Buds of Hope

I know, I know… there’s a nor’easter coming, or maybe even a blizzard, but take heart…

I found these this morning…
IMG_4752IMG_4753IMG_4751 IMG_4750Yes, here in Salem, Massachusetts… with a foot of snow on the ground.

They’ll be open before we know it.

Stay warm and well!

Love, Michele


Winter Garden Coop Jam


It’s winter, that’s it…


There’s a rosemary plant hiding under the barrel, rock and large clump of dirt, lol. It will be a miracle if this plant makes it through this extremely unbelievably cold, long winter. That sprig of thyme will though…


A single egg


but fear not! There’s a traffic jam at the nesting box. More are on the way!

I turned around and here she was, patiently waiting her turn. This chicken reminds me of my oldest daughter, she’d be doing the same thing.


It does my heart good to see them waiting at the door again.

IMG_4706See you later sweetie pie.

Enjoy everything!


Free At Last!


After spending the last couple of weeks inside their coop our girls have finally decided to venture out to see what’s going on in the world.

It helps that after enduring snow, ice, wind, rain and extreme cold it’s 55 degrees today.

In all our winters of chicken keeping I’ve never seen them just refuse to come out like this. They sat inside for weeks. Here we are watching the skaters last weekend.

IMG_4595Of course things like that nice heater and fresh peppers to eat may play a part in their decision.

Sheba looks like she’s trying to remember what it was like to be outside.


Our little white hen and one of our pretty cochin look a bit shocked too.


Ever the lady, the little red hen stays out of the mud and just goes with the flow.


I think she knows something that I don’t.

I love her eyes. Wish that beak had focused a little bit better, but we’re a work in progress here.

I still think she’s the one who’s in charge (not everyone agrees). If she is, she just made her nine sisters spend three weeks in the house watching the wind blow.


Free at last!IMG_4622

Here’s the reason for the sudden venture outdoors… everything is melting including the pond. Hopefully the warm weather will last just long enough to smooth out the ice so it can re-freeze and put the skaters back in business.

How are  your chickens doing this winter? Are they laying any eggs? I’ve been BUYING free range eggs.

I think we need to do some daylight therapy or something.

Enjoy everything!


“The Ice Skating Pond Is Like a Garden”…

said my brother-in-law on the phone the other day… “think about it Michele, it’s all dependent on the weather, it all depends on if it rains or snows and if it’s warm or cold, it’s just like gardening, your always waiting to see how it’s going to go.”

He’s right, it is just like that. Michael and the kids worked hard to cut back the vegetation on the pond this fall.


It looked like this when they started. They cut and sawed and dug and moved everything out to create a nice big space for the rain to fill with water. Then we prayed for rain. It took awhile but now…


we have a skating pond. They’re spending hours out there having a ball!


Hockey is a very big focus…


This guy lives for the sport.

IMG_4549My little girl is more of a figure skater but she was keeping up with the stick pretty well today.

IMG_4562 It does my heart good to look down and see this.

IMG_4542I took pictures and cheered them on. The afternoon sun warmed me up and gave me energy…

IMG_4560so I could climb back up this hill…

and head inside to look over seed catalogs and think abut the gardens ahead. While I’m doing that I’ll keep hoping and praying for ice friendly weather.

Life is so, so good here in our winter garden.

Enjoy everything!


More Fluffy Robe Photos

We had just a little bit of snow overnight. It was so pretty that I had to wander outside with my camera for a few minutes. It was gorgeous this morning!


The buds on the pear tree are looking ready. to. go!! Yes!!DSC01580

I miss the days of pushing my little kids on the swings in the middle of the morning. Hug those babies everyone, they grow so quickly!DSC01581

I love our black pussy willow. Michael and the kids gave me this bush on our first Mother’s Day in this house. It’s one of my favorite plants in our garden.

Hi Zoe, my cute little compost factory…DSC01586

Hi pretty chickadee…


and guess what?

I wore boots instead of crocs today!


He, he, he…no splat for me!

Enjoy everything!


What Do Chickens Do In The Winter?

I know, your all wondering… how are the girls? Are they cold? What are they doing?

I’m asked this so often, I thought that today would be the perfect day to talk about it.

It’s this cold out today! seriously cold…


Win and I took a walk down to check on the chickens. They were right there, greeting us like they always do.


I didn’t have a treat handy, but I’ll find something to take down later. This is their hopeful scramble… Dad is much better at remembering to take them things. Actually, he probably would have taken them homemade oatmeal or something…


Oreo didn’t care if I was there, she was staying inside. She’s one of our original hens. I think she arrived in 2007, our first chicken year.


There’s a heater.

DSC01473 along with the oatmeal… I sense a pattern here.  It’s said that they don’t need heat, and I don’t think they do, but we feel better with just a little bit of heat to take the edge off.

Here’s their friend Zoe. She has a very nice hutch but she lives in the coop when it’s super cold out


They still lay eggs, at a slower rate, but it happens.  We do put a light on for a little while at night to prolong their day time just a bit. The production slows down but it doesn’t quite stop completely.


They also take turns sitting in this chair.


and enjoying the view.


sounds good to me  🙂

Stay warm today!


Winter Morning In the Salem Garden

Michael took these shots while I was still sleeping. I love the early morning but he’s much better at getting out there than I am…

Waiting for spring…DSC01421

The asparagus bed…DSC01422

A cold little girl…DSC01423

She’s not too happy…DSC01425

The rest of the ladies preferred to stay in the warm coop (kind of like their mama)  😉 DSC01427

Compost bin, still cooking (I hope)..DSC01429

The birds need some food. Michael sat down to eat breakfast and glanced out at the feeder.  As soon as he was reminded of it he ran outside to give them some seed before he ate. He really takes care of things, unlike me… I would have finished my french toast. DSC01431

The boys wasted no time… I’m not sure about why their using a wagon. We do have sleds??


I just looked out and the yard is full of kids and sleds. I love these days!

Enjoy Everything~