Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is it Spring already!!

It's snowing outside and all I can think about is my yard. As it's functional for the first time since I've lived here, I have no excuse not to do something with it. Let me tell you I'm dreaming big too. Maybe it's cabin fever, but if my yard turns out to look anything like it does in my head, it will be spectacular. So here's the plan thus far:

The front yard gets the most sun, so instead of having it be the kick the ball around area, I'm going to use it for the garden space. I'm planning 3-4 square foot garden boxes. When the city finished their mess last fall they put in sod. I having a feeling it died, so it should be easy to place the boxes in their wake. If the sod is still viable, I'll cut it up and put it on the side of the house where absolutely nothing grows because of the huge magnolia tree. The sod will grow because I plan to cut the tree down. It's old and losing branches and knocking down shingles from both my house and the neighbors house. I have no clue how I'm going to afford to do this, but I think it's an integral part to my 'fix the yard up' plan as well as the 'save my roof' plan.

The back yard is basically an L shape. in the corner there is a piece of an old something....some concrete structure, that will make an excellent place for a grill and a smoker...just FYI this is the year of smoked meat at the Countryman's. So in front of this grill area is a 10foot x 12foot grassy section that I will either leave as is and set a table and chairs on or try and put a small patio for the aforementioned furniture.

The other side of this L is a silly mess that is akin to a flower garden. It's slightly terraced and full of hostas and columbines and peonies and other odds and ends. It's never really flowed well. It was here when we moved in and I just left it, adding a plant here or there. This year, though, I'm taking it out and building Jasper a play house.

Now for the uber cool part that is quickly becoming my new obsession.

I'm going to get 4 or 5 bantam(small) chickens. I'm still researching what breed to get, though it will probably be an ornamental heirloom.

To house them I will build a movable coop, often referred to as a chicken tractor. Here is an idea of one.....keep in mind this one is like the Cadillac of chicken tractors .....

Sunday, January 25, 2009


We went on a trip to my sister's wedding last week. It was a long car trip south even though she lives in Alaska and is from Iowa. Her now husband is from Alabama and stationed in Iraq, so on his two week leave they decided to get married. It was a small but beautiful wedding in an old haunted mansion called Buena Vista. in Prattsville, Alabama.

The trip down was uneventful, which is awesome! Although, before we left we had to wait two hours and get two new front tires. Thankfully we figured out our tire was crap before we got on the road.

Because we decided we were really going at the last minute and because she decided that since I was coming I was going to be a bridesmaid, we spent the day before the wedding looking for dresses. Suprisingly, this went fairly well even though I was due to start my time of the month any moment(that night).

On the morning of Micole's wedding Sylvia,Micole, and I went to a local spa ( in a haunted house) and got our hair and nail's done. It was a relaxing way to start the day, even though our hairstylist kept going on about the deer she's killed and the deer she's going to kill ...she was even calling and texting her boyfriend who had just 'bagged' the biggest buck ever! I think she was more interested in murder than in fixing our hair. We left there and grabbed McDonalds for my sister, who apparently had a pre wedding grease craving. Actually, who knows what they add to their food, there might be a sedative in it.

We arrived at the mansion about an hour before the wedding was suppose to start. We went up stairs and put on our dresses and hung out trying to entertain Micole as she waited with nervous anticipation for my mom to tell us we could come down the stairs . The wedding itself was short and sweet. A little to churchy for me( the preacher was Southern Baptist)...but then again, most things are. The bride and groom looked radiant, smiling into each others eyes with devotion and love.

After the ceremony we took pictures and hugged strangers and ate cake.

The newly married couple left to go to there bed and breakfast( in a haunted house) and we went back to the hotel.

We left the next day to travel the first leg of the 15 hours back to Iowa. On the way down we didn't do much sight seeing,but on the way home we stopped and had lunch at ' the best' Thai restaurant in Nashville. I like Cool Basil better. We stopped for a much needed cup of coffee in Paducha which is actually a pretty cool little town, with a wall of murals and a quilt museum. We even visited Mark Twain's birthplace, though we decided it was to cold to check out the fabled caves.

It was kind of depressing driving back North though. It had been easy to think that it was Spring when we were down South....no snow and 'warmer' weather ( 30's-50's) but as we drove home the snow slowly started to appear again. By the time we reached Des Moines it was obvious that winter was still here. In fact as I type this it's snowing outside. Blah. All in all it was a wonderful trip.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Everyone needs a pair of arm warmers.....

or maybe not. They are easy and fun to make and they aren't half as tacky as leg warmers (which btw I'm making a pair of soon). I love tacky....gnomes,trans-ams,leg warmers, leslie and the lys. I also heart macrame owls,green and yellow squared kitchen carpet,wooden rolling pins, orange shag carpeting and wood paneling. Nice.

2009 Friend Survey

I recieved this from a friend in my email today. I figured it would make a decent blog post. You should copy it to your blog and let me know so I can learn more about you.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7AM
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Twilight
4. What is your favorite TV show? Avatar The Last Airbender
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Coffee
6. What is your middle name? Jean
7. What food do you dislike? Umm..I love food.
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Blue October
9. Whats your favorite car? 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am
10. Favorite sandwich ? I've rarely met a sandwich I don't like....current fav is hot ham and cheese.
11. What characteristic do you dislike? Stubborness
12. Favorite item of clothing? cardigan
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? I don't have time to think about vacations
14. Favorite brand of clothing? Tapemeasure. They use to carry it at Younkers, but know I don't know where to find it. They had the best dress pants and button up shirts.
15. Where would you retire to? New Mexico
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? 30th
17. Favorite sport to watch? my daughter playing soccer
18. Furthest place you are sending this?not really applicable is it?
19. First person you expect to respond? Please respond! leave a comment or post it to your own blog and let me know you did. I'd love to learn more about you out there in cyberland!
20. When is your birthday? November 10
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning
22. What is your shoe size? 8.5 or 9
23. Pets? Nope
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Nope :)
25. What did you want to be when you were little ? A Mad Scientist
26. How are you today? Ready to get stuff done!
27. What is your favorite candy? black licorice
28. What is your favorite flower? Tiger Lily or Peony
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Umm....none and all?
30. What's your full name? Mia Jean Countryman
31. What are you listening to right now? Jasper singing on my lap
32. What was the last thing you ate? leftover chicken marsala
33. Do you wish on stars? often
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? orange
35. How is the weather right now? freakin freezing. Negative something still
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? I actually haven't spoken on the phone yet, though I'm guessing it will be my mom.
37. Favorite soft drink? Coke
38. Favorite restaurant? I really suck at picking a favorite food/place/thing. I can see the good in them all.....or the bad....depending on my mood.
39. Real hair color? I'm not sure. No really, I'm not. When I was little it was really blonde. I know it's not really blonde anymore. That's all I'm sure about.
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? books--fantasy mostly
41. Summer or winter? Fall
42. Hugs or kisses ? Hugs
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
44. Coffee or tea? Coffee
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? not applicable....
46. When was the last time you cried? Yesterday
47. What is under your bed? Nothing. It's on the floor.
48. What did you do last night? Attended a birthday party for my grandpa,mom and daughter.
49. What are you afraid of? things I can't control...hmmm no wonder I'm alittle loony!
50. Salty or sweet? Both at the same time
51. How many keys on your key ring?3
52. How many years at your current job? >1
53. Favorite day of the week? Monday
54. How many towns have you lived in? 7
55. Do you make friends easily? Yes

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Here is my husband slaving over a hot stove. He's making a delicious chicken marsala. If given the chance he would cook us divine dishes every night.

Guess who'd clean it up?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A few photos to make up for the absences....

Here is Jasper and his friend Amelia making 'floor' angels. I'm not sure why they wanted to lay on the floor and flail their arms around, but hey it was cute.
And here is Jasper with his Manly invention.... a hammer that doubles as a hair brush! Brilliant! (no wonder he's getting a dread in the back of his hair)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just so you know....

I'm not sure if it's the weather or what, but I obviously have not been good at this photo a day challenge. I don't feel as if I have anything significant to record in my life right now. I'm sure there are things, hell I take pictures of my food for goodness sakes! and really do people really care what I'm eating? Or thinking? or creating?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Sylvia!

I almost can't believe that 11 years ago today, I was in a hospital bed with a tiny little baby. I have the whole thing on tape if your interested ;) I'm so proud of the person she is today. When I look at her I see a smart,talented,creative,beautiful young women. I can't wait to see what the next year brings for her.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


These are pictures taken on Jasper's new Fisher Price camera. Here we are at the ER. Joe,my lovely husband, went out of his comfort zone Sunday and took the kids to the Y to swim while I worked out. Not only can he not swim but he was missing an (apparently) important football game to spend time with us. What did he get in return? A trip to the ER. Somehow in the pool he managed to do something to his back. On the way home he mentioned that his back hurt and by the next morning he was writhing in pain. I took him to the doctor who suggested he just lay down and take some ibuprofen. So he did, but by the next day(today) he was a mess. So we took a trip to the ER. The ER is never a good place to go, least so with a healthy 3 year old in tow and a germphobiac, tired mom. Blah! Three hours after arriving we finally left. Joe a lot happier with three shots of pain medicine in his posterior and a appointment for a MRI and a very very sleepy little boy who passed out as soon as I strapped him in.

This is a picture I found on Jasper's camera of Crayola. The women not the crayon company ;)

Monday, January 5, 2009


One of these is what I wanted to eat for lunch and one of these is what I actually ate for lunch. I bet you can't guess which one is which!

Okay, it wasn't to hard to figure this one out. I ate the turkey sandwich, nary a fry passed my lips. It was hard though because I went to the Y this morning and upon leaving heard myself say to a random stranger "I think I'll get a cheeseburger for lunch, after all I deserve it since I worked out". She smiled and shook her head knowingly. I did leave and buy greasy fast food, but I feed it to my family instead. ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Today's picture is of my clean stove(thanks Joe!). It's not the retro Rachel Ray stove that was here when we moved in. It's functional with a large oven, acurate oven temps, timers, oven lights, and safety valves to keep it from blowing up and killing us all. I love it and I love Crayola for gifting it to us.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


For my first picture, I give you my mom.

363 days

Inspired by my friend Betsy's motivation and my lack of things to blog about, I've decided to take a picture a day for 363 days. I would do 365 but I really like things to be complete and a year seems complete. As we are already 3 days into this new year, I'm making this year 363 days. Really, it makes sense to me and that is all that matters.

Disclaimer: I love to take pictures but I don't consider myself a photographer. Don't expect anything more than you've gotten thus far.....awesome wit and enlightenment....or um....general ramblings from an ordinary housewife.

Picture #1......to be posted later, when I've been up long enough to have taken a semi interesting picture.