Thursday, May 7, 2015

The two hardest things about blogging...

for me, are trying to come up with a clever title that will catch people's eye, and trying to figure out what to blog about...  I am not complaining, quite the opposite, but often life here on the farm is pretty quiet without much happening.   That is rather a good thing, I think, because if something does happen out of the ordinary it is usually something bad, i.e., sick animal, frozen pipes, flooded basement or barn, etc.  I sometimes laughingly tell my son that what he will remember about me is that I cleaned house, stitched, and gardened.  He'll ask me what my plans for the day are, and I'll laugh and say "clean house"!!!

The "exciting" event for this week was having the barn and chicken coop painted!!  Oh, wow!  you say...haha...  So I'll take you on a tour of the gardens.

Newly painted barn,  I love how they trimmed out everything in white.  They did a good job painting, and were very reasonable, but why can't people clean up after themselves?  I had to drag all the empty paint containers out to the recycling...grr.

Newly painted chicken coop on left, this is the back yard, with the "bottom barn" at the bottom of the hill.  It didn't need painting this year.  No chickens in coop, too many local raccoons.

Entrance gate with old original farm bell, and a sign that reads "Please Ring Bell".  Everyone ignores it.

Japanese tree peony bloom.  They really aren't from Japan, but from China.

A few pansies by the entrance.

The afore-mentioned Please Ring Bell sign.  This little dog board was found in the barn and I just painted it to mount how it has weathered.

My beginning on Mary Ann Mitton.  The beautiful 36 count wren linen arrived from Picture This Plus!  A start on the border, lots of yummy pinks, corals, and greens.  Manifesto has once again had to go into retirement until Mary Ann is stitched.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mothers out there!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blogger Sunday ... sort of :)

Ok, give me A for effort, even though I am a day late :)

On to events at Merry Wind Farm this week.  This past weekend was the big Destination Ohio open house weekend for many antique shops, culminating with the Simple Goods show.  I hear it is wonderful, but a mass of humanity, so I have never been, and probably never will.  Friday was a nice day, but Saturday was a total washout.  Instead, I hit the shops in Tipp City and made the short jaunt out to Verona, Ohio to The Little Shop Antiques and Gardens.  Lots of plants and goodies.  Here is part of my haul.  The little lamb on the left, and some new antique books for in a wonderful antique walnut cradle from the Tin Peddler.  I hope to make an antique doll someday from instructions in Early American Life, but until then the books will do.

She has turkeys and chickens too!"

Lots of mowing and gardening work.  We had inches of rain, and everything is just growing like crazy.
This small area is right by the entrance.  The rusty iron  pot will be filled with impatiens in a couple of weeks.

Here is another damaged hooked rug :(  I love my animals but sometimes get so mad at the kitties!  I am tired of them clawing up my rugs, no sooner do I get one repaired and they do another one.  I sometimes threaten them with saving up $1000 and doing a big mass de-clawing!  They aren't afraid :)

And, have I lost my mind?  Speaking of cats, I added another!  Or, rather, Evan did.  Meet Jack.
Here is his story.  A year or so ago, Evan's ex-girlfriend's mother called him to say she had found a cat (grrr).  He ended up coming here up in Evans room VERY temporarily.   In just a few days, she had found a permanent home for him.  Fast forward a year, she calls again, says the cat has had an accident in their rental house and they are going to put him to sleep.  So of course, Evan, cat lover, has to step in and take him back.  He is neutered, all four declawed, and shy and quiet.  So far, no problem with the litter box.  I rather imagine the previous people must have done something like not clean his box or have it behind a shut door.  He is an adult, maybe 5 years or so.

Also I am watching another wild outdoor cat who was skinny and now has a big stomach!  Have already contacted a local no-kill organization when a friend has worked for years, and they will take kittens if there are some.  Good news there.

Still waiting on my linen to arrive so that I can begin stitching my next repro.  Meanwhile I am been working on Manifesto.  The end is near and I will show you pictures next week.

Finally, a word about Outlander.  I recently discovered this as I didn't have Starz before the cable company offered a deal for whole house DVR's with all the movie channels that was cheaper than before with no movie channels.  One of my ancestors was a Scottish warrior named Tormut Rose who was captured by the English during the William Wallace wars.  He was sent to this country as an indentured servant.  I love Scotland, the history, the beauty, the castles... so it goes to say that I would love this program.  I have not read the books, but I think the story is wonderful and the scenery is beautiful, and Jamie is nice eye candy too.  That said, I think they are going too far with the explicit sex.  Maybe I'm just an old fuddy duddy, but I get it that they are madly in love and have a great time in the bedroom, but you don't have to show me everything!  Last week with the violent scene between Jenny and Randall went too far!  And I hear next week is even more shocking!  Come on, leave a little to the imagination.

Have a nice week, Melinda.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's hard to believe that is has been six years today...

...since by dear hubby Don died.  I am not bringing this up for sympathy, but rather to announce that I am finally in a good place about it, and I think Evan is also.  We have finally arrived at the point that we can remember fondly, with laughter instead of sadness.  And rather than today being a unhappy  day, it is a day to treasure memories.

One good memory is of collecting these State quarters together.  We collected all 50 of them, with the last one being in November of 2008, right before we found out the cancer had spread everywhere.  He passed five months later.  Evan and I have started a new collection together...of the National Park Quarters.  I guess they started several years ago, but I just recently learned about them.  I consider myself blessed that I have an almost 25 year old son who wants to collect something with his mother.

                                                                        State quarters

                                                                    National Park Quarters

I also want to thank everyone for all their kind thoughts about Pipsy.  If I did not respond personally to you, I am very sorry, it is because a couple of days later all of my aol email, about 125 strong, simply disappeared.  Big bummer, I had a lot of saved emails, but fortunately nothing truly devastating, unless I just don't know about it yet :)  So if I didn't get back with you, this is why.  I did so appreciate all your messages.

I recently did a bit of antique-ing in town, and came home with this antique/vintage birdhouse.  I wanted to mount it to an old original cement fencepost behind the house.  I took an old coffee can, spray painted it with black rustoleum, screwed it to the bottom on the house and just slid it over the post.  Perfect fit!  Plus, I can put it away in the winter if I want to.

Here are Bella and Oliver just home from the groomer.

I have been working on my next reproduction sampler, Mary Ann Mitton.  The charting is basically completed, I do a lot of tweeking with the colors while I am stitching the model.  I have ordered the linen, and hope it arrives soon as I am anxious to start stitching!

                                                       A bit of the border.

                                                 Stitched during the reign of William IV

And don't forget about my first reproduction sampler, Elena Tratman.  Click on the button above to purchase.

I am finding it difficult to remember to post on my blog.  Life can be so busy, and Facebook becomes an easy way out.  It is blogs that I truly enjoy, they are so much more personal that just a quick one-liner.  I recently read that Marly of Samplers and Santas is going to update her blog once a week, on Sunday.  That sounds like a wonderful idea to me, and I am going to try and stick with it.  I realize that if I don't post, I will have no readers!  And I would hate to lose my readers...


Monday, March 23, 2015

It's over

Sad day here.  My sweet boy Pipsy is gone.  This morning he was eating although I had to hold his feed dish up so he could eat.  Late this afternoon he went down, and the vet and Evan (my son) tried valiantly to get him up again.  Pipsy tried so hard to get up, he just couldn't.  I would have kept trying and using more medications, but then he began to have seizures, two in 5 minutes.  Whether the test ends up being positive for EPM or not, it was something neurological that went to his brain.  I was sitting by  his head and stroking him, so he knew how much he was loved.  I took some of his tail to maybe stitch with, and he will be buried tomorrow here on the farm along with my five other lost babies, Lynn, Shadow, Missy, Valford, and Monarch.
And yes, he was vaccinated against rabies, so that wasn't it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


EPM is Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, a nasty type of parasite that can travel to the brain and central nervous system, rather like the Toxoplasmosis which is the reason doctors advise pregnant women not to clean the litter box.  It is spread by raccoon and possum poo, in the hay barn and in the pastures.  Many horses are exposed, but the immune system often fights is off.  This is what my vet thinks that Pipsy has.  Symptoms are ataxia, he looks like he is drunk.  I saw this once years ago in another horse that I had, he recovered and lived to be a ripe old 45!  There is treatment, unfortunately very expensive.  Bloodwork should be back the middle of the week.  This picture is from last summer.  He is being treated and hopefully will improve...  Melinda

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


After  months and  months of work...first the fun part, the charting and then the stitching of this wonderful sampler, and then the not so fun part...trying to learn how to use a computer for something other than email and shopping, Elena Tratman 1824 is finally making her debut!  The price of the chart is $17.50, with $3.50 US shipping and $6.50 international shipping.  I know international shipping is expensive, but that is the lowest I can go :)

For the time being, Elena is available through my blog.  I hope to also have her available through select shops, but one thing at a time!  Please click on the buy it now option on the left header, and chose either US or international shipping.  Even though the weather here has been so dreadful, I will promise to get them mailed within 2 days to you.  Please share this new release on your blogs and to your friends.  I need all the help I can get to get this new business off the ground.  A special heartfelt thanks goes out to Carmen Sutton, without her help and friendship this never would have come to fruition!  Thank you, dear Carmen!!

Now some details on Elena.  I have chosen to stitch her on 36 count Ale linen from Picture This Plus, using DMC floss.  Elena was from Gloucester, England, and was born in 1814 and died in 1837.  The STITCH COUNT is 230 X 329.  The antique Elena Tratman sampler can also be seen on the left side of my blog.

Thanks so much for your consideration of this sampler reproduction.  Hopefully by the time my next one is available, all this awful snow and ice will have melted.  It is nearly impossible to get through it to go to the barn, and the barn water pipes are still frozen!  I think they will remain frozen until spring, which hopefully will arrive very, very soon.  I'm sure you all are tired of hearing me complain about the weather :(

Thank you kindly for your support!

Hugs to all,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter Weary....

Hello, everyone,
I know that many people are suffering much more than we are here in Ohio this winter.  But I do feel the need to complain a bit...the water is frozen to the barn!  I had the plumber out, to the tune of an expensive bill, he tried to thaw out the pipe with a blow torch for an hour, but still no luck.  I had a head tape on it and a heating pad, but it has frozen somewhere back the line underground.  This means that nothing will improve until the ground thaws out, and who knows when that will be.

Fortunately, I have a man who cleans the stalls for me, and he has to connect three long hoses from the outdoor house spigot, across the garden, the yard, through a hole in the barn siding, down the stairs to the lower barn where the horses are, to fill the heated buckets and the trough.  Very inconvenient, and costly for me!  Here is a picture taken from the house so you can see how far he has to go.  Afterwards, he has to take the hoses down to the basement so that they aren't frozen for next time.

I am going to make a few changes to my blog.  I am no longer selling on Early Work Mercantile, but will be offering a few occasional things on my blog.  The main items will be my new reproduction samplers that I will be offering under the name of Merry Wind Farm.  I have wanted to try this  and chart some of my antiques
for a long time, and hope I am not too old to start a new venture!  These will be available on a side bar, but my blog will remain the same.  It will not become "just" a selling  blog.  My first design is ready to go, I am printing it right now and will debut it either later this week or early next week.  I hope you like it!!

Meanwhile, here is another hooked rug to share with you.  At least the snow is good for one by one all the hooked rugs are getting a good snow cleaning!  This one is designed by Log Cabin Rugs.  It is mostly a "worm" rug, meaning that I used up lots and lots of little scraps of wool left from other projects.  Its kind of hard to see, but there are chickens and roosters in the corners.

With the exception of in and out to the barn many times a day, and bird feeding, horse watering, and snow shoveling, and trying to figure out the business end of publishing a sampler, not too much is new here at the farm.  Stay warm and safe!