welcome to our farmhouse…life is good

Thursday, September 22

so God made a farmer...

The harvest has begun...

as the combines bring in corn and bales of hay are stacked in the 90-degree heat, this came to mind...I hope you feel the spirit that comes from Paul Harvey's words.

Friday, September 16

farmgirl photos...

A quick trip around the farm for a look at some of the things that make me smile...happy Friday!

A scarecrone keeping the fruits & veggies safe...

The sprinkler watering our bee garden...I love these sprinklers, they are oh-so pretty, but really do the job!

Meet Vinnie...I LOVE big, yellow, cats! They always are sweet, easy-going, and friendly. This guy magically appeared this year, and while it took some time for him to trust us, now he follows us everywhere...he's a keeper!

A DIY hummingbird feeder...oh-so easy. Take one colorful bottle, a feeder stopper, a length of heavy wire, some colorful beads and there you go...done in no time!

Sunflowers...ahhh, need I say more?

At the end of the day, there's nothing like sleeping under a quilt that's been dried in the fresh air and sunshine...heaven.

Another big, yellow cat...this is Azrael (named after the cat in the Smurf movies!) Oh my...truly, the sweetest cat on the farm. He comes inside after the kids go to school, curls up and naps until lunchtime. 

Found this antique pedal grinding stone at an old store that's going out of business. I've always wanted one and it was half off...doing my happy dance! 

And so it goes...another week has flown by. Hope all is well...enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, August 24

family history and hollyhocks...

A short post on this cool summer morning to share a photo..

Matilda Robey...I discovered this old photo while working on my genealogy. I've always loved hollyhocks, and have them in my garden. When I looked at those stately hollyhocks in the background, I wondered if she loved them as well...a trait handed down through the generations of my family tree.:

My daughter and I help in our church's Family History Center twice a month,
and on our last visit, I found this photo had been added to our family tree.

Her name is Matilda, and as I gazed at the photo, I became lost wondering about her.
The dress (oh-so warm in summer) the pin (a gift or maybe handed down?)  & shawl
(surely handmade), the clapboard home behind her with the pretty window trim. 

And those stately hollyhocks..so beautiful. I wonder if she loved them as much as I do...a trait handed down through the generations, maybe?

Have you done any digging into your family tree? What treasures have you discovered? You may want to give it a try...there's so many wonderful stories and photos to bind the generations.

Thursday, August 18

Friday, August 5

farmgirl photos...

As summer winds down (school begins in 2 weeks!) there's lots happening here on the farm. Just like everyone else, there's always much to do...for us, we're reworking the mudroom and half-bath, gardening, beekeeping, and catching up on odds & ends. Summer heat and humidity are relentless, with temperatures in the 90's each day. Unfortunately, there's no chance in sight of much-needed rain.

What cool can be found in the early morning, is spent watering the garden and flowers, and topping off buckets of water for the goats, chickens, barn cats, faithful guard dog, and even the honey bees. Throughout the day we make quick trips outside to be sure animals have fresh water and are doing well. And as for us, homemade ice cream is on the menu for this weekend!

And so it goes...it IS summer, and soon fall...my favorite time of year, will be here to enjoy. 
In the meantime, here's a peek at what we see each day...a little walk around the farm.

Happy Friday to all!

A sweet, elderly lady at the nursery suggested this heirloom variety, San Marzano.
Can't wait to try it in our favorite tomato sauce recipe.

Who doesn't love a volunteer sunflower?!

Plump blackberries are ready for picking - hint: plant the thornless variety! 

I can taste the peach cobbler now...yum! 

Limelight hydrangea add a pop of color to a shady spot.

It's hard to find a flower that can take the heat of full sun, all day long...but these zinnias have been fantastic.
I'll be saving the seeds for next year!


Monday, July 18

life is too short to be unhappy...

That's what my mother-in-law always says, and she's right...too short to spend time on things we don't enjoy, too short to rush through the days, too short waiting on "someday." 

Before we know it, the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years. Soon, a lifetime has passed by.

I recently read: "Someone else is praying for what you already have."
It made me stop...

healthy children - check
a home of our own - check
food in the pantry and veggies growing in the garden - check

There are also some extras we are blessed with...fireflies at dusk, favorite old movies, fresh eggs & honey, room to roam, critters to care for, and laughter.

Yes, some days are better than others, and we certainly have things on our wish list,
but all-in-all, isn't it really all about how we face each day?

How about this first day of the new week we take just a minute to look around...
what do we enjoy that someone else is praying for? Then, with gratitude in our hearts,
let's whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for those blessings.

Monday, June 27

upcycle, recycle, in no time flat!

I'm always drawn to old things...things that look like they just need a little love. Weathered signs, window frames, and vintage watering cans have all found their way home with me, but this time, a silver teapot - ahhh, yes, it looked like it had potential.

Not as teapot, for it had two broken legs, but as a windchime! Hmmm, out came the drill and filament line.

A hole here and there...
A hammer to flatten some old silverware, then a hole in each handle...



And before I knew it, done!

Now, it's not everyone's cup of tea...but when the wind blows and the silverware begins to "sing" in the breeze, I love it.

Yep...use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without...our grandmothers were right!

Thursday, June 2

May...merry & madcap!

For anyone with kids, you know that May is, yes, both merry and madcap! From band & orchestra concerts to award ceremonies & celebrations, it's full from beginning to end. That's not a bad thing, just a somewhat frenzied thing!

And so, in the middle of a fast-paced month, this arrives in my mailbox...

Yay! Perfect timing...our girls at church are prepping for Girls' Camp and the outdoor cooking certification will be here on the farm. This issue's packed with recipes from those early-morning breakfasts, to lunch, dinner & yummy desserts.

So, how to make this madcap month even better? Turn to page 82...

and I'm tickled to find my article on cast-iron! I'm always happy to be invited to write for GRIT magazine...they have some of the best how-to articles out there for homesteaders, farmgirls, and wannabe farmgirls. (And lucky for us, girl campers, too!)

Thanks to the good people at GRIT for this issue...we'll definitely use it for camp, but check back with us in July when we celebrate Pioneer Day, it'll be perfect!

(PS...someone asked me about the term "Kitchen Orchard" from my last post. It's an old homesteading term...generally it meant 5 trees close to the house for the homesteaders' use, not a full-size orchard meant for taking fruit to market.)

Monday, May 9

farm photos...our kitchen orchard

I thought you might like a peek at the first blooms of our Kitchen Orchard...this time of year is the prettiest time, with all the rose-like buds and soft colors.

Yellow Transparent Apple...just perfect for applesauce!

Fuji Apple...our favorite sweet/tart apple for eating.

Contender Peach...makes such tasty jam. And since I'm the only one who likes peaches,
they're all for me!

Next is the D'anjou pear tree...sweet and juicy.

Last, and oh-so cute, is the tiny Seckel Pear. Thought to be the only truly American pear, they're sometimes called a sugar pear or a candy pear because of their sweet taste.

Now as pretty as these blooms are, they are also tender. Should the temperatures dip, as they often do once the blooms come on, we'll be out there with our hoses spraying them with water.

I know, I know...that sounds crazy, but this little trick we have up our sleeves will actually save the buds, and future fruit when a threatening freeze is in the forecast. We will coat the tree with water, which will freeze. And while that sounds like it would damage the blooms, in the end, that layer of ice will protect the fruit that's developing. Why? Well science tells us that when water freezes, it produces energy in the form of heat, which will protect the buds from the bitter cold. 

Yep...it certainly does sound counter-productive, but we figured if it works for the orange growers in Florida, it just might work for us, too.

So we do this...

to enjoy this!

It's hard to wait!

01 09 10