Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Friday, May 27

rambling thoughts...

The weather here, like in many parts of the Midwest, has been very unpredictable. Some days are warm with a gentle breeze, making them perfect for gardening, taking a walk, or pushing kids in tire swings. Other days the weather radio warns us of tornado watches or severe thunderstorms.

Yesterday was a crazy mix of both...puffy clouds and bright blue skies gave way to black clouds and pouring rain. I was outside gardening and hanging quilts on the clothesline when
Mother Nature changed her mind. She sent me quickly inside as darkening skies, thunder, and lightning approached.
However; by late afternoon, the storms had blown past leaving a fresh, clean feeling in the air along with a beautiful rainbow arching over the barns.

With the bad weather past, it was the perfect time to let the girls out of their coop to inspect their run. They were tentative at first, slowing inching their way down into a new world.  By day's end, four of the six had ventured out leaving the remaining two peeking through the doorway

Ahhh, they make me smile! We'll be going through our day,
all of us in different directions...kids playing, me gardening,
my husband mowing, when all of a sudden someone will shout, "Chicken Check!" That means a run to the coop to make sure all is well, but mostly just to visit and hear their happy chatter.

The kids race out after school to visit them, and there's talk of pitching a tent by the coop for summer. I'm okay with that...they're only young once (the kids and the chickens!)

Am I the only one smitten with chickens? Nah...
My friend Grace-Marie brought her chicks home Tuesday,
and you know, she's just as smitten as I am. We love to chat
about how "the girls" are and share what's new in her latest chicken magazine.

I must admit; however, that I often find myself thinking back to the classic movie, The Music Man. Come on...
do you know the song?

Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little,
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more
Cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep
Pick a little, talk a little, cheep!

That's what I love about the simple pleasures...no electronic gadget can even compare. Talk of a tent has me planning a summer of unplugged play...getting outside, making, creating, going on adventures. Summer's almost here, and I want it to be full of laughter, fun, and memories.

Sadie Delany was right...
"Life is short, and it's up to you to make it sweet."

Monday, May 23

moving day!

First, a heartfelt thanks to those who left such kind messages regarding the passing of my father-in-law. I know so many of you have experienced a similar loss. In time, I think we'll find ways to heal the pain, but always keep the sweet memories.


As for our latest adventure, our chicken coop has finally arrived...and yes, I was as happy as a kid in a candy store!

The unloading made me a bit nervous.

I had sketched out a design for the attached run and we're so happy with how it turned out. The girls will be safe & sound
and with a full-size door at the end I can easily get inside
to tidy up or sit and listen to their happy chatter.

With the coop now here, we only had a few finishing touches to make. My sweet hubby added vinyl flooring so now clean up will be a breeze. Pine shavings can quickly be swept out, the flooring removed, hosed down then replaced. The wood underneath will last longer and the coop will smell, well, so much fresher!


Next the vinyl flooring was topped with pine shavings, nest boxes made warm & cozy, water and feed added, and then all doors and nest box openings secured with D clamps.

Time to shoo out a curious cat!

Ta-da...ready for the girls to move in!

It was quite a parade as the kids brought the girls out to their new home. The hens hesitated a bit, but soon one-by-one they each took a good look around, then made those first steps into their new home. Before long they were stretching their wings and
oh-so happy to be there.

Why be so excited about hens? Well, for me, it's a simple country pleasure I've looked forward to for quite awhile. We all have our dreams and wish lists...these hens just happen to have been on my list. And while it was high time the girls moved out of our dining room and into their own place, I admit I do miss their happy chatter in the morning.

Someone suggested I put a baby monitor in the coop so I could still hear them.  Silly? Absurd? Or Brilliant?

Hmmm,  I may just dust off those old baby monitors after all!

Monday, May 16

sweet recollections...

When I met my future in-laws for the first time,
this handsome man kissed me on the cheek.

However; he was already taken by this young lady...

who was a devoted wife for 55 years.

Over the past two weeks our hearts have been turned inward
as we have reflected on the life and sweet memories of this husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

And as we learn to adjust to the absence of my father-in-law's physical presence, we find comfort in those heartfelt times
spent together, while knowing that someday there will be
a joyful reunion.

Wednesday, May 4

more apron love...

Our unusual May weather continues...there is a frost advisory for tonight, last week our compost bin was rolling around the backyard as the high wind warnings went out, and this week
roads are flooding and creeks are overflowing.

Needless to say, it's been too soggy to get outdoors except to chase the compost bin or "rescue" the kids. Last week they ventured a bit too far into a nearby cornfield. I heard them calling and ran over to find them, and their boots, firmly stuck in the mud and sinking deeper as they struggled to free themselves.
It was an adventure getting them out, and I'm happy to say, although it was close several times, we all managed to get out of the mud with out landing in it!

And so with all this rain, we've been spending time indoors.
I'm putting the last stitches in my chicken apron, just in time to run across what I thought was some of the prettiest fabric for another apron.

These photos are my inspiration...
I can't decide which I like best!

layers of ruffles...

love those "patches"

and what a handy pocket!

Once a few vintage buttons and colorful trims are added,
I'll have something new and whimsical to wear around the old farm. That's sure to make home keeping, feeding animals, and gardening a lot more fun...right?

I'll be smiling as I pull weeds, glistening (not sweating) in the summer sun, and singing through the days...yes, I'm sure of it!

So what do you think...which apron do you like best?

Sunday, May 1

simple joys for May...

...Happy May Day! For years we've enjoyed gathering flowers, tucking them into baskets or Mason jars, and then secretly delivering them to family & friends. I always makes me laugh to watch the kids sneak up to a door, deliver the flowers, knock, then run like the wind so as to not be caught! Oh, and of course, there's a basket on our front door as well...something the kids always look for.

...Mothers' Day is coming, so why not surprise Mom by planting a colorful cutting garden or a flowering tree outside her back door? Whether it's with your own mother, or someone that's as dear to you as a mother, she'll love the surprise.

...make final plans for your garden, our last frost date is May 15, so for us, it's time to begin! If a big garden is just a bit too much to tackle this year, why not grow tomatoes, peppers, or herbs in patio pots? Quick & easy to plant, just water when they're dry,
and you'll have the taste of summer at your fingertips.
No tilling required!

...put up a clothesline! There's nothing like settling into sheets that have been dried outdoors.

...rearrange your furniture, taking out what you can, and putting back only what you love...a simple way to create a fresh, new look for your home as the seasons change.

...dust off the grill, pull out your favorite summertime recipes, hang lots of buntings, and get out your white shoes...
Memorial Day is coming!
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