Hearts, Roses and Cheese (?)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Isn’t this a beautiful cheese board? It is hickory and smooth as can be. The best part is that my hubby made this for me yesterday and surprised me with this lovely Valentine’s gift! Last evening we started our Valentine’s celebration munching on a lovely appetizer with the board center stage. I simply LOVE it!

I love Valentine’s Day, but at the same time have no expectations as to what hubby has to do for it, OR expectations as to what I should do. Throughout the many Valentine’s Days we have spent together, not one has been like the other.

Two years ago, I received all of the “traditional” gifts. Diamond earrings, chocolates, roses, wine and a great lunch out. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful celebration as my hubby splurged in this way.

BUT it was no more fantastic than last year! We had a very busy year and in February it just wasn’t “in the cards” to go lavish. Hubby instead shared his love and appreciation by creating two awesome, hand drawn cards. The pics that showed what he loved and appreciated about me are still on our refrigerator and I adore looking at them still.

Eight years ago I was gifted with red velvet cakes shaped like a heart! You can bet I enjoyed that one!

I guess my point is that some years there are no gifts or simple gifts. Some years the gifts are extravagant. Simple and extravagant are also relative, dependent upon other life happenings. The handmade card or the simple “Happy Valentine’s Day” greeting can feel extremely loving and caring if done with a sincere heart.

Whether you are enjoying traveling solo for business, cuddling in your warm home with a partner and a dog, tending to chickens on your farm OR spending it in a million other ways living your life today….

I sincerely and lovingly with each of you a Happy Valentine’s Day!



Thanksgiving on Ice

I love Thanksgiving! How about you? Family, friends, food… what is wrong with any of that?

For 7 years we have tried to get the daughters, partners, kids and my parents here all at the same time. Needless to say that has been challenging to say the least. BUT finally it happened! We arranged for everyone to be here the weekend before Thanksgiving. It would be a short visit, but all would be here. We were excited preparing, shopping, planning what to cook and bake and then….







Now on Thursday morning, it was beautiful. By 830 our power was out and it was simply a short inconvenience. It was the day we were going to bake and clean but if it was on by 4pm we would be good. Afterall, we weren’t getting my mom and dad until Friday afternoon and then others would follow in on Saturday morning.

By dark we had flashlights and thought it would be on during the night sometime. Prior to bed we got the ETA from our energy company that it would be Sunday night before we would see power.

So I cried and panicked. I was so sad that this was the first time all together in years and we would be in the dark and have to change our menu. I was concerned for my parents being in a cold house and wandering in the dark.

Then hubby, as hubby does, says to me “I have a plan!” So we got a hotel room for my parents at night and hooked up our generator to get us a light hooked up. With a gas stove and grill and a little shifting in menus, we were in business! (and a headlamp never hurts!)






We added some fun rules to kick things off on a positive note!






Everyone arrived and we had a spectacular time! We picked up many pizzas from Marion’s in Dayton Ohio which is a favorite of all!






And who cares about power when you have a tractor with a scoop, a culvert to explore and gingerbread houses to make?






We took rides and played in the mud…






We had a wonderful time! When the power was restored, we cheered but also felt a little melancholy that our little adventure had ended. As a matter of fact, that evening, we sat in the sunroom with lights off and laughed and talked and laughed and talked. There may have been singing and dancing involved as well. 🙂

It was a great reminder of what Thanksgiving is about– family, love and laughter!

Hope your Thanksgiving was full of great memories and love!

Happy Unleashing,


Old Boots to New Purse!

Last Christmas hubby got me new boots. My cowgirl boots were, well let’s say, well used! They were not comfy anymore and I was definitely in need of some new ones! I was thrilled to get a new pair.

I had suggested a few times that we toss my old ones; they were too rough to donate and not up for wear any more. But every time hubby went to take our trash, the boots remained. Several weeks later they disappeared and I assumed they were in boot heaven.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day. I unknowingly was opening a big surprise inside a present from hubby at my daughter’s house.

Imagine my shock and happiness as I opened the box and saw a beautiful purse and then realized that I was looking at my boots!

I kept saying how can this be? How did you do this? These are my boots!

Turns out he had been working with the lovely ladies at Stagecoach Bags.  Hubby contacted them (Vicki, Debra and Gayle) after seeing an ad in MaryJanesFarm Magazine. He had rescued the boots from the trash bin and sent them to their workshop that they lovingly call the “Spa.”  My old boots entered their “Boot Camp.”

They cut and condition all the leather. They send options for inside fabric and accents.

They then create a name for the bag and create an authenticity card for a keepsake.

Hubby loved working with this company. Their tagline is “Our Booots Have a New Way of Walkin'” They love doing what they do and it shows!

Look at the final product!!

Please check out their website and consider a gift for you or someone close in the future from them. The purse is gorgeous but so special because of its history. That makes it an heirloom! I get compliments on it where ever I go.

Thank you Hubby, Vicki, Debra and Gayle!

Happy Unleashing those old boots!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

December was a wonderful roller coaster ride of so many fun things.

It started the 1st of December with a “mimi only” visit to my cutie pie of a grandson. I was so happy to be there early in December and see him decorate the tree and play gingerbread house with him on our date nite.

tree deco

gingerbread house

On that trip I also got to catch up with a dear friend that I don’t see often enough and have a dinner date with my oldest daughter. It was such a great trip for visiting and laughing.

THEN off to Universal with my daughter and her hubby. Yep no kids – an adult only trip to Universal, Islands of Adventure, Disney and Epcot. It was so much fun. I thought it might be a one shot deal, but now I am thinking visiting Orlando before Christmas every year might be a really good thing to do!





Then Christmas! We spend it in Atlanta with all the kiddos and their families. We have not all gotten together on Christmas for 5 years! I was in heaven. Here is our beautiful group photo on our ugly Christmas sweater Christmas Eve.


We went to concerts over the holiday and saw lite and tree displays in a variety of places. We had friends over for desserts and drinks. We truly took some breaks to enjoy the holiday season.

We were then back home for New Year’s Eve. My mom and dad visited for a few days, we had a New Year’s Eve party with family and friends which was so much fun! We ate yummy food and laughed a lot. We watched a lot of football and slept. It was all good!

Christmas decorations are down as of yesterday and we are 9 days into 2017! I for one embrace the new year with all of it’s uncertainties and challenges, but mostly because of my family and friends that I have in my life – that love and support is constant and the holidays remind me of that.

So Happy New Year to you. I hope that it brings you much love and laughter, peace and joy and something in the way of a new challenge that will brighten your life.

Happy New Year!



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #217

FGF Logo

Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop and

Happy Easter to those that celebrate this weekend!

While some of you are still suffering through snow we are feeling spring. With that does come rain, but I will take that! Many of us are starting plants right now and planning our gardens. Take a look at the great grow shelf that hubby made me. 🙂 I love it, but more importantly my green babies love it!


Summer Acres shared the CUTEST ever pictures of her baby goats and a great blog on the kidding process. As someone that does not have goats (yet) I vicariously lived through this post! How can you not look at that and say “ahhhhh….” Thanks for sharing!

Mother Goat Caring for Newborn Kid

What are you up to? I have green babies but many of you have the furry kind like Summer Acres keeping you busy.  Are you ready to share??

Thank you for joining and enjoy your Easter weekend!

Let’s get hopping!

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

Happy New Year from Florida!

We typically visit St. Augustine, Florida after Christmas until the 2nd week of January (or so). The Festival of Lights remains up until the end of January so we just continue on in the holiday spirit. We are still listening to holiday music, looking at decorations and are taking a few vacation days to totally enjoy some down time.

Yesterday we ventured out in the opposite direction that is typical for us and we discovered a gem. The Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a beautiful state park that houses a formal garden and lots of coquina rock. The area was once owned by a distant relative of George Washington. More recently it was owned by Owen and Louise Young; he was the former Chairman of the Board of the General Electric Co. in 1922.  Louise Owen loved gardening. Following Mr. Owen’s death she donated the lovely property to the State of Florida; she requested that the gardens  be continued.

The entire setting is so lush along side some historic buildings. It was a wonderful find for us!

We wandered through and enjoyed the holiday spirit still alive and well at the park.





Ornaments were hung from bushes and gazebos and poinsettias were everywhere!




We even found Christmas trees tucked away in unexpected places.


Reindeer were seen throughout and one even posed with hubby.


In addition to that we saw some beautiful plants and flowers (even the roses were blooming!).




Spanish moss was draped from the trees. Some trees are dated to over 500 years old in this park!


Cute things like this rock fish would surprise you on a turn.


Happy New Year from both hubby and I! We hope that where ever you celebrated (or are still celebrating like us) is joyous and peaceful.




Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #210


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop and welcome to December! Can you believe that it is December? Are you crafting, baking and fitting in some relax and enjoy time as well???

Deb is crafting! She is sharing such cute Canning Jar Lid ornaments with us today! You MUST head over and check them out!

AND congrats to Daisy of  Maple Hill Farm Blogspot! She won the note card giveaway! Way to go Daisy!

We are slimming down the Christmas decorating since we are kitchen remodeling- there are only so many hours in the day, right? We did get our tree however this week and I have a couple of Christmas favs around the house.

This weekend I am tiling in prep for the stove and that will be all the decoration I need if I am cooking up a storm on Christmas eve! Send good vibes out this way for that. 🙂

Deb did mention that we are still eating fresh tomatoes here! Can you believe it? She hinted about wanting a quiche recipe that I made this week. Well, I must confess that it is not my own, but it is AMAZING and you can get it here!  I did sub out the arugula for mizuna. I have them both growing in my cold frame and picked the wrong one so I used what I had. It was sooooo good!

Take a break from your holiday prep and share what you are up to!

Thanks, as always for joining in!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #209 (and a giveaway!)


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Deb has a great giveaway. Adorable Note cards!

Are they not the cutest? Head over, say Hi to Deb and see how to win. It is easy, peasy!

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? Does your kitchen smell of freshly baked pumpkin pie? Are you planning wonderful side dishes? Do you raise your own turkey or do you get it from a farmer nearby?

Our kitchen is in prep mode, but not for Thanksgiving cooking…Do you see a fridge or stove?


We are smack dab in the middle of our kitchen remodel and there are no appliances in sight. But sanding is going on tonight on our wood floors. They will be beautiful by the end of the weekend. IMG_20151120_173613272

Then we must leave for 7 days so they will cure. So we will head to my mom’s and dad’s for a lower key celebration and hopefully cook up a storm for Christmas!

Whatever you are doing have a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope you spend it with people you love and I hope you have much gratitude in your heart.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, go visit Deb, enter to win and join in the blog hop!

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!!!


Weekend Getaway

VdayHubby surprised me with a Valentine weekend getaway. He definitely is good at making and carrying through on a plan and this was no exception. I did not know where we were headed until shortly before we left. I love surprises especially when they include a little road trip. I was so excited!


He saw an article in Midwest Living magazine on old theaters that had been restored. Franklin, Indiana and the Historic Artcraft Theatre jumped out to him as it is just a couple of hours up the road. AND the Valentine showing was “My Fair Lady” which is a favorite of ours. Here is an old picture of the theatre from their website. Check out the schedule of all the fantastic movies for 2015 – 2016

The theatre popcorn is locally grown Indiana popcorn that is popped at the theatre. It is $2 and includes free refills! Water was $1 and admission was $5. I guess I am a cheap date! 🙂 The theatre was large and an MC introduced the show. Improv players did a 30 second skit to synopsize “My Fair Lady”, prizes were given out and a cartoon played prior to the main show. It was FUN!

Hubby took the other suggestions in the article and made a two night reservation at The Flying Frog Bed and Breakfast where we were treated to a lovely room, 3 course breakfasts and terrific hosts.




We were so enthralled with the food and enjoyment of the other guests at breakfast we have no photos to show as we simply forgot to take some. You will just have to trust me that the Eggs Benedict, stuffed french toast, poached pears, fritata, dipped strawberries and more were all delish!

The Willard served up an awesome Margherita pizza, fried cheese cubes and mircrobrew just like the article said they would. It was a great first evening dinner!


Our waiter recommended a place for dinner on Valentines Day and the next evening we were headed to Taxman Brewing Company.



Taxman did not disappoint for dinner on Valentine’s Day. We headed there before the show and we loved the set up. Long tables on two floors that encourage not only good eating and drinking but socializing as well. The couple we shared a table with were so fun to share our dinner time with. We were fortunate to hit them early (5pm) as we had a short wait but by the time we left the wait was over an hour. This place really is a popular joint and for good reason! The mussels, frites, hamburger and kale salad was to die for. They have excellent chefs there and also talented brewmasters as the beer was really good!


So much was within walking distance and although it was cold it was a cozy, relaxing weekend full of small town fun. And what would Valentine’s Day be without a good bottle of wine and chocolates. I was also treated to some awesome slippers that I wore most of the weekend while at our B&B!


Hope you had a cuddly Valentine’s weekend where ever you were. If you live in Indiana or are passing through don’t pass Franklin Indiana up!

Keep warm!