~ June: Junking and Jaunts ~

Hello friends.
Boy, oh boy.. it's another month that has just sped by, and tomorrow July will begin anew.
We've crammed a lot into June.
We've been to yard sales, and garage sales, estate sales.... we've been junking.

The above shelf was a yard sale find. Also the Quaker oats cans.. love them! I gave the shelf a little make over with some paint, and a bit of sanding.

I always find something great when I go junking.
Above junking finds: Shelf {gave it a make over with some black paint} bottles, plant, and the pig with the goose... affectionately referred to as "Petals" the pig, and "Gertie" the goose.
 Delightful mirror. 
We snagged it at a yard sale, only it wasn't actually displayed at the lady's yard sale.
She had it in her house, and they have been renovating their old house.
She asked me if I was interested in a really big mirror. She showed it to me, and the price couldn't be beat. I bought it on the spot.
 It also received a make-over {painted}. There is some hazing, and speckling on the mirror, but I honestly like the aged look of it. 
Isn't the scalloped edge on the mirror sweet?!
I imagine in it's former life, it was part of a mirror and dresser set.
 I painted our mantle white, and had been looking for a large mirror for the mantle.
 This mirror fits the mantle perfectly.
We took a jaunt to Park City.
It's always fun to take a trip to Park City.
We went to lunch and did a bit of shopping. 

 We managed to squeeze in a trip to the zoo in also.
 One of those summer activities that is always a lot of fun.
Lastly, our 'grand~dog' turned one year old.
Her name is Luna, and she loves water! Our oldest son and his wife live by a river, and they take Luna down to the river to swim, fetch and play.
Honestly, I was surprised that they got her to stand still enough to snap this picture!

So, what ever you're doing to soak up summer, I hope you're having fun!

Attitude of gratitude :
~ Feeling grateful for this day! I've been asking in my prayers for our Heavenly Father to help me find ways to serve.
Just this morning, I made a batch of naan, and took some over to my neighbors. It's not a big deal, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to foster goodwill, and show kindness.
Honestly, I am a home~body,and because I'm not out and about, and also because we live in a teeny tiny town, opportunities to serve just don't present themselves every day.
Of course, I always feel blessed to serve my family, but I am looking for service opportunities around me elsewhere as well.
A few days ago, traveling along the highway, we saw 2 elderly men trying to push a pick-up. We stopped gave them some help, and they went on their way. They were so grateful! Just for a teeny bit of help, and they thanked us profusely.
Yes.. I am feeling grateful for this new day, and for each new opportunity to serve.


~ All Around The Cottage , and naan revisited

 All around the cottage.... flowers on the kitchen table....
 sun shining through the windows.
It's a beautiful day here at Mill Hill Meadow.
We had a gorgeous, summer-y weekend, baking and rain showers, and putting in new plants.
 Do any of you long time readers remember my kitchen at the Cottage on Main?
Filled with lots of red, and gingham, and farmhouse touches.
 My kitchen {in any house that we've ever lived in}, is a place I love to spend time in.
 I love to be in my kitchen baking and cooking, with my family gathering.

The first time that I made naan, it was in the kitchen at Cottage on Main.
We love naan!
I've been making batches of naan here in the kitchen at Mill Hill Meadow.
 The recipe I am using now, is different than the recipe that I used at Cottage on Main.
That older recipe used yogurt, and this newer recipe does not.
Here's the new recipe for naan.....

Simple Naan :
1C. warm water
1/4 C. sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 T.  milk
2 t. salt
3 1/2 Cups flour
1 T. dry yeast
* Add ingredients in order listed above to bread making machine. When dough cycle is finished, divide dough into 12 equal balls and roll out into rounds.
Preheat oven to 500* degrees. Place large cookie sheet in oven, as the oven is preheating.
Place naan on preheated cookie sheet, in preheated oven, and bake naan on each side for about 3 minutes or so, or until done.
* Edited : I forgot to mention that when you bake the naan, your oven rack should be placed in the highest position in your oven. I make naan so frequently, that it is just something I do automatically, but if you've never made naan before, you might need to know this :)
I've modified the recipe to be made in my bread machine, but the recipe could also easily be made in a kitchen mixer, or by hand.  It is a really good recipe!
I've also made garlic/rosemary naan simply by adding granulated garlic and rosemary to the flour before adding all the other ingredients.
I've also made Maple Cinnamon naan, by replacing the sugar with 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, and decreasing the milk to 1 T. and adding 1 T. of ground cinnamon to the flour before mixing.
Maple Cinnamon naan is delicious warmed in the microwave then a smear of whipped cream cheese on top.
* Edited.. also, when making Maple ~ Cinnamon naan, cook naan at 475* degrees, instead of *500 degrees, because the maple syrup caramelizes at a lower temperature than sugar. Also keep a close eye on the baking process... it may not take as long as regular naan.

Attitude of gratitude:
~Feeling thankful for a cozy home. Feeling thankful for a home that is filled with family and good conversation, and good food.
~I'm grateful for the rain that we've been receiving. All of our new little shrubs, perennials, and annuals are doing so well this summer, and we are trying to establish new borders along the new fence so the rain is really a blessing.
~I'm SO grateful that our son, Spencer was with me this past week; I had a tire blow out and he was able to change the tire for me. Then, the spare started going flat as well..... it hadn't been used in years and so the bead on the tire wasn't sealed. I was able to get off the highway, and he aired up the spare and we continued home. Two new tires will be put on our Tahoe this week! I feel so blessed that we were safe and sound, and that we didn't wreck.

~ All around the cottage ~

 All around the cottage, it's been blooms, birds and building fences.
All good things ~ all things that make my heart smile.
The hostas are thriving this summer. They were all gifts to me, from a gardening friend in Spring City.
Daisies and yellow buttercup, all abloom.
How I love the cheerful, sunny yellow buttercups.
We've had quite a few visitors to the bird feeder.
That little guy that the arrow is pointing to, we only saw once.  Does anyone know what kind of bird he is? His chest was such a dark rusty color, contrasting with the very blue of his head. I'd love to know what he is called.
Cute robin sitting on the shepherds hook.
My sweet husband just took down the feeder this past weekend. Now that the meadow is green and growing again, it will be good for the birds to forage for bugs. When it turns cold again, we'll put the feeder back out.

Not everyone thinks magpies are cute, but I kind~a do. I don't mind sharing a bit of bird seed with the magpies and the black birds.

 We've had storm, after storm. Rain showers almost daily.
You can see the mountain tops cloaked in a rainy mist.
I really can't explain why Mr. Farmer insists on running the wheel lines 24-7?! {the farm to the East of us}
Around Mill Hill Meadow, we've shut off the sprinkler system. The Lord has provided enough rain to water our lawns and gardens.
One thing that the rain has sort~a helped out with, is the ground has been softened and it makes digging fence posts much easier.
My sweet husband has gotten a big section of the fencing done.
It's turning out awesome, and the fence will be a perfect backdrop for future plant, shrubs, flowers, and herbs. I would like to grow some Virginia creeper along a few sections of fence as well.

 Something the rainy weather didn't help out with; the painting of the garden shed.
However, in between storms, the garden shed finally got done.
It turned out so cute!
Don't you just love that old Maytag?! Yep~~ that's the 1939 beaut. that my sweet husband rescued from the landfill. Poor thing.. it was destined to be smashed and left to rust. 
Happy to have it here at Mill Hill Meadow now!
 I could not love the sweet 1940's style shutters any more!!
My sweet husband built them for the garden shed.
Not a necessary feature, but one I simply adore, and I am so over the moon with how darling they are.
Simply darling.

~ Attitude of gratitude:
~ I am feeling thankful for everyday sweet and tender mercies.
A smile, a kind word, sunshine {when it's not raining} flowers blooming, a sit on the front porch.
Quiet reflective prayer, and thanksgiving for all my blessings.
~Grateful for Mill Hill Meadow.  This month marks 13 months since we moved here.
At the homestead, I was completely over ~whelmed. With all the property and outbuildings, there was never a spare minute. Lists, lists, and more lists, and demands on our time.
Here at Mill Hill Meadow, I am once again enjoying sweet summer time. I'm enjoying reading, and baking, taking long walks daily, crafting, decorating, organizing and keeping home.
Most of all, I am grateful to be happy.
                                ~~ A little summer~time wreath I made for the garden shed.~~


~ April Mash Up.. aka... stuff keeping me busy this spring ~

Now that warmer weather is here, we have been super busy.
You know, that old adage.. "make hay while the sun shines"?
Well.. we've been making hay!
Catching up on our 'to-do' list, and getting projects squared away.
We've thrown in a lot of fun too.
Yard sales, trips, anniversary celebration {the reason we took a trip}.
All, great stuff.
 Snagged the above dishes at a yard sale.
Both sets of dishes for just a few dollars.
Neither set is complete, but that's really ok with me.  I really love the design on the dishes and there are so many great pieces, that it really doesn't matter if the sets are complete.
Both sets of dishes, from what I've researched, are from the 1930's and 1940's.
 I've been busy painting.
Inside and outside {as you will see, later on in the post}
Inside, I re-painted this old buffet table.  Believe it or not, I've had this buffet for about 10-12 years. Found on the side of the road.....literally.
I repainted it with a soft yellow paint, and dry brushed some white glaze over it, and replaced the knobs with giant glass knobs. This buffet has had many a transformation, and has been used as storage in many a room in our house.
I'm digging it in it's current finish, and in it's current location: as a entry way table.
I also snagged the mirror from our youngest son. He had it in a closet and wasn't using it.
So, a coat or two of white chalk paint later, and a marriage to the buffet, and presto- change... a great combination for the entry.
Oh, and I spray painted the buffet lamps a brushed nickel color, and white chalk painted the lamp shades also.
 On one of our yard sale buying jags, I bought the above oak framed artwork for just 25 cents a frame. After scrubbing the frames, and taking out the dated art work, and painting the mat boards with black chalk paint, and the frames with white chalk paint.......
 presto - change... some cute and simple art work.
I hung the daisy-like pictures in our master bedroom.
Love the simple graphic flowers, and the 'shabby chic' frames now.  All for a dollar, and little creativity and elbow grease.
That's what I call a win!
 We've been having a lot of rain storms.
So far this week, it rained on Mon., Tues., and Wednesday.
Finally, the clouds have cleared a bit and today should be a warmer and dryer day.
For all those folks that have had little faith, I say, "Have Faith"!
In this time of drought, the Lord will provide!!
Heavenly Father has blessed us with lots of wonderful rain!

 My sweet husband and I just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary!!
Yippee!! I've been wed to my very best friend for 28 years now!!
We celebrated by getting away on a little anniversary trip.
We went to sunny St. George.
We had so much fun!! We shopped and shopped.
We shopped all the thrift stores, and antique stores, etc.
I found the above treasures at a thrift store, and right away I knew just what I would do with each item.
 Previously, I had a small picture on the right side of my dining room hutch.
I've really been digging French Farmhouse d├ęcor, and wanted to add some copper accents and baskets in our dining area/ kitchen.
After giving the large platter basket a coat of gray paint, then a dry brush coat of white chalk paint, I now have just the look I wanted in that space!
Oh, I just adore that old copper fish.
Those old copper molds were all the rage in the 1970's.  I loved them then, and I love them now..... although I am partial to the fish shaped molds.
And, who doesn't love a great basket?!!
 Ok... so back to the painting.
Remember how I mentioned that I had been painting indoors, and out?
The above picture is of our youngest son's house : Dunravin , it's the name of his house, and it has needed to be painted for a long time.
He has been the owner of Dunravin for about 16 months.
All of the electrical has been replaced, the plumbing, the insulation, inside painting, etc.. etc..
On the outside, we were waiting for good weather this spring to give the house a make-over.
Boy did it ever need it!
I'm not really sure what color it was.  Our son called it baby poo yellow/green.  Yeah.. that's about right.
 Now: Yay!! A fresh coat of paint has done wonders for Dunravin!!
A soft gray color : Gray Mist by Behr. 
The body of the house is done, but we are steadily working on getting the trim done.
Of course on an old house, it's much easier said than done.
Windows have to be caulked, scraped, some wood filler used, and then painted. Trim work is hard work because it is so high off the ground, and there is so much of it.
One of our biggest challenges, has been the weather. We'll have a few hours of sunshine, and then the rain begins.
I have a newer picture than the one above {taken last Sunday}, we have made progress and I'll have to post those pictures one of these next times.
Finally, a rainbow!
After a few days of rain, across the meadow was this beautiful rainbow. It was actually a double rainbow... if you look to the left upper hand corner, you can just see a faint double arch.

Yes.. this is a busy time of year.
All of us are busy, busy. Yard work to do, renovation projects for some of us, etc.
We also have a fence to build here at Mill Hill Meadow this summer.  So, if I am absent for a bit, you'll all know that somewhere I'm working my fingers to the bone ****giggle**.
Miss you all, and I hope to catch up on what you've been up to, very soon.
Smiles, and hugs... ~~~ Kerin

Attitude of gratitude:
~Grateful for my wonderful family! I couldn't get half the stuff done with out all the help that they give me!
~ Feeling grateful for the rain that we've been blessed with! Although, I seriously want to wring the neck of the farmer just East of us. He's had his wheel lines going night and day, even though it's been pouring rain for 3 days. What gives??
~I'm so thankful for good health!! We all caught the cold that is making the rounds, but thankfully, in just a day or two, we all felt great again. We are blessed not to have had the cold hang on, and not to have had that horrible cough that others have had. Whew!
~I'm thankful that the drive-in movie is open again!! We've had a blast on the past few date nights; going to the drive in!! Cup of chili, drive in movie, and my sweetheart = a great beginning to the summer!!


~ Country Attitude~

A nice reminder to pause in our day, and enjoy it!
I don't personally know the family that put this sign up, but I love it!
You can't help but smile when you see it.
Slowly the country is warming up, and greening up.
Farmers have the wheel lines going.....
Fields are greening up and the meadow is coming alive again.
I love this new barn.
It's in a nearby country town, and when I saw the fence, I just had to snap a picture!
The front fence is constructed with poultry fencing... aka.. chicken wire.
The back fence is constructed with recycled tin roofing.
Here in the county, so many times, options are limited.
 We don't have any big box stores in which to buy supplies.
 We have to have a "can-do" attitude and nearly every project that gets done is a DIY project.

Another look at the back fence... tin roofing & simple lumber.
Very creative.
It's a good thing when recycling, and creativity creates such a thing of beauty.

Right now, we are in the process of planning fences for Mill Hill Meadow, and helping our youngest son build fences at his place: Dunravin.
We want to build a fence that has a casual country feel, has personality, and of course with materials that are available to us.
I am inspired when I see fences, like those above.
  They are creative, cost effective, and have such great curb appeal.

The fences at Dunravin will be a mix of posts, and wire panels.
Trees had to be cut down.
Limbs hauled to the landfill.
 Fence post holes dug, and fence posts set.
I did my part by raking up branches, and loading them on the truck and trailer.
I left the heavy lifting to the guys~~cutting up the tree trunks and loading them.

We have always worked together as a family to get projects done.
No matter what the project is, we know that with hard work and team work, we can accomplish great things together.
Putting in fences this summer, is just another one of those projects that we will do as a family.

 "If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting".
Laura I. Wilder

It's been hard work clearing the yard at Dunravin.
Previous owners had tried to train various vines up and over structures and trees with rebar.
You can see what a mess it has been to clear out the debris.  Rebar, old lights, limbs.. etc..
Lots of hard work.
Above is a picture of what remained after we had already hauled off an old shed, and about 3 truck loads of debris. For some reason, the previous owner had built these wood decks all over in the yard.
Of course they were rotten, poorly built, and taking up valuable space.
 The above is a shot of the same space after it was cleared out.
The wire panels will be used for a new fence, much in the same style as the fence that is around the barn {3rd picture from the top}.

Here at Mill Hill Meadow, we want to do a mix of wire panel fencing, and I would love to do a section of fencing with the tin roofing.
Our son has about 20 panels of the corrugated tin roofing at his place that we can recycle for our fence here.
Now, we just need to draw it all out, buy the materials and get to work building the fence.
The fence at Mill Hill Meadow, will be built after the fence at Dunravin is finished.

 Keeping with the "can - do" country attitude, I found a solution to the very small windows on either side of the French doors.
In our kitchen, we have French doors leading out to the patio.
On either side of those French doors, there is a small side window.  That window is only about 8 or 10 inches wide. Too narrow for blinds, and too awkward for drapes.
 ~~The solution, was to make a paste of cornstarch and water, cook it down and apply a section of lace.
I had the lace in my fabric stash, and simply measured and cut a piece to fit. "Painted" on the paste, smoothed out the lace and once everything dried, I have the perfect window covering for an the window.  We have the advantage of light coming through the window, and yet we have privacy.
Just a little country ingenuity!

~~Attitude of gratitude:
~I am so grateful that I was privileged to be raised by loving parents that taught me the value of hard work.
~I am grateful for a husband that is so willing to work with me on my idea, and goals. I absolutely love old stuff... old metal, bottles, furniture, etc..  My sweet husband always jumps right in with me and my ideas. He's not crazy about the galvanized fencing, but is more than willing to build it for me.
That's what I call love.  I am grateful for him.


Spring mash-up

 It's a beautiful day outside.
The sun is shining and the temperature is rising.
With spring here, there is a lot to do.
Gardening, spring cleaning, projects, crafts, holidays, etc..
I've been working on a little bit of everything.
Our youngest son bought me this gorgeous galvanized tray. Isn't it wonderful?!
It's really quite large. I placed it on the table and put some spring-ish items on it for display....
little hen and rooster, angel vine, faux fluffy orange flowers in a large glazed clay pitcher that I bought last weekend for just a dollar!
Yard sales have begun again, and there are all sorts of treasures out there just waiting to be snagged up.

I've been doing a lot of reading, and making a good dent in my personal reading challenge for 2015.
Have you read the book " All the light we cannot see" ?
Such a good book; a real page turner, with an ending that came as a surprise!
I love the following quote by Gladys Taber... sums up books and the love of reading in a great way.

 “And whether rich or poor, well or ill, happy or sad, books can be a refuge, they do not change with changing circumstance, they are the open highway to yesterday, today and tomorrow wherever you will to travel.”
Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Daybook

The mantle has been decorated for spring with a gardening theme.
An absolutely adorable fluffy sunflower yellow wreath is the centerpiece... a sweet friend gifted it to me, and it is even more adorable than a picture can convey.
Our youngest son, Spencer brought me over some of the old junk wood from his place and built me a miniature garden fence.  I really love that little piece!
The seed packets are actually seeds that we will be planting later this spring..... once it warms up some more.

 We've been slowly collecting these little stained glass stars.
I bought four of them when we moved to Mill Hill Meadow, and just last week, we added two larger stars to our collection.

The aqua blue star and the red star are about 8-11 inches in diameter.
I am hanging all of them in the transom window above our entry way.
Lastly, a picture of the library doors, now that they are painted black.
I have never second guessed myself on painting them black.  So much better for our house, than the wood tone natural stain that they were previously.
Maybe it's all the British mysteries I've been watching recently, but I love the rich, dark color of the doors now, and they have so much more character now.....they look older and more substantial. Love the result of a little black paint.
Now they look like library doors.

Hope you are all enjoying this spring.

Attitude of gratitude:
~Feeling grateful for a wonderful family celebration. Celebrating my husbands birthday with all of our children. So happy that they were all able to be here with us!
~I'm grateful for daily devotionals with my sweet husband.
~Feeling happy and grateful to have gotten all the hostas divided and re-planted this past weekend.