Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Monday, March 28

apron love...

I simply love aprons...

I don't know when this love affair started, or how it began,
but I really do love aprons. Here are some favorites...

this pretty  polka-dot is from the Farm Chicks...

 I love this floor-length pinafore apron with the flounce at the bottom. I bought it years and years ago from
Tasha Tudor & family...

 a couple of homespun ones found at a flea market...

a vintage apron with handkerchief pockets handed down
from my mom...

and this is one Santa brought...

So when I found this cute apron kit, I knew it
was coming home!

Love those chickens! I'm going to cut it out today stitch her up this week. I'm going through a must...have...chickens phase!
We looked at coops over the weekend and we'll be looking at those adorable little baby chicks today...I'll keep you posted!

Hope it's a happy Monday!
 PS...for a look at some really whimsical aprons, take a peek at this site...Jillie Willie  She has one really I love...the handcart apron, it has little pockets hidden under the flounce; how clever!

Thursday, March 24

did the recent super full moon confuse Mother Nature?

Man in the Moon vintage image download
Would you believe me if I told you about our weather
for Wednesday, March 23?

warm, like a lovely spring day was ahead

summerlike with tornado warnings and hail storms

winter returns with snow and ice

Now, this gal's more than a bit confused, but then,
I think Mother Nature is too!

So....how's the weather where you are?!

Friday, March 18

is spring really here?

Early spring has arrived across the land, and after a long, icy winter, we welcome it gladly! More than ready to trade our boots and mittens for spades and sun hats, the anticipation of summer's first juicy, ripe tomato is almost more than we can stand. However, that tomato will have to wait...the joys of spring fever have us tightly in their grip!

Today is blue-skied and balmy. The grass is green and cheery yellow daffodils are about to bloom and fill a neighboring field. I've opened our windows to let the breeze in, only to hear the birds rejoicing...they too, are welcoming the warmth of sunshine. In fact, that balmy breeze is tempting me to wash quilts and hang them on the clothesline. The nights here are still quite cool, but oh how nice it will be to snuggle under quilts that have been
dried outside.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love flowers...and anything old. I'm especially drawn to old farmhouses. I remember many years ago coming upon one that had nothing left but a crumbling foundation. As I stood looking at it, I felt a bit sad thinking about the farmwife that must have stood on those same steps in years past. But as I began to leave, I soon noticed tulips and daffodils were just beginning to bloom. As they had multiplied and spread over the years, they now covered what must have been the home's front yard. And so, long after they had been planted, they continued to return and welcome each new spring. These days, the old farm is not so much on my daily path, but I like to think those flowers are still there, blooming as they were meant to.

A quick look at my watch and I see it's already past noon. The kids will be home in a few hours...hmmm, these merry winds are not only good for drying quilts, they're ideal for launching kites! The kid in me can't resist, and so my spirits soar as I head to the barn where we keep bikes, balls, and yes, kites! I'll dust them off, check the strings, and have each one ready for a little after-school fun. Launching kites and watching them ride the wind is a simple pleasure. And no, it's not only for the kids...I freely admit that I enjoy the sight of a kite taking to the wind! Some of my best memories are of us racing around the yard, kites spiraling and riding high in the sky. After tiring out, we'd stretch out in the grass on our backs, and just watch the kites sail above us.

Spring has sounds and fragrances all her own...the snap of sheets on a clothesline, the chatter of birds, and patter of gentle rains. And today, I want to add to that mix the laughter of children as we watch our kites soar.

Thursday, March 17

happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sharing an old Irish blessing...

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Tuesday, March 15

puddles, puddles everywhere...


The rapid rain dancing on the windows, the puddles in the yard, mud everywhere...it's enough to make a country girl ramble this morning! Early last week we had flood warnings, and indeed rivers overflowed their banks washing out homes and fields.
Later the same week, we were warned of severe winter weather with several inches of snow expected. March is up to its  usual business...its weather cannot be trusted. The warm days coax the daffodils from their winter sleep, but the next day its snow covers them. What's a girl to do?

Well, it appears the best thing to do is make plans...March is a time of promise. This year, I want to plant berry bushes, fruit trees, and Concord grapes. Simple pleasures perhaps, but what joy will be found in fresh fruit and homemade jam to share with friends. Finding promise in the simple, everyday things is there for anyone willing to look for it. Yes, it's a muddy, rainy day,
but it's a good day for a pot of soup to simmer on the stove...
Moose Soup is one of Little Man's favorites. It's a good day for a crackling fire...probably one of the last ones we'll enjoy this season as the days turn warm. It's also a good day to settle in
and re-read a favorite book, write a letter to a friend
(a real, handwritten letter sent off by snail mail), or dig a bit into your family history. Old photos, letters, and stories are the ties that bind generations.

As for me, I'm waiting for roofers to come and repair a bit of damage left by the winds of Old Man Winter...but while I'm waiting, I think I'll whip up a batch of cookies. Another simple pleasure...warm cookies and cold milk, mmm.

What about you...
how are you spending this Lion-&-Lamb month?

By the way, here's our recipe for Moose Soup...
and no, there were no moose harmed in the making of this soup!

"Moose" Soup

4 T. butter
2 onions, diced
3 qts. chicken or vegetable broth
1 head cabbage, finely chopped
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
2, 14.5-oz. cans stewed tomatoes, drained
3 c. baby spinach leaves
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine butter an onions in a skillet; cook until onions are tender. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a large stock pot, add cooked onions. If necessary, add water or additional broth to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer. Stir occasionally and continue to cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 2 hours.

Friday, March 11

simple joys for March...

...take a little spring walk (bring along your gardening shears)
and cut some bare branches for forcing. Crabapple or forsythia would be perfect! Cut the ends sharply at a slant, then place them in a large vase of room-temperature water. In no time at all, you'll have brought spring indoors!

...celebrate St. Patrick's Day next Thursday! Wear green, bake Irish Soda Bread, serve a traditional Irish dinner, dance a jig!

...spring clean! Yep...I'm serious! You'll be surprised how good you'll feel when papers and cupboards are organized and dust bunnies have been swept away!

...if you know someone who has a late-winter cold, whip up a Sniffles Basket for her. Tuck in a Mason jar of homemade chicken noodle soup, a box of tissues, some cross-word puzzles, and a hot water bottle...she'll love it!

...feeling crafty? If so, then this is a quick & easy clipboard that you'll have fun creating and sharing wiht a friend (slip one in the Sniffles Basket!).

1 - Pick up a clipboard at an office supply store, and paint the board with acrylic paint.

2 - Once the paint has completely dried , use a sponge brush and decoupage medium to "glue" any cut-outs to the board.
(You could also skip the painting all together, as I did on the smaller sample, and "glue" scrapbooking paper on instead.)

3 - Once the cut-outs or scrapbook paper are in place and dry,
use decoupage medium again to protect the paper or images.

4 - Use your imagination to dress-up your clipboard!
Hats off to my friend Kris who gifted me with the larger board...she's a gem, and oh-so clever! Her board is filled with whimsical words and pictures...goodies she felt best described me. My version has a mini notebook attached, along with a clothespin that keeps my pen right where I can find it!

Hope you'll be making one of your very own soon...happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 8

a heartfelt thanks...

...to Tina at The Serene Stamper for sharing the Stylish Blogger Award with me. I'm taken by surprise and so appreciate her kind words. Take a minute to visit her blog and take a peek at her clever creations.

From me, a sincere thank you to the many nice people who visit us. It's been one of the biggest pleasures while writing this blog...that sense of connection with other wonderful people we hear from. It's always such fun to read the comments of  friends, new and old, who stop by to see what we're doing in our little corner of the Midwest.

As many of you know, along with this award come some guidelines…..

1. Link back to the person who awarded you
2. Share 8 things about yourself
3. Send it along to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered.
4. Drop a note to the bloggers and tell them about their award!

Hmmm, so here are 8 things about me that you may (or may not !) find interesting!

1.We have two children, Little Man is 7 and Sweet Girl is 10.
They provide endless entertainment, as well as endless opportunities to roll my eyes and say, "I told you so." They also constantly remind me of what's sweet in our daily lives.

2. My husband is witty, loves trains, and will read until the wee hours of the morning when he's in the middle of a great book. He has icy-blue eyes, a quick smile, and a memory that can't be beat...he's our human GPS and trivia champ.

3. I love anything old-fashioned...hand-stitched quilts, country clotheslines, aprons, porch swings, old farmhouses, auctions, gardening, county fairs, and farmers' markets. I'm always looking for simple pleasures found in the "everyday" days, and trying to bring the small town joys of  "Mayberry" to our own home.

4. Some of my favorite movies are old classics such as
North by Northwest, The Great Race, That Touch of Mink, Operation Petticoat, and Father Goose.

5. Per above...Cary Grant is definitely a favorite actor...what charm and charisma!

6. I spent 14 years as a Sr. Book Editor and Manager of Licensed Books. While it was great fun creating cookbook and lifestyle books, I definitely don't miss the deadlines and meetings!
These days you'll find me chasing kids, gardening, tinkering with spinning and weaving, making wreaths, or weaving baskets.
I usually have a camera in one hand, a cookbook in the other,
and wish-list for our next home renovation!

7. If I could sing, I'd love to be Elphaba in the musical Wicked. Now, that's if I could sing...which I can't. Enough said.

8. I'm still trying to master the ideal loaf of homemade bread...hats off to my family who have suffered and smiled through many a loaf that was less than, well, ideal.
(Now that's love.)

Enough about me...now to the fun part! It was hard to narrow down my list to just 8 blogs, but here are some terrific farmgirls I really think you'll enjoy meeting.

Just click on their blog names to pay them a visit!

1. Rural Revivial

2. Verde Farm

3. Lilac Lane Cottage 

4. Farmhouse Style

5. Front Porch Indiana

6. City Gal Moves to Oz Land

7. Flat Creek Farm

8. Farm Fresh Fun
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