Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I can hardly believe it is December 1st! Oh my and what a day, it was first day of our Christmas Cottage Sale and an incredibly hectic day all around.  First I want to thank all of the Farmgirl Sisters for their support and help to make this sale possible, the Cottage looks amazing............and what a great turn out.  All of our Facebook postings, our blogging, Craigslist, newspaper ads, and post cards paid off - we had shoppers lined up, and all through the evening, actually sold out of some things, but no worries, we're restocking tomorrow.

A very special thank you to Tina and Kailie, who stepped up and just pitched in helping with that initial rush, when I was late to the party! ha!

Miss Olivia took some amazing pictures, and as fab as they are, they don't do justice to how spectacular everything looks.

The sale continues Thursday evening, 5PM -9PM and Fri/Sat 9AM- 3PM, so be sure to stop by, and tell your friends.  We are at 606 Kingsway, downtown Branson, follow 6th Street past the old schools to Kingsway, and the cottage is the second house off the corner on the right!

Remember, only 23 more days until Christmas, so come shop with us!  Decorations, gift items, and well, just about everything you can imagine!

There is a map on our website,, on the contact page.

Thank you Miss Olivia for the wonderful pictures below.......................they are maaaavelous!


A porch full of rustic and lodge decor!

Kitchen treats and sweets for the tree!

A little Country, A little Primative, this and that

A bedroom of pinks and pretties

Ornaments and gift items

Shabby Chic and Victorian delights

....a few more Shabbies

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thanksgiving

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I think it’s for many reasons. I love the Fall, the colors, the cool crisp days, wool plaids and bulky sweaters, and there is something about cooking in the Fall, that first big pot of chili, baked apples, and of course Thanksgiving dinner. The more people around my table the better, family and friends, maybe a new acquaintance that doesn’t have someone to share the day with… is my day to be thankful so many things, and to share my table and cook like crazy. This year we will have nearly 20 around our table(s) – four to be exact, and included in our gathering is my son, an Army medic (need I say how thankful I am that he is once again home safe from deployment!); my mother, who just celebrated her 87th birthday; my very dear friend Sherri; adopted and extended family with our youngest guests age four, Hailey and Skylar to Mom, 87.

It could only be more perfect if my sister Bonnie and her family in California could be with us too.
My pantry list of menu items includes two 23 pound turkeys, two hams, 30 pounds of potatoes, 3 quarts of mixed berry compote, yams, 2 pounds of buttered carrots, apple sausage dressing, corn soufflé, Italian pasta salad, dinner rolls, and a dessert table that rivals any bakery window.

Amidst all of this cooking preparation, my Farmgirl Sisters and I are still busy readying for our Cottage Christmas Sale beginning December 1 and running through Dec 4 and what a amazingly fabulous sale this will be. Thousands of ornaments from over 30 theme Christmas trees, holiday décor items, collectibles, gift items, antiques, home décor, furniture and so much more.

For more information on our sale and a map to 606 Kingsway at 6th, downtown Branson, visit our website at

So, I will post a few more pictures to tantalize you with what awaits at our sale, and then I’m going to return to the kitchen to finish up the oatmeal raisin cookies for our dessert table – my son’s favorite!

I encourage you to take a moment of quiet time and make a mental list of all of your blessings; you will be amazed at how long this list is…..its easy to forget in our day to day living.

I wish each of my Farmgirl Sisters a wonderful and thankful filled Thanksgiving and I thank all of my family and friends for filling my life with love and laughter.

til next time, Stormy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet my friend Olivia

The very best way to describe our Farmgirl Sister Olivia is to introduce you to her wonderful blog and Etsy Store, she gives all new meaning to girly girl and you will fall in love with her too! and

Monday, November 15, 2010

Farmgirl Sisters Cottage Christmas Sale

It's Our Cottage Christmas and Everyone is Invited!

Oh my, oh my, oh my…we are all so busy preparing for our Cottage Christmas Sale, December 1 through 4, and these amazing “sisters” that are working with me on this are incredible! Wow, it’s going to be the most fabulous Christmas sale of the Season and I can hardly believe it’s just 2 ½ weeks away! There are new gift items, hand crafted beauties, furniture, collectibles, antiques, home décor and more!

Our lovely little cottage is evolving, and looks better than ever, and there are still lots of remodel touches to come, however, we look amazing for this our first annual Cottage Christmas sale. Every time you visit us you will see improvements some big, some small – be sure to note our 2011 schedule of cottage and tag sales so you visit us again and again!

This December sale promises something you won’t likely see any where outside of a full blown Christmas store -

In a past life I had a small museum featuring the history of the American Presidency, and sadly, lack of funding and support caused it to close. One of my favorite seasonal exhibits was Christmas at the White House where we replicated 30 First Lady and periods of history Christmas trees! 30 trees ranging from 7 feet to 12 feet filled this museum with beautiful themed decorations. Nancy Reagan’s Antique Toy Tree featured more than 400 ornaments on her tree alone! All those ornaments, thousands of them, will be on sale in the Cottage. Pricing starting at only 20 cents, many 3 for $1.00! This is the time to buy fabulous decorations to theme the tree of your dreams.

Themes include Frosty the Snowman complete with a giant top hat for the tree top, Jackie Kennedy’s Nutcracker theme, trees from the 40’s, the Blue Room and many, many more. Boxes of Thomas Pacconi hand painted glass ornament sets – retired designs still in the original wooden crates are included in the ornament collections.

But don’t be fooled, it’s not just a cottage full of ornaments - Olivia, our girly sister is filling a room with her very own created Shabby Chic treasures and Victorian delights; Sheri has the most beautiful gift items including tea sets, cake servers, home décor items and more – and her keen eye for display will be seen throughout the cottage; Jan our crafty sister is bringing some very special one of kind home décor pieces and Joyce will have jewelry “bling” and a fabulous assortment of community cookbooks from farmgirl sisters across the Country! And our California sister, and my actual sister, Bonnie may surprise us with a few of her bits and pieces, including her wonderful embroidery work. Wow, you really don’t want to miss this!

The sale runs Wednesday, December 1 through Saturday, December 4. Wednesday and Thursday sale hours are 5PM – 9PM and Friday and Saturday sale hours are 9AM – 3PM. For more information and a map, visit our website at , the map is located on our contact page.

Well, I must close for now, as I need to put in a couple of hours yet tonight on unpacking and displaying ornaments.

We all truly hope to see you in December and bring a friend or two or three – make it an outing for you and your “sister” friends. When you have moment, visit our site , drop us a line and be sure to join our mailing list. Visit our FaceBook page, Farmgirl Sisters, and “like” it to keep current with all of our fun postings!

‘til next week, Stormy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cottage Facelift - Phase 1

So we have this quaint little cottage next to our home, and it is a simple cinderblock building with kitchen, dinette, living room and one bedroom with bath. Not quite suitable to use as a residence due to age and deterioration, it is, however, the perfect setting for our three times a year cottage sales! So we will cram every corner and bit of wall and floor space with wonderful collectibles, furniture, a smattering of antiques, some great flea market finds, and of course all those seasonal treasures!

This little rag tag cottage, was in need of a little curb appeal, and some interior work to make it more “friendly” for our upcoming sale, and to make it a more welcoming spot in the neighborhood.

Our exterior facelift began this week end with some much need yard work and a coat of Misty Harbor, a very pale blue, which really brightened up the entire exterior. This weekend we’ll paint the trim colors – a surprise for you next week - put up the shutters, finish the yard and stage the porch as we prepare for our Oct 7 – 9 Annual Fall Cottage and Yard Sale.

And this labor intensive facelift is courtesy of my son Jason, an Army dude stationed in Colorado Springs, who provided all of the paint as a birthday gift, and his fabulous friends Ben and Mark, and their wonderful kids who were our painting and yard laborers. Wow, we got so much done on one Sunday afternoon. Here are a few pics to show you the before and in progress, and I can hardly wait to capture the “after” and post for your comments next weekend.

Be sure to mark your calendars to see it first hand October 7 - 9…………and don’t tell anyone, but all you Farmgirls are invited to our very special Open House event Wednesday, Oct 6, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (and of course I was just kidding, tell your friends!)

Hope to see you soon!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Skip to My Lou - What a Darlin'

I love this site, and the blog is wonderful, I really do look forward to the ideas she sends.....from recipes to crafts, its just cute, and its usable! So I'm back, and you can count on regular posts my friends,enjoy this little teaser, and a full blown blog post with pics coming tomorrow. 'til then, Stormy

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When Life Interferes with Living

What do you do when all of a sudden, you find that Life has started to interfere with living? When those daily problems and occurrences start to keep you from doing the things you love to do, or from being with the people you love to be with, or from just enjoying the simple pleasures.

That is where I have been these past few weeks, life – in the form of family illness, unexpected bills, and job stress have kept me from the things I love………………..including posting to my blog. So today, I have pulled my self up by my boot straps, and tied on my favorite apron, and have jumped back into living, not just existing.

So last night I visited numerous farm girl blogs, and even made a new friend, Wende from Kansas City, and wrote copy for my upcoming radio show – the draft for the segment, I fondly call “coop chat”, and worked on several patterns for my new line of aprons……………………oh and developed a new recipe for crock pot meat loaf………………look out farmgirls, I’m on a roll! will launch in the next few days, and the radio show should go into production in the next two weeks.

In the meantime, it’s time to get out our graph paper and plot our garden layout – it will be time to start our seeds before you know it. Remember to rotate where you place your crops this year, and a good rule of thumb if you want to go bigger, is not to grow to fast……………….do you have a neighbor who might want to share the work and share the harvest? What a good way to add to your plantings. This year I am looking at heritage seeds, our local Amish store has a wonderful variety. In my next post I’ll share a bean trellis made from an old door to give your garden that cottage chic look.

If you aren’t already signed up, visit and join one or more of the forums, and be sure to order her magazines, they are fabulous!

‘til tomorrow, Stormy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wash Day Woes

Oh my, it is easy to get busy, and think that “I can Blog tomorrow”, and before you know it, days have gone by, and you realize that if you don’t “just do it”, you will not get back to it, and another project started will fall by the wayside, unfinished. It is the same way with resolutions, or life changing determinations that we make, whether as we start a new year or a new chapter in our life.

Our brutal weather seems to have dissipated, at least for the time being, and the frozen pipes that kept me from the chore of laundry have thawed, only to reveal that my old washer has given up the ghost, and we were off to find its replacement.

After weighing our options, a little wheeling and dealing, and diligently looking at energy and water efficiency levels, we arrived at the choice of a front loading machine without all of the fancy bells and whistles which kept it within budget.

So now a good reason to clean out the laundry room, as it will be delivered on Saturday, so I can check off another “to do” on my get organized list, by completing the laundry room task out of necessity.

Have you every watched the TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting?” a lovely family named the Duggars, out of Arkansas share how they live their lives with a family brood of 19 children! They have no debt, and have a wonderful philosophy, don’t buy new, buy used and save the difference……………..I am trying that as my new shopping mantra, maybe not on everything, but on many things.

On a past episode they shared that they make their own laundry soap, so I’m am searching out their formula and shall give it a try. I just hate paying so much for laundry soap filled with chemicals I can’t even pronounce that I know hurt the environment, and in containers that are mostly not recycled. So I shall attempt my hand at soap making, and will share the recipe and results in a future blog!

If you happen upon my blog, and you like what you read, please share with a friend, and as always, feel free to leave your comments.

‘til tomorrow, Stormy

Friday, January 8, 2010

So this is the view this morning from my front porch, and though you can't see it well, it is snowing, really snowing! None of the weather personalities predicted this morning's snow................but the Farmer's Almanac did! In fact, the ol' reliable alamanc has been on the money for what this winter would bring our part of the Country. In fact if you look at where this winter storm has been this past week, you will see the map in the almanac and it is almost exact!

Had a client in the office this week who told me all of the persimmons he opened had the spoon shape, and sign of winter snow and bad weather, and there are so many other 'farmstyle' signs................all point to snow, and lots of it as we welcome in 2010.

So as we end this first week of the New Year, I hold out hope that it is to be better than 2009 in many ways, that it will a fresh start to those who had troubles, and that it will a good year for all!

Tonight I am dog-sitting for a friend, and will take a sewing project along, and my snuggie! If I keep my hands busy, it may be easy to keep to my healthy eating and not sit with snacks and watch tv!

'til tomorrow, Stormy

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Resolution Hiccup.............

The Resolution Hiccup………………….ahhhh, six days into the new year, and already I find myself struggling with old habits, but in true farm girl style, I will pick myself up by my boot straps (if my boots actually had straps), and forge ahead. I look at my resolutions as an evolving process, not something that overnight I can just change or become, after all it took years to make these habits, so it will take time and determination to change them.

I find that it is easy for me to become discouraged, there is so much I need to get done, so much I want to accomplish, that in a state of being overwhelmed, I have a very, very, bad tendency to just do nothing, but go from project to project and finishing none! Oh my, and I wonder why I have such clutter…………

So today, I will use my lunch break at work to make a three item list of things to accomplish when I get home. Just three small tasks, that I will complete…………I know that, that small sense of accomplishment will strengthen my resolve to move on to more things, longer lists and bigger projects. So for the rest of this week, I will take those baby steps. Three things on a short list for each evening after work, and perhaps three small things, and one larger project for Saturday……and since this is already Thursday, I will adopt that same approach next week, because you know the experts say, it takes the repetition of 45 consecutive days to change or alter a habit.

As for our weather here in SW Missouri, it is frigid! I mean really frigid…………………last night we added an fourth bale of straw to our kennel for “the boys”, which they really love….it’s play time to romp through new mounds of fresh straw, we raised the heated water bucket off of the ground, and wrapped their dog house ………….it’s an 8ft x 8ft outbuilding…………in plastic weather sheeting to help against the predicted blizzard condition winds. They of course took it all in stride, knowing that whatever I was doing, it must be needed, or I wouldn’t have been out there doing it.

So as I jump into this busy Thursday and head off to work, I wish you all of my fellow Farm Girls, a great day, stay warm, and just for the heck of it, make yourself that short list of things you will accomplish today!

‘til tomorrow, Stormy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Life Lesson Learned - Farm Girl Hospitality

Another frozen day in the Midwest, I feel guilty complaining when I hear how others are fairing even worse with record breaking cold in the minuses……………………oh my.

Well I learned a self taught life lesson in humility last night. . . . , I have a very bad tendency to resent when people just drop in. My mother was a firm believer in being invited, or at the very least calling ahead to see if now would be a good time to come by………………… anyway, a lovely friend dropped in, and I was very put out……………, shame on me.

She came bearing bags of clothing that she had wanted to share as we are both losing weight and our sizes are shifting fairly quickly. Three large bags of clothing she came bearing in the frozen darkness of night, with children bundled in the car. She was so incredibly gracious and giving, and her usual wonderful self, that once she left I was really consumed by guilt for my un-neighborly thoughts……………

Why shouldn’t friends be welcome to just drop by, in true farm girl spirit, I should welcome any and all, and if my place is a bit messy, so what! If I was in the middle of putting in laundry, get them comfy, and finish throwing in the load. I always have coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot cider and other beverages to offer, I have a plethora of mugs and dainty cups to suit most any mood or season, I have a lovely dining room complete with a sitting area, perfect to sit and chat as farm girls love to do.

So today I put out there, that yes my house is always a bit cluttered, and there are always numerous projects underway, but then my friends already know that about me – so on this 6th day of this wonderful New Year, I am adding another resolution to my growing list of self-improvements I will make - to take on this New Year, this new refreshing decade – friends are welcome, and in my Farm Girl Heart I will be more neighborly, more tolerant, and more welcoming to all who come to my door!

Stay warm my farm girl friends! ‘til tomorrow, Stormy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2 Degrees

Two degrees, oh my gosh, two degrees, I forgot just how cold that could be. The snow from yesterday has frozen over and under, so from a fluffy white blanket, we are now a treacherous skating rink. But off to work we go!

Before I left this morning, "Big Boy" our old Tom Cat that has been adopted, came up to the porch begging for breakfast, and I felt so bad, he had ice on his whiskers! So dry food topped with a can of his favorite moist food was hustled to the porch followed by a dish of warm milk with an egg whisked into it. And I wonder why he keeps coming back to our house..................yes, all are welcome here. Needless to say, the dishes were empty, and I watched him amble off to the place he hides and calls home, but the ice on his whiskers were gone, and his belly was full.

Today will be my day to organize my work space, get rid of those scraps of papers with notes, and start my year off in a more orderly fashion! I have a large desk calendar to keep my To Do's posted and more importantly checked off. Is there anything more satisfying than checking off items on a list, such a sense of self accomplishment it gives us........I love it. I'm into making lists, a Honey Do for the guy at the house, my to-do for housework and organizing, a craft to-do to help keep me on project and not jumping around to more than a dozen I have going, a shopping list for the grocery so I spend less, a daily "get this accomplished" list so when I put head to pillow, I can tell myself well done, and of course the work to-do list, as this is a very busy little office, and my tasks are many. This is a great use for those small journal books you find at the dollar stores, keep all your lists handy.

Brought my healthy lunch with me, and the lovely tea pot my Mom gave me for Christmas - a square desk style, and a bunch of the delicious teas it came with. So I am back to work, after I go make some tea.

Have a wonderful day my Farmgirl Friends, 'til tomorrow, Stormy

Monday, January 4, 2010

Snow Day

So it’s the first work day of the New Year, and we have a grown-up SNOW DAY! Five inches of fluffy white flakes have fallen since Saturday night through late last night, and here in our part of the Midwest, everything comes to a close!

Albeit I preferred to remain under the layers of warm toasty covers, I was a good Farm Girl when I rose at the appointed hour, prepared to head off to work, and even allowed an appropriate amount of time to go out and shovel the snow from the kennel walk, and check on the “boys”. Buff, Rock and Baby are our three beloved dogs, each weighing in at the 90 pound plus mark and very spoiled. You’ll meet them individually in future blogs, I promise.

So the kennel is shoveled, water and food levels checked, chewies distributed to all, and I headed out to dig out my car and begin the warm up for the trek, short as it is, to work. Back inside gathering my stuff, I received a call from the Boss, who spent the previous week out of town, and was calling for a road conditions check. She pronounced, that officially, we were to have a Snow Day……………Wahoo!

What to do with my day? I don’t want to squander it watching television – another New Year’s resolution is to limit the amount of wasted time spent in front that squawking box – so I made myself a cup of hot cider – sugar free – got Granny settled in for the morning, started a load of laundry, and pondered my morning.

I have already cooked up my chicken breasts for my lunches for the rest of the week, portioned out my salad into individual lunch containers, loaded the dishwasher, fed the cats, cleaned the litter box, and changed all my holiday red candles out to my winter whites, and now I seek the guilty pleasure of doing something just for me.

I have decided to spend my grown up snow day sewing aprons, so I am heading off to my craft room, a pot of hot water and my favorite tea bags in tow, and I will make aprons. I have dozens of pieces of fun fabrics laid out and ready for picking. Oh and let me share my most fabulous resource for inexpensive, all right I’ll say it ‘cheap’, fabric. I scour the thrift stores for curtain panels and valance panels, that’s right, for a dollar each, I find wonderful fun patterns and textures, and once you take out the hems both top and bottom with a seam ripper, you have well over a yard and often much more of great fabric. Many have great ruffles and trims perfect for the bottom edge of your apron creation! I feel good that I have been budget minded, and feel even better about repurposing discarded fabric.

So on this snow covered day, I bid you, my fellow Farm Girls a warm Good Day, and I will sign off, and go indulge myself with yardage and trims and buttons galore.

‘Til tomorrow, Stormy

A City Girl with a Farm Girl Soul

These are the ruminations of a city girl with a farm girl soul, not just a farm girl heart mind you, but a farm girl soul. I know that deep down somewhere my destiny took a turn and left that country road that led to a farm filled with animals, numerous children, and the perfect garden, and took me to suburbia somewhere south of the Motor City where I grew up in the 60’s.

While the little girls I played with had their one or two dollies, their pretend husbands went off to the office to work, and they tended in their pretend kitchen - my “husband” was a farmer, and all of my dollies and stuffed animals made up my “brood” of the ten children I was sure I would have one day, once I became a mommy for real.

Alas, I had no farmer husband, not for the lack of trying-on more than one husband to find the right fit, and although I do not have a brood of ten children, I am the Mother of one perfect son.

I have lived in cities my entire life, though moving to a small town in Missouri a little more than a decade ago, hoping to find that small town rural life. . . with out much success. I find that my farm girl soul has been screaming a little louder for recognition as of late.

Perhaps with my discovery of Mary Jane Butter’s wonderful books and magazines, the silly Farmville game tens of thousands of become addicted to on Facebook, or just looking for a simpler more fulfilling life as I have topped the peak of 50 and moving towards yet another birthday.

I come from a very small, and I mean very small family. As a child I was a voracious reader, and loved books about family, especially big families. I remember reading a story about a wonderful Jewish family with many, many children and cousins and aunts and uncles, and how they coped with life during the Depression. I must have reread that book several times, and somewhere convinced myself that I had a secret Jewish family looking for me, waiting to welcome me into their loud, laughing, large family.

I read dozens of stories of pioneer families, and families making their homes in the Appalachian Mountains, all with that common thread of a large loving family, and looking to the earth to give them their livelihood and their home.

So now as we enter this new decade, I have my list of resolutions readied, and as always, it includes all of the same ones from years past ….lose weight, become more organized, do something I really love to do………….I have given them a new look………….losing weight will come with living and eating healthier, and the garden I am already planning for our first sign of Spring; becoming more organized will go hand in hand with my looking to make do with what I have and no more shopping as a matter of convenience, only out of necessity. I will de-clutter and donate, I will have yard sales to pass along my treasures to fill the need or become the treasure of someone new, and I will take and make the time to do the things I really, really love to do. I will sew and craft, and garden, and care for my animals…………….and if the City Ordinances allow, this year I will have chickens. Three lovely bantam chickens housed in a delightful all-weather chicken coop!

So here you have the beginning of my Blog. The blog of a City Girl with a Farm Girl Soul, the blog of a romantic who formed her image out of the hundreds of books she read as a child; the wild ramblings of a 52 year old woman, who this year, this new decade, will finally decide what she wants to be when she grows up!

I hope that you decide to come along for the ride, I promise it will be one that will make you laugh, make you take pause, make you remember, and even once in a while it may make you cry……………………but no matter what road we travel, it will be a great ride!