Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Elegant Elements

I have not posted in awhile because I have been extremely busy.  Very, Very busy.  Did I mention extremely busy?  Not the busy that most people are used to I'm sure but for me very busy.  All with wonderful good things like volunteering at school and watching my boys play hockey and helping someone in need and going on dates with my husband to Lowes.  All very good things but I am just not used to getting my kids in bed after 8:30 and falling asleep while I read them stories.  We each have seasons in our lives of busyness.  I used to have to nurse the baby while I read to the preschooler and chased the toddler.  All at once.  My mom would say "Enjoy it.  It will go by fast."  And looking back it did.  Now that I'm down to one kiddo at home I thought things would slow down but we are just as busy, just with different things.  But I love it and I love experiencing life with them.  As long as I get a few afternoons in the garden once in awhile. 

I've always tried to make time to do things for me that I love admist the busyness.  Most of the time I love where I am but I dream about and am inspired by a certain lifestyle that I don't necessarily get to live out.  Like the poet who writes from her bedroom window overlooking Paris.  Or the artist who overlooks the River Seine as she paints the tourists.  Sensing a pattern here?  I take elements of what I imagine these carefree women with their lavish lifestyles enjoy, that appeal to me.  For instance, I love local coffee shops but I would rather make my own cappucino or spiced chai tea latte.  I love to buy fancy drink ingredients and make them to suit my taste and my budget.  My sister got me hooked on making my own chocolate croissants after having one for brunch on the Plaza by simply placing one piece (or more!) of your favorite really good chocolate inside a Pillsbury triangle croissant dough.  I can make a dozen for the price of one and enjoy it without leaving my kitchen.

I have always loved decorating, especially at the change of a season.  At times I feel frustrated in a house full of men; thinking "What's the point?"  Recently I met with a good friend whose beautifully decorated home inspired me to remember that I do it because it makes me happy.  A quick google search of fall decorating or flipping through a favorite magazine can get my juices flowing to create even small vingettes that make me smile.

Who doesn't love fresh flowers?  A few years ago when I was daydreaming, as a lot of stay at home moms do, I created my "dream budget."  It was to include an amount for weekly bouquets.  I don't treat myself to my favorite florist as often as I'd like but in the summer I pick bouquets from my garden that cost pennies from the seed aisle.  Even a branch from the out of doors can look artfully arranged on your fireplace mantle.

In case you haven't noticed I love all things french so a few years back I searched for french musicians.  I fell in love with a few artists whose songs I may not be able to understand but they can instantly put me in the mood that I'm not surrounded by screaming children, loads of laundry and dozens of action figures. 

The woman sets the mood in the home for sure.  It's sometimes a frustrating responsibility.  It took me a long time to realize I have to make myself happy and can't wait for someone to do something for me that will make me happy.  For me, surrounding myself with beautiful things and delicacies to eat, good music and lots of fresh air make me happy.  If I take the time to pray and do something for myself before the kiddos wake up (coffee alone; bliss) it's a definete step in the right direction.  Even throughout the day if I am doing chores while listening to my favorite show, that's 30 minutes of me time that helps make me a better wife and mother.

What do you do to keep your sanity and include elegant elements in your every day?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Farm to Fancy

Yesterday's post was more of a passionate farm blog; today's is how to take some of that earthy farmgirl stuff and incoraporate into your life in a fresh & fancy way.  The topic is one of my favorite things:  BATHS

Someday....(my poor husband will be working on my Honey Do list until he retires!) I NEED one of these charming outdoor baths like I first saw in a Mary Jane Farms magazine (which I'm totally addicted to.  She even has a GirlScout kinda badge thing going on....super fun!)

But until that happens I love to soak INSIDE!  There are so many fabulous products out there that someday I will post about (I have friends who are soap experts) but today I want to focus on what I have here on the farm.  MILK & HERBS. 

If you don't grow your own herbs you can get some from your local Farmers' Market or even your hometown HyVee and tie them in a bundle in your shower or bath.  Try chamomile at night or lemon balm in the morning.http://mountainroseblog.com/savoring-summer/  How romantic is a fresh bath bouquet?

I love this article on using GOAT'S MILK in the most luxurious bath yet.  Check out http://www.localharvest.org/ to find some near you.  http://healthytimesarticles.com/warm-milk-bath/  As you can read in this article goat's milk can protect your skin from harmful rays and the aging process!  Inside or out this is why I own my sweet girls.

By adding all natural goat's milk to your bath your body will soak up all the goodness in it (definetely read the article above for all the benefits) and enjoy. 

A bath isn't complete without candles and music and a glass of tea or wine.  I have a chandelier in mine.  Even if you just treat yourself to this leisurlely evening once a week or even once a month your body and mind will thank you.  You deserve it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It feels like Spring here on the farm.  Cooler temps and new life everywhere.  We should have new lambs in the next few weeks and we just hatched two baby turkeys in the incubator. 

After reading about the Slow Food Movement and Heritage Breeds I knew I wanted to have these special animals on our farm.  Here are a few links for further reading, but basically these are hardy animals that are nearing extinction.  http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/heritage/  http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/programs/ark_product_detail/bourbon_red/
Why?  Because over time certain breeds that produced the most were chosen by farmers and now the others are suffering.  For example, when you imagine a pig or a cow you probably imagine the common pink pig or black & white Holstein cow.  What about chickens?  White chickens & white eggs come to mind?  Yes, these are the common breeds represented in the United States but these animals are also usually in large farms where they can't graze freely or have as humane living quarters.  Did you know the 'Butterball Turkey' has to have it's eggs fertilized by humans (in a round about way) because they are too broad breasted & fat to perform the duty as nature intended.

                                                    babies basking in the heat lamp

One of the animals I wanted to hear out my kitchen window was the Gobble! Gobble! of a turkey and we had our heart set on the Bourbon Red Turkey.  We were thrilled to find a listing on our local Craigslist for a hen & tom!  We snatched them up and chose to incubate the eggs for definete results.  Just this week the two babies were born.  The boys named them Love & BlueBerry.  I secretly call them Easter & Dinner.  I know that sounds awful but I want to know where my food comes from and know that it enjoyed a good life and ate good food. 

There are so many beautiful Heritage Breeds that are a joy to keep with docile personalities, hardy to your climate & charming coloring.  I have several still on my Must Have list.  Right now I'm begging my hubby to get me a Hereford Hog. 

Friday, September 9, 2011


I love ART!  From poetry to sculpture.  From painting to knitting.  From gardening to home decorating.  From cooking to soap making.  From feathering your hair to designing clothing.  From playing an instrument to designing a website.  From jewelry to scrapbooking; in my eyes there is ART everywhere.  Even in a hay field!  (Don't tell my dad I think his hayfield is a work of ART!)  Have you ever noticed the patchwork lay of the open land?  I just love to get creative in fresh new ways and right now the world is full of classes everywhere you turn to try out new ARTs & lost ARTs.  There are oodles of new ARTs I want to learn!  I have been on a journey the past few years of taking some of these classes.  I've learned so many wonderful things and met the most amazing people!  And this Sunday our local ART museum is hosting a Free Family ART day which I plan on participating in.  http://albrecht-kemper.org/

One of my favorite ARTsy hotspots to visit is the lovely little town called Leavenworth, KS. It has an amazing jewelry shop where you are the ARTist and can design your own bling.  http://www.artisticworksbylu.com/  While there you can eat at the amazing Peacock Cafe who monthly hosts all kinds of ARTistic classes.  http://www.facebook.com/thepeacockcafe  One fabulous ARTist I was honored to take a class from is Cathy Kline whose paintings simply take my breath away with their beauty.  http://www.cathyklineartgallery.blogspot.com/

Cow Painting by Moi
Remake of old Table Top

I plan on taking a knitting class this fall and hopefully a cheese making class.  I want to learn the lost ART of broom making and basket weaving (too much time at Silver Dollar City this summer?) What new ARTs do you want to learn and what ART do you enjoy?  I'm always up for learning something new.  I'd love to know what inspires you! 

Great Statuary Head with Funky Beaded Necklace and Someday Covered in a Clematis Gown; Pure White of course!

Daddy's Hay Field

The Lone Butternut ARTfully arranged by one of my son's.  For his sake I won't name which one. 

Another piece by one of my little ARTists

Love, Love, Love this beautiful couple and the song they wrote and the video they made.  Enjoy my Friends!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Funny Farm Girl

There is a reason the name of my blog means Funny Farm Girl.  As you follow my blog I hope you'll find inspiration and a sense of motivation that if I can do it you can do it 100 times better!  Seriously, I am by no means an expert at this gardening/farm girl thing but I am learning!!!  Thank you for helping me learn....I'd love for you to post  your ideas on how I might be able to do something easier or better.  I can't just read a book and know how to do something, I'm a YouTube girl.....I've got to see it and try it OVER and OVER before I can do it.  So each year hopefully I will have lived and learned and get the hang of things. 

A few examples.....Shopping:  Where do you buy farm related supplies and feed for your animals?  I try to go to Orschlens because it is close to my house and the people that work there are very helpful and will even help me out to the car.  But they do not carry some of the brands of feed I need.  So my search went on all over our closest big town and I have to sometimes go to the more expensive and less friendly Tractor Supply.  I'm sure it's a hoot to see me pursuing the aisles of this place (although they do carry cute boots, some blingin belts and even pink feed buckets.....the world is getting the hint girlz!) but the real amusing part is when I hit the parking lot.  It all begins with my cart full of 3-4 50 lb bags of feed and little 'ole me and at least one child in tow.  As you leave the store the only way out is down a ramp.  Yep, a ramp.....that goes straight into a parking lot full of usually very nice diesel trucks....situated on one of the steepest hills on our main drag in Joe Town....you've got it; a declining parking lot.  Now, I am getting better and figuring this all out and by now I have learned to park at the bottom of the hill/lot because that is where I'm gonna end up.  Imagine me now, trying to look like the graceful gal I never have been, trying to keep a cart (on wheels ya know) with at least 150 lbs in it from rolling down a hill.  Not pretty!  Luckily I've never hit a car but I usually leave about in a fit of tears.  I heard rumor that a sweet little spot closer to home carries the same feed and will load it for me...Oh happy day! I do hope it's true! 

On to Gardening:  Last year I read a fabulous book that has inspired me in so many areas.  "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver is a book I reference over and over and it's a fun read all about her adventures on the farm.  I highly recommend it.  She eats off her farm or from her neighbors in her county for a full year.  Wow!!!  So we worked all spring to build the Big Garden as we call it.  This garden has 28 raised beds in it.  I'd add more if I could.  I was under the misconception that I plant every seed or bulb in every packet.  For example; in the onions sets I bought (3 different varieties; 1 in each bed) I planted the full bag.  I have onions out the wahhzoo!  (is that even a word?).  However I planted the full seed packet of green beans into one bed and was able to can 6 pints and 1 quart.  I had hoped for enough green beans for the winter not the week!!!!!  Live & learn.  Live & learn. 

Monique one of our Heritage Dominique Hens

 Bamboo Tomato Cages in a Raised Bed
The Reason Why

So as you can see I am a far cry from an expert on farming and I am daily learning how difficult it is to garden organically (I have nightmares about squashbugs) and how expensive it is (any idea how much a good sheep fence is or parts for the waterer or feed or tomato cages....oh my).  But I do enjoy it!  Daresay I LOVE it!  I'm so thankful my husband puts up with all my whims and fancies and actually enjoys this hobby farm as much as I do.  At the end of the day I'd rather be weeding the garden and stomping the squashbugs (another great mental image) or greeting the hens that run (or waddle or whatever it is that they do) towards me and follow me around the yard because they know I'll bring them a treat.  And to see my boys climbing trees and helping Daddy build nesting boxes or searching for potatoes in the dirt....this is why I do it.  Because it's in me.  Somewhere deep down the girl I spent my junior and high school years trying to cover up with make up and name brand clothes and friends and phone calls....somewhere she's down there, emerging daily as I finally embrace who I am and what I love....a Funny Farm Girl.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Long Weekends

 Baby Bell Peppers
 Cat Naps
 Play Time
 Junkin' Finds
 Mating Monarchs
 Miss T
What a great weekend................We sure got a lot accomplished..........in the Outdoors:  laundry on the line, mowed, stacked haybales, picked green beans, climbed trees, 4 wheeler rides, flea market.........Inside:  sorted winter clothes and ordered new ones (love love shopping online!), laundry after making laundry soap, attempted to make sugar with beets (another blog for another day) and lots of coffee & crocheting.  Hope your weekend was just as fabulous!  Now to recuperate! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


My name is Jennifer Morris and I need a steady diet of faith, farm & fancy!!!  My passions for healthy eating and all things French & Fabulous led me on a journey that has brought me closer to God, given me the motivation to embrace the all-natural, organic movement creatively and make it look cute while doing so!  Inspired by open air French markets, rustic estates and God's own handiwork in it's purest form I've created a haven on our farm.  Pastel-hued eggs, dripping honeycombs, fresh milk &  heirloom vegetables are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.  I hope you'll enjoy following my blog about the benefits of life on the farm.