Jun 13

View From My Window – July 2013

The View From My Window – Too hot too soon

The view from my window clearly shows our weather has been living up to the saying, In the northeast if you don’t like the weather; wait a minute!  Late May was cold and rainy and then suddenly Caddyrecord breaking heat. Even though my helpers have been grooming the animals everyday they had not completely shed out when the heat wave came. I felt the worst for our poor pony Caddy, he grows a thick winter coat and was so hot still wearing it when it was in the 90’s for several days. And now we have another rainy period. So half shed out, half shaggy he looks happier all soaking wet.  I have a most interesting view from my window.

Jun 13

The Garden and Good intentions

With what had been going on I am way behind on our garden. “Our” means that I plant it, weed it, harvest it, cook it and “we” eat it (giggles). But anyway, I’m way behind, Baby Robin (2)I hadn’t planted anything except a few onions my daughter gave me left over from her garden. She has 6 week old twins; four kids under 4 and she is done with her garden weeks before me! But her husband also has an interest in the garden other than eating (hint,hint).  Ok, so I’m really way behind and yesterday I committed to put everything else aside and get my garden planted. I had all my plants, I just needed to get them in the ground. I was hopeful I could finish it all in one afternoon. Well that was before I heard a commotion and saw baby robins flying- hopping everywhere!  We knew there was a nest under the deck, but apparently our dog Chia spooked them and they all jumped out of their nest. Not the smartest move on their part. Fortunately Chia didn’t chase them but they were scattered all over the yard.

So instead of planting I was sneaking up behind little fluffy baby birds and scooping them up and putting them back in their nest. The first was easy, but the others hopped around a bit before I was able to get them and the parents we not at all happy with me. At first it was just the Robins that we swooping over my head. But by the third baby rescue I had cow birds and sparrows all gunning after me! I am happy to report that I managed to catch them all and put them all back in their nest. As for my garden there is always tomorrow!

Jun 13

Killdeer on my mind

Every Spring the Killdeer return to our farm. Nervous little birds on long skinny legs; the kind of bird you would expect to see at the seashore, but we’re not. We usually don’t pay a lot of attention to them; except for the annoying loud noises they can make at all hours of the night!

Killdeer are famous for making their nest on the ground in a very un bird -like manner. Maybe they are where the phrase bird brain came from, I’m not sure.  But their eggs are amazingly camouflaged to look like pebbles.

killdeer nest of sorts

This year they made their nest in the stones next to my garden. Although nest is a bit of an overstatement, four eggs in a slight depression in the stones. So this will provide 3 to 4 weeks of avian entertainment. The way they protect their eggs and young is the entertaining part. They will try to lure you away from their nest by faking an injured wing and leading you away from their nest making all kinds of racket.

Killdeer faking it

Unless of course you are a goat or a horse, then they puff themselves up as big as they can, wings spread and charging you and screaming all the way. Interesting as it is to observe their antics; we try not to disturb them too much. They take turns sitting on their nest and spend the rest of their day eating lots of harmful bugs; including beetles, mosquitos and ticks so they are good for the garden and the animals. But every time Dean or I go to the garden, it creates quite a raucous display.

We get lots of Killdeer here. I think because we have so much open space and beyond that there is lots of wetlands. But it wasn’t always that way. In the 1800’s they were hunted almost to the point of extinction. I have heard they aren’t much to eat so maybe it was their loud calls that got them into trouble. Finally a law was passed in 1917 to protect Killdeer and their eggs, because they are so valuable to farmers eating pests that eat crops.

I am honored that the Killdeer feel happy here to make their homes here in our garden. I think is says so much about how we feel about a happy, natural way of life!



Jun 13

Who Is Creative

Soap Cutter3I have always had an artistic creative bent. I remember a picture I drew when I was about 4 of our dog. I showed it to my mom and she asked me what all the little dots were and I told her they were the fleas. When I married Dean I didn’t think he had a creative bone in his body. He was stuck at the stick figure stage of art that honestly weren’t as good as the dog I drew when I was 4. But over the years I have realized how wrong I was.  The director of the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild had a tour of our shop and was so impressed with all of the inventions Dean had made she asked Dean to speak at their annual conference. When I looked at all the gadgets Dean had thought of to solve problems, that I thought were roadblocks to our growth, I realized just how creative he is. I had always thought of creative as making something pleasing to look at. But looking at a problem and visualizing a tool that you can put together in a way to make it work is way more creative than just looking pretty. Thank you Dean for being a visionary and always proving me wrong when I say it cannot be done.

Who is Creative?  I discovered much to my surprise that Dean is very creative!

Checkout the 3:45 min video of our soap making process.  It  shows many of Dean’s creations.