Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!


Saturday, November 21

this and that...



Time flies...days turn into weeks, and it passes so quickly. Lately our autumn days teeter between blustery and balmy...as if Mother Nature can't quite make up her mind. 

We've had heavy frosts followed by the tiniest of delicate snowflakes, 




only to be followed with days of strong winds and heavy rains. And yet today, it was blue-skied and 60 degrees.


 

But no matter how warm it gets, the calendar still says November and winter can't be far behind. I've spent the last few weeks harvesting the end of the garden veggies, buttoning up the coop so the girls and their bachelor will stay cozy, filling shelves with food storage, ordering wood, and stacking hay.

 


Good things come in 3's as the saying goes, and that's proven true for us this week.

Monday, our family had a small, socially-distanced, mask-wearing "celebration." While our son had his board-of-review and became an Eagle Scout a year ago, we wanted to wait for his official court-of honor until his sister came home from college in the spring.

Well we all know how the spring of 2020 began, and so we waited.  
And waited.
And then, waited some more. 





But because it had been a year, with careful thought and planning, we decided to move forward with the Eagle Scout court-of-honor...we kept the ceremony small, inviting only a few of our favorite people to join us. It was short & sweet, but still heartfelt (yep, I'm a cryer.) His Dad had the honor of pinning on his Eagle badge, and then our new Eagle gifted me with the mom and mentor pins. We took photos, had grab & go snacks for guests, then headed home. I'm so glad our daughter was home and we were all together. 

Tuesday the school honored students with their National Honor Society induction...again, it was safely distanced and kept to a minimum amount of time, but still a wonderful night for our family.

And lastly, today our son passed his driving and maneuverability test...I'm not sure how other states are handing these tests, but our BMV kept me in the car with him (no talking allowed!) while the examiner stood outside watching as he drove through a marked driving course. He's excited and we're happy for him!

It's true...good things do come in 3's!






Now with the week at an end, it's time to settle in and relax. My daughter and I love Saturday nights so we can catch up on our favorite British shows while Bailey curls up next to us.

Just in case you're wondering, she's doing great!





While we're settled in tonight, I'll pull out my notebook...filled with sketches, color samples, and brainstorming notes. Oh yes, I'm a list-maker.

My brainstorming began when our local indoor farmers' market closed for renovations a couple of years ago, then it didn't open again. Which is sad...it was a terrific opportunity for so many local farmers to share their goods with the community once the summertime farmers' market was over. I had fun by joining in selling some home-baked breads and sweet treats of my own.

After reading about Poorhouse Pies (what a story, you can read it here) and then making some calls, I found that I can still sell my cottage foods from home...that's where the plotting & planning began on the milkhouse. 

Built in the 1950's, our milkhouse needed a lot of love.  So over the past few weeks the cleaning, paint scraping, and tinkering began. While I thought originally I might give it a retro feel, I decided on keeping it what it is...a farm milkhouse. 





I had our local hardware store match paint from flaking chips I'd taken from the walls so I could recreate the original colors. I'm not smoothing the walls, I'm not striving for perfection, I'm leaving it exactly what it is...filled with history. I have a good friend who's father is a dairy farmer...she's a wonderful source of knowledge and inspiration!

There were plans to rewire for electricity, but that turned out to be much more involved than we wanted to do right now, so in keeping with the homespun feel, we'll simply add a few oil lamps.  

I was gifted with a large, roomy corner cupboard that will hold oodles of jams & jellies, honey, and sweet treats...I just need to decide what color to paint it (that's the fun part).  

I found a little wood burning stove for a song that will be perfect beside a couple of rocking chairs, then I pulled out wonderful old finds that were discovered tucked away in the barns...vintage screen doors, original house windows, and wooden ladders, I think it will be just right. I'll keep you posted on the progress.





And to end this long post, I wanted to share two photos of the good I see in the world now...people sharing and giving what they can.


 

The cupboard on the left says "Community Pantry" on the other side, and is found in the tiniest of towns not far from here.

The one on the right is outside a busy store in a much larger community. 

It touches my heart to see them...each filled to the brim with canned goods, free for anyone who needs a little extra right now. 


"By becoming the answer to someone's prayer,
we often find the answer to our own."
-Dieter F. Uchdorf





































































Friday, October 16

campers, campers, everywhere!

 

As you probably know, I LOVE our little 1963 Yellowstone camper named Maizy...the story of how she came to be ours is here We laugh every time we read her owners manual that says she
"will sleep 4-8 comfortably."

13 feet long, 6'6" wide and about 6'3" tall...and that's without the cab-over!


courtesy of: Tin Can Tourists



Really...4-8 comfortably? Even 4-6 is a a bit of a stretch (okay, more than a bit)

I'm just saying, in my mind, she's a 2-person camper. Maybe if there were littles to tuck in one of the beds or the crow's nest, but honestly, nope...she's a 2-person gal. We did squeeze my daughter in the crow's nest for one sleepover and my 6'3" son on the larger back bed and it was, um, well, cozy might be the best word.


Maizy

So anyway, as I've been out & about, I've noticed lots of fun vintage campers, and I thought you might like to see them. Clever, classic, retro designs that make me smile..


I passed this shiny little Airstream today...



and saw this vintage lady peeking out of a barn...



a little Casita looks ready for a road trip...

 


while this camper was doing double-duty as a traveling food "truck" at a
favorite farm show.



Lastly, we spied this on the way to school one day..oh-so tiny, but look, it has
an airconditioner!




While reading a blog by MaryJane's Farmgirl Blogger Nicole...aka the Suburban Farm Girl, she wrote a great post about vintage radios (click here to read) and she inspired me. 

She shows snapshots of tabletop vintage radios that no longer work, and how she "hides" a smart speaker behind it...the look of vintage charm that "works"; how clever!

When we bought Maizy, she came with lots of goodies, one was a turquoise Zenith tabletop radio...the fun, colorful plastic version. A little sleuthing and I found out it's a 1961 Art Deco Tabletop Tube Radio. Because it didn't pick up anything more that just static, it has been stored away.

But after reading Nicole's post, I pulled out the radio, dusted it off, and tucked our tiny bluetooth speaker behind it. Soon I was on Pandora searching for the top hits from 1963...


and like magic, it's as if the radio was playing...as Nicole says, instant charm and atmosphere!  



There will only be a short time to enjoy Maizy...soon enough she'll be covered and safely tucked away for winter. In the meantime, she's just perfect for quiet, mother-daughter time.

My mother-in-law always said, these will be the best days of your life.

She was right...





Friday, October 9

zumpkin reveal!

Remember this? 

So...the questions is,  is it a pumpkin-shaped zucchini,
or a zucchini-skinned pumpkin?




The great reveal...


I'm saying a pumpkin-shaped zucchini...while it's not hollow to carve, it does smell like a pumpkin and those seeds, well they look like pumpkin seeds to me! Yep...saving them to plant next year!

Lately, the days have been ideal...mornings that start off chilly (38 degrees today) then end with brilliant golden shadows and a flurry of dust as farmers harvest corn and soybeans. We had a bonfire Wednesday; roasting hot dogs and enjoying ooey-gooey s'mores...one of my favorite ways to celebrate October.

And so my calendar tells me tomorrow is "I Love Yarn Day", I think it's time to whip up a little something cozy for winter!

Happy Friday; below are a few of my favorite pictures from this week.

cheery blooms...




















        smiling goats...










morning shadows...



my favorite farmers' market!


harvest-time...















a forgotten apron that was tucked away...

now washed & pressed, the colors are perfect for Maizy...
she's just inside the camper door alongside a vintage
gingham apron and a new apron made from
glamping fabric. They make me smile!
 













Sunday, October 4

harvest is at its peak!


The last couple of weeks have been picture-perfect...sun-shiny days filled with blue skies, just-right daytime temperatures and chilly evenings. Each morning is fresh and crisp with the rising sun, and then each night is aglow with an autumn moon...fall magic.

When October comes to the country, it's a gloriously busy time; harvesting the garden and "putting things up"  (as our grandmothers would say). Canning season is notoriously hot & humid, but not this year...temps in the 50's and 60's made it an easy task. With that done, we can now stack wood, order hay, and make plans for winter.

There is plenty of time to wash quilts, shake rugs, bake bread, light candles, make soup, sweep the porch...all the things that were easy to put off in the humidity of summer are now quickly done without a second thought. It's a happy time!

Today, sharing some snapshots of our harvest days on the farm...happy October!


 
























And today's burning question...

I planted zucchini alongside white pumpkins:
this is what I got...

pumpkin body
zucchini skin

Have I created the first ZUMPKIN?

(I'll be cutting into it to see if the inside is pumpkin-like
or zucchini-like, stay tuned!)





 
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