"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Friday, January 24, 2014

Snow n Tell

So the polar vortex seems like it never left.

Well, maybe just enough to rain n create MORE MUD that did a fast freeze, becoming treacherous peaks n valleys that hobble the horses.


Then we got crazy blowing snow that worked it's way through every barn door.
When I oped my tackroom, I found a DRIFT INSIDE against that door.

At least snow is prettier than frozen mud.
(She says trying not to let on what a whiner she's been.)

The Ford has been saying that it's -5 degrees as we drove kids to school.
All our diesels must stay plugged in so that they'll start, or they whine worse than me.

They have much work to do hauling hay for all our hayburners!
Now I get why cattlemen call horses that.
It takes A LOT OF HAY to keep the horses' furnaces at work to warm them.

 INDOORS the thermostat has read as low as 46 degrees when I first come down!
Ice and frost snowflakes are common on the inside of our 200 year old windows.
I think they match the valences that I made out of my Grandma's old coverlet!

At night we turn off everything (except our heated mattress pads til we're snuggled in) and cram the woodstove full before choking it down to a slow burn all night.
We use our dual zone heat n air very rarely.
We feel like pioneers.
or poor people.

But these days I do hit the furnace on and the oven and the kitchen space heater before I go stoke the woodstove and coffeemaker first thing!

64 is about the hottest we keep it in here unless we're not paying attention and allow 72 to spoil us! Truly as often as we n KIDS N CRITTERS go IN n OUT it's too hard on our systems to keep the heat cranked up. Also, I have Raynauds circulatory issues and my body doesn't adjust it's own temps well, so I usually wear a down coat inside anyway. It helps keep me at a more constant temp, plus it's not like I'm in for very long before heading back out anyway. 

I seem to be living in the barn making hot bran mashes w/molasses n oil added.
Schlepping hot water n emptying frozen water buckets.
I'm crazy paranoid about barn fires so refuse to use any of the plug in water heaters when I'm not right there. There have already been several barn fires locally this winter. 
I'd rather schlepp n whine.
Actually here's a secret.

The little girl who dreamed of owning her own horse is still inside me and I rather enjoy fussing n fluffing for all my furry n feathered friends.
Hearing them happily munching is music to my soul.
Maybe like some normal people are happy cooking n fluffing their family's nest?

I like that too and have tried a few new pinterest slow cooker recipes.
This was way too easy and yummy served over rice. A keeper!

I also finally got to watch "Julie n Julia"
I love Julia Child, but I'll stick w/my crockpot

The kids are loving this weather the most.
Olivia is a close second. She runs n leaps with joy while they play.
Lately Sarah n Jack have taken to climbing up on the spring house roof.

and sliding down.

Sarah stuck her landing like a gymnast but also shredded her snow pants.

 They only pause to run through the house, grab a cookie and head out back to beg The Farmer to tow them round the farm.

They're crazy.
(Don't know where they get it.)

Now how's THIS for CRAZY?!
Even my chickens have fun in the snow making

Hope you all are finding ways to play too!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What I wore Wednesday~ farmgirl addition!

Soooo, I'm a huge fan of Lyndsey at The Pleated Poppy
She keeps it real, is beautiful, creative, funny and 
makes the prettiest things out of colorful fabric.

She also hosts the CrAzY popular blog party
"What I wore Wednesday"
It flat out cracks me up every time I think of it. 
(the ladies look lovely tho, I'm not busting on them)
"in order to inspire one another to put a little more time into ourselves.  as a stay-at-home mom, it is so easy to stay in pj’s or yoga pants all day, but i want to do more!  i want to feel good about how i look..."
 My outfits are prolly not what she had in mind...
Yoga pants would be dressing UP!

Most of the time my Wednesday is about the same as my Tuesday!

I'm sure you've admired my farmgirl attire in previous posts;
no, not pink Carhartts. yet.

My uniform is:
Down coat, ear band, scarf or fleece jacket 
 either layered over a polo shirt or turtleneck depending on the season.
but no matter what;
bootcut jeans n Ariat paddock boots


This pic could have been taken almost any day last year with my black down coat.
Yes. I do get a new down coat every year. Your point?
So far; red, blue, black and this year's PINK
(Last years blue is now melted along cuffs from brushing against hot woodstove as I load more wood!)

Hey, I am a farmgirl, horse trainer and mommy. 
I'm not the kind to wear riding breeches everywhere so this is my compromise.

I do not own anything that hasn't walked through the barn at least once to throw hay at last check...
Even my ballgowns after a fancy hunt ball.
And then there was the time we drove in to find ponies in the alfalfa field.
(Could make them seriously sick so freak out n panic is appropriate)
I remember trying to run as my high heels sank down in the dirt.
Bad words said, shoes cast off.
If I could wear paddock boots everywhere I would.
Wait a minute. I do.

I must add here that if I do go shopping for myself I often think of another fave blogger Meg who once showed off a cute outfit that she said came from Dress Barn
She pointed out how that's not the best name for a fashion store and said she always thinks "moooo" when she sees it. 
Perfect. Now it's in my head that I should prolly shop there!

But ...
I've ordered several flower pins from Lyndsey and today am lusting after some of her newest creations. 

Tell me that these don't look like they were made for me?

Accessories to make me feel pretty while sporting my farmgirl attire!

this ruffled scarf is gorgeous and fun!

These bitty button gingham earrings are perfect for a farmgirl!

 Can you (kinda?) see why now...

In honor of The Polar Vortex; 
"What I wore Wednesday"
I thought I'd share so that more of you could join my Michigan bff who teased me and said I must look like a sumo wrestler when I described the SEVEN layers I was wearing.

starting w/innermost layer
thermal tee, turtleneck, fleece, irish fisherman sweater, pink down coat, formerly known as blue down coat, scarf 
and below~
fleece pj bottoms under jeans.
cotton socks, then the bestest fleece socks under winter Ariat boots

Hey, I was able to stay outside for hours layering blankets and making hot feeds for ALL the outdoor farm critters (Henny Penny was almost brought inside).
Then I came in mellow n happy and layered quilts on beds and made chili.
I'm sure hubby might wish I'd wear yoga pants but...

Happy wife. Happy life.

Now go see how hip city mommas dress for their date nights!
I'm inspired (and envious) and will definitely steal a few ideas!

pleated poppy

Hey, maybe someone else out there would like to buy my new equestrian style boots?
For reals. Size 6 1/2  Steve Maddens for $40 + shipping
(they are a richer/darker brown than this poor pic shows)
Comment or email for better pics if you're interested.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Firewood and Food

"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace." 
~Aldo Leopold

Painting~ "Hauling Firewood"
by Bernard Safran

Wishing you all an abundance of warmth n comfort during these "Polar vortex" days!
My weatherman kept saying he thought it sounded like the name of a new vodka... 
Use your potatoes as you will! ;-)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrating x TEN!

Its a new DECADE!!!

New Years Eve marked the end of a great decade in our family.

Ten years as a farm FAMILY.

from this

and this


An awesome Grandma was created 
 celebrating her 60th with newborn Sarah and

JoJos always loved the pool and been a fun Grandma

JoJo learning she's having a grandson (Jack) - so I couldn't travel to a family reunion. 

and rang in her 70th as a Grandma to another grandson, Aden!

Yesterday we celebrated JoJo's 70th 
and Sarah's 10th

I can honestly say that it's been 
one of the hardest
 and certainly THE BEST
decade of my life.

If you'd told me 15 years ago what my life was to become
 I'd never have believed  it.

Giving up life as I'd known it.
Among other things, friends n clients, my business training advanced level riders, owning a "boutique barn" on 10 acres, minutes from the hunt club n highway, with a custom built home and indoor arena.

Even at my old farm  (different dogs) improvements were made by this builder/farmer

To move to a gorgeous part of Maryland I didn't even know existed

with a crazy passionate Irish Italian younger man

weren't we babies ourselves in 2002?!

and have a baby in my late thirties and another at 40!
Buying an abandoned 200 year old shell of a farm
on 115 overgrown acres.

It almost looked better in 1965- it had an intact roof, unlike when we bought it!

Which led to...

Improving the buildings

and house first.

Then, gathering my own eggs.

Milking my own goats.

Making my own hay.

Driving big tractors and equipment.

Planting an orchard

and large vegetable gardens.

Eating homegrown chicken, rabbit or venison.

Watching my Builder/Farmer husband produce great things
while teaching his kids.

Riding with him in his assorted truckS, tractorS, bobcatS, motorcycleS
 or quieter(!) carriageS w/ClydesdaleS!

Going to hunter shows with lotsa littles,

and generally having many unexpected adventures!

Possibly the best is still just
RIDING through my FARM FIELDS with my FAMILY

I've learned many valuable lessons.
One of the most important being...

I've even taken to trying to teach others and host farm tours.

I never dreamed I could be so blessed.
or tired

 I'd bet my amazing Mother is surprised 
at all she's done too!

Can't wait to see the next ten years!

Wishing you ALL many happy surprises in 2014!