Christmas Eve Day has become a tradition for me and my DH to travel to Hancock Pond located in Denmark Maine and check in on the " family" camp. Thursday was a beautiful sunny day with highs in the thirties and not a breath of wind to be felt. Everything was in order, just how Annie and Paul had left it October.
The view out the front door looks towards an island and as you may be able to tell the lake had begun to freeze over. We were able to traverse along the edge of the pond but farther out the ice was deemed unsafe by year-round lake resident and camp "checker" Davey. Should we receive the cold weather that is predicted for our area next week the ice conditions should be perfect for skating.
The view out the back door looks out upon Sand Pond. The snow covered White Mountains of New Hampshire spring forth in the background.We sat on a log in the sun and enjoyed the view and the silence which this lake and its surroundings had to offer. When ice conditions are ready the pond will be dotted with ice shacks, snowmobiles, skiers and skaters.
A perfect way to enjoy the day. I hope we return soon with skates in hand, oh and a thermos of hot chocolate!
Two Sundays ago I had the opportunity to tour the childhood home of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The home is located in the heart of the city of Portland on Congress Street and was decorated in an 1850's Christmas fashion. I happened to come across this quote by Longfellow and found it to be as appropriate now as it was when first written: "Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the Shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~
Friday morning I came downstairs to discover beautiful yellow roses in celebration of my December birthday... and Tasha Tudor DVDs. I connected with a kindred spirit when I discovered Mrs. Tudor
and her world within Corgi Cottage. My DH took the day off from work we went out to lunch and for a drive. We passed beautiful Sebago Lake with the White Mountains of New Hampshire shining in the background. Our drive had a purpose, we were on our way to Norway Maine to the Oxford Hills Animal Shelter to visit "Pinky" As many of you may recall Pinky was the kitty that just could not get along with Emma Lou and with a broken heart I returned her to the shelter. It was and still is the right thing to have done. For the past few months I had been collecting gifts for all the kitties at the shelter (this is a cat only shelter). We brought beds, blankets, toys, litter boxes and food. The shelter was so pleased to receive our gifts along with a small monetary donation. The shelter attendant distributed the toys and beds and I visited with Pinky. It just made us feel so good to be able to give them this small donation on my special day. On Saturday we visited the Maine State Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals and donated money in order for them to purchase hay for the horses. It was a wonderful birthday weekend, celebrated just perfectly.Darkness came early this evening here at Dog Trot Farm
However, being able to witness the most beautiful sunsets makes it all worth while. Blessings.
Today the temperature being in the forties allowed me to let the girls loose to roam what yard they could find. Periodically I would check on them, but knew they were fine. A short time later I heard a tapping at the front door and found Miss Pearl. "Sorry honey you can't come in you know daddy's rules". I returned to laundry detail. How two people generate so much laundry is beyond me. A while later I heard one of the girls start in again. Usually this loud voice means 1. a predator 2. an impending egg. Out the door I go, Georgia looks at me as if to say, "I didn't do it".
Well, I must have walked right by Miss Pearl (Santa really needs to bring this girl a razor). Pearl has a fixation with our grill, I am not sure the reason why but it has become her sole territory. (The girls still have not forgiven me for filling in their window box with boughs and pine cones.) As I looked closer what to my wandering eyes should appear, but an egg. Miss Pearl decided to bestow her beautiful blue egg right there on the grill. My she was sure proud of herself. Can't say as I blame her.
Sometimes I feel as if I am on an Easter egg hunt and here it is Christmas. Well it does keep things interesting around here. Good night from Dog Trot Farm.
It has been a little chilly around here lately, okay down right chilly, today being the first day I have not worn my long underwear in a week. The girls, needless to say have opted to remain inside their coop. Yesterday was the exception. The sun did shine, if only briefly and a few brave souls did decide to venture forth. These girls on the other hand were having none of it- preferring to remain cozy and warm in their nesting boxes. As winter has set in I have learned the coop needs to be maintained daily with special warm treats provided. The hens now endure long hours of confinement with one another, but so far so good. Egg production has not decreased and in fact the opposite. Now Gladys on the other hand could not wait to get out of the coop, stretch her legs and let her feathers air out. This girl was on a mission! Georgia got stuck on some ice. This one legged stance has become quite familiar around here. Needless to say I scooped Georgia up and carried her to greener ground.
Charlotte was not about to let the wind do her in, determined to find something green, or close to green. Willa just can't seem to adjust to all this white stuff, let alone her cold feet.Finally, having arrived to the southerly side of the house where it was a bit warmer and in the lee. Determination has prevailed!
All too soon it was time to head back in, no frozen combs or frost bitten toes wanted around here. And as night fell so did the snow.
Just another of many winter days to come here at Dog Trot Farm. Oh, right it's officially not winter yet. Um, please don't tell my girls... They might decide to go on strike!!
Last Saturday DH and I ventured around the corner to our favorite Christmas tree farm. It's just a small grove of trees beside and in back of this gentleman's home. His trees are lovely and well taken care of. We found the perfect Christmas tree for us. Honey would you like to change your mind? "Nope" I said I'm happy with my first choice, "good" was the reply.Thank goodness we cut our tree before the snow came. Sunday we brought the tree indoors and let the branches settle before decorating. Um, I think it's "leaning" a little. I do remember saying those words, I swear I do.
Monday after three hours of decorating, over it went. Yes, I lost ornaments and yes I did shed a few tears, but I have recovered.
After restringing lights, and replacing ornaments, old Tannebaum has been erected once again. Tonight as I turn on the tree lights my tree seems to come alive with the spirit of Christmas.
Thank goodness my sweet little chicken ornament did not get smashed to smithereens, somebody would be sleeping out in the coop with the "girls".
Moral of the story, when your wife says the tree is leaning, it's leaning!!! plain and simple. (If my husband reads this post, I will be sleeping out with the girls!!)
Our winter wonderland is still with us, not much happening in regards to melting snow. Chicken prints, I love seeing them in the snow. The "girls" are still undecided when it comes to all this white stuff.
Sunday morning was the first time the chickens did not come racing out of their coop. I think they realized the world as they knew it had suddenly changed.
A bit confused, huddled together, holding one foot up, patiently waiting for me to shovel a path which they hoped would lead to "greener" pastures.
After watching the girls spend most of the day trying to locate something green, I decided to whip them up my version of a "pumpkin hot toddy".
I cooked a pumpkin, scraped the insides ( seeds and all) put it in a blender, added a little milk and refilled the pumpkin shell. When served on a platter, you have some very happy ladies, who in return give you wonderful, large eggs. (And no complaints!)
Well maybe one, a few blueberries on top would have been nice.