Monthly Archives: April 2017

Time for YOU! (A Challenge)

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are just for YOU.”

Me

It’s almost time to get your MAY BLISS on!

In a few short days, on May 1st, the 4th Annual YOU Challenge will begin! And for 31 days, you’re going to do something just for YOU, YOURSELF, AND YOU!

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The Six Seasons of the North

As I sit in my mother’s Minnesota living room with warm, sun-kissed cheeks, it’s hard for me to believe that just two weeks ago I was sledding and skiing in Alaska!  A few thousand miles and a couple springtime weeks can make a big difference, amiright? We just celebrated one of the nicest (weather-wise and family-wise) Easter Sundays in recent memory.  The girls searched for Easter eggs–outside and barefoot–with their cousins before spending a good hour or more playing on a nearby playground, bare legs dangling from swings and hands free from the confines of winter’s mittens.

Opal's first Easter Egg hunt--bare foot, happy and full of sugar.

Opal’s first Easter Egg hunt–bare foot, happy and full of sugar.

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Summer Quilting Camp Has Begun! {And A Winner}

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A sneak peak of the sampler lap quilt I made using MaryJanes beautiful Caravan Roundup Fabric (this is what the girls will end up with at the end of the quilt camp)!  This lap quilt just might become a give-away here on the blog at the end of the summer.  IF I can part with it!  

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Happy, happy spring to all my Farmgirl friends!  It is warm enough in Tennessee to feel like summer is here so I’ve gone ahead and jumped in with my first Summer Quilting Camp Class.  Just in case you missed my first post about it, you can read it here.

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Surprises!

 

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It’s April already?! How’d that happen?! In New England, Mother Nature’s running a wee bit late, with days that keep feeling more like February. As I write, I’m nursing yet another bad cold and cough (the weather isn’t helping). Life’s been a bit of a whirlwind lately at our house! I could certainly sit and rest a spell, so grab a cup of tea and let’s catch up! This past month has been full of surprises!

Speaking of surprises, “Melinda L.”, you are my winner for last month’s giveaway of the beautiful Prairie Pin Pouch clothespin holder. Enjoy! A big shout out of thanks to Julie Pruett for her beautiful work! Thanks to everyone who entered!

IMG_2048-001 In Connecticut, Mother Nature surprised us by dumping record breaking snow a few weeks ago, just as we were thinking spring was on the way. We all knew the storm was coming, but I think everyone was just a little surprised how much snow we got. My husband’s usually able to handle the driveway with his tractor and snow thrower, but it was no match for the sticks thrown by the wind. We are so thankful that the snow has finally melted from our driveway! On the plus side, the storm brought a surprise family day off!

 

Handsome hubby throwing snow

Handsome hubby throwing snow

 

My seeds for my veggie garden are started inside, but it will be awhile before the ground is warm enough to plant.

 

Don't you love the art on this early 1900's seed packet?

Don’t you love the art on this early 1900’s seed packet?

I’m very pleasantly surprised by the many wonderful reactions I got to the article on vintage sewing machines that I wrote in the current issue of MaryJanesFarm Magazine. I even made two new farmgirl friends because of it! You just never know where you’ll find a farmgirl! If you don’t have a subscription to MaryJanesFarm Magazine, you’re missing out…subscribe HERE!

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I surprised myself by saying “yes” to my daughter when she asked for yet another pet! Our daughter’s grown up in a multiple pet household. She loves animals with her whole heart, and like me, becomes a squealing puddle of mush at the sight of anything covered in fur. Currently, our family consists of one and a half dogs (a shepherd mx and a chihuahua), a cat, a bunny, three hermit crabs, and five chickens.

My idea of cute and cuddly...

My idea of cute and cuddly…

We’ve said to our daughter, “No more”. One day, she texted, “Mom, can I have a pet snake?” “You’re joking, right? Are you sick? Do you have a fever?!?” I thought something was wrong. It’s a long story, but a young, pet albino corn snake came up for adoption.

My husband’s also a huge animal lover, and nothing’s more heartwarming than my 6’3 hubby walking a five pound chihuahua. He is, however, TERRIFIED of snakes. He doesn’t even like earthworms (too “snake-like”).

My daughter, on the other hand, sees beauty in just about every creature. I love that about her. Her dad said he would give “Noodle” a three day trial. Snakes aren’t what I think of as a cute, cuddly pet. I respect (and fear certain) snakes, and value their place in the environment, but not so much in my home. My husband and I are both surprised, now several weeks later, at how fascinating and docile “Noodle” is. We find watching him interesting, and I have even been brave enough to hold him. I am surprised that I am even feeling a bit attached to him. (However, he’d better never get loose from his aquarium! My 14 year old daughter will have a very hard time paying the mortgage all by herself when my husband and I move out)!

When you're cold blooded and it's 20 degrees out...

When you’re cold blooded and it’s 20 degrees out…

From the time my daughter was born, she and I have been very close. All the while, people have said things like, “Just wait until she’s a teenager, you won’t be so close”. I disagree. I started to worry a few weeks ago, however. I felt like something was not right, but could not pinpoint what it was. Whenever I’d ask, Audrey would say “Nothing’s wrong, Mama”.

Last Sunday, my friend Andrea took me out for brunch for my birthday. When we came home, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. When I went into the kitchen, I was greeted by friends, jumping out from behind the kitchen island, screaming, “SURPRISE”!!! My closest friends and their daughters were there, all dressed like the 1940s!

"SURPRISE"! Was I ever!!!

“SURPRISE”! Was I ever!!!

There was food galore, beautiful flowers, and my handsome hubby dressed in a suit. My friend Erin bakes cakes as a hobby. She’s is so talented. She baked an awesome, beautiful “Rosie the Riveter” cake.

My friend Erin made this amazing cake! It was delicious, too.

My friend Erin made this amazing cake! It was delicious, too.

My friend Andrea even found 1940’s party favors for everyone: little music boxes shaped like horse drawn Cinderella carriages. Each one plays a different song, mine plays “Happy Birthday”.

Everyone at the party received a "Cinderella" music box candy holder/party favor from the 1940's . So adorable!

Everyone at the party received a “Cinderella” music box candy holder/party favor from the 1940’s . So adorable!

My friend Lisa is such a hoot! She wore her husband's grandfather's uniform from WWII.

My friend Lisa is such a hoot! She wore her husband’s grandfather’s uniform from WWII.

Lisa's husband, Ernie's grandfather, WWII, back row third from left. Photo courtesy Lisa Ruot

Lisa’s husband, Ernie’s grandfather, WWII, back row third from left. Photo courtesy Lisa Ruot

Two beautiful ladies, my friend Beth and her daughter Grace - 40's style!

Two beautiful ladies, my friend Beth and her daughter Grace – 40’s style!

My sweet, beautiful best friend and daughter, Audrey - my best gift ever!

My sweet, beautiful best friend and daughter, Audrey – my best gift ever!

Surprised does not describe it…FLABBERGASTED, SHOCKED, AMAZED! My daughter planned and executed the whole thing, down to the last detail. She rallied my friends, planned the menu and worked out all of the details. She was quite the hostess! What fourteen-year-old does that for their mom?!? I am feeling very lucky, very blessed, and very loved.

Sometimes, life surprises us when we least expect it. May your spring be filled with wonderful, happy surprises!

Until Next time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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