Hello Again!

Happy Fall!

I have been on a bit of a hiatus. For me it is a good thing to do now and then. It is nice to focus on what I am doing and not be so concerned with camera angles while taking pictures and making sure that I am not missing a picture or redoing something just to capture the picture. I am pretty certain that if you blog you can relate to that! So every once in a while I put the camera aside, take pictures just for me and detach just a bit from the electronics.

We have had a full and fun late summer however. Much of me still feels I am in summer. The temperatures are cooler and the fall garden is planted but the summer garden is still producing heavily. So canning and eating summer food is still in the forefront. Canning is on the calendar again this week. Last Tuesday I canned 55 pounds of tomatoes. It makes me so excited to think I will be able to enjoy them all winter long!

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The produce is still coming in!

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I have lots of winter squash coming in now, but no pictures. Like I said, my electronics and I have been working on practicing a little separation.

Kitchen! Yes, kitchen is progressing nicely. Cabinets on the walls now and gorgeous counter tops. I am super excited about the counter space I have now and the big sink!

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And of course life would not bring quite as many smiles without a visit to this little guy!

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I hope you are enjoying the transition of the seasons! What are some of your favs this time of year?

Happy Unleashing into Fall!

FGU

Sunroom is Complete!

I know it seems like forever since I shared with you that we were adding a sunroom. But these things take time and life moves on and continues as you are trying to complete these home projects. We finally got carpet two weeks ago, hubby put in baseboards on Saturday and this week we added furniture. It has become our peaceful, escape, lower the blood pressure, happy hour and tea time place.

Here are some pictures of its journey:

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Drywall and paint. We had 3 wonderful men build out the room and thankfully drywall it, so we did not have to mud it ourselves– been there, done that and it is not my favorite thing.

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Electricity is always hubby’s thing.

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I add the light fixtures after he wires.

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The windows and wood are simply beautiful. We got the wood, which is Poplar, from a saw mill near us. They also did our wood floors for the kitchen and our butcher block counter tops (which are on order). We love the knots and variations in the coloring.

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Our paint’s name is Hearts of Palm. I love that!

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We built our room over our deck.

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So pretty. I am thrilled with it! The deck is a new addition since we moved here in 2012 also.

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And now this week it finally has carpet, baseboards and furniture. It was a two year birth, but we are now loving life in it!

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And my favorite spot! I love colorful pillows. It is inviting isn’t it?

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So, if you can’t find me, you know where to look!

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #221

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Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

Beautiful skies here today but much, much rain is coming in so I don’t think it will be a gardening weekend (much to my dismay).

I love starting green babies and I am obsessed with tomatoes so I really enjoyed reading “How to Start Heirloom Tomatoes from Seed” from The Modern Day Settler. 

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Aren’t they just beautiful?? I love, love, love varieties on the tomato front. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into my first tomato of the season (still several weeks off…). Thanks for sharing on the hop some great tips and pictures!

IMG_20160426_165528002I couldn’t resist and popped a couple of our tomato plants in large pots on the deck this week. It is too early for ground here, but I could bring a pot in if I had to. And these darn things are jumping out of their starter pots and getting blooms. They are itching for the garden!

IMG_20160427_201640974So this weekend without the garden, means more work in the kitchen!

Yipee. Hubby is getting the shelving in that he has been crafting. It is so pretty! I could not resist and grabbed a couple of things to pop on the top shelf after it was done! The rest will get into day and tomorrow.

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What are you up to? Ready to join the hop and brag a little about what is going on with you?

Let’s get hopping! AND be sure to visit the others!

Here’s some simple guidelines!

  1. Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
  2. Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
  3. 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!
  4. Enter up to three entries per hop

Thank you for joining and sharing!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters

 



Indulging (and preserving) the Harvest Part 2

The harvest continues to come in. I am by no means an expert at canning. This is only my 3rd year doing this, but I do love it. Last weekend we canned 60 pounds of San Marzanos and Granderos (both Roma tomatoes). We also had some tomatillos that I used for salsa.

My kitchen corner was a busy place. It is a little crowded in that space for this task, but I made it work. I am excited about our kitchen remodel which will gain me about 80 inches of counter space! I will be in heaven.

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Tools of the trade:

Canning Tools

I was super excited to use the Weck Jars that Rachael gifted me at Christmas. They were the first to go in the water bath!

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Making the salsa was delightful and colorful. Look at that.

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I have not grown tomatillas before but we love them. I am really excited to be canning some Salsa Verde for future use!

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All in all for my first day canning of the season the takeaway was pretty and much larger than last year. Tomatoes, tomato jam, two kinds of salsa and dried tomatoes all await a winter day for opening and eating.

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The big news is that although this is the most I have ever canned before there is so much more waiting. I have been with my mom since 9/10 as she had surgery (she is recouping nicely) and hubby has been sending me pictures. Our green beans are so full and heavy that they totally took out the trellis from weight! He rebuilt it for the little guys. Our cucumbers I understand are waiting to be pickled and we have “1000’s of tomatoes” waiting for a canning jar. He told me that he went and bought several flats of ball jars that are waiting in the kitchen for me!

Can you say Christmas presents???

How’s your harvest and preserving coming along? Done or in the middle like me?

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Bye Bye Red Door!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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).

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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!

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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!

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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!

FGU

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!?!

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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

Rite of Passage-Pole Barn COMPLETE!

DSCN3449 Yes, the pole barn is complete; by that I mean no more construction crews out here.  Our work is now beginning.  Cleaning up the basement, garage, porch, deck, etc now is on us!

The fascination that I experienced in seeing this thing go up is beyond words.  The crew was excellent!  Our building inspector said “they could teach us all how to build right!”.  We loved them so much we have engaged them for another project here.

Here are some pictures of the  construction of the walls, setting of windows and doors and getting it to the place where concrete could come in.

Then came the concrete.  The precision with which they poured and spread was amazing!  BUT more amazing was that they did not get it all over themselves. I get dirty just looking at stuff! I know that I could not work with concrete—I would end up a statue no doubt! One of the women had white shorts on and she was a clean going as she was coming.  I just don’t get that!

My favorite part was adding the cupola.  Since one of my many dreams is having chickens, we selected (I selected, ok) a rooster for the weather vane.  He is my inspiration and my first chicken.  His name is Gus. 🙂

Then it was our turn.  The project was done at 7pm Friday night.  We took a candle and a bottle of bubbly (and the dog of course) and celebrated the official Rite of Passage completion!

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The weekend brought excitement as we began moving in.  Our garage thanks us; our basement thanks us; our porch thanks us!

A couple new hummingbird feeders have found a home on the lean to and Jasmine is happy to have yet another place to lay around on.

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Can I get a YIPEE! from anyone?  I am so excited, I love it so much.  For a girl who didn’t even know what a pole barn was a year ago, this has really helped in unleashing my inner farmgirl!

Thanks for reading and following this journey.

Rite of Passage—Pole Barn Episode 2

Oh such excitement!  Today it begins.  Construction on the pole barn that is.  While in the kitchen this morning, I heard the rumble of trucks pulling up our gravel driveway.  We looked out and the crew was arriving, all the wood and poles for the barn was arriving, the bobcat was arriving; so with the sun rising in the background it began…the birth of our 1st pole barn (yes I plan to have others).

The crew is a mix of Amish and “English” as they call folks like me. This is not their first rodeo and they all immediately took their places to begin the rising of my pole barn. 

First came the setting up and unloading of all the STUFF!  Isn’t it beautiful?

Next came the digging of holes and setting the poles; hence the name “pole barn.”

As I watched in awe all day I was amazed at the craftsmanship.  No air tools—every single nail was hammered.  They rode up on the tresses hanging by a chain on the end of a bobcat and then hand set and nailed them in place.  The skill and balance they demonstrate in building is amazing.

When our building inspector talked to us and found out who was building our barn he told us there would be NO problem as this team could “teach us all how to  build a building.”

At the end of Day 1 we had the structure up and we enjoyed walking “inside” of it tonight.

The most heartwarming picture of the day however was when one of the lead crew members reached his hands across my scarecrows to protect them from the unloading of the materials.  I was glad I caught that moment as he stood in front of them as if they were his own children.  How great is that????

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Can’t wait for Day 2!

Rite of Passage—Pole Barn!

This morning I had a blog topic ready in my head and I had just sat down to blog when this happened:

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Have I told you recently how excited I am to get our pole barn? OK… so yes I have, but REALLY I am!  When I think about a space for our tractor, seedlings, pots, trailer, rakes, hoes, and on and on I get so thrilled.

A couple of years ago I would have never, ever thought of this.  I mean in a subdivision you don’t exactly build a 30×44 structure for outdoor equipment.  But when you get 5+ acres and you have some dreams (both big and small) you got to have a place to store stuff and work in to make all these dreams come true.

So I left my computer and my blog idea and snapped some shots for memories sake:

So they are now ours and waiting for other pieces parts and the construction crew from a nearby Amish village.  They are truly just the nicest people to have been dealing with!

The best shot of the day though is what will don the cupola:

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This represents one of my big dreams here—chickens and hens and eggs oh my!  So this will keep that vision in front of me while we continue talking forwards steps in fulfilling our dreams.

Next week…. probably more pole barn shots. 🙂  It is after all a right of passage for me in unleashing my inner farmgirl!

Site Prep for Pole Barn!

Our site prep for our Pole Barn has begun.  Can I tell you how E.X.C.I.T.E.D I am?  Take a look at the first shots.  Harold is our new best friend :-).  Boy can he Bobcat!

Fast forward….

So our internet connection was cut during the site prep so I did not post this earlier today with a follow up later.  Instead, all at once.

Note the pictures of Mike fixing the sliced phone/internet cable.

Note how great it looks at the end of the day!

Tomorrow, we get a date on the install.  Probably 2-3 weeks; wondering if I can pay extra and get someone else booted down? I really want my pole barn and I want it now.  But now I have a visual for it, we are started and I am excited!!!!