Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Snippets of Memorial Day (Plus, Lyme)

I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.  We are so thankful for all that our current military does to protect us and also to those that have served.  My brother-in-law, Bill, is one of those men and we appreciate all that he gave to our country!

(Strawberry Shortcake Pie!  The crust was a biscuit crust!)

Last week was a doozy!  On top of all that we had going on, Harris was very ill.  He was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and is, thankfully, on the mend.  He was miserable for most of the week, and I'm so glad that he is getting back to his more normal self.  I'm so thankful for modern medicine and all that it can do for us when we need it.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Part of the Waldorf curriculum is that the students put on a play every year, and traditionally, in 8th grade, they tackle Shakespeare!  I've always been so impressed with the thought and effort that has gone into producing these plays.  Grace's teacher has a special gift in this area and they are always phenomenal.  I can't even begin to count the ways that the children learn and grow while working on, and then performing, each play.

In disguise as Ganymede

Ms. Motter chose "As You Like It" for our 8th graders and Grace was given the part of Rosalind! This was a major role for Grace, and last night, as I watched her perform with her classmates, I could not have been prouder.  She had over 600 lines to memorize and she did so beautifully!  

Here's an explanation of Rosalind's character from Sparknotes:
Rosalind dominates As You Like It. So fully realized is she in the complexity of her emotions, the subtlety of her thought, and the fullness of her character that no one else in the play matches up to her. Orlando is handsome, strong, and an affectionate, if unskilled, poet, yet still we feel that Rosalind settles for someone slightly less magnificent when she chooses him as her mate. Similarly, the observations of Touchstone and Jaques, who might shine more brightly in another play, seem rather dull whenever Rosalind takes the stage.
The endless appeal of watching Rosalind has much to do with her success as a knowledgeable and charming critic of herself and others. But unlike Jaques, who refuses to participate wholly in life but has much to say about the foolishness of those who surround him, Rosalind gives herself over fully to circumstance. She chastises Silvius for his irrational devotion to Phoebe, and she challenges Orlando’s thoughtless equation of Rosalind with a Platonic ideal, but still she comes undone by her lover’s inconsequential tardiness and faints at the sight of his blood. That Rosalind can play both sides of any field makes her identifiable to nearly everyone, and so, irresistible.
Rosalind is a particular favorite among feminist critics, who admire her ability to subvert the limitations that society imposes on her as a woman. With boldness and imagination, she disguises herself as a young man for the majority of the play in order to woo the man she loves and instruct him in how to be a more accomplished, attentive lover—a tutorship that would not be welcome from a woman. There is endless comic appeal in Rosalind’s lampooning of the conventions of both male and female behavior, but an Elizabethan audience might have felt a certain amount of anxiety regarding her behavior. After all, the structure of a male-dominated society depends upon both men and women acting in their assigned roles. Thus, in the end, Rosalind dispenses with the charade of her own character. Her emergence as an actor in the Epilogue assures that theatergoers, like the Ardenne foresters, are about to exit a somewhat enchanted realm and return to the familiar world they left behind. But because they leave having learned the same lessons from Rosalind, they do so with the same potential to make that world a less punishing place.

The entire class shined and performed brilliantly and beautifully!  This is such a great group of teenagers and to watch them dig deep and take on Shakespeare was truly a highlight of our time at Waldorf!  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"She's Here"

Over the weekend I got this text from Bryce, "She's here.  For some reason I'm emotional about it."

He was referring to our Airstream and the fact that we were finally able to get her on our new property!   Getting her to be on our own property, not parked in a rented space or on our busy street, but in our own driveway, was the end of a long rode.  Bringing her home to Frog's Hollow was a big deal.

Ever since we got the Airstream, we've dreamed of being able to park her in a barn on our property (we are not yet to that stage!).   In fact, that desire is one of the things that nudged us to start looking at other houses and properties.

However, the driveway of the new house had too much of an angle to it so that we were very concerned that the hitch of the trailer would get hung up on it.  Therefore, we had to make the entry of the drive more of a level grade.  As everything does, this took way longer than one would expect!

Unfortunately, two trees had to come out in the regrading.  Also, we would eventually like to put a Belgium block apron at the end of the drive, but, due to future work, we put in a temporary asphalt one.  That way construction trucks coming in won't tear be too much wear and tear.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Peonies and a Mercury Glass Vase

Years ago, while on a community house tour, I spotted a mercury glass vase with peonies in it and immediately fell hard for it.  As it was a decorators home tour, everything was for sale, but when asked about that one sweet vase, the owner said that was the one thing that wasn't for sale. I've always remembered it.

Last year, while antiquing with a friend, I came upon this mercury glass vase and couldn't leave without it.  With this one exception, all of the vases I use are flea market finds that are usually a dollar or two, but this vase was special and was priced as such.  I hemmed and hawed about whether to buy it or not, but I'm so glad that I did because I enjoy it so.  And my peonies (the first of the season!) couldn't be prettier in it.

Also, can we just appreciate the beauty of these flowers?   I will never tire of peonies.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cottage Bathroom

I believe I've mentioned that the farm has a guest cottage on the property.  We were intentionally looking for a property that had an outbuilding that Bryce's parents (or anyone else!) could stay in while visiting.  We lucked out with this cottage because it had been newly renovated and is already quite nice.  However, there were a few things that needed to be done to make it feel like ours!

Off of the bedroom there was a bathroom that was painted a shade of pink/salmon.  This bathroom felt forgotten and like an afterthought. The cabinet, the tub and the floor were fine, but it needed to be refreshed and cleaned.  Using extra rolls of wallpaper from our current bathroom, Gretchen and I wallpapered the bathroom and the difference is remarkable!  Gretchen and I have a great time while wallpapering, we solve all the worlds problems and laugh a lot.


It went from being a little dingy and ugly to being sweet and charming!  It's remarkable what paint and/or wallpaper can do in addition to a little elbow grease!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Dapper Frog

I seem to have an obsession with these felt animal heads (here and here), and I had sworn off buying any more, but then I saw this guy.  Immediately, I knew that he had to find a way into our new home!  I adore him and his jaunty hat; I just love how dapper he is.  I'm envisioning him in the mudroom where he can welcome us home every day!

P.S.  He's actually supposed to be Toad from The Wind and the Willows.  This actually endears him to me even more since it is a favorite book of our family!

Thursday, May 12, 2016


As the new septic was first being installed, it came to be that a few more trees needed to be taken out than was previously planned.  Two of the trees were already on their way out and weren't great trees anyway, but one was a walnut that we really hated to lose.  Bryce and I have a fondness for walnut as our bedroom furniture was made by Al out of walnut and our kitchen island top is also walnut.  It's simply a beautiful wood.

After a fair amount of calling around, I found a young man who was willing to come to our farm, load up the logs and mill them.  I loved working with Travis as he is just starting out, but clearly knows a tremendous amount, loves what he does and is super easy to work with.  He loaded up the logs (the septic guys were willing to use their equipment to help Travis get the logs loaded) and took them to mill them into slabs.

Yesterday, he delivered the newly milled slabs and stacked them in an outbuilding where they will spend the next year or so drying out!  Once they are finally ready, I have visions of a mudroom bench, a large serving platter and some sandwich boards being made out of them!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lilacs in Jars

My favorite lilacs have had a lackluster year.  They were small and not all the blooms opened before the ones that did open, turned brown on the edges.  This unfortunate turn of events hasn't stopped me from bringing in some to enjoy though!

I've collected a few vintage, purple bottles for the sole purpose of putting lilac stems in them (I'm sure they will get more use for other flowers!).  I love flower stems in single jars and especially love them lined up down a table.  However, these lilacs look great bunched together to look more like a mass of blooms!

P.S. I've already started a list of lilac varieties to plant at the Hollow.  Any suggestions for must haves?  Luckily, they are usually deer resistant!

Friday, May 6, 2016


We've been making plans to do some renovating at the new house.  A few of the things we'd like to get done before we move in, but most of them won't get done until afterwards.  We've been meeting with the architect, and while we are pleased that we are making progress, it's been really slow going. It's really important to me that any changes we make be respectful of the house and move it forward in a positive way.  I don't want to be responsible for make some oddball change that doesn't make sense or strips the house of it's quirkiness and charm.

Here's a list of the "major" changes...

1.  Add a mudroom.  From the moment we looked at the house we knew that a farmhouse needed a mudroom.  Oddly, there isn't even a place to make one in the current footprint, so it looks like that will be the one thing that we add to the house.

2.  Renovate the kitchen.  This will be our third kitchen that we've renovated.  I can't wait.

3.  Beef up the screened in porch.  You know how we love a great screened porch and the bones are there for this one, but it needs some work so that it is more seamless with the house.

4.  We would like to move the master bathroom into a bedroom and the make the current master bathroom a closet.  This might be the biggest project of them all so we will see if/when it happens.

5.  The end bedroom upstairs is only accessible through another bedroom (common for old houses) and we are hoping to put a hallway down the middle so that it's more accessible.  The bedroom has stairs that led to the kitchen and a really small, sweet bathroom.  That's the room Grace wants.

Of course, there are about a million other things that I want to do but these are the ones that require an architect.  Also, a fun fact is that Bryce loves to draw plans!  After our first architect meeting we were a little underwhelmed and he came home, got out a sheet of tracing paper, and got to work. With a few tweaks those are the plans we are going with.  I suppose that we know better than anyone how we live and use our space.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rose Cupcake Bites

I recently had to make cupcake bites for a Garden Club event.  I tried my hand at making little roses with a star tip and leaf tip.  They aren't exactly perfect, but I think they turned out sweet and were super easy to make.

I got the idea from the cookbook, Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes from a Little Neighborhood Bakery by Rosie Daykin .  I love this book!  The pictures are right up my ally with pinks and greens, florals, a vintage flair and a beautiful shop!  So far, everything I have made has been a keeper.

Blogging tips