Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Drew was overjoyed to help Fiona work on her first ever Science Project...every engineer's dream to help his daughter grasp electro magnets. (Wink.)

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Like a Fish Out of Water

Crab fishing. I guess I shouldn't have been the least bit surprised when I heard the words come out of my husband's mouth last night. say I wasn't a bit shocked would be a farce. Did Drew just announce to the family we were going crabbin' this weekend? Yes. He. Did.

Living with my husband is an adventure. He is an explorer, a life-long learner, a seeker of life. Though I think I'd rather be one to sit and enjoy my garden with a cup of tea (of course!), Drew wants to experience life first hand. What is it like to view the mountain from that park, stand where his Irish ancestors farmed, run with the bulls (no, we haven't done this...but DON'T mention it to him!), eat the bazaar, etc.?

Drew's ideas are amazing, fun and full of wonder. Just living with him is my adventure, to partake in his excitement for life. He has instilled this in our children to want to experience everything and so I'm grateful. However, I admit sometimes I'm the dream crusher when I convince him it may just be too dangerous for the kids to experience this or that. But, mostly he has researched and romanticized whatever the new idea is that as a wife and friend I couldn't say no to his enchantment with whatever he has "dreamed" up to do.

But...crab fishing? Honestly, I kinda' feel like a fish out of water. What in the world are two Midwesterns going crab fishing with their kids? But, it's too late. The kids are on board. Drew is researching where to buy or rent a crab pot. (Huh?)  And...the family calendar clearly says Crab Fishing for Saturday, June 30. I guess there is no turning back but to experience life to it's fullest...head on...even if it means crab fishing.

So here's to crab fishin'... And don't worry when I told Drew I didn't have any idea how to crab fish, he said, "No problem. There are lots of youtube videos and books about the subject."

Of course there are. So here's to a week of reading up about crab fishing...because there will be a sign on our door on Saturday morning saying "Gone Crab Fishin".

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wine Bottle-tastic!

Fortunately early on in my life, my parents taught me one of my most valuable lessons in life..."Make due with what you have." In a want this, take this society it is easy to get caught up with wanting more even though the monetary means are not there to make it possible. However, with a little creativity and a little work anything is possible.

Take exhibit one: an ordinary wine bottle. For years I've dreamed about a creative border in my gardens to help little ones know where the grass and garden collide. But I didn't want it to look like everyone else and of course, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it.

Many years ago I added a few wine bottles to my garden in the front beds as "poor man's" lighting to add a bit of interest. I simply pushed the wine bottle neck into the ground and a little tea light was added to the top for night time viewing. It was nice, but with only a few wine bottles here and there it added little or no impact.

A couple of months ago, I got an idea to make my garden border a reality without spending a dime. At first, I told a few friends to start saving their wine bottles for my project. But as I realized the sheer amount of wine bottles I needed I decided reaching a larger network was needed. So after I posted my request via Facebook the wine bottles started coming in...delivered at work, left on my front porch, handed to me at the bus stop. Yeap, to me it didn't matter how and were they came from just as long as they were coming in. However, I enjoyed listening to the stories of parties and get-togethers of friends who enjoyed the contents of the bottles. As more bottles were delivered the anticipation of what I was creating began to grow in those hearing of my project as well as myself.

Suggested by my friend Jen, I began to place the bottles into the ground in groups of ten. This thought ensured I didn't have tons of bottles sitting on my patio where my "helpers", aka Fiona and Keegan, could knock a bottle over and break them. It was brilliant and allowed me to make sure I was mixing up color of bottles and labels for a purely eclectic look.
To complete the project I used my long shovel, a piece of string to help keep a straight line, a bucket to hold the extra dirt, and a bucket to collect any weeds or grass that got uprooted. Really! That's all I needed to make my project a reality...well, that and 78 wine bottles. (Thanks to my wine drinking friends.)
The actual time needed to put all the bottles into the ground and clean-up was 3 hours. Weeds went into the green bin, tools put away and the extra dirt was used to cover the growing potatoes in the garden. The best part is the cost to me was absolutely nothing. I choose to leave all of the labels on the bottles for an eclectic look, but they could be soaked off as well. The labels will eventually come off in the rain, but I think the look will be shabby chic.
Yes, this look of 78 wine bottles in the ground isn't everyone's style, but here at the Little Blue Bungalow it suits us.

It isn't precious stone from Italy with a cascading waterfall, but in my eyes it looks unique and definitely is a conversation piece. It is my own. Being creative with what I have and using it to make my own garden masterpiece is something every gardener's motto should be. Creative ideas, like good wine, getter better with age. (Wink.)

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean