Fallwork, Patchwork & Pumpkins

Life is like a patch-work quilt made of bits & pieces of the past, the present and plans for the future. A masterpiece “scrap” quilt only looks as if random chaos miraculously morphed into balance, beauty and order. However, an experienced quilter knows that looks can be deceiving.
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  1. DogpackMOMMA says:

    Great photos! I have really enjoyed my maiden visit to your blog & look forward to many more future visits here…

  2. Debbie says:

    Oh my dear Shery,
    Where do I begin? How about with a good long sigh for starters and a few tears of joy for good measure…Joy abounds in your words and photos! As always I wish I could jump right in! I can smell the sage, feel the roughness of the rust covered jagged rocks buried in the landscape, hear the rustling of the leaves on the familiar cottonwood trees of my girlhood in Northern Nevada, and I long to pat a good horse on the neck from the seat of a saddle. (Once this darned kitchen remodel is done that’s where you’ll find me)!

    I can hear the laughter at your farm-girl chapter meeting and I’m soaking up all that creativity too!

    Your talents are many! So happy you can share them here with us!
    Love and happy fall,

  3. Diane Loehr says:

    I love all the animals – Thank you for introducing us to them. I also love the Pumpkins that you were making with a bunch of your friends. Can you tell us who you made them and what did you fill them with?

    I can’t wait to sit down later at lunch and read through this whole article. I just loved all the Fall touches! What a great time of year!

    Thanks- Diane

  4. Janice K. says:

    Yes! There is a reason that you always have a HUGE smile on your pretty face! I should say many reasons, since you enjoy so many wonderful activities in your gorgeous section of the country. You always make me have a flurry of activity in the creative department as you are truly inspirational!
    Here’s to having a wonderful fall and having more FUN…

  5. KD Earthworks says:

    Same for me. Such a special little visit into your beautiful, real world. Thank you so much. It’s like a mini vacation.
    I live in a beautiful world as well, damp ocean, rugged North coast of California. Beautiful large redwoods, crashing waves.We’re building a farm here, have an acre of veggies, 50 new fruit trees, brick oven, huge outdoor kitchen for processing veggies, meat and bread also – canning is almost done.
    We cleared all the land, milled the wood to build all our buildings.This years goal was trying to build pasture. Clearing out all the roots and brush, moving redwood trees (roots invade gardens).Then seeding. Maybe we too can get to pasture our horses and maybe a cow in the future.
    Sure love getting you blog! Katie

  6. SuburbanFarmgirl says:

    Want. Those. Pumpkin. Cookies. NOW! (:

  7. carol branum says:

    Hi Sherry, We are equally having a wonderful fall here in Missouri.My friends and I made the same pumpkins for me to decorate the tables at my one room school reunion.Yes I have chickens and I also have the same metal rooster that you have. We have a lot in common, yes I love fall too, it is so pretty out today here.This weekend is our Folk Art Festival here in town, so I am excited about that, and I have several invitations to Halloween parties and fall get togethers with special artsy friends I am looking forward to. Enjoying every minute of it, carol branum

  8. Jan says:

    Shery, Once again I was totally absorbed in your latest blog. You sure have a wonderful gift with words and pictures! Fall is my favorite time of year, so I was anxious to read your fall blog, and I wasn’t disappointed! The pumpkins that you all made are so cute, will have to try makin one of those. I always enjoy seeing pics of your beautiful horses.
    Happy Fall to you and your family.

  9. RanchFarmgirl says:

    Hi Diane, We (all of us farmgirls at the hen party) made the pumpkins shown above. We filled them with rice. The complete directions will be in the upcoming edition of the "Cluck" – the online magazine for MJF sisterhood member/subscribers. Thank you everyone for the kind words aka soul food. You make my day, week, month. :o)

  10. meredith says:

    Wow! Our life revolves around grass too – amazing how it keeps us and our animals fed. My husband farms (hay, corn, Herefords) and is a hay broker as well, selling hay all over the east coast. Who would think (besides a fellow rancher/farmer) that your life would be run by grass! Love your post- Meredith

  11. Julie W says:

    Shery, Your prose and photography leave me breathless with wonder!!!!!!!! A feast for my eyes and soul. What a treasure.

  12. Kathy says:

    I love your website Shery. I look forward to your beautiful pictures each month. You have such an eye for color and for things of nature. Your pictures always inspire me to put together some of those colors in my home. I too love red!! We’re having an awesome fall in Western NC. The leaves are as beautiful as any I’ve seen. Keep writing and taking pictures. You are so inspiring.

  13. gwen quon says:

    What a beautiful life you have. It would be a life I would love to experience. I have
    horses and bunnies and labs so I do surround myself with critters and nature.
    Your pictures and writing truly take us all there and we can linger longer as we
    sit and look with a good cup of something hot. The season of Fall is my favorite and you captured it in such a lovely way!!
    Thank you

  14. Lucie says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful fall experiences. What a talented group of women you have gathered around you. Look forward to hearing more.

  15. mellee says:

    What lovely photos and a great story you tell. A day in your life is truly an event. Thank you for sharing yourself with us; I know I benefited greatly from taking the time to read your post. I am under a deadline for an exam, two kids in two different age brackets with their various obligations, and a husband who works way too hard but still takes the time to entertain the children so I can get some study time in on the weekends. What a different place Wyoming must be from Virginia. You said you are over 4000 feet above sea level; where we live on the bay we are seven feet above sea level! Thank you again for your wonderful post. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  16. Angie Bowman says:

    What is the breed name for the white chicken with a few black spots that is shown in your "Fall Work" blog? Thanks!

  17. RanchFarmgirl says:

    Hi Angie, The black and white hen is a French breed called Cuckoo or Barred Marans – referring to the feather pattern which goes by the name of both of those words. For example, there are Barred Rocks also – in addition to Rocks of other colors etc. If you were referring to the white hen – the dark "spots" are clumps of garden dirt since she was taking a dust bath in my garden tank. She is a common white Leghorn. Shery

  18. Tj says:

    Give your hubby an "Atta Boy!" for his great hay-stacking abilities!! VERY nice!! I’m hopelessly addicted to haystacks, my "previous life" having been running a boarding/training horse stable in central Texas where ALLLLLLLL the hay is trucked in from somewhere (even from just further out in TX). My eyes are green for a reason when I see a luxurious, abundant PLETHORA of beautifully cured, tightly stacked HAY!!!!!!!!!!

    My own DH and kids and I were elk hunting this weekend here in southern Montana, and my heart/mental camera took lots of photos that look so similar to yours down in northern Wyoming… round bales, square bales, huge single-bale high patches and towering 3-high stacks…

    Autumn. Haystacks. Harvest finishing. Good working horses and cattle work and pumpkins and the smell of pine and sage in a hunting campfire… I’m filling my lungs and mind with gorgeous air and images, and smiling from ear to ear!!

  19. Rene Foust says:

    Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy reading your posts and admiring your pictures they are always so full of life and completely awe inspiring!

  20. What a fabulous blog! My first visit and I am completely overwhelmed! I too have a Morgan horse, she’s 21 now and still full of P ‘n’ v! I don’t ride her nearly as much as I’d like to, but just love being with her. She’s starting to get her shaggy "woolly mammoth" winter coat now. Thanks again Shery for the great prose and photos!

  21. Reba says:

    I know I am late sending this, but just had time to pour over, read, and savor all of the photos/writing. You are a wonderful writer and photographer. The fact that you had the Owl on here was amazing, and I had to send this, even late.
    We live in the Southeast in the City, with streetlights (ugh). And as my hubby got up to go to work before dawn, he looked out onto our patio and turned the light on. A beautiful owl was sitting on the bird bath!! He and I both have had an awesome wonder that the owl even came so close to our home and feel blessed that there is peace here so that she feels welcome. Unfortunately, hubby barely had his eyes open, much less have his camera. But she really opened them for him!! He was in awe that she would sit long enough to get a good description of her, to tell anyone that would listen. She was sitting for sometime for him to admire. My only wish is that I had seen her, but he didn’t move away until she did, but was so excited and came to wake me up. Nature is so amazing. Even where we live we have had raccoons, possums, snakes, and other wildlife that visit, I guess, following the large creek in our subdivision. Thank you for your time in writing and sharing and bringing out the sharing in us.

  22. cora jo says:

    Shery, awesome job as usual. can’t wait for next time. your nh friend,cjc

  23. Brenda says:

    Your fall looks lovely from here. Ours seems to be winding down. We had the wind storm that has blown most of the pretty leaves away and hubs has finished dumping out my flower pots of pretty much dead flowers. I am not a winter person and have started hole-ing up with my Christmas gift making. Love the pumpkins, very cute. Just collected the largest egg yesterday we have gotten so far. I would call it a jumbo and think it must be from our giant black hen, or it has to have at least 2 yolks or 3 if possible? Wanted to crack it last night when I brought it in but I did not need it for anything. I could not even put it in the egg carton because it would not close. Posted a picture on my blog I was so proud of my hen.

  24. Louise Fredieu says:

    Hi Shery:
    WOW! What a wonderful life you have! I love all the pictures especially the ones of the animals. They all look so healthy and loved. I especially like….uh-oh….i like them all! The owl is amazing and doesn’t look as if he likes having his picture taken. The cats, dogs, chickens, cows, horses…wow, you do spread your love around. Then the human animals look well-loved and well-fed also. You certainly shared your little slice of Wyoming well. I’d bet you some people call it heaven!

  25. Betsy Cline says:

    I am sooooo jealous. You are living the life I wish I could just visit. I have always said that I would love to go on a round up and be in the saddle because it was my job. You make me close my eyes and dream about what you wrote about. I was always a cowgirl at heart.
    Thanks for the joy from reading your story.

  26. Vicky says:

    Shery, Mary Jane, they would make a neat-o purse but its always best to re-sole a great pair of boots. If you haven’t worn the tops and shanks out than they can be regifted. Those are real knock-out stomping boots. Looking good! What a super gift!

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Crazy For Crimson

Research says that one color truly stands out in a crowd. One. This courageous color grabs the eye. It energizes our psyche, stimulates thought and undeniably makes a statement like no other color. The famous fashion designer, Bill Blass, offered a simple guideline when he said, “When in doubt … wear red.” People have definite feelings about color. What is your take on red? You have an opinion, one way or the other … even if it lies under the surface of more pressing priorities. Market research says so. The magic of red is this: There is no complacency in the life of red.

(Above: my newly acquired “crimson red” antique cubby.)
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  1. Terry says:

    Ya might need something stronger than red to help that cold Miss Shery!

  2. Cat says:

    Lol…I do love your antique cupboard, but I must confess it was the pumpkins that caught my eye first! 😉

  3. TJ says:

    I just finished, last weekend, clearing my kitchen and basement of a measly 100# of apples… I’ve made apple EVERYTHING – the crockpot, dehydrator, and hot-water canner running nonstop for days on end. I’m apple-d out!!

    But… your invigorating post makes me want to GO PICK MORE!!!! You, dear, are a rascal for that!!! (grin)

    Drink some RED tomato juice to help feed that cold some vitamin C!!!!

  4. Lucie says:

    Red seems such a powerful color and takes a sense of self confidence to embrace the boldness of red. Enjoy the pop of boldness!

  5. Hi Shery, Loved your comments on RED. I love red too, although the melon goes good with my skin color which is fair, when I wear it I get comments on it. The apples look good, they are my favorite fruit, if they are hard, sweet, and juicy. I sure wish I had a place to pick around here. I want to make Apple pie filling for the winter. Guess I will find some somewhere. Hope your cold is better and you have a nice week, Hugs from Farmgirl sister # 1020 Juanita

  6. katmom~Grace says:

    Love it…and I spotted your sweet little "Hummel" figurine on the shelf.
    Autumn Farm Girl Hugz

  7. Debbie says:

    Holy Cow Shery! LOL!!!

    I think you’ve covered RED! MY favorite color too! It’s got Sas all year round! I love to wear it, adorn my walls with it and DRIVE IT..my first car ever was a 66 Ford Mustang and that began a trend with me and red cars… Had a Red Durango, before that a red celica convertable and now, a YOU GUESSED IT… RED Explorer…I just FEEL BETTER in RED..Plain and Simple!

    I wrote about my Love affair with RED last December on my blog.

    Click here to read my take on THE BEST DARNED COLOR IN THE UNIVERSE!


    Drink more cranberry juice! The RED variety!

    I think RED ought to be the offical farmgirl color don’t you farmgirls?

    One more thing… Did you know that the color for Massachusettes is… RED? Think Lobster, cranberries, home of ocean spray, New England fall foliage,and THE RED SOX! Just today I photogaphed the red rose hips on the beach roses too!
    Loved this post Shery!

    Thanks for the dose of Red… I was needing it!
    For a girl with a yucky cold you out did yourself!
    Your " red- lovin’ beachy farmgirl friend"

  8. Marilyn K. Khadduri says:

    Hi Shery,
    I so loved your last blog, but this one is outstanding! Besides loving the color red, I
    just have to copy a bit of this blog, so I will not forget it! Beginning with , "I’ve been
    there from time to time……losing my REDNESS" to "Lifting a lagging spirit from the
    inside out IS do-able." Yes, I know what you mean, jellybean! 🙂 You just worded
    it so perfectly, and I must pass it on to some of my "sisters" here. Please keep up the
    good work; you are such an inspiration!

    A rural farm girl from the east coast,

  9. Sue Stout says:

    Red is my favorite color….it always perks me up. I loved every word and all the pictures. I even "red" it again.

  10. Ruth says:

    Shery, I’ll be sending lots of healing energy your way and praying for a speedy recovery for you. Work to be done or not, you simply MUST take care of YOU!!!

    I’ve never been a fan of red, which I am now ashamed to say after reading your, as always, inspiring blog! I think I’ll give it another look-see though. Thanks for sharing a broader perspective. I might just catch the *red-bug*, too!

    Seeing red in a different light… -Ruth P.S. Be well.

  11. SuburbanFarmgirl says:

    Oh your pictures always make me swoon but especially this week! Bravo!

  12. I do believe, it just might cure what ails me…I was kinda’ down in the ‘blues’ this morning and what a wonderful ‘pick me up’ I got….one I always get from your beautiful writing! You always grab my ‘red’ heart and give it a big hug, when you write. I just love the feeling!
    Your pictures, as always are beautiful. Wish I could grab some of those wonderful apples too! I could go on forever, but I really just want to tell you how much I appreciated this post. Now with coffee in hand I am going get dressed….and you got it…in some red!

  13. Claudia says:

    Red is truly my favorite color too! It makes me smile just looking at. Thanks for inspiring me

  14. Reba says:

    Red is what I am INTO these days as well. I (and my hubby) just painted the bottom portion of our kitchen cabinets…red! The top portion remains white (and boring), and my walls are yellow (sunny). I have apples all around…in baskets, in cross-stitch, on wallpaper, etc. I have a Hoosier with RED trim! I love-love-love it! My sister said while looking at my cabinets…"they are RED!" Yep! That was what I was after…color, not approval. I absolutely love your pictures. My daughter lives in Montana and the pics remind me so much of where she is. I love visiting, and may live there someday! Thanks for another great post!!

  15. Brenda says:

    Hi Shery,
    Red is my favorite color. You know the red hat ladies, I am not one and I do not wear purple. But something happened when I got closer to 50 I could wear red when I never could before. Something changed in me or outside not sure but I always wore browns, blues, some greens and black. I would try on red and put it back on the rack. But now I have to remind myself when I shop that I just bought something red a while back I should choose something else. The red so wants to win that battle. I bought a red couch when we moved to this larger house. I though hubs would say no way but he could see my vision for the room I wanted to put it in. Of course I painted my hen house red, what else? And the cobalt blue I have always put here & there in the kitchen certainly does work well with the reds. Can we be friends for life? I would love to live down a lane close to you and be a part of your farmgirls club. My farmgirl friends live over an hour away but I am thinking I am going to make the trip over more often. I read your blogs and it makes me yearn for close friends. Apples. I got a bag of Spys from the local orchard and made applesauce. My grand daughters love it chunky and full of cinnamon. I also posted an apple butter recipe to die for that you make in your crock pot just recently if you still have some of those apples left. We have a whole woods with a floor of ferns. I never thought about decorating with them. I’m afraid ours may be brown and not so pretty now but I think I may just go out and take a look this afternoon. What a wonderful post and as always I am going away with a smile.

  16. mellee says:

    Red is one of the very definitions of my personality; I have been a blazing red head for my entire life. Because I have always stuck out, the color red has played a part in just about every aspect of my life. The colors of clothing I choose, the color car I prefer, the extreme love I have for fall in Virginia…yes, red is a part of my existence! Thank you for your great essay reminding us all of the reasons we love red, and feel better soon.


  17. carol branum says:

    hi, my living room is in red and all the things in it are red and i have red dishes,due to my mother,and i wrote a story about it on my blog,called the french house,at themofarmersdaughter.blogspot.com,so now i collect red,have a wonderful fall ,carol

  18. Jill says:

    Thanks for sharing ‘Red’. I used to have a red stove top, it made me happy every morning. Was a sad day when it died. Red is what I wear when I have a morning where I just can’t decide. You know, the morning where you can’t remember if you fed the animals, didn’t eat breakfast and are going to be late, then you find you left the water running in the water tough – that is a "get the red on, girl" day.
    thanks much for the fun reading and sharing in your life,
    from coastal California mountains, where the most red I see is on the poison oak in the fall – eeek!

  19. cora jo says:

    Shery, Red is …well, cool. Love it myself…and also am trying to kick a cold. Went to the dr…who said I have a cold. Sigh. Think an apple pie is in order here too. Thanks and be well.

  20. Jan says:

    Hi Shery, Loved all of your ‘red’ pictures! Red is my favorite color…I have always thought it a really awesome color. My kitchen cupboards used to be red, I miss them, however getting ready to paint the front door red, yea!.Stop to think about it, my horses halter, lead, lunge line and bucket are all red. I also enjoyed all of the info on red. Hope you get to feeling better real soon! Take care, Jan

  21. Peggy says:

    I just love red too! Loved your post on the history of red and it really is true it is the one color that your eye is always drawn to. I took a photo class and the instructor said to always try to catch at least a small bit of red in the picture.

  22. andylynne says:

    What a wonderful post. Red is such a happy color. My kitchen is blue and yellow overall. But I found I’ve added lots of red accents. Cherries, a red basket, red framed vintage embroidery. It pops up here and there and really has a cheerful effect. I have long worn red, love it’s warm yet bright color to cheer me up. Especially a wooly red sweater I have. Thank you for the lovely photos, and a peek at your new cupboard.

  23. Lisa says:

    I’ve been "red" for 30+ years – pots and pans, walls, cars, kitchens, doodads of every kind. As a brunette, I could wear red better than Nancy Reagan – now as a "hi lite", a bit tricky – but will give it a try again. Wish I had that red stove, and yes, red should be the official farmgirl color –
    This was a great one (living just south of you, I have all the apples, neat leaves and pumpkins too, snow this week-end : )
    Lisa, Broomfield CO

  24. Krissi says:

    Well Hello Ms. Shery,
    I loved your blog and I am new to blogging. I have loved MaryJanesFarm for some time and just joined. Every thing you showed reminds me of home when the seasons actually change and you get to feel some cold weather. I’m in Texas – doesn’t get cold here. I never thought I would say I’m crazy for red until I read your blog and saw those pictures. Usually I would say that purple is my favorite color. But then the memories came back when I saw the porcelain pots with the red handles – LOVE em and remember using them. I find that where I’m living right now I miss more than ever the smell of the house when you’re canning chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, and other asundry of fruit that could actually be frozen and or placed in the fruit cellar in the basement. Ahh, the basement what a luxury! I hope your feeling better – when you looked in the mirror was your nose red? Have a blessed red day!
    Katy, TX

  25. Christmas Songs Lyrics says:

    Wow. That was pretty awesome. They just keep getting better and better!

  26. Debbie Whitfield says:

    Wow! It’s a little late but not really, I so enjoyed your blog and I LOVE RED ! Thank you for sharing memories thru photos.

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