Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fostering update....

I've been so busy I haven't been able to update everyone. We have currently welcomed home foster placement number eight. Crazy I know! For the last few months Mr. Rural and I have felt that our fostering journey was over. We are so happy we've adopted Baby Rural and were eager to have some time without DHS in our lives. However, calls come, children are taken into care, bed space is limited and these are people. Sometimes it's hard to say no. We had back to back emergency placements and then we were really, really sure we were finished. Joke is on us!

Baby is under two and in serious need of a wide variety of services to help her combat what could be her lifetime of neglect. We don't know much at all about this case other than it will be long and dirty. In addition to multiple therapy appointments each week in another county we have to work really hard at home too. Attachment therapy, feeding therapy, occupational and developmental therapy and physical therapy are just some of the things we'll be working on from the onset.

We have gotten a lot of flak for taking on foster placements. Some people can be less than supportive. To them I ask, what inconvenience are my life choices causing in your life? Mr. Rural and I are compassionate by nature, we are want to change the world and we see a way to make a small, sometimes very insignificant change. I remember the old story about the person chucking starfish back into the ocean. You know, the one where someone tells the guy "hey, you can't save them all." The man throws another starfish back while saying "well, I made a different for that one." That is foster care. One tiny gesture that means nothing to anyone but the person receiving the hug, the positive touch, the meal, the warm bed.

I'm not altruistic. I want to adopt a little girl. That's the plain truth of it. However, this system is messy and we've learned that the path to foster care adoption is not a smooth road. We have to take the bumps and turns and twists and try to find our way to our destination through the darkness. One day at a time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Baby chicks.....again

Thank goodness our new baby chicks are almost six weeks. We can kick them out of the garage and into the run with the big girls. Of course, they'll be separated until they fully integrate into the flock and are large enough to defend themselves.

Glady, possible roo
Right now the girls are getting big I'm worried at least one, and possibly two, are roos. That would mean rehoming. I'm afraid a rooster might be too loud for our house. We'll see. The exciting part will be adding blue/green eggs to the brown eggs we already have.

We have named the girls Mildred, Edna and Gladys.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Foster update.......

     Things have been quiet in our county and no placement calls have come. However, I've been proactive in seeking placements in other counties and states. We've heard back on a few cases which didn't seem like a good fit. Then, tonight, we heard back on a case we were really excited about. Our hopes are raised and we are awaiting more information on the children.

     Sometimes waiting for the call, whether it's fostering or an emergency or adoptive placement, is the worst. I hate waiting and days can seem to drag if there aren't enough distractions. Though this is still a long shot, we are hopeful. A step forward is a step forward. I can't wait to learn more about these beautiful children.

     We are nearly two years into our foster/adoption journey. We've had many ups and downs and it's a tough ride. We are still excited to add to our family and hopeful that we can do this through foster care. Only time will tell.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thrifty redo- Pedestal table

     I had debated a round table for a while. At the moment we are a family of four with the option of expanding at any time. Though I love my farmhouse table it's very warped and I'm pretty sure the grooves in the table no longer exist. They seem to be caked with food despite repeatedly cleaning. I started my search with my favorite shop: Pottery Barn. However, all the pedestal expandable tables were a bit on the pricey side, averaging $1600. I turned to Craigslist to see what I could find.

     Solid Oak pedestal tables were readily available but they ranged in price from $100-$1000. While that is considerably less than Pottery Barn I wanted a real steal, especially knowing I'd have some work to do. Finally after a while of searching I found a table for $50. It had a top that had to be refinished, but was otherwise solid. SCORE! However, being me, I had to make a lower offer. We came together at $40 and Mr. Rural and Little Rural were off to go pick up my treasure.

     I seriously debated restraining the top of this table to match my chairs but I was concerned about things looking dated. I opted to paint the entire table, a la PB, with a high gloss black. First, I needed to sand the top until it was smooth. If you use a good primer, which I did, you don't need to sand a piece other than to make sure any imperfections are smoothed out. This table had a few areas that were raised so the whole top got a nice sanding.

      Next step was to prime the entire piece, including the leaf, with a very good primer. I love Zinsser primer because it's odor blocking, covers stains, and sticks like glue to any piece. I gave everything two coats to make sure the the top coat of paint would adhere.

     Then everything got three coats of Tomcat by Clarke and Kensington. This is a great, solid black. Once everything was covered fully I sprayed Minwax Polyurethane in two coats so the table would withstand children. 

     What I ended up with is the perfect table for a fraction of the cost. The table itself was $40, the supplies were another $45. I saved over $1500 and I love the results! 

Chairs, Target. Terrarium, Pottery Barn. Table Runner, Home Goods.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Girl Rural Update!

     Summer is here and that means we have a lot of time at home for projects. Last weekend I filled in the front garden beds with mulch. Twenty four bags of mulch to be exact. Whoa, I guess I didn't think I'd need that much. However, it looks great and our front yard is really coming along.

     Our puppy, Mr. Darcy, got fixed and now we can really focus on some much needed training. He's a little bully. He's also very sweet and a fun dog. His ears are still folded backwards but whether they go up or stay this way it's fine by me.

     Today I went to the feed store to get puppy food. They had chicks. That's really the end of the story since those who know me know what that means. I called home to Mr. Rural and asked him to set up a brooder. We don't actually have "a" brooder but he knew what needed to be done. He's pretty awesome like that. Now we have new additions for our flock. Three EE chickens that will lay blue/green eggs. Their names, in my typical old lady naming fashion, are Mildred, Edna and Gladys and they join Mabel, Maude, Ethel and Harriet. Of course, they need to stay in the garage for six weeks.

     As for a foster care update, right now all is quiet. We haven't gotten any calls for emergency or long term foster. We have had two calls for possible adoptive placements but both fell through. So, we are still waiting. We keep hoping and praying our little girl(s) find their way to us soon!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lazy Sunday?

Not at our house! Mr. Rural was raring to go this morning so we were off and started on projects! Okay, anyone reading this, who knows Mr. Rural, is laughing right now and probably giving him crap at work. Mr Rural loves a yard project like I love old western gun fighter moves, NOT AT ALL! However, he's a trooper and he did dig in (literally) to getting our lattice put up on the bottom of our porch. This is the third step in our front (right) yard makeover. We have lined the area with brick, added plants and now lattice.

I'm very excited to add mulch to the planter beds which will make the plants pop. Hopefully that will happen this week and next weekend! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Foster Adoption Journey.....

     We are now a month past the adoption of Baby Rural (AKA Harrison) and it's so nice to be taking break from social worker visits, court dates and reports. Baby Rural is such an amazing little boy and we are so proud to call him our own. This Sunday we'll be celebrating his second birthday. For those that are considering foster adoption, those easier cases are out there. This case took seven months and five days from placement to adoption.

     We are still open to fostering, emergency placements or an adoptive placement. In fact, we had a call this week. So far we haven't found a match but we are looking. We are very actively seeking a daughter or maybe even two daughter to join our home.

     A good friend of mine picked up her own two adoptive matches today. We are very lucky to be bay sitting them next weekend. Boy, our house is going to be a zoo with kids and pets but it will be fun. It will also nice to have girls around the house again, even if only for a weekend. I look forward to having them here. Providing respite is just another way you can help out in the fostering world if you aren't ready for full time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Command center from odds and ends

     I was angry that I kept losing my son's school papers. We didn't have a great place to keep them and leaving them on the counter goes against my nature. So, I wanted to add to our command center. We have a place in our stairwell with a large calendar and on the floor I keep a bin for library books. I wanted to add a place for paperwork. I went out the studio and started looking.

     I had an antique frame I'd used for a couple projects. It was very large and very heavy so it was just sitting waiting for it's next purpose. I also found a cork board, a framed photo that I had loved, but not found a place for, and a dollar store clipboard. Perfect pieces for the new command center and all FREE because I had them kicking around.

     I had to go to Ace to pick up some hooks for the frame and bulletin board. Other than those ($5) I used what I had. I think the project turned out well. What do you think?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Too easy DIY wreath.....

     I have to admit, I usually purchase wreaths at Home Goods. Even at a discounted price it's usually about $30. When I visiting Hobby Lobby last night I was reminded how easy it is to make wreaths and I picked up just four items to create one for our front door.

     For about $15 (less with coupons), I picked up a burlap bow, a grape branch wreath and two flower stems. I already had floral wire from a previous project. The assembly time on this wreath was about five minutes and I love it. Sometimes a DIY project doesn't have a page of instructions. Just attach the flower stems with floral wire. Done!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Antique desk project........

      Recently I was flipping through old magazines getting rid of some. I always like to cut out any pictures or recipes I want to save. One photo I had to save showed an old desk used as a sofa table. I love the look. A few weeks later I decided to do a quick search of Craigslist and I happened upon a very similar desk, better for me, in fact, because it had drawers.

     Today we made the drive to pick up the desk after all the haggling was complete. The owner dropped the price to $150.

I'm really excited to paint the base of this a distressed black. I'm going to leave the top and the medallions on the second drawers in the wood. The desk is in pretty good condition and will only need minimal repairs. For now it's sitting in place so I'll be inspired to paint it soon.

     The chair was found out in my studio. I often pick up old chairs and this one will stand in until I find something with a little bit more character.