Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!


Monday, September 5

slowly into autumn...

 It's beginning...a change of seasons.



And with it are so many lovely things to be enjoyed;

flowers are blooming,



tomatoes for harvesting,





a sweet little roadside flower stand, 




along with some flowers from that stand for cheering up the kitchen!




A gardening table that was found for a song (it's lined with tin).
Now, on to dreaming of a little greenhouse to put it in!





Now that the goldenrod flowers line the country roads, we know that one season is slipping into another. Summer is winding down...we can see it as well as sense it.

While some folks get "Spring Fever", I tend to get "Fall Fever." It's time to plan for what's ahead...check food storage, stack firewood, count hay bales - I guess I'd call it a worker ant agenda! (as well as a "keep busy because my youngest just left for college" agenda.)

And while it's a time of change, it's good to know that some things endure, whether it's the changing seasons of nature or our own lives. I read a quote recently that said, 

"In every ending, there is a beginning." 


Again, I so appreciate the kind words shared with me...you are all so thoughtful.








Wednesday, August 24

move-in day & to-do lists...

I would be truly ungrateful if I didn't thank those who left comments filled with kind words of understanding and encouragement as I prepared for the countdown to college move-in day.
Truly, friends from across the miles, you lifted my heart!




The countdown week was busy...we shopped, crossed items off his to-do list and escaped on family day-trips. I cooked his favorite foods, baked sweet treats, washed oodles of laundry, dusted off suitcases, and triple-checked lists. He squeezed in visits with friends who are also leaving for college, to enjoy a movie or milkshake together.

Before we knew it, it was Saturday (the last day for move in because he said it would give us extra time to say goodbye - sniff, sniff.) That afternoon we took just one more look over what had been packed and then we loaded the car. 

After navigating our way around campus we found his dorm room, unpacked his belongings, made his bed (top bunk, yikes, 6'3" squeezed in for sure!) and then we took him out to dinner. However; it wasn't long before it was time to drop him back at the dorms and for us to go home. We took pictures, hugged, told him for the hundredth time to be safe, to eat, and to let us know if he needed anything. We hugged again, then hugged just one more time, before saying goodbye.  

Now I know this is the way it's supposed to be...a changing of seasons, a time for chasing dreams, for finding out about himself, learning, and growing. However, it doesn't make it any easier. Yes, as it is for everyone, there have been ups and downs, but there's something wonderful about immersing oneself in the upbringing of children and having a sweet life built around them. 

    

















And so now I've made a long keep-busy list...26 things are listed on it to be precise! Yes, things that need doing anyway, but they'll keep me distracted. Calls to be made, garden to harvest, deep cleaning to do, planning for winter...

Again, thank you for your sweet comments and expressions of empathy...they mean more than you can know.







"There are two times when parenting is the most difficult.
When the baby first arrives at home,
and when the adult first leaves home. "

-Jennifer Quinn

Tuesday, August 16

the countdown is on...

Fluttering somewhere between summer and fall, a change of seasons is in the air. Almost like magic, summer's almost unbearable heat & humidity are gone, replaced with cooler days & nights, northerly breezes, and enough rain to keep the garden happy.

Around here we see...


a volunteer Golden Glow
over 6 feet tall,

birds flitting in and out
of a cheery green birdhouse,



amazing sunsets, 

Swiss Chard that is 3 feet tall
(recipes to share, anyone?!)

and sunflowers that always
make me smile.


Also, if you've been reading here awhile, you may recall there is a countdown on:

4 days to college move-in...

- waterproof mascara  -
- waterproof eyeliner -  
- tissues - 
- trying to hold it together - not so much


Everyone needs to chase their dreams, and yes, this is the way it's supposed to be. Still, it's emotional, exciting, and bittersweet. I feel the same way I did when my daughter left for college 3 years ago (post here). 

Yep, he's 6'3", and here's the reality:





but this is what I see:





And so the week has been filled with check-lists, dorm necessities, family time, cooking favorite foods, and counting down.

Monday, I'll jump in and tackle my own to-do list (intentionally planned to be extra long to keep me busy & distracted) until I get used to this new part of life. 

Tonight (borrowing from the Swedish) I'll try and settle my noisy brain with Egentid...me, myself, and a cup of tea.

Have a good week, friends.


Thursday, August 4

dog days of August...

During these "Dog Days" of summer, the humidity is high, the sun is hot, and my energy level is almost non-existent. The work is getting done, but not without drinking a lot of water and long periods of standing in the shade. Tonight lightning could be seen in the distance and predictions are for an end to our stretch of rainless days. 

"Dog Days"...if you've never heard that expression before, it's used to describe the hottest and most unbearable days of summer...for us, that's August! The Farmer's Almanac tells us where the name comes from...because this time of year the star Sirius is so bright it was believed that is added to the Sun's heat. You can read all about it, Here

But you know, in addition to all of that heat & humidity I grumble about, there really is so much more to August...



cheery flowers in the coop windowboxes, 

butterflies floating by, 

an acrobatic crop-duster 
I was sure would hit our barn
with all of its loops and dives!

and goat kisses
(that's Tardis...love the LaMancha breed
with their Shrek ears!)



It's also time for a Throwback Thursday recipe, and it's one I remember (come on, can it really be a Throwback Recipe?!)


Poke Cake

Oh-so simple!

1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 c. water
3-oz. box strawberry gelatin
1 c. boiling water
8-oz. frozen whipped topping


Combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and water; blend until smooth. Pour into a greased 13x9-inch pan; bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the center of cake tests done. Let cool one hour. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cooled cake; set aside. Whisk gelatin mix and boiling water together until gelatin has dissolved; pour over cake. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, spoon thawed whipped topping over cake. 


And a heartfelt thanks for all the kind words about my last post...ahhh, hair color! 
As my daughter says.

YOU BE YOU!

Good advice indeed,

as is this:

"You make your life hard by always being in your head. 
Life is simple. Get out of your head and get into the moment."

s. mcnutt




Trying to "be in the moment" as we prepare for college move-in day in only 16 days...
time flies, friends.

Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, July 20

stopping in for a quick visit...

 A short hello on this hot, humid, summertime day, time feels short,
for this week is, gulp:

COLLEGE ORIENTATION!

Today was the first day - my son and I headed out early, but by 10 AM they had parents and students in separate lectures, so I didn't see him all day. Now he's spending the night to experience the dorms with his bio-chemistry friends-to-be. Don't get me started...why yes, I was tearing up standing in the registration line.

With that said, I'll be taking off throwback Thursday this week, but wanted to leave you with a few snapshots of what you'd see if you stopped by for a visit...


blue larkspur drying
on the cupboard door, 

evidence of much-needed rain!

do you see the 
baby birds way in the back?

a visit to a local antique store;
I loved so many things!

friendly, local bookends!


And this I share because everyone needs a good laugh! 

When I renewed my driver's license recently, I answered the usual questions:

1 - would you please step up for an eye exam?
2 - do you have proof of legal name?
3-  do you want to be an organ donor?
4-  can I have your height and weight?

and lastly...are you ready?

5-  are you going to continue to color your hair brown?


Do you see my expression?

Do you see my head tilting slightly as if I misunderstood?

Do you see my eyes narrowing as I begin to be insulted?

Do you hear the way I answer,
dragging
out
every
 word...

I DON'T COLOR MY HAIR


Exhibit 1 - 2019




Exhibit 2 - 2022






Now friends, I never tell my age, but I have a 21-year old daughter and an 18-year old son, so you can make an approximate guess.

When I was growing up I remember my mom coloring her hair: oh, the mess, the drips, the stained towels, and I said I would never do it. I consider myself pretty lucky (I see gray, and trust me, I've earned every one of them) but it could be so much grayer. Now underneath, it is a lovely shade of dark brown...sigh, if only that were on top!

Anyway, the licence registrar looked at me as if she didn't believe me...a short stare-down ensued, and then we moved on.

So there friends, is your giggle for the day...you just never know what question may come your way!



Friday, July 15

a throwback Thursday, that's almost a forgetful Friday!

Where do the days go? Whoever said, "Time flies" couldn't have been more right...the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years. I simply can't keep up...my Throwback Thursday is being posted at 11:00 at night; it's nearly Friday!

I'll give you a quick look around the farm, and then on to this week's recipe!


I added solar lights to the chicken run...
why not let them enjoy a little summertime
sparkle, too?

looking through the double front doors at dusk...
lately there have been such wonderful,
cool breezes from the North.

Janice (you can find her here) inspires me with
her monthly Cupboardscapes,
so this little lady is on my rescued blue cupboard,
she makes me laugh!

and she's paired with some mini American flags

flowers are blooming indoors,

and out!

delicate spiderwebs almost seem surrounded
by water-drop diamonds,

they just seem magical to me.


Throwback Thursday...
Delmonico Potatoes

Another old recipe that seems to get its name
from an 18th century New York restaurant.

I've written it just as it was on the recipe card...any changes have been noted with an asterisk.



8 potatoes*
1 c. evaporated milk
8-oz. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, diced*
1/8 t. salt
3/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 c. milk
Garnish: paprika

Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil; cook until almost done.* Drain and cool slightly. Slice and place in a greased casserole dish.*

Combine remaining ingredients; cooking and stirring is necessary or it will stick and scorch. Cook until cheese is melted; pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, remove and let stand at room temperature for one hour. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, until bubbling.


Clarification:

8 potatoes, almost done -
I peeled and boiled 8, approximately 4-inch potatoes

8-oz. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, diced -
I used extra sharp shredded Chedder cheese

cook until almost done - 
potatoes were boiled 8 minutes

slice and place in a greased casserole dish -
mine were sliced about 1 /4 of an inch, and placed in a 2-quart casserole dish

These potatoes are an old-fashioned version of potatoes au gratin...when making them again, I'd slice each potato thinner, add a bit of salt & pepper seasoning, and then toss in some crumbled bacon (bacon makes everything better!) 



Bailey says Happy Friday, I hope it's a good weekend for you!





Wednesday, July 6

throwback Thursday...

 A cool breeze from the north, fresh herbs from the garden, and the sound of rain on a metal roof...these are the blessings of midsummer. July in our part of the world is casting a drowsy spell...fields are filled with tiger lillies and blackeyed-Susans, we hear the distant rumble of thunder as a storm passes by, and evenings filled are with the magical dancing of fireflies.  

It's nearly impossible to take it all in. Sometimes my brain seems very noisy and cluttered...but it's days like this that I try to quiet my brain a little and just enjoy the moment.



Our 4th of July celebration included fireworks at a nearbly 250-acre park where my son is working this summer. He was invited to park in the company lot and the view was incredible. This has always been one of my favorite things - to be in a big field on the Fourth of July, a picnic basket filled with food, just waiting for dusk. The fireworks were incredible, and I'm sure I've never been that close to them before where I looked overhead the entire time!


I've been cleaning one of our little barns, and snapped a couple of photos to share...they caught my eye and made me smile; the "make do" attitude of the farmer making repairs many years ago:

a 1950's Folders Coffee tin,
 


and a 1948 Farm licence plate



You know me...I love anything old and those beauties will stay exactly where I found them. ❤


This week's
Throwback Thursday Recipe...Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies!


I found this recipe in my mother-in-law's old recipe box,
and after all, since it's zucchini season, it looked perfect! 

1 c. zucchini, grated
1 t. baking soda
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 c. nuts*
1 c. raisins*

Grate enough fresh zucchini to equal one cup; set aside. Combine baking soda, flour, salt, cloves, and cinnamon; whisk well to combine, then set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together sugar and shortening; blend in egg. Stir in nuts and raisins. Combine with dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Yield: about 3 dozen.



*Because I am a chocoholic, I swapped out nuts and raisins for chocolate chips!

To me, it was just like enjoying zucchini bread only in cookie form...another recipe for your garden bounty.


Sending good wishes from our little corner of the world to yours...















Wednesday, June 29

throwback Thursday and a peek a what's happening on the farm

 Hello friends, 

after my last post, I'm so grateful for a quiet, there's nothing exciting happening on the farm week!

The days are filled with welcome cool breezes from the north that billow the gauzy tobacco cloth curtains at the windows. We've been keeping the double front doors open, which we hardly ever do, to take full advantage of that breeze. This old house is designed so that when those doors open fully, the breeze will go straight through to the kitchen through 4 rooms...good planning on Mr. Ward's part in 1864! (But also remember, that when those northern winds blow in January, they will push the heat right out of this old house!)

I know everyone's busy as you plan for an upcoming holiday (and for my friends across the miles, I know you're days are filled as well!) And since my last post was soooo long, I'll keep this one short and sweet...

just a few snapshots of summer on the farm:








And something that never fails to make me believe in magic...fireflies at nightime:







Sweet & Zesty Pasta Salad

1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. white vinegar
1 c. sugar
1 0.6-oz. pkg. dry
Good Seasons Zesty
Italian Dressing Mix
1 lb. rotini pasta

as desired: red onion,
green pepper, pepperoni slices, cheese cubes, black olives

Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, and dry dressing mix; whisk well to combine. Set aside. Prepare pasta according to package directions; rinse with cool water. Add dressing to taste and any additional ingredients as desired. Chill at least two hours, tossing in any reserved dressing if needed.

I know I'm in the minority...but I am not a big pasta salad fan. The vinegar in the recipes always is just too sharp for my taste; but this recipe, for me, is a winner! The sugar balances out the tart of the vinegar and the Zesty Italian dressing mix adds just the right zing. 

I never add all the prepared dressing at first, but find that after the salad chills and the pasta has absorbed some of it, I do need to stir in a bit more dressing.


Have a wonderful weekend...and in the middle of our busyness, let's take a little quiet time to look for the blessings in every day.




 
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