Thursday, July 30, 2015

Farmhouse Family Room

I've been meaning to put up a post of something IN the house lately, but the outside just seems to be priority right now whilst the weather is still GoRgeOuS!  Garden this year has been wonderful and I get so excited about what's coming out of it - that I just want to share.

However... I know there are other things besides vegetables ;o)  So I thought I would show you our family room.  Living room/family room - this is the room we spend a lot of our time.  When we bought this house we were searching for smaller/less to maintain(HA!)/less to furnish.  We wanted more on the outside and less on the inside.  We found it!  Our house is only about 1500 sq ft and every square INCH counts! I still wanted to have a place that we could entertain so seating and flow mattered to me.  I wanted to try out Ikea's slip-covered sofas.  I've been wanting to for a long while.  After we moved it seemed like a good time to do that.  We had dark leather furniture, which in some regards I miss, but others I don't.  The two sofas you see are Ikea, slip-covered in a very neutral, but not white cover.  I was thinking of white, but I didn't want to buy retail (I can't imagine buying retail) so I watched and watched and watched Craigslist for something like this to come up.  Folks that were selling them had only had them for 7 months and bought a dog and found out they were expecting a baby and were moving... so they sold these on CL for a deeply discounted price!

When I first brought them home I had them arranged in a very formal "L", but that seemed so awkward.  My husband chimed in and said what if we set it on angle like this...

I fell in love with what he suggested and it's been that way ever since.  The sofa closet in the picture is the separating line between the family room and dining room.  Sofa itself wasn't enough so I put an old bench there with some hand-me-down crocks.  Found the large cable knit blanket on the back of the sofa at a garage sale for $1.  Lots of quilt and throws are needed in the winter.

Then I wanted a chair to replace the upholstered one I had.  Again, a dark, traditional club chair that just didn't go with what I was seeing in my mind.  I knew I wanted "neutral" and I couldn't find anything that was "just right".  Then the little wicker diddy was listed on [where else?] Craigslist.  It had belonged to a little-ol-lady-who kept it inside her screened porch so it was in perfect condition - albeit the cushions were covered in a yellow/green/purple checked pattern that had to go!!!  1980's all the way.  I picked the chair up for a song and asked a friend of mine to fashion a slip cover for those cushions.  I went to our local fabric warehouse outlet and found the fabric.  It reminded of me old french ticking, but the price was much easier to swallow!

I think she did a fabulous job!  Thank you, Linda!!!  I just draped a white quilt over the back and added an extra throw pillow that I haven't been able to part with - love it.  The little table next to the chair was fleamarket score with a price tag (gulp!) of $10 (phew!!!!).  Love the original white, perfectly chippy paint.

And of course on top of the table is an antique marble lamp with a myriad of "stuff".  An antique Ironstone covered dish and platter.  I happened to have three old glass door knobs so I stuck them on there to fill it up.  Then there needed to be some texture of some sort so I put a piece of antique fabric that I found for a quarter, under it.  I have an obsession with OLD and in that I love Ironstone.  

However, my collection is growing very slowly because Ironstone usually comes with a price (that I don't like to pay).  So I hold out for garage sales that don't exactly know what they're selling or thrift stores and flea markets that I can pick a piece up for a dollar or two.  One of my newest favorites is the pitcher below.  She sits in my dining room - which I will show - eventually.

We live in such a private location - I didn't need to clutter the windows with curtains.  I love all the natural light that flows through these three.  The main living area of our house is always so bright and happy.  Bright white walls help make it that as well.  Walls in this space are painted Benjamin Moore Simply White.  And that [to me] gorgeous antique cupboard sitting there is a find from our local firefighters auction that I picked up for $8.  Whoa!  It is the storage for all of our games - yes we are a very big game family.  Just last night Daniel and I sat down and played two hands of Rummy while I made him some tapioca pudding :o)  two hands - we each won a hand.

The cupboard was built from old hard wood flooring.  It doesn't sit completely level despite my hubby's attempts to square it up - but it's old, it's chippy, and it has the coolest little glass knob.  It was dark reddish stain once upon a time ago, but I since then I've painted it Whispering Wheat by Glidden and roughed it up a tad.  This particular rendition of Whispering Wheat, bought at Wal*Mart, had a little more yellow in it than I like.  I have since bought Home Depot's rendition of the color and it is much more neutral.  I have lots of painting projects in the waiting!

The living room and entry way are one thing right now.  I've separated it with an old table that I found at the habitat for humanity ReUseIt store for $10.  I brought it home and my husband asked why I buying firewood at the habitat store.  Urgh!  It use to be some one's old work bench and looked like it had been through some water in the basement a few times as the legs were pretty well rotten six inches up, but I just asked my hubby to trim that six inches off and took it out on my back deck in the sun and wash it with vinegar, dawn, and water.  After leaving it to dry for several hours in the sun I brought it in and gave it several baths in hemp oil.  Even the hubby likes it now!

But the entry way is for another post further down the road after it looks the way I envision it.  The chair I have sitting with it was a curb find.  Someone had it sitting on the curb with their garbage.  I stopped (he was outside watering) and asked if he was sure he wanted to get rid of the chair.  He told me sure... take it... what do ya need it for - firewood?  Wha???  What is it with men and old furniture as firewood?  I think my dad would have said the same thing ;\

I picked up the old coffee table from another Craigslist pickup.  I went for our little desk and found this table in the back corner of the guy's garage.  After he pulled it out I asked him if he wanted to sell it and he was willing to get that "piece of junk" out of his way.  Wha????  $5 folks.

When I brought it home it had forest green paint on the bottom of it.  I had plans to strip it down, but my hubby and his inherent love for "old" just like me helped me out - accidentally.  When we were moving into our house - loading the truck actually - he left the table sitting on it's side, in the sun.  Someone didn't paint very well - to my advantage - because the paint and primer together bubbled in several spots.  It wasn't long after we'd been in here that Daniel had his first kidney stone attack.  He was laying on the couch, but wanted me close by so I started picking at those sun blisters in the paint and before I knew it - my table was stripped!  Providence!

As I tell you in my "about" page... this isn't an old farmhouse.  It's not even that old.  It's not big and glorious, but I am having a blast making it look the kind of old that I like.  But I have decided... it is a farmhouse.  We have chickens, land bearing food for us, and a milk cow on the way next Spring... it may not be a big farm, but perhaps a farmette.

And I love it!

Until next time...

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Humble Confessions of a Wagon-Jumping THMer

It's true... I am a wagon-jumping THMer.  Not because it wasn't working for me.  Not because the food I was eating wasn't delicious and satisfying enough.  Not even because I was bored of it.  But instead because of:

~ Mother's Day ~
~ My Birthday ~
~ Spring Fling ~
~ Father's Day ~
~ Church Fellowship ~
~ Daniel's Birthday ~
~ 4th of July Picnic ~
~ VBS ~

And now, since they are all over and I can get a grip... it's back to THM.  If you have any doubt regarding this diet eating style, don't.  It has been the easiest thing I've ever done and it becomes almost effortless after a few weeks.  Unfortunately, the down side to THM is the knowledge you're armed with - when you do go "off plan" you understand why the garbage you're eating does what it does to your body.  Ignorance is, sometimes, bliss :o)

Yesterday was my first official day back on, with great success (even with Oreos in the house).  This morning was a scramble with leftover veggies a few strawberries and a small glass of organic, raw milk.  (milk is not a plan-approved beverage, but I love it so I don't deprive myself of it a few times a week).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What To Do With Mean Roosters?

Have them for dinner.

Four incredibly mean roosters went to the freezer this week.
These three were waiting their turn.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Farmhouse Garden: Summer Cabbage

I didn't make the spring cabbage planting deadline so I did summer cabbage.
Into the freezer it went this week; in the form of just plain cabbage for soups, stews, and casseroles, but also in the form of freezer coleslaw.
Never tried this before - I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Veggies and Hydrangeas (again)

I figure I'll have all sorts of time this winter to show you what's going on inside the house so I should take this time to share where most of our efforts are focused right now - outside.

The garden has begun to yeild bountifully.

Have you ever had beet greens?  If you haven't - and you like greens - you must not limit yourself of these things any longer!!!  Oh wonderful....  I cleaned the beets and put them on the stove to boil.  While they were cooking I cut the greens right at the egde of the stem and washed them very well, getting all the dirt off.  I garden organically so I don't have to worry about pesticides.  While I did this I had about a half cup (one stick) of organic butter melting in a pan with EIGHT cloves of fresh garlic I chopped/minced.  Allowing enough time for the garilc and butter to meld and just slightly brown, I then put all my choppped beet greens in the pan with about 2 tsp of salt, stirring a lot to make sure they were completely combined.  I simmered for about 15 minutes on medium heat and served right from the pan.  OH!!!! Were these ever good!  And do you have any idea how good these are for you?  Take a look...

Then of course a new day brings a new bounty...  yesterday.  I'm making freezer coleslaw for the winter with this cabbage.  Beans are already taken care of and most of the zucchini you see was seasoned, grilled, and topped with mozzerella cheese last night for dinner.  Mmmm.....

As far as my hydrangeas... they are going to town.  This next picture is the one of three my mother bought me.  The other two didn't make it due to unfortunate circumstances... ahem!  It's been moved quite a bit and this is the first year it has ever produced a bloom.  I think it's happy where it is.  Can't wait to see it next year.

 The old fashioned are doing equally as well - bordering our back deck.  And they smell good now too!  Ahhh.... dreams come true!

Have a great week, friends!!! 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

A New Kind of Garden

Hello, friends.  Sorry for the lagging behind, but this summer has proven to be quite full with house, garden, and guests.  But I wanted to show you something I've been working on.  Around the perimeter of our property this about all you see - wild roses, wild black raspberries & blackberries, honeysuckle, poison ivy, etc....

Daniel decided he was tired of seeing just those thorny bushes behind our house when we looked out, so he took out some dead trees along with all the barred bushes that surrounded them.  And for quite some time it has looked something like this...

This state required mowing or bush whacking to keep the ever-persistent natural landscape from coming back.  I already mow the whole property (until there's a cow or horse to keep it mowed) and I really didn't want to add to my job - so we compromised.  We'll keep it cleared for him and I'll plant a garden her (me).  So began my shade garden, but not just any shade garden the FREE kind of shade garden.  I'll explain...  we ran into a couple of friends having lunch next to Verizon (which is where we happen to be) that invited us to join them for lunch.  We didn't have time so Carol invited me over to her house to see her gardens and chat a while (so I thought!).  She went in the house and came back out with her gardening clothes, shovel in hand.  She had so many varieties of hosta - I was in hosta heaven (I love hosta).  Anyhow, she dug me 17, yes SEVENTEEN, different varieties from her mature beds and sent me home with them.  Upon my departure she encouraged me to come back and get whatever else I think I might like.  Glory!!!!!!  Anyhow - you can't just say ok, but wait until I'M ready, so I graciously [excitedly] [gladly] accepted her generosity and left toward home with all sorts of thoughts running through my head regarding what I was going to do with all these jems.  Remember it looked like this at home...  

I called Daniel and told him what had transpired so he came home that evening, putting everything else on the back burner, and cleared the stumps.  I watered my new babies and went to bed.  The next day I set to work planting all my new hosta - in the rain!  And then, once the rain had cleared, I went to the nursery to get mulch.

It looked like this when I was done...

But everything to the left was still bare and unplanted.  It looked so unbalanced, but I had no capital to put in it so I called my mother and asked her if she would be interested in sponsoring Phase Two.  She agreed so, the very next morning, Ali and I got to work clearing all the underbrush left from this...

I went to get more mulch and stopped at Lowe's and scoured their clearance racks.  When it was all said and done it ended-up looking like this...

As best as I can show you right now the entire space looks something like this...

The fire ring was just made from stacking the old bricks I found in the woods ,on our property, in a circle shape to define where the fire would be.  It has already been used!  We love it...

Until next week... be blessed.

UPDATE....  evidently the black snakes approve too!

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