Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, April 29

thoughts on the weather, and more about the month of April...

Under the April sky we've heard the call of the mockingbirds during the day, and the "yip" of coyotes at night. On days the weather was fine, flowerbeds were weeded, the vegetable garden tilled, and the chicken coop cleaned top-to-bottom (happy hens, indeed!)  Many, many tree limbs have been split and stacked for firewood (the result of a late winter wind storm), and we've started our warm-weather ritual of: mow, trim, repeat. I've decided my perfect temperature is 65 degrees...cool enough that outdoor chores can be done comfortably, but warm enough to chase off the chill.

But all too soon the lovely promise of spring...

was met with a trick by Mother Nature...4 inches of snow!

For 3 nights in a row I used every spare blanket and sheet I could find to try and protect the tender perennials. Somehow, they seem to be doing just fine. And too tall to try and cover, only time will tell if the fruit trees and their tender blossoms will bring fruit this summer. 

However; even with the cold and snow, April has given us many glorious backdrops...

and we know that neither snow, nor showers can dampen our love of a quiet life and the simple pleasure of springtime in the country.

April, sweet April...

(for Janice: who shared her wonderful crock collection here, this is the crock pattern I mentioned...any thoughts on the name? It's hard to see, but there are 9 of those little lines on the right.)

Thursday, April 1

April dreams...

Stepping outside today I'm greeted with the smell of freshly turned earth from the fields around the old farmhouse. It's a rich fragrance, and when paired with the sweet-scent of pine needles and damp leaves, it lets me know that spring is here. A time for planting seeds, making plans and tidying up. 

Under the April sky, I can hear hear a cardinal in the distance, and a friendly mockingbird perches on the dinner bell by our back door...a springtime ritual I look forward to each year. I like to think Molly (as I've named her) has come to wish me happy spring, but I have a feeling her true motive is to sneak a little cat food that's sitting close by!

We're preparing for Easter; there's a lemon cakepop candle burning, colorful eggs drying, hyacinths dressing up the table, and favorite recipes being prepared.  If you're still planning Easter dinner, here's a salad recipe I love...it was given to me when I started my first job. We'd had a company potluck and I just couldn't get enough of this!

Broccoli Salad

1 head broccoli, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6-8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Combine first 5 salad ingredients together; set aside. Whisk mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar; drizzle over salad. Toss to blend; serve.

You can definitely make this your own...add more, or less of the salad ingredients, toss in some dried cranberries or raisins, even some slivered almonds or walnuts.

Last week I passed an old home in a nearby small town...the front and side yards were filled to overflowing with the most lovely blue Forget-Me-Not blooms. I couldn't help but find a spot to park and take pictures. A neighbor, sitting on a nearby porch, commented: "Aren't they beautiful...I know spring is coming." Then went on to tell me the owners of the home are in their 90's and that the flowers have been blooming for decades. 

I think I'll scatter some seeds around this old house. The blooms will have faded before it's time to mow and it would be so pretty...yes, plans for next spring.

Last night a soft, rosy glow with a touch of purple streaked across the sky as the sun was setting...a perfect springtime sky. Wherever you are, wishing you a happy spring, Easter, and time to savor the beauty of each day.

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