Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Week At The Farm

Hello dear friends!  Merry Christmas to everyone that is celebrating the spirit of the season!

Today is Boxing Day which traditionally is the day when those that are blessed with plenty "box up" extra food and clothing to distribute to those that are less fortunate.  The reality is that nowadays Boxing Day is the day in which many brave the insanity at malls and big box stores to take advantage of bargains.  Dear friends I can assure you that there is nothing that I need or want so much that I would venture anywhere near a mall!  Today we are expecting guests for dinner so I am puttering around the house and as we have stopped for a cup of coffee I thought I would share some random photos from the last week.

I am going to need to spend some time working on night photography.  This is a view of the side of our old stone farmhouse taken one evening on my way back from locking up the chickens with my trusty assist Abby The German Shepherd.

While I was there I popped into the barn to check on our new lambs.

I am told that there are 11 lambs in the barn at the moment with 8 lambs born in the last couple of weeks.  We usually start lambing around Christmas with most of the lambs born during January and February.

A view of our house from the driveway.  The original stone house is on the right and our addition is on the left.  This view has our dining room on the main floor and a guest room above it.

This is a view towards the house from the farm gate.  We have a Christmas tree in the gazebo and lights running along the wooden fence.

Years ago big twig deer were very popular.  I always wanted one but for whatever reason never bought one.  I haven't seen them for sale anywhere but these wire deer are readily available.  This one was attractively priced just before Christmas so I snapped it up.  It has a fake fur muff!

The front of our house.  I took these pictures with my phone.  I really must take some time practicing night photography using my camera!

Another view from the area we call The Grove which is behind our house.

Another view from the driveway.  We call the area on the right the Portico entry and I hope that we can build a railing for the deck next year.  The illuminated area on the left is the deck that opens from our kitchen, and the area just visible above it is the balcony off the master bedroom.

This is my little project for this week!  This tall narrow tree is in our Portico entrance and I am going to decorate it in a woodland theme.  No reason to stop decorating!  Yesterday my mother and I were making some felt owls to decorate this tree and I will do more over the next few days.  I will share the update soon!

Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A Little Pre-Christmas dinner

Hello dear friends, this is a very busy time of year for us at the farm!  We are not alone, I know!  Last weekend we had the first of what seems like weekly dinners at the farm for family and friends.  My favourite part of the Chrisrmas season is getting together with friends to get caught up and enjoy some food and drink in our festively decorated farmhouse.

A few weeks ago I was shopping in town for a gift and came across this lovely snow globe.  It followed me home.

The outdoor Christmas tree situation has been complicated by a lack of extension cords.  The outdoor trees are up and decorated but only two of them are lit!  Today in a windstorm both trees on the front veranda blew over but fortunately did not break.  In a previous windstorm a few weeks ago one of the big trees on a different deck blew over and literally broke at the base.  No worries though as I have some instagram inspiration that will allow that tree to be reincarnated for next year!

This pretty little tree sits on our portico deck which is a little more sheltered.  The little deer next to it takes frequent tumbles in the wind.

I love this Home For The Holidays sign!

A view of this year's dining room mantlepiece decorated for Christmas.

The crystal decanters are standing by!  Some of these decanters came from my great grandmother.  I dont actually use any of them but like how they look.

Friends gave us this collection of ornaments with a gentle reference to the number of Christmas trees we put up every year.

The gazebo has its' usual tree.

This weekend we will be hosting our family Christmas dinner to accommodate the travel plans of my brother and his partner.  I will make some time on Sunday to put up the last two trees in our guest bedrooms and then I think I will be finished with the decorating for this year.  Now it will be time to relax and enjoy the warmth and coziness of the  holiday season!

~thank you for visiting!~

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A Kitten and Christmas

Hello dear friends, it has been a while!  December has already started and even though I feel that I have been trying to prepare for Christmas for the last month I dont have much to show for it.  Our Christmas this year is going to be rather low key as the house is still in a state of upheaval and we are getting tired of apologizing for how long it is taking to finish our projects.  So this year guests are restricted to kindred spirits-no judgy types allowed!

In the meantime we have as usual had distractions.  Please meet Henry!  An adorable kitten that was discovered in garden mulch by an Instagram neighbour.  After failing to find his owners and determining that he was not a good fit with three large dogs our IG friend put out a call for someone to take him off her hands.  Need I say more?

The little monster is absolutely adorable and received a clean bill of health at the vet this morning.  We have also confirmed that he has not been microchipped so he officially is now the youngest member of our family.

Moving on to the Christmas tree situation and the outlook is not quite so rosy.  Our living room tree is missing all of its' ornaments from the bottom 2 feet.  Both Henry and Horatio have taken a special liking to the Christmas tree and use it as a race track.  The burlap base has long since been flattened as have many of the branches.  Although the tree has swayed with cat activity it remains standing.  The tree is 7 feet tall and we hope is strong enough to withstand kitten gymnastics.  It does mean that any glass ornaments have been relocated to the Christmas tree in the dining room.

Isn't he cute?

I love this blue glass swan!

Here is a quick view of the pergola in the evening.  I hope you wont notice that we didnt manage to get the furniture put away.

And finally this was part of my trip to my office today.  The brief snow squall makes me feel quite Christmas-y although I do love the snow so much more when I dont need to drive in it!

My husband has confirmed that he has added to our collection of extension cords so I hope to have our outdoor lights working by Saturday evening.  In the meantime there is still much decorating to do.

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

An Early Start To Winter

Hello dear friends, 
What a difference in our weather!  I downloaded photos from the camera and went from happily blooming snaps surrounded by fall leaves to.....this!
Winter has started very early here at the farm.  We haven't even managed to complete fall clean up but now we have a light blanket of snow everywhere.  

I hope the end for these geraniums was quick and painless!

The same for the petunias and spike grass.

The echinops sead heads provide some interest in a winter garden.

The koi pond is going to need to be winterized.  The pumps will be disconnected and brought inside and this year we will be adding a small heater to prevent the water from completely freezing.  Last year was the first time some of our koi did not survive our winter.

This could be my new favourite statue.  Next year we will bury the ashes of two of our dear German Shepherds in this spot.

I love how the bullrushes look under the snow.

And I particularly love our gate!

The ferns are gracefully frozen in the pergola hanging planters.

We have some interesting plans for our portico entry next year!

The birds and squirrels will work on the frozen apples.

Rumour has it that there are still potatoes in the garden!

And the sheep and chickens will enjoy eating frozen pumpkins.

This snow puts us in the festive spirit!  This weekend my goal is to put up two very large Christmas trees-one in the living room and one in the dining room.  More to follow!

~Thank you for visiting~

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Thanksgiving Long Weekend at the Farm

 Hello dear friends, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends!

As always we like to take this week as a vacation week.  The gardens always need an end of season clean up and I often order my spring bulbs to be planted at this time of year.  Gardening friends I have been very disciplined this year (mostly disciplined this year!) and have not ordered any bulbs at all.  I really feel that I need to spend at least a year cleaning the gardens before rewarding myself with a new supply of luscious spring bulbs!

Our little garden privy is one of my favourite things to photograph.  The leaves are changing colour and we have a glorious show of yellows, golds, oranges and reds at the farm.

Sugar maples put on the most amazing fall display.  We have many mature sugar maples at the farm but we have never tapped them for syrup.  In the spring we see many of our neighbours tapping their trees.  Maple syrup is a lovely treat!

This is Millicent and she guards the stone staircase.  I love collecting statuary to scatter throughout the gardens.  We purchased all of our statues from a local shop which sadly closed down earlier this summer.

As we are at home we have been sending the sheep across the road for pasture during the day.  The sheep are excited to head across the road for several hours of grazing and then are excited to come back home again.

Abby is trying very had to be a good sheep herding dog.  She has a strong herding instinct but is still quite immature and makes "mistakes"...some days more than others!  Some shepherds refer to the desire to chase and nip as "flossing their teeth".  We find that Abby is the most focused if she is the only dog, when we bring Lucy along chaos generally ensues.

I keep watch for traffic while waiting for Abby to gather up the sheep.  The area that we live in is very rolling and although the posted speed limit on our section of road is only 50 kph many cars fly by at at a much higher rate of speed.  Luckily we dont have much traffic here.  The hills make it difficult to see oncoming cars and we definitely don't want any accidents.  This is a view of part of our property from the road.

A view towards the rear of the house from the end of our driveway,

This Annabelle hydrangea needs to be relocated to another area.  I have several varieties of hydrangeas at the farm but seem to only have success with this variety.  

We enjoyed a family Thanksgiving dinner here on Saturday and I received this stunning floral collection from my sister in law.  Thank you Cass!

This metal bird house has been perched at the top of our water fall garden for several years and has never attracted a bird.

On the other hand this acorn bird house has received a lot of interest and the log bird feeder is very popular every winter.  We fill the holes in the feeder with suet mixed with bird seeds.

Abby turned 2 years old yesterday!

Another one of my statues.  I have been meaning to move it to one of the gardens but here it is, several years later, sitting on our stone wall.

A view towards the south west.  We are fortunate to be surrounded by forests in all directions.

This is one of the sugar maples we had ordered from Maple Leaves Forever.  This organization works to promote the planting of native tree species.  The trees are sold as small saplings about 18-24" tall and are distributed through specialty nurseries.  These trees are now about 6 feet tall and we have had them about 5 years.  We planted them along a new driveway that we made when we had our addition built.

The annuals I had planted earlier this summer are thriving in the fall temperatures.  We have already has several frosts but the snaps, petunias and dahlias are all still doing very well.

Each year these large puff mushrooms appear in the same section of our lawn.

My little garden shed.

Our new fire pit with the sheep in the distance. So far we have only been able to enjoy it once but if the weather holds we might be able to enjoy a glass of wine around the fire once or twice more before we pack the furniture away.

The plants at the koi pond are starting to die back.  The water is getting cooler and the koi are starting to slow down.

It will soon be time to start loading up the bird feeders.  Hopefully the black squirrels that plagued us last year found another home!

A little patch of sunflowers in the garden.

A view of the back of our house.

Golden leaves.

We added succulents to our stone wall this year and will look forwarding to see them thriving in the crevices.

And finally some freshly baked bread to make sandwiches from our left over turkey and ham.

~Thank you for visiting!~