Thursday, March 1, 2018

Life on the Farm with The Yank

This is how my cooking went this week:

We found this VERY WELL DONE loaf of bread in the oven on Saturday... I baked it on Friday.



I'd made a pizza for the kids and never smelled this cooking.... And then turned the oven off, forgetting the bread (SOB!!!!)

And when I preheated it the next day, well... you see the results. It was rock hard! But I didn't burn the house down (YAY!) and we did not eat the bread... (Boo....)

And I gave up baking for Lent.

It's killing me. Not the eating of it... the doing it. I'm a baker. I love baking. Baking relaxes me. It makes me happy. So I'm not sure I can do this... because it's not even that I eat the stuff. I do. A little. But I like making it and my hands feel a little anxious right now, mid-day. We'll see.

The plus side is that we are having a new bathroom put in....

The farmhouse is 163 years old.

My mantra is every time I fix one thing, I break two others.

But this project doesn't have my name on it. We hired the plumber, the electricians and the carpenter...


We talked about it last week when I posted the fun newspaper pages we found in the wall...

Logan built a flex dinosaur with skinny Legos... so the body parts can be shaped! Clever look!

This was from the third year that I was doing in home daycare... The older kids here are grown ups now... Cody works for UPS and here on the farm in season. Casey (center) has been my little buddy from the time she was two... she's in college now. And Taylor (on left, back) is doing college visits every weekend. My sweet babies are growing up!!!!

Okay, back to house crazy.... This shows some of the original house construction circa 1854... The corner beam support you see there is hand-hewn out of a tree.... you can see the ax strikes when you're close up. And it's HARD wood... The little blue access electric box is for the heated floor coil. This old place has cold floors and when there's a northeast wind, well... that side chills off. A heated floor just seems like a perfect thing to have in the north.

Okay, so this is the inside wall of this room, you can see that this was new construction back in the 1950's... Look how clean and nice that all looks! New wiring and a new electric panel in the basement means we won't be tripping breakers left and right.

Cords and plumbing leads for the tub.... And a chestnut roaster, I'm not sure why that's there???

And see that old heavy linoleum tile there? We took so many layers of this off the floors over the years. The kitchen had the original red cedar planks... then subflooring... then sheet linoleum... then this hard-crusty tile stuff.... Oh, and the entry way had that too. And the laundry room... Every room but the dining room and living room had layer upon layer of the tile.... and other stuff...

This is getting heated ceramic tile so the whole back of the house will have a flow of tile/color/etc. This is where the guys come in, kicking dirty stuff off in the garage, and into the back of the house with their grubby clothes. And grubby bodies... Before Dave and Seth had to walk through the entire first floor, go upstairs, and then across to the back of the house again, leaving a trail like "Pigpen" on Peanuts...

But now I'll have to wrestle with them messing up the new bathroom. EEK! :)

AND TODAY WE WRESTLED BIRDS... a pair of starlings thought that nesting in the 3 1/2 story brick chimney was a good idea. It wasn't. They both ended up in the basement.... through a furnace baffle... and one made it's way up the tub access hole to this bathroom... We did a catch-and-release even though starlings are a pain in the neck... That was my one act of altruism for the day! It was not Nanook-of-the-North cold... Lacey is wearing the hat to protect her clean hair from bird droppings... :)

I'm currently finishing up my third Guideposts mystery "Catch of the Day" (and loving it!!!) and doing revisions for "At Home in Wishing Bridge", releasing in October....

So I've been busy working, but I miss my baking respite. I miss having that fun in the kitchen. And if you're not a kitchen person, I get that "fun" might be subjective... (laughing!)  And then there's this, a lovely embroidery that a reader, Jenny Propst, sent me... and every time I look at it, I think of her! It's the perfect thing, right?

And a girl and her dogs... Morgan, with Jeter and Libby, equally loving on both big dogs. And you know how excitable and goofy Jeter is? Well he calms right down around her and lays there and lets her love on him... It's beyond wonderful.

And now it's back to work... a spurt of spring-like weather has us doing some outside stuff that never gets done in February and March, but we'll take the nice days and do some pre-spring catch up. There's snow in our forecast, but for today... we'll take a glimpse of much needed sun!

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves hiding out in her old farmhouse, creating beautiful stories with unforgettable characters... but she loves baking too, so if you hear of an author going berserk in WNY, you know why... :) You can follow Ruthy on Amazon and Bookbub and Twitter and friend her on facebook where she loves to play and pray with friends! Or stop by her website


  1. Your loaf of bread made me laugh! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has kitchen fails. :-)

    Your old farmhouse is going to look so good with the new bathroom and floors! If we ever have to redo a bathroom someday, it will have heated floors. They are a wonderful luxury when it's blowy-snowy-cold outside for days on end.

    We've had a bird in our chimney (and a starling, too - are they just chimney addicts?), but, alas, our bird did not have a happy ending. It just fluttered, trapped in the stove pipe for hours, and we tried everything to get it out. Until we tried the last resort solution.

    The bird is no longer in the chimney, but no longer flying free, either. I'm glad we had just one!

    Have a great Thursday!

  2. I love old homes. And their bones can be the most interesting part. I think the heated floors are an excellent idea. Especially with your winters. Very cool that you're redoing that bathroom. You're going to love it. As for that old linoleum... Eesh. That stuff can be a booger bear to get up. And man oh man do I hear you on the plumbers and electricians. We would have been lost without them. Not to mention our contractor. There are some things that are just worth the money.

    No comment on the bread. Although it's nice to know that you are human after all. However, why did you give up baking for lent?

  3. So, your bread might be as hard as a rock but I'm jealous of the rise. I still haven't succeeded in getting a good high loaf like that. Sigh. But I will keep trying.

    Your life is controlled chaos and I love reading about it. Now you can add bird whisperer to your resume...because, really, why is that bird not pecking your hand to pieces????