Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Country Mile...

Walk a Country Mile
Mildred L. Jarrell

I like to walk a country mile
On a pleasant summer's day,
Enjoying the many sights and sounds
I find along the way.

I hear the song the meadow brook 
Sings to me as I pass by,
And watch the birds so wild and free,
Soar swiftly 'neath an azure sky.

I wander up the hillside trail,
And see the fields below arranged
All crisscrossed lying o'er the earth
So like a patchwork counterpane.

I pass a meadow, green and wide,
Where cattle graze in shaded space,
And ducklings in the summer sun
Pass single file in measured pace.

I like to walk a country mile
And no matter where I roam
My heart is filled with gladness,
For the country is my home. 

This poem is from a 1966 issue of "Ideals" Magazine,
this particular title was called "Rural Ideals".
It's full of beautiful poetry sent in by readers.
One of my favorite things to pick up when I'm antiquing.
They are usually under $2 and full of beautiful poetry.

Remember IDEALS Magazine?

Monday, May 30, 2011

This Flag Whispers...

Soldier boy, the flag flies in your honor today, softly whispering
your name as it sways...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Take a Look Around You and See...

Recipe for happiness:

Look at a slice of your life through the camera lens.

It clarifies for you the beauty you might otherwise overlook.



Find beauty in what's around you...whatever that may be.

The new...

The familiar ...

The loved.

The ordinary.

But yet extraordinary...because we can appreciate it for the fact it's well-worn; its service and endurance in season after season.

What you may take for granted one day, 

Could easily be gone the next...

We've had so many reminders of that fact lately.


Look at how fortunate you really are.

So many are hurting, left with absolutely NOTHING due to freak tornadoes all over this country, flooding in so many places, weather that is really of an apocalyptic nature...

Do what ever you can to help.  

(I heard that FEMA is broke, and yet our leader is giving borrowed billions to North African nations. 
My fellow Americans....that means that it's up to us.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring Green

Oh, what beauty is in this old, old, old tree that sits beside and towers above our house with its green canopy.

She's at least 200 years old -- so we're told by the tree guy.  And she has her battle scars, all of us do as we age, hers are showing more and more these days.  

She's shaggy, messy, and more than once she's withstood lightning's direct hits.

Boom!  Crack!  Her bark powerfully blasted away from the exit wounds.

And yet, she still stands, bearing leaves and seeds, and giving us a beautiful umbrella which to sit under and enjoy the cool shade; home to many birds that sing from her protective branches each morning; playing along with her own sweet harmony with her gently rustling leaves.

Time grows in green patches on her trunk, yet she is still full of life.

Every storm that comes along has me fearing that it might be the end of her.

And yet still she stands, giving us the best she has to offer.  I want to appreciate this gift she's giving and remember her value.

So thankful the Creator made her to be what she is.

As are we.  

Shaggy though we might be, 
there is beauty He can still see.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reclaimed Barn Wood

Old hand-hewn beams.

We saved some of the old wood from our old barns that once sat on the property--but were beyond repair.

The old barn when it was standing.  I miss it!  It just got too dangerous.

We didn't know why, but it didn't seem right to throw good boards or beams into a fire if they were intact.  

When we were doing the "de-constructing", it sure seemed easier to burn it all than to sort it and make a pile. 

We saved interior and exterior siding, and some of the hand-hewn squared barn beams with the hand-hewn notches and pegs.

The other day, my husband got some of the exterior siding boards that were once the barn siding out of the pile they've been sitting in for years, and played around with his brand-new planer and the wood came out as smooth as a baby's butt, however...

The smoothed wood still shows the worm holes, knot holes, and nail holes from the old square topped nails that were removed.  That is the part I absolutely LOVE.

The above photo shows the old board on the bottom, the top half shows one that was put through the planer.

It's so exciting, I'm dreaming up projects to make out of them.  We have probably fifty. They look to be about a foot wide and twelve feet long.  Some of the boards are from interior stalls from the barn, and show places that the animals had rubbed or chewed, smoothed by years of wear, I especially love those pieces.  

It's amazing to think these boards were cut and sawed into usable lumber in the late 1800's, stayed on the barn and served their purpose, and have sat patiently waiting.  Now we are reworking them in this century to be something new, and hopefully have something heirloom quality, to last into yet another century. 

I think it would be fitting to design a farmhouse table out of at least some of them.  We are going to simply finish, and add no stain because we love how the wood looks when it comes out of the planer.

Have you ever made anything or seen nice pieces made out of old barn siding?  

Look at what I just found in this month's issue of CL magazine!  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spring's Golden Glow





Most of the garden is in.
We cannot keep up with the lawn.
The trees are bloomed out.
The skies are blue more days than not.
School is almost over.
My youngest son is almost done with driver's education.
(And I am a wreck!)
And he's also being inducted into the National Honor Society tonight.

Good times.

One more thing.

My new grand baby is going to be ...


Levi is going to have a sister this fall!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Small Town Charm: Holland V--Not Far to Lake Michigan

BIG RED;  Lighthouse at the entrance of Holland Harbor which leads into Lake Macatawa.

While we were in Holland, we decided to make a quick trip to the shore of Lake Michigan.  It was warm and sunny in Holland and we thought we'd put our toes in the water and stick around to watch the sunset--sprawled comfortably on a well-worn quilt I keep in the trunk just for such occasions...

Well, we were wrong, it wasn't nice out by the water, the wind was blowing at a good blast, and we didn't stick our toes in, and we ended up shivering and wrapping up in the quilts instead!  

But, we still were glad we stopped in; the scenery is beautiful, as usually is the case everywhere the shoreline wraps its arms around the whole state of Michigan.

Even though it was cold, we walked the break wall out into the water and watched the waves crash on the huge rocks placed there.

And we watched crazy kids in the forty degree weather (and forty mile an hour winds) out on the water having fun on the waves...incredulous that they weren't turning BLUE from the cold!  

We also talked to some kids that had dove in and swam....OH MY GOSH.  Well, needless to say they WERE blue!

We watched workers on a tug in the channel....if the machine wasn't so noisy, I might have asked them what they were doing?  

And of course, we left with our feet caked with sand, (that felt so good, felt like summer!) and with our hair standing straight up because of the fierce winds, turned the heat on full blast in the car,  and were quite ready for something warm to drink, we promptly found a place to order some HOT CHOCOLATE!  

I think I'll come back when it's warmer...and stay a while and catch the sunset then...

Meanwhile, I will close this post out by showcasing some of the talent of my niece -- she's quite good with her camera, and I am so proud of her!  Take a look at some of the absolutely amazing shots she got while we were freezing!

Great job, Katie!  (She has her Aunt Joni beat by a country mile!)

If you ever get the chance to go, Holland has a lot more to offer than just tulips, and a State Park with beautiful views is just one of the lovely things about her.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Small Town Charm: Holland IV --A Sweet Shoppe!

This is more on Holland.  I hope you can stand it!  I only took 476 pictures that day, and I have spared you about 422 of those.  And if I could stand another case of numb-butt from editing them, you'd probably be tortured with more pictures of Holland, Michigan than you'd ever care to see.

This is another post full of color; Holland had it in spades.  So many store fronts with old-fashioned window displays:  something that I think is becoming a lost art, something gone the way of hats in church and overcoats on men.

I still love those things when I see them and I still like an old-style storefront, a great display just beckons me, invites me to take a peek, and so I do.  The little surprises in life are the best ones!

After we watched the "klompen" and the "fashion show" downtown, we turned and found a small deli in which to have some lunch--we were famished, had done lots of walking.  We enjoyed ourselves at a fine little deli...

And when we left the deli, just a few doors down, we saw this sweet little shoppe:  The Holland Peanut Store.  I could tell from the look of the storefront that this just might be a window to take a closer look.

The name could fool you, but if you looked in the front window, this is what you'd see.  And you'd know that there was more than just peanuts in this store!

What a fun place!

In addition to having small souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Holland, there was every kind of candy in this store that you could imagine, all from your childhood until now!

I have to say, there wasn't one unhappy face in the place!

Who could be frowning in a store like this?

The proprietor told me that she loves the fact that everyone gets a little nostalgic when they walk into her store, and that she enjoys helping people with their selections.  She was all smiles, too!

For a little bit, when we first walked in, I just stopped and looked all around me, candy from the floor to the ceiling, and in every color and shape.

There was a full line of Brach's....two huge floor displays of every kind of Brach's you could remember, and the little white paper bags to fill with your selections.

I doubt if anyone could walk out of a place like this without at least a small bag of happiness to carry along with them!

Beautiful vintage-style candy showcases!

See the old tile floor?

Jawbreakers, anyone?

I grabbed a handful of these fruit slices, I LOVE them and haven't seen them in a long, long time!  The grapefruit were the best ones!

I didn't see Slo-Pokes on a stick, but I did buy a handful of these small ones.

Taffy, taffy, taffy!

I tried a new taffy flavor: caramel apple, and I loved it!

Taffy isn't something I am normally crazy about.

So, do YOU have a favorite old-fashioned candy?

If you're ever in Holland, stop by Fabiano's Holland Peanut Store!  Have a wonderful MONDAY!