July 29, 2011

Farm Share Friday: Machines

Machines. Machines. They are so beautiful.

July 27, 2011

The Pause That Refreshes. Or Maybe Just a Pause.

I know I am milking these projects, but finishing the patio and upper back porch projects really sucked dry my DIY renovation energy. Or maybe it's the heat? All I know is this: when I get home from my real job, the nightly conversation (in my head) goes like this:

Me: Boy, I should really scrub the lower back porch concrete floor so it is prepped for painting. Then I only have to paint it, and the lower back porch will be done and I can move onto finalizing colors for the front porch.

Also Me: or I could have a beer.

Can you guess who wins? Hint: beer.

July 22, 2011

Friday Farm Share: We Multi-Task

*Most Fridays, Holyoke Home is sharing images from our weekly farm share at Mountain View Farm. I hope you enjoy seeing what the farm has to offer.*
'Cause I'm a Woman*
Well I can clean my iphone 
Until it shines just like a dime
Feed the baby, pick the beans
Take a business call all at the same time.

Cause I’m a woman
Let me tell ya again
I’m a woman

You know I can breath deeply.
Do yoga like I'm Zen.
Kids off to camp, veggies at the farm,
And start all over again.

Repeat chorus

*tip-o-the-hat and apologies to Ms. Peggy Lee and Lieber and Stoller

July 21, 2011

Sharing The Bounty of The Season

It doesn't seem fair to eat all these beautiful fruits and vegetables myself. But what do Morgans like? 

What shall we try next?

July 19, 2011

I Can Haz Glaring

And just WHAT do you have to glare at me about Morgan? What? Is the fluffy fluffy bed you sleep on too comfortable? Is your brown rice and grass-fed beef (with a squirt of Omega 3 fatty acids) too delicious?


July 18, 2011

Back Patio 'Before and After' (from another angle)!

Phew! A few of y'all like our brand new DIY el cheapo patio. To try and convince the rest of you how FABULOUS this project came out, I think it will help to see it from a different angle. So I walked to the back of the yard to snap a picture. But first, a 'before'. When we moved in, the back of the house looked like this:
 It now looks like this:

It doesn't even look like the same place! As you can tell from the image above, there is one. more. piece. of this project. The downstairs back porch. I finished painting and installed the bamboo wall, but I don't want to show it to you until we've buttoned up two details (installing a new light fixture and painting the concrete floor.)

p.s. someone is taking a nap on the upstairs porch. Can you guess who?

July 13, 2011

Back Patio (different from back porch) FINAL REVEAL!

I know. I know. Wasn't the back porch ENOUGH?! What were we THINKING trying to finish two huge projects on an artificial but NON-NEGOTIABLE deadline?! Hey. If DIY Diva can build an entire. freaking. house, then Mr. Man and I can build a back porch and a patio.

If you need a refresher on our DIY patio project, visit my last post about it. Okay....... here's what our patio area looked like BEFORE we moved in:
And AFTER the laying of much stone dust and cobblestones.
Ahem.....can we see those side by side please?

Love to Mr. Man for his MAD patio-making skills (just add it to the very long list.)
He made a little step down there on the right to echo the curves of my garden beds. Isn't it perfect? Yum.

Cost/product info on Monday after Friday's Farm Share post

July 12, 2011


I believe 'before and after' pictures are the Internet's very own crack cocaine. Are you addicted?

Test #1: Try not to SCROLL DOWN to see the image below (which is an 'after' sneak peak.)

How'd you do? S'okay. Come back tomorrow for the full reveal.

July 11, 2011

Breaking It Down

Thank you all SO MUCH for your nice comments on our back porch reveal! Here's the cost/product breakdown because I'm always interested in how much a good 'before and after' cost.
Bamboo fence - $50
From a local hardware store. We bought one 13 foot long, 6 and 1/2 foot tall split bamboo fence section, and then cut it in half and secured it to the back wall. I'll show you what we did with the other half SOON! (so excited.)
Paint - $120
One gallon of each: Pratt and Lambert exterior oil semigloss paint on the floor in London Fog (color 28-20). Pratt and Lambert accent exterior acrylic semigloss in Wolf (color 25-20) on the posts and rails. And Pratt and Lambert Laurel Mist (17-28) in eggshell on the ceiling. I am now addicted to Pratt and Lambert. It is super creamy and dreamy. It is also really expensive. 
Paint supplies - $30
Fuzzy rollers and tray/can liners
Bistro table and chairs - $400
From the original Fermob. Mr. Man purchased these a few years ago. We have two small bistro tables and four folding chairs. The prices have gone up CONSIDERABLY since we purchased these.
Couch and one couch pillow (the pattern one) - $979
We planned on buying a corner couch section from Ikea prior to our big July 4 family gathering (Ammero Sofa) but they were SOLD OUT in both the New Haven and Stoughton stores. Your loss, Ikea. We scrambled to find an outdoor couch in 24 hours. We liked the clean lines of Pottery Barn's Chesapeake series. Also? It was 30% off. I borrowed the two lime pillows from inside the house.
Railing fence  - $25
Also procured at our local hardware store.
Red Director's Chair - Um..... $15 each?
I bought these at Pier 1 YEARS ago and can't remember what I paid. I'll count two in the total.
Bamboo Plant Stands - $30 for the pair
I bought these at a super secret mid-century modern antique store in Grand Rapids, Michigan (NO, I WILL NOT TELL YOU THE EXACT LOCATION. THAT KIND OF INFORMATION WILL COST YOU many many loaves of Zingerman's Chocolate Cherry Bread.)
Countless hours of scraping, patching, priming, caulking, aching and painting - Priceless
I don't ever want to paint a ceiling ever again. Ever. Ever ever ever.

So, let's see......(imagine computing sounds, 'boop, beep, beep boop beep beep'.) Our grand total was $1,649.00, with $1,000 for one piece of (large) furniture. Not. Freaking. Bad.

July 8, 2011

Just Like That Simon and Garfunkel Song

*Every Friday through the fall, Holyoke Home is sharing images from our weekly farm share at Mountain View Farm. I hope you enjoy seeing what the farm has to offer.*
Sing it with me! "Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.....la la la, to the ones who go there, la la la la la, she once was a true love of mine...." What kind of fruitcake sings a folk song about HERBS?! Uh. Call me a fruitcake. 

As if veggies and flowers 'a plenty weren't enough, Mountain View has lots and lots of fresh herbs to pick every week. That's dill in the photo above, and basil (regular on the left and Opal basil on the right) below.

In addition to the regular uses (flavoring marinades, etc.) we've been adding chopped up or hand-torn herbs to our salads and really enjoying them, particularly oregano, basil, and parsley.

Do you include herbs in your summer menus? How do you use them?

July 6, 2011

Back Porch Final REVEAL

And after:
What the WHAT?! WHAT THE *WHAT*?!?! Can we see those again, this time side by side?! You bet:

Boo YAH! We won't be eating inside until October.
Details (cost, sources, etc) coming in our next post!