Chapter One

A light drizzle is surrounding me as I wander through the gardens cutting flowers to put in the farmstand.  It is sunrise, only the sun isn’t shining.  The humidity seems high and the gnats are horrible and the mosquitoes are biting.  I’m hot and my body heat is steaming up my glasses so that I can’t see. I couldn’t be happier.  Birds are busily going about their morning routines, the chickens are still in the coops, protesting loudly that they want out.   A large red-tailed hawk swooped down behind the big hen house and went after a nest of Robins.   The tranquil bliss was brought to an end.  The hawk has been hanging around here for about a week.  Most disturbing to our little piece of paradise.

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Fireflies, happy dog dance and one duck in the living room

 

 

 

Here at Red Dirt Farm, Magnolia blooms and sweet honeysuckle are perfuming the humid air.  Fireflies are lighting the night skies.  It is as one expects it to be this time of year.  Although, the Magnolia blooms aren’t as heavy as normal, perhaps because of a late frost.  Once again, our routine, which is never a completely normal routine has been turned on its side by the arrival of an unexpected little package. Continue reading

under the magic blanket

fruit-and-seed-packets

These seed packets jumped into my shopping cart the other day.  I’ve been reading the seed catalogs and dreaming about what I will plant in the garden this year.  Ah spring, I’m looking forward to welcoming you.

Right now, though, it is very cold out and we are under a blanket of snow.  Our pipes are frozen and it is a wee bit cold in the house.

Don’t you agree that there is something so special about the first snow of the season?  We had ours on Saturday.  Everything is covered in a sparkly blanket,  surely magic is responsible for all that glitter.  Right?

In chicken land – ain’t nobody happy.

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There was a chicken convention inside the covered run.

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Sweet Pea stood high up on the ledge speaking to the audience.  She declared that snow should be outlawed.

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They all agreed.

The other girls inside the hen-house said they were not under any circumstances going out in that white stuff.  It was way too scary!

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Boo went inside and mingled with the girls for a bit.

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I’ve been concerned for my feathered friends, these temperatures are so low.  This morning I made warm oatmeal with apples, blueberries, tomatoes a bit of left-over pasta and yogurt.  It warms their crops and that is a good thing.

The peas came out of their house for a little while.

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Papaya came out first and then, Mango and eventually Coconut.  They loved the sun shining on their bodies.  Hated the snow on their feet.

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They did a stroll around the house, checked on all the hens and then headed back to their house for warmth.

Boo and I took a short walk, he wanted to smell all the footprints he came across and roll endlessly in the snow, making dog angels.  I wanted to take a few photos.  But that didn’t last too long, my feet were freezing.  So I snapped a few and headed back in to the warmth.

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Bear prints

I thought our Virginia Black Bears hibernate all winter, I recently heard in a news article, that in fact, they do not.  Especially the young.

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Deer tracks

There were surprisingly few wildlife tracks in the snow.  Even they say it is too cold to be out.

bird-house

This fancy store-bought birdhouse was given to me. The side panel opens to plexiglass so you can view the birds inside.  Never a bird has lived in it.  Wasp, however, believe it is grand.

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This house and all the others that Father Cottage has built are always occupied.

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This house sitting on the picnic bench was placed there temporarily until I figured out where I wanted it.  It sat there all summer, and it too remained occupied.  So I left it there.

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back-of-house

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Sunday supper we filled our bellies with warm beans and country ham, that had simmered in the crock pot all day.  I made jalapeno cornbread that was a disappointment, the peppers didn’t have much heat, nonetheless, they were gobbled up and enjoyed.

That was our weekend, under a blanket of magic.

I hope your weekend was lovely.

Thank you for being here today.

xo kim

New Year New Life

In the night, on December 8th,  Mr. Cottage and I became chicken grandparents.  Our little hen, Daisy only 8 months old herself hatched her first chick.  Daisy was terribly weak and unable to stand or walk because of her 21 days of sitting and not eating or drinking.  I knew I needed to help her out.

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You Hoo it’s me

I’ve been off-line and out of touch and away.

All summer there has been a whirlwind of activity here at the cottage.  The cottage renovation is still an ongoing process and will be for some time.  The exterior work is complete for the most part.  Our Cottage received her new paint colors – green, blue and white trim.  Quite a new look and if you will notice although I haven’t come up with an official new name to our place and this blog, quite obviously it is no longer Coral Cottage, for now, let’s just call her Our Cottage.

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Seems all the gang thinks hanging out on the front porch admiring the new paint job is what it is all about.

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The green siding really changes as the light changes throughout the day.  For the most part, I am really happy with it.  The one thing I didn’t want was yellow, and much to my surprise the yellow tone to the green shows prominently.

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I’m so happy to find the cosmos and a few zinnias still blooming though we are into November and have had several light frosts.

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I’m happily gathering buckets of flowers and making lovely arrangements, with the help of my assistants of course.

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The bees and butterflies are enjoying the last of the season too.

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Our Cottage family has been tested many times this past year with seemingly endless health challenges.  Recently we held our breath as Mr. Cottage has had a cancer scare.  After several tests, procedures, biopsies and earlier this week, surgery.  I am happy to say he is recovering quite well.  His doctor removed a tumor which he says he feels quite certain is benign and that we should not lose any more sleep.  I feel a tremendous sense of relief, but still holding just a wee bit of breath until the pathology report comes back.

And so, life goes on and we are trying to get back into the swing of normal – whatever that is.

Hoping you all are facing your personal challenges; whatever they may be with an open heart.

I hope to get back to posting more regularly and I look forward to visiting with my on-line friends again  and hearing what you all have been up to.

Thank you for being here today.

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xo kim

Welcome to all new readers, I hope you will join the conversation and say hello from time to time.

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Life has been happening all so fast and full lately.   Some good, some not so good.  That’s life, isn’t it?

How about with you?  Are you out in the garden?  Making art? Taking care of your animals? Continue reading

Cottage Farmhouse photos

 

Hi friends, it’s been almost a month since my last post.  Where to even begin? Continue reading

farmhouse renovation – excavation

The journey began over a year ago.
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