Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

Follow your heart.

I was able to cut flowers from my garden for the first time in three months.  Sweet.


Daffodils and forsythia.

So, I’ve been a little under the weather this past week – nothing major just enough to make me feel blah, but combined with a pulled muscle in my neck and shoulder I’ve been very lethargic.

The weather has continued to be unseasonably warm here in Virginia.  All of the trees and plants are confused.  Quite frankly, so am I.

 These warm temperatures make me want to go out and do things in my garden that I know in my head it is too early to do.


Saucer or Tulip magnolia in full bloom in February – get outta here!

Have you been experiencing unusual weather in your neck of the woods?

I have sweet baby chick chirping going on behind me as I type.  I set up a brooder here in my office space.


This sweet little girl is a Delaware.  She will grow into white feathers with black at her neck and tail.


The minute Daisy realizes there are chicks in the house.

 It has been a roller coaster ride here at the cottage since the new chicks arrived Wednesday evening.  The post office called to let me know my chicks were there.  I quickly went and retrieved them.  I opened the box to discover one of the Delawares had perished during transit.  The next morning another chick passed away.  Thursday night another died.  Friday night two more.  Five of the 16 are dead.  Not off to a good start.  I’ve contacted the hatchery and they are handling it compassionately and are extending the 48 hour period in which to report losses and giving me to Monday.  I have to decide if I want to take a credit, replace the chicks immediately, which would mean meeting the 15 chick minimum order requirement or waiting until April when the minimum is 3.  I’m not sure what I am going to do.


Daisy and Winter check out the new chicks.

This morning the chicks are enjoying a little sunshine in their brooder.


The chicks have had diarrhea so I am using dog training pee pads to make clean up easy.  It seems to be clearing up and I think the rest of the chicks will be okay.  Keeping my fingers crossed.


The brooder is set up in my office/craft area which is in the original section of the house and was at the time it was built, the parlor.

The doorway leading into the original dining room is sealed off with plastic to keep construction dirt out of this area.


Saturday the Cottage men worked on the farmhouse renovation.


This is the old section of the house looking into the new addition.  Mr. Cottage has removed the window and is getting ready to move the opening for the new doorway; which will connect the new addition to the old section of the house.

This room in the original part of the house was the dining room when the house was built, in 1930.  Our guess is the drop ceiling was added sometime in the 1960’s.  It is the one thing I have always hated about our home and I will be so glad to see it gone when the renovations are complete.  I think it is ugly and completely out of character of the home.

  When Mr. Cottage took out the old window, he found a signature from the builder on a piece of the window trim.


 How cool is that?  That is the kind of treasure we have been hoping to find.


 The original owner and builder, J.A. Campbell  – or maybe G.A. – was a family member related to a prominent family in this county and related to the family that built the old log cabin farmhouse down the road and across from us.  Love finding this history.

The Cottage men worked on re-framing the opening about a foot over from where the window had been.  This new doorway will go into the new kitchen in Father Cottages area; from what will be the family room in the old section of the house.


The original beam – which Mr. Cottage has his hand on,  in the above photo is old rough cut wood.  It has a lot of character and we will save it to repurpose somewhere in the house.


This is a true 4×4 piece of wood and is approximately 9 feet long.



At this time, as little of the old lathe and plaster was removed as they could get by with.  The reason for doing it this way is for minimal dust in the existing section of the house.  That old plaster creates a horrible mess.  Later that entire room will be gutted.  The old chimney runs through the center of the old part of the house and more specifically that room.  It will be removed as well as the center wall.  That is going to be a really big job with incredible dust and debris.


For now, Mr. Cottage is finishing up electrical and venting, getting ready for the first rough-in inspection.


Author, D.A. Squires is a reader of this blog.

 Recently she contacted me and kindly offered to forward a copy of her latest novel, The Fantastic Tails of Sammy and Mr. Chips.   I’ve just started reading this charming tale of the adventures her lovely furry friends.  She even has a chapter called Cooped up – featuring an honor system farm stand and chickens and peafowl – oh my – you must know I’m loving this!

If you get a chance grab a copy for yourself here!

Thank you for being here today.

xo kim

Red Dirt Farm

Red Dirt Cottage – Formerly Coral Cottage

6 thoughts on “Farmhouse renovations and ramblings Feb 2017

  1. DA Squires says:

    Dear Kim,
    Thank you so much for your lovely, lovely comments about my story…and the book cover photo and link…this is so thoughtful and kind! I adore your blog and have the deepest admiration for all you do for the animals of Red Dirt Farm. They are incredibly lucky to have you for their Mom : ) With heartfelt appreciation… xo Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Debbie – it is my pleasure to share your book. I do hope some of my readers will find their way to your books. Loving these animals is also my pleasure. Have a great day! xo kim


  2. says:

    Bwahahahaha, I always laugh when I see chickens in the house! And then Daisy and Winter come ambling into the parlor from outside to check out the baby chicks. Into the parlor!!! Love it.


  3. Kim says:

    Linda – parlor chickens seems so elegant! giggle. I’m sure I’m breaking all kinds of proper housekeeping etiquette – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. xokim


  4. Debra says:

    I agree-fowl in the house are totally welcome! I LOVE the picture of Daisy when she knew there were babies in the house! I had a goose that was terribly in love with babies too, so I know that look of love! Your home is coming along-such a long process for you-but you seem to be handling it fine….I sure hope no other baby chicks die. We are very far from having flowers in bloom, so it was nice to see yours.


    1. Kim says:

      Hi Debra – those of us that keep fowl in our home are in a very special group! HA HA The house renovations are a pain in the…well you know what. I’m trying to have a positive attitude about it because it is what it is. Sending you warm weather wishes my friend. xo kim


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