Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I resolve...

Tick Tock     Tick Tock     Tick Tock
The final days of 2010 are here.
In our minds, we create our "best of" and "worst of" lists for this year.
We resolve to have more "best ofs" in 2011.
Tick Tock     Tick Tock     Tick Tock

Tick Tock
My very first job out of college was teaching Nursery School  in Madison.

I learned many lessons from working with young children: 
patience, joy and that my right knee on my pants always wore thru (from getting down to the child's level)!
I learned many lessons from working with my co-teacher:
Nancy taught me about organization, intentional planning and that you should always set your bar high.

It was also at Tenney Nursery & Parent Center that I learned the essential rules for life;
Take care of yourself.
Take care of each other.
Take care of our world.

I can resolve to do better at this --even a little better counts.

How about you?  What lessons do you take into this new year?
What wishes are you making?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A final gift...

The quiet reflection of the day after Christmas is always a gift...and on this day, there was also another gift waiting.  Bare feet into boots, robe rather than coat -- I ventured outside to receive it.

hoar·frost (hôr frôst). n. Frozen dew that forms a white coating on a surface. Also called white frost.

Magical & Beautiful
A final Christmas Gift.

Has your cup runneth over?

Monday, December 20, 2010

fragile...please handle with care

Hold out your hands...and accept this...
It is fragile, please handle with care.

What could it be - this fragile gift?

My first thought is the little blue eggs - shell fragments I find in the yard each summer - new babies in a nest so high.  I think of those little ones  - surviving wind, rain, crows & jays.   And they make it -- and then journey so far to return each spring and begin again.

Fragile begets Strength.

I think of the ornaments - German made I unwrap each December.  They traveled to Wisconsin, some with my great grandparents.  I find these at antique shops, at thrift sales -- and gather them.  Somehow they have survived, to be honored each year.

Fragile begets Dignity.

I think of the people I have met -- those that have traveled through hard times.  Those that do not define themselves as a cup half empty --- but rather always at least half full.  Those that accept food from a line, coats - second hand but warm.  Those that would take your hand if you offered it.

Fragile begets Resilience.

I think of the animals that toil thru the cold, that dig for grass in the snow...that know warmth only when in season.  That don't complain, but accept the grace of a stranger, seed from a feeder, corn left to find, apples fallen from a tree and left for them.

Fragile begets Perseverance.

When burdens seem too heavy, when suffering seems too large -- when all feels fragile -- I reach out my hands and ask for Wisdom from the past, from the woods, from the least likely place....and tonight, in a humble barn, a stable of sorts, it found me. 

Fragile begets hope. 

May the promise of Christmas find you.  Hold out your hands, but please handle with care.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the fourth day of Christmas...

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
Four Calling Birds.

My gift...birdseed in the feeder in the apple orchard.

*The challenge - the twelve days of Christmas from items in my home
a Gift based upon my interpretation.

Screech...that is the sound of my brakes as I attempt to STOP.
Last night my son was in a car accident - he is fine.
I am not so much.
I have been pondering a lot in my heart lately --
and now feel the need to stop, step away for a bit.

I will be back.

I didn't realize when I started this post this morning that the four calling birds would call to me...
I need to follow.

I wish you only the best of what this holiday season can be.
We each need to find out what that is.
See you soon,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the third day of Christmas...

The challenge -- to photograph my version of the 12 days of Christmas
from vignettes already found in my home.

My true love gave to me -
three French Hens.

The gift -- pay it forward somehow based upon my interpretation of each day.

Today I will attempt to not "ruffle any feathers" --
and be thoughtful,
remembering that this is indeed the season of good will.

I might also take my son out for chicken fajitas (sorry french hens) ---
and attempt to try out a few French words thru the day (not really a gift to anyone).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the second day of Christmas...

The challenge: Represent the twelve days of Christmas from items already present in my home.

The gift:  Offer out a gift based upon each day.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves.

Today, my gift will be kindness. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

On the first day of Christmas...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

Snow bound Kari created a final test for the year.
Could I recreate the twelve days of Christmas with just what was already out in my home?

And rather than wait until the true twelve days --
Christmas thru Epiphany...
I gift these to you each day thru Christmas Eve.

I will also add a twist -- a gift I give to my Kari-world based on this: 
Today I will take in fruit to share at my office.

What would you have in your home to represent this first day?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shall we say - SNOW!

Somehow I had missed it...all the warnings leading up to today.
Certainly, Friday -- word began to register.
Get. Ready.
A. Blizzard. Is. Coming.

So, like any good Wisconsinite -- I went to the grocery store.
Beef stew, cocoa, more cocoa....

And, it is here.
Snow - and plenty of it.
Winds arriving next.
Then cold, cold, cold.

Living in the country - you just have to wait it out.
If winds are coming, no need to get too excited about shoveling...
the gusts will come across the fields and move it all around anyway.
Wait it out.

So, I climbed thru drifts out to the barn this morning.
Making sure every kitten was accounted for --
they would be in way over their little heads in this snow fall.

Milk, cat food, hay for the goats --
and today a space heater in a little "warm me up" spot
for the cats.  Come on, I do have a heart.

It is here -- we hunker down, and wait.
Will it make the record books?
Could be.

Are you hunkered down too?

Shall we say - BLIZZARD.
It was!
Here is Dave hidden behind mounds of snow cleaning up.
My job was to dig a path out of the barn for the animals.
SNOW - and lots of it!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be Nice...

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout,
I'm telling you why...
Santa Claus is coming to town."

As a child, my family celebrated Christmas in a pretty traditional way.
(the little santa above is from my childhood)
I can still remember going thru the list above to make sure I was following all the rules...
Most important to be good, be nice.
After all, I had Santa watching.
And then we would add the nativity set --- so that sweet little baby in the manger was
likely keeping an eye on me too.
Really better be good.

Don't you just wish, don't you just want at the top of all of our
wish lists for that rule to apply all year.
Be Nice...
Better be good.

Oh my, if we could just offer compassion, understanding, empathy --
if we could just give a little more when there feels like nothing is left,
what a great place we would live in.

And so I resurrected a past post: "On doves & peace & kindness"
as a reminder.  This has been on my mind, weighing heavy on my heart for some time.

There is enough blame & judgement & anger in this world, let's offer
a truce --- an olive branch.

Be Nice...thanks!

I want a bumper sticker, a shirt, a tattoo, a yard sign, a pin that says that.

Maybe I just need to start me a movement...

Be Nice, pass it on....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Sweet Shop

A pinch of this...
tuck away a vintage card just so.

A little of that...
bottle brush trees, vintage ribbon, charming candles.

A dash of seasoning...
sparkle in the form of vintage garland.

A cup of sugar...
Celluloid deer overflowing.

Stir it all together -
May you enjoy the sweet moments of this holiday season.

Hugs, Kari

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter gathering...

Winter arrived Saturday.

Played in the snow with the animals
Made cocoa & chili
Brought out more Christmas decorations
Gathered at one antique store and at auction...

Here is some of what I gathered:

Section of ceiling tin for a back splash

Vintage painted ornament

Box of books at auction

The weekend was paced by snow...
a needed reprieve from such busy days.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


And so it shall be!

My living room theme this year for the holidays.

A little silver.
A bit of gold.
A dash of rusty patina.
Off white.
Stir it all together.

There is that jar of my favorite number tacks - twinkling just so.

If you peak out the window...
nature added some white to the theme this morning.

What inspires your decorating this holiday season?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hardworking Cupboard - Vintage with a Purpose #5

So, who made up the rule that the best kitchens
have granite counters and cabinets* that cost the same as your kid's education?  

Must have been the same folks that said a run-on sentence is poor grammar, and don't use "..." too much.

Rules --- whatever.

As I said to my son last week in a little talk about his work towards a Business Degree...
learn all the rules,
then proceed to push the envelope where & when you can.
'Cause who says so?
If it is not law and if it doesn't make sense to you -- then don't.
Be courageous & creative.  Make your own way.

So, that being said....my kitchen, my home was built when home rules were in their infancy.
A kitchen needed a fire to cook on & water somewhere near by. 
Period.  No run-on sentence needed...

And, I love the pureness of what we have.

So -- no granite counters, no cabinets that cost a small fortune...instead --
one of my essentials is this hardworking cupboard.

It is a beauty -- purchased years ago in Paoli, Wisconsin.
In my last home it lived in our upstairs hallway - holding my clothes.
In this home, it resides in the kitchen, friend of the 4 little cabinets that were there.

The inside was painted with milk paint --- from around 1850 --
similar in age to our house.
Pure of style and now pure of purpose:
Hold my stuff.

And zinc topped Ball jars -- oh my gosh!
I officially make a rule: 
Every home needs at least one of these --

*Footnote -- if you have granite counters or fabulous cabinets
--- please do not be offended.
Each home and each person calls for their own identity & needs...rules don't.

So --- here is your chance -
"make" or break a rule here.....
come on, you know you want to!
Add your comment...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sacred Sanctuary

Such quiet power in these words...
Of a place or a time or a thought -- that is just yours.

You choose to share - or not.

You decide to say:

"Enter, please."


"Thus far & no further."

It is yours...and you safeguard it.

Some of my sacred sanctuaries are:
  • 5:00 a.m. when all is quiet
  • a bowl of popcorn at the end of the day
  • my farm any time
  • a vintage down feather comforter

What or Where is your Sacred Sanctuary?

I wanted to also take a moment to share this secret place in Winter, Wisconsin. 
It is ours -- but yet it is not.
It belongs to the trees & the birds & the animals.
You are more likely to find a bear track than a footprint.
It sits unscathed, unchanged & free of human toil.
It is a sacred sanctuary -- of the purest kind.
We mark it with "No Trespassing, No Hunting" to keep people out - to keep it sacred.
We tell the world with no uncertainty, "Thus Far -- But No Further."
And that is O.K.


We need to find that in our life.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

May I suggest...

If you are looking for a day's
Antiquing adventure
in Wisconsin,
might I suggest Hixton.

Hixton is a sweet small town located on Interstate 90/94 southeast of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 
It is said to be midway between Madison and the Twin Cities.

This little town has four wonderful Antique Shops: 
Cobblestone Cottage
The Village Peddler
Miller's Antiques
The Hixton Schoolhouse Antique Mall

I sell at the latter.

The Hixton Schoolhouse Antique Mall
is open 7 days a week from 10-5.
It is a 90 dealer mall located in an old school.
I might guess it to be one of the largest in the state.
It is a wonderful treasure chest.

I have a room/booth and a case
-- dealer code "SPY".

My dealer code comes from many wonderful hours
spent reading the I SPY books with Ian.
And, as you might notice in the pictures of my booth,
I like lots of, shall we say, "details" (insert smile here).

Dave also has a case -- dealer code MD (Musky Dave).

You may even find Dave & I behind the counter,
as we work several days each month.

It you should go, tell them Kari sent you!

So, where is your favorite place to antique?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Easy wind & downy flake


That has been how I feel about the onset of winter as I get older.

Granted, the first snows are beautiful -- in their Robert Frost way:
"The only other sound's the sweep of easy wind and downy flake."

Yet, my list of promises to keep seems long.
The list of winter readiness still waiting:
*stake the driveway
*straw over the pipes
*snow fence up
*on & on

And, my worries about the animals --
Did we put up enough food?
 Will they be warm enough?
How will they fill their long, endless cold days?

We all hunker down, pull up the quilts...count the weeks until spring.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Dave reminds me that the days will begin to get longer again in about a month.
5 - 6 - 7 - 8
I will think about gardens & the spring Barn Sale & warm sunshine.
9 - 10 - 11 - 12

And my mind turns to why I do love living in Wisconsin with four distinct seasons.
It is because we don't take anything for granted.
We know cold as well as we know warmth.
We feel a hibernation as much as we feel a rebirth.
We must feel a loss to feel a joy....know the valleys to reach the peaks.

And so we slow down. 
We pull out projects best done on a winter night. 
That is the season we are entering...the season of "miles to go".

"But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep."

How will you fill your "miles to go" this winter?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Once upon a time, I traveled to an Antique mall in eastern Wisconsin.  Walking up and down the isles, I was hunting for treasures...and there, tucked in a shelf was the 1950's Steiff Turkey above.  I collect Steiff from that era -- these are mohair toys made in Germany.  This sweet little guy had a tag of $6.95 (far below his retail of $85+).  So, of course, he came home to Meadowview Farm to live happily ever after.

Wishing you:
blessings galore
safe travels
family memories


With snow & freezing rain on the way -- this is where I will be,
tucked in with Shawnee & McCoy, a vintage down comforter & a good magazine,
waiting for my Ian to arrive home.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

To start, it was cold. 
All my worries about snow or freezing rain were alleviated.
The day was chilly & crisp.
In opening the barn, I decided to mist the air with freshener -- frozen.
Coffee in mug from night before -- frozen.
Apple Cider -- almost frozen.
It was cold -- day for an extra pair of socks & wool coat & mittens!

Yet the kindred spirits, the gatherers, came.
With warm hearts & generous spirit they arrived.
No "coldest day of the year so far" would keep them away from the hunt.

And, friends found along the way -
from this blogging community were there:
Dawn & Diane & Cheryl & Kelly (pictured above)...
and all of you reading this that were there.
With cold hands & warm hearts -
you were there...
some traveling miles.
You were there...

And, my friends...
Pictured above:  me, Nan, Jani, Sarah.

What can I quite say...I put it out to the universe --
"karma, treat these women well...."
'cause you do get what you give.

They left at 5:30 a.m. - traveling from Madison & Sun Prairie.
There, at my side -- with deer antlers jiggling.
Freezing their badonkadonks off all morning -- with smiles.
Helping, laughing, raising my spirits to the rafters.

You guys -- friends of the absolute highest order.
Thank you!

When the day came to an end, my Dave & I sat up in the barn
(sitting because we could no longer feel our toes).
The sparrows returned to the barn
-- singing their song of home.
And, so did my heart!

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts.
Thank you!

You must, must visit sweet Bethany's Blog 
(just double click on prior words)
-- amazing photos & writing...most recently about the sale.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cup of Joy!

We welcome you to Meadowview Farm
on Saturday, November 20th from 9-5.

Come have a cup of hot apple cider.

Enjoy shopping the hayloft....do dress WARM!

Last Barn Sale of 2010!

Thanks to each of you for your support this past year as we
ventured into the Barn Sale business. 

Sometimes our cup truly runneth over,
and we just need to remember that.

Hugs to all, Kari

Friday, November 12, 2010


Gone -- gone.  Heart broken. 
My little Shadow -- such a gentle soul, missing since Wednesday night.
Always the protector. 
Assume that a predator came calling - and he set himself between it and the baby kittens.

Will miss his eyes of autumn -- and his kind & loving spirit....just too good for this world.

I will wait for you forever.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Barn Sale Give-Away Too!

See winner announcement at end of this post!!
In honor of my upcoming
"Does on the Go" Barn Sale
here is a Give-Away!!

These two sweet little metal deer were made in
Germany in the late 1800's to 1930's for Putz Nativity scenes. 
The standing deer measures about 3 inches tall. 

This little pair could be yours!

Enter a comment to be included in the drawing. 

Comments must be posted by midnight on Friday, November 12th
-- with a winner randomly drawn on Saturday, November 13th.
The winner will be posted here!

If you are a "Follower" of my Blog...feel free to comment twice
 - doubling your chance to win this sweet pair. 

*See the following post
or click on "Barn Sales" to the right under "Chapters..."
for details about the upcoming Barn Sale!

Winner, Winner, Winner
No scientific method...just names in a bowl....and (drum roll):

Cheryl you won!!!

I will have the little guys packaged & waiting for you at the "Does on the Go" Barn Sale.
In the event you are not able to make it -- I will get them sent off to you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Does on the Go" Barn Sale

Getting Ready!

"Does on the Go"
Barn Sale
Antiques & Vintage Finds

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Meadowview Farm
Augusta, Wisconsin

On County Road R between Osseo & Augusta
(Watch for the signs)

Here's a little peak:

Pssst, over here ---- code words:  "Prancing Hooves" for 10% off your total purchases!

**Check back here on November 19th in the event that there is a (heaven forbid) snow date.**

Watch for updates in the days ahead -- and perhaps a give-away!
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