Sunday, November 29, 2015

Changing seasons

The seasons have change from hot and humid to frigid and cold in a matter of a few weeks. We went from sleeping with the windows open to be bundled under blankets.  Thankfully we are used to cold, I am originally from the Wisconsin/Illinois area and my hubby is from Colorado.  

  Ice everywhere

  Iced seats 
    Frozen gravel roads 

This last week we finally had our heat installed.  The original owners had a boiler and radiator system, but when we moved in the system was no longer sad to use so after getting quotes for furnaces, duct work and such, we went with two gas stoves, one per floor.  The stoves have been such a blessing.  

  Warm stoves, warm toes 

The weather has been cold, ice storms, potential snow storms are coming... And we will be warm.  So grateful. And now I can begin to decorate for Christmas.  

 The upstairs stove lights

 Cedar benches smell so good

Wishing you and yours blessings, warmth, and the sweet gentleness of Christmas... 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Restoration continues

We continue to peel wall paper, pull up carpeting, and  "mud" and tape walls to prep them for painting.  Our big focus is getting heat right now, as we have no heat source for the house.  We have been cooking big pots of stew, baking yummy food, and washing clothes so the dryer will heat up the house.  

Last week the gas-burning stoves were installed. 

Stove in a box 
First floor stove installed where the radiator used to be in the living room. 

Location for the second stove on the second landing where an old radiator used to be. 

 This week the plumber is coming to put in the pipes for the gas to the stoves and soon after we will get the propane tank filled and then all should be warm.  

The chickens are doing well and have finished molting so egg production will begin again.  Our neighbor Hank has gone south for an extended visit with family, so we are caring for the cats.  It's a wild bunch of activity all the time it seems.  

I went into the attic and cleared out all the old clothes that were left up there two or more owners ago.
  It was a bit of an archeological find-- old receipts from 1928 and an old letter from December 1929.  
One of the men's' suits was still in good condition for being fully exposed to critters and extreme changes in temperature.
 I have carefully put the suit aside for a possible historical society donation in the future. 

I love the old house, creaks, hard work, and history combined into a wonderful home.

Sending love and kisses from the ol' farmstead,

Monday, September 14, 2015

New views

I took a walk with Travis, Arliss, and the dogs yesterday evening and another-shorter walk tonight.
Here are a few shots I took on the way.
The boys and their dogs

Rufus in the creek

The view down our road 

Busy bee

The water table on the edge of our property-- all is well, thanks to so much rain this year in southeastern Nebraska

Our barn- circa 1910 

The sunset tonight-- the end to a wonderful day

I am finding myself smiling a lot at the way God designed my life. I am So grateful for all He had done and is doing. 

Sending love and sweet September kisses from the farm,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

30 days

Today marks one month since we turned in our keys at the apartment. In the past thirty days we have peeled wallpaper, washed walls, pulled up carpeting, and thrown out 40 cubic yards of debris and the usual refuse that comes with restoring a 100+ year old house. 
We've cut down trees, mowed grass, washed windows, and scrubbed more than I can name. 
(Red cedar)

Yes, there is a lot still to do, but when I see how much we have accomplished I am amazed.  
It's easier to see the vision my hubby and I have for the house. 
We've made new friends and been adopted by the barn kittens.

  It's been hectic and crazy and fun all at the same time. 
(A recent sunrise)

Hope your summer is all you wished for and more. 
Sending love and kisses from the farm--

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


So many amazing things come into our lives, if only we would pay attention.  With our new home and adventures we have opened our eyes to new tastes, smells, and surprises.
We have fresh mulberries on the trees all around our property, juicy, full of flavor, and the perfect treat during busy days.
My oldest has found old (100-year-old) bottles, jars, and even a thermos as we have cleaned our new home.
My youngest has found all many of animals and reptiles, which are his favorite things.
Yesterday, I learned that they-and we, have been fully blessed by our new neighbor, Hank.  Hank is older, like a grandparent, and full of wisdom, laughter, and stories.  Much like my treasured grandfathers. He has taken us under his wing, sharing his tools, stories, and insight with my family.  And especially my boys.
We had a powerful rainstorm and the wind blew down the corn stalks in Hank's garden.  So Hank and the boys worked together and stood each corn plant up and packed down the dirt around the stalk.  After hours of work, he treated them to ice cream in our nearby town.
I love it.  I love how we have met blessing after blessing on this adventure. I hope you are able to see and appreciate the blessings around you today.
Sending love and mulberry kisses from the farm,

Thursday, July 2, 2015

new house adventures

We moved into our new house last week.  It is full of boxes and projects and potential.  Travis has already set up his workshop and Arliss has already found his first garter snake.
It feels like home.

I love waking up and seeing the barn out of my window- a symbol of our heritage.
 I have grown accustomed to the birds who begin the alarm at 4 a.m. to say, "The sun will be dawning in one-to-two hours!! Be prepared! Be prepared!" I forgot how loud they can be after a year of apartment living.

 I have many different kinds of birds flying through my yard, singing from my trees and reminding me that every day is a day worth singing about.

One of my favorite parts of this new home is the discovery of treasures. The previous owner left behind a set of silver-plated silverware, the Queen Bess pattern (c) 1946. 

Now my set isn't as shiny as the picture above, the previous owner of the house didn't spend his time keeping things in the best condition.  But I love the history in the box I found.

Each day is a new discovery, I can't wait to share more with you...

sending love and kisses,
from the new-old homestead.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Here is the house. Built in 1910- and as of today-- it's ours. I will post pictures and stories as we clean and restore it.  So excited and so amazed by all that God has done. 

Sending love and joy from the farm...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Being still

As time goes by, I have had little to do unless it's a small enough task that I can do it in the apartment. My favorite task has been hand quilting. 
 What started out as a simple time filler has become a task and a treat to me.  My English paper-piecing quilt is nearly as big as my bed. I am so excited to see it completed. 
I have been thinking that a homemade quilt on all of the beds would be a cool addition to our 1910 farmhouse. 
Pictures to come as we work on the house and create our "forever farm." 

Sending hugs and love from Nebraska,

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New beginnings

After nearly a year of living in an apartment, longing for open spaces, gardens, and critters all around we are one step closer to our dream.  

About four months ago, my husband and I found a rambling farmhouse on two acres outside Lincoln. The house was built in 1910, six bedrooms, ten-foot high ceilings, a large kitchen, an amazing brick root cellar, space for goats, ducks, geese, and dogs, a huge garden, all backing up to a huge cornfield with a windmill. And for a touch of whimsy-- a three-seater outhouse from before indoor plumbing! 

The reality is the house will need work-- lots of elbow grease, washing, repairs and the like, typical for a  home that has been inhabited, but not truly loved for many years. We take possession at the end of next month and then the grunt work begins.  

In the end, I am excited to see the house restored, loved, and treasured by our family.

Sending love and lots of excitement from future farm-ette owners...

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Little things

As each year passes and a new one begins, I often wonder what my grandparents would think about our world.  It's been over fifteen years since my dad's dad passed away.  He was cut from the same pioneer cloth of his ancestors: strong, determined, defined in character, and always quick with a story. I loved seeing his face light up when we came to visit, with a twinkle in his eye he'd say something like,  "Toots (Gram's nickname) I told you to lock the door." and then he'd give you a big hug to welcome you.  

I came across a bottle of the same lotion he used when he worked on the farm.  I find the name only a bit ironic now that I live in Nebraska.  It was his own kind of cologne: simple, purposeful, and not overpowering.  

I would expect my paternal grandma, his wife, to think the world was passing to quickly.  She was a gentle, hardworking, optimistic person, who cared for her son's and grandchildren deeply, praying over them daily.  I loved her gentleness, although I didn't understand its strength until she was gone.  She was so in love with my grandpa.  You never heard them say the words, but you knew by watching them that their love was as deep as the ancient secrets of the world.  

My mom's dad passed away almost eight years ago.  He was a dreamer, a tinkering sort of man with a gentle spirit hidden in a giant physique.  His brown eyes would soften when he looked at my grandma on the sly. He had a booming voice and a granite-like view of right and wrong, but would give grace when you least expected it.  I miss the scruffiness of his whiskers when he'd give me a squeeze.  

As I prepared to move to Nebraska I found a picture of my grandparents at my parents' dining room table.  I love it because I can almost hear their laughter.  

My life is richer for their wisdom and stories.  I loved them then and I love them even more now...

Sending love and memories,