Category Archives: Our Home

Messy room cleanup

It took most of the day but my dressing room/craft storage room/library went from this:


Clutter and mess

Clutter and mess

I can't find the floor.

I can’t find the floor.

Too much stuff!  I can't even get to the spinning wheel.

Too much stuff! I can’t even get to the spinning wheel.

Boxes, boxes, trash!

Boxes, boxes, trash!




Six hours later and this woman is very happy and gratified by the new look and clean up!!  I didn’t even mess up another room doing it!  Take a look and see if you can see a difference:

Easy entry in and out of the room.

Easy entry in and out of the room.

Wide open floor!

Wide open floor!


Bookcase4 of decorating, crafts, how-to's, home repair, gardening, crocheting, sewing, everything in order.

Bookcase4 of decorating, crafts, how-to’s, home repair, gardening, crocheting, sewing, everything in order.


Organized bookshelves and library.

Organized bookshelves and library.


Clothes are mashed together, more room to sort day clothes from work clothes.

Clothes are mashed together, more room to sort day clothes from work clothes.


I am just so thankful that it was a cool day or I would have fizzled into a rag mop!  I can hear my daughter now,  “How long will it stay that way!!”  She knows me so well and knows that if I get in a hurry, something or all will be in disarray all too soon.  My job now is to slow down and take notice.

I only have one major cleanup left on the second floor but will need some help moving some excess furniture out of the house into one of the storage buildings and do a major clean out of all the linens in my home.  We are storing the linens from three households since our move several years ago and it’s time to pass it on to Goodwill so someone will get some use out of it without costing them an arm & two legs!!


Avoid this washer


New Samsung Washer

New Samsung Washer

New Samsung Washer 2013 (8)I finally wore out my Maytag washer a couple months ago and we went in search of a new one.  I really liked the old one but after 8-10 loads of laundry every Saturday it finally died.   We went to Lowes one night and looked through them and there were several on sale which we thought was great.

After about 45 minutes of reading, comparing and talking we decided on this Samsung 440.  It had a huge washing bin, several settings, energy efficient and more.  It DID NOT have an agitator.  Here’s what she looks like:

New Samsung Washer 2013 (4)


10 Year Warranty

huge washing bin


New Samsung Washer 2013 (9)


Separate dispenser for bleachNew Samsung Washer 2013 (7)

New Samsung Washer 2013 (5)

New Samsung Washer 2013 (3)

New Samsung Washer 2013 (2)

New Samsung Washer 2013 (1)


No missing the chance to add fabric soften, just fill the little drawer with two sections.  One section for softener and another for detergent.  No overloading with soap.


WELL. let me tell you, I hate this thing!!!!  Farmers get dirty and when you have to wash their clothes two or three times to get them clean you’re wasting time, money, and precious water.  There’s nothing in there to move the clothes around and get the dirt out.  The water shoots in from the side but that does NOT get your clothes clean.  The fabric softener lands on what’s under the little drawer and I have had to rewash my dress clothes so many times because the softener stains the clothes.  Once they’re dry it’s almost impossible to get the softener out of it.

Please heed my warning, DON”T buy this machine.  We were told by the salesman that the agitator is a thing of the past, well guess who’s checking CraigsList to find an old washer and possibly a wringer washer!!


Talking with Jane and posting

I’ve just replied to a comment from one of my favorite bloggers, Jane Fritz.  I’m having a time finding time to post on my blog so I usually post two or three things in one day to make up for lost time.  I’m hoping  you are enjoying the posts and I’m trying to figure out when I can best put more posts on the blog.

My weekdays start up at six everyday, get ready for work and wake myself up good before getting behind the wheel of my car. I work from 8-4  each day about 35 miles from home and home by five.

We eat supper which my wonderful hubby has ready when I walk in the door and then we head outdoors for chores and work or enjoy the farm until dark which is around nine and then I’m in the shower and off to sleepyland!!

Weekends are my best posting time and I don’t get much of that. I am trying though. I hope you all have a marvelous weekend. The rain has stopped here for the moment and sun is bearing down. Too wet to do much outdoors so I’m starting my spring cleaning.

I’ll leave you with a view from my front porch and a some of the wildlife we see from there!!



home 052013 036



Home 052012 011

Wildlife and cattle (8)









I just want to wish everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving!  My home computer is still down and the reason I haven’t posted or responded to your posts.  Hopefully back up soon and playing catch up!!

I am thankful for my beautiful family, my friends, my job, the bounty God has provided us and I hope you all are as equally blessed as I am!!

Until next time!!

Thanksgiving dinner 2011-after everyone is finished eating.

Thanksgiving dinner 2011-after everyone is finished eating.



I’ve got a hobby that started just a few years ago in earnest called quilting.  My grandmother Bradley used to quilt for the whole family.  She saved every scrap of fabric leftover from making grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s clothes.  I think I got my talent from her as none of the other family on my mom’s side quilted that I know of and my Mom had to many kids (7) to think about sewing for a hobby; it was only done by necessity.  I love the peace it brings me and the satisfaction of piecing together bits of fabric and making something beautiful.  Here are a few that I have pictures of that I’ve made.


9 Patch w red backing quilt 001


Nine Patch




Blue & White Shock

Hunting Season 2011 072


Splash of color for hubby!

Joels Christmas quilt 2011 (3) Joels Christmas quilt 2011 (4)


Country Hues for my son-in-law.

margarets fall 2010 quilt 001


Margaret’s Quilt

rita's first quilt


My first work!!



Guest room lavender!



Victoria’s Cats

I’ve made a quilt for my son but don’t have pictures of it.  I made my first quilt with blocks of candlewicking of mauve and pink  butterflies and used unbleached muslin as the background and backed it with mauve flannel.  It was so warm but I can’t find it.    I’ve made two baby quilts and here they are.

Melisa Kele's baby quilt

Melisa Kele’s baby quilt

Ripepi baby quilt

Ripepi baby quilt

Now, I’m inspired to get busy and quilt some more.  The hardest part about making a quilt for me is deciding on the pattern and then selecting the colors to make it pop.  Hopefully 2013 will  be filled with quilting masterpieces.

Let’s walk through my kitchen before I make bread today!

I love my country kitchen & pantry and everyone thought I was crazy when I decided to paint the trim candy apple red.  I love it and can’t spend enough time in it.  You’ll notice there are NO kitchen wall cabinets but plenty of antique cupboards and shelving around the top of the walls in both the kitchen and pantry.  Let’s get going so I can start that bread, okay!

This looking from the kitchen into the living room. We have a very long kitchen. The floors were redone with laminate about five years ago.

I love the old porcelain sink and it overlooks the enclosed back porch through the original windows. I love the gingham curtains I made for the windows.

Now you can see some of the sink storage and the old portable dishwasher at the end of the sink serves as storage inside and makes a perfect microwave cart.

Hoosier for dish storage, making bread, cookbooks on top and beautiful shelving above that my husband made from lumber sawed on the farm.

Our kitchen is used for cooking and gathering with the family!!

Our kitchen table was made by my husband’s uncle, Holland Caldwell. It comfortably seats eight but ten can be squeezed in when needed.

Cupboard used for canned goods and other food. This cupboard matches the piesafe and both have tin-punched fronts. They’re beautiful and weren’t used until we moved into the house. They were hidden in the pantry.

This the entry to the pantry right off the kitchen. When we moved in the house 10+ years ago, every room was the color of pistachio pudding and though I’ve painted every room in the house I still find little spots of green I missed. It’s now white with red trim and red shelving.

I found it more space saving to hang most of the cookware on the walls and not stacked under or on shelves. I use all of the iron skillets and pots.

The other wall of cookware in our pantry.

My refrigerator is in the pantry too.

I have two dish cupboards running over with dishes in the pantry. The stops are used to store large post with lids that can’t be hung. Thank goodness there’s storage in the bottom of the stove for my baking pans.

This cutting board was hand made for me by my Dad’s best friend, Bobby Rose. It was made from some pieces of scraps of wood/lumber from our farm. I’m very proud of it and only use it for a show piece. I will hand it down to my granddaughter.

I started collecting rolling pins a few years back and love the way they “country” my kitchen!! They’re not just for show though. They’re used daily for biscuits, pie crust, crushing nuts and whatever else I need them for.

Well, enough of the kitchen/pantry tour.  Time to get some bread made and the house tidy.  Talk soon!!!

Pride in your work

What ever happened to taking pride in doing something and doing it right?   Has the almighty dollar  turned all contractors into crooks?  Does quality and workmanship count anymore?  I previously posted about the problems our daughter has had with EVERYONE that has done work on her house.  Everyone wants to do their work the fastest way possible for the most money regardless of how the job was done.  My point??

Two years ago we put a new metal roof on our house not because it leaked but because it was over 50 years old ahd had been painted so much that it flaked off badly and looked horrible.  BUT it didn’t leak!!!  Well, after one year the new roof has leaked really bad on the enclosed porch on the east side of the house.  Hubby figured it was useless to call the contractor that put the roof on and we’re not even sure he is still in business.  We had one contractor on the roof twice and today had another that found the problem on the main roof of the house.  The first one found several problems and fixed them but the worst leak that poured like a sieve was directly over the main breaker box in the house.  My husband had put caulk all over the addition and overhang to the addition but it didn’t stop the rain.  Today he ran into the friend of a friend that is a contractor and he was glad to come up and take a look.  Once he got here he went to the main roof that over top the addition roof.  He found the problem within minutes and has completed the task and now we wait!


You know, when you pay thousands of dollars for a job you expect it to be right!  You expect to get quality and pride in something well done!  OR at LEAST WE DO!!!  If it doesn’t happen this time around you’ll probably see another post about our roof.  If it’s fixed, you’ll see a thank you to those that did their job and did it well!!

Walk around the farm

Let’s go for a walk on the farm and let’s do it quietly!!  You never know what you might see!!

View of the Mansion from the front porch

From behind the house

Overlooking the hayfields to the west

East view

Back pasture

West toward family cemetery

The mountain

Behind the orchard

The orchard

The flat woods

Our daughters house

More pasture land


Time to think of fall chores

Autumn Leaves

Do you keep a list of chores for each season?  I do and mainly to have a “go-to” when I want a quick chore in the evenings before dark.  Sounds anal I know but lots of times after I get home from work I want something quick to do so I don’t just crash on the couch immediately after supper.  All of the things on the list are important to complete before winter and probably only to me.  Here’s my list:

  • Gather flower seeds.
  • Clean all of the fans before storing for winter.
  • Store pillows/covers on porch furniture.
  • Spray porches and around house several times for spiders and other bugs.
  • Clean & take patio furniture to barn.  Cover.
  • Put new bedding in dog boxes.
  • Cover Chicken house windows.
  • Paint chicken house roof.
  • Clean out chicken roost.
  • Put new bedding in chicken nest.
  • Hang chicken water tank from ceiling near food bin.
  • Store new apple and chestnut trees  in mansion cellar.
  • Clean up green house.
  • Hang plastic for spring planting in green house.
  • Put up shelving in green house.
  • Order seeds for spring planting.
  • Clean off strawberry, garlic and asparagus garden & mulch.
  • Clean off flower beds and mulch.
  • Clean up gazebo and stain before cold weather.
  • Clean up smokehouse.
  • Gather kindling for fire starters.
  • Clean off potting table and store all pots.
  • Clean up bird feeders and fill for winter.
  • Stock up on bird seed for winter.
  • Transplant white orchid iris, oriental iris and peonies.
  • Prune and tie up raspberries.
  • Move all coneflowers to same spot or two spots in yard.
  • Spread coneflower seeds under kitchen and bathroom windows.
  • Move hibiscus to outside of fence.
  • Transplant small hibiscus to front fence on both sides of front gate.
  • Rebuild west flower garden, making smaller and fill with shade plants.
  • Take down soft swing under maple tree.
  • Plant hibiscus at pond.
  • Clean off and mulch new asparagus patch.
  • Divide rhubarb and move some to another tire planter.
  • Buy zinc and fertilizer for pecan trees & spread.  Mulch
  • Fertilize and mulch English Walnut trees.

It doesn’t seem like much but it usually takes me a couple months to get it all done but I do get it done.  I select a chore by length of time to get it done and priority of getting it done.  Do you use lists like this?

Keeping up and gettin’ ur dun!!!

I started my spring cleaning in mid-May and I’m almost done.  I did the pantry first and did it in 1 1/2 days.Ceiling to floor clean up!! It’s looks so good!!

Next stop the bathroom.  We only have one and it’s quite small but it fulfills our needs.  It took another day and a half to clean floor to ceiling but I got it done the day before the vacation started.  We had planned so many things inside and out of the house to do that I knew I’d need to start early.  Here’s my mini-bath.

Now we move on to the side porch.  This also is a small area but it took three days because the new windows needed painting.  Two walls needed painting and then the day after the paint was dry we had a rain that lasted several hours with high winds and downpours and our NEW roof sprung a leak.    GUESS WHAT!  Another day of  re-painting to cover the leak stains but I got it done and it looks really nice.

After a completely new renovation last fall and new windows and tile, I think it looks pretty darned good!

Now, it only took one day to do a ceiling to floor cleaning of little brothers’ room but it got new curtains which I made a couple months before.  He was pretty pleased when he came home.  He spent a week with another brother during my spring cleaning spree!

Little brother’s room

The next room downstairs was our Master Bedroom.  One day did it because I sleep in this room every night and I want a clean room when I’m sleeping.  I keep it in pretty good shape all the time but I did put up freshly made curtains and rearranged everything in the room.  I also moved my computer in this room for convenience as opposed to upstairs.

Master Bedroom

West Wall of Bedroom

It’s clean!!






Once this was completed I headed upstairs to clean it.  I’m saving the living room and kitchen for last.

Vacation was over so now I work on the weekends to finish the “spring cleaning” that has turned into the “summer cleaning”.


I have a goal though and it MUST be completed by August 1st.  The following are what is completed upstairs in order they were done.  I’m pretty proud of myself.  The last three years I’ve either completed the downstairs or the upstairs but this year I’m determined to get it all done!  The five rooms upstairs took about two days each and thank goodness it wasn’t too hot.  We don’t use air conditioning unless it gets in the upper nineties and then only downstairs.

Upstairs foyer and attic stair case clean!!

Guest bedroom finished!!

Quilt/craft room done!

This is my favorite room in the whole house!!

I don’t have pics of the linen storage room or the dressing room off the guest room but they’re done and this weekend I finished the living room.    The living room is clean and less cluttered.  Should make for easier upkeep from now on.

Now for the kitchen!  It’s such a big undertaking that I’ll wait and do a post on it all by itself.  I have one week to finish it and it’ll take every minute of my free time since it’s also garden harvest time.  This will be a big challenge  because of all the wall decor and my collection of antique  kitchenware which will be taken down, scrubbed and put back when my buddy from Maryland gets here on the 8th to help me re-decorate.  We always have so much fun creating a new atmosphere with “old things”!!  So until my kitchen post I’ll just enjoy the accomplishments of the spring and summer.

More vacation/Spring Cleaning continued

Well, my spring cleaning has turned into summer cleaning.  I’ve procrastinated long enough and this weekend should be a test of my back and legs!!  I’ll be cleaning the room that everything landed in on the second floor when I cleaned the other three rooms.  I have a very large storage/linen room upstairs that is full of winter clothing, junk, excess furniture, lumber, flooring, paint and so many other things that don’t need to be there.  Then, there’s the cleaning up and out of the things that should be in the room.  Wish me luck and I’m too embarrassed to show the before pictures but I promise Good Will and the Thrift shop are going to love me on Monday.

Here’s the results of the guest room that’s waiting on my friend’s visit in August and I’m pretty pleased with how it all looks.  I hope she will be very comfortable in it.


Entrance to the Farm

My secret project is complete!!  I’m so excited to show you my latest project.  I have in the last few years developed a passion for the beautiful barn quilts I’ve seen as we’ve took drives through the gorgeous farmland in West Virginia.

I decided about a month before my vacation in May that I was going to have one on the barn at the entrance of our farm.  Needless to say I didn’t think it was going to take two months to complete it but I finally did last weekend and my wonderful husband had a carpenter friend of our put it on the barn on Friday while I was at work.  I was absolutely flabbergasted when I came home from work on Friday afternoon and it was staring me in the face along with the “CALDWELL FARM”  sign I had painted and our “Century Family Farm” sign.  You’ll see pictures of all three at the end of this post but first I thought I would write about the steps it took to get the “quilt” finished.

When we told the kids what I was working on my son-in-law wondered why I thought a quilt would last very long nailed to the front of a barn in the wind and weather.  He did not realize that the “quilt” was being painted on a board and attached to the barn.  We all got a kick out of that!!

First I had to decide what the block/quilt would look like.  I had so many favorites and it took as much time to choose one block than it did the whole process of  painting.


I chose this design because it resembles my first quilt project and the block was called “morning star”.  This block is just a little different.  The colors I started to use were red, white and blue but when I actually marked the pattern out I decided to go with my favorites which are burgundy and hunter green.

Next I had to cut the plywood (3/4″ good stuff”) but my husband did this for me after we measured about 10 times.  Then I painted the board front and back with a  high quality exterior high gloss white paint.  I put four coats of paint on with a 24 hour delay between each coat.  Once the last coat dried I divided the board up into one foot squares, drew in the design from the picture above and marked it off for the first color.


Taping the design entailed careful placement so that when the paint was added the points of each block were perfect and didn’t bleed into the next piece of the “puzzle”.




You can see the pencil marks I drew as a guide where to place the tape.  Once it was taped up I painted another four coats of high quality exterior paint within the lines of the design.  It was easy for me to see where the design was going but hubby was totally confused and just couldn’t see it coming together.

I added the additional colors step by step and it took about six weeks just to get the painting complete and then I covered the entire board front and back with four more coats of a high quality polyurethane and let each coat dry at least 48 hours between coats.    Here is the finished quilt before mounting on the barn and after mounting on the barn.  The last photo shows the farm sign, barn quilt and the century farm sign.  I’m just thrilled with the results and I think my barn quilt is the first in the county!!

Barn quilt

After three weeks of patiently taping, painting, drying, taping, painting, drying, taping, painting and more drying my barn quilt is finished. The block is called morning star and it’s not on the barn yet but hopefully will be in the next couple weeks. I may have to wait until hay season is over but I’m just so glad it’s finished. It will be placed on this barn which is at the entrance of our farm.
The colors chosen are my favorite though some family members says it looks too much like Christmas colors. I’m thrilled with the results and I’m anxious to get started on the next one. It may possibly be the first one up in our county and I’m hoping more people will join the “barn quilt trail”!!

I’ll post more pictures when it’s on the barn!!

PINTEREST – My New Organizer & Memory

I mentioned in a previous post that I am a big fan of Pinterest and here’s my link if you want to visit: . I love finding new gardening secrets/ideas, crafts, DIY ideas, sewing, good books and music from the other Pinterest boards. Most of all I love the fact that I can find gift ideas for my family and find the list easily. I can pin the recipes for cleaning and cooking in one spot and find it easily. I can look at what my friends are using/doing and try it myself. I can find some gorgeous decorating ideas, gardening ideas, and so much more.
To view the sites you have to join Pinterest but it’s really easy and you can add your own boards or just browse boards of others. It’s free!!!! By boards I mean groupings of favorites. I have seventeen boards which include DIY, Helpful Hints, Gardening, Wishlist, Family/Friends Wishlist, Music I Love, Books I’ve Read/Want to Read, Crocheting, Quilting, Favorite Blogs, Spring Cleaning & Decorating, Hunting & Outdoors, New Recipes, Beauty & More and a couple more. I’ll probably add some throughout the year and I add new pins to the boards a couple times a week. I would like to do it everyday but this time of year I spend a lot of time outdoors when I’m not at work and by the time I come in the house in the evenings I don’t care much for getting on the computer. I would rather shower and go to bed :)! Anyway, I just want to tell everyone about this site and hope you’ll check it out and maybe start your own Pinterest boards. I want to follow what you are doing!!

New Kitchen


Imagine if you will a country kitchen in an old ancestral farm house.  You’ve worked for five years after moving into it making it look and feel like your kitchen.  Everything is decorated in red and white and you have cleaned and waxed the old handmade cupboards and pie safes handed down from one generation to another.  You’ve left everything  the same but for new appliances, paint and laminate floors.  It’s perfect!!  You have your wonderful hubby put up some shelves close to the ceiling for your antique kitchen “what-nots”, cookbooks, decorative farm animals such as cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, apples, etc. and EVERYTHING is perfect.  If you had your way you would spend a whole lot more time in it cooking and baking.

Then it happens!!  Your husband goes on that fourth or fifth elk hunt and bags “the big one”.  He kills a 6×6 bull elk that weighs over 1200 pounds and you have 300+ pounds of fresh meat in the freezer.  We are happy, right?? In the beginning he has no intentions of mounting it BUT he’s so proud and no one he knows has one like it.  He has it mounted and he can’t wait for it to come home and see how it looks on the wall.  One year later the elk mount is complete!  It would look great in the living room (8′ ceilings) with the rest of his trophies.  We drive to pick it up and this thing is as big as the kitchen refrigerator!  Imagine it, please!!!  We drive home with it and the ONLY room in the house that it will fit is in my beautiful country kitchen (10′ ceiling).

Now, I can’t complain!!  He is so proud and he’s helped you work so hard to prepare this country home that looked horrible when we moved in it!!  The rooms (every room) in the house is painted  the green of watergate salad.  The floors are not level, the ceiling plaster is cracked and falling down, it hasn’t had a truly real cleaning for years because we inherited the farm from hubby’s aunt and uncle that spent most of their time outdoors.  His aunt kept the house presentable but cared not about frilly “stuff” that I cherish and hated being cooped up in the house.  Anyway, the elk (that I called Moose for the last five years) is mounted onto the wall as you enter the kitchen.  Everything changes!!  You duck your head to go around it, mop under it, and every other thing that requires going near that wall.  Hubby is so proud and can’t wait for all his friends to come visit and he can show off his prize hunt!

Prayers are answered!!!  I know GOD loves me!!  I went home on Friday afternoon from work and walked into my kitchen and Moose is gone!!!  I really didn’t care where or why but finally he tells me it shouldn’t be in the kitchen and no one came to see it anyway.  I’m pretty sure he can see the excitement in my eyes but I try to hold back my enthusiasm!

Saturday morning finds up early and can’t wait to clean and get my beautiful country kitchen back to normal.  I spend all day and even refinish a handmade dish cupboard to spread out some of my dishes.  It took all day but Rita is a very happy country girl!!  Now all I need to do is make some new kitchen rugs and potholders and get back to loving my country home!!

Elk in my kitchen!!