Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Friday, August 26

a bee in my bonnet...

Here's the story of a gal who loves honey. Now, she has dear friends who have had beehives for many years. However, while interested in the process, the gal never really went beyond simply enjoying their gifts of delicious honey on on homemade biscuits with butter. Yum!

Okay, so that gal is me (as if you didn't know that already.)
Now I do have an interest in bees...and while our dear friends would have made the most excellent mentors, sadly several years ago they moved to Wisconsin.

So, what do I do with this new interest in becoming a beekeeper? Well, I've been reading all I can get my hands on, and tagging along as our neighbors learn the ropes and harvest their first honey. I helped uncap their frames yesterday...sticky business, but really interesting. Was the moisture content right? What about the temperature and humidity in the room?  I learned a lot!

Here are a few snapshots taken this week of our neighbors tending their hives...


How far from the coop should the hive be?

I want it close to the garden and fruit trees, and I want to keep an eye on it, but I don't have a strong wind-break. Should I surround the hives with straw bales in the winter, or is wrapping the hive with tar paper a better idea?

So...do you have bees? Any tips & hints?

I'd love to hear the story of how you got started!

Wednesday, August 24

summer's over...

Well, not officially; however today is the first day of school,
and each of us see it a bit differently.

For them...

-up early; excited to catch up and visit with friends again
-backpacks were filled days ago with supplies
-"Can we go  yet?" (45 minutes before school begins.)

For me...

-the house is quiet...
                    which isn't bad, a little quiet time does a person good
-now's the time to catch up
                    on a summer's worth of lazily letting the chores slide
-but it's too quiet...

I promised Little Man I'd bake a checkerboard cake for after school...better get started.

Miss my sweet ones!

Tuesday, August 23

today's giggle...comparing eggs!

Oh those girls...
   same age
   same feed
   same TLC

But oh, the difference in eggs!

(PS...LOVE the double-yolkers)

Friday, August 19

a few more vacation snapshots...

How I Spent My Summer Vacation...

splashing in the lake, playing in the sand,
eating ice cream alongside the docks, and, of course,
finding the perfect Christmas ornament to remember it all!

kayaks lined up along Lake Erie's sandy shores...
kids in a funhouse, having, well, FUN!

 a 25,000 sq. ft. model train layout...
and you know how we LOVE trains!

the detail in the layout was amazing.
the circular stairs leading to the top of...
Marblehead Lighthouse

A great time was had by all, and next visit, we may spend a week
in one of the yurts available for rent!
Family...Fun...Making Memories...Laughing
It's the small & simple things that matter.

How does that saying go?
"It's not the years in your life,
but the life in your years that matters."

Tuesday, August 16

lake Erie getaway...

A few days off gave us the time to visit Lake Erie last weekend.
We couldn't have asked for better weather...it was ideal
with a cool breeze and temperatures in the 70's. A most welcome change from the typical August dog-days of summer!

Here are a few snapshots of our time there...we will definitely be going back to visit again.
a restored lighthouse...

beautiful old homes like this...

and this.

seagulls flying overhead...

best buddies...
my first attempt at adding some texture, color changes,
and getting creative...
Rural Revival  you've inspired me!

Thursday, August 11

dressing up the clothesline...

A few weeks ago I came across some gingerbread trim at our local hardware store, and the wheels started turning. Hmmm, it might be fun to add some trim to our clothesline...give it a bit of character. 

And so in no time at all it was up and in place! I love it when something so simple makes me smile.

Monday, August 8

happiness is...

counting one egg for every chicken...whew, no roosters here!

(By the way, eggs are adding up, any good recipes to share?!)

Thursday, August 4

lemon shake-up...

After visiting two fairs and finding that nothing beats the heat like
ice-cold lemonade, I thought I'd share my quick & easy recipe.
It's ready in no time at all and  keeps me going on these hot, humid summer days!

juice of one lemon
crushed ice
1/3 c. sugar, or sugar to taste
1 to 1-1/2 c. ice cold water

Combine juice, ice, sugar, and water in a Mason jar, or jar with a
tight-fitting lid. Secure lid and shake to fully blend.
Serves one.

Monday, August 1

it's fair time!

Searing sun, temps looming around 100 degrees, and humidity that makes me melt...that's how the last few weeks have been. It's up and outside early to work, then waiting until sundown to wrap things up.

However, with the heat of summer comes fair time...and we can't miss that, no matter what the weather's like! Our county fair is on a hillside, so we always have a plan: begin at the top where all the animal barns and merchant buildings are, then work our way down to the rides and food. By the time we get to the bottom, the kids are absolutely itching to jump on every ride, and hubby and I are so hot we need an icy lemonade shake-up (or several!) to help us beat the heat. We were tickled to discover we had won 6 blue ribbons and 4 red ones...the anticipation is always high as we search for our names!

A couple of days later we visited the state fair. Again, another scorching hot day, but lots of fun, food, and animals at every turn. There's just something special about the fair...it's a feeling and an excitement we never outgrow. It's the hope of winning a blue ribbon, watching the spinners & weavers working at their craft, watching excited kids show their animals in competition, and the aroma of fair food in the air.

I hope you'll have the chance to visit a fair near you. In the meantime, here are a few snapshots of ours...

fanciful chickens of all breeds

the museum has so many interesting wagons and farm equipment

an old log cabin is on display,

next on my wish list!

there was a sign above this little beauty that said, "Win Me!"

famous butter cows...sculpted from 1500 pounds of butter!

newborn calf only 3 days old

mama to be...we were hoping to be there for the big event!
(my inner vet would have loved it...for any James Herriot fans,
I'd need a "bucket of hot water, soap, and a towel, please."

2-week old piglets

a little post-breakfast nap


and still more chickens

I love the look in this lady's eyes
just as this fella let out a very loud
and cheery cock-a-doodle-doo!
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