Red Lion Renovation Projects

You can feel it.

The earth is ready to shake off her winter blanket.  There are quiet stirrings and subtle shuffling of the layers.

The robins are singing sweetly at sunup.

The scent in the air is different too.


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A new sheriff in town

Snow is on the way.  A hush is in the air, that stillness that always seems to come before snowfall.

Orange blossom honey drizzled in my tea.

   So here I am a week in on the most annoying cold; savoring lots of tea and honey in hopes of soothing my throat. Continue reading

Farmhouse Renovation – A Moment in Time

So many of you have asked – thank you for your interest, but yes, it’s been a bit of a sore subject, leaving me at a loss for words, or words that could be repeated in polite company.  It was, so to speak the straw that broke the camels back and left me in a downward spiral of darkness. Continue reading

farmhouse kitchen gets a (small) remodel and Rustic Lasagna

An earthquake, which is not typical for our area, rocked our little house a few years ago, weakening our cabinet structure and cracking walls.  Our old roof was leaking and water had seeped into the drywall, causing it to buckle and peel.  The worst part was mold was growing.  Last year when our beautiful new red roof was put on, we realized that the section that was added to the house sometime in the 1960’s really didn’t provide sufficient structure to support the weight of the upper cabinets and all the glassware for the addition that we added 19 years ago.   The cabinets were shifting and we were growing more and more concerned. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Winter and a farmhouse renovation update Dec. 2017

Snow is falling.

I cooked a feast as though I was expecting an army.   Mr. Cottage carved the turkey, we gathered our little family together, we gave thanks and ate until our bellies could hold no more. Continue reading

cool nights warm days in my own private cathedral

These are the days of autumn.  Forecasters in our area say that the leaf color this year will be somewhat lackluster.

We turn the heat on at night and the AC on during the day – crazy.  Me, I’m holding on to the warm weather as long as I can and dancing in the gardens with the last of the flowers.  The light that sparkles off the morning dew and streams through the ornamental grasses makes my garden feel like my own private cathedral.

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Farmhouse renovation August 2017

 I felt as though I spent most of the week holding my breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop.  A tear or two may have fallen.

How was your week?

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Farmhouse Renovations and Farm lessons


Here we are, almost at the end of January and I realize it has been quite some time since I last updated on our renovation progress.  Mostly, because the work has been at a standstill for quite some time now.

Even though the addition was started a year ago, it has not felt like it was a part of our home.  A lot of this is because the inside is a long way from being complete and we aren’t living in that space.  Secondly, the addition can only be accessed downstairs by going outside and around to the back of the house and going in through the new back porch and slider door.  Upstairs, the only way to access that area has been to crawl through the bathroom window over to the other side.

The other weekend, Mr. Cottage took out the old bathroom window upstairs and opened the wall to the new hallway.  We both said after he did that the addition now felt like it was real.  Yes, this is really happening.

Here are a few not so glamorous photos.


This is our only full bathroom.  It will eventually be replaced with a new bathroom in the addition.  In the above photo, the old window has been removed and saved for that someday greenhouse project…


This view is from standing in the addition looking into the existing bathroom.  The rest of this old wall and window are now gone and we can walk back and forth from the new addition and the original section of the house – upstairs.  It will be a lot more work to open the downstairs section.

  Mr. Cottage continues to work on the wiring for the electrical, as time allows.


This view is from the master bathroom looking in towards the new hall bathroom.


Hall bathroom



This is the master bathroom.


Front elevation shows the new addition to the right of the porch.  The upper dormers are where the two new bathrooms are located.

We have received so many compliments on our addition and new roof and paint colors.  A recent visitor said they couldn’t tell which was the new addition and which was old.  That was our intentions when we designed the addition.

In our little farm yard news.


We had almost two weeks of unseasonably mild weather.  It was so nice to do my outdoor farm chores without excessive layers of clothing.  I gave all three of the coops and hen houses a good deep cleaning and scrubbed things down.  I also did the peafowl aviary.  I spread several wheelbarrows of poop and straw out on the gardens/wildflower meadows.  Next spring all the flowers will reward me with beautiful blooms. I hope.

Last month when we had snow on the ground for several days, the chickens refused to come out of their run.  I opened the door to the run and left it open.  I spread straw out on the snow so that if they wanted to come out they could without having to walk in the white stuff.   I went into the house and before I knew what was happening, a dog from down the road came up and got into the run and attacked several of the girls.

  Chickens have to put a lot of energy into healing and growing feathers to replace the ones that were torn out.  During that time all their energy goes into that process, so that they aren’t able to produce eggs.  This week, finally a few of the girls have started to lay again.  I’ve been supplementing their diet with extra protein and good treats to help them heal.  The entire situation has been heartbreaking and yet I’ve watched and learned more chicken behaviors.  The hen-house was always their safety zone when something scared them, that is where they would run for protection.

 Now, they are very skittish and get quite flighty when I go inside and they don’t see me coming, they panic thinking something is coming after them.  They also used to take our dogs Peanut and Boo as part of their family and didn’t give them a second thought.  Now they are afraid of them.


This is Ziggy – she lost all of her tail feathers.  The purple color is Blue Kote – which is a wound wash with an antiseptic and helps with anti-pecking.   I now have several purple chickens.


Our little Sweet Pea, the runt chick, we didn’t even think would live when we first got her last spring, suffered a lot of damage from the attack.  She wouldn’t move off the roosting bar for several days, I really didn’t think she was going to make it.  Day after day, she remained too sore and scared to move.  Her friend, Cruella remained by her side each day until Sweet Pea could move about and started eating again.  Watching these animals have loyalty and compassion toward each other is so rewarding.  Sweet Pea has been a fighter her entire life and has surprised us once again, making a comeback.  She also leads a charge on Boo whenever she thinks he has come too close.

Father Cottage grew up on a dairy farm, and he constantly reminds me that farm life isn’t always pretty or easy.

I have to leave you with happy news.

Daisy and her chick baby Winter are doing quite well.  Actually, Winter is really growing and I guess I have to stop calling her baby Winter.  She is seven weeks old now.  I had thought a few weeks ago, when Daisy started laying eggs again that she would tell Winter it was time to be on her own, but it seems their bond grows stronger every day.


When Daisy gets in the nesting box to lay her egg, Winter crawls in too and lays there until the egg is laid.

 At this time there isn’t any indication that Daisy wants to move on.   I must admit I’m not always so good at tough love.  I’m trying really hard not to interfere when Daisy is teaching Winter lessons, which I don’t always understand.  Winter cries for Daisy the minute they are separated or when another chicken plucks at her.  I know Daisy is doing the tough love thing.  I let them free range during the day under my supervision.  They are still living on our back porch.  I’ve tried to relocate them to the hen-house but Daisy isn’t ready.


Daisy and Winter come inside the house each afternoon to take a nap on the table in the sunshine.  On this day Wynnie had already claimed the sunny spot.  I’m constantly learning new things by observing these animals.  What a privilege it is.

Perhaps you have noticed some changes I have made to this blog site.  The name has changed on the blog and our roadside stand name has changed also – We are now known as Red Dirt Farm.  If you follow the facebook page, you will notice the change there also.

This site can be reached at Red Dirt Cottage.

Thank you for being here today.

xo kim

Life at Coral Cottage – is now Red Dirt Cottage