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Well, Sugar Pies, summertime is in full swing here in the Ozarks! The flowers are bloomin’ and the bees are a-buzzin’ and there’s a nice cold Ice Box Lemonade Pie in the fridge…I wish I could share it with y’all!  Why don’t you go grab something yummy to drink while I give y’all a peek at  what I’ve been up to  ’round the old farmhouse….

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It gets pretty warm here this time of year in Branson, Missouri, so I made a few changes in my greatroom to give it a fresher, cooler look for these hot summer days…

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This is the BEFORE picture. Notice my  red and black Buffalo Plaid fleece blanket curtains…I took them all down, washed them and put them away until fall and winter. I replaced them with light and airy white sheets….

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Although I really liked my blanket curtains (which really are blankets by the way!) I’m loving the change for this season. I chose King size sheets because they are  less expensive than actual curtains. I paid around $14 per sheet compared to $80 per panel (at linensource.com…they are the “Hospitality” sheets),  plus the sheets are extra full and long  to puddle on the floor. They can be easily washed too. It’s amazing how much cooler and fresher everything looks!

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Sheets are so easy to use as curtains! There’s no sewing to do, just clip them up with ring-clips and you are done! Once  hung , I sprayed them with Downy Wrinkle Release to get the creases out. It makes the room smell fresh too!

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My red and white checkerboard quilt saddles my chocolate brown sofa to brighten the room even more.

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This distressed American Flag painted on wood from Pottery Barn has been singing my name since last year. When I saw that it was on sale recently I decided to bring it on home. It just says “summertime” to me! I embellished my mantle with some of my creamy white  pitchers and a birch branch to add to my rustic farmhouse style.

The American Flag:

You’re the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
~George M. Cohan

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I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: One Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all.

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A vintage enamel washtub, piled with soft, fresh scrubbed flour sack towels, a worn washboard and a milk bottle sprouting a red Gerber daisy, coupled with  a miniture version of “Old Glory”, graces my dinner table. It’s a bit unusual for a centerpiece, but I wanted to do something a little different. I just looked around my house for stuff I already had and came up with it. It’s my little tribute to the American Homemaker…the gal that keeps the home fires burning…the mama that loves and nurtures her children…the woman that glows with “Gumption, Grit and Grace.”

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There is something about a well-worn washboard that seems endearing to me. The wood frame on this one is as smooth as butter. You can tell it was in constant use. It speaks of a faithful mama that took care of her family and home. She made sure that they had nice clean clothes for everyday and for Sunday-go-to-meetin’.

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Washday was probably on monday to start the week with fresh laundry. The scrubbed clothes were rinsed, wrung out and hung  on the line to dry in the summer breeze, absorbing the  fresh aroma of  country sunshine.  I’m sure there was a feeling of sweet contentment as she stood back and looked, with a twinkle in her eye, at the accomplishment of her labor…little shirts, socks and dresses waving cheerfully in the warm wind. That’s the same feeling I get when I go from room to room cleaning and changing things around to give it a fresh new look…sweet contentment.

Freshening our home blesses our family, bringing life, light, serenity and comfort to our environment. It sends a significant message to our loved ones that they are worth the effort it takes to create a place they’ll want to come home to. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21

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If you are feeling weary about the daily-ness of all the things that need to be done…and perhaps even the lack of appreciation, may I encourage you not to give up! Our role as keeper of the home is vital to the well being of our family!  Our perseverance in honoring our home and family will affect future generations!  What do we accomplish if we give up? Nothing. Don’t get stuck in a season of  discontentment and discouragement. Ask the Lord to stir your heart with His love and joy to give you a fresh perspective on the importance blessing your home. Gals, if we don’t do it who will? You are the Queen of your Castle, stay faithful to the task of bringing honor to your home and nurturing your family. Be results driven. Look at the finish line, what do you want your homelife to look like? What kind of legacy do you want to pass on? Do what you can, a little at a time, to accomplish your goals. It’s not always easy, but you’ll reap your reward in years to come.

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Being a blessing to others starts with the heart. For a fresh outlook and a joyful attitude, do what I’m doing this summer…I’m reading through the Psalms. If you are feeling spiritually parched, weary and thirsty for goodness,  spend time in prayer and reading the Psalms to start feeling revived and refreshed! Once your heart is filled to the brim with the Lord’s sweet goodness it will begin to spill over in every area of your life, splashing God’s sparkling love on everything you do. Just read this Psalm as a sample of the treasures that can be found in God’s Word:

Psalm 19:7-11 (New International Version)

7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

11 By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Read God’s Word and be blessed Sugar Pies!

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Dear little flags tucked here and there are a fun way to add that Patriotic touch as July 4th approaches. I tied this one with twine around my sassy Penelope pig ( a souvenir from Lake Tahoe many years ago).

You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
~George M. Cohan

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Vintage flour and feed sack pillows replaced my other ones. The look is down-home and farm fresh! You can find them on Etsy…just type in “Feedsack or Floursack pillows.”

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I love decorating with old milk bottles. I remember, when I was around 6 years old, riding down the street on our milkman’s truck one time with my next door neighbor friend…the bottles clinking a musical sound down the bumpy road. He let us out at the end of the block. It was so exciting! That was the end of a happy-go-lucky era for sure!

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I painted this lantern milk-white ( it used to be black) along with the tray on my coffee table. I’ve got a hankerin’ to paint more things white…I’ll keep you posted!

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Off with your hat, as the flag goes by!
And let the heart have its say;
you’re man enough for a tear in your eye
that you will not wipe away.
~Henry Cuyler Bunner

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I always love to listen to music when I’m feathering my nest! During the summertime one of my most  favorite CD’s is this one (click here). It is so delightful!  It’s like taking a musical adventure back to “life on the American Farm” during the turn-of-the-century. AdOrAbLe! (I love it so much I wanna marry it!)

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I want to give a big WoW and THANK YOU to all of you who purchased my summertime E-book “Watermelon and Fireflies”! And to those of you who have taken the time to leave a sweet comment about the book for me!  I so appreciate it!! Your feedback will help me determine if I should continue with my plans to write more books for the other seasons and other ideas I have up my sleeve.

To get your copy click here or click the giant pink button below. Once you’ve purchased the E-Book, you’ll receive an email with all the download instructions. Make sure you can access the email address associated with your PayPal account.

Just so there’s no confusion, I want all my sistas to know that this is a PDF document that you can download, view and print on your computer. This is NOT a printed book that you’ll be receiving by mail. Due to the fact that this is a digital download, I won’t be able to accept any refunds. If you have any questions about your order you can contact my son Dusty at auntruthie@sugarpiefarmhouse.com
Understand that he has a full time job and he will answer your emails as quickly as he can.

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Have a blessed week while blessing your family!

Hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

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