Friday, September 30, 2011

Buffy's back

Buffy is spending the nights on the high roost with the other hens again, claiming her place back within the flock, no longer separate with the chicks.  The chicks roost all together in one of the waist high feed troughs, and will probably go higher when they are strong enough to fly up there.  Chickens form their own society with very particular positions, the originators of the pecking order.  While Buffy was raising the chicks she was out of the flock somewhat, and I am glad to see she is back amongst the others.  The hens seem to accept the chicks and I am relieved to see no aggression towards them whatsoever.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Lantern People

I found an antique book published in  1882 entitled The Lantern People:  An Allegory for The Young Folks.  I think it was put out by a church, but I love the message and the imagery.

The book talks about being a good person, and how within us we can choose to have a hornet or a butterfly.  The two men in the illustration have a dog and a wolf within their hearts, and when they meet on the street the beasts begin fighting.  It's a beautiful little book with a timeless idea . 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Penguin busts a move

Chicks at 7 weeks + Penguin showing off his hot dance moves for the ladies

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Amish insulation

My Dad met an Amish couple at the Buckley Old Engine Show last month who were selling jams, baked goods and…insulation.  We need a lot of insulation for the cheese room, so we visited their farm.

Their sad horse Turbo

They had a super friendly dairy goat with no name - I named her GOAT

Best of all:  Ten 1-week old Great Dane puppies

shy sheep

We came away with a few dozen sheets of insulation.  I also talked to the man's wife Naomi and tried to engage her in a conversation about being Amish.  She was sitting in her kitchen in a calico dress and bonnet writing longhand letters.  She was 28 years old and told me she feels Amish is the only true, real religion (all the religions believe this about themselves.)  We talked about cheesemaking, gays in the church (sinners, according to Naomi) and how you connect with God when you work hard on the land (agreed).  Amish people fascinate me and I feel much more open to them that I believe they are towards us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Robin Hood Cabin

We visited George, our Boss Mouse architect, at his family's magic cabin near West Branch, Michigan

It was built in the 1920s and is a true log cabin with an enormous stone hearth and all it's original fittings, furniture and details - Pucci in foreground

The road you take to get there 

Inside there are beautiful, Maxfield Parrish style murals depicting scenes from Robin Hood

I like her red cat suit - and so does Robin

Vintage textile bonanza in the guest bedrooms

old velvet chair and footstool

We need to know

Mid-century footstool + rug

The cabin was like a secret fairy house, full of antiques, genuine log construction, and that thing a house gets only after it has been lived in and loved for many decades.  It is one of the most interesting and enchanting houses I have ever visited.  Thank you, George!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

sky study #50

Sunrise over the East pasture Saturday, September 24, 2011

failed feta

When cheese doesn't come out like you planned, you end up with a LOT of soft cheese, which is edible and delicious, even if it isn't what you set out to make.  Here is a batch of what was intended to be feta cheese, that didn't set up right.  Who wants some onion dip?

Friday, September 23, 2011

so sunny

I love the sunflowers that plant themselves all around the farm - these two 5-footers grew in a row of vegetables in the garden.  Others have shown up in the rose patch, fire pit area and in the middle of the lawn.  The seeds are spread by the birds and chickens and I let them grow wherever they like.

sky study #49

A couple of views of the sunrise, Thursday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

from the ground up: the building of Boss Mouse part 2

The masonry men removed the concrete slab from the side of the small barn where the cheese room is being built

The permit for the new septic tank

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

fresh barns

Painted the foundation of the big barn white this past weekend

Also had the entire small barn painted

Chicken model Angel, strutting her stuff - she noticed I was photographing the small barn and just had to strike a pose - work it, girl!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

cajun feaster

Clockwise from top:  zucchini cassserole, rice, shrimp etoufee, roasted beets (from Holman Farm), red beans.  Délicieux!  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

nightshade update

The temperatures have dipped down into the 30s the past few nights, so lots of plants in the garden are finished.  I went out and picked the last of the tomatoes and peppers.

The ripe tomatoes went into 6 quarts of marinara sauce

hot peppers

green tomatoes and peppers - they will ripen in the paper bags

half-ripe heirlooms - they will ripen on the windowsill

Friday, September 16, 2011

teen chicks

The chicks are 6 weeks old this weekend

Thursday, September 15, 2011

there's a rabbit on the rug

Bunny Lee running around the office with me this morning

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday with Laurie

Paula Red apples at the Holman Farm

beautiful varieties of squash

My hostess with a bouquet of her multi-colored beets

Jenny, jet propelled by love

Laurie's amazing cooking:  roasted eggplant and bell pepper with white bean puree on toast with cherry tomato salad - naturally, all the vegetables are from her garden

Sky study:  sunset from the Mission Peninsula, Tuesday, September 13, 2011, overlooking the West Grand Traverse Bay

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

sunny afternoon

Don't sit under the mushroom cap with anyone else but me

Tim assembled this bouquet from flowers, weeds and ornamental berries he found around the farm 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a hat full of apples

My Scottish cousin Tim with some wild Cortland apples we collected in the East pasture

dunk me

Hazelnut biscotti

Friday, September 9, 2011

the building of Boss Mouse, Part 1

Above:  the plans for the Boss Mouse dairy room. Below:  the corn crib in the small barn, which has been completely removed since I took this photo Thursday morning.  This will be the site of the cheese room.  There's also a cheese cave, which will be accessible from the cheese room.  I am so excited - scared - overwhelmed.  Mike Kurta is the project foreman, so you know everything will be done perfectly.  I will post developments as they are built.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

sky study #48

Sunset over the West pasture Wednesday, September 7, 2011.  The whole sky was pink, in every direction.