Finding Joy!



Hello Farmgirl Friends!

It’s hard to fathom that we have all just spent the last 8 – 10 weeks in “stay at home” mode isn’t it?  I think about the people I know that live in large cities in a condo or an apartment and literally have had no time outside.  I’ve never been so thankful for living in the country on our own farm where we could get all the outdoor time we needed and never leave our property.

I think I’ve mentioned before that staying home is not a problem for me.  I actually love any excuse to not go anywhere.  I’ve always planned my grocery days so that I get everything done at once and other than leaving the farm to attend my fitness classes, I really would prefer to never leave.  So I never looked at the the stay at home order as a hardship for me.  However, I was really determined that my time at home would not be a waste.   That I would find joy in simple things.  I thought I would share a little bit of what I’ve been doing at home to be keep encouraged and stay joyful.




I wrote here in April about my desire to write letters and keep in touch the old fashioned way.  I’ve continued that and have really loved the feeling of reward that it has brought to me.  This is something that I want to continue when life goes “back to normal”.


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I’m quite active and I take two-three fitness classes each week and I knew that was going to be one of the hardest things for me to not have.  Luckily my fitness instructor posted daily workout videos on a private FB group page and I never missed a single workout.  We are back to classes now and I’m really happy; but I have to admit that I absolutely loved having these workouts to do at home each morning.   My grand-girls came up and did them with me quite frequently.




And speaking of grand-girls…  our daughter and her husband have a home on our farm and so there was no quarantine in place between us.  And since they had all their activities canceled and our son-in-law working from home, we’ve had a lot more family time together.  We made it a point to have a special bible study together on Sunday mornings and then a big Sunday lunch.  Oh how we’ve all loved that.




We also do not eat out very often so cooking every meal from scratch isn’t a new thing for me.  But I was gifted a fun cookbook and I enjoyed trying some new healthy salads (my favorite food ever!).




Obviously I’ve continued sewing and of course made masks for my family and for friends.  I even wrote a tutorial for Clover Needlecraft (sewing supplies company) on how to make a face mask.  (You can read it here if you’re interested.)  Making masks is actually not very fun, so I had to take mask sewing breaks quite frequently.


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I sewed a few things for elderly friends that were literally shut-in and needed a project to do.  This one was a fun portfolio that I sewed and filled with some embroidery things – it made for a super fun gift!




I designed and sewed up some beautiful little fabric boxes to hold the small square kleenex box and wow did they come out beautiful.  I’m really happy with the pattern that I’ve written for this project.   I’ve sold a few of the boxes and gifted a few others.


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I also finished guest bedroom quilts that have been ready for quilting for absolutely forever!  I hope to write about that progress in the future, but here is a little sneak peak of one of the quilts on the guest room bed.  Don’t you love that vintage pillow case?


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I continued my running and did a lot of it with my daughter (or should I say following my daughter)!  I was registered for a 5K that was canceled but I ran it “virtually” turning in my time and getting my t-shirt.  My daughter ran it with me and she set the time and I kept up!  It was my best 5K time ever and I was super proud.   (Lesson:  If you want to get faster, then run with a faster person!)




My daughter and I worked hard in our flower field, getting it ready for another summer of gorgeous bouquets.  This year we laid black weed barrier on some of the rows and now we are wondering why we resisted for so long?


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I watched an Amazing Race season on Amazon and decided how fun it would be to put a simple one together for my grand-girls.  I did and they loved it!  Now they want a “real” one with real teams!  I just opened myself up for a lot of work!!!  (But… shhhh.  I’m planning it!)




I’ve enjoyed reading several books.  I’m not very good at sitting still so sometimes I listened to a book during my runs or my sewing time.  My very favorite one was this one above:   Running With Sherman by Christopher McDougall.  Such an entertaining true story!




My husband and I revamped our back porch into an outdoor kitchen!  This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years but we just didn’t take the time to figure it out.  My favorite part is the old vintage sink we bought and my husband built some cabinetry/shelves and installed it.  (Full blog post coming soon!!)


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So it’s been a good two months here in the beautiful hill country of Middle Tennessee.  I don’t take for granted how lucky we are to live here and I think daily of those that have suffered so greatly from the virus and the catastrophic events that came because of it.


My hope is that you are well and happy and that during the last months you’ve found many things that bring you great joy.  I hope you’ll share some of those things here.


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.



  1. Mary Rauch says:

    I love what you said about running faster by getting some who runs faster than you!….I’ll have to keep that in mind!..

  2. Mary Rauch says:

    Is it OK to ask another question?…Here goes: Are there any mosquitoes up as high as it looks you are? I despise mosquitoes. Sorry about that Mr. & Mrs. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  3. teresa p. says:

    Thank you for all your inspiration to those of us who need extra motivation. Aging takes a
    lot of energy these days, but there is still so much to do and accomplish. Your joy and sharing that joy makes me want to “get ‘er done”! Thanks for helping me to refocus and keep going. Stay safe and productive!

  4. Judy says:

    Dori, thank you for that inspiring message. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
    I still have the quilted hot pods I won in one of your drawings.
    Their bright red and beautiful! I love them! Thanks again!
    Good for you finding lots of things to do during your down time.
    I haven’t minded the ‘stay at home’ time either. We have been allowed
    to go to the parks and walk, so it hasn’t been too overwhelming anyhow.
    I live in an allotment in a small town, so there’s safe walking there and
    waving at all the neighbors who aren’t usually home. It’s been nice that way.
    Thank you again for the great blog! May God richly Bless you!

  5. Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing! Love the projects you completed and way to go on the running. I have given myself a fitness goal and hearing others achieve theirs really is motivation for me. Looking forward to your next post. 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    I love this. Love everything about it. We’re not on a farm, and I’ve worked from home for more than 3 years now in rural Louisiana. I’m sending this to BF!!

  7. Beth Onyon says:

    Hi Dori,

    I love the tissue box cover–those are beautiful. I would love to buy a couple of those. Do you have them on the website? Also kudos on the beautiful guest room quilt. I have mostly reds and navys in the quilts I have, yet I love the bright girly floral fabrics you used–I am inspired. Thanks so much for sharing that.

    Best–newbie, Beth

  8. Beth says:

    While I don’t live in the country (don’t I wish…), I do live in a small town. Very thankful for that! And, while I do love company, I can be quite content staying home and near home. What I’m wondering is whether you might have a link for those wonderful fabric covers for the small square tissue boxes. I found some really cool Betsy Johnson Kleenex boxes a couple of years ago, but since then the ones I have are pining away for some style of their own! Thanks and enjoy that gorgeous farm!

  9. Barbara Mennillo says:

    I really enjoyed your blog. A crafter and do all my own cooking I did a lot over the past three months. You gave me more inspiration. We live on more than an acre but I would love to live in the mountain area instead of flat Florida. But we have been blessed and not have to live in a big city. We grow a small garden and have our two little Yorkers. So life is good. We have a 2,000 sq ft barb that I do painting on things and l do a lot of art work. When in the house I do crocheting or knitting. I also make jewelry and with all the things I make I give it all away. I love making people smile. I have missed being out among friends but I read and like you I can’t sit still for long. I have my youngest granddaughter coming to visit me and grandpa tomorrow for a couple of weeks. You gave me some ideas to entertain her while she is here with what you did with your grand kids. Grandchildren are wonderful and you so lucky to have yours so close. I have three, two girls and a boy. My oldest granddaughter is in the Army in Texas, my middle one is a boy and he is 15, my youngest granddaughter is 10. They are spread out in ages but they are wonderful to have. Glad you and your family have done well thru this trying time. Keep up the good work and God bless you and your family. You are making people like me smile.

  10. Pam says:

    I enjoyed reading your news.

  11. Mary Rauch says:

    Stay in touch; we love it.

  12. Marilyn says:

    Happy to hear that you and yours are doing well. The Kleenex boxes are lovely. Congratulations on your run. you now have two future runners in your granddaughters. i,too am a homebody and only go out when there is a need to. I have been ordering my groceries online. Here in New York it is difficult to get a delivery time soon. I do not have a car so it is easier to order online. I have been reading a lot. I also have been with my sisters throwing out a lot of things that should have been tossed a long time ago. We also planted some flowers and mow the front lawn regularly. We have been doing a jigsaw puzzle,too. Stay healthy and looking forward to your next post as usual.

  13. Suzanne Lane says:

    Dori, I really enjoyed reading about your activities during this time of the shutdown, and you’ve inspired me to do more creative projects with my time. Thank you for the beautiful photographs and for sharing!

  14. Marie Seeger says:

    I moved from my long lived in farm home last fall to Sunset Courts, a place for folks that are up and about, but for reasons of advancing age and winter on a farm in Northern Minnesota or other reasons ………It now being June and summer is here my heart is back on the farm and enjoyed your e mail this morning so much……….I have loved your writings and magazine for some time……….I will be 99 years old on August 11th this year. My heart is full of love for farm life and nature……… I look forward to each of your publications…………My love to you and your happy home……….Marie

  15. ida settlemyer says:

    Made my day!

  16. Victoria Hall says:

    Love it!!! Where, oh where do you get all your energy?????

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Ha Ha! It is actually kind of a fault of mine… sitting still is rather hard for me. As a matter of fact, a friend recently recommended a book to me called “The Art of Doing Nothing”! I’ve yet to sit down and read it, but it’s on my list! 🙂

  17. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Your house is beautiful. Are you ever lucky to have your family with you. Love your projects you post. You are indeed an inspiration.

  18. Sandi King says:

    Dori I loved the back porch kitchen sink. I was wanting one exactly like that for my indoor kitchen, but I had to settle for a single drain board and one large basin, which I really like anyway. I love everything you did. I too like to stay home so I had no problem with that. My son and I know most of our neighbors here in our small community and we all kept our distance but also knew we were not contagious either. Lots of sunshine and fresh air is good for the body and soul. I felt sorry for big city dwellers who weren’t able to get out into the country, but was horrified when I saw the destruction of so many business’ and the attacks by so many citizens on officers and others. Will be glad when common sense returns to people. But for the rest of the population praying all is well and back to normal soon.

  19. June says:

    I also am spending much time in my ‘Lower Level’ Quilt Studio (ie basement).So thank you for the patterns. I am looking forward to making them.

  20. Alicia Markov-Newan says:

    I too am sad to see summer go. However, welcoming fall in the mountains is quite beautiful. The air is crisp, leaves are falling and pumpkins are plentiful. My prayer for all you farmgirls is enjoy the fruits of yor labors.
    AMEN Sister Hens

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