• not quite fall front porch colonial farmhouse
    decorating,  gardening and landscape

    Our Not Quite Fall Front Porch

    We have a not quite summer, not quite fall front porch right now. Anyone else feeling like they are sitting on the fence between seasons at this very moment with their decor? No? Just me? You couldn’t even give me a shove either way off the seasonal fence because I like it right where I am at the moment. It’s just so pleasant in New Jersey right now. We can hang out outside without wilting under the intense heat and humidity of summer. It’s not yet sweatshirt weather though with the daytime temperatures still in the 70s. In other words, it is perfect. If New Jersey was always like this,…

  • colonial farmhouse landscaping stone path outdoor project progress
    gardening and landscape

    2021 Outdoor Project Progress

    Do you know what’s great about blogging? There are thousands of people to hold you accountable to what you say you are going to do. That’s also the downside of blogging. Ha! Today I’m updating you on our 2021 outdoor project progress! We’re a good chunk of the way through summer, so let’s hope I’ve made a little progress, right? If you’ve been following along on social media, especially stories, you’ll be familiar with some of this work. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out on the rollercoaster of emotions that is every single project we tackle: excitement, anticipation, regret, hope, relief, excitement, pride, vows to never tackle that project…

  • value of a tree mulberry tree
    gardening and landscape

    How to Calculate the Value of a Tree

    Have you ever considered the value of a tree? Before you write this post off as boring, hang with me for just a second. It will be worth your while. I’m not just talking about the value of a tree in terms of what it cost to purchase or in terms of how much money it would bring if harvested. I’m not even talking about the intrinsic value of a tree to a person or community’s social and emotional well-being. I’m talking about the quantifiable value of a tree as it relates to property value, electricity saved, stormwater diverted, and air quality improved. Do I have your attention yet? The…

  • wood flag american flag on wood door
    DIY,  gardening and landscape

    Wood Flag Painted on an Old Door

    Our Colonial Farmhouse dates back to the 1780s. The small barn on our property isn’t quite that old, but we know it is over 100 years old. On the side of our barn hung a wood flag. Well, what was left of it. The American flag was only recognizable on that strip of wood because that symbol is imprinted on our subconscious. I didn’t hang the wood flag there. I don’t know how long it had been hanging there. Suffice to say, that poor wood flag had seen a storm or two. We actually didn’t realize the American flag was on a wood door until we took the flag down.…

  • black and blue outdoor furniture
    decorating,  gardening and landscape

    Black and Blue Outdoor Furniture

    Our deck is sporting black and blue outdoor furniture. Did that sentence make it sound like our outdoor furniture rumbled after school? While most of our outdoor furniture is second-hand and was in rough shape when I found it, it is looking decidedly better after a little spray paint session. I’ve also done some outdoor furniture switching around in an effort to only keep the things we use. There will be a quiz at the end, so pay attention. To that end, the table in this below picture from October 2020 was set out by the side of the road and now has a new home. It came with the…

  • black metal roof carriage house
    gardening and landscape

    2021 Outdoor Projects on our To Do List

    This winter I spent an obscene amount of time curled up in a cozy chair drafting an epic list of 2021 Outdoor Projects. While some people find satisfaction in checking completed items off a to-do list, I find satisfaction in having a legitimate reason to never start that list in the first place. Three feet of snow covering the ground as far as the eye can see seems like an excellent excuse to procrastinate.   Alas, the snow finally melted and I’m now 99.367% certain it is safe to leave my cozy chair and start working on these outdoor projects. While it might be safe to start outside work, one of the…

  • fall colors in new jersey 2020
    gardening and landscape

    Fall Colors in New Jersey 2020

    The fall colors in New Jersey brightened my spirits in a plethora of ways this year. 2020 has been a heavy year on so many different fronts. Our new normal doesn’t feel normal. There’s excess noise coming at us from every direction. Even a simple outing requires a complex set of risk/reward calculations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got out of my car to walk into a store only to turn around because I forgot my mask. It’s exhausting. Oh, and it isn’t over yet. That’s why my daily walks, especially when I can soak in the fall colors in New Jersey, have been my sanity saver. There’s something restorative about being…

  • deck with black railing
    gardening and landscape,  colonial farmhouse

    Finally, The Deck is Done

    Ding dong, our deck with black railing is finally done! I’ve only been waiting months to say that. While house projects sometimes feel like our full time job, they aren’t! That’s why they take a real life amount of time to complete. Although, this deck project took an extraordinarily long time to finish – even for us – due to factors out of our control. As it turns out, there was a pressure-treated lumber shortage in our part of the U.S. due to the work stoppages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But nobody told us that before we started ripping up the old deck! Oops. We might have put off…

  • gardening and landscape

    The Year of the Garden and What We Learned

    2020 sure has been the year of the garden, hasn’t it? You thought I was going to say the year of bread making, didn’t you? Well, that too. So many people seem to have a renewed interest in growing all manner of fruits, veggies, herbs, and other plants while stuck at home with extra time on their hands during a global pandemic. Or maybe they just like dirt under their fingernails? That’s probably it. It definitely has been the year of the garden for our family. I don’t think we would have dove into gardening so heavily if this had been a normal year. Drastic times called for drastic measures…

  • The Colonial Farmhouse's Curb Appeal
    gardening and landscape

    The Colonial Farmhouse’s Curb Appeal

    When we bought our Colonial Farmhouse I knew there was one thing that would instantly improve its curb appeal: actually being able to SEE the house. Funny how curb appeal works. If you can’t see past the curb there is no appeal. If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year (thank you), then you’ll know we’ve been working on that one facet of our Colonial Farmhouse’s curb appeal since the day we bought the place. Are we that slow or was the job just that large? Yes and yes. Yes, we are slow because we tackle things around here in spurts and starts. Yes, the job was just…