Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Monday, January 30

winter...the time for home


January seems to have flown by, and I feel like each day's weather brought something new. One day would be cold with chilly winds & rain, then the next morning we'd wake up to pretty spirals of falling snow that called to mind lace curtains dancing in the breeze. We've had gray mornings with snow piled up against the house & barns, and then afternoons with bright sunshine & blue skies. This week, they say we'll have single digit temperatures at night...there's nothing we can do but prepare; it is January after all. And that's okay with me, I think there's a certain warmth that comes to an old house in wintertime...candlelight paired with firelight always seems to me a cozy sight.

Like so many of you, January's found me keeping busy with "Winter Cleaning" as I've heard it called. No time for Spring Cleaning's traditional dust bunny chasing here...Spring is all about being outside. And so being the list-maker that I am, I've whipped up a lengthy To-Do...a room-by-room deep cleaning, sorting, organizing, and donating list. Off to the recycler went Tupperware lids with no bottoms and bottoms with no lids (does this only happen to me?) while magazines,  books, DVD's, and CD's we no longer enjoy have been passed along to a wonderful Friends of the Library shop our local library operates. We're lucky to have an environmental center that recycles worn tennis/athletic shoes, and I'm thinking about having a spring vintage-themed sale to pass on old glassware that seems to be taking over shelves and spilling out of boxes. Why not let someone else enjoy it and add to their collection? Oh I still have oodles to do, but it feels good to get a jump on some things. 

I love the rest that winter brings...time to plot & plan, scheme & dream. Time to put my feet up and settle in with a favorite book or good movie by 7 o'clock, and not feel guilty - because before I know it, outside work will call until nearly dark each day. And that's as it should be. Now we can do things that get put on the back-burner in warmer weather. Mother Nature needs time to rest, as do we. Winter isn't a season to get through...it has a beauty all its own. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Enjoy every day friends...

"Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth, 
for the touch of a friendly hand
and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home."

-Edith Sitwell

Monday, January 9

new year, new goals...

Slipping into winter for our part of the Midwest has been gradual, except for the few days before Christmas when the "bomb cyclone" caused temperatures to suddenly drop and bring a wind was breathtakingly cold. Now, winter seems hardly noticeable with temperatures during the day in the 30's. And yet, stepping outside I'm greeted by the wisp of a chilly wind, and it reminds me yes, it's January, and snow and ice storms are most likely in the future.

This week my son went back to college...and believe me, while he was here we stuffed as much into every minute as possible - cooking favorite meals, baking non-stop, watching movies, and staying up way too late. It was good that he spent time catching up with high school friends for lunch or a movie, but for me, the best part was hearing the laughter between him and his sister...I'm always so grateful the kids are close. My daughter will be back at the ballet company next week, so her days will be long, and she's taking her last college classes, oh my time flies. So grateful she's here...we enjoy and laugh at so many of the same things!

If you remember the Grinch cookie cutters that were the pickle ornament gift, here's a look at some of their creations, and yes, they've named it a Blinch - a blue Grinch! 


Now it's time for me to get moving on a new year...working on my to-do list and ready to jump in. For me, this is the time of year for "Spring" cleaning...if I don't do it now, it'll never get done in Spring...that's the time for picking up fallen limbs from winter storms, giving the coop a deep clean, moving spent hay to the garden, and other odds & ends that come along with warmer weather and sunshine.

I love the sweet twinkle of tiny lights in winter...and I've asked the question before:

Does anyone truly enjoy taking down the Christmas tree?

Something that's so fun to put up, can be a bit melancholy to take down. Ours is always up through January, but this year, the tree is unusually dry and dropping needles, so I'll be un-decorating it (slowly) this week.

And whether the ornaments are very old,

or very new,


or hot & spicy
(my son and I LOVE peppers!),

of furry friends, 

baby feet,

or future plans,
(I'll share photos soon of the milk house
spruce-up for my cottage foods baking business)

This is always one of my very favorites...
(somewhat hard to read, but it says: Bless This Farm)

Now it's time to put my feet up and have another hot cocoa...even though it's a new year with new hopes & dreams, it's still important to enjoy the simple things: the quiet, the twinkle lights, the warmth, and the hush that is winter.

Monday, January 2

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year friends near and far...welcome to 2023! Sending you my wishes for the happiest, healthiest, loveliest year ever! 

And before we begin, if you'd like a little wintertime tune, Lindsay Stirling's Ice Storm is just right.

I stumbled upon this quote and thought it described me perfectly...it's taken from The Murmuring Cottage, which you can visit here (oh, the most beautiful photos...)

That sums me up to a T in winter. I live by the seasons, and time here just seems to have a flow to it. Perhaps it's seeing the months pass on a farm: planting, growing, harvesting, then welcome hibernation. It's an easy flow where the days slip one into another.

And with that flow of time, like so many, we were greeted with the "Bomb Cyclone" that came our way Friday December 23 when the high for the day was -4 F.  Space heaters were doing their best, along with a roaring fire, furnace, blankets, hot chocolate, warming tea, slow cooker of soup...whatever it took to stay cozy for 3 days.

Today as I write, it is 62 degrees warmer than it was on our coldest days before Christmas...it was a frosty -8 F with a bone-chilling wind making it feel as if it was -30 F. There's nothing much that can be done except bundle up and move quickly when going outdoors. Goats & chickens were kept safe & cozy with extra everything, birds of every color visited the feeders, and when Bailey and I went outside, she was oh-so speedy!

the kitchen garden under snow, 

Bailey & Azzie snuggle,

For Christmas, I always hide 3 pickle ornaments for the kids to find
on the small tree. When they find them, there's an extra little family present.
This year it was Grinch cookie cutters - more sweets to bake and eat!

Decorations will stay up for the month of January; however, I've tucked away the Santas. I always hate to put this fella away, he's one of my favorites.

now in his spot are a snowman & snowflake. 

Well, now it's time to make those Grinch cookies! I'll be back soon, with more
from the farm!

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