Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Sigh. It's that time of year again. Madly trying to find a homestead to buy. At least one that we can afford. I'm sure you've heard me lamenting how expensive it is here in the northeast. Oh yeah. Especially here in CT.
Yes, there are some places less (not much, and if you include the extra cost of gas, doesn't really save much), but that involves about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs travel to work for my DH.

(Mom and I with my horse Cricket back on the farm in Indiana in the late 1970's. Is that really skinny me? Wow...that sure was a long time ago!)

We really didn't want to have to do that, as he has about 10 more years to retirement. Why is the grass always greener too far away??
I am trying to lower my expectations, but for a farm girl, that is really hard. I'm down to 2 acres. How can a farm girl go any lower than that??? I grew up on a 40 acres and 100 acre farm. 2 acres isn't expecting much. (In fact, the idea of just 2 acres just about kills me, but I'm willing if I have to)
I've been reading these wonderful blogs about homesteading, and I would just so love the opportunity to try it before I get too old. I know, mid 40's isn't that old, but I sure don't feel like 20 anymore, that's for sure, lol!
I started going to the gym this winter, and I can't believe how much my legs ache. In the evening, I can hardly walk when I first get up from sitting. What is this?? I never used to have that problem. I feel like a cripple. I don't know...sigh.
Anyway, the homesteading thing. I want so much for a few acres to grow stuff. I want to grow a small orchard, maybe 1/2 dozen apple trees (love Cortland and Ginger Gold!) plus a plum, apricot, a couple of peach (love peaches and nectarines - the native ones are so good here!) and nectarine... Then I'd like to try growing raspberry, blueberry and blackberry bushes. Maybe even a strawberry bed like my mother used to have when I was growing up. (Unfortunately, it was growing over the septic/leach field area, and had to be torn up when that needed replacing.
It pays to plan ahead, huh?) And of course, a nice veggie and herb garden. I love lavender and rosemary, although rosemary struggles here unless it's in a very protected southern exposure.
Did I mention flowers? I LOVE LOVE LOVE flowers. I can't wait to grow peonies, roses, hydrangea.. things I haven't been able to grow while renting. Very hard to move these large bushes. Then the many kinds of perennials one can grow in zone 6. It's wonderful! (this is coming from a girl who spent 16 years in gardening zone 3B/4a! :0))
I have flower beds here that I've tended for 3 years, and boy are some of them really spreading. It's going to be a challenge relocating my bed of bee balm, which grew from 2 or 3 plants to an area about 8 feet x 5 feet. They sure like to migrate.

(how am I going to relocate this bed of plants???)

I would love a nice bed of tall phlox in different colors. They smell so good! And a permanent place for my clematis. I have 4 or 5 out there, but I need permanent trellises to really enjoy them. I love clematis, and would love several varieties.
OH, I forget to mention lilacs. They smell wonderful too, and there are many varieties of those. My mother used to cut several bunches every spring and have bouquets around the house while I was growing up. I can still remember the large green glass vase she used on the dining room table. And...the little spiders that used to come along for the trip inside. :0)
Not only do I want to grow all sorts of wonderful things (and hire several helpers to take care of these acres of things - no, just kidding! It will be me, just me.) but I'd like to raise a few animals too. My dh and I would like to raise a few chickens for eggs. Maybe a few for meat eventually, but that would involve either finding a local processor or doing it ourselves (not there yet, ) and I would dearly love to have a horse or two again. I grew up with horses, was passionate about them, and now my neighbors has 5 of them that I have enjoyed watching all winter across our little marsh.

I guess I digressed a bit here. Back to homesteading. I would also love a clothesline. Nothing like the smell of freshly dried towels and sheets on the line. And nighties too! So lovely when getting into bed and the fresh linen smell just wafts around you as you settle in for the night.

Well, enough of that. I think you get the picture. And I'm sure I've said most of this in other posts last year. Nothing has changed, I guess. I've been trying to convince myself to just buy a small home on a 1/2 acre and get it over with. But the though of it just about kills me. It's like being condemned to a half life. I'm sure it wouldn't be quite that bad, but for a girl who loves to be outdoors planting something and hanging around a barn, it seems that way sometimes.
I feel like it's my last 'kick at the can' and if I don't do it know, it may never happen. Well, Lord willing and we are able to find something, perhaps I can still have part of my dream, if not all of it. My prayer is that either we find something we like that we can afford and live with, or the Lord helps me to change my way of thinking. More often that not, it's usually a combination. I'm learning to be open. :0)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I've reminded myself this morning that I am allowed to be happy. Yes, I am. At least for this moment in time. I am reminding myself once again, because I seem to forget. No matter my troubles or concerns, I must allow myself space to just be happy. To smile at everyone or no one at all. To take a deep breathe, turn up the corners of my mouth, clear my mind, and just be. To think happy thoughts.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8
This is such a great verse. It encourages us to dwell on the positive, not the negative. It seems we can fall into a rut of always dwelling on the negative in our lives. In fact, this can even lead to depression, or at least be a big contributing factor.
I believe this verse is a protection for us, good advise. A guide to our thought life. God wants us to live wholesome lives, with a sound mind. And I am all for that.
So this morning, I am thinking good thoughts. Taking a break from dwelling on all the major decisions we are facing this spring, the relationships we wish were better, the life we want that seems just out of reach...whatever you are facing right now, just open your mental closet door and shove them in there for a bit. Read the Word, listen to some uplifting music, count your blessings, spend some time with God, and renew your perspective. Really, it does help. It may not fix everything that's wrong in your life, but changing ones perspective or just deciding the let God handle it for awhile can relieve that mental pressure. Remember, you are allowed to be happy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March came in like a lamb...

but has been roaring ever since. At least here in the northeast. Rain, rain and more rain. Flooding of the Farmington and Connecticut rivers. Oh the joy...
At least the snow is disappearing. I thought it would take until the first of May, with the record amount of snow we received this winter, but with 3 - 5 inches of rain, it's amazing how fast it can disappear. We were away up north for a week, and came home to mostly bare lawns. Wow. Our upper driveway had at least 3 feet of snow in it, and now it's mostly gravel. So there is definitely an upside to rain. And not being in a flood zone is very helpful too. :0)
Actually, rain is good for us, if we could just moderate it a bit, since we had a drought last summer. Our well would run dry if we used any more than absolutely necessary. I had to get creative for awhile to conserve and water my flowers, but it worked out ok. So we really do need the extra moisture, even though it's not exactly how we would have planned it.
My columbine and iris are coming up rapidly. The iris never dies off here during the winter like it did up in Maine. Their location on the sunny protected south side of the garage also helps. Perhaps I should have planted the lavender on that side...hmmm. My biggest lavender bush seems to have survived so far this winter. I have noticed that a more mature plant has a better chance than small younger ones. Perhaps I should be buying the gallon sized pots instead of the little 4"?
Signs of spring are popping up everywhere. Robins are singing, the male cardinals are courting their beloveds. And the bicycle lady went by yesterday in her vintage 1950's green bicycle with it's cute little white basket. Good for her! She may stand out among the racing cyclist crowd, but she's getting her exercise and doing her part for the environment. :0)
Which reminds me, shall I go to the gym today, or walk here along the road? Neither sounds appealing at the moment. Darn. Sure do wish exercising was more fun. Perhaps I should buy a 1950's vintage bicycle...