Monday, October 29, 2012


So I thought I'd do a fun little post about blogs this blogger reads...

Young House Love:

This was my first blog.  I started reading, and I was hooked.  I don't know what it is about John & Sherry Petersik, but they've got me along with thousands of other readers mesmerized!  Literately, they have page views in the millions... and that's just monthly.  They were very much my inspiration to start this blog.  They mainly post about home DIY things, but they will also throw in random posts about their adorable daughter Clara, cute little Burger dog, and anything else they might be up to.  They just finished their first book and holy cow I can't wait for it to hit shelves!

OK, enough drooling over 2 strangers who strangely feel like friends..

Next up is Nice Girl Notes:

This chick is hilarious!  Her witty style of writing has me rolling with every post.  She's been known to throw out the occasional misplaced rap lyric and drop some great internet memes.  (By the way apparently it is pronounced "meams", not "mee-mee's" like I've been saying for the past year.  Who knew?)  But seriously, if your day is in need of some brightening up, check her blog out!

The Pioneer Woman:

I don't know how this lady does everything she does.  Not only does she have her own full time blog, she has a cooking show on the Food Network, a fully operational family cattle ranch, family of 6 (or is it 7), and home schools her kids. I just feel tired after typing all that.  Not only that but her posts are an awesome read.  They are short and to the point and full of wonderful pictures.  Oh she's also a seasoned photographer... Jealousy is a cruel thing.

Then there are a few others I drop in on occasion.
Bower Power.  Full of cute stories of DIY and little people (aka children).
Centsational Girl.  Good home upgrade ideas for those on a budget.
Our Fifth House.  After 5 houses these people have decor down to a science.

Well there you have it.  A look into some of my blogging super heroes.  If I ran into any of these people on the street I'd probably just run away, hide, and laugh giddily that I actually got to see them!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Engagement Pics

We recently had our engagement photo session.  It went great.  Cold, but great!  Of course the morning we picked just happened to be one of the coldest mornings so far this year.  You would think early October could give us a break, but fall struck back at our optimism with a 45 degree wake up call. Arren and I toughed it out like champs though!

I was a little afraid of how the session would go.  Arren and I are by no means professional models (however much I say Arren should take up a career in modeling) and are novice posers.  We usually resort to the arm wrap around the back and smile.  Not to knock the pose, but as far as versatility goes, we were lacking.  Our photographer Kara Kamenski was great in this aspect.  She was full of suggestions and helpful hints on making our pictures awesome.

We started at Allerton Park on that chilly Sunday morning.  We were dodging the U of I cross country team, but the lighting was great!  We went up into the tall tower and took some awesome shots.  Kara knew the place and where we should go for the best pictures.

We then went to a meadow area just outside of Allerton.  It was pretty and sun struck and allowed us to get some pretty nature shots.

Finally we ended up at the Monticello train museum.  It apparently has a stellar reenactment of the Polar Express and Kara made sure we knew to take our future children!   By the time we got to the tracks it was unfortunately blustery, cloudy, and seemed if possible even colder.  We tried a variety of shots but my hair was not cooperating with the crazy wind.  Luckily our great photographer was able to get some more great shots.

Thanks to the ever helpful site Pinterest I got the idea of making our wedding date with wooden numbers hang from twine.  I got the numbers from Michaels and then spray painted them navy blue (our main wedding color).  Then I took some twine and used a staple gun to fasten them.  It turned out pretty good!

As far as our outfits, Arren and I went shopping a few weeks ahead of time and picked them out together.  We are not fancy or dressy people by any standards.  Our wedding will be the first time I've ever seen Arren in a tie or jacket.  That's reflected in our clothing choices for our pictures.  Jeans and a nice shirt was our theme.  We tried to pick complementary colors.  In our first set we both had shades of red and then in the second a shade of gray.  

So there you have it.  A run down of our engagement pic session.  And now I'd like to throw in a little plug for our awesome photographer Kara Kamienski!  I can't express how warm she was and how relaxed she made us feel.  She let us make some choices but also directed us which, as I stated was a huge help.  If some one asked me if I knew a great choice for a photographer I'd 100% recommend Kara!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Becoming Elsie Again

Our pups is walking!  Well more like hobbling, but she's getting better everyday.

It all started last Saturday.  My parents said she stood up and took two big jumps before she fell over again.  Then Sunday she was up and making it 10 or more steps before having to take a break.  She has progressed since then and now can make it from the house to the barn and back again.  She's standing up to eat and loving every minute of being able to freely go where she wants with out us toting along behind her.

Yesterday she even took off after a little bunny that raced across our yard.  She's becoming Elsie again and it's great!

My parents took her to the vet last Thursday and the whole staff couldn't believe how well she was getting around.  They were so impressed with her strives to get better, we didn't even have to make another check up appointment.  She still is on pills for nerve damage, pain, and an antibiotic.  The vet also suggested we try weekly shots of vitamin B12 to help correct any nerve damage.

She still can not move her tail or poop on her own.  Which is a little unnerving to me.  I'm hoping there isn't paralysis in the very back part of her hips.  But her gains in the past week have been huge and she is continuing to get better and stronger everyday.

She also has lost quite a bit of weight.  My parents have been feeding her roasts day and night for the last 6 weeks and the pups has ate their freezer dry!  But again, her ability to move around should bring her appetite back.  She is probably the only dog I know who could eat 5 pounds of meat a day and loose weight.

Elsie has made new friends of the feline form.  She doesn't mind them much as long as they don't get too close to her food or bones.  Then she'll take off after them in a wild, flailing, growling rush.  Just another way she is becoming Elsie again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big Red Barn

Hello Darlin', it's been a long time!

Way too long.  I've been dying to post just have been incredibly short on time. 

Sadly, I also have not been able to visit Green Acres nearly as often as I would like to.  I've been zero to no help on projects or with the animals.  I know, I'm slacking!

That being said I do have quite a bit of new posts to type up for all you great and patient readers.  Including an exciting update on Elsie, new porch walls, a much needed cow update, thoughts on our engagement photo session, and just some awesome fall things in general.

But onto what this post is really all about.  Our barn now has a shiny red exterior thanks to my Uncle Jim and lots of family friends.  This however is no thanks to me.  I didn't lift a finger in this project.  In fact I didn't even get to see any of the painting taking place.  Remember when I said I'd been busy.  Well apparently this is true.  And this is why there are no action photos of our big red barn being painted.

The worst part of painting the barn wasn't the painting at all, it was preparing to paint.  Power washing the dirty scummy old barn took a while and finally ended on a 50 degree rainy day.  My dad and a family friend (crazily) stood out in the drizzle, their breath visible in the cool fall air, spraying down the last side of the barn.  They were within 10 minutes of finally finishing the whole thing when the main hose blew.  Water was shooting up in the air and the power washer would unfortunately not complete its task that day.

My dad quickly replaced the hose and finished the last small section the next day.  Then, it was onto painting!

We bought a paint sprayer two years ago when we undertook the project that was painting our picket fence white.  It's a huge help and with 20 gallons of primer and 20 gallons of red paint our barn went from wood to wow!

The prime went on first.  Then that same day, my dad and his helpers busted out 2 red sides of the barn.

The next weekend, before anyone could blink, the barn was painted and looking snazzy.

Stay tuned for lots of new updates and post from Green Acres!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


This is an Elsie update.

It's been a month since our pups was hit in our own drive way.  And it's been a long, hard month.

Elsie can home a drugged up pups who couldn't even sit up.  She was out of it and miserable and we didn't think she could do this.  We didn't think she would be able to get better.

But Elsie started to make strides, she started sitting up, eating more, and walking on her front legs.  The vet's office gave us a sling to use to help her walk.  We put the sling under her belly and hold up her back legs and then she takes off, 90 miles an hour, venturing all around the yard.

At first, her back legs hung limp in the sling, but now they are showing some gain.  She'll pump them back and forth, acting like she wants to walk.  I know she wants to walk to so badly.

When Elsie started sitting up, she started scooting everywhere and anywhere.  A bad sore developed on her side and it only got worse.  The vet gave us some spray.  Bandages would be futile.  She would either tear them off or scoot them off.  So every day, twice a day, when we get her up, we spray her sore and let the magic spray do it's work.

The vet also suggested that we make a cart.  They had a smaller template that my dad used to make our own larger, Elsie version.

Here it is in all it's cart glory.  We mis-measured though, and sadly it's too short for Elsie to move around in.  Her front legs are perfect, but her back legs drag on the ground.  We got her up in the cart the other night.

She took it fairly well for being strapped into some weird contraption.  She would even move around the patio when trying to get closer to our new kitties.  The cart is still too short for her back legs not to drag, but she can stand there with no help from us.  This is a huge improvement.  She hasn't stood for a month on her own, and with just a little support from the cart, she's standing.

Elsie has two more weeks until she goes back to the vet.  It's then that we decide if she will continue to improve, or never be able to walk again.  It's really hard to tell at this point if our therapy is working.  But living life laying down and only being able to stand with the help of a cart is no life for a puppy.

My parents made it clear that the vet gave us 3 weeks and we've got 2 left. So we will continue to work with Elsie and hopefully she will continue to get better.  Just in the past 4 weeks, Elsie has made huge strides to getting better, so with a little hope, we can and will get her better again.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


As I sit here fighting off a throat infection and watching it drizzle out of my living room window I can't help but think fall is finally here.

After a long, dry, hot, dry, project filled, did I mention dry summer, I'm feeling nostalgic.  And nostalgic does as nostalgic will.  So this, my fair reading friends is a recap of the busy summer Green Acres has had.

It all started with introductions to our family.  Dad, Mom, fiance, dogs and cows.  We are a family and this was our summer story.

 I jumped right in with some birthing stories.  Calf birthing stories that is.  We had our summer calves, all healthy, alive, and kicking.  Well except for Wobbles.  He had that sun scorched set back, but is now lively as the rest.

Then there was the new patio project my dad had been planning for the past 3 or 4 years.  It's still looking great as ever and has gotten quit a bit of summer time use.

I took us on a plant tour around Green Acres and showed my dad's pride and joy... Hollyhocks.  Then later in the summer I showed the aftermath of vegetable garden neglect.  Despite the lack of rain, the tomatoes thrived.

However, our pastures and hay fields did not.  We started hauling hay and water in early July.

To combat the ever dwindling hay supplies, we were able to bale the corn stalks behind my parents homestead.  They are now the stinking, dirty things our cows seem to oddly eat up like ice cream.

 I discussed how Green Acres came to be and how my mom begrudgingly moved out to the country despite her friend's warnings.

Then mid summer my dad started our front porch project.  Which was a huge, huge undertaking.  It all started when Elsie finally finished off the door and ended with a whole brand stinking new appendage to my parent's country home.  Update: Dad has begun working on the final stage of Operation Porch.  Look for more posts to come.

I blogged about my past favorite show calves and then started to blog about my 2 new projects, Mia and the now renamed, Miss Maria.

And then just recently our poor pup Elsie was hit in our own drive way.  Look for an update to her serious situation soon.

It's hard to believe fall is here and we are starting a new season.  No doubt it will fly by and Christmas will be here before we know it.  I've already started scheming about presents.

Here is to all you Green Acre readers, thanks for checking in on our stories.  And here is to the next 3 seasons and many more after that!