Chats on the Farmhouse Porch


When it’s time to cut the grass (mow the lawn), who does it?


That would be my husband. My husband likes to be outside and would much prefer outdoor chores to indoor ones. I pretty much do the majority of the indoor chores unless something needs to be fixed so it is a pretty even trade-off. This means he usually mows the lawn while I am doing something equally as exciting like laundry. We share the fun around here, lol.


If someone gave you $500 dollars and you could not spend it on yourself, who would you spend it on?


Probably my kids. They have been the recipients of most of our money for the last 26 years so this would likely not be any different. 🙂

Have you ever taken a blogging break or considered one?


I am a fairly new blogger and I do not post very often so no I am not really considering taking a break. I have felt a bit guilty at times about not posting more. I have thought about that some and I have chosen to just do what I can. If I can only post 2 or 3 times a week that is okay for me. Blogging is not my profession. I have a full-time career and a family so blogging is something I am doing for pleasure. So it has to fit in with my schedule and can not become overwhelming or it would not be fun. Also, quite honestly if I have nothing to really say that would interest me I would not post it because it certainly would not interest anyone else either. I don’t have an exciting enough life to come up with a blog post everyday!!

Are you bothered by spring allergies or hay fever? If not spring, any other time of the year?


Yes. I do have allergies that are worse in the spring. I am allergic to several environmental/ plants. The biggies are certain types of trees. So they really bother me when the trees are budding and pollinating. I sometimes will take Allegra for the symptoms or more often Ibuprofen for the headache and try my best to go about my business. The nasal symptoms are easier for me to deal with than the eye symptoms. When my eyes get bad is when I medicate. I do experience allergies at other times of the year and of course I have a food allergy so that is all the time.

What’s new with you?


I am getting ready to chaperone another long distance trip. This is quite unusual for me to be asked to chaperone two trips. I have never been involved with this trip before but I will be going away with this group for four days. We leave Friday morning and I am looking forward to it. The location is not nearly as far as the Spring Break trip. So we will be taking a motor coach only no planes involved this time.


The day I arrive back home from the trip my daughter will be moving home from college for the summer. That will be a process getting all her stuff moved out of her dorm and back into the house. Then of course the readjustment for everyone. It will be a busy week but a good one too. There is a lot to look forward to in the next several days. 🙂

Thank you Patrice for another lovely chat. If you would like to join in and chat Patrice would love to have you. Stop over at Everyday Ruralty and check it out.


♥ 52 Weeks of Happy ♥

Week 17


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Once again joining with Jen at Little Birdie in her 52 Weeks of Happy. Ok this weeks Happy Things:

Our basement is all dried out, new indoor outdoor carpet has been fitted, and it is once again pleasant and convenient to do laundry in the basement!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day as promised. Today was partly sunny but still not too bad. I took some time to document some of the signs of spring in the back yard. The fact that spring is taking root really makes me happy.

Love notes left on my bedside table by my favorite little girl.

New happy dangly earrings perfect for sunshine and warm weather.

My husband has pork chops on the grill and I have vegetables cooking on the stove. Looking forward to a relaxed happy evening at home. I hope you are enjoying a happy weekend in your neck of the woods. 🙂


Happy Friday!!


I have been noticing this last 2 weeks that many of my colleagues and the kids I have been working with are quite sour. Real Negative Nellies and Normans. It has been an effort to keep upbeat being around that all the time. I really think it has to do with the late arrival of spring. We have been shut up indoors for far too long around here. In order to be proactive I scheduled a lunch date with a friend today. It will only be a short visit at Subway mid work day for both of us. But here is the best part–it is supposed to warm up to mid 60’s today! I think this is just what we all need some warm sunshine to lift the funk that has descended upon so many of us. If you don’t ever plan something special on Fridays I highly recommend giving it a shot. Even if it is just packing something special in your  lunch or wearing tennis shoes to work. Even if no one else in the world knows it is something different or special you will and it can really bring a little something positive to your day. I hope the sun is shining in your world today. Have a great Friday!


Chats on the Farmhouse Porch


Do you prefer to drive or be driven?


That actually depends on the situation. Most of the time I drive unless I am with my husband. He prefers to drive especially if it is a long drive. I always let him. 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of jam, jelly, or preserve?


I like almost every type of fruit jam or jelly I have tried. The berry ones are usually my favorites. Strawberry, raspberry, black raspberry, blueberry, blackberry you name it they are all good. Preserves tend not to be my favorite. Sometimes there are just too many actual chunks of fruit in it for my taste. Jam is about as chunky as I like.

Do you have any special plans for this spring or summer?


Summer is when my husband and his brother go racing. They have 6 weekend events planned this season and I have them all lined up on my calendar. My job is all round go-fer. I help out as needed, make sure my husband makes time to eat, and of course the most important job cheering squad leader. 🙂

Lots of folks are becoming aware of issues with food. There are many articles, books, and movies on topics like allergies, GMO, pesticide use, bad or no labeling, over processed foods, foods from other countries that may not have high standards, and many more topics. What concerns you the most? If nothing concerns you, have a cookie and skip to the next question.


Oh my gosh I know I should worry about these things so much more than I actually do. The one thing I really look out for is shellfish since I am allergic to it. I watch the labels of frozen or canned food products and I pay attention to cross contamination risks in restaurants. As for the other stuff I may look at a label to avoid trans fats and crazy high calorie counts but other than that I pretty much don’t worry a whole lot about it. Does that still qualify me for the cookie?? 😉

Do you use nail polish often? Finger nails, piggies, or both?


I only use nail polish during the summer sandal season. I polish my toenails and that is it. Nail polish never makes it through the day if I put it on my fingernails so I just don’t bother. I keep all of my nails clipped short and filed all the time. I love pedicures but only get about 1 or 2 a season because they have become so costly. When I do get them done usually the pedicurist will tell me that my toe nails are too short and I should let them grow longer. I never really follow that advice. I just continue to clip them short and polish them myself.

Thank you Patrice for another lovely chat. If you would like to join in and chat Patrice would love to have you. Stop over at Everyday Ruralty and check it out.


♥ 52 Weeks of Happy ♥

Week 16

Well this week absolutely flew by. Which is remarkable because there were a couple of days that dragged on and I never thought would end! The first couple of days this week were pretty average routine days filled with work, appointments, and watching the news feeling shock and sadness over the bombings. I was looking forward to Wednesday. Wednesday was my granddaughter’s birthday. I was going to see her just briefly in the morning before I took her to school. I was looking forward to having breakfast with her and giving her birthday gift to her. Wednesday came and I was able to give her gift and she loved it. We were all happy. By the time we left it had started to rain. I dropped her off at school and then I went off and had an extremely busy day at work.  It stormed all day. It hailed and stormed some more. It continued throughout the night unceasingly. In that 24 hours we had well over 11 inches of rain.

This was the first inkling I had of how things were beginning to change as the water began to seep in:

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In 20 years of living in this house never had we had one drop of water in this house! That all changed this week. Of course this happened when my husband was on 24 hour shift at the firehouse. (Any fireman’s wife knows this is always when things happen, lol.) Needless to say it turned into a big-giant-mess! The basement is now in a state of disaster. The water has been sucked out, fans have been running down there for  a couple of days, the carpet has all been ripped out and discarded, and some new paint has been applied in some areas. We are waiting for all that to dry and we will be getting some new, indoor/outdoor this time, carpeting. My husband has the washer and dryer hooked up so I can finally get back to doing the laundry today in the disaster zone. In the interest of keeping things real, here is a snapshot of the discombobulated basement in “recovery mode.”


That is quite unlike me to show off a mess like that but I feel that it is only fair to show the bad with the good. Now, for the good news this week. Yes, I did not forget that this post should be focusing on the happy. Even in the midst of all this mess I definitely had some happy this week.

1. Of course there was Wednesday when I gave my granddaughter her American Girl doll and she loved it. 

2.Friday, the second day of basement clean up, I received a lovely surprise package in the mail from Anne! It would have been a wonderful surprise on any day but it was an extra incredible surprise on that particular day because I really was in need of something joyful and there it was as if on cue. Thank you, thank you, thank you, so much Anne! I plan on baking something from the wonderful recipes as soon as I can and I just love the pouch. I guarantee I will proudly use it and have already showed it off to several family members.

3. Yesterday, my daughter had a little party to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday and her fiancé’s son’s birthday. Their birthdays fall in the same week. No matter what state the basement happened to be in we were determined to attend the party. We did and had a delightful time.

4. Our youngest daughter surprised everyone and drove home for the day to join the party fun. We were able to visit with her at the party and at dinner before she left. It was terrific to see her and I can not wait until her semester is over and she is home for a few months in May!


Anne‘s wonderful surprise package. 🙂

PicMonkey Collage

Birthday fun. 🙂

(If you click on the photos they should enlarge)

I hope you have been focusing on the happy times in your days. If you would like to share in participating in 52 Weeks of Happy please visit Jen at Little Birdie like I have been doing each week. Thank you so much for visiting and for leaving your wonderful comments. I so appreciate each and every one. 


Chats on the Farmhouse Porch


Are you part of the back to nature/ecological group or are you more of the mindset of “I’ll do what I want and everything will work out in the end”?


At our house we do recycle as much as we can. It has really reduced our garbage by a lot. We hardly have very much at all. I am not good at very many other ecologically aware things. That is probably the biggest thing I do. I am not super ecologically careful in many other ways. Plus, I must confess I have an addiction to paper napkins. My youngest daughter has tried time and again to get me to switch to something else but she has yet to get me to actually do it.

What’s a favorite dinner dish to make?


Pasta with meat sauce. I am all about easy. It helps that everyone in my family loves pasta and will never complain anytime I make it.

What animals have you seen give live birth?


None unless a human counts. Aside from my own children, I also attended the birth of my granddaughter.

If you had the opportunity to teach something, what would you teach?


If I was teaching I would want it to be reading. I think reading is the key. If a person can read well he/she is very likely to be able to succeed at most anything they set out to learn.

What did you love most about school?


No big surprise after the last question, but when I was in elementary school my favorite class was reading. In high school it was Literature. In college I discovered lecture halls. Loved them. I was never big on “hands on learning.” I did not like group activities (I prefer to be responsible for my own work not have to depend on someone else’s ideas or work ethic). Even to this day I hate when I go to a continuing education workshop and it is full of “activities.” I just prefer to have the material presented in an organized manner and I will take notes. I certainly will complete any companion readings and often do additional research. I am most happy to write up a paper or two and complete any necessary tests to demonstrate what I have learned. I don’t need any of that other fluff to get it to stick in my brain. It didn’t hurt at all that I am obviously a strong auditory learner and that it fed my little introverted heart to be able to fade away in a giant lecture hall unless I wanted to speak up. I am fully aware that most people do not prefer to learn this way. It drives my husband absolutely nuts. He is a very hands on guy. For me though it is wonderful. I would probably have been willing to be a professional student if I could have found someone to pay me for it. 🙂

Thank you Patrice for another lovely chat. If you would like to join in and chat Patrice would love to have you. Stop over at Everyday Ruralty and check it out.


♥ 52 Weeks of Happy ♥

Week 14





The things making me happy this week are signs of spring! Most days it is not all that warm yet. We had weather in the 40’s most of the week. Yesterday it got close to 50 and today we had a real taste of spring when it reached 73. The temps are dropping now already. The rest of the week is supposed to be 50s and rain. It is still predicted to freeze at night. Oh well, I can take it when I see signs like the ones above that remind me that soon warm weather will be here for a while! I was thrilled to open windows and let the wind blow through the house. It felt so good to let the stuffiness out. It was actually warmer out than in for a bit but the window breezes took care of that and it felt so nice. The grass seemed to green up over night and it is a welcome sight to see all those buds on the trees. To cap off the lovely day my husband grilled a bunch of chicken. I made some veggies and salad as sides. It was a really nice dinner with some leftovers for tomorrow. I will appreciate that after a cool wet Monday back at work. I most definitely have spring fever. I made myself a cup of tea to fight the urge for an ice cream cone, lol. I hope you are seeing signs of spring all around you and have enjoyed a lovely weekend. 🙂


Chats on the Farmhouse Porch


Are you enjoying spring?

I had my first taste of spring last Friday. We have had a couple of nice days since. I have loved every minute of it and can not wait for it to get a bit warmer and stay that way. Tomorrow the temps are supposed to get cold again for a while but this little taste has given me hope that the warmth is going to get here one of these days.


Where would you take Patrice for her birthday, if you could spend a day together. Wendell hopes you would bring her back!
I would take her to Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands. Crocuses, daffodils, and the first tulips are in bloom right now. This is a place that I have always wanted to visit in the spring. It is most definitely on my bucket list and I truly hope to get there someday. I would love to take you along Patrice. Don’t worry Wendell I would bring her home after a nice long visit.
What’s your favorite spring flower?
My favorite spring flowers are lilacs. They usually bloom very close to Mother’s Day where I live. I have a big bush in my yard. I have always loved both the scent and the color since I was a little girl. Thoughts of them instantly remind me of spring.
What do you do when you are going through a really stressful time?
I always revert to the comforts of home. Cups of tea, comforting snacks like popcorn or cake, favorite television shows, jammies, and extra sleep. It usually helps me relax, work through the issues, and get back on track or shored up to face what the next day brings.
What kind of birthday cake would you get for Patrice? And Wendell?
I don’t know Patrice’s favorite (I would surely get that if I knew) so I would go traditional with a yellow cake slathered in buttercream. For Wendell it would be carrot cake of course! 😉
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATRICE!! Thank you for hosting another great chat.

We’re Baaaack!


We had a very nice trip. Exhausting but good. Some things are always the same every year but yet still amazing every time. How much energy 13/14 year olds have, how much they can eat, and how they will surprise you with their thoughtfulness, good humor, and responsibility just when you least expect it. I can not say enough about the awesome group of kids. It was so wonderful being able to have my husband come along on the trip! I have done this trip before and I will likely do it again but, I am sure this year’s trip that included my husband will be one of my favorite trip memories. Well, I have work to catch up on, a wedding planning appointment with my daughter, and if possible tonight some housekeeping catch up. I expect tomorrow I will be back with my usual Tuesday chat. Until then, thank you so much for all your lovely comments wishing me well on my trip. I look forward to catching up on reading all of your blogs as soon as possible.


Spring break



My husband and I are off to chaperone a spring break trip. I will post again upon our return. Until then I wish all of you friends all the best for a very happy week! 🙂


Writing from Scotland

by Christine Laennec

Eat at Home

Everyday Food for Busy People


Just the thoughts of a girl.

Irish American Mom

Celebrating Our Irish Heritage Together