Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Tour of Honey Hill Farm.....The Entryway

The entryway here at Honey Hill Farm.  The curtains on each side of the door keep out drafts!


Dearest Readers,


I am sorry to have been "away" for so long, but I have been under the weather with a very nasty bug!  I finally have a little oomph in my step and decided I would update my blog.


Many of you have asked for a tour of my dear old house......so won't you step inside and make yourself at home.........


The home was built by my husband's Great-Grandfather and has been in the family ever since.  Each generation has had a family member live here at Honey Hill Farm. We are the fourth and our children are the fifth generation to live in this home.  The home was started around 1895 and finished about 1900.  It is made with triple brick walls that are about 2 feet thick.  All of the windows are original (except 2 panes) and have wonderful wavy glass. 


Here we are in the entryway where you can see our lovely leaded glass door.  It is not original....we believe the original front door was moved to the back of the house in the 30's.  The door that was on the front of the house when we moved here was very 1930's in style, yet the back door was very ornate and much more Victorian.  We replaced the front door with a much sturdier custom made door and moved the old front door up to the master bathroom when we added onto the house.  You might be interested to know that we stopped stripping wallpaper here in the entryway when we reached the 13th layer!  We just shellaced it, textured it, and called it a month day!!!



Now, we are looking up the stairwell, I am not sure if you can tell but we had to add a few things to our dear old house.  When we first looked at the house there was no central heat, no outlets upstairs - just a bulb in the middle of the ceiling and only a few outlets on the main level. No one in the family wanted to live here...I am sure a few of them thought we were just a little crazy for wanting to fix up the place.  Oh,and the only water coming into the house was from the creek. Tadpoles are our friends......


Well....we worked on the house for a year before moving in, adding heat, new plumbing and new wiring. Unfortunately, we moved in just as our well was being drilled and it was a dry hole!  We had to wait until there was enough money to drill again - only six months without running water (and 2 babies)!  And... the kitchen was in the living room along one wall.  Ahhhh.....the good old days....smile. 


Here is a photo of the cute little alcove that is part of the entryway I hope you have enjoyed this part of the tour Dearest Reader!  And I hope you will join me for the continuing tour of my dear Honey Hill Farm in future posts.


Yours kindredly,


Shan



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Beautiful Morning.......

Dearest Readers,


Our dining room looked so pretty early this morning, as sunshine spilled in through the lace curtains.  I sipped on a delicious cup of cinnamon coffee as I made my list of "to do's" for the day....


I must go to our local craft store and purchase more gold stencil paint for the middle bedroom.  I promise to share photos of the transformation of this room from plain to very Victorian! 


I also will decorate my entryway for our much anticipated Double Graduation Party!  We have two of the Darlings graduating in early May, one from college and one from high school.  I always have a theme for my entryway for each month or season.  Normally, I would be putting out my "Spring" decorations, but I thought it would be better to go ahead and put out the "School Days" decorations so that I have one less thing to do before the party.  I have slates, chalk, books, ribbon-clad "diplomas", Victorian graduation prints and more! 


Last on my list, will be making Banana Bread, as I have a few rather sad looking bananas that mustn't go to waste.  All in all, a wonderfully gentle day!


Yours kindredly,


Shan


The dining room at Honey Hill Farm.  This picture was taken from the parlour side of the room looking towards the kitchen. 


 


Monday, March 24, 2008

A New Look......


Dearest Readers,


My eldest stayed by my side today and helped me make a few changes to the look of my blog.  I hope that you will enjoy the gentle "home" I tried to create.


Yours kindredly,


Shan

A Sunshine Day......

Dearest Readers,


What a lovely day here at Honey Hill Farm!  I spent part of the day outside taking down my Easter decorations.  Whilst outside it has been hard to keep myself from spending time in the garden, but it is much too early here in Colorado for planting......sigh.  My daffodils have not even bloomed yet, much less my tulips. We are always a couple of weeks behind the city as we are at an altitude of about 6,000 feet.  So Spring hasn't actually Sprung! 


Isn't Spring a darling season Dear Readers?  Full of friends you have forgotten, but are so delighted when you see their sweet little faces! 


I hope you have a day full of sunshine,


Shan


A pretty pitcher sparkling in the morning light here at Honey Hill Farm.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pinching a few Pennies

Dearest Readers,


Today was spent in the quiet and gentle pursuit of taking care of my family.  Besides the laundry, a home-cooked meal, and spring cleaning, Dearest and I took time to look over our budget and come up with a few things we could "pinch" to save money. 


We found that by calling any of the companies that offer you a service such as the cable company, phone company, trash, insurance, etc., you can usually reduce your bill by gently asking them to look over your account and "re-bundle" your bill to reflect the best price they offer.  You may have to renew your contract, i.e. the phone company, but if you don't plan to move or take your business elsewhere it makes sense to do this.


In short order, Dearest and I managed to put $90.00/month back into our household budget, just by setting aside time this morning and calling each of our service providers.  Thankfully, we can use this money to offset the rising cost of gas and groceries, etc. without feeling the pinch!


Tomorrow, we will run our errands in town. We plan to purchase whole wheat flour and baking supplies in bulk, our budget will not be effected as we plan to use our savings from today as our "bank" for deepening our pantry.  Since the price for wheat/wheat products continues to rise this should help our family stay well-fed and keep our budget in check.


I believe that one of the best ways we Mommas can take care of our families is to embrace the old-fashioned ways of our ancestors.  That means scratch baking, hanging out laundry, mending clothing, sewing, keeping things in repair and tending a garden.  Besides the joy of reconnecting ourselves with these long forgotten pursuits, we will be all the better suited to keep our families well fed and happy during the mean seasons of economic downturns. 


Blessings from a more frugal Honey Hill Farm,


Shan


 


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Case of Love.........

Dearest Readers,


Years ago during a Christmas shopping trip for the Darlings, Dearest and I walked into a Victorian shop filled to the brim with interesting and unusual gifts.  I simply could not stop looking at a "quilt  case" that was on display.  I could imagine all the fun I might have changing vignettes for each season or month.  After oohing and ahhing for a few moments, we went on our way to finish our shopping.  I never gave it another thought...well, maybe a little.


Lo and behold, Dearest went back to that store and on Christmas morning he carried the beautiful case into our parlour!  You can imagine the tears rolling down my cheeks! 


Here we are years later and that "quilt case" still has pride of place in our front parlour.  I have changed the display to my Spring Finery Vignette, thinking of my Dearest as I gently placed each item in place.  A kindhearted man with a terrible "Case of Love".



 I am blessed, truly blessed!


Yours kindredly,


Shan


 

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Irish Blessing.......

Dearest Readers,


I dedicate this St. Patrick's Day to my dear Irish Grandma Fern, who was a true Irish Blessing!


Her love of her family, her Catholic faith, and all things Irish will remain on my heart forever.........


May your heart be truly Irish, even for a day,


Shan

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cozy at Home........

Dearest Readers,


It feels so good to be home, nice and warm, snuggled in our dear old home.  We are expected to have 10 inches of snow by tomorrow morning!  Dearest and the Darlings made sure that both wood boxes were full so that we will stay warm.  My old 1949 cookstove runs on propane and we have plenty.  The kerosene lamps have been filled with oil and there is plenty of food in the pantry and fruit cellar. 


Proverbs 31:21



"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet"



Now we just have to wait for the snow.........


The picture above is a cozy corner of our family library, it is a wonderful place to curl up with a good book!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Springtime Lace.....Spring Nest Cleaning Gift-Away


Dearest Readers,


It is that time of year when our thoughts turn to the glorious days of Spring!  For our dear old house here at Honey Hill Farm, that can only mean two things.....changing anything and everything over to lace and Spring Cleaning!


During the chilly months between September and February, the house is strewn with heavy throws, damask tablecloths and velvet curtains.  But when Spring comes, dear friends, the house is made lighter and brighter with lace.....lots of lace.  Plants "spring forth" in every available windowsill and light shines through freshly cleaned ripple-glass. 


While making the delightful change from Winter to Spring I endeavour to sneak in a little Spring Cleaning.  And just in time for this chore, comes a wonderful Spring Nest Cleaning Gift-Away from Miss Peggy at The Simple Woman.  Please plan to visit her delightful blog and enter her drawing for Mrs. Meyers dish soap (in a brand-new sent), an adorable apron, a cute scrub brush and a 1 year subscription to The Simple Woman! 


Now, dear friends if I could only get Dearest to stand still long enough I am sure I could get that lace doily to sit just right on the top of his head.............


Yours in Kindred Spirit,


Shan

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Day In My Life.....


Dearest Readers,


As promised.......a glimpse of an ordinary day in my life here at Honey Hill Farm.......


No alarm here on the farm, just the gentle waking as the sun peeks in through the lace curtains. Down the stairs to the kitchen where I started the coffee, adding a pinch of cinnamon to make it special. 


It was cool and a bit breezy so I dressed in my favorite black long skirt, black turtleneck and a pretty dark rose Victorian sweater.  I added an old-fashioned black onyx and gold filigree bar pin to finish the look.  I left my hair long but pulled it up at the crown with large hair combs. 


Dearest and I went out for breakfast as we always do on Friday morning.  Then it was off to the Post Office to mail some bills and to the Bank to make a deposit. 


The Bank was having a Bake Sale to raise money for one of their employees who is battling cancer so we bought a lovely loaf of Blueberry Bread to have later in the day with a steaming cup of tea. (We will offer up a prayer for this courageous young man.)


On the way back home, we remarked on the price of gasoline, $3.09/gallon for regular unleaded!  We reminded ourselves, once again, that we have been so blessed to have sold our transportation company last year!  These prices would have surely put us out of business.


Back at Honey Hill Farm, I tidied up the kitchen, putting things into their rightful places....ahhhh..... On to the ironing, nothing much, just a few napkins for everyday use. The house was pretty tidy, so just a load or two of laundry called my name.


I spent the dearest part of the day studying my owner's manual for the digital camera that we bought in September.  I haven't tried out any of the settings really, and wanted to experiment with all the "bells and whistles".  I am NOT good with anything mechanical, so this was worth a giggle or two! 


Dearest made sure to have a nice fire going in the front parlour stove for me, as I am always cold......unless it is summer, then I am too hot!! (I have a 2 degree comfort range from 70-72F - LOL). At this point in the day, Dearest would like you to know that I almost put him in a coma as I tossed him things to add to the recycle bin.....oooopppps!



By 3:00pm it was time for Dearest to head to the soccer field (football for you Aussies) where he works as a referee.  He loves soccer and has been a referee for about 12 years now.  This season should pay just enough for him to purchase some long-sought-after woodworking tools.  I sent him on his way with a thermos of coffee and a large slice of the Blueberry Bread....brrrrr, it is quite cold!


The youngest and oldest Darlings are home by this time of day, so a snack is in order.  Our oldest opted for the Blueberry Bread, while the youngest thought some popcorn sounded fine.


An easy supper of leftovers tonight instead of tomorrow (as planned) fit the bill as we have plans with friends for supper tomorrow night....easy peasy lemon squeezy! Our Darling Girl always gives us a call each evening to let us know about her day while she is away at College. So now, with everyone now tucked in safely, it's a warm fire, cozy robe and slippers and an episode or two from our DVD of "Christy". 


Finally, thankful prayers for this gracious day are offered, followed by quiet slumber as we snuggle under our quilts. And that, my dearest friends, is a day in my life here at Honey Hill Farm......just a gentle, lovely day.


Kindredly,


Shan


Pictures:  Doll made by my dear Mother, wearing our Darling Girl's baby clothes. Baby bottle with goat nipple and some precious dishes make a charming display here at Honey Hill Farm.


Front Parlour stove, blazing away thanks to Dearest!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Journal for Tomorrow......

Dearest Readers,


Tomorrow, March 14th 2008, please join me as I journal "A Day in My Life".  The inspiration for this endeavor was provided by Miss Jenny at Little Jenny Wren. She has invited everyone to join her as she begins this chronicle which will take place on the 14th of each month. A number of dear ladies are joining in the fun, along with yours truly. 


Won't you join us?  Please use the link above to visit dear Miss Jenny and let her know that you would like to participate....she will put a link on her blog so that we may come and visit.


Well, I must put the parlour in order and prepare the tea.....I will have visitors tomorrow here at Honey Hill Farm.  Until then, I hope you have a quiet and simply lovely day.


Yours Kindredly,


Shan


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Cleaning Fever....

Dearest Readers,


My what a busy week we have had here at Honey Hill Farm!  From re-organizing my icebox to revamping my menu planning I believe I have caught "Spring Cleaning Fever".  It seems apparent that this is a very contagious disease as I have read of similar ailments on numerous blogs! 


I had such pleasure with my menu planning as I decided to designate a theme for each day of the week.  Sundays will now feature the flavors of Italy.  On "Meaty Monday" I will serve Dearest's favorites such as Steak and Bake or Pork Chops and Scalloped Potatoes.  Tuesday will remain "Mom's Choice".  Wednesday I will bring dishes from afar, this week will be inspired by Mexico.  BBQ Thursday is sure to please even my pickiest eater followed by Soup and Sandwich Friday.  Saturday couldn't be easier because it is "Clean out the Fridge Day". 


Dear Friends, I thought you might like to see my Menu Board.  I just printed out a blank calender and took it to our local printer.  I had them enlarge the calender so that the squares were 2 1/2" by 3".  Next, I had the calendar laminated. (The cost was $12.30 for the enlarging and laminating.)  I added photo corner mounts in each square.  I used vintage looking "luggage tags" for my menu cards (I cut them to fit)and I simply hand lettered each one.  All that I have to do is number the days with an erasable marker and I have an easy and inexpensive menu board that I can use over and over!


I hope that you have a quiet, gentle early spring day!


Kindredly yours,


Shan

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Catching Up......

Dearest Readers,


Today will be a day for catching up on correspondence with dear ones and a few stray chores here at Honey Hill Farm.  I have a load of wash to fold and put away and a few of the rooms are begging to be put in order. 


Dearest will spend some time out in the shop and work on his bench for class.  What is that Dear Reader, you didn't know that I am married to a college boy? Oh yes, Dearest is taking a woodworking class at the local community college.  He has always wanted to learn about fine carpentry and decided it was time to do so.  He has to have it finished by tomorrow and is determined to receive an "A"!


I am so blessed by the Lord to be able to stay home and take of my family and home, it is not glamorous or "in style", but I can't think of a place that I would rather be.


Yours in Grace,


Shan



Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Currier & Ives Day......

Dearest Readers,


Our dear Honey Hill Farm looked just like my Currier and Ives plate, as an overnight snow covered everything in a blanket of white.  I woke this morning to blazing fires in both our wood stoves and Dearest already out shoveling his way to the chicken house. (He is such a kind and dear husband.)  Can you believe that just yesterday we had temperatures in the 70's! 


I decided it would be a perfect day for dreaming of our spring garden as I sat next to a warm fire and sipped a hot cup of tea.  I poured over my seed catalog from R.H. Shumway's and plotted the garden so that I could plant an abundance of heirloom fruits and vegetables. 



I think every square inch of our garden will produce something wonderful.....



We can't wait to have a "salad dinner" on our front porch as we watch the colors of a glorious sunset.....the canner working non-stop as we preserve the gift of God's bounty....and rows and rows of sparkling jars lined up in my pantry.....pure bliss.   


So I leave you dear readers, with the sunshine days of spring just a promise away....


Kindredly yours,


Shan