Wednesday, March 18, 2015
When thing of a night "out" with my farmer I knew that this might be too much to ask for at this particular time of year. What if a cow started to calve and staying our late was not what he needed when he has already had so many night short on sleep. Another obstacle to going "out" was getting someone to watch the kids on a school night. I could see that going "out" on a date was not going to work so I started to think about a date night "in" with my farmer.
To make the night special I ordered some Chinese food from a local restaurant. I had it ready to pick up after a church meeting we went to as a family. Since Paul had to come separate from the kids and I due to him being busy with something before hand I had him take the kids home while I picked up the food and some wine. When I got home we put the kids to bed and while Paul was waiting for the little ones to fall asleep I set up our dinner date in our bedroom. I set up a folding table with a table cloth, a place setting using our nice plates, wine glasses, and lit as many candles as I could find around the house and placed them around the bedroom.
When all was ready I got Paul out of the kids bedroom and took him to our Date Night In. We closed the bedroom door and enjoyed a wonderful Chinese meal and an even better conversation. I got to hear about all the activities and thoughts that have been filling his days, some of the frustrations about the busyness of life, and what we want our future to look like. An the best part of our Date Night In was that when it was time to call it a night we didn't have to go to get to bed.
I do have to admit that I enjoy getting dressed up and feeling special going "out" with my husband but what I enjoy the most is just spending time with the man I love. Being a farmers wife there are many sacrifices and adjustments that have to be made to the way I might like to do things but being creative with what is available can be a lot of fun. Being a farmers wife is a great life and in the end I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
It is a beautiful, and unusual, March day here on our Minnesota Farm. It is going to reach a high over 70degrees outside and we are loving every minute of it. The kids thought it would be fun to get out the swimming pool which then led to swimming suits and water fun. With cousins visiting for the weekend there were lots of playmates to splash with water. All this unseasonably warm weather is making the farmers talk of early planting and it sure is nice on the baby calves. The weather forecast dose call for snow a week from today so we are enjoying this while it last. Boy how depressing that will be to put on snow pants a week after wearing swimsuits in the pool.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
This dinning table shares many of the same construction steps and design elements as many of my other projects. See Large Bench, post or how I made the base for my Playhouse. The first thing I did in making this table was I visited my local reuse store and sot a selection of unfinished cabinet doors all in the same height but different widths. Once I had assembled then measured them to get the dimensions for the table top. I then used 2x4 boards to build the base of the table. I cut 2 boards to the total length of the table and then a number of boards that would lay across the short width of the table. I cut these 3 inches shorter than the total width to take into account the thickness of the 2 2x4 they will be connected to. My table is about 10 feet long so I cut 6 cross boards, one for each end and 4 spaced throughout the rest of the table. Attach these cross 2x4's to the long 2x4's.
Since I knew I needed some way to attach the cabinet doors to the top of the table and didn't want to screw them down form the top I placed plywood cut to size on of the 2x4 frame I had crated. I screwed this down into place. I used reclaimed plywood from a shed we took down since this plywood will not be seen. Next step was to attach the 4 legs. I decided to use 4x4 posts for stability. I looked at tables around my house to get a sense of how tall I wanted my table to be. I would be good to know how tall your chairs are and then add some space for legs to fit under the table. Start with this length and then add 3.5 inches for the amount of board you will need to attach it to the table. On my legs I cut a notch on 2 sides of the top of the leg which were 3.5 inches long and 1.5 inches deep so that the corner 2x4's would sit on top of the legs. I then securely screwed the legs in place. Now turn it over and you have the start of a table.
From the underside I screwed the cabinet doors in place with help from my husband holding them down form above so I made sure they were attached tightly. I applied a number of coats of polyurethane to the door faces which brings out all the different wood colors and grains. No the challenge is that the door faces are not a flat serf ace to eat on so I went to the local glass store and had to order one very large piece of glass. This was by far the most expensive part of the project. Once the glass was placed I then used small door fronts found at my reuse store to frame the outside of the table. You could also use boards. These are place to over the 2x4 and hold the glass in place. Now a little more polyurethane and some paint for the legs and you have a very heavy and durable table to use for years to come. I have leave mine out on the porch year round due to it's size and weight and it has made it well through many winters.
Lessons I have learned in the project is that I should have sealed the glass down better because being outside things get under the glass and I have been leery about lifting this big piece of glass to clean under it. I don't quite know how one would best seal it down but maybe you can think up a good way.
As I said this table is used daily if not more often during warm weather at my house and it is one of my favorite parts of summer. I don't know why but food always tastes better in the fresh air outside. Here are some pictures of enjoying the table on those beautiful summer days. Good luck on you project and enjoy the creativity of a DIY project.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Thank you to our host school Cedar Park STEM Elementary and all the staff there who have helped this grate experience take place. Also thank you to all the wonderful people who work with Minnesota Ag in the Classroom for facilitating this great experience for our kids and those at the participating schools.