Tuesday, February 23, 2021



I was never what you could call
 a Farmer's Daughter. 
 Back in the day 
my dad owned and ran a saw mill.
  My grandfather was closer to a farmer
 than anyone else in the family
 but still the property that
 my sister, brother and I
 spent time on as kids
 was always called "The Ranch".  
There never were large gardens or crops that needed to be tended, 
just an old barn where the
 milk cow and barn cats shared space,
 a chicken coop, a few rabbit hutches, some old knarly fruit trees
 that gave us sweet plums, cherries, apricots and loquats, 
Bachlor Buttons, Sweet Williams and Pinks
 planted by the kitchen door 
for endless bouquets for the tables,
 and a small garden
 that produced everything 
we could ever want 
on our plates.

Although my immediate family 
didn't actually live on the Ranch, 
when we were younger
 our dad built us a house 
about two miles down the way,
 we were always within walking distance.
 As we grew older,
 on any given summer's day,
 we could ride our bikes
 down the country road, 
 through the neighbor's cherry orchard, 
over the bridge, up the hill, past the barn,
 and invariably end up 
with a bowl of strawberries
 and fresh cream 
served by my grandmother 
under the shade of 
the old chestnut tree.

My dad's saw mill 
was on the Ranch property 
and he and my mom planted corn
 in a lower field beside the creek. 
 We had fresh
 corn on the cob, in season,
 for most of our dinners
 and I remember it always being
 very sweet and my folks discussing 
how much water was used 
or how much less would be used
 for next year's crop. 
 Between the rows of corn
 there grew some green plants. 
 My mom would harvest them
 at just the right time and 
they tasted wonderful piled high with 
butter, salt and pepper! 
 She called them Pigweed 
and, in fact, 
they really were just weeds,
 but I have never tasted anything
 so good.

As I started a family of my own,
 I was always interested in decorating. 
 When we first had a home,
 Danish Modern furniture was all the rage.
  A lot of orange, turquoise
 and bright blues and greens were used.
  We had it all. 
 Later on, I started using 
whatever was considered "country".  
We went through two homes 
using that decorating theme 
and started incorporating
 American antiques into the mix.

When we moved to the Cottage,
 I wanted to fulfill her roots 
and brought the Victorian influence
 into my realm, 
selling most of the country items
 that I had left over. 
 Although I had been surrounded by
 the farming community 
while I was growing up, 
I didn't see the potential 
that it could hold for me 
in the aspect of decorating.
  What I saw were 
always clean and neat rooms 
with pretty colorful pieces 
and an abundance of store-bought items
 usually ordered through catalogs such as
 Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Wards,
 or "monkey wards",
 as grandma called them.

 No on-line shopping then,
 just perusing the catalog,
 phoning in (or sending
 in an order form with a check).
 As neither my mom or grandma drove 
and the menfolk were always working, 
they were at the mercy of 
someone with a car
 who could drive them into town 
to pick up their orders,
and they weren't even living through 
a pandemic at the time!

 I didn't pay much attention 
to what is now called
 "Farmhouse" decorating
 until we moved to an area
 that featured HGTV
 and I started blogging. 
 Looking back, 
when we were first renovating the Cottage,
 I wish I would have covered her 
in shiplap and white paint
 with natural and painted wood pieces
 but with very colorful accessories.
  It is too late now
 as that time has come and gone 
and without a "willing" partner
 that will never happen...

...and so,
 I have turned to living
 the farmhouse lifestyle
 in my imagination 
and in my kitchen. 
 Last autumn,
 I read a post
 put out by (Sarah)
 where she decorated
 a beautiful table with 
black and white placemats. 
I apologize,
 but I don't remember 
the name of the company. 
 I just knew that 
they would be perfect 
for my 
kitchen Christmas table. 
 Last month, (Kim)
showed just a sliver of 
the sweetest plates 
on her pretty kitchen table
 and I fell in love. 
 She gladly shared with me
 where she got them 
and I was off 
 to Target.

  Thank you, ladies,
 for your kindness 
and your wonderful taste.
  Had it not been 
for the two of you, 
I probably 
wouldn't have realized
 that these separate objects
 would be a match 
made in heaven...

...these dessert plates
 are just a small portion 
of what this line offers...

...there is service 
for eight available...

...along with 
the teapot, cups 
and other matching pieces.
  I wish I could 
have them all 
and maybe someday I will,
 just not
 all at once.

Now, with these pieces
 in my collection,
 I can imagine all I want to...

As an afterthought: I covered up the red Cardinal and holly center of this Christmas plate from Tuesday Morning with the dessert plate. How cute that edge looks alongside the black and white cow.

 outside my windows,
 I may not see 
endless Green Acres
 but when we 
sit down at the kitchen table 
the memories are
 all right there.

Have a wonderful week...

Stay Smart
Stay Well
Get Your Vaccines
Wear Your Masks.


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  1. I adore this story, Judy. It's fun to hear one's background and interests and the challenges of incorporating them into decorating at times. I love the plates and they're perfect with the placemats! I long for a visit to Target again!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. Aren't those the cutest dishes? It was fun telling the story and I can remember what it felt like pumping those pedals and seeing in my mind's eye everything I talked about. I wish I had pictures from back then. It was a good life for a kid. I want to visit Target, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods so badly but in the last few days I have heard from different ones, including family members, that say they wont wear masks and have no interest in getting vaccinated. If that is the truth, then I don't have a lot of faith that I will be getting close to normal again. I don't think those of us who are listening to science can afford to be around those that don't..Stay well..xxoJudy

  2. Judy!! They look so wonderful!! I adore the way you have them set up in your kitchen. They look amazing and that teapot is just dreamy. I may have to go back and pick one up to go along with my own plates. Thanks so much for showcasing the pretty so well. xxoo

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. I just love those little dishes and the thoughts they conjure up! I wish I could have a bunch more but I have been getting some cute catalogs and so I am torn. My wants really outreach my means!! I am beginning to feel a little like this spot is where I am going to be for a long time to come so pocket book be damned! HaHa! Wish that were so..Stay well..xxoJudy

  3. The plates are super cute and the teapot too. The placemats are so cute. How sweet to read about your growing up near your grandfather's ranch. Sounds like some wonderful memories. Have a wonderful week. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. Aren't those the cutest plates? I just love them and would like a lot more. I've got too many dishes now so I should start using some common sense. I do have to say that I did have a great child hood and the memories are very special..Stay well..xxoJudy

  4. Oh, my.Love your story as well as your sweet cottage. Since we are about the same age---I too, had a few pieces of REAL Danish modern which were eventually passed on to my kids. We had an old stone Victorian in Wisconsing, so I picked up furniture that fit there cheap, because Victorian wasn't in---in the 70's. I love your story of the ranch and how you lived from it. Even in Wisconsin we always had a garden, moving to Chicagoland was a huge-downsize.And then furniture was too big. we still skirt around that kitchen table, wish our room was 2 feet wider. But, I'm like you, I love what I have..and will keep it, in style or not...and I LOVE your new farmhouse dinnerware...adorable1 Hugs, Sandi

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi. I really do love those little dishes and love playing "house" with them. I feel very fortunate that I have wonderful memories of my childhood. I realize that there are a lot that don't. I love my home and these days I feel like I am going to spend alot of time here. I am adoring that Spring is close to hand and so I know my attitude will be more "sunny" and I will be happy staying put..Stay well..xxoJudy

  5. Wow, what a lovely pattern for your cottage! I know you'll enjoy using it all. Enjoyed your memories about 'the ranch'. Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thanks so much, Lorraine. I love those little dishes and we have actually eaten off of them already! I wish I had pics to show of some of my childhood places. I will have to start digging deep and maybe I can find some..Stay well, my friend..xxoJudy

  6. Your home is beautiful as is even if not the farmhouse style! Your dishes have the Farmhouse look. Gosh I remember us calling the store Monkey Wards too. Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. I can just hear my grandmother saying monkey wards. I always thought that was so funny..Stay well..xxoJudy


Your comments are so special to me...Judy