Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Friday, February 25

simple country pleasures...

Today is a good day to stay indoors. There's a chilling blast of cold wind from the north and a prediction of 7 to 10 inches of snow. Early this morning we could see across the fields that the neighboring farms are without power...we are fortunate ours is still on. However; I did get a quick refresher lesson on how to run the generator if necessary! I've done my best to be prepared so we'll be comfortable, and really, lots of snow and cold don't bother me...they bring out my pioneer spirit!

This week I began re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's book,
The Long Winter. In this book she tells of her family's struggle
to survive a South Dakota winter in 1880...a winter so severe that it lasted 7 months. Hmmm, that makes our winter look pretty tame! We're all together, safe & warm, and that's what matters.

A day like this lets me attend to only small, needed chores, and the kids will be enjoying yet another snow day. It's a day for movies, board games, cookies, a crackling fire, roasting marshmallows, making s'mores, and catching up on some reading.

And speaking of cookies, here's today's simple pleasure...
it's oh-so easy. I've dressed up our cookie jar in no time at all
with only a little chalkboard paint!

This idea would also work well if you store powdered laundry soap, clothespins, or seed packets in pantry jars. The ideas are endless, and it helps keep things a bit more organized.
Which, at least around here, is needed!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 23

cute overload!

My friend Diana is the Queen of Cute, the Princess of Parties,
and just an all around clever gal! She made these adorable cake pops for a church social...everyone was buzzing about them
(I know...bad joke, but really, they were!)

Take a peek at her blog, Closet Crafter, to see her pictures
(our family won the Junior Mint cupcakes at a cake auction...yay!)

Scroll through and you'll find lots of fun ideas to inspire you!
I ran into her his morning at a craft store...I'm anxious to see what's she's up to next!

Friday, February 18

simple country pleasures...

I would not,
could not,
cut a quilt or coverlet!

I would not,
could not...regardless of the condition it's in,
or how tattered it might be.

I would fold, and refold, then fold some more to put its best vintage face forward for the world to see. It's how I'm wired...
I just couldn't bare to cut one up.

Now if I come across pieces already cut, that's a different story. They are begging to be put to new uses. So today's simple pleasure is an angel made from a bit of vintage coverlet and hearts stitched from quilt pieces.

No pattern needed...just a cut here and a snip there, some batting, some muslin, a little more stitching and they're done! There's no "right" or "wrong"...she and the hearts will be uniquely yours.
Our angel sits high atop our Christmas tree, then after the holidays, she keeps watch over us from inside an old cupboard.

I'd love to hear how you're passing these February days...
sitting by the fire and creating something new is certainly a simple country pleasure.

Happy Friday to all!

Be sure to drop in at Verde Farm for their Farm Friend Friday...it's a terrific way to meet bloggers who live & love the country life!

Wednesday, February 16

some things change, some don't...

Last week, as I bundled up the kids to take them to school,
the temperature was -11 degrees. Tomorrow has a forcast
of 60 degrees.

Last week we wore the warmest boots and heavy socks we could find to keep our toes toasty. Today we're wearing rain boots.

The ground is no longer frozen and covered with lovely, swirling snow. It's muddy, sloppy, and there are puddles everywhere.

And  yes, while the weather is willy-nilly these days, some things do not change, and it's those things that warm my heart.

...handmade Valentines with sweet cut-out hearts
...lots of hugs & kisses
...chocolates galore alongside fragrant hyacinths
...a lilac-scented candle
...holding hands while falling asleep
...everyone piled in bed reading together
   (with more stuffed animals than people!)
...wanting to sleep with Mama's or Daddy's shirt because
   "It has that special smell."
...forever friends

Among all these things we cherish, friendship is one of them.
We have dear friends who moved away a few years ago, and while we still miss them, we've been blessed to be able to visit together each year. It's the type of friendship that picks up right where it left off the last time we were together...without missing a beat.

I love that they always remember our kids, too. Over the years we've  received packages of Valentine goodies, shamrock-shaped straws, books, Christmas treats that help tide them over until Santa comes, and always a special birthday surprise. The kids love getting mail just for them! However; also tucked in Monday's Valentine package were a pair of pretty pink & brown John Deere hotpads, just for me!

I've said it before, in a "made overseas" world, someone who takes the time to share a handcrafted gift gives a part of themselves too. And truly, that's the best part of all.
Ah, Margaret...they're almost too pretty to use! But use them I will, and I'll think of you every time.

Friday, February 11

simple country pleasures...

I am a list-maker, note-taker, and, I admit,
"it might be important so I'd better save it" type of person.

The challenge...how to corral all that clutter  paperwork
on the fridge and whiteboard so that it looks a bit better?

A quick look around and soon I found buttons, extra game pieces,
and even a few pop bottle caps that were easily turned into magnets. A bit of hot glue will secure a heavy-duty magnet to the back of each.

I'm sure you'll think of lots of other ideas...
costume jewelry for a bit of sparkle, alphabet letters,
or even seed packets would all be sweet.

Oh-so simple and they're done in a jiffy!

Now all those recipe cards, notes, kids' artwork,
reminder cards, and school lists are a bit more tidy!

(If only I could organize our desk so easily...
that, my friends, is on next week's to-do list!)

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 4

February's simple joys...

...create handmade Valentines with oodles of ribbon, doilies, stickers, rubber stamps, snippets of fabric & vintage buttons.

...there's still time to begin forcing bulbs if January slipped by
too quickly!

...cookie cutters make the sweetest heart-shaped fudge, marshmallows, and brownies.

...curl up and watch classic movies. Some of our favorites are:
Casablanca, Father Goose, Operation Petticoat,
North by Northwest, The Great Race, and That Touch of Mink

...give packets of flower seeds to friends: forget-me-nots,
sweet peas, and daisies are oh-so pretty. Tuck the packets into little pots, or slip into envelopes and mail to far-away friends.

...use heart soap molds when soap making, then stamp each with conversation heart greetings

...stitch together a red ticking pincushion for someone who loves to sew

...wake up the family to heart-shaped pancakes, or use a cookie cutter to cut heart-shaped French toast

...write a note telling someone special all the things
you love about them!

simple country pleasures...

The snow has stopped, the sun is shining, and the kids went back to school today. They've had 3 snow days at home this week,
with a 2-hour delay this morning. It's not so much the snow as it is the ice making travel (and even walking to the barn!) more than a bit tricky. Oh well, it is winter after all...a very good time to settle in and get creative.

Today's quick & easy idea was such fun to make...we put together a calendar of some of our favorite things!

my vintage Cadillac bike that I bought for a song at an auction.

Little Man with the garden's first tomato.
It was fun to go back through our photos choosing favorites to drop in for each month. For Christmas gifts this year, I think I'll create a family calendar...kids smiling faces, our vacation,
school plays, and family & friends.

And lest you be too impressed, there are oodles of "drag & drop" sites on the web to make your very own calendar...and it's a snap!

Tuesday, February 1

goodbye to January...

While I was hoping for several inches of snow, it was not to be.
This is how our day began...

And now, at day's end, the ice is becoming thicker, the freezing rain has turned to sleet, and we're under a Winter Weather Warning that's set to last 2 days.

Oh well, we're snug and warm. We baked bread and stirred up a pot of Moose Soup (Little Man came up with the name...
and no, there were no moose harmed in the making of this soup!) It's simply a hearty vegetable soup, although how the name came to be is a bit fuzzy.

It was a snow day for the kids so we baked cookies, played games, and watched movies. And we've just heard school is cancelled for tomorrow...it'll be a late night here!

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