Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Gnome in Our Tree

Close to our back patio, we have a rather lovely maple tree that happens to have a small cavity located just a bit above eye level.  About a year ago, Bryce mentioned that he rather thought we should have a gnome living in the little cavity.  Now, I seem to have a constant list of things that I need to get done but can't seem to actually mark off my list, but I somehow found the time to hunt down a tiny, wooden gnome for our maple tree.  Priorities, I guess.

There are several things that I adore about our little guy.  I love that Bryce thought of it and that it wasn't because we have young children who are still into fairies and gnomes, but rather because it's a whimsical and fun detail.  In fact, we didn't even tell the children about him but rather waited to see if they ever noticed him.  It took a long while.  I also love that he makes me smile every time I walk past.  He really isn't very noticeable but once you see him you can't not see him every time you look at the tree!

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Lovely Day

Yesterday ended up being one of those perfect days that is totally unexpected and unplanned.  Grace and I have both had a terrible cold and so as Sunday dawned rainy (again) and chilly, we decided to do church at home instead of going in.  Grace made Pumpkin Spice french toast and we sat and ate it as we watched Andy Stanley on tv.

This picture totally cracks me up as it's such a good capture of the morning, Harris yawning, church on the TV and Rosie giving me the side eye.

Then on a whim, I decided to go to Longwood Gardens where The American Dahlia Society was having their national show and Grace agreed to go with me. It turned out to be a really special time with her, even in the rain!

Friday, September 21, 2018

An Egg!

Something very exciting happened on Wednesday... we got our very first egg from the ladies.  And it's a sort of dramatic story too.

Our garden is a total mess as the rain, and lack of sunshine, has really taken a toll this season.  So I decided to let the chickens roam around the garden (it's fenced) to help clean up everything.  However, when I went to  check on them Ms. March was missing, I couldn't find her anywhere.  Frankly, I thought that the worst had happened and a hawk had swooped down and taken her.  Harris joined the search and he finally found her in the nesting box.  Her decided then and there that she must be laying so we left her in peace and when I went back to check on her lo and behold, an egg!  We were crazy excited, all of us!

So last night, we had a little celebratory dinner in honor of our very first egg.  I made a Ratatouille Quiche that celebrated the garden and our girl's eggs.  The quiche was a bit of a disaster in that it spilled over into the pan everywhere and didn't look anywhere close to as pretty as I envisioned it, but it still tasted fine!

How darling are these napkins?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


You might remember that we planted a ton of dahlias in the field this year and they all rotted from the mass amounts of rain this spring (and summer, and still going...).  However, we did have a few that I was able to plant in the garden that we saved from the year before.  While I don't have masses and masses of them, I do have them and for that I'm grateful. 

Dahlias don't last a tremendous amount of time in the vase, much like garden roses, but they are totally worth it because they add such loveliness and beauty.  Also, they come in such an incredible array of colors and forms.

 Dahlias also play well with other flowers from the rustic zinnia to the elegant rose. 

Sometimes one even matches their dahlias!  These two won first and second place in my garden club's flower show!  

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Flower Stand

Before we ever moved into this house, I knew I wanted to have a flower honor stand at the road.  I've always loved the idea behind an honor stand, that one pays for whatever item they are taking without having to have someone there to accept the money.  It speaks to the sort of community I want to live in.  Plus, I really wanted to contribute something lovely to our community!

In the spring a trailer popped up for sale just down the road from us and while it was in rough shape, we thought it was good enough, and cheap enough, to do a little makeover to make it presentable and cute!

Bryce worked his magic on it one weekend, scraping, painting, putting a roof up and adding a platform for the flowers.  Grace lettered the sign at the top (we know it really needs to be bigger), which I love.

Bryce used old wood from the barn for the platform and I found old bulb crates to secure to it to hold the flowers. We put dowels (not shown) so that we could put in more than just one row of bouquets.

We decided to start with mason jar bouquets since that helped us not have to worry about stem length and water.  Ultimately, I'd like to be able to go towards market bouquets but we will have to see how things go next year.

The first couple of days with the stand were a little rough.  The bouquets kept disappearing without any payment.  One day four disappeared with not a drop of money in sight and I was really upset over it.  However, friends on instagram and the Floret group I'm in, encouraged me to continue on.  I did and it's gotten much, much better and, in fact, someone did come back to pay for a few of those early ones.  It's now the exception that one is not paid for!  I'm happy to report that the bouquets have all sold (we've sold over 80 since the second week of August!) since the very beginning!

Of course, there are things I want to do better next year.  I need better signage, regular times that I put flowers out (right now it's rather random), and I need to get faster at making the bouquets!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


An interesting thing happened yesterday that totally shocked Bryce and I.  In fact, it's embarrassing to write about it because perhaps it is an indicator of our parental failings? Good intentions that went amuck?  Overprotection of our children?  Or a hesitancy to talk of such horrible things?  All of the above?

At dinner, we said a prayer for those affected by the horrible events of 9/11.    Afterwards, in our dinner conversation, Grace said, "I had no idea there was a third plane."  To which we said, "huh?  there was actually a fourth plane too."  As we untangled what the children knew and didn't know it became apparent that we never followed up on what we told them and discussed with them when they were much younger.  When they were younger we discussed how something bad had happened but we never put it in blunt terms or told them the horrific details of how things unfolded that day.  I suppose I didn't want them to be afraid to go into NYC, or afraid to board a plane, or just plain afraid, so we gave them basic facts and as they got older we never continued to clarify and discuss*. 

I feel terrible because by sparing them those details, we also neglected to share with them all the heroic people that day who saved numerous lives.  All day I had seen "never forget" blurbs on Instagram, Facebook, and numerous other places and I couldn't help but wonder how they would never forget if they never truly knew!   We spent time last evening watching the history channel's documentary about 9/11 and not only did it give the children a timeline of events (and all its graphic details) but it told the story through people who lived it and worked it.  I highly recommend it.

*As the children have become teenagers I have become relentless in talking about sex, addiction, drinking, porn, drugs,  self harm, depression... you name it I've tried to make it normal to have open conversations in our house on a regular basis.  Clearly, there's room for more discussion!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Mudroom Cabinets and Sink

I really do want to share pictures of our whole mudroom, but frankly it doesn't ever seem to be clean enough for me to get some pictures!  Seriously, this room gets used hard and often!  However, after waiting for three months, we finally got countertops installed and I'm really thrilled with how great this wall turned out.

The old farmhouse sink I brought with me to the farm because I just couldn't give it up!  I knew that I wanted to use it somewhere and the mudroom worked out to be the perfect space for it.  Also, the shelves were made by Al using the walnut that we cut down on the property.  It's where I keep most of my flower vases.

We thought about having custom cabinets made for us by the same awesome company who did our bathroom and kitchen but, in the end, we just didn't want to spend that money on them.  Instead, we found a company online and ordered them with some trepidation.   The cabinets are all wood, painted to our specifications and were delivered to our door.  I am happy to say that they turned out wonderful!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Quick Airstream Trip

This weekend we finally, finally went on a short Airstream trip.  As the children have gotten older, it has gotten harder and harder to find weekends (or weeks!) where we can go camping.  It seems as if there is always a school function, a social event for one or both of the children or a farm commitment.  We promised ourselves that we wouldn't count trips, we bought for a lifetime of trips, but we were definitely missing the Airstream.

We were only gone for 48 hours and it rained for 24 of those hours but it didn't matter, we had a great time!  We went on a long hike with Rosie, sat by the fire, Grace hung her ENO to relax in, Bryce took on a mountain biking trail, we watched a movie together while it poured outside and we had a fair many laughs.  Can't ask for a better weekend than that!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Back to School

Both children started back to school today (we have to be the very last school district in the country to go back!).  This year Grace is going into 11th grade (gasp) and Harris is starting 8th grade (double gasp).

I would be lying if I told you that both children are excited and ready to start the school year.  They aren't.  Harris is coming off of a really bad year last year and Grace is starting to worry about college, she has a difficult and challenging course load and she swears that not one of her friends is in any of her classes (and let's be honest, that matters).  So I'm saying some prayers that the school year is far better than either one of them imagines!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

August.... Gone!

The month of August absolutely flew by and we were so, so busy here!  We were busy with dear friends visiting (2 weeks of visitors!), cutting flowers for the stand (more on that soon), tending to the garden, doing school work in preparation for starting back up, getting a patio built (pictures soon!) and generally doing a lot of work here at the farm.  It's so cliche but I honestly cannot believe that it's September. 

a little preview of the patio!

We just wrapped up a week of having one of our favorite families visit.  We had two perfect nights with all eight of us (we got a full week with Hugh and Holle!).

we made it to the Downton Abbey exhibit!

As work on the house and patio has started to wane, I'm finally starting to feel like we are settled in and home, which is such a relief!  I'm happy to say that  I'm starting to feel the old creative juices start to flow again.  Instead of having more thoughts of, "what were we thinking," I'm starting to think, "we can do this,"  a little more.  It's a good feeling.  More to come...

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