Friday, April 17, 2009

Mother and Child Spring 2009

Posted by PicasaOur sweet little farm cat Snow suprised us all with three little kittens. A pair of white twins and one little gray kitten. They have taken up residence in my daughter's room, who is away in college. It is the most peaceful room in the house. Here is a glimpse of their lives with their mother. The shot that I was able to capture of Snow and the little white one asleep is my favorite. Enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring 2009 Rose Hill Farm

This winter has been especially long for me; all last summer and well into the fall I planted countless flowering trees and my first azaleas and rhododendrons on the farm. The wait for the blossoms has seemed endless. Finally in the last two weeks things have begun to flower. The photos that I have taken are just a fourth of what is to come.

Step in Mother Nature. Tonight the temperatures in Missouri are expected to plummet to 20 degrees. I spent yesterday afternoon and today running about my lawn and garden like a fool trying to capture photographs of what has blossomed so far.

It is all so beautiful and there is still so much more to come. I pray tonight the prayer of all gardeners..."Please please...let us keep spring in the garden".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pretty Little Things

What is it about those folks from England that delight me so? I discovered the beautiful world of Cath Kidston in 2008. Where had I been living? Under a rock? Somehow they have assembled in their lovely catalog everything my heart desires! Lovely aprons, the sweetest fabric and dishes to die for! They also carry dresses for little girls that would make you weep! Their spring line is out now. Follow the link below to their website. Everything they do makes me smile!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Equine Rescue Rose Hill Farm 2008

During the summer of 2008 we resonded to an e-mail from a friend in crisis. She was losing her farm and had 3 days to find a temporary home for her 11 horses. She was also hoping to find "forever" homes for some of them. After much discussion, we decided we would be able to host three and possibly keep one. We invitied our friend to tour the farm. With only one small pasture fenced, we thought it was all we could offer.

She came the same night and was so desperate. She told us with just some fencing work we would be able to host them all in the bigger pasture. How could we say no?

The day they all arrived was so exciting. Horse after horse unloaded to lush green pasture. Two of the horses had small foals and they were a delight to watch.

We learned a lot during their stay with us. How easy it is to help someone in need. How glad we were to be able to do so. How we could transport water to the larger pasture with a handy tank.
Of all the horses that stayed with us "Dreaming in Black" aka "Chris" found his forever home. He is truely my dream horse: an Appaloosa, black with white spots. Simply magestic.

He now shares the pasture with two equine friends. Dante (the Clydesdale that belongs to my daughter) and Rain (the Paint that belongs to Katie Rose). The three of them have become the best of friends.

There are many books available on Equine Rescue and I think I own them all. If we had more pasture I would very much like this to become a permanent way for us to "give back". There are many older equines that could enjoy their "senior" years with us. Retraining racehorses is another "cause" that I am passionate about. See link below for more information. There is one really informative book about what happens to racehorses when they are not suited for the track. It is After the Finish Line: The Race to End Horse Slaughter in America, by Bill Heller.

Although we aren't ready yet for more of a committment due to lack of space, we hope to buy more pasture next year and add to Rose Hill Farm. If this dream becomes a reality then I hope to always host a few "equines in need".
We have more than enough love for them; we just need more room!

Monday, March 9, 2009

"My Girl"...Katie Rose of Rose Hill Farm

Kathleen Rose is the baby of Rose Hill Farm. The last of our children and an unexpected gift from God. I treasure every moment with her. In a way Rose Hill Farm is my gift to her. A childhood with open spaces to explore, teaming with life and adventures. She recently turned eight-years-old this February, and I wish I could freeze time because it seems to be going by too fast. She thinks of herself as a true-blue farm girl. There is a rock in the small pasture at the top of the hill where we stand together and spread our arms and ask "Who's the queen of this fair farm?" and Katie Rose replys, "It's me! It's me! I'm the Queen of the Farm" This tradition we have, just between us, makes me so happy. These photographs are just a few of the moments that I've captured of her on Rose Hill Farm. I know I'll be able to share many more with you.Posted by Picasa

Country Living Magazine British Edition

Many things inspire me and no magazine does the job like Country Living Magazine UK edition. I first stumbled across the magazine in Borders. I fell in love instantly! Because a subscription from the UK is pricey $$ (last check $70.00 from Amazon) I make the pilgrimage once a month to Borders bookstore to feed my UK addiction. There is something so special about this magazine. It touches my SOUL! The British so love their gardens, small farms, and horses. I feel a close kinship with them. I highly recommend this magazine to everyone who aspires to live in the country. If you have to make that special trip to Borders ...well would that be so hard? lol Books stores themselves are a source of inspiration to the farm girl in all of us.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 8, 2009

People let me tell you about my Best Friend: Jane Austen and Crackerjack.

The first animals that came to live on Rose Hill Farm were donkeys. We knew that we wanted to have sheep and that donkeys were the perfect guardians. On the drive to work I would pass a small farm that had at least 15 different donkeys grazing in the pasture every day. They were adorable; all sizes and colors. I knew that when the time came I would want to get my donkeys from these people. Their driveway sign-post read "Donkey Acres." I couldn't help but think, "Now these people are serious donkey lovers!"

Several times at random I would drive up to their house to introduce myself. My family (in the car with me) thought this was MORTIFYING! "Mom, you can't just drive up there and knock on the door!"...I replied, "Why not?"

The first two times that I tried no one was home but on the 3rd time I met Mr. Johnson. He was very friendly. The donkeys were his wife's domain, he informed me. She had been thinking about reducing their donkey herd and he took my name and number.

Just one week later I received the phone call. We could come at any time and take a look. We would be welcome to any two from the herd.

How fun it was on the drive there. I was smugly satisfied and had to tell my family, "See, if you take a chance you can WIN two wonderful donkeys!"

Jane Austen and Crackerjack stood out from all the rest. Mostly because they moved almost in unison. They were the "best of buddies" Mrs. Johnson told me. They were "inseparable". They were also extremely personable and loved attention. We shook hands and paid in full that day.

They were such a wise choice for our first animals. Donkeys are extremely low maintenance. They just want water, pasture and love. When we come home they "bray" a welcome every time. They love to be scratched and groomed. Their personalities are "silly" and they are quite the comedians in the pasture.

Before they came home I had read many books on Donkeys and one quote really stuck with me..."Donkeys, Love that money can buy!"

So true! Meet Jane Austen and Crackerjack: best friends and first four-legged residents of Rose Hill Farm.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Dead Things and Pot Roast

The Guilty Party

Tonight is my only night at home this week. March is geared up to be a busy month for all of us. I wanted to make a nice dinner for my family and if I'm honest...for me too. I had everything for a wonderful pot-roast. I had dreams of a cool winter night and that great feeling of warm food inside.Yeah right! Mother Nature decided to mess with my karma, and it's almost 60 degrees outside. Whatever Mother Nature! Then come to find out....everyone is busy tonight...and no one will be home. (*&#%@) Michael is at the high-school selling tickets to a sporting event. (A teacher thing) I have a meeting at St. George with Katie Rose at 7 P.M. for First Holy Communion (also mandatory) which I had forgotten about. Goody is busy working on a paper for school....Nice dinner...and NO ONE will be here to eat it. Arrghhhhh! I'm just going to list it asap on Craig's List....LOOK!!! make some quick cash..$$$


Loving Wife and Mother makes HOME COOKED MEAL FOR UNGRATEFUL FAMILY....their loss could be your GAIN! $50.00/obo Will deliver within 1 hour radius. Make offer $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I just let all the dogs in from their gay-evening romp around the farm. I wanted to be sure they were all in the house since everyone was leaving for their evening activities. As I run around trying to find acceptable outfits for everyone, the stress level begins to rise. Fun times on the farm! (Not this farm!) At least the kitchen "smells" good I thought.....until Goody said, "Uhmm mom what's that smell?" I reply, "What smell?".....And then it hits me....IT'S AWFUL! And I notice that Gracie's paws are bloody. No, not from injury, but from some BIRD mauling event that must have recently taken place outside and very recently. She looked proud. And she had bits of feathers on her....and the odor. omg! Katie Rose walked in, "Mom......our house stinks..."...."Oh really?" (my voice dripping with scarcasm and frustration....) "Stinks like what?".....Katie pauses as if to consider...."Mom... it's like DEAD THINGS AND POT ROAST".....Goody and I had to fall out laughing. Next time........I'll just make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and call it a night...!!!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Love at first sight.............Rose Hill Farm"

In the search for Rose Hill Farm....(named in our hearts years before we actually found her) we as a family looked at many farms for sale. Our kids would plead, "We can't LOOK at any more cows!" But we took them with us always. We believed that no decision THIS big could be made by just us. It was a family decision. No farm that we "walked through" was ever quite right for us. And we spent years looking. Too expensive. Too big. Too small. No heating. I could go on forever about what "didn't" work. But this is a story of the Blue Farm House that finally DID work.........
My husband found this one on the internet. He took the kids on a preview "scout" of the location while I was out of town working for a four-day stretch. They peeked in windows and walked the property. There was an apple tree in full bloom. Both kids asked their Dad..."Can we live here?" My husband, in his heart just knew that this was the one and made the appointment as they were driving away. He had to wait four anxiety filled days before I would return home and be able to view the property with the realtor.
I arrived home on a Monday morning after working a four day stretch of 12 hour nights as an RN with an hour and 1/2 drive home. That is some SERIOUS exhaustion! My body was tired but my heart was NOT! I was so ready to see the farm. The kids couldn't say enough good things about it. My husband handed me a cup of coffee and we were in the car and on our way. "Did they really like it?" I asked. "Well, they were able to throw apples at each other for quite a long time so I think they're in!" he replied.
My First Impression......
She was blue! Two story farm house on 10 acres, circular drive, I've always wanted one, pasture for a horse, chicken house with storage, large barn, original wood floors and beautiful wood trim. And my favorite........."Ideal for Restoration."
The house looks much bigger from the outside than it actually is. I remember standing in the kitchen and thinking..."No way"...Our eyes "locked" and I said, "If you promise me we will do an addition I am so in."...We shook hands and closed the deal between us. I promised myself to adjust to living without a dishwasher. There was "none!"
15 minutes later we were in the realtors office signing the papers to purchase our dream. The same day it was SOLD and all those years of waiting were over. Just like that; we were giddy!

I love her. She is 100+ years old. She is blue and that suits her. We all love her. "Rose Hill Farm." Our two-story wood blue farmhouse on 10 acres that took more than 10 years to find, more than 20 actually all together.
We are home..........and our country living has just begun!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The First Year in the Garden (continued....)...

I would like to introduce to you "Lass" our Border Collie. She was a bit "put out" that her photograph was not featured in the above article. That said, "Lass" is usually the first to arrive on the scene when I select a site for a planting. This photograph captures her "ever willing" attitude to all my garden endeavours. She looks at me always as if to say..."We're digging here right?"

The First Year in the Garden

Our first year here on Rose Hill was filled up with many hours of exhausting clean up. We used a total of 3 dumpsters to remove unwanted old furniture, farm machinery parts and other miscellaneous items left on the farm by previous owners. Although hard work it had it's rewards because we were laying claim to our territory and making the farm our own.
Old fence lines and rotted posts were cleared away to make room for trees, shrubs and perennial flowers which we planted in gay abandon.

No outdoor project is completed by oneself. Where ever I am with garden tools in hand you will also find all farm dogs and cats more than willing to help. lol. The above photo captures my frustration and amusement. I no sooner have a hole dug than "someone" wants to test it's size.

I had planned to keep a diary of my progress with meticulous documentation of all varieties of "green-things" planted. What I ended up with was a black garbage full of good items with all those little tags that came with my tree/shrub or flower purchase. I lost track!

We have planted several varieties of apple trees and one pear. At least 4 Kwansan flowering cherry trees. One weeping cherry tree. One yoshino cherry tree. Several dogwoods. Redbuds at least 6 I have planted TWICE because I found to my dismay that deer like them too. My favorites are flowering magnolia trees and I have 3 different varieties that are doing well.

My hats off to Lowes which started my season of spring off in 2008. They were selling azalea bushes for $1.89. I almost "fainted" in the store. There was a huge color and type of azalea to choose from and at last count I planted 36 of them.

I was also fortunate to be able to plant 4 Rhododendrons and 4 Lilac bushes.

I don't know when in our lives we have EVER anticipated a "spring" more than SPRING OF 2009.....I can not WAIT to see how all the trees/shrubs and perennials have wintered and to witness the beauty of their first bloom on Rose Hill Farm.

I forgot to mention that I also tried SEVERAL Cleveland Pear trees thanks to Lowes again and their amazing sales of 2008. I was lucky to find that towards the back of the store they keep several "sale tree" sections that are not well advertised but once I found them I quickly cleaned out the "flowering tree for sale" isle.

When the first blooms appear I will be blogging away to share with you the bounty of Rose Hill Farm and the joy that we experience as we see our dreams come true!