Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mother Nature

Here in Missouri, it's not uncommon to have wild swings in temperatures. Case in point - just ten short days ago, David and I snuck away to the Lake of the Ozarks with some friends and were enjoying 70 degree weather.

Our private dock on the Lake.

We caught up around a bonfire at the lake's edge at night, feeling comfortable in light clothing.

Today, this is the reality in our part of Missouri.

That's me, under about twenty layers of clothing. We ended up with 11 inches of snow, and this morning when I woke up the temperature was -10. That's not the wind chill, that's the actual temperature!

The chickens and Emma kitty are not coming out of the coop, and who could blame them. I have been refreshing their water every several hours and taking the chickens hot oatmeal and scrambled eggs to warm their crops. Baby is hanging out in the garage and the indoor cats are watching all the action from the warm house.

Duchess is built for this weather, so she is having a blast running around in the snow. I do put her in the coop at night as well since it's getting so cold, but during the day she is out and about.

The guineas, hardy as ever, are just fine as long as they have a perch to rest on. Some of them have found their way to the coop, but others are still outside like this old timer.

We're all hanging in there, but not exactly happy! It seems the snow is here to stay as the forecast does not show us getting above freezing at all, so we'll just have to get used to it for now. As I say nearly each year, spring can't come soon enough!

Have you been buried in snow this winter?


Monday, January 5, 2015

Living Room Feature Wall: Part I

Making the decision to move from the city to the country 3 1/2 years ago was a no brainer for us. The only hard part was leaving our historic home full of character and charm that we had grown to love dearly and had fixed up to make our own. If only we could have just moved the house!

Our home in the country is just a few years old which is awesome (the windows don't leak!), but it lacks the character that we really miss about our old house in the city. Ever since we moved out here, we've been trying to incorporate charm into our home little by little, and have always wanted to create a big built-in shelving unit on the feature wall in our living room.

It took us 3 1/2 years to decide what to do, but finally we are getting started! Phase 1 was creating a focal point in the center of the room with our electric fireplace and some old reclaimed wood David received in exchange for helping out a friend with a project last summer (which made our project super cheap - can't beat that!). 

David was the brains and brawn behind this phase of the project, so I mostly just supervised. He gets all the credit here. It turned out great!

The fireplace is at the very center of the living room/kitchen open area and really anchors the space. We are still deciding on whether or not to put a mantle and artwork up or keep it clean and minimal as is. I think as we go along with the rest of the project we will get a better idea of exactly how we want the fireplace to look.

We are getting started on the next phase right now, but this will take a bit longer since it involves more prep work with the materials. Here's a sneak peek - any guesses as to what it may be?? :)


Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Traditions

I just couldn't end the year without posting about our Christmas traditions here on the homestead! Ever since we moved out here, each Christmas we choose a tree from the woods to cut down and bring inside. They are never full, gorgeous trees, but there is something charming about the skinny, non-traditional trees that I love.

We took Duchess with us this year to search for a tree and I think she may have enjoyed the hike just as much as us.

We found a cedar deep in the woods that we decided on, and David went to work on cutting it down and dragging back to the house.

We had to do quite a bit of trimming to the tree, but finally managed to get it just right. I'm really into the simple, natural look for Christmas decorating, so I added some white lights and called it a day. I love to pull out my vintage enamelware this time of year, and found that leftover cedar clippings and half-melted candles made a pretty display for the trunk/coffee table. I'm still adding some festive touches around the house as I get sudden bursts of inspiration!

Another fun tradition is sending out Christmas cards with photos I've taken from around the homestead.  This year, I was looking through some photos and when I happened upon a snowy photo of Duchess from last winter, I knew it was the one.

Thankfully we haven't had snow like that this year (yet!), but we'll see how the next few months go.

On a non-related note, I just wanted to say thank you if you are reading this! I know I haven't posted in a long time, so if you are still following me that's awesome :) After starting a new job this spring, I just got engulfed in my new responsibilities and trying to learn everything about my new career path as I could. I'm feeling more comfortable now and have more of a schedule figured out with balancing work and homestead demands, and have found that I really do miss the blogging part of my life. I haven't had a creative outlet in a while and haven't taken many photos at all, and that makes me quite sad to be honest. Taking photos and blogging was such a big part of my life for a couple years (as you can see if you read back through the archives) and it feels so odd that I just basically stopped cold turkey. All of that to say that I am going to try to update the blog on a more regular basis (although not as often as before) and take more photos. And of course I miss the community that I had here as well, because that is what made blogging so rich for me. So I hope you're still out there, and I wish you the happiest of holidays!


Saturday, May 17, 2014


My goodness, I've been away from this space for longer than expected. I'm sure you all understand sometimes work and life just gets busy and there's not much time for anything else. My new job is going really well, but I am still working at my old job to help wind things up, so that is where much of my time and energy is focused right now. There is lots going on here on the homestead as well, so I thought I'd give you guys a quick update to show that we aren't just being lazy over here! ;)

We finished planting the vineyard! I say "we" but actually it was 99% David and 1% me. He worked really hard on this space, from cutting down trees and cleaning up the mess, to installing the support for the vines and finally getting them all planted. It took us several months from start to finish (check out more on that here) and we are both thrilled that the vines are in! PS - The blue tubes you see are grow tubes which act as a mini-greenhouse to get the vines growing.

The garden is coming along very well! We have so much planted, I can't even remember it all. Again, by "we" I mean mostly David haha. This year we went a bit crazy with starting tomato seeds that we saved from our tomatoes last year and had over 100 seedlings going under grow lights in the garage at one point. I ended up selling some plants to a coworker and we planted the majority of them in our garden. We didn't have enough space for them all in the garden beds, so many of them are in pots and other repurposed containers (like buckets).

Our main bee hive is doing incredibly well, but our split not so much. It's having a hard time getting up and going, and we are trying to figure out what's wrong and help it along as much as we can. But we are hopeful that we will be able to harvest a good amount of honey this year!

The animals are doing well and we actually gained a new guinea friend recently. One of our neighbor's guineas starting hanging around a couple weeks ago and now he won't leave. He's pretty entertaining, so we don't mind the extra company.

All the plants around the house are springing back to life and it is amazing to see the transformation. After the horrible winter, I just can't get enough of all the green out here!

I hope I can post again soon, but in the meantime, I just want to thank each of you who has checked in and sent sweet messages and emails to me letting me know I'm missed. It means so much that you would think of me and take time out of your day to say hello!

We have a busy weekend planned, but hopefully we can get some relaxation in to recharge before the new week starts. I hope we can get in at least a little hammock time :)