Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Like most mornings, I headed out yesterday before the sun was up.
Driving to the barn, the dogs dodging in and out of my headlights...
I was ready to take on another day.

It was quite foggy as I reached the barn.

My arrival signaled "grazing time" for the horses and donkeys,

and they were eager to get on about their business.

I turned on the lights in the barn workshop in order to feed the cats and was greeted by this:

Well, it looks as if my barn kitties are earning their keep!
(By the way, this one was about 8 inches long, without his tail!)

I have never actually seen a live rat on the farm, but I know we have plenty.
Just about once a month I find one of these treasures laid out like a prize...
a gift from one of my hunters...or... perhaps I should call it "rent".

We feed our barn kitties well.
There is always dry food available, and twice daily they get a little canned food as well.

This way they have lots of energy for hunting,
and then lots of energy for playing with their catch.

They never eat what they catch, but I suspect that they play it "to death".
Sad, but better than the alternative.
And the idea of being over-run with rodents appeals even less than finding these "gifts."

With the cooler temps and the fog, I thought it might be a good time to work
on weeding the vegetable garden...
hoping the gnats might be gone.

Not so...they are still out in full force with the single goal of making gardening as miserable
as they can possibly make it.
I did fill several trugs full of weeds ... take that, gnats!

My prize was this pan of fresh veggies...

finally I am getting tomatoes from our garden!

Somewhere during the day I got the bright idea that I could make my own wooden
buttons for my knitted items.
And so, out came the power tools and varnish, and voila!
They are each about 1 ½ inches across and cut from an oak branch.

I think I will be using these for my next knitted neck warmer.

Remember that bell I found at the antique store a couple of weeks ago?
Well, when I found it it was pink and white (really!)...
now it looks like this....

I can hardly wait to hang it.
It's so big and loud, I'll bet you can hear it from miles away.

I also harvested handfuls of herbs to make a Tuscan rub for roasted chicken.

Into the food chopper went rosemary, oregano, thyme, Kosher salt, pepper,
dried hot peppers, lemon zest, and garlic.

Then I rubbed this on the outer skin of a whole chicken (with backbone removed)...
and into the oven it went.

Yum....local chicken with homegrown herbs....roasted over top of assorted root veggies.
it's what's for dinner!

Hope your day is fog and gnat free!
Happy October 1st!


  1. What happened to the mosquito net hat? those gnats would drive me nuts! i can't wait to see where you hang the bell. what a find! thank heavens for barn kitties.

    1. I know.....I went without the hat and mosquito net trying to avoid "hat hair"!!! Geesh...can't win!

  2. Love those buttons! TerriC

  3. What a fabulous idea--the buttons!
    I will trade you our mosquitos for your gnats. What do you say? :)

  4. Your kitties need to find a new gift shop..Yuk!! Glad they're earning their keep..Don't you just love the dew in the spider webs??Yup !! A day with out gnats....just doesn't winter!! Love your button idea..Just from my experience with the wreath I have made from similar wood pieces..The bark comes off pretty readily. Good job with the bell.Way better than pink and white !! Chicken looks great..Mollie wants hers like that now..Happy October!!

  5. yummy recipe will try it shortly.

    We have mice in our basement we also had a cat who would give us gifts like yours do. Now that he has passed away a snake moved in to the great delight of the grandchildren (Not mine) as they find shed skin, who moves in in the winter to take care of these pesky mice, I only ask it stays down there!!!!

    Annie v.

  6. LOL love those gifts from our farm kittens as well. With my eyes I have to be careful I don't step on them..ugh!! WOW....a rat..we have never gotten that gift yet..I am impressed with your gift..!!! That should keep the rest of them away. We also have had the fog but the days have been amazing along with the leaves that are just out of this world in colour. Happy Oct. not sure how we got to fall so fast. Judi b.

  7. An American in TokyoOctober 1, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Oh YUM!! I sure miss roasting chicken (the ovens here are too small and they rarely sell whole chickens anyways). Your chicken rub sounds so delicious!! =)

  8. Well now I have to go find something to eat... YUM! This chicken looks wonderful!
    Your bell is magnificent! Wooden buttons... I love it.
    Thank you for sharing such enjoyable photos .

  9. Great idea with the buttons! I'm guessing the neck warmers are hand washable, so with the varnish on the wood they should hold up nicely.

  10. What a lovely garden. I never tire of seeing your photos of it. Looks like you had quite a productive day! Enjoy!

  11. I love those buttons!!! The chicken looks delish, still produce from the garden and cats that earn their is good! where are you going to hang that awesome bell?


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