Saturday, February 27, 2010


See what a difference a day can make? Remember I mentioned in my last post the GREEN grass in my neighbor's back yard, well I spoke too soon- everything is white once again. Winter has returned with a vengeance. There is no turning back: the Thule is in position, the Copper Penny (my parents' vehicle) is packed to the gunnels
Sweet Henny Penny, I pray for your safety and promise upon my return the five star treatment will be at your disposal...

Georgia you had better behave or it's off with your head! I am not kidding.... I know someone out in blog land who has a recipe for lovely lemon roasted chicken. I'm just saying.....

Eggs have been collected and readied for travel....
You don't think I would leave the state of Maine without a loaf of my homemade cranberry banana bread? Who knows, we might become stranded by the side of the road in blizzard conditions, freezing to death and instead of gnawing on each other we will have bread, eggs, frozen scallops...

Our house sitters have been drilled.... when do you use the Blu-Kote? and who gets vinegar in their water?
Ready or not we are pointed in a Southerly direction.

If you really think about it, it's a lot of work to go on vacation...but ready or not here we go!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Over night at Dog Trot Farm a pond grew in our front field. Also over night we experienced wind gusts over 60 miles per hour along with nine inches of rain. Our home is tightly built, but the windows rattled, the doors shook and the wood stove puffed. Winslow Homer and Henny Penny however, slept quite soundly- not a peep was heard from either one. The plus side of all this- we received no snow (I purchased my Muck boots just in time!).
Winslow Homer and I took an early morning walk, and as you can see most of the snow has been washed away. Our once babbling stream however, had become a surging river.

The stream was high, loud and the water moving swiftly.
Along with the high water there were a few ice jams.
Mother nature at her finest.
Later this morning the sun came out, the girls were able to free range the entire day and as I looked out my window this evening I saw GREEN grass in my neighbor's back yard.
I do believe the promise of spring is on it's way. Who knows maybe when I return from my adventure there will be peepers singing in my new pond.
Oh and our house guest is still enjoying the five star accommodations!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The weather is not cooperating ( heavy rain), my chickens are not cooperating (feather pecking), but nonetheless we are hitting the road. A road trip adventure. DH, me and my parent's are heading South. Son #2 is in charge of Dog Trot Farm. 1,639 miles to DeFuniak Springs, Florida (the panhandle) is our first destination. Yup, it is cold there (long underwear packed) and yes they have experienced snow. But DeFuniak Springs is now the winter home of my brother and sister-in law. We don't travel for the warm weather, but to experience unsung adventures with family. The men folk will head out to aeronautic museums while we ladies take time to scour the area for antiques and who knows what else (there is a miniature donkey and goat farm nearby). We all have a sense of adventure, this time we shall remember the map (right Auntie Jo!) Destination number two, Grant Alabama, 327 miles from DeFuniak Springs.
Eve (Sunny Side Up) left the cold tundra of upstate New York to relocate to Northern Alabama. I have envisioned sitting on her front porch sipping sweet tea and smelling the lovely fragrance from her many flower gardens.( I do hope the Dogwood trees are in bloom as they are a favorite of mine).Well, we just may be able to do that, however I can almost guarantee that I will be sporting my long underwear and will be sipping hot chocolate instead of sweet tea. Eve has experienced more snow in these last few weeks than we have here in the Northeast. Regardless, I can't wait to see Eve's lovely new home and tour the area she now calls home. A highlight of this leg of the trip is Evie is having a birthday, you see she is one of those pain in the butt leap year babies, but this is one of those "big" birthdays. I love you Evie (remember age is just a number and mine remains unlisted) and I won't give away any one's age, but it certainly has to be "big" if your sweet hubby buys you a big old "hog" to celebrate.
Dog Trot Farm will carry on in my absence. I need to let go and realize that my girl's are after all chickens and yes they can be replaced. Gulp, sigh. The girl's have led a very pampered existence and I hope they can survive two weeks without me. Henny Penny has been a perfect lady while residing inside. I took her out to the coop for a brief visit with her sisters and a proper stretch. I think she is thoroughly enjoying the five star treatment, and is now inquiring what is on the menu for dinner. Till tomorrow, the adventure never ends!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Winslow never in his wildest dreams thought he would be sharing a room with a chicken. The issue at hand- feather pecking. The culprit- Georgia.
The innocent victim- Sweet Henny Penny. I never would have imagined one of my girls behavior becoming so vicious. And why? As far as chickens go they lead a very comfortable existence. They reside in proper accommodations(not over crowded), nutritious feed and treats (grit and calcium also provided), free range weather permitting, and as far as I can see no external parasites. Chicken mama's I need your help. Could it be I am over looking something vital to their co- existence?

I cleaned poor Henny's wound and applied Blu-Kote.
Her accommodations for the next few days-Winslow's travelling dog crate.

This afternoon my sweet girl laid her egg in this crate and carried on with all her usual exuberant trumpeting. I am treating her to a five star hotel room accommodation. I can only imagine this as I myself have never stayed in a five star hotel. Dining is on antique Currier and Ives china and dinner this evening consists of organic blueberries and yogurt.
Rest assured Henny Penny, your chicken momma will keep you safe,
for tonight anyway.
(In the coop I have hung a seed block to aid in the girl's desire to peck and also added unfiltered apple cider to their water, an old fashioned remedy I found on a chicken keeping site.) I welcome any and all other chicken ideas and suggestions. Thank you once again! Things are never dull here at Dog Trot Farm....

Friday, February 19, 2010


Tools- one headlamp... One flash light..
One crazed chicken mama... My midnight mission-mite search. Nesting boxes examined...

All clear... Ten pink derrieres checked...all clear
As far as I can tell no night time mite feeding going on in here. Sorry from the intrusion ladies, your behavior has earned extra blueberries in your morning oatmeal. Sleep tight girls, don't let the bed bugs bite!
Love, one happy chicken mama....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Does this look like a molting chicken? That is what I thought until a seasoned chicken momma suggested they were too young to molt. Danni you threw me into a panic! The girls will be a year old in May. They have been laying quite steadily (8-10 eggs per day) until this week and are just now starting to slow down in production. They have not lost primary feathers, but feathers around their neck and derriere. "I know Gladys I promised I would not show you in a compromised position, but we need to get to the bottom of this!" ( I apologize Gladys, I am not trying to be funny at your expense.) Notice the bald red patch, the majority of my girl's derrieres look like this. The vent area appears quite normal.
The girls all have clear eyes, bright feathers, combs and wattles. I handle them daily, have not seen any pecking going on, coughing, or anyone acting strange.

They all venture out daily, (weather permitting) are busy scratching, bathing and herding Winslow Homer. Their feed is organic and daily treats of fruit and vegetables given. They all appear quite normal and nothing out of character.
" Georgia you would tell me if there was hanky panky going on in that coop at night"?
The communal bath-happy girls.
So last night I crawl into bed with all my chicken books and begin to read. I reassure myself that the girls are fine and Mother Nature is just having her way with them. With that I turn out my light and just as I am about to drift off, I hear honking, honking at 11:30 at night. I recognized that honk, it was Miss Pip and I knew Miss Pip had just laid an egg. Really, 11:30 at night, I mean come on- some of us need our beauty rest and I won't mention any names!
So all you chicken mammas out there please offer your opinion, the girls and I are waiting. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


As dusk neared so did the snow, falling to earth like downy feathers. We have not had snow of any significance for over a month now. It is quite lovely outside. As Tasha Tudor once said, "snow takes on the fragrance of apple blossoms" and I do believe she was right. Okay, I talked myself into believing that statement as it makes long winters a little more bearable. The green eyed monster AKA Winslow Homer is sporting a poodle look. As you can see he is none to happy about it. I mean come on, it's February the snowiest month of the year, and after all we do live in Maine.
Winslow you had better toughen up winter still has a ways to go.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We have experienced a few days here in Southern Maine that gave us the feeling that Spring might just be around the corner. However, we stoic New Englander's will not be fooled. I have been attempting to be productive and complete a few hooking projects. I am beginning to wonder if I have ADD. I start one project become bored and move on to the next. I find plenty of inspiration with all the wonderful blogs I read- I need some motivation! People I need help!
Both rugs are patterns that I purchased and are not of my own design, I am hoping to sell them once completed. If ever completed. I promised Dear Georgia I would not post any indecent photos of she and her sisters. Oh, my poor girls- this molting business is causing naked necks and red derrieres to match. They insist on leaving their pen to forage in the yard. But dang it is cold. I think they are going to need some form of ointment for those chapped derrieres. Oh, the indecency of it all!
Valentine's Day brought loving cards
beautiful fragrant flowers and chocolates that have been devoured.
Maine seed catalogs have started to arrive, let the dreaming begin. Some of what- no most of what I will be planting will be fortifying the girls. My mantra: healthy girls equal healthy eggs.
New socks. These are the most wonderful socks I have ever owned.

and they have been paired with my long anticipated Muck boots. These products announce the official beginning of Spring.

With all that being said tomorrow's weather forecast is six to ten inches of snow. We shall persevere, there is gas in the snow blower and the wood box has been filled!
Life is good.

Monday, February 8, 2010


The old saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is certainly true when it comes to Whoopie Pies. This recipe below happens to be one of the most requested desserts that I make. If you want a visit from your grown sons or desire a little attention from your husband, nonchalantly mention the word Whoopie Pie and watch the men folk flock, like flies to honey.
Whoopie Pies have a chocolate cake-like top and bottom with a center of vanilla cream filling. Oh, so delicious and sinfully addicting.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner this is a perfect recipe to please the men folk in your life. You'll put a smile on their face and a song in your heart, it works like a charm everytime, I promise!


First you do research for the ideal location, this happens to be Little Ossipee Lake in Waterboro, Maine. On this pond each person with a fishing license is allowed two holes to fish in... After backing your ice house on to the lake you hitch the"shack" to your snowmobile and tow till the perfect spot "magically" appears. Others drive their ice house out on to the lake- "oh lordy" did this made me nervous- the sound of "snap, crackle, pop" beneath my feet.
You put "hubby" to work with the much loved and well used antique auger...
you now have a perfect hole with a measured water depth of eight feet. The thickness of the ice measured a good foot and a half...
Somewhere along the way someone forgot to purchase the bait, no names need to be revealed...
Tristan arrives with "shiners," the bait of choice...
Megan baits the pink trap and now your task is complete and you're good to go...
Now some families bring four wheelers or snowmobiles to tow their kids around the ice, others have skates, and then there are those who get the fire going in the ice house, pull up chairs and just sit and enjoy the day. Now I have to admit I was once of the opinion that ice fishing was like watching "paint dry". Now however, I enjoy it for what it is, great family fun. When someone yells "flags up" it becomes quite exciting, those near run over to see what the catch is and others grab the binoculars attempting to remain inconspicuous. Next weekend is one of the many fishing derbies held each season. Entrants on this pond pay a fifteen dollar fee and have an opportunity to win the top prize of $3,500.00 dollars, not bad for a Sunday's enjoyment. Now if I would just learn to enjoy football, not!
Hope to see you on the ice and oh, don't forget to layer up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!