Saturday, December 31, 2011


The Old Homestead...
The New Year is rapidly approaching. Once again it is time to take stock of our lives, reflect on the past and ponder goals for the future. In other words, "keep putting one foot in front of the other." We purge our homes attempting to put our "house" in order. Ring out the old, Ring in the new, January is the month of "new beginnings." It is also the time to gather together our holiday finest, dismantle the Christmas tree, the bangles, bobbles and sparklie things which are now carefully wrapped in tissue, placed in their proper boxes and returned to the darkness of the attic.
I will miss the brightness that only Christmas lights can offer and also the fragrance of Balsam in the house. I do admit I miss seeing the snow. The above photo of our home was taken back in October. What snow we did receive has since been washed away.... This Christmas season was a bit off, I can't pinpoint as to the reason why. I dedicated myself to each season. I did not rush Halloween nor Thanksgiving. I did not take one Christmas decoration out of storage until December, nor did I shop. December blew in like a whirlwind, ultimately I came to the conclusion I function much more efficiently when prepared and are things are accomplished a head time. 2012 is now on our doorstep...I wish you all a Happy New this new year bring you joy and happiness and all that is good in the world...

Friday, December 30, 2011


I am quite certain it is painfully obvious that I am not tech savvy. My blog is a "Plain Jane" compared to most, attempts have been made to rectify this, however the end result is never pretty. I wipe my brow and breathe a sign of relief when I manage to return my blog back to it's original format. That being said, I have learned to leave well enough alone. Sometimes less is more. This is where intimidation comes in. Completely surprised was I when I open this amazing Christmas gift from my Dear Husband. Stunned, I opened the box and realized a Canon Rebel was staring me in the face along with two additional lenses. "Take it out of the box honey." Nope, don't want to touch it, thought I- intimidation had set in. Oh Lord, how in the world am I ever going to learn how to use this amazing camera. Well, it may be a slow process, but I am determined to conquer it. I mean I received the camera last Sunday and today (Friday) I have actually removed it from it's box, charged the battery, placed the battery and chip in their proper location and have even formatted the camera.Who said old dogs can't learn new tricks. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 29, 2011


As you may recall I celebrated my birthday a week prior to Christmas. It was one of those birthdays you'd rather not talk about or admit to. I have a feeling my sister in-law, Jovan sensed this. I am very fortunate to have a sister in-law that I just adore. Many times I have jokingly announced to my family that I would trade my brother in before Jovan. Unfortunately for me my brother and Jovan now reside full time in the Panhandle of Florida. Nevertheless, on my birthday a package arrived. I tore into the box with great anticipation, you see Jovan sends wonderful, thoughtful gifts. Well, upon opening my gift I felt a big old smile creeping across my face. The thought "but what is it" did enter my mind. Low and behold it was the reincarnation of my most beloved departed hen the form of a rubber hen purse... Yup, I've got me a big old chicken purse....don't ya just love her? I do...well you see this purse was intended as a gag gift. I say who needs a Coach purse when you can own rubber...I took my chicken purse, headed to the big city (Portland), and met up in the Old Port, which is know for it's famous boutiques and shops, okay the ritzy part of town. My new purse got many a stare and I actually had a shop owner inquire as to where I had discovered this delightful rubber hen ( My Pet Chicken). The owner wanted to purchase some for her shop! Well, I have gone and started a trend... thanks to Jovan and she wanted me to keep Priscilla under raps....that's correct I named her Priscilla...I think my sweet Iris would approve...So my friends, if any of you venture to Maine and see a lady with a big old chicken purse hung over her arm...come right over and introduce yourself, we chicken keepers are just plain good folks...Tomorrow the Christmas gifts...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


In the blink of an eye Christmas has come and gone. It was a beautiful day, one shared with loved ones and thoughts of those who are no longer with us and dearly missed. The Christmas dinner, roast beast and twice baked potatoes were cooked to perfection. My dear husband's popovers, popped and then some. The chocolate cream pie and Christmas cake were delectable too. Both of which I did not make, dare I admit both were store bought. This Christmas I did not tie on my apron strings, no peanut butter balls, thumb print cookies, no fudge nor whoopie pies, no peanut brittle or pumpkin pie. I admit the one cookie I did miss was the sugar cookie, but my waistline did not.
The Christmas spirit still burns bright here at Dog Trot Farm. The snow may have vanished with today's temperature (which by the way neared fifty), but the gift of giving still remains. In today's world their are so many in need, we hear such heart warming stories of those who are not only generous with their money and time but opt to remain anonymous. We here at Dog Trot choose to help our local animal shelters, every bag and or can of food, toy, bed, is greatly appreciated, it does a heart good to help those in need.Speaking of giving, I received such wonderful, thoughtful Christmas presents. Tomorrow more on those, but let me just say, one gift reduced me to tears, another has caused complete intimidation, while another will keep me on the straight and narrow... A world of advice, if you own a little banty hen, who desperately desires to become a mother, no matter her commitment, no matter her plea, take those eggs away. Winter is no time for a hen to hatch chicks...Oh, I do love the sound of peeping chicks in the house and Winslow Homer has certainly enjoyed bunk mates, but lord have mercy the chicken dust, well it's like a dust bowl around here and I am no fan of dusting. Now and again Miss Josephine enjoys an outing to the coop to stretch her legs, scratch around a bit, ruffle her feathers, (even mother hens require a break from their little ones) Loretta (The Don's second main squeeze) becomes quite jealous as she soon realizes Don Juan has not forgotten his "Josephine"(Don Juan is under the impression that Josephine has come for a conjugal visit) When her presence is noticed The Don is off to do his business, Loretta pouts in the corner, while Josephine is ready to return to her babes...Have ya noticed the days are getting longer?

Good night....

Saturday, December 24, 2011


From all of us here at Dog Trot Farm we wish you a Merry Christmas...

Monday, December 19, 2011


Friday, I returned home from a hectic day of last minute Christmas shopping and the never ending running of errands. As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed a package making itself right at home on my back porch. How wonderful to receive a package and how exciting to see the return address, Bakersfield California. My package was from Kim, proprietor of the blog "My Field Of Dreams". Many of my readers are familiar with Kim, but if you are not do yourself a favor and check out her blog. Kim is a very talented and generous lady- just look at the wonderful items she made for me. A primitive wooden chick, a cross stitched Merry Christmas ornament/tuck both crafted by Kim. Two fragrant votive candles, a tea towel, and a handmade red work stitchery pillow. This little pillow is so sweet, it depicts a small girl feeding her chickens...
I have never traveled to California, it is sad but true. I am one of those people who are quite content in their own backyard, but California is on my "bucket list." I am determined that one day I will meet Kim and her lovely family and walk her "Field Of Dreams." Perhaps I could persuade her to travel to Maine, we do need to compare chicken notes....So once again thank you dear friend, my door is always open...

Sunday, December 18, 2011


By the light of the Christmas tree forty names were written down on slips of paper and placed in a bowl, my cereal bowl.
Winslow Homer was front and center and did the without further ado... we would like to congratulate KATHY...she is our lucky winner.Kathy, please E-mail me with your address and the Vera Bradly purse will be on it's way. Thank you all for playing, Winslow and I wish we could send everyone a prize. He and I both agree it is better to give then receive so we shall have another giveaway next welcome in the New Year! Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes, I had a lovely day, tomorrrow I will share. Goodnight...

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Tomorrow is the day...Winslow Homer and I would like to remind everyone that tomorrow, my birthday, Winslow will be "pawing" the winner of the Vera Bradley "hipster" purse. If you have not entered please do, Winslow and I would love to hear from you.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Get that smirk of your face...
Here's the situation...lately I find myself unable to sleep...well, let me rephrase that...I do eventually fall does not come easy...but it is safe to say by 2:00 AM I have arrived in slumber land. I am sure the brightness of the winter moon does not help nor Winslow Homer's late night barking episodes, also figure in the role that hormones play in a menopausal women... along with trying to perfect one's holiday season...I dare say sleep does not come easy...Now getting back to the above photo...I have uttered not a word about this morning's see I LOCKED myself out of the house...all I can say is thank goodness I was not in my nightgown...yes, I have been know to deliver breakfast to the girls in my nightie...out the door I went with hot oatmeal and raisins in hand and as soon as the door closed behind me I realized what I had done... No fear I thought... a spare key is hidden in the coop...hidden alright...dare I say I never found that darn key...notice the above guilty faces...beaks help whatsoever...I do believe three rather naughty hens hid the spite...due to the fact that Josephine and her two babes are residing indoors and they are not...So here is a bit of advice...never hide a house key in a hen hide one in an obvious location like a window box...I am so grateful my husband had the sense of mind to do so...just another day at Dog Trot Farm...goodnight.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


'Tis the season for giving...
and in honor of the season I am giving away this Vera Bradley "hipster" purse. All you need to do is leave me a comment. Next Sunday, on my birthday, Winslow Homer will "paw" the winner. Have a wonderful day, winter has arrived here in New England. Blessings to all.

Friday, December 2, 2011


The month of December... it's that magical time of year...where greens are hung and Christmas decorations brought out of is time once again to prepare for the Christmas season..
November and December... my two favorite months. November...the "button up" month. Where hearth and home come alive with warmth and candlelight. Days are short... the landscape now takes on a certain starkness...geese "honk" their final goodbyes...what did not get accomplished on the "to do" list will now wait till spring...December...the "feel good" month...where it is better to give than receive...we enjoy giving to needy animal small monetary does a heart good...I would like to thank each and everyone of my blog readers for the well wishes in regards to my parents. Both are still on the mend and improving. I am grateful for family members and the wonderful Island community. Farm news...Josephine is residing indoors with her chicks...she is a wonderful and very protective mother. The fox has found the hen yard once again, however, this day no hens were taken. There is still life in my old dog Winslow Homer and dear Emma has turned 21. Tomorrow we are off to the Shaker's Christmas Fair, but tonight we shall finish watching Little Women. Have a wonderful weekend everyone...goodnight from Dog Trot Farm...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In the quiet of the night it came...
heavy wet snow...winter has arrived in New England...I am thankful the power remained on...there was much to get accomplished this day...the pies came together... apple and pumpkin... cranberry bread...made with locally grown organic Maine cranberries...and of course it just would not be Thanksgiving without my mother's recipe for cranberry relish...cranberries..walnuts...marmalade...sugar and lemon juice...delicious!Out in the coop...Little Josephine is a wonderful mother...she and her babe are safely enclosed in a cage tucked under the nesting boxes...the heat lamp is working overtime keeping them warm and snug...just a "wisp" of a thing this new babe...this is my first go around with egg hatching...Josephine left the nest on Sunday morning and joined the other chickens in the coop yard...I had intentions of removing the eggs...but she had been so committed I decided to give her another few days...and Tuesday morning we were in for yet another surprise...we here at Dog Trot Farm have been twice blessed...this little babe is the spitting image of his proud papa... I bet I can guess what you all are thinking...COCK-A-DOODLE-DO...Happy Turkey Day !

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"For simple grace and dignity it is unsurpassed, this old pine table that is ours for awhile.
"Children growing up around it, that each generation nurtures the next in the home."
I recently came across those words which promptly brought to mind the story of the old pine table that now graces our home. In 1966, my husband and his family moved from suburbia to the country, to a "big old farm house." Needing a table to accommodate her large family (six children) my mother in-law commissioned local craftsman Austin Alden (who by the way is a direct descendant of the famed Pilgrim John Alden) to build a farm table, six side chairs, a lady's chair for the Mrs and a larger version to accommodate my 6 foot 4 father in-law. Mr Alden was reluctant, being elderly and ready to hang up his hand tools, but finally agreed ( I do believe it was the twinkle in my mother in-law's "blueberry blue" eyes that won him over). The pine table was built and soon ensconced in the old farmhouse. The six resident hound dogs found the table as an out of the way escape, TK the cat would jump on the table using it as a spring board to get to the safety of a nearby hutch. Over the years it has served the family well, the table has been part of celebrations, holidays, weddings, the birth of grandchildren and great grandchildren. There have been many happy times as well as sad. With the passing of my mother in-law last December it was agreed among the family that the old pine table would come to live with us. This Thanksgiving there will be memories shared of loved ones no longer with us, of the many blessings we are grateful for, and of future generations yet to be. The old pine table will serve us well...

Monday, November 21, 2011


Lord have mercy...there's a ruckus going on in the coop this evening...I grabbed Winslow Homer's leash and we headed out to investigate...a fox... squirrel... chipmunk...raccoon?With the recent loss of Iris and Charlotte I'm still on the edgy side...I find myself becoming a mother hen...a worry wart.. but...with my presence things in the coop began to settle down... I happened to glance over at Don Juan...I do believe I saw a twinkle in his eye... Miss Josephine was all aglow...and then there is was... the soft little noise...we... the girls and I all turned our heads in unison... under the warmth of Josephine's breast...a teeny... tiny... baby chick briefly appeared...and so the circle of life continues here at Dog Trot Farm...more tomorrow...this old hen needs to hit the nest...goodnight...

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Today...against many odds...Winslow Homer is turning eleven...
Our birthday boy is in good spirits and is enjoying life...Many days it was touch and go...but we have persevered... I am grateful for each and everyday I have with Winslow...My parents have arrived safely home to the island and have promised to behave is good!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Friends...thank you for your kind comments and concerns in regard to my parents well being. After a tense week both are finally on the mend. Anxious to return to their own home and Island community...Sunday...they will sail down the bay...home at last...
After the death of Iris my Buff, her sister Charlotte became quite despondent. Charlotte's appearance seemed to change overnight. Her crop and wattle went from bright red to white...she suddenly began to move and take on the appearance of an old hen...Sadly this afternoon Charlotte passed away...she was laid to rest in the perennial garden next to Iris...sometimes...a broken heart is just to difficult to overcome....even for chickens...goodbye my sweet girl...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


When life becomes stressful... I let my mind wander... I focus on a warm summer's day back in August, the scent of suntan lotion in the air and the cold Atlantic ocean lapping at my toes...I soon find myself centered once again...Long story short...My dad underwent back surgery 84 years young, he is in amazing condition, walking daily and a lifetime of playing tennis certainly has paid off. His surgeon is amazed at his resilience and promptly labeled him a "tough old bird." My mother on the other hand is just as tough and let me say as "stubborn" as they come. You see the day prior, my 82 year old mother was in the woods (alone) gathering pine boughs and red berries to fill her window boxes...her feet became entangled in some form of a vine and she fell. On the morning of surgery, I picked my parents up at the ferry terminal...we soon arrived at the hospital... my dad was admitted...the surgeon joined us and explained the mother asked if he would mind looking at her foot and wrist....long story short... x-rays showed a broken wrist and a badly sprained ankle...the doctor was amazed she was able to walk...everyone in the office had to get a look at it. Tonight, thankfully we are all safely gathered under one mother sporting a splint on her wrist and an ice pack on her badly swollen dad sporting an incision that has already begun to heal... So...I am happy to say the inn is full... all the beds are taken here at Dog Trot Farm...and I am grateful for all my blessings...Goodnight...

Friday, November 11, 2011


"November comes
and November goes,
with the last red berries
and the first white snow.
With night coming early,
and dawn coming late,
and ice in the bucket
and frost at the gate.
The fire burns,
and the kettles sing,
and earth sinks to rest
until next spring.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth
The month of November...where shadows are cast in early afternoon... primitive lighting adds ambiance to the country home...
battery operated candles have become my favorite primitive decorating accessory...seeing I almost burnt my house down last's a tip never burn cheap candles...I found out the hard way...the dehydrator is humming along...the fragrance of oranges and apples fill the air...once dried this fruit will be used in swags and potpourri... Pamela, proprietor of the blog "Our Pioneer Homestead" offered her blog readers suggestions in primitive decorating along with directions for primitive craft ideas. Below is one of Pam's projects, a Hanging Colonial Candle Dipper. I made two, one to hang and dry herbs (sage and mint from my garden drying for Thanksgiving) the other to hang candles. ( Where are the candles you ask? I am still in the process of making them) The Laura Ingalls School Slate...Pam mentioned that she had difficulty locating slates and improvised with a frame from the dollar store. I on the other hand had no difficulty locating a slate, but finding plain old white chalk was near impossible. Yes, there is an abundance of colored chalk and sidewalk chalk...I asked my friend to swipe (okay borrow) a piece of chalk from her daughter's classroom ( she volunteers)...nope no chalk in a classroom...I ask you what is this world coming to?... Needless to say I am pleased with the way my slate turned out...engraved on the front top of the frame is Laura's initials and age and below the date...There are many more craft ideas offered by Pam also for the month of December she will be offering primitive Christmas ideas...Thank you Pam, I am so happy I discovered your blog, you are one talented lady and very generous with your ideas...
This is where Winslow Homer spends his November days, warm and toasty in front of the wood stove...what's that you say? another stick of wood...Have a great weekend everyone...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Don Juan is a lover...he adores his harem of three...with Josephine broody and on the nest...his harem is reduced to two...Don Juan has no interest whatsoever in any of the larger gals...he prefers his ladies on the petite side...
This is Phoebe...she is a big old gal and may I say proud of it...she has absolutely no fondness for Don Juan and his rowdy activities...when his fits of passion rise Phoebe is quick to intervene...she jumps on his back...grabs his comb...pulls him of the lady that he is attempting to service and promptly chases him off into the darkness of the coop... In other words, she has no tolerance nor appreciates any "hanky panky" going on in the hen yard...This Don does not give up so easily...he dusts himself off...shakes his feathers out and prepares himself for another day...or at least another attempt at does need to live up to their name and reputation...