Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekly Quote

I want to start doing a series of "Weekly Quotes". I love a good thought-provoking quote and have quite the collection of them.....
So, to start things off, here is my first:

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

                                   -Ralph Waldo Emerson

My daughters are on a vacation with Grandma and this is a picture of the view from their hotel balcany at Virginia Beach. So jealous, I have NEVER been there!
We don't live anywhere near an ocean....this looks so gorgeous, calming, comforting, yet mysterious....some of my favorite traits in a man :)

Have a great rest of the week! Hope it goes fast for us, I want my chicks back home in my nest!  ~Kim

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A lesson in BARNS

Here is a somewhat short history lesson of barn styles... I have found that you are never too old to learn about new things, epecially something that is so dominant in our landscape and history.  

Most of you already know that I love all things barn! So proud of our own barn- which was a labor of love, and continues to be an awesome focal point of our farm.

I understand that these pictures are outdated.....and out-seasoned :) but i have yet to take an amazing picture of it in the summer...i promise to get on that soon!

If you have ever driven through the countryside of the midwest, you have probably seen some of the most beautiful barns America has to offer! I'm kind of a geek when it comes to barns and I ewww and awwww, as we drive, over barns like we are watching some spectacular circus act.

The design of barns, especially from "the olden days", is about the weather conditions in that particular area and the cultural background of the farmer. American farmers thought about functionality as well as beauty to show a sense of their identity to other farmers.


The style of the barns pictured above are called BANK BARNS.
These have 2 levels, typically lower level for livestock and the upper level was used for storage. These were built into a hill to allow the farmer easy access to both levels.

This is a Round Barn, like we already didn't know that! But here are some interesting facts about them....
they became popular as learning tools for farming colleges back in the 1880's thinking they were more efficient: less material used, cheaper and have self supporting roofs. Not very many of them around, which goes to show they didn't have all of it figured out back then!! 

Pictured above is a Tobacco Barn.  These are heavily ventilated with many vents to allow the air-flow to dry out the tobacco leaves after harvest. There are many styles of tobacco barns, but good to know when I see one with lots of holes in it I can sound smart and say, "must be drying their tobacco leaves"!............

..........Probably NOT what the above barn was intended for.......

Now for the most popular and simplest of them all: the English Barn

Usually small (30x40) with an A-frame roof. Ground floor, no basement, vertical boards on the wall usually left unpainted. And most commonly had a center isle with stalls for livestock on one side and feed kept on the other.

This beautiful red barn pictured above is a Dutch Barn. These are the oldest and rarest here in the US of A. These have center wagon doors and a broad gabled roof.
These usually have muliple doors and vents to allow winds to carry though, and the typical barn swallows and martins to come for a visit!

I just had to show 2 pictures of the next barn style: Crib Barn or as Baileyhusband calls them, Corn Cribs. These pictures are so stinkin beautiful....
The name comes from the one to six "cribs" built inside to house feed, livestock, or whatever else the farmer is needing stored. Smaller ones were strickly used for feed storage.

Last, but not least, is the Prairie Barn:

The Prairie Barns are large structures that were built for maximum storage and to sometime house large groups of cattle. They are wooden pieces of art that dot our landscape all over America. There is nothing I love more than to see the new generation of farmers, or farmer wanna-be's, fixing and restoring these beauties.

Through my research for this post, I have fallen even more in love with these structures!! I wonder if now, as we drive along, I can look at a particular barn and be able to point out the style it is?!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Adventures of Cow-Sitting

While my daughters are away on vacation with Grandma for a week, guess who is in charge of taking care of Sierra's 4H cows?? Yep, this girl!
Well, I missed Sierra this day in particular. BaileyHusband informed me that the vet was coming to give a checkup on our black cows....since they will be going to the County Fair soon, they have to be in tip-top shape....this song keeps ringing through my head.... (in the tune of Goin to the Chapel)
"Goin to the Fairgrounds and We Have to be HEALTHY. "
Sorry, I think I need a nap today! Or the heat is getting to me!

 Since a vet was coming, I had to get them out into the keep them (and the vet) safe during their exam. AND THAT MEANS THAT I HAD TO LOCK UP OUR BULL, KEN. He is not the most endearing of farm characters we have here at Irishman fact, he is NOT a people person AT ALL.

While I was on the backside of the barn, Ken had walked himself right into the front side....I quickly called BaileyHusband and told him my plan, and that if he called me back in 5 min and I didn't answer, he needed to call 911 because I had been flattened by a miniature furry beast...
My plan:
to jump the fence
run around the front side of the barn
close the barn door QUICKLY
not be seen or trampled on

And it almost worked....until the barn door wouldn't shut and then Ken saw me and huffed toward me.....I put all my weight against the door hoping my 125 (ish) lbs could hold back his 800ish lbs....and then the vet came strolling up like a knight in shining armor! And this is what I said, "HURRY, HURRY....I have a mean Bull behind these doors and I cant get this blessed (I won't lie, I may have used a bad word here) door shut!" Thank goodness he had a good sense of humor.

Long story short....we got the cows checked, and warts removed....yes, I said "WARTS REMOVED"!!

Poor Crimson, he had a lot of them on his left ear. I didn't know it would be so heartbreaking to watch such a thing with no pain meds :(
I had to reward his good behavior with a quick bath and fly spray....and didn't even tie him up inside the barn for the rest of the day....this big guy deserves some time to roam free! (and I really didn't feel like getting kicked by this 1200ish lb beast because he was ONE MAD STEER after the vet left...can't blame him!)

Well, this was my adventure of DAY 1 of not having Sierra...hope tomorrow is less adventurous and exhausting.....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Barn Light Electric Giveaway!

I stumbled across a new lighting website called Barn Light Electric and they are hosting an AMAZING giveaway!!!!!

The winner gets $1000 to spend on their website!
2nd place winner gets $500 to spend
3rd place winner gets $250 to spend

And I would be THRILLED to get any of those places!!!

I will show at the end of this post how to enter this give-away....but want to show you what my personal choices would be....winner or not, these lanterns are amazing and am already dreaming of where I would hang them!!!

Abington Barn Lantern

I could actually see this one hanging inside our home....looks rustic but modern....kind of like our home!

Mission Bell Wall Mount
This bell- like light would be so cool OUTSIDE, reminds me of a cowbell or a dinnerbell that a farm-wife rings to get her families attention that dinner is ready!!

Station Square Barn Lantern

This lantern reminds me more of a nautical feel. Which is our counterpart personality....Our front porch is where I see this!!

Dover Barn Lantern

Or this other lantern would also look amazing on our porch....hmmm....decisions, decisions!!

UMMMM, HELLO!! Look at these absolutely, 100%, perfectly fitting pendant lights below 
THAT I MUST HAVE!!!!! I better not show BaileyHusband any of these quite yet, I will just wait until they are delivered to our door..." Look honey, aren't these the most perfect addition to our home...where or where should we hang them???"

How to Enter:
  1. Look around online at Barn Light Electric and pick lights you’d love to own
  2. Feature your lighting picks on your personal blog, and link to the lights if you can!
  3. Copy/Paste these rules at the bottom of your blog article so others can enter
  4. Once your personal article is up, you must email your blog link to be qualified to win. The contest ends Monday, July 2nd, 2012
  5. Don’t have a blog? Find out how you can enter by reading the Official Rules

I encourage ya'all to go check out their website, seriously the best eye candy for your home, and very affordable, not to mention creative! Good luck (to you and me!!:)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beware: Our Farm

Thanks to my sister-in-law who saw this hilarious (and so true) sign during a drive through farm country yesterday and thought of us here at Irishman Acres!

I think we just might have to make a sign of our own to hang up.....but could end it with:


Our peacocks and guineas are EXTREMELY loud at times....

The chicken yard after a rainstorm is THE WORST SMELL EVER!!!!......

And this is what happens here in the spring.....

I cropped out the body parts that would be inappropriate for the viewing audience...
but lets just say that this particular "porn scene" was viewed by my entire family, including my young boys,
who had lots of giggles and questions! And there I was with my camera!! Sometimes I think about life before I became this country wife.....this is so much more entertaining!! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I have a secret.....

Well, I guess it won't be a secret anymore......(I am a closet hoarder!)
To be honest, I LOVE TO ORGANIZE!! But, you would never know it by looking into our closets and cupboards! Now, since this is the year 2012 and I vowed to "SIMPLIFY" our life and our are
the steps that I am taking to ORGANIZE our life.

1. Find out that closets REALLY do have floors!

BEFORE: our front coat closet, yes, this is REALLY what it looked like!

AFTER: just for coats and vacuums, moved all unnecessary items to other parts of the house

Now, for step two of my closet transformations......and this one was actually started years ago, but with 4 children and a busy lifestyle, somehow this got disheveled and when we really need to find that bottle of meds or poison ivy turned into a scavenger hunt!!!

2. Label and Organize EVERYTHING

No need for fancy bins or baskets here, just clear totes in different sizes- and labeled for easy and fast finds for the kids and sleepy parents in middle of the night (or when someone is hurt!)

My bins are labeled as:
-Tummy Care
-Vicks Vapor and Thermometers
-Hair Care
-Skin Care
-Cold/Flu, Pain Relief
-First Aid
-Hair Style

On the top shelf:
-Twin Sheets
-King/Full Sheets

I'm sure other families will have different needs and ideas for their hall closet...and ours will probably change throughout the years....but this is what is needed and works for us right now.

Children's dosing instructions displayed inside the closet door.

 2 closets down.....about 10 to go! :)

I have been wanting to show our mantel in our downstairs family room, but have not had the time to take the pictures needed to blog about it....I hope to get those taken this week sometime.....
with the cRaZY bUsY LiFe
we have been living lately, I only get the dishes washed about every few days......
Going to college orientation today.....wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I love supporting local farmers and small businesses!

Oh my goodness!!! I wanted to share a recipe that my daughter and I stumbled upon at the grocery store recently....You know those samples that you get to taste at the end of the isles? Well, there were 2 lovely ladies sampling this HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM, and even though we had just ate dinner, we couldn't help ourselves.

They had 2 flavors to choose from: Vanilla and Almond......unfortunately we both decided on the Almond. So we don't know how the Vanilla tasted. Along their display were the most juicy looking strawberries and angel food cake....YUM!

After our little tasting, we asked how to make it, and here is their recipe:

They package in old fashioned glass bottles that you can either keep, which I WILL, or bring them back to the store for a deposit back....what a sweet and clever idea! Now we just need one of those milk crates to sit on our front porch and have the milk-man deliver and pick them up! 

Here are the items we used...notice the "chilled" mixing bowl.

Had to get BaileyHusband in on the mixing...since I am not that handy of a gal in the kitchen, my efforts were making it look like pancake batter!

I am disappointed in myself for not taking pictures at the grocery store of what the Whipping Cream is supposed to look like.....and I hope it is not a disservice to SHEEDER DAIRY that I am showing you all this...but here is our final result:

It still did not have the consistency that the sample ladies had in their display. I hope to get more practice in!! Ours seems to look like frosting...but seriously, it tastes just as good.
We put almond extract in ours, but plan on using vanilla next time.
Gunny hollowed out a strawberry and filled it with the cream... GENIUS!:)

Sheeder Dairy also sells skim, 2%, and whole milk...which I plan on trying out. But I definitely will be a regular buyer of this cream.....tasted amazing in our morning coffee!!!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Style- My coffee room

Thanks to Layla at The Lettered Cottage who invited bloggers to post about Summer Decorating of their mantel and link up to her Linky Party on the 18th.....she inspired me to re-think the way I display on our mantel in our Coffee Room! This room was originally inspired by our love of the Colorado Rocky Mountains....but after many years of the room looking quite the same.I figured that I could get ON BOARD with the idea of changing the look with the seasons....Not knowing that it would make us fall more in love with this room, seeing it in a different light!

I "shopped" my home for things that I would consider to utter the words SUMMER and quickly came up with this SEASCAPE theme. But I hate to use the word "THEME". Years ago, we all would decorate with each holiday or season and the rooms would look very THEME-Y. Now, with more taste, less cluttered collections...and hopefully more style....I like to think that the rooms actually tell more of a story. 

I used:
1. a sailboat from my son's room
2. grass cuttings from last year that look like beach grass 
3. a starfish we got along the beach at Freeport, Grand Bahamas (you can still see the sand on it)
4. a couple lanterns
5. a picture of our girls standing in the ocean, in a PORTHOLE frame
6. fish netting as the backdrop to the display 

The rest of the room had to be considered too to pull off the SUMMER FEEL. 

So I brought in:
1. our big palm plant
2. a galvanized "sand bucket" :)
3. denim pillows and quilt
4. a seagrass rug
5. more framed pics of our BEACHY travels
6. a coffee table book of the 50 states so we can start daydreamin up our next family excursion

Our inspiration for this little mini make-over came from our time visiting this......

.........while vacationing on this......

Thanks again to Layla for giving me the idea...I swear that I hadn't seen HER summer mantel until after mine was completed :) And hope everyone follows the Party:

I would love for more inspirational ideas for next year and can't wait to see what everyone else has done!
Come back again...I am going to be showing our other mantel's summer style next time.

This is "What I NEVER knew that I ALWAYS wanted"

A born and raised city girl, finding the country life to be the real me! Every day is an adventure, and each season brings new excitement and experiences. I am learning and loving the path of finding my true passion....making this little farm our HOME!