Monday, December 31, 2012

Green the Whole Year Round

". . .of all the flowers in the forest
and all trees that do abound,
The one's that please my heart the most
Are green the whole year round." *

Maybe it's my Celtic roots. . . .or, maybe it's that I can't quite let go of that holiday spirit for the dark, dull days of winter ahead. . . .

When it comes time to take down the Christmas tinsel and glitter, I just can't part with my Winter Greens. In fact, I take the time to jump in my 1983 Chevy truck and run up and down these rural roads, looking for as many different winter greens as I can find. . . . .like a scavenger hunt. . . .It's one of my favorite things to do between Christmas and the New Year. . . .

"Green the whole year round,
Green the whole year round.
The Holly Yew and the Ivy Tree,
Are green the whole year round." *

Abandoned houses--or where houses once sat--are a good place to "shop". . . .I can imagine a loving farm family living in the old tenant house--and a Mom tending her gardens--making a home for her family.

I can see the farm children, laughing and playing--maybe playing hide-and-seek in the thick foliage of the evergreen bush.  

I can hear the farmer Dad, fussing because he has to mow around so many flower beds and greenery in the summertime.

The families are all gone now. . . .but the evergreen bushes and trees still stand. . . .

With all the bad weather we've had since Christmas, I had to settle this year--so far--on some limbs of a lone cedar at an old homeplace not far from us. . . .It's limbs were badly broken, where part of an oak tree had fallen on it. . . .But, it's still green and living--in spite of it's brokenness. . . .

Reminded me of life. . . .and of why I love bringing evergreens inside during the winter days. . . .

Same reason I spread an old cotton pick sack across the table underneath the cedar, with the name of it's long ago owner written across one end. . . ."Mary Jean George"

"Memories of other days come tumbling from the past.
To remind us, like the seasons do
That life goes by so fast." *

It's the end of another year. . . .The seasons have all come and gone again. . . .There's been good times--and a few bad. . . .We've gained a few more loved ones--and have lost others who were so dear. . . .

My mind is filled with memories this time of year. . . .Life does go by so fast. . . .ever changing. . . .Somehow the evergreens comfort me into a happy contentment as I gaze at them placed around my kitchen. . . . Life. . . .Hope. . . .Promise. . . .Green the whole year round. . . .

Now that another year is beginning. . . .
Maybe we should take a lesson from that cedar.
Life is continuous . . . .
so, let's embrace and live it to the fullest,
no matter how many oak trees fall on us. . . .

And, if you think evergreens are the only green to be found in the farmhouse this time of year, feast your eyes on these beauties. . . .

John says only Scot-Irish blood could love these socks! Well, maybe that's true. . . .They've certainly danced a few jigs in their lifetime. . . .They're my personal contribution to Winter Greens, you might say--and so much FUN!

Wishing You many Blessings in the coming months. . . .
 Happy New Year!!!

from my farmhouse to yours. . . .

*"Green The Whole Year Round"  from Celtic Women. Written by David Downes and Shay Healy

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Only Three Ingredients--Heavenly CupCakes for Your New Year

I'm obsessed lately--with cupcakes. . . .
It all began when I bought Pumpkin Bread at a bake sale. I knew the baker, who kindly gave me her recipe--one box of Spiced Cake Mix and one can of Pumpkin. She told me she'd found the recipe on Pinterest. I had my doubts--til I took a little sliver to taste. . . .That sliver turned into a large piece. . . .That piece caused me to take the bread to my Honey, telling him to "Hide it!"  I try to stay away from sweets, if at all possible. . . .this was impossible!

But, I still couldn't believe she only used two ingredients. . . .I tried the recipe myself, baking cupcakes instead of a bread. . . .Yep. . . .Just as good. . . .or, maybe better. . . .I added raisins, dried cranberries and pecans to the batter.

I only taste-tested once. . . .Honest. . . .

What about the Heavenly Cupcakes like these?

I'm getting to that. . . .

You see, I have one whole shelf of cake mixes in my freezer--bought them for 50 cents each. My Honey has a big sweet tooth--as I've told you before. . . I try to keep him happy. . . .Unfortunately, few of them are Spice Cake mixes--mostly White, Yellow, Chocolate. . . .How could I use these in a two or three ingredient cupcake of a different flavor?.  . .Hmmmm. . . .White. . . .hmmmm. . . .What do I have on hand that is white. . . . .

Cake Mix. . . .Coconut. . . .Applesauce! 

That's it, Ladies. That's the recipe. . . .

1 box White Cake Mix
1/2 (or more) cup Flaked Coconut
3/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
Mix well. Bake 350 degrees, til done.

My Honey tried one. . . ."Heavenly". . . .but he likes icing. . . .Back to the kitchen. . . .

I found left-over coconut flavored icing I'd made for a cake the week before. . . .added some flaked coconut to it, iced the cupcakes, then topped them with pecan pieces and more coconut. . . .Back to my Honey. . . .

"Wow. . . .Heavenly-er". . . .Two thumbs up!

They are very good. . . .and so very moist. . . .and so easy. . . .
I had to try one myself. . . .only one. . . .without icing. . . .HONEST. . . .

from my farmhouse kitchen to yours. . . .

Friday, December 28, 2012

Features from Country Whites Weekend #1

Hi, Everyone! Did each one of you have a wonderful Christmas? We were surprised with an ice and snow storm Christmas night and were without power until late the next day. Was it ever cold, too! Blizzard conditions. . . .But, all is well now--looking forward to the New Year. .  .

Didn't we have a fantastic first Country Whites Weekend party? I'm telling you--every post was so inspiring--and I want to thank each and everyone of you for linking up! It wouldn't have been a party without you! Such an honor to have so many special friends join in our adventure.

Without further a-do. . .(Drum Roll). . . on to the Features!

The Top Three most visited links were. . . .


 Ohio Farm Girl's so festive and charming Christmas in My Dining Room--all decked out for the Holidays. . . .#1 in total views! Don't miss this one!


Coming in second was Cranberry Morning's winter photo of her neighbor Bill's Barn in Winter. . . .Judy snapped this shot in 12+ inches of snow! It's post card perfect. Visit her and see for yourself!

And in third place was Country Whites Weekend! at Celestina Marie Designs--filled with lots of vintage beauties from her whites collections. So beautiful and detailed. . . .Hop on over for a visit!

I can't tell you how hard it was for me to pick a personal favorite. . . .My list started out with 23! . . .Then I dwindled it down to 15. . . .then 9. . . .the top three most visited took out 3--that left me with 6. . . .
I truly wish I could pick each one of you--but could only choose one. . . .so. . . .I'm featuring. . . .

The Magic of Christmas at Sylvia's Simple Life. . . .
Such a heartfelt post that captures the spirit of the Christmas season and the charm of Country Whites . . . .If you haven't viewed it, go there right now! It's filled with heart warming reminders of what Christmas is all about. . . .You'll enjoy her decorating style, too--simple, yet warm and inspiring. . . .

And now, you'll have to hop over to  Old Time Farmhouse and see who Cindy picked as her favorite! She won't let me tell you. . . .

Congratulations to all! 
Be sure to grab this button!

You'll be pinned on Pinterest soon, too!

Hope everyone will return for our next Country Whites Weekend. . .
January 18-20, 2013. . . .Mark your calendars. . . .We'll be looking for you!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Story from the Farmhouse

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the farm
Every creature was stirring but caused no alarm.

Their stockings were hung on the clothesline with care

In hopes Farmer John a treat he could spare.

Boo was all nestled and snug in a chair
Beside the warm fire, he had not a care.

With Dru in the kitchen, baking goodies and more,

 John thought it a good time to visit our store.

There in the darkness, he found a sweet treat,
For Sissy and Fred and Bessie and Pete,

Whose evening was busy with making quite sure,
That the guests here at midnight enjoyed all the tour.

For Santa and Reindeer each year would stop in
To rest their tired hooves, with a story to spin.

“Tis a grand old red barn”, dear Santa would say,

“Mind if we rest? We’ve come a long way.

To this farm I’ve been coming for years upon years,
And the animals do greet me with laughter and cheers.

They come from close by, they come from afar
Guided only by mem’ry and the bright manger star.

The owls and the rabbits play hosts to each one,
One night every year, a truce declared won.”

So Sissy and Fred, Bessie and Pete,
Are so very busy, their food do not eat..

Farmer John knows them well, so for treats he did look,
That all be rewarded, sweet morsels he took.

But John has two reasons to offer a treat
That maybe, just maybe, a glimpse he might seek
That he and Drucella and Boo maybe, too,
Could witness the miracle of this uncanny zoo,

When owls and rabbits and mice do sit down,

Together to wait for the guests in our town. 

For Santa and Reindeer will visit them soon
All creatures are friends now--from coyote to coon.

 And once Santa rests and a story does tell,
The creatures will scurry, to their homes they will sail.

Yet kept in their hearts will remain one bright plan,
That Christmas to come they will together again stand
So that they might witness and see the miracles anew,
Glad tidings and love and make new friends, too.

And all through the year, they’ll hold the sweet mem’ry of
The words of dear Santa as he put on his glove,

“To you and your friends, a Merry Christmas and Love,
From Me and my Reindeer and God up above.”

So John and Drucella wish for your loved ones, too,
The lesson the creatures can teach us so true. . .

May each one of our Christmases
Be filled with the Son,

With Peace and Good Will to Each, Every One!


May the Spirit of Christmas Past and Present
Fill your Hearts with the Joy of the Season. . . .

from The Country Farm Home
John and Dru
Boo, the Farmhouse Cat
Mr. Smokey and Little Bit, the Shop Cats
Sissy and Fred, the Barn Owls
Bessie and Pete, the Garden Rabbits
Wylie, the Coyote
Red, the Squirrel
and all the other Wonderful Creatures
that visit the Farm Each Year. . . .

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!!!!

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