Apr 1, 2019

SHEEP BALLS

I'm SO happy, happy, happy that it it's finally spring time. With a most welcomed change of seasons, I've come out of hibernation to re connect with other living beings at this wonderful time of the year. In shifting into the Spring swing of things, lots of cleaning is going on here at the farm charm cottage. Even the dogs have been enlisted to hunt for stray popcorn kernels  hiding under the sofa which were left overs from those long lasting cold winter days, where we did lots of snuggling under piles of vintage quilts near the blaze of  toasty and welcomed fire here in the little cottage.

You are probably wondering what the heck my title "Sheep balls" means. Not short on words and one that is known to go down a bunny trail or two or three, -  let me tell you a story about them. On a cold winter day, while reading a favorite blog, called Junk Chic Cottage, I ran into these adorable little laundry sheep balls which are named Little beau sheep. You can read that post right here. And while you are on Kris's blog take a look at her beautiful home, and her not to miss - shabby decor on her current Easter post. Any hoo the little sheepies were set to be shipped to a new home once she picked winners of her give away. For me, it was love at first sight, and I knew they would be a perfect addition to my tiny, laundry room that also serves as a pantry and mud room all rolled into one itty bitty space. I feel so blessed to have won them. These Little Beau Peep laundry balls are both adorable and functional and are a perfect addition to compliment my vintage farm charm cottage decor.

 As promised (better late than never)  in the comment section of her giveaway I said if I was fortunate to win the give away that I would do a post about them and tell of an old cowboy story about sheep balls, or as they are properly called - sheep testicles. You will soon see just what I mean, read on.

Mouth method: A shepherd castrates a sheep with his teeth in the TV show Dirty Jobs - these are not the two men who fell ill
Old fashioned cowboy way to castrate sheep

                                                                  
I have a dear friend and true cowboy named Marvin. Nearing his 100th birthday he is never short of amazing stories from his past. I remember him telling me that back in the day on the ranch he would use his teeth to castrate sheep. I listened intently as he described just how it was done. I had never heard anything of the like and figured he was just 'pulling my chain'.  I asked the next old timer cow boys I came across if Marvin's story was true. I was afraid they would laugh and look at me thinking I was the most vulnerable person they had ever met. As it turns out, yep it's da true real deal story  as verified by several old timers and sheep ranchers. This method was also featured on the popular TV show called Dirty Jobs. Should you want to learn more about this method of castration of lambs or see a video that explains how shepherds used their mouth to get a better grip check out YouTube or read more about the 'slippery' testicles here on this link. .

Image result for rocky mountain oysters are they from sheep
Fried rocky mountain oysters












 Rocky Mountain Oysters are enjoyed by people from all over the world? They are actually not oysters at all. They're mammal testicles and most commonly come from bulls,bison, pigs, and sheep. Marvin loves them breaded and fried with a squeeze of fresh lemon and  then topped with Tabasco.  Ah, I will pass on this delicacy
 this time around and stick with fried green tomatoes.  

And now...ta dah... Here is what ya'll  been waiting to see. Meet my flock of sheep that reside in the little farmhouse laundry room.



    Rocky on the left, Mountain in the center, Oyster on the right.






My little flock of laundry room sheep




Resting before my Aussie herds them into the dryer
For those of you who don't yet  use dryer balls, I hope you try them out. They replace dryer sheets and fabric softener. That's right.. they do the job of both while saving you a lot of money. The most important thing is that they don't add those nasty cancer causing chemicals to your home or laundry. While they bounce around your loaded dryer they allow the air to circulate and therefore your clothes dry faster. They don't have to be designer ones like these. You can pick up the plane Jane ones at Walmart or on Amazon. Just pop them into your dryer to experience the difference. Three to four for medium loads and up to six for large loads.



Oh where, Oh where did my little sheep go? 
If you like your laundry scented, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball and then pop them into an empty dryer and turn it on for a few minutes so that the essential oil soaks in to the ball and does not stain your future loads of laundry.  I like lemon or lavender scented sheets.

Okay... you don't have to go into the dryer just yet.
Hey goof ball, I mean sheep ball - how did you get out of that basket?




I so regret buying a front loading machine. From the beginning it had a tiny drip. It takes forever to wash clothes and it is just way to high tech with a thousand options, even connecting through some sort of app to a smart phone. What is a smart phone anyway? I mean really? Who needs a washing machine that talks to a phone? NOT ME!  I still use only a home phone and most of the time one that still has a cord  into the wall. So the new front loading machine is a BIG regret. I love the simple older ones with hot or cold, heavy or light dirt options. They are simple, easy and do a great job. Sigh. See that glass wash board? I use it on a regular basis, not in the river but in my cast iron farm sink. Works better than my fancy washing machine. Does anyone out there still use a washboard?



My front loading washing machine and dryer are hiding behind the burlap sacks

A vintage wash tub holds soap, clothes pins and other laundry necessities






Small laundry folding area


Looking at this tiny laundry room area you might assume it needs to be updated. This is the updated version of my tiny laundry area. When I purchased new appliances I wanted them hidden behind burlap sacks to keep this room in a vintage farmhouse vibe. I built a counter above the washer and dryer out of old barn wood. I added upper open shelves for easy storage. It felt really closed in so I replaced the glass with a mirror in the center of the window to catch more sunlight and give the appearance that is a bit bigger space.  And of course, everything got a fresh coat of white paint.


 Back in the day many decades ago, this little room was just a covered back porch. The farmhouse had no running water or electricity, therefore no washing machine or dryer. In fact, just under the counter where my washing machine sits, was a water well. The family that lived here at the time used a rope and bucket to draw water from that well for all their daily needs. One of my neighbors remembers that he was the skinniest kid out of his nine siblings and he was chosen by the owners of this house be let down by a rope into the the well to scrape out sediment at the bottom of the well. He got paid a nickle for his work and was thrilled to make that kind of money back in the day. So yeah, this is the updated version of the laundry room. I do have some before pictures but choose not to show them as I was trying to stay on topic here...okay.. I took a bunny trail on the way.




So there you have it, a story about sheep laundry balls that are darling, useful and also remind me of my dear older gentleman cowboy friend as well as a sweet lady who braved the ridiculous icy roads and beyond cold, and definitely freezing record breaking temperatures in Illinois to get these three little sheep in the mail to me. 
Thanks Kris and many thanks Marvin for the great stories you shared with me. I will never forget them or you.

It is a wrap folks...

Reminder - It is never to late to have a happy childhood. Go play. 
XO
Tonita


Feb 12, 2019

FARMHOUSE COTTAGE FILLED WITH MORE HEARTS


 If you read my last post, you know by now that I really like hearts. It's no surprise that I am again sharing more Valentines goodness from this farmhouse. Hearts pretty much stay up year round, here in this little cottage. Some are rusted metal, some are chippy painted wood, and a few are newer craft store purchases. A couple sweet hearts are made from strings of pearls, many are those puffy hand sewn hearts lovingly made from old vintage tattered quilts. You get the picture? If not, no worries - I have included lots of  pictures of some of the hearts that have come to live at Farm Charm Cottage.


                                                                       
Matthew 6:21
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
                                     
                                                    

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.


Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard  your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
                                                  

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what Gods' will is  -  HIS good, pleasing and perfect will. 


 Proverbs 23:26
My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.



Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast Spirit - within me.



 Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
 



 Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.


 John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 
Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the LORD, and HE will give you the desires of your heart.
 

 Psalm 9:1
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
 

 Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.


 Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God

 
Psalm 19:14
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD,
my rock and my redeemer.
 
 
Jeremiah 29:13 
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.



Proverbs  27:19
As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the hear.



  
 
Psalm  90:12
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

 
Psalm 119:2
Blessed are those who keep HIS statues and seek HIM with all their heart.




Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied:"Love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.


Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.


Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

 
Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.


Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.






Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to HIM, and HE will make your paths straight.




Psalm  20:14
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.|


Just an FYI - According to Young's Analytical Concordance the word "heart" or "hearts" appears in 930 verses of the King James bible .


 I hope you have enjoyed looking through photos of my Farmhouse, filled with hearts. In previous posts I have shared photos of my tiny 8'x18' house on wheels decorated for Valentines Day and a post that gives a rare view of my farmhouse cottage kitchen with it's old chippy ceiling tin back splash and  rustic open shelving. And of course there are pictures of my mantle dressed up for the day of love.
Just type in the words "Valentines Day" in the search bar on the right column to view those posts.

May the Joy of the LORD dwell in your heart. May your heart sing like a kid running barefoot through the sand and may you remember that it is never ever too late to have and celebrate a happy childhood. Please make time to create fun and go play.
Blessings to all you kids - You are all made in the image of God. 

If you want to leave a comment I'd enjoy hearing from you, and if you have prayer requests please do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section. Important -If you do not want your personal comment  published make sure to indicate that and your request will be honored, If you do not indicate that, your comment will be visible on this blog and perhaps others will also pray for your needs also.. Either way, I believe in the power of prayer and I will read all prayer requests and pray for you. All comments on this blog are moderated.
Blessings,

Tonita 

oh,,I'm sharing this post with - A stroll through life blog.

Jan 30, 2019

HEART FILLED FARMHOUSE COTTAGE

Well finally... I undressed my Christmas Tree and decided to turn it into a Valentine's Day tree so that I could continue to enjoy the glow from the twinkling white lights in the midst of winter. I hung little red hearts on it where the snowflakes used to be and then I stepped back to take a look. Nope, it just did not look right. Perhaps it was the bright red hearts that did not impress me? I thought of spray painting them white but I was just not into a winter craft project. Down came the tree, off came the lights and ornaments and back to the shed it went. Maybe I was just procrastinating and not wanting to go back into my unorganized messy shed. An upcoming warm weather project. Big sigh.
 
                                                   

I decided to leave my Fireplace mantle greenery and the lights in place to keep the 'cozy winter nights by the fireplace' vibe going on. I mixed in some of my primitive puffy quilt hearts with the left over Christmas decor. I added a banner of golden wood hearts next to the mantle jewelry that I used for  Christmas. Those who follow my blog know I share lots of photos of my chalk painted mantle. This old farmhouse is small, really small (570') and I just don't have many surfaces that I can decorate for the holidays, so here it is once again, now filled with winter and Valentines decor all snuggled and mingled in together. I am really liking it and it may become a new tradition in my home?


I  have always been drawn to hearts, crowns, birds nests, vintage keys, and architectural pieces, anything made of galvanized metal and statues or paintings of rabbits, pigs and other farm critters    The more rusty, chippy or crusty a piece is, the more I seem drawn to it.  I don't think of myself as a collector, I may be in denial?  Many of the mentioned items live throughout my itsy bitsy farmhouse and yes, the over flow is in my tiny house, the one on wheels that measures 8' wide and 18' long. Still a storage unit at present. Insert another BIG sigh. I have downsized quite a bit in the past four years, yet I have held onto many little treasures that bring a smile to my face and add charm to this old little farmhouse cottage that I feel so blessed to live in.

                                                                                     


Valentines Day decor is so easy for me, I don't have to unpack a thing like I do for Fall or Christmas. Hearts, angels and romantic French Country farmhouse decor surrounds me everyday in this little cottage. I much prefer vintage items that are well worn, which adds character instead of trending mass produced items from China. However, I do mix in some of the most irresistible mass produced what knots like these cheapo galvanized hearts from the land of Hob Lob.


              What do hearts make you think about?           What do you collect or feel drawn to?


 I really like these little vintage stuffed hearts. I display them in ironstone bowls and wicker baskets and sometimes I attach them to twine to make a banner to string across my covered front porch.'I suppose if you sew they would be pretty easy to make? I don't sew at all, and was happy when I found them on my favorite shopping site - Etsy.. I recently attached one heart onto each of my kitchen / dining nook chairs. They look so cute and I will take some pictures to share with you in my   next post. It's great to have items that can be used in so many ways year round and that also store easily especially when you live in a very small home home, with minimal storage space.


I like items that provoke me to consider more than what first meets the eye. Hearts always remind me of the biblical verse of John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And Romans 9, verse 9-10 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  If we believe in our HEART and confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is our Lord, then we shall be saved. I experience my Heavenly Fathers love every day and Jesus has changed my heart and turned my sorrow into joy and ashes into beauty.Yes, there continue to be tests & valleys however those times produce a testimony to HIS goodness, faithfulness & grace. 


 There are many followers who sent in prayer requests to my comment section and requested me to not post them publicly. If you are reading this post please know that I read each and every prayer request and continue to keep you all on my mind and in my prayer time I intercede for you, and your life situations that you shared with me. I am praying that even though you are going through some trials and valleys now and may have family members that seem hopeless, God can fill your heart with joy in the midst of your mess. It is my prayer you will grow closer to your creator who loves and adores you. You are made in HIS image and you are one of a kind and God is not finished with you.


Some days it is just your lucky day when you find something as sweet as these hand crochet hearts for just ten cents each. Really..They were already starched to boot. I have moved these babies all around my cottage and I don't think I will ever tire of them. Pine cones, hearts and lace, all timeless.


Baby, it is SO cold outside. There calling this cold air blowing in from the North Pole an Arctic blast. It's close to ten degrees outside right now. Yet, there is no snow in the forecast for my area. Only had a very light dusting one day a couple of weeks ago. Jan - Feb seem to be the coldest months here in the mountains and it's a perfect time for making homemade stews, soups and popping corn and then snuggling up on the sofa to enjoy cozy and warm evenings by the fire. Fleece jammies and wool socks, yes, please. 


I am always signing off with "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" I snapped a picture of me standing barefoot in the center of this heart on my snow dusted deck, but the camera battery died and darn .. wouldn't ya know - it didn't come out.

Hey - I have some more farmhouse, vintage Valentine goodness to share with you in my next post. So until then, make time, take time to go play. It is never too late to create a happy childhood. Many blessings to you farmhouse loving girls. Keep warm.

If you want to be immersed in more Valentine's posts, that offer some great ideas for DIY eats, treats and decor please visit this - Share Some Love link party 

                                                                           Tonita
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