Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Monday, November 19

be glad of life...

For a crackling fire and family to share it,
for bittersweet and plump pumpkins,
for a wood-bin filled with logs,
and for time to dream while staring into the flames.
I am thankful.

For quilts and trunks and weathered barns,
for fields now dusted with snow,
and the distant sound of an owl.
I am thankful.

For purring cats and smiling goats
for hens and dogs and bees,
I am thankful.

For time to live and the laughter of children,
for creaky old floors, glowing candles, and soft flannel sheets.

I am thankful.

This year, no matter where we find ourselves,
let us try to make every day
a day of thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15

things that make my heart happy...

Truly, it is the simple things in life that are the best.  

Yesterday, I was wishing I had some bittersweet to decorate with...a little to dress up the pumpkins on the front porch and wrap around the dinner bell post.  A few sprigs to tuck alongside the chartreuse hedge apples and leaves I'd added to the old laundry stand by the back door and some to fill the speckled enamelware pail that's in the mudroom.

Those bunches of cheery orange and red berries are just one of the simple things that are oh-so pretty and say "Fall" to me!

So off I went into the woods...surely there must be bittersweet growing somewhere. I walked and walked...


It was getting cold and the wind was picking up, so back to the house I started. But this time I took a different path, and along the fence I saw a tall blaze of orange and off I went! The closer I got yes, it WAS bittersweet!  And tall... probably 15 feet of glorious vines filled to overflowing.  So I gathered armfuls and put them in the back of the truck...then I went back and gathered more. Once home,  I had a ball wrapping them here and there...as my daughter says, it was something that, "makes my heart happy!"

However; mother nature had a trick up her sleeve.  While we slept, freezing rain and ice visited the old farmhouse. School was cancelled (yay!) but a peek outside found all my bittersweet covered in an icy glaze. 

But you know, that delicate ice has a beauty all its own. And that's just fine with me.  It's a quiet day here...reading, crackling fire, and homemade cocoa. 

I am thankful for the simple country pleasures.

Tuesday, November 13

fall magic...

This time of year, the grassy paths I take to greet chickens and goats are covered with leaves. Leaves that break the morning quiet with their "crunch, crunch"  and leaves that look as if I'm walking on a vintage paisley carpet. The bright cherry red and mustard yellow colors of October have been replaced with browns and golds, and the trees are bare, but that's okay...it signals a time to stack wood, fill the pantry, and snuggle in for the winter to come.

Early November always reminds me of my first college Design class...the instructor took us outside in November to teach us about Shibui ... designing with the colors of late fall. Along with the colors there are 7 design elements...simplicity, implicity, modesty, naturalness, everydayness, imperfection, and silence.  To me, those sum up autumn perfectly.

Last night we had our first fire in the fireplace, and today the flannel sheets go on the beds...two sure signs the weather has turned and it's time to get cozy! Autumn in our part of the country has been unusual this year...truly, temperatures were in the 90's one week, then dipped down into the 50's with no going back. Daytime temperatures are hovering around 40 and and our lowest night has been 18.  Brrr!

But before the winter winds blow and we're doing a happy dance because of snow days from school, I wanted to share one of my "never stop making wishes" moments.

No, this isn't about Maizy, but about tinkering with the idea of a farm stand. When fall came and it was time to prepare the garden for it's winter nap, I gathered all the final veggies and decided to make a little roadside stand. 

I pulled together an old window I found tucked in the barn along with retro chalkboards and paired them with a cheery tablecloth, honor box, and signs.  My first customer stopped before I could finish setting up!

Paper bags were filled with Brandywine and Amish paste tomatoes, jalapeño, banana, bell, and salsa peppers, small red and yellow potatoes, and a little recipe card.

While I don't want to commit right now to every Saturday at the Farmers' Market on the town square, this was a simple way to offer extra goodies from our garden. It was nothing big, but fun to do!

I'm already making plans for next year...how about Mason jars of sunflowers or cottage garden bouquets? Herbs...fresh and dried?  And jars of raw honey as well!

But that's next summer...for now we'll enjoy the season we are in. Time to watch the full moon rise while the fire crackles, listen to the owl in the white pine, and enjoy every minute of harvest and home.

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