Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I woke an hour before dawn and heard it. The wind scouring around the house, whistling at the windows and buffeting the walls with hissing snow. I pulled the covers up and snuggled in for a bit, listening to the storm and enjoying the exquisite warmth and comfort of our soft bed. I knew that when I got up I would have to go out into the storm, and I was in no hurry.

The sun cast a half-hearted light when it rose, the sky heavy with clouds and the snow blowing sideways on fitful gusts of wind.

It took three trips to get the hoof stock settled. Ziva came out with me when I insisted, ears flattened, tail clamped, back hunched. She went as far at the garage and waited while I dished up goat and pony breakfast, then she beat it for the back door and convinced my husband to let her in. "You are on your own," she seemed to say. "YOU have boots and a warm coat!"

The goats and horse were glad to see me, and grain. I stood in the shelter of the shed a while, watching them enjoy their meal. The wind was so fierce it had blown a dusting of snow through the seams of the roof, and the goats had a light frosting of white on their thick fur.

I waded back through the snow, varying in depth from ankle high to well over my knees, and returned with a bucket and a jug of warm water. The goats refuse to go out in the weather for a drink, so I hung a bucket in their room and filled it up. They dipped their muzzles in and sucked the water down silently. I offered some to the horse, she was not interested. She does not hesitate to wander out in the storm, and it is not a far trip to the heated water tub in the pasture. One more trek out into the wind and back filled the hay racks to the brim.

Next I checked on the chickens and tossed some scratch grains into the coop to keep them occupied. The ducks got a pan of warm water and a scoop of food. They look unhappy locked in their hutch, but it is the safest place for them, bedded deep with dry shavings and keeping them out of the wind. By the time I got inside my face was stinging from cold. The thermometer on the deck read 8 degrees.

Looking outside from the warm house, everything is shades of pewter. The wind was blowing so hard it forced snow in around the window where it melted into a puddle on the sill.

And the pantry window is just filled with snow!

The wild birds seem grateful for the full feeders. And I know I should have taken my Christmas wreaths down by now... but isn't this pretty full of snow?

We had to insist quite firmly that the dogs go outside. They rudely did what they must on the deck, mere inches from the door. Smooch looked woeful as he waited for us to allow him to re-enter.

We all agree it is best to be inside, where the house is cozy and tidy and warm...

And soup is bubbling on the stove, perfuming the air with spicy goodness.

I need to go back outside soon, carrying more hay and water and checking on the critters. How grateful I will be to come back inside.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


It has been a brown winter. More rain and mud than snow and frozen ground. But yesterday we had a beautiful little storm, leaving a few inches of light, powdery white, frosting the world as far as I can see.

The livestock don't seem to mind the white stuff.

And Ziva buries her face in the snow to smell the smells buried beneath it.

Then trots around the meadow, exploring a world that looks different than usual.

The wheelbarrow and birdhouse rest for now, but soon spring will come and they will both be pressed into service.

A nor'easter storm is predicted for tomorrow, so today will be spent cleaning and readying the animals enclosures. We have plenty of food for both man and beast stored away. Let the storms blow!

Monday, January 19, 2015


It was a chance of a lifetime. The three of us were able to go on a 9 day cruise to Aruba, in January, and I got to go FREE. It was a groom cruise, and I was the speaker. Chris and Rachel were able to join in at a reduced rate. We left Maine when it was -13 degrees, and spent days on the water, in the sun, wearing bathing suits and eating food none of us cooked. And it was good.

There were dolphins...

And Pelicans...


(I tried a cup of iguana soup made by a lovely local woman...)

The ship, (and the husband) were very attractive!

And,oh... that whole ocean/sky thing? Amazing.

We all liked our balcony. Rachel even hauled her mattress out there one night and slept under the stars listening to the waves.

The sunsets were amazing.

And we spent some happy hours here...

In the end, there was home. With our oh-so-comfy bed and all those mouths to feed. I was so happy to muck out the pony shed and stuff the hay feeders full and see the ducks waddling about. I loved our magical time in the Caribbean, but home is still my most favorite place.