Simple Girls Room in Queen Anne Pink

This post is a short tour of my older girls bedroom. I just painted it Queen Anne Pink and rearranged things.

The room is simple, not the children.

As soon as I heard the name of this paint color, I had to have it. The actual color, a warm and soft coral pink, was just a bonus. It’s a Benjamin Moore historical collection color. They always have a touch of black to keep the color from looking too crazy.

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At Home, July 2018


Ah the garden. So far we’ve had 30 ears of American Dream corn, ready on July 6th. It is done and we are waiting for silver queen, which should be ready when we get back from vacation. It was used up in corn chowder, corn salad, and plenty of salted and buttered corn on and off the cob. This variety germinated well, was ready in 67 days, and after harvesting the big ears, each stalk sent out one or two smaller ears that were short but still filled out. I was so happy with this variety.


If you have ever tried to grow corn, you know what it feels like to pull back the husk and see this!  Pure joy.


Tomatoes are going nuts, and cherry tomatoes have been demoted to chicken feed. We pick and toss them to them daily. There are maybe 50 a day coming in and that is just not okay. I need maybe 20 a week.  Next year, two plants, max.

I tried a new variety of jalapeño: Primo Jalapeño from Gurney’s, and I am very happy with it. They are the biggest ones I’ve ever gotten. I’ve made poppers twice and canned pickled jalapeño rings.  I am also pleased with Gurney’s Giant Belll, after many disappointing years of growing California Wonder.  Cherry peppers are doing very well too.


(Caperino Cherry Peppers from Johnny’s)


(Primo Jalapeño from Gurney’s)


(Cosmos Bush Bean from Johnny’s.)

Flowers for every room, every hallway, every bathroom counter. Not a problem.

My dahlias have been a literal flop.  I put them in with the rest of the garden where the soil is rich and gets irrigated, and they are doing awful.  Huge, green, bending over, very few flowers.  Last year I planted them in unamended clay and I was bringing in buckets every evening.  Now I know.  More room in the actual garden for something else next year.




Oh dear I really need to iron that.

Dining room is painted and my tablecloth arrived. My next project will be painting the porch and getting porch furniture, probably four Adirondack chairs. I will not be personally painting the porch. No I will not. I think this will be put off until October, when it is cool and soccer is over.




We’ve been on a serious ice cream making kick, having made it now four weeks in a row.  I’ll share the recipes once we try it with a few more flavor variations.  So far we’ve done chocolate, cookies and cream, strawberry, and vanilla.  I want to try something with a caramel swirl, and blackberry or peach.


We leave soon to visit Matt’s parents in California. They live on a beautiful ranch with a huge garden, horses to ride, and no humidity. Sounds like heaven.  And his mother is a genius who does not plant any cherry tomatoes.



Back to school and activities soon. ☹️

Switching Up the Kids Bedrooms

While we were saving to build this house, and actually building it, we were in a 900 sq foot two bedroom cottage. There were only two kids at the time, and they shared a room because there was no choice. We were so, so against it at the time. We even considered giving each of them a private bedroom and putting our own bed in the living room. Well, my husband wanted to, I refused.


(This is what the property looked like.  I can’t believe we bought it!)

Anyway, there wasn’t even enough room for two beds. One child was still in a crib at the time, but when she needed a bed we had her share with her older sister. They shared a dresser. There was one small closet in the room with no door, and half of it taken up by the HVAC return. And it was where I had to keep my own clothes, so no help there.

I was so excited for them to have their own room when the house got done. We planned on a downstairs master and an upstairs with three bedroom with a private bath each (please consult my tab on “simple living”….oh dear). I couldn’t wait for the storage space, the sparkly new bathrooms, the separate and quiet spaces so they would both nap. But as we put the build off, and off, and off, I came to see the benefits of the shared space.

They chatted with each other for an hour each night before falling asleep, so we started putting them to bed at 7. Everyone got some relaxing time before bed, me included. They shared a lot of books, and their baby dolls shared clothes, and they traded stuffed animals back and forth. There was very little middle of the night crying, or being afraid of the dark. They never resisted bedtime. Once they were in there they resisted sleep, but they were happy to get their pjs on and head in together.

And so, when construction began at long last, we decided they would continue to share. It never even really felt like a decision. It was just what everyone wanted, and was never up for discussion. I saw matching vintage iron beds for sale outside a thrift store, and that was that.


This is our upstairs floorpan.  They have the large bedroom in the bottom left.  The “office” is their small play loft:  The large hall closet now holds their toys.



When they are older we are thinking we will put some arm chairs here and make it a cozy reading spot.

The wide hallway holds their bookshelf, which needs a little more space:


They have enjoyed a sweet shared bedroom for a year and a half now. They have fought over certain nightgowns, toys, the music they want to listen to, the stories they want to hear. They have read to each other, told each other about their days, and discussed what they will be doing in the morning. They have a had a nice shared bathroom with a big window where they attempt to style each other’s hair. They have occasionally come down at night when they are scared of storms or winds, but they have mostly been content.


But last week, they asked a for a change:


And we were happy to oblige.

How Much…

One of my pet peeves is articles about homesteading written by people who have never done it. “It is so easy to grow fresh food for your family!” “Sewing your own clothes will save you money!”, “chickens can provide you with free meat and eggs!”

None of that is true at all. It is hard, can be very expensive, and there will be years that all you do is fail.

And it is completely missing the point.

For example, did you know that a loaf of bread can be purchased for under a dollar?

That eggs at Costco are less than ten cents each?


That land taxes will go up every year?



That free range chickens require you to go lock up them up every evening at sunset?



That tractors, even used, are very expensive?


That heating your home with wood is messy and requires year-round work?


That the farther you are from town, the longer it takes your roads to be cleared in snow?


That line drying your clothes will bring pollen and bugs in your house?


That soap at Walmart is cheaper than making your own?

That unless you are making minimum wage, it is almost always financially advantageous to work and put your kids in daycare?




That porches are expensive to build and require maintenance?



And that homegrown flowers save you exactly nothing.


So put away your spreadsheet. It will never tell you what it was worth.








Virginia winters are not bad.  There are always warm patches throughout them, and by late February it all really feels like it is over.

Today is one of those warm days, windows open already, that was so very much needed after a weekend of rain and the stomach flu.  Isn’t it so hard to remember that there are always sunny days ahead when you are stuck inside in the rain?  It feels dreary and eternal.


My brother died of cancer this past October, and I remember coming home after he died and wanting a sign.  He had not believed in heaven as far as I know, but I wanted something from him so badly.  I got home at night, and the next morning looked out the kitchen window.  There was some sort of pink trash in the garden.  Tissue paper, or wrapping paper, something like that.  It must have blown out from the trash cans and gotten stuck on a plant.  I walked out to it, and realized it wasn’t trash.  It was pink cosmos, blooming like crazy, looking absolutely ridiculous covered in flowers.

Not a sign from heaven… but a sign from the cosmos?  I would take it.

I have never told anyone that.

Since then I have tried to dedicate all my sufferings, big and small, to his soul.  They are mostly small, but I hope they count for something.  The church tells us that of course they do, but I feel my doubts daily.  This is stupid, they say, how could could God care whether you eat sweets or not this Lent?  What would some uttered words do for him now?  No one is listening.


But there is no Lent without an Easter, no Friday without a Sunday, no death without a resurrection.  Every turn of the calendar page, every rise of the sun, every change of the season, reminds me of that. On days like this, winter with spring creeping in at the edges, I can hear it, that small voice that prompted my conversion years ago.

“I promise…  ”


“I promise…”


“I promise.”