Posts Tagged With: Beau

Enlightened Tomatoes

Are you ready for a Christmas craft that will set you back less than $10? These are sooooo cute too! Last year we took Beau, Bella and Brady out to look at Christmas lights. Crazy right? I mean do cats really care about Christmas lights? Well, two years ago when we were working on the house, we occasionally brought Beau and Bella to the house while we were working to help them get used to it. We noticed that every time we would get to one of the little towns between the old place and the new place, Beau would stand up and look out the window. He followed the Christmas lights on the houses as we drove by and then when we would leave the town he would cry. So last year when our town did a lights festival, there was no way we weren’t going to take our (very spoiled) boy to look at lights and make his brother and sister go along too. We drove around for an hour and when we got back home, Beau Beau cried as if asking for more. It seems that his favorite lights were the ones that were in tree form. I looked last year for some lighted trees on clearance to put in the front yard so Beau could sit in the window and look at them, but didn’t have any luck. Those things are expensive! When I saw this idea on Pinterest I knew that I would be making these for my Beau

Fortunately, my mom and McDad had a couple tomato cages that they let me borrow.

Did you notice that one of them was taller than the other one? Since my plan was for these to go in place of our pots that sit in the front of the house, they needed to be as close to the same as I could get. I was working in the garage by myself so I started looking through all the drawers of Michael’s toolboxes. There had to be some wire cutters in there somewhere but I couldn’t find any. Then I saw this thing

I’ve seen Michael use this about a thousand times. It didn’t seem all that difficult, just a lot of sparks, so I got out a piece of scrap wood and started cutting. I laid the shorter cage next to the taller cage to get the approximate size I needed to cut off the top. Don’t worry, before I started cutting, I called my mom and asked her if it was okay. I’m not into destroying other people’s property. I didn’t get any pictures of it cutting because I was pretty much thinking about keeping all my fingers, but here is basically what it looked like after being hacked off.

If I had been buying lights for this project, I would have probably bought green wire lights. You know I’m all about using what I have so when I was getting out the Christmas decor I found a brand new box of white wire mini lights.

After checking them to make sure they still work (I think they are about 5 years old) I started wrapping them around the cage and immediately thought I was going to have a problem. See how the lights are looking more triangle-ish and less tree-like?

But from the side it didn’t look so triangley. This is after just one 100 light string

As I started wrapping more lights onto the “tree” it started looking more round. I used some icicle lights that we had so I wouldn’t have to buy more lights, but if you’re going to make some of these, you’ll probably need 3-4 strings of 100 mini lights. Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll need

  • Tomato cage – $2.50 at a garden center
  • 100 mini light strands – $2.50 each and you’ll need 3-4 depending on the size of your tomato cage
  •     Total – $10 each

Here is what one completed one looks like all lit up in the garage.

When I get them both out in front of the house, I promise to post another pictures on my facebook page and I’ll update this post too. I’ll have that done by this weekend.  Even though we had to say goodbye to Beau in September (see posts here and here), we’re still going to be putting up lights just like we had planned. We know that Beau would have loved the lights on our house.

Michael and I spent some quality time in the garage on Monday building something for the dining room that just makes me smile.

It’s begging to be painted today!





Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Independent One, That’s Me

Go on a mission trip to Europe with 95 other people that I’ve never met for a whole summer? Sure, why not? Move to North Carolina to go to college when I’ve never been there or even visited? No problem. Move to Switzerland to be a nanny for a year(ish) and live with a family I don’t know? Bring it on. I’m an independent kind of gal. I mean really independent. Like, it’s-a-wonder-I-ever-got-married-because-I-didn’t-want-to-be-tied-down  independent. So can you imagine what one of my favorite holidays is? Independence Day!

Our holiday was quite low key this year. On Sunday night, we took Beau & Bella to watch the fireworks in a nearby small town. Crazy I know because they’re cats, but Beau loved Christmas lights when we took him, Bella & Brady around to look at them last year, so we thought he might like fireworks. Turns out that fireworks are Bella’s thing. She sat and stared at them for the entire show…Bella usually doesn’t sit still for any length of time, it’s not how she rolls. But evidently, she takes after me (yes, I still know she’s a cat) in her love for fireworks. Michael says that Bella and I watch fireworks with the same look on our faces.

Since I can’t take a weekend off without a DIY project or two, my mom came for a visit and to bring me a new hosta on Monday. One hosta closer to filling in a part of our yard with a garden! We also tackled a project that her and McDad had also tackled last year. Those trees just came back again

Behind those trees that keep popping up are some peonies and a few cone flowers too.

Obviously, we’re going to have to do a little planting there, but what to plant? All that work called for another one of my favorite summer traditions – sun tea

I’m starting to think that this is a Midwest thing to do. So my dear readers from anywhere else, do you make sun tea or is it really a Midwest thing? If you’ve never done it, you should definitely try it. Take 10 bags of tea and put them in a gallon of water and set it out in the sun for a few hours. It’s just that simple. Of course in our house, we also heat a couple cups of water on the stove, dissolve a cup of sugar in it and then add it to the tea once it’s done. We’re a sweet tea household ya’ll!

We broke in the new grillagain. Michael is trying his hand at a blog post tutorial on the grill for ya. I tried to eat my first hot dog in over 15 years. Yeah, I still can’t do it, but I gave it a try. My dad, Cora & my niece Mikayla came for a visit. Well, a visit and for Mikayla to feed Beau & Bella some treats

and for Dad and Michael to climb up on the roof and do some measuring

I so can’t wait to get started on that project and share with you the step by step of how to do your own roof…yikes.

But until then, I’ll share some of my other favorite scenes of summer and Independence day. My hydrangea all bloomed and pretty (see the before here)

My lilies that I planted last year waited to bloom until Independence Day – gorgeous!

My hosta called Patriot

Monday night we went to another small town and sat in the car and watched more fireworks. Actually, Bella and I watched the fireworks, Beau looked out the window at the lightning bugs flying around and Michael tried cleaning the the bugs off the windshield with napkins and sweet tea. Disclaimer: These fireworks pictures are not from this year. I just love these ones!

Most importantly the biggest and best symbol of our Independence

Hope ya’ll had a fabulous Independence Day, I know we did!

Categories: It's Our Life | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Let’s take a walk in a garden

It might not sound like fun to some people, but for this girl who comes from a gardening family, walking through gardens is among my favorite ways to spend a day. Last year I “drug” Michael to a garden walk…if you catch him at the right time, he might actually admit that he enjoyed it (see some of my favorite pictures here). For those who have never heard of a garden walk before, the short version is that you get to traipse through gardens of Master Gardeners who open their gardens to the public. We decided that we would take another outing to the 2011 Master Gardener’s walk last weekend. This year, it was cool enough out that we loaded up the kids in the car and went for a drive into town

I might be biased, but I do believe that these are the two most wonderful sweetest kitties. We made it to three fabulously inspiring gardens this year. I’m going to need to find a place for this saying and I think that my mom, my aunt Delta and my uncle Jim could use this for theirs

Michael and I both want to have a pond someday…not sure it will be to this extent, but this was beautiful!

This big blue flower towered over the waterfall & pond. Just one word can describe it: LOVE

My favorite color

I totally heart this froggy

We were looking for ideas for our Brady garden which will have blue and white flowers perhaps with a few orange ones thrown in, but for now, we’re looking at blue and white and any garden art that would remind us of Brady. I found this

The name of this hosta is Remember Me

A blue bottle tree? FYI, I’m looking for blue bottles now.

We will find a place for poppies…somewhere…anywhere. Any suggestions?

I’ll just add this one last one that reminds me of a my in-laws. When we make trips to visit them in Kentucky we usually end up working on puzzles. My MIL Melissa and SILs Meagan and Michele and I love doing puzzles. This picture reminds me of one that we would see on puzzle project…as long as it was 1,000 pieces or more.

There are so many more gorgeous pictures of this year and last year but I couldn’t fit them all in…so they’re on Facebook. Check out our page to see more fabulously inspiring pictures. Even if you don’t want to see the pictures, head over there and “Like” me. I’m starting to develop a complex over only having 7 fans.

Have you ever gone on a garden walk? How about botanical gardens? Is walking through a garden one of your favorite ways to spend a day

Categories: It's Our Life | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Our pet zebra

Last weekend Bella and I spent some quality outside doing some yard work. Last year I planted hostas around two of our trees on the west side of the house. For those who are directionally challenged like me, that’s the right side of the house if you’re looking at it. Remember from this post that I want to make that entire side of the house a shade garden? Last year I bought quite a few varieties of hostas and planted them with some help from Beau & Bella. Well, Beau & Bella sat in their tent and watched me. That’s right, I said their tent. A few years ago Michael and I thought it would be a good idea to take Bella camping. (This was before we adopted Beau…or Brady.) We bought a play tent for her to chill in when we weren’t out and about or sleeping in the regular tent. We found it on clearance at Target and she still likes to go out in the yard and just chill in it. People drive by or walk by our house and slow down to marvel at it. I must say it is a little humorous. It’s our pet zebra – or rather Beau & Bella’s zebra

On Mother’s Day this year, my mom and McDad (commonly known as a step-dad, but we don’t go with conventional names in our family) came out to our house with a truck load of wood chips. I was thrilled! Now I just need to talk my brother or my dad to bring me a truck load of cow poo and I’ll have my own little distorted version of bliss. We spread the wood chips around the trees with hostas planted around them and along the deck where there are hostas and day lilies. But by last weekend those pesky weeds had found their way through the chips. It was time to show them who was boss. When I started planting hostas last year, my aunt Delta told me that I should create some sort of map so I know which one is where. Instead I just made plant markers and knew that would be okay. In case you’re keeping score it’s Delta – 1 and Amy – 0. Wooden plant stakes with Sharpie are evidently no match for an Iowa winter. So this summer begins the task of finding out what’s what on some of these and making a map. I also found these plant tags (thank you Pinterest) that I think will hold up a little better

You know that mine will have to be painted copper and I’ll put a coat of poly over them too. So who wants to send me their juice can lids? Or I’ll just have to find some juice coupons and we’ll become a juice drinking household. I could also use some help identifying some of my hostas. Anyone?


Carolina Sunshine

Lemon Lime?

In fairness to me, I never knew the names of these next ones. Who has a hostapedia and an extra few hours?

When we were done with the hostas, Bella and I went for a walk around the yard. The first time we took her for a walk was on that same camping trip where she got her zebra. She went to the zoo and the botanical gardens in Madison, Wisconsin like in this (sorry it’s not a bigger picture, this is uber cropped)

Yes, that is her cat carrier held into an umbrella stroller with bungee cords. You should have seen the looks we got. One lady stopped us and said “Good for you for spoiling her.” She actually went hiking by herself at Effigy Mounds, well on a leash. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.

Now the “kids” have harnesses instead and they like to go out roaming in the yard…with supervision. When we were out wandering the yard, we found all these little Maple trees. I love our great big trees…these little things that I find everywhere, not so much.

We took a look at the Hydrangea bush out front that my mom and I thinned by about 50% last year (truly, the thing was massive). Imagine this twice as big…no exaggeration!

I can’t wait until it starts blooming again!!! We’re getting close

We checked out the new lights that Mom & McDad brought back from their trip to Canada…but I think these are from Minnesota

Oh how I heart them! And yes, they are solar. While we were sitting there picking Maple tree wannabes out of the front pots, I remembered that we didn’t have an after picture of the sidewalk to the east, so I quick snapped one of that. Sure the after is a year later, but it’s still a HUGE difference.

Sidewalk to the east – Before

Sidewalk to the East – After

See the other before and after sidewalks in this post. The best part was just spending time with my little Princess

I know we’ll have more outdoor adventures this year…plenty more!

Categories: It's Our Life, Projects | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: