“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

The Importance of Being Present

There are mornings when I awake with a start,
as if Mother Earth, herself, is shaking my shoulder...
trying to motivate my feet to the floor.

Most times I listen.
I've learned the value in rising early to greet the day.
That shoulder shake occurred at 4:30 yesterday.
With no hint of light in the morning sky,
I stayed in bed, warmly tucked beneath the covers, 
my face chilled by the pre-dawn air sifting through the screens.
I read until 5:15 and decided that it was time to start the day.


I headed to the barn with a headlamp to guide my way.
It didn't take long for me to figure out what Mother Earth had 
in store for me.


As the sun neared the horizon,
the most intense and magnificent light show began in the 
eastern sky.
"How lucky I am," I thought, "to witness this beauty."


It was most certainly a gift to begin my day in this manner,
and a reminder that each day is meant to be cherished.


Sadly, we have had two reminders in the past week of just how
precious and fleeting life is.
We lost a close neighbor last week, quite suddenly, to cancer.
Yesterday we lost a close family member in a tragic accident.
Both of these losses have knocked our knees out from under us.
Both men were slightly younger than...

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A Change Is In The Air

Well, we began the weekend in Summer,
and ended it in Autumn!


At least that's how it seems, and I could not be happier!


The end of the week was blistering hot,
but after Saturday's multiple thunderstorms blew through,
(it was one of those days where the weather changed every hour)
cooler weather prevailed.


We had a lovely weekend here on the farm.
I did not leave the farm at all... all weekend.

Saturday was filled with sewing projects...
putting the finishing touches on 90+ face masks,
making matching crib sheet and changing pad cover sets for 
both of our soon-to-be-born grandchildren,
and making the first of this autumn's waxed canvas bags.

(deep purple with dark and light purple herringbone flannel pocket.)

I roasted a batch of tomatoes from the garden, and made this recipe
for Roasted Tomato Basil soup - using our own homegrown
tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil; and
 baked more sourdough multigrain bread and English muffin bread.


For the first time in months, our dry lot had puddles...
a welcomed sight.


The sun returned Sunday morning as we tended to morning chores.



The horses had spent the night out in the upper pastures...


deliriously happy in the cooler weather.
Griz, having grown into his...

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Playtime and Current Projects

I am sure you could have guessed that this is what we 
might be up to these days!


The ducklings had their first outing yesterday,
and I became their safe zone.


Call me Mother Duck.
(And no, I am not this skinny... the camera was on "wide angle" setting...
big head, huge feet, tiny body... LOL)


Getting them out to the pen was a bit of a fiasco.
Thinking that it would be best for me to carry two
and then go back for the third was most definitely a mistake.


The first two insisted on trying to climb through the fence.


And with Sammie so interested in these tiny beings,
I was fearful that he just might try to help them through the 
metal pen.


I ended up carrying the two back to the brooder house and picking up 
the third one.
I would have preferred not carrying all three at one time...
but it all worked out ok.


Next time, I will take them out when Hubbs is around to help me.

They had their fill of fresh air, and ate a few tasty bugs,
before returning home for a much needed nap.
A trip into the big wide world is stressful and exhausting
for such a little being.

Each time will get easier...
until one day when they are ready to take on the big wide world
and have the run of the farm.

That day will not be soon,...

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Monday Surprises

Some days are like surprise journeys.
You start out in one direction not knowing where you will end up.
Yesterday was one such day.


We assumed, though it was Labor Day, that it would be a typical Monday for us.
We arose at sun-up and gathered the laundry.
Monday's are always laundry day.
Before leaving for the barn, we threw the white wash (sheets)
in so that they could be hung on the line after chores.


We headed to the barn and the day began as always.


Griz has been joining us for chores lately...
hopping in the gator and heading off to all areas of the farm with us.


He's taking his job as farm manager quite seriously,
and likes to make sure that all of the work is done to his standards.

He has grown accustomed to all of the animals around the farm;
and with the passing of time has become much less fearful
and much more adventurous.


He does give the turkeys wide berth, however.
And to a being as small as him, I believe the turkeys must
be no less than terrifying.


Who could have guessed, last winter when he appeared on the farm,
too scared to approach,
that he would become such an integral part of farm life!

So our day, which started out as any other Monday,
ended up with a surprise visit from our...

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Gob-smacked!

Well, it's happened again.
As I knew it would.
It seems the heart has an unlimited capacity for love,
and I have fallen... hook, line, and sinker,
for three little souls that have come to live on the farm.


You may remember two weeks ago, when the duck eggs 
that we had found in a neighbor's yard
(yes, from our ducks)
began to hatch.

One, two, three baby ducklings hatched on Monday, two weeks ago.
And yesterday, having grown exponentially in two weeks time,
they came to live on the farm.


You've seen the videos of our wacky runner ducks,
so you know that they are not very socialized when it comes
to us humans.


These ducklings, on the other hand, have imprinted on humans,
and love to be cuddled.


Place your hand upon the ground and you immediately
have a duck, or three on top of your fingers.


They love to have their bellies rubbed.

Oh. My. Goodness!
They are adorable beyond words.


I am smitten!
Gob-smacked!
I might be moving into the brooder house with them so that I can
just cuddle them all day long!
Not even kidding.

We had a spectacular weekend here on the farm.
After months of heat and humidity,
we had a cool, dry weekend and it was wonderful!


All of the animals are so much happier without the intense heat.

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A Busy Solitary Day

Yesterday was a solitary day on the farm for me.


Hubbs had headed to Pittsburgh early in the morning,
to visit with family - while I stayed behind to tend to the farm.


It's difficult for us both to go away for a day on short notice.


I took full advantage of a rainy day at home and spent a good deal of it
sewing...


two aprons.


I was lucky in that it didn't rain during chore times.


And it was great for both the dogs and myself to get 
outside for a little exercise.

Gathering eggs is a part of every afternoon's chores.
Trips to the chicken yard are always fun...
chickens are so very comical.

If you ever have the chance to have a small flock of backyard chickens...
do so.
You will never be sorry.
Chickens are amazing animals... with distinct personalities.

Take Elwood, for instance...


he is, hands down, the best rooster we have ever had
(with the exception of our very first... Elvis).
He is very attentive to his flock, and never feels the need
to be aggressive with us humans.
I can't say the same with the majority of roosters that we have had over the years.

Then, there is Betty White...


she is the smallest of our white hens and the first in line 
whenever the snacks arrive.


With her floppy little comb, she...

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A Rainy Day Visit

After what has been essentially months without any significant
precipitation,
we had a rainy day yesterday.
It was the kind of rain that doesn't run off and cause flooding...
but rather soaks into the ground and gives the earth a good long drink.

As I went about my day on the farm,
I shot a little video footage for you...
a rainy day visit to the farm:



Here is a link to the video on YouTube,
if it does not show up here for you.

I spent much of my morning in my sewing room,
making the first of a batch of aprons.
(This one "Farmers Market" is sold.)


My pattern is my own.  I used an antique apron
to draw this pattern from.
More to come....

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Assisted Living

The thing about having a farm full of critters is...
eventually the farm becomes a retirement home.


I wouldn't have it any other way... it was the plan all along.
Eventually all of our animal friends will grow old and 
end their lives here at the farm.


And while this has the potential for sounding quite depressing,
it's important that one have the right attitude from the start.


After all, animals have a much shorter lifespan than we humans,
and it's a good thing, when you think about it.
How awful would it be to have a farm full of animals who will 
outlive you... not knowing what their eventual fate will be!


This way, as each of my sweet friends passes,
I will have the knowledge that I cared for them in the best way possible,
for their lifetime here on the farm.
I will know that they were happy and healthy and well-loved.
And although I grieve the passing of a beloved animal,
I try to keep my focus on all of the others that still remain in my care.

I may not have been thinking straight when I brought these two
gals home to live on the farm as youngsters.


I am, most likely, going to have to live beyond 100 in order
to outlive these two.
I'm planning on it!

The turkey pen has become a sort of...

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A Garden Fail

Though I always wish spring and autumn lasted longer, each year;
I am not one to lament the the change of seasons.
Hubbs, on the other hand, feels a touch of melancholy
at the end of each summer.
Me?  I am energized by the prospect of autumn and all of the lovely things
that accompany this time of year.



I tell you this because each spring I have grand plans for the garden.
Those plans always include an autumn garden filled with new
cool weather veggies.
But each late summer, as the heat drags on into early autumn,
and food preservation hits a frenzy,
I am much less enthusiastic about getting back out into the soil
for another go-round.



Yes... now you know it... I am a failed autumn gardener...
who is more enthusiastic about fires, and pumpkins, and sweaters,
and crunch leaves than I am about a continuation
of weeding, watering, and all of the tasks that accompany a garden.



Don't get me wrong...
dreams of gardening is what gets me through the winter.
But, autumn gardening?  Not my passion.
I need to hire myself an autumn gardener.
Because... it would be lovely to continue to have homegrown veggies
to nourish us.
I just can't seem to push myself in that direction.
No, I'd rather bake, and sew, and knit...

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Snippets of a Day

I am happily spending these days with my favorite
five-year-old.
With days full of fun and adventure,
there is no time left over for writing.
However, yesterday we caught some video footage during the day....
morning chores, a trip to town to pick up a special little girl,
and then some farm fun in the afternoon.

I must warn you... this video is un-edited 
and in its raw form...
just little snippets of our day.

[link to video, if needed]

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News From The Sweat Shop

How does the saying go?
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?"

Well, I must confess, I am officially dull.
Having spent the entire day making face masks yesterday...
I did nothing else.
Hubbs held down the fort (farm) while I stitched and stitched.


I took a break for lunch and sat on the back screen porch watching
the hummingbirds.
As a result, I have no story to share with you.
For this, I am sorry.



However, for the next two days I will be spending my time
with my favorite five-year-old, Mackenzie.
So... we will have lots to share with you the rest of this week!
Pinky swear!
I hope to do a fun video with this little one, as well.

So, until tomorrow...
have a lovely day!
I'll be back tomorrow to hopefully make up for today.
Every once in a while I need a day off... apparently this was it!
Hugs from the farm....



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Can I Bug You A Little?

One needn't leave their own yard in order to see an amazing world
teeming with life.


Now granted, that life may be less than attractive to some...
but to me it is utterly fascinating!

We often think of insects as merely pests,
without giving much consideration to all of the services that they 
provide to Mother Earth.

The long and the short of it is...
without insects, nothing else could survive.

Think about that, next time you consider squashing a bug!

The last figures I could find for the ratio of insects to humans on this planet 
came from some 2008 statistics that showed insects
outnumbering humans by 200 million to one.
That's 200 million insects for each and every one of us humans.
No thank you, I'll pass.

And yet... they have their place in the world.
Sadly, insect populations have declined over the last several years,
with about 40 percent of insects species suffering large declines.
On a day when gnats and flies plague us, that sounds like a good thing.
But... it's not.

The declines are the result of loss of habitat,
use of chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides,
and climate change.

Insects are the foundation of the food chain.
Many animals depend upon them for food...
and in some cases,...

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Blackberry Summer

It was a perfectly lovely, quiet weekend here on the farm.
The weather has cooled.
Yesterday felt as though Autumn was just around the corner...
a tease, I know, but nonetheless quite wonderful!


We received some much-needed rain Saturday night.
Not before moving to the farm did weather
ever play such a big part in my life.
Now, we pay attention to every detail of the weather,
as it has such a huge impact on life here.


I spent more hours than I can count in my sewing room this weekend
and made a large dent in the fabric that I found last week.
Of course, Saturday I needed something basic from our little
local fabric boutique and came home with a bag filled with more
whimsical, fun fabrics.
Never done.
Never done.
Many thanks to those of you who are helping to support
my Etsy shop and ultimately
my fabric addiction...
but most of all...
many thanks to those of you who are committed to wearing a mask.
It's important.
Really!
So.... it might as well be fun, right?

After sewing until my behind was numb,
I decided to gather the dogs and head out to visit with my piggy gals.


With the air as cool as it was,
I knew they would be out in the front pasture munching away on the grass.
On our way, we stopped at the...

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Becoming Small

Sometimes, the very best days come wrapped in thick,
grey clouds.


Cool, static air, that carries the question-
"Might it rain, today?" adds an element of the unknown to the morning.
There's delight in the prospect of surprise.


I bend my nose to the ground to inspect a new white mushroom
growing on the edge of the manure pile,
and find a tiny faerie world in this lowly spot.


And suddenly... there it is!
A drop of rain hits my arm.
Surprise!


In my mind, I shrink to the size of a mouse
and stand beneath the toadstool while the rain soaks the ground around me.


The reality is, however...
one lone raindrop falls...
with no followers.

I make my way back home... the morning chores complete.
There's nothing quite as lovely or peaceful as 
a grey morning in the pasture with the equines,
and so I stop to visit with them.
Naturally, I brought you with me...

Here is a link to the video, on YouTube, if you need it.


Here we are at Friday again.
I hope you had a pleasant week.
I hope you are safe and healthy!
Enjoy the weekend, and let's visit again on Monday.

PS...
I'll be adding more face masks to my Etsy store in the coming 
days (hours).
I've got to use up all that wonderful fabric I found on Monday!!


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Happy Days

Yesterday was just about as perfect a day as one could imagine.
Finally, after so many weeks of high humidity and high temperatures,
we had a day in the 80's with much less humidity.


It was perfect.
Short-lived, but perfect.


Today is to be beastly hot.
So that's that.

I had woken up at 4:30, wide awake.
Too early to head out for morning chores,
it seemed like a good time to make hot pepper jam with the hot peppers 
we had picked on Monday.









I used all of the red, orange and yellow (which happened to be the hottest of the lot)
for the jam.
The rest of them I sliced and pickled for use in salads and for snacking.
By the time the sun was up, I was finished in the kitchen and headed out to 
bring in the horses.


The horses had all been out in the upper pastures for the night.
After they finished their breakfast, they got busy with the next order of 
business - mutual grooming.


I stood at the fence trying to snap a few photos, but curiosity
always gets the best of them.
There's a fascination with the camera.


Everyone tries to get as close to it as possible.


Selfie-madness!


Camera hogs!


Moonie, with his best Mr. Ed impression,
(a "Flehmin response" to get a better whiff of the camera).


Later in the afternoon, we...

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Babies, Bread, and a Chat

We have the greatest of great news!!
In a time when it seems like there is more bad news than good,
it's wonderful to be able to share something heartwarming.



Yesterday, three baby ducklings emerged from their eggs.



Meet Huey, Dewey, and Louie
(named by Anna's little girls who are watching over them 
right now during the hatching process)
hatched yesterday morning,
and we couldn't be happier!!



If there happens to be a little girl amongst the ducklings,
then I suppose they will be Huey, Dewey, and Louise!

While ducklings were hatching elsewhere, I spent
the morning here at the farm... baking bread.

The dough had risen nicely overnight,


so I shaped the boules,
and proofed them in two banetons...


then popped them into Dutch ovens to bake.
Fifty minutes later....


Fresh multi-grain bread.
I am going to have to find people to share loaves of bread with...
because I can hardly wait to bake the next loaf.
Goodness knows, I don't need to eat all of that bread myself!

I have noticed during this strange year of 2020
that I find a lot of comfort in watching YouTube videos of people from
faraway places...
whose lives are different from my own.
I enjoy the sound of their voice and a glimpse into their lives...
during...

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Quackers

It's been a while since I've updated you about our runner ducks.
You might remember that early in the summer,
one of the older five ducks disappeared.


Weeks after that, one of the female youngsters disappeared
as well... only to return to the flock the following morning.
She repeated that behavior again later in the week.


So, we decided to keep the ducks in for a while
to break the habit and prevent a predator from
taking Mrs. Duck.


Well, sadly, one day, she disappeared again...
this time not returning to the flock.
We searched and searched and could find no trace of her.


Then, one Saturday morning, our neighbors informed us
that there was a nest of duck eggs way down in their front yard...
quite a distance away from our property.
I walked down to take a look and found this nest:


I gathered up the eggs and took them across the pasture to Anna,
our part-time farm helper, neighbor, and friend who was out
mowing the upper pastures.
Earlier in the summer, we had given her our incubator so that she
could hatch out some chicken eggs...
and I wondered if she and her girls would like to try hatching
out these duck eggs.
There is nothing more wondrous to children than watching chicks and ducks
hatching.
She, of...

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A Getaway

I have found over the past several months of quarantine,
social distancing, and all of the life changes brought
about by Covid-19, that I am a homebody at heart.
Most days I relish not having to leave the farm...
staying home in my safe little happy haven.

However, after so many months of very limited socializing,
and cancelled travel plans,
we decided to leave the farm for the weekend and visit
our friends who have a home on the Chesapeake Bay.
If you have visited the farm for some time,
you may remember other trips to the Chesapeake that we have taken.



We left the farm on Friday afternoon and drove 3 hours south and east
to the northern most tip of the Chesapeake bay.
It was a wonderful getaway.

We rode our bikes 30 miles through northeast Maryland into Delaware
on Saturday,



stopping at a farm market to pick up fresh-picked corn
and delicious peach ice-cream after our ride.
I took advantage of their U-Pick flower garden
and cut an armful of this beautiful celosia.


On our arrival back at the house, we came upon 5 fawns playing
in the yard...


It amazes me how un-afraid they were of us.


For a before-dinner appetizer, we had fresh Maryland
blue crabs,



just caught off of our friends' dock.


We baked a...

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The Importance of Childlike Wonder

Yesterday was a day filled with all sorts of magic...
as is any day seen through the eyes of a five-year-old.


The world through the eyes of a five-year-old is an
extraordinarily magical place.
There is wonder in the tiniest of things...
like the way a grasshopper flies across the hayfield,
landing for just a moment then hopping back into flight again.


Our days, this week, with Mackenzie were filled with all of those
simple delights.
At her request, we sat ourselves down at the edge of the field of dreams
and patiently waited.


We had had an inkling that the fawn that I had watched play in this very spot
the previous week might again show himself...
and we were not disappointed.
Sadly, I missed the photo opportunity, having left my camera in the gator,
and not wanting to startle the fawn.

We sat still and quiet for several minutes watching it as it
looked back with curiosity at the three beings at the edge of the meadow.
It was a truly magical moment...
furthering our belief that in our field of dreams...
dreams really do come true... you only have to believe!

We witnessed something unusual back at the house,
and luckily Hubbs was able to get a video to share with you....

[Link to video on YouTube]


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Wind, Rain, And a Wonderful Day

As I sit and write this, the wind is howling outside.
Black clouds have moved overhead and thunder rumbles
in the not-so-far-away.
Luckily, with the storm came some rain.


Our day, yesterday began as always...
with four kitties waiting in the driveway for their breakfast.


The horses went out to pasture.


The chores were done and the sun rose in the sky.
It was a red sun... 
the tell-tale sign that the day would not be as most had been
this particular week.

We left the farm late morning and drove a half hour north
for lunch at our favorite brewery, The Rusty Rail.


They have a large patio area with socially distanced outdoor seating,
and they do a good job.
There were other diners there for lunch, but none within 20 feet of us.
We celebrated our anniversary over an early lunch...
before the sun had a chance to heat things up.


On the way home, we stopped at a local winery 
for a couple bottles of white wine that Hubbs will used 
to make sangria.


It's a lovely winery that actually grows all of its own grapes.
And the wine is pretty darn good!
(Pennsylvania is not known for great wine, usually.)

The day was a perfect celebration with my best friend...
spent for the most part in our favorite place in all the...

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Simple Pleasures

Perhaps the thing I love most about this life on the farm
is the way subtle changes occur as the seasons progress.
They are things that you might not even notice,
unless you are in tune with the natural world.


Take a moment, slow down, and walk hand in hand
with Mother Nature, and you will notice the subtle changes as well.

For instance... have you noticed that the birds have stopped singing
during the day?
Birdsongs are saved for sun-up and sun-down.
Aside from the strident hum of a lone cicada,
or the occasional "caw" of a crow,
my world is silent during the day....
as silent as butterfly wings.


The volume has been raised on the night time soundtrack...
with crickets chirping and katydids calling and answering each other.
The past few nights, whistling winds have woven themselves
 into the night time symphony as well.


Butterflies are plentiful now as the second half of summer begins.
Every flower is touched as butterflies
silently flit and float from blossom to blossom
drinking sweet nectar.


We had a lovely, quiet weekend here on the farm...
filled with simple pleasures.


Friday morning we awoke to a damp world.
Finally, after weeks of drought, we received a most needed ¾ of an inch of rain.


Friday...

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A Game Changer

Yesterday started, as all do...
as the sun rose above the horizon.


The animals were all fed, watered, and cleaned in short order.
The vegetable garden was watered.


Watering is essential to keeping all of this produce alive.

I found this lovely rose blooming on the garden fence...
just at it's peak of perfection.


Is there anything more beautiful than a perfect solitary rose?
And that smell.... heavenly.

I picked another handful of gomphrena to dry.
I'll definitely be planting more of this in many more colors
in next year's garden!
What a lovely flower for drying... and it retains its color beautifully.


In the midst of one of the pepper boxes grows this 
enormous sunflower.
What a miracle that all of this comes from one little seed!
I feel like Alice in Wonderland, next to this gigantic flower.


I cut another large bunch of the Hopi red amaranth
and hung it in a dark window of Maven Haven to dry.
I am sure within a few days this windowsill will be covered with tiny seeds.
I shall save them for next year's garden.


Much of yesterday morning and afternoon were spent on a trip to town.
Hubbs had a dental appointment, and I had some errands to run.

Because I was gone much of the day,
I took a little extra...

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Goodbye July

It's hard to believe that July is coming to a close,
and yet, at the same time, it feels like it's been August forever.
It's been the most different summer of my entire life,
and yet, at the same time, it's been a good one.


Life is so un-hurried these days.
Each day brings the opportunity to really enjoy all that is around me.
And as you well know... there's an awful lot around me
that's worth enjoying!


The weather has been hot and humid, but most of our nights 
have been pleasantly cool.
So cool... that nights in the pasture are energizing for the horses.
They sleep the hot days away,
and enjoy kicking up their heels in the cool of the night,
and sauntering back to the barn for a nap, come sunrise.


We have had drought conditions for much of this summer,
and I worry about the health of our wells.
We have two wells... one for the house and one for the barn.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that last winter's rains
were enough to keep the wells filled for this hot, dry summer.
My fingers are crossed that August brings some rain.

Yesterday began early... before sun-up.
Morning chores were finished by 6:30,
so I headed over to the "field of dreams" to pick blackberries.
In no time I had picked a quart of...

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Birthday Cake For Goats

Until his passing, earlier this year,
our orange tabby barn cat, TomTom,
would greet us each morning in the driveway on the way to the barn.


As barn manager, it was his duty
to make sure we were headed directly to the barn
in order to serve up breakfast for all of the barn cats...
and especially for him!
After Tommy's passing, Griz took on the barn manager role.

Each morning when he hears us rolling down the driveway,
he leaves the barn and heads out to greet us...
timing his arrival in front of the sheep pen at the same time as ours.


He says "good morning" and reminds us that there's no time to waste.
Hungry cats need fed!


He runs ahead of me, turning to make sure I am following.
And of course I am.


The barn cats have dry food 24/7...
but the wet food comes at breakfast time,
and is obviously their menu preference.

Lately we are greeted by all of the cats.


There is a good balance of personalities in the barn now.
Griz is definitely the boss...
but he's loosening up a bit and now plays with the two black Beatrixes.


I've noticed that Bea-2 is quite a butterfly hunter.
She'll take off running across the driveway if she spies one 
close enough to the ground to pursue.
In the photo above, she is intently...

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The Sounds of August

I spent a good portion of yesterday morning in the garden,


watering, weeding and harvesting.


Peppers are coming in, and with three entire
large garden boxes dedicated to peppers, 
I'll be processing and freezing them for the next few weeks.

I picked a huge bucket of hot peppers


and turned them into our pickled hot peppers
(I've mentioned before that they are a favorite condiment,
and Hubbs eats them on everything.
(Ok.... well not on ice cream!)


Growing over this trellis are the Mexican sour gherkins.


I picked the rest off them, as well as a few smaller cucumbers...


and put them in brine to ferment.


This is unbelievably easy to do.
On top of the cucumbers is a wrap leaf...
there to hold them down under the brine,
and also, as I've read- to help the cucumbers retain their crispness.

You may remember that I did this with the first batch about 3 weeks ago.
Those dill pickles are the best I have ever had!
I am excited to try fermenting even more vegetables.

After several years of less than stellar grape harvests,
it looks as though this year is going to be a great grape year!


These grapes are on a newer vine on the garden fence.
They are a white variety, and most are still pretty sour.
But, I did happen...

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Adventures Off and On The Farm

Adventures off the farm are few and far between these days...
unless they are by bike.
Yesterday, however, our electric Prius (yes, we love this car!)
needed a service check-up so I went along with Hubbs
and we took a drive deep into Amish country to the most
wonderful fabric store.



I was able to procure more elastic (it's getting hard to come by)
and bought some wonderful new mask fabrics.
Here's a sneak peak of some of what is to come very soon...


(Of note, interestingly, there was a
 Duke University study of the different types of masks that are being used -
and cotton masks are effective in blocking expelled droplets.
Bandanas and fleece masks were the least effective.)
Therefore, I will continue to make cotton masks.

I wish I could bring you along on these travels through our
beautiful central Pennsylvania.
We are in the midst of the ridge and valley region of the Appalachian mountains,
and the valleys here are stunning...
dotted with quaint family farms.



I love the slow rhythm of country life
and the "clip-clop" of horse-drawn buggies.



The heat has returned to this summer of endless sunny days.



Afternoons are made for shade.



The chatter of cicadas abound.
(and yes, I will record both
the cicadas...

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Back From Staycation

After a very hot and extremely dry July,
August brought us some much needed showers.
This rain happened to coincide with our Staycation,
but didn't put a damper on things at all.

We were lucky to get overnight and early morning showers,
which cooled down the days considerably.
With little ones here for three days, we were lucky to be able 
to play outside quite a bit.


We had tea parties in the garden playhouse...


We crowned a king and queen of the haystack...


My son, who loves to cook, treated us to pizza in our 
outdoor wood-fired pizza oven.


He has been perfecting his own crust recipe for months...


and all of the practice was well worth it,
because it is the best pizza crust I have ever tasted!


While the fire in the pizza oven died down, we built
up a fire in the fire pit and roasted marshmallows.
S'mores for dessert is becoming a farm tradition.


I still have memories of childhood picnics in my aunt and uncle's
picnic pavilion... so I know these little ones will carry 
these memories through their lifetime as well.


After three days at the farm, little ones returned home Friday
evening- and we enjoyed a quiet weekend here at the farm.


With temperatures in the 80's we were able to spend a lot of...

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What To Do With All That Zucchini...

Happy Friday, Friends!
We are in the midst of spending time with family
during our Staycation.
I'll have much to share with you on Monday.
Until then, though...
I made a video for you earlier in the week...
a little peek into the kitchen and how I deal with 
some of the produce that we grow in the kitchen garden.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube, if
it does not show below....


Have a lovely weekend!
I'll be back bright and early on Monday to chat!
Until then...
hugs from the farm!

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Mack's Day

Yesterday was spent in the company of princesses,
fairies, and all things magical!
Mackenzie had a day all to herself at the farm
with Grammie and Muppie.
Today the rest of her family will join her,
but yesterday belonged to just her.

We dressed up...


had many tea parties...


and remember... a princess always drinks tea with her pinky
finger extended!

We picked produce in the garden....


gathered eggs...


and fed the goats...


gave Griz some loving...



learned some sewing skills...
sewing on buttons...


petted turkeys....


and gave treats to the horses
(and of course one for Mack as well!)


*****************
If you have ordered a mask from me, I thank you.
I must apologize for the Postal Service, however.
I ship on the same day that I get an order....
but, the Post Office is extremely slow right now.
What I have heard is that there is a new head of the Postal Service,
and he has banned over-time...
therefore, mail is extremely slow right now.
I am hoping that all packages arrive soon... but, if,
for some strange reason yours does not in the next week or so,
please let me know so that we can address the situation.
It is out of my hands, unfortunately....
All I can give you right now is my apology and a hope that 
time...

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