Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Because everyone has been offering me such wonderful tips in regards to my prior post, I thought I would offer one of mine. Now, if you are a "chicken keeper" or potential "keeper" this tip just might come in handy. Here goes: I till my "girls" chicken yard! Yup, it's true. When conditions become rather shall I say "ripe" I get out the tiller. Now I have to be honest and admit this tiller belongs to my mother, my sweet mother (who was Martha Stewart, before there was a Martha Stewart) loaned it to me for the purpose of tilling up my flower gardens. Well, I completed that task and then had the "bird brain" idea of tilling up the chicken yard.
This is a Troy Built "Mantis". It is small, compact and one sweet little machine. Every two weeks or when conditions warrant I till up the girl's yard. Not only does the odor disperse, unmentionables get tilled under, and the "girls" now have fresh earth to bath in! Happy chickens make a happy chicken keeper. The girls and I also want to properly thank "Nanny" for the loan of her Mantis.
In regards to the giveaway, friends and family (EVE) (MOM) are encouraged to participate. Offer me a tip (I need all the tips I can get.) One area I certainly need help in is photography. (Which I neglected to put on my list.) So Eve, Sharon, RR, Becky, Dani, Jenny and all the rest of you wonderful photographers help this girl out, will you? Us girls need to stick together, just ask Gladys!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Gladys come back here, I said we're having a giveaway, not "I"m giving you away" For all of you wonderful people in blog land, who peruse my blog, as a "thank you" I am holding a "fowl" giveaway. The gift consists of a rooster wall plaque, a fowl printed bag caddy, (holds those plastic bags you accumulate from spending to much time at Wal-mart and Tractor Supply, a sweet little wooden hen to hang, a bar of Swedish Eggwhite Facial Care, and a feather from Henny Penny.
Your gift will come packaged in this very "chick" reusable tote.
The rules are as follows, you must have a blog or an e-mail address so if you are the lucky winner I will have a way to get in touch with you. Second, I would like you to leave me a tip on my blog regarding one of the following categories- chicken keeping, gardening, baking or crafting. I need all the tips I can get! Pretty easy don't ya think. Entries will be accepted up until July 4th and the winner announced July 5th. So there ya go: drop me a hint and you may be the lucky winner, and no, Gladys is not included!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


As I walked the yard this morning (before the heavens opened up) to my dismay, okay disdain, there it was ( two weeks early by my account) a Japanese Beetle, the evil nemesis of flower gardeners everywhere. I refused to give the beetle the honor of a photo shoot. I just love the feel of warm soil in my hands as I work among my plants and really, there is not a flower I do not dislike, well okay I admit it- carnations. There is one perennial however, that is high on my plant list and one I do believe gardeners everywhere should hold a spot for and that is the Heliotrope.

My white perennial Heliotrope came from a division from my mom's Island garden, which in turn came from my aunt Gail's Island garden. As you may guess it is hardy, gives off a sweet heavenly fragrance which lingers in the air and remains in bloom over a long period of time. The Heliotrope grows tall and appears quite regal in the flower garden. To some it has the fault of spreading, but to me it's a plus. If it overtakes a patch in the garden pull it out and "fling" it in the woods or field whatever you have and come next Spring it will have taken root. In my book that's a good thing.

With the weather being somewhat inclement today I was able to finish up a set of primitive hooked fall pumpkins. I do not possess a "selling blog" and have no intention of starting one, however, now and again I am offering some of my hooked items for sale. If anyone is interested just drop me a comment on my blog.

My items are hooked in the "primitive" style with wool dyed by me and hooked on linen. No two items are hooked or dyed exactly the same. The pumpkins to be sold come in a set of three.

And this little fella, well he's just patiently waiting for his buddies to be "hooked" to join him. Happy gardening everyone!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


"Summertime and the living is easy"........"Those lazy days of summer"....whoever came up with those words did not have a clue what they were speaking about. I mean come on, we have reached a milestone, the longest day of the year and yet there is still not enough hours in the day or daylight for that matter to get all the chores accomplished. I know you understand what I am talking about.

For instance there is always scraping and painting to do on the house....

window boxes to water....flowers to pick.... and dead head.... flower beds to weed....lawn mowing and weed whacking....wood stacking.... Oh, don't forget the laundry, how two people generate so much laundry in this house is beside me. And what is with those cobwebs that seem to reappear overnight. Vacuum one day and "presto" back the next. I mean hello, I do not have time for this. There are strawberries to be picked and jam to be made....peas to be shelled....

Now, there is a coop to keep clean and tidy and babies to tend to. Our weather of late has been the three "H's, otherwise known as "hazy, hot and humid". Poor Charlotte had all she could do to "fling" herself into the nesting box .... man there was an awful lot of panting, grunting and groaning going on.

These two girls were sunbathing in 9o degree temperatures. I mean "hello".... I thought for sure they were going to keel over with heat stroke. Just look at that face, I lugged them to the coop to cool off, I think their brains got a little fried. Never mind that it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.
. And Winslow Homer....he is still on guard duty performing his job, but somewhat confused. Hello, Winslow I do believe there is something wrong with this picture....I do believe you are on the wrong side of the coop.
Yup, summertime and the living is easy, RIGHT!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


If you follow this stone pathway.... It will lead you to my childhood home....An Island home....where my parents still reside, a home which helped form the person that I am.
I feel so fortunate to be able to return to this place that I love, where the taste of salt is in the air and the fragrance of Island roses softly permeates everywhere....

A place where the water is blue....
and the sand is white....and sings to you as you walk along....

If ever you've lived on an Island

If ever you've lived by the sea:

You'll never return to the mainland

once your spirit has been set free.

If you have ever smelled the ocean

or tasted the salt in the air:

You'll know you've discovered a haven

that is uncommon, precious and rare.

If ever you've seen the whales play

or watched the eagles in flight:

You'll remember, again, why you live there

and why it feels so right.

If ever you've seen the sunset

as the ferry passed the shore:

You've seen the beauty of the Island

that will be with you forever more.

If ever you've heard seagulls

the waves, a foghorn, the wind:

Then you've heard the song of the Island

and the peaceful message it sends.

Indeed, if you live on an Island

If you're lucky to live by the sea:

You'll never return to the mainland

as your spirit has been set free.

J. Earnhart

And let me just state right here and now the water is COLD, but man my pedicure is holding up quite nicely!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


A picture is worth a thousand words..... Nothing is worth more than this day. ~GOETHE~

Saturday, June 12, 2010


First let me say everyone who knows me understands how much I love my chickens, especially my husband who has witnessed my reaction first hand when Mr fox shows up. Also when you reach a certain age in life "you throw caution to the wind" and sometimes act or think like a fool, but you no longer care, (I know you ladies understand what I am talking about) with that being said.... My husband does a lot of road time and overnights with his job. I think he minds this more than I do because it is when I send him pictures like these, his heart skips a beat. "Julie, we are not a chicken hotel", I let that thought linger with him for a brief moment.....
Finally I say, I understand that. A pause and a sigh on his part and I finally admitted the photos was taken at "the farm" down the road. 100 "peeps" are now new residents to the farm. Just look at what I spied on the water jug, a Polish. Now my heart skipped a beat.

"Julie, no more chickens!" However, In my mind I am thinking hum mm... when you introduce a new member to an established flock you sneak her in at night, maybe, just maybe I could attempt that scenario with the Polish. Hum mm......Never say never, that's my motto!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This is the way we begin our day here at Dog Trot Farm.... Winslow Homer has punched in and is now on duty and in position.....
I remind the girls that this is the only hen I want to see sitting in my window box.....
Remember girls no bathing in the flower gardens....
Iris are you listening?
Okay lets get serious for a moment, girls are your ears turned on?( I use to say that to my preschoolers) To stay safe you ladies need to remain together as a group, no splitting up and running here, there and everywhere. If, God forbid you are taken try and remain calm, go limp and play dead. Think happy thoughts...
Gladys for goodness sake pay attention! If you are taken you will hear me begin to scream and Winslow Homer will be on the run..... Once you are released and your feet hit the ground, start running for home.... run just as fast as you're little feet will take you.
Yes, Pip I am talking to you too. I will scoop you up and carry you back to safety. I will give you blueberries and Winslow....
" Winslow wake up it's not break time yet", what a life this dog leads, yup all in a day at Dog Trot Farm....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Hello, my name is Pearl and I am a feather pecker. My human mom is looking for a twelve step program for me, is there anyone out there who would be willing to sponsor me? I have overheard the words "chopping block" I admit I need help, Thank you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


When I discovered this book at Goodwill for $2.99 no less, I was beyond thrilled. I swear my heart beat a little faster, this book Stillmeadow Sampler is a first edition in it's original jacket and in perfect condition. Stillmeadow books by author Gladys Taber are stories about her life at her beloved 1690's cape encompassed by 40 acres and a pond. "Stillmeadow isn't just a house and land, it is a way of living" writes Gladys Taber. It is a way of living with tranquility, with joy and purposefulness. Also residing at Stillmeadow were a bevy of Cocker Spaniels, an Irish Setter and at different times a cantankerous feline. Her books are pure joy to read and reread, and if you are fortunate to find one for sale, for pete sakes buy it! Saturday's outdoor plans were postponed due to thunder storms and torrential rains. The kind of weather which makes you happy it's a Saturday and you have the luxury of pulling the covers up and linger in bed a bit longer. But by mid-morning the rains had subsided enough for DH to suggest a drive. Knowing that one of my favorite destinations is driving up Route One traversing the mid-Maine coast, where at this time of year the countryside is ablaze with lupine. Lovely blue, purple, pink and white lupines.
Lupines as far as the eye can see.

and Buttercups too.

and then you come to this

Cowshit corner, yup you read it correctly. One never knows what you may find on drives such as these, just look what I happened to spy off in a wooded thicket. The most adorable house, okay tiny cottage, but enchanting nonetheless. It was love at first sight for me.

The front of the cottage exposed hand chinked logs

and the rear looked out upon a stream. One could almost envision faeries and gnomes close at hand. How perfect this tiny building would look tucked in my woods. Well, I can dream can't I? Further down the road we passed another interesting home- it was properly named The "Octagon House" with it's own pond and lots of fowl roaming the dooryard.
More brilliant Lupine

And then we came upon this, Elmer's Antique Barn. DH knows I am always on the lookout for antique "yard art" and this looked like the perfect spot to browse. The first floor was actually kind of scary, no really scary. I was actually waiting for mice or rats to jump out from the dark corners or worse, spiders to fall from the rafters. I almost passed going up to the second floor, but figured I'm here I might as well give it a go. Then, I had no more placed my feet on the second floor when there it was the "mother load" organized on a shelf marked with the letter "T", T for Taber, Stillmeadow books! I have never seen so many of Mrs. Taber's books (other than our library) in one location. I was like a child in a candy store, finally DH said he was starving, and yes we could go to Moody's Diner and yes I could get pie. I hated to leave the books behind and yes DH offered to purchase all of them for me, but I didn't want to be greedy, but I did choose three. Stillmeadow Day Book, What Cooks At Stillmeadow and Especially Dogs. I am going to savor each and every sentence.

You can bet I will be going back to Elmer's, there is a third floor!!!!! oh and I never did get my pie....