Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

The turkeys have started coming around.  Every September we start seeing flocks of turkeys.  I love how they eat all the bugs in the fields.  We always think of Thanksgiving dinner when we see them!   

Turkey feathers left behind in the yard after they passed through.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm hungry, too!

The raccoons routinely come up & eat the dry cat food we put out for the outside cats.  They usually come up after dark when it's tough to get pictures of them, but every now & then I see one during the day.  This one is a young momma coon.  She watched me through the back door while she ate alone, cautiously watching the back yard for signs of movement. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Help! Little caterpillars are invading!

Please help me identify these pests!! 
These awful little caterpillars have started showing up near our outside dry cat food bowls.  They're black with brown heads & legs, with mean-looking pinchers.  They're small, less than an inch.  I've tried to research them, but have been unable to find them online.  They kinda look like a worm, not real hairy like a caterpillar.  I'm sure they're some kind of larvae...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Congratulations, Robin!

This week we celebrated a friend's upcoming baby's birth.  We made shaped chocolates from bags of chocolate wafers first.  It looked simple enough, but it certainly took alot of time!  I couldn't find pink or light blue chocolate wafers, but they still tasted ok!

These are homemade chocolate lollipops!

Then we made baby cupcakes.  The blankets were made from fruit rollups, the baby bodies were marshmallows, heads were icing, topped off with a gummi bear teddie bear.  The hair was icing or candy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wild Asparagus & Mushrooms

The other day I took a walk out in one of our front fields to check on our wild aparagus.  We have 2 different asparagus patches - the small one is out in a front field by an apple tree & the much larger patch is out back in a field.  Here's the asparagus small patch - it's only 2 stalks!  In late summer we let the asparagus go to seed to promote new growth in the spring.

After looking at the asparagus I walked through the field & almost stepped on what I thought was a golf ball.  When I looked closely I realized it was a mushroom!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Today we decided to cleanup a walkway to an old outhouse we have on the property.  Yes, an outhouse like they used to have before bathrooms were made inside houses!  The old outhouse is near a small, vacant, historic house on our property. 

It's pretty neat to see, but it appears someone has dumped all sorts of trash around the outhouse.  So much glass & other trash is out there that it was a true hazard to walk up to the outhouse.  I was afraid I was going to slice open my foot on broken glass, even though I had heavy boots on.  The glass bottles were at least a foot deep - and we never got to the bottom of the piles.  They were covered in dirt, vines, leaves, and more bottles on top.

This picture is of the outhouse in the distance through the trees and vines.  You can see just a little bit of trash in the foreground.

Here is some trash across the path from the outhouse.
Hundreds of glass bottles were covered in leaves & vines.  These pictures don't show how much glass was really there.  All this glass and other trash could not possibly be from one family!
We picked up 11 trash bags full of trash & broken glass.  And this is just the beginning of cleaning up this little area.  And we have many more trash piles like this to clean up...  A little bit at a time...
Now we can walk up to the outhouse...
Here's the back of the outhouse.  It has an old tin roof on it.
It has double doors with old skeleton locks.
Double seats in the outhouse!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spicy oatmeal raisin cookies

What can I say ~ I love to bake & cook.  This recipe came from my sister.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Summer's not over yet, but it certainly feels like it here!  It's 64 degrees out in the middle of the day, and raining most of the day, too.  So ~ here are some pics of my homemade cupcakes to celebrate the remaining days of summer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Red-spotted Purple

The Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) butterfly is very common here in MD these days - we have lots of these little guys around the property.  If I named them, I'd have called them the "black and blue" butterfly - makes more sense to me!  It's interesting to know this species is a mimic of the of the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

I love how they are paper thin when they fold up their wings!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Around the house, part II

As I said in the last post, not alot is happening here right this moment.  So I'm just posting more pictures of things we see every day in and around our historic home.  We're slowly renovating the house & the grounds, and will continue to post as the work progresses.
All the inside doors of the house have old keyholes with these swinging keyhole covers.  The previous owners of the house painted the doors white, but didn't paint under the keyhole covers - sloppy work!  It appears this door used to be light blue before.
There's only one closet in this house, and it's under the back steps going upstairs.  This old BLW lock is on the inside of the closet door.  It appears to have been installed upside down!  I've researched BLW locks, but couldn't find this exact one.  I wonder why the people in the 1800's needed so many locks?

We have several gated entries, complete with old stone columns.  This is one of the stone columns beside the path that leads to our house.  I can picture the men on horses riding up to the house right past this column.
Yes, our home comes complete with it's own graveyard!  A historic house wouldn't be right without a graveyard!
This gravestone is for Susan, who passed away July 25, 1830, at only 25 years old.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Around the house

There's not alot going on around the farm right now - we've been keeping busy with the daily chores, and I've been spending alot of time at my job.  So I thought I'd just post some pictures of our home.  We live in a historic home, it's about 200 years old.  We plan on renovating it & making it more comfortable, but everything takes time. 
These pictures show our daily view on life from the front door, into the foyer & the living room.

Here's the old banister going up our front stairs.  It's solid wood, very sturdy.  I wonder exactly how old this banister is.
Historic ornamental plaster trim is set around the house.  This picture was taken in the foyer.
Ornamental plaster around a ceiling light in the foyer.
Our new storm door on the front door, taken looking out.  Jack the inside cat loves the storm door more than any of us - he's always posted there.  You can see the food & water bowls for Jerry, the outside cat, on the front porch. 
Stained glass above the front door.  In the evenings, the light from the outside porch lights shine through this & makes beautiful reflections in the foyer.
Ornamental plaster trim around a ceiling chandelier in the living room.
One of the fireplaces in the living room.  This old house has seven fireplaces!  Two are in the living room.  These two are very small fireplaces, very shallow.  Others in the house are very large.  When we first moved in the metal covers were not tight against the living room fireplaces, allowing a curious Jack to investigate.  He went up one of the chimneys by putting his back against one side & scooting up.  I quickly realized he disappeared, figured out where he was, threw the heavy metal cover aside, & scooted myself inside the little fireplace, too.  I was only able to grab the tip of his tail & yank, and he came sliding down.  We both were covered in soot.  Silly cat...