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Thursday, October 27, 2016

fall "inside"

(In writing this post I realized two crazy & amazing things: one - I have been writing this blog for EIGHT YEARS now, and two-  this is my FOUR-HUNDRED-AND-ONE post!  Thank you to each and every one of you who have followed our journey for years, to the new people who arrive each day and to that group of crazy ,wonderful readers (you know who you are!) who have told me they've gone back and reread the WHOLE blog from the beginning.  A couple have even done it twice!!! I swear some of you know more about the house and the renovation than I do!!   You are all so dear to me (and Dan,) and you are probably tired of hearing this, but I am just so grateful and thankful that you are here and are part of our journey.  I so appreciate that you are interested in our house, our life and our rescue pups and that you allow me to share it all with you by reading, following and commenting.  
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. xxo 

Since I showed you fall "outside" the farmhouse in my last post HERE, I thought you might like to come inside and have a look around.
Welcome, come on in...

The entry chest has a collection of antique and vintage Italian alabaster fruit.  The large apples and pears are a rare find.  I found one of the large pairs at an estate sale in Dallas many years ago.  They were some ridiculous price and I carried them through the whole sale knowing if I put them in a "save-pile" at the checkout someone would grab them- they are super heavy and I remember my arms ached for days from carrying them all around the sale!  The things we do for love!!
Antique alabaster pendant fixture found at the Paris flea market.

I love this shot with the sun shining on the antique French Napeleon III bergere.  We found the pair at the Paris Flea Market.  The leopard pillow is made from a pair of antique hand warmers that I sewed together.

And, this wider view which shows the fireplace lit.

I had lots of "assistants" helping when I was taking photos as you will see:)  This is Louise.

This is a great shot to show how beautiful Benjamin Moore's Pearl finish is on ceilings.  To read more about this favorite detail of mine HERE.

Photo assistants Louise and Ella taking a break:)

Sweet Louise

Sweet Ella

Sweet, and oh-so-funny & silly,  Magnolia

The dining room.

I changed out the fishing floats for the season for my beloved piece of Colorado forest wood- story HERE.

The reading room is such a cozy fall room.  The feathers in the plant in the antique urn were all found over the years on the property.

Slightly different angle showing the antique Italian case piece.

A favorite painting, so perfect for fall, by the late Jerry Wilkerson, famed pointillism artist (though this work is not painted in pointillism.)  

Closeup of the bookcase.  Story of the antique door HERE

Several pieces from our collection of antique tortoiseshell.

"Mavis" donning antique leopard for the cold fall and winter months!

As I was taking photos for you the sun started going down.  This is how the reading room looks in late afternoon on a sunny day.

Love the shadows in this photo taken a bit later.  The light draws you in and you just want to sit here at this time of day.

A closeup of the antique and vintage Italian alabaster fruit on the entry chest of drawers.

Miniature white pumpkins on the kitchen fireplace mantel.

I kept the island cleared off for the summer, but once fall arrived and I started cooking more I felt the need to have "my things" back on top!  Usually there is a puppy in the dog bed (and no, I am sorry I do not have a source for it, as I've had it for probably 20 years now.  It belonged to our first rescue, Kelsey.)

I've replaced the natural linen sink skirt with a pea-green ticking stripe which I love!

Vintage green-glazed yellowware bowls, antique English ironstone, hotel silver flatware and tray and the last of the hydrangeas from yard top the marble island for fall.

View from the kitchen through the courtyard to the front meadow.

"And that has made all the difference"

Iron bird in the original stall window in the barn mud room.

Thank you for visiting; I hope you come back again soon;)

Friday, October 21, 2016

fall at the farmhouse and my roasted butternut squash soup

Welcome to fall in New Hampshire!  
We were a bit worried with the extremely hot and dry summer we had that the foliage might be less than, but it has turned out to be a spectacular fall- the colors do not disappoint.  I took these photos for you a couple of days ago late afternoon, so you will see the light changing throughout the photos.

You can see we still have some green on the sugar maples that line the gravel drive.  Our neighbors sugar maples always turn several weeks before ours and it is a magnificent show from our front porch.  The girls were helping me take photos, so you will see a lot of them playing!  This is 12-year-old Ella playing "get your gizzard" with 2-year-old Magnolia, and Ella can catch her!

The drive from the house down to the road.

The freshly painted house, sans shutters, with windows open!  The perfect fall day.

 The cushions on the front porch are feather/down filled and I change out the covers several times throughout the year.  Because the porch is covered and we do not suffer from extreme humidity on a regular basis they do great on the porch.

I see two tails photo-bombed this pic!

The front meadow.

We, along with an arborist, trimmed up all the sugar maples, that line the drive, this summer and we are loving the higher canopy over the drive.   We absolutely adore these trees and they are a very important component to our property, so not a single limb was cut without  our  my approval!  It's all about the health of the tree, of course, but also the aesthetic on what the view is looking out/looking in towards the house and the light/exposure that a cut will make.  I look at every single cut (and there were hundreds:) from many different angles and then will then go back to the front porch, since we sit there so often, to make sure the cut works from that important angle.  The perfect tree cutting job and the goal is always to say "What did we cut??" at the end since it still looks so natural and like nothing at all was really done! 

Love Ella chasing Magnolia in the background of this pic!

Louise is standing in front of the stairs off the back porch that we added this summer.

We love the new stairs- they just feel so right for the scale of the house and porch, and they are SO user friendly!  The dry-stacked stones still need to be worked and finished, but just so happy to have the stairs (they were my birthday present this year!!)

The sun starting to fade in the west.

The house as the sun was setting.

So happy and grateful to live here and call this farmhouse home.  The house lights are on, the candles in the front garden are lit, now let me get you a cocktail and we'll do our evening "walk about" around the property;  the girls, of course, will accompany and entertain us!

I love getting back in the kitchen with the arrival of fall, so I'll be sharing lots of my go-to recipes with you (I had a lot of requests to show you what was in my "go-to's" folder that you saw in my cooking file drawer from this post on my kitchen drawers HERE.)  I have been making this roasted butternut squash soup for a good twelve years or so.  I combined several recipes to make up this one and it is a fall/winter favorite.  Here I served the soup with an open face sandwich  made of multi-grain ciabatta bread, which I grilled with swiss cheese and sun dried tomatoes and topped with a spring mix of lettuces.  I've made this soup for many a fall lunches with guests, and it is always a hit!  The recipe is below.  
Also, if you missed my Italian Sausage Soup recipe you MUST try it HERE.  It is so good and so simple and perfect for fall.


1 medium butternut squash
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. freshly grated ginger (I use a microplane) (or 1 t. dried, but fresh is preferred)
1 carton (4 cups) organic chicken broth
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. kosher salt (my favorite is Diamond Krystal)
2 t. curry powder
pepper to taste
1- 3 T. honey (depending on the natural sweetness of the squash)
1 cup half and half

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds ( I use a small ice cream scoop, but a large spoon with also work.)  Rub cut side, not the skin, lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (fyi- these ingredients are in addition to those listed in the above recipe.)  Roast squash cut side down on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 50- 60 minutes or longer, depending on the size of your individual squash.  You want the skin to be very brown and dimpled.  Set aside and cool.  When completely cool, scoop the pulp out of the skin.

Cook the onion with the 2 T. of olive oil over medium-low heat until softened.  I make this in my LeCreuset dutch oven.  (I have several LeCreuset pieces so I always note which piece I use, black or green meaning large/smaller, on a given recipe- makes life easier when you go to make a recipe you might not have made in months!) 
 Add 1 T. salt, pepper , ginger, nutmeg and curry powder and cook an additional minute.  
Add chicken broth and squash pulp.  Cook over medium heat until hot (do not boil.)
Using a stick blender to puree.  If you don't have a stick blender you NEED one in your life!!! HERE
Add one tablespoon of honey.  Taste for sweetness and add 1-2 T. more.
Add half and half and puree again.  

A photo from several years ago where I served this soup for lunch with good friends.  
Rest in peace sweet Marcie...


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