Saturday, June 9, 2018

Happenings at Merry Wind Farm

Life changes and sometimes you have to move on.  For the first time in years, Merry Wind Farm 
is without horses.  Yes, I'm sad, but sometimes things have to change.
They have gone to a good home, the farmer who does my hay.  He has grandchildren that
have more time to play with them.  His farm is only up the road about 5 miles so
I can visit any time that I want.

At this point, my number one priority is to hold on to my farm and hopefully have  more
time to devote to my reproduction sampler business.  And it seems like there should be 
some way to make some money off of the farm.  

I now have two big empty barns.  At least I can use them for RV and boat storage this winter.

This was the horse and hay barn.  

This is the second barn, the one where a wedding was held a couple of years ago.  To turn it into a permanent wedding/special occasion barn would require a lot of work and money.  Between the 
barn and the fence is one of the two pastures.  What to do with them?  Keep them mowed (lots and lots of mowing).  And should I take some fences down, or just the gates?  Keeping fence rows 
trimmed is a lot of work.

The hay fields, after one last cutting of hay the end of May, are now planted in soy beans.  Maybe I should remove this fence too.

Perhaps it is ridiculous to hold onto to 15 acres and this enormous house, but I'm just
not ready to make the change.  I love my historic house, the privacy, the gardens, all the birds and wildlife.  I can sit outside and hear orioles, blue birds, cat birds, tree frogs, and owls and coyotes at 
night.  It is a heavenly place to live, but lots of work.

This is Ginger, a very special little cat.  She is the only one that when strangers come is out and
about begging for attention.  Two weeks ago I got up in the morning and she couldn't walk, she would fall to the right side.  I thought she had a stroke, and was prepared to lose her.
A trip to the vet, and a very abnormal neurological examination.  Blood tests
didn't reveal much of anything, except elevated white blood cells.  I brought home 
antibiotics, and after two days of hiding and $300 of vet bills and some antibiotics,
she went back to normal!  What on earth could have been so wrong that she couldn't walk
and then cured with antibiotics??

In my hoop (and nearly finished) is Miss Mary Ann Bournes from Hands-Across-The-Sea Samplers.  
This beauty was their very first release.  She is stitched on 32 count lambswool linen 
with DMC and a few colors changes to work with the linen.

Also recently finished are The Chase Sampler from Scarlet Letter and Sarah Talbott.  Sarah is on 36 
count Liberty Gatherings Gray from R & R which I had a terrible time trying to see.  
I made so many mistakes that I finally just gave up trying to stay true to the chart.

My next reproduction sampler from Merry Wind Farm will be Leah Gronow 1872, another Welsh folk art sampler.  Leah was born in December 1864 in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales.  She never married and sadly died at age 25 in 1889 never having left Pontypridd parish.  The charting
is nearly complete and hopefully the linen will arrive Tuesday and I can begin
stitching the model.  Welsh samplers appeal to me for two reasons, firstly because my grandmother was Welsh (Evans), she gave her son (my father) the middle name of Evan, and I named my son Evan, and secondly because they are simply stitched on smaller
count linen, quite often using wool thread.

 This is the other Welsh folk art sampler that I have released.
Ann Evans.

Watching and cheering on Justify today made me want to share this photo of Blizzard Babe
racing about 20 years ago.  She was filly of the year in Michigan.  She looks like she's floating!!

Take care,


  1. Melinda! What a brave woman you are. You have the most wonderful place, that obviously has been operated by a myriad of people in the past, and you are doing this on your own. I would love it there too and as long as you can stay, I would! If things change down the road, reassess. I think that is wonderful about your horses, so close, and yet they get the interaction of the young people. They will be glad to see you every time you pop in. Can't wait for your new sampler, I know it will be charming. I'm glad your sweet kitty is okay.
    Take care dear lady!

  2. I'm sorry you gave up your horses, but probably a lot of expense to keep them.
    At least they aren't far away, and you can visit.
    Yes! Definitely rent your barns out for storage.
    Glad Ginger recovered.
    I love Ann Evans!
    Love all of the birds, Unicorns, and especially the trees.
    I watched the rerun of Justify, so great.
    It's a beautiful horse!
    Take care.

  3. How nice that your horses are close and you have visitation!
    Could you keep the house and a little land and sell the acreage for building? Or build a smaller home on it, lease some acreage and sell the house? If a change is needed in the future, you will know the right decision for you.
    The samplers are wonderful!

  4. Oh so sorry to hear you had to sell your horses. I started riding when I learned to walk and spent my days riding ponies and horses on my grandparents farm. I know how hard it is when you have to let them go. My gramma had to do the same thing after grampa died..even the cows. But we still have our memories. So glad Ginger got better. Janice

  5. Just love your blog and so much about you. Happy that
    Ginger recovered to herself. I have delighted in your
    home, particularly at Christmas, (we share so many decorating traditions) and pray you can remain there for as long as your heart dictates... Have a blessed
    Sabbath, Melinda.

  6. Your home is beautiful and I can truly feel your pain. If it were me, I would keep the house at all costs. Could you lease the land to be farmed.That could keep the wonderful rural feel. My FIL many years ago did that. I admire your courage!! So glad kitty is well!

  7. Some farms around here raise pumpkins and have a maze made of corn, or have a country store, or lease farmland to other farmers or pastures to other ranchers or have B&B's. Your farm is lovely!

  8. Oh dear Melinda - it's a huge amount of work and especially hard for one woman but maybe a B&B would be an idea - A way to keep your house and keep it alive with people. Maybe you could employ part time help with the cleaning and laundry when you had guests. Have you thought of offering it for retreats? Rug hookers, stitchers, quilters love their retreats. I just got back from a rug hooking retreat in the mountains and it's held in a private home. She is able to house about 6 girls and the others stay in hotels. Imagine the peace and solitude of coming to your farm for a retreat or class. I have some info about turning your farm into a wedding destination. Those farmhouse weddings are very popular right now. check Tuckers Farmhouse in my area and email me if you want more ideas. The photo of Blizzard was stunning. Did I ever tell you the owners of the company I work for bred and raced Standardbreds. It's a fantastic sport. Glad you pals could go to a great home nearby. Glad Ginger recovered. Frankly Melinda - that's why I don't pets any more - just cant afford them along with other things I need in my life but I'm a city dweller and if I lived in your dream world I know I would have companions. Love your new samplers - hugs Mel

  9. Melinda,
    I'm sure it was very bittersweet saying adios to your beloved horses, but knowing they went to a good home is comforting. You were so good to them for so many years. Just think how much additional stitching time you will now have :)
    Love all your samplers. Your work is breathtaking.
    Happy that Ginger's unexplained malady resolved itself.
    Hugs :)

  10. Sorry to hear you had to take the step of no more horses on your farm. I don't blame you for wanting to stay on your farm. it's so pretty and wonderful. Love your finishes, and the new sampler too. Perhaps one of these days I'll get back to sampler stitching and stitch one of the Evans samplers.

  11. Hi Melinda!!!! Totally understandable you had to relocate your horses.Can you lease your property to a local farmer. That's what we do and have for many years.
    I love our house and property too and wonder what will happen in the future. I love yard and gardens but not sure how long I can keep this much up. Lately I have been thinking condo but my hubby would have a fit. Decision not so hard for me but another story.

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  16. Ginger is very pretty, I'm glad she's better. I wonder if she had an inner ear infection?

    I understand about the missing the horses. When we moved to an acreage, I briefly considered getting one. But - they're social animals and don't like being alone. Also, the expense. And time. Now I know it was the right decision not to get one. Can you rent the pasture out to someone with horses? You'd get a bit of income, and bonus of still having horses around, even if not yours.

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