Bringing in Spring

While the weather outside is still frightful, I’ve decided to bring spring in the house by using silk flowers. While they’re not my first choice, it’s nice to have some color and the “feeling” of spring in the house.

If you saw my last post, you know I created a spring bouquet with dogwood and floral bunches in pinks, purples and greens. For this arrangement I’m using forsythia, pussy willows, and some greenery. Nothing says spring like the yellow of forsythia!

It’s a cloudy, rainy day today, but warm. All the snow and ice is melting and I’m hoping the temperatures will stay above freezing. I’m ready for spring and I know you are too!

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Let There be Light!

After much ado about nothing . . . because we’re in an old wonky farmhouse, the solatube installer didn’t think he’d be able to install the solatube because the garage roof overlapped the kitchen roof. I told him there was an attic space, and I was sure that it wouldn’t be a problem to install the tube. I think he could tell by the look on my face that I was determined to have that solatube installed.

It reminded me of the time I wanted a closet built at the back of our little two story when we still lived in Canada. I had Brian’s dad and brother over to take a look (Brian was gone consulting at the time) and they said it couldn’t be done because of the way the joists ran. I’m a stubborn sort and I wanted that closet, so I did what any daughter would do . . . I called my dad. He said sure, no problem. Gotta love that initiative! He cut out a hole in the wall for the closet door (through thick old fashioned lathe and plaster), cut through the joist, and reinforced everything with 2 x 4s. Presto, thank you very much, a closet in the back entry of our little house. I wonder if that house is still standing . . .

Anyway, I digress. Then he said that there was only 14 inches between joists (apparently back in the day a 2 x 4 was actually a 2 x 4). The tube was 1/4 inch too big. Again, by the look on my face, and after much gentle persuasion, he went ahead. And guess what? It fit! HA!

Before installation of solatube.
After installation of solatube.

Today is a cloudy day, but even so, there is so much more light at this end of the kitchen. I’m now inspired to get everything cleaned and prepped for painting. Once that’s done and the weather warms up so I can paint outside, I’ll be sharing my new Craig’s list find. I searched a long time for the right piece to come along and finally it did. Patience is a virtue when shopping Craig’s List!

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Welcome Spring?!

While we’re still covered in snow and ice, spring is definitely in the air. The chickens are out of the coop and are walking ever so gingerly over the snow and ice to forage around the farm. Mostly, they’re eating the bird seed I have out for the wild birds. But they’re out in the sunshine and that’s what matters.

I’ve slowly been working my way through the house trying to clean and organize. It’s been a tough couple of months. Dealing with SAD and depression takes its toll, but I am starting to feel better and with that comes motivation and inspiration, both I’m absorbing through some wonderful YouTube vlogs by way of Mary at the White Cottage Company, Katherine at Do It on a Dime, and Rebecca at Robeson Design. All very inspirational AND motivational. I love these ladies!

Today I’m waiting on the Brighter Concepts people as we’re installing a solatube in the kitchen to brighten it up. I can’t tell you how important it is to have lots of light during the winter and adding natural light where we can makes a huge difference in how I feel. I’ll post before and after photos once it’s all done.

In the meantime, I decided to change out one of my winter florals for some spring ones. Oh the wonderful colors of spring!


And I changed out the winter accessories on top of the chest of drawers in our entry way to spring as well. I have plans for this space that include a desk area with shelves and a banquette. There is so much wasted space in this area so adding these features will warm it up and utilize the space for the things we need.

I’m still deciding on a paint color for the kitchen. I’ve never had such a difficult time in a house. Usually they speak to me right away. I’m not really a “let’s do everything in white” person, and I need to pick a color that blends well with our orange colored oak cabinets. I’ve been doing some research (check out Kylie M. Interiors) and think I’ve found the color I’m going to go with. It’s called Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore. It is supposed to have blue/green/gray undertones so as to warm up the kitchen cabinets. At least that’s what I read. We’ll see . . .

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Is Winter Over Yet?

Let me start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR! The holidays were very quiet for us as most of our family is in Canada. We celebrated Christmas day with a delicious ham that Brian made along with all the fixings. We had our traditional Chinese food for New Year’s Eve and were to bed by nine o’clock. How do you know you’re getting old?  LOL!

We can’t complain here in our part of the world. The weather hasn’t been that bad and we haven’t had much snow to make doing chores a winter workout. I have to say though, I’m getting tired of gray, dull days with no sign of the sun. We’ve had a few sunny days here and there, but for the most part, it’s been dull and gray.  Sigh . . .

Life is ambling along with not much to write about. I’ve been working on my Victorian doll house and am almost finished the interior. If you’re interested, you can follow my progress at Teresa Marie’s Dollhouse and Miniatures.

I’ve been doing a bit of interior work on the wonky old farmhouse as well.  I finished the subway tile in the kitchen which turned out really nice.  On my wish list is a farmhouse sink, an island. and new flooring.  That will be down the road.  I’m also thinking of painting the orange oak cabinets, but I’m still on the fence about it.  It’s a lot of work and I don’t know that I’m up for it.  At least not any time soon.

Anyone else have one of these old appliance garage doors?  They are a pain and despite repairing it several times, it still manages to cause havoc.  I’d like to replace it with a cupboard door.  Add it to the list!

We also removed a gun cabinet from the wall in the mud room and after filling it in with drywall, I taped and applied joint compound over it. After a coat of primer I’ll be giving the kitchen a complete paint do-over . . . if I can ever decide on a color.  Once that’s done hubby can fill in and replace the bead board and trim.

In progress . . .

I’ll leave you with a picture of us with our alpacas that a good friend of mine took last fall . . . on a warm sunny day!

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Fall Nesting

I’ve been waking up to dark, frosty mornings.  Despite the cooler temperatures, I adore this time of year.  Perhaps because I’m a fall.  As the temperatures drop, forcing me inside, I’ve come down with nesting fever.  I’ve begun looking at my home in the fall light and I don’t like what I see.  Cobwebs here and there.  Cluttered and messy closets.  And a kitchen floor that never seems to stay clean (with four dogs and one pig in the house it’s virtually impossible!).  I’m in dire need of inspiration and enthusiasm . . . and I’ve found some.

Firstly there’s Melissa Michael’s book Love the Home You Have.  It’s not a decorating book, but a book on changing your attitude toward your home.  I’m falling in love with our wonky little farmhouse all over again (well, actually I never loved this house . . . do you think it can tell?).  I’m looking for and finding it’s potential.  Sure, it’s not Cassilis Castle (heavy sigh . . .) but it’s our home and it’s safe, cozy and warm.  And it’s crying out for some attention!

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Dreaming Big

Because what girl doesn’t dream about living in a castle?

Cassillis Castle in Scotland – completely renovated and waiting for me to move in!

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Lazy Dayz of Summer

It’s been a hot and humid August with little time spent outdoors except for chores and cutting grass.  We’ve hosted several farm tours and are looking forward to the crew from the movie “Scotch Tension” coming back in September to film one final scene before they finish filming and on to production and distribution.  Is that how it works?  Not sure but we’re looking forward to seeing the film.

We had two crias born in June and they are proving to be very delightful.  Lillie June is a cuddle bug and loves the attention that we willing give.  Sadie Rose is a little more shy, but her and Lillie are best buds so at least she sees what is available to her in the way of attention.  I’m sure she’ll come around!

Lillie June born June 30th

Sadie Rose born June 26th

Lillie June with one of our Open Farm Day visitors

I’ve taken on a new dollhouse project that is keeping me busy indoors with air conditioning.  Gotta love air conditioning.  I sold all my dollhouses several years ago when we moved to the farm, but I kept all my miniature furniture, accessories and dolls.  When I cleaned the basement, I came across them and thought I should either sell them or build a new dollhouse.  I decided to build.  You can follow along if you like at Teresa Marie’s Dollhouse and Miniatures.

Wisconsin has experienced some devastating losses in the way of flooding and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.  With more rain in the forecast for today, relief is not coming soon enough.  Stay safe everyone!

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Humming Along

Summer is humming along and before you know it fall will be here.  We’re getting some much needed rain here today.  It didn’t rain the whole month of July so we’re in sorry need of it.

My bees are doing well and I’ll admit it . . . they cause me a lot of stress.  Every time I go into the hive I feel like I’m doing something wrong.  I’m told that will diminish over time.  I sure hope so.  I checked on them yesterday and they appear to be doing well.  I’ve been feeding them sugar water and pollen patty to be sure they’re getting enough food for building comb and brood rearing.  With the awful spring we had we’re still trying to play catch up.

As I was about to head into the house last night I caught a glimpse of a couple of my girls on the allium in the new landscaping at the front of the house.  They sure are pretty!

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Summer Fling

I can’t believe it’s already the end of July.  It seems that just yesterday we were under cold, heavy snowfall and then skipped spring right into the heat of summer.  The last week has been beautiful though with temperatures in the low 80s and no humidity or rain.  Bliss!

The bees are humming along beautifully although I’m not going to get any honey this year as I didn’t expect to.  The weather has been so hard on them this year.  As long as they build up enough stores for winter, I’ll be happy.

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Random Foto Friday

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here around the farm this past week, making up for last week when I was down for the count with a really bad cold and flu.  I’m still recovering, but feeling much better.

The bees are making good progress having hatched out some new bees this week.  I’m not sure what’s going on inside, but things look good on the outside.  I just gave them another gallon of sugar syrup.  Things must be thriving because I just put a gallon on the hive this past Sunday.  I’m planning a full hive inspection this coming Monday as it’s going to be in the 90s today and tomorrow with rain forecast for Saturday and into Sunday.

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