Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Box Full of Bittersweet

Several weeks ago my Mother & I made a pilgrimage to my Uncles farm in Osage City to pick up pecans. The drive was long but one filled with much laughter and talk.

As we turned off one country road on to another, we were meet with a breath taking sight~~~ Bittersweet growing over an old fence and up a tree! I'm going to make a little confession here. I absolutely LOVE Bittersweet. There is something about it's yummy orange colored berries and snarled vines that just makes my heart sing. What do I know about Bittersweet? Absolutely nothing! I have no idea if there is a difference in the Bittersweet that grows in the wild or the kind that grows in town. I just know it's gorgeous!

This Bittersweet was different than any I've ever seen before. Not the pale orange berries of that in town, instead it was a brilliant orange....Like those pumpkins we see with the dark orange color. And mind you it wasn't skinny little berries either but big, plumb gorgeous one!

While I was going nuts over this beautiful display, Mom wasn't the least bit impressed....Probably because she had walked this old farm ground for years in her youth as she went back and forth to grade school. Yes, this wonderful Bittersweet was growing on her Aunts land, which is just across the road from my Grandpa's farm.

Mom assured me that Aunt Reen wouldn't mind if I took some so after we picked up our pecans we stopped at this magnificent bush. As I was whacking away and filling my box, who should drive up but Aunt Reen and Mom's first cousin. (They thought we were stealing their walnuts! HA) Aunt Reen told me to take all I wanted and I needed to come back this Spring and dig up some plants for myself. Oh be still my heart!!!!!

Arriving home I proudly carried that box full of Bittersweet into the house. My poor ole mind was racing with ideas of decorating with it. But where to start??? As I walked through the house my eye came upon an old primitive cabinet that has a little Needle Punched sewing bag hanging from it. The design on the bag is that of a bird with a few twigs of Bittersweet around it. Yes, the perfect spot to add some berries.

Next my eye rested on another primitive cabinet with a precious little bag made out of homespun my dear friend Sher in New York made me. With a little muslin "tag" stitched with the simple word, 'herbs' on the outside of it, it was another great place to hold some.

Spying a black basket I had just refinished for my DIL, Codi, I could resist...She just had to have some of these gorgeous berries so I proceed to fill it. (That basket is now proudly displayed on top her kitchen cabinets!)

As I turned and saw my fireplace I knew where the rest was going....My mantel!!!! For the next hour I quietly worked weaving berries, vines and leaves across the top. As I stood back and look at my work I couldn't have been more pleased. Before me that mantel fairly dripped with the color of orange. Just the perfect display for Fall.

In a few weeks it will be time to take down my gorgeous Bittersweet to make way for Christmas. There will be something so sad about seeing it all come down. It's going to be like saying good-bye to an old friend who has brought me much enjoyment. However, Spring will be here before I know it and at that time I'll make another pilgrimage to Osage City...This time to bring home Bittersweet plants that I'll loving plant and care for during the summer month in the hopes that in years to come I'll have my own berries to decorate with.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Where does your inspiration come from? I have to be honest and admit that a good deal of mine comes from the Internet. With just the click of the mouse I'm inside all my favorite bloggers homes. Drooling over their decorating ideas and asking myself, "Now why didn't I think of that!"

And of course we can't forget our wonderful friends who we see in person and chat with online. I'm always amazed how much a note from a dear friend can inspire me to get up and get something done. How sharing an idea with someone you love can make it seem 'right' and just perfect for your home.

Nature is another source of inspiration for me. At this time of year when I'm watching the leaves slowly drifting out of the trees and feeling the crisp morning air all my sense come alive. Suddenly it's like looking at the world through a different set of eyes. The eyes of someone who is seeing something for the first time. A simple red leaf can make me think of a new hooked rug design or primitive Fall pinkeep. Just the other day the stock of a tall, dead sunflower set my creative juices flowing. Think how one would looked hooked out of dirty light brown wool. The perfect table runner for Fall.

Our old farm provides it's share of inspiration too. As I walk around my eyes drift to the old pieces of wood laying here and there. They call my name to be picked up and have a small piece of cross stitch added to them. That's how the design came about for the above piece. While small in size it's just the perfect little piece to fit inside a made-over bowl. And to think it was made from a piece of wood the dog was carrying around in her mouth!!!!!

Yesterday while at my parents their old barn called my name. To expensive to be restored, it's slowly falling down. A part of my life that will end in a heap of old wood. This is the barn where my first husband and I stole kisses (Bet you didn't know that Mom & Dad! Then maybe you did but didn't want to admit it!) and where barn dances were held with my classmates. Daddy has gave me several pieces from it but that wasn't enough. Leaving Keith to talk to Mom, I walked around it. Suddenly I had an idea. This morning I shared that idea with Mom and she told me to go for it. For now I won't be telling anyone what my plans are but hopefully within the next few months I'll share it with all of you. A way for the old barn to live on for each of my sisters and our children.

Now it's time for another sort of inspiration....One my Sweetie loves....My cooking. On that note I'll sign off and get some Chili started for supper. May you find inspiration in everything and everywhere you look. Hugs, Sher

Saturday, August 01, 2009

~~ Summer 2009 ~~

Good Morning!
Summer 2009 is slowly coming to a close. I realize I have neglected this old blog in favor of some of the others I have and the time has came to rectify that. From now on I will be giving this blog equal time and will use it a little different than I use my other blogs. It will be more of my thoughts, rather than our day to day life on the farm.

Summer this year has been different to say the least. We started out cool and wet and went to hot and wet in a matter of weeks. We are now ending July with temperatures so cool it's unbelievable. We are also staying wet. (Another hard soaking rain last night!) While we have really enjoyed the cool weather we could have done without some of this rain. Right now we can't even get our hay bailed and I hate having all that tall grass next to the house. Daddy always said he'd take a wet year to a dry one because eventually you'll get the crops out and with a dry year, there are no crops. So I guess the farmers are happy.

While summer has quickly passed this year (Little ones start back to school in just three weeks) we don't feel as though we accomplished much. Keith has spent the summer mowing (I hate to think what we've spent on gas alone for those lawnmowers!) and I honestly don't know what I've done. We did have a busy year with Jeni's surgery on her nose, gatherings at our home and Seth & Codi's wedding. Could those have taken up the whole summer? Believe it or not, they have. I for one am glad to see it come to end and with the first feel of Fall to the air I am starting to feel free....No more being cooped up in this house because of the heat, no more hating to fix a good meal because I don't want to run the oven, no more hating to drag my crafting supplies out because it's to hot to clean up the mess. Yes, I'm more than ready for Fall!

And with Fall is going to come a new me....One that is starting to pitch more junk, one that is going to be hooking, cross stitching and needle punching until she can't see, one that is going to change a lot of things about their house and someone that is going to enjoy their family to the fullest. So stay tuned and follow my journey. Hugs, Sher

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

~~The Best Mother's Day Ever~~

It all started Friday when a gorgeous bouquet of flowers of was delivered from our oldest daughter and her sweetie. (Thank you Kara!) Later that evening, our son, Sam and his wife Renee showed up. We spent the evening visiting with them and on Saturday morning Seth & Codi came with more flowers in hand. (Thanks kids!) By now I'm feeling like the luckiest woman alive. Little did I know I was about to become even happier!
Earlier in the week Sam had called and asked if we could eat at everyone's favorite Mexican restaurant in Iola. Keith and I agreed that we would do this rather than me fix a big meal on Sunday. When asked, the kids all agreed they wanted to eat lunch rather than supper so plans were made to be in Iola at noon.
After everyone sat down and our drinks had been ordered Sam (Who was sitting next to me) asked what I wanted for Mother's Day. I told him just having my kids home was enough for me. He then said, "Well, would you rather have a boy or girl?" Since we have just gotten Latte (the puppy) my first thought was he was wanting to get us another dog and instantly I said, "I don't want another...." then it hit me! They were going to have a baby!!!! Keith and I were laughing and crying at the same time. I'm sure everyone in that restaurant thought we had lost our minds!!!! You see girls, for medical reasons we weren't sure they would ever be able to have a baby so this was not only a miracle but truly a special gift from God just as all babies are! I swear we cried for a good half an hour we were so happy!!!! Poor Jeni and Drew weren't sure what was going on (Jeni couldn't hear what Sam had asked me) but once they found out they too were excited....Jeni is already making plans to "baby-sit"! HA
Our special little one is due on Christmas Eve. Of course that means Mommy and Daddy won't be here to celebrate with us but ole Grandpa and Grandma are making plans of their own. If he/she arrives during Christmas break {Remember, we still have little ones in school!} and the weather cooperates, we'll be making a trip to Neb.. Otherwise we'll be glued to the computer (Camcorders) so we can see our baby daily! Can you tell this old grandma is one happy person??? HA
After this good news the rest of our weekend passed in a daze. We played board games, the boys helped Keith get the pool ready for summer (I don't think it's ever going to get warm enough to swim!), the kids all loaded up and took Latte walking in town, ect... It was just a laid-back, wonderful, relaxing weekend!
So, Mother's Day 2009 will be one of happy memories and now we'll be spending the next few months praying for a healthy baby and safe delivery for Mom and Dad. Blessings to Your Family From Ours, Sher

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter in Kansas!

There is only one word for winter in Kansas this year....Weird!!!! I have honestly never seen a winter like we are having. We will go for days with freezing temperatures and then suddenly the sun will come out and things will warm up enough you don't even need a coat! Now I have to admit that we are really enjoying it. Winters are hard on Keith as he's cooped up in this house with nothing to do. So, when it warms up he's able to go out and piddle around outside. A much needed break for him! And don't tell him I said this but it's a much needed break for me too! (No matter how much you love someone, being with them 24/7 can get tiring!!!)
For the next two days we are going through one of our "warm spells". Once again I'll spend my time catching up on all this laundry. (So far this winter I have only had to use my dryer once!) It's true my old hands about freeze as I hang clothes out of a morning but by afternoon they are all nice and dry and I forget all about the pain I went through getting them to that point! HA
Since we have cold weather moving back in Friday, today will also be a time to fill our fireplace with wood and to bring more around front. Earlier this winter we ordered a load of firewood from an old grade school friend of mine and when they delivered it, they stacked it right in front of our house. While the wood is wonderful, it's not "seasoned" and therefore hard to burn in a fireplace. That means we have all this wonderful wood right in front of our house were it would be so easy to carry in and I'm having to walk around it and go to the back/side of the house and carry in the old. Oh well, I'm just thankful we have wood to burn and a fireplace to put it in so I won't complain. (And next winter will have tons of "seasoned" wood!!!)
Keith has been using these warm days to get our greenhouse ready for Spring. I tell him it's going to be months before we can actually plant some seeds but he's insisting it's time to get it ready. Unfortunately we have different ideas on how things should be set up out there so for right now I'm staying out of it.....Once it's time to plant I'll go out there and set it up the way I want! HA At least he's got it all nice and clean for me!!!
While I've talked of the warm days, I don't want to forget the cold ones too. These days give us those special times to be alone and talk about the future and what we hope it will bring for our children. They give me the time to hook, cross stitch and Needle Punch and Keith time to take long naps. They also gave us the time to watch the inauguration and President Obama being sworn in.
So, whether our days are cold or warm, winter in Kansas is to be cherished....Before long Spring will be in the air and we'll be so busy we won't have time to think. Winter Blessings, Sher

About Me

These stories are dedicated to the loving memories of my childhood on the family farm and to my life on our farm. May my children always know how Blessed I've been.