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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1940s stuff · About me · Home · Obsessions

Guess who got another antique radio?

Dear eBay, f*** you.  You’re going to kill me with all your thousands of RCA Victors, Philcos, Wards Airlines, etc.  I should have never gone to that damn site and entered “antique radio” into the search bar.  Since then, I can often be found gazing at my iPhone screen, cursing at my eBay app because some total creep used eSnipe and outbid me at the last second.

Anyway, I managed to win an auction finally (because I play fairly and don’t cheat like a big butthead) and scored myself a 1942 Firestone Air Chief Intercepter.  The seller didn’t know the year, but since he was kind enough to list the model number, I was able to locate it.  It was only $53 with shipping!  When it came, it was in a huge box!  Imagine my surprise to find out that this baby is 19″ long and 12″ tall!!! It’s a monster!

Here it is:

photo (2)And here’s the original ad for it:

7397-9-ad-bigSo I’m up to six radios now!  And I’m totally bidding on another because it’s an addiction!

About me · Home

An all-girls weekend

When their husbands are away, some women let their hair down, go out with friends, and get a little wild.

Me?

I stay in my pajamas all day and make dishes where the main ingredient is cabbage.

I’m a rebel.

Roxie and I have spent our Saturday sleeping on various surfaces – the bed (both of us), the couch (her), the recliner (me).  I’m on call, meaning I’ve had to check my email a dozen times and do some work from home, but other than that, this day has been all mine.  Tim is visiting his family and he may be stuck there for an extra day because we’re supposed to get upwards of 9 inches of snow starting tomorrow morning.

So what shall I do with the rest of my weekend?  Well, I have a new recipe to try and post on The Homefront Kitchen.  I’ll probably do that in a little while.  I’m also in the middle of a rather titillating book, and I’ve been working on my own novel lately (praise God!  Finally!)

I’d like to pretend that I have something exciting to blog about, but I don’t.  I’m just a woman, hanging out with her dog, and about to eat a bowl of cabbage casserole. In other words, I’m livin’ on the edge!  😛

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.

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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.

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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 · Family · Home

Our new table!

I decided yesterday that I hated our dining room table, so we went and got a new one today.

Here’s Tim looking exceptionally excited about having to unload everything and then put it all together. (I felt like a dork driving home with the box tied to the top of my HHR, but the danged thing wouldn’t fit inside!!!!)

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Here it is all assembled:

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It takes up our whole dining room and I love it!

 

About me · Holidays · Home · Reflection

What happened to the magic?

A few weeks ago, I was excited about the upcoming holiday season.  With a new job in a company that is heavily focused on the holidays, I thought this year would be different.  The last few years, I have preferred for December to just skip by and leave me be.  Due to family issues, Christmas wasn’t joyous or even fun; it was simply uncomfortable.  This year, though, I decried my negativity of Christmas pasts and decided to jump in feet first.  I remembered the magic of the holiday season and I wanted it back.  I burned a CD of Bing Crosby Christmas music (because hello?  He OWNS Christmas) and happily tossed it into the player of my car.  I was greatly looking forward to the grand displays of lights that I would easily see since I drive home from work in the dark now.

About five days after my exuberant start to the Christmas season, it started to wane.  I realized that my heart wasn’t in it like I thought it would be.  I wasn’t listening to the Christmas music and paying attention to anything on my drive home besides watching out for drunk drivers.  Tonight, we watched A Christmas Story  (favorite holiday movie ever) and took Roxie for a walk at 2am and I noticed that there weren’t any Christmas lights twinkling in windows or lit trees glowing against the backdrop of gossamer curtains.  And then it made me wonder – where is Christmas this year?

I remember Christmases as a child. From the time I was 8 until age 13, the majority of my holiday seasons were spent inside my parents’ jewelry store.  I remember the Santa’s village that my dad built out of wood and decorated to put in the window.  I remember Mom playing Bing Crosby on the stereo and going to stand out in the street so that I could hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” blaring through the outside speakers as I watched the residents of the town bustle by on the sidewalk.  Mom’s big, gorgeous Christmas tree that stood in one corner of the store, beautifully decorated.  The scent of cinnamon candles.  The sound of the polisher as Dad finished sizing a ring that would end up on some lucky woman’s finger on Christmas morning. The sound of crisp wrapping paper being torn from the roll.  My brother and I watching the little mouse that peeked out of the pockets of the advent calendar that hung in our mom’s office, our eyes heavily focused on the number “24” because we knew that was when the magic really happened.

During that same time, we lived in the country outside a tiny town with nothing but a Revco and a grocery store for shopping.  Anytime we needed anything, we had to head to New Albany or Jeffersonville or even Louisville.  I distinctly remember bundling up in my winter coat and climbing into the backseat our Chevy Celebrity for a trip to Service Merchandise or Target or, if we were really lucky, a trip to the mall to go Christmas shopping.  Afterwards, we would wind our way up Floyds Knobs to look at all the Christmas lights and stare out over the twinkling lights of the Louisville metro area. My teeth would chatter with excitement.

And then, Christmas Eve would come and the jewelry store would close in time for us to pile into the car and head to Corydon, where we would gather with my Dad’s family.  “Santa” would always visit, wearing the same threadbare suit my father had originally purchased in the 1960s.  Every year, it was toted out by an uncle or a cousin and we all got a present from his bag.  Every year, the suit looked a little worse.  The material was starting to unravel, the beard nothing but a few spindly threads of white fuzz.  Then, once we’d had our fill of holiday cheer in the form of my dad’s odd family, we’d climb back into the car and make the hour drive home.  By then, it was late.  My brother and I usually slept on the way and went to bed as soon as we got home, but we rarely slept on Christmas Eve.  We always camped out in my bedroom and would force ourselves to get two or three hours of sleep at most, then wake up at 5am and stare at the clock until 6, which was the designated time that we were allowed to wake up Mom and Dad and then dive into the living room to see what Santa brought us.  There was always evidence of Santa, too.  Half-eaten cookies.  A sooty boot print left in front of the fireplace.

So many memories.  So much magic.  

I started this post wanting to know what happened to all that magic but I think, over the course of writing this, that I found it.  It’s not gone.  I haven’t lost it at all.  It’s simply not the same as it used to be, but it’s there.  And in my memories, I find that the magic is still as strong as ever.