Made with Love by Mom!

Back on July 27, 2012........

Today was a great day! The reason it was so great is that I was able to spend it with my Mom!! We had been planning a day of sewing together for quite some time and today’s agenda included cloth napkins which we made from scraps of material and old sheets. My reasoning for doing this was so I could be more earth friendly and also so I could save some money on unnecessary paper products.

Mom simply took squares of material and sewed them (wrong sides together) leaving a space so that we could turn them right side out. Once they were turned right side out, we gave them a quick press with the iron and went around the edges with a zig-zag stitch and voila'! We created various sizes so that my husband and I could try them out and decide which ones we would prefer to use on a regular basis. Time will tell if I will need to purchase darker material for those meals that include spaghetti sauce and other stubborn staining foods.

Here is a picture of my Mom cutting the squares and getting ready to sew them together. My Mom is so creative and makes some of the most gorgeous items you have ever seen. Her new love is quilting and she has made gorgeous quilts, quillows (a quilt that wraps up to form a pillow—great for car trips for the kids) and place mats/table runners. I’m not quite ready for quilting, and not sure I am up for the challenge, but I love to see the new projects that she is tackling.

Here is Mom putting on the finishing touches on the daisy napkins.

She also organized my sewing container.....thanks Mom!

Here are the finished projects….different sizes and patterns….I can’t wait to use them!

Mom made sure that she left a special tag on one of my napkins. This message is not only true for the napkins but for everything that Mom does. God has blessed me with such a loving and caring Mother who puts love in everything she does. Whatever task is ahead of her, and whether it’s for family, friend or stranger, she puts love into it. I want her to know how special she is to me and how much I cherish the time that we spend together. Whenever I use these napkins, I will always remember you Mom, telling me to "use my napkin".

Fast forward 3 years, I'm still using the cloth napkins that Mom and I made together. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised how well they have held up! They are still in tact, still very strong and have very little stains for being used for three years. I have a picture of them below.

My plan was to make more cloth napkins, but I was blessed to become pregnant and now have a precious 2 year old boy- aka- the Sheriff. Time has not allowed me to make any more cloth napkins, but it has not stopped me from using them.

I was watching an episode of the Pioneer Woman and she uses bandannas for cloth napkins which I thought was just awesome and so country!!! She had all sorts of colors ranging from primary to primitive to fluorescent. Me being the country girl I am, I wanted to stick with the primary colors as they reminded me of Americana Country (my collection is pictured below). I checked out the internet for the best value and ended up at AC Moore where I bought 2 to try. Before I invested in them, I wanted to make sure that they too would handle the abuse that our homemade napkins have taken. One year later, my bandannas are still going strong; in fact, these are perfect for the Sheriff because they are much bigger than the ones Mom and I made, so he puts these over his lap when he's eating. It's great!!! He loves them so much, that he now asks for his napkin when he eats.

I also want to note that we will reuse our napkins, if they are not overly soiled, before tossing them in the dirty laundry. Let's face many times have you had meal and all that has ended up on your napkin are crumbs? I know that has happened to me, so I simply take my cloth napkins and give it a good shake over the sink and return it to my spot on the table for the next meal. There are times when I'll barely use a quarter of the bandanna, so when times like these arise, I will just simply fold over the napkin and use the other side, as they are large enough for more than one meal. Now don't worry, we do not keep dirty napkins hanging around because we are trying to be more green..... we are good stewards of our napkins and know when laundering is needed ... :o)

Mom had some leftover material that she did not want to dispose of, so she made me a few more napkins....yay! 

I love you Mom!

Are you using cloth napkins? If so, I would love to hear how you got started on cloth napkins. If your not using them, I hope this post has inspired you to either make some or buy me, you will love them!
In what other ways are you becoming more green?

Till next time y'all......

Finally....a Clothesline!

Finally……I have my own clothesline!!!!!  Isn’t this just great???!!!

I know…. you are probably thinking, “What’s the big deal?”  Well, I’ve wanted a clothesline for years now, but couldn’t have one where I lived before; so in order to make up for the loss of the clothesline, I used my Mom’s old fashion dryer rack that she had given to me (see below).  This rack worked well when it was super hot outside and the wind wasn’t strong.  I can’t tell you how many times I would look out the window only to find that the wind had knocked over my rack and all of my clothes were in a wet and dirty heap!  The best part of it all, try picking this thing up after it’s fallen over with clothes attached to it; I felt like I was being attacked by own laundry! 
I told the Mayor that I wanted my own clothesline when we move into our temporary home;  a place where I can watch my clean laundry blowing freely in the breeze!!!  Shortly after we moved in, my father in law told me that he bought me a “clothes drier” and that he was going to put it up for me!  YAY!  I was super excited!!!!  Isn’t it just beautiful? And I’m saving energy and using natural resources just like my ancestors did!   Now all I have to do is get my hedge clippers and give that bush a little trim! 
Does anyone have a clothesline story to share?  How about tips/suggestions on making clothes a bit softer when using nature to dry them?  I asked my good friend Jen if her bath towels came out stiff after being line dried, she replied “yes, but it’s like having a natural loofah!”  What a wonderful way to look at stiff towels…..I never quite thought of it that way!    
Until next time y'all……

Fixin’ Fences & Making Memories

As we prepare to bring our small herd over to our farm, the fencin’ needed fixin’ first.  This part of the pasture has beautiful stone walls but, they are not high enough to keep the cows in, so adding electric fencing is a must.   Pictured below is the Mayor and his father winding up the barbed wire. 

This was the first time I was able to wander through the pasture without the Sheriff (as he was having himself a tractor ride) and it was just awesome.  I think fields are just one of the most peaceful things on this earth; put some animals grazing on them and you’ve got yourself a little piece of heaven here on earth!!!  The picture below shows the opposite side of the pasture and those stone walls are plenty high and will work just fine without an electric fence.  Our cows are going to love all of this green grass as well as the large shelter for them to relax in.

Here is a picture of the old dairy barn.  This poor thing needs so much work, but with a little love and a lot of sweat, we will restore it;  keeping it as close as possible to the original dairy barn. My hope is that this barn will not only serve as a home/safe haven for our animals, but also a special place for my little boy to experience life events and lessons.  Things such as picnics on rainy days, places to hide when we play hide and seek, fixin’ tractors, caring for his farm animals and teaching him about the awesome miracle of bringing a new cow into the world, and the painful experience when we lose one.  I can picture him sharing special moments in the barn with his father as he gets older, perhaps restoring an old car, having his first beer or just having man to man talks.  My wish too is that my son will have a close relationship with God and that perhaps this barn will allow him to have a quiet spot to talk and develop that relationship with God.  These are just a few of the many things that I wish for this barn.    

Here's the view from the kitchen window……it doesn’t get any better than this.  This is our pasture with our neighbors farm in the distance. 

Here’s the Sheriff!  He’ll be driving that tractor before I know it.  He absolutely loves being on his farm!

I took a walk over to the stone wall that borders our neighbor’s property because I wanted to take in the beauty of my neighbor’s field.  As I hoisted myself up on and over the stone wall, I was not prepared to for what I saw!  WOW is all I said as I hung onto the wall and stared at the small cemetery that stared back at me!  Now I know some would be “creeped out” by this, but all I could think of is history and how cool is this???  I’m curious to know who is buried there, and did they live on my farm, or perhaps my neighbors farm?  I’m hoping at some point to talk with some of the neighbors to find out whatever I can.  Stay tuned for more on that.   WOW!

There is just something I love about the picture below; perhaps it’s the love I have always had for silo’s?  I think it's a subtle reminder of how very small I am in this world.  

Here’s the Sheriff...out and about discovering in his pasture!!!  He managed to find the only dandelion flower in the whole pasture.  He is just so cute! 

Dadda and son sharing a ride together on the tractor.

And before we left for the day, the Sheriff asked if he could  walk in the mud puddles….I couldn’t resist!  Remember, life’s too short not to enjoy mud go ahead.....get your shoes, or even better, your feet muddy!    

Until next time y'all.......

I'm sharing on the Simple Saturday Blog Hop!

Carrot French Fries

I enjoy cooking from scratch and am always looking for simple recipes that taste good especially vegetable recipes.  My family and I could certainly use more vegetables in our diet, so I was super excited when I found a recipe for carrot fries.  I must confess I was a bit skeptical about trying these because I’m not a big fan of carrots and can’t imagine having them as fries.  The result - delicious, easy to make and tasted like sweet potato fries!  These are a winner for me and have become part of rotations.

Here’s what I did:

Scrubbed 2 lbs of carrots.

Peel the carrots ….and save the carrot peels for homemade chicken stock.  I keep a scrap bag in the freezer for onion & carrot peels. 

Cut the carrots into French fries.

Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt (I use sea salt) and pepper.  Arrange carrots in a single layer on baking sheet.  My special touch is to sprinkle a bit of brown sugar (see my homemade brown sugar recipe here) over the carrots.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes on each side until cooked and crispy.  You can find the recipe I used here.  Enjoy!  TLFF

I'm sharing on the Simple Saturday Blog Hop!

Rebuilding the Coop

Hi Y'all,
Here's a picture of our coop when we purchased the farm and as you can see, the coop was in rough shape.  Before the Mayor could even begin his work, he had to remove all of the overgrown brier patches, broken windows, garbage and rocks... and that was just on the outside.  There was more garbage and used tires that needed to be removed from the inside.  On the backside of the coop, three trees were removed that were growing along the side.  

The first repair on the coop -- "new" used windows.  A friend of ours replaced the windows on there home and gave us these windows for free!  

Next came framing the new windows which also helps to support the roof.
Pine boards were then inserted on the inside for support and another layer on the outside for protection.  

Here is a before picture of what the south side looked like.  

Here is the south side after the repairs.  

Here are a couple pictures of the inside of the coop.

Here's the new door, built by my father in law.

Now, we have to decide which kind of chickens we would like to be part of our family.  What is your favorite?

till next time......

I participated in Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

About Us

Hi Y’all, my name is Claudine and I want to welcome you to the Lewis Family Farm!  We are so glad that you stopped by!  Joining me on this thrilling journey is my brilliant & wonderful husband who we will refer to as the “the Mayor”. He has been given this name because he knows so many people and has the gift to gab!  We also have my precious 1 year old son who is known as “the Sheriff” because he calls the “shots” around here.  So grab your farm boots & cowboy hat and let’s go see what’s happening on the farm today!  

Kettle Corn

I am in love with Kettle Corn!  And up till about four years ago, I had to wait for summer fairs to come around just so that I could buy my kettle corn.  I have tried several in the grocery store, but ugh, I just did not like them.  So I started looking on the internet and found this recipe on
Here is what you will need:
  • 1 Large Pan
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil (or oil of your choice—I have used coconut and peanut with great success)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (can use brown sugar—gives it a caramel color and taste)
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • Salt

Pour oil and 3 kernels in pan and place over medium heat until you hear all three kernels pop. 
Once popped, add sugar and stir it around well, then add the remainder of the popcorn and cover it.  I then alternate every three seconds from leaving the pot on the burner to shaking it.
  Once the popping has slowed, remove from stove top and immediately sprinkle with salt. 
Let the batch cool a little, and enjoy!  WARNING---this is highly addictive! 
If I need to store (which rarely ever happens because I eat the whole batch), I will store in a glass container so that the popcorn stays nice and crunchy.  I find that plastic containers will soften the popcorn.  For gift giving, I like to use cellophane bags tied with a little piece of jute—very country looking.  Why not combine a bag of kettle corn with a DVD movie for a movie night Christmas gift...after all Christmas is just around the corner y'all!

Enjoy & blessings....
The Lewis Family Farm!