Monday, February 28, 2011

A new button or two

Recently, the delightful folks at The Blog Guidebook

held a giveaway for a free button design.

And I won!

My comment was something about winning would be the bees knees.

And you know what?

It was.

Lyndsay designed two different buttons for Rural Revival 

and I had a tough time choosing between the two.

I wonder if she knew how terrible I am with decisions?

Give me a menu with more than two items and I'm in trouble.

Picking a paint shade? I defer to the Artist.

Black vs Brown in my wardrobe has been a lifelong switcheroo.

So two buttons?

Yeah, right.

So tell me, which do you like?

And by you, I mean all of you, frequent commenters, lurkers, friends, Romans, countrymen.

Tell me which one for you, is the bees knees?

~BEE well friends!~

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Sunrise from the front porch of the old farmhouse this morning.

I have rested my body, nourished my soul and grieved, yet not alone.

I have hiked our woods and refreshed my lungs 

and invigorated my spirit.

I am restored.

Life in the old farmhouse, for me, has returned to normal.

A little closer to spring, but normal, nonetheless.


And an update as promised, an arrest has been made in the murder of our neighbour.

While things will never quite return to the previous innocence in which

we lived each day, step by step, there is a collective relief.

A small piece of restoration for all of us here in my little neck of the woods.

~Peace and love my friends~

Friday, February 18, 2011

Farmhouse History

My dear friends, thank you so much for your condolences. 
To add insult to injury, I've been down for the count with the flu.

All week. 

I've been putting the lime in the coconut,
swallowing a spoonful of sugar,
and munching on an apple a day,
 but this nasty little bug just won't go away.

To soothe my idle mind while my body rests, rests and rests some more, 
the Artist brought home a little light reading for me from the library.
And it is light; it just happens to be in a big package.

 This is an illustrated atlas of our county, as surveyed in 1875, 
 about 10-15 years after the old farmhouse was built.

In the late 1800's, there were approximately 40 atlases published from different areas of Canada.
This borrowed copy, as were many, was reprinted in the 70's
but they are becoming as rare as the originals 
and all atlases have been reproduced digitally through McGill University.

We were quite surprised at some of the detail included in this atlas. 
We assumed, correctly, that detailed drawings such as this farm 
and portraits of prominent citizens of the county were provided at an extra cost. 
Our road, as outlined below in red, is one of only a few non-straight roads in our township.
The others are due to their proximity to winding rivers, but our road was once an Indian trail.

Neighbours have found arrowheads and evidence of longhouses on their property. 
I'm still looking.

But what inquiring minds really want to know is,
who built the old farmhouse?
 Ever since we purchased this property,
we've been curious to know who built and first lived in the old farmhouse.
Our plan was to name our humble little home after them.

It seems, we may have to figure out a plan B.
And the answer to that burning question? The original owners were a P & P Vansickle. 

There are still Vansickles living on our road
and it could cause some confusion if we named the old farmhouse 'Vansickle House'. 
Not only that but in our township alone, there must be over 100 properties owned by a Vansickle. 
One in every 10 exisiting farmhouses could likely be called 'Vansickle House', if so desired.

We've always known that the farmland and woods behind us 
and beside us were all part of the original old farmhouse homestead. 
What we didn't know however that at one time, 
the land across the road from the old farmhouse also belonged to this property. 
(The area labeled P&P Vansickle.) 
And, if you look real close, there are little circles beside the square that represents the house, 
that's an orchard. Time to replant!

It looks like we have more investigating ahead of us, 
but we've made excellent progress for our first attempt 
at retracing the life of the old farmhouse
and those who lived here.

 Now on to Plan B.
 It's that time of week again, I'm linking up with Verde Farm!

 ~Happy Friday Friends~

Monday, February 14, 2011

For the first time in 62 years,

my Granddad is without his Sweetheart this Valentine's Day.

 For the great granddaughter of a town crier,

the granddaughter of a civil war veteran, 

 a loving mother and beautiful grandmother,

and a gracious, humble lady who never questioned the Lord's grace,

was called home this morning
two days shy of her 85th birthday. 
 And my heart aches for my Grandpa.

 ~Hug your sweethearts my dear friends~

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pond Curling

For as long as I can remember, curling has been a revered sport in my family.

My dad was an avid curler throughout his life, 

eventually introducing the game to my step-mom who is still curling strong today.

And this year she has begun handing over the curling gauntlet to the male twin, 

who curls in her kids group each Sunday.

It's fair to say, I see curling in my family's future for a good many years to come.

What I didn't see coming, however, was a link between curling and the old farmhouse.
 Curling originated in Scotland, with evidence indicating that it was as early as the beginning of the 16th 

century; it was played outside on ponds throughout many long winters for the next three centuries.

Thanks to many Scottish immigrants who settled here, Curling has become a true Canadian sport, more 

popular than in any other country. As in Scotland, it too was played outdoors but by the mid-1800's curling

took a turn for the predictability of the indoors and warehouses were converted to rinks; before long the use 

of refrigeration permanently changed the landscape of curling to what it is today. The lack of snow, which 

causes too much friction for the rocks to slide and a less bumpy, more reliable ice surface certainly helped to 

advance the game. But if you've noticed there are revivals of all sorts happening and I'm not just talking about 

canning or raising chickens. There is an outdoor revival of sorts, why even the NHL is holding a few games 

outdoors. In my books, the best way to enjoy winter is to partake of it.
So what does this have to do with us here at the old farmhouse?

Sure we have a good sized pond, but have you seen curling rocks for sale lately at your local sports store?

If you answer yes to that question, call me.

Meanwhile a new and thoughtful family friend who just happens to have connections in the local curling world 

visited us just before Christmas and before you could say 'Rural Revival Revelers are a Really Radical Realm' 

ten times (try it!) we had four gorgeous vintage (!) curling rocks gracing our pond. 

And thus we have begun a revival of pond curling. 
 The good old-fashioned way.
Another Rural Revival at its best.

I'm linking up with Verde Farm's Farm Friend Friday!

~Happy Friday Friends!~

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just in case...

you were beginning to forget what spring looked like.

I know I was.

Find your your sunshine, anyway you can.

~Be well friends~

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's the rush?

February is one week in.

How can that be?

It's been a bitterly cold winter thus far and I know we're all seeking some greenery wrapped in sunshine.

But I'm not quite ready to beckon spring's arrival just yet.

You see there is so much to do and once spring arrives, 

all eyes will be directed squarely anywhere not inside the farmhouse.

Besides I still have mucho planning to finish before then.

The Artist gifted me with these beautiful cloth bound books for Christmas.

I think they pretty much sum up what's on the top of my agenda this spring.

I am as thick as thieves into the poultry book;

it's informative and a delightful read for a newbie like me.

I couldn't find much information about the author, Vivian Head; the books are UK publications.

Please, speak up if you're familiar with these.

And on that note, I'll wrap up by saying the Artist and I have finalized the coop location

(a lot of discussion went into that, let me tell you)

and peeps were sourced yesterday.

My barnheart is overjoyed.

~Bee well friends!~

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow day at the old farmhouse

We had our first snow day of the season yesterday, and only our second since moving to the old farmhouse.

It was long overdue and, as you can see, we were tinkled pink.

 Our first snow day came just a few months after settling in here and we quickly learned
that it's a far cry from a snow day in the city. 

Sure, there's shoveling involved in both locations but there is much more here. Much, much more.
The wind whips across the field behind us depositing drifts in the most inopportune places.  
A snow blower was deemed a necessity after our first winter.
 That wind also chills quick to the bone and proper gear is a necessity.
Unfortunately, it may also terrify the children next door. 

Heck, it terrifies me.

 But out here, the real challenge is keeping warm. 

Or shall I say keeping warm without the use of oil.

With two wood stoves on the go, we're constantly replenishing our wood supply.

Until the snow hits, we bring loads of wood in using a wheelbarrow, but once we have a good 
layer of snow, the toboggan comes out. Maybe I should clarify that, the sled comes out and
the toboggans/ski hats/toques are donned. 

Hauling wood is a chore the ghost twins do regularly.

The real twins can usually be found inside complaining that they have to work on a snow day.

Imagine that.

It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it. 
  Of course, the biggest difference in the country, plain and simple, is the view

and enjoying it together.


This is my Farm Friend Friday story.

Visit here for more!

~Happy Friday Friends!~


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Whirley days are here

Did I mention I received a Whirley Pop popcorn maker for Christmas?

I love the fact that it does not require electricity but
I'm even happier that we have kissed microwave popcorn goodbye.

And you know what?

This stuff tastes soooo much better. 

Butter is not required.

I see popping corn being added to the garden list this year, in a jiffy!

And it was the perfect snack to celebrate the eve of a whirley, swirly snow day.

~Cheers friends!~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Dreams

There's a certain feeling in the air. Reminiscent of a jolly fellow arriving on a special night. 

However, it's not the man in the red suit we're eagerly anticipating, 
but a storm carrying with it promises of the biggest snow day we've had in a few years. 

As we speak, a certain girl is tucked in for a night of snowflake slumber
while wearing her jammies inside out and backwards. 
 So as not to jinx the much anticipated event, you see.

I think I might just do the same.

~Welcome February!~