Out With The Old

Do you periodically do a “new” thing or see old things in a new way? Spring is a time of newness. Ok, everybody knows that. The seasonal change fixin’ to happen soon isn’t responsible for the “new” I’m dealing with. No, there is a new kind of new around here, a herd of new, a new look, a new spin, and a fresh view. Newness. If it had a fragrance, it would smell like rain … after a summer shower.

It was high time for change around here. Our house is almost 20 years old and it is at the point when several things begin to show their age. My craft room has needed a make-over (mucked out is closer to the truth) for a long time. “Critical mass” was reached recently. My closets ranneth over… to the point that I wasn’t sure what might be on the bottom in the back. I was certain of one thing though – whatever was back there hadn’t been used or seen in many years and it was leaving! Likewise, my office had become an embarassing mess for longer than I am willing to admit. I knew a day of reckoning would one day come. I finally had to face the giant. When I was halfway through the “purge & tidy” process, I wondered why oh why I had put it off for soooo long! It felt good to finally rid myself of the brand of anxiety caused by prolonged procrastination. I took sack after sack to the garbage and as many more to a 2nd hand store. Oh. My. Gosh. I feel Freeeeeeeeee! No. More. Piles.

I’m not done with “Project N.E.W.” yet, but now that I’ve got success under my belt, I feel like the little engine that could! It was a long time in coming. What a breath of fresh air. First, let me show you the fruit of my labor. But, I gotta back up a little by telling you that my craft room looked like … like, well, a terrible mess. THAT is why I put off the make-over for so long. I knew it would be a torture. However, I did it!!! And, now that I’m on the other side of it, I HAVE A GUEST ROOM. I bought a few new things (bed and an antique quilt) and I had many old things that had been stashed away. Now they have a brand NEW life. From catch-all mess to cottage-cozy bedroom. Here ‘tiz:

It is a teeny-tiny room … just enough space for a bed and that is about all. I bought the iron bed at a ranch auction last summer. It took nearly an hour to polish the brass knobs. They were positively black and the tarnish was crusty-icky-sticky. But, at least the bed still had all four ball-knobs and not a one is dented.

A couple of vintage needlepoint pieces morphed into pillows – after living in a to-do pile for ohhhhhhh, lets just say awhile. I’d also collected several vintage prints of farmy meadows and old cottage scenes for my “someday” guest room. I wanted the room to feel like what I remember about my grandparent’s bedroom … right down to the morning light shining through lace curtains.

Now, my sister can stay with us when she comes over to visit!

The time has come to start spring house-cleaning too. But, I need to go deeper than usual. I’ve got a taste of success now and I want s’more! This is heady stuff :o)

I primped the porch … nothing major, but “springed it up a little”. I also hung up an old ladder so that I’d have a handy place to store my baskets.

Another spot that needed a new spin was my tiny laundry room. It doesn’t even qualify as a room. There is space for a washer & dryer and now a new upright freezer that sits in the area across from them. To spruce up the area, I painted the “room” barn red and added barnwood trim. I also hung up two old washboards and a wool under garment on the wall.

We installed a heavy-duty storm door and a new inner door; it has a leaded glass panel. I love the light that it lets in … bits & pieces of rainbow sparkles. How about you, what is new in your world??

Rather than let my lower nature talk me into thinking I’m weary (aka plain old procrastinating), I feel a new drive to get to the bottom of an aging to-do list. I want a NEW to-do list. Each thing you check off such a list offers a fresh boost of enthusiasm, but you gotta RUN forward with it or the feeling seems to evaporate. I’m finding that as I get older, I have to muster ambition. I used to just wake up with it.

House things are high on the DO list, but I also have some NEW gardening items on my mind … like many of you I imagine. I want to do a few things differently this year. The weather predictions may be right about a deepening drought in this region. Sigh, just when we thought we were safely out of an 8 year drought. With this in mind, no beets this year. Last summer, my beets looked fine on top, but there was nothing under the dirt. They don’t like hot, dry summers and it matters not that you water them more. I’ll just plant more tomatoes.

This too, I’m going to plant an old, oval shaped stock tank with shorter varieties of sunflowers. During a drought, the birds don’t have as much natural forage. I can enjoy the massive bouquet in the summer and they’ll have plenty of seeds in the fall.

Past life. I have one. I had to give myself several “tuff love” reminders as I went through 30 years of craft supplies. I was steeled to get rid of most and I mean most of the heap. I kept only those things which I am sincerely interested in revisiting. My fabric collection is now in one modest cupboard. I used to design patterns for magazines. Making historic looking dolls, animals and teddy bears was a passion. I burned out many years ago, but going through my stash rekindled a flame.

As you know, my dear old mares left this life in February. This is the first year in over 20 years that I have one main ride. “Ribbon” is not exactly new to me (age 6), but this is a new phase for both of us. Until now, she was the young ‘up & comer’. The picture below was taken when she was literally new … like two days old. Looking down this same neck with a bridle at the end of it is not exactly new either, but it feels new-ish. Ribbon is now my one and only It Girl. My truly new horse, Apple, won’t be ready for me to ride until sometime later this summer.

We’re just beginning to calve. There are two new babies as of yesterday. 198 to go. I’ve ridden twice and from here through May, it will be a daily thing. Calving isn’t new to me either, but relying entirely on a young horse is definitely new. I’ve always had a finished saddle-horse to ride when I wasn’t in the mood to deal with a rookie. And, that is part of the reason Ribbon is new to this role. We’re both turning over a new leaf. She’s going to get to see lots of new babies this spring and we’re both fixin’ to do a lot of growing up. :o)

We rode this afternoon and gathered the ‘1st calf’ heifers so that we could bring them home to calve. A realization made me pause. I looked down at Ribbon’s mane and I was saddened more than a little to know that I would never again feel my old friends under me. The time has come to truly commit to Ribbon.

It is also time to have a new photo taken of myself and Ribbon for my blog picture (upper right).

I like this feeling of newness. I want to and there are times when we have to, even if it can be bittersweet in some instances. I bet many of you have felt this same kind of thing in your own life, albeit in a different setting. With it comes a feeling of being compelled … yes? Keep hold of it too, I’m learning. Otherwise, it leaks away little by little.

Muster … a word out of military history. Think early America when troops held a military muster on the parade grounds in Colonial Williamsburg. With that in mind, it is exactly what is needed to stir your spirit. Fire the cannons and put some pride and spring in your step. Walk like you mean it.

So, the above is what this farmgirl has had on her plate of late … and on my mind. I’m a BahHumBug when it comes to buying into the “new & improved” marketing ploy. Hu-Uh, I like tried & true. I love old things, old ways and old habits. I like old telephones and I’m not talking bag cell phones. I mean rotary dial old … and, yes, I have one. I like phones that don’t do ANYthing else but let you make or take a call. However, I’m willing to make a few adjustments, what with this newfound affection for newness. I’ve got a big idea about keeping newness fresh. Could it be that I accidentally discovered the fountain of youth. Oh, I do hope so :o)

  1. Michele says:

    Shery. Everything looks wonderful :). Tears once again rolled down my checks…I can’t stand to let a friend cry alone. My heart goes out to you…as I fear the time is coming when my old dog day will be there… I dread that. I trust in The Lord that I will meet my four legged children again someday and my heartache will be gone. Hugs to you. Oh and have a wondeful birthday my friend!!! Always Michele

  2. Christy says:

    Shery, My thoughts have been with you this winter as I know you continue to feel your loss. You are such a lovely lady with such a positive spirit. I continue to wish you well and hope that you have a blessed Spring, filled with newness and joy!

  3. Nanette Boots says:

    Congrats on your guest room. It’s alive with color and old memories. I am a quilter and enjoy seeing what others do with old quilts. Also, your photos are always so vibrant with color. I read your blog mainly for the photos. Thanks for the entertainment.

  4. Betty says:

    Boy, I’m with you on the clean out of the crafts stuff and getting rid of things. My husband and I downsized yet again and are trying to remodel our new old house while we are living in it. Unfortunately or fortunately there are no real closets. I’d just been stashing my boxes from the move last year in piles. Now the piles are in one big heap in the first room I see down stairs. Talk about motivation. One thing I discovered was that looking through my undone projects made me feel guilty for not using everything up.
    I am now in the process of discovering how to pass them along to others! And Shery, the only thing we know for sure is that everything changes. You are an inspiration!

  5. Ruth says:

    Dear Shery, As always, your words deeply touch my heart. I was reminded of the saying that "There is no heavier burden than an unfinished task" when you talked about being a procrastinator. Boy, is that ever true!! I commend you for tackling all your waiting projects! You are definitely an inspiration! Enjoy your ‘new’ time with Ribbon. Happy Spring to you and yours!! With you in Spirit!

  6. Diana Henretty says:

    The beautiful quilt lifted my spirits today, and all of your words too.
    Spring is in the Ozarks finally, we spent 5 hours today building fences for our
    pole beans to grow up on this year, all under the beautiful sunshine at 70 degrees.
    We too love the old, there is something comfy and cozy about a home filled with treasures from the past that someone else has loved and cherished before us.
    It is like passing down a piece of love!
    Hugs from the Ozarks, may your spring be filled with blessings! Diana

  7. Jan says:

    The NEW item that I will be trying this year is the beautiful Moonflower. Compliments of your garden of last year…If you can grow it in drought prone Wyoming, why not try it in my neck of the woods??
    Thank you for the inspiration, and sharing with us farmgirls..

  8. Jan says:

    Dear Shery, What a timely post for me, I have been wanting, needing to clean out my sewing/craft room for a loooong time now and your words have helped me to really get in the spirit of really getting it done now. Thank You!
    I love the quilt in your new guest room, everything looks so nice. Love the way you decorate and choice of colors. I also love the picture of Ribbon, she is a beauty!
    Happy Spring!

  9. bonnie ellis says:

    Shery: Wow girl, my sentiments exactly! I have been doing the same thing. What a kick. Maybe some where in there should be a trade of stuff with other farmgirl friends who’d love to try the things you don’t want any more. It works great with craft stuff. Thanks for the push. Spring always means new beginnings.

  10. Millicent says:

    Sherry, it all looks lovely! I, too, love old phones. While I have some cordless ones, I also have my grandmother’s old hand crank phone. It doesn’t have a dial, but it is hooked up to our phone line. I have turned off the ringers on all our phones except this one. We have that old time ring each time someone calls. I love it!

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