Kris Smith
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January 25, 2019

Farmhouse Porch

It is always safe to do nothing when it rains. -Atticus

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the rain this spring, especially this past week as I have been working on the original farmhouse front porch. I have always loved watching the rain from a covered porch. There's just something magical about it. I must admit that especially this spring with all the yard work, I'm happy to have an excuse to do nothing.

There were all sorts of urban legends about our house being the home of someone noteworthy, in fact so significant that a movie was even made about his life. Even the real-estate information claimed that the front porch was the set for a scene in the movie co-staring Ann Hathaway. Sadly, members of the family have dispelled the myths and that family never actually even lived here. Bummer!

Even with the fame being stripped from our little farmhouse and it's covered porch, it still remains a very magical and nostalgic place to us.

Preserving the Nostalgia

We wanted to preserve as much of the nostalgia as possible. We kept the cute, wood slatted swing. Although the chains it hung from seemed a bit unsafe to the Risk Manager, I persuaded him to leave them. They totally remind me of the chains on the swings of my childhood swing set. I haven't even repainted it...just gave it a good scrubbing.

The leaded stained glass light fixture is original and had to stay. It was covered with hard water and a century of grime, but with a little elbow grease, came clean. I think this fixture is so adorable, in part because of the bead board ceiling as it's backdrop.

All the windows on the main floor of the old farmhouse are original with the beautiful, old, wavy glass. The heavy glass storm windows have been painted many times over, making them nearly impossible to remove without damaging them. So, we don't. The windows have been painted shut on the inside, as well. I guess non-opening windows are the price you pay for beautiful 100 year old charm.

The floor of the porch is covered with outdoor carpet that we have decided to leave for the time being. Mostly, because it is securely glued down and we aren't sure what we will find underneath. The color works and with a few additional rugs, it looks fine.

The Landscaping

The porch was surrounded by an overgrown Lilac on the left and Cedar shrubs in front. We removed everything and started fresh.

The porch faces west and gets good afternoon sun, but because of a large Blue Spruce, some evergreens and the Cottonwoods, the sunlight is very filtered. With this in mind, I planted all my favorite shade lovers; Hostas, Hydrangeas, Peonies, and Begonias.

In the pots on the steps I have planted one of my all time favorites....lavender! Hopeful they will get enough sun because nothing adds to a relaxing sit on the porch like the scent of lavender.

Mum's Peony

My great grandmother, Stella Bowen Price "Mum" had beautiful gardens at her home on Willard Avenue in Pocatello, Idaho. As a young girl, I especially loved her Bleeding Heart that grew on the back patio, next to a metal gliding bench. She also had a beautiful white Peony. Upon her passing, my grandma transplanted this Peony to her home. Grandma told me to make sure and take it when she was gone. So I did. I estimate this hardy little perennial to be over 80 years old. It has thrived for over 20 of those years in my watchful care.

I look forward to spending many summer days relaxing on this old porch.

Welcome Matilda and Beatrice!

Several weeks ago, my friend J-Bird told us about her neighbor that sells baby pigmy goats. We were told to just stop by and take a look because they were in a pen right off the road. That's all it took! A month later when they were weaned, we picked up our two girls, Matilda (Tilly) and Beatrice (Bea).

What do you do with goats?

We get asked this question a lot! One of our close friend's answer to this question was simply, "Name them." This made me laugh because it kind of rings true. But to us they are simply pets...very gentle, loyal, adorable, pets.

All of the kids love the goats, but our great niece Eden is probably their biggest fan. She came with her grandpa this morning because all she kept saying was "Baby goats?" Lucky for her, she has her grandpa wrapped around her little finger.

Living in the county continues to have it's perks. In fact, J-Bird also encouraged us to get chickens! Thelma, Louise and Shelley (named after the town of her birth) also joined us a month ago. They have lived in the garage under a heat lamp until yesterday when they moved into their coop, still with a heat lamp. They are not nearly as affectionate as the goats, but in a few months, they will give us fresh eggs.

The country is lyric, the town dramatic. When mingled, they make the most perfect musical drama.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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