When we bought the farm, the guest room was painted white and was in need of a fresh coat of paint. Its redo was inspired by my love for the beach. I painted the walls and the trim a bright white and the accent wall was painted “Blue Marina.” We added a new wall sconce to replace the older one and matched it to the one we installed in the master bedroom. The decor all reflects the beach theme and is reminiscent of a vacation cottage on the beach. Here in Ohio, hundreds of miles from the nearest beach, it gives the room a serene vacation vibe. This is truly my favorite room of the house!
When we removed the old wallpaper from the dining room, we discovered there was wood paneling underneath. Instead of removing that as well, we decided to paint over the paneling. We chose an orange color called Colorado Dawn. We also installed a new french door between the dining room and the new library, which was a room that used to be the front porch before it was enclosed. The tired old chandelier was hanging by its wires, so we replaced it with an oil rubbed bronze light fixture with off-white glass shades. We decided to keep the dark woodwork as it was in this room to help give the room a cozier feel for intimate dining. The decor is Tuscan style with earth tones and has several roosters.
The walls in the master bedroom had been covered in a floral patterned wallpaper that was just a bit dated and torn in a few spots. We spent several days steaming and scraping the walls to reveal the probable reason the former owners decided to paper the room in the first place. Under the wallpaper were several large well spackled cracks in the plastered walls and several others that the had probably formed since the paper had been hung. We then spent another couple of days spackling and sanding to prepare for the new paint. We chose Glidden Duo Paint and Primer from Home Depot in Cafe’ Latte (lighter color) and Aged Teak (darker color).
Right away we installed Insola white honeycomb cordless window shades from Bed Bath & Beyond. I knew that eventually I wanted to incorporate some animal prints in the decor and set my sights on either the window dressing or the bed for my pallet. I found a beautiful leopard print window scarf on Amazon. Then began my search for window panels to go with it. I thought that I would go with brown curtains as a complimentary color but at the last minute chose to go with black panels instead. The leopard print has both black and blown tones, but as I saw it, the benefit of going with black panels was the ability to change from leopard print to zebra stripe to tiger stripe to giraffe print, etc. As you can tell, I love all of the animal prints.
For the bed I went with white sheets and a white quilt and brown accent pillows and a brown quilt for the foot of the bed. I think the look is very cohesive and gives it an upscale hotel vibe. In keeping with the animal print theme, we have a few safari animals scattered about the room. See if you can spot them.
We also installed a new ceiling fan and wall sconce as well.
There are basically 2 times per year that the large box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot sell fruit, shade, and ornamental trees; spring and fall. In October 2013, we purchased a pretty little flowering snow fountain weeping cherry tree. It has white blossoms and is doing even better than the pink flowering cherry that we bought before it.
We decided to purchase a locally grown live Norway Spruce to decorate our mudroom this Christmas. It is about 4 to 4.5 ft tall. After Christmas we planted it in the front yard. It was very cute and welcomed our guests to the farm for the holidays.
Next year we might try a blue spruce or maybe a white pine. We also plan to try a cut tree for our main tree in the living room. The bigger and prettier that artificial trees get, the harder they are to put together. This year we used a tree that we have had for a while but were never able to fit it in our old living room. It took me two days just to assemble it not to mention a day or two to decorate.
As a side note… The after Christmas clearance sales on Christmas merchandise is a great place to stock up on all Christmas supplies for the next year, especially the expensive LED light strands. This year we found 25 count C7 LED light strands for $1.45 per box and miniature 65 count LED light strands for $1.98 per box.
This was the first Christmas that we were able to celebrate at the farm. Last year we had just closed on the property and were busy painting and making ready for our move right after Christmas. Many wonderful people blessed our home with their presence on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and for a late holiday party. We hope that this is just the beginning of many wonderful holiday gatherings of friends and family to the old farm.
A few weeks ago we experienced below normal subzero temps here in Ohio. We moved the geese and the duck to a straw filled stall in the barn. They complained regularly about their temporary lodging, but sometimes they must do what they don’t want to do for their own sake.
On the windiest and coldest days the mule was also kept begrudgingly locked in the barn. And the chickens were happily stowed away in their coop.
As far as keeping everyone’s water free flowing, heated buckets and water bowls from Rural King and Tractor Supply Company proved very effective at -10 degrees. See our previous post “Tip: How to Keep Water Thawed in Winter” for more information.
The word antipasto means “before the meal.” Antipasto is the first coarse or appetizer in a traditional Italian meal. An antipasto platter consists of tasty favorites including: spicy Italian meats such as salami, pepperoni, and capicola; marinated and/or pickled vegetables such as sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, peperoncinis, roasted red peppers, stuffed olives, and mushrooms; and flavorful spiced or smoked cheeses such as marinated mozzarella balls, smoked Gouda, and provolone. Think big! You are only limited by the size of your platter.
- Hot Capicola
- Garlic Stuffed Olives (Jar)
- Sun-dried Tomato Halves (Jar)
- Peperoncinis (Jar)
- Roasted Red Peppers (Jar)
- Marinated Artichoke Hearts (Jar)
- Cherry Size Mozzarella Balls
- Grape Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil (about 6 large leaves chopped)
- Decorative Lettuce
- Minced Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper (coarse ground)
- Tuscan Seasoning
Wash and dry lettuce and cover platter.
Drain and mix fresh Mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, coarsely ground sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and enough olive oil to lightly coat. Place in the center of the platter. If possible allow to marinate for a few hours but can be used immediately.
Arrange other ingredients separating colors around the center.
Mix artichoke hearts, Tuscan seasoning, and dash of olive oil and place at the 4 o’clock position on platter.
Mix Roasted Red Peppers, a clove of minced garlic, and dash olive oil and place in the 5 o’clock position on platter.
The other ingredients are straight from the jar. Place the peperoncinis at the 7 o’clock position, the sundried tomatoes in the 8 o’clock position, and the garlic stuffed olives in 11 o’clock position.
Starting at 12 0’clock place rolled up meats (hot Capicola, Prosciutto, Salami, Pepperoni). * Note that the hot Capicola was the biggest hit of the meat portion.
Rural King was the place to shop this year for our winterizing water supplies. Here is a list of supplies that we obtained for our animals. If you click on the picture, it will take you to Rural King’s website for more information on the products. So far the heated buckets have worked perfectly with dipping temps in the lower 20’s.
The ducks and geese got a new 2 gallon heated water bucket and a 2 gallon black rubber shallow dish. The heated bucket holds over 2 gallons and is the perfect size for the geese and my larger ducks to get their whole heads in for a dip, which is important for their daily grooming needs. My thoughts behind the black rubber bowl is that it may catch some of the energy from the sun and keep the water liquid in the day time. The bowl does get ice in it at night but its easy to force out of the pliable sides and bottom and refill in the morning. We will see to what daytime temperature it is still successful in keeping the water liquid.
For the mule we purchased a 5 gallon heated bucket the actually holds more like 6 gallons. You can feel the warmth near the bottom of the outside of the bucket. The picture shows it in blue but the store only had green available which was perfectly fine for us. We chose not to hang it in her stall and placed it on the floor instead. Her other larger unheated bucket is also still accessible to her for now.
For the dog and cat to share on those icey days and nights, we got the heated pet bowl. It actually holds closer to 2 full gallons of water.
The one purchase that I was very unhappy with is the heated base that I bought to go under the metal poultry fount in the chicken house. The second night after it was installed, the water froze solid in the bottom tray. It should have been good to about 10 degrees but the temp was only in the 20’s. I had to come up with another solution given that it is only November and we have colder temps coming. My solution was to hang two heat lamps in the chicken house near the metal water fount. One has a white 125 watt heat lamp and the other a red 250 watt heat lamp. My theory is: during the day I plan to use white light in the hen house to give them extra light and warmth and in return keep the water thawed and hopefully get extra eggs to boot. At night around 8 or 9 pm, I will switch over to the red light so they have a more soothing light for sleep. With colder night time temps, the higher wattage will help keep the water thawed. We will see how this plays out. Last night was the first night with this set up and so far so good.
The heated buckets have performed amazingly even with below normal subzero weather here in Ohio. Our setup with the heat lamps and metal water fount in the chicken house did not fair as well. We removed the frozen metal fount and placed a 2 gallon black rubber water bowl under two 250 watt infrared heat lamps. This setup proved most successful even in -10 degree weather! The black rubber must have radiated the heat from the heat lamps efficiently enough to keep the water thawed. The heat from the heat lamps also took a little chill out of the coop and helped to protect frostbite susceptible combs and wattles. Thankfully, we experienced very minor issues with frost bite throughout the cold snap.
As we settle into autumn with its shortening of daylight hours, we needed a little brightening up around the farmhouse. The mantel seemed like the perfect place to start. I like to choose fall decor that works for both Halloween and Thanksgiving to get the most bang for the buck. Choosing pumpkins and fall colored leaves and accessories easily does the trick!