30 December 2023

Greetings Earthlings

We're at the best place on Earth, Barnes. Been here all morning writing and reading. Smoochie Face is working on his stuff too. We're about to order our second round of drinks. I'm addicted to Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai. Street name, GOCH.

Too good I say, too good. 

In other news, I'm off from work for four days. Count'em. 1. 2. 3. 4.


In other, other news, Tim got me a new lens for Christmas and because it was hot outside this past Christmas weekend, I jetted straight out to take one billion photos.

Also delightful. 

Dig the black walnut from the back deck. I love this shot. It's got a bit of rot, texture, blurred back, movement on the left. I've wanted this lens for years. Beyond worth it. I can't stop taking pictures. 

In other, other, other news,  I'm saying a sad goodbye to Aldi/store bought potato puffs/tater tots, fries/chips, chips/crisps, crinkle-cuts and shoe strings.  

Out with the extra fat, salt and cost. Going back to homemade potato goodness. 

First though, time for another round of cafe' drinks. Though as I wrap this post up, some yutz has his phone blasting a video. Why? Why Yutz, why? 

Oh goody. Mrs. Yutz just arrived and is taking Mr. Yutz out of the cafe' with her. Good job, Mrs. Yutz. Good job. The Universe thanks you. 

And now I'm finally headed to get another round of holiday drinks then I'm gonna kick back and catch up on blog reading. 

Wishing you all a Happy Healthy Fun 2024! I see big changes for us here at The Manor and I'm excited to take you along the ride with us. Until next year, this is Ivy, reporting live from the Barnes Cafe' also known as, the best place on Earth. 

Ivy, out.


18 December 2023

MACRO MONDAY (drumroll please ....)

Today's subject. Drumroll please .... ORANGES! 

This shot was taken with the camera attached to a C-Stand directly over the oranges, with the camera tethered to a computer. What's nice about this way is there's less of a chance of a blurry photo. And, since the computer screen shows us the image (in all its glory), there's no need to rely on that teeny tiny LCD screen or the even smaller, viewfinder. 

Being tethered is a win, win on many levels.

What tethering lacks is that rawness and adventure of holding the camera in-hand, headed outside on a hunt for fun close-ups of things like bumbles bees, flowers, inch worms and snow flakes.

There is a lot to love about both free-hand and tethered shooting.  As the weeks go on we'll talk more about both. For today though, it's all about the oranges. 

Dig those specular highlights! 

In other news, I scored two educational photography magazines from the UK, sold at Barnes. More on those in another post.

In other, other news I might have a mild addiction to Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai. Have you tried that drink? Cold or hot. I love them both. 

And that my Boogerbutts, is all that's fit to print. 

Huggs & Bugs,

10 December 2023

MACRO MONDAY (little purple snowflake)

Welcome to Macro Monday! I'm not sure how many of these I'll do per month - or if I'll move to a different day. Either way, I LOVE shooting macro and close-up photography so for now, let's go with, Macro Monday!

There's something fun about a macro lens at a single focal point. I can't adjust a prime lens with my hands. I have to get in there close to take the shot. For me, a prime lens is a more personal experience. I like that I have to zoom with my feet to get a detailed shot. 

That's what I did here with the little white snowflake. I see this little snowflake hanging from the tree each day and I just love it. So after work, before getting to chores and meals, I broke out the macro lens and played.

So fun. 

In other news, we're still loving the new couch. I'm writing from the snug now. It's just soooooo peaceful here to read, write, draw, game and watch movies. When we do move, we're for sure gonna have a space like this. All snuggly and fun.

And that my Boogerbutts is a wrap. I'll catch you on the flipside.

Huggs & Buggs, Me. 

29 November 2023

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES ( + Fa La La, La La - New Banner Day)

Hello Boogerbutts! Guess what? After being with the new job for six months, I asked for a promotion and got it. Really, no one wanted it so it did feel strange at first, going toward something that NO ONE wanted. That said, I am over the moon with this choice.  Just think, last Christmas we didn't have a second car, the furnace died and the pipes froze.


This year, it's a whole new world. Still no house and that's okay. Right now we're window shopping and not ready to plunk down money. In 2024, we'll save, save, save and save some more. Hopefully in that time, the interest rates will go down, though I'm not holding my breath.   

In other news, I've upped my meal prep game. This past Sunday, one meal lasted six meals, plus a snack. And as I type right now, there's another big meal cooking for another three meals each for work/home.

How cool is that? 

In other, other news, it gets dark earlier and it feels like after work there's sooooo much night left. Love that! Plus, last weekend we moved everything around to make one kickbutt snug with the old little love seat, plus the new big couch. Now there's enough room for reading, gaming, movies and most important, Bug.

Pretty cool. 

And that my Boogerbutts is all that's fit to print. Here's the new the Fa La La, La La ... banner and I'll catch you on the flip side.

Huggs & Bugs, 

31 October 2023

Hello Halloween Monsters!

Hello Halloween Boogerbutts!

Been working lots at the new job. Be back to regular blog writing and reading soon. For tonight, I wanted to stop in and wish everyone an oogie boogie night.

PS: We picked up the new couch today. Got it for a great deal. Gonna shower, make supper and watch some spooky movies from the new BIG comfy couch.

PPS: This is my new Halloween banner.

PPPS: Chat again real soon.

PPPPS: I'm outta P&S's.

Huggs & Bugs, Me!    


29 August 2023


Things are coming along with the kitchen. Today we moved Tim's long butcher block table with black hair pin legs to the kitchen pegboard wall and my old table next to his writing desk in the office. This should be the last round of Table Tetris until we move, move, move.

As for move, move, move, nada on the houses. 

Nada. Nada. Nada.

As for baking and writing food, that started back this past weekend with banana cake, soon to turn them into banana doughnuts. Pictures to come. In the meantime, dig these cinnamon sugar mini doughnuts I made awhile back. 

My gosh, I love autumn! I love everything about it. 

Tomorrow I hope to hit the local restaurant store and add to my Halloween baking collection. Pictures to come of that as well. For now, the air fryer is chirpping which means it's almost time to sit, eat and watch more Halloween Baking Championship. 

LOVE that show. LOOOOOVE it! 

I'm also still LOOOOVING my new Samsung tablet, with pretty purple bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Lots of food writing and blogs to come from this new space. 

And that my Boogerbutts is all that's fit to print. This is Ivy, reporting live from the new kitchen butcher block bench, under the kitchen peg board wall. 

Back to you in the studio.

Huggs & Bugs, 
- Me

12 August 2023


Current obsession ... pretzel bagels. Not even mine. Horton's on the hill. Not sure what the one in town has. Either way, now it's in my head to get back to making homemade pretzels. Only this time with a twist. I'm thinking, pretzel bagel bites stuffed with roasted jalapeno and non-dairy smoked gouda. 


In other news, we're at Barnes. Took me awhile to get out the door today. Now that we're here, I'm glad to be. I gathered a HUGE stack of autumn food and reno magazines. I love flipping through those, even though really, it's the same recipes and decor year in and year out. Still, I love it.  

In other, other news, here's the little table that Tim and I built together using bits and bobs from the shed. The top timber is cedar that naturally came mixed with pink and blonde and the base is pine, a blonde almost white wood. I stained the top and painted the base yellow. The best part is we made this together and didn't spend any new money. 

How cool is that? 

In other, other, other news, I'm using both the time before and after work much, much better than before. More on that another day, along with the finished chairs (spoilers, I painted them). And if I get to it tomorrow, homemade pretzel bagel bites stuffed with non-dairy gouda and jalapeno.


A puppy, a table and a pretzel bagel walk into a bar. Stop me if you heard this one.

07 August 2023


Check out the setup. Halloween and autumn sounds with slightly moving spooky pictures, puppy under the table and me using the new Samsung Galaxy tablet. This new toy makes writing and reading blogs a breeze. This is now my fourth week in a row and I love that.  

In other news, dig these two ALDI finds. Ten smackers each. They fold. Probably paint them the same yellow as the shed. And since I love writing, drawing and reading outdoors, I'll need to build a small writing table or find one on the cheap. 

Either works for me  

In other, other news, we looked at the outside of another house last week. There's an open house for it this week. Not sure if we'll go or not. Neither of us loves the location. We don't hate it, however ....

I dunno. We'll see. Price good. Inside from pictures good. Might just go to go.

Lastly, this week I'm working on structure. Mostly after work (at least for now). Because last week felt like my after work time wasn't spent well. Fixing that this week. Started with today when I got home. I went straight into chores, showered, made supper, took a few pictures and wrote. 

Bada bing, bada boom.

That's more like it. Right now, I'm sipping hot peach tea and listening to the spooky sounds on headphones as Tim plays D&D with the guys online. It's not a bad night, that's for sure. 

And that my Boogerbutts, is all that's fit to print. 

Huggs & Bugs,

- Me

Puppy PS: When I started writing the blog, there was one. By time I finished, there were two. I love that. Thanks for reading. Catch you on the flip side. 

31 July 2023


So ... things not that great for Miss Wiggy. Yesterday was rough. Today she's bright-eyed and holding her own. Cried a lot this weekend.   

Death near. Sad time.

I don't know which is better, knowing it's coming or not knowing. Thinking the kidney food Tim went and got her might outlast Wiggy. 

Just sucks.

Even with the sadness, it's a nice calming quiet day here at The Manor. We reset the kitchen table on our wonky floor. Then finished painting the extra shelving I built to go under the HUGE table.  

In between coats I sit in the snug with my Halloween mug filled with goodness and watch Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge on Discovery Plus. I didn't grow up with Barbie, yet I'm digging the designers recreating different points in time, retro to now, within the Barbie world. Cool stuff. It's the perfect kinda stupid show for where my brain is at today. 

Lastly, the rain let up later tonight and I smacked a coat of primer on the shed, after Tim and I attached more wood on the right facing side and back. Next time I do a project like this, I'm saving for a good paint sprayer. 

And lastly, lastly, I'm heartsick over Miss Wiggy. Painting helps. I like the quiet. Checked on her a few minutes ago and she's still bright-eyed. It's weird how it comes and goes. For sure gonna miss that little boogerbutt when she's gone. 

And that's all that's fit to print. 

Huggs & Bugs, 
- Me

I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow. 

23 July 2023

Garden Shed DIY Up-Cycling (weekend project)

Lots going on here this weekend, so much so that it didn't even feel like a weekend and that's okay because the shed is a few steps closer to being done AND, my cute little purple Bluetooth keyboard arrived. To sit and write on my new Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is heaven. Even got a cute little purple mouse to go with. Pictures to come.

In other news, Wiggy goes back to the vet this Tuesday for spinal tissue treatments. I don't know enough about them yet, though after one partial treatment, she began to move better as well as eat better. 

I'll take it.

In other, other news, after this post, I'm headed to town for exterior yellow paint for the shed. I'm also itching to get a paint sprayer. Don't think I will today, though I'll take a look-see when I'm there for sure. 

Below is the shed. Yesterday we removed to old framing, hinges and doors and built new. I tell you what, I loved doing this because we did it together AND saved what was savable from the old structure. LOVE that. 

And that my Boogerbutts, wraps up the weekend report. 

Chat again soon. Huggs & bugs,

- Me

16 July 2023

Blogging at Barnes (insert happiness here)

Oh my gosh, I almost don't know where to start or what to share first. Much has changed since the last blog post. Today, I'm blogging at Barnes on my brand new Samsung art tablet and OMG, this is a game changer. I can draw, watch photography business classes, take pictures, shoot video, read blogs, write blogs, play with kitchen photography and watch Hulu. All from here.

This is heaven.

In other news, for the last few months I've been working at the new job and OMG, I freaking LOVE my new job. No Sundays. Take turns with 3-hour Saturday quick shifts. Excellent co-workers and boss. Home in time for supper. 


In other, other news, I found this stool and dresser on the way home from work. $25 for the heavy dresser, $15 for the stool. Annie Sloan original chalk paint, here I come! 

As for houses, we haven't found one yet. Still on the look-out. Found one that we love on the outside. Haven't done the walk-through yet. 

And that my Boogerbutts is all that's fit to print. 

Huggs & Bugs,

-- Me 

24 April 2023


I was all set. Wake up. Take on the world. Kickbutt.

That didn't happen.

In better news, we got a LOAD of cleaning done over the weekend and didn't spend a penny at ALDI or on delivery.

I'll take that as a win.

As for today, I'm moving zombie-like as I sort clothes to donate or maybe turn into dog beds. Not sure yet? I also have a HUGE yellow bean bag that we bought last year when Tim was sick. Now, it's just in the way. I might half the bag into two smaller dog beds. Easier to move and clean. Me thinks.

Dunno yet. 

For snack time it's a toss between cinnamon, spelt, chia, flax, maple pecan pancakes or warm potato salad.  

I will need a trip to ALDI again soon, just not today. Gotta rebuild the house account and every penny counts. Making food stretch, stretch, stretch is my jam.  

Lastly, today's cartoon ... 

20 April 2023


Say hello to my new friends! Gift card + clearance and I'm one happy whisk. Dig this, jogging bras for a tenner each (I got four). Gotta keep my knockers from giving me a black eye when I jog.

That's funny because it's true.

Two pair of jogging shorts and two pair of not quite leggings, not quite sweats. Not sure the correct word so I'll go with comfy and warm for chilly early runs.

In other news, I noticed that once I started working outside the home, I got lazy. Big time. Instead of cooking more, I'd grab crap on the ride home or ask Tim too. Well, forget that nonsense. It's back to homecooked foods and (for me), plant-forward menus. 

I love my veg! 

In other, other news, it's just about the weekend and we're fixin' to hit Barnes for some fun time, driving in the new-to-us car. Lemme tell you, lots of money left the building, for sure. However, the advantage of having two cars outweighs the money spent. Even when the money came from our new house savings.

I've said this many times. I don't see the car engine blowing up as a bad thing. It's not bad. It's not good. It just is. What I choose to do with that and how I turn a situation into fuel, that's what's important.

That's freedom. 

Lastly, I've got my new shorts on, new jogging bra, recently clearanced pink shirt and two braids. I'm lookin' cute and ready for a mini workout, starting with the lawn. 

And that my Boogerbutts is all that's fit to print. 

Off to mow. Whisk, out. 

14 April 2023

Ya' Gotzta Go!

Hello Boogerbutts! 

It's the weekend and I am very, very excited to say that we got both air conditioners in yesterday and by next week we should have our old car back. The engine blew up. 


Once when Tim drove me to work (I recently quit more on that another day), and the second time at the mechanics. No one hurt, thankfully, that's the most important. As for our down payment for the house, well ... more on that later, long story short, we have to build.

And we will. 

As for today, I'm grooving to the tunes, drinking blueberry tea (oh my yum), and getting crap done. Happy weekend to all and to all a good time.

Huggs & Bugs - Me

21 March 2023


Hellloooooo Boogerbutts! 

What's it been a month or so? Happy to be back and celebrating SPRING this week. Happy Autumn to all ya' fall folks out there, too! 

New season means a new goal, more on that in a minute up first, it's new banner day! Freshly drawn from the new kitchen table that I built. 


Game changer.

Some recall the battles I've had with the kitchen like, the fridge that's been in four different places (in three days), tripping over camera gear (constantly), and the revolving kitchen table/work bench fiasco. 

Ugh and goodbye to all of that!

Say hello to my little mess. This is where I drew today and where I'm writing to you now. See the top of the table? Glued, sanded and stained with a homemade mixture of chocolate powder and coffee, then top-coated with a clear coat. The legs are black, and I'll show you those another day.

Now back to seasonal goals. It's something I've done forever, each season one new goal. Only this time, instead of picking our own goals, hubby and I did the picking for each other. For him, I picked finish his KickStarter by end of Spring. For me, he selected open some kind of store front to sell my cartoons. 

Two big fat goals. 

Bring IT!

I'm up for the challenge. I love the draw and want to see my art on shirts, mugs, hats and walls. 

It's time.

Long overdue, actually. 

And that my Boogerbutts is the updated news on my end. This is Ivy, reporting live from the best new kitchen table in the history of EVHAR!

Chat again soon.

Huggs & Bugs, Me. 

16 January 2023


Today I started the new job, just a one-on-one to setup things. Tomorrow I have my first full 8.5 hour day and I'm over the moon. 

Over the moon. 

We opened a second bank account for direct deposit. Saving all our pennies to get the heck outta Dodge. That feels AMAZING. 

Okay, I can't stay online. All showered. Two days of food prepped, dog food made, dryer almost done. After work today I hit Target for extra work shirts.


In other news, the KitchenAid Bowl Lift Stand Mixer is heaven. I'll drop a video down below. I cannot stop using this machine. OMG. Best purchase in a long time.

And that my Boogerbutts, is all that's fit to print. Chat again soon. Off to my coffin with a book, soon.

12 January 2023

All Engines GO!

Last Saturday we hit Barnes and I flipped through magazines. Took home the candle issue of Willow & Sage. Do you go to Barnes & Noble Cafe'? We go often and LOVE it there. 

I never made candles before. Only played around with homemade wax burner style stuff. Ready to jump into candles. I like that we control the ingredients. 

Gonna be fun! 

Looked at another house today. I'll drop the grainy phone video below. We're not buying this one. It's nice to stop and look. Keeps that energy going. We've had lots of starts and stops with house hunting. This time it's all engines go. 

And that my Boogerbutts is all that's fit to print. 

Chat again soon. 

Huggs & Bugs, Me.

06 January 2023

Goodbye Dark and Stormy - I'm Back, Baby!

Guess what? I applied for jobs, filled out applications and set-up the camera for a zoom-like interview. That's right. Goodbye Dark & Stormy, I'm back, baby. 

Thank you everyone. I sucked up your good energy, took it all in and decided to push through the insecure feelings. I didn't want how I felt about myself to get in the way of us moving. 

Your words and energy helped, a lot. Thank you !!!!

Another thing I did to help feel better was wrote a new formula for vegan chocolate chip cookies for Tim. Gotta say, first time using a mixer for cookies and wow, wow, wow. 


Lastly, here's both my new banner and how I feel today ...

04 January 2023


Hello Boogerbutts!

I'm stuck in my own head today. We're moving and with that, a second paycheck is a HUGE help. I'm on the job hunt and not feeling confident, at all. Drawing cartoons and writing helps so here goes ...

I haven't worked outside of the home in eight years. I think it's eight. Either way, it's been a hot minute. And even though there are so many jobs open right now, like a crazy amount, I feel insecure. How do I explain why I've been out of work so long? 

I know why I'm there to get the job, because we want a house/land. That part I feel really strong about.

Then I start going over applications and work history and I get in my head to the point that I let it stop me.

I can't do that.

As for the eight years out of work, they whooshed past. Even I don't know what I did in all that time. There was a huge part of it where I couldn't walk and had some serious infections. That was the reason for leaving. I’m scared they won't hire me in case I get sick again.

I dunno.

Like I said, I'm really in my own head right now. However, the reason we're doing this a strong reason. To have our own land. OMG. OMG. OMG. Our own garden. So that's my focus, getting out of my head and into a new life.

Finishing up this post I hear my Grandma's words. She believed the worse they can say is no and if we don't ask, we'll never know.

Grams are the best.

Huggs & Bugs - Me