The Littlest Farmgirl Strikes Again (and choosing backyard chickens)

How does a nearly four year old remember life on a farm so vividly two years ago?

“We need to get goats,” she says casually.

“We can’t have goats here,” I replied, “but guess what we are getting?”

“A cow?”

“Uh, no.”

“How will we get milk?” she exclaims!

“We are getting sheep though.” she continues.

“Uh, we can’t have sheep here.”

She sighed as if mustering patience for me.  “But I love sheep!” she exclaims again.

“We are getting chickens!” I said brightly.

She told me all about chickens and how we get their eggs and take care of the chicks and feed them.  The sunny opening of the soon-to-be shed beckons and I can nearly see the ladies pecking the ground in the sunlight, rolling in the dirt, and having their lively conversations.  Today we go to the feed store and reserve our chicks.  Two of our favorite breeds were our originals, Golden Buffs and Jersey Giants.  Neither breed is very interested in flying the coop and they are dang near cuddly.  They are also great layers.

Trying to appease the child I said, “Well, I think we can have ducks…”

“Oh good!  We’ll get a little swimming pool for them again..” Maryjane told me how we will care for them and did some quacking for good measure.  My goodness, what a memory.

Once a Farmgirl, always a Farmgirl.

The Land of Enchantment; Dreaming Big

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I have come to the Land of Enchantment.  I know that New Mexico is known for that,  I had been trying to get there for close to a decade, but I found this Land of Enchantment along the path.  As a Colorado native, I have no idea how this beautiful place so close to where I have lived has eluded me.  As I crest the hill past Fountain I know I am almost home because the entire landscape changes.  Cholla cactuses take over the fields and the colors mute and brighten, and the air always feels like spring.

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Many mornings I am met with a magical veil of fog.  This city is filled with lakes.  It is more humid here and my skin loves it.  This morning the sky was a shade of lavender at sunrise.  It is a very special place here.

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Because it is one of the warmest places in the state, the birds love it here.  Eagles, hawks, falcons, geese, ducks, sea gulls, and many birds I am yet to identify.  Many plants I am yet to identify.  I am still getting to know the land.  There are many things I do not know yet.

second-4Here’s what I do know; we were given a gift.  “Be very specific to the universe in your requests,” our friend told us when we first became homeless.  “Think big!”

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An adobe home with real wood floors throughout.  A woodstove, a large kitchen, a place to entertain, a guest room, a root cellar, a large area to garden and be self sufficient.  A fenced yard, a chicken coop, a front porch, somewhere between out in the middle of nowhere and inner city.  And please close to our kids and Maryjane.  Oh, and a warmer climate.

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That is the very thing we got.  The exact specifications.  Amazing, huh?  Just have faith in the process here.  What do you really desire?  Careful what you wish for!  Be specific.  Make sure it won’t harm anyone.  Then go…put it out there in exact detail and watch as it manifests into your life!

Meanwhile, Back On a Farm

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The sign has returned to its natural place, in front of our home.  It was stored at the friends’ houses we stayed at after losing our rental farm.  It went to the shop and stood proudly out front, backwards, with the words “OPEN” painted on it.  I love the name Pumpkin Hollow Farm.  So, I painted over the OPEN sign on the back and brought it home.  It’s good to be back.

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The other day we busied ourselves with chores.  Oh chores, how we missed thee!  Doug hung a clothes line for me, I washed and hung two loads of laundry, he mulched the tree he just planted, I painted pumpkins on the mailbox, and he attached the sign.  It’s really good to be back.  I can’t wait to see the pumpkins growing…

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The Farmgirl Bath; Before and After

This is one of those cases where paint really did save the day.  No fancy remodels.  Just paint and fresh towels.  If I could find a few vintage floral prints to hang up, that would really make the room.

To start, the bathroom was full of spiders and dirt.  Whatever kid lived here last had pizza on his fingers and left marks throughout the house.  The bathroom was dingy and plain.

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Now, I am one that would prefer to count blessings over wrinkles so I do not want bright white light with bright white walls.  A light shade of rose tones the space down and gives a glow of health and less wrinkles to anyone who peers in the mirror.

The key to making different colored rooms appear seamless is the use of a color throughout all the rooms.  In this house’s case, I am using that lush, dark brown as trim throughout.  It was also used on the bead board in the bath.  The dark brown instantly transports me to old hotels we have stayed in and makes the bathroom go from frilly pink to all grown up and slightly French.

After two weeks of packing, moving, rearranging my shop, and painting, I am ready to try out that new bath tub!

Farmgirl Living Room-Before and Almost After

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My goodness, it is entirely possible that I am the worst painter ever.  I do spend more time cussing and cleaning up than I do painting, but in the end you can always place furniture over bad areas and clean up the floor!

Whoever thought heavy black curtains against dingy white walls and steel grey trim was lovely has never read Country Living.  Place that against original wood floors and adobe walls and you have a bit of a decorating nightmare.  This place needed paint.  Before I go much further, I must beseech you to just pay the extra four bucks for the paint with primer built in.  Walmart’s Glidden is every bit as good as the ones at the big home supply places.  I know better but I was wooed by savings and ended up working twice as hard.

Lemon yellow paint and brown trim make the space a little cozier.  The color combination makes it look like an old Tudor.  The braided rug and new sofa cover bring in the ideas from our idea boards.

My plants from our north facing shop are happy, happy here facing south.  Using unusual pieces like the treadle sewing machine as a side table and plant holder brings old fashioned whimsy to the space.

My work space holds the loom I am going to learn how to use, plus my old Viking sewing machine, bins of inspiration and yarn, my writing station, and always a cat.  I love the look of no curtains.  I write two blogs, it’s not like I am a really private person.  Twinkly lights change the whole look of a room.

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Now, I don’t particularly like having a television as old as, well my young cousin stated as he brought it in, “This TV is older than I am!” to which my friend replied, “Sweetie, I have shoes older than you.” in the living room but I need a place to do yoga.  It cannot be hidden in the basement or I will never do said yoga.  So there it is waving at me to come over for a little Downward Dog and a good read.

I am afraid my smart(ish) phone doesn’t do it justice, but the yellow makes it so warm and lovely in here.  A few sweet pieces, my granddaughter’s handprints, my Farmgirl mug (cracked but holds pens), and paintings done by our family (I snagged the sunflower painting from the shop.  “Are you going to buy that?” Emily asked), and the lovely rays of sunlight streaming in open windows pleases me.  Note the signs around the couches.  My daughters’ creations for me, “Home is Where Mama is” from Shyanne and “Life is Better on the Farm” from Emily.

Now, we still have a few issues here.  The clock repair fellow comes tomorrow.  And the furniture is mix matched, usually not an issue, but I want to it to match some.  So, do we buy all new furniture?  Goodness, no.  I have only purchased two of the pieces in this entire living room.  Everything else is second hand.  More paint maybe?

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, is it not?  Where sustenance and love culminates into family around the table, friends clinking glasses, the quiet of morning coffee, and the gentle stirring of a pot of something delicious.  This is the largest kitchen I have ever had and it is just wonderful.  Even more wonderful, I didn’t have to do anything to it!  I love the color and the punched tin back splash is something I would have chosen myself.  The twinkly lights and festive grape vine lights replace the harsh overhead lighting (when I’m not taking pictures).  I will never opt for overhead lighting if I can help it!  I also removed the curtains.

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We scored this sign last week and couldn’t believe our luck.

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In these old houses the washer hook up is in the kitchen.  That seems quite reasonable to me.  Doug will be putting up a clothes line for me today!

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My apron collection hangs primly around the pantry.  The sign was a gift from a student.  It is a lovely reminder that dreams do come true.

The children’s knick knacks that they created during their childhood surround the sink along with Maryjane’s miniature coffee cups for when she sleeps over.

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Plenty of counter space, beautiful gifts from friends, and years to come of precious memories and delicious food.  Sláinte!

Farmgirl Decorating; Next Idea Board and Paint

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This is the second idea board- Beautiful Farm House.  Simple.  Comfy.  Clever.  Painting starts today with the living room.

Now first things first when you are redecorating your space.  Paint is simply the biggest alteration you can make.  It will speak loud and clear about the space it represents.  It is also inexpensive and fairly easy to do.  I do love paint with all my Farmgirl heart.

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I want to combine my two idea boards into the living space.  I want to honor the home’s ninety-two year old history.  This is a family home.  It should have places to put one’s feet up, places to read and dream while looking out one of the many windows.  It should be clean and orderly but not so much that it feels stagnant.  A comfortable home where Grammie and Pa can be found.  It should represent Doug and I and our loves (lots of plants, books, gifts from friends, and art created from our daughters, granddaughter, or myself.

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A nice chocolate color on the trim will help it mimic beams.  It will give it a cabin/country feel.  For the walls I have chosen a beautiful yellow to illuminate the light from the windows.  I took down all the curtains, and well, you’ll just have to check back tomorrow for the before and after!  See you then!  I have to start painting!

Farmgirl School Live!

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I would cordially like to invite you to the Colorado Springs Home and Landscaping Show this weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  If you love decorating, improving, gardening, and events as much as I do, you will love this show!  HGTV, inspiration, ideas, and of course, White Wolf Medicine will be there!  And yours truly is one of the guest speakers.  I will be speaking all weekend about how to create an Apothecary Garden, how to create a Tea Garden, and about High Altitude Farming; Tried and True Tips.

So, if you already know me and Doug, come out and say hello.  If you haven’t met us, come out and introduce yourself.  I would love to meet you.  Maryjane Rose will be there Friday and Saturday as well helping me spread Farmgirl cheer!

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Colorado Springs Event Center 3960 Palmer Park Boulevard at Academy with Free Parking!

Show dates, times, and ticket prices are as follows:

Colorado Springs Home & Landscaping Show:

Friday, January 20, 2017 1 pm – 7 pm
Saturday, January 21, 2017 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, January 22, 2017 11 am – 4pm

Adults $6, Youth 16 & under free!

http://ColoradoSpringsHomeShow.com

Farmgirl Fashionista

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In a world of jeans and yoga pants I suppose I stand out a bit.  I think folks are both mesmerized and baffled by my attire.  I was at the library last month and a mom came up to me, big eyes, all excited, and asked, “Is there going to be story time?” Heck if I know.  I looked down at my layered skirts, apron, old fashioned boots, and remembered my Santa hat and realized she thought I was in costume!

Maryjane wears her apron around with me and it is not uncommon for us to be asked if were just in a parade or festival.  Do we bake?  Why on earth would we be parading around as such?  Well, let me explain.  Let’s go through the elements of the Farmgirl attire.

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#1 Long skirt- This is important because I am too tall to find jeans that fit right.  I never stop moving so jeans aren’t exactly comfortable.  A long skirt is comfortable and practical.  Ever since Maryjane was about twelve months old she hides under my skirts.  Her hands wrapped around my leg, she giggles thinking no one can see her, her little feet sticking out.  As she gets taller and older I know this is limited now and I relish feeling her cold hands on my leg, that giggling, her security from the world hidden next to my leg.  It is a very maternal feeling and I know all too well she will grow out of it soon.  (I buy my skirts at the Elizabeth Celtic Festival.  It is a rather simple pattern that uses elastic or string to cinch the waist.)

#2 Slips- In a world of too tight skirts and panty lines, I do still love the look of a beautiful cotton slip.  Mine has a long swath of eyelet around the bottom.  It is feminine and beautiful.  I also wear a full skirt under my regular skirt as well.  Why?  Well, I am cool in the summer with the layers, and warm in the winter with the layers.  It makes my dress swish.  It is lovely and modest and sexy all at the same time.  And at my age, I don’t care what the style is.  I like the old fashioned look.

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#3 Apron- If you do not wear an apron each day how do you find your phone and keys?  Mine would be lost in my purse, possibly forever.  I also can carry a tissue, my to-do list, and a few flowers I harvested.  The original reason for an apron was to cover a woman’s dress, for she probably only had two, one for every day and one for church.  The apron is easier to wash and keeps clothes cleaner, meaning if you haven’t traipsed through mud, you can hang your skirt back up. (Mine were made by an Amish woman and her daughters, a neighbor of a blog reader.  Some of mine I made, or were gifts, or hand me downs, and some really quite old that belonged to Kat’s grandmother.)

#4 Old fashioned boots- Stickers, weeds, rain, snow, cold or hot weather, farming, shoveling, and a cute addition to any farmgirl attire.  (I got mine at Big R.)

We farmgirls have lots to do, from taking care of the homestead, cooking for folks, farming, and for me, being the local folk healer, so wearing beautiful, comfortable clothes is just one perk of being a farmgirl.

A Simpler Idea Board

I love this concept from Country Living magazine.  Take a picture or photograph that strikes you, that you love, that inspires you, and build a room (or house) around it.  I have had this picture torn from the back of the same magazine on my fridge for most of last year.  It is so lovely in its simplicity, the apron, the chicks, the colors, the flowers, it feels like home.  The saying, “Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring” has certainly been inspirational.

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Taking elements from this photo, I will put together the living room.  I think light yellow paint, soft like the chicks we will get in spring, will be lovely.

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A new sofa cover

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Post cards that belonged to my friend, Kat’s, grandmother, Hilda. These gems are over 100 years old and the text whispers stories of times past. Like the one that reads about a friend’s new fangled wringer washer!

Next week I will begin painting and making the home feel like spring.