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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Down the country Lane





There sits a Country House at the end of a country lane




That changed our lives forever




At the beginning of this lane you will see many newly born lambs.  This one will spend the summer on the big mountain.  He wears red numbers on his back so he won't get lost.







 This is where I stop my bicycle...it is always shady and cool.






Next is the old Allred Farm.







I couldn't resist, the photo was a natural.






Farmer Allred has passed on.







Little Lambs are growing up in other places.






And at the end of the lane is the Crawforth  House. 
See the inset?  That is how I found it. 

In my years of working for my clients in the oil business, I spent many days checking mineral ownership records in county courthouses and I also spent many years traveling Highway 89.  A highway that begins in Canada and goes all the way to the Mexican border. 







The house had been empty for more than fifty years.  There were no doors or windows.  Sheep and livestock, pack rats, badgers and squirrels had taken the place over. Yet I still wanted this beautiful old stone house.  I could see the possibilities.  It had just the right amount of windows and the architecture was classic and clean. 

No matter how I pleaded and how I begged the man would not sell it. 







 So we bought a 100-year-old farmstead in the same town.  It had also been neglected. We spent our weekends in the country restoring the farm and lived in the big city during the week. 






Our property had a beautiful old barn and an acre for a large vegetable and flower garden.






In an empty lot, across the street stood an old log cabin.  I bought it for $500.






The sheep had lived in it.






But I wanted it, so we moved it over on a flatbed.







I wanted it for our guests.





We spent many weekends enjoying the country life. We worked hard and we played hard. 




And then one day, four years later, the Gentleman who owned the beautiful but abandoned old stone house, called to say that he was ready to sell it to me. 



We were still living in the big city during the week and didn't see how we could take on the task of restoring another farmstead.
Instead we told our friends that the house was now available. 

I had offered the Gentleman $20,000 he now only wanted $7,500.  One of our friends from the city decided to take on the formidable task.





Renovation Style Magazine, September 2001

Our friend Scott has completely restored the entire property, the main house, the carriage house and root cellar.
The beautiful old stone house has seen many happy occasions and one thing is for sure, the house found its rightful owner.

And when Scott had finished restoring his farm house, Farmer Allred came visiting, sitting on his tallest mule he took off his hat, placed it over his heart and he said
"I came a'calling" 

Now, that is not the end of the story.





Soon I will tell you the rest of the story.  How my saddle, made by the famous saddle maker, Jim Kelly of Cody Wyoming,  changed our lives once again.

Happy weekend to you my dear
Blogging Friends.

Gina







Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How long has it been since you had an old fashioned Pineapple upside-down cake?



The Pineapple is one of my favorite stand by decorations.






Fruit,  as decoration,  lasts longer than flowers. And they're ready to pick as you pass by. 






This upside-down Pineapple cake is not upside down yet.  It is too hot to turn over...we couldn't wait.






 Now then, it's upside-down and so delicious.
Recipe follows.





After about a week,  in one of my urns, the Pineapple is ready to cut into pieces and  eaten as is or made into my old fashioned Pineapple upside-down cake.


Line baking dish with
1 fresh Pineapple cut up into small pieces
4 Tb unsalted butter, melted
½ cup of brown sugar

Mix together
1¼ cups sifted flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup melted butter
½ cup of fresh orange juice
juice from ½ lemon and
2 Tb grated lemon peel

Mix all ingredients and add one beaten whole egg.
Beat two minutes by hand with wooden spoon.
Pour over Pineapple mixture.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes, turn upside down.






Have a  great week my dear
Blogging Friends.

Gina






Saturday, March 24, 2012

See how Easy




 On the table was a small French Moustiers Plate




My Friend Mark, of All Things Ruffnerian
noticed it right away. 
He wrote "I like the almost calligraphy-like brushwork"

That gave me an idea.
Why not copy the design and this time paint the images onto Dinner sized plates.








First you smooth out the surface of the once-fired clay (bisque) plate with sandpaper.  Then, center on banding wheel and draw a pencil circle (helps center the design).

Transfer design onto plate with Saral copy paper.
Paint design.  Brush on clear glaze.
Pencil lines and red transfer lines will burn off during firing. 






Now ready to go into my Kiln




Plates on several bottom shelves and smaller items on top.
In the corner of my basement the kiln  has almost reached 1800 degrees.  It will shut itself off.






The firing took 8 hours, then cooled for another 10 hours.

The small perforated plates are original, hand painted French Moustiers Plates, the Dinner plates are only one day old and hand painted by me. 







Would you like to learn how?

I will be teaching several 2-day workshops in June, July and August.

No prior experience necessary.


Have a wonderful weekend my dear
Blogging Friends.




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Just over the Fence




She was born just over the fence from my house.

Two days ago she was born.






A registered Miniature Hereford.





Little girls are much more independent than boys. 
She was born in the middle of a snow storm. 






Her mothers milk to drink and new snow to eat, what could be better!





On my walk home this morning, new snow, a new calf and the bluest skies for the first day of Spring.


Have a great week my dear
Blogging Friends





Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sandwich Bag Flower Arrangement





Have you heard of the Sandwich Bag Flower Arrangement?




Of course you haven't.  I made it up.




I needed something low and colorful for my St. Patrick's Dinner.



Your grocery store or garden center always has a few blooming plants in small containers.

Take the plants out of their containers, give them a good drink of water and place one or two plants into each plastic sandwich bags.

Add a little water to your centerpiece container, add the flower sandwich bags. 



Hide plastic bags by filling open areas with trailing greens or left over cut flowers

  This is the one flower arrangement you can plant into your garden. 


Happy St. Patrick's Day my dear
Blogging Friends

Gina






Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to enjoy Hellebore in the house



The beautiful Hellebore (Lenten Rose) is showing up everywhere.



Their exotic looks make them a favorite.




Once they drop their seeds,  place in a little water and let mature.  They will stay like this for months.





In my garden they bloom at the same time as my daffodils






The flower on the right has formed its seed pod.  Now is the time to cut them and they will last for days in water. 





When they are at this earlier stage,  cut a slit with a sharp knife along the entire stem and place all the way up to their heads in water overnight in a dark and cool place.







Prop their heads up a bit so you can see into their beautiful faces.    Insert a 2 to 3 inch long piece of florist wire into the side of the stem and through the head of the flower, make a little hook at the end and pull back until you can't see the wire.








Have you noticed  how beautiful their leaves are?  I use them throughout the year for many flower arrangements. 

Have a great remainder of the week my dear 
Blogging Friends.

Gina   


Today I'm also linking to  http://rosorochris.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mein Temperament Vogel




My Temperament Bird




You will see why he is called Temperament Vogel







No words needed.






Now we're not sure.






My Father was a very fine woodcarver

My Father believed that something simple is just as beautiful as something fine.

He carved the bird for my office so my clients could tell what kind of mood I was in.  I'm now retired but the bird still sits on my chamber door.

...For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
with such a name a "Nevermore"...
Edgar Allan Poe


Gina