Relaxing the Mind

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Yesterday was a day I needed a little “me” time and let my mind relax.  So I headed out with our dog and her BFF dog friend from next door for an early evening walk.

I love the woods.  I can walk in our woods every day and wander on to neighboring trails and always find something different or interesting.  It truly does soothe the soul.

Here are some of the interesting finds I happened upon yesterday.

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This is a make shift bridge we have at the edge of our property over the creek.  In a month this bridge will be under water and not usable until next summer as the creek will fill with rain/snow.

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Looking up in the hardwoods you see nothing but nature.  I love how the sky peeks in.

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I cut off the trail and picked through an area I don’t normally walk on a neighbors property and found this make shift hunting stand.

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Another neighbor has a picnic table set up on the brim of the creek on his property.

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And after an hour workout and journey, all was right in the world again :-)

My Home at the age of 12

This is in reply to Writing 101: Size Matters writing challenge.

The home I live in now is the same home I lived in at age 12.  We moved to this home in 1972 when I was 6.  It was a dream home for our family.  It was your typical old farmhouse with land to build your homesteading dream.  The original structure of our home was first listed in the Holland Register in New York in 1838.  This home is located on an island between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY.  Our island is 26 miles around.  The only way on and off are via bridges.

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view of Grand Island

house

Original structure with back addition and front porch addition

All of my memories include this house.  Family, Holidays, traditions, gardening, farm animals, learning to ride a horse, falling off a horse, friends, first boyfriend, first love, miles of trails through the woods, open meadows filled with beautiful flowers, and a small creek running through.  It was/is our own “Little House on the Prairie”.

My parents decided to sell and move to Florida in 1992.  I sold my house to move into this house to fix up to sell.  I met someone (the man of the house now) and we decided to purchase it and raise our family here.  We have updated the house quite a bit starting with the foundation and the additions.

support hole beams

The house was put on support beams and a new foundation was poured to replace the original cellar which was made of dirt.  It now holds our family room, extra bathroom and shower, and storage area.

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Gardens were added, lots were cleared for a bigger lawn, 34 acres purchased and a porch to relax all were added.

The inside has been completely updated with keeping the character and country feel of the home.

bathroom

bathroom

boys

sons wall

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sons ceiling

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tweens room

faux painting

faux paint to cover blemishes

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our house mural on kitchen wall

new windows

new windows

kitchen into livingroom

new kitchen

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kitchen finished

We have added a new barn, lots of animals, a pond and camping area you can see in my post here:  Camp out

This house and land were a dream for my parents.  It was a house and we made it a home.  My father’s ashes are buried on this land.  Every day I wake up and head outside still feeling like that excited 6 year old child moving into a farm house.

My dream is to keep this little country paradise in our family for the next generation and generations to come :-)

 

Sharing the tradition

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These beautiful mums on our kitchen table were a thank you gift from a young friend of mine.  (Lulu’s Musings should be proud of my decorated table inspired by her posts!!)   She had asked me to teach her how to can.  She made apple butter and brought it over to can at our house.

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Canning gets such a bad rap.  I hear all the time about why people don’t can because it’s so much work.  The truth is canning is not the work, it’s preparing what is going into the jars that is SO much work.

When we were finished, which took all of 25 minutes as the apple butter had been prepared ahead of time, she was pleasantly surprised how easy canning truly is.  She is going to make another batch for Christmas gifts and can them on her own.

And another canner is born :-)

Grape Juice

This is the best grape juice you can have.  All natural, naturally sweet and full of the health benefits of purple grapes.

juices

To make our grape juice I use 12 cups of grape juice extracted (see how to do that here.)

12 cups pure grape juice

3 cups water

1 cup sugar (adjust to your taste if your grapes are sweet or tart)  There is no exact measurement as each batch of juice is different depending on the grapes.  I don’t even use sugar half of the time as the grapes are so sweet themselves.

Bring all to a boil and place into prepared jars.  Process for 10 minutes and store in dark cool place after cooled for up to 10 months (it won’t last that long :-) )

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Uh….Oh….

Look what we have here!!

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Meet the newest members to the ranch.  I don’t know what it is when someone says “hey Tina, we are getting a few more chickens, want any?”  Something happens before my brain even thinks and it says yes, yes, you need those chickens.  And this is what you get!!

These cuties are Pablo (the little black one), Sid (the yellow one) and Road Runner (the big one in back).  The kids named them before we even had them out of the box.

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The two little ones are bantam chickens (small chickens in size) and the larger one will be a medium sized hen.  Hopefully they are all egg layers and earn their keep!!

Either way, they are adorable and hopefully our chickens will welcome them shortly and show them the ropes around the ranch!!