Monday, November 17, 2014

A Last Look at Autumn Inside...........


 One more look at fall in my house, mostly from the kitchen.  I am ready to get on with Christmas!

 

 
There is never a better time to light up the candles than at this time, even in central Florida. And, nothing adds more warmth to the decorated feel, in my opinion, unless you are lucky enough to have a fireplace.
 
 
 
 
And, don't you agree that it is a good time for using things from the past like crockery, old, well worn kitchen utensils and hand made linens. I enjoyed making a few of these towels several years ago. The spoons look like they have stirred many pots of soup or jelly.
 

 
 Here is my goofy turkey towel. He is the only turkey I will see in my kitchen this year.  For the second year in a row I will not be cooking for Thanksgiving.
   I love how the ribbon feathers are loops, hanging loose. The ones across the bottom are all individual too and only sewed at the top.
 
 
 

 
I have really enjoyed this little vignette this year. The picture is shadowy because of the flash so it is hard to appreciate the twine pumpkin. You are seeing through it to the leaves underneath.
 

 
A sweet little welcome sign hanging on the pantry door.
 

 
I have shown my white apron that hangs on the kitchen door many times but, I always make a little seasonal change.  This time it was changing the ribbon and adding a sprig of bittersweet to the pocket.
 

 
Grayson the rooster's wife (I have forgotten her name) is all decked out with a fall wreath. Wait until you see how they dress up for Christmas.

 
 
This is what it is all about - the bliss of autumn!
 

 
This is actually a partridge in a pear tree but since it looks very fall-like I use it now.
 

 
Showing one of three burlap ties with fall leaves that decorates the rolled cloth window blind.
 

 
Now, for a few shots taken in my sitting room.  I found this crocheted turkey piece in a local antique store and thought it was quite unique.  Having an excess of red pillows, I attached him onto one of those. He only gets to be out in the fall.
 
 
 
 

 
If you have been following the blog long this might look familiar. It is exactly like it was last year. I made the stacked pumpkins but bought the polka dot one.
 

 
The other things I have out for fall have been shown so many times I decided to skip those this year. If you missed the first post I did of fall this year, you might want to go look at it here.  The next pictures you see from inside will be Christmas. Can you believe it is almost Christmastime???  I have a lot of work to do before I start showing any of it.
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Florida Fall Foliage......


........Central Florida fall is not what you typically expect for a fall presentation. It can be pretty, none the less. I am choosing to show just some of the many pictures I made yesterday in my garden.......



 
Milk weed blooms in pretty fall colors and is one of the reasons I have butterflies most of the year.
 
 
 
I didn't realize when I bought the Cat Whiskers plant how many things would be thanking me.  I have seen humming birds, bees, moths, and butterflies feeding from it.

 
 
I chased this one around from bush to bush.

 
 
 

 
A tropical, but I think it has been waiting for cooler weather and has more flowers and buds than it had all summer.

 
 

 
I have wild coffee plants scattered all around in the backyard.
 

 
They are at their best right now with so many berries which last about all winter.
 

 
This one is a shiny leafed variety with fewer but larger and darker berries.
 
 
 
Pretty fall colors on this plant in a basket.
 





 
A large clump of these are just developing their seed balls which will be about a half inch in size. After that all the leaves drop off, leaving three/four feet tall stems with just the white balls. I like all phases of this plant. If you don't take time to intercept the seed balls before they fall you will have hundreds more coming up.
 

 
 
 
 
 
Shrimp Plant
 

 
My big Tibouchina bush full of blossoms.
 

 
A few small blooms hanging on here.
 

 
 
Mexican Bachelor Buttons grow and bloom year round.
 

 
This coleus cannot be beat for giving fall colors.
Yes, not typical in most people's eyes but it is about now that my appreciation for Florida heightens! The first big freeze is covering most of the states.  Stay warm and enjoy the indoors.
~~~~~~~
 

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Visit to Dudley Farm.......

    

 

  .......Early on a Saturday morning members of the Orlando Area Historical Rose Society traveled by car-pool for two hours to the Dudley Farm Historical State Park. The park is located just a little west of Gainesville, Florida near Newberry. 

In the mid 1800's the Dudley family, moved from Charleston to Florida. Three generations of the family owned and worked the then 640 acre piece of land. For over 150 years, the family successfully maintained livestock, crops and large vegetable gardens. Eighteen original buildings included the farmhouse and separate kitchen; the old general store, a dairy shed and canning house, smokehouse, syrup house and mill, hay barn, tobacco barn, stables and the original drinking well and rainwater cistern. Also dating back to the 1800's are quilts, a large quilting frame, an 1835 Bible carried by P.B.H. Dudley through the Civil War, photographs and farm implements.

The landscape is typical of early Florida farms with gardens, grape arbors, pecan and fruit trees, fields, pinewoods and croplands of field corn, peanuts, field peas, sweet potatoes and sugar cane.


 
The group gathered under the trees waiting for our guided tour by park staff. It is still a working farm. Its buildings have been restored or are currently being restored to their original condition.
 

 
Our group was divided into two groups and she was one of the tour guides.
 
 
 
He was the enthusiastic leader of my group. I was so busy taking pictures that I missed a lot of his story telling and information. Had I heard it all maybe I could tell more about the farm.

 
 
We passed by the grazing Florida Cracker cattle. They are called Crackers because of the whips that the cattlemen used to make a cracking sound which helped move the cattle along.
 

 
 

 
 

 
An old wagon. One of several authentic farm implements and tools seen on the tour.
 

 
A hand cultivator.
 

 
They have their winter garden planted with very long, straight rows.
 

 
I noticed a lot of galvanized tubs and buckets around the farm which are probably used in the watering of plants and animals.
 

 
A grape arbor.
 

 
One of the split rail fences.
 

 
The syrup house.
 

 
I knew exactly what this was because my family had one when I was a young child and it is something I remember. The sugar cane press. The long post levels and a horse is hitched to one end and is walked around in a circle moving the press which extracts the syrup from the cane.
 

 

 
A fire is built in the fireplace to heat the syrup which is in a large, flat vat nearby.
 

 
 
  Martin houses made from gourds.
 

 
A well. Do you see the pulley on the horizontal pole? Buckets would hang from it and are lowered into the well to draw up water.
 
 
 
An old hand water pump.
 

 
 

 
Old clothes washer. Actually the washer is not in the picture. These are the rinse tubs. To the right, in the foreground is the rainwater cistern with a large bucket which is lowered down to draw the water up.
 
 

 
The wringers with a hand crank to operate the wringer. A piece of clothing is run through the ringer to squeeze the water out. This is also something I remember very well from my childhood. I helped mom with the clothes washing using something similar to this!


 
And, yet another childhood memory from long ago - lightening rods on the house.
 

 
We went through the house which is fully furnished with authentic pieces, including some original items mentioned in the introduction.

 
I took about a dozen pictures inside but due to darkness, they are not very good shots.
 
 
 
I like the hat on an old chair.
 

 
Back outside we came to the turkey pen.
 

 
This one is huge and continuously moved so he was difficult to photograph.


 
 
Bringing this to a close by showing a few pictures made inside the old general store.
 

 
I wish I could have spent a longer time in here looking at all the items.
 

 
And, it wouldn't be complete without a place to sit and play checkers for a spell!
 
 
 
It's time to get this group on the road again. Being a rose society, we had a scheduled stop at a nearby rose nursery. I know there are several new rose plants growing around our town now.
~~~~~
This has been one of my longest posts and is very heavy with pictures. I appreciate you staying with me to the end and hope you enjoyed the tour. Below is the exact location, in case you would like to make a trip there yourself.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
18730 W. Newberry Road
Newberry, Fl. 32669
352 472 1142
FloridaStateParks.org.