Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Sunday, April 30

spring cleaning...still

Spring cleaning is here,
I'm sorry to say,
Was not in March,
And here it is May!
March was too cold,
And April too fine,
To sweep remote corners,
And polish and shine.
But in this fair month,
I have motivation
If I don't clean house now,
I'll miss summer vacation!

-author unknown

Oh yes, it's been an on-going adventure since February...because I know if I don't start then, I'll never finish! (153 year-old farmhouses have oodles of nooks and crannies that seem to need attention.)

For such as task as this, it's best to have a good friend to share the "joy" with. My girlfriend Kathy and I have found that a brisk morning walk provides the fuel needed to get our homes in order. After an hour of chatting, catching up, and solving the world's problems, we are ready to dive into the day's To-Do List.

And so, armed with an assortment of items guaranteed to make the house sparkle and shine, the days are spent moving from room to room tackling everything from dust bunnies to the endless papers that seems to collect quite nicely in a vertical filing system. 

Throughout the day Kathy and I text one another to keep our motivation strong:

"I've just finished painting the last wall in the bedroom!" she excitedly tells me.

"That's great! I'm tackling paperwork." I tell her. "I can see the bottom of the desk!"

Back and forth we go, encouraging one another to keep moving on and sharing in the success as a job is crossed off our lists.

Sometimes, on a fine spring day, I'll take a break...which if I'm not careful, can quickly become a pitfall of spring cleaning. I'll step outside and sit in a favorite vintage, springy chair and listen to the birds singing, bees buzzing, and laugh as I watch the chicken races the girls are having in the run.  

I'm still working on my fiddle playing, and these cool and breezy days are just perfect to be outside, sitting in one of those springy chairs. I'm just starting to learn something new, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, which is an old song written in 1826. Take a listen here as the group Fiddlesticks shares their version. I hope to be this good some day...

Okay break time is over...I know I should feel like this, 

(photo source: http://theglamoroushousewife.com)

but honestly, I'm looking more like this!

(photo source: http://budget-maids.com)

Happy day friends!

Tuesday, April 25

time to slow down...

April has proven to be a tease...days hinting at summer, with temperatures at 80 degrees, days with snowflakes, and then days like yesterday which were sunny indeed, but greeted us with a strong cold wind from our friends up North...sweaters and sweatshirts were a must for venturing outdoors.

However; the past weekend here in our part of the Midwest was beautiful...even with a lingering chill, the April sun shown brilliantly and spring fever had us firmly in its grip! A peek inside last week's found bird's nest revealed 2 more eggs, along with a mama who was keeping a close eye on me!

Our family spent Saturday outside...mowing, raking, trimming, weeding, and starting the job of catching up on outdoor chores that needed done after a long winter's nap (both us and the farm!)  The burst of fresh air encouraged us to get moving and dig in! 

At the end of the day, flowerbeds were weeded, mowing was complete, and leaves raked. I still felt the urge to do more, but the day was over, and we were all worn out. 

Sunday came as a lovely morning...the air was sweet and filled with the buzzing of bees and a sapphire blue sky.  As a family we want to keep Sunday special...we try to make it truly a day of rest, worship, and reflection. In passing I said to my daughter, "Oh, I wish I could get some more things done today..it's so pretty outside!"

Her reply, "Just enjoy the creations around us."

Wise words indeed from a 16-year old...encouraging Mom to simply enjoy all that's around her. 

Tuesday we took a drive through the country to a nearby town, and were dazzled by glimpses of pink dogwood trees, brilliant yellow daffodils, deep purple lilacs, and the beginning of rosy azalea blooms. 

Yes...let's all take time to enjoy all the creations around us. There will be plenty of time for working later.

Friday, April 21

celebrating the unexpected...

While chasing a honeybee swarm (that got away), I discovered this....

a simple country pleasure, indeed.

Wednesday, April 12

spring...finally here?

Friday it snowed.

Today the forecast is 64 degrees, and Saturday 78!

I think, maybe, just maybe, spring is finally here. Today our farmhouse windows are open, and while there's a lingering chill in the April breeze, as it gently blows, it brings along with it the scents of spring...freshly-cut grass and the rich smell of newly turned earth. As the clouds drift by, the prospect of a beautiful sunny day stretches ahead.

By the big oak trees, the birds are chattering and in the coop beyond them the rooster can be heard crowing. In the distance, I heard the faint, steady sound of a tiller...one of our neighbors must be preparing a garden. And yet, in the middle of all of this happy farm tranquility, the jarring sound of a wet saw cutting tile breaks through. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm tickled that the tile is being installed, it's just the contrast that makes me laugh this morning.  

April's lovely weather, paired with spring break, offers us lots of free time this week...a picnic is planned, along with kids' sleepovers, a trip to Grammy's, and the fun of Easter. Monday we were at the zoo, and we've completed a 5-mile hike our son needs for a Boy Scout Merit badge (might I mention I'll be tagging along on the required 10, 15 and 20 mile hikes as well...surely, this will burn some excess calories!)

And yes, while I'm an obsessive list-maker, I've also learned that it's often the things not on my list that end up making the best memories. Don't you agree, sometimes the unexpected just ends up being the most fun?

So I'm setting my list aside (just for now!) and throwing caution to the wind...join us!

What should we do today? What adventures are waiting?!

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