This summer has been filled with so many new and exciting experiences.  Our little flower garden has been a huge success.  I am thrilled beyond belief and have already starting planning the flower gardens for next year.

We have received so many wonderful comments and compliments on the flowers and just as many on the flower cart.  It is the cutest thing I have ever seen, if I do say so myself!  The flower cart was designed and built by my talented husband Murray with the help of our son Ryan.

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For years I have dreamed of having my own little business.  I imagined a small antique shop or a tearoom.  Ideally it would be a combination of the two.  A couple of years ago, my sisters and I put our creative talents to work and made some incredible unique handmade items.  We sold our goods at local craft shows and did quite well.  We were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to rent an area in a lovely shop and were there for about a year before the shop closed.  I am so very grateful for the experience but was extremely disappointed when it all ended.

Earlier this year, I realized that what I was longing for was right here on the farm all along.  (Don’t you love it when the obvious is right under your nose and you wonder why in the world it took you so long to figure it out!!).   And so Murray and I sat down and looked at what we had – a farm – acreage.  We grow corn and soybeans so why not flowers.  I have always loved flowers, especially zinnias.

I spent a lot of time researching small flower farms online and was amazed to discover how many flowers can be grown on 1 – 2 acres.  Most of my inspiration came from two of my favorite bloggers, Andrea at Keeping It Cozy and her mother Dori at The Red Feedsack , who started a flower farm two years ago.

I started out very small with zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds, and wildflowers.  Murray and our son Ryan built a great flower cart (I will do a blog on that very soon).  It has been an incredible experience.  After a very dry spring, which required a lot of watering, and a battle with Japanese beetles, I didn’t think our flowers would make it.  But they did and they are fantastic.

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The land on which my husband Murray and I live has been in the family for over 150 years.  The farm is recognized and registered with the State of Illinois as a Centennial Farm.  In 1850, William Trigger and his wife, Mary Ann Trigger left England and came to the United States, where they settled in Peoria County. In 1857, they made their home on the property on Grange Hall Road.  Their son, Richard N. Trigger was born on the farm on Grange Hall Road on September 26, 1860.  On January 11, 1893, Richard Trigger married Edith Irene Douglass.  On May 27, 1896, their only surviving child, a daughter, Dorothy Viola Trigger was born.

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Spring is my favorite time of the year.  The farm is changing daily with new growth and blooms.  My morning walks are even more enjoyable as I am serenaded by the singing of the many birds as they welcome each new day.  Last week we received some much needed rainfall.  I am anxious for the return of sunshine and warm weather.

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For the love of wood!!!

I am so excited!  The new hardwood floor in the living room is done.  Almost ten years ago when we built the house, we had carpeting in the bedrooms, living room, and dining room.  What was I thinking!!  After about two years of the carpeting in the dining room, we replaced it with hardwood flooring.  As the living room carpet was showing signs of wear, and since we were lucky in that the flooring company was able to get the same hardwood flooring as in the dining room, we went with hardwood.

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I am so happy to report that I returned to work last week and am feeling very good.  In fact, this is the best that I have felt for the past two months!  I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will continue to stay healthy.  Thanks for all of your positive thoughts and prayers.  They certainly do make a difference.

Since Valentines’ Day is right around the corner, I thought I would share with you some of the vintage valentines that belonged to my husband Murray’s grandmother.

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Life is truly filled with twists and turns.  The best laid plans can be changed or altered in an instance.  The only certain thing in life is the uncertainty of life.

My goal for this new year, 2016, was to rework the blog and introduce some exciting plans for this spring and summer.  But my plans have been put on hold for now.  In mid-December I came down with asthmatic bronchitis.  The first round of antibiotics did not do the trick, so right after the start of the new year we tried a second round of a different antibiotic.  Last week, I spent the good part of an early morning in the emergency room.  The lingering asthmatic bronchitis has turned into pneumonia.  Interestingly, I had pneumonia last April.  The first time in my life that I have had pneumonia or bronchitis.  And now I have had it twice in the past 10 months.  So now I am on a third antibiotic and doing breathing treatments.

Life’s twists and turns.  It is so easy to get discouraged when you are dealing with a lingering medical condition.  I choose to focus on all the good things and blessings in my life.  Like being able to work from home and the wonderful people in my office who are covering for me in my absence.  Like my wonderful husband who is always there for me.  Like my caring sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren who are more than willing to help in any way I need.  Like my faithful church family for all their thoughts and prayers and visits.  I may be a bit under the weather, but I am feeling strong and determined from all the support I am receiving.

So my plans are moving forward, just delayed a bit.  Ryan and I will be reworking the blog in February and sharing the story of Idylwood Farm and my hopes and dreams for the future of the farm.  I am also experimenting with taking pictures to see if I can get some better pictures for the blog.  Not sure how that will come out, but I am determined to try!

Life’s twists and turns.  Stay strong, everyone.  Life is good.

Until next time,