Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Saturday, September 25

the Country Living Fair...

Ahhh yes, 98 degrees was registering on the truck thermometer when I dragged myself away from the Country Living Fair,
but it was worth every minute in the heat!

Filled with antiques, vintage collectibles, autumn whimsies,
and more goodies than I can possibly list...here are a few photos to give you a feel for all the fun!

noted as Indian temple doors

garden gatherings and handcrafted items

clever decorating ideas

retro kitchenware
two of my favorites together...
handmade quilts and oodles of watering cans!

simple, but oh-so pretty inspiration

There was a charming farmhouse garden selling heirloom seeds, as well as demonstrations in basket weaving, broom making, painting & distressing furniture, and paper making. I would definitely recommend you make a road trip if it's anywhere
close to you.

What did I bring home? Well, an old dough board and water trough were on my wish list, but they were not to be found. However I did find a new addition to my watering can collection and a giant bag of kettle corn was a hit with the kids!

Now, if I'd have only read the back of the brochure, I'd have known there was a porter service that would gladly deliver that
50-pound grinding stone to the truck. Sadly, I passed on it thinking I could never carry it the 1/2-mile to the parking lot. (And no, rolling it the entire way was not an option!)

Oh well, there's a barn sale next weekend...
maybe I'll find one there!

Monday, September 20

herb weaving...

Harvesttime is here, and both city and country kitchens are filled with the aromas of spicy tomato sauces, pickling spices, and fruity jams & jellies. Oh how good these homegrown foods will taste when the winter winds blow!

Today; however, I'm feeling the need to be creative. So this morning I gathered and washed bunches of rosemary, basil, sage, oregano, and thyme...I love to save summer's fragrant herbs for winter's soups, stews, and roasts. And since it's both pretty and practical, I save them in an herb weaving.

This herb weaving is oh-so easy to make, and hanging from a handy spot on a kitchen cupboard, herbs are right at my fingertips whenever I need them.

 If you'd like to make one, I'm guessing you already have all that you need...herbs, empty picture frame, scissors, twine, ruler, and 2 sticks the width of your frame.

To begin, knot the end of a length of twine on a corner of the frame, then begin wrapping the twine around the front and back of the frame. You'll need at least 6 lengths on both sides...you can always add more, but the number will need to be even. Knot the end at the frame's corner and cut the twine.

Weave the ruler over & under the twine and turn it on its side. This will create an opening and will be your guide for weaving. Slip one stick through the opening, push it up against the frame. Remove the ruler and weave it again, but this time in an opposite way. For example if you began with an over/under pattern to add the stick, this time you'll begin with an under/over pattern...you'll keep this going back & forth throughout the weaving.

 Now weave in the herbs...gently, but securely, push them up so they're snug against the row above. As herbs dry, they shrink...weaving them tightly will help keep them in place. You can also weave in flowers that dry well...globe amarath and sedum are very pretty and add a bit of color.

When you're weaving is complete, turn the frame over. Cut through the center of the loose lengths of twine on the back and gently remove the frame. You'll have at least 6 pairs of twine...one on each side of the stick. Pair one up from the front and back and knot securely. Continue with the remaining pairs along the bottom; repeat with the top pairs.

Yay, you're done! And don't let the lengthy instructions scare you off...it's really easy and you'll be done in no time at all! 

Monday, September 13

those wonderful gals at Mary Janes Farm...

were kind enough to include me in the October/November issue of their amazing farmgirl magazine!

My heartfelt thanks Mary Janes Farm ...
I just couldn't be happier.
Actually, I'm jump up & down excited!
Dreams do come true!

Friday, September 10

do you see the changes?

fields of gold...

storm clouds gradually turning to blue skies...

later sunrises and lengthening shadows...

pumpkins at the roadside stands...

That's how the Midwest looks now...ready for fall.
We're certainly ready...it's been a very hot summer.

This morning the kids asked for hot chocolate (the real kind), there was a light frost on the grass, and we even turned the heater on in the truck for the drive to school.


Do you see the changes where you live...crisp days,
an early-autumn palette, the sights & sounds that mark the changing of seasons?

Monday, September 6


Bundles of just-picked herbs lay waiting to be rinsed and turned into an herb weaving, while spatterware buckets filled with potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes are sitting at the
garden's edge. Potatoes and onions will be carried to the basement and stored in wooden bushel baskets. Not really a basement...
the low ceilings, wooden shelves, partial dirt floor, and tree trunks (yes, tree trunks!) that help hold up this 146-year old house, make it more of a root cellar.

Our neighbor tells me she has just finished canning over 100 quarts of tomatoes, and is ready to put the garden to bed. We'll be doing the same this week...canning the remaining peppers and making tomato sauce, then tilling the garden and letting it have a long winter's rest. Gather, prepare, put by...it's a quieter time of year, yet we're busy as bees.

There is a sense that summer is winding down. Yesterday we woke up to a morning that was 38 degrees...sweater weather as they call it, and my favorite time of year! Last night while Little Man was on the tire swing, I noticed subtle changes around us. The evening was still...soybeans are now golden, field corn is dry, and the sunlight cast lengthening shadows around us.

It's the time of year when we find ourselves trying to savor it all...the simple pleasures of changing seasons and sweet September.

Thursday, September 2

happy birthday Sweet Girl!

my, oh, my...

how time flies!

Wishing you a magical day
filled with the happiest moments!
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