Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Guest Room
Here is the other piece we brought from storage.  We put it on this wall right as you walk into the guest room and, ironically, it is almost the exact same pale yellow as the Hoosier style cabinet I blogged about yesterday.  It's the perfect height so as to not interfere with the switch, and it fits the wall without being overwhelming.  Once again, almost meant to be.

Jack and Jill dresser
This is a vintage piece that came from my father's side of the family.  It's actually a piece of furniture for a nursery/child's room.  We don't know who owned it originally, they got it from someone who got it from someone.  Then once upon a time, they decided to get rid of it and my Mom loved the vintage style and just had to have it.

But here is the dilemma:  the front has painted images of Jack and Jill.  It might seem odd, but I don't think I have the heart to cover it up!  If it's been this way for half a century, not sure I could paint over it.  But then again, not sure if it looks too odd in there.  What do you think?

Pale yellow child's dresser
Again, LOTS of storage for our little house and we love that.  One HUGE drawer across the top, four more good sized drawers down one side, and then a large open space for even more storage (even a rack for hangers).  It's a bit on the shabby chic side, could use a few touchups here and there, but then again, our house could use a few touchups here and there too, so we'll just leave it like it is.  It adds character to the house.

So with these two additions to the guest room, other than a mattress, and of course the obligatory pictures on the walls, knickknacks, curtains and the bedspread (almost all of which we already have, albeit, somewhere in storage), this room is getting pretty close to being finished.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This past weekend, we were able to get a couple pieces of furniture out of storage and moved to the farmhouse.  They were my Mom's and have been in storage since her passing.  I was glad to get them out of there and into their new home in the guest room.  

Vintage Yellow Hoosier Style Cabinet

This one is a Hoosier style cabinet, at least I think that's what it's called.  It's a pale butter yellow (as is the other piece I'll show tomorrow) and as you can see above, it fits in this spot perfectly, not too wide, and the perfect height.

Best of all, this gives us much needed storage in our under 1000 square foot little farmhouse.  Shelves behind the glass doors, a drop down lid with open storage and even a drawer (not sure how we'll utilize that but we'll find a use), and then the bottom doors open and there are three more shelves.  Nothing wrong with that at all.  We're finding that we're all about storage potential now.

To be continued tomorrow... 

Monday, February 27, 2012


National Strawberry Day


National Chocolate Souffle Day

National Frog Legs Day

National Fruit Compote Day

National Banana Cream Pie Day

National Cold Cuts Day


National Mulled Wine Day


National Poundcake Day

Enjoy your week of eating!


We've wanted this farm for so long (years and years) and we finally got it, last April, not even a year ago.  So much has happened, and there is still so much to do.  But lately, the harsh realities of time and finances and priorities caused us to pause, take a breath, and step back.  We want the garden of our dreams, but looking at the calendar, I realize I'm rapidly running out of time to create it.  The inside of the house doesn't even have all of its furniture yet.  We don't have mattresses for the beds.  We have two storage units full of stuff from my parents to go through and bring out.  We still need the outside of the house painted and get new exterior doors.  Heck I don't even have the flowerbeds around the outside of the house done.  Then I started worrying about trying to get a large garden put together and planted with only a month or so to go.

It just seems there are times in life when plans for what we want to do, clash with what we are able to do...and this weekend we had to come to that realization...

Friday night, we made a list of ALL the projects and things we'd like to do and it was pretty daunting.  It doesn't mean by any means that we won't do them of course, it just means we needed to take a step back and prioritize.

So, we decided to think about our farm like ripples on a pond.  Just like in the picture above, the house is in the center, and the property around it is the pond.  We need to start focusing on the house, and the immediate area around it, then work our way outward, toward the rest of the property.

This doesn't mean I can't do projects around the property, au contraire, but the garden is such a big huge project for us (40' x 48') and realistically, it would be hard to maintain a large garden while focusing on all of the other things that still need to be done.

Fear not though, I WILL have a vegetable garden this year.  We have several small raised beds in our backyard in the city.  I neglected them this past Spring with getting the farmhouse ready for inspection, going through the closing, then starting repairs, etc.  We have 3 that are built, ready and waiting to be cleaned up and prepped for Spring.  That's a much more realistic plan and an easier way to get a garden going sooner rather than later...and that makes me happy.

I still felt slightly disappointed, but only because I wanted a large garden so badly, I can see it finished in my head.  But then I realized that there are also still plenty of gardening related projects out there just waiting to be done:

We have 10 fruit trees and a few berry bushes to plant.
I need to work on the party/picnic tree area.
Then there are the flowerbeds around the exterior of the house that still need to be planted with bushes and flowers and beauty, and the cobblestone paths that will connect them all.

See, I told you we were plenty of projects!

Perhaps later this Spring/Summer, when all that stuff is done, I can begin work on the garden area...who knows, we might even be able to get it ready for a Fall garden.  SO...we'll have some veggie and herb gardening in our backyard city beds, just not as much as I had hoped for, but that's OK.

The purpose of this blog was always just what it says at the document our journey from city living to country living and i
t's a journey that we realized this weekend we needed to slow down so we could enjoy the scenery along the way...

UPDATE:  Thank you all for your kind comments and support, it's pretty awesome!  It means so much to us!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


This is 2nd Family's horse, grazing in the front pasture as we were pulling in. They move her back & forth from the front pasture to the back pasture as the grazing area changes.  We love when she's in the back because we can see her from the front windows and porch, and it's always nice to see livestock out your window, you know, instead of your neighbor's SUV, ha.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Can someone tell me what this is called?  Not the clock or vase, LOL.

It's a piece of crochet (I think?) that my Grandmother made.  My Mom had it in storage for a long time and we pulled it out recently when we were looking for something to put under the glass on this end table in the guest room.  I'd like to buy/find some more or at least something similar, assuming they aren't outrageously priced of course, to put elsewhere in the room.

I just don't know what to call it when I'm looking for it online or even at a thrift store/tag sale.  I'm assuming it has a name of some sort, or a style or description, just don't know what that would be.



I saw this and started laughing.  I figured I'd share it with you.
A little "bee humor" for the beekeeping friends out there.

Hope you get a laugh or two out of it as well.


Thursday, February 23, 2012


Bench with Arbor, Photo courtesy of  Dave's Garden Website

For today's inspiration photo, I looked around online for pictures of arbors.  I found a lot, of course, but not the kind that really inspire me.  Either too modern or too big or too 'new'.  Then I found this one.  We LOVE it.

We really like the old support posts/columns used for each corner.  I'm sure the top is made from reclaimed wood of some sort as well.  The whole overall look is great, even the bench, the flowers, it all just cries out for us to do the something similar.  It's one of those things that looks like it's been there for years (and who knows it might have been!)

I guess I'll be keeping my eye out for old posts/columns, and then I can just put them aside for that weekend when I need to knock out a project.  This is one more thing I can add to our list.

Today is my blog day off, have a great day and see you back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


There was a fundraiser/bake sale at 2nd Man's office, and we spent the night baking about 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Here are two dozen cooling...

...while another two dozen bake in the oven.  It was a regular cookiepalooza at the house, and I only got to eat one of them.

After they were baked and cooled, we packaged them up in cellophane bags, two per bag, and tied them off with some twine.  We let them set the price since it was a fundraiser, and they sold them for $2 per bag.
Hmm, maybe we should start selling them?  LOL!

(makes about 2 dozen):

1 stick (4oz) butter – softened
¾ cup of granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 TBSP. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2¼ cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla until well combined and smooth (we most often use just a wooden spoon).

Beat in each egg, one at a time until each is fully incorporated into the other ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the large bowl.

Add the chocolate chips on top of the flour and mix all ingredients until just combined.  Do not over mix – this is why we use a wooden spoon and not an electric mixer (a mixer is fine just watch it)

Using a 1½ inch scoop or shape the dough into 1½ inch balls and place them 3 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets.  If shaping the dough by hand you may have to put the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for about 15 minutes in order to firm up the dough, this helps shape them.

Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes on the middle rack of  your oven or until the edges are golden.  Watch carefully and do not over bake, otherwise, they will lose their softness.

Let stand 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely, but, um, this step never really happens, I mean really, warm cookies and a glass of milk?  Who can resist?

Special note:  Thinking about when we make these, we always make up the dough the day or night before we cook them so the dough sits overnight.  That might help the end result.  Just FYI.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Homemade Bread Loaves
2nd Man spent the rainy day baking, and I spent the day running in and out of the kitchen taking pictures for the blog.  I'm sure he thinks I'm crazy.  :-)

Here is some of the bread he made.  It was SO good.  We have had it sliced and toasted for breakfast the last couple of mornings, and a few slices with dinner.  It's so nice to wake up to the smell of bread baking in the oven...

One of these days, I'll have to get him to give me step by step instructions and let me take photos...if he slows down long enough.


Wall Mounted Coat Rack
Found this WONDERFUL coat rack last week and got it put up over the weekend.  It mounts on the wall!  Too cool!  It's a metal rack, based on a vintage French design and is distressed to look old.  It's got four levels of hangers.  Coats, hats, umbrellas, and whatever else, right as you walk in the front door.  This seemed like the perfect location for it.

Update: I've gotten lots of requests for where I found this.  Hobby Lobby.  On clearance.  Get there fast if you have one near you!

Above it, I hung our first real picture on the wall.  This is an old oak frame that my Mom found once upon a time.  In it, is a really cool old print...

...a hen (rooster?) and her babies some ducklings in a pond.  We figured it seemed an appropriate "farm related" picture.  It's funny how when you start hanging stuff on the walls, it starts looking just a little bit more like home.  This entryway/foyer will still get a writing desk, and a small table/mirror right by the front door.

Monday, February 20, 2012


OK, let's try this again!
1. Where is your favourite place in the world? Tell us why?

Other than our farm (even though it's not finished!), I would have to say it was a vacation spot we went to a few years ago; San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. If you've never heard of it, google it.  It's the most amazing place. It's in the mountains, it's an old town with cobblestone streets and hills and awesome old world European style buildings and gorgeous flowers and plants everywhere, beautiful weather and great food.  Oh and the friendliest people we've ever met.

2. What person has inspired you most?

I would have to say my Mom.  We lost her a few years ago, and I miss her terribly, but she was one of the kindest, nicest, most generous people you'd ever want to meet.  She welcomed 2nd Man into the family just as if he was her own and never thought twice about it.  She had some major back problems in her life, several surgeries, etc, but she never once complained, always had a smile on her face and never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her.  My friends say I'm a lot like her, and to me, that's some big shoes to fill but I'll gladly try my best.

3. Who would you like to with have over for dinner (famous or not, currently living or not)?

Betty White, The Clintons, Carl Sagan, Princess Diana, Dalai Lama, Martha Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and of course, my parents.

4. Where were you born?

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Have lived all over, we were only there until I was about 5, but I have lived in in Rhode Island, California (twice), Arizona, North Carolina, finally here in Houston, TX, where I've been for more than 30 years.

5. City, coast or country?

110% without a doubt, country!

6. What is the best surprise you've ever had?

Two, both involving my birthdays.  A few years ago (back in the 90's!), my friend Laurie had a surprise party for me. I had no clue at all.  She brought together all my friends and had a huge three tier cake made for me with a dolphin theme (I have a thing for dolphins) and it was the one and only time I've had a surprise party and it was a blast.  The other was when 2nd Man bought me a MacBook Air, the first few months after they came out.  I had no clue, I never asked for it, my other laptop was OK but I had never even owned an Apple.  He saved up for months and months when he heard they were coming out, just so he could buy me one for my birthday.  I was stunned.  Of course, it may have backfired on him, now I will only buy Apple and have to have the newest thing they come out with..iPad, iPhone, iPods...etc LOL!

7. What is your favorite song and why?

Just one?  Dang...if I HAD to choose, it would be a tie between "The Rose", as performed by Bette Midler, and "At Last", by Etta James.  A close runner up would be "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers and "Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston.  No particular reason other than they are haunting and beautifully sung...what can I say, I'm a sap for love songs.

8. What are you most passionate about?

Becoming more self sufficient and trying to live as green as possible.  It's often hard being in the city, and that's one reason we bought this property.  We want to start from scratch and create a place that's self sufficient, and when we do things and purchase items, we buy as green and Earth friendly as we can.

9. What were you like as a 3 year old? (as far as you know)

Not much memory of it, but I'm told I was always outside, I was always digging or playing in the dirt, they could not keep my clothes on (no worries, I grew out of THAT phase, LOL), and I had an imaginary friend that I talked to constantly.  My Mom said she'd walk past my room and I would just be carrying on a conversation that was so real, she would have to stop and make sure no one was in the room with me.

10. Describe your most cherished photograph?

Just one?  Any with my parents in them are cherished but I remember one in particular, we were on a beach, I was about 8 yrs old, we had our dog, and it was just my parents and me.  I can close my eyes and see that picture now.  It was a happy time.

11. What have you done that you are the most proud of?

Back in the 90's, I volunteered, after work, with a group that provided counseling of a sort to end stage HIV patients.  I was kind of a candy striper (no uniform, ha), for lack of a better term, but the candy was just a means to get them to open up and talk.  Sometimes it was just listening to them tell me their life stories, other times it was more about them asking questions, and still other times it was just sitting there quietly and holding their hands.  Sadly, almost all eventually passed away but I feel honored that I was able to share their life in some small way, toward the end.  I kept a journal during that time, and I treasure's almost as if they still live on, every time I read about them.  Unfortunately, HIPAA laws in hospitals have done away with that program (bureaucracy!), but I'm glad I was able to do it while I could. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

SO, there you have it, a little more about me, your friendly blogger.
Thank you Bee Girl of Sky Minded and Ever Growing and Angela of High Desert Chronicles.  Thank you for thinking of me and thanks for the questions.
It's a fun project.


We had yet another rainy end of week and start of the weekend.  Saturday was a washout, a little over 3 inches of rain.  We didn't go out until yesterday and this was the sight that greeted us when we got there to work on the yard: super saturated ground.  It's a great thing to see, it means the ground is so wet, it won't absorb more, but it also means I can't start on the yard projects just yet...

There is a drainage path/depression that pulls water away from the house which is a good thing.  I believe 2nd Family did this for "Ma" a few years ago.  You can see it in this picture.  Our end of the property, where the house is located, is the high end, and so water eventually works it's way down toward the road... 

This is the area near the burn pile we used recently.  It was very flooded, ankle deep water over a wide area.  To be fair though, it is part of the direction the water flows toward the drainage areas so I guess that's to be expected.  Still, I can't imagine much here in the way of flowerbeds...

The picnic/party tree stayed dry under the future dining area, so that was good, but the path getting to it was a bit wet and muddy...

This is on the other side of the house, another low spot with some standing water, about 2 inches deep actually. We need the rain, so no complaints there.  We just wish it would happen during the week instead of the weekend, which, of late, has been the only time we could go out there....

Fingers crossed for it to be a dry one this upcoming weekend or I'm going to get so far behind, we might have to worry about planning the Fall Garden instead of the Spring Garden.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Vintage Poster:  Harvest Legume & Grass Seed
Here's another fun poster (aren't they all?).  Found this one at another library archive site.  It was pretty simple:  Remind everyone to be sure and harvest legume and grass seed...for your use and the Nation's need.

So they used this image of a strong man (John, you there?? LOL!) carrying a huge bag of seed after the harvest.  I understand the legumes being food, but I'm not sure about the grass seed and its necessity for the country.

Still, great graphics and a nice visit into our history.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Photo Courtesy of:  Sunset
Recently, I blogged HERE about our tree and how we hoped to put a table under it to make it into an outdoor dining area.  NO, this isn't what we did, ha, but we did find this picture online.  We love the more informal and casual look of this kind of setup.  We could totally see something like this underneath the tree.  It even has a pea gravel "floor", which several of you suggested.  Add some overhead lanterns and some white Christmas tree type lights wrapped around the branches (as was also suggested by several of you) and we would be good to go.  I'd even like to add some billowy fabric for a canopy to make it desert chic (another awesome suggestion!)  Now, I just have to keep my eye out for a table that is similar to the one in this picture.  So what do you think?  Is this a good inspiration for our picnic tree area?  We want something not quite so formal, something that fits a more rustic farmhouse.

That's something I'm always trying to look for online, something that the moment I see it, I go "THAT'S exactly the look we want".  Then I have a record of it here and I can look back and, hopefully, recreate it.  Now I just need to do a little retail therapy and find a table and some bench seating (love that part) like this...and some plants...and some lanterns/lights...and a whole truckload of pea gravel...and then all we'll need to supply is the manual labor, ha.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Okay, I was tagged twice!  Double the love, ha...

Once by Bee Girl over at Sky Minded and Ever Growing and again by Angela over at High Desert Chronicles.  They both have such inspiring blogs.  If ever you want to read something online that makes you want to GO there where they are and live that life, they do it.  So the rules of this are that you get asked 11 questions and answer them, and then you come up with 11 questions and send it out to 11 other bloggers.  Here are my eleven answers asked by them:

1. Where is your favorite place in the world? Tell us why?
Other than our farm (even though it's not finished!), I would have to say it was to a vacation spot we went a few years ago, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. If you've never heard of it, google it.  It's most amazing place. It's in the mountains, it's an old town with cobblestone streets and hills and awesome old world European style buildings and gorgeous flowers and plants everywhere, beautiful weather and great food.  Oh and the friendliest people we've ever met.

 ------------ ARRRRGH -----------

I spent an hour today, writing all 11 answers to my questions that Bee Girl and Angela gave to me, I saved the post to tweak them a bit later, and now I just pulled it up and they are gone.  Gone gone gone...the only one that stayed was this one, the first one, for some reason.  The answers to the others and everything else I wrote, vanished into the vapor of the Internet.

Sigh, blogger is driving me insane the last couple of days.

So anyway, I want the two of them to know that I will have to do it all over again, and I will, but later this weekend.


Vegetable Cloth / Towel
I found this at the thrift store (75 cents!) and just had to have it.  What is it?  I'm guessing it's a towel, or some sort of cloth?  It's made of a semi heavy cotton and measures 16" x 30".

So my question is; what could I do/make with it?  Anyone out there in a crafty frame of mind and want to offer up a suggestion or two or three?   

I'm sure an obvious choice might be a curtain but there aren't any windows it would fit and it would look odd from the back anyway.  So comment away with suggestions! Who knows, you might see your suggestion created (eventually).  Thanks!


Got weeds?  Here's a sign for you!
I think I might need one of these signs.

Well, ok, I'd like to say I wouldn't actually need it, but who am I kidding, weeds are a part of life in the garden I suppose.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Cottage Garden, courtesy of:  Garden Web
Now, please don't think this is our cottage garden, ha.  It's a picture I found online while looking for fence ideas recently.  If ever there was a picture that inspired us to create something of beauty, this would be it.

If I could come up with something half as nice as this, I'd be happy.  I just love the colors, the variety, the random nature of the design...just very pretty!!

OK, blog day off today, so I'll see you back here tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Finally got the bathroom mirror hung up.  Yet another things to scratch of our weekend "list".  The thing weighs a ton.  OK, not literally but it is heavy and was not easy to hang up (and get level at the same time).  We had hoped for a built in, but the "hole" that was already in the wall before was too shallow for the new ones they make now.  Until I can maybe someday find an old one, the hole will be covered by this one.  We think it fits the overall style of the room.  Simple, clean lines.  Now I'm on the lookout for a small shelf that we can mount, under the mirror and above that electrical outlet, for additional storage space of smaller items.

In the mirror reflection, you can see a few (more!) of the milk glass bud vases we have.  Once we are there on a regular basis, and have fresh flowers growing outside (or I just buy some at the grocery store on the way out), I want to put a flower in each one for a pop of color against the white.  That makes the flower the star instead of the vase.  More baby steps.


Cake for Breakfast?
We read this article about researchers who did a study saying that it might not be such a bad idea to have a slice of cake for order to help with weight loss!

I almost stopped reading after that, because, quite frankly, do we really NEED to know anything else when someone tells us it's OK?  But I did read it and it's actually very interesting.  Instead of repeating the entire article, click below to read about it.

OK, off to find a slice of cake...apparently the breakfast of champions! LOL!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Grover Farms Butter Crock
I scored this awesome find at a local thrift store over the weekend, for, are you sitting down?  $1.25!
It's a vintage, covered butter crock, printed with a great image of a cow and the words "Fresh Butter".  It looks like it came from a dairy farm called "Grover Farms".  It will be a great place to keep our homemade butter.  Will save that for another post later on...


Part of this weekend was spent getting our books organized.  We're not the type that alphabetizes the books, but we try to keep subjects together when possible.  When you become book hoarders, you need some sort of organization, LOL. So here they are, with bookends in place (used those old school, metal ones that are almost invisible).  We decided that we wanted to take our
collection of milk glass and use that as an accent.  This is just a small portion (all found at thrift stores and tag sales) of what we have.  So we chose 15 of the biggest, and used them as accents on each shelf.  We think it looks pretty good.  We also re purposed a floor lamp out there that we weren't using.  That space at the end of the bookcase was made for it.  It's a good solution and let's us use it.

Monday, February 13, 2012


One problem we are running into is trying to determine the type of fence we should put around the garden.  It's going to be a more or less do it yourself kind of project, as long as having some expert friends help doesn't disqualify that description.  If it will ever stop raining on the weekends only rain during the week, I could get the garden spot cleared of brush and grass.  My thinking is that regardless of getting it cleared, we need a fence around the garden space sooner rather than later.  No point in having raised beds put in (have the wood for those all ready to go) and not be able to keep critters out.

So then I got online and started looking at fences for ideas (and inspiration!) and my mind is so confused right now.  There are just SO many ways to go.

Below are just a few pics I found, randomly sourced online:

As you can see, the more I find the more confused I get.  I like all of these, obviously each for a different reason.  My most favorite is the one above, a split rail.  It just LOOKS like a farm fence to me, but barring mesh of some sort, it's the least practical for keeping out animals.  I like the first couple because I've always thought a picket fence (painted or unpainted) is so pretty.  A lot of those have the wire mesh on the backside which keeps 'things' out.

Our animal problem is not really deer.  2nd Family just told me today that they have never had a problem with deer, but then again, their dogs could have something to do with that.  She said that deer might just hang around our direction since it's dog free, but they've only seen them up there a few times.  Most of the land around ours is just cattle crazing and not conducive to lots of deer.  As I posted Friday, rabbits are around, but again, 2nd Family said they haven't had rabbits in droves.  The main problems in their garden are opossums and raccoons.  She said they are very good climbers. 

We realize that nothing short of an enclosed box will keep everything out, but I'm not sure how elaborate we will have to go, or how elaborate we need to go.  I don't want something too 'temporary' because we won't be out there often enough to see how it works in action, so we'd rather set some posts in some quickrete and get something that's going to last more than a season or two.

Any thoughts?
Websites you've see with great ideas?