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My girls often like to ask me what my favorite room is at Waffle Hill Farm. It’s not easy to answer. I love the kitchen, with it’s wall of windows looking over my clothesline, and old linoleum kitchen floor, old painted cabinets and creaky old stove. It’s a workhorse of a kitchen. Or our bedroom–breezy and bright. Or the living rooms–dark and cozy and overflowing with books.
It’s hard to choose, when you love a place.
But one of the favorites at the top of my list is the Waffle Hill porch. In the spring and summer, we slide open the windows to let in the breeze from the top of the hill. We escape the heat of the kitchen to enjoy our dinners with the coolness of the porch breeze and ceiling fans. During the school year, the younger girls and I sit around the big farm table to do school lessons. In the winter, the warm sun streaming through the windows makes it the perfect spot to sneak away for an afternoon nap in the sun. (Someone else in the family has discovered it’s good for napping too. Ahem. He has four paws and also prefers the sofa.)
The porch is where we gather for family dinners. It’s where I find the kids hiding out in the afternoons or just before bed–a quiet space to escape.
It’s our overflow for big family parties. The “kids table”. The “hors-devours and drinks are the on the porch” space.
It’s the place in my house where I can slip out with a book or magazine and it feels like maybe I’m actually on vacation.
You can ask my husband, but before we even moved into Waffle Hill last summer I was already telling Dan that I wanted to hang lights on the porch. I had it already pictured in my head. We temporarily strung up some Christmas lights when we took down the tree, but they looked sloppy and weren’t the look I wanted.
children and nature / IN THE GARDEN
I have been dreaming about doing this for a really really long time. Like 3 moves ago–long time. But I’ve never had a house with the right sized wall, or the right space, or a house that was special enough to take on such a nostalgic, dear-to-my heart project.
This is a picture of what we called the “pantry” in my grandparent’s house. You’ve probably heard me talk about this special place many times here before. There were 15 kids and this pantry was a long narrow room with a wall of cupboards on one side and a giant map on the other. Down the middle were two long farm tables with benches on either side. It was where we’d gather for meals. Some days every spot at the benches would be full with extra bodies overflowing into the kitchen. Other days there would be a quiet 3 or 4 gathered at one end for a cup of soup or a glass of iced tea.
The giant map covered the wall from floor to ceiling. Every so often it would get replaced with an updated version. It was great for conversations when talked about someone’s trip or things happening in the news. And served as the backdrop to many meals, craft projects, coloring sessions or games of cards.
One of the things I love about our home is including things that remind me of my family.
And hanging a map wall has been on that list for a really long time.
I purchased our map from Amazon* several years ago (but it’s still available). It stayed tucked away in its shipping carton in a corner of Woodlawn. I knew I wasn’t going to hang it there.
But when we moved to Waffle Hill Farm, getting the map hung was high on my to do list. (aka Dan’s to do list.) This winter when we had a big gathering for a Christmas party, Dan decided to take on the map hanging project and we had the perfect place.
I feel like I could easily become a crazy plant lady. Maybe it was the doldrums of winter but I’m going through a new obsession where I want all.the.plants. So when I saw a friend’s terrarium garden several weeks ago, it immediately got bumped to the very top of my to-do list.
I have definite memories of some type of terrarium-ish garden I had as a child. Planted in an oversized goldfish bowl it was also home to a collection of woolly bears and their subsequent chrysalis.
Birdy was my sidekick in terrarium planting (surprise, I know.) and we decided if we were going to do it, we were going big. So we started with a 2-gallon Anchor Hocking glass canister. I was able to purchase all my supplies on Amazon and the whole process was simple + fun. A perfect kid project or a relaxing crazy plant lady project. You decide. Read More