Welcome to our farmhouse…life is good!

Wednesday, September 11

from this to that...

How did we get from this...

first visit to the beach...

first Christmas as a big sister...

always best buddies,

always laughing! 

to this...

Sweet 16 trip to see the musical, Wicked

our ballerina

Senior pictures... 

and finally that?

Those of you who have been through it, know it's an emotional, exciting, bittersweet time.  For years I've had a count-down...how many Christmases left? How many summers? And before we knew it, senior year was over. Having family & dear friends around made graduation easier, and keeping busy on the days leading up to the drive to college made the time fly. 

There were the usual must-do's...choosing dorm decorations, new bedding, ordering textbooks, and getting the class schedule finalized. We also squeezed in as much family fun as we could...visiting favorite places, staying up late, and I think we slept in our camper, Maizy, about 5 days in a row (terrific mother-daughter time!)

On move-in day we left before dawn...the university had lots of family activities to keep us busy until evening, then after dinner it was time to go.  We dropped our sweet girl off at a get-together for the new freshmen, and after lots of hugs and tears, we drove home.

It was a quiet 3 hours on the road...all I remember is staring out the window.  As a good friend told me, "It's such a hard thing to let those babies fly." Yes, yes it is. But everyone needs to chase their dreams, do what they love, and see what the future holds.

Things are little different here at home...it's more quiet. I love that our kids get along so well, and there is always laughter and non-stop chatter when they're together. What a blessing technology is that lets our family see each other to catch up and text to chat whenever we want to.

I'm keeping as busy as I can...our younger son is in the high school marching band so football games are great fun, soon he'll be driving, and he's wrapping up his Eagle Scout project! I'm working on our house...sprucing up and cleaning out - 155-year old houses always need a little extra love.

Our daughter is settling in...psychology classes during the day and dancing with a ballet company in the evening. We visit on Face-time each week and text every day. Again, I'm so grateful that such technology exists. 

And so it goes...as I've said before, enjoy every minute with those you love, time flies. 

Enjoy the season you are in!

Monday, August 19

more prim...

I made another visit to one of my favorite shops, (the one with all the great prim/high country furnishings) so I thought I'd share a few more photos for inspiration!

It's called The Seraph and you can find their website here...

Did I come home with anything, yep...I'm swapping out the brass ceiling lights in a couple of rooms for something more old-fashioned; like the one in this last photo.

Now of course, I love my modern conveniences, after all, the internet is allowing me to visit with you now. But at the same time, I love the feel of this decorating style...it reminds me of the past when simple pleasures seemed to mean a little more. A time of unplugged play, home-cooked meals, and laundry snapping on the clothesline. Yes, of course a time of hard work, but also a feeling of satisfaction looking back on the accomplishments of the day.  A handmade life. 

I'm ready to start making some changes in each room...something that will keep me busy when our daughter leaves for college this weekend.

Someone told me it was a "good heartache."


That will be another (teary) post.

Thursday, August 1

love those prim colors...

What are some of my favorite colors?  old forge mustard, navy, barn red, buttermilk, soldier blue, pumpkin, cranberry, black, and hunter green. Recently I read a post questioning why anyone ever liked that "ugly" green color..it made me giggle!

Here's some snapshots of one of my favorite places to shop...filled to the brim with prim
(or high country as they call it).

I love warm, rich colors, like the barn red dry sink I found for next to nothing, the navy blue pie safe that holds flour & sugar, the little chippy red milk stool, and yes, even the hunter green stand that holds my tabletop loom...old items I've been lucky enough to find, some in their original paint colors, reminding me of times past. And living in a farmhouse built 155 years ago makes items like these all the more meaningful to me.

Am I behind the times or not keeping up with the latest trends? Perhaps. But for me, the monochromatic colors I see in so many magazines and homes just feel cold. When I come through the door, I want everything to feel warm, welcoming, and comfortable. 

Color trends come and go...our little 1963 camper is filled with cherry red and turquoise which is just right for a vintage camper, 

and I just spied this pink 1962 kitchen! In the right space, this is a time capsule I can absolutely appreciate. 

Source here:

Look at this stove!

Regardless of what colors we like or don't like; here's the thing - don't fall for the picture-perfect homes in magazines or blogs that are staged for beauty; not filled with things that are truly valuable...

family photos, crayon drawings, well-loved books, and items handmade and handed down.

A design degree taught me all about French, modern, English, high country, Scandinavian, and  minimalist designs, but what matters in the end? 

Fill your home with what you love best! 

What makes you smile? 
What makes you happy? 
What brings back memories?

Those are the homes we want to live in and where sweet new memories are made.

Tuesday, July 23

heatwave over for now...

This past weekend, like in so many places, the red-hot heat of summer descended on the Midwest. With temperatures in the upper 90's, the cool refreshment of ice cream was a daily treat. We laughed as we enjoyed favorites from childhood...orange push-ups, drumsticks, and ice cream sandwiches. 

These sun-soaked and humid days meant chores were done early and then again late in the day. Quick trips were made several times to refresh water buckets, check on animals, and share watermelon slices with the hens. 

But today brought a blissful change...temperatures began in the 60's along with a cool breeze from the north. It was nice to putter outside and check on the garden.

As you can see, zucchini and melons are doing quite well...
I'll be making my chocolate zucchini cake this weekend - yum!

peppers are ready for canning (next time I'll share my grandmother's recipe)

I'm not quite sure what this flower is, it's a welcome volunteer that pops up each year and is nearly 6 feet tall! (any ideas??)

On our way to ballet classes last week, my daughter and I spied an old wooden cart outside one of the best shops in a nearby town, The Farmer's Daughters on Main

They have a great collection of retro, vintage, antique, and farm items, and it's run by the two friendliest sisters imaginable...you'll feel like you've known them for years.

Anyway, the cart was still there Saturday, so I had to stop and check it out. Found in an old farm, it was in terrific shape and just waiting for a new home...what else could I do?  

Coated with water seal and filled with flowers, it's sitting by our post lantern at the entrance to our driveway. It'll be fun to fill with pumpkins in the fall and greenery for Christmas, then I'll tuck it away for the rest of winter to keep it protected from the heavy snows.

For me it's always great to find something I feel "needs a home" - like this old cart, galvanized pails, or the barn vent I put on top of the chicken run. Anything rusty or chippy that has a sense of history to it...the old sink that's out by the garden for washing off veggies, the vintage metal chairs in the shade that are just right for resting in, or the enamelware cowboy coffee pot that's filled with homemade laundry soap. 

Love it all...and I'm so glad there are those who rescue it for us to find!


Wednesday, July 17

knee deep in summer...

These July days are hot & humid...I'm up early, then out again as the evening cools off a bit. Tomatoes are just beginning to turn red, while peppers and zucchini plants are bursting at the seams. It's time for some zucchini chocolate cake...oh my, soooo delicious! Truly, try my recipe here...I think you'll love it!

In our part of the Midwest, the forecast for the weekend is 95 degrees all three days. Yikes...I'll be keeping an eye on water buckets making sure they're filled with cool water and tossing some chilled watermelon out for the hens to enjoy. And other than a quick trip to the county fair to drop off pies for judging, I think we'll all plan on staying indoors.

Here's a look at what's happening around the farm today...

~Flowers have kept blooming, even in all the heat...

~Maizy has a new bunting, all the way from England!

~false sunflowers are one of my favorites...

~the first tomato!

~a little patriotic flower display...

and in case you're still doubting that zucchini chocolate cake, just take a look at this!

Monday, July 1

scorching summer days...

It's been in the 90's for the last several days...scorching hot and humid. Oh, I am an autumn and winter girl, this heat always does me in.

The daily plan? 

Up early, out while there's still shade, then inside until evening. 

Goats, chickens, our trusty guard dog, barn cats, our garden, and flowers are given lots of fresh water, and even though it's too hot for me, it's perfect weather for sun-dried sheets and enjoying fresh berries.

Our daughter is coming home Friday after a month of studying at a ballet school...I'm tidying up and will be shopping for her favorite foods. And in this heat, it's definitely time for homemade ice cream! I'll share the recipe next time...triple chocolate, oh-my!

Today's post is short; like all of you...lots to do, time is flying, but so much to love and enjoy!

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, June 14

no truer words...

Sure, there are a lot of things I want, and some things I need, but isn't it true that the simple pleasures are the best?

Like this screen door we just put in from the kitchen to the mudroom...today's weather is 64 degrees, the birds are singing, a cool breeze is blowing from the North, our rooster, Bandito, is crowing, and the sound of freshly-washed sheets are snapping in the breeze. To me, it's perfect.

Simple pleasures like this vintage dustpan I filled with flowers...

or a rusty chicken waterer that found a new purpose...

our flowers are blooming like never before...

and the green of planted fields surrounds us...

This year, spring has been in no hurry to jump into summer...we even had friends over for a bonfire & s'mores last week...that never happens in June!

It's a picture-perfect day in our part of the Mid-west...and I'm grateful for every minute I can enjoy it. Wherever you are, I hope the sweet & simple things are there for you...sometimes, we just have to look for them.

Monday, June 3

what makes my heart happy...

while there's much to catch up on, today, this is what makes my heart happy...

I loved the temperature...for me it was perfect, in the 40's overnight,
and I love the colorful flip-flop lights given to me by a friend!

But you know what I love most?

See that glowing window?

Inside is my sweet ballerina (a week-long high school graduate)
hanging out with me...catching up on the day,
making plans for 
the week. 

And beyond.
Don't get me started, I'll cry.

"Dream beautiful dreams.
Then work to make those dreams come true."

-Spencer W. Kimball

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