Saturday, January 30, 2016

BOTTLE TREES: A Southern Tradition for Your Spring Garden


Have you joined the BOTTLE TREE craze? . .It's not too early to be thinking about SPRING PLANTING and GARDEN DECOR. . .It might be cold and snowy now but soon we'll have warm weather and be itching to get outdoors. . .A bottle tree is one choice I plan to add to OUR yard. . .
 
 
John and I spent several days this week at the early 20th century HOPSON PLANTATION in Mississippi. . .We 'lived' in a SHARECROPPER'S HOUSE for three days. . .Nothing frilly or fancy. . .but 'MAKE-DO' and COMFORTABLE. . .It was warm enough that we often sat on our porch and looked out over the entire plantation. . .Right smack dab in our line of view was this lovely BOTTLE TREE. . .reminding me of my intention each year to add one to our farmstead . . .Never seems to happen. . .but I have hope for this year. . .It's a long established SOUTHERN TRADITION. . .and one I would like to continue. . .
 
Photo by Eudora Welty, 1930s
 
The LEGEND goes that empty GLASS BOTTLES were placed outside the home, close to the entryway, to capture spirits (usually evil ones) that roam the night. . .These NIGHT SPIRITS are lured into the bottles and trapped until the early morning SUNLIGHT destroys them. . .It's a legend that was deeply rooted in the beliefs of the African American slaves who worked on the plantations. . .but one that  many workers adopted. . .Often the first thing SHARECROPPERS did upon arrival to their shack was to scavenge the area for DEAD TREES or large LIMBS to securely 'plant' close to the door. . .Garbage piles were rummaged for COLORED BOTTLES, the BLUE ones being considered the best. . .According to Folk Lore, BLUE is the most powerful of any color. . .Since that time, BOTTLE TREES have come to be a symbol of the RURAL SOUTH. . .Thanks to Pinterest and the internet, the interest has spread literally around the world. . .
I like this DELTA TRADITION not only for it's deep-seated history. . .but because they are FUN, ECONOMICAL  and colorful works of FOLK ART. . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bottles to trap those IMPISH SPIRITS aren't limited to trees. . .They can be placed around the doorway in a number of ways. . .
I have a board on PINTEREST with a few more ideas. . .Some of them are quite unique. . .
CLICK HERE to see some very ingenious displays. . .
 
Here's one idea we found on the plantation. . .
This rack is attached close to a door. . .Actually, there were bottles on either side of the entry.
Doesn't look as if a 'haint' has a chance to enter this dwelling.

 
 
After spending several days in our little SHARECROPPER'S HOUSE, John and I came to the conclusion that whether the bottle trees are for one's ENJOYMENT. . .or to ward off those IMPISH LITTLE CREATURES. . .the legend must be TRUE. . .We never saw a single NIGHT SPIRIT the entire time we spent at Hopson. . .although. . .I did have a visit from a GHOST CAT early one morning. . .but that's a story for another time. . .(a wink and a grin)
 
 
 


Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Thought It was Something I Said...Friends Connect Followers Please Read

 

I was putting the finishing touches on a post today when I noticed I had lost almost 100 followers on Google Friends Connect in less than 36 hours. . .Was is something I said? . .Or didn't say?. . .Or was Google changing everything again?
 
I decided to get to the bottom of it. . .when I found that other bloggers were experiencing the same thing. . .huge drops in numbers. . .The answer is simple. . .Google has changed the rules. . .They are removing many of the Friends Connect Followers. . .
 
". . .starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.
 
We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post) that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow. Thank you. The Blogger Support Team
 
What this means is. . .If you do have a Google Account, nothing has changed. If you don't have a Google account, you'll have to sign up for one. Then re-follow The Country Farm Home and Our Old Country Store. . .(What a hassle, huh?)
 
Although they didn't indicate other options, I have found a few. . .If you do not want a Google Account, you can "Follow By Email". . .or  Bloglovin'. . .or any of the other options you'll find on the sidebar.
 
I do hope that you will continue to follow The Country Farm Home and Our Old Country Store with one of these options. . .I wouldn't want you to miss a single 'Plain and Simple Farmhouse Living' post . . .It is very sad that this will affect so many followers, as well as the Google bloggers who work so hard to get their posts to you. . .but then change is a fact of cyber life. . .isn't it? . . .Not sure if that's a good thing. . .or a bad one. . .
 
 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

FROZEN

JANUARY 22. . .An eerie kind of BEAUTY. . .A WINTER WONDERLAND of ICE. . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
SATURDAY JANUARY 23. . .WELCOMED SUNSHINE. . .What a difference a day makes. . .
 
 
 
 
While almost half of the country is experiencing ice, snow, and blizzard conditions. . .
Here's PROOF that you WILL see the SUN shine again. . .
Stay Safe. . .Stay Warm
 

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Rag Rug Tutorial on Weaving Stripes

 
You simply HAVE TO see these fantastic RAG RUGS woven by Stephanie with John's RAG RUG LOOM!
 
CLICK HERE to view more of her Rag Rugs and for instructions for weaving your own. . .
at. . .
 
 
AN EARLY RUG, MADE WHILE PERFECTING THE TECHNIQUE
 
 


Monday, January 18, 2016

Remember Summer?

 
The WARM breezes. . .splashes of COLOR in the FLOWER beds and fields. . .
WEEDS. . .
Walking at dusk in FLIP-FLOPS. . .
Drinking ICE TEA IN A JAR to cool off during a hot and humid day. . .
Rocking on the FARMHOUSE PORCH.
 
Seems so long ago now that our COLD WEATHER has set in for the WINTER. . .
Wind chill: 9 degrees
And yet. . .I brought indoors today a reminder that SUMMER WILL  come again. . .
My treasured GERANIUMS always make me feel WARMER. . .HAPPIER. . .and change a dull Winter's day into something MAGICAL. . .They make me SMILE. . .and forget the cold dreary outdoors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
How about you?
Need a SMILE and a PROMISE OF SUMMER?
 
Thought I'd SHARE mine with you. . .maybe CHEER your day.
 
. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .
 
 
 


Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Art of. . .

 
I've hung up the APRONS. . .everyday ragged ones and SUNDAY BEST. . .
There won't be much work going on around here. . .
at least not for today. . .
 
 
My INSPIRATION came from a moment of SUN. . .
shining through the window. . . highlighting the BEAUTY of those VINTAGE APRONS. . .
as if they were saying,  'We'll just hang around here for the day.'
 
 
I didn't argue. . .I've hardly had time to breathe during and after the holidays. . .
realizing I need a little 'ME' TIME. . .
and immediately thinking about a card I received yesterday. . .
 sent by a DEAR FRIEND:
 
'You are the only one of YOU that you'll ever get.
Be GOOD to you. . .Be MERCIFUL. . .
Be KIND. . .and Be GRATEFUL'
 
Thus resolving my dilemma of what to do.
 
 
 
TODAY I WILL PERFECT THE ART OF DOING NOTHING. . .
 
 
IT TAKES PRACTICE. . .
and practice I will. . .(smile)
 
 
. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .
 
 


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