Archive for May, 2009

Home Infidelity

May 29, 2009

I have to admit that I have been having an affair….on my home. It started last September when my husband called me into our home office and showed me a few pictures. I think he actually said “I am afraid to show you these, because I know I could be getting myself in alot of trouble.”

Hubby was right…I saw those pictures and started hyperventilating. In fact, we made an appointment to see it that day.

Now before I share my home affair, let me just say…this situation is confusing for me…because I LOVE my small farm and home. I have spent 13 years building my dream home and…EVERYTHING is right about where I live. This is why I think I feel so guilty about my affair….

That first visit, as we drove down the 1/4+ mile tree-lined driveway I had several reactions….
My first reaction was physical….I think my mouth was watering…I know I was acting like a school girl…probably belting some song in opera about the how beautiful and perfect the DRIVEWAY ALONE was…. I also had an association…scenes from “The Sound of Music” when the von Trapp children were hanging from the trees as their father and the Baroness were coming home…doe a deer a female deer….(a little weird I know)

My second reaction…I quickly formed an emotional attachment to “the dream” of it all…I started telling myself a story of how wonderful it would be to live there….

The land…24 acres of rolling pasture, surrounded by 140 acres of farm preservation (can’t be developed). OOOHHHHH…….Big shade trees, privacy, deer bounding across the fields, some space to call our own…YEA…we could LIVE off the land….(ok…follow me here…this has been a process)
A spring fed pond with floating dock…perfect visions of swimming, laying on the dock, rowing in a boat with a pink parasol, while reading Shakesphere to the girls (ok…this is a little extreme too…but you can envision it right????)….

AND the HOME….an 1800’s farm house on the National Historic Registry. It has 6 fire places, wide planked wood floors, and lots of character and charm (but also a teeny tiny kitchen, bathrooms that are in desperate need of updating, little closet space).

I left that first visit feeling a bit Euphoric….a little nervous….ready to jump in and buy. A few important details held us back…1) We would have to sell our home first 2) It was a bit out of our price range 3) I loved it more than Hubby did 4) The house would need a fairly big renovation…and without a money tree growing on the property…it would be a stretch.

Since that first visit, we have cheated on our home FOUR times. Secretly sneaking out on a Sunday afternoon to go take ONE more look. This process has been an emotional roller coaster. What keeps us coming back????

The current owners keep dropping the price…I mean BIG price drops (over $300,000) since it went on the market last September. What has kept us from divorcing Buttercup Farm???

Four times visiting has taught us that 24 acres is A LOT more that 4 acres. We walked the property the last time we visited and realized….HOLY CRAP….someone or something will have to mow this grass.

The $$$ it would take to fixer’ up would replace our entire “fun budget”. We wouldn’t be able to travel as much, we might not be able to afford our Summer Concert Series, Artist Retreats…the extras we have worked so hard to enjoy….

And our time….I realize that I have ONLY 9 years left with my oldest petite and I keep asking myself…Do I want memories of that time to be about RENOVATING a home? (Interestingly, she loves the house…I think…more than I do).


On the other hand….I could also see how living in this home could be extraordinary in a lot of ways. It feels like a dream every time we visit. I could really enjoy a bigger farm…the privacy…the character of the home…and more than hubby, I did enjoy the process of renovating my home (although I enjoy it being finished too)…

SIGH….I don’t know….I keep looking for a sign… and keep checking back…if the price drops again…..maybe….but probably not…..

It is fun to dream though….

Get inspired for summer and check out the “old homes” at Hooked on Houses with the amazingly creative Juila!

Tulip Takes Pictures

May 26, 2009

photos by Tulip
A few months ago, I mentioned that I am hardly EVER in photos. This is due to the fact that I am usually the only one in my family with a camera in hand. Recently though, Tulip has been more interested in trying photography. She took this picture of me using MY Canon 30D with a 50mm1:1.8 lens.
And with her Canon Powershot point and shoot …she captured this beauty.

Not bad for a 9 year old!

Summer Crown

May 22, 2009


Evidence of Summer Abound
when she knits her summer crown

Weave of petal, stem, and leaf
Magical land of make believe

Queen for a minute, an hour, a day
Letting the day unfold as it may

In sunflower castles, she rules her land
creating more lovelies with her hands

And when the crown does wilt away
She’ll knit again, another day.


Get inspired for summer and check out the porch swings at Hooked on Houses with the amazingly creative Juila!

Taking Stock for Summer Creativity

May 21, 2009


As the school year winds down, I am starting to dream about how our summer will unfold. After a school year filled with demanding schedules, traveling, and obligations, we have decided to stay close to home this summer. I am dreaming about quiet relaxed days where we let the WIND, WEATHER, and MOOD guide our schedule. And of course, I am hoping for a lot of CREATIVE TIME with the petite ones.

I am currently taking stock of the creative goods around the house attempting to plan ahead for those quiet unstructured times on hot summer days. I have discovered that all the colored pencils are in need of sharpening, markers and glue sticks are long dried up, we are completely out of PAPER, and in general, the creative areas at the farm are a big unorganized MESS!

I have 4 short weeks, to tackle this re-organizing/re-stocking project. In addition, I would like to sit down with the kids to brainstorm and prepare for a few creative ideas of our own.

Here are some of MAMA’s ideas.

  • Read FUNNY poetry aloud on a picnic blanket under the Black Walnut Tree.
  • Make finger puppet theaters out of the cardboard boxes I have been saving.
  • Teach my oldest petite how to use the sewing machine.
  • Make a creativity “TO GO” basket so that when we hike/picnic we can grab it quickly.
  • Plein Air water color whenever we get the urge.
  • Let the kids experiment with a camera
  • Practice the flute OUTSIDE instead of INSIDE (when it isn’t too humid)
  • Go on a nature hike once a week, turn our treasures into something artful.
  • Teach the kids to prepare a meal from start to finish.

I can’t wait to see what the PETITEs want to add to the list. Oh, the possibilities!

Also, don’t forget…it is “A Beautiful Life” Friday over at The Inspired Room . Take a few minutes to check out all of the post links you will find there. It is a great weekend treat!

Do you remember this face?

May 20, 2009

This face HERE was due to this situation HERE.

Well her NANA & POP saw this face and couldn’t bear to see that their precious, sweet, perfect, little Grand-Petite looked this sad. They wanted to try to fix that purdy little face of hers, so they sent a special package.
Getting a package made Grand-Petite EXCITED, ELATED, AND SPILL OVER WITH SMILES…Grand-Petite couldn’t wait to get into that package…
Ripping the box open she pulled out the one thing that might make that frown turn upside down.
A new pair of pink boots sized to fit her petite little foot. “YEE HAW, HOT DOG, GIDDY UP”, she yelled as she rushed to put on these here pink boots.
Sitting at the table to eat her afternoon snack…Grand-Petite one had an air of confidence about her.
And quickly replaced this…

With THIS!

Strawberry Pie

May 18, 2009

My Nana was a GREAT Pie maker. I found this SWEET TREAT in her box and thought it the perfect recipe to share as we near STRAWBERRY PICKING SEASON. What I love about this recipe the most is how SIMPLE it is if you purchase a frozen/refrigerated pie crust and cook it first!

Strawberry Pie from Shawn Stratmann on Vimeo.


  • 1 Quart Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/3 Cup Water
  • 4T Cornstarch
  • 1 Cooked Pie Crust

Simmer 1 Cup Mashed berries with 1 Cup Sugar and 1 Cup Water for 15 minutes. Mix cornstarch with 1/3 cup water and add to the mixture. Cook until thick and glossy. Cool and fold in rest of the berries (chopped). Carefully pour mixture into cooked pie crust. Refrigerate and serve with VANILLA ICE CREAM!


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