Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #196 & Happy Mother’s Day!


Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #196 AND Happy Mother’s Day!

This weekend celebrates all things motherhood. Along with the scrapes, bruises, messes and frustrations that are a part of being a mom, the hugs, kisses and love outweighs all and we would not trade it for the world.

I hope this weekend brings to mind all things that celebrate motherhood. Care, nurture, love, protection all display motherhood. Whether you are a nurse caring for all, in the military protecting your country and citizens, a gardener raising green babies, an animal lover, a caring neighbor or a thousand other roles we all play out, you all depict traits associated with motherhood everyday. I hope during this weekend you celebrate all things motherhood and wish for you a glorious celebration with those you love.

Happy Mother’s Day from Deb and I!

Hope you have a bit of time to join in the hop!!!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #195


Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop. Deb and I have been busy, busy and I KNOW all of you have been too. Spring is such a favorite time of year and it is full of all kinds of fun things to experience and do.

Deb has finally thawed and her raised beds are cleaned up and ready for action! Visit here and take a peak. They are gorgeous!

I have had so much fun in my garden this week. The ground finally got to workable condition and bed #1 is sown!



I will be sharing details next week on this.

Since we are in southern Indiana another major focus is Derby. We have been having some Derby fun ourselves. Check out the balloon race, Dawn at the Downs and Thurby.

What have you been up to? I know each of you is up to your own farmgirl fun! We are glad you are here and anxious to see your talents shared.

Don’t forget to visit Deb and take a peak at her wonderful flower beds!

Let’s get hopping!


Thurby at the Downs


On Thursday, as part of Derby week, we attended Thurby. Thurby is an event that is about horses and bourbon and everything Derby. When I think of Derby I think hats! And look at some of these beauties that were on the heads at Thurby.

Some were large and gorgeous:



Others were smaller and less pronounced (just as pretty though)


There was alot of turquoise (one of my favorite colors) as this color is predominant in this year’s Derby logo.


The men don their best head wear as well!



Some others save the expense of purchasing a derby hat and unleash their creativity and make their own hats from beer boxes.


Some hats are self expressive. This hat showed off a lot of plants. I loved it and figured that she must have a passion for gardens.


Some just leave you speechless like this hat depicting the spires at Churchill Downs. It made me giggle every time I saw it!


And of course what would the track be without the horses! From the parading in the paddocks:




To seeing famous jockeys. Yep we caught a close up of Calvin Borel as he passed in front of us.


Time for the races! And that means taking a seat in your box and placing some bets.



The excitement of the races gets your heart pumping, your voice screaming and your fantasies of winning big going! Post time and they’re off! (Notice the ambulance. It rides around behind the race in case an emergency occurs.)



There are several races during the day. Yesterday there were 11.




There were a lot of kids watching up close and personal!


I did have one winning ticket on a race!


I ended the day basking in my big wins ($20) and saving my other loosing tickets as souvenirs of a wonderful day. I did not get rich like I did in my racing fantasy, but I did break even for the day.


As I said at the beginning of my blog that Thurby is about horses and bourbon so I had to indulge in a Mint Julep! It was yummy!!!


I hope you enjoyed the blogs on our Derby week adventures. As for the Oaks today and the Derby tomorrow, we will be enjoying those in front of the television with benedictine and bourbon.

Have a Happy Oaks and Derby Day!!!


Happy Unleashing!



Dawn at the Downs


During Derby week there is SOOOO much to do. I doubt that anyone could do it all. We kicked it off with the Balloon Race (read about that here). We spent some time at the Galt Hotel- they were all decked out for the Derby. From the display of hand prints of winning jockeys:




To the winning horse done in sugar. It literally smells like sugar in the lobby because of this horse.

candy horse

And I even got a red rose from a bellhop. Someone in the bathroom asked me if I had “accepted the rose.” For those of you that watch the Bachelor you will understand the comment.


We attended Beerfest and spent time at the festival eating fair food and listening to live music.




AND then there was Dawn at the Downs. What is that? It is an event where you enjoy breakfast at dawn. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, biscuits, fruit by the window with a view.





Then you are treated to watching the Derby horses (and Oaks horses) work out at dawn. You walk out to the balcony and the thrill as they come onto the track is exhilarating. It is beautiful, quiet, elegant and an event that we must do every year now.






Some of the horses shared some affection with the kids.




It was a morning I will not soon forget and one that I want to repeat next year.

Next… my betting attempts on Thursday at the Downs. Did I win? Did I lose?

Happy Unleashing!








Kicking Off Derby Week!

Whether you are a horse race fan or not you can hardly miss when The Kentucky Derby rolls around. Living in Southern Indiana (Kentuckiana as the area is known by) makes this time of year all the more special and it is impossible to resist getting in on the festivities!

The Delta Queen is rolling on the Ohio River…


And Thursday (yesterday) the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) kicked off on the riverfront. It is very “fair like” with all the best of food. You know, Italian Sausage, Fries, Gyros, Elephant Ears, Funnel Cakes…well you get the drill. But the neatest part of opening night is GLIMMER. Associated with the Derby Festivities is The Great American Balloon Race, and on Thursday night, the balloons visit on the riverfront and give a light filled “glimmer” along the river. Isn’t it pretty?




Friday morning at Bowman Field in Louisville, the balloons fire up and take off. It is so lovely to head out at dark, watch the sunrise, and take in the beauty.

balloons sunrise1

balloons sunrise 2

balloons sunrise 3

balloons sunrise 4

The “Hare Balloon” is first to fill up, rise up and take off. Today’s Hare balloon is US Bank.



The other balloons and begin to fill up.





There are so many balloons and they are all so unique and pretty. Here are a few. Wicked is my favorite every year!




The order is orchestrated by an KDF Official. This is not the race, so it is awesome to watch each balloon fill up and drift up into the blue skies. This morning was a perfect morning as the winds were minimal and the sun was warming up the earth and melting the frost that had covered everything last night.




If you would like to see some short videos I shot, click on the links below:

You may be asking “So this was a Derby Kickoff post and there are no horses????”…. they will be coming!

Happy Unleashing!






Spring Gardening

Things are still soggy and cool here but the calendar tells me that it is time to get moving on gardening tasks (and fun!). Gardening is my most favorite thing. I have so much to learn and every season I learn a little more and tweak my methods and my schedule. This month we are planting a spring garden and are laying cover crops in the summer gardens. These are new tasks. Some things are the same– I am starting my seedlings, but now on a great gardening table thanks to hubby.


Here are some highlights of our week so far…

I cleaned out the raised beds that house the strawberries right before Easter. This week they are producing blossoms. We are hoping for a LOT of strawberries this year. The birdies and bunnies like them also so they remain caged all season!



It would be hard for me to say what my favorite thing to grow is, but I am pretty obsessed with tomatoes. I started 1/2 of them this week (48) and the other 48 will be started in about 10 – 14 days. Some seeds were repeats like the Grandero tomatoes from Johnny’s and some are new tries from Seeds of Italy. My mouth just waters thinking about July and August! I have not bought any tomatoes throughout the winter. We have used our preserved ones from last summer (which are yummy) but nothing will beat the taste of our first picked fresh tomato weeks down the road.


I mixed my own seed starter mix this year. Excited about this new activity!



I also transplanted some seedlings that will be going outside soon. And I planted seconds of some peppers and eggplant. Things are growing!




Last but not least we got our potatoes out this week. Hubby is an immense help in this. “Potato Hill” as we affectionately call Garden 6 used to be a junk pile when we moved in. We are still finding shoes, glass and all kinds of odd things there, but hubby worked hard to till this nicely and dig trenches for our potatoes. We planted Kennebec, Purple Majesty and Sangre Red. Last year we totally messed up the potato thing and still got some simply by grace. We are hoping that planting them correctly this year will reap some tasty goods!




Next on the schedule is planting Garden 1 which will have the cool weather crops. Some are started and some will simply be sown. This should be completed by Sunday. I have not done a spring garden yet and I am really excited.

Last night we ate some lettuce that had over wintered in a cold frame and used a couple of spring garlic. It was a perfect finish to a day playing in the dirt!


What were you up to this week? Are you just beginning your gardening like me or already way past the starting gate?

Happy Unleashing in your garden!







Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #194

apronWelcome! April’s weather sure is bringing us a little bit of everything! Whether you are hot or cold, stormy or calm we are glad you are here.

It is amazing how much stuff we share here! Crafts and food and farm life… If you are ever searching for a yummy new recipe check out our Farmgirl Friday Kitchen Pinterest Board. You’ll find over over 400 down home recipes! You’re sure to find something deliciously homemade!!

Another useful resource is the April Meal Plan that Sunnybrook Farm shared last week. WOW the entire month just laid out for you! How easy is that?

I am having “Mimi fun” spending time with my little grandson this week. An added bonus is seeing all of my daughters on this trip and also dog sitting for my oldest who is in Grand Cayman Island! Yep, her hubby won the trip at work for being the “MVP” of 2014. How cool is that?

So let’s get hopping and see what you are up to. Have a great Friday and weekend!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #193

apronHappy Farmgirl Friday and Happy Easter (and Passover to those that celebrate!).

Mom and dad are visiting this weekend and we will have grilling weather according to the forecast. I will be mixing traditional fare–asparagus, green beans and potatoes with non traditional Easter fare– cedar planked salmon on the grill. Hubby is making an apple pie. YUMMY! I cannot wait!

Are you busy planning your menu? Do you go casual, formal or eat out and let someone else do the cooking?

Deb has shared today a delicious looking quiche recipe today. I still remember her egg and onion quiche recipe that I made and was oh so good, so I am CERTAIN that this one will not disappoint.

We are glad you are here. Stop by Deb’s and say hello. We look forward to seeing what you share (as always!)

Farmgirl is a condition of the heart–MaryJaneButters

Visit From Our Crane

We don’t see cranes too often but every year there is a crane or two that visit our pond. Today was the first time we have seen her. She is huge and majestic and looking at her in the sunshine on a 68 degree day is truly beautiful!

Take a look…







There are no words to add. Lovely isn’t she?

Happy Unleashing!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #190


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop. Can you believe it is #190? When I typed that number I was blown away.

I was so inspired last week by the great blog that was shared by Unfettered Fox on Nasturtiums! Besides the gorgeous pictures that made me dream of warm days and color, she had GREAT information on all the wonderfulness of Nasturtiums. From their beauty, to their role as a trap plant and their edibleness. It made me want to plant these little critters everywhere! Aren’t they beautiful?


I have started seedlings this week. That is the first step for me in gardening so I feel like I am back to gardening! Deb is still thawing out as it much of the east coast. What are you up to? Your posts are always inspiring to me. I learn so much every week.

So let’s do it shall we?

Be sure to stop by Dandelion House and Deb’s to send warm thoughts her way to melt the remaining snow!