About me · Family · Holidays · Home

Christmas trees, musicals, and making a community

I’m taking a break from dinner preparations to get this post up.  I’m having a “Transplant to Seattle” Thanksgiving dinner today at my house, and I’m hosting a few of my co-workers and their spouses who also uprooted their lives this year and moved out here to join our team.  Being two thousand miles from home means that, if we let ourselves, we can become very insulated out here.  With no family and no “community” to speak of, it would be very easy to say that we live here, but do we live here?   Continue reading “Christmas trees, musicals, and making a community”

About me · Books · Obsessions · The farmgirl life

Getting to know me – again

So back in 2003, I discovered MaryJanesFarm.  I stumbled upon the magazine at a Walmart in my hometown, bought it, and was hooked.  I still remember flipping through that issue, my heart in my throat over the gorgeous pictures and stories MaryJane shared in her magazine.

May 10, 2004 I joined the message boards on the website and began to talk to a lot of really great women.  Eventually, I got to meet MaryJane Butters herself when she went on a book tour and stopped at Franny’s amazing cabin in the hills of Kentucky.  This picture below, which I took about two years ago, shows how my obsession/collection had grown:

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERABack in 2009, though, I started to pull away from the crafty/organic person that I was and started writing a lot.  And the problem when you write fanfiction is that you get sucked into a fandom and it takes over your whole life, which is what happened to me.  I walked away from the fandom about a year ago but only recently found my way back to MaryJanesFarm.  I’ve still subscribed to the magazine all this time, of course, but I wasn’t the same person anymore.  And frankly, this new me, the “Vintage 2009” version of Rachel – I didn’t like her much.

So now I’m reconnecting with the crafty/organic woman who dreams of owning her own tiny farm.   Now, though, I have visions of my farm being surrounded by the evergreens of the Pacific Northwest because every trip to Seattle just confirms that it feels like home out there.  But yesterday, I logged back into the MaryJanesFarm message boards for the first time in forrrrever.  Imagine my surprise when I clicked on my profile and discovered that I had joined exactly nine years ago, to the day!

This weekend, I’m going through all my craft supplies and fabrics and yarns and threads.  It was so great to open up a tub and see it filled with beautiful prints!

photo (1)And imagine my surprise when I opened up a second tub and found all the folkart dolls I used to make.  How did I forget that I made these?  I used to sell them at craft fairs!  I still have tons of them and I need to do something with them – maybe I’ll give them away?

photoAnyway, I’m having fun reconnecting with the gal I once was.  With some time and effort, I hope to become her again. She wore skirts a lot and made quilts and went to church regularly.  (The only addition is that she now writes regularly, too.  She’s working on a novel, dangit!) She wasn’t a bad person to be.

About me · Obsessions

Sometimes I’m crafty!

Today I was looking for a good hiding place to shove a stack papers I didn’t feel like going through anytime soon and I stumbled upon a small quilt I made a few years ago.  I decided it to add it to my “vintage” dining room since it fits in so well!  So here it is – I hand-pieced and hand-quilted the entire thing back in, um… 2005?  Wow.  That was a long time ago!  I kind of miss quilting.  I should do it again someday!

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About me · Home

A short tour –

So now that my dining room is complete, I thought I’d give a little tour since I have modern mixed with vintage and I really love the way it’s come together.

First, here is the complete dining room from the view of the hallway.  The table is brand new and the oil lamp is only a year old, but the doily it’s sitting on is vintage!

Dining Room


Along the back wall are my antiques and book shelves.  In the corner is a 1941 Air Chief Music Master radio, the Merry Game of Fibber McGee and the Wistful Vista Mystery from 1940, and a small Longaberger basket.



In the middle is my bookshelf of cookbooks and recipe binders.  The pitcher is an antique (unsure of the year), as is the doily.  The trivet was handmade by a friend, and the jar candle only looks old.  I have more Longabergers, one of which is filled with antique cookie cutters.



The final shelf is topped with an RCA Victor radio that is, from what I can tell, from the late 1930s, a 1950s Starline train case that belonged to my great-grandmother (and the inside still smells like the powder she always used), and an antique candle holder.  Underneath all that is a small yo-yo quilt made by me using both modern and vintage fabrics.  And on the shelves is my 1938 Syracuse China in the Millbrook pattern.

IMG_0528So there you have it.  It’s not much, but it’s a growing collection of pieces that have personal meaning, which I cherish!



About me · Holidays

A somewhat disjointed ramble…

Although it’s technically now Christmas Eve, it’s not officially Christmas Eve to me until I go to bed and wake up again.  In my world, it’s still Sunday.  Anyway, my mind is a disjointed jumble of thoughts and I feel like sharing them.

The “War on Christmas” that Fox “News” keeps rambling about (and I only know about it because MSNBC said that Fox was talking about it) is total crap.  I know that the Fox “anchors” want to pretend the whole world is against their righteous crusade (led by their prophet, Karl Rove), but I call bullcrap.  Well, I actually call bullcrap about that network’s entire existence but as for the whole war on Christmas thing – HORSE PUCKEY!  I’ve been told “Merry Christmas” the past three days by no less than 12 people in the service and retail industries.  Not once have I been told “Happy Holidays.”  Suck it, Bill O’Reilly (well, as soon as you remove your lips from Father Karl’s prostate.)

Tattoos don’t hurt as much as I remember.  The one I got on my ankle 14 years ago, which is approximately an inch big, hurt so much that I remember hyperventilating and almost blacking out.  So it was with trepidation that I entered the tattoo shop today.  The problem was that I had been obsessing about getting a tattoo and, because I know me, I knew I wouldn’t rest until I got it over with.  So I entered with my design in hand, didn’t hyperventilate and really only winced a bit while the needle hummed as it chewed through my skin, and left with this:

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The world of Harry Potter now with me forever?  CHECK.  (Now I’m thinking about getting “Nox” on my other wrist.)

After getting things done around the place, I settled in at my dining room table with my old time radio app and listened to Christmas episodes of “Our Miss Brooks” and “The Jack Benny Show” while I finished my yo-yo table cover.  I needed it done for Tuesday because we’re hosting my immediate family here.  So check it out!  Sitting on the trivet, which is sitting on the yo-yos, is a cool candle holder that I got at my favorite museum, Conner Prairie, yesterday.  It’s a replica of an 1858 Mason jar with a wrought iron candle holder hanging inside.  And in it is a beeswax candle that was made at the museum.  I love the way the whole thing turned out!

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Also, I desperately wish I were writing again.  Inspiration just isn’t there.  I’m heading to Seattle for training in mid-January and now it looks like I have another trip scheduled the week following that trip (meaning I fly home on Saturday and back out on Monday) so I’m hoping to get some writing done while I’m away from home.  Truthfully, I’m hoping my second week of training ends up being in Seattle, too, because then I’ll get to spend a weekend in the city we’re hoping to relocate to in about two years.  Hopefully the training invite will show up in my inbox right after Christmas so I can find out where I’m headed for that second week and get my trip booked.  Can’t believe how much travelling I’m getting to do since starting to work for this huge company.

We’re under a Winter Storm Watch for Christmas night and into Wednesday. They’re calling for between 5-9 inches.  While I know that the projections will change between now and then, I also know that, regardless of how much we get, I’m screwed as I head into work on Wednesday.  White-knuckled drive for sixteen miles at 20mph.  Awesome, Mother Nature.  Thanks.

Okay, I’m off to read, I do believe.  I shall leave you with this lovely view of our flickering fake wood stove.

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And Merry Christmas to everyone (except Fox News!)