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AUTUMN Its not where you live its how

RURAL Magazine

For midlife women who love the countryside

We're celebrating our 1st Anniversary Hopes and Dreams p. 10 Create your own Accordion tag book p. 18 Art among the ruins p. 24 Solitude Interrupted p. 30


Advertising Subscriptions Visit www.RURALMAG.COM Copywriting Donna Donabella Carolynn Anctil

Published seasonally by jen Vandervort/rural magazine All Rights Reserved Copyright 2016

Find us on facebook : rural magazine Visit us on instagram : @ruralmagazine



RURAL REFLECTIONS ::   Barb Brookbank has the season's beauty all laid out.


Poetry - To Slumber


Beautiful rural shots


Contents FEATURES P. 42 Apple Crisp easy to make! P. 36 Quick Pickle Red Cabbage full of crunch and taste P. 46 Salsa Verde Green tomato salsa

P. 50 Go with the Flow creative yoga stretches

P. 4 Snapshots Our rural world in pictures

P. 07 RURAL Contributors

P. 5 Notes from the Editor P. 56 Fencelines

Celebrating our first anniversary


We're celebrating

Creativity Brilliant foliage, crisp chilly days, and the warmth of a fire. Cozy blankets, absolutely pumpkin spice anything, falling leaves, brilliant sunsets bringing dark evenings, and maybe even a touch of frost. These are the small celebrations of Autumn that we'd like to share with you. With the cooler weather along comes our return to creativity. Which takes place in as many forms as our minds can imagine. From delicious seasonal recipes to the beautifully captured moments in the rural images, poems, and stories that we share in this issue. Celebrate the season by practicing some yoga moves, touring an art exhibit among the ruins, or creating your own accordion tag book. Another thing to celebrate? It's our first anniversary. RURAL magazine is oneyear-old. If you'd like to explore more work from our contributors, click on the highlighted links in their articles to be taken directly to their sites.

Jen, and the team at RURAL magazine. Page 05

Jen Vandervoort

RURAL Contributors

Jen Vandervoort is the founder of RURAL magazine. She blogs at The Light Laughed.

Carolynn Anctil is an artist and writer blogging at Tin Rooster Farm

Donna Donabella retired after 35 years in education. She is now pursuing her dream as a writer/poet.

Sarah Huizenga is an explorer, photographer, and writer. She blogs at Paisley Rain Boots.

Grace Vanderzande is a farmer, writer and blogger at Button's Thoughts.

Melanie Villeneuve of The Nomadic Wife teaches you how to nourish yourself so you can help nourish others

Lillie Normile is a writer and blogger at Notes from Napanee, living in South Eastern Ontario.

Kim Harbicht-Sczesny's business Turning Ground Yoga and Wellness is located in Sundre, Alberta.

Photo contributors

Kelsey runs the blog The Farmer's Daughter, where she shares rustic recipes inspired by her life on the farm.

Barb Brookbank Jan Wirth

Deb Riddell is a folk and mixed media artist. Find her blog at www.paxtonvalleyfolkart

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RURAL: : R e f l e c t i o n s :: Solitude 

Rural reflections :: Instagram feeds that inspire us Barb Brookbank lives with her husband in her little dream home on a small lake, surrounded by nature, and close to long-time friends. Her passions include blogging, still life photography, photo editing, gardening, floral design, cooking/baking, and living a full life. Barb is also a digital scrapbooking enthusiast with over 6 years experience. She was an instructor at Digital Scrapper for several years, where she wrote and recorded video tutorials using both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. To learn more about Barb, visit her blog at Find her on Instagram @keepingwiththetimes Page 08

Barb Brookbank

Visit Barb Brookbank on her IG feed @keepingwiththetimes Page 09


:: Stories

RURAL :: Solitude 

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Sarah Huizenga

Hopes and dreams By Sarah Huizenga The small brown package decorated with hand drawn butterflies arrived the day before my thirteenth birthday. The return address read - Aunt Lil, Phoenix, AZ. I took the package to my room, and crawled on to my queensized bed. I turned the package over, and carefully peeled up the packing tape, not wanting to destroy any of my great-aunt’s artwork. I removed the paper to reveal a small stationary box. Inside the box, nestled in white tissue paper lay an orange leather notebook, the word Diary in gilded gold letters on the cover. When I opened the book to the first page I read this inscription - Dear Sarah, use these pages to record all your hopes and dreams. Love, Aunt Lil. When I had visited my great-aunt during spring vacation, we had had a long talk in her garden. She listened with an attentive ear while I shared all my worries about becoming a teenager. When I had exhausted all my words, she wrapped me in her arms, and said, “I am going to send you something where you can share these concerns, but where you can also write all your hopes and dreams”. Smiling, I closed the notebook and locked the latch. I laid it on my nightstand on top of the book I was reading before bed. I hid the gold key for the lock at the back of my underwear drawer.

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Sarah Huizenga

A week after my eighteenth birthday, as I packed up my room in preparation for getting married, I found the orange notebook in a box tucked in a corner of my closet. The key to it was still at the back of my underwear drawer. I unlocked the latch and opened the book to read the words from my greataunt once more. I continued to flip through the pages. I had recorded some of my unfounded teenage fears and some of my hopes and dreams; hopes for a first kiss, dreams of traveling near and far, dreams of living a creative life, but more of the pages were empty than they were filled with loopy blue cursive writing. I closed the notebook and placed it back in the box.

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Over the years I have tried to journal, tried to document in newly purchased notebooks, the fulfillment of my hopes and dreams. Family vacations to Disney, wanting to capture the magic of my five year old daughter dancing with Cinderella, my hopes for her of meeting her own Prince Charming some day. A once in a lifetime trip to Europe, standing in the American cemetery in Normandy gazing at the rows of thousands of simple white crosses, too overwhelmed for words the dream of traveling more someday. Spotting a brown bear through binoculars while on an Alaskan cruise for our 25th anniversary, my hopes for at least another twenty-five years. I would try to hold onto the day’s details to record in my notebook before bed, but I wouldn’t get more than a paragraph or two written before my eyes would close, and the pen would slip from my grasp. In the end I had an impressive collection of notebooks, but very few words. Instead of filling notebooks with words, I relied on a progression of cameras to document my life. I had success with the cameras, which led to an impressive collection of colorful, cloth-covered scrapbooks that filled our family room bookshelves. A photograph could document a moment, but it couldn't show what my heart felt about those moments. I needed to find a way to capture both.

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The summer I turned forty-six, I took an on-line course on writing and discovered Morning Pages - three pages of journaling written first thing in the morning. Early that autumn while vacationing near my favorite National Park, I wrote my first Morning Pages in a plain blue Composition notebook. I woke before dawn the first morning of the trip and drove to a favorite rural historic farm preserved by the National Park Service. Seated on the dewy cobblestone foundation of a barn silo, my feet dangled into the empty void of its center. The sun slowly crept over the horizon, the golden light chasing away the wispy fog floating over the field of wildflowers in front of me. I wrote about my hopes for discovering more wildflower fields while on vacation, my dreams of traveling back to Europe when I turned fifty, my hopes for my daughter to find a good job and a good boy once she finished her last year of college. While I wrote, my latest camera sat on the cobblestone wall next to me waiting its turn.

Two years later, and I still begin each morning writing in the pages of a Composition notebook, this year’s cover is red. In the early morning light, I have found a way to both capture and share my hopes and dreams as a wife, mother, photographer and writer.

To see more of Sarah's work visit her blog Paisley Rain Boots.

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Donna Donabella

To Slumber

Storm clouds race against the steely sky,

Highlighting the stark contrast of

Weary and worn leaves,

Dried and mature-coopery colors of age.

Stretching, straining to hold on

Before winter calls them to slumber,

Brown and tattered mere memories.

Written and photographed by  Donna Donabella

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:: Create

RURAL :: Solitude 

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Sew Special Accordion Tag Book Tutorial By Deb Riddell Paxton Valley Folk Art

Here’s a quick and easy little accordion book made with hang tags (available at office supply stores) that would make a wonderful gift or memory book for a special occasion. I made this tag accordion book for a friend with a sewing theme but the sky is the limit, you can embellish it any way you choose. Supplies needed: Five #8 manila hang tags Assorted scrapbook papers or wrapping paper Tissue tape, washi tape or scotch tape Yarn, fiber or string for tie closure Assortment of embellishments: rubber stamps, chipboard embellishments, stickers, images from magazines, paper or silk flowers, die cuts Scissors and glue Hole punch Optional: Distress ink to age edges of tags and scrapbook paper Page 19

Step 1 Cover tags Cover the tags front and back with your chosen scrapbook or wrapping paper, just trace the tag onto your paper and cut it out.  If you’d like to leave a border, cut out the traced image slightly inside the drawn line.  An optional step is to age the edges of your scrapbook paper and tags with Distress ink or stamping ink if you like a vintage look before applying the paper.

Step 2 Join tags Join the tags together edge to edge with tissue tape, washi tape or even scotch tape.  Fold the joined tags accordion style to make your ‘book’.  If you would prefer to not have the tape visible, tape your tags together before applying the scrapbook papers to the tags.

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Step 3 Punch hole and add tie closure Punch a hole on the side of the front ‘cover’ of your tag book for your yarn or fiber tie closure.  You can also punch holes through the top of the hang tags and add some fiber or yarn or just leave the hole in the tag covered with the scrapbook paper if you prefer. Page 21

Step 4 Decorate Decorate pages with stamps, stickers, chipboard embellishments, silk or paper flowers, die cut shapes, images cut from magazines … whatever you have in your craft stash.

Stamp images onto paper or fabric, cut them out and then glue them flat to your pages or use foam pop dots to elevate them slightly for a little interest.  Just don’t make your embellishments too dimensional or your book will be hard to close. Have fun making your own tag accordion book, they make lovely personalized gifts and can be customized for any occasion! Deb Riddell is a folk and mixed media artist who lives in the Thompson­Okanagan region of British Columbia.   You can find her blog at

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Photo :Jan Wirth


:: Art

:: Solitude 

Creativity: a noun meaning originality, imagination, progressiveness, and interpretation to mention a few definitions. Page 24

Written and photographed by:: Lillie Normile

ART among the ruins In the small country village of Newburgh, Ontario each June there is an explosion of creativity on the property of the Anderson Family. Their home sits on the site of the old Newburgh Paper Mill. Parts of the mill are still visible including the water wheel to the mill pond and partial stone walls, all surrounded by beautiful gardens. This show is aptly named Art Among the Ruins. Lush gardens and interesting paths along the Napanee River wind through taking the visitors on a journey of discovery. Live music provides a lovely background throughout the day. It is a gathering like no other and the air fairly crackles with the creative energy.

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This summer 67 artists and artisans set up tents and displays of their creations and 2600 people walked down the sloped driveway to take it all in and make purchases. It would be difficult to find a medium not represented.

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Colourful gourds crafted into bowls and bird like sculptures as well as bird houses made with twig designs can be found among the many artists and artisans. Randal Doner, a stainless steel artist creates garden decor such as laser cut cats stretching in the sun, along with wine glass holders to place by chairs as the outdoors is enjoyed. Magdalena's 'Custom Costume Designs' can supply vintage and period costumes. If stained glass appeals to you Sageleaf Whimsy can fill that request. The next generation of artists is represented by the local high school. Molly-Beth Kaiser displayed a collection of miniature paintings. She will be attending Trent University in the fall to pursue a general arts degree with the intent to become a teacher; perhaps being an art teacher is in her future.

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Various styles of art are represented; from the realist to the impressionist. If you are looking for a large canvas with doleful cows staring out at you, they can be found in the work by Meghan Marshall. She takes photos of the animals in the field before committing them to canvas.

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Children can participate in making homemade paper to take home at the booth of Wendy Cain. This always fascinates them. They can use the paper to make cards or note paper to give to their parents. Nelson Freedman demonstrates wood turning on his site. Pottery, jewelry, fibre art, photography and figurative clay sculptures draw the eye throughout the grounds.

All these beautiful renderings beg the question, “what makes these people creative?" Is there something different about the hard-wiring of their brains? Why does one person see a cloud in the sky and another sees a fire breathing dragon? Is it the left brain, right brain debate? Whatever the reason for creativity we should be grateful that artists and artisans share their creations and in some cases offer classes; giving everyone the opportunity to become a creative soul. An amazing way to spend a day in the country and perhaps inspire your inner creative self. Page 29


:: Stories

RURAL :: Solitude 

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Solitude interrupted

Written and photographed by Grace Vanderzande

Draped in timeless beauty, autumn crept in and then almost out again, unnoticed, in the middle of a busy month. Luckily, the remaining colourful leaves that still clung to the trees whispered through the winds. They solicited, to be seen before their grand finale. It was the perfect day to listen, to don my hikers, and then head back to enjoy the show.

Grace Vanderzande

Following a familiar path, I rounded a bend where I stumbled upon half a dozen wild turkeys. Those leaves that had already fallen had created a thick multi-layered, multi-coloured carpet which provided comfort, where sleepy turkeys dozed. Page 31

Grace Vanderzande

The snap of a twig, hidden under foot had those turkeys take flight. Their flapping wings, followed by beautiful tail feathers disappeared. Up to, then under, a camouflage of golden yellow leaves, high atop the tallest maple tree. The pounding of seven racing hearts merged as one, and shattered the solitude, for all. “I’m sorry” slipped from my lips. The wind rustled those leaves that clung tight. With my head tilted towards the sky, and feeling a bit guilty, Mother Nature wrapped her comforting arms around me and whispered in my ear. Those whispers, sent me deeper into the bush to roam. Those turkeys were once again free to enjoy their solitude, and so was I. Grace Vanderzande

Grace Vanderzande Page 33

Photo :Jan Wirth


:: Eat

RURAL :: Solitude 

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Quick Pickle Red Cabbage By: Melanie Villeneuve

Melanie Villeneuve Page 36

Pickled and fermented cabbage are two of the staples in our house. They go with everything and add a touch of zing or spice to an otherwise heavy meal like Turkish Baked Potatoes. They’re also a great way to get through the remaining cabbage that’s hanging out in your fridge before it decides to grow legs. Now, there are a million ways to pickle cabbage and so many of them are really yummy that it can be hard to choose a recipe that floats your boat. However, I always try to opt for the basic half vinegar half filtered water version and go from there. Using that as a base, you can easily choose a flavour profile that suits you and your family. Looking to add a bit of heat? Go for chili flakes. Looking for a more traditional feel? Pepper & bay usually does the trick. It really depends on what you’re after. The beauty of these pickles is they take a quick minute to make, but you can store them in the fridge for months. They will also keep developing their flavour as time goes on, so the longer they hang out, the more tasty they get. You just can’t lose. Page 37

Quick Pickle Red Cabbage Ingredients MAKES 2 JARS 2 C cabbage, thinly chopped 2 C filtered water 1 C white vinegar 1 C white wine vinegar 1 T honey 1 T salt ½ t chili flakes 1 bay leaf ½ t whole peppercorns Directions 5 MINS PREP In one 1 C jar, add chili flakes & in the other add the bay leaf along with the peppercorns. Chop your cabbage as thinly as you can and pack it into your mason jars. The tighter you pack it the better your pickles will be and the less likely they are to go bad. Mix together the water, vinegars, honey & salt to make your pickling liquid. Once the salt & honey have dissolved, pour the liquid over the cabbage to fill the jars. Use your finger to pack them in even more and release as much air as possible. Leave the jars on the counter for at least an hour then store them in the fridge.

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Melanie Villeneuve

Melanie Villeneuve

Melanie Villeneuve

The Nomadic Wife is a mindful-living blog full of the food adventures of a Canadian gal, eating and cooking recipes from around the world. There, you'll find healthy (mostly) plant-based recipes which use seasonal ingredients, and a weekly meal plan that gives back to charity. The goal? Help busy women take control back over their kitchens, bodies & minds. To teach them how to nourish themselves so that they may help nourish others.

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Melanie Villeneuve

Kelsey The Farmer s Daughter '

Apple Crisp Recipe and images courtesy Kelsey The Farmer's Daugher

Kelsey is a farm girl living in the beautiful Fraser Valley in British Columbia. Her days are filled with working on her family's apple and pumpkin farm, and petting as many cats as she can find. When she's not working, you can most likely find her scouring thrift stores, browsing local shops, or curled up on her couch with a good book. She runs the blog The Farmer's Daughter, where she shares rustic recipes often inspired by her life on the farm. Page 43

Apple Crisp yields: one 9x13 pan

Fruit Layer: 1) Mix together chopped apples, cinnamon, and flour. Place in a greased 9x13 pan.

Ingredients 8-10 cups chopped, tart apples (I used Elstar, but Granny Smith or something similar is a good choice!)

Crumb Topping Layer: 1) In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.

2 tsp flour 1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 1/3 cup oats

2) Then, cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Alternatively, I've tried melting my butter completely, and it results in very even, delicious crumbs...although they're a slightly different texture than when the butter was cold. Both ways are delicious!) 3) Stir in brown sugar and oats. 4) Sprinkle crumbs over fruit evenly. 5) Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the apple pieces are tender. Cook time will depend on how big your apple chunks just keep checking it! Tip: If your crumbs are brown, but your apples are still crunchy, just loosely place a piece of tinfoil on top of the pan to keep the crumbs from getting any browner while it cooks a bit longer! Page 44

Kelsey The farmers daugher

By: Melanie Villeneuve

Salsa Verde: A Green Tomato Salsa

Melanie Villeneuve

“We have, what seems like, a million unripe tomatoes in the garden. It’s a lot.” I read somewhere that when you farm you should grow what you love to eat. This way, you will always have produce that you enjoy and you will be able to make more loving & practical decisions towards your crops. Makes sense. Sounds like a sane person said that... but what about the unripe produce? Is it still edible? What does it taste like? We planted eighty or so tomato plants this season, and they all survived. They all bared fruit & they're all green. Yup. They never had a chance to ripen. Not enough heat I'm told, but now it's cold out. We covered the crops with row covers in hope to give them a few extra weeks to ripen. Who knows. Maybe it will be enough. In the meantime however, we have a large crop of green tomatoes. So what are we to do if they never ripen? Well. Salsa verde, to start. I would consider it extremely wasteful to waste some perfectly good green tomato when loads of other people use them. I really believe that one should use as much of the plant as possible, as often as possible and waste as little as possible. We are so wasteful as a people. It really unnerves me. So, in an effort to show you what I've been doing to act on what I preach, here is one recipe that can save your sanity & your green tomato crop. Sounds good?

Melanie Villeneuve

Awesome. Page 47

Melanie Villeneuve

Salsa Verde Ingredients MAKES 2 CUPS 2 small chipolini onions, peeled 12 unripe plum tomatoes 1 small cayenne pepper 4-6 cloves of garlic 2 limes, juiced 1 t olive oil 1 t salt 1 t paprika 1 t cumin Directions 10 MINS All the veg goes into a pan on high with olive oil Moving it around until all sides are blistered Then transfer everything into a blender with lime juice, salt, paprika and cumin Blend and serve right away or pack into mason jars

Melanie Villeneuve

The Nomadic Wife is a mindful-living blog full of the food adventures of a Canadian gal, eating and cooking recipes from around the world. There, you'll find healthy (mostly) plant-based recipes which use seasonal ingredients, and a weekly meal plan that gives back to charity. The goal? Help busy women take control back over their kitchens, bodies & minds. To teach them how to nourish themselves so that they may help nourish others.

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:: Stretch

RURAL :: Solitude 

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Go with the flow A sequence that honours creativity

Kim Harbicht­Sczesny Turning Ground Yoga and wellness

Allowing creativity into your yoga practice can be an inspired way to go with the flow. Not having a plan can be a bit scary but sometimes it's when we don't have any answers or expectations that we can experience the greatest shifting. If you're like me, you feel most at ease when you have your steps all laid out for you beforehand. Knowing where you're supposed to go before you even get started smacks of comfort and ditching that premeditated ease can be intimidating and downright scary. It turns out, however, that when we drop our plans and preconceived notions of what a yoga practice should be, the body speaks up, taking over and telling us exactly which movements we need to bring balance back into our lives. Of course, it helps to have some knowledge of basic yoga postures and how they serve to open and strengthen the body but even without this foundation, when we slow down and let creativity flow- beautiful movements can arise, making your practice unique, personal and powerful. The following set of postures can be practiced in the sequence given or can be experienced individually. Once you've connected to each asana and understand what it can do you, close your eyes and see where your body goes. Without expectation flow where your body asks you to take it next and simply follow where creativity leads.

Kim Harbicht Sczesny is a yoga teacher and wellness provider based in Sundre, Alberta. She teaches from her home studio and travels for workshops and events. Check out her website for more information and discover daily insights at Turning Ground Yoga on facebook. -

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Marjariasana Place wrists under shoulders and knees under toes. Inhale and gently release the belly and allow the spine to dip, then exhale, pulling the abdomen in and round the back. Repeat a few times to release the spine and work out the kinks.

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Balasana Press your hands into the mat and use them to push your hips down toward your heels. Enjoy the release you feel in your lower back

Plank from knees From your knees or your toes, flex the muscles of the legs, abdomen, back and shoulders as you straighten the torso and come into a pose that very much resembles a two by four. Keep the spine neutral, including the neck, gazing at the floor in front of you while you hold. Page 53

Bhujangasana With keen awareness in your low back and belly, gently take a controlled bend in your lumbar/ thoracic spine by sinking the hips towards the mat. Listen to your body and keep the abdominals active as you open the chest and avoid schlumping into this pose.

Chatturanga Dandasana Keep your elbows tucked in and your torso fired up in a strong plank as you lower yourself to the floor. Here you can challenge you upper body by holding chatturanga halfway down, or build strength by lowering all the way to the floor slowly and with control.

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Lying on the floor Even this posture can be active. When you lay on the floor you ground. Rest here and feel your bones grow heavy,connecting you to your mat and to the earth. Namaste

These yoga stretches should not be used as a substitute for professional health care. Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

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Jen Vandervoort Jen Vandervoort

changing with the seasons, the upcoming issues of Fencelines: We're RURAL magazine will be published online twice a year. Look for new issues in the SPRING, and AUTUMN. Don't miss out SUBSCRIBE here.

Follow us on Facebook, for updates, and behind the scene details. We're on Instagram, @ruralmagazine click here to see more #RURAL shots.

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RURAL Autumn  

Live urban, love the country? Enjoy the beauty of the countryside without leaving home. RURAL is an online magazine for midlife women who ce...

RURAL Autumn  

Live urban, love the country? Enjoy the beauty of the countryside without leaving home. RURAL is an online magazine for midlife women who ce...