Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blog of the Week...

In honor of my friend JudyB starting a blog, I decided to spotlight it as my pick for Blog of the Week! I met Judy about a year and a half ago, on SplitCoastStampers. She is an SU! demo, and lives in NY, but several hours away from me. We have become great friends, and we have a lot in common. She just started her blog, so check it out!! JudyB's blog... and leave her a bit of encouragement! She has THE cutest picture of her and her hubby, as well as a GORGEOUS wedding announcement frame. Good night! **Keri**

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Home of Almanzo Wilder

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Fall has officially hit the Adirondacks, so I will be putting my hiking boots on and getting some great shots to share with you in the weeks to come! We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend, here. Warm, sunny weather, and the leaves are just starting to turn. Beautiful! This weekend, we went to the Almanzo Wilder Homestead, just about 25 minutes away from our house. This year marks Almanzo's 150th birthday, and they had a celebration this weekend. He was raised there, with his family, until he was 18. Then they all moved west. This is the home they lived in, as described in the Farmer Boy book, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. How about a "virtual tour?" Follow me!

This is the historical plaque in front of the house, by the road. This is the house he grew up in! We visited it as a kid, right after the society bought the house, and before any renovations were done to it. It was just an old, run down, deserted house 25 years ago. They have done fabulous work renovating the house, and making sure every detail is right, and to the period.
This maple stands in the front yard, just off to the side of the house. The society has done research into how old this tree possibly is. After much comparison to trees recently cut in a cemetary in Malone, they say it is probably about 188 years old. BUT one can never be sure of ring thickness, etc. so it could be as little as 138 years, and as much as 246 years old. Pretty cool! Peter and Cody stood in front so you all could see how big it was. Peter is 6 feet tall!

Here is a photo of one of the many buggies, and cutters they have on display. Unfortunately, I could not take any photos inside the buildings, or you would be able to see more!!
Here is a shot of me and Cody in front of the buggy. Peter did well taking photos yesterday!

This is Cody, in a coffin at the Civil War Encampment that they had at the homestead. He has a bit of a morbid streak. A bit disturbing for a Mom to take a pic of her kid in a coffin...good grief. He said he wished he had his vampire teeth in...oh, to be 11 again! The carpenter/undertaker thought it was hilarious, and said tons of people had been doing the same thing!

Because it was a special celebration, Dean Butler, who played Almanzo Wilder for 5 years on the TV series, "Little House on the Prairie" was at the homestead all weekend! While he was there, he brought a crew with him to film a documentary! It is going to be released straight to DVD and be for sale at the homestead gift shop. Pretty cool! We stood in the autograph line, and he signed my 1971 copy of Farmer Boy, and he signed a photo for Cody. Peter got to take this picture of us! So weird to see someone you watch on TV standing next to!! I know some of you know but many of you probably don't, but I happen to be a bit obsessed with any and all things "Little House on the Prairie". I know most of the show by heart, but have them on in the background most days in the house. Cody really got into them this summer and it was fun to watch him experience the shows for the first time. Now we are starting to read the books over again. The show really didn't follow the books very well, but they are both priceless, in their own way!!

Have a great day, everyone! **Keri

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gothic Arch Challenge-Weeks Three and Four

Okay, so time REALLY got away with me! What's new, right?? I had a free morning yesterday, and got caught up, though! Last week's challenge on the Gothic Arch Challenge Blog was a family theme, and I have so many great vintage family photos, that I couldn't choose just one, so I did three arches!

*The McNeil Kids arch is dedicated to my mom and her siblings. (minus one who was not born yet! LOL) My mom is Diane-the little girl on the left end. I used scraps of paper and ribbon, and a Buzz and Bloom Stamp.
*The 19th Century Brooks Family arch is the first family photo we have, taken on the farm where I grew up over a hundred years AFTER this was taken. My Great-Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandmother along with their children, are in this photo. This is the house I grew up in! I used more scrap paper, a brad, and a POD scroll stamp.

*The 20th Century Brooks Family arch is of my Dad and his siblings/parents. He is the shorter boy, with the black shirt. I love to see all my Aunts as little girls with ringlets! More scrap paper, a printed definition, and some teeny buttons finished off this arch.

This was a really fun one for me, Nancy--I love working with and showing off my family photos!

*For week four of the Gothic Arch Challenge, our theme is gold. Here is my try at it. I decided to make it completely monochromatic-gold cardstock, ink and embossing powder only. Turned out pretty cool! Stamps are Blossoms Abound and Words of Wisdom from SU, and the vine is from POD Ornamentals.

Happy Thursday! Love Keri

Friday, September 14, 2007


Michelle asked me a long time ago to make sure to take some pictures at camp. I actually managed to get a few-just never got them posted! So here are some pics from my camp vacation!

Here is my younger brother, Neil, with Cody. Neil showed up one Saturday morning and it was a nice surprise, as I don 't get to see him as much as I would like! Aren't they cute??

Here is me with Neil! Man--I think someone needs to start lifting weights to tone up those arms! AHHH!!

Here is Cody and his cousin, Craig. Craig's mom and I are cousins and the boys are inseperable! They love each other and each other's video games so much!! We usually trade them off to each other for meals b/c they cannot be apart! This was my last meal before my surgery-Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and Sizzlin Chicken Skewers, and fresh green beans. They wolfed everything right down! Oh, and don't forget the blue Hi-C! A camp must! And as long as I am here, here is my recipe for the chicken!!

Sizzlin' Chicken Skewers

1/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup melted peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup teriyaki bbq sauce (couldn't find this so I mixed some reg. bbq sauce with some teriyaki sauce half and half to equal 1/4 cup)

2 T. honey dijon mustard

1 LB. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, lengthwise

Put all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag, and add the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but the long the better..Don't do more than 6 hours, cause the chicken won't stay on the skewers!

Thread on skewers, and grill for 4 minutes on each side. Doesn't take long at all, and they are SOOO good!

For the Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, I used red potatoes scrubbed, and cooked with the skin on them. When they are cooked, drain, smash, add plenty of butter, milk, jarred garlic, and a handful of shredded parmesan cheese and stir! They are equally yummy!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Buttercream Frosting!!

I have had such a hankerin' for cupcakes! I finally gave in yesterday and made some, but I have to get rid of some today so I don't have so many hanging around! I didn't really have a reason to make them--not that I needed one, but I thought I would dedicate these to Tracy-who just had a birthday. Happy Birthday, Tracy ! I thought of you while I ate one for breakfast!! Anyway, I am taking Andi's idea of adding recipes on her blog and running with it. Mine will mostly be desserts which I know will break your heart, but keep watching for new additions!
I got this recipe for decorating frosting from my cousin, Lauri. Everything I know about decorating she taught me. I don't know much, cause we only had one session, but I can keep myself afloat with cupcakes! Here ya go:
Lauri's Frosting:
3/4 cup crisco
1/2 cup butter
2 lbs. confectioner's sugar
1 T. Meringue Powder
2 t. vanilla
1/3 cup water
I mix the crisco, and butter together well. Then I add the Meringue Powder, vanilla and water and mix again. Then I slowly add the powdered sugar and beat it until it is nice and fluffy!! Here is your finished product BEFORE your 11 year old son BEGS you to make it blue and you have to re-wash the beaters cause he already licked them once...I sense a conspiracy here...he got 2 beater lickings last night...hmmmm.....

And here is the finished product of BLUE frosted cupcakes, with sponge-bob liners and colored sugar sprinkles...pretty festive! Happy Birthday, Tracy, they were fabulous! On another note, we are doing a bit of remodeling. You ever hear the saying " a carpenter's house is never done"? Well, this remodel has been in the works for a couple of years now!! We live in what used to be my Grandmother's house. It is from 1910! It always had this wood shed on the end that my Dad adapted into a garage for my Grandmother's Chevrolet Celebrity wagon back in the day...My old Grand Prix fit in it with a hair's width to spare...Unfortunately, when we got the Monte Carlo, we neglected to measure and it was too long!! So we put a new garage on the side of this one, and cut and access door between the two rooms. We took out the old garage door and added a set of French doors with a sky lite above them. Our intention is and has been to make this into a family room. Where Peter can put all his hunting trophies, his gun cabinet, etc. It is a nice room, with nearly 11 foot high ceilings, and you have to walk down into it from the kitchen. I can just picture it with a Christmas tree in it! I am going to give it an Adirondack twist (how fitting!! ) so be sure to stay tuned for more updates. Next time I will try to locate a before picture...not pretty!! So between working all day, working around the property, and trying to get wood in for the winter, Peter has been diligently working on getting this room done. I told him I WILL have a tree and some stairs in there before the holidays! We have been using a step ladder for a couple of years!! We acquired a bunch of beams from my late grandfather's grainery and also a bunch of barn board, so there will be beams in the room, and also for the stairs, and barnboard on the walls, to chair rail height. Here is my poor husband, doing late into the night what he does day in and day out...I swear he could tape with his eyes closed. He does a bang up job, though! I am so happy that it is finally coming together! Now we need to decide on the ceiling-paint or stucco...decisions, decisions!! Two thumbs up, Honey!!

Last but not least, this flower caught Cody's eye last week. Since then, I have been watching and there have been many more on the same genetically altered stem. I always have Heavenly Blue Morning Glories all over the railings outside my door. But this one is just more gorgeous than ever!! We have a few more of these "tie dyed" ones every day! I need to mark some of them and save the seeds when they dry up for next years crop!

Have a great day!--Keri

Sunday, September 09, 2007

We Have A Winner, Folks!!

I didn't get to do the 100th post drawing til yesterday afternoon--I have not had time to sit til then!! Anyway, thanks to the 6 gals who posted, I appreciate you all visiting. Our winner is Andi! I have recently become acquainted with her through the blog post at 2peas, and was immediately in love with her blog. It is so natural, inspiring, and enjoyable to read! So check out Andi's Blog and give her a shout out. Tell her I sent you!! Trust me, you will love her blog about crafting, family, and ranch life. SO COOL! Have a Blessed Sunday, Y'all!!(< for LR)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Gothic Arch Challenge-Week Two

Well, I am caught up! Here is my take on Week 2 for the Gothic Arch Challenge. This one was equally hard for me...These are something I have never tackled before..but I am enjoying them! On this one, I found this great pic of the couple sitting on the moon...It was from a vintage postcard. I used DCWV patterned paper, and SU! Cardstock--both being scraps! The 3-D paper flower is Prima. The scroll stamp is Autumn Leaves. I went over the black stamped scrolls with a Stardust pen, and at the ends of each scroll I added some glitter glue. Stamped with Staz on, distressed with Tim Holtz Black Soot. I also inverted the arch this time, and used the negative instead of the positive. TFL!!! Keri

Gothic Arch Challenge-Week One

Okay, so I know exactly how late I am with this--but life has really taken over..but I had all the stuff out to do it, and Lisa Renea encouraged me to go for it anyhow..Now I am really excited to do this week's Moon Challenge!!

Thanks to Nancy for starting the Gothic Arch Revolution!!

This is the first arch I have ever done, so be forgiving! I used this pic that I found off the internet a year ago for some Back to School ATC's I was doing. She is such a little darling!

I used:

DCWV Chalkboard Patterned Paper

Gray Cardstock

Purple Onion Designs Stamps-numbers, letters in background, and smile sentiment.

Buzz and Bloom Chipboard "speech bubble"

Jet Black Staz On ink, and Offray Gingham Ribbon!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

100th Post!!

This is "A Country Life" 's 100th post!! So, in honor of that fact, any people that comment on this post from today until Friday night will get their name put in a hat for a package of goodies! I have no idea what goodies-but surprises are good, right?? So make sure to leave your comments!

Now, on to other business. Here in Upstate NY-today is the first day of school for our district. I just got back from bringing Cody to his first day of 7th grade, and I gotta say, I don't know whether to sit with my feet up and watch WHATEVER I WANT on TV, or cry cause I am lonesome already!! It will be short lived, though. My daycare babies will be here starting tomorrow. I was nice to have today off, though. I got to bring Code to school and I will be able to pick him up. Here is his new, cool, first day of school look:

Now, I have an Uncle, Uncle Charles. He is my great uncle, my paternal grandmother's brother. He is a workhorse, he works like a fool for someone his age. But I am convinced the day he stops he will wither up and die. Well, a little over a week ago, he and his son were working in the woods when they met up with a bee hive!! Uncle Charles got stung nearly 25 times. He is okay, didn't even go to the ER...just put something topical on the stings and moved along. He did say that he saw the sunset that night and rise again the next morning without a wink of sleep. Well, to make a long story longer, I made him a bumble bee card and sent it to him last week. When Sunday morning came at church, he came up to me and told me thank you, how much he loved it, and gave me a big ol' hug. He made my day!! Here is the card I made him:

I used:
SU! Summer Sun and GP White Cardstock
Black Gingham patterned paper
Bumblebee stamp from Walmart
Get Well Sentiment from Purple Onion Designs
SU! Cutter Kit
Black Gel Pen for bee trails
Ink- Versafine Black
Prismacolors and Blending stumps.

And last but certainly not least for today, I finally am getting around to posting photos of my wonderful Summer Secret Sister gift that I rec'd while away at camp a month ago! Time sure flies! Annie was my secret sister,and she sent me THE hugest box of goodies! All kinds of embellishments, everything from A to Z. Rubons, stickers, metal embellishments, rubber stamps (POD) and so many other things! She also made me a personalized painting with my initial on it! It is gorgeous, the colors are so bright and vibrant! The photo does not do it justice, as it was hard to capture with the glass, but you get the idea. Thanks to Annie--a GREAT secret sis!!