Sunday, November 30, 2014

SUNDAY: It's a Man Thing

Mary Zarick has provided us with a hilarious story this Sunday. . .Since I'm about 75% Scottish, it especially hit my funny bone. . .but it's a story you don't want to miss. . .no matter what nationality you come from. . .

"Lay down what’s bothering you, breath in the fresh air
and LISTEN  to this story as told by an avid piper."
"As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man,
I didn't stop for directions.
I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.  
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.  I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.
As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Apparently, I'm still's a man thing."


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Discovery: Bowl Butter for the Wooden Bowl Collection

Bet that got your attention, didn't it?
BOWL BUTTER? . .Yes . . .I've discovered bowl butter. . .and just in time, too. . .
Each year when Thanksgiving approaches, I pull out my bowl collection. . .I truly love wooden bowls--on the watch for them everywhere I go. . .When I started collecting, they were fairly inexpensive. . .Every now and then I do find a prize at thrift stores. . .but mostly the antique malls and shows are where I see the vintage bowls. . .All I do is admire them--way too out of my price range. . .Luckily, I have more than plenty. . .I probably need to sell some but cannot part with even one. . .
It's not officially the holidays without wooden bowls. . .They are so versatile and speak of times past. . .their patina aged over the years. . .something you can't reproduce. . .
Every Fall I go about gathering the collection for cleaning and oiling. . .That's the thing about wood, it tends to dry out in our hot summers and does need some care. . .In the past, I've used food grade mineral oil to protect the wood. . .This year I've tried something different. . .something I initially found on Pinterest. . .(How did we live without Pinterest years ago?)
I call it BOWL BUTTER. . .  Others call it WOOD BUTTER. . .and  some call it SPOON OIL. . . Whatever name you pick, this stuff is fantastic! Only two ingredients--beeswax and food grade mineral oil. . .easy. . .somewhat messy to make but it's worth it. . .I plan to never be without it again. . .I think it would work well on anything wood. . .including furniture. . .One lady uses it on her dry, chapped hands.
Look at the difference it's made with my own collection. . .from these very dry bowls. . .
to these BUTTERED ones. . .
Look how they shine. . .
I could have lightly sanded the original finish on some of them. . .but I didn't. . .I do love the bare spots, stains and dents. . .evidence of much use. . .These were the work horses of every Farmhouse. . .I love to be reminded of that. . .
For step-by-step Instructions to make your own Bowl Butter,
check out the tutorial at  CREATIVE CULINARY
This would make a nice Christmas gift for someone, too.
Speaking of the holidays, I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is this week. . .but there it is on the calendar. . .John will be smoking turkeys and hams at the church. . .The men's group has orders for hundreds of them. . .definitely an over-nighter for John. . .The good news is, I won't have to cook our turkey this year since he'll be bringing one home. . .but I will be cooking and baking all the extras. . .This will be a busy week for all of us, won't it? . .Family, friends, food, road trips, shopping. . .Well, however you celebrate. . .we're sending. . .
Have a simply wonderful week
. . .from our FARMHOUSE to yours. . .

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SOS: Can Anyone Help Me?

I'm pulling my hair out with EMAIL ISSUES---and I need all the hair I can keep. (LOL)
For the past SEVERAL months, I have had the problem of returned emails,
especially when I try to REPLY to your Comments.
I reply. . .Many come back to me UNDELIVERED.
Same with some of the comments I make on YOUR BLOGS.
It's frustrating because as we all know, if ya don't SOCIALIZE your followers may think you don't care. . .and the thing is I DO CARE about ALL of you. . .I'm able to read your comments on my blog--and I do read every one of them. . .BUT. . .my replies are often returned.
I have researched and tried all I can find to do online. . .
Might help for a week or so but doesn't stick.
I'm not a tech-y kind of person but I do understand the basics.
It's interesting that many returns are from Yahoo--which is my own email host.
You would think they could get it right.
I've read all of their Trouble Shooting help and tried to contact them.
Nothing has worked so far.
I would appreciate any insights you might have.
In the meantime if you don't hear from me,
please know that my emails to you may be in the DEAD LETTER box
somewhere out in cyber space. (grin--frown)
The 'safest' is to COMMENT BELOW,
since I read your comments on the post itself.
TRY EMAILING ME with any help:
Thanks so much ahead of time!
You're the GREATEST

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lessons from the Past for a Plain and Simple Farmhouse Style?

Can you imagine these cabinets custom built for a FARMHOUSE KITCHEN?
I can.
No one would question if they were vintage or not. . .the assumption would be that they were. . .
They are so reminiscent of a country store, aren't they?
Would you believe they are from the 18th century?
 I'd paint them white for my FARMHOUSE. . .but I do like the colors represented here, too.
Notice how the inside of the cabinets are painted white to match the wall of the open shelving. . .
or is that the wall?
These photos were taken at the Colonial Williamsburg apothecary. . .I hesitated sharing them because of the differences in color. . .They were all taken the same day, at the same time, at the same place, the same set of cabinets. . .but depending on the light (I guess?) my camera picked up several colors. . . .Then I realized they make for good examples of how different shades of color can change the look. . .From the gray-blue in the above photo. . .

to a brighter green. . .

a bit darker gray-blue. . .

a pale green. . .

and almost a gray. . .much like the color of my own PIE SAFE. . .
I like the no frills, plain and simple contents of the upper cupboards and open shelves, too.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
When we started putting down our new floor in the bedroom last week, everything had to come out. . .the furniture, the accessories, the rugs. . .The night before we did leave the bed and the dresser. . .I enjoyed the simplicity of the room. . .The room looked larger and I could see that cleaning would sure be a lot easier without all the clutter.
From the beginning of The Country Farm Home blog I was thinking Plain and Simple Style but it's been a gradual change for me. . .It's taking a while to embrace it fully. . .but I do find myself going for less and less and thinking about a huge estate sale more and more. . .Again I'm drawn to the 'less is more' as in these photos. . .Not only that, it's the concept of everything having a use and/or be pleasing to the eye. . .

There's plenty inspiration here for a super FARMHOUSE KITCHEN look. . .Everyone who knows me knows I love Colonial Williamsburg. . .I find much inspiration there--keeping an eye to the past while seeing into the now. . .I'm falling in love with the open shelving paired with the glass door cupboards. . .trying to figure out how to break the news to John for maybe a few additions to the kitchen. . .I think I'll wait to mention it until our flooring is done. . .and after Christmas. . .Give John some time to recuperate. . .and time for me to do a little more planning. . .Do you think I'll ever quit having ideas for our FARMHOUSE? . . I'm sure John wishes I would. . .(a WINK and a SMILE)

(A ghost from the past?)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SUNDAY: Wonderfully Made

That's my Mama. . .the one with the curls. . .
Hands on her hips. . .Eyebrow raised. . .An attitude.
I don't know under what circumstances this photo was taken,
 but I can tell you it wasn't something my Mom particularly agreed with.
"The Look"--as we fondly called it--never changed her entire life. . .
My Dad, my brother, my cousins. . .Shoot. . .
Everyone in the entire town of Dell knew when they saw that look,
they had best high tail it in the opposite direction.
We all knew "The Look". . .yet. . .over the years it became endearing. . .
endearing because it was a part of Mom's many faceted personality.
She wouldn't have been Mama if she was anything less.
I don't know about you. . .but I have to admit that so often I'm influenced by the world to adjust my own personality and become "socially correct". . .My goals, my interests, my priorities, my general way of thinking is so often bombarded under pressure to give up and fall in line with others . .At those times, when the pressure gets too great, it's a reminder to step back and ask myself if I'm being true to who I am. . .because I KNOW I'll never find peace and happiness until then.

We are each unique and wonderfully made. . .God says so. . . Just as Mom was who she was. . .so I must be. . .so we all should be. . .It might be the road less traveled but it's also the legacy we leave. . .Our little imprint on LIFE. . .EMBRACE IT. . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finally! A New Floor for the Living Room

Yes! There's a new floor on it's way for the living room!
I've been inspired. . .and it's  a 'have to' case. . .

The floor becomes background
SOURCE  Bright Bold Beautiful

South Shore Decorating Blog: In Good Taste - An Eclectic Collection of Simply Gorgeous Rooms
SOURCE South Shore Decorating

I know I've teased you for a long time--probably two years. . .
but. . .it's been hard giving up our vintage floor. . .I love the patina of the wood. . .
something you can't duplicate with new materials.
This past week has proven to me that no matter how painful. . .
the floor must be covered with a new one.

Small space living room dinning room combo
SOURCE Style at Home
 You see. . .the original floor of our manager's house is also the only floor--no subfloor. . .That's the way most tenant houses were built. . .We've suffered from winter to winter bundled up in coats and scarves at times (grin) just to keep the pretty floor. . .Last Winter John said, "No more!". . .I agreed--as long as it was cold. . . .Somehow it was harder to stick to the agreement during the warm Summer. . .(another grin). . .We've had a few cold and windy days lately. . .plus the unusual wet and humid Summer has caused a battle with mold and mildew coming up through the floor. . .I knew it was time. . .So we headed to Poplar Bluff, MO and I picked out a floor that will probably shock you. . .It's black.

Jamie and Josh's spring dining room
SOURCE Dear Lillie

Some of you will gasp at the thought of covering up the natural glow of our wood floors, especially with black. . .Some of you might cheer. . . Whatever your persuasion, I hope you'll give it a chance. . .just wait and see. . .It's a very bold move. . .but in the end I think it will be stunning. . .Remember that we have a black and white checkerboard floor in our kitchen and other touches of black there, too. . .This will tie the house together. . .

I had to think about it for a day or two. . .Checked out Pinterest. . .I decided to go for it.

The new flooring is wood. . .already painted black and sealed. . .I could tell that I was being bold with the choice because the owner was really glad to get rid of it. . .Did I tell you the deal he made? . . .88 cents per square foot! . . .Huh?. . .I'm serious. . .and that was AFTER my decision to buy it.

Gorgeous sitting area; love the gray - blue paint combined with the black and white patterned pillows
SOURCE Designed by Carla Ashton
At that price, we bought enough for the bedroom, too. . .the one off the living room. . .
making it an unbroken flow from one room to the other. . . .

black floors

We have started in that bedroom since it gets the north wind. . .The weatherman is bringing us some very cold and windy weather this week. . .Then we'll move to the living room. . .Honestly, I can hardly wait to finish so that I can work some decorating magic. . .Most of the black floors I've seen are in a contemporary setting. . .but you know I'll be decorating in FARMHOUSE style. . .I'll keep you posted how things go. . .Wish us luck!. . .The house is such a mess that I'm hoping soon it will be. . .
SOURCE Fox Hollow Cottage


Sunday, November 9, 2014

SUNDAY: Truth or Fiction?

I have a story that will tickle your funny bone. . .about a couple of teenage boys. . .and how they ended up in the church baptistery with no clothes as visitors arrived. . .

CROSSING MORGAN'S CREEK is a novel written by our own Ben Gill, who grew up in the same little community that I did. . .He claims his book is purely fiction--that the town, the bayou, and the people are figments of  his own imagination. . .BUT. . .I can just about pick out every person, every locality, and every church mentioned. . .In this story I also suspect my Aunt Mamie Griffin is the lady who shows up with the girl's group. . .Uncle Malcolm, her husband, was the Dell Baptist Church minister for many years. . .

Well, whoever it is. . .it's a chuckle of a story.

Back wall of the Baptistery, Crossroads Baptist Church

The novel is written from the memories of Sam Hamilton   . . .He was often a guest speaker at many small churches when he was a teen and believed he was called to the ministry. . .His Methodist friend, who also felt he had a calling, decided one warm summer day that he would teach Sam how to baptize. . .

 For about the next hour, Leroy quizzed me on the ins and outs of baptism and communion and other such holy acts--and in most cases I failed. So since it was hot anyway and since the Baptist church always kept the baptistery full of water, he decided we ought to go over to the Baptist church and do a little practicing.

As usual, the church was unlocked so we proceeded to go up into the choir loft and looked over the top of the glass at the water.

"Test it."

"What do you mean, test it?"

"Put your hand in the water and see if it's cold 'cause if it is, I ain't gonna let you do no practicing on me," replied Leroy, and he said it like he really meant it.

I stood up on one of the folding chairs in the choir loft, reached over the glass, and stuck my hand in the water. It felt pretty good, but about this time it was dawning on me what Leroy had in mind. . . .
Leroy then explained what we were going to do. "Okay, now we are going to the back of the church to the stairs going up into the baptistery and you are going to practice baptizing me."
"Leroy, we ain't got no swimming suits with us. My mama will kill me if I get these fresh-ironed jeans wet. So how we gonna do this?"
Obviously he had already thought it through, "Does it look like there is anyone else in this church?"
 I declared that it looked pretty empty to me.

"Well, what we are gonna do is get up there and take our clothes off and do some skinny baptizing just like we do skinny dipping down at Morgan's Creek. Good thing is that, up here in the baptistery, we won't have to worry about no water moccasins. Now if you will get on with it, we can be out of here in about 15 minutes, but you got to get this baptizing down. Now shut up and come on!"
That seemed like a pretty good answer to me so I proceeded to follow Leroy into the back of the church. . .
"What we do is both stand looking at the side wall so the congregation is looking at our sides. You will be right behind me and you will say something like this, 'We are proud to have our brother, Leroy, here tonight to proclaim his faith in Jesus. So I am going to baptize him.' At that point you will raise your right hand in the air and put your other hand on my chest. Then you will say, 'I baptize you my brother in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.'"
. . .Since it didn't seem too hard to me, I assured him that I had it down and up the stairs we went into the baptistery. . .Like two kids at the swimming hole on a hot summer day, we stripped our clothes off and got in the baptistery.
The first time I tried to baptize Leroy I got him under the water okay, but I couldn't remember the words and while I was trying to think about them, I almost drowned him. If he hadn't got his free hand around my neck and jerked himself out of the water, I guess I would have probably been practicing for my first funeral.

The second time I remembered the words jut like he had told me, but we got off balance and his feet came up out of the water just as his head went under thus nullifying the term of total immersion. Leroy was getting a little upset.
Just as we started for the third try, Aunt Mamie Sullivan opened the door of the auditorium, threw on all the lights, and walked in with about 10 of her G. A. (Girl's Auxiliary) teenage girls. If you are not of the Baptist persuasion, what you might not know is that the front to the baptistery facing the congregation is made of glass so that the whole congregation can be assured the preacher fully dunks the newborn Christian. . . .
So just as Aunt Mamie hit the light switch, Leroy and I turned in our total nakedness to face 11 pair of very wide eyes belonging to Aunt Mamie and the girls from the Baptist church G. A. division. I do not know the exact time, but somewhere in the range of 10 seconds several things happened. Aunt Mamie hit the light switch thus turning off the lights, 10 young ladies were introduced to the minister and his first baptismal candidate in a way they would never forget, and Leroy and I almost drowned each other getting back to our clothes.
I think it was the next day that Leroy passed me a note in Algebra class. Printed in very small print, it read, "I ain't even gonna dare try to teach you nothing about the Lord's Supper. My teaching days are over, boy. You are on your own!"


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Winter Gray. . .and White

A hush has settled over the farm today. . .Outside my window it's drizzly and rainy. . .looking more like Winter. . .GRAY skies. . .a GRAY day.

As I began to strip down the last remnants of Summer, I realized that with the time change last weekend we are losing more and more 'light and bright' inside the farmhouse. . .It seemed  GRAY prevailed indoors and out.

And there I lingered. . .When all that was left were the crocks and ironstone and farmhouse cupboards. . .GRAYS and WHITES. . .Something about the starkness and the two together struck a cord in my soul. . .It took me a while to figure it out but then it dawned on me. . .the GRAY of Winter skies. . .the WHITE of glistening snow.

I am not fond of winter at all but I do love the days when snow is on the ground and all is quiet and still. . .
warm and safe inside.

QUIET and STILL and WHITE and GRAY. . .PEACEFUL. . .CALM. . .time to settle into Winter. . .

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .
SHARING THIS POST WITH: Make It Pretty Monday 
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