Enjoying a pretty day

We finally have a pretty day of sunshine and I am NOT at work! Although, I do have to go in this evening for a few hours I have THE DAY to enjoy the sunshine.

As I was on my way to the chicken coop to give the girls some dried eggshells there was not the least bit of breeze. I boogied back to the house, grabbed my camera and went back outside to take some macro photos of the beautiful peach blossoms and wouldn’t ya know a breeze kicked up? Happens.every.time.! Oh well, I managed to find a sturdy branch that wasn’t bouncing up and down with the breeze…

One of our peach trees is loaded with blossoms; the other? not so much. We’ve been having some frosty mornings so we’re crossing our fingers that it doesn’t damage the blossoms. It’d be real nice to get a peach or three this year.

Even though the sun is shining outside I’ve enjoyed having the time to be in the kitchen a bit this morning – hard-boiling some eggs…

making iced tea and starting a batch of green tea Kombucha…

and soaking some pecans in a brine…

The Kombucha will end up being a Blueberry-Ginger ‘booch’ (full of antioxidants) after the second ferment and the pecans will soak overnight then go in the dehydrator until dried making a healthier crispy nut snack. (“…nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in salt water overnight, then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator. Salt in soaking water activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors.” – from Nourishing Traditions) Having to wait for this delicious crispy snack is the hardest part! At least we won’t have to wait as long as we will for the Kombucha. That’s at least a ten day process – yikes!

Needless to say, I’ve really enjoyed having the time and energy to spend in the kitchen today making healthy alternatives – farm fresh hard-boiled eggs full of the proper ratio of Omega 6 & Omega 3 fatty acids; more nutritious nuts; and, a healthy beverage.

Taking the time to make healthier foods needs to be a priority here at the farm but I’ll admit – when I get home from work I’m usually wore out mentally and sometimes physically making it all too easy to grab a less than healthy alternative. I also need to have some mental clarity so that I can continue to research the best foods to eat for optimum health and how to prepare them but work typically zaps all my mental acuity. I’m just going to have to figure out a way to do it regardless. Adding a few drops of Young Living’s Clarity essential oil blend should help!

Speaking of Young Living and oils, I wanted to share with you, my faithful readers, an opportunity to purchase a Premium Starter Kit (everything you will need to get started – 11 oils, a diffuser and more) at 10% off and to join my oily team! If you’ve been wanting to get started using oils and oil-infused/toxic free products (cleaning, beauty, makeup, etc.) then now is the perfect time! Young Living has updated their Starter Kits and these that are on sale are the Kits prior to the update. The starter kits are a $300 plus value already discounted to half price. The additional 10% discount brings it down to $144 plus tax & shipping. It’s truly a great deal so don’t delay! You’ll find the link to sign up at the top of this blog post. Once you receive your kit I will send you a Welcome Packet with some goodies in it and help you get started using the first forms of medicine 🙂

Tata for now – I need to get ready for work. Oh, and if you have any questions about the above mentioned snacks or oils leave a comment and I’ll get back with you.

Is the sun shining in your neck ‘o the woods?

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The Hope of the Farmer/Gardener

This past week was a glimpse of the days to come…. sunshine, warmer temps and only a stray shower or two. Believe you me it surely was welcomed after such a long wet and gray winter.

It’s amazing what a week like that will do to the farmer/gardener at heart. You start itching to go outside; sitting at a desk becomes a struggle; you need to plant something; you yearn for color and blue skies; you want to get the garden ready and weed the flower beds but it’s still a little brisk out there and the wind will cut through you like a knife.

Speaking of wind, we had some strong gusts the other day which resulted in more tin on the barn working its way loose (which, by the way, the wayward piece from a few weeks ago has already flown off), the vacant beehive was knocked off its stand, metal roofing that was on top of the well flew off slicing through a small maple tree which then had to be trimmed and the grape arbor bit the dust. Literally…

CountryBoy trimmed the grapevines and removed the mess and now we need to figure out what sort of arbor we want in its place.

Since we had very little rain last week the ground finally dried up enough to till up the garden…

We called a friend and neighbor down the road that has a tractor and tiller. CountryBoy drove over to his place and helped him do some maintenance work on it and they attached the tiller. He came on home and started some breakfast while the friend drove down with the tractor and did the first till.

After a hearty farm breakfast our friend drove our truck back to his house and CountyBoy did a second till before moving to the back yard…

How ’bout that outhouse?!

We now have two good size garden plots ready for lots of vegetables and flowers.

Seeing the freshly turned dirt inspired me to clean up the greenhouse this afternoon and get some seeds started…

greenhouse before cleanup

I started a half tray of each – Roma tomatoes, Red Romaine lettuce, jalapeños and green peppers. I also started a dozen Cilantros.

As I was trimming the mint the greenhouse smelled minty fresh…

It felt so good seeing the plants coming back to life, tending to them and having my fingers in some dirt – such great therapy!

The first signs of Spring is a balm to the soul…

It rejuvenates the heart and mind and brings forth hope of what is to come. For year after year, no matter how the previous years crops faired, at the first signs of Spring the hope within farmers and gardeners alike bursts forth. Past failures and memories of poor harvests quickly fade away leaving only hope and anticipation for a successful garden season.

So CHEERS to another season of dirt under the fingernails and the hope of lots and lots of fresh veggies and flowers this year!

Cleaning up after Mother Nature

After rain, rain, and then even more rain we are finally getting some snow this afternoon. It won’t amount to much but it’s beautiful, peaceful and enjoyable to watch. And, it’s NOT rain!

Last weekend our county experienced some flooding after a long bout of rain that included some heavy rainfall. This is the second time since moving here that the waters of the Kentucky River has overflown its banks and both times the flood waters have made the top ten list.

I posted this image on our Facebook page of one of the roads I typically take on my way home from work…

This road was impassable for several days. Thankfully the worst of the high water was during the weekend as there are several bridges I have to cross to get to work and all of them were under water. Including ours…

and there was a lot of debris on the bridge and along the banks of our creek. We even have a dam now…

Water still gets through which is a good thing…

There were deep ruts in our driveway that CountryBoy repaired with the tractor and blade…

We’ve had so much rain that even the chickens have their own creek flowing in front of their coop…

Mud and squishy ground everywhere.

With all the rain our hillside has continued to break apart. There is over a four foot drop now…

Along with last weekends rain were some very strong and gusty winds leaving the poor tin CountryBoy tried to fix a few weeks ago barely hanging on…

Another good ‘n gusty day and that might be all she wrote…

The flood waters have all receded and everyone is getting back to their norm.

I can’t help but think that all this rain is replenishing the ground with some much needed nitrogen making for a good growing season. That is, if it ever stops long enough to get the garden ready and planted!

I’ll tell ya one thing though… I would rather have rain problems than drought problems. Everything – plants, animals, insects, humans – all need water to survive and without it none of them would last long. So while I feel like I have somehow been teleported to the Pacific Northwest I will not complain about the rain. I will simply just squish and get wet right along with everyone else, ha!

Opportunities Abound if Only…

By nature I am an introvert.

I prefer and have no problem being a stay-at-home kinda gal but life, right now, does not allow me to stay in the comfort of my home surrounded by familiarity and best of all… peace and quiet.

But, since being a hermit these days is frowned upon and possibly not healthy it’s probably a good thing that I have a job (or two) and that I am, at times, forced to be around a large group of people no matter how uncomfortable I feel.

One such event was quite recent… an all weekend birthday party for my boss at the B&B. I was home each night but I worked the event on Friday and Saturday putting food out, cleaning up after meals and helping keep the place generally clean. I also had the opportunity to visit with the forty or more women that were there over the course of the weekend. For an introvert that is a huge and scary task but all the women that donned the doors that weekend were so wonderful, so unique, so inspiring, and so nice. Each and every one of them had something to offer if only one would simply take the time to get to know them.

I forced myself to tuck my shyness away and sought out several of the ladies that I had met last year and eventually I was meeting new ladies and feeling more comfortable. I did a lot of listening over the weekend with a bit of talking here and there but if there is one thing that contradicts my introvertism (is that even a word? well if not, it should be, ha!) is music. I find it hard to talk to people I don’t know and I certainly can not get up in front of them and talk. BUT, I don’t have a problem getting in front of them and singing. I know, it doesn’t make sense but once the music starts the words are there, in my mind, ready to come out with the rhythm of the music which is SO much easier than trying to come up with words for a conversation. It might also have something to do with the fact that I have a hard time keeping my loud mouth shut when there’s good music around and that weekend there was fabulous music each night. On Friday night there was a bluegrass trio of ladies (whose name eludes me and who usually play with their menfolk but ditched them that night!) who were fabulous! I love that kind of music so there was a lot of toe-tapping going on during the songs I didn’t know but the songs I did know? Well, I tried to keep my loud mouth down to a low roar but a lady in front of me still heard me. I begged her to keep quiet but she insisted I needed to be up there singing and was going to tell everyone. I got off the hook when I said I didn’t know all the songs. Whew!

The next night we were blessed with more musical talent. Several guests had guitars and sang and played requests; there was a girl, Tatiana, who switched from keyboard to guitar; and then Jenn Shouse of Shouse Music joined in. She’s a local sweetheart, an acquaintance and typically plays with her husband, Chris. We all enjoyed listening to these ladies and singing along. But there was this one weekend guest that y’all may know… Sylvia the singer. She had several hit songs in the 80’s and her career has spanned over thirty years. She is working on a new album and plans on touring next year. She sang along and even sang her hit song ‘Nobody’ after requested to do so. Well, I was finished cleaning up after another awesome dinner and, unbeknownst to me, word had got around about my loud musical mouth. I had taken the last available seat which happened to be on the couch next to, of all people, Sylvia. We enjoyed harmonizing during the sing-alongs and then it happened. My boss asked if she and I would sing a duet a cappella because she wanted to hear me harmonize. YIKES! She wanted us to sing ‘I’ll Fly Away’. By now, Sylvia knew that when the boss asks you to do something, you do it! She graciously obliged and sang the lead while I harmonized. Let me tell ya… it was an opportunity of a lifetime and a moment this introvert will never forget!

Another opportunity came about today.

My friend, co-worker, fellow Farmers Marketeer (is THAT a word? If Mouseketeer can be a word so should Marketeer!), and editor of our local paper (where I also work) messaged me today saying that one of our regular ‘Lifestyle’ columnists will be unable to contribute for a while and would I consider contributing a few weeks each month. YIKES! I responded with ‘Oi, the pressure’, lol!

I enjoy blogging because I typically sit down to write a blog post whenever a topic presents itself and there’s no deadline. My style of writing is also suitable for a blog because I tend to write in a conversational style. Funny how that is since I’m usually not good with conversation. Oh the irony! But, writing for the paper? There’s a deadline and the format/style is a tad different than a blog.

My introvert self says “No way – I can’t do it nor do I want to put myself ‘out there’ like that”. And yet, every time I sit down to write a blog post then hit the ‘Publish’ button I am doing that very thing – putting myself ‘out there’.

While I enjoy writing I haven’t disciplined myself to write on a regular basis. As with anything – the more you do it the better/easier it becomes so, in my attempt to seize another great opportunity I told her I would. I have no idea where this opportunity will lead me but I’m willing to give it a go!

What will I write about? I have no idea. It will appear in the Lifestyle section so I will probably take a blog post or two and make it work for a newspaper. I can use photos, too, and many times a picture sparks a topic so that will help.

Wish me luck! Or better yet – feel free to suggest some topics or former blog posts that might interest newspaper readers.

Opportunities abound if only you see them as such and take advantage of them no matter the outcome. Easier said than done for this introvert but at the same time, I don’t want to miss out on what might’ve been.


February Surprise

What a DAY this second day of February has been!

We woke up to some thick fog but ever so slowly the fog gave way as the sun showed its face over the mountaintop.

It was such a welcome sight! Since there are more gray days than sunny days during the winter any time the sun shines it is glorious.

But to top it off the temperature creeped into the sixties today. In February? What a nice surprise!

I spent the morning doing some chores (sneaking in some weaving here and there every time I went upstairs), made some Colloidal Silver and watered the plants. As I went to take the trash out I discovered CountryBoy man-handling the extension ladder at the barn. I stood there with my hands on my hips thinking ‘surely he was NOT about to go up that ladder without me knowing’. Surely. He saw me and waved as he headed back to the barn. sigh. I knew he was getting ready to attempt to fix the wayward piece of tin that is about to come off…

Would’ya LOOK at that blue sky!!!

Apparently this section of the barn has been through some rough times by the looks of all the patch jobs it has gotten in years past…

I stopped what I was doing, donned some shoes, grabbed my camera and headed down to what – help? witness an accident? I knew there was nothing I could do but pray and hold the ladder.

The first attempt on this side of the roof was unsuccessful. The roof was far too steep.

After moving the ladder to the front of the barn CountryBoy was able to get the tin to lay back down and put a few roofing screws at the bottom and middle of the piece of tin. The top part? Our ladder is not tall enough and the tin hangs too far over the barn for him to reach over it very far. And, at this point, his bum knee (the one he had replaced but still gives him trouble) was letting him know enough was enough.

We’ll see what happens the next time there are heavy winds.

Once I finished my chores I grabbed my camera and walked along the creek enjoying the warmth of the sun and soaking up some Vitamin D…

This section of the creek, above, flows under our bridge (you can barely see it in the upper right corner). There are times when the water coming off the mountains behind the house brings the water up and over the creek bank and even over our bridge during a hard rain.

The sound of the water flowing over these teeny waterfalls is so soothing. It’s one of my favorite sounds. That and the sounds of birds chirping and singing their songs.

Speaking of birds, the girls were actually out and about today…

They are not keen on venturing out when the ground is covered with snow nor do they care for the breezy cold temperatures. Spoiled? Probably! Now if they would just start laying again.

This day, the second day of February, was a much needed pleasant surprise with its sunshine and warmer weather. We were able to turn the gas heater in the bathroom off and let the fire die out.

All too soon I was heating up leftovers and shortly thereafter the sun fell behind the mountain once again. Thankfully, we have a few more warmer days in the forecast this week before the temps plummet once again. For now, we’ll take all the warm days we can get to save on wood and if the sun comes out on those warm days – even better!

Plummeting Temps

As much of the country is experiencing crazy weather patterns and extreme drops in temperature it is no different here.

We woke this morning to a couple of inches of beautiful snow…

and even though it never got out of the teens today much of the snow disappeared by late afternoon.

When properly dressed cold weather is tolerable. Unless it’s windy and guess what? It was very windy today. In fact, we could feel the breeze coming through the ‘ol farmhouse!

I have to say, though, that each winter the ‘ol house gets more cozy and bearable thanks to many hours of hard work during the warmer months to make it so.

The first winter we were here we could see our breath in the house because the only heat source at the time was a bulky gas heater that sat in front of the fireplace but did not put out any heat. Plus, the two small bottles of propane the gas company set up (because they could not drive their big, heavy truck filled with propane across our dilapidated bridge) would freeze. Needless to say our first project was removing the bulky gas heater, repairing the bridge and buying a wood burning insert for our double fireplace and having it installed…

What a lifesaver!

For the other side of the stone fireplace we bought and installed a ventless gas heater…

The insert does a fine job keeping most of the house warm until days like today. With a sweatshirt and fleece pants on it’s still a bit chilly in the house so we turn on the ventless gas heater occasionally to take the chill out of the air.

Our living room does not benefit from either of these heat sources. We have an electric radiator heater going but when the wind is blowing through the house there’s not much one can do other than pile on the blankets and quilts and drink copious amounts of hot tea. Even though it is cold in there, at least we are not seeing our breath! And when we do get too cold, we sit at the table smack dab in front of the fireplace to warm up which is where we’re at right now!

Another project we tackled last summer to make winters a bit easier was enclosing the cistern room to help keep our pipes from freezing. What a blessing that enclosed room has been and so far, we have had running water in the mornings even after nighttime temps in the single digits.

Tonight will be another single digit night and quite possibly dipping into the negatives where we’re at. Brrr!

We are going through quite a bit of wood just to keep the house somewhat comfortable. We may be cutting, chopping and splitting wood sooner than we originally thought if this crazy weather keeps up.

—–

I ended up with the day off from the B&B job. I do the ironing in the basement and with it being so cold today the basement would’ve felt like a meat freezer. Which is quite a funny analogy because the B&B only serves vegetarian meals. Ha! Oh well, I’m grateful I didn’t have to go in because no amount of layering would’ve helped.

So I spent the day rearranging our bedroom. I know, I know, I’m rearranging again! But, the master bedroom needed something.

As I was moving a piece of furniture I felt a cool breeze coming through the walls. Nice! I think I need to hang some tapestries throughout the house. Ha!

The furniture layout is better now but it still needs some color. Maybe one day I’ll find a bedspread or quilt that I like and that should liven it up and bring it all together.

I also spent some time doing some weaving…

I started this project the day after I took my last scarf off the loom.

I’m using two different types of yarn. Again, both are left over from other projects. The warp is a thin yarn and the weft is a thicker yarn with a natural twist to it.

I wanted this scarf to be narrower than the last one but it will be the same length. It’s working up fairly quickly. I even remembered to plan for the hemstitching this time and have already hemmed this end.

—–

When I think back over the past four winters that we’ve been at the farm I can’t help but be grateful for the progress we’ve made to make each winter a bit easier and more comfortable – drafty ‘ol box-frame farmhouse and all!

Tomorrow, it’s back to work at the newspaper but it is supposed to start warming up tomorrow. There are even some 60 degree days ahead according to the forecast.

I hope y’all are staying warm and if you do have to go out into the plummeting temps stay safe.

Till next time!

Off the Loom, Kitty Update and Moving Mountains

Off the Loom

It’s been a busy week and weekend but I finished my second weaving project yesterday morning before heading in to work…

It’s a 12×64 inch scarf using two colors on the warp (vertical) and one in the weft (horizontal). I used leftover yarn from an afghan I made for our bed years ago.

I learned a few more things while working on it such as the importance of deciding how you want to ‘hem’ your project before you even start. All I knew was that I wanted to finish it in some fashion that did not involve tying the ends in knots. I thought I could decide after I was finished with the weaving but NO!!! I quickly discovered that I should have figured out how I wanted the hemstitch beforehand and then gone ahead and hemmed the beginning of the scarf after weaving several inches. Doing so would’ve saved me a LOT of trouble in the long run.

After searching Pinterest for a hemstitch that was appealing to me I finally came across a tutorial for the Italian Hemstitch. I must’ve read and tried it thirty times before the light bulb finally went off and I figured it out…

Once I finished hemming the end I had to cut the warp threads, tie them back on to the warp bar and then roll the scarf back up to the beginning…

It was a pain in the neck but really no big deal – just a bump in the road.

I really like that it lays flat and is also decorative…

I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about weaving and the process of making a ‘thought’ into something real and useful. In fact, I’m already pondering my next project!

Kitty Update

The kitties, Missy & Sissy, are recovering nicely…

They spent their first day back at home lounging around (probably because it was raining, ha) but the following day they were back to their usual kitty antics.

Since animals that have been spayed or neutered are ‘marked’ nowadays I had asked if the vet would notch opposite ears so we could tell them apart rather than tattooing them. I was expecting a simple, subtle, barely noticeable V-notch in the backside of their ear like Creamsicle and Greyfus have but instead they cut the tip completely off. I was SO upset and immediately regretted my request but what could I do now – after-the-fact. ugh. If I had known I would’ve simply let them be. Thankfully, as you can see below, it has not bothered them one iota but I’m still regretting my request. sigh.

Something sure is fun to roll around in!

Moving Mountains

About a month ago we noticed that the terrain on our hillside was starting to shift. The ground to the left when facing the hillside has begun to sink creating quite a drop-off…

Until recently this ground was all the same level. CountryBoy was able to drive up and down it with the tractor to bush hog and keep the hillside tidy. Bush hogging this area will be much more tedious now although we don’t plan on getting near it with a tractor any time in the near future since it’s obviously still shifting…

The drop-off begins at the far left by the ravine, sweeps around to the right, as you can see above, and continues on down the hillside almost to the bottom. The bottom not being quite as noticeable…

It will be interesting to see what transpires over the next several months. Will it all eventually slide into the ravine that is to the left of the hillside? Will it simply settle in place? What will become of our hillside? Only time will tell.

I do know that we have had a very wet winter following a very wet 2018 which has created very soggy and spongy land. We have water flowing out of the mountain creating small ruts in the land…

Some day we would like to dig a pond at the end of this stream. Meanwhile it’s been too wet to do much of anything that involves ground work. If the ground is going to move it is going to do it on its own as witnessed above! Mother Nature is moving mountains!

Creative Ingenuity and Kitties

It was downright cold the other day. So cold, in fact, that it was impossible to get the house warm even though there was a fire blazing in the fireplace, the electric radiator heater was on in the living room and the wall-mounted gas heater in the bathroom was on. Even sitting at the table a few feet from the fireplace we were still cold.

When I got in the truck to go to work the thermometer read -3 degrees. No wonder we couldn’t get the house warm.

I crept on in to work that day because of all the rain we had right before the snow came. I especially took care on a stretch of road that is maybe a lane and a half wide (at best)…

It’s really fun meeting the school bus on this road! We inch along past each other and go on our way. But on this morning – there were lots of sections of ice. Thank goodness for four wheel drive!

Once I turn off this road and cross the bridge the road becomes normal and I was able to speed up a little, still taking precautions for any possible areas of black ice.

My favorite part of my route to work is heading down this windy part where the land eventually becomes a bit flatter…

Please note: the traffic is minimal along these roads so I was able to stop and take these photos.

My usual route to and from work is basically a loop. I have the choice of going two different ways but the above route is about five minutes faster so I typically take it going to work and the other route is a few minutes longer but is an easy drive after a day at the office. (I’ve showed a photo in the past from that route.) Either route I take is a peaceful drive.

I came home, that frigid day, to some creative ingenuity of CountryBoy’s…

he had taken our bedroom ‘doors’ down from our room and the guest room and hung them around the staircase to keep the heat from the fireplace downstairs. See, our wood-burning fireplace is directly across from the table and stairs and much of the heat went right up the stairs into the landing which is my craft room. I usually ended up sweating after being up there for a bit.

After he hung the ‘doors’ (which are simply fabric shower curtains on tension rods because I haven’t come up with a better solution yet) you wouldn’t believe how much warmer the downstairs is now. It’s awesome!

It’s definitely cooler upstairs now so these flannel sheets I snagged at Kroger last week for $20 sure came in handy…

I’m loving the plaid and the warmth of these sheets!

This morning we took Missy & Sissy to the vet to be spayed. They are six months and a few weeks old already and even though they are a couple of cutie pies we did not want to take the chance of them becoming pregnant so off to the vet they went.

I called to check on them this afternoon and was told they did well. They are staying overnight and can come home tomorrow. They are such sweet girls!

Since we have a hard time telling them apart we requested to have opposite ears clipped a tiny bit rather than being tattooed. The vet said that was no problem. Hopefully we’ll be able to call them by name now rather than ‘kitty, kitty, muffin schmitty’, ha!

Till next time!

Just Another Year

We’re over halfway into the first month of a new year. It’s hard to believe.

It’s also been a while since I’ve taken the time to write a blog post. I really enjoy blogging & taking photos but for a while now I’ve just not had the motivation or even the clarity of mind to come up with a topic to blog about.

I’ve been out of sorts for the better part of last year and it has taken me a while to figure out why. Menopause? Maybe. But I think it’s more because life, for me, is not as I had envisioned it upon moving to the farm and I am having to adjust and learn to be content with each day.

My ideal was to renovate the ‘ol farmhouse; have more farm animals; be debt free; be primarily self-sufficient; discover my true passion while making money creating and selling handmade/homemade & farm goodies.

My reality? An ‘ol farmhouse that rains inside with each storm from the south and numerous projects that won’t get done because there is no money; no additional farm animals because there is no money to buy/feed them and we don’t have the proper fencing in place to contain them; we renovated too much too soon but we are closer to having the credit cards paid off (thanks to my two part-time jobs) which will allow for some relief each month; we are nowhere near being self-sufficient nor do I know that we will be any closer any time in the near future; at one time I believed my true passion was to help people get healthy but, most times they don’t want to hear it and it just upsets me. We have had fun selling eggs, produce and some of my crafts at our local farmers market but I wouldn’t call it making a living. So, I wake up four, five, sometimes six days a week to go work for someone else. While I enjoy my jobs and I love all my co-workers working outside the farm is not my dream. It’s not what I had envisioned after moving here.

So this year I have not made any grandiose plans and I am determined to change my perception, my ideals, my way of thinking. Each day I have to start anew with these thoughts. It’s the only way that I will be able to appreciate what I truly have and not what I think we should have!

I have also had to make some tough decisions like foregoing my annual trip to Florida to attend a quilt retreat and visit family, as well as an upcoming family function. Those decisions were not made lightly and caused me much angst until the decision was made but in order to stay on track to get the credit cards paid off it was a decision that made sense.

Also this year I am decluttering. Several bags of clothes, evening gowns, my wedding dress, CountryBoy’s tuxedo and craft supplies have been donated to our local thrift store. I gave my great-niece the treadle sewing machine I bought shortly after moving here as well as about two-thirds of my fabric stash. My Dad’s cousin gave me her treadle sewing machine so I didn’t need two of them and I would never, in my lifetime, use all the fabric I had so why keep it? And that’s just the beginning of my decluttering plans!

CountryBoy tackled his workshop a few weeks ago. It had become a catch-all for everything that had been stored in our cistern room before we enclosed it for more pantry space & canning storage. When it looked like we would have a few days without rain he completely emptied his workshop then sorted through, tossed or relocated everything. He now has room to actually work on a project and it’s easy to find things!

We woke up to a covering of snow this morning. It wasn’t much but it was pretty.

The other day we woke up to barely any snow…

We’ve had some warmish weather for winter and I think my poor irises are confused!

I mentioned earlier about wanting to find my true passion and I think I may have discovered it in the form of a vintage loom found at our local antique & vendor mall. It was dirt cheap and begged to come home with me!

Although it didn’t have the hardware or the instructions with it CountryBoy and I managed to figure out how it went together (never mind that a clear diagram was on the BACK of the box as I discovered after the fact, ha!). I watched some YouTube videos, checked out a couple of books at the library and set about working on my first weaving project…

It’s a plain weave table runner. I was pleased with the results even though it ended up shorter than originally planned. (I did not know how much loom waste (yarn) there would be but, that’s why I’m practicing.)

I started planning another project over the weekend – a scarf using more leftover yarn…

and actually started weaving today…

I enjoy every step of the weaving process – from creating the project to planning to measuring and cutting the yarn (I’m using our stair railing to measure the warp ends)…

to setting the warp (the vertical yarn) to weaving and seeing it come to fruition. It’s quite fun and, well, I’ve always had a yarn fetish! We’ll see where it takes me. With sewing and quilting I enjoyed some parts of it and detested the rest. Not what I would categorize as a passion.

On my needles are two different brands of ‘scrubby’ yarn…

I’m whipping up some dish scrubbies to sell at the farmers market this summer. These are easy to make, don’t require any thought and are portable so I can sit at the table in front of the fireplace while I work on them – perfect!

I guess that’s about it. I spilled my guts at the beginning but I hope you don’t think I was complaining or being negative. I’ve always said I would be transparent with our readers and I wanted y’all to know why I have been so quiet and unable to blog. I had many ‘whoa-is-me’ days last year but as I choose each day to be grateful for this life I’m living I hope to have much more to blog about in the upcoming year!

A Trip to The Glitz

Last Thursday my fellow Snug Hollow Farm B&B co-workers and I left the holler and took a trip to Nonesuch, Kentucky (outside of Versailles) where our boss treated us to a fabulous lunch at The Glitz which is located in the basement of Irish Acres Gallery of Antiques.  

We spent the day away from the hustle & bustle of keeping the B&B in top shape for its guests and enjoyed some ‘girl-time’ with lots of laughs and good eats.

On the way to Nonesuch we stopped for coffee at Chocolate Holler in Lexington where the coffee’s were works of art and oh-so tasty…

I had a Butterscotch Cappuccino with a shot of Espresso and my eyes literally rolled back in my head at the first sip.  SO smooth and decadent – it was a treat, for sure!

Once we were overly caffeinated we headed to The Glitz.  We arrived a few minutes before our reservation so we wandered around the Gallery of Antiques that occupy the first and second floor…

There are so many beautiful, high-end antiques that within minutes your visual senses are on overload.  You also realize quickly that you need to make sure your pocket-book (or in my case, camera bag) is snug at your side so that you don’t knock anything over and wind up in the basement washing dishes for a year to pay for what you knocked over, ha! THAT’S how beautiful the antiques are.

After a quick trip around the Gallery it was time to head downstairs to dine.

There were nine of us so we were seated at the front of the room at a long table…

with another large party at the furthest end of the room.

(Here’s a peak at one of the other rooms at The Glitz…)

We started our lunch with their awesome chilled Spiced Apple Refresher while we perused the menu.  (I’ve been told it is also good hot.  I may have brought a bottle or two home with me!)

I had a difficult time deciding what to order but I started with an appetizer of the Brie en Croute…

If I could’ve gotten away with licking the plate I totally would have.  As it was I think I scraped it about as clean as I could with the fork!

Then came the entree.  I chose the Seafood Paella…

Again, I would’ve licked the plate – SO flavorful!  Surprisingly, the sugar snap peas added a delightful crunch and went extremely well with this dish.  (I think we’re going to have to plant a few in the garden come Spring!)

For dessert, I ordered the Nonesuch Kiss…

Mocha ice cream on top of meringue, with hot fudge, sliced almonds, whipped cream and a cherry on top – oh my!  I cleaned this plate too.

You would think I wouldn’t have been able to get out of my chair but the portions were perfect leaving me full and quite satisfied but not miserably stuffed.  Which was a good thing as we spent some time after lunch browsing the Gallery some more…

This old scale filled with Christmas decorations caught my eye and I thought it was the cutest thing.  My guess is the simplicity, the age/wear-and-tear of the scale and the fact that this would’ve looked perfect in our old farmhouse is what made it stand out.  These are the kinds of antiques that I love but alas, it stayed right where it was and I will forever remember it in a photo.

The day flew by and before we all knew it it was time to head back to the hills & hollers of the Appalachians.

good food, great company, and gobs of fun at The Glitz!