Monday, April 13, 2015

Just One Blister

Holy productive weekend, Batman!

I couldn't tell you the last time I've spent the bulk of Saturday and Sunday at home, but this past weekend was different!  And I made darn good use of the time too!  Knowing that the weeks are going to really start flying by now that horse show season kicks off this weekend, I knew I had to get cracking on my list of projects. 

Hosting a baby shower at your house will, none the less, light a fire under ya!

The project of redoing our very formal dining room chairs has been in the works for, oh six years or so!  Obviously they weren't too high up the list.  Since the new floors went in (hand-scraped engineered hardwood) the chairs were really sticking out like sore thumbs and something needed to be done!  Here's the before...

A fine chair, but far too stuffy and formal for our house's "style".  I knew I was going to take them in the 'farmhouse' direction by painting them white-ish and then roughing them up to make them look worn and well loved!

Friday afternoon I made collected all the necessary supplies and started by first reupholstering the seats with a new 'farmhouse style' fabric.  Learning from past mistakes, I measured twice and cut once, that part was smooth sailing!  I finished up the seats just as Matt walked in the door, he did stop to say how nice they looked before he ushered me out the door to meet friends for supper.  Bonus points, husband.  Bonus points.

Saturday morning I started off by using flat black spray paint and spraying all six chairs.  Living on the prairie, I lucked out with an almost windless day!  While the paint was drying, I took the dogs for a run and then came back and did a second coat.  The weather was so gorgeous that I left the chairs out in the yard while I drove down and rode Louie. 

After getting back that afternoon, I busted out the paint.  I went with Glidden's Antique Beige, which coordinated nicely with the cream in the fabric.  By the end of Saturday, I had three of the six chairs painted!  Makin' progress.

Sunday morning after my workout, I went back to painting the rest of chairs.  For whatever reason it took an extra coat of the beige paint to cover the black?  Who knows why?  I had to stop occasionally for snacks and to play with the dogs, but by 8:30pm Sunday all six chairs were painted, distressed, reassembled and back in the dining room! 

And despite the one blister, I'm so stinking thrilled with the end product!

Did anyone else work on projects this weekend? 

Linking up with B Loved Boston

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Faves

To round out National Ag Week, I wanted to highlight five of my personal favorite agricultural products and link up with some of my favorite Friday characters!

Wine, sweet wine!  Actually I'm a dry wine kinda girl, but "wine, sweet wine" rolls off the tongue a little easier.  Anywho.  Without vitaculture, which is the science, production and study of grapes wines aren't nearly as tasty!  Wineries are becoming one of the largest and most visited Agri-Tourism locations here in Illinois.  All you wine drinkers out there, remember to #thankafarmer!

Meat eater's unite.  Having grown up on a farm that raised cattle to put food on our table, as well as others in our community, I know first hand the respect that farmers have for the animals they care for and raise.  It's a luxury that I'm able to go to our freezer and pick out a package of steaks or a pound of hamburger and have no concerns about what we're eating for supper that night.  Don't forget to #thankafarmer the next time you're standing at the meat counter or grabbing a quick burger at your local pub and grub!

If you're not aware of my obsession with all things 'fall', you can bring yourself up to speed with a few past posts (here, here, here).  It's true!  From harvest to bonfires and everything in between I'm a fan, pumpkins and gourds are some of may favorite ways to decorate our house!  But someone is growing and tending all the mums, gourds and pumpkins that adorn my house each year... #thankafarmer

Who remembers their first sip of beer?  Where you a little kiddo sitting next to grandpa on the swing on a warm July day or maybe it was a stealthy swig at your first college house party?  Mine was somewhere in between.  I've wised up since college and prefer (and can easily afford) "good" beer.  Matt and I both enjoy a good round of craft beer, but without barley, hops and wheat we'd be sunk.  Beer drinkers, #thankafarmer before your next swig!

From my head down to my legs, I love eggs!  Just about anyway you can eat 'em... over-easy, hard-boiled, poached, I love 'em.  When I can get them from the 4-Her down the road, farm-fresh are my go-to and I buy them from her two dozen at a time.  Although I've broached the idea of getting our own chickens, to which I was shot down... I support and always #thankafarmer for my eggs whether they come from the store or just down the road.

What are some of your favorite agricultural products?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Celebrating National Ag Day

As part of National Ag Week, I'm doing radio and television spots in our local media to spread the message about how our lives are impacted daily by agriculture.  This morning I'm appearing on an hour long program to talk about National Ag Day, which is TODAY, the Ag in the Classroom program and also how farmers are gearing up for the Spring planting season. 

These media bits are just a small part of the deal though!  Last week I worked with our local community college to get fun, fact-based information printed and distributed to each 3rd grade teacher and administrator in our county.

In addition to the flyer, they also received some really cool AgMags that tell about all different aspects of agriculture and commodities (pumpkins, soybeans, dairy, soil, energy, etc.) that are kid-friendly and can be used in classrooms to teach math, science and language arts!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crazy for Corn

Let's pretend you and I are driving down a straight, flat country road in rural Illinois.  The windows are down and we've got the radio up.  On both sides of the road there is something tall and green growing in the fields.

You ask "Is that the corn you eat off the cob? Or is it best popped and covered in butter?"

A smile slowly crosses my face and I turn to you and say "Neither."

The majority of corn that you would see in my next of the woods is called Field Corn.  This type of corn is used to feed animals and make products like sandpaper, medicine and ethanol.  

Four other common types of corn would be:

Indian Corn which is primarily used for crafting and decorating.  The dried kernels can also be ground up to make corn meal.

Broom Corn is a type of sorghum use for making brooms and whiskbrooms.

Popcorn, delicious popcorn.  The tiny droplet of water inside of a popcorn kernel is heated and when the pressure finally reaches a breaking point it POPS!  When it does pop, the kernel actually turns itself inside out and we have ourselves a tasty treat.

Sweet Corn is known for it's high sugar content and is enjoyed all summer long from farmer's markets, road-side stands or right out of the garden!

Just a few "corny" facts before you go...

Illinois farmers rank 2nd in the country for corn production!
More than 95% of all corn grown in the US is grown on family farms.
Over 12,000,000 acres of field corn is planted each year in Illinois and produces approximately 2 billion bushels.
One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds.