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Showing posts from December, 2019

Looking Ahead to 2020 - Happy New Year!

Doesn't it seem like time marches forward quickly?  It's hard to believe that 2020 is almost here!  Already it's time to ring in the new year and a new decade as well. As the new year approaches, we find ourselves pondering change. We were sitting in front of the fire yesterday morning talking about the new year and considering whether or not we should set any New Year's Resolutions.  I wasn't sure that I really wanted to participate in the annual tradition, since I don't like setting ourselves up for failure by deciding on lofty goals that are nearly unattainable.  But I wanted to hear what the other members of the family had to say.  I was pleasantly surprised by their suggestions. The first idea that was offered was to travel more.  This came from my daughter.  But where would we go and why? I know she'd like to travel around the world (who wouldn't?), but we aren't ready for that type of vacation in the next year.  My husband suggested t

Merry Christmas from Vintage Home and Farm

We're sending the warmest and happiest holiday wishes your way this Christmas!  Despite the unusually wet and dreary weather of the past few days (we've had an "atmospheric river" pass over this side of Washington), we are keeping warm and staying in good spirits thanks to both the wood fires burning in our hearths and our family and friends who have warmed our hearts with their love and good cheer.  We are reminded of the special meaning of Christmas and know that we are truly blessed. As is our tradition, our Christmas tree is decorated with all the handmade and gifted ornaments we've collected over the years. It's a family Christmas tree with no other theme except treasures that have special meaning to each of us. As I write this, dinner is cooking in the oven and we are kicking back and relaxing after spending the day traveling to visit family.  My daughter is drawing next to the tree and my husband is reading. This year we decorated with min

How to Start a Fire in a Wood Stove

It's taken me a little while to figure out how to light a fire in the wood stove and perhaps more importantly, how to keep it going. What I struggled with the most was determining how much paper, kindling and bigger pieces of wood needed to be in the pile in order for the firebox to become engulfed in flames, and then how quickly to add more wood to keep it burning efficiently.  Finally, after much trial and error, I  succeeded in building a great fire that quickly engulfs the wood, builds up a nice base of coals as the wood breaks down, and stays going late into the evening. Our wood stove is a free-standing Jotul F 3 CB.  It's not a very large wood stove, and so sadly stuffing it full once lit isn't actually an option.  We have to continuously feed more wood to keep it going.  The longest it can burn without inserting another piece of wood is about 3 hours, but then you'll need to start with some kindling and really coax the fire back up from nearly-extinguished c

Mouse Captured in Chicken Coop with Homemade Doughnut

I have been trying with no luck for weeks to catch the mouse that has been plaguing our coop and cellar.  I've used all the recommended bait, including peanut butter, cheese, grain and bread. I also tried using a few remaining bits of produce that the mouse had already been munching on in my cellar - squash, potatoes and onions - but he ignored those, too. Then yesterday I put the trap out next to the chicken coop with a homemade doughnut in there.  The doughnut had gone a bit stale and so we didn't want to eat it, but it seemed perfect for a mouse. The doughnuts were indeed quite lovely and so I can see why a mouse would be tempted to go into the steel cage to eat one.  I made them on Saturday morning when we wanted to go out and buy doughnuts.  Homemade seemed healthier. I even cut the confections into holiday shapes before putting them into canola oil to fry. Then I dusted some with powdered sugar, rolled others in cinnamon sugar and poured a frosting glaz