cover pic

cover pic

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Wardrobe Staples

Although I would love to wear a Lilly dress most days, that is just not practical on a preppy mountain farm.  Besides, here in the northeastern mountains, it is still quite cool much of the day.  The outfit shown above works well for me most typical spring days.  Its versatility lends itself to driving children to and from school, blogging, light farm work, cooking, shopping, petting goats and lambs, and holding cats.  It consists of plenty of button down oxford cloth shirts, jeans or chinos, a leather tortoise shell belt, ballet flats, and a string of pearls, of course.  If I have to go out in the pasture, I ditch the ballet flats and put on a pair of Muck boots.  They're not very preppy, I know, but they are a must on even the smallest farm.

Above: Land's End shirt (decades old), St. John's Bay jeans from JC Penney, Mossimo ballet flats from Target, leather belt with tortoiseshell buckle from Talbots, and pearls from my husband on our wedding day.

Monday, April 27, 2015

From the Bookshelves of a Preppy Mountain Farmhouse

While our family does not subscribe to the consumer mentality, my husband and I do have a love of books.  Almost every room in our house (including the attic) contains books and magazines that fill bookshelves, nightstands, and the tops of dressers.  Although I do love the convenience and instant gratification of downloading e-books, it just doesn't feel as good as holding a book made of paper in my hands.  Sitting in a well-cushioned chair next to a window with a cup of coffee at my side and a crisp new unread book in my hands fills me with the excitement I used to feel as a girl under the tree on Christmas morning.  Below is just a small selection of some of my favorites from the many bookshelves in our farmhouse.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Farm Animals and Gourmet Coffee

Initially, I am awakened by this guy in the morning...

until I can sit on my porch rocker with this...

along with one of our furry friends to keep me company.

Wegmans Flavored Specialty Coffee in Amaretto has become my new favorite.  The aroma wafts up the stairs in the morning and makes me want to get up and face the day---that is, after our rooster has done his job.  I am also loving the fresh cut daffodils and forsythia brought to me almost daily by one of our children.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Making Natural Carpet Freshener

Our family recently purchased a rustic cabin with the intention of it being used as a guest cottage.  It has been uninhabited and closed up for quite a while and smells rather musty.  Today I prepared a simple carpet freshener to sprinkle on the carpets and furniture which will be left overnight until the cleaning service comes the next day to vacuum it all up.  The only ingredients are equal parts baking soda and corn starch, along with a few drops of essential oil.  In my case, I used about 10 drops of lemongrass pure essential oil to half a cup each of the baking soda and corn starch.  No need to buy expensive brands since it is just going to be vacuumed anyway.  I do like to use pure essential oils, but be careful if you have light colored carpets since some of the oils do have a golden tint to them.  In this cabin, the mismatched carpets are already a golden brown color, so no worries there.  I always wear an apron when working with oils since they stain clothing if spilled or splashed.  This is my favorite apron which was handmade and worn by my great-grandmother years ago on her mountain farm.  Here's hoping that our guest quarters will be smelling lemony fresh in a few days!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring Laundry

Even though it is a chilly morning here in the northeastern mountains, we are so glad that it is spring.  It feels great to hang laundry outside once again.  When our dryer broke 5 years ago, I did not consider it a blessing.  With six children still at home---half of them being toddlers or preschoolers---I had no intention of doing away with a dryer.  However, out of necessity that day, I had my husband string up a makeshift clothesline so I could hang the wet laundry from the washing machine right away.  What I discovered was that hanging laundry outside in the warm sunshine and cool breeze with the sounds of a babbling brook, bleating goats, and chirping birds can be incredibly relaxing, especially when juxtaposed with the many noises of a house full of young children.  Now that much of my days are filled with transporting children to and from school, ballet lessons, judo classes, and track practice, it is tempting to just buy another clothes dryer, but I don't think I will.  Hanging laundry brings me a quiet pause in the day and a chance to bask in this mountain farming life.