Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Welcome to My World!

Welcome from “Hen”rietta, one of the 5 laying hens on the farm.

I hope to share with you the adventures and journeys of being a country girl at heart in the hills of Vermont while shuffling the 9-5 routine Mondays through Fridays as a Storey Publishing staffer. I am a lucky girl to work during the day with books that inspire me on nights and weekends. I’m living proof that anyone can live the pages of a Storey Publishing book. Heck, it's been rumored I could be the poster child for Storey Publishing!

I imagine some of the Storey poster child images would have me mucking out a stall, tilling ground for homegrown veggies and grains, raising a goat, stitching a project from one little yard of vintage fabric, and learning how to grow a certified organic garden. Hopefully, the poster would show the blur between my home and work lives--maybe a bouquet from my garden next to the water cooler so my coworkers can enjoy a “hit of spring.” Or a loaf of light wheat, honey, and sunflower nut bread still warm from the oven of my farmhouse kitchen, eaten in minutes at a morning staff meeting. Heaven only knows the glorious creations I will enjoy as I challenge myself to projects from Storey books. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy the stories and pictures of my days thriving in a 165-year-old Vermont farmhouse with an amazingly wonderful family, friends of fur and flesh, gardens, snow, wishes, and prayers along with hope, dreams, and inspiration for living the good life. Our little homestead is a modest 'ole cape-style house with a few additions added over the past century and a half. One wing was added on for the birth of twins, another wing for an aging parent. Another addition, thank goodness was the addition of indoor plumbing! I often wish the walls of our house could talk…oh, the stories they would tell.

One of the huge barns on our property, with four times the square footage of our home, includes horse and cow stalls, a chicken coop larger than most living rooms, and a hay loft to the moon. A couple of meadows tease me every day to make them home to a four legged critter or two, or three … a beef cow, a goat, a few sheep… shush… don’t tell my husband, at least not yet! And one of the best parts of living my dreams in our Vermont homestead is Furnace Brook.

Furnace Brook is a babbling brook bordering our property on three sides, as if to hold us safe and sound in her arms. Don’t let the name of the brook fool you…the brook temperature is far from the warmth of a furnace. Freezer Brook would be a more fitting name! The very best part of the brook is the option to go fishin’ any time, year round, for the best brook trout. We actually do hang the “Gone fishin'” sign on our back door and eat our catch for dinner!

My son Ben with his bounty of two trout from our brook!

We welcome most to our humble home. We share the farm with open arms to a dozen baby laying chicks, five crazy egg-hiding hens, a mini Rex bunny named Max (I know, I know… a mini named max!), a few turkeys, and mason bees. I am sure as time moves forward we will be home to more wayward critters who need shelter from the storm. But not so welcome and never invited are a few of Mother Nature’s creatures who roam our acreage: the sneaky and smart red fox, the mink, the fisher cat, our resident woodchuck, "Woodie," and his very large and prolific extended family, and of course the coyote gangs who drop in every now and then. This is life in the country… the good with the bad… the balance of nature. It's all in your definition of welcome.

Our home and barn doors are always open to welcome you. Do sit down to read and chat a while.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow has been a lifesaver 
and personal guide to raising chicks for this gal!

— Maryellen Mahoney, Special Sales Account Manager


Melanie Jolicoeur said...

Fresh trout? Suddenly I really wish I had a river on my property...

Anonymous said...

Great article! I can just picture everything you say as though we are living it in this moment. I think i will help you add a 4-legged friend--do you think we can hide a 1000 lbs creature from you husband!!! LOL The jess & mel show!!

Katie Mahoney said...

So cute! I did notice a certain missing animal...cockadooledoo! But I think we could find someone to take care of that!

Brenda said...

Great first blog, Maryellen! I envy your lifestyle. Someday I hope to have a country life as well. I'm so glad we've kept in touch!!

Jenna Woginrich said...

right on mahoney - we can trade chickens one of these days in our hood

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Mel! You describe your new rustic life so well. It was great to see the photo of my boy Ben, too.

Ann-e Morin said...

You are a true blogger, Chickie!!! I love the "hayloft to the moon" You are such a visualist! Keep up the good bloggin'

Anonymous said...

Maryellen! You're a wonderful writer, and I loved "meeting" your Ben. I hope you do more posts about the ladies and their land.

Unknown said...

Wonderful article Mel. The writing was so colorful and animated that I wanted to keep on reading and reading. It was especially meaningful since I know your farm so well and have been close and personal with the "girls." Blog on!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mel,
I'm glad you gave the mini rabbit such a great name. Very nice first blog, keep em coming. I guess when we live (survive) in the country we tend to forget the rest of the world is looking in GREEN with envy.