Thursday, April 21, 2016

The New Flock

There isn't much in this world that's more fun than a hand full of baby chicks.
 We went and got the new flock yesterday while the sun was shining and it was warm and beautiful.  The babies were brought home and put in a clean, snug coop under the warmth of my grandfather's old brooder light to keep them toasty.  His old glass chick waterer was set up and feeders were set out for them.  It's always so much fun to watch them run around and explore. Eating and drinking and tipping over on their little faces as they fall asleep on their feet. One minute they are awake and the next they have fallen face first into a nap.
 This little guy is one of the tinier chicks.  We got a mixture of breeds so they are all different ages.  Earl was trying to get it to relax and fall asleep in his hand. Such a cutie. The chick is cute too ;)
We got 2 each of Wellsummers, ISA Browns, Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Black Australorp and  Gold Laced Wyandotte, all brown egg layers, and two Aracaunas that will lay green or blue eggs.  It will be a while, but I'm hoping this flock will be as sweet and beautiful as our last  flock was.

I'm looking forward to fresh eggs this fall!  Lots happening here and I'll be sharing more next week.
Have a great week and enjoy the sunshine and warmth. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Plain and Simple

I'm putting it all out there today.  My daughters have asked me several times to do a series on entertaining and since I know so many sweet girls just starting out and since I am starting up a hospitality ministry in our church, I think now might be the time.  

I think a lot of people are intimidated by the thought of having people over.  Nobody sees your flaws and the flaws of your home like you do.  Sometimes we are afraid we just don't measure up, our things aren't as nice as other people's, everything is so imperfect.
I am here to tell you, that is no reason not to ask people over.  As bloggers we tend to fancy things up for that Pinterest pin.  I happen to be one of those people who has rarely seen a set of dishes I didn't covet.  I have at least 6 sets to mix and match, and I love to set a nice table.  I like pretty things, and what guests don't realize is that with my skin flinty ways I get those things dirt cheap.

But some of the best times of friendship and fun I have had, have been when the table was piled with paper plates, cups and napkins and the food consisted of  chips, dip and whatever someone wanted to share for the potluck.  The food is not the focus. The people are.
What you see here is my table. My grandmother's table first, and now mine, still scarred from crafts from when the girls were little, (and my own crafts have made a few marks!).  I never cared if it got scratched or marred because their fun and creativity was more important.  I usually throw a yard sale tablecloth over it when folks come over. I have plans to refinish it some day, but I'm ok with it not being picture perfect for now.

When we invite people over for dinner or any other time, I want to focus on getting to know them.  People are more important than dishes, perfect table settings or perfect menus.  I'm not afraid to let people see my scratched table or the holes that my vintage table cloth may have.  We all just enjoy being together and getting to know each other on a deeper level. 

As picnic and party season approaches, I encourage you to open your homes and your hearts to people you love and those you would like to know better. Don't worry about the worn rug, the scratches on the table, don't even worry about what you will serve, make it pot luck if you have to. Just do it.  The friendships that will deepen and the joy you will gain are so worth it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Something Sweet

 I feel like lately I am running to keep up with my posting. Playing catch up.  Case in point, this post.  Back in February Earl tapped the Maple trees in the woods and made the most delectable Maple Syrup. Enough to share a jar with each of the girls and then hoard the rest for ourselves.  Why is it that food you make or grow yourself just tastes better than what you buy? Is it my imagination? Maybe. But there is something so satisfying in making something yourself.  He got a late start so we are hoping to get even more sap next year.
 He also made this lemon curd cheese cake for Easter dessert. One might wonder just what is keeping me so busy that I can't post since Earl is clearly doing all the work around here. I wonder myself sometimes, and yet, something clearly is deterring me.  Forgive the grainy photo, I snapped this with my phone in low light. It tasted so much better than this photo looks.
 Another sweet thing? This pretty tablecloth my youngest picked up for me just because she knew I would like it.  The sweetness of that is even greater than Maple syrup or cheesecake.  It makes this mama's heart all warm and happy when my girls do things like that.  They so deserve those jars of Maple Syrup!
We had a very small guest list for Easter this year. We usually have 14 or more around this table, but times are changing. We have to share the girls with in-laws :( My eldest is far away and couldn't make it, Grandma had to run to Arizona for the death of her brother in law, and we had to share his youngest sister with her in-laws. (There are times I think in-laws should be called out-laws...but then that would bounce back on me wouldn't it? *sigh)

So, we hosted Earl's youngest sister and Uncle. It was a small party, but still very good.  It's just hard to roll with the changes sometimes. I missed my kids.  I hope you all had good times with family and friends for the holiday. 

 Are you taking the bunnies and Easter decor down now? What is going in it's place?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

And the Winner is ...

Spring is making an appearance around here not only in the weather, but in the house.  I finally took the dead Christmas wreath off the front door and replaced it with this cute basket.  I found the pansies and long green thingys at JoAnne Fabrics and had the nest, ribbon and basket in my decorating stash.  The basket was browns and since brown and I don't last long, I watered down some green craft paint and gave it a swipe. I love the way it turned out, with the woody texture showing through but not the brown.  I raided my sewing stash of vintage hem binding for the ribbon.  Sometimes hoarding is a good thing!
 In other news, I'm a day late in announcing the winner of the pillow cover and it is.......

Deb at Garage Sale Gal! 

Congratulations Deb! I'm sending a note your way to get your snail mail so I can get your package in the mail this week.  Thank you to everyone else who left a comment and who have been such faithful friends through the years. I love you all :)

I'll be getting ready for Easter this week. It will be a small one, just a few family members instead of the usual 16 or so, but I'm looking forward to it anyway.  I hope your week is blessed and beautiful!

                                             Linking up with Thoughts of Home on Thursday

Friday, March 11, 2016

Giveaway! A Host of Golden Daffodils

February marked 9 years of writing and sharing on this little blog. I can hardly believe it.  I am so glad to have some of those posts to look back on. I could have never predicted how dear this community and the friends I have made would become to me. So I have a little something to give away in appreciation.  I have two beautiful, brilliant and talented nieces who several years ago, gave me some of the most adorable daffodils that they had crocheted. Ever since they gave them to me, I have had this vision in my head of how I would use them.
A Spring pillow seemed just the thing.  This kind of artistry should be seen and enjoyed.  I finally got around to making that pillow and it is just as adorable as I knew it would be!  I will be drawing a name on March 21 and some lucky reader will ge this adorable 12x16 pillow cover in some very happy mail :)  Can you see the little 3 dimensional cups in the center of these daffodils? SO cute! And yes, I did save enough to make a pillow to keep myself ;)
It's easy, just leave a comment on the blog.  If you want an extra entry, come follow me and leave a comment on Instagram too. It's as easy as that!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the love, support, kind words, and all the fun we've shared over these past 9 years!  Here's to many more :) XXOO