Thursday, June 30, 2011

A little ditty about "cow whispering"...

Who ever knows what adventures await...such was indeed the case the other day.  Started on my way to work, ventured past a neighbor's farm -- and there were several dozen cows in the corn field.  Now if I have learned anything living in the country, one thing I know is that cows and growing corn -- not a mix.  Better turn around.  Traveling back past the farm, there is my neighbor & his daughter, also now in the corn field.  Better grab my mud shoes.  Arrive at the farm with a "how can I help?"  "Stand between the buildings" is my job. 

Now -- here is how this goes -- they were going to run these "on the loose - goosey goose" cows back toward the barn -- if they ran between the outbuildings toward the road, guess I was supposed to stop them.  So around the corner they come --- not quite a stampede -- but holly cow --- cows are big!  One runs my way, I step aside.  The daughter runs after it -- I yell over to her, "thought I was going to scare it"....she shares back while running after the cow that that is kind of the idea.  O.K. -- now my role is clear.  I am to be a Cow Whisperer -- actually, a Cow Clapper.  See -- to keep those cows on their path, I was going to need to be bigger than a cow -- louder voice, clap of the hands -- wide arms.  Need I say, not another cow got past me -- "come on, in the barn" clap, clap -- wide arms.  A dozen collected.  Hands bruised.  Job well done.

That left about another 10 or so way across the field -- on a little munching adventure.  "How about I drive over to Barka Road and move the rest back to the farm?" was my idea.  "O.K." was the reply.  And I was off -- drive, drive, drive, climb thru the tall grass along the road edge...head toward the big cows who are not in a fence...but standing munching in front of me...their home is over the crest beyond the scope of reason.  At that moment it occurred to me that this idea could fail miserably.  Those cows had many choices:  eat, run to the road (in two directions), eat....  Oh well, made myself bigger than a cow -- and guess what -- they turned around and began to head back to their farm.  What a sight this must have been -- city raised Kari -- arms outstretched, moving a small herd of BIG cows across a field.  I hoped at this moment that someone must be watching, quite impressed....people driving by saying, "look at that!" (not "look at that?")  I was indeed cow whispering...or at the very least -- acting odd enough that they decided home was even better than fresh corn leaves.

And so it was, I could now say I survived a tornado in the spring and I herded cows in the summer.  Just wish I would have grabbed me a towel for a cape when I grabbed my mud shoes.  Feeling just a bit like "Cow Woman" --herder of all things least for the moment.

That's my story, and I stand behind it
(yelling "move" with my arms spread wide...) 
Cross that off my bucket list.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yes, I confess...

have to, wouldn't be right to not step up & say it...
so here goes...
I love T.J. Maxx.
There I said it.
Now, you must understand as much as I love antiquing,
I hate shopping.
But there is something about T.J. Maxx.
And I also believe there is something about
toning down too many vintage items with
just a bit of fresh.
My "fresh" generally comes from T.J. Maxx.

So -- just behold my latest:

Fabulous padded chairs in this fabric...
happened in just as the clerk was clicking a new sales sticker...
bingo, nabbed at $30 each!!
Honestly, other shoppers were applauding my good find as
I left the store.

Are you a T.J. Maxx or Marshalls kind of girl too?

P.S. don't get me even started on IKEA.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"shouldn't air your dirty laundry" my last post of June 24th,
I proceeded on my little home tour that I began last winter.
Took some quick snaps of my laundry/utility room -

Then I got to looking and felt,
hmmm -- not liking that room so much at the moment.
Not that you could see the dust --
but it was a tad cluttered, unorganized, dirty...
And - there it was -
I had aired my dirty laundry...
Like a clothesline full of under garments when company arrives.

So, this is my -- took it to heart,
changed around a bit.

I have two full baskets of items from this room that will
be heading out to the hayloft for the Autumn Barn Sale.

Anyway -- guess you might call this post a "do over".

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wash Day - home tour continues...

Come on in & take a look around our
Laundry Room.
This was indeed one of the last rooms we redid --
up until then, we called it the "icky room"...
'cause it was, well, kind of icky.

In our green & blue & yellow color scheme -
we went off the map in this room --
with a big dose of deeper blue & a punch of red.
Gray calms it just a bit.

Now, I can't imagine this room was ever so rudely titled, "icky"...
I would now call it our "work horse",
likely one of the hardest working rooms in our house.

So, let's get down to business with a little tour---
you enter thru the kitchen.
 A quilt hangs in the doorway if need be to close this room off from view.
Or in my Kari world - to just look sweet.

The former Summer Kitchen -
this room has one of our three home entrances.
This one now goes out to our deck & back yard
(called a "door yard" on a farm)-
and clothesline.
Grill on the deck is conveniently located too.

When our house was built in 1857 -
every room was taxed - even closets...
so - this house has just one real closet - in the upstairs landing.
Since this room is a big contender for home storage --
we had to get creative.

We now hang coats, grouped by season,
on a coat rack salvaged from another home.
Below it stands an Amish bench.

Apple crates & a Chimney Cupboard store our everyday supplies:
cat litter, tools, string, glue...
This beauty was purchased at the Columbus Antique Mall
in Columbus, Wisconsin.

Our Washer & Dryer are angled around a green dresser Dave found
along the curb --- the green table to the right was also a roadside find.
This dresser stores all our gift supplies:
tissue, gift bags, gifts-in-waiting...
The table has a sweet tool caddy that
keeps the ribbon, scissors & gift tags organized.

This fun shelf was purchased in Waterloo, Wisconsin -
have to have fun stuff to look at while folding laundry. -

This freestanding wall hides a sink...which is still on our
"to do" list.  For now, we keep our "grab & go" items here.
There is actually one small broom closet in our laundry room -
big enough for a mop bucket, mop...and of course
a broom on the door.

And here is where my collection awaits a trip to the antique mall -
this old bassinet corals it just right.
See this room works as a waiting station & tagging central
for my antique business too.

So -- what pulls it all together?
 -- a table in the center of course.
Might I add, one hard working table.
You might find this holding folded laundry,
set up for gift wrapping,
filled to the brim (above & below) with antiques.
The tablecloth provides a bit of
"don't look behind that curtain"
hide & seek magic for antique overflow.

And sweet stuff has to live in this room too.

I have come to absolutely adore
this Laundry Room.
Instead of cringing, as I did in 2006 when I first walked into this room
and wondered what we would ever do to fix it up...
it now makes me smile.

P.S. -- if you click on "Home Tour" under the labels
on the right you will find other rooms of
our 1857 home highlighted.

to see an update to this post click HERE

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

it is here



*At 8 p.m. tonight I looked out the window
& there was a double rainbow.
My silly little camera could only kind of capture one over the adjacent field --
but that was because silly Kari
was running about the farm yard,
barefoot in the rain.

"Look Up", I wanted to yell.
"Look up"...

"It is here."
With just a bit of fanfare, summer has arrived,
and I am giddy to greet it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I am a list maker...
even when not written down,
there is always a list hanging about in my head.

I like to check things off -
feel good about getting something done,
moving forward.

So - on days like today,
my list feels quite tiny:
1.  vacuum
2.  sweep the cottonwood cotton off the deck
See, the couch calls, a batch of popcorn & HBO calls, magazines call.
I almost wish it would rain to ease my guilt just a bit.

Guess I just may need to add to my list:
3.  put up your feet, sit a spell (it's O.K.)

How about you -- do you take time to just relax?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ode to Americana...

One of the many benefits of a Barn Sale or Antique Booth is that you have a chance to "clean house" every now & again.  As I love to gather & also have a bit of "need to change - bored with that complex" --- I sometimes will move it out, move it on.  Thus was the case with my 4th of July collection.  Pulled up the rubbermade for my May Sale -- and out it went.  So here's the thing --- it no sooner went on the sale block, when I began to rebuild it.  Now my Americana is found on my porch -- from Memorial Day to July 4th.

  • Found this sweet as a peanut quilt -- faded just so -- $22.50. 
  • Found this adorable little red shelf -- will be great for Christmas & Valentine's Day too -- $18.00.
  • Added a vintage child's jump rope, several sweet finds -- and there you have it.
  • My newest vintage "Ode to Americana"
    What have you found lately?
    Do you ever get bored with your collections -- if so, what do you do?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winter, Spring & Summer

Introducing the newest babies: 
Summer, Spring & Winter.
(they are in order of names above)

Sweet as can be.
Almost ready for adventures.

Did I say sweet?

Yes, Cheryl, Hope does indeed have beautiful babies.
As mentioned in past posts --
Hope is our only "unfixed" momma cat.
The mortality rate of barn cats is short --
so adding to the group is O.K.
(usually about 7 at a given time -- which my real working farm neighbors
say is about the number to have for mice control).

Anyway --- in the land of "Hush-a-bye" --
we do fret over the naming of the kits. 
This year we had a suitcase full -
everything from "Bumblebee" to "Peanut".

But when the three looked up at me for the first time --
I knew at least we had three seasons represented.
Perhaps an orange "Autumn" will be in the fall litter.

My first words to them,
"welcome babies, some day we might just fall in love".

Saturday, June 11, 2011

reaching out...

across the miles
my hand...
take it if you will.

A shoulder to lean on -
there, too.

A chair to sit in - with me quiet or listening or reflective.

Words, picked carefully, to lift you.

Thoughts, shared gently, to support you.

Reaching out -- not quite sure how -- but I am.

Words alone - sent over the miles.
Thoughts, bold & strong -- harnessing the spirit of comfort.

to you -- you know, you know

Once you reminded me, "wisdom begins in wonder".
remember -- we wonder first, we question second, we know, then we find the courage to wonder again.

All my love -- reaching out to you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Once upon a time...
but that is really not quite the start of this story, yet it is.
It is a story of this farm & what had been.
A hardworking dairy farm - before.
A hardworking farm family - then.

Starting & ending their day at the barn.

Today the memories remain in the stories that they share when they visit.
If you listen just so, tilt your head & squinch your eyes
-- you might just be able to picture 24 cows lined up for milking. 
The stanchions in the barn still stand ready.

And this little shelf awaits in the laundry room, just inside the door.
Facing the barn -- a tribute.

To hardworking farm families - thank you.

June is indeed  Dairy Month.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

perspective our meadow.

Yet, can you see the thistle or nettle that stand beside them?

Can you detect the ticks in that tall grass
that thwart my morning coffee as
I instead set my cup down to remove them from my Cinnamon?
(who delights in sleeping in the meadow)

There are days I see the thistle & nettle...only.
There are moments that the ticks are the bane of my existence.
And there are, thankfully, hours when the Phlox call out to me - and time stands still.

a gift we get each morning

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My sincere thanks...

It has been a year since I started this "blogging thing".
I remember wondering, who will ever be interested in what I might have to say?
I remember thinking -- well, at the very least I will have a journal for my own posterity.

And so I started....with the little picture above and
the little post found by clicking HERE

I took my first step.
And, there you were - those that have provided such
support -- thru comments, thru visits here -- whether vocal or not...
your support has mattered,
and I thank you.

I have grown over the past year --
I have learned the pace & content & climate
of this little world of my blog.

I look back at my own year, smiling often, shedding a tear at times...
ever with you at my side.

Thank you...
Really, thank you.
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