Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #166 (and flowers!)


Happy Farmgirl Friday!  What a great Friday it has been at Big Sky Acres this morning. First we fed our siding crew some yummy grub at 7 a.m. It was much appreciated, eaten up and we enjoyed the company at breakfast.


Then I tossed aside the apron for my jeans, boots and cowgirl hat to head to the garden at 8 a.m. That too is a real treat! It was cool and damp and just perfect.  Jasmine and I headed back and saw beautiful flowers on our trip up.

Look what is blooming so beautifully in my garden that I cleaned up a couple of weeks ago.

Hydrangeas were my sisters favorite flower, so I always have to have them. This spot is full sun so Limelight was the answer for us when we planted them last year.  So happy to see them blooming; they make me smile and think of my sister.



And our hibiscus that we bought really late last year and “knew” it wouldn’t make it, is making a spectacular showing.


Pops of other colors filled my eyes and I was just so happy to be out there. I was headed to the tomatoes, but had to pause and enjoy this for a short  bit.





And my pictures would not be complete without adding something from my garden and this little Cinnamon basil was screaming for his picture to be taken.


It seems we have flowers blooming all over on our Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!  Be sure to see what is blooming over at Deb’s of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo) too!

What is bloomin’ your way today in your yard or in your house?

Put down your roots and BLOOM!


Musings: Night Sounds

No pictures today, because this post is on sounds–night sounds specifically.  I remember years ago visiting my sister in NY city. She lived smack dab in the middle of the city and it is noisy there.  All night long I would hear sirens and I would get up and look out the window to see what was happening. The next morning when I shared all that I had seen, she said “oh I didn’t even hear them.”  I could not believe my ears!  Maybe she was going deaf, maybe she had some illness that knocked her into a coma like state when she slept.  I mean how could you not hear that!? She said she was “used to it.” For her it was just the sounds of the night.

Hummmm…I recall living near a train track years ago and at first the train whistle at 2 a.m. would wake me up and I would complain about it.  It did not take long though for me to “get used to it.” My mom and dad would visit and my mom would say “how can you sleep with that train going all night?” And I would say, I did not really hear it; I guess I was “used to it.”

I would go away and sleep elsewhere and I would miss it.  That had become the night sound that I could count on; it told me all was right with the world out there in the darkness.

Now we live on a State Road.  Our house is set way back, but we can see the traffic and hear the traffic when it passes. The road is a byway for cars, trucks, tractors, and motorcycles when the weather permits.  I love sitting on the porch watching them all pass by.  I imagine that they all envy me for living here in the openness of BSA. They probably don’t even notice me or the house, but in my imagination they do. :-)

Last night while sleeping, I turned over and as I was in that in between state, I heard a truck go by.  I realized I was snuggled down and smiling to that sound.  That sound tells me so much.  In the winter the lack of that sound all night tells me it is icy outside and impassible.  Last night in the quietness, that little hum of the passerby truck, told me all was well.  I love the hum that I hear while sleeping here.  It is my lullaby and eases me back to sleep when I turn over to fluff the pillow or pull up the blankets.  Some folks that visit think that is disturbing.  I just say that I don’t really notice it; I guess I am “used to it.”

What is your favorite night sound?

Happy Unleashing,


Bye Bye Red Door!


Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE red.  Our house, after the remodel will have red shutters, a red metal roof and our pole barn is covered in red on the top. I have more red clothes than any other color.  All my small appliances in my kitchen are red. I LOVE RED…but we have (had) this rickety red door for our office entrance that had to go.

The paint that was used was the wrong type so the frame peels and peels and peels.  The wasps and other various critters had eaten through the frame and these would then infiltrate our office.


The doorknob was 1/2 in but was not aligned properly from the moment we moved in so it does not really shut.  It became impossible to shut the door; when there was a storm, we would often find that that door had blown open. Just what you want when you have all your electronics and papers in that room!


On a positive note, Jasmine could let herself in by simple body weight and a paw push.  She loved that.  She will miss that!

So, I was time to get a new door.  So off we went to get our new door (with more windows in it) and we loaded her up to take her home. She’s a beauty!


Then we said our condolences to the old door and out she went. Bye, bye red door… it’s not you it’s me (not really it is you).




Our builders told us that the door was only held in by Great Stuff Door foam; no nails, no screws–easy removal for them!

Putting the new door in was an exciting moment for us to see!


We now have our new door and the light in the office is incredible.  We can no longer enter the office with our hands full by kicking it, but we will adjust. :-) Jasmine now has to look in and give a bark for us to open the door for her, but she’s already trained on that since the other doors in our house work that way.  The bug population in our office is nil which is an added bonus!


So I love red and I will love all the red that will don our house, but this red door will not be missed (except for when my hands are full)…

Happy Unleashing today!


Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing…Oh I know you are picturing that stuff from the 70′s that was actually green and creamy and came in a bottle.  This is not your mama’s Green Goddess Dressing!   So yummy and creamy full of cucumber and dill flavor AND it is easy!

Ready? Here we go…

3/4 C Greek Yogurt  - I use Fage 2% but you can use non fat or the full deal if you’d like.  Maybe you are really a “rockstar” and make your own…. that is awesome, use that.

1/4 C – 1/2 C dill– this is strickly a taste call.  Mine was fresh and I used about 1/4 C and it was quite flavorful.

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Tbs. White Wine Vinegar-you can also use rice vinegar or white balsamic

1 inch (or so) piece of cucumber

Grab your blender.  Put the peeled piece of cucumber in there along with the dill, oil, vinegar and 1/4 C of yogurt. (note: do not be tempted to add all the yogurt here; just use 1/4 C on this step).

Add some S & P and puree together.

You will now add this mixture to the rest of your yogurt.  I used a whisk. Dependent upon how thick your yogurt is, you may need to add just a drizzle more of olive oil or vinegar.  This dressing is meant to be luxuriously thicker so don’t thin too much.

Serve on your favorite salad!

Musings: Country Byways

After traveling so much lately it is refreshing to be out of traffic.  This “hit me like a brick” yesterday while running some errands and driving home. I realized that although I was driving–the same task that I have been doing weeks on end, my posture and feeling about it were 180 degrees totally opposite from what I had previously been experiencing.

I don’t care for traffic at all.  I get impatient, I get nervous, I get worried, I stress over being late, I fear that I will get hurt or killed, I watch the clock and listen to traffic reports.

Yesterday while driving on the very open road and listening to “Desperado” (singing  along  very loudly I might add), I realized that I was so content and happy and just in shear enjoyment of my surroundings.  It was as close to a spiritual experience as one could have while driving a car.

I raised my phone and using my touchscreen I just started snapping pictures. Since I was driving and could not look at my phone to focus, many of the pictures were trash, but some captured the beauty, serenity and majesty of what was before me.

Isn’t this lovely?








Just me and the open road. Some would have find this drive “boring”; I find it delightful and peaceful. When I arrived home, I was in the best mood and just totally happy and relaxed.  What a different feeling from driving (sitting) in traffic.

I just love it here!  Again, I say “there’s no place like home.”

Happy Unleashing (on the open road)


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #165

apronHappy Friday and welcome to the blog hop!  This has been my first full week home in a very long time and I have LOVED it!

We have been outside alot this week cleaning up neglected gardens.  You can read about my first clean up in my flower garden.  Have any of you ever gotten so far behind you thought you’d never “catch up” and then simply had lots of fun trying!?!


That brings me to my new mantra of I am not behind, I am just starting.  I adopted this last week when I came home and I started fretting over all the gardening stuff I had missed.  I opened up my Indiana book and saw there were still lots and lots of things I could do starting now, so my planting season kicked off this past weekend.

That is why I loved the blog last week from Back to Basics! She shared the 2014 Planting Guide by zone and I have lots and lots and lots of things I can still do!  So rather than focus on “what could have been”, I will look to “what is now and gonna be.”

I have tons of fun stuff going on with the gardens, bees and our remodel which is underway, but are we farmgirls ever “done”?  Do we want to be? We thrive on what’s happening next. I don’t think any of us can imagine being “done” and not having anything else to do!  We have too many interests and things we love.

Let’s come along and blog hop and share all that groovy stuff you are up to this week. Visit over at Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo) and see what she’s been up to.  She has been finding all kinds of bargains lately that are adorable!!!!

So, do a little bragging on yourself, your homestead and your doin’s!  We are so excited you are here.

Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Garden Clean Up: Part 1-Flowers

IMG_20140702_200924305I garden more veggies than flowers, but I have a little spot out back at Big Sky Acres that was a junk pile when we moved in. Hubby worked tirelessly hauling stuff away and cleaning it up last year and when we were done we had a little piece of ground and a “charlie brown” tree left.  We left the tree as I had hopes for it becoming majestic some day.


I weeded my little plot early in the spring and then then travel began. When I finally returned last week and took a little ride out there to see the gardens I was very overwhelmed and distressed.  Obviously things were overgrown and I had a feeling of failure and never being able to “catch up.”  Not just in the flower garden but in every piece of land we have.  We have had perfect weather for growing and the weeds have responded appropriately!


I thought “HELP!” when I saw that every garden was overgrown and you could barely see what and where the “real” stuff was.

BUT then I thought–”It’s a 3 day weekend!  I can play in the dirt and sunshine all weekend!”

So I loaded up Ms. Tupelo (my Kubota RTV that I have named, but that is another blog), and we began our step by step process of freeing the beauty that we knew was in there!

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So little by little I started clearing the way. I could begin to see progress and lots of pretty stuff in there.  The hydrangeas, hibiscus, day lilies, salvia, sage and more were all in there, just waiting to bust out!

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Hubby came back and cut the grass and used the weed wacker around the border and it started to come together.


Jasmine hung out, enjoying a place to lay that was cut and mowed.  She didn’t mind that it wasn’t quite done yet; but it was looking possible!



Here is my little flower garden all cleaned up and mulched.  I suspect my hydrangeas and hibiscus will now bloom. They already have new buds on them.  I fed them some fish emulsion and they see really happy.





The sun was setting by the time I was done; it was a great boost to see this all fresh again.  The next day brought the reclamation of our tomato and pepper bed.  Another blog…

Happy unleashing in the soil today!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #164 and Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July from Big Sky Acres!  We hope your day has been exactly as you hoped.  Whether you are with family and friends grilling out, inside listening to rain, working today or playing outside in the dirt like us, we just hope you are enjoying what our freedom here allows you to have and be!

4th pic

We have been gone for a LONG period of time. Our garden is showing us that neglect by us doesn’t mean doom and gloom.  We are eating lettuce from our bed that is so overrun by grass that you could not even see the lettuce! BUT it was lurking in there and growing.  All that grass kept it cool and moist and and under all that “mess” the lettuce was growing and thriving.  Who knew?? What a fun 4th of July surprise! (and encouragement).

Embarrassing picture of Garden 1, but planting and then leaving it for 3 weeks has its repercussions. I know you farmgirls are a forgiving, non judgmental bunch, so thanks for the latitude here and then “no judgement”. :-)


messy garden


BUT look at my lettuce that was in there–


I am learning that gardening is not “all about me” and nature has much more to do with it than we give it credit for!

Our 4th has been fun so far and I hope yours has been also.  I am READY to blog hop and see what you are up to this weekend! Be sure to visit Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo) and check out what daisies on her doorstep have taught here over the years.

Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!

You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Saturday Musings: Heading Home

Two weeks in Atlanta with the new grandbaby and my daughters.  It has been wonderful and not to be traded!  A little life came into the world perfectly and my daughter has transformed into a beautiful (obsessed) mommy; her first step towards a lifetime of “momminess.”  I have loved being here, loved holding that little bundle and will long for that when I go home.

arlo and me

But home is where I am heading this weekend and I am equally excited about that!  Now it is not a neat little package I am walking into!  A remodel is underway and the crew and my hubby have done a lot of work while I have been gone.

I can’t wait to see my new door.  A window was here previously but this gives us great access to the deck (which we live on practically!) and look at all the sunshine into the room! Jasmine still looks a bit confused by this new addition, but I am already in love with it.


From the outside I think it looks great and I can start to visualize the end result. We are coming along in our journey to get the house where we want it.  AND all the vinyl siding is off (yipee!) and the house is wrapped and ready for the new Hardiplank that is painted and waiting in the pole barn for action.

exterior deck


So, it is a bit chaotic and terribly dusty and things are torn up but it is HOME.  I look forward to all of the craziness that will welcome me home.

I also have day lillies that I have not seen yet…


And tomato plants (and weeds) that I haven’t seen in over two weeks…

tomato and weeds


I am plenty excited to head back to my country home. I love seeing my family and I have LOVED that little bundle of joy, but am ready for a sunrise on the deck.  I am ready to play in the dirt again and hop on my tractor instead of an interstate.

But for my last day as a “city girl” we are getting our nails done–soon to be replaced with a farmgirl manicure; I will eat a fantastic dinner and drink some great wine tonight–soon to be replace with veggies from the garden and CSA; I will chow down at Waffle House–soon to be replaced with green smoothies and I will probably run some errands that really aren’t needed–soon to be replaced with not leaving my home for days on end.

I will also hug my girls and kiss those precious cheeks on Arlo–soon to be replaced with longing for that as those things really can’t be replaced.

I am heading home to my country home that is in chaos.  As I click my red shoes (red Teva sandles actually) I repeat “there’s no place like home.” :-)

Happy Unleashing today in your home sweet home!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #163

Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!



Can you say “WOW” with me?  I missed last week because we welcomed our precious little grandson into the world.  If you have not had the opportunity to read my first “Mimi Moments” blog I invite you to do so.  I am enjoying the little guy so much.  Tomorrow I bid farewell for a month or so.  I will miss his kissable cheeks and perfect fingers and toes. If you can resist this little face… well I would be speechless!


Over at Deb’s Dandelion House, she is hosting a survey for a Homestead Cookbook!  Wouldn’t you just love to have a recipe of yours in a cookbook to share with others AND have bunches of recipes from other homesteaders at your fingertips??? Click below to take part.

The Homestead Cookbook Survey

What is happening in your neck of the woods?  I missed ya’ll last week, but can’t wait to see your fixin’s on the blog hop this week. So I am READY to blog hop. Let’s get it going! Be sure to stop by and visit us.

Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo)

and me, Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed
Do a little bragging on yourself, your homestead and your doin’s!  We are so excited you are here.

Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop! If you haven’t clicked that follow button yet, please join us and be sure to stop by our FACEBOOK page and like us there too!
Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters