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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Bees in Progress

The weather was perfect on Sunday to do a full bee hive inspection, so I gathered my equipment and donned my bee suit and off I went.  Brian came along to snap some photos and lend support as I’m still a little nervous going into the hive.  I started without my gloves but by frame #5 I had to slip them on as my confidence slowly dwindled as I got closer to the bees.

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Laying in the Grass

Brian returned from his business trip to Holland on Friday night and despite having been up almost 24 hours, he was up bright and early on Saturday to do his chores.  I’m so glad he’s home!

We went for our usual Saturday morning breakfast and did a few errands.  I bought some plants and a couple of Hens and Chicks succulents for the wooden shoes Brian brought home for me from Holland.  I had made the sign some time ago to which we screwed the shoes onto.  It looks cute hanging by our back door.

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Bee Hive Inspection

After mustering my courage, and with the weather cooperating nicely (84° and wind 4mph), I decided today was the day to do a full bee hive inspection.  I wanted to replace their sugar syrup and check for brood, pollen and nectar.

And oh my gosh!  There goes another hummingbird!  They’re flying around the windows on the house seemingly ignoring the feeders on the shed I have out for them.  Perhaps they’re just letting me know they’ve arrived!

Anyway, I digress.  Let me say that beekeeping is not for the faint of heart.  It’s all to easy to put off doing a hive inspection because of nerves.  I really had to pull myself together and get the job done.  I don’t want to be one of those people.

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