Thursday, January 27, 2011


SNOW....three inches of the fluffy white stuff fell silently throughout the night. The Arctic cold temperature however, subsided somewhat today allowing the girls ample opportunity for a quick jaunt through their snow blown paths. A mad dash was seen back to the coop where warm cranberry bread was waiting- yes I love to spoil my girls. The hot chocolate machine that I discovered at Goodwill has been in full use, what a buy I got for $2.99!! I do admit to the fact that I have been consuming more than my fair share of hot chocolate each day. Ghirardelli's sweet ground chocolate and cocoa is so decadent, but oh so satisfying. Accompanying my hot chocolate was my rug hooking, progress has finally been made in the hooking department. I have finished hooking a mat, a Payton Primitives design. This evening I hope to get the binding pinned and with a little luck completed next week. I need to inquire, am I the only rug hooker who hates this part of the rug hooking process? If you have any tips or suggestions I would be more than happy to receive them. On a quick note, thank you one and all for the kind and thoughtful comments offered in regards to my post on Winslow Homer. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you. We are so fortunate to have such caring blogging friends, blessings from snowy Maine. ~Julie and Winslow Homer~

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Many of you kind friends have inquired as to the well being of Winslow Homer, our Cairn Terrier.Winslow as most of you know is the mascot of Dog Trot Farm, he is the dog with the trot. For the past month there have been many highs and lows regarding Winslow's health. For a brief period our weekly vet. visits began to show much improvement and then a slippery slope of declining health set in. Winslow's blood sugar remained high, as in off the meter high. Our once weekly visit evolved into twice weekly with some all day stays. The word Cushing's disease remained lurking in the conversations with our vet. I had declined to further educate myself on Cushings as I knew it was not going to be good, not an easy disease to treat in dogs. One day as I was checking out an owner brought in a Cairn. Princess was ten, as is Winslow Homer, but appeared much older. In a matter of a week with declining health Princess was diagnosed with diabetes and had become blind. I was looking at the worse case scenario. My heart sank. Along with the diabetes Winslow has a skin condition. Unable to take steroids due to the diabetes Winslow is on a antihistamine. To top it all off he has a collapsible trachea. What was first diagnosed as Kennel cough and then bronchitis turned out to be his trachea. This condition does occur in dogs and treatment could consist of having his trachea rebuilt or as benign as a cough suppressant and stress management. We have opted for the later. Now for the good news, Monday Winslow's blood sugar was near perfect and his heart and lungs sounded clear and strong. No need to see Dr. Rust for two weeks, two weeks....I could jump for joy! Our day begins at 5:30.... breakfast and an insulin shot and one doggie treat between breakfast and dinner. It's difficult, Winslow takes after his human mom we love our treats, but if tough love is going to keep Mr. Winslow Homer with us for a few more years than that is what we are commited to. So there you have it dear was a good day for both Winslow Homer and myself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


The weather has turned cold.... very cold. As the temperature plummets my old homestead begins to creak and moan. I worry about my ladies on these cold winter days. Not so much from the frigid temperatures mind you, but being "cooped up" day after day with one another. I do worry about their mental well being. Eleven ladies together ....someone I fear will snap. In the early afternoon when the sun is highest in the sky I let the girls outside just long enough for me to rake the shavings and fluff their nesting boxes. Hygiene is most important especially in winter. This outing offers the girls ample opportunity for a quick sprint around the house and clean air in their lungs. Bravest of the girls are Fern and Phoebe the silver laced wynadottes. The remaining girls are not so forth coming and take a moment to ponder the situation ....

and of course with much encouragement from me....
"Come on Gladys you can do it"....
the situation of course needs to be sized up....
On the count of she's off....

Winslow....lets go out and see the girls....come on lets go get chickens.... He's not thrilled with this snowy winter weather either. Good Boy....
Snow continues to mount on the picnic table....the measurement appears to increase daily....
With another snow storm forecast for mid week it will be spring before these chairs see the light of day.
However, the evening sky sure is pretty when the storm blows away....
Just another day in paradise here at Dog Trot Farm....How is winter treating you in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's definitely winter in Maine.... I had hoped I might have the opportunity today to do a bit of rug hooking....maybe get the binding on my crow mat....
or cut some wool for a new runner I have begun.... no.... no such luck.... the better portion of my day was spent with the Toro snow blower....a girls best friend when her DH is out of town on business....
"The summer chair
rocking by itself
in the blizzard."
~Jack Kerouac~
It is winter in Maine after all....

Monday, January 17, 2011


Once again I traveled down the bay to the ROCK for the weekend (Long Island). This morning I borrowed my mother's BOG boots and headed out the door for an early morning walk. The sky was a crystal blue and temperatures in the low teens, a brisk and chilly start to the day. My Island coat is an old wool Maine Guide coat purchased in the late sixties by my dad. It is one of the warmest coats you'll ever find. My dad kindly relinquished the coat to my mom and she kindly shares it with me. I am often reminded "Julie you never dress warm enough" or "where is your hat" or "do you have something to put on your head"? I myself am a headband type of gal, my hair is so thick and wavy that hats have a way of "popping" off. After a walk across Singing Sands beach it is time to check on ELLIOTT the communal Island kitty. Elliott does have a warm home at her disposal however, her preference is to remain "outside". Islanders take the time to check on her and make sure her needs are met.
Elliott is always pleased to see my dad.... first thing in the morning her breakfast is delivered, with treats to be follow in the early afternoon. Believe me when I say Elliott is well cared for. A summer resident's vehicle awaits the spring thaw....

As I walked along bird songs filled the air. Chickadee.... Cardinal.... Titmouse.... Blue jay.... Mourning Dove.... Robins....
What a lovely sight to see on such a cold winter's morning....

"Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold and forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday's dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait and see
new life as warm sun and breeze blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow."
~Nelda Hartman~

A garden sundial....
Magnolia buds....

"In the depths of winter I finally
learned that within me there lay an
invincible summer."
~Albert Camus~
Evergreen Methodist Church, our Island church....
Some lobster men still have there gear off....their day begins well before dawn.
To complete such a perfect day....a magnificent sunset was waiting for me when I returned home to Dog Trot Farm. Also waiting.... one hungry husband.... one tail wagging kitty warming my bed and eleven hens wanting to know when their dinner of hot oatmeal with raisins would be served. Life is grand!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I am going to begin my post by name is Julie and I am an addict....a sugar addict that is. My love for anything sweet is beginning to become a problem.... my love for baking, with mindless and stressed induced eating (thank you Winslow Homer) is not helping this matter. My size ten jeans are becoming rather snug. I do own a pair of size twelve however, they have been relegated to the rear of the closet and I rather not let them see the light of day! This too is not helping....when the weather began turning cold my girlfriend invited me over for a mug of hot cocoa, I happily accepted. I walked in the door and there on the counter was a hot cocoa machine. After just one mug of this frothy cocoa I was hooked. I had never heard of this type of machine, but instantly knew I would be on the hunt for one. The brand was Mr. Coffee. I searched Amazon and they were completely sold out. I searched several stores in my area and discovered there was none to be found. However, on Tuesday I made my weekly trip to Goodwill and low and behold sitting on a shelf in the rear of the store a Back To Basics Cocoa~Latte machine. It was calling my name and just waiting for my little hands to grab her. The price $2.99! I took this baby home, ran the top portion through the dish washer and we were good to go. There is no other was to say hot cocoa from a cocoa machine is simply a divine indulgence.
It certainly is not helping my craving for sweets, but it sure tastes good while enduring a long cold winter's day. I do wish you were all here to share a mug with me, Winslow Homer would certainly enjoy your company. BTW If anyone has a tried and true method to aid in one's addition to sugar I sure would be ever so grateful to hear from you! Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Can you find us? Yes, all is well here at Dog Trot Farm. Winter's white out conditions have forced many to remain at home. Many businesses and schools are closed as the roads have become quite dangerous. I find it to be a perfect day for sitting by the fire.... pulling out a good book, seed catalog or an unfinished project. I have many of those. The girls are all snuggled in their coop and have enjoyed a morning breakfast of warm oatmeal and raisins. Winslow Homer is by the wood stove dreaming of summer days yet to come and Emma Lou remains tucked in her little bed. DH plows our driveway and I snow blow.... there are pros and cons to living so far of the main road and one of which is plowing. We however, would not have it any other way, I can not imagine living in a development. I would have to dress appropriately when visiting my girls first thing in the morning, I mean I have been know to hang laundry in my night gown and DH has been know to run out in his long johns when starting his car in the early morning hours. God forbid If one of us ever locked ourselves out of the house ....well, the snow is accumulating quite swiftly....with the heaviest snow forecast for this afternoon.
Winslow my little man....I think it's time to head in and enjoy a mug of hot cocoa.

Above are the newly painted shutters which are now in our downstairs bathroom. Yesterday while visiting Goodwill I spied this valance for $1.99. This was the perfect accessory to give a little "umph" to the bathroom. Well, those of you who are experiencing this storm please stay safe and to all have a great day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Saturday found my husband and myself on a find a replacement for a butter dish that he accidentally dropped and which proceeded to smash to smithereens. This was the "backup" butter dish to my Currier and Ives dishes. The main butter dish he "offed" years ago....This is why I collect duplicates of certain items. My husband is what you would call "heavy handed." Now, when I first began collecting these dishes they were down right cheap....I found them for a "song and a dance" a dinner plate was $2.00 and I clearly recall the butter dish was $5.00. To date the dinner plate is now anywhere from $12.50-$22.00 dollars and the butter dish $45.00 dollars and up! By the information on this sign below you would have thought we scoured many countries looking for this allusive dish. Alas.... this famous sign is found in Western Maine. Our search however.... was a bust.... not a butter dish to be found....not on this day anyway. But I did find a great old chicken book.... tomorrow I will share it with you. We did however, see lots of turkeys....I have a fondness for turkeys....I think they are beautiful.... but very indecisive. You can never predict when and if one might end up on your windshield. Early in the Fall a group of turkeys gathered in my backyard. The turkeys slowly made their way over to the chicken coop and just stood by the girls' pen.... each group was eyeing one another. My girls and this flock of birds stopped what they were doing .... stood perfectly if sizing one another up.... then it was over....each went about their girls back to scratching the earth and the turkeys marching off into the woods.

I was given another crafted work of art from my dad.... this time a pine candle box....oh how I like getting these kinds of gifts. I painted the box a shade of mustard.... gave it a good sanding.... scuffed it up and applied a coat of Briwax. Turned out my liking that is. Here is the candle box all trimmed out in it's primitive finest.... a few candles, greens, crow and of course feathers....I can't wait to see what's next on my dad's woodworking project list....I am always a happy recipient of anything he crafts....If it's not perfect all the's Primitive. This pair of shutters I found for .50....
This afternoon I gave them a coat of fresh paint.... once dried
off to the bathroom window they will go. Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend and a productive one....oh by the way....If you happen to find a butter dish please let me know!