Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, August 20

a big thanks to GRIT magazine!

A trip to the mailbox is a daily event...sometimes we find surprises, most times we find junk mail, and sometimes, well you know...bills.

Have I ever shared that our mail-lady's name is Betsy Ross...doesn't that make you smile? She's so friendly and always waves, and until just recently still drove her car, while sitting in the passenger seat, to deliver mail.

It always amazed me how she managed to drive that way with nary an accident.  Now she's sporting a new USPS mail truck...and while I'm sure it's much easier to maneuver, it's also one of those "passing of an era" events...mailmen and women using a series of tactical movements to drive with their left foot on the gas pedal!

Anyway, back to collecting the mail...this week, Betsy brought me a fun surprise from the editors at GRIT magazine...they gifted me with their Homemade Bread Special Issue...yay!  Inside are lots of yummy recipes along with tips & tricks for baking up loaves of wonderful bread, biscuits, bagels, and more. So whether you're new to bread baking, or a seasoned expert, I bet you'll find something new to try.


Soon a quick flip through the issue landed me on page 8...and what did I see?

My recipe for The Perfect Loaf...an oh-so easy recipe for bread baked in a clay pot. It's crisp on the outside, and chewy inside...mmm, perfect with dipping oils or pasta dinners (you know, for soaking up all that yummy sauce that's left on your plate!)

And so to the Editors at GRIT...

my wholehearted thanks. I'm thrilled to be included in this magazine...thanks so much for inviting me to share my recipe!

Monday, August 3

little surprises...

There's a cool breeze today, bringing welcome relief from the dog days of summer...yay!  Let's take a quick walk around the farm and I'll share some of our summertime surprises.

We had so many heavy frosts this past spring, we were certain the buds on our fruit trees wouldn't survive. But taking a tip from a friend, we kept spraying them with water...


a happy surprise..it paid off and now we have pretty Fuji apples on the trees!

My mother-in-law calls these beauties Surprise Lilies...and are they ever! They pop up in unexpected spots here and there - just when we need a bit of color.

And who doesn't love a surprise volunteer pumpkin plant...looks as if it's about to take over!

Now these aren't surprises...in May we couldn't resist adding some new chicks to our little flock! We have just successfully mixed them with our older hens (whew) and I'm happy to say there is peace in the coop...which is a surprise!

THIS is our biggest surprise...meet Bandito...

First of all YES it was a surprise the first time we heard that sound.

No, no, no...those little chicks were supposed to ALL be pullets!

I did my reading...okay, sometimes a hen will crow to show off her position as head hen. Then more time passes...

NO, NO, NO...

it kept happening, the crowing became stronger, and soon the tell-tale signs appeared. 

Saddle feathers - check
Hackle feathers - check

What's a girl to do? Sigh...

I do like the sound of a rooster crowing, and for now, while not overly friendly, he seems to be calm. Actually, one of our older hens has been seen bossing him around...that's fine with me, maybe she'll keep him in check. Crossing our fingers.

And looking for the bright side...it could have been worse, they could have ALL turned out to be roosters!

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