Front Porch

One of the things that attracted me to this house when we viewed it was the front porch. I could picture late night talks on a porch swing. Getting lost in a book while curled up in a large wicker chair.  Conversations with friends while drinking tea or lemonade. Haircuts. First snowfalls of the year and hot chocolate. Music being played by friends and family members on a warm summer evening.

Our porch is not large but perfect for intimate gatherings. I love that it has so much potential and that it is easy to extend it as a part of our home. Another room if you will. It is not complete by any means, like most of our home but it is growing with us and slowly coming together.

After dinner tonight it was still too nice to be inside so we decided to go outside  and read our bedtime story on the front porch. Tonight we read the first chapter of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. At first there was a bit of resistance but then once the words come to life for them they never want to stop. I love it! I hope that all my children will develop this love of reading.  While we were curled up and cozy in our old wicker chairs, getting lost in the pages of our story one of our cats was trying to sneak into the house, making the story seem even more real to us.

The kids have already asked to read out there tomorrow and I think we just might. Maybe we will even watch part of the storm that is headed our way. Thankful for a house with a front porch.IMG_1559

Beginning of Spring Break

An unexpected but welcome week off for the husband means that we moved our break up to get a jump start on spring cleaning, or in our case cleaning in general. We started yesterday and here is what we have accomplished so far:

  • several notes on tasks that still need to be accomplished and ideas for future projects
  • rearranging the living room-moving couches, piano, adding and removing bookcases and storage
  • cleaning walls and trim, and dusting, lots of dusting
  • we have gone through most of our books and purged close to half
  • many items tossed and donated
  • began sorting boxes of paper work
  • sorted pens, pencils, and markers

We are hoping to accomplish many things this week and have some fun too. For now the house is messy and chaotic as things are moved around and sorted but there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel.

Catching our breath

GI viruses, colds, and ear infections. That is what we have been dealing with for the last several weeks. Just when we thought we couldn’t handle anymore life decided we could handle a bit more and put us on a roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns. Now that we feel like we can catch our breath a bit and are hopefully on the downhill stretch of this crazy ride it is time to once again create some order out of chaos.

First up: Trying once again to get caught up on the dishes and clean the sink. Check. Hopefully this will last longer than a day and will actually become a habit that we can all work on. I am currently looking at a clean sink, counter, dishwasher running, and another counter full of clean dishes drying, just waiting to be put away.

Next laundry: I feel like I get so close to finishing this task and then more shows up. I feel like it just multiplies in the night and then hides so I can’t find matches to anything. Does this happen to anyone else? I am really hoping to be completely done by this weekend. I can’t wait to see what my house will look like with out laundry in various stages of completion.

Outside: Over the weekend I went to the store to purchase seed potatoes and pruning sealant and came home with so much more. Our yard is an overgrown mess that needs a lot of work and I am slowly trying to tackle these projects so that we can enjoy spending time outside. Researching permaculture and native plants to include in the space.

Projects: I have too many going on to count. It is pretty ridiculous and I really need to work on learning how to complete one task before moving on to another. I have made progress in limiting the number of projects I start but it would be nice to see some of them completed.

So that is a brief update on us in a nutshell. Hopefully this nice weather is here to stay and we can work  on soaking up some sun and get back on track. So thankful for this life and the people I get to share it with.

Hexagon Baby Quilt

I have started several quilts. I have cut out pieces and laid them out. I may have even started sewing them. I have a few boxes of fabric and patterns all laid out and not a single finished quilt to show for it. Hoping this time it will be different. My baby sister is due with her second child any day now and I thought I would try to make a quilt as a  Christmas gift for baby girl.

So I dug though my fabric and precuts and found some in the colors that she was planning on using. She decided on yellow and orange. Not going to lie. These are some hard colors for me to work with ( I prefer neutrals and my sister loves bright bold colors and patterns). She has no idea that I am making this so hopefully she likes it.

Concerns:I am worried that it is a bit too 70s. I have only completed one small quilt before and I didn’t exactly pick an easy pattern for making this quilt. Having enough time to complete it.

Plan: Layout all the pieces to make a toddler/small quilt and not have to buy anymore for the quilt top. No borders. Watch youtube videos on how to sew a hexagon quilt. Figure out how much fabric I need to buy for back and have it match or coordinate with quilt top. Decide how to quilt the top. How do I finish it?

Progress:

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Possible layout
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Securing each row so they don’t get mixed up.
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Marking lines before sewing.
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Sewing rows together.

5 rows left to sew together. Then ironing, lots of ironing. And then gathering the courage to sew the rows together. Hoping I can get all the rows sewn together by tomorrow.

Welcome to our beginning

Welcome! I feel like this is where we are, beginning again. Nothing has changed but everything has at the same time. Here is what got this ball rolling.

This summer we lost a few people very close to us. It has taken awhile to process and there are still days where it is hard to just keep it together.All of the people we lost this summer happened to be farmers. It is a big loss and the holes they left can’t ever filled. The loss of these people made us realize how much we miss this community and lifestyle. This is how we want to raise our children, what we do as a family, what we are passionate about.

So the next step/ thought: how do we begin, where do we start, what do we want to accomplish, what do we want our focus to be? So many questions. We both miss raising cows. That is what we want to do raise cows. Well we can’t keep a cow where we are now, not enough space. What about mini cows? Research mini cows… They are ADORABLE!!! Not to mention more practical for us and getting our kids involved. However they are expensive.  What breeds? I favor black and white. I would love to raise Galloways or Belted Galloways, my husband wants to raise mini Herefords.

The next big question: Do we stay or do we take a chance putting our house on the market. It was an agonizing decision but we decided not to put our house on the market right now. Too many things were left undecided and we didn’t feel that now was the time. So the decision to stay for the time being has been made. Next question: can we keep mini cows here? We don’t know. It is something that needs more research and cost analysis. Is it legal?

Okay so cows are still on the want list but not a feasible option right now. Shift gears a bit. If we could have a farm right now what would our goal be? What can we do on a smaller scale to hone those skills that we will need later? What do we focus on? What do we do first? No clue. We are reading, talking with others and watching videos to help us make the best decisions.

Wait a minute, we want a farm but our house is that house on the block. The one that needs a lot of work. Both inside and out. It is not ready for the projects and ideas that we have in mind. So in the midst of dreaming of having a farm reality has set in. Getting the house in order must come first. So we have been kicking ourselves into gear and little things are getting done inside and out. New light fixtures, clearing  pathways, getting rid of stuff. Tomorrow we are hosting an early Thanksgiving and yet again there is stuff everywhere because we have been cleaning and really trying to find out who we are and what is important to us. So this is our beginning, the mess, the unknown, the moments of learning to say yes and learning to say no. The dreams and the planning, the family that we are becoming. Welcome to our story and I hope you enjoy coming on this journey with us.