Thursday, June 25, 2015

On the Farm: Black Raspberries & White Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are something I've wanted for so.... long.  I planted them at a house we lived in Iowa, but we sold the house before I ever got to see them bloom the following spring.  Then we started renting and I wasn't about to buy them, to plant them, to LeAvE them behind (again).  Then my mother bought me the stars and stripes trio; red, white, and blue.  The red and white died - in one way or another.  But the blue lived on and I planted and moved that little bush with me everyplace we moved, thereafter.  Today it grows wonderfully in my north garden.  It's just starting to bloom for the first time in it's life.  I'll take pictures and post when those beautiful blooms are more mature.

However, my neighbor has a large bed of the old fashioned hydrangea.  White!!!!  She asked me earlier this year if I would like some as she was thinning that bed of hers - of course I said yes.  I planted them around the northwest corner of our house, surrounding the deck.  They are doing wonderfully!  So wonderful that I was finally able to bring in some cuttings of the little beauties to adorn my table.  The lone little daisy is one that Ali found outside while hanging clothes out and brought in to me, because she knows I love them.  Sweet girl!!!

A glimpse into the dining room...

Hydrangeas outside my back door.  Next year after a good year establishing strong roots - these things will be much larger and even more full of blooms.  Excitement!

Is there anything better to adorn the middle of a farm table than white hydrangeas, vintage linens, and ironstone platters?

In other areas of the property we have wild (can you say oRgAnIc) black raspberries.  Daniel and I took our pup for a walk around the perimeter and thought we'd stop and get a handful to munch on during our stay outdoors.  They are in full bloom and ready for the harvest so I ran quickly back into the house to grab the colander.  We picked about six pounds.  And if we wait another day or so we'll have just as many more to pick on the next walk.

The plan was for me to make some black raspberry goodness in the form of jam, but after some consideration and Daniel saying that he'd like to try black raspberry ice cream, we decided to freeze them to use at later times.  In any case, we still have plenty of blueberry and peach jam left from last year.


PS - In other news - we are only missing one door in our house now.  Daniel installed one of the two missing bathroom doors last night and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I'm headed home to start the prep work for painting.  I'm actually thinking of tiling the shower room  (this summer) BeFoRe the drywall is done.  We'll have to see.  Our plans were to tear out the fireplace to make room for our new-to-us wood stove and that hasn't even begun.  Garden has taken priority (or should I say the wEEds in the garden have taken priority).
Until next week....

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Farmhouse Moment: Sunshine

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. soule mamma

May 28, 2014: (click date to travel back in time)

   May 28, 2015 (click date to see present day)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ali's Bedroom Floor

I know... I told you, last week, that I was going to post about the dining room, but something very exciting happened this past weekend and I just can't wait to share!

We had guests coming to stay with us over the past weekend and one of the many (lingering) projects was just that - still lingering.  Ali's bedroom floor....  They were going to be staying in Ali's room and I thought - we have the floor - it's been inside acclimating to the indoor temps - I've got the time, tools, and hardware - it's time to JUST DO IT!

Her room was once used as a storage room (during early renovations), but she's been living on the same sub-floor as shown in the picture below.  Splinters, staples, and seams... oh my!  She was beaming at the possibility when I mentioned doing it.  

So much so that I taught her how to lay the flooring and she and I tackled it in one full 8-hour day (Daniel did the portions that required special cutting).

Daniel had already done all the undercutting for the door jams, so morning came and flooring began.  Starting with the tar paper...

The rest of the house we had taken up all the baseboard, but this time around it fit SO well (even without shoe moulding) that we decided to just go with it!  She measured... I cut!

And wah-lah....  I love it.  So does Ali.  We used some reclaimed flooring that we bought off Craigslist and I couldn't be happier with the weathered, old look of it.

The decorating portion still to come, but this is a BIG deal.  I think she's already swept her room three times and it's only been down five days.  Is that really all the incentive she needed????

Sydney's room is next - and now - she's EXTREMELY excited!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Spring Fling 2015

Well, we did it.  We had our first annual Spring Fling, May 31, 2015!!!!  And it was AH-mazingly fun.  We're wondering why we haven't done this before now.  Seriously - I love to entertain - and this was right up my Ali alley.  Hahaha... no pun intended there ;o)  We had lots of preparations to do and each one of us did our part.  Of course there were "sacks" to fill as prizes for the "sack race" participants.

And there were jelly beans to count (and nibble on, ahem...) for the jelly bean guessing contest.

Just in case you're wondering... 552!

The first order of business when people arrived were to put them on six teams, designated by different colors and send them out (with their team members) to scavenge.

Anything on the property was fair game - they just had to make a wreath out of their finds.

There were some that chose not to hunt, but rather be the assemblers of the team ;o)

They were all over the place.

We had three judges (I am NOT one of them, although my ace looks very intent).  The winner's prize was being first in the line for dinner.  Then second, then third.

 The guys started a tournament of corn hole.

The women continued to be goofy.

There was a lot of relaxing...

We had all ages join us.  Some in their 80's....

All the way down to those that were 8!

In all we had about 50 come out for the fun.  You can't hardly tell, but in the next picture the kids are chasing chickens... yep, we had chicken races too!

Lots of laughter was had by watching those who participated...

We had a tug of war to decide who when through the dessert line first.  Let me tell you something - when dessert is on the line... you want this guy on your team.  Don't let his clean shaven, soft and quiet look fool you (LOL!)... this dude is strong!  He works as the warehouse manager at part of Daniel's work and he's used to throwing boxes of auto parts (I suspect engines) around.  

His team went through the dessert line first - as the participants from the other side of the rope (ahem... me!) lay on the ground, licking our wounds.  He had help, but I think he could have whooped us single-handed.  After enlarging the picture I noticed the face he's making and the fact that he's crushing a bottle with his bare hands - I tried to think of something witty to say, but couldn't do it justice, so you can fill in the blank...

"Why I outta ________________________________....."

We had a birthday girl among us.  There were several of us (me included) that had just celebrated our birthdays right beforehand, but this gal chose to have hers fall on the exact day of our scheduled event - can you believe the nerve.  LOL!  This is our pastor's wife, Reba.  She didn't want anyone to know it was her birthday, but we surprised her and one of the ladies from the church baked a simple cake and we all sang. 

This is He-man's (previous strong man mentioned) grandson... I think it runs in the genes ;o)

One set of our neighbors, Ryan and Kristi

Emily... she and her brother filled all the water balloons for the water balloon toss.  Which, I'm sorry, I'm missing a picture of, but my husband and his partner were the winners of.  Then.... get this.... I throw one water balloon and they all gang up on me!  Can you believe that.  Not my fault it actually hit someone. ;o)

We also had a FREEZE-OFF which in simple english... a homemade ice cream contest.  We had four entries; heath bar ice cream, cookie monster ice cream, old-fashion vanilla, and then the winner... vanilla bean peach.  And the winner?  My husband, Daniel.  The man that can't cook!  AND... he made it last minute.  It was really good and the judges liked all the flavors, but his was voted the tastiest.  Therefore, he won the "Golden Scoop".

OH.... I almost forgot!  The winner of the scavenged wreath contest...

They were all very unique and pretty, but the judges said this one was visually the most pleasing.

I'm sorry that I don't have more pictures, but I was kinda busy managing other things.  Perhaps I'll designate someone specific to take pictures at our next get-together, which will be our Harvest Festival in early October!  I can hardly wait - the planning has already begun.
Coming up next week - the dinning room.  But until then, be Blessed!  

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