Friday, August 15, 2014

Puppy Love

Hi everyone! My name is Luke Bailey and I am an apricot Maltipoo.  My mom is busy washing clothes, so I decided take over her blog!  Shh, don't tell her.  She thinks I am hiding under the couch!  This is me when they first brought me home.  It was at Christmas, so I have a Christmas name!  Luke is from the the Bible and story of Jesus' birth.  Bailey is from my mom's favorite movie, It's A Wonderful Life!  When humans see me they say, "Awe, how cute"!  My dad says I look like an Ewok!
It took a lot of  finagling before I could come live here.  My mom did a "Like if you think Luke should live with us" campaign on something called Facebook.  See, my dad does not like inside dogs and said "NO, NO, NO" each time my mom asked.  So Mom stopped asking and starting posting really cute pictures of me on Facebook.  She even asked Santa for me! Here is Mom asking Santa!
Mom showed Santa my first portrait and Santa said he liked my blanket!  He thought my dad should give me to my mom.  Yea, Santa!!
Mom had lots of "likes" on Facebook and her friends said that I needed to come live here at Still Woods Farmhouse.  So one day my dad surprised my mom when he said, "Let's go get your puppy"!  Mom was so excited and so was I.  Now I have two BIG brothers to play with when I go outside.  Their names are Lucky and Lucy.  Lucy likes to put my head in her mouth!  She has a BIG mouth!  She gets in trouble when she plays with me like that.

It wasn't long before it was time to get my first haircut.  I go to a special grooming salon that I love.  They even have "Pawdicures", but I think those are just for girls!  I sure was a shaggy puppy, but look at me after my day at the spa! I smelled good too.
This winter lots of white stuff fell from the sky!  It was snow!  My mom and I got out her sled and my dad pulled us through the woods.  He is nice like that! Here is me with my mom! Not many people in Mississippi have a sled.  Mom's sled is the one she had when she was a little girl living in Rockland, Maine.  Mom said they get lots of snow. 
Well this picture is a little embarrassing.  Sometimes our niece comes to visit and she likes to put bows in my hair!  Geez, doesn't she know guys don't wear bows?  This was my Halloween bow! I have eyes in there somewhere.
 I hope you come back and visit me again.  I like new people!  Maybe we can play fetch in the yard or go swimming in the creek.  Thanks for stopping by Still Woods Farmhouse!
We are sharing with these terrific blogs!
Home and Garden Thursday at
Simply Sweet Fridays at
Fridays at Imparting Grace at

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No Matter Where You May Roam...

It has been a busy summer here at Still Woods Farmhouse.  It seems we were in the car more than in our home.  My husband attended a conference at Disney World, so of course, my college son and I had to tag along!  A few days after our return from Mickey's house, we made the long trek from Mississippi to our oldest son's home in Virginia.  I miss that boy so much and treasure the family time we have together.  After returning from Virginia, I was home long enough to wash my clothes, repack and head off with my parents and sister to visit relatives in the Hill Country of Texas.  After three plus weeks of travel, I was never more relieved to find myself back home.

Early in our marriage, I completed a cross-stitch which states, "No matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home".  Don't you find this to be true?  I am comforted by the thoughts of home.  Rocking on the front porch, in the quiet of the morning, readies me for the coming hours.  I enjoy watching the sun dance among the trees as it rises for a new and glorious day. An afternoon walk to the creek to watch Lucky and Lucy romp in the cool water is a balm to my soul.   And at the end of the day, I love to lay my head on my own pillow.  Listening to the sounds of the woods at night, I am gently lulled to sleep.  It is true . . . no matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Honoring Our Heroes: Part 2

(Patriots Point)
What do you think of when you think of Memorial Day?  Picnics, maybe a trip to the beach, extra time for cleaning your home, a much needed break from work?  For me, Memorial Day means more than a three day weekend.  It is a day for honoring the heroes who courageously fought to keep our lands free.  I think of all of my relatives who are included in that list.  My dad is one of the heroic.  He joined the Coast Guard after high school and served with honor and dignity until his retirement.  His military career afforded our family the opportunity to live in places like Puerto Rico, Maine, Hawaii, California, and finally the place we call home, Mississippi.  All beautiful places, with new adventures.  However, what stands out most in my memory are the  long months in Hawaii without my dad as he served in Vietnam.  I remember  proudly watching as my dad and the other men, all in dress uniform,  lined the deck of the ship as it departed the dock in Oahu.  Before the ship slipped from view, a long, sorrowful horn was heard.  It is as that exact moment that the dock, filled with family members, erupted in weeping.  I dreaded that moment.  I knew it was coming, but you cannot totally prepare for it.  Especially for a little girl watching her dad sail away.  I am happy to say that my dad came back to us from Vietnam, but so many others are not as lucky.
(My dad's ship prior to leaving for Vietnam)
Our lands are dotted with the resting places of many fallen soldiers.  The song "Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones"  beautifully describes these hallowed grounds.  We have had the privilege of visiting many of these resting places during our travels.  Arlington National Cemetery's purpose is to "honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery".  I can attest to the beauty of Arlington National Cemetery.  Our youngest son had the extreme honor of laying a wreath at Arlington.  He was in 8th grade and it is a memory that we will never forget. 
(Courtesy of HBO) 
While visiting our oldest son in Virgina, we stumbled upon their Memorial Day ritual of placing flags and luminaries on over 15,000 graves at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery.  Many of those buried there are from the Civil War.  It was a beautiful and touching sight. 
This morning, hundreds of volunteers meet at the Biloxi National Cemetery to decorate the cemetery with a beautiful display of flags.  We have been participating in this meaningful event for many years.  My husband's father and sister are buried at this cemetery as well as my aunt and uncle.  It is a special privilege to place a flag at their grave.  It is also a loving tribute to our soldiers and loved ones.  If you have a similar activity near you, I urge you to join this year in honoring the heroes in your community.
 Blades of grass and pure white stones
Shelter those who've come and gone.
Just below the emerald sod
Are boys who reached the arms of God.

(Lyrics from Blades of Grass and Pure White Stone)

Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler!

Here in the south, we are all about cobblers.  Fresh peach, blackberry, dewberry, blueberry, even chocolate cobblers.   My all time favorite cobbler was a dewberry cobbler made by my grandma Mercer. Dewberries grow on trailing, bramble vines located close to the ground.  Grandma would always warn us to be careful while we were berry picking.  Not only from the brambles, but from dreaded snakes.  It seems snakes like to shade themselves under the vines.  Luckily for me, I never met a snake while dewberry picking!  We would gather our juicy berries in metal bowls until we could find no more or until our bowls were full.  Berry picking was a chore we happily accepted because we knew what was to come.  Later in the day, we would smell the delicious aromas wafting from the oven as a fresh dewberry cobbler bubbled away.  We eagerly awaited the moment when Grandma would place the dewberry cobbler on the table!  Grandma also made batches of dewberry jelly which we enjoyed year round.  Such a wonderful treat on her homemade buttermilk biscuits.  I sure do miss my grandma and her wonderful cooking.  Everything was always so delicious and made with love. Such wonderful memories!
After church today, I decided to make a fresh strawberry cobbler to go with our Sunday lunch.  The strawberries have been terrific and I can't seem to leave the market without a a large container in the cart.  My Uncle Nick made the best strawberry cobbler.  This is not his recipe, but I think he would be happy with my rendition.  It is a very simple, but scrumptious recipe. Put on a cute apron and let's cook something yummy!

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
3 cups of strawberries, washed and coursely chopped
1/2 cup of sugar for strawberries

Wash and remove stem from strawberries.  Cut strawberries into chunks.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over strawberries, turning strawberries to coat with sugar.   Set aside.
Place one stick of  butter in a casserole dish.  Place the casserole dish in the oven, allowing the butter to melt while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of self rising flour.  Slowly pour in milk, stirring until just combined.  After butter is melted, remove the casserole dish from the oven and slowly pour the batter into the dish.  Do not stir.
Gently spoon strawberries on top of the batter. Do not stir.  Do you see a pattern here?
Place back in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.  I wish you could smell this!
Cobbler is best served with vanilla ice cream.  They just make a great pair.  Sort of like good friends!  I recently read that topping a cobbler with ice cream originated in the Deep South.  No wonder I like mine topped with ice cream! So get yourself a bowl and spoon up a generous helping of warm, delicious cobbler.  Don't forget to add a scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!! 
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
Sharing today with:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Cuisine Kathleen at
Home and Garden Thursday at
Tablescape Thursday at
Thursdays at
Simply Sweet Fridays at
Fridays at Imparting Grace at
Sunday at It’s Overflowing at

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let's Make Decoupage Easter Eggs!

Today I am joining the Share It One More Time link up party.  This is my first time for the party and thought, what can I share?  My decoupage Easter eggs came to mind.  What a perfect time!  If you are having a rainy day like we did yesterday, it would be a perfect, fun project for the little hands in your house.  They would also make a terrific gift from your little ones to their grandparents.  Before we start, let me show you a vintage Easter egg from Germany.  Believe it or not, these are not that expensive.

Now for our project!  Since they are already having Easter sales, head on down to your local craft store and buy all the paper mache eggs available, select some pretty scrapbook paper, a sponge brush, and a jar of Mod Podge.  If the Peeps are on sale, grab a pack of those.  A little sugar inspiration can do one wonders.  Now let's get crafting!

Supplies Needed:
Paper Mache eggs
Scrapbook Paper
Sponge Brush
Bottle of  Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre  (decoupage in a jar)
Pair of disposable gloves (optional, but I learned the hard way)
Wax Paper
Peeps or my favorite, Reece's peanut butter eggs (for snacking only)
As you can see, I didn't have a sponge brush and it was too late to go get one.  However, I can say from experience that the sponge brush is faster to work with. For my first egg, I began cutting strips about 1/2 inch in width.  After laying everything out on wax paper, I applied Mod Podge with a brush to the back of the paper strip as well as on  the egg.
Next, position the paper strip and then repeat the steps until the entire egg is covered.   Use your fingers to press the paper onto the egg, sealing edges with the pressure of your fingertips.  This process moves along very quickly. I didn't get a picture of this, but I am sure you get the idea. 

Continue in this fashion until all your eggs are done or until you run out of Easter candy!  Lastly, apply a couple of layers of Mod Podge to the entire egg and let it dry thoroughly.  Now they are ready to add a cheerful bit of color to your home for Easter!

I didn't like my first egg with the long strips, so decided to cut the paper into tiny squares.  I have voted the this one "Best Egg"!
Or maybe this should be the "Best Egg"?  Oops, I see a spot I missed.  Do you see it? Good thing about this project is that you can go back and fix it!
I can't decide!  Is this the "Best Egg"?  For this one, I randomly cut flowers from the paper and positioned them on the egg. 
I also did a green and yellow polka dot which you will see in the bowl below.  I cut the yellow pieces too large, so there are wrinkles on the egg.  Make sure that you cut the pieces so that they lay smoothly on the surface.  I still have 18 more eggs to do, but wanted to share this easy project with the ones I have completed.
I think this will be the perfect addition to the Reading Room.  By the way, this is another pair of gloves I picked up for my holiday decor.  They are soft kid leather with small pearls across the top.  What small hands she must have had!
TIP:  I didn't use gloves when I made the pumpkins (Delightful Decoupage Pumpkin Project) and found that Mod Podge, even after repeated hand washing tended to stick to my nails resulting in a  "Mod Podge Manicure", another one of my inventions! In other words, you may want to use gloves!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!
Sharing with these terrific blogs:
Mop it Up Monday at
Metamorphosis Monday at
Masterpiece Monday at
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at
Tuesdays at Our Home at
Tuesdays at The Scoop at
Tuesday’s Treasures
Inspire Me Tuesday at
Cuisine Kathleen at
Wow Us Wednesdays at
Wednesday DIY by Design Party at
Home and Garden Thursday at
Tablescape Thursday at
Thursdays at
Fabulously Creative Fridays at
Design it Friday at
Friday Party Junk at
Friday at Redoux Interiors at
Feathered Nest Friday at
Home Sweet Home Fridays at
Thrifty Things Friday at
Simply Sweet Fridays at
Fridays at Imparting Grace at
Vintage Inspiration Friday at
Show and Tell Friday at
Saturdays at
Spotlight Saturdays at
Saturdays at Be Different, Act Normal at
Sunday Showcase at
Sunday at It’s Overflowing at
Sunday Creative Home and Garden Hop at
Sundays at The Tablescaper:
Share It One More Time

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

A coworker recently commented that "Still Woods certainly has been STILL".  What can I say, I have been in a blogging slump.  The last few weeks have been full of activity and travel.  I have lots to share, but haven't stopped to write anything down.  Yikes! 

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would show you one of my new acquisitions.  I am a collector of milk glass, but at this point in my collection, I only purchase unusual pieces or pieces that speak to me.  These definitely spoke to me!  They are the perfect addition to my St. Patrick's Day decor.  We often serve desserts on the Reading Room table.  I have these ready for after dinner coffee.
Each St. Patrick's Day, our family celebrates our Irish heritage by sharing a meal of Irish food.  No green colored pasta allowed here (saw that yesterday at the grocery).  Contributions must have Irish roots.  We have put our thumbs down to a few choices over the years.  Did I mention that everyone at the dinner has a name tag with their leprechaun name?  Click here for the link to the Leprechaun Name Generator .  Mine is Shamus McFits!

If you don't have time for an Irish dinner, make sure to watch The Quiet Man.  My all time favorite movie.  It is a wonderfully, romantic movie staring John Wayne as Sean Thornton and Mauren O'Hara and Mary Kate Danaher.  A delightful character in the movie is the spirited Michaeleen Oge Flynn played by Barry Fitzgerald.  I hear that Turner Classic Movies may not play The Quiet Man tomorrow and to that I say "WHAT?".  It is the best St. Patrick's Day movie ever!
Have you traveled to Ireland?  It is at the top of my "to do" list.  One of the local priests organizes a trip to his homeland each year.  He jokingly told me that he would take a Baptist along!  I might take him up on that.  His family resides in Ireland.  I hear it is a wonderful tour.  Sit back and let's take a quick tour of this beautiful country. Dunluce Castle will be our first stop.  The first castle of Dunluce was built in the 13th century.
I hear that no trip to Ireland is complete without a stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Just beautiful!
Also highly recommened is Boyne Palace.  It features tombs older that those at Stonehenge. 

The Ring of Kerry is a lovely drive encompassing some of the most beautiful sites in Ireland.
Let's stop at Trinity College in Dublin.  The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592.  Below is a picture of the Long Room in the old library.
I found this little castle for rent several years ago while researching Ireland.  According to their website:
the castle, an ancient seat of the Comerford clan, is a five story, 16th century towerhouse 8 km south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The castle has been restored to its former authentic glory using the same techniques and materials as the original 16th century builders. Couldn't we have a great blogger party here?
 Hope you have enjoyed our tour of Ireland.  Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day and Superbowl Party Food

Yes, you read correctly!  The Mississippi Gulf Coast is preparing for sleet, another couple of days of icy roads, and SNOW!!  I do know a thing or two about snow.  I spend some of my childhood in Rockland, Maine.  However, the MS Gulf Coast does not see snow too often.  Schools are closed for two days due to the icy road conditions.  Our Emergency Management System is prepared for hurricanes (and they do a fabulous job protecting the citizens of the MS Gulf Coast), but icy roads along with our and many bridges spanning bayous and waterways cause dangerous driving conditions.  As I am writing this, I am looking out the window into our woods.  The rain is gently falling and by this afternoon, it may be snow.  Woo Hoo! What a terrific time to do a little blog writing!

WARNING:  I am going to confess to a blog crime.  Or at least by some bloggers, it is considered a crime.  I am going to cut and copy from a previous blog post I wrote on a favorite appetizer.    I am sure that a jury of my peers will be gathering to decide my punishment.  But wait, who came up with these rules?  Does it really matter if you re-share a favorite post?  I have never understood that blogging rule.  I have two favorite appetizer recipes.  Why would I make up other favorite appetizers just because I already posted about these recipes?  Okay, I feel better after confessing my blog crime. It's almost Superbowl time, so let's get cooking!

This recipe is not for cholesterol watchers of the world, but is a treat a few times a year.  This will be a sure hit at your Superbowl Party, especially with the guys.  These are my Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.  Don't they look yummy?  I wish we had smell-a-blog!

Here is the Starting Line-Up...I know the ingredient list is unusual, but trust me!
20 slices of White Bread (crusts trimmed)
1 can Condensed Milk
1/4 cup of Prepared Mustard
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1.5 pounds of thin or regular Bacon (Do not use the thick variety)
8 ounces of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (Regular or 2%)

I found that the giant loaf of Bunny bread is the best  for making this recipe.  You want a bread that is square and uniform in shape.  Trim the crusts from the bread and roll each piece flat with a rolling pin. An electric knife works well too.
 Nice and flat.
Combine condensed milk, mustard and Worcestershire in a small bowl.  Isn't it a shame that you can never get all of the creamy goodness out of a can of condensed milk?  I give you permission to take another spoon and savor the remains yourself!  I am nice like that! I have a friend that will eat an entire can of condensed milk whenever she feels like it.  No excuses either! She's brave.
 Cut the bacon in half.  Lay three halves touching on a flat surface.
 Place a slice of bread on top.  Spread one rounded tablespoon of condensed milk mixture on the bread. Sprinkle one tablespoon of grated cheese on top. Feel free not to measure the cheese.  I never do.
 Roll up...   

 Secure with three toothpicks, one thru each bacon slice.
At this point you may either refrigerate until you are ready to bake them or bake immediately.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  With a very sharp knife, make pinwheels by cutting between the bacon slices.
Bake 30 minutes, preferably on a broiler pan with a rack.  If you use a broiler pan, I would suggest lining the pan for easier clean-up and spraying the cooking surface with Pam. Normally, I place parchment paper on cookie sheets and bake that way.  If your bacon is very fatty, I would suggest the broiler pan.
After 30 minutes, you will end up with a delicious pan of Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.  Your children and spouse will be hovering around as they smell the delicious aromas wafting from your kitchen.  Immediately remove the Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels from the broiler tray, remove the toothpick, and place on a platter.
 Pick one up and take a bite...close your eyes and savor the goodness!
 Tips for Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels (Not in my previous post):
1.  Not all bacon is the same size.  I have made them with 2 strips of bacon per 1 piece of bread.
2.  It does make a large pinwheel.  After baking, I have also cut each one again.  If you do this, lay the flat
     end down of the serving platter, with the end pictured above sticking up.  It makes the perfect bite.
3.  These can be refrigerated and reheated either in the micorwave or oven.
4.  Yes, I have eaten them for breakfast...also for a midnight snack!

Stop by tomorrow for another great Superbowl recipe.  By the way, I did alter some of my wording, so I hope that my offense is a minor one!  Still waiting on snow, but ready for some hot cocoa!

Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
Sharing with
Amaze Me Monday
Sweet- Sharing Monday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday