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DasHaus APRIL/MAY 2014

Rustic retreat

Fairport couple turns historic structure into a quiet country escape


Do-it-yourselfer offers creative home projects


Professionals offer tips for garden preparations

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Crafty ideas.........4 Hays woman offers tips on simple projects around the home.

At home6

Food for thought....12 Easter eggs also make quick, nutritious and affordable meals.

Couple renovates a historic building into a country cabin.

Das Haus is published and distributed by The Hays Daily News, 507 Main, Hays, KS 67601. Find it online at Copyright Š 2014 Harris Enterprises. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Das Haus is a registered trademark of The Hays Daily News. Printed by Northwestern Printers, 114 W. Ninth, Hays, KS 67601, Publisher, Patrick Lowry, Advertising Director, Mary Karst, Designer, Kaley Conner, Account Executives: Joleen Fisher, Ashley Bergman, Eric Rathke Creative Services: Juno Ogle, Tiffany Reddig

In the garden......14 As spring approaches, gardening experts share their advice.

Berry Berry Quite Contrary Kayla Berry is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys creating, decorating and re-purposing old furniture and decor.

From worn to wow


e bought this table about five years ago. It was one of the first nice pieces of furniture we bought for our home, so when I decided to re-do this table, I was a little nervous. The table is not just used for eating, but also family gatherings, games, coloring books, crafts, etc.; so needless to say, it had been pretty dinged up. Here is what it looked like before.

I saw a picture of a checkerboard table-top and fell in love, and decided that’s what I wanted to do to our table.

What you’ll need:

4 DAS HAUS April/May 2014

Measuring tape T-Square Painter’s tape Primer (I used Zinsser brand.)

Foam roller White paint Sanding block or an electric sander tack cloth Polycrylic spray

1. Start by measuring your tabletop and figuring out how big you want your squares to be. Use a T-square to draw your lines for your squares on your table. Once that is done, start taping off your sections. This is what it should look like when you are done taping it.

See, I told you there are a lot of scratches. 2. The primer is the next step. Apply two coats of primer to the squares you want to be white with a foam roller. Allow to dry in-between coats. Apply one to two coats of white

paint over the primer with a foam roller, again allow to dry in between coats. This is what is will look like. 

I wanted to give the table a “destructed” look since I knew the table was going to continue to be dinged up in the future. Using a fine grit sandpaper, I hand-sanded areas of the table to give it a rustic feel. 3. The last step is to apply two to three coats of polycrylic spray. Follow the directions on the can and be sure to wear a mask when applying. If you are inside, make sure you open any windows you have to ventilate the area. In between the coats of polycrylic spray, use a very fine grit sandpaper to sand the table to ensure your table is smooth. Here is what it looks like after.

DIY: Piano music Easter eggs What you’ll need:

Plastic Easter eggs Mod Podge Small paintbrush Sheet music (Get free sheet music at Glitter (optional) This really helped brighten up the room, and it looks like a completely different table. We use this table so much, and it gets so dinged up; but now instead of looking like an eyesore it will just add to the character of the table. This just goes to show what a little paint and time can do. Instead of going out and spending money on a brand new table, a $5 can of paint from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in The Mall at Hays and a few other supplies can give you a custommade, brand-new looking piece of furniture.

1. Cut the sheet music into strips. 2. Using your brush, paint the Mod Podge on the back of the strip and apply it to the egg. Paint over the strip with the mod-podge as well to help it adhere to the egg. Repeat until the egg is completely covered with the sheet music. 3. If you would like, you can add a little bit of your glitter to your modpodge to give the egg a sparkly look. 4. Let the eggs dry and then they

are ready to use. I added some Spanish moss into a wired bucket and simply put the eggs on top. You can put the eggs in a glass jar, on an Easter wreath, hide them for little ones to find, put them in the bottom of a vase as a filler, etc. Use your imagination. This took me less than an hour to make; definitely my kind of craft! For more crafty ideas, visit my blog at

AT HOME IN FAIRPORT Charlotte David and her husband, Roger, jumped at the chance to purchase and restore a historic country cabin.

Country charm

6 DAS HAUS April/May 2014

FAIRPORT — A cooking stove inside the cabin says it all. “Country charm” is written in large letters across the front of the oldfashioned looking stove in the cozy limestone structure that local residents have transformed into a quiet overnight getaway in the country — well, sort of. The town of Fairport is unincorporated with only seven houses and nine total residents in the small berg near the Ellis-Russell county line approximately 15 miles north of Gorham. The main floor measures 14 by 18 feet, and with a bedroom loft overhead,

the cabin exudes that country charm. The Fairport Knight — named after the founder of the town, William Knight — was the brainchild of Charlotte David, a native of Fairport who had been enamored by the quaint limestone building all her life, especially when Fort Hays State University retiree Carroll Beardslee bought it several years ago and started fixing it up. Beardslee died in 2003, and for 10 years his family held onto the cabin, which Beardslee had salvaged from ruin by installing a new roof and windows, along with re-mortaring all the stone walls himself.

The main floor of the cabin provides a cozy getaway. Guests have access to a kitchenette to prepare meals. However, it still was a primitive cabin with no running water or indoor restroom. Charlotte David saw Beardslee’s family moving belongings out of the cabin one day last fall when she drove by, so she stopped and inquired about buying it. “She came home and told me she had bought the cabin,” Roger said. “So I got to decorating, and he got to building,” Charlotte added. Roger put his handyman skills to good use. He installed plumbing and built a large, 10-by-16 foot bathroom on the back side of the cabin, complete with a shower and washer and dryer. And Charlotte began decorating with a variety of themes representing the area. She started by painting the red shutters outside a deep purple. “No, it has nothing to do with K-State,” Charlotte said of the purple

Story: Diane Gasper-O’Brien Photos: Jolie Green

A sleigh bed is the focal point of the cabin’s loft bedroom. and white of Kansas State University in Manhattan. “It sure took a lot of coats to cover up that red,” she said. Purple, Charlotte explained, was

one of two colors — the other being red — Native Americans had available to color anything, exuding those colors from plants. >>>>>

8 DAS HAUS April/May 2014

An embroidered sheet hangs from the ceiling to provide privacy for the loft area. And Charlotte’s choice of color is purple. A photo of a large sunflower hangs above the front door. A lamp made out of a miniature oil pumper sits on a corner cabinet. And a photo of Fairport’s polo team from the town’s early days sits atop the television table. The loft that serves as the one bedroom already was intact, Roger David and the Davids found a sleigh bed that fit just right into the decor. Roger had to install a kitchen sink and a cabinet. All the wood used for the sink and cabinet, as well as other wooden structures or accents in the cabin, is reclaimed wood from items such as fence posts or old buildings. If Roger can’t find the sizes he wanted from his stash of old lumber, he uses vinegar, some steel wool and good ol’ elbow grease to make the wood appear aged.

The loft includes chairs and an air mattress for extra guests. Guests get a treat when they eat a meal on a 3-by-4-foot table, the top of which is one solid piece from a red cedar tree. The table, a prized possession that originated in Colorado,

features a huge tree trunk as its base. There is neither cable TV nor Internet in the cabin, and cellphone service is questionable — unless a person walks up the road to a higher spot.

However, guests still can watch television on a Select-A-Vision, a video disc playback system from the 1960s using phonograph record albums. “Pretty unique deal,” Roger said of his video system, complete with movies from the late 1970s and early ’80s. There also are plenty of old VHS tapes, as well as Country Living magazines from the 1990s. “I didn’t want to put in new movies that had already probably been seen,” Roger said with a smile. “And the magazines — it’s reading material they probably have never read.” A master of improvisation, Roger nearly outdid himself when he built on the bathroom. The inside walls are galvanized tin for ease of cleaning. Railroad ties driven into the limestone wall serves as towel hangers, along with old glass doorknobs. Curtains for the shower and stool areas hang from bent plastic PVC pipes, and old tin cups serves as soap dishes. And fence post insulators serve as coat hooks. The curtains, towels, floor mats and tissue box all are purple, of course. Charlotte said part of her fascination of owning the cabin was to preserve the history of the home, built in 1886 by the Knight family after its original home burned. Roger shakes his head when telling the story they have heard of their cabin’s first inhabitants, a family of 13, with Mom, Dad and 11 children — and two lofts, “one for the boys and one for the girls.” “When you think of how their life must have been then ...” Roger began. >>>>>

An old wood stove sits in the back yard, surrounded by trees.


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The Davids are hoping to help modern-day folks get a taste of life way back when. The Fairport Knight can be rented nightly by calling (785) 998-4388. Information can be found on Facebook at A Fairport Knight. “It’s so calm and quiet out here,” Roger said. “If you want to listen to the birds, watch turkeys, watch the deer, and there are of rabbits — wildlife, there’s tons of it.” The Davids also offer guests the option of using the hot tub at their residence up the hill to the west only a few blocks away. A rack card the Davids had made about the cabin bills it as “an experience of a lifetime.”

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One Russell husband and wife who were drawn to the cabin liked it so much they went back a second time soon afterward. “We enjoy old structures, so we were intrigued when we saw (the cabin) on Facebook,” Alex Lofland said. “It looked like a cool old building, and we wanted to check it out.” Lofland and his wife, Audrey, are the parents of a 2-year-old son, and welcomed the chance to get away overnight. “The first time we went, we spent four to five hours just reading,” Lofland said, adding he and his wife are both avid readers. That was in January, and the Loflands returned to the Fairport Knight for Valentine’s Day. “It’s so quiet there and peaceful,” Lofland said. “I’m sure we’ll frequent the place, go at least a couple times a year.” The Davids, only the fifth owners of the 128-year-old home, hope more people feel the same as the Loflands. But no matter what, the Davids are having fun planning for more addi-

tions by summer, such as a patio out back. “Is it a money maker?” Roger asked of the couple’s venture. “Probably not. “But to keep the history alive, is

it worth it?” he continued, quickly answering his own question. “Yes.” DAS HAUS 11 April/May 2014

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT Linda Beech is a family and consumer science agent with K-State Research and Extension in Ellis County.

’ t n e l l e c g g ‘e food



ne of the oldest customs this time of year can be traced to ancient China, where eggs were decorated and used to signify the return of spring. Today, eggs still are part of our spring celebrations. Coloring eggs and participating in Easter egg hunts are traditions with many families. In fact, according to the American Egg Board, more eggs are sold during Easter week than any other time of year.

Avoid eating eggs that were hidden in areas where they might have come into contact with pets, birds, reptiles or lawn chemicals. If a hard-cooked egg has been left unrefrigerated for more than two hours as a decoration or part of an egg hunt, it should be discarded. When cooked foods, especially moist high-protein foods such as eggs, are allowed to stand at room temperature for extended periods of time, harmful bacteria might grow.

Eggs are inexpensive protein

Food safety considerations

12 DAS HAUS April/May 2014

Unlike long ago, we now have research that tells us eggs are perishable and need to be handled safely. We know the salmonella bacteria can be on both the outside and inside of eggs that appear to be normal. All the bacteria need to grow is the right combination of time, temperature, and moisture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with salmonella. That’s why everyone is advised against eating raw, undercooked or mishandled eggs. The eggshell’s natural protective coating is removed with cooking, so hard-cooked eggs are more sensitive to invading bacteria than fresh eggs. (If an egg shell cracks during cooking, the egg should be eaten and not dyed or hidden.)

The protein in eggs is both high in quality and low in cost. It’s easy to compare the price of eggs to the price of other protein foods. A dozen large eggs weigh 1.5 pounds, so the price per pound of large eggs is two-thirds of the price per dozen. For example, if large eggs cost $1.80 per dozen, they cost $1.20 per pound. Another helpful formula to remember is that one egg equals one ounce of lean meat, poultry or fish.

Guidelines for perfect hard-cooked eggs

This means you can use two eggs as your main dish at a meal or you can use eggs to “stretch” more expensive protein foods. For instance, you might use one cooked egg per serving along with half the usual amount of expensive meat or seafood in a casserole or salad. Eggs are nutritious and economical, so when they go on sale for the Easter holiday, stock up. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for four to five weeks to enhance family meals. Store them in their closed commercial carton for maximum quality, rather than in an open bin or molded cups in the refrigerator.

Enjoy egg-cellent eggs

When Easter has come and gone, what do you do with all those leftover hard-cooked eggs? If the eggs have been handled properly and kept well-refrigerated, they can be eaten. Left in their shells, hard-cooked eggs will remain safe to eat for one week; however, if you prefer to peel the eggs, put them in a tightly closed container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and use within three to four days. Hard cooked eggs make good quick snacks. Deviled eggs are a traditional favorite, too. They even can be added to green salads for a little extra protein and flavor. Also, try the old standby — egg salad sandwiches. Eggs are an “egg-cellent” food!

According to the American Egg Board, eggs that are seven to 10 days old will peel more easily than fresh eggs. Cook the eggs that have been in your refrigerator a while, rather than those fresh from the store, for easiest peeling. Hardcooked eggs are easy to prepare and easy to keep safe by following these basic directions. 1. Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer and fill with cold water to 1 inch above eggs. (A new, but unproven, method making the rounds on the Internet recommends adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water before cooking. Supposedly, the alkalinity reduces adhesion of the egg shell membrane. It won’t hurt anything — and might help — if you want to give it a try.) 2. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil quickly. 3. Turn off the heat or remove the pan from the burner and allow the eggs to stand, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size

of the eggs and the number in the pan. 4. Drain the hot water. Run cold water over the eggs, changing water often, or place them in ice water to cool rapidly. 5. When eggs have cooled, refrigerate promptly. 6. To simplify the peeling process, tap a hard-cooked egg lightly on the counter, then roll it between the hands to loosen the shell. Peeling the egg submerged in a bowl of water also might help loosen the shell for easier removal. When stored in their shell, hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated and eaten within one week. Hard-cooked eggs which have had their shells removed should be used within three to four days. A greenish ring around the yolk of a hard-cooked egg indicates the egg was cooked too long or cooled too slowly. These discolored eggs, while still safe to eat, have an unattractive appearance, a stronger aroma and the whites might be tough.


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Spring is in the air for gardeners

14 DAS HAUS April/May 2014

By JUDY SHERARD It might still feel a bit like winter, but the gardening season is on its way. While it’s early for many chores, those who didn’t get their gardens and planting beds cleaned up last fall can get busy clearing out debris. If the soil isn’t too wet, organic matter can be worked in. It can be mixed into new beds and scratched into the soil around existing plants. Because of the dry conditions, there are few clear-cut answers for those considering new plantings. Jeff Boyle, city of Hays Parks Director, said gardening is a gamble right now. The city has been recommending residents convert from cool season lawns to warm season ones in a water conservation effort. However that’s a “double-edged sword,” he said. Lawn conversion can use as much water as if the cool season lawn is left alone. The drought doesn’t have to mean colorless landscapes. The list of native plants that do well goes beyond cactus and sedum, said

Holly Dickman, Kansas State University Extension horticulturist. One way to find options is to look at what plants have thrived in recent years. “Peonies, iris and lilacs are wellsuited to this area,” Dickman said. Preparing the soil and watering properly are key during droughts. Over-watering is a common problem. “Water deeply and not as often,” she said. Plants need to develop deep roots so it’s not necessary to water every day. Organic mulch such as wood chips or straw also helps to insulate the ground, hold down evaporation and cuts down on weeds. Gardeners should remember not to neglect healthy, well-established trees during dry periods. It could take 40 years to grow another, she said. “If you have to pick and choose (what gets water), always water healthy, well-established trees first,” Dickman said. Boyle said the city follows the same philosophy. “What water we do use, we give to the trees.”

Don’t prune too early, and other bulb tips By DEAN FOSDICK Associated Press Veteran bulb growers have learned to put patience ahead of pruning in helping their perennials bloom season after season. They’re in no rush to remove the unsightly leaves and stems of these botanical storehouses, which need time after flowering to renew their growth cycle. “We consider the foliage of the bulbs the ‘recharging batteries,’ “ said Becky Heath, president and chief executive officer of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs at Gloucester, Va. “If they aren’t recharged, the flowers won’t bloom again.” Bulbs will green up despite premature pruning, but return with fewer and smaller blossoms. How long must you wait before trimming the foliage to get successive seasons of color? “After spring-flowering bulbs finish blooming, allow for approximately six to eight weeks before removing the foliage to ground level,” said Hans Langeveld, co-owner of, a retail website for bulbs, perennials and edibles in Lakewood, N.J. “Another rule of thumb is to wait until the foliage turns brown and dries out.” That garden grooming tip applies to all spring-flowering bulbs, including tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, alliums and specialty varieties, Langeveld said. But there are ways to make the decay less unsightly. “An idea is to combine bulbs with other perennials in the borders like hosta so that hosta foliage covers the dying bulb foliage,” he said. Summer-blooming bulbs that flower until cold weather arrives need differing levels of maintenance. “This (first killing frost) would be the time to cut to ground level and dig the bulbs that are not winter-resistant, like dahlias, gladiolus and begonias,” Langeveld said. Some plants also require braiding. “The only foliage that lends itself to be braided are daffodils,” Langeveld said. “It is not a necessity, but it will help keep your borders neat and tidy.”

— Seed pods. “Make sure to remove the seed pods that sometimes form after blooming,” he said. “These eat up a lot of energy from the bulbs.” — Fertilize when planting for healthier roots. Before and during bloom also are good times to apply bulb fertilizer, said Leonard Perry, an extension professor with the Universi-

ty of Vermont. “This can be a granular form (of fertilizer) as bulbs are emerging or you can water with a liquid fertilizer,” he said in a fact sheet. “The key is to provide nutrients as the leaves are making food for the next year.” — Divide the bulbs if they’re becoming too crowded, as often happens with large daffodil clumps, or

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Das Haus April/May 2014  

Das Haus is a home and lifestyles magazine from northwest Kansas.

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