Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spring on the Prairie

Life in an old farmhouse out on the prairie follows the seasons. During winter, quiet days and long, snow filled nights fill up the calendar. We bundle up and hunker down around the fire to enjoy a good book and a cup of cocoa. We don't travel very far or very fast. Spring days are just the opposite though. The sun shines longer and warmer every day spurring us to get busy again. Spring has definitely sprung around here lately.

I just love the greening of the prairie when Spring finally arrives. I don't, however, love all the work that accompanies it. This year has been especially hectic. Last spring we were gearing up for our "faux" move. The spring before that we were actually moving. For the past 2 years, our lives have been in such turmoil that many things have gone undone. The warmer weather is allowing me to begin tackling some long awaited projects.

In the spring I always like to give everything a good cleaning. In addition to the house, I thoroughly clean my barn. That means dragging everything out of the barn, washing and disinfecting everything possible. I even wipe down and spray the walls of the barn.

We have also been cleaning out the flower beds which apparently had not been done for years. The mowing has begun. That is a real chore. Our yard is more than an acre, and I am having to mow it with a push mower! Hopefully the riding mower will be working again soon. (That is a funny story I will save for another day.)

I have started trying to clean out the garage too. I am ashamed to admit that it is packed so tightly that it is almost impassable. When my husband finally returned home last fall after his cross-country work tour last summer, he brought back everything we had in storage. We put most of the boxes in the garage. Unfortunately it was soon too cold to unpack them, so they sat there all winter. I am now trying to unpack all of them. What boxes we didn't put in the garage, we put on the sunporch, which is also a mass of boxes now. I am trying to get those unpacked and sorted as well.

Recently we opened up the second floor of the house and moved our bedroom there from the first floor. That entailed the two of us carrying all our bedroom furniture back up a tiny flight of stairs. There was lots of grunting and groaning, and even a little yelling near the end, but we finally got it done.
And as if all that wasn't enough to keep me busy, I have also been trying to get enrolled in school for the fall semester. I am looking forward to finishing what I started oh so long ago.

The long, dull days of winter are certainly over. I am on the go practically from dawn to dusk now. For the moment, I am enjoying the renewed pace of life. Pretty soon though, I will probably be longing to return to those lazy winter days of warm fires and good books.

Hope your fields are filled with flowers. Blessings.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ugly Duckling Makeover

I found this hideous gameboard at the thrift store. I almost walked right by it, but something told me that there was still hope for this ugly duckling. After all, it was only 75 cents, so I didn't have much to lose.

I started by sanding the board all over to make it easier to paint.

Then I painted all the blue squares black and painted the background cream.

Next I painted the board red. It took 3 coats. Two were burgundy and the top coat was barn red. The last thing was to stencil stars, black and cream, all over the board.

Then I placed it on top of my china hutch along with my other thrift store treasures including, Pfaltzgraff dishes, chippy paint birdhouse, and large mirror.

I would say it was 75 cents well spent.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

As the deer panteth..

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.-- Psalms 42:1

Blessings to you on this Palm Sunday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Freezing Fog and the promise of spring

Last month we awakened to find that freezing fog had descended upon our little farm. It may be the most unusual weather phenomenon of all. It covers almost everything with a fine coat of ice which looks like a heavy frost, but different. Each tiny ice crystal seems to freeze individually, stacking up on top of each other. What amazes me most is how they appear to defy gravity. I can't even find the words to describe how they build on top of each other. You will have to enlarge the photo of the leaves to see what I am poorly attempting to describe.

While the freezing fog may be beautiful to look at, it is treacherous to drive in. That is why I am happy to say that I think winter may be done here. Woo-hoo!! The snow has finally, completely melted. This is a glorious day. We have had snow on the ground here in our little corner of the prairie since December 1st, 2009. The craziest thing is that the weather is not supposed to be like that here, because I don't live that far north. It just so happens that I moved to this area just in time to experience two of the coldest winters in more than a century.

I am pretty sure it is over though. I actually heard some birds singing when I was walking the dog. The dog was so surprised that she just stopped and looked to see where the birds were at. Then we both just stood in the field for a few minutes quietly enjoying the hint of spring's sweetness whispering to us. I can hardly wait for the beautiful wildflowers and grasses to return to the prairie. But for now, I will just settle for seeing the sunshine peeking through the curtains beckoning me to return outside, because it holds a promise that the fields will spring to life again soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet little Rooster

I would like to welcome the newest rooster to our kitchen. He arrived around Valentine's Day, and I have been trying to find just the right spot for him since then. He really is rather cute.

He helps out in the kitchen by holding a recipe when I am cooking.

Most of the time he just stands around looking handsome though.

He seemed so happy here at first. Then yesterday he started complaining . It seems that he doesn't like the darling ribbon I tied on him. I think it is because the other new fellow in the kitchen makes fun of him whenever I leave the room.

I hope the teasing stops soon, but you know how roosters are.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It snowed again last night. It wasn't much, just enough to be annoying, again. This winter seems long already, and we aren't even done with it.

Back in October, winter started whispering to us. The nights became longer, and the days became cooler. We knew winter would arrive soon. In November, winter stopped whispering and started knocking. The north wind began rattling the doors and windows with her power. In the mornings, the frost was so thick that it looked like snow.

Then on December 1st, winter showed her real fury with a nasty snowstorm. The weather warmed for a few days afterwards and it looked like the snow would melt. The sun was only teasing us though, and the snow never completely disappeared. Piles of it lingered in the shadows by the tractor barn, just like last year.

On Christmas day, winter gave us a really big surprise with the largest single day snowfall in my part of the prairie in RECORDED HISTORY. It just built upon what was already here.

January brought a record ice storm to accompany our normal snow. The weather forecasters were calling for about 1/10 of an inch of ice, which really isn't much. I didn't believe them though, and got ready for something worse. Thank goodness I did, because we ended up with ONE INCH OF ICE covering everything. Tens of thousands of homes in our region were without electricity. Since we live out on a lonely section of the prairie, there was no rush to restore electrical services in our area. We actually were part of the last 1/2 of 1% of people to get their electricity restored. I knew the break to our house was bad too when I looked outside and there were 9 electrical trucks lined up working to restore our power. Yikes!

What can I say about February. The snow just seems to keep coming. Thankfully we didn't get the several feet of snow that was dumped on the east coast all at once. Instead we have gotten our snow strung out over several months of unending grayness.

Truth is, I actually like winter, but this just might be too much of a good thing, even for me. Oh, did I mention that there is snow in the forecast for this weekend?! May you be blessed with warm, sunny days wherever you are.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Late night cards and other forgetful things

Imagine that late one night you are busy boxing up a package to mail first thing the next morning. Suddenly you realize that you don't have a birthday card to mail with it. The nearest store is 2o miles away and closed at that time of night anyway. What do you do?

I grabbed some paper and ribbon and set to work. This is what I came up with. The picture isn't as clear as I wish it was, but you get the idea. I hope the recipient liked it, or at least appreciates the effort.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cold house... warm hearts!

Tears roll down my face as I sit on my comfortable couch in my safe home watching the images of the horror in Haiti. I am simply overwhelmed by the raw emotion of the victims. I feel their grief as they share the stories of the loved ones they have lost, and I recognize how truly blessed I am to be who I am and to live how I do.

These precious human beings enduring the unimaginable have touched my soul. I can not sit idly by and simply watch them suffer. I have to help. My husband and I have decided to give until it hurts, literally.

We are going to cut our heating budget in half this month and donate the remainder to charities assisting earthquake victims in Haiti.

The weather here has been milder recently, which means the temperatures have been hovering around the freezing mark during the day and staying above zero overnight. That is a January heat wave in my neighborhood.

We heat our home with a pellet stove and normally use about two bags of pellets a day. That keeps our house in the upper 50 degree range. For the rest of the month we are going to use only one bag of pellets a day. That will drop the temperature in the house to the lower 50s.

I am already wearing 3 layers of clothes anyway, so I will just put on a 4th one.

I don't actually even mind, because the joy I feel from knowing that we can make a difference means so much more to me than any slight discomfort I might feel in the coming weeks.

So if you want to feel good too, I encourage your family to give until it hurts too! There are many wonderful groups helping in Haiti right now. Please donate to one of them. Every donation can make a difference. Water purification tablets only cost a few pennies each, so every DIME can truly save a life.

Here are links to the agencies we are donating to. I have personally seen both of these charities in action where I live following other natural disasters. They are truly angels ministering in the midst of suffering.

Convoy of Hope:

United Methodist Committee on Relief:

Blessings to you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year

Thank you to all the sweet bloggers who dropped by and left me a note while I was absent. I appreciate your kind words. I am sorry to have been gone so long. I kept intending to get back to blogland, but life got in the way. Nothing terrible happened, just lots of little changes and inconveniences all at once, which seemed to overwhelm me. I will update you on everything when I can.

Happy 2010 to everyone. I hope your new year is getting off to a great start. Soon I will be dropping by your blogs to give you my well wishes in person. Until then, blessings to all of you.