Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

Haphazard and Unruly.

These summer days have turned hot and dry in Virginia.  I’m wishing for rain; it’s too darn hot to go out and water my potted flowers.

sunflower 1

I love these red sunflowers, but the germination rate has been poor.

 Not long ago I was contacted by The American Horticulture Society – they had seen photos of my gardens on the internet and asked if they could use those images in their next bi-monthly publication.  I was thrilled and said yes, although I don’t subscribe to that magazine, perhaps it is an article about what not to do in your garden.  I’m laughing at this thought since I don’t follow garden rules and my gardens are haphazard unruly messes at best, never-the-less it is an honor.

Raising Chickens.

The big chicks say it’s too hot to lay eggs and the littles haven’t started to lay yet.  I’m so looking forward to getting my first blue or green egg.   But, I don’t want them to grow up too fast, they are so darn cute and entertaining.

 It has been a hard season of losses for our older flock.  The fox seems to be on constant patrol for a fresh chicken dinner.


Stanley Roo has recovered from the great fox fight.  Although he still walks crooked and bent over and his crowing voice is garbled.  We’ve come to an understand, Stanley and I.  He no longer attacks me and I no longer have to carry a broom.  I’d like to think it is his way of showing his appreciation for my efforts so save him from his injuries. I tell him what a handsome rooster he is.


Growing Weeds.

The vegetable garden looks like hell.  I planted corn three different times and what I have to show for my efforts – just a few straggly pathetic stalks.  The tomatoes are abundant but green and not really growing.  The peppers are coming along.  Slowly. The cucumbers are hidden among the weeds.  At least I think they are in there, I’m scared to look too hard for them for fear I’ll grab a snake and not a cucumber.


I love coneflower no matter how many weeds surround it.


Living in a Construction Zone – POW POW POW

When the carpenters are here working, I wish they weren’t.  The compressor and the air guns hum and pop loudly and break up my bliss.  I am, however, so anxious to have this construction behind us.  Sadly, it is a long way from being done.  The piles and piles of lumber and other construction material are everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  Last week the carpenters installed one of the windows in the wrong place.  We were not home at the time, but my girlfriend was here, and she realized what they had done and had them correct it immediately.  Thank goodness for her keen eye.




house 3

back porch

Maybe next summer we will be sitting on the back porch drinking lemonade.

Chasing dreams  – you are never too old.

Father Cottage always wanted to travel.  At 84 years young, he is away on his first out of the country trip.  How awesome is that?

I thought I had given up on trying to sell my art-work, then a few months ago I was contacted by a lady that was getting ready to open up a new store.  She wanted to know if I would be interested in having my creations in her store.

 I gathered up a few of my earrings and necklaces and now they are in The Golden Fish, which officially opens tomorrow, in downtown Palmyra, if you are in the area, stop by.

earrings display

Other Silly Dreams.

signage and flowers 2

I had some signs made for The Cottage Roadside Stand.

Trying to sell fresh-cut flowers on the side of the road – what a crazy idea.  But I keep trying.

silver pot with flowers 2

cottage flowers

Thank you for being here today.


xo Kim

17 thoughts on “summer at the cottage

  1. says:

    Know what you mean about living in a construction zone. My brother has been renovating Poppie’s house since mid-February. He hoped to finish by September 30 but now he’s not so sure he’ll make that date. Congrats on the American Horticulture contact regarding your photos. Like the fresh flowers sign you had made. You are more than doubling your square footage – wonder what that will do to your taxes?


    1. Kim says:

      I hope your brother sees the light – I’d love to think we would be completed by end of Sept. I know that isn’t likely or even October… I’m sure the taxes are going to go up – no good deed goes unpunished. I expect AHS is really laughing right now, especially if they could see the shape of things now. Too hot, no rain and my specialty this year – weeds. Oh wait – that’s my specialty every year!


      1. says:

        I managed to get all my flower beds, except the one RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE done by Memorial Day. After that, it was too hot.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. tarnegolita says:

    I love that your father is going on his first trip abroad at 84! That’s great and I hope he has an amazing experience! Where did he go?


    1. Kim says:

      It is very inspirational to see my father so active and doing the things he always wanted to do – it gives a person hope. He is in Canada – Nova Scotia all along the coast and he is having the time of his life. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim, I love the way you are embracing the unexpected twists and turns and just going with the flow! The gifts just keep on coming when we allow them, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Kristin – life has been twisting things up for me. I do try to make the best and believe the right attitude helps. I also believe there is a higher power that has a plan, regardless of my opinions – LOL. I hope you are well my friend. xo k


  4. Nice to visit with you this already-sticky-hot morning, Kim. Your Littles are so cute. One day….I tell myself. Do they eat ticks? I’m told that Guinea fowl do. They are pretty, too but I don’t know about eggs from them. I hope the construction goes fast from now on.


    1. Kim says:

      Hi Melissa – I’ve offered all my chicks ticks, and they say no thank you. My farming girlfriend says that it is an old wives tale about guinea fowl eating ticks. The only thing I know about them is that they are loud – my sister has them. They are lovely though, and I’ve thought about getting a few. xo


      1. I had a feeling it was a myth. Too bad. They are loud, but they are so pretty. I guess they can’t be louder than peacocks, right?


  5. Debra says:

    Hello! I had to smile at the photo of your birds laying down (the header photo). For some reason-they look so silly! Kim-your house is beautiful, and your garden and birds and dogs are too. I’m so happy about the magazine contacting you, and your return to selling your art!!! Yippee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Debra – my silly big kooky birds – ah they are so entertaining. You shine your lovely words on me and it makes me smile – thank you. I don’t know if I have returned to selling art or not… Such a weird place I am in; but for the most part, I’m pretty darn happy. xo


  6. artsychicksw says:

    Truly is an honor that the AHS contacted you to ask to use some of your garden photos! Not only does it speak to your beautiful gardens, but also to your amazing photography. You truly take some absolutely beautiful photos, Kim. I enjoy all your talents very much.
    It’s nice to hear an update of what is happening all around the cottage. The additions looks like it’s nearly done, but I imagine there is much to do inside before it’s completed. I pray for a speedy finish to the end. Can’t wait to see the finished photos, inside and out….I imagine you are much more anxious than I! LOL
    I’ve never heard of red sunflowers, but the color looks so beautiful! How odd that some things are growing so well and others not…I am sadly not a gardener so I have no idea how that happens. My grandfather on my mother’s side was quite the gardener and loved it. He lived in KCKS, but had a large backyard and built up a tiered garden area that went up to the back fence. As a child I loved to play there, climbing up the rock steps he created and looking at all the things growing…, veggies, etc. I wish I had gotten his green thumb! He was a really wonderful human being….his father died of typhoid fever while he was still young so he needed to help take care of his family, as the oldest, and started selling newspapers on a corner in downtown KCKS. There was bank on that corner and after a few years he became a page in the bank. Long story short, he one day became the president of that bank, and later the president of the board. He was very kind and gave of himself and his time to his family and his community, receiving many community awards and honors. He was a grandfather that told wonderful and interesting stories of his childhood and youth. He was such a treasure! He died when I was a teenager….I was born later in my parents life, an “oops!” baby (lovingly called that…”the best oops we ever had!”). I still miss him and the unique way he said my name…say-ra. I know you would have greatly enjoyed talking with him about gardening and so much more.
    I guess I’m going down memory lane with all the packing I’ve doing, going through family photos and such. Somehow I ended up the “historian” of the family for quite a while. I just cannot keep everything as we are downsizing, and going back to a very simple life, so I’m passing on some things to my siblings, whether they want them or not 😉 I can do that since they live far away and i can just mail things to each of them! I’m keeping plenty, of course, for myself and my kids.
    I’m almost done packing everything that I can until the last couple of days. It’s been an experience of lovingly letting go of some things so that we can make a simpler and happier life for ourselves. Our health just doesn’t allow us to be caretakers of so much anymore. We are taking some very special pieces that belonged to family and things that Tom and I have enjoyed collecting together and want to take with us into our new stage of life. Plus the necessities, but not all of them! We are going to make a fresh start with things like dishes, towels, bedding, etc. I am at peace with it and it feels good.
    As usual I have written a book, nearly. LOL You are so faithful about sharing your life with those of us who are your friends here and I like to return the favor because I enjoy you and our conversations, Kim. Thank you for your friendship and sharing about life at the cottage.
    Love, Peace and Blessings


  7. Lisa says:

    So happy to see your updates! Congrats on the garden pics – that is quite an honor. I always enjoy your photos! I’m glad to hear Stanley Roo is doing OK. Mr. Tabby even asked me the other day how he was doing. He is quite the celebrity here in Texas!


    1. Kim says:

      Lisa – Stanly Roo a celebrity – oh giggle! I’m sure in his rooster mind he is a pin-up centerfold! Thank you for the congrats – my gardens are so dry and sad looking right now and we can’t buy a raindrop – we had too much this spring – something you know all about in your Texas heat. Stay cool my friend. xo


  8. Caroline says:

    Congrats to you! Will have to check out that new store at some point and your progress there. I know it is slow but it is looking good 🙂


  9. It appears your posts aren’t coming into my inbox anymore! I need to see how to fix that…
    I’m so excited for you that you have a flower stand. How is it working out?


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