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Birch Candlesticks and New Friendships

Birch Candlesticks and New Friendships

This time of year is busy. Busy for everyone.

Finding extra time to do anything is almost out of the question. In addition to taking care of our families every day needs, we are all running around buying the perfect Christmas gifts, wrapping said gifts, sending Christmas cards, decorating our homes, menu planning for guests, and working. Can’t forget about going to work. 🙂

I find myself in the same holiday busy theme as everyone else.  The birch candle holders are selling so well, that I was running low on good, dry branches. So when I needed to actually purchase some birch branches, I turned to a local Craigslist ad.

Laura was the person behind the ad and she lived about 5 miles from me. Perfect. I can just zip over to her house, grab some new branches and get back to work filling orders.

But Laura had other plans.

When I arrived at her house, she was outside doing the evening chores of feeding all of her rescue animals.

In my mind rescue animals are dogs and cats, maybe a horse, possibly an old goat.

Laura had the rescue dogs but she also had this beauty.

This is Thanks. No joke and better yet, Thanks used to have a female mate named Giving, but she passed away last winter prior to Laura taking in Thanks. Sad. What is a Thanks turkey without a Giving mate? 🙂

Thanks is a Royal Palm Turkey and is a very endangered breed. Laura had to promise that Thanks wouldn’t end up on her table before she was allowed to take him in.

As I mentioned, I was in a bit of a rush. Laura had also come from a full days work but asked if I wanted to take a little walk on a path around her six acre property. Thanks would come along.

My initial thought was, No, but thank you for asking.

And then I thought, how many more opportunities will I ever have, to go and walk with a turkey. ( I did actually think that.)

Laura and I started to chat and walk and Thanks followed.

He followed us on the path as we walked past her pond and beautiful birch trees,

He followed us as Laura showed me where she had planted her garden and where  she was working on a green house made from her collection of free doors and windows.

Everything was so rustic and eclectic. And yet somehow natural and calming at the same time.

When the three of us finished our little walking path tour we ended at the dilapidated barn where she stored all of her birch.

I was not allowed to walk past the Moosehead doorway because the barn was severely leaning and was only being supported by scaffolding on the left hand side.

If that barn could tell stories. I can only imagine.

After risking her life to retrieve 5 long branches, we carried and loaded them into the truck. For someone who was soooo busy, me, I spent another hour talking to Laura about….well almost everything.

What started out to be a quick run to get some supplies turned in to a relaxing, out of the ordinary routine and the start of a new friendship with Laura and Thanks.

Happy Monday All. See you Wednesday,




Fish Fry, DIY and Pinterest

Fish Fry, DIY and Pinterest

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. It was a top 10 day here this weekend in Minnesota!

I took this picture yesterday. You can see what amazing weather we had, June temperatures in late September. Beautiful.

Let me introduce you to my neighbor.

Everyone, this is Jimmy.

Jimmy, this is everyone.

Jimmy and his cute as a button wife Nikki live two doors down from us. You may remember me mentioning my neighbor that works at the local tree farm? He cuts the birch tree branches for me that I use to make these candlesticks.

This is him. (Nikki said she wasn’t ready for a photo, silly Nikki. I’ll catch you next time.)

Jimmy and Nikki both love to mill around on Pinterest. Not only do the pin ideas to their boards, they actually make the ideas they pin.

Last weekend they invited us over for a fish fry.

Fish fry. Someone else making dinner. Win-Win.

They deep fat fried the fish out in their garage. Very smart, plus it was another beautiful Minnesota evening.

While Jimmy was frying, I noticed this tool organizer on the wall.

I asked him where he got it and he causally said that he made it off of an idea from Pinterest.

So today I would like to share with you the steps he took to make this.

He started with 2×3 boards. In hindsight he should have used 2×4’s, but he used what he had in the garage at the time. He then made this template to use as the cut out for his tool handles. The rounded top is a 1.5 inch diameter and the length is almost 4 inches.

His next step was placing the template onto the 2×3, tracing it about every six inches.

Here is where he drilled out the top rounded section with a 1.5 inch drill bit.

After that section is drilled through, he simply took his circular saw and followed the black lines until they connected to the rounded out section.

Place, trace, drill and cut each area until you have the desired amount of spots for your tool handles.

There will be a lot of weight on these brackets so for the final step Jimmy attached each one of these brackets into a wall stud.

Another suggestion he had was to attach a horizontal brace behind the vertical brackets to make them stick out further. That way the deeper tools such as shovels would sit nicely into the slot.

I love how everything is on the wall, organized and ready to use without digging in a barrel or a pile for the right tool.

I hope I can convince Jimmy to share more of his DIY Pinterest influenced items. The guy has so many skills. 🙂

Here’s to getting organized! See you Wednesday.

MeTV and some New Blue Christmas Stockings

MeTV and some New Blue Christmas Stockings

When I sew, I like to have the TV on. More specifically I like to watch the MeTV channel when they run the old western/cowboy shows.  You know, shows like Bonanza, Gunsmoke and The Rifleman.  I find it interesting that not one of the Bonanza boys got married, well not for any length of time anyway and how is that Miss Kitty and Marshall Matt Dillon never declared their love for one another?  I know there was more than a friendship there.  I haven’t seen the episode where Lucas McCain marries Millie, but I googled it and rest assured, it does happen. Whew. 🙂

Something else that does happen in every episode, in every cowboy show, is that someone is always “fixin” to do something.  Fixin’ to go to town, fixin’ to go tradin ‘, fixin’ to meet the Marshall.  Fixin’ is not a phrase used in the Midwest very often/ever.

However, my cowboy shows are wearing off on me.  Samantha asked me what my plans were for the day and I told her I was fixin’ to list the new Christmas Stockings that Spencer and I had taken pictures of recently.  We both stopped, looked at each other and busted out laughing. I am at such an impressionable age, maybe a little more Dancing with the Stars would be a good idea. 🙂

So now I can check the blue ticking stripe Christmas stockings  off of my fixin’ to do list.


So when you are sewing, crafting, DIYing, do you watch TV or listen to the radio? Any chance you like to watch cowboy shows?  🙂