Monday, September 26, 2011

First Egg: Part 2

What did we do with those first few eggs?

                                                                  Gorgeous golden creamy yolks!

                                                                          One for you and one for me!

Serve it With More Toast and Current Jam....Don't forget the Glass of Milk!

Added Bonus Game of:  I SPY

Can you find one farm fresh yolk hidden among the store bought eggs???????

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Egg

Thanks to our lovely Rhode Island Red hen appropriately named "Red"; we now have a working farm!
We were all so excited to hold this warm, brown wonder in our hands and ooh and ahh over it for quite a while.

All the care and cleaning of these funny birds is worth every minute and penny when we factored in the awe of seeing and feeling that first egg. Such a magical experience for both the adults and kids alike. We're hoping that finding the eggs never becomes a chore or something boring. Right now we
can't imagine a day when we won't jump up and down and celebrate when we find an egg tucked into a special nest that one of our "girls" designed for it.....


The Hen
Chicken needs me every day
I give her food and water
When I let her out to play
She prefers the teeter totter
She catches bugs around my yard
I run to catch them with her
I love her very much you see
We have such fun, my hen and me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Well I have suddenly had a stunning realization. The kind that hit's you over the head and makes you sit down a while and ponder deeply....and here it is: Texas is HOT in the summer. Shocking right? So we strive on through heat exhaustion, dehydration and severe bouts of crabbiness at the Flanders Mercantile. Creativity is at a standstill, almost. However, there have been minor glimpes showing up when things seem to be at their worst. Check out the pantry!!!!

Who knew something excellent could come from all this blasted heat.

Just lovely, and so much fun! In fact I've decided to provide a step-by-step just in case anybody out there was interested in the creative process behind this spiffy cabinet......

1. Find shutter-style closet doors in someone's trash out by the curb.

2. Find discarded pegboard in your neighbors trash out at the curb.

3. Tell father-in-law of your plans to make found trash into pantry treasure.

4. Provide father-in-law with ice cold Cokes while he masterminds and makes base of pantry.

5. When father-in-law has to leave make plans to enlist dad's help in finishing the cabinet.

6. Provide dad with sage wisdom on the matter of hinges when he starts to suffer from heat

7. Find sweet husband with amazing painting skills and get him to turn ugly shell into a thing of

8. Help above husband put pantry in it's home on the wall and hold knobs while he drills them in place
    and therefore finishes off the pantry

And Voila! There you have it. Thanks to the 3 most amazing men who helped turn my little idea into a big reality!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You're The Lady

The Flanders Mercantile wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the Matriarch of the family. The wonderful mother who has to put up with all the Belgian waffle and chocolate jokes has not had it easy living life with the Flanders. Mom is the baby girl in a family with two older brothers. If she wasn't tormented enough by them- she married dad and they had one little! But this blog post is not about me(even though mom says I can bring ANYTHING back to being all about me :)  

Mom and me when I was a week old

Mom and her brothers(three stooges)

Dad and I adore mom, who can't make the motor boat sound with her lips-it sounds like psst and she gets slobber everywhere. And we will never forget the time she tried hard to keep up with us and "made a funny". Mom always had great creations from her cooking arsenal on the table. These included pickled beets, chili sauce, homemade jam, cucumbers in dill sauce, and her wonderful lasagna that runs all over your plate so you get to soak it up with yummy garlic bread. Mom says she is not creative but I get all my creativity from her. She is always trying new crafts and recycling new treasures from cool junk. She is a lovely homemaker and her house always smells like heaven. It looks great too -until my two crazy munchkins cyclone through. Mom's sense of fashion and decor is something I really admire(even if she tried to get me to wear a "bedspread" for a dress when I was younger)

Mom had a wonderful grandmother to learn from(more about her in the future). She has taken the wisdom and compassion she learned from her granny when she was a little girl and used it faithfully with the Flanders for all these years. She started out with dad by choosing a time for her own wedding that would not interfere with the milking life of dad's family who worked the Dairy.

mom with her granny

the wedding announcement that accommodated the Dairy folk

Mom is hardworking and strong. She is smart and generous. She does well with her champagne taste and beer pocketbook and she "never had a bad day in her life." Dad wrote her a song when they were around 17 and dating. We are in the process of recording it so check back for audio and lyrics because it is AMAZING! The title is You're the Lady and that about sums mom up perfectly. She is our lady, who puts up with us and loves us through all our crazy escapades. She is an amazing Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt and if I searched the entire world over I could never find a more perfect Grandmother to my little boys, I love you Mom!
mom with her daddy

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Timmy Becomes Yimmy: A Cleveland Rock Fight

Timmy about the age of his Goliath day...
   Dad lived in Cleveland when he was just a little tyke. Around age 5 he remembers that there used to be rock fights between the neighborhood kids. And that these rock fights, they could get kind of rough. One of these rock fights gave dad a souvenir he would never be able to get rid of.....

   The story goes that dad was behind his brother Mark who saw the rock coming. Mark ducked down and dad(standing right behind) was hit square in the forehead. The resulting scar making a perfect "Y". Just like the day when little David creamed Goliath; this was the day little Timmy took a stone to the head and became Yimmy.
50 years later the "Y" still stands

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Letters to Vietnam

   We have an incredible family member who saves important links to the past and in doing so helps to preserve our family history. Recently, I was very honored when given a pack of letters that Dad wrote as a little boy to his older brother Dick who was over serving in the Vietnam War. I love history. War history grips me in a deeper way. And having family members tell stories of their personal war history is an entirely different experience all together.
   We have a family history that intrigues and sometimes elludes us when we are searching for answers to questions of our roots. We are confident that the ones who have gone before us have shaped who we are-sometimes in a good and sometimes in an awful way- to help make up our true selves. The true selves who we are still looking to discover as we live our lives everyday as an adventure. Not ever really knowing what we will find around the bend.

Dad around the time he wrote his brother in Vietnam
    Dad wrote this letter when he was somewhere around 11 years old. Sometime around 1967 or '68. I'll transcribe it with my personal thoughts on the subjects in parenthesis:
                                               Hi Dick  How have you been? I've been fine. I got out of school June 11. Yea(it's faded as though he didn't want the enemy to know he was not a fan of school) We had a field day friday. I took the shoot put. It weights 8 pounds. I throw it 26 feet 3 inches.(GO DAD!!!!!!!) I won second place.(Wow! Great job!) The ribons in the letter.(This is where I get teary) I was competing against seven graders. Were're making a base-ball team. It's called the "farmer's league". Were're going to play the Detroit Tigers. We'll bet them    Love Tim

That's why he could throw the shot put 26'3"! Notice his brother Mark in the background.

    So precious and such a treasure for me to look back at now. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! Seek out your own family history and even though there might be some better left under the the rug.. you will find great inspiration in the good that you uncover! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The First Shiner!

I finally was granted my crazy wish of having a black eye. I told my husband that I also wanted a blue fingernail because that signifies that you are tough and that you work hard with your hands. A black eye is a symbol that you are tough stuff... or that you have just been headbutted by a TWO-YEAR old!!! My sweet little guy did not do it on purpose but certainly had mommy crying buckets after whipping back with his hard head to my eye. So much for tough stuff. Now I crave to never have symbols of working hard and being tough  but just to get through life peacefully and bruise-free. That would be nice, eh?

Building the Eiffel Tower(almost)

We've had a great houseguest this week and have been working on some amazing projects. I just was wondering aloud, "How does he know how to build that?" My father-in-law is visting and he makes Norm Abram seem like a real person to me. Watching Norm on TV and then seeing people like my dad and father-in-law build things is two very different experiences. Of course Norm can build a super sweet curio cabinet with dovetailed everything(he has a professional crew hidden in that attic and Ty Pennington standing behind the curtain) BUT my dad and now father-in-law just go out in MY yard and build picnic tables, sheds, doors, lean-to's, you name it and they can make it. I cherish the skills they are passing on to me by allowing me in on this process. Maybe Norm really can build all those things on his own. Thanks builders! You are awesome!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


    So yesterday was the oldest munchkins birthday and we met dad at Chik-Fil-A to go over serious Flanders business. The most important item discussed was the executives meeting scheduled for next year-in Hawaii! This started us into laughing hysterics. Dad and I always seem to find outlandish ideas and statements the most funny things in the universe. I can remember us rolling on the floor when I was younger because of someone saying something about a tornado, barn and airplane(inside joke I guess).

    However, when we finally started getting serious we worked on sending a few orders and looking at the new line of products available from The Flanders Mercantile: Unearthed! Treasures dad has discovered underground. I have many memories of dad roaming around a park, field or old house with large headphones on, swinging around a Garrett metal detector. We always have fun looking through his finds. On this occasion two sets of little hands were "helping" us look through the treasures on their breaks from the play area. We were most excited about the Chevy Vega emblem he found while unearthing treasure in some interesting place. Also the ancient Avon metal lipstick tube in the color Betsy Ross Red. Fun to look through and fun to talk about who might have dropped or buried the items.

The Flanders are at it again!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Museum of Ceramics Makes My Day

So today was a great day to dance around and sing that I received an email from the Museum of Ceramics. I didn't even know such a thing could exist until I tried to identify this crazy old crock I found in a trash pile. I consider myself a tad bit knowledgeable on internet sleuthing but nothing I did worked on this item! 

So I emailed the experts thinking that it was a shot in the dark that anybody would ever get back with me. The director of the museum emailed me back the next day! We know from the markings on the bottom that the crock was made by Knowles, Taylor and Knowles in the early 1900's but even the lady from the museum said in her email that she hadn't seen anything like it before! So fun. I still don't know what it is- she asked for more pictures and is forwarding it on to people on her email list who should know. Something about this whole process has made me giddy. Who would have known that the Museum of Ceramics could make your day? And even without answering my question but just knowing that they care about the ancient art of pottery- it's amazing!

Here's their link:

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Flanders Founders

    Another move is underway and that means going through boxes of old things. These old things are treasures in fact but we only seem to dig them up once in a pirate moon. Here was the latest gem that sold us on the beauty of Flanders and has inspired us to keep on hunting for our niche:
    My husband took one look at this picture and said," I married this????" Yes, babe, the classy girl in the photo is changing the starter on an old bucket of bolts with her charming father- aren't ya glad you got a winner for a wife and an amazing father-in-law? Safety glasses were necessary for the rust that was dripping off the car into our faces. What a great time for dad and daughter. We are excited to get back into the swing of things. What will it be next? The winds are changing... it's time to set sail!