Monday, May 27, 2019

Prom, Junior Year

Grace went to prom this weekend!  Her school has one prom and all juniors and seniors are allowed to go (lower classman can go with a junior or senior if asked).

We had a group of her friends, and many of their parents, to our house for pictures and they are such a nice (and good looking!) group of teenagers!

Prom is located at a venue outside of the school, and all students are bused to and from the venue.  However, before the buses are loaded the school hosts a Promenade where students all gather to take more photos and we get to see everyone in all of their finery!  It was very fun and everyone looked really wonderful.

one of Grace's favorite teachers

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Junior Year

Grace is nearing the end of her junior year in high school and while I would never, ever wish away time with Grace at home, I have to say that I"m anxious to have junior year in the rear view mirror.  I was told countless times that junior year was the hardest, most anxiety producing year of children's school career but I didn't really understand until I've lived through it.

This is the year that high level classes really amp up (AP, honors),  ACT and SAT's are taken, figuring out colleges you want to apply to and visiting said colleges is of importance, and they take AP Exams. You guys, it's all consuming.  It's ridiculous and so very silly and it never seems to be enough.   

These children are under so much pressure from their schools, from themselves, their peers and, of course, their parents and it's so hard to watch.  I know that we cannot possibly shield our children from stress and that learning to deal with deadlines, doing good, solid work and learning time management is important but it's also important to have balance in life.  Our society talks so much about how overworked we are and yet we are teaching our teens this is a priority at a very early age!  Teens are expected to do it all... perform in school, volunteer in their community, partake in extracurricular activities and sports and maybe even cure cancer!  It's a bit crazy and I am not a fan.

All that said, I'm super proud of our girl, she's doing amazing in school.  If I may brag for a bit... she's maintained High Honors, she won the award for excellence in History and English, and she won the Stephen Crane Award for short fiction.  While I can honestly say that I think she spent a ridiculous  amount of time and effort on schoolwork this year, I am so happy for her that her efforts paid off and that she was recognized for that work!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Family Reunion

Last Saturday, all of Bryce's immediate family from Al's side of the family arrived at the farm.  It's rare to have everyone together so this was a real treat.  We were a full house as the cottage was at capacity and we pulled out the Airstream as well!

Of course, one of the highlights for everyone was getting to spend time with the newest member of the family, Annie Jean.  She's such a cutie!

We lucked out and had nearly perfect weather.  Every meal was eaten outside and the evenings were spent by the fire.

All three grandchildren... and a granddog :) !

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New (old) Planters

I recently acquired two old, cast iron planters for our patio.  At some point, I got in my head that I really, really wanted painted green planters so I searched until I found a pair.  They have definitely seen some use and wear and that is exactly how I wanted it.  

My friend, Barbara, who has a real talent for putting pots together came over to help me gather the plants and place them in the pot.  She asked what my color theme was and, of course,  I said green and white, with a hint of pink.  I can't wait to see how they progress as the trailing plants get longer and everything else gets fuller! 

P.S.  Yep, that's a Christmas wreath on our barn!  It might make you happy to know we finally took it down!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Our Bathroom

I don't believe that I've ever posted photos of our finished bathroom so I thought I would do that today (I've had a really hard time getting good photos!).  When we bought this house, the master bathroom, if you will, was in the hallway outside of our bedroom.  At first glance, it was actually rather nice and we felt a bit guilty about tearing it out.  And, in fact, we probably never would have considered moving it if we had had a closet.  However, there simply was no closet in the master with the exception of very narrow closets next to the chimneys.  The previous owner had turned a bedroom (now our tv room) into a closet but it was not at all practical for us as it was down the hall, and down a small set of stairs, from our bedroom.

We tried all different configurations but we kept coming back to the realization that the bathroom should be the closet as it was a wonderful size for a walk in.  In the end, we ended up converting a second bedroom next to the master into a bathroom and making the old bathroom the closet.  Does that make sense?

That left us with a rather large bathroom!  Knowing that we were changing a bedroom into a bathroom, I never wanted to try to make it look as if that's not exactly what we were doing.  Our house is old, over 200 years old, so of course it never had a bathroom when it was built and we were not trying to make it look like it did.  Also, I wanted that country bathroom vibe where it seems as if it has simply unfolded as time passed and became what it needed to be.  Therefore, I wanted the bathroom to have the feeling of being a room, that just so happened to have a toilet!  Thus, I wanted to have a rug, hardwood floors, light fixtures that were beautiful and not necessarily for bathrooms, and  a piece of furniture or two!  Also, the bathroom happened to have a fireplace in it.  How dreamy is that???

Once construction begin and plaster started coming down to make room for plumbing, the craftsman who were working on the house loved seeing the workmanship from the house builder of long ago, including mortise and tenon, square nails and roman numerals carved into the beams to number how they fit together.  It was beautifully done!

Bryce has always joked (he's not really joking) that a secret to our marriage is having separate vanities.  He's neat, I'm not.  We couldn't get totally separate areas but we do have two sinks, which is great for both of us!  

I love having the closet off of the bathroom, it makes it super easy and convenient.  I also have the shoe closet Bryce built me to the side of the fireplace.  The tiny closet on the other side of the fireplace is used for linens and bathroom stuff.

I'm still keeping an eye out for artwork to go over the tub.  Also, I found the world's most perfect antique chandelier to go over the tub!  And then it arrived in the mail shattered beyond repair.  I haven't had the heart to look for a replacement...

We spent a lot of time worrying about finishes, hardware and  fixtures.  For most of the doors, we were able to reuse sets that were already on our doors (we reused all our doors).  However, we did have to hunt down one set of hardware for the toilet room door.   We stuck with the overall theme throughout the house of black with brass knobs.

Our sink, shower and tub faucets are all unlacquered brass.  Again, I wanted something that would age and patina but I can say they are not for everyone!  As you can see, before they reach that beautiful, mellow stage (which can take awhile) they look mottled and dotted.  This doesn't bother me but I think it's not Bryce's favorite.

Again, on our vanity we used brass hinges and vintage, glass pulls that I found on Etsy.  I thought the glass complimented our sconces which are also glass with silk shades.

This room had perhaps the best floor in the entire house, pumpkin pine in varying widths, and I was determined to keep it even though our contractor was skeptical that it was doable.  In the end, he totally made it work and it was well worth the extra effort.  It's so pretty!

Also, we were super glad that we did not let our guilt of being wasteful stop us from tearing out the old bathroom because it was discovered that the entire thing had been poorly done to begin with and a major beam was broken, causing the floor to sag.  Add a few leaks to the equation and we are lucky our bathroom never fell through to the foyer!

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Flower Frog

Hi friends!  I've been working on a project for a while now and I think I"m ready to start sharing a little bit about it!  In addition to growing flowers for our honor stand and florists, we are going to be opening an online boutique!  In it, we will sell items that are flower related.  We started off thinking of doing a gardening site but frankly, there are already so many good ones and so we started narrowing down our focus.  Flowers are a natural fit and there are so many wonderful flower related items that we hope to eventually sell.  My first priority is that the items we have for sale are well curated and of the best quality.  Our number one item is a WorkShirt that I've been working on for quite a while and I can't wait to introduce that to you but I think it deserves it's own post.

After much angst and a very steep learning curve, we've got the beginnings of a website up and running.  We won't be opening the online store for another month or so but if you are interested, or want to be added to an email list, check it out here! 

As anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time knows, frogs are of special significance to us and so I love our name, The Flower Frog, because it works two-fold.  Flower frogs are structures that one puts in the bottom of a vase to hold flower stems and it's our family mascot.  Our logo was drawn by Kim from Little House Art and I adore it.  I especially love how the frog is wearing the WorkShirt we are going to be selling!  We hope to sell some of Kim's work in our shop!

As I type this post, my heart is beating faster than it should be, I've come up with a million reasons why it's too early to put this out there and I find it all a bit terrifying.  But also?  I"m pretty proud of what we are trying to do and as scary as it is, I'm really looking forward to seeing where this takes us!  Thank you following along and sticking with me, I so appreciate it and you!

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