Friday, March 20, 2015

John Boos Butcher Block


Fifteen years ago I bought a John Boos Butcher Block, just like the one above but smaller (18x18”).  When we moved to the condo  I decided we didn ’t have room, but that was before I took down my wall of upper cabinets. (link to that post here).  I loved that butcher block, thought it was the coolest thing ever and I’ve regretted many, many times that I got rid of it.   

Hubby and I both are in the kitchen cooking, since we share duties, and I have so much crap all over my counters that space is really limited.  Oh what I wouldn’t give for a center island, but there is just no room.  So on a whim, I had him take a bar stool, build a mock-up butcher block around it, and we left it in the kitchen for a few days, worked around it and decided that it just might work for us since we don’t have all those upper cabinets anymore and our kitchen doesn’t seem so closed in.  We measured and calculated and determined that the 18x24” size would be much better, we had the required three ft. of space needed to open the stove and the dishwasher, and so the search began.

Now all of you know that I love a deal, and there was none to be had for these butcher blocks. John Boos is the Cadillac, the best of the best with a price tag to go along with it.  Prices ranged all the way for $699 to $800, websites threw in free shipping, but it was still a major expense.

I finally found a place in Rapids City Iowa called Rapids Wholesale that offered the same butcher block at wholesale price for $388, and their site said free shipping except for furniture.  So I called them up, knowing it was too good to be true, and sure enough it was, they considered the butcher block furniture and the shipping charges were atrocious, $150 to ship, and an additional $50 to drop ship to residential addresses.  Grrrrr, that good deal was now going to cost me $588, still a lot cheaper than the other websites, but…..

So hubby got online, realized that John Boos manufactured these blocks in Effingham, Il, a mere two hours drive from Heavensville.  Boy Howdy, that was doable, so I called Rapids Wholesale back and asked them if I could pick it up.  “Sure” they said, that’s not a problem.  And then I asked them if I had to pay tax.  “Nope” since I paid online, it was tax exempt.  I whipped out that credit card faster than a New York minute and ordered it for $388.  They had to build it, it took a few days, and they called me and told me when  we could pick it up.

So a couple of weeks ago on a bright, sunny Friday morning we took off for Effingham.  We had the nicest day, picked up the butcher block, stopped at antique shops, went to a great little lunch place, it was all good.  And in the back of my mind I’m wondering how that butcher block is going to work in my small kitchen.


I aso bought this cutting board, it works great for my measuring spoons.  I really like this idea I found on Pinterest of separating your measuring spoons in small Ball jars, it’s so much easier to grab what you need that rummaging around for the right size spoon.


My buddy V has been eyeing up this 18” beauty.  Pioneer Woman gives it away occasionally, but it’s really spendy, $179 on Amazon.  Ouch, I only had to pay $20 for mine.  I wish I would have known, I would have checked prices in their store, I’m thinking it would have been a lot less than they sell them for on Amazon.  But back to my story...

We’re back home, LC had to call his buddy, Juzar, to help him unload this because it weighed 160 lbs., they brought it in, set it up, I angled it because I angle everything, and you know what, it’s perfect!  I love it!!!!

I rubbed it down with Beeswax and Mineral oil cream that John Boos gave me, refrained from decorating it, except for the tomato cutting board.  I know, it’s a butcher block, why don’t I cut on it?  I don’t want to screw up that nice finish, and we use it constantly.

We got quite an education at the John Boos retail store.  They’ve been making these butcher blocks since 1887, they had one in the showroom from the 1930’s and they still look the same.  Mother had a round one that she bought from an old grocery store years ago, it was always in my kitchen when the boys were growing up and now it’s in Ryan’s basement.  John bought a large rectangle one years ago, it’s in his garage, it seems that the love of butcher blocks runs deep in our family.  Someday I hope they will be able to use theirs, at least they are hanging on to them.  


John Boos has expanded their line greatly, now even Williams-Sonoma sells them.  When Deanna and I were shopping in Nashville a couple of months ago, we saw this Gathering Block at their Williams-Sonoma, except with  mustard yellow legs.  Oh my, it’s fantastic, I loved it but it’s too big for my kitchen.  

I’m really a happy girl with the one I got,  just had to share this, and if anybody is in driving distance of Effingham, Il, you can order from Rapid City and get a heck of a deal.  And I know, I know, I can’t cram one . more . piece . of . furniture . into . my .  house.  ~ Jan

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gardener's Supply Deep Seat Garden Kneeler



Spring has sprung in Evansville and the warmer temps last weekend made me realize that I really needed a new garden kneeler.  My old one bit the dust, last year I used a bucket and it was quite a feat getting on and off the darned thing.

This isn’t my first rodeo with garden kneelers, some have wheels, which are good in theory but they don’t work in flower beds and they roll when you’re just trying to rock, so that was out.  My last one was too narrow, it wasn’t stable and easy to tip over, and yes of course I tipped the darned thing over, more than once I might add.

So I did the research online and was instantly smitten with this bright purple beauty.  It’s from a reputable company, and best of all it’s deep seated, which is perfect for the mature derriere, oh for Pete’s sake Jan get real, it accommodates big butts!  And best of all it’s purple, bright, vivid, glorious purple!!!

So I ordered it Sunday evening, it arrived today, folded into a cardboard box with no assembly required.  Whoa doggies, hubby was excited about that.  

It’s perfect, it really is, it’s nice and wide and stable, easy to get on and off of, and I also coughed up an additional $10.99 for the pouch that slips over one side to hold my gardening tools.  


Of course the cart is available in green, but why would anybody want green when they can have purple!

And the cost, not bad,  $49.95, plus $10.95 for the tool pouch, plus shipping.

And in retrospect I probably should have ordered their gloves, too.  Gardener’s Supply Company’s online catalog is just chocked full of amazing things, I have a feeling I’ll be ordering those gloves plus a few other necessities.


Okay all of you gardeners, I can see your wheels turning.  I know you like this spiffy purple cart, too.

Here are the links, go for it!  Just cruise their whole site, you’re gonna love this!

Deep Seated Garden Kneeler

Deep Seated Tool Pouch

Nitrile Gloves

And then there are the purple clogs.  Overkill, Jan, o.v.e.r.k.i.l.l, I don’t need purple clogs to match my purple cart.  Just fuggedabout it….

Garden Shoes Women s Classic Garden Clogs | Gardener s Supply

But you might like them, they come in lots of colors, too.

Garden Shoes Women s Classic Garden Clogs | Gardener s Supply 1

Here’s the link

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Paddy's Day!


The grandkids are all ready for St. Paddy’s Day, such a cute picture, just had to share.

I’m baking corned beef and cabbage this afternoon, it’s a blustery St. Patrick’s Day in Heavensville.  This isn’t the normal year for sure, March 17th is always my marker, usually the crabapple trees are in bloom, my  neighbor’s Mary Jane Magnolia is starting to pop, but not this year.  

I do have crocus blooming, and my daffy’s are budding.  Temps down to 25 degrees next week, that should nip everything. Grrrrr

Mother would have been planting peas today if she were in her prime.  She always had a big garden and planted her peas on the 17th.  Peas and new potatoes, oh my, what a treat that was.  So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, Happy St. Patrick’s Day...


Monday, March 16, 2015

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade


Thinning brows, just another problem for old(er) women.  I’ve been a fan of Anastasia products for awhile now, and have regularly used their Brow Wiz pictured below.  It’s a great product, a retractable pencil with a spoolie on the other end, it’s worked well for me.  


But I do like to try other products so I bought this Dipbrow Pomade ($18) at Ulta even though I was skeptical because it’s kind of a gooey consistency.  It wasn’t love at first try, either and I didn’t cough up the money for their brush/spoolie combo.  I already had a spoolie on the end of my Brow Wiz, and I had a thin angle brush, in other words, I cheaped out!  Well, that other angle brush didn’t work for so well, and after a few tries I was starting to get the knack of using the pomade, so I coughed up another $18 for the darned brush.  So worth it, if you’re going to do this, buy the brush!



I’ve used it for a few weeks now, and really like it.  The trick is to use it lightly and brush it out with the spoolie after you put it on.  What’s the big attraction?  It fills in your brows really well, looks good and it stays on all day.  I finish it off with Anastasia Clear Gel Brow Gel to keep everything in place, and I’m good to go.

If you think you might be interested, watch this video, this girl explains how to use it perfectly.  The only con I’ve found is that the blonde shade is dark.  I wish it went more toward golden blonde instead of brown, but it doesn’t so I deal with it.  If you try it, just give yourself some time, it’s a bit of a learning curve.  I think I’m making it sound harder than it really is, the trick is to have a light touch.

It’s a good product, I will buy it again, probably not for a really long time, though because you use so little of this it will last forever.  Watch the video, see if it’s for you, it really is a good thing.  ~ Jan


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