Oh my, how can I express my gratitude and joy at the honor of having an open invitation and budding friendships with the people at MaryJanesFarm ! I cannot believe my good fortune at first of all living close enough to this amazing place that I can visit it, AND I can't believe that they have welcomed our family with open arms and said we can come for a retreat any ole time we want. Most of you know how I have treasured MaryJane's books and inspiration, but now I can actually call her a friend. How weird and awesome is that? I feel like I've crawled through the pages of my favorite author's books and magazines and now I actually know the people and places I fell in love with through her writings. What a blessing!
We went for a "last blast" of summer weekend farm-stay this weekend, and it was so wonderful. The whole family went this time, staying in 2 adjacent wall tents, completely furnished in vintage farmgirl style. Each having a double bed piled high with down comforters, quilts and tons of pillows, a little wood stove and lots of antique knick-knacks. We ate around the campfire all weekend, and just enjoyed the quiet sounds and peace of the farm.
The girls, especially the biggest were in absolute heaven. The girls have become good friends with MaryJane's young assistant Katy, who has become quite a mentor for them for all things crafty. Katy didn't arrive home at the farm until late Saturday night after working all day a couple hours away getting the new MaryJanesFarm store ready for their Grand Opening in Coer D'Laine (I have no idea how to spell that town's name!). We had made tentative plans for the girls to spend some time with her on Saturday designing and making doll clothes for the big doll making business that is in the works for the big girl, but the hours ticked by with no sign of Katy coming home. We had all prepared ourselves for the fact that maybe she would have to stay and keep working on the store, and maybe the sewing wouldn't happen after all. We left the farm for a few hours just to take our minds off this terrible disappointment, went into town, toured Dad's old alma mater , stopping at the bookstore to stock up on our Coug' gear, then we went bowling and had some bad pizza, which we all eagerly gobbled up. Then, we made our way back to the farm, thinking it would be campfire, marshmallow roasting and then off to bed, when lo and behold, who should we hear coming down the dirt road but MaryJane and most importantly Katy!!! And bless her heart, as the girls ran toward her as she got out of the car, she swooped them up in her arms and whisked them away to the design studio for a few hours of evening sewing, and then took them on a moonlight stroll down the lane to look at the most amazing display of stars they had ever seen. Then, she brought them back to the tents and roasted marshmallows with us before turning in for the night. But not before telling the girls she'd be ready for more sewing as soon as the girls were ready in the morning. You should have seen these girls joy just exploding out of their little hearts. So, after a restful night listening to the lovely nighttime sounds of the farm, the girls were up and out of the tents before 7am, racing down the hill to the farm, and we didn't see them again until about 10, where they begged for more time! They made tons of new outfits, learned lots of new tips and tricks, and had their love tanks filled up by this most sweetest of 23 year old girls, the girl's newly adopted "cool Aunt" or big sister. (no offense to their real cool Aunt! Hi Sara! :)
The boy had a fun time tending the campfire, jumping on the trampoline, and swinging on the big tree swing. He also had fun kicking his sister's rears in bowling! I forgot my camera for the bowling trip, which is a real bummer, 'cause it doesn't get much cuter than watching a 5, 6 and 8 year old bowling. :) I did have my camera up and about the rest of the weekend, though my photos don't do the farm justice. You all must, must visit her website, find/buy her books and read her magazine. That MaryJane is quite something!
So, here are my best efforts...
Here is where I spent the yummiest 2 hours I can remember in a long time. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon...
Here's the girls with their hero/mentor Katy,
Here's the big girl, living and dreaming big,
Here's # 2 and 3, and one more we found at the farm, the lovely, 4 year old Ella, also visiting the farm for the weekend, with her sweet Dad.
Summer is definitely winding down around here, soccer has started (boo!), school starts next week (yay!), and its been raining for a couple of days now. I do have a few ripe tomatoes in the greenhouse, and we may even have a successful corn harvest for the first time! (this was our fourth and final year if it didn't work this year either...amazing what tilling and amending the soil will do!)
Unfortunately, we also have an end of summer cold just starting to roll through the family, so we'll be laying low the rest of the week, catching up on laundry, and getting ready for the new season of activity about to come upon us.