Giving Thanks

Hello, friends.  It is hard to believe that we will be celebrating Christmas in two days.  Happy winter!  Where did the fall go?  And for that matter, what happened to summer and spring?  Time certainly seems to be passing by quickly.  I hope you had a joyful Thanksgiving and have everything in order for Christmas!!

My women’s study group at church has been reading and discussing a very thought-provoking and intriguing book, One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  This book has had an astounding impact on me.  I am intentionally making an effort to slow down, look around, see the beauty and give thanks for the many gifts that God has provided me.

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A FACELIFT FOR THE SHED

One of our big improvement projects on the farm this summer was giving our shed a facelift.  As we continue to transition from being a corn/soybean farm to a flower farm, we are looking for other ways to use our shed.  Since we don’t have the large farm equipment any longer, we now have a lot of space to work with.  The first thing we did this summer was to give the shed a much needed paint job.

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THE FLOWER CART

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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A FLOWER FARM

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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IDYLWOOD FARM

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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SPRINGTIME

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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FEELING BETTER AND VINTAGE VALENTINES

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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