Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Monday, October 31

autumn hearthstring...

A friend of my recently told me she'd discovered oodles of chestnuts, and asked if I had any ideas that would put them to use. Well, she was thinking of good, old-fashioned "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."
while my thoughts immediately went to "hearthstring!"

A hearthstring is a simple, easy-to-make decoration to hang above your hearth, or along the tops of doorways, windows, or even on cupboards. Ours go up in September and stay in place right through Thanksgiving. Wrapped in tissue paper, and stored in a dry place, they'll last for years.

There's no "right" way to make a hearthstring...just use your imagination and whatever you happen to have on hand.  My hearthstring has dried field corn (sliced, with a hole drilled in the center), bay leaves, dried fruit slices, and sweetgum pods. Leftover fabric squares are quickly stitched together, plumped up with some batting, and tied with a raffia bow, and then everything is threaded onto a length twine. Some extra raffia tied onto the ends dresses it up a bit, and it's done!

This is an oh-so simple decoration to whip up on a rainy day when getting outside isn't much fun. You really can make several of these in no time at all, and they're so easy, the kids can lend a hand too.

Let me know if you try making one...I'd love to see your ideas!

I'm linking up to the Homestead Barn Hop today...take a minute to visit there,
you'll discover some terrific farms!

Friday, October 28

some snapshots...

The flu bug (or blue bug, as Little Man calls it) has descended upon us, and for the last two weeks we've experienced most of the ups & downs that come with it. A little R&R is good at times like these,
and I'm even more grateful for cozy quilts, fluffy pillows, good books, and a purring cat (who, by the way, likes to sleep on us!) These, along with daily hugs & kisses, have been the best medicine of all.

The month is flying by, so I wanted to take a minute to post a handful of pictures of October around our farm.

a late-blooming clematis
for my "someday" bees!
just for fun
limelight hydrangea
corn still waiting to be harvested
maple leaves in the afternoon sun
today's foggy morning
a Sunday sunset

When the heat of summer's over
and the coolin' fall is here,
Of course we miss the flowers, 
and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin' birds 
and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin',
and the landscape through the haze,
of a crisp and sunny morning of the airy autumn days...
when the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder's in the shock.

-James Whitcomb Riley

Monday, October 17

the season's last county fair...

October has been glorious the last few days, and so our family enjoyed a day at the county fair.
Come along, I'll take you on a little tour!

We had to linger around the old tractors. There wasn't a 4020 in sight...but this will do
(Santa, are you reading?)

We saw prize-winning pumpkins of all shapes and sizes...

huge watermelons...

stacks of crisp, crunchy apples...

and of course, yummy food!

Old-fashioned buntings were displayed everywhere. That's just something I like about county fairs...
flags are proudly flying and folks are friendly. It's one of the joys of small towns...so many nice people.

After sampling the food, and seeing all the 4-H displays, it was time to visit the animals. I didn't take my camera into the animal barns...and now wish I had. While all the animals are such fun to see, when we walked into the sheep barn, I had to stop and stay at the pen of the sweetest little Suffolk sheep. 

Let me tell you, if I could have bought him on the spot and sneaked him back home I would have.
While some sheep let us  pet them, others were a little more distant, however; this fella in particular put his head in my hand while I scratched his chin. He closed his eyes, and I'm pretty sure a smile was creeping across his adorable little face.

The only thing that pulled me away from him was the fact that I was losing sight of my family. Little Man came back to find me...call me silly, but I had to wipe the tears out of my eyes.

Ah yes, this is the vision I want to see out my back door...

photo from:
USSA - United Suffolk Sheep Association
And so another county fair wraps up...they're always fun for our family, and something we look forward to each & every year. 

So, how are you spending these crisp, blue-skied days of autumn?

Happy Monday friends!

Thursday, October 13

a busy season...

As October ushers in the harvest, here's the view on our farm today...

Crisp weather, glorious colors, tangled bittersweet, and the scent of wood smoke mingle with the roar of combines, often working late into the night, harvesting the season's bounty.

Yes, October is here...a joyously busy time!

Monday, October 10

eggs, glorious eggs...

Okay, it's apparent this egg business is new to me, because the variety in the size of eggs we find each day
still makes me laugh!

It may be hard to tell; however that beauty on the left, in the middle, is 3" long...a triple yolker, perhaps?
Sweet Girl is the self-appointed egg gatherer, and when she finds one like this, her eyes are big as saucers.
The way we see it, whoever laid this egg has some serious bragging rights!

A short & simple post for today...just sharing something that made me smile, so I thought I'd pass it along.
Ahhh, the joys of country life...and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, October 6

a what?!

On a recent visit to our local craft store, this jar caught my eye...

Soon, possibilities were going through my mind...what to tuck inside? Halloween is coming, it could be filled with candy corn, or maybe tinted water to create a mad scientist's potion.

Then, upon closer inspection, I noticed the tag read this...

Alrighty then...how do people come up with these things?!

Anyway, I brought one home, promptly snipped off the tag, and turned it into a whimsical centerpiece for our table. The jar is filled to the brim with candy corn, then a votive holder and votive candle are tucked into the top of the jar.

As the seasons change, it'll be easy to fill the jar with something new...acorns and cinnamon sticks for Thanksgiving, tiny vintage ornaments for Christmas, or conversation hearts for Valentine's Day. It could also become a  Mason jar oil lamp in no time at all.

So, if you'd like to make your own Redneck Wine Glass , uh, Mason jar centerpiece, here's everything you'll need to get started:

*pint-size Mason jar
*glass candlestick
*E6000 glue
*120 grit sandpaper

Begin by sanding the bottom rim of the Mason jar and top rim of the candlestick; wipe to remove dust.
Place the jar upside down and apply glue on the sanded edges of the jar and candlestick. Set aside for about
2 minutes.

Carefully place the top of the candlestick on the bottom of the jar, making sure both are centered and level;
let dry 24 hours.

Let me know if you create your own...I'd love to see your ideas!

Sunday, October 2

simple joys for October...

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, 
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
-Humbert Wolfe

...visit a pumpkin patch and find a perfect, plump pumpkin! No matter how grown up we are, it's still fun to scoop out the seeds (they're yummy roasted) along with the "goo" and enjoy carving a cheery face.
A quick tip...at our house we cut out a circle on the bottom of each pumpkin, instead of around the top,
then sit the pumpkin over a candle. That way, as the pumpkin shrinks, the "lid" doesn't fall down inside.

...fill windowboxes, dry sinks, enamelware pails, and top mantels with goldenrod, mini pumpkins, bittersweet, gourds, Indian corn, and wheat. A terrific autumn welcome in no time at all!

...make a quick & easy hearthstring to hang across your mantel or window. Simply drill holes in tougher decorations such as acorns, chestnuts, buckeyes, and Indian corn. Then slide them on a length of
jute alongside colorful leaves, dried apple and orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and dried whole oranges
or pomegranates.

...short on time? whip up a quick & easy witch pumpkin! Turn a pumpkin on its side so the stem becomes her nose...add a mop of raffia hair and top with a hat.

...dress up when answering the door for little trick-or-treaters...they'll giggle!

...fill the slow cooker with delicious spiced cider, so good after a brisk afternoon spent raking leaves.

...take a hayride, enjoy a Sunday drive in the country, cozy up next to a crackling fire, invite friends over for a bonfire with roasted hot dogs, gooey s'mores, warm cider, and hot chocolate.

Don't miss it...
Enjoy every minute of October...her crisp mornings, glorious colors, spicy cider, crunchy apples,
colorful chrysanthemums, golden days and cool nights. A time of home, harvest, and hearts filled with joy.
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