Monday, December 30, 2013


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Monday, December 2, 2013

Ranching with a Vegan company

So I have a company. :)
It's a soap company that is all vegan. But we also live on a cattle ranch. Isn't this hypocrisy you would ask yourself?

To answer this question I will have to go back to the beginning.

In high school I was a vegetarian for several years. I still ate cheese and drank milk. I have a strong love for animals. I volunteered at the local animal shelter and also had an intership at Sea World in San Antonio. As we were flying back my friend said, "I would rather see them in the ocean". That statement, all though small made a huge impact upon my life. I was wanting to be a marine biologist at the time.

In my mind we needed places like Sea World. But not because of the shows. What they had behind the scenes was what captivated me. We learned about the various marine animals and it was in those moments that I really found my connection with them. My parents wouldn't fund my education for a marine biology degree stating, "You will be away from us too much" and I didn't know that we had choices (apart from our parents' ideas) so I ended up going with computer science, switching majors, and ended up with a business degree. My life with animals became non-existant as circled around my computer and worked for non-profits as a single mother.

Years later I met and fell in love with a rancher. How was I to know what it was like??

I saw some crazy stuff happening all around me. I saw the most grittiest cowboy who could rope a wild cow off the back of his horse, stop and nurse a calf back to health. I also saw him shoot a calf when it was in too much pain.

We raise our beef on grass. I once was asked, "Since you don't give any growth hormones or anything to your calves, what happens if one gets sick. Do you deny antibiotics?"

I turned to her and said, "Why would I want anything to suffer. I will give a shot of antibiotics to a calf that needs it. I would not appose killing a calf, with a bullet, if it was suffering." This year we only doctored two calves. One made it, one didn't.

I'm not a monster. I thought to myself as she stormed away. I'm human. I have feelings and emotions. We have horses, dogs, and cattle. Our animals live such a free life while at our place. Our dogs spend every day outside running around. We've had other strays come into our yard and we've fed them. They stick around until the neighbors come and get them. I can't help but think that if they had it so bad at our house, they would just return where they came from.

I think back on my life. I understand people want to have a certain lifestyle that allows animals to live and be free. Free from eating. Free from pain and suffering.

I also think that our mother cows are treated with the utmost humane care. I have a bunch of them and they are my life. I have gone out in an ice storm to help a calf get to the other side of the fence with it's mother. I have massaged scours butts' of calves (nasty-yellow-smell) to get the calf to eat from it's mother.

That is the animal lover in me.

So why would you kill a calf? One nasty twitter reader once tweeted me because they saw I was a rancher. They don't know me.

I love my family. They also need to survive. God gave us the animals so that we could eat and provide for our families. I don't take that lightly. This was my husband's choice before I met him. I am with him and now it is my choice to stand by his side and ranch. We are conscious meat producers. I buy cage free eggs. :) (ADD MOMENT: thinking of getting some chickens).

I can feel my hippy come out in me when I ask my husband for one more day to get a calf to take a bottle....but even I know when it's time to let animals go. Just like the powerful cycle of life. It's mysterious. It's sometimes not fair (one of my clapa (Cleft Lip and Palate Association) friends just gave birth to a stillborn son). I can rest assure anyone's hatred if you personally come to my ranch and see how we live. If you have the time to do that. If you get to know me and still think that I am a monster, by all means....write hateful things about me, to me, etc. But most likely you will discover that I am a human. Our greatest need...each and every one of to be accepted.

Okie Suds has vegan products that do not contain anything from an fat, no milk, nothing. Strictly from the vegetables on this planet. Why? I don't like the smell of goat's milk. I love gardening. I also love all natural products. They make my skin feel amazing.

I wanted to write this because many of my soap customers are vegan and make strict decisions. I wanted them to understand these things about me personally for being a producer of beef and also having an eco friendly company. It's a choice. I fell in love with a rancher with a heart as deep as the ocean. And....I'm an animal lover.

But also ... we use our animals to create our living. We use our horses to ride. We use our dogs to help gather. They are working dogs. We also use our cows for beef.

I still dream of life on the ocean. But... perhaps another time. For now,  I will study grasses, watch cattle, and enjoy my family.....which includes the entire herd.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Building a pallet back yard swing

It's summer time and since our nearest park is about 15 miles away, I am bringing the park to our house. I bought two pieces of rope from the hardware. I slipped it through some tubing we had but you can also buy tubing at the hardware store. I put it in a secured location and placed a slip knot to secure the ends to the tree. 

I had two pieces of pallet that were pretty sturdy. 

I used another pallet and cut it into several pieces.

Those pieces I then screwed into the two sturdy boards. 

Upon flipping over the wood, I discovered a scorpion. Yikes. I never have seen a scorpion before in my life so it was pretty freaky since I didn't know how poisonous they were. I ended up talking to a local and they said they hurt like sin but won't kill ya. Good to know. 

I then set it up just to see if it would work. The rope is a bit far but I wanted it large enough for two people to sit on it, aka, my kids together or two...

Monday, October 28, 2013

The incredible journey with Uncle Bens, Bens Beginners, and Mars

It started as a small task....cook with your family and post a video.

But what it ended up being has rocked me to my core.

Let's start at the beginning:
Reese and I are avid cookers. I honestly need to start blogging more of our cooks since he loves to be in the kitchen. He loves it so much that I bought him a professional chef hat and coat last year for his birthday. He started to put it on while cooking. He refers to the cooking cartoon, Ratatouille. And we will say, "Your sleeves look like you threw up on them!" And we laugh since the mark of a good chef is messy apron, clean sleeves. (I do need to get him an apron!)

One day we were looking up recipes. It started in Pinterest and then we had some Uncle Bens Rice so we decided to look up on their website to see if they had any inspiring ideas for a quick dinner.

What we found was a contest. The rules seemed simple. Cook a meal with your family, film it, and then post it onto their website. 

That day we took to pinterest and found a recipe that included ribs. We had some amazing ribs in the freezer and we wanted to use them. They were from our own beef. It was important to show who we were in the video. We are ranchers! 

We filmed that Saturday and it took all day. These were some of the videos that didn't make the cut because we had a limit of 3 minutes. When we had the first video done it was 15 minutes! :) Editing was in order!

We had a blast! But then after reading the rules (I don't recommend starting something without reading the rules first!) we discovered we had portions of the video in vertical shooting. Back to the drawing board! We went and bought the ingredients again and then shot it again. It only took two hours of filming the second time. We had it down! 

I went to upload the video to Uncle Bens and our school in Boswell could not come up. We couldn't submit the video. But we stuck with it and I contacted Uncle Bens. They referred me to Bens Beginners and the conversation started to get us on there. The result was we were able to post our video under independent film. They were great in responding back to me! (Next year we will get it to where Boswell will be on there since there will be many more submissions from our tiny little town!)

I talked to our principal, Mr. Edge. He gave us the thumbs up. was all out marketing! Here is where my story gets interesting!

My strength: Connectedness. (Gallup Pole test) which means I find connections between people and try to bring them in. I do not like people being not included so I try to bring those people together with often odd connections. :) 

What does Reese's video have? We are ranchers, we support agriculture, Reese has a cleft lip and palate, he is a young chef, we live in Oklahoma. 

There were several things I could go on! I started on posting a blog to gain awareness. I used the PR Press release and added a little bit of my own twist. Then...I went nuts. 

I used the social sites: Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, Pinterest

I found a group of Cleft Lip and Palate kiddos. This was a closed group. I sent an invitation to join the group and several days later they accepted me. I posted Reese's story. 

That is where the things got interesting. We made friends. We made many friends. Friends that are going through the same things Reese and I went through years ago. I saw people's raw emotions about their children going through surgeries. 

On October 15, my daughters birthday, I saw a post about a little girl named Kamry, Supergirl. They were from Springfield, Missouri. She was just born. She was diagnosed in utero with Tristomy 13. It's a rare chromosome disorder. The result was she also had a cleft lip and palate. That is how one of the members posted about her story in the cleft lip and palate. You can see her story here:

I watched the supergirl's story unfold as I kept telling people to vote for Reese. We met a chef in Oklahoma City, a great group of Canadians from Crime Stoppers, and three ladies who diligently voted for my son on twitter. 

Many people posted about 'good job, voted, congrats'....we did receive one message from a child around Reese's age which cut like a knife. He had not read the message and reposted saying some ugly choice words about my son's looks. 

The dagger hit my heart. I posted to the cleft lip group and said, 'Should I intervene'? They all said yes so I found out the school where the child attended. (Once again why children should not be unmonitored on the computer--because with a little research, your child can be found). I told the counselor about the situation, asked her guidance on how she can handle it, and just said, "Please educate this child on what a cleft is..."

The response I received was they contacted the child and educated him about what a cleft was. He took down his hateful post and replaced it with "Poor kid, I hope he lives a long life." ...better and perhaps I stopped a future bully.

Keep voting...Keep voting...The days were long on the computer reaching out to strangers.

We had one TV Host retweet to his 32,000 followers, appeared in various publications on the net, and gained awareness about what a cleft truly was. A blogger wants to feature Reese on her blog by using him as a success story!

Kamry kept fighting her battle through our competition. 
I saw her little feet and they were her perfect little face. 

Prayers were said as I kept tweeting. I shared my advice to mothers going through surgery. How they could tell if there was infection. My advice was being heard through the group! All 12 surgeries that my son had endured allowed me to be an asset to the group. In addition, most were from the UK and Europe. I met also beautiful, young people who had clefts. One young lady befriended me on Facebook and she speaks Swedish, English, and Spanish. She is a true success story.  

I remember Reese's face when he was born. I remember all the scariness I faced when I was 20. I had only wished I had a resource like the cleft group I had just found.
(Reese, 4 months of age)

Then on October 25, I read a disbelief I re-read it from Kamry, the Supergirl. 

 I reread the words, "She passed away..."My heart remained heavy as I continued praying for them throughout the day. I prayed for peace....

I also thanked Kamry. I thanked her for coming to this earth for 9 short days. For allowing many people to be touched by her story. I looked at Reese playing with my three year old daughter. I felt blessed for all the trials and tribulations that we had gone through and survived. 

I hugged the kiddos closer that night. I kissed them and there was a peace as I shut down the computer. 

A friend told me at church, "There is a divine reason for everything."

If we are selected as finalists, voting will begin on November 18, 2013!
We will keep everyone posted!

The reason we joined the competition was just to show the world how amazing my son could cook. And it ended up being so much more. 

I was able to show the world my amazing, success story: my son, Reese. 
And I was able to meet extraordinary folks around the world. 
And one beautiful Super Angel, Kamry.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

South Dakota Devastation and Horrific Photos (viewer discretion is advised)

South Dakota Cattle Ranchers had a monumental blizzard hit and many of them lost a huge percentage of their livestock. Tens of thousands death loss to our cattle industry.

News reporters are too busy covering the government shutdown and failed to bring it to light in a timely manner. Yet alone, let it be of importance on their website. (SHAME ON YOU).

The heart of America is with those trying to keep tradition alive and your bellies full. Ever wonder what it would be like to have empty shelves in the supermarket? Where do you think food comes from? Milk? Beef? Eggs? Salad? From our dedicated farmers and ranchers.

I'm plain pissed off at our government because of this reason: You are not helping those that WORK for a living ...especially our ranchers and farmers that feed our nation. The South Dakota residence NEED federal assistance to locate their herds and help recoup their losses. During this government shutdown we are still funding foreign countries like Egypt. Don't you think our country DESERVES our attention first?

As a taxpayer, I want my money going back into America's WORKING class. Don't you?

What is most sickening is our farm bill has not passed for the year. It won't even come up now that we are in shutdown. So a bill that would help assist our ranchers and farmers and feed America is on the backburner until their puppet show ends.

SHAME ON YOU GOVERNMENT! You are here for us, not the other way around! You are acting like stubborn children trying to get your way! The hard working Americans (that are becoming a smaller and smaller percentage of America) are fed up with the way our government is ran.

You are messing with our livelihoods.

I am Autumn from Oklahoma and I support this message. If I was closer I'd move our herd into the white house lawn and camp out. Don't know if it's a fence in or out state.

This picture speaks so much to me because there is still a calf with it's head up, ears down alive in there. Even if they were to save it...the battle of upper respiratory infection and sickness might kill it.

These pictures were provided by Thank you for showing us the true destruction. Our prayers from Oklahoma are with you during your loss.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Reese Daily knew that he loved to cook. He had a "palate" for food! But this has special meaning since Reese was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He's been through 12 surgeries. That doesn't stop him from doing what he loves and cooking is one of those things. Reese Daily’s family, residents of Boswell, Oklahoma have entered the UNCLE BEN’S ® Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest, a movement designed to help children learn to make healthier choices, at an early age, by getting them interested in cooking.
Parents with children who are in kindergarten through 8th grade were asked to submit a home video that showed the family together in the kitchen introducing a rice-based dish they prepared and discussing their experience cooking together. The contest received entries from families throughout the U.S. In an effort to help the Daily family strengthen their score and give them an opportunity to be chosen as a finalist, they are asking the community to vote for the video they submitted titled Reese’s Hawaiian Style Short Ribs. The link to the video is at If selected as a grand prize winner the Daily family will receive $15,000 cash and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for Boswell Public School. Two members of the Daily family will also appear on “The Rachael Ray Show!”
From October 9 through October 27, 2013, individuals can view all the contest videos and vote for their favorite by and searching for the recipe name. Individuals are encouraged to vote once per 24 hours. For more information on the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest,

Please share and let's see how many votes this young man will get!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My amazing son!

My son once again has amazed me! For those of you that have missed my previous posts, he has a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He decided this last year to once again enter public school since we moved to Boswell, Oklahoma. He wanted to give the kids' one more chance to be nice and we found the greatest, most amazing kids here in Boswell, Oklahoma! He has quickly made friends in this small town! He has competed and won medals for speeches in 4H! He jumped at the chance to help his school!

Reese entered the UNCLE BEN'S® Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Program by making a short cooking video. Vote for his video and help him get in the running for great prizes, like $15,000 for our family and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for his Boswell school.    SEE HIS VIDEO NOW and VOTE STARTING OCT 9!!!

Vote daily at the link above, after October 9, so please bookmark his video page and set an alarm on your phone to help remind you to vote for Reese! 

Please help spread the word. He even cut down branches to the Boswell sign so he could make this video! That in itself shows community pride because you couldn't see the sign before! 

I will send out a reminder the day of voting!

Autumn Daily

PS. Watch his video RIGHT NOW! It's only 3 min long!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Okie Suds Fresh Snow

Okie Suds is a soap company in Boswell, Oklahoma. Made in Oklahoma! We are dedicated to bringing products that are moisture packed and good for your skin. 100% biodegradable, Vegan, and super moisturizing! We use sustainable oils so you can feel good every time you use our bars. We love animals and DO NOT test on them.

Our products contain some awesome ingredients and a shoe in for gifts for teachers, nurses, students and the hard to shop for. We have several all natural bars which contain essential oils.

We just made Fresh Snow in Oklahoma today. It will be available for sale on October 20, 2013. There is limited quantity, it will be on a first come, first serve basis. Once they are gone, they are gone for the 2013 holiday season.

Topped with Jojoba beads (which are biodegradable), these bars mimic real life snow, capturing the beauty of crystal topped pure snow. The reason snow is blue has to do with the light that it reflects. White light truly is all the colors of the rainbow, snow reflects blue hues and gives us the impression of blue in some places.

The scent of this is a clean smell, like you just stepped in a snow covered meadow. It mimics fresh laundry or clean cotton.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What is in your handmade soap?

Ever wonder what is in your soap?

I only purchase handmade soap, so it's got to be good for me....right?

I am making a business plan for my soap company and got to research the competitors! My main concern was 'what do they put in their bars!?' and boy was it a shock!

Without naming names, here is what you should try to avoid when purchasing handmade soap (in red)!

"Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, widely abbreviated as EDTA (for other names, see Table), is anaminopolycarboxylic acid and a colourless, water-soluble solid. Its conjugate base is namedethylenediaminetetraacetate. It is widely used to dissolve limescale."

Did they just say "DISSOLVES LIMESCALE?" Do you want to suds your baby up in that? I think not!

"Reports indicated that TEA causes an increased incidence of tumor growth in the liver in female B6C3F1 mice, but not in male mice or in Fischer 344 rats.[11] A 2004 study concluded "TEA may cause liver tumors in mice via a choline-depletion mode of action and that this effect is likely caused by the inhibition of choline uptake by cells."[11]"

Again, why would you put a product that has studied on 'animals' in your finished product? As a manufacturer of handmade soap, you should be aware of the contents of your soap. Why would anyone want to put an agent that is known to cause tumors in their product? 

Another company had this: 
Our soaps are handmade from virgin vegetable oils (olive, coconut, soy, palm, sweet almond, sunflower, apricot kernel, and/or avocado), lye, and distilled water. Additions are noted with descriptions.

You can't even read the ingredients within the soap until you purchase it! Are they from sustainable oils? I'd avoid this one all together!

One company claimed they were all organic and then I read this in their Sandalwood soap:
Phalate-free Fragrance

"Fragrance oil(s), also known as aroma oilsaromatic oils, and flavor oils, are blended synthetic aroma compounds or natural essential oilsthat are diluted with a carrier like propylene glycolvegetable oil, or mineral oil. Aromatic oils are used in perfumerycosmeticsflavoring of food, and in aromatherapy."

Key word: synthetic! I have fragrance in some of my soaps! I use it in my Orange Sandalwood soap because I refuse to be a part of the destruction of the Sandalwood tree. But if you are going to say you are all organic and natural...Don't put a fragrance in your soap! 

So what I am trying to say is ...before you lather up, make sure you know what is in your bath with you!

Okie Suds contains some/most of these ingredients: 

Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Kernal Oil, Canola Oil, Water, Sodium Hydroxide (lye), Essential oils, Fragrance Oils, Dead Sea Salt, Grade 1 Lavender Buds, Jojoba Beads, Shredded Loofah, Pink Sea Salt, and Iron Oxide.

Please look on my website: for an entire list of ingredients. Click on the soap and it will come up! I will be adding more clays in the future for colorant. I will also make more soaps that contain only essential oils. We have two soaps that contain only essential oils: Lavender Oatmeal and Rosemary Sage.
We are committed to your health and safety of your family and friends! Choose Okie Suds for all of your homemade soaping needs! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 30, 2013 Giveaway

Hey readers!
Okie Suds (my soap company) will be having a giveaway of one of my favorite smelling soaps: Orange Sandalwood.

100% Biodegradable, Vegan, topped with jojoba beads (also biodegradable), contains fragrance Sandalwood oil because Okie Suds will not participate in the destruction of the Sandalwood Tree!!, Contains amazing, SUSTAINABLE oils, Proudly MADE IN OKLAHOMA!

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE: (Let her know you came from Autumn in Oklahoma blog!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Soaping adventures

My new business is up and running!

I couldn't be more thrilled! I've made my first dollar and I am starting to explore retail opportunities.

Right now Okie Suds is in: Boswell Flowers and Gifts located in Boswell, Oklahoma

We are retailing our soaps at $5.25 (tax including). With holidays coming up, we make an amazing stocking stuffer, just perfect for that picky shopper since we are made of natural ingredients and sustainable oils.

I've also made some amazing soap in the last couple of days. This is my Frankincense and Myrrh. I added Turquoise to the color and it is absolutely a delight. We top this soap with Sea Salt for exfoliation.

We also created a stunning batch of Orange Sandalwood. 

Then we also had a wonderful surprise when we cut into our Lavender Oatmeal soap. This only happened to three of them, but it was super great and it made my day. 

These soaps were so happy they were a part of Okie Suds, they smiled at me! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tissue Paper Holder For Crafters

I have tissue paper in large quantities that have just taken over my soap business room. They are cluttering my beautiful pallet shelf! (from a previous post!) The tissue paper are in stacks and I know that it won't be long before they will get torn up. I looked online to find any suitable holder and much to my shock, could not find anything. Some Pinterest users suggested using shoe racks. At 15 bucks a pop, I decided to buy a piece of board ($4.00) and some dowels (80 cents each) and make one that not only I could adjust, but put a bunch on!  Total cost was $10.40 since I got 8 dowels...You can use less by making this project smaller! 
Here is my one board I used. And one of the dowels. 

I first measured the dowel, which was four feet. I decided to make my cut at 21 inches down to allow enough dowels to be placed on the rack.

I make two marks.
I made some marks two inches apart all the way down. If this doesn't make sense...just look at my holes! They are staggered all the way down.

I place the boards on top of each other and drill down, through the first board. It will leave a mark, which will help be your guide on the second board. Do not go all the way through the bottom board or it will damage the tip of your bit.
I am using this type of wood drill bit. I honestly don't know what the proper name is for it. When you are drilling, make sure to bring it up once in a while, to let all the sawdust out of your hole.

When doing the second board, lay it on a scrap piece of wood so when you punch through, it will hit this board and not the concrete.

The result is to perfectly matching drilled out boards.

Take your dowels and chop em in half. I used my miter saw...cause I'm dangerous. 

Get your slave labor to help put the dowels in.

Place two pieces of wood on the top and bottom and screw them into place.

Then find a studs in your wall and mount. Guess what!? You now have an ADJUSTABLE tissue paper holder. You can remove and add dowels however and wherever you need them.

The final result.

BTW I am showing four different tissues paper patterns with 250 sheets each. ((Yes it's a load of tissue paper!)) It will lay nice and flat if you only have smaller quantities. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Refinishing my great-grandparents dining room table.

My great grandparents, Lawrence and Frances Sessler, taught me my love of hanging out on the farm. Once in a while I was allowed to go to their farm and gather chicken eggs, garden, and play outside on the swing set. They lived a very wonderful life of hard work. They learned to persevere during the Depression and the Dirty Thirty's. They were married fifty glorious years! Lawrence built the farm house out of brick and with the things that he was able to build, allowed his one daughter, Jean, to live a very comfortable life, without having to work. They are what is missing in society. They got where they were by the sweat on their brow. By the callouses on their hands. My grandmother reaped the benefits of having a garden, canning, and eating off the land for years. 
Francis Sessler and her great-granddaughter at their farm house. :) 

My great-grandfather died shortly after the last of these pictures were taken, succumbing to Parkinson's disease. One day he sat on the tractor, something he grew up working on....and realized he no longer knew how to run it. It was a long, painful death that I don't remember much because I was so young. 
L-R Me, Lawrence Sessler, Francis Sessler, my mom-Cheryl Christian

My great-grandmother was a devote Catholic. We prayed each night, on bended knee, before we went to bed. She went to each mass, on Sunday and Wednesday. There was a cross in each of her rooms in the house. She crocheted and because of that, I taught myself how to knit. 
L-R Francis Sessler, me, Lawrence Sessler

She passed on, due to a stroke, shortly after I had my son in 2001. She struggled with paralysis of her right side of her body and face. I prayed, over her death bed, so that she could join the Lord and within two minutes...she had gone. I knew her spirit had left because I understood the only way she would go to Heaven, was if she was sent up in prayer. The spirt was over me in that decision. I just did what I was told.

This last picture is one of my favorites. It was my birthday. I don't remember what they gave me. I am just thankful I have this memory of them. I miss them both terribly and even as I type this, my heart aches to see them again. I wanted my next project to honor them. 

The table that they gathered. The table they prayed over. The table that they ate their harvest on.

My great-grandmother bought this set seventy years ago. I remember eating many meals on it. 

Upon their death, my parents received the table and because of their limited space had to store it in their morton building. The brutal heat took it's told on the finish, leaving peeled and cracked places. 

Even at my home, I was starting to see the wears and tears my family was adding to it. It had to be refinished before any more damage could be done!

The initial sanding was so quick I decided to do the two leafs that went along with the table. 

The grand table, that seats a total of 10! 

The before pictures of the leafs.

You start in the direction of the grain. Here you can see me pointing at speckled areas. When you get to that point, you need to continue sanding. I used a coarse sandpaper and an electric sander. Don't even try to tackle a project of this magnitude by hand sanding. You will never finish and the piece will remain in storage for YEARS on your TO DO LIST! I finished sanding this table in one day. Make sure you wear a mask. The dust kicks up and will have you coughing.

Work on one thing at a time. I worked on the top first, then the sides. Don't get ADD on this part! You want to make sure every pieces is done correctly before moving on! 

When do I change my pads? When you go over a spot and you see 'streaks' like someone took their fingernail and scratched it like the picture above.

If you see the streaks, turn your sander over. Chances are, this is what you will see. The finish clumps in areas of your sander. All together I changed my pad four times for this project. 

Before you move on to a new section, use a broom to dust off all the sawdust. You will see parts where you have missed. This is CRITICAL that you make sure the entire surface is sanded down to the wood. You will get an unfinished surface area if you skip out on this part.

Here is another picture of parts that need "more sanding".

Here is the final part of sanding on the top.

To do the inseams, gently pull apart your table and work in between.

This is what your end result should look like. Another way of telling is if you see the fine details of the grains of wood....that is when you truly know if you have reached the wood. Don't be afraid to get down to that part, but once you see the wood, don't over sand!!! 



I then did the legs and our table was complete.

I also saw a small crack. 

So I took wood glue...thinking...ya! This will work! 

It said it was stainable! I filled the crack.

Then used my finger and smoothed it out.

Next I cleaned up all the sawdust....on the table first and then on the floor.
I use my favorite stain of Minwax in Golden Oak to preserve my grand-parents table. It is a little darker than before. 

Apply with the grain, as you can see, the key is fast application and spreading it out evenly. Start with one section and if you splatter, make sure you wipe out the splatters quickly. You don't want a spotty table.

This is how you work it in...quickly now folks! But don't get sloppy or your job will look sloppy!

Work a section at a time to ensure an even coat.
This was the end result of the wood glue. Yikes huh...It's not as 'stainable' as I was hoping it claimed to be. Luckily it's a small crack and at least it won't cracking further. But all in all...research this before sealing it in. If you use elmers glue, sand it down first before applying a stain. That's the only thing I would have done differently to this project.

I pulled apart the leafs and stained the inside part that previously had not been stained.

Pull apart your leafs to stain the inside sections.

This is the end result of my great-grandparents table! I love it and I am sure they love it as well! Let your table dry for at least 24 hours before applying a top coat. DO NOT EAT ON THIS TABLE! Without a top coat, things like a cold glass of water will leave a ring mark! Make sure your table sits in a well ventilated area....preferably not in your home... as the stain gives off a harsh smell until dry. I kept mine on the back porch since there was no rain in the forecast.

I will be posting on how to apply polyurethane in my next blog. I am choosing that because it is the best way to protect this table from my family! I have a toddler and a 12 year old...

Also, in future posts, I will be showing how to refinish the six table's chairs as well as reupholster them. (This will be my first time reupholstering anything so I'm excited to learn and do this!)
I'm thinking faux cow hide in brown n white or perhaps Ruby Red...even though my husband wants to stay green. The chairs currently have green wool on them. They are extremely itchy and are faded from the years out in the Morton. I will also be putting plastic over them for a quick wipe down during our toddler years! Once she learns not to smear mac n cheese on them, then we'll take it off!

In future posts, look for me building a bench for this table. It will be the length of the table with the leafs in. This way we can hold 10 people total. Or perhaps more if they snuggle close!

And...this post is dedicated to my Great-Grandparents of Ellinwood, Kansas: 
Lawrence and Frances Sessler

I miss you and will see you sooner than later. Keep shining your light this way.