Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Neck of the Woods: Barn and Silo

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

This barn and silo sit at the other end of the pasture from the horse stable that was in last Friday's post. It appears smaller in this picture than it really is. Both buildings are grey with red metal roofs and both have the cupolas. They are such a treat to see as you pass by them.

Every time I see a silo I am reminded of the Bible scripture account when Joseph was interpreting those dreams of Pharaoh, the one about the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Pharoah put Joseph in charge of all the land of Egypt and Joseph carried out the dream according to what God has said. He ordered all the food to be stored up for the seven years of plenty so Egypt would have food during the seven years of famine. And all countries had to come to Egypt to buy corn. Eventually Joseph's own brothers came and later his father. That scripture has several lessons on life. Genesis 41

Have a great weekend. Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company!

Au revoir

There's GOLD in these here hills!

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Well, maybe not gold but a silver dollar. I have found some odd and usual things since we have been remodeling the farmhouse--just little trinkets. Reminders that this old house has been around for a long time.

As I was digging around in one of my flowerbeds yesterday, I found lots of things. The usual worms, several rusty square nails, a red house Monopoly game piece, a black checker, several old corroded spark plugs, a link of chain, some spent Winchester rifle shells, lots of broken glass…the list goes on and on. But the best find was this 1976 Bicentennial Eisenhower Ike Dollar Coin. It was beyond recognition hidden beneath its' shell of clay dirt, but I knew immediately that it was a coin. I stopped my digging and headed to the kitchen sink to clean it up a bit.

1976 Bicentennial Eisenhower Ike Dollar Coin

As I said in yesterdays post, "you just never know what each new day will bring to you". Yesterday, it came in the form of an unexpected visitor from nature, today it was in the form of “pay dirt”. I will add the coin to the rest of my collection of found objects. Pretty soon I will have a beautiful shadow box to share, and that’s "a GOOD thing"!

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.
Au revoir,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look Jack. Look. Run Jack. Run.

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

It has rained a lot here in East TN the past few weeks. The pond atop the hill by the farmhouse is full of turtles and an assortment of other water loving creatures—you know, the kind that don’t have legs.

This morning when the DH and I went out on the deck to enjoy a cup of coffee, we noticed that our cat, Jack-E (originally she was Jack and when the Vet informed us he was a she, we added the E to her name and now she is Jack-E…long story from archived post) had her stance on something crawling out from under our deck. As I watched her “charm” (as my mother says) the unknown creature, I just knew it had to be a snake that had crawled out of that pond! I immediately froze and began whispering to the DH, who is literally deaf in one ear and can’t hear out of the other, that I thought Jack-E had found a snake. He must have read my lips (as I sigh in exacerbation) because he got up out of his chair and walked softly across the deck, so as not to spook the unknown creature.

He chuckled out load when he saw that it was nothing more than just this turtle. Jack-E seemed satisfied that it was not anything that the DH needed her help eradicating, so she left in search of better things to investigate. I got up and got the camera and snapped a few shots. It never even blinked an eye. You just never know what each day is going to bring your way!

Today it brought pleasure in the form of an unexpected surprise visit from nature.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In the year 1969

Bonjour from Campagne Maison....

In the year 1969:

In Politics and the Economy

Jan 7: US Congress doubled the President’s salary
Jan 20: Richard Nixon was inaugurated as 37th President of the United States
Mar 5: Gold reached the THEN record high $ 47 ounce in Paris
Mar 10: James Earl Ray pleads guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr and was
Sentenced 99 yrs in prison
April 23: Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for killing Bobby Kennedy
Oct 27: Ralph Nader sets up a consumer organization known as “Nader’s Raiders”
Oct 29: The Supreme Court orders an “at once” ending for school desegregation

In Space

May 18: Apollo 10 was launched
July 20: Apollo 11: 1st Men on Moon: Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin
July 21: Neil Armstrong “Steps on Moon” at 2:56 a.m. GMT

In Sports

Jan 12: Superbowl III- NY Jets beat Baltimore Colts 16-7
Mar 1: NY Yankee’s Mickey Mantle retired
June 6: Joe Namath resigned NFL after Pete Rozelle said he “must sell his stake in a
bar” wonder why he just said he couldn’t wear panty hose?
Aug 5: Pirate Willie Stargell is the 1st to hit a ball out of Dodger Stadium

In Music

Jan 11: BJ Thomas peaked the music charts at # 5 with “Hooked on a Feeling”
Jan 13: The BEATLES released “Yellow Submarine” album
Jan 30: The BEATLES performed their last gig together
Feb 15: THE BEATLES began recording their “Abbey Road” album
Mar 12: 120 Marijuana joints found in Beatle George and Patti Harrison’s home
Mar 12: Beatle Paul McCartney weds Linda Eastman in London (I see a connection
here—what’s NOT to celebrate??)
Mar 20: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar (what?? no marijuana busts?)
Mar 21: John Lennon and wife Yoko stage their 1st “Bed-in” for Peace (what a way to
start a Honeymoon—who needs marijuana??)
May 31: Stevie Wonder released “My Cherie Amore”
Aug 16: Woodstock Festival began in New York (let the party begin!!)
Sept 18: Tiny Tim and Miss Vicky announce their engagement (ready to do more than “Tip-
toe thru the Tulips?)
Sept 29: Jackie DeShannon gets Gold Record for “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” (I
already had--it was born the next day!!) OMG--1969 WAS A LEAP YEAR
Dec 14: The Jackson 5 debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (it was a really big shew)

In Movies and Television

May 25: “Midnight Cowboy” released with an X rating (saw it!!)
June 3: Last episode of “Star Trek” aired on ABC
June 8: Last episode of “Smothers Brothers” aired on CBS
June 8: 21st Emmy Awards: “Get Smart”
June 15: “Hee Haw” premiered on CBS starring Roy Clark and Buck Owens
Sept 23: First broadcast of “Marcus Welby, MD” aired on ABC
Sept 29: “Love American Style” premiered on ABC
Nov 10: “Sesame Street” premiered on PBS


May 2: QE II leaves on her maiden voyage to New York (I wasn’t aboard)
July 25: Ed Kennedy pleads guilty after leaving scene of accident one week AFTER
Chappaquiddick car accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne
Aug 9: Manson family commits Tate-La Bianca murders
Aug 17: Hurricane Camille kills 256 in MS and LA
Sep 2: First automatic Teller Machine in US installed in Rockville Center, NY
Nov 15: “Wendys” opened first hamburger fast food restaurant

But the most important events happened…… At My House

May 23, 1969 Moi….Jacquelin Wells, Graduated Osceola High School …..and, on
Oct 1, 1969 BABY made 3….Sammy W. Wells, II was welcomed into our home

And the rest they say is history……………

Dedicated to the 1969 Graduating class of Osceola High School

Osceola, AR
May 23, 1969 - May 23, 2009

There have been no plans for a 40 year Class Reunion this year, so I will post this picture taken at our 35th Class Reunion in 2004. I do not have permission to post my classmates names but I will tell you that I am the 2nd from the left.

The years have past--too many, too fast--but I still remember all the good times, the great friends, and the wonderful opportunity to have been raised in a small town and attend a small school where everyone knew each other. The 60's always seem to get a bad rap. They were good to me!

Please leave a comment if you visited the farmhouse today. We love having company.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Neck of the Woods: Horsing Around

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

This beautiful horse barn sits across the road from the owners home. I always love driving by and seeing all the horses out in that pasture. The gray colored wood of the barn accented with a red metal roof can be seen for several miles before you actually drive upon it. Talk about the element of "anticipation"! Don't you just love the cupola that sits atop the roof?

I am uncertain as to the age of this barn. It appears to be old but it has definitely been well maintained. From the number of horses roaming the pasture and the massive size of his home, I would say that the owner is "well established" in the community. I always wonder if the horses are for his pleasure or if they are being bred and sold.

I can just imagine myself as one of the children in the home at this horse farm. I would be quite the cowgirl, all dressed up in my finest equestrian attire. Of course, it would have to be ALL pink! A Pink hat, a pink jacket with lots of long pink leather fringe, pink boots, pink chaps, and a pink handkerchief tied around my neck. I would ride my horse in every parade and enter every horse show in the county. My bedroom walls would also be pink and they would be covered with blue ribbons. Every shelf in my room would be filled with trophies attesting to my great skills and riding abilities. My mama and daddy would be so proud of the accomplishments of their spirited little cowgirl! I certainly would be the talk of the town and all the little cowboys would have their eyes on me.

(Confession time--I HATE THAT!! I am afraid of horses--but with my imagination, I CAN do and be anything I want)

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company!

Au revoir,

"Crown Me"

Bonjour from Campagne Maison
I took a little road trip this past weekend and headed south to Cleveland, TN where I managed to do a little shopping.

I found their Hobby Lobby. I probably should have never found it--know what I mean? That is one store that I could browse in all day long. The DH was with me and he hates the store. I don't know if it is actually the store or the fact that he knows that the creative bug starts biting me while I am in there and I always come out with ANOTHER project to work on. Another project for me USUALLY means another project for him. All is fair in love and war....AND in home renovation projects!

As luck would have it, there was a 50% sale on almost everything in the entire store. I've had my eyes on these crowns for awhile, now I can enjoy them all the time.

And, let's not forget Walmart! I am a sucker for toile and ask me if I found any......I've always heard that

"good things come to those that wait".

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse for a visit today. We just love having company!
Au revoir,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The other sow's ear

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

This is the other silk purse--I mean park bench that got new wooden slats. For a bit of the unexpected, I left the cast iron frame painted “purple haze” and gave the wooden slats three coats of “canary yellow”. Quite the contrast for a fun spot to relax under the shade of the walnut tree!

Sitting next to it is another table made from the scraps of the old benches. The DH used HIS creative liberties and designed this one, alternating the red and purple slats. I think he has been watching too many episodes of "The Junk Brothers". But, as Martha would say….”that’s a GOOD thing”!

The neighbor said he couldn’t wait to get home every afternoon just to see what we had done that day. Apparently, everyone is enjoying the transformations that are taking place around here. I can’t help but think that they are enjoying their daily “dose of yellow”, my RX for chasing away the blues.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Marriage: Recycling Style

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

What do you get when you marry the bottom of an old coat rack to the remains of two old wooden park benches? Well…you get a bouncing little chair side table, of course!
*********and I hear they're expecting triplets. Waste not, want not!

This post relates to my 3 rules: RE-purpose, RE-finish, RE-cycle. All it took was a little imagination and a couple hours of "labor". Total cost of this make over project….ZERO dollars.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse for a visit today. We just love having company.

Au revoir,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Making a silk purse out of a sow's ear

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

The Sow's Ear

Who says “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”?

Who says you can’t use the colors of the ocean when decorating a 100 year old country farmhouse in the hills of East TN?

I think a person should decorate their homes—or in this case, their gardens, in what ever makes them happy. Bright cheerful colors make me happy. They appear to be a “light bulb” burning where one does not exist. They seem to holler out and say “look at me”. They make the mundane seem important.

I have two park benches that have been neglected from years of wear and tear and being left outside to weather the elements. Being one that is not afraid to use color and who loves the surprise of the “unexpected” when decorating, I took on yet another project this weekend. This is the first one finished as a storm surge prevented me from continuing my work outside.
I had the DH remove all the old wood from both benches and replace it and the screws with new. I cleaned and painted the cast iron framework and applied a GOOD dose of color and sealer to the wooden slats. The addition of the unexpected stenciled crown turned this “sow’s ear” into a beautiful silk purse. A place fit for a queen to sit!
I feel the need to channel Candace Olsen... “How Divine”…

The Silk Purse

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse for a visit today. We just love having company!

Au revoir,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Neck of the Woods: Outstanding in the Field

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

This old home appears as if it just fell from the heavens smack down in the middle of this pasture. It is a typical four square home but there appears to be an upper loft/living area. It actually looks like the roof was raised and square footage was added at the top of the house. As you can see in the picture, there is a banding of different size boards all around the top. The house is definitely out of proportion, which makes it look even stranger just sitting out in the middle of nowhere.

It has a tin roof and there is no porch or stoop present. Most of the windows are still intact and curtains can still be seen hanging on some of them. There is also some furniture in the home-- kinda like it has been frozen in time, untouched since the previous owners left. Alone, as time passes it by.

In comparison to last Friday’s post, the owner of this home wasn’t as wealthy or either he was just more frugal. Whatever the case, both have a history. These homes provided shelter for the lives of precious people during a time when family, relationships, and making an honest living was all that was important.

The only thing I hate about not knowing the history of this area is that I find all this great stuff to write about but am left with only my imagination to tell its story:

I can imagine myself as the lady of this home, up early every morning making breakfast for my husband before he leaves to labor all day in the fields. I can smell the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee and the ham frying in the skillet on top of the old cast iron wood cook stove. Fresh eggs recently retrieved from the henhouse that sits just outside the back door, are sitting on the table ready to prepare. The homemade biscuits are baking in the oven. My husband is sitting at the table drinking his coffee as I am preparing our meal. The children are still asleep, so this is a bonding time for the two of us. A time for discussing important family issues, a ritual that starts our day every morning. This was a time of very little, but that little was more than enough.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company.

Au revoir,


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Bonjour from Campagne Maison

I was in the middle of mulching the flowerbeds when the postman arrived this afternoon. I knew when she drove up into the driveway that it meant she was delivering something “WONDERFUL”. A big smile came across my face as the anticipation built up inside me. The excitement of that “little kid on Christmas morning” became too much for me to contain, so I screamed “It’s my PAY IT FORWARD gift” and hurried straight to the house to open it. The DH was taking his nap but I woke him up so he could share in the excitement of seeing me open up something WONDERFUL. But first, I had to read the enclosed note out loud as if I were reciting a great work of poetry in a high school literature class.

As I lay aside the note, I slid my hands inside the box to discover something WONDERFUL. A special personalized notebook! And personalized it is too! I hope you can see in the pictures all the details! My name, butterflies galore, flowers, and quotes grace the cover. Inside there is a special zipper pouch chocked full of all kinds of goodies. Let’s see, post-it-notes, organizational dividers, colored highlighters, pencils, paper clips, a ruler. The list goes on and on. I have everything I need to organize and prioritize. No excuses now! I LOVE IT! It is absolutely WONDERFUL.

Hag, you made my day truly WONDERFUL! And NOW, I must fill you in on a little secret about me--I believe in karma, kismet, fate….yes, I do! It wasn’t by chance that you chose to add the word “WONDERFUL” to the front of my personalized notebook. You see, for years longer than I can remember, I have used the word “WONDERFUL” to describe my feelings for things that leave me speechless, that leave me in awe, that leave me without the words to explain how I feel. You can imagine my thoughts when I saw that you included it in your artwork.

SO that is the word I am using today to tell you AND all our blogging friends, that my PAY IT FORWARD gift is simply “WONDERFUL”.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Be sure to pay a visit to and tell Debbie you saw something WONDERFUL at my house.

Au revoir,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Some things to Crow about

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

There’s a lot to crow about at the farmhouse this morning, so “y’all sit down and join me for a spell”.

With the exception of two post caps, the deck is finished! I’ve had my eyes on the copper ones with solar lights and the DH likes them too, so I think it is safe to say that we will be making another trip to Lowe’s pretty soon.

Now, we can start back to work on the front porch. It seems like we are playing musical chairs in our remodeling efforts. We can’t get one project completely finished for having to stop and take care of a problem somewhere else. But, the farmhouse is s-l-o-w-l-y taking shape, one project at a time. It is beginning to look and feel like HOME.

I got the baking “bug” out of my system and a few more flowers planted yesterday. I had a hanging planter that I filled with purple petunias and the deck railing is calling its name! It will look really nice hanging from there. One of my sisters came out to visit my mom and brought some lamb’s ear and a couple of moon flowers to add to my flowerbed.

I haven’t mentioned it before but I’ve got the greatest neighbor! He has taken us under his wing and gone that extra mile to make us feel welcome to the area. He brought us over a huge “mess” of radishes and onions from his garden and asked ME what kind of green beans that I wanted him to plant. He makes a “mean” salsa that he shared with us last year and said he has everything sitting on ready to make it again this year. I have to say, the man knows how to cook and he certainly has made us feel welcome to the neighborhood!

I planted my first garden last year and really enjoyed it, but for some reason I just couldn’t get my mind AND my body in gear this year. I could get one ready for late planting but I am bogged down with the house and don’t need any more projects. As one of my sisters would say, “my mind is willing by my spirit is dead”.

That's about all the catching up I have to do this morning. Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse today. We just love company!

Au revoir,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Une petite aide de mes amis

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

"I get by with a little help from my friends"

......John Lennon

I like to cook but I LOVE to bake and today is cookie baking day at the farmhouse. There is nothing quite like the aroma of homemade cookies baking in the oven! Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter Kisses, and Double Chocolate Chip--some for eating, and some for sharing.

I get by with a little help from my friend, Vince, a.k.a. Mr. “La Vencedora” Natural Vanilla. Vince was a gift from a sweet friend whose parents live in Mexico. She brought him back for me because she knew of my love for baking. She promised me that I was really going to tell the difference in the taste of my baked goods using Mexican vanilla. She was right. Vince has enabled me to stir up quite a few tasty batches of cookies, as well as cakes and candies.

I am now looking at the bottom of the bottle wondering just how I’m going to get by without the help of my friend.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company.

Au revoir

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Feather Crowns

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Do you believe in Old Wives Tales? Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.

This is MY story: The WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING but the TRUTH:

I was 18 years old in the summer of 1969 and pregnant with my first child. He was due to be born on September 22nd. For the last couple months of my pregnancy, my mother insisted that I come to her house every afternoon where we would WALK up and down the road. She believed that walking would help ease my labor pains. I should have walked more, I guess, because it DIDN’T...LOL

It was September 22nd, the day I was supposed to deliver. I was at my mothers house and we were about to start our ritual walk when one of her neighbors telephoned. She was telling my mother that in an old feather pillow that she was making a new bolster for, she had found some “feather crowns”. Now, I do not remember the story behind HER pillow. I think it belonged to her parents—that part I cannot swear to, but it had been in her family for a long time. Apparently the bolster cover had become so dirty that she had to make a new one and when she emptied the feathers out, there were two tiny feather crowns amongst them. She had heard an "old wives tale" that “if someone died on a feather pillow and went to Heaven, there would be a crown of feathers left in the pillow”.

My mother told her that YES; she had heard that story before but had never seen one of the crowns. Now, you don’t know me but I have always been CURIOUS. I have to “investigate and check out things with my OWN eyes” because to me, seeing is believing. Naturally I insisted that we go take a look. We would be passing by her house on our walk anyway.

So, OFF we went to her neighbors house and sure enough, there they were—the two of them—the most amazing, magnificent things that I had ever seen in my lifeTO THIS DAY!! I held them in the palm of my hand and touched them and stared at them and imagined how in the world they could have formed inside that bolster pillow? I had no explanation, whatsoever, as to how it could happen other than to agree with the story/old wives tale/or the however, whatever of the crowns. It was, in MY mind, a “sign”.

My son was born on October 1, 1969, with a little “peach fuzz” on the top of his head and a little hair on the back of his head, BUT, you guessed it!! The hair on the “crown” of his head was long and it swirled around forming a PERFECT HALO. A crown that looked exactly like the feather crowns that I had held in my hands only eight days earlier.

NOW IS THAT NOT one of the most strange/unexplainable things that you have ever heard?

I am SO GLAD that there is someone that has proof of their existence AND that also knows the story associated with them. I would hate to think that someday, someone would find one and not know what they were. I found Vera while I was doing a web search on the feather crowns.

I would like to thank her for allowing me to use her pictures to share my story with you. Please stop by her blog and read her own personal account of the treasures in these pictures that bear witness to the proof that these crowns do exist.

If you stopped by the farmhouse for a visit today, I’d love to hear what you think about this post.

Au revoir,

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Neck of the Woods:Old Homestead

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Here I go confessing again!! Another thing that many of you do not know about me is that I am a lover of all things old. I easily get lost in the era of times gone by, especially when I come upon a gem like this!

One of my favorite things “in the whole wide world” to do is tour old homes and old grave yards. That may sound weird to a lot of you but it is heaven to me.

I can just imagine this house in its “heyday”. Structurally, for its age, it is still in good shape, That is, except for the front porch that spans the entire width of the home. Can’t you just imagine all the footsteps that walked across there?

This home, which is rather spacious for it’s time period, appears to have housed a large family. There are two front entrances and five windows. It is hard to see in the pictures but the pieced in wood around the center window suggests that it was built in at a later date. This would make sense, architecturally, that there was a “dog trot” between the two areas, separating the living quarters from the sleeping quarters. As you can see from the side view there is only one large chimney. It sits to the rear of the home, suggesting that area to be the heart of the home—the kitchen.

The screened in area across the rear back side may have been a sleeping porch. That is only my assumption, because unfortunately, since I am not from this area, I know nothing about the history of this beautiful homestead. It may have just been a nice cool place for the family to eat their meals during the dog days of summer. There is no evidence of any inside plumbing and the remains of an old “outhouse” lie on the ground out back, close to the barn. There is farm equipment in there, and it appears to have been maintained specifically for that purpose and there are cows grazing in the surrounding pasture.

This definitely is a home that houses many memories to someone in the area. It remains standing as a legacy to honor the family that built it, that birth and reared their children in it, and more than likely, that died in it. The only thing that would have made this find even better would have been for me to actually go inside and get a real feel for the home.

History. It makes me wish there really was such a thing as time travel. But, since there is not, I do have my imagination which is actively at work. I see myself as the lady of that home, sitting in my rocking chair on that front porch at the end of a long, weary day. As I rock the worries of the world away, perhaps snapping beans or mending clothing, I watch my children at play in the yard until the fireflies fill the darkening sky in the beautiful Sweetwater Valley here in East Tennessee.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We just love having company.

Au revoir,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grandma's Washing Machine

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Or is that kettle, pot, or tub? Depends on what part of the country you were raised in, I suppose. All I know is that this one belonged to my paternal grandmother. From verbal history I have been told that she used it to boil water to wash clothes in, with the help of a scrub board and lye soap-- that would be homemade lye soap, made in this same kettle.

Grandma would make lye soap when they killed a hog because the “rendering of that fat” was one ingredient necessary for making the soap. She saved bacon grease throughout the year to add to the soap making recipe. That may have been her secret ingredient, or “fragrance”, I don’t know. I’m not sure where she got the lye. I do know that some people made it from the wood ashes cleaned out of their heating and cook stoves. They would filter the ashes with water to get the liquid to mix with the hog fat. It was a “science” of trial and error to get the recipe just right. She cooked that mixture in this pot over an open fire all day and the kids would help stir the pot. After it cooked, I assume she poured it out and let it cool and then cut it into bars. I do not remember hearing anything else about the procedure after the cooking. I do know that some of my older siblings said it was strong enough to “take your skin off”. It must have been if it could take stains out of work clothes.

I love having a piece of MY family history to share with others. Unlike my grandmother, I cannot use the kettle to wash clothes in or make lye soap--THANK GOODNESS- but I do display it proudly. Last year it held California poppies. This year it’s petunias.

If anyone has any more details on the making of lye soap or the use of these old cast iron kettles, I would love to hear about them.

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For Rent

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

O.K. Here’s the story. I know that I tend to put way too much detail in my writing. That comes from my newspaper days of writing society and travel articles in addition to my public relations duties as the Executive Director for my home town’s Main Street program:

The editor always said that I was a “descriptive” writer. I always took it as a compliment, whether it was meant to be or not. Well, if the shoe fits, I’ll wear it. Old habits are hard to break!

But, I will try to cut to the chase. My DH (forever the KID at heart and a lover of God’s creatures both great and small) has a thing for making bird houses. He will pick up a scrap of wood and cut and nail it together and make bird houses. No forethought as to the finished product, he just starts cutting and nailing. Last year for our Family Reunion, he made a custom designed birdhouse for each family that attended. Of course, I was the one that had to paint AND name all of them, but never-the-less, it was his project.

He has several placed at strategic points around the farm and has a standing joke when birds begin to build their nests in one of them. He will tell me that “he has rented” another one of his houses. Today he was all smiles when he told me that one of his renters “had a baby”.

On my post the other day concerning the return of my hummingbirds, my dearest and best childhood friend, Claudia, a.k.a. “BIRDSTOPUSA” and I were discussing birds and I was telling her about the DH’s birdhouses. So, when he came in and told me about having one rented, I told her about it and, of course, she got a big chuckle out of it.

So when he told me today about the baby, I just had to send her a quick IM to tell her. She later telephoned me to ask if I would post about it today. And how can I not fulfill the request of my BFF?

Now, that wasn’t tooooooooooo long, was it?

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse today. We just love having company.

Au revoir,

Grounds for Exfoliation

Bonjour from Campagne Maison


Don’t throw out your morning coffee grounds until you read this!

This post relates to 2 of my 3R rules: RE-purpose and RE-cycle AND my motto: “Cheap is good, free is better”.

I read about this “smart idea” in Woman’s World magazine a few months ago and decided to give it a try. My hands are constantly being exposed to paint, caulk, and various cleaners that leave them so dry they feel like sandpaper. (I know--it’s my fault because I don’t like to work in gloves). Since I am an avid coffee drinker and love to try new things, I had to see firsthand if it worked. Now I’ve made this part of my morning routine because I know it works.

Just scoop up about 2-3 tablespoons of the cooled grounds into your hands and massage them just like you were washing your hands with a bar of soap. Scrub about one to two minutes and then, rinse and dry. You will be amazed at the results! The tannic acid in the coffee instantly exfoliates the dead skin cells and leaves your hands velvety smooth.

Let me know if you try this and what you think of the results.

Please leave a comment if you visited the farmhouse today. We love company!

Au revoir,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Un Début Frais à une Nouvelle Semaine

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

A fresh start to a new week!

Ooh la la....I put a little "make-up" on my blog page this weekend. The hardest part was the decision on which background to choose because The Background Fairy offers so many choices! Thank you so much for your generosity, Karen,

Oh--My--Goodness...WHAT A SURPRISE.... when I visited with the vintage hag last night-- -- YES, I do love the color yellow and I did sip on that cup of hot tea with LEMON. Thanks for the "shout out" and for the all the little known facts about LEMONS.

It has been raining at the farm since early Friday morning, so I am redeeming the time by working on my Family Photo Gallery Wall. It is slowly taking shape because I am trying to find just the "right" photos to display. I'm the proud mama that thinks ALL her children and grand children's pictures are good, so there is an edit issue.

I finished up my front porch painting project last week and now it time for phase two--putting up new support columns and railings. That will be an ALL MONTH--maybe two--project. BUT, the DH has the backyard deck almost finished and progress IS taking place--just slowly. I am so excited to finally see some much needed outside repairs and remodels taking shape. I've been bogged down with so many inside projects that I am ready to get outside!

If you stopped by the farmhouse to visit today, please leave a comment. We love having company.

Au revoir