The Latest from the Middle

Hey there friends!

I hope this finds you well. I’m currently sitting in our dining room, admiring the successful fire I built (it usually fails) with our dog, Riggs, at my feet. It’s a gray but cozy day here in the middle. So I thought I would drop a line here with the latest.

We are in the midst of spring trying to take the reins from winter, but it seems to be a bit of a game of tug of war between the two. Yesterday it was 75 degrees and sunny and today we are experiencing wind gusts of 40+ and much cooler air bringing snow showers tomorrow a.m. Would I change living in the Midwest? Absolutely not. I enjoy the change in seasons too much. I do however wish spring would last a bit longer sometimes.

Restoration

We have been busy around the homestead in the past couple of months. We have been working in our project room, which has consisted of running some more electric and cleaning off the brick we exposed. There had been extensive water damage to the plaster for various reasons and we decided we loved the look of the exposed brick so we have it all clear of plaster and Aaron will soon be doing some tuck work and then we will move on to closing up some of the ceiling that needs repaired. When we’ve gotten a warm day or two, we’ve been tackling gutter work on both sides of the house. Aaron has done an amazing job with tearing out all the old (not the good old stuff, like the crummy stuff) and putting things back the way they should look and function.

With all of the high winds we’ve been having, Mother Nature has done a swell job of pruning the trees. There hasn’t been a shortage of trees and limbs falling down in our back woods which has made it easy to cut and stack for our fireplace. Something we’ve been wanting to do since we moved here was to clear a good path through out woods in the winter and with it not being a top priority, we haven’t cleared it all the way, however, we did clear a nice area along the creek so we can access the creek a bit better this summer.

Speaking Engagements

Click here to read more

Outside of house projects, I presented my research at our historical society and was asked to present this upcoming Tuesday, April 5th at Miami University. I’ll be sharing my research on Rev. Thomas Craven who was a graduate of Miami but also a staunch abolitionist who was connected to our farmhouse and the Wehr family. You can read more about the presentation here. For those of you who may not have heard the podcast episode yet in regard to me not getting accepted to Miami, this presentation has become a full circle moment for me. I had thought growing up I would attend Miami University for college and in addition to thinking that I felt drawn to the area back in high school. I just knew I would end up there, but my gut feeling was just slightly off at my young age. Wouldn’t you know I would get accepted everywhere I applied but Miami yet 15 years later we landed just outside of it here in the middle. The plan I apparently had was not the way to get to where I needed to go, so not getting into Miami was apparently for good reason. Either way, I think it’s really neat to have an opportunity to share what I’ve spent years researching with the community.

Click to read the article here

I have continued to be surprised with opportunities that land in my inbox. I recently was asked to be featured in Voyage Ohio in The Change-Makers: Stories that Inspire column. Here I share a little bit about myself and the reason for having started the Grounded in the Middle podcast. If you would like to read the article you can click here.

Another neat opportunity I was asked to do is interview an author. There are more details to come, but I will be doing an Instagram live video with the author and if you head to my IG you can go to my highlights, select books, and take a guess as to which author I’ll be interviewing:-)

The (Mini) Farm

I keep anticipating when we will get to head up to the garden and turn up the soil in preparation to plant. Last year our motto for the farmstand was “take what you need, leave what you can.” The community seemed to have really enjoyed being able to stop because we raised more than enough money to buy our seeds for this year. We are hoping everyone who stops this summer will enjoy some new and exciting additions to the stand this summer. We are adding some of our friends’ seeds, Christina + Johnny from North Carolina, to our garden like cantaloupe, Carolina Watermelon, Luffa, Sugar Baby Watermelon, and Butternut Squash. If you would like to see this fabulous couple and their charming home, head over to IG and check out their account @ourcornerofcurrituck. You can also read about them here on Farmhouse Storyteller in an article I wrote about their rich in history historic home here.

In addition to growing those exciting things and the usual tomato, potato, cucumber, beans, and onions, we are adding a pumpkin patch, starting our journey with growing asparagus-it takes time, a variety of peppers, and mammoth sunflowers that will get about twelve feet tall. It’s my hope the sunflowers will do okay up by our old red barn. We get a bit of wind out here, but I’ve been envisioning sunflowers by our old red barn from the kitchen and hope by fall, the view will be filled with those towering stalks. When it’s time to harvest, we will let the heads dry out in brown paper sacks and plan to put them out in the winter for the birds to enjoy.

Our farmstand will be up and running again this summer and it just so happens to be out right now. We are averaging about a dozen eggs a day now that our hens are matured, we are able to sell them to those who like farm fresh eggs. When we were preparing to set the stand up, we realized we needed a name to go along with the sticker we place on our cartons. After a lot of lists and a family vote, we decided to name our mini-farm, Broken Brook Farm. With our property having creeks/brooks on it as well as it being my middle name (yes, no ‘e’ on the end of my middle name), we felt Brook was a good word to use and as many of you know since moving here to the middle, we’ve experienced times of brokenness that have helped us sink our roots a bit deeper and in the end (or really in the middle of our lives) we have come to know ourselves better than we have before.

Well friends, my time for updating is up. I’ll be back to share some more with you soon, but until then you can see my daily posts on Instagram here and the link is always at the top of the page here.

Take care!

Danielle

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