A New Focal Point For Christmas
We finally finished the fireplace in the tv room adding a beautiful and simple mantel.
Yeh, I know I should clean up the floor by the fireplace. But we are real here on this blog about our imperfections. I don’t do this for pinterest pins. I do it to document the way we live here and life at Wildflower Farm. I wear many hats here, house cleaner, personal shopper, animal care giver, farmer, homesteader, cook and restaurant staff, resident artist, manufacturer, food preserver and so very very many more. Realistically, I don’t always have time for the simple little stuff. So excuse the fireplace it’s realness. Just because it isn’t clean in these photos doesn’t mean I don’t clean it regularly. Just that I don’t have the time to spare every two hours.
I am really thrilled to finally have a mantel in the tv room. it has been bugging me since we moved in over seven years ago. I always hated this room it always felt ratty to me. Having people hang out in here always made me feel self conscious at the unfinished rattiness. Everyone thought it looked fine except me. But now, this room has becomes absolutely perfect and so beautiful. it is amazing what one little piece of old wood can do for a space, when it creates the most simple lovely focal point. I will never be ashamed of this room again. I can now be very proud of it. I am over the moon I am so happy.
We got it up and dressed it lightly for christmas last night. It is just so lovely in here. I can now feel restful in this space without always being drawn to the fireplace for all the wrong reasons and feeling something simply isn’t right. Now nothing feels wrong. The focus is just right.
Thank you for reading and for being the first to see the new improved fireplace.
Amanda of Wildflower Farm
Wildflower Farm, is a small New England homestead, B&B and AirBnB, in the Baystate. We came out here 7 years ago, when we returned from the better part of 10 years as peripatetic aristotelian nomads, for my husband's post docs. Upon our return, we had a plan. We had a lovely home. Everything was so clear. Then, I got sick. Things I used to eat all the time during our travels elsewhere in the world and even here before I left almost 10 years earlier made me ill. It took a couple trips to the ER and a trip to specialist... It became clear, something had changed in the way food is processed in this country since last I lived here. Some off label things was inevitably going to be my demise.
My husband and I looked around to see the clear path we were on, had exploded in front of us. We decided we had to create a new path for ourselves. We put children on hold. We found a small piece of land with a house we loved in a rural suburb in a right to farm area. I began researching how to do it ourselves. Grow it ourselves, make it ourselves, survive on our own as much as possible. We bought the property, and began plotting a new course. One that didn't involve off label chemicals. Closer to nature, with a lot more DIY, gardens, and animals for the products they provide. We created a life we loved though it hasn't always been easy and has of course come with compromise with each other, and even with ourselves.
Our family thought we had lost our minds. What were we doing leaving the city? We had no idea how hard this would be. They thought we would be back in 6 months. That was over 7 years ago, now. We have been making it work. They were not wrong, it isn't easy. But has anything worth doing ever been easy? And for us, avoiding as much store bought food as possible was simply necessary so I could live given how sick I was getting.
Then Covid hit.... We were lucky to have this place. It has allowed us a lot less need for public use territories which has kept us a lot safer and spared us much of the risk others face daily. This place, has given us a privilege through this of great meaning to us. To be of use in a difficult time. We have been able to help friends family and even strangers in need when things couldn't be found on store shelves. Or money was tight due to not working, rent being due and a child at home, or some other draining situation. We are so very grateful to have been able to not be helpless like so much of society through this miserable time. Our families, got used to it some time ago, us being out here. They made peace with it the day there was no bread and they had to ask me for some. Or when fresh vegies were rotten due to supply chain issues but they could find plenty in my garden.
Wildflower Farm, was a place I dreamed of. One of those sweet pastoral dreams a city dweller grows up knowing will never come true, that became unavoidable when I became ill. I never expected to get to do this. I never thought I had what it takes to make this work. I have learned pacing myself is important, compromise is critical, hard work never ends, burn out is real so breaks are just a necessary evil.
We are not fully self sufficient, but we work hard in that direction as we create a new path through life for ourselves, always reaching to do even more ourselves and to get closer to the ideal we envision. We are however far more self sufficient than many in this world. 7 years in, we continue to learn and grow in this homesteading lifestyle. We welcome comments and advice and ideas and questions.
We welcome visitors from all over to our home with strict covid policies in place. We spend our time learning to live all over again in a more environmental and sustainable way though even there we are far from perfect always learning and growing doing better as we know better.
This little homestead farm is a magical place named for the New England wildflowers that grow all around. A place where a physicist, watches the night sky on clear nights with the aide of mirror and glass, and a woman, works endlessly in the gardens, the kitchen, and a variety of projects to create and to keep a very unique life style running and functioning. Wildflower Farm, has become so much more than simply a piece of land we can grow a few vegetables on. The longer I spend here, the more alive the land seems, the more I learn about it's function and the more meaning it has. My place in the universe and the next steps on our new path become ever more clear.
We welcome you on this journey with us.
I scrolled through the gallery and immediately fixed on the beautiful framed quilt piece…so lovely as is the entire space.
Ahhh yes, out in manitoba, a place I lived for some time… About 5 hours into the boondocks from Winnipeg, there at least used to be an adorable little antique store. The woman who ran it used to get these super old quilts from like practically ancient times.Think civil war and a bit after… Never from after the 1930s. She would cut them up to salvage what she could and would frame them in old barn wood frames. At the time, I was living on 20 acres, managing someone’s horses to keep the rent low while my husband did his first post doc at the local university an offshoot of the university of Winnipeg. I wanted to decorate my space. So mum and I picked up a few things. This was one of them. When we came back to the USA, we brought it with us. We got married and what little we had went into storage for years while we lived in EU. We couldn’t bring much… We returned, finally. We were going to stay in the apartment I had purchased in my early 20s… But that is when food suddenly started making me sick and trips to the hospital happened and we moved out here. We now had a house to decorate. Getting this piece out of storage and putting it up meant so very much to me. I was so happy to see it again. It’s a special piece that has so many stories to tell having seen so much of history.