Tuesday, July 22, 2014

GOODBYE Stink Bugs! We're Fortified!

I told you the move to fortify our fortress from stink bugs was gonna be BIG.
Big…and expensive.

After thorough research, years of experimentation (see Why We've Been FEEDING & SAVING Stink Bugs,
Stink Bug Hideout, and Stink Bug WAR- Phase 1 Tacticand suffering (read Stink Bugs in the Dead of Winter,
Stink Bugs: They're Baaaaaack!Ten Scenes of Horror: Living with Stink BugsOur House- The All-Inclusive Stink Bug Resort), we finally made the massive move to keep stinkers OUT.

So how'd we do it?

After tearing off the siding on our beloved home, we uncovered the stink bug's secret entryway, the portal, the highway to hell.

Look at that GAP! Easy on ramp on the highway to hell.
It turns out, there was siding UNDERNEATH our siding. Say whaaa?
Quite a surprise when we discovered this bonkers error.

Because the surface underneath the existing siding was, obviously, not flat (as it should have been) there were large grooves that created easy stink bug paths right into our home.

No-freakin-wonder we've been inundated with spawn!
Stink bugs (and tons of other creepsters) crawled up these grooves and entered through the gaps between panels.
A problem we had to remedy!
After removing BOTH layers of the existing siding, we got the job done right.

A bug screen was added to the bottom of each section before the new siding was installed.
Bug screen before being folded up.
The screen prevents bugs from creeping through the underside of the siding.
I love you, bug screen.
And then the new siding was installed.
Every crevice was sealed with caulk, and we will be vigilant in ensuring that every possible gap is sealed in the future.
Flashing strips were added to the base of the home to further prevent any access to the fortress.
So now we wait. 

Give us one full year to report results.

Right now, any stinkers inside our home will be trying to make their way OUT to breed, but when "winter is coming" we know spawn will try to breech our walls for another season of hibernation. 

This time…we'll be ready.
Get psyched for us, friends. I think we've GOT this now.
I have to believe.
Pray for us.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

28/52- A Photo Challenge

Not yet, but soon.
I'll eat every Tomato Blue Berry before the basket makes it into the kitchen.

Baseball, soccer or trampolining? 
Decisions. Decisions.

This is Boops. She's very boopsie.

After an incredible celebration this week, I'm especially grateful for the strength and love of our families and friends. We just couldn't love you more.

Keep that sunshine comin'...
Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Help Ride MS Right Off the Road

In previous post, BIKE MS: Support the Mason-Dixon Challenge, I told you about my greatest inspiration, my mother-in-law, and the powerhouse team riding to support those who are up against multiple sclerosis.
For the 6th year in a row, our family's Missing Link Chain Gang team of 10 is ready to ride again— to support the National MS Society's research efforts and to make a positive difference for those living with this disease.
Wanna help?
Check out Missing Link Chain Gang's team page here and help our family ride MS right off the road.
Every bit of support means so much.

Help make a difference for positive change.
Go team!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

Thursday, July 10, 2014

27/52- A Photo Challenge

It's bee balm time! LOVE this stuff. 
Last year, I pulled up a ton to transplant from our backyard to the front. 
Bring on those butterflies.

Kaira had a rock-star theme party for her 5th birthday, so we bought tattoo sleeves to get the adults into the scene. Because her arms are too skinny to rock the tats, Kai got inventive. I'm really digging her new, makeshift leggings. 
Batter up? 
Interesting technique.

Crazy as he can be, you can't deny he's a handsome beast. 
It's finally happening over here. 
The stink bugs are SCREWED. 
Stick around and see.

Enjoy the sunshine, friends!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mexican Grass Addiction?

Mexican Feather Grass is definitely my favorite perennial purchase this season.

I'm obsessed with everything about it…

the way it dances in the breeze
the way it feels in my hands
the way it captivates me with its gorgeous airiness. 
I really just can't get enough.

My Mexican Feather Grass admiration has gone so overboard, in fact, that instead of planting it in the ground, I transferred it into a planter so I can caress it while lounging on the deck.

And I do.

If it's in my sight line, I'm over there running my fingers through it…
braiding it
making ponytails with it
curling it around my fingers.

I might get more so I can wrap myself in it.
NOT Mexican Feather Grass, but a funny image of me "trying on" some other lovely plant (not nearly as snuggly as it looks) at a family gathering. Photo Credit: Cate Dougherty
If you come over and find me crouched in the dirt with a makeshift grass shawl, don't be too alarmed.
This stuff would make a great plant suit.
Sensory therapy, anyone?
Get some soothing Mexican Feather Grass and see what I mean.

Most tactilely stimulating plant ever!

Sidenote: Be prepared for really strange reactions when you, too, run around telling people that you're addicted to Mexican grass. 

Here's to sunny days and gorgeous greenery!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

26/52- A Photo Challenge

Better late than never...

Responsibility aside, we were rockin' and rompin' during our favorite week of summer, thus far.
Is there anything better than beachin' it with your crew?

Kaira's bumper-car-driving-skills are vastly improved this season. Watch out newbies! 
Shoulder-riding-Boopsie stole her dad's hat while waiting for her roller-coaster-riding-buddies. Top dog on the boardwalk— REPRESENT.

Pets for this week? Pfffft. 
Squawkin' suckas almost stole my breakfast. 
This shot, however, was well worth the bait. 

Didn't want this week to end…
but the sun is still shining, and there are always more good things to come.

Hope your holiday weekend has been beautiful and beyond!
Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Hearth's 10 Most Popular Posts

To set sail into our most exciting week of Summer 2014, I'm bringin' back some reader favorites.

If you missed any of these goodies, check out the top ten posts of all-time from the From My Hearth to Yours archive.

#10 The Genie in the Lamp and the Meaning of Life
SO pleased this story made the cut. A profound surprise...
#9 Our House- The All-Inclusive Stink Bug Resort
Sorry this did make the cut. Guess that means many of you feel my pain. Death to spawn!
#8 Ride Safer Travel Vest
Oooooh, friends! If you were interested in this awesome invention, stick around! We've got another giveaway coming up soon.
#7 Made in the Shade
We're about to rock this umbrella/tent for the third summer. Even loaned 'er out to our buds for their beach extravaganza. Still kicking it!
#6 Reachin' for the Moon!
Our moons are an integral part of the bedtime experience for both our girlies. Wish I'd had one when I was a kiddo. Makes you dream big.
#5 Stink Bugs: They're Baaaaaack!
More spawn. Damn.
#4 Choosing Favorites: My Top 5 Book Collections for Kiddos
I totally stand by these choices. For birthdays and baby showers, book collections are my gifts of choice. If you use 'em well, these books can really make magic happen.
#3 How To EFFECTIVELY Ditch a Spider
I don't think there IS a better way.
#2 Three Steps to the Toilet- Living in a Tiny House
Still wanna have a beer with this gal.
#1 The Best Gifts We Gave This Year
My heart is happy knowing that this post has reached the most readers.
Give when you can.
It will make you, and someone else, feel good.

High-fives and beaming smiles to all you readers. 
Thanks for hanging at the Hearth.
Here's to a week of so-much-smiling-your-face-hurts…

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