Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Anyway, as I am sitting out back, minding my own pruning business -- along drives Dave down our driveway -- and there suddenly appears to be little critters under his car. My first thought: kittens!!!! I hollered for him to stop. Well, they were kits -- but not of the barn variety...rather of the "get into the trash" variety....raccoon babies to be exact. That was the origin of all that shrilling noise.
I now understand why raccoons so often end up along the edge of roads -- they have a thing for cars -- and these babes were not coming out from under Dave's car. They had run out to it and were not leaving this blue "momma".
So, Dave grabbed a long rubber hose to do "some convincing" ... and the next thing I know, he is leading one of the raccoon babies down the driveway back to the tree. One raccoon remains behind, crying. I grab a long grape vine I had just pruned from along the back of the house...and led the other baby down the driveway. Literally we dragged, they followed.
So, I am not quite as eloquent as Sterling North -- our wonderful Edgerton, Wisconsin author that wrote about a young boy's adventures with Rascal the raccoon. But perhaps you can get the picture: Dave with a long rubber hose leading a baby raccoon, and me with a long grape vine doing the same thing. Cross that off my Bucket List.
Monday, June 28, 2010
So there it is, that age old question:
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Now please don't get me wrong
-- some of my VERY favorite people are "dog people".
Above, in the white basket, laying on a vintage quilt is my McCoy. McCoy is one of two house cats - both brothers, now in their eleventh year. McCoy definitely wears the pants in this family -- he is President, CEO, King -- clearly maker of all rules. He likes to boss us all about -- but especially his brother, Shawnee.
McCoy, however, has found his purr since arriving at the farm -- and we call him the "miracle of Meadowview Farm" as he once was a very sick cat -- and became a sturdy, healthy cat after arriving here.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
What does your weekend hold for you?
Friday, June 25, 2010
A collection of perfume bottles...
When asked, "what do you collect?" -- The answer is never easy. What does come easy is Collecting!
What do they say - three makes a collection. Well then, I guess I collect quite a lot of stuff. Just scanning the area around my computer table in the kitchen, I see the following collections:
- children's brooms with red, green & blue handles
- yellow McCoy pottery -- am especially loving the polka dot pattern these days
- round graters (try them with a candle)
- spice tins
- Ironstone pitchers
- blue bird dishes
- Wooden German figures: little ladybug holding an umbrella, girl with a bird...
Yes, collecting comes easy. Editing my collections every now and again -- a bit harder, but necessary.
What do you collect?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I love the color green, painted furniture, painted baskets,
pottery bowls, vintage trim, floral fabric, and bunnies - especially when they are pulling carts!
What are some of your favorite things?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I thought of him this past February when I had a chance to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. He had served in the Asia-Pacific Theatre -- an airplane mechanic. His uniforms had been lost upon his return -- but not his memories or the stories he told us of this time in his life. We were all captivated by the paintings on the airplanes and the names and the pictures of this young man when he served in the Jolly Rodgers.
My dad has been gone for 14 years this month...but so much of him creates who I am . And though I am a pacifist at heart -- in me is the courage to defend what is mine...and to honor what he & others like him gave...their youth, often their lives, for an honorable cause.
So, this past Sunday, Bill L., a gentle man I have gotten to know at the Hixton Antique Mall arrived with a gift for me. Wrapped up in a bag was his Eisenhower Jacket from WWII. He had served in the Asia-Pacific Theatre -- a Technician. He wanted me to have it. For once, I am without words...
So, several years ago I was at an auction when I eyed this sweet cupboard. Kind of a funky green, very chippy, charming details ---- just sweet. Figured it would be an "it is mine" moment and I decided what price I would take it to, which likely was going to be a set my stance and take it to the end & win, of course.
So, it came up on the auction block -- a point was made to the back of the room where it stood and the bidding started and ended with my $5.00. Folks looked a little sad for me that I had won it -- so now I wondered if I had actually won the old worn 70's couch sitting in front of it. Oh my, would have to just sneak out. In a rather careful manner, I made my way back to see what I had really just bought for $5.00....and there was my bidding number on the sweet cupboard. It was mine. It was mine. It was mine.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
They were born right around Mother's Day. Hope was so wise to find a safe area under the hay loft stairs -- a box she had to climb into. There they safely grew. Several weeks ago Hope & I began to take them out, carrying them in this bushel basket -- usually to play in the barn, sometimes to the yard. Today, the "training wheels" came off -- Pumpkin was the first to climb out of the nesting box - just like they had learned to climb out of this basket -- and tonight will be their first night in the big barn -- outside of their snug & safe nest.
Dave & I spent the morning "child proofing" the barn. Chicken wire around areas to stay out of, closing off all but the goat's exit (which they would have to get to through the pen). I know kittens survive big barns and farms all the time......but these are OUR kittens -- and we expect no less than giving our all to their safe & happy little lives. And when Pumpkin slept in my arms today -- finding his purr for the first time, I felt such a thankfulness for these babies, this gift from this cat, Hope, that arrived at our farm last fall.
Friday, June 18, 2010
What are you doing this weekend?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Precious cards with just a name - usually in beautiful calligraphy or script. The graphics on the card -- lovely -- birds, flowers with charming details.
Sweet as can be tucked into the corner of a mirror, gathered on a tray, set under a piece of glass on a desk...I love to let these cards from the past call out to our present.
Thanks for visiting...do let me know you stopped by -- leave me a calling card.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
In this McCoy Pot sits a vintage spun cotton dove. It rests on a metal lamp holder given with kindness by my friend, Nan, from her mother's estate. It is a simple statement of peace & hope.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
My good friend, Sarah, once reminded me to make sure to have curtains that billowed in the breeze. She has given me lots of good information to ponder over the years -- and this is definitely on the top ten list!
So -- what to use on our almost door size windows?
So -- what to use on our almost door size windows?
First the guest bedroom...two different lace cloths, mellowed with age! Here is one of the windows...(I will tell you about the amazing wallpaper on a different day---came with the house)!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
When we first walked into our house about 4 years ago - vacant, yet hopeful -- there was the original kitchen sink. It looks much smaller in the picture than the 4 foot across width it actually is. I remember this glimmer of possibilities that stirred at one of the first glimpses of the treasures this house held for us. So -- this is pure "Vintage with a purpose"!
What to note here:
- Notice the matching rug in front of the sink & under the cat dishes -- the large one is vintage, the smaller a place mat I found that matched fairly well.
- The sink skirt is polka dots -- and below we store enamelware buckets of just about every size -- all for use.
- The dish drainer is vintage & wire & used every day!
- The window is covered with an old lace tablecloth -- hung with clothespins.
- The ice cream parlor chair in front of the window is a favorite place for our cats -- perfect view of the apple orchard or meadow.
- The sunflower picture was made by my 22 year old son when he was in first grade -- almost vintage!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
So, Dave -- today I thank the stars & the sun & the moon that you were born.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I shall be a starting a series I like to call "Vintage with a Purpose". Now mind you, I really don't quite believe that any vintage item has to have a purpose beyond sitting and looking adorable -- but every now & again, I like to put my pieces to work.
This is a view of one open shelf in my kitchen -- a compote now serves as a napkin holder and dog spice containers are our salt & pepper shakers. Vintage with a purpose.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
"Stay out of Dave's garden" - I think to our rabbit -- but I know she nibbles on my strawberries, and I figure there are enough to share. So, today, instead I think of the story she & her distant relative, Peter, inspired. I think of him hidden away in the watering can -- keeping a distance from Mr. McGregor & his rake.
Perhaps that is what draws me to German rabbits -- from the candy container that now sits on my kitchen table above to all the others that now live in my home....this sense of sweet adventure. And the story, told to children of all ages - a story likely in our own childhood. Perhaps it is the distant nursery school teacher in me that draws me back -- or perhaps it is still that little girl playing in the yard at Healy Lane, making "salad" for the bunnies from the sweet clover.
I must also share a fond "Happy Birthday" today to my friend, Pam --- I met her in Kindergarten, and for all these years since, we have remained just a smile away... We have shared many an adventure--- and I am certain Mr. McGregor has shoo-ed us out of a garden or two. Pamerella - this one is for you!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Not only did signs arrive at our farm last summer -- but so did "new" kitchen chairs. Again -- amazing work by an amazing artist in our neighboring state, Minnesota. We shared our farm story - from barn swallows to apple pies to daisies -- and she rendered them all with extra charm on these four chairs.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
When we found this home in 2006, it was on a whim -- a Saturday drive looking at homes in northwest Wisconsin. It was empty & open...and in need of some TLC --- actually in need of LOTS of TLC. We owned it on Tuesday -- deciding to "take a jump off this cliff".
We spent the next 9 months literally camping in the house every weekend -- as our other home was about 2 hours away -- and we worked. We painted or wallpapered every surface. From the roof to the well -- from the windows to tuck pointing the bricks -- from electrical to heating --- the house kind of arrived at the Emerald City.
I do remember tears rolling down my face just after dark on our first night in the house wondering what I had gotten us into. Could we really bring this farm back to life? What ever were we thinking? Was this just a combination of empty nesting and mid life crisis? Our friends, Jani & Norm, visited in one of those first weeks -- and kindly waited until they left to also wonder aloud (Jani I think you may have mentioned shuddering in disbelief) at the task that lay ahead for us.
And, so here we are today --- 4 years ago this June we signed the papers as curators of this farm. Four years ago this month was that evening of tears.....and now I look about in awe at this farm. I feel in so many ways that she was just waiting for us to arrive. She embraces us every day. Thank you, Joseph, for this gift.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Last November our twin goats, Ralphie & Charlie, arrived at the farm. We had adopted them from a neighboring farm in Eleva. After a day of acclimating to the older goats, we left them for the night. As we turned off the barn lights, a meowing began. Dave & I searched until we found this little cat wedged in fear between the milk house and the pasture. She wouldn't let us near. So, not only were we leaving the twins to fend for themselves for the first time that night -- but we were also leaving a small frightened kitten that had found her way to our farm.
The next morning we opened the barn door to find not only Ralphie & Charlie asleep in the hay -- but there was the little cat. We called her "Hope". She remained all winter with the goat family in the barn....they kept her warm. It took us over 2 months to gain her trust.
Today, she calls the barn home-- and we are certain she believes she is a goat. And, how surprised we were when she presented us with this present tucked under the stair case...4 little kittens. From the left in the picture is Chippewa, Shadow (tucked down), Pumpkin and Whisper.
(Randi -- this picture is for you!)
When it comes to gathering - more is more.
What statement can just one rolling pin or croquet marker make?
Group them -- and, there you go.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Today is my birthday...and I find myself waking with a dream of chickens. They run about the farm with abandon. Childhood is every day for these guys. Think I will name them Randi, Lori...and Jeff.
I dream of chickens at a party just for us!
Am I wiser today? Not so much...
Have I found the meaning of life? Hmmm, getting there...
All I know is that I awoke with feathers all around.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Our black and white goat patriarch is Little Moo... He leads the family of goats into the barn at night - and we are certain he would protect this group from any predator. When Hope, the barn cat, arrived last fall, she slowly made her way into the heart of this most timid goat --- we often catch them snuggled up together. And, so it makes me so sad to think that Little Moo is sick. He is losing fur and is having trouble walking.
How animals do tuck themselves into your heart if you let them - each with their very own personality. And although Little Moo has been too reluctant in his years at the farm to let us get too near, we know that this quiet gentle soul could teach us all a lesson or two about character. Oh Little Moo...be well old fellow.
Growing along the back of the chicken coop/potting shed are rakes - and a nice little garden of them.
This spring, we had several carpenters from our Amish community put a tin roof on the corn crib. They pulled a rake or two right off this wall to use in their clean up. I know this farm made them wonder...as it should.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Home is where I return to at the end of the day when I am tired and need to replenish my spirit.And everywhere the flowers bloomed, and the people laughed and there was peace in the world.
Where is your peace?