When I’m not quilting…

Well, creating a website has kept me from quilting, but what a wonderful feeling to be nearing the end of the foundational work. It’s amazing to have all the pieces able to be viewed in one place. There are still a few pieces I haven’t included, and the scrappy log cabin I kept must certainly be added! I’ll get to that.

Chores. When teaching, I was in the barn by 5:15 am Mon-Fri, and slept in until 6:15 am on weekends. Every year, a few days before school started, I’d time how long it took to do morning chores, and set my alarm accordingly. It rarely went off after September. Now I’m in the barn by 6:30 am. Maybe a later time will happen as I experience more weeks and months of retirement, but it’s a natural cycle right now. Morning chores takes about 45 minutes.




The four miniature horses.



The new chicks have (finally) joined the four older hens. I’ve spent a lot of time in the coop, silo room and run making sure all went smoothly. It did! Then I worry a chick may investigate an egg laid by an older girl, and find it delicious, share the news, and I could have egg eaters on my hands. So, one more curtain needs to be added to a nest box. And having 10 chickens makes for more morning clean-up, water changes, and food dishes. Around 3:00 I let the older girls out to free range. They are ready to go in around 7:45 right now. The horses get tucked in around 7:30-8:00, so the hens are usually waiting for me in the barn, or right outside the door scratching for a few more tasty morsels before roosting.


6 weeks here.


We are down to four older hens.

The horses are stalled all night, and are out in the pastures, or one of three run-ins areas, all day. They get hay in the morning, and a snack of hay in the early afternoon. BR (before retirement) they had to wait until I got home at 4:00. Hay bags were used then, so they’d eat slowly. I’m happy to not have to fill those nightly now. Bugs love to bug horses, so fly masks, leg wraps, and spray (natural–oils) need to be added. Velcro holds well, but it’s a lot of noise to get everything off.


Eating from three of the five nets.


Heidi suggests to Mazie that if she ate the flies, no mask would be needed.

We have an 18 year old barn cat, Snickers. She has just started showing her age. She has always been fed dry food in the barn, but now she gets canned food up on the porch. She won’t come inside the house, even invited. She asks for food at least three times a day, and I oblige. She eats well! I’m grateful.



Buddy, our dog, is 10 years old. He’s easy. Some glucosamine pills were started for some stiffness, but he stopped appreciating their liver flavor; now he needs a dab of peanut butter on each. The tablets have noticeably helped him! Buddy and I walk the country lanes behind our house many times a week. It’s 2.5 miles I walk/run. He’s a great pal to have along.

Gardening. We planted more wildflower beds this year; they make me so happy. It’s a challenge to capture their whimsical beauty with a camera. I try. My husband plants a medium sized veggie garden, so produce needs to be picked. The cherry tomatoes are calling for attention now.

Photography. I love taking photos of what’s here, trying to capture scenes.


Spicebush Swallowtail


Shadow effect, just like with quilting.

Grand girls! Our two grands, ages 5 and 7, live just 10 minutes away. We see them most every weekend during school, and try to fit in more visits on breaks. Their ages make it so much fun; they love to sing in the microphone while Grandpa strums, learn to lead horses with Grandma, have a few sewing lessons, watch the chickens to practice being invisible so they come right up to us, and play with all of Aunt Rachel’s American Girl stuff. Last time they stayed over they woke in time to help with morning chores! That was amazing. There’s is never a dull moment.

Kayaking. We live in the middle of the Finger Lakes. I love to kayak, alone, on four lakes nearby. Hemlock is my absolute favorite. It’s not a social event for me, I don’t want to talk. I want to paddle. The season starts with an hour paddle, then moves to 2 hour paddles quickly. I try to get in a few 3 hour paddles before reaching the goal to kayak to the end of Hemlock and back, a 4 hour adventure. Once that has been checked off, I return to 2-3 hours out, and I’m more willing to take a friend. Chuckle.


Hemlock Lake

Quilting has always been what I steal moments for. I’m still adjusting to not having to trim summer days to get my classroom ready for new students. And when there are sunny days, I just want to be outside. So, as the days grow shorter, I’ll find myself in the studio more often.

Except, a Golden Retriever puppy is joining us the end of September. Oh boy.

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