Surviving A New England Suburban Winter

Greetings, Farmgirl friends! I hope this blog post finds you all doing well! In my part of the country, the first months of the year are the most difficult part of the winter season. It’s dark, it’s cold, and this year, it’s been R-A-I-N-Y and S-N-O-W-Y! It also seems like everyone we know has had a cold or cough at some point, and the days are long. If anyone knows how to get through endless dreary winter days, it’s all of us in New England!

It was in the negative digits the day this photo was taken. The sun on the snow was so beautiful.

While we haven’t gotten endless days of snow (just a bunch at once) or the horrible, below-zero temps we had a year ago at this time, the entire year has been so wet and this past month it has been so dark out much of the day!

With being inside so much, and with so many viruses and respiratory infections that plague this time of year, it’s important to do as much as we can to stay healthy. Eating superfoods is important. One of my favorite superfoods are organic blueberries, chock full of antioxidants. We throw them on cereal and oatmeal, eat them as a snack, throw them in green salads (delicious with a balsamic vinaigrette), and bake them into quick breads and muffins. I eat them all year round, but I especially love it when summer comes and the blueberry bushes I planted in the front of my house many moons ago grace us with a bounty of berries! Until then, I have to buy them at the grocery store.

Since groceries these days are so expensive, (especially fresh produce), I don’t want to waste anything! For berries, I keep them fresher longer by using this trick when storing them. I wash them, letting them drain in a colander. I then transfer them to a glass bowl with a tight-fitting plastic lid (I love the modern Pyrex for this). Before I close the lid, I take a quarter or half sheet of paper towel, and place it on top. I then seal the berries, but turn them upside down in the refrigerator before storing. The paper towel absorbs excess moisture, keeping the berries from molding or going bad too quickly. I replace the towel every other day or so, when it becomes damp.

Staying hydrated this time of year is also so important, but many of us forget to drink much in winter because we don’t always feel as thirsty as in warmer months. Indoor air is dry and warm. Still, I get tired of water, even with lemon, and while they don’t have sugar, I try to limit seltzers because too much carbonation isn’t good for us, either.

Decaffeinated and herbal teas are a good choice. One of my favorite thirst-quenchers is iced tea! Teas, especially black and green, are a great source of antioxidents. Lately, I’ve also been enjoying herbal Hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea can be enjoyed hot, but it is especially refreshing served cold! Hibiscus tea hosts a tremendous amount of antioxidants, as well as is reported to host other benefits.  Some studies show it may also lower blood pressure (so I drink it sparingly, and it should not be consumed by those on blood pressure medicine). It’s also thought that it may possibly help improve blood fat levels, may improve liver health, help prevent cancer, decrease the growth of bacteria that cause various infections such as UTI’s, and ward off bronchial infections and stomach infections. I love it because it has such a delicious zing, without caffeine. To make any of my iced teas, I pour boiling water over two tea bags in a pitcher, allowing them to steep until the color is nice and deep, adding cold water to top off before storing in the fridge. In addition to decaf black tea and hibiscus tea, I also enjoy making pomegranate iced tea, and other similar herbal flavors such as blueberry (just make sure that the tea is organic, using only natural and not artificial ingredients). 

On freezing cold days off, we often  love to hurkle-durkle in winter! The term hurkle-durkle (my new favorite word) refers to lounging in bed long after it is really time to get up, a 200-year-old Scottish phrase. Winter is the only time here that we really watch much television. On days off, we will turn off the news, catch up on our reading (or my knitting), perhaps while streaming an episode or two of a good show. We hurkle-durkle while we drink our morning coffee!  Two of my favorite series that we have recently binge-watched are Masterpiece Theater’s Poldark series, running from 2015 to 2019 (beyond fabulous),and Only Murders in the Building, currently streaming on Hulu and starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. I’ve really enjoyed this series; it’s something “different”,  and the “surprise” guests that show up in season 3 also make it a fun watch. Although, I have never been one to lounge around too long, so after a second cup of joe or so, I have GOT to get up! It’s hard to get going on a cold, wet day when you have warm, snuggling pets with you!

My littlest dog is a “Hurkle Durkle Master”!

Eating out has gotten quite pricey, and many restaurants have unfortunately closed in our area. Also, it gets dark here early in the winter, and then temperatures drop. I’d rather stay home and be cozy! A dear friend and I have been making dinners for each other, instead of going out. We take turns going to one another’s home in the early evening. We dine, catch up, and end the evening by 8:30 or so. Recently, she made me the most delicious Italian dinner, served on her beautiful antique china.

When it was my turn, I made a complete Danish dinner of meatballs in curry sauce, and for dessert, aebleskiver, served with homemade strawberry jam from strawberries picked fresh last summer. Simple, inexpensive meals are not complicated to make, and having dinner made for you, while spending time with a dear friend is such a winter pick-me-up. 

During the winter, my family also tries to strive for hygge, the Danish term that means coziness, comfort…happiness. Sharing a platter of aebleskiver together, the wood burning stove burning warm with our dogs by our sides, is a treat on a cold day. While there are many variations for aebleskiver, my favorite recipe is a classic, very old Danish recipe that uses just a few simple pantry ingredients always on hand.

I made this plate of aebleskiver to munch while our family caught the coronation of the new King of Denmark this winter.

Classic Danish Aebleskiver

  •  1 cup flour,  
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  •  2 eggs, separated
  •  1 cup milk (I use oat milk due to a family member’s allergy).

Whip egg whites until frothy with peaks. Sift dry ingredients together. Add the milk and egg yolks to the dry ingredients, mix until smooth. Fold in the egg whites.  Add oil to each well of an æbleskiver pan. Add dough halfway to each well. Flip, using a fork or skewer when they start to bubble. Dust with powder sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have it).

*I love my well-seasoned, cast iron aebleskiver pan; nowadays aebleskiver pans are widely available at many stores and online, at a variety of prices. You can now even find them on Amazon. *

We have jumped at being outside a bit on days where we’ve had dry weather and sunshine, taking walks. Getting outside, anytime of the year, in the sunshine and fresh air is so important for good health, body and soul (something farmgirls all know very well). We even recently had an afternoon here that reached 53 degrees! 

One “warm” afternoon, we were even able to walk on the beach. The water was so still, there were no waves at all. Though in the 40’s, the wind was still cold, reminding us that winter still has a hold. Yet, being by the sea was so good for the soul!

This sea gull decided to walk along with us a bit.

However, by mid-week, we had the largest blizzard seen in the area in several years! There will be no “porch sitting” for a while!

We had to keep shoveling snow so our little dog could go out. Our big dogs are not as thrilled by the snow, and there will be no barbeque on the grill for a bit!
Scarlett says, “Oh great. THIS cold, wet stuff again. I am going INSIDE!”
My girls and Roo enjoyed a hot treat for breakfast, then retreated to their cozy coop for the rest of the day.

Schools and businesses are closed. When that happens, however, everything is back to “normal” by the very next day. Winter teaches us to “go with the flow”, to handle change, and to be prepared.

My Viking husband, sans gloves and hat, starts the morning shoveling a path for our beloved pups.
Even though it is winter, spraying with deer repellent occasionally will deter the deer and other critters from munching buds so there are flowers in the spring.

While shoveling snow is a workout, winter gives us a chance to slow down a bit before the busy seasons, spring through fall, arrive again. Before the snow hit, there were little signs that winter would eventually end…the rhododendrons have little buds at the tips, snowdrops have bloomed beneath the snow and ice…little signs of brighter days ahead!

I hope your days are bright and your winter is going well! Remember to leave me a comment so I know you dropped by!

  1. Mary-Windy Meadows Farm says:

    I have to say I’m completely jealous! I love the coziness of winter- crackling fires, hot cocoa, snow ice cream…but with temperatures way above normal here (60’s!) I’m missing a good old-fashioned winter. It looks like you’re having a great time – and I love the ideas of hurkle-durkle and dinners shared with friends. I’m spending my not-so-winter, winter deep-cleaning and organizing, sigh…please send some snow to the Midwest!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary, you got it! I will send some snow if you send us some sun, lol! I do like it cozy and cold at Christmas, and really don’t mind the cold if it is not too cold and we can still get out a bit. When I open the refrigerator and feel like it is warm inside, I know I am done with winter, lol! Until then, it is cozy all the way! Thanks for “stopping by”! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Sheila LaPoint says:

    Hi Nicole I too am in New England (Vermont) and I agree it has been a dark winter, not as much sun as it has been in the past. This February I have seen more sun come out, it is so nice to see, it gives us hope for the spring days soon to come. Our cat and dog did get confused when we got rain and it melted the snow and was warmer out only for them to wake up the next day and wonder what happened, why is all this white stuff back and there is a blustery wind blowing they would back up from the open door as if to say Nope No way am I going out there.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sheila, confusion with the pets is a good way to describe it! Everyone here was so happy with the warmer days, though we only got a bit of sun here and there. I think the birds got confused, too, as someone in our town posted that they found a robin’s nest with two eggs! It is sunny today but so very cold, with more snow on the way. The funny thing is how fast it really does melt once things warm up slightly. Until then, it is warm food and cozy! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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Stepping Into 2024

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Happy New Year, farmgirl friends! I hope the new year is being kind to you so far! To me, January is “nesting season” –  a bit of a lull after the rush of the holidays, and a time to hunker down before the spring comes again. It’s time to step into 2024!

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  1. Julie says:

    Thank you for the “good information”
    Things we sometimes forget…Here’s to a Great New Year…

  2. Denise says:

    We’ve just had a record snow here in middle Tennessee, 8 inches. I know for other areas of the country that’s not much but for this area that is a lot.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Denise, oh my goodness…that is a lot of snow for Tennessee! Hope you are staying warm! We only got a few inches, but then got a layer of pure ice. UGH! No fun! Good time to do things inside, for sure! Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay warm! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Grace Brown says:

    Thanks Nicole for sharing your wonderful tips with us.
    We change out, service etc., our appliances 2x a year, we call it the J&J … January and June.. that way we never let any one thing slide when it comes to upkeep.
    Like you, being on private Well water we actually have 2 separate filters because of the minerals, sand etc.
    Stay snugly warm,,,

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Grace, that’s great to remember – January and June! Hope you are staying warm, too! Here, we are covered in a layer of ice everywhere. Good time to do things INSIDE, lol! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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A Christmas Miracle

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Happy Holidays to you all, Farmgirl readers! I hope you are having a wonderful season, and that the New Year brings us all joy, good health, and happiness for 2024!

We were dealt with more than our share of not-so-jolly this year, and our holidays were almost ruined by something that could have been a tragedy, a cherry on top of the proverbial “bad sundae”. Instead, we received a true Christmas miracle, and we are so overjoyed! I hope this post puts a smile on your face!

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  1. Lori Fresina says:

    Just went thru the same on Dec 4-8. He was outside and came back. I pulled in the carport and heard him meowing loudly and then he jumped on the car. We thought he was gone but now he’s back!!! Glad your baby was found too!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Lori, Oh, I am so glad you found your kitty, too! It is just awful not knowing where they are! Friends of ours lost their kitty last year just before Thanksgiving. They had given up, when all of a sudden, two weeks later, after the holiday, he showed back up, thin but healthy. She thinks he was stuck in someone’s garage while they were on holiday! Glad you got a happy ending, too. Give your kitty a pat from me! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

      • Lori Fresina says:

        I told my husband your story and he couldn’t believe it!

        • Nicole Christensen says:

          Hi Lori, we still can’t believe our baby is back! We keep spoiling him with extra pats and kisses (more than ever), and we are just so thankful. After that first night, we were sure we would never see him again. We just had to not give up! Have a wonderful holiday season! Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Ellen Andersen says:

    Nicole, thank you so so very much for sharing this. I’m so glad Norman is back home. I, too, have cats and live in the woods (the Blue Ridge mtns in Harpers Ferry, WV). One particular cat, (a rescue and foster failure) with one eye and many many extra toes has caused me grief similar to your Norman. His name is Tony Too Many Toes Toprano. He was a feral for many years but was finally trapped prior to a spay/neuter/vaccination event at our wonderful local vet clinic. I’m with a small group up here that runs a trap/neuter/return program and those cats we trap that are friendly (or will become friendly) as well as kittens …. so many kittens…are fixed up, vaccinated, neutered/spayed and adopted into families.

    Anyway, I’m blathering on. I do want to mention, though, that one thing with my personal cats as well as the TNR cats we’ve rehab’d and adopted out is to make sure they all have microchips. Those simple little chips have helped us locate lost cats and get them back home. All mine are chipped…Tony Too Many Toes does like to rush the door and then taunt me from the woods until I can coerce him back in the house. The chip is a blessing and is a HUGE help in getting missing critters back home.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and give Norman lots of love from my WV mountain cats!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Ellen, thank you so much! I love your kitty’s name, and I bet he is just the cutest thing with his many toes and one eye! How wonderful that you are involved in kitty rescue! I think microchips are great, but they do not serve as a gps, (someone has to find your pet to scan it), so the trackers are a wonderful addition to the microchips! Keep up the great work you do, and pat that sweet Tony for me! Have a wonderul holiday season! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    What a wonderful miracle story for the holidays!!. May your family enjoy your kitties and each other.

  4. Denise says:

    So very happy you found Norman!! Pets are family and glad you all are together again. Merry Christmas!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Denise! Thank you – our hearts were so broken when he was gone. Now our family is complete! We have spoiled him rotten the last two weeks with so much love and pats (and treats)! Merry Christma, Denise! Have a wonderful holiday season! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Treese says:

    I haven’t had much Christmas Spirit this year. Your post put the spirit right back in my heart. Such a sad story with a joyous ending. Welcome back Norman.
    Treese

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Treese, thank you – your comment means so much. There is nothing that could be put under our tree that would be as wonderful as finding our baby boy! He is such a good, sweet kitty. Have a Merry Christmas! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Carol Slater says:

    What a miracle! I just finished sitting with my granddoll’s goat as it is passing and we just lost a lamb a couple of days ago. It sure does take away some of the holiday happiness.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Oh Carol, I am so very sorry! In the past we have lost beloved pets and also relatives at the holidays…so hard. My heart gotes out to you and your granddoll! Much love to your family! May 2024 be better! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. jacqueline says:

    What a beautiful community you have that came together to search for your beloved cat. A touching story. I can only imagine how relieved you all are that your beloved is back with you well cared for.

    Happy Holiday season.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jacqueline, thank you – yes, we are so happy to have him home safe. The support from our town and community was so unexpected and truly wonderful! Have a Happy Holiday! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Oh my, I was hanging on every word! I’m so so happy you have found Norman and that now you can enjoy the holidays together. What wonderful friends & neighbors you have…that is truly such a blessing. We have an orange tabby as well…the sweetest boy, I can understand why you were so worried – they really become such a part of our families. Happy for your Christmas Miracle – what a wonderful post for this Christmas season, thanks for sharing! Mary

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary, thank you so very much! Our hearts are so full! I have lived in Connecticut, here, for more than half of my life, but after this, I truly feel more than ever that our town is HOME. Aren’t orange tabbies the best? They have such sweet personalities. When I was a little girl, the neighbors had an orange tabby named Mr. Peabody. He was big like Norman and used to visit. I always wanted an orange tabby and love my Norman so much! Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a very Merry Christmas! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. Julie says:

    So Happy to hear the entire story and the HAPPY ending. What a Wonderful bunch of folks that offered their help. It’s similar to It’s a Wonderful Life…

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Julie, thank you! Maybe there is a reason movies like that (one of my all time favorites) and Hallmark Christmas movies are filmed or take place in the Northeast! Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Nicole….I want you to be my neighbor as you are an amazing woman. I read your stories and messages and no wonder your neighbors all love you as much as I do. You would do anything you could for another person. For sure, you are a wonderful human being.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Anne, WOW! Thank you… that is an amazing, wonderful compliment. Thank you ever so much. I have just always tried to live by the “Golden Rule”. You are so sweet! I wish you a very, Merry Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year! Thank you for reading, and for such a nice comment. You have warmed my heart very much. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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Thankfulness

 

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Hi Farmgirl friends! It’s hard to believe, but here we are at the tail-end of 2023! It doesn’t seem like we should be talking about the end of the year yet, preparing for another winter, and heading into the holidays. The year has sped by, and here we are!

2023 won’t go down in my books as my favorite year. Lately, everyone I know is going through something, it seems. My family has had some great times this year, but we have also had our fair share of disappointments and stress. To top it off, this Thanksgiving, we were supposed to have relatives visit, but now their trip has been postponed until spring. We are disappointed, but now we look forward to seeing them when winter leaves us again.

Thanksgiving. Giving Thanks. So much is going on in the world, it seems like a big ol’ mess. I think it is more important than ever to count our blessings, and embrace the coming holidays, even when things are less than “ideal”. I’m working extra hard to take my own advice! Count blessings; remember to look at the good – not the bad, sad, tedious or stressful things that come – things that are just part of life.

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I’ve started my Christmas decorating, but am not doing it all at once – I’m “savoring” it. I am turning off the news more. I’m thankful for family, the wonderful friends I will be seeing during the holidays, and for farmgirl friends near and far. I am trying to be kinder to myself. Less pressure. More thankfulness. The holidays should be a time for joy, not a chore.

I’m thankful for little things. This fall, my daughter and I started doing a bi-weekly yoga class together. I really look forward to each class, and yoga is something I haven’t tried in decades, so it’s new to me. I also can’t wait to turn on Christmas lights, bake cookies, and see Christmas cards in the mailbox! Holidays are special because they give us something special to look forward to. I will keep that going all year – finding things to look forward to; it’s important and creates joy (even the littlest things, like an afternoon cup of coffee)!

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This season, I’m making our traditional Thanksgiving meal, even though we are just the three of us. I am thankful that I will have my family at the table. We are also going to be taking dinner to another family, who could use a bit of extra joy this year… It’s not extra work for me to make more, it’s a blessing. Isn’t that what the holidays are about – spreading love and joy?

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  1. Anne Long says:

    Beautiful news, Nicole. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Sister Trish says:

    Thank you for sharing your year with us. God bless & have a bountiful “farm” in 2024 .

  3. Marge Turner says:

    You have a beautiful family Nicole. We are thankful this year for God’s faithfulness bringing us through some health challenges and for the support of friends and family. I’ve put up one strand of colored lights to brighten up the living room on these short days. I also decorate slowly. It’s so much fun that way. Love and blessings to you.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge, I am so, so sorry to hear there have been some health challenges this year! I hope that you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving and a very, happy Healthy new year going into 2024! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Debbie Fischer says:

    Beautifully written Nicole, all of us have so many things to be thankful for.
    I am most thankful that my great nephew Wally should be arriving into our life’s at anytime. It has been many years since we have had a Fischer Baby in the Family We are all so Happy, Joyful, Thankful and so Blessed to have our little Blessing to be arriving just in time for Thanksgiving
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Family My Friend
    Hugs,
    Debbie

  5. Tammy L Thomson says:

    Hello Nicole, Thank you for sharing your seasons with us….and for spreading joy whenever you do! I appreciate your honesty as well, about how keeping positive through life challenges takes some work at times. As you say, sometimes the good things get a little over-shadowed but; they are still there if we seek them out. Happy Thanksgiving to you and God Bless you! Tammy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Tammy, thank you. I am glad you enjoy the blog, and this post. I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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Haunting the House for the Spooky Season

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Hey there, farm-ghoul readers! Spooky season is upon us! Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, and New England certainly is the place to be! Grab a cup of pumpkin spice tea, and come visit with me as I haunt my house for Halloween!

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  1. Bonnie Iscrupe says:

    So much to look at. What a wonderful home!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Bonnie, thank you! I love holidays…they make our days special! Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Oh how lovely. My daughter and I just did our annual pilgrimage to New England from PA and got back last night. How awesome that I have the large vintage ghost holding the pumpkin oversized fiberglass decoration as well as some of the other decorations you have displayed. I know that I read before your location but can you email me where you are located.
    This trip we spent alot of time in Providence RI which I fell in love with.
    I truly love New England, especially during this season.

    Jacqueline

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jacqueline, thank you so much! It sounds like you had a nice trip to my area! I love Rhode Island, as well. We visit RI pretty frequently, since it is so close to CT. I also love Pennsylvania. I lived there for a few years before we moved to Connecticut, and one of my dear friends lives in PA so we have been visiting. PA has some great vintage and antique finds, too! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole PS I will email you! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Margaret Hofknecht says:

    Oh my goodness! What a lot of orange and black! Can’t wait to see how you decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You really know how to decorate.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge! Thank you so much. I love to decorate, and utilize things that I have that aren’t necessarily “holiday” in my displays. By the way, there is a card on its way to you in the mail! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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So Long, Summer!

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Happy Fall, Y’all! Where I originally grew up and lived over thirty plus years ago, the weather this time of year was still pretty much the same as it was in the middle of July. In New England, we have four distinct seasons, and each one brings on a different feel inside and out. September and early October often feel “in between”, with nods to both seasons, bringing cooler temperatures and waning sun. Even though it’s “between seasons”, there is still much to do, indoors and out!

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  1. Patricia says:

    I live in Georgia where the weather is still in the 80s, so seeing your pictures of your fall festival & Renaissance festival, was enjoyable. I look forward to our local fairs next mo the when it may … or may not … be cooler. Loved all the other pictures of turkeys, hummingbirds & the lake trip as well.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Patricia, my mom lives in Georgia, too. I have been there in summer and at Christmas, too. Georgia peaches and pecans are the best! Enjoy your fall! Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Kathy Gaughran says:

    Beautiful pictures, looks like a fun time.
    Kathy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kathy, thank you! I do love how pretty it is up here in New England. Just when you think you have had enough of a season, a new one starts. Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a happy start to fall. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Tammy L Thomson says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Wish we could have taken some of the rain off your hands this past Summer! We had scant amounts in my part of Central Wisconsin. Now that the growing season is pretty much over, it is raining, and raining and….:) Thank you for the fun blog! I always enjoy these and appreciate that you take the time to share your news and great photos. Your ice cream flavor makes me think that I need to make a version of that in a scone. Hmmm…
    Happy Fall to you too! Love, Tammy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Tammy, wish we could have sent rain to you too. We got 14 inches over the weekend, and now we are to get six more today! Unheard of! My chickens think they are ducks, lol! Isn’t that scarecrow ice cream flavor neat? Enjoy your fall! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Susan says:

    Yes summer went by fast . I didn’t have much if a garden. I only got a few tomatoes. Maybe your eggplant. Makes me not want to do a garden next year. But plenty of berries and grapes. Hopefully that means we won’t have much snow this winter pumpkins and skeletons have been out for a month now. Halloween will be here before you know it.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susan, I know, summers like this are frustrating and do make us not want to have another. But, each season is different, and next summer you could have more tomatoes than you know what to do with. I always remember Audrey Hepburn’s quote, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” And tomorrow’s garden may be better. But I hear you. My berries this year were plentiful, as well, but not as many tomatoes, like you said. With all this rain, we will have to watch out for lots of fungal issues now and in spring. I am ready for Halloween, too! Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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The Last Bit O’ Summer

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It’s so hard to believe that summer is almost over, at least by the calendar, but it’s not over yet. As I mentioned before, it’s been a weird summer weatherwise. However, there’s still some summer to be had! 

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  1. Denise says:

    Love your posts. I wrote out a comment but it was too long because captcha timed out. Anyway, it looks like you enjoyed a lovely summer despite the rain. Thanks for making me smile this morning and for the wonderful recipe. Going to try it using almond flour and monk fruit.
    Hugs!
    Denise

  2. Maureen Dassau says:

    I’m originally from Maine and love reading about your trips you have made. Brings “home” closer to me. Thank you for your stories and recipes. Have to try the chocolate chip zucchini bread.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Maureen, aww, that makes me happy that you feel that way about my blog. I love Maine; I have been there a few times and it is just beautiful. Enjoy the recipes! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Marilyn says:

    Hi Nicole Enjoy the remaining days of Summer. Those peaches are beautiful.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joan, Marion and Marilyn! Hope you all enjoy your remaining bit o’ summer, too! Weren’t those peaches amazing? They tasted as good as they looked. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Deb says:

    Nicole,

    What a cute picture of your pup in the raincoat. Thanks for sharing your sightseeing pictures and information with us. They were all interesting places to go to.

    Where did summer go?
    Debbie

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Deb, I hear ya! I feel the same way, that summer just disappeared! I think here it got warm so late, and then it just rained and rained and rained! Oh well – I am looking forward to fall! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Margaret Hofknecht says:

    Hey, Nicole! Love this post. I’m saving your recipe for the Cherry quick bread. I love eating quick bread for breakfast. And I love cherries! I’ve never been to Sturbridge but I’ve visited Colonial Williamsburg during an extremely hot August. I also wondered how the re-enactors stood the heat in the period clothes they wore. I also thought about the summer in Philadelphia when the Founding Fathers were hammering out the Constitution. That summer was a doozy. Hazy, very hot, and very humid-Philadelphia weather to be sure. And in order to keep the prying eyes of newsy-boxes from peeking the windows of the room where they worked in Independence Hall were covered with dark heavy drapes which I can’t imagine working in that kind of situation without central air conditioning. I also love your photos.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge! It is so lovely to hear from you! I hope you are doing well! Thank you – I am so glad you enjoyed this post. I have never been to Colonial Williamsburg just yet, but it is on my list of places I want to visit. And oh my! I did not know that about the Constitution and Founding Fathers. The older I get, the more I can’t handle the heat, even though I grew up in super hot, super humid Texas. I am worried about my family right now, as yesterday temps soared once again to 110 degrees! Today, here, it is rainy (again) and cool enough to not have the a/c (for now, that may change by the afternoon). Big Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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“Collecting Cute” – and a Giveaway!

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Have you acquired an “accidental collection” of something? I realized that I have just that – and it’s a collection of “cute”!

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  1. Joan Piercy says:

    Nicole, I have a few of the pot holders made like dresses in different colors. I have a friend who has a big collection of white trimmed in red crocheted pot holders. She has them displayed all around her kitchen. Small world! Joan P.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joan, love it…I think we Farmgirls think alike! Good luck in the drawing! I will email the winners and announce them in next month’s blog post! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Jean Lederer says:

    Thank you for sharing your collection! I have two
    chicken -shaped potholders that were my Aunt
    Anna’s. One is perfect to use when pouring hot water from our whistling tea kettle! Two works well for safely gripping the handles of the Corning “Cornflower Blue” patterned casseroles from the oven. They were my mother-in-laws.

    MORE THAN TWO is a collection? I have MANY!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jean

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jean, your chicken potholders sound so adorable, and I love that they were your aunt’s, and that you have your mother-in-law’s casseroles. I have a Corning “Cornflower Blue” tea kettle in the camper. It’s the perfect size for the wee kitchen, and spot-on for the period (my camper is from 1966).

      I hear ya on the “more than two is a collection”…I am right there with you! Thanks for reading and commenting, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Ellen Andersen says:

    Oh my gosh, Nicole! I am head over heels in love with your kitchen! I love retro stuff and have a collection of my own. One can never have enough vintage goodies….never ever!

    And the glamping potholder your friend Grace made for you…..swooooon! My dearest friend Tina just got herself a little retro’ish glamper and a potholder like this would be ideal! I haven’t sewn for a while but I think it’s about time! Thanks to you and to your friend Grace for the motivation!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Ellen, thank you! I love having vintage and retro in the kitchen…it makes me happy and I use most of my pieces. Aren’t those potholders adorable? I am blessed to have such sweet (and talented) friends! Thanks for reading and writing in – good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Sandra Johnson says:

    Such a fun post! I have several of my grandmother’s crocheted potholders–sweet memories.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandra, thank you! I am so glad my post reminded you of your grandmother. Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Vickie says:

    While loving potholders and having a few vintage ones, I also love jars of all shapes and sizes and use them for multiple things. I have a daughter who has inherited my love of jars – ha!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Vickie! I love that you collect jars! I can totally see how they can become addiciting with the colors and shapes, etc. There are so many cool variations in vintage canning jars, too, and there are so many cool ways to repurpose them. Happy Collecting! Thanks for writing in; good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Carol says:

    Hi Nicole … I just love your collection of vintage potholders. I remember them from my childhood and I have been able to find a number of them at local thrift stores. My kitchen is red so my favorite potholders are the little dress and the matching bloomers which I have displayed on a bulletin board. Another tip … those nice round ones make nice, washable coasters! Great post! Carol

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol! Sounds like we like a lot of the same things! I love your idea of using the round ones as coasters, as well. They are so versatile and add such a boost of sweet color. Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Charlene and Charlene Gravely says:

    Thank you sharing !I also have a cute collection going on:)
    It just happens thru the years Love yours.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Charlene, thank you! Yes, over the years those collections do grow! Thanks for visiting the blog! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Margaret Hofknecht says:

    All those beautiful potholders!!! I just love them. My accidental collection is full of teapots. It started with taking home from my mom my grandmother’s teapot. Mom didn’t want the “dust collector” any more. I suppose because of that one teapot my kids thought I should have more and now I have eleven sets, teapots, creamers, sugar bowls, and trays! I enjoyed your post and I just love your kitchen! Wanna trade? Jus’ kiddin.’ Be blessed!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge! It is so good to hear from you! I love your teapot story! That is how a lot of collections start, hee hee. Teapot sets are a great thing to collect. Hope you are having a wonderful summer! Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. MS Barb says:

    I have a small collection of beautiful tea pots, even though I don’t drink tea, and a small glass bell collection

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Barb, both interesting collections – I bet you have some unique pieces! Good luck in the drawing, and thank you for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Terry Zignego says:

    Owls comprise my accidental collection. The owl is my sorority mascot, and one of my “sisters” & I started gifting each other with small owls. My thrift store finds are usually the most unique. I decorate seasonally, so my owl collection is on display in fall.
    I love getting reacquainted with my collection every fall.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Terry, I love that you collect owls… I have seen many cute (and vintage) ones! Thank you for sharing, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  11. Grace Brown says:

    Luv them all especially the Scotty one
    Some days we will have to have tea and have ‚a show-n-tell‘ of our beloved pot holders… .. I agree, I often wonder who made them .. I can just see a grandma rocking in her chair listening to the radio as she crochets a pot holder, perhaps for a church bazaar or little gift to a beloved granddaughter‘s … what ever the story… love them all.

  12. Ashley says:

    I had an accidental collection of teddy bears when I was a teen. I loved stuffed animals as a kid. I hated barbie. My Great Aunt would make me handmade stuffed dolls, as well. One was a Raggedy Anne and Andy doll set.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Ashley, you sound alot like my daughter! She really loved stuffed animals more than dolls as a kid! I love your memories of your great aunt. Those of us who make handmade items love that we will be remembered for our gifts, made with love! Thank you for sharing, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  13. Debbie Fischer says:

    Nicole, I absolutely love your kitchen. So homey and inviting. You are quite the decorator. I too collect everything and am very much an accidental collector. One of my accidental collections is vintage matchbox, l absolutely love them and can never have enough.
    Thank you for the giveaway.
    Debbie

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Debbie, awww thank you! What an interesting thing you collect, matchboxes! I will have to remember that! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. Joyce D Stanley says:

    I too back in my heydays loved my collectables but unfortunately didn’t have any of these cute potholders. I collected the blue/white Delft as my Mother was Dutch, collected the Pyrex bowls but when we moved from Indiana to Florida, I gave most of them away to family but I did keep the original blue/white Dutch pattern set of three. I still love going to antiques stores to browse and bring back childhood memories of my mother’s kitchen.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joyce, isn’t it something how certain pieces will bring us right back to our childhood kitchens? I hope someday my daughter thinks about all the great times in ours. Thank you for sharing. I still see some of the Delft pieces in antique stores; some is quite old. So lovely. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Crystal Atwood says:

    I collect vintage sewing implements including sewing baskets. I’ve built a shelf on three sides of the craft room above the doors and windows for my collections.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Crystal, I love that! I bet your craft room is dreamy! I was collecting vintage sewing machines, but have run out of room (unless I come across a very unique one, wink wink).Thanks for sharing and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. Joy Howard says:

    I am blessed to have a few potholders. I love to collect anything vintage for my laundry room. Love the photo’s of your collection’s. What a wonderful feeling it is to have thing’s in our home’s to make us smile.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joy, thank you so much! I bet your laundry room is adorable! Good luck in the drawing and thank you for commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  17. Carol says:

    Hi, I love your collection! I have many of the same ones as you. I think my favorite is your red, white, and blue dress. I think it’s one of a kind. I live in CT too and love to search for more pot holders. Thanks for the idea of double sided tape & candle wax.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol, thank you so much! Isn’t that red, white and blue one a cutie? Since we have some of the same pieces and are in the same state, I wonder if some of our pieces could have been made by the same person? Thanks for reading and commenting; good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Rhonda Bowdy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I live in Hawaii and everytime we go to the beach we find coral. They call it stick coral because it looks like a white stick.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Oh Rhonda, I love that you collect coral and did not know that it is called sitck coral! How cool. However, I am saying a prayer right now that you are not near the area with the horrible fires!!! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  19. Dorothy says:

    I love this post. Now I have to go open up the cedar chest and did out some of the treasures that my Mom and Grandmothers have made. I see endless possibilities of how to use them now. Thank you so much for our posts. Love the flowers also.

  20. Carleen says:

    Hi i love your kitchen and i look so forward to your blog my collection is blue n white snowmen my son brought one home from a beach vacation and so it began Have a good weekend

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carleen, thank you so much! My kitchen is a happy place, for sure. Love that you collect blue and white snowmen, and how your collection started. Thanks for sharing! Good luck in the drawing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  21. Cathy Waite says:

    Hi Nicole
    I love all your vintage collections. How you’ve added them into your kitchen and home is inspiring. I too have some of my own ‘collections’. Have two of the cutest dresses (pit holders) and two teapots all hand made, still usable and dearly loved. I also have one that is quilted, round, and says Mom’s Kitchen.
    Keep looking for cool items to add to your collections!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Cathy, thank you so much! Your collection sounds so cute, as well! Love it. Good luck in my drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  22. Rochelle Gale says:

    Your collection, front the luxuriosly intricate to the beautifully simple is so fun to see. My favorite digs at thrift store are the vintage handcrafts. It’s amazing the uniqueness you find. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Rochelle, thank you so much! You are so right – the uniqueness of handmade vintage is wonderful to see. Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  23. Lavern Pease says:

    I love jars. All kinds, old or new. My husband is always telling me that I have too many. However,he never misses the chance to gift some one something special in one of them.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Lavern, jars are a great thing to collect! Love that. Speaking of new ones, have you seen the “rose” colored vintage style Ball jars? I wonder if they are as pretty in person as online? Funny about your husband gifting yours! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  24. Terri says:

    I found a vintage snack set at an antique store years ago and was head over heels in like with it. I have since collected 18 more sets. I love using them for lunch or desserts with friends.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Terri, ooooo love those vintage snack sets! They are hard to find! What a cool thing to collect! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  25. Maryanne Richards says:

    My accidental collection began with linens from my mom and mother in law. I now love and use all linens that come my way. Damask, block brints from the 40’s and 50’s and embroidered linens. My trailer also has some of theses beauties to use

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Maryanne, love it! They are amazing at how long they last, right? I recently picked up what I thought was a large 1930’s dish towel, embroidered with Scotties. It was dirty and dingy, and had a few worn spots, but for $5 I thought I could do something with it. I soaked it to gleaming white, darned the areas with holes so you can’t see them, and starched and ironed the piece. I realized it is a table runner! It now sits on my dining room table. You just can’t beat linens from the 30’s to the 60’s! And you are so right – they are so at home in a trailer! Thanks for sharing! Good luck in the drawing, Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  26. Monique Colizzi says:

    Makes my heart full to read this post and see photos of all the unique pot holders. Reminiscent of the good ole days! Beautiful work where perfectionist hands put in a lot of time, detail and love. Thank you for sharing.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Monique, thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  27. Kath Gregitis says:

    I acquired a huge box of vintage hand-crocheted items, which included potholder. They make excellent knee patches on ripped jeans!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kath, what a great idea! I never thought of that – how adorable to use them as patches on ripped jeans! Thanks for sharing and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  28. Sue Reichard says:

    I have accidentally ended up with a collection of old tins and coffee tins and a lot of cannin jars from the 30s. I also love old patchwork quilts and all kinds of vintage kitchen textiles. My country dining room is like a trip back in time. I honestly have a little of everything.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sue, your home sounds dreamy with all your lovely collections! Old quilts are the best…so beautiful and the work that went into them is something. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  29. melissa waldschmidt says:

    I started collecting collecting chicken everything after having starting a coop when my son was in 4-H. I also love beach glass and rock collecting. I love your collection.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Melissa, there are so many cah-ute chicken items, new and vintage, out there! What a fun thing to collect! I also have a friend who collects beach glass. She moved to Rhode Island and her hobby now is combing the beaches for beautiful beach glass. I also love that you do rock collecting! You don’t hear about that hobby as much anymore – very cool! Thanks for sharing and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  30. Sara Hartman says:

    Hi Nicole! I really enjoyed this post… I too love vintage potholders and I have a few but I have a collection of the doilies with crocheted flowers. I can’t seem to pass one up when I find them. Growing up my mother had a large one that she starched and hung on the wall in our family room. Sara

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sara, I love doilies, too! I have a few lacy ones which look so pretty under vintage glass cakeplates, and I love ones like you mention, with the flowers, too. I think sometimes the doilies and potholders were a set. All cute! Thanks for reading and commenting, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  31. Marilyn says:

    My maternal grandmother did similar to the ones you have We have a collection of them. They are lovely.
    Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, what wonderful tangible memories you have in those! Always so good to hear from you. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  32. Beth Getz says:

    Love your kitchen and your potholder collection! I have some old potholders mostly given by family members and others that I’ve picked up at yard sales. My home is a collection of collections, all things collected over the years, all things that I love … I like what I like and it all comes together! ❤️

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Beth, thank you! I love what you have said, which sums us up, too… “My home is a collection of collections…”! I hear ya! Thanks for sharing and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  33. Marge Turner says:

    Hi Nicole-love your collections! And your kitchen looks like a great place to hang out too. I have a collection of tea cups that were my Mom’s and I also have salt & pepper shakers that started with the ones from my Mom’s. My favorite in that collection is a mouse and cheese. Wish I could share a picture of that one. She had a rabbit and cabbage set that my sister Bonnie got. I treasure them all!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge! So good to hear from you! What a fun thing to collect – salt and pepper shakers! The mouse and cheese sound adorable. I’d love to see a photo – you can always email me. I think my favorite salt and pepper shakers here are the ones on the Hoosier – they are penguins, made in celluloid. My aunt gave them to my mom, and she gave them to me. They were originally promotions in the 1930s for a cigarette company! Always good to hear from you! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  34. Carol Ontto says:

    I use to collect elephant knick knacks, now it’s lamps. Everytime I am in a thrift store I go for the lamps.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol, both awesome things to collect! Happy hunting, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  35. Marion O'Neill says:

    I have a large collection of embroidered dish towels and pillow cases. It’s hard to remember, but I think it started with a filthy pillow case found under a bunch of junk in a basket. It was in an antiques and Civil War memorabilia store in Gettysburg, PA. It had little bluebirds and musical notes on it. Since I already had a small collection of bluebirds, I thought I would try saving it. It soaked clean, and the fabric was so soft, I decided to use it and I love how comfortable it is. That started my search for older linens- pillow cases, towels, doilies etc.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marion, such treasure you found, for sure! Isn’t it amazing how soft and long-lasting antique linens are? Textiles were made so much better in the past. I am finding the pillowcases are getting harder to find, but worth the hunt! Thanks for sharing and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  36. Evelyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your collection with us! I had collected everything strawberry at one time, but no longer do. Now I am collecting granny chic floral plates, dishes,, bowls and pitchers.❤

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Evelyn, what fun things to collect! My mom collected strawberries in the seventies. I have a set of Avon dessert plates I got at the flea market that have strawberries. Most of my kitchen is cherry themed, though. Granny chic is the BEST! Happy hunting, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  37. Shannon Burkemper says:

    Hi Nicole! I absolutely love my grandmothers hand-made potholders! I still use them and have held up better than any store bought one.
    I accidentally became a collector of handmade quilts and afghans. My husbands grandmother hand stitched her quilts and I was gifted one many years ago. Since, we have been given more of her work! I mean, I’m not complaining at all! The afghans come from my side of the family and continue to be made. 8 have several both my grandmother and my husbands grandmother made. They are my antique blessings of warmth and love. ❤️

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Shannon, what a wonderful, lovely collection you must have! I love that. I was just out to dinner with friends and someone was saying how they have quilts handed down and made for special occasions. Such heirlooms! Thank you for sharing, and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  38. Deb Rowley says:

    I have an accidental collection of vintage embroidered dresser scarves and tablecloths. I was in a second hand store years ago and found a dresser scarf with embroidered flowers just the right colors for my bedroom and as a bonus it has a crocheted lace border. I inherited a few more pieces and it seemed very time I was at an antique store I would see more scarves or tablecloths I just had to have!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Deb, I can see how easy that is to do. Things back then were just made so well, and with such love, charm and beauty. Did you notice the cherry themed tablecloth from the 1940s that is draped over the door of the hoosier? Found in a favorite antique store, I just had to have it, so I know what you mean! Dresser scarves are a very cool thing to collect, too. Thank you for sharing and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  39. Leanne Steffens says:

    I started collecting the potholders when my grandma was gonna toss em….she had and made many….they were tossed to me and I have built my collection from estate sales and garage sales! So many warm memories when I look at them…..I can smell grandmas cookie dough too!!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Oh Leanne, what a rescue! Isn’t it funny how things our grandmas and mamas tossed are things we see as treasure? I always say to my Mama, “I’m buying what you threw away!” Thank you for reading and commenting, good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  40. Kathy Blue says:

    I have some from my Grandmothers – – precious to me. Since I last wrote to you I have increased my doll collection – – sewing for them is a joy. We have a cottage now, we remodeled our vacation cottage for retirement – – and I kept the cottage look although much is new. Love your appreciation for dear vintage things!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kathy, you are so lucky that you have some from your grandmother. I have two crocheted shawls that one grandmother made, and an embroidered tablecloth my other grandma made. Both are precious indeed. I love that you are sewing for your dolls! I just got a pattern for Patti Playpal dresses. I plan on making my favorite Patti a Halloween themed dress with vintage-print Halloween fabric. Your cottage sounds Heavenly! Thanks for commenting and good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  41. Marilyn Williams says:

    Hello…first time here! Accidental collection…old books. It’s hard to pass up an antique book!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, and welcome! Love that you collect antique books. I have a few, myself, picked up here and there. Sometimes, I have gotten a very old one for free from a library that does a big sidewalk sale in the summer. Some of the very antique books they just gave away. I also love to collect antique children’s books. Some of them are just the cutest and I use them for seasonal decor. Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck in the drawing, and I hope you will join me again! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  42. Robin Malloy says:

    Love the Hoosier!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Robin, thank you so much! I looked and looked for one…my “unicorn” piece! One day, up popped one in my price range, in the smaller size I could use. My husband and I drove several hours for it. It was my anniversary present that year, and one of the best ever! I love changing the decor with the seasons, and it has so much good storage! Thanks for reading and commenting; good luck in the drawing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  43. Karen Martell says:

    I love vintage kitchen items. They make me smile. I wonder about the stories these could share if they could talk. 🙂

  44. Ginger Louden says:

    It was fun to read this article. Both of my grandmas and my mom crocheted all those potholders! They also crocheted doilies and tablecloths, quilted, and embroidered dish towels. I just retired and moved out to my parent’s house which stood empty for many years. I have it livable and comfortable. I kept the old sink in our utility room and decorated with pink, which is my favorite color. It’s great to be home. I embroider dish towels and crochet simple dishrags to use as gifts and donations. I like to quilt and hope to do more. It’s fun to carry on the traditions!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Ginger, you sound like a true-blue farmgirl! Love it. How wonderful for you to move back to your parents’ home. What a blessing. Thank you for reading and sharing, and good luck in the drawing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  45. Myra says:

    I kinda got hooked on tablecloths and real napkins when we had our Bed & Breakfast. We did a 10 year stint that’s over with now but setting a pretty table stuck with me!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Myra, there is nothing as good as real napkins! I bet running a bed and breakfast was a fun and rewarding thing to do! Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  46. Jane Jordan says:

    Oh Nicole, this blog post really resonated with me.
    My first thought while reading it brought me right back to that day, probably 45 years ago when I helped a neighbor friend clean out her Auntie Sue’s house after she’d passed.
    Aunties Sue’s house was FULL of “accidental collections” she had a few pairs of those finely crochet cotton clothing pot holders. All startched and faded but in excellent shape. She hung them in her kitchen on small metal seafoam green hangers. I can still see them after all these years. Auntie Sue had LOTS of finely crochet cotton potholders; kitty cats, owls, chickens, Christmas bells. I came home that day with a cookie jar of hers with hand painted cherries on it. It lost it’s lid years ago but still sits on my counter as a handy utensil holder. But oh how many times I’ve wished I took just one pair of those cotton crochet clothing potholders home with me. Perhaps it was that day that started me on my own collections of all things old, colorful, crafted, quirky and loved.
    Thank you for writing such a a beautifully descriptive piece that was able to bring me back to such a wonderful day spent with an old friend with sweet surprises inside every cupboard and around every corner. I will share this blog post with that same neighbor friend, now in her 80’s herself. I’m sure it will do the same for her. And I will cross my fingers, hoping to be the lucky winner and have the chance to finally have my own set of fancy crochet cotton potholders to remind me of that day filled with magic and wonderful treasure.

  47. Teresa Lass says:

    Hi, Nicole!
    I inherited many crocheted doilies & potholders from my beloved Nana & my great-aunt Neva, which I cherish. I also collect antique Valentine postcards & ephemera & Fitz & Floyd vintage teapots. After we got our sweet rescued hens, I started collecting chicken pottery & sculpture. I really enjoy your blog.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Teresa

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Teresa, how lucky that you have inherited such special pieces. I have an embroidered tablecloth made by one grandma, and a crocheted shawl made by the other. They are precious to me. Your collections sound like fun treasures, too! Good luck in the drawing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  48. mary pitman says:

    Hello! Love reading about your collections

  49. Bernadine Graham says:

    Used to go on monthly antique trips with my bestie. My mantra then: I need this! Now: I know I don’t this, but I’d feel better if I had it!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Bernadine, love it! Also, rememeber “Nothing haunts you like the vintage you did not buy…” Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  50. Lori says:

    I love all the potholders! I think my favorite are the sugar and creamer set, I have never seen any like that! I love saving little tea things:cups, mugs , teapots. I have kind of a mish-mash!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Lori, thank you! I love the sugar and creamer set, too. It is really old, and I have never seen another pair. Can you believe I got them for $2 for the pair?! I was doing a happy dance when I found them. And I think mish-mash is awesome! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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Summer – FINALLY!

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Hi Dear Readers! I hope this finds you having beautiful, warm summer weather and that you are staying cool! Here in New England, it is summer – finally! Still, it has been sort of a “strange” summer so far. However, in true farmgirl spirit, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade (or strawberry jam)! 

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  1. Margaret Hofknecht says:

    Twenty-One is such a special birthday! Hope you have a lovely day!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Dear Marge,thank you! It is a very special one. Have a happy fourth! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole (and Audrey)

  2. Margaret Hofknecht says:

    Have a lovely birthday, sweet lady!

  3. Patricia Maiolo (Patty) says:

    I enjoy your farm girl blog. So Sincere wishes for a Happy 21st Birthday Audrey!!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Patty, thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoy the blog. Thank you for the birthday wishes for my daughter. I can’t wait to show her all the comments! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Bonnie Iscrupe says:

    You have definitely grown into a beautiful young woman. It is so nice that your Moma shared your growing up with all of us. Happy 21st birthday, and many many more!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Dear Bonnie, thank you so much. It’s been fun having a “farmgirl” as a mom! Your wishes mean alot. Farmgirl Hugs, Audrey

  5. Denise says:

    A very happy 21st birthday to you Audrey! May your years ahead be happy, healthy and filled with adventures!

    Your strawberry excursion looks like so much fun Nicole! Have a wonderful summer. Can you believe it is the end of June already? This year is going by fast.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Dear Denise, that is so sweet. Thank you so much for your well wishes! Farmgirl Hugs, Audrey

      Hi Denise! I hear ya! It seems that we should just be in the start of June; I guess because the weather has been so different this year. Time sure does fly by. Have a Happy Fourth! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Happy 21st Birthday, sweet Audry. May God bless you today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your journey. ❤️

  7. Julie says:

    You have been BUSY…
    So interesting to hear your tips and tricks.
    Wish we had a Michael’s close, so I could check out those paints your using on your cute signs!
    Love the wildlife around your home. It’s so inviting like a park…
    The mother deer and her twins are adorable.
    It’s nice to have Summer here…

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Julie, thank you! I am glad that summer has found you all, now, too. The weather this year has been strange, but today the sun is shining and it is warm and perfect! I wonder if other craft stores have similar acrylic paint? Maybe Walmart, in the craft section. It is acrylic craft paint in little bottles. Works so well on a variety of things. The wildlife is such a big reason I love living in New England! The little twins are so cute, they make my day whenever I see them. Happy summer to you, sweet friend. My Prairie Pin Pouch is getting lots of use now that it summer! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Lise says:

    Happy Birthday to an awesome daughter of an awesome mom. Enjoy 21!

  9. Susan Burbank says:

    Happiest of birthdays Audrey!!!

  10. Diane Ryan says:

    Thankful I was able to see you growing up from 13 to today, Audrey! Time flew from when I met you, your Mom and I and my friend all toured gardens together with fellow Master Gardeners! You are a beautiful talented and sweet young woman with a love for family, music, reptiles and fashion among other things. It’s wonderful to see your close friendship with your Mom. Hope you have fun celebrating your 21st Birthday and a blessed year ahead!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Dear Diane, thank you so much. That’s so sweet! Hope we see you at this year’s Christmas bash! Thanks again. Love, Audrey

  11. Marge Turner says:

    Happy Birthday Wishes to your sweet daughter Audrey! I haven’t been reading your blog that whole time but I feel a bit of a connection since you lovingly cared for my little Ginny doll for me. We’ve had the smoky days here in Wisconsin too and not enough rain but I’m loving summer anyway, strawberry and raspberry jam this week made life sweet. Our little farm is providing for us again. Farmgirl blessings to you.
    Marge

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge, it is always so wonderful to hear from you! I wish we could send you some of our rain! We have never had so much as we have the past two weeks. Audrey’s birthday was great, but it has been raining almost every day this entire month! Between that and the smoke, it has been a bit more effort than usual with the garden, but on the bright side, I am not outside watering as much! Much love your way (and to Ginny)! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  12. Tammy L Thomson says:

    Happy Birthday 21st Birthday Audrey!! Stay sweet–like your Mom 😉
    Thank you both for letting us into your lives and to Nicole for sharing your always inspiring and uplifting blogs
    My fav this time is the photo of Trooper smelling the daisy.
    Love to you all! Tammy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Tammy! Thank you for the birthday wishes, and the nice words! We are both glad you enjoyed the blog. Hope you are enjoying your summer! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole and Audrey

  13. Pam says:

    Great pictures and beautiful jam, enjoyed your blog.

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A Merry Month of May

09B869CE-B95A-47DF-81C0-9BB38EB60A6FWelcome back, Readers! It is hard to believe, but the month of May is almost over! I hope you have had a good month since our last visit. From a road trip to foraging, to redoing my sewing room and more,  it’s been a “merry” month!

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  1. Zoe Siperly says:

    I’ve missed the bloggers newsletters and this makes me want to get back into the life of life with MaryJaneFarm. I have subscribed for well over 10 years and had my own Glamper “Fiona” 10 years ago. I was able to be empowered with several gals and check off something on my bucket list. Do to health issues I sold Fiona to another gal in our original glamers group here in Wisconsin, she lives!!
    I was also blessed to meet MaryJane and her daughter during that time. She is more than you can imagine and is a great inspiration to us Glampers and glamper want-a-bees!!
    Thank you for sharing your memories to us women!!
    Zoe Siperly

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Zoe, thank you for this nice comment. I am so sorry to hear that you have experienced health issues, and hope that you are doing better. I love that even though you sold your Glamper, you keep up with her, and that she is still glamping!

      I agree with everything you said about our beloved MaryJane! She is an amazing inspiration to us all. I am glad you enjoyed the post. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Susana says:

    Love the photos. Nice swallowtail butterflies…and a praying mantis. We seen them very seldom. Almost stepped on a praying mantis two years ago. And it was huge. I thought it was a stuck at first. You have ai lovely greenery and flowers. And what kind of bird was that. It looked like one that was under my awning. I see hummingbirds nest with four eggs you go the next day and they are hone. I think the dam snakes eats them I wish I knew how to keep the snakes away as the hummingbird puts their best in bushes and it’s so easy for the snakes to get at them. I wish I knew how to protect the birds . I know when a snake us around as the birds will fly back and forth and won’t land even on a house. They told me if a powder but it doesn’t work. If any one knows how to keep snakes out if my garden I’d appreciate it.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susana, thank you! The insect you refer to is actually not a praying mantis (state insect of Connecticut), but a zoom in on a tinier creature, a green assassin (Zelus luridus) bug. They are great beneficials, but you don’t want a bite from them, as it stings worse than anything! As far as hummingbirds go, their nests can be raided by all sorts of predators, including spiders, lizards, other birds, and bats. The best thing you can do is to leave their nests, as they build them where they are camouflaged. Removing snakes from your area will cause your rodent population to explode, and you don’t want that!

      Hope you have a wonderful start to summer, and that you will visit me again, next time! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Terri says:

    Nicole,
    I really enjoyed this post and all the beautiful pictures from the New England area! When you live in Arizona you don’t see all the lush, green colors like the eastern part of the US. I was fortunate to visit the New England area a few times years ago and would love to go back! Until then, I look forward to your posts!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Terri, thank you so much! I have been to Arizona, as friends of ours live there. It has its own charm, too! I loved seeing all the cacti. Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Grace Brown says:

    Oh Nicole, where do I begin?? Luv the Lilacs,, Luv your sewing buddies, Your Trailer, your Apron,,,, and your Blogg…

    Happy Spring my friend…

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Grace! Awwww, thank you so much sweet farmgirl friend! Wishing you a Happy Spring and start to summer! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Donna Kozak says:

    Love your blogs – always so beautiful…now I have to go out to my garden and do some watering so I can enjoy beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables (but first I need some ice cream !)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Donna, thank you so very much! Enjoy your garden (and ice cream – it’s always a good time for ice cream)! Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a good Memorial Day weekend! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Marilyn says:

    Hi Nicole What a nice Mother’s day gift from your daughter. The machine is lovely. The apron is so cute. Your garden is doing nicely. The Lilacs are gorgeous. We have our annual Lily Of The Valleys blooming,the pansy is striving as are the azalea bushes,. We just purchased four Geraniums. They are hearty and do not mind the heat. Our red roses have bloomed. The white ones have buds but no flowers yet. We did have to buy a lawn mower, The old one did. Fortunately, we have great neighbor and they have mowed our lawn until we get the new set up. Nicole enjoy your garden an new sewing machine. Have a safe Memorial day.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Dear Joan, Marion, and Marilyn, send some of that nice heat! It is still not warm enough for “summer” yet. I heard the heat is on its way though! It is still cold here at night and in the morning, warmer during the day. My roses have not bloomed yet. Sounds like you have nice neighbors…priceless. Have a nice Memorial Day! Farmgirl Hugs to you all, Nicole

  7. Tammy L Thomson says:

    Hi Nicole, can I move in with you? Ha ha! Your home and your part of Connecticut look and sound so wonderful! Though I know it all takes a lot of work. Something tells me that you have boundless energy. You are an inspiration with your upbeat attitude and clever tips and crafts….speaking of which, what do you find works best for a deer deter.? Have you tried pure essential Peppermint oil diluted in water? I have been using that after not wanting to deal with the stinky Liquid Fence.

    And thank you so much for taking the time to take all of the photos and write your blog to share with us 🙂

    Tammy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Tammy, thank you so much for this nice comment I love the idea of pepperment oil in water. I will have to try that. The deer are very persistent here, lol! We also use an organic oil with pepperment oil in it for our yard – keeps the ticks and fleas away! Thanks for the tip. Have a great weekend! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Sheila LaPoint says:

    Nicole, I do love your blog. I too live in New England and it is nice to read about this area. I am in Vermont and have always wanted to visit Mystic CT you have just encouraged me, I will have to see how long of a drive it would be. Do you get those biting black flies we get here springtime in Vermont? if so what do you do about them, I swear bug spray is my perfume of choice this time of year, LOL. Keep up you great blog & pictures.
    Sheila

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sheila, thank you so much! This was such a nice comment! I love Vermont…I have been a few times. We do get the awful, biting flies, but it seems they show up here a bit later in the summer. I have two things I swear by – citronella plants on my patios (keeps biting mosquitos away and the plant is pretty), and the other is an old trick I learned growing up in Texas, that the barbeque companies would do: hang up clear plastic bags filled with water, tied at the top. I have one hanging on my back patio/porch, one inside the chicken coop, and a couple on the fence in the garden. I swear it works. The idea behind it is that it confuses the flies’ eyesight, so they avoid the area. Have a wonderful summer, and thank you for commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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