Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, December 23

here comes Christmas!

Today a cold, steady wind from the north has been whistling around the old farmhouse, meaning outdoor chores are done quickly! The heat lamp was on last night for the girls and their beau in the coop, and goats were tucked in with an extra portion of hay and some apple slices...after all, everyone needs a little treat.

I've been baking cookies, sending out cards, and making secret shopping trips to gather stocking stuffers. Tomorrow we'll have snacks and appetizers to enjoy all afternoon, then at night we'll take our annual Christmas walk around the town square and past the shop windows. It's always fun to see the small town lights and decorations...we've been doing this for about 15 years and it just wouldn't be Christmas without it. 

If you've been reading here for awhile, you know I love old things...old houses, homespun traditions, simpler ways, and I've wondered how Christmases past were spent in 1864, when this old house was built. How did they stay warm when those frosty winter winds blew across the open fields? Burning wood and coal were the most common ways to heat a house back then...hmmm, so why am I bringing this up?

Could there be any worse time than the week of Christmas for a furnace to break? And while we wait for the parts to arrive, we're getting a small taste of an old-fashioned 1864 winter. Oh-so grateful for plenty of firewood as well as modern conveniences such as space heaters and kerosene heat. The kitchen has drawn us together like a magnet...heat from Mae, our stove, along with mugs of hot chocolate, plates of warm cookies, and a crackling fire.  (Now I know why ladies of the time wore numerous layers of clothing!)

Oh, we'll be just fine...Christmas morning we'll have cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, open gifts, and enjoy the day. Sunday the little ones I teach at church will sing "Away in a Manger" and my son is giving a talk about Christmas...a sweet way to enjoy the holiday.

From our house to yours, wishing a merry and blessed holiday season to you all!

Friday, December 10

'tis the season...

 It seems that each passing day raises our anticipation and joy in planning for Christmas...secret surprises, a visit to the tree farm, and a kitchen filled with the aroma of spicy gingersnap cookies. 

Mae, our 1950 oven (why yes, every vintage oven does needs a name!) has been going the extra mile...two ovens, two broilers, 4 burners, and room for a griddle (which I need to find) she warms the kitchen with her magical self. I often think of the past 71 Christmases she's seen...truly, the heart of our kitchen. 

I know your days are filled with busyness...the exciting kind! December is a month filled with cooking, tree-trimming, and singing. Enjoy every minute...the glow of the fire, the twinkling tree, the sound of church bells, the gathering of snowbirds.

Some snapshots of our December, from the old farmhouse...

our tree waiting for decorations

a yellow-ware bowl filled with old-fashioned potpourri

the Hoosier cupboard greets us as we come home

a tree in the window for passersby and woodland creatures

one of my favorite Santas

more of the jolly men on the mantel

such pretty pink clouds (no filter, I promise!)

an old wagon by the lamp post

a special Christmas cactus given to me
by a dear friend when my son was born.
Every year it blooms near his birthday...and while
they usually bloom for only 1-2 weeks, 
last year, it bloomed for 5 months..

inspiration...a  handmade sign in a local shop

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