Sunday, December 23, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by this blog and, ultimately, this blog.

And yes, I realize it is not Friday, but I was so inspired, I could not resist.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours, may your season be bright, filled with peace, and aglow with the warmth of love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who doesn't love a Before & After?

I know I do! So, let's get right to it.

July 2007 - just a mere five months after moving in...
and another...

humble beginnings; salvaged chairs given a seat and paint job....

So much history in and behind this door...

On the outside looking in...
So  many people who buy old houses start the process by replacing the leaky old windows.  We knew that a lot of the value in an old house IS those leaky old lead-filled glass panes and their wood sills.  We chose to keep them.  Sometimes, in January and February I cuss at them.  But most of the time I like the way they look.

Well, Welcome Home! Let the fun begin!
And so it began...
Next time on farmhousewife TV we'll tell the story of "How We Chose Our House Paint Colors!"

Coming along...
And, she is finished.  My husband, Captain Strong-Arms scraped, primed, and put two coats on this old girl all by himself.  He's my hero.

Organized Chaos

Usually, I can't stop myself from saying whatever is on my mind, but lately - I've been a bit subdued.  I was about to use the word "normal" in a sentence, but I wonder if everyone here shares my philosophy that the word is a setting on the dryer?

We are gathered here today to talk about my muse.  Er, uh - ahem, the lack thereof of my muse.

See, when time gets tight, I tend to focus on the must haves in life, like clean laundry, food, clean dishes, oh, and my little side gig - called full time work and school.  But less inspiration crosses the threshold of this wanna-be-creative farmhousewife.  Which causes farmhousewife-withdrawals.  It's not pretty, folks.

On Sunday, I carefully planned my time according to allotments of necessary chores and schoolwork said 'to hell with it' and re-arranged the entire living room which had not been touched in well over 9 months.   At first it was the gigantic lop-eared over-sized dust-bunnies that disgusted me.  As I moved furniture about, I dusted, swept, then mopped. Once the cleanliness began, then, I experienced the strong motivation to create beauty around me.  I sweated whirled about, changing the red slip-cover on the heavy couch, fluffed and punched pillows, arranged magazines and what-nots on the coffee table, angling the furniture just-so,  for a close and intimate feel, but still handy to watch the monster-in-the-room television if that were to strike a fancy.

At the time, I didn't realize this was the drive I was experiencing, as it felt more PMS-related and the fact that the house did not have 7 year old and 44  year old feet tracking mud throughout (they were on a road-trip!).  But later, as I was done, and sat down with a bowl of chicken-n-dumplings I looked around and felt peaceful.  Why, all of the sudden did I feel so much better?  So much more ready to sit for hours on end and stare into an extra-large biology book, pretending to know how many charged atoms, protons, neurons and nuclei are in a molecule of minuscule proportion.

It was because I got my muse back.

My point is; when I feel out of control it helps to create beauty, therefore re-organizing the chaos in my mind and my living room.  Beauty comes in many forms; food, home, garden, and I aim to find more time for it.  It re-inspires me.

I didn't ace the biology quiz by the way, but now I have a really nice space to retreat to when the going gets.........normal.

*no photos, I know...b o r i n g.... let me get some snapped when I get home later today and I'll upload.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Speechless Studying Saturday

Since I am in school and working full-time, I do not have a lot of time for blogging.  So I bring you this speechless Studying Saturday  in pictures.  Enjoy!

Four O'Clocks

Catawba Tree Blooms

Hattie and friends

Spencer, the Skin Horse

At Wit's End - a nice place to be

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pigs Will Be Pigs

We raise our pigs in a wooded dirt lot.

They seem to enjoy it.

They have "waller" or big muddy pond-like place to cool off.

Lots of dirt to "root" in - and lots of roots, too!

They're stinkin' cute.  They stink and they're cute.

They enjoy each other's company.

They love doing this!

Pigs will be pigs.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Falling in love, again and again.

If you've ever read "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams, you'll recognize the nickname for gentleman in the photo above: the Skin Horse. Partly because of how 'real' he is, and partly because of his color: Buckskin, is how the nickname came about.

He's not mine, no.  But I love him like he is.  This mature and gentle being belongs to my mom. His name is Spencer.

25 years ago, he looked like this:

His mom's name was J.B. and I would lounge on her uncomfortable back for as long as Lori would let me, just to bury my hands in that mane, lean close to her neck and smell that lovely scent of dirt, and "horse," which is an unforgettable smell.

His dad was named Diamond Eyes, a well known APHA (American Paint Horse Association) sire and Halter Performance horse:

When he was born, he didn't have any white markings on him, so the breeder put him up for sale immediately.  In the mid-to late-eighties paint horses were all the rage, and the more white coloring they had, the better.  According to the show circuit anyway.  

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him. 

 In late November of 2009, Spencer, along with April, came all the way from southern California to North Carolina to live at Hope Farms.  Since then, I have fallen in love, again and again with the Skin Horse.

Lately, he's been known to teach me a thing or three, especially about trust, and every time I am around him I feel more comfortable in my own skin.  

At 25, and being from California, he doesn't keep his "topline," meaning, the roundness of a younger, more fit horse and I worry about him keeping his weight on, especially in the summer time.  The humidity of these NC summers are difficult for him, but I'm hoping that he adapts more and more every year.  

I no longer think of 25 as being "old" for a horse.  He has become. And he's helping me to do the same.

Thanks for sharing him, Mom.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

 I find lately that I'm overwhelmed with gratefulness.  For instance, I've been blessed by the presence of this pony, April, for over 30 years.  There just aren't many things that compare to walking up to the barn in the morning to find a cute little old lady that isn't quite awake yet....
 And these....
 They'll make you smile on the worst day...
 and grin like a fool any day...
 Spaces created out of function, still create more beauty...
 This is hereby dubbed "Wit's End" - have a seat.
 Stay a while.
 Can you imagine?
 This being your "office"?
 What a grand view.
"Work" would not seem like "work" takes on a whole new meaning.

Thankful Thursdays.  Thanks for stopping by.

What is this leisure time of which you speak?

my grateful button