so very quickly mostly because my 2 sons have been an absolute dream to raise. Our hearts were broken when learning my husband had terminal cancer and we felt devastated when he passed away 5 months later. The bond the 3 of us have now is indescribable and the heartache we experienced 5 years ago has made us stronger people in many ways.

My guys most definitely are on the right path to success. Hopefully you’ll allow me to brag a little within my own blog. This post is about my youngest son, Aaron. He’ll be 15 in early June and has had an interest in the military since he was about 8 years old. This mama experienced a milestone last weekend when Aaron decided to join the U.S. Navy Sea Cadets. I had to fight back the tears when dropping him off for his very first overnight drill weekend. Good grief….it was worse than when I dropped him off for his first day of kindergarten! Wasn’t that just last year?!! Along with learning how to march and experience some boot camp training he had the opportunity to learn some basic scuba diving skills. Iowa is not known for its scuba diving opportunities so he had an absolute blast with the training. Today, in his traditional Navy uniform, he had the opportunity to be part of the Color Guard in the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics held at our local high school.  I’m partial to a man in uniform and I have to say this uniformed man is my favorite!

Look deep into my eyes….

Whenever I get a chance I like to work on my photography skills and the dog or the cats are the only ones who don’t roll their eyes when they see me coming after them with the camera in my hand. This is our kitty Leo who is a Snowshoe Kitten. He’s a mix between a Siamese and an American Shorthair.  Great cat with a wonderful personality.  Best part about it is he was an Animal Rescue League cat and we were thrilled to give him a home!  Support your local ARL!

Leo the great WM


My Lifesaver!

I’ve had many dogs in my life but Piper, our Airedale Terrier has been the best dog ever. She has the best sense of humor and like many Airedales she’s a total clown. She has an incredibly special place in my heart as we got her just 5 weeks before my husband passed away.  My husband had terminal cancer and was encouraging me to get a dog right in the midst of his illness.  Piper was the comic relief all of us needed during the terribly dark days we were suffering through.  She gave us something to laugh about but for my husband it was that little bit of extra security our family would have after he was no longer here with us.  I had wanted an Airedale for over 20 years and the timing seemed totally wrong but looking back now God knew what a blessing this animal would be for my 2 young sons and I. Next to my boys she’s the highlight of my life. If you want a funny, super family friendly dog an Airedale just might be what you’re looking for! Oh and they don’t shed either. What more could you want?!!

Piper October 2013

Piper Flippy Ears

Piper and Ball

Somebody is about to get her spring haircut.  I’m getting those “Please Mama….do we have to do this?” eyes!!

Pipe & Haircut

The video below is an example of the goofiness we see everyday with this dog!  She’s crazy about those velcro sticky weed pods that stick to your clothes when you’ve been tromping through the field. Just like a kid….you get ’em all kinds of toys and the things they enjoy playing with the most are freebies…..annoying freebies!



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