2018 a year of promise

As the year begins in the little red farmhouse, it’s always a reminder of things unfinished from 2017.  Last year was a busy year for our family and my thoughts were consumed with decision making, planning, coordinating, and preparing every day life.

Over the past few months I have felt the “winds of change” blowing.  I have no idea what it means, how it’s going to happen, or when it will take place, but I feel it deep inside with an excitement of what 2018 is going to bring!

I look forward to sharing all the blessings this year holds for me and our family/farm.  Here are a few pictures from our Christmas season and the beginning of an exciting year!  Happy New Year to all and many blessings for your best year yet!  Tina


Being raised on a farm

farm kid

I love this picture! It’s not often I take the time to reflect on the life we have chosen to give to our children.  Part of that is because I grew up in this lifestyle.

Being raised on a farm doesn’t come without its sacrifices for our kids.  Your parents can’t take “sick” days from taking care of the livestock.  During the spring months there is not much time for anything other than preparing the seedlings to start, getting the garden beds ready to plant, fertilizing the soil, repairing pasture fencing, and fixing/maintaining the farm equipment and animal housing.  In the summer there is no summer vacation as every day the animals need to be fed and barn chores need to be done.  The animals do not “sleep in” so that means neither do we.  Weeds are a weekly family project in the garden beds, the lawns need frequent cutting, the pastures need to be trimmed down to keep the weeds down. Fall is spent harvesting, preserving, freezing, and selling the extras of things we have grown.

But the sacrifices allow for life lessons preparing these kids for their futures.  They learn responsibility, compassion, empathy, determination and the circle of life very early on.

They learn to respect the earth and animals with a very deep connection.  These things provide them with the reward of food grown from a seed, fresh eggs daily and freedom to enjoy the simple things like riding a horse through the beautiful woods.

It also prepares them for their later teenage years.  Both of these kids have been driving and working farm tractors, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles and a golf cart since they were 3 years old.  They understand the power a machine has and the dangers involved with a careless decision.

They can prepare their own meals, make bread, can vegetables and fruits, and make pies.  In other words, they will be able to feed themselves for the rest of their lives without assistance if need be.

chase peaches

All of this makes the vacations and trips they do get to enjoy even better.

And the time we spend on our boat, camping out in our cabin on the farm, enjoying family time around our nightly bonfires and making lasting memories is where I find my happiness.

And that sums up why I love the above image explaining why being raised a farm kid is the best gift ever!



Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


We have a busy Sunday so I made an early dinner and this Banana Cake for dessert.  This cake is moist and delicious and the homemade frosting is the “icing on the cake”!!

Banana Cake

2 eggs

2/14 cups flour (all purpose)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup mashed bananas

3/4 cup milk mixed with 1 TBSP. lemon juice

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (I used coconut oil)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Grease well a 13×9 cake pan or 2 round pans. Preheat oven to 350

Let eggs sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Add the bananas, milk/lemon juice, oil and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer until combined.

Add eggs and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour into the pan.

Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes (checking after 25 minutes or so for doneness by inserting a tooth pick in the center and if it comes out clean it’s done).

Remove and let cool.

Frost with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting!  This cake deserves the homemade instead of store bought because it’s so good!!

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz brick cream cheese softened

1/2 cup butter

2 TBSP. vanilla extract

5 1/2 – 6 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar until it’s spreadable and smooth.

**This makes a large container of frosting which you can store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.  Or cut the recipe in half for the perfect amount for this cake**


Lazy Pierogi


My Aunt Chere used to make this for family parties and it was always one of my favorites!  It is a creamy buttery delicious side dish or meal!

**There are more pictures on my Facebook page here:  Lazy Pierogi

1 16 oz box rotini pasta cooked
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (or more/less to your taste)
1 medium onion
1 cup mushrooms chopped
1 stick of butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Saute the mushrooms in 2 TBSP butter and set into a large bowl with the cooked pasta.

Using the same pan add the rest of the butter and saute the onions until soft (approximately 4 minutes) and pour over the pasta in the large bowl.

Mix the soup and sauerkraut with the pasta mixture and pour into a 9×13 cake pan.

Bake at 350 approximately 15 minutes until heated through.

**to make this a one pot meal brown some kielbasa in the onion pan and mix into the pasta before warming**



Wrinkles running happily along

In these past few months I have tried to find happy places to escape to.  These woods are always my greatest escape.

Since I was 6, I have walked in these woods.  That’s 44 years (but who’s counting!!)  There were no trails, less neighbors, and tons of wildlife.  Over the years that has slowly changed, but luckily the “4 mile loop” we have created is land locked.

If I am not walking I am 4 wheeling, horseback riding, or snowmobiling!  I have shared these trails with many animals, most of them gone now, through the years.  My first dog, Daisy.  My first horse, Sugar. My next dogs through the years as a child, Princess, Sheba, Jeopardy, Ginger.  Our second horse, Mandy.

My parents liked to take us 4 kids on Sunday walks.  My dad would always have a big walking stick and I remember being scared we would get lost and he would always say not to worry, the dogs know the way home.

These past few months I have been finding myself wanting to escape this crazy world more and more and enjoy what we have without all of the negativity being thrown at us from every angle in the media, on the internet, in the magazines, etc.


Even little Sissy has had enough and wants to join us on a walk!!

Coming back up the trails after a nice long walk, the sun has set and the moon is beginning to peak out, I feel refreshed.  img_8597

The snow is glistening and the world is a perfect place again.


Snow glistens with the moonlight



For my Kids


One thing I have done since my children were born is compile a booklet of quotes that have touched me in my life.  I hope when they are struggling in life or over joyed, they will find inspiration in one of the quotes I have chosen for them and know each one was carefully picked to give them a perspective from their mother to use throughout their lives.

Here are a few of my favorites from the book to date.  This book will always be a work in progress as I come across other quotes that move my soul 🙂

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do





And today I am shuffling off to the doctor with the Boy.  He’s been down and out with a cough since Christmas on and off and then had the flu last weekend.  Yesterday he seemed a bit better and this morning….flu again, cough and sore throat back.

It’s pouring rain here in Buffalo, NY in January.  We need snow and cold temperatures to kill all these germs!!  It’s been a strange weather pattern and I’m ready for my good ole fashioned cold snowy winter!!!