Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

It’s raining again,  which is better than snow, but still is it ever going to stop?  Mr. Cottage said it feels muted today.

 That grey cast has wrapped around our little house and it feels like no matter how many lights we turn on, we can’t overpower the gloom.

It’s a good day for snuggling in the old patchwork quilt.






















We are cozy inside, and shouldn’t complain, but I think cabin fever may have a toehold on us that seems hard to shake today.  I’ve been pouring over seed catalogs, for weeks, making lists and plans of flowers to grow for the farm stand.  Dreams of colorful bouquets and butterflies and bees humming happily from flower to flower.

I usually have seeds started by this time of the year, so they will be ready for transplant as the weather warms up, but I’ve held off this year.  The record rainfall from last year continues into this year and quite frankly I don’t know when we will be able to work the soil.  I’m concerned about getting seeds planted in time for veggies and flowers to sell at the farm stand this year.

  I need to stop worrying so much about the things I can’t control.  But I do.


 Carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, and beets.  Sweet and white potatoes.  All these amazing colors.  The scrap bowl for the chickens even looked good to me.

They were most satisfied with their treats but didn’t care for the parsnips or the stems from the beets.  I had forgotten they didn’t like parsnips. My mistake.  They were quite vocal in letting me know the error of my ways.  Fortunately, my dinner guests were more gracious about the beef stew.

The egg drought that we endured for months is over and now I’m boxing up eggs and printing out labels left and right.  I’m able to keep the farm stand stocked and give eggs away to friends.

Do you remember the story of the Grumpy Old Man?  Well, he came up to the house recently for a visit.  I was completely caught off guard, pleasantly so.

A tree came down during the last snowstorm, barely missing the farm stand.  Mr. Cottage got out the chainsaw and had it all cut up and thrown down into the wooded area, in short order.


The second tile company that we hired started out pretty good but fizzled out and now we are left doing the remainder of the work ourselves.

  We stood side by side in the bathtub one day with those little foam craft brushes applying sealant to all the grout.  Since we didn’t have the proper tools, we used what we had.  There was a good time.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cottage has been working on grouting the floor in the master bathroom upstairs and putting the sealant on the flooring in the shower and the cubbies.  He never complains, just does the work.   I, on the other hand, had a personal meltdown the other week.  I’m so tired of living in a construction zone, so tired of everything revolving around making responsible decisions.  You know, spending money on fixing the house instead of sailing the seven seas.


Boo is lonely, since the passing of his sister Peanut.  I have found him just sitting beside her grave a few times.

Animals know.  I think more than we mere humans give them credit.

Snowball showed up the other day with her head covered in blood.  I brought her inside and cleaned her up, minor damage on her comb, which they tend to bleed like crazy for the smallest of wounds.  I’m not sure if she got into a squabble with one of the other girls, or if Wyatt got too rough with her.  Speaking of Wyatt, it’s heartbreaking to say this, but our new rooster is racist.  I tried discussing this with farm girl recently while we were out for lunch, but she shushed me – not want to discuss this topic in public.  It’s true though and we are at a loss for an explanation.  Wyatt viciously attacks our black girls – the Black Alstralourps. It is so puzzling, the Alstralourps are so sweet and quite beautiful, their black feathers shine with the most amazing green iridescent coloring when in the sunlight.  Yesterday I locked Wyatt up in the run while the girls had their scratch so he wouldn’t chase them.  We aren’t sure where this attitude comes and how we can undo it.  It’s most unpleasant.

We had a dry day on Saturday which we took advantage of.  Mr. Cottage did a thorough cleaning and dusting of all the coops and runs.    The day before I made a dry rub with brown sugar and lots of spices and let a pork butt marinade in that for 24 hours. Mr. Cottage put the pork on the smoker and let it smoke all day while he was out cleaning. I took Boo for a long walk in the woods, then I spent the day in the kitchen making baked beans, pickled beets and eggs, macaroni and cheese and bourbon barbecue sauce.  It was all delicious and we ate way more than we should have.

So what’s happening in your neck of the woods –  do you have rain or snow?  Have you started seeds or have flowers blooming?


That’s all the rambling for today.

xo kim

14 thoughts on “Moss and meat – birds and seeds

  1. DA Squires says:

    I am hoping Wyatt does not do this again… otherwise, I hope there is some kind of humane rooster exchange program : ) But seriously upsetting to read this, much less experience. When writing Fantastic Tails, I had to decide what might be included to create tension and reflect the natural world with its inherent cruelty and tragedy, and opted for a threat that is vanquished, (so rest assured there is a happy ending… I think we need more happy endings). I sometimes think I can smell the aroma of your cooking just by reading the menu and ingredients… and LOVE that you are getting ready to plant flower seeds… this combination of flowers and chickens and eggs (and a peacock or two) were so inspirational to my writing!!! XO Debbie
    (And I believe in the sentience of many animals, and a depth of emotional capacity that we do not understand, but is absolutely real.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie – I write about Wyatt and his issue in a tongue in cheek way – but seriously he is mean to those girls, seems to be getting worse. We don’t know if this is from an underlying problem at his previous home?? Some animals just don’t like others – we have certainly experienced that, but he doesn’t just single out one girl, he is mean to all of the black girls. We do need more happy endings, I want to share happy here, but want to keep it real too and life isn’t always happy is it. I enjoy cooking, for the most part, I would rather cook and eat at home then go out – there are always exceptions.

      At first we thought Boo was handling the loss of Peanut better than we thought he would, but recently he is behaving oddly and moping around. Yes, I do believe the animals have that ability to feel and experience emotions. Thinking of you and your family. xo kim


  2. Pam says:

    Here in Michigan it’s cold and snow is still coveting the ground. We’re supposed to get even colder the next few days. Boo! I too am sick of winter. I find myself lacking energy to do much of anything right now. I need warm air and sunshine! So sorry to hear Boo is feeling sad and missing Peanut. Maybe this weather is getting him down too. That smoked pork roast looks amazing. Mr Cottage obviously knows his way around a smoker lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam let’s run away to somewhere sunny and warm! I say that every winter the older I get the less I like it. We are supposed to have a cold week too. Maybe this will be the last hoorah. I think the weather is getting to Boo, but there is more to it than that. I’ve thought about a companion for him, but there are so many factors to consider. Oh my Mr. C does a great job with the smoker! Xo kim


  3. Debra says:

    It is good to see Mr. Cottage feeling good and working. Too bad your construction guys pooped out-I do understand the stress of having that kind of stuff going on. It can seem like it will never end. When we had our roof done a few years ago it was so loud inside the house (where I was holed up, as it was winter time) that I put on a Jimi Hendrix album and turned the volume way up! Totally not me-but I was going nuts!!!
    Your cooking is always beautiful to look at, and inspiring too.
    We have more snow here, but I do have a seed order coming my way!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra – I have to admit I gasped when you said you put on a Hedrix album, I totally didn’t see that coming – then I finished reading – I have felt a lot desperation during this reno, but not that desperate! HA HA I haven’t even ordered seeds, the weather… stay warm my friend. xo kim


  4. Annie says:

    If I lived nearby, I’d be stopping by for a visit like Grumpy Old Man. There is just so much going on at your home that it’s better than sailing the seven seas. Love the chicks, the leaves, the moss, the food… and being outside without a coat smoking a ham! I understand the frustration of workers abandoning a project from our flooded kitchen at Thanksgiving. Everything ripped out back then. Workers finally showed up recently but again disappeared. Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie – thank you for reminding me to be grateful for what I have. And a visit from you would be fun! What is with these contractors?? Mr. Cottage is a contractor too – HVAC if he ran his business as a no show he wouldn’t have a business – then again he has been out of work since his surgery in October – thankfully his customers are pretty loyal to him and are waiting for him to come back. Maybe because there are so many unreliable contractors out there – shame. I hope you get your situation resolved soon. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  5. says:

    I intended to get seeds started, too, but fell ill in February. Took me 7 weeks to get well. Had 3 things wrong with me. March has been COLD for us sissy Floridians. 50’s at night and stays cold until the afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda – I should have reached out to you, I’ve been thinking of you and worrying too, but didn’t want to invade your privacy. I know about that sick, stuff, we have had quite the round of it here too and I am currently fighting yet another round of it. Sheesh. I guess things will be warming up before long and we’ll be complaining about that. Good to know your alive. xo kim


      1. says:

        Yeah, I’m at long last in good health. Been working in the yard 2-3 hours a day. That’s all I’m good for at my age. Thinking of giving up my blog. I’m in my 8th year and it’s just costing me too much.


  6. lindasschaub says:

    Hi Kim – I realize I missed this one too – I am going to subscribe via e-mail. I passed your site along to Clare, a fellow blogger in the UK who has chickens. Had to share and passed along your chicken and peacock page yesterday. I did not see this post either … they are not going to “Reader” for some reason as I missed the other one a few weeks ago. It is not an oversight … I have had some issues with WordPress lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda – thank for passing along my blog to Clare – I think I’ll call you the connector, or the middle lady or the supplier or .. I don’t know about that reader – I think I miss stuff too, and so I just prefer to go directly to the blog page – I feel like I get the whole picture of the person and their blog better that way. I’m just can’t seem to catch up on anything these days, blogs, work or anything. Sometimes life is like that. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lindasschaub says:

        I have several blogs that I go right to the page too Kim because the pictures are more vibrant – they are compressed in Reader in my opinion. Clare has chickens and did a post about them the other day so I had to pass your blog along to her – UK chickens, or USA chickens … chicken lovers deserve to meet other chicken lovers. 🙂 I feel like that too Kim. I’ve been busy at work and the end of the day I know I should be getting more done, but just content to catch up on the news or here … today my brain needed airing out – did a long walk and got pictures which I’ll try to divide down for several posts … pickin’s are slim this time of year … the landscape is devoid of color, the babies have not arrived yet, so we just muddle along. Take care.


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