Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Friday, October 29

merry halloween!

The richness of October is all around us. Even the strong and sudden storms that moved through the Midwest this week, quickly blew past leaving us with a truly beautiful sunset.

My mind shifts ahead...still cleaning the barn, and like a squirrel, tallying food storage for winter. However; this week, October is filled with mystery and fun as Halloween comes closer. It's time
to fetch a big, plump pumpkin and let the fun begin!

The kids giggle with delight as they pull the seeds and "goo" from inside each pumpkin!

The seeds are saved for roasting, while the "goo" quickly finds its way to the compost pile. After a bit of plotting and planning,
the pumpkin faces are decided on, carved, and are soon glowing on our front porch.

We'll enjoy trick-or-treating in town  at my in-laws' home,
and because the weather has turned quite cool, a pot of chili along with some pumpkin soup will be simmering on the stove. I'm still a kid at heart, so we'll make Mummy Dogs and Jack-o'-Lantern Pizzas too...for the kids, of course!  (the easy recipes are below.)

On Saturday evening, when the moon hangs low in the sky,
where will you find us? Enjoying the company of pint-size imposters...cowboys and superheros, princes and princesses, ghosts and goblins as we walk door-to-door with a very muscular Iron Man and a light saber-wielding Ahsoka.
We'll take pictures, eat candy, laugh, and store up memories.

Wishing you a very merry Halloween!

Mummy Dogs
11-oz. pkg. breadstick dough
16-oz. pkg. hot dogs
Garnish: yellow mustard

Separate dough and wrap one section around each hot dog to resemble mummies. Be sure to leave an opening for the eyes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Add 2 dots of mustard on each "face" for "eyes."

Jack-o'-Lantern Pizzas
individual-size pizzas
Garnish: black olive slices, green or red pepper strips

Bake pizzas according to package directions. Remove from oven; garnish with 2 olive slices for "eyes" and a pepper strip
for a "smile."

Monday, October 25

October 24...happy anniversary!

My, oh my...
time flies when you're having fun!

(who are those young kids?!)

It was a happy weekend...
we wore ourselves out at a waterpark on Saturday, then whipped up our favorite foods at home for Sunday dinner.

And what's one of the best things to happen to us?
These sweet faces!

How's that saying go?
"All because two people fell in love."

Tuesday, October 19

a trip to Amish country...

Saturday we made a trip to Amish country. It was one of those perfect autumn days...a bright blue sky, trees at their peak of color, and lovely farms and scenery along the way.

After a terrific lunch (food is a must!), we found a great family farm to explore. This slide into a sandbox filled with corn kernels was a sure-fire hit!

The kids had a ball...and if you're wondering, why yes, we were shaking corn out of shoes, shirts, and shorts! 

Next we were off  to explore the corn maze. What an adventure!
To give you an idea of the detail, this is a sky view.

photo courtesy of Sharp Family Farm
We bravely ran inside...it's times like this when the kids are glad Daddy is a human GPS!

There were bridges built along the way with views of the
prettiest farms.

Next was a hayride (which, to be honest, was a bit fast and furious...being bounced over the edge was a definite possibility!)

And as the sun went down, a chill began to set in, so we warmed ourselves by a cozy fire.

On the way home, the kids quickly fell asleep.
To me, that's the sign of a good day spent making memories.

Friday, October 8

October and barns...

October has arrived...sunny, with crisp mornings and skies of robin's egg blue. The afternoons and evenings are warm & breezy, but as the evening shadows fall, autumn's chill finds us scurrying to gather wood for a bonfire.

As we walk to the fields, we hear the crunch of leaves underfoot and spot plentiful acorns that have fallen from the oak trees.
The kids tell me that that acorn caps will surely be chosen by fairies and turned into bowls, and squirrels will be stocking up for the approaching winter on what the fairies leave behind.
For us, the warm days and gentle breezes of fall make it an ideal time to clean barns. It's time to sort out the gatherings of summertime, pack away garden tools, and prepare a warm & cozy spot for barn cats to snuggle into. The barn closest to our home is large, open, and dirt-floored...most likely a spot where farm wagons and tractors were once sheltered. It's a nice barn to putter around and explore. The discoveries have been few: a millstone, milk bottle, 1950's farm magazine, and a hand-painted sign. To me, these "treasures" tie us to all those families who have lived here before.

door hinges


chiseled beams
The inside of the western-facing corn crib has been lined by a previous owner with old doors and windows. Secured tightly,
side-by-side, they were meant to keep out the winter winds and snow. The doors are fascinating to look at...brass and ceramic knobs with rosettes, skeleton key lock-sets, and decorative hinges speak of another time. I suppose they were replaced with more "modern" doors, and while I love the old 6-panel doors with glass knobs that are in our home, these doors, relegated to the barn, are beautiful to me as well.

An enduring symbol of country life, it's a good thing to save and keep barns. It seems to me they're at their truest when filled with the activities, sights, and sounds of farm life.

Now it's time for me to live up to the old saying,
"Make hay while the sun shines."
I'd better get back to work cleaning our barn...
it was 35 degrees this morning. Something tells me that winter
will soon fly in.

Tuesday, October 5

the last county fair...

I know autumn is at our doorstep when we make plans to go to our last county fair. And although we had to run between the raindrops, we had a wonderful time!

The huge train layout is always the number one stop...

followed closely by the fair food!
 The hamster balls were a big hit...

and this little girl was adorable showing her calf.
Now, these deep-fried treats might be good...
(has anyone tried them?)
and I know that's sour cream and a cherry tomato on top...
but this fair food needs a new name!
It was a great family day out, and we came home exhausted
and happy.

And now, after seeing all the animals, I really, reallly want some pygmy goats!

Does anyone have them, or have any advice to share?
(or, maybe more importantly, how to convince my husband?!)

Friday, October 1

evening clouds...

The sky was fascinating Thursday evening as the clouds from Tropical Storm Nicole made their way to the Midwest.

I couldn't stop looking at them...they almost didn't seem real
as they crossed the farmland from horizon-to-sky.
The photos don't do them justice...they were beautiful,
but I also felt as if they were swooping in to surround us.

And yes, I was sure the Wicked Witch
was about to descend at any moment!
(am I the only one who can hear the music?!)

The wind began to switch
The house, to pitch
And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch
Just then the Witch, to satisfy an itch
Went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch!

Happy Friday!

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