Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pileated Woodpeckers

I heard their familiar call first. Their comical dance in the tree tops then caught my eye. They let me get very close so as to observe their brunching in the apple tree. They teased each other and giggled like love struck school kids. When the one was finished, he swooped down and away from the tree, nearly colliding with my head, shouting a loud "kik~kik~kikkik" as he went. The other finished the apple she was eating and proceeded to another. When she had finished sampling yet another apple or two, she quietly flew in the opposite direction and into the forest. They will be back as is their fall and winter habit to visit The Orchard for a fruity meal now and again. I will be looking forward to their next occasion to dine with us.

"He has brought me to His banquet hall and His banner over me is love. Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples..." Song of Solomon 2:4&5

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Walk

My walk takes me down that comfortable old country lane, the gravel crunching beneath my feet. I am greeted by a multitude of tiny birds who scatter as I interrupt their choir in the hedgerow. The wild roses reach out to me offering their ornaments of ruby hips as vicissitude for their now forgotten blooms. As I pass a neighboring farm, a chattering company of geese voice their displeasure at my appearing. I swiftly give my apologies and press on toward my goal.

The lane opens onto a narrow roadway at which I must make a decision. Shall I turn to the right and follow in the familiar footsteps of my previous wanderings, or venture forth on a less amicable march to the left? I choose the latter.

My feet become a metronome as they pound out a new tempo on this smooth uninterrupted foundation. I traverse past overgrown fields and a gurgling stream as it trips and splashes merrily on its journey to the bay. A hillock rises up before me; it's trees, robed in resplendent glory, beckon me forth with their rich colors of gold, copper and scarlet. My step begins to slacken as I accept the challenge and the rhythm in my chest beats more loudly, my breathing becomes laboured. I am like the determined caterpillar who inches along before me, drawn to that unknown time and place. My ascent is joined by the momentary rustling of leaves in the ditch beside the way. Then all is silent, he has turned another way. Scattered here and there are the faces of the few remaining wildflowers untouched by the early autumn frost. Sunny yellow buttercup, lavender hued clover and others wave their goodbyes with the promise of return come spring. A dog barks in the distance and is answered only by his echo. The soft swishing of wings and honking of geese overhead remind me of the season and the awaited reprieve about to make her entrance.

As I attain the crown of the hill, I am rewarded with the sociable nickering of a grazing mare. She nods her approval at my approach and then retreats to her pleasant repast. My pulse and my gait return to that familiar meter, placing one foot in front of the other. The hearth of a nearby home conveys it's smoke in lazy drifts heavenward, like the prayers of a drowsy child. I,too, am growing tired but thankful. Only a little further now.

The air becomes still as the light begins to fade. I feel a sense of urgency as I anticipate that familiar, gentle voice I have longed to hear this day. My pace quickens yet again as I step nearer to the horizon. It is then that I see him. He is awaiting me~he bids me come. Without hesitation I reach out and take his outstretched hand. He whispers that he has been waiting for me and he leads me safely home.

"Walk in the manor worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory." I Thess. 2:12

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Please Pray

Tomorrow he leaves for Iraq. His wife of one year will be alone. I am afraid for them both. Our country needs your prayers. Please pray.

"Therefore...pray for one another....The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This is for the Birds!

"Didn't I just fill those?" That's what I say everytime I fill the five birdfeeders hanging from various places on the house and from the trees in the apple orchard. Paying for the 15+ pounds of songbird food a week is a little tough for me to swallow, though the birds certainly aren't having any difficulties! But it is worth it, really, to watch their merry antics as they dart to and fro from feeder to tree and back again. Cheap entertainment is their chirping, dancing on the breezes and filling the air with song, compared to satelite t.v., internet service or the movies. And I benefit in the long run by having them gobble up those nasty insects in the vegetable and flower gardens come spring and summer.
So, today I will start recording the different varieties that I see from my window. So far, I have already seen crows, seagulls, Bald Eagles, flickers,doves, chicadees, juncos and Steller's Jays.
"Hey! Stop being so greedy, you! I just filled those!"
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"
Matthew 6:26

Friday, October 17, 2008

***Breaking News***

  • The girls have all stopped laying! Not one egg is to be found in the nests of the Happy Hens Haus. The tell-tale signs of cast off plumage indicate a prevailing epidemic of "molt".

  • The Gentleman Farmer takes up arms in the pursuit of that elusive ruminant The Three Point Buck! He was last seen tracking the furtive animal in the direction of The Woods!

  • Killed during a recent rash of late night frost, the Dancing Dahlias will be lifted from whence they fell, and be laid to rest in peaceful beds of sawdust in The Barn until spring when they will once again return to their former abode in The Gardens to entertain all who may gaze upon their graceful frolicing.

  • The new arrival of Amelia Wren to the Howard family of Japan , in early October, was welcomed by friends and family worldwide. ( To read more please visit http://www.theadventuresofbabyroo.blogspot.com/ )

  • THIS DAY IN HISTORY! One hundred years ago today here at Cove Cottage Farm, absolutely nothing happened!

"How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and say to Zion,"Your God reigns."" Isaiah 52:7

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Scripture Cake

I didn't plan to write another post with a recipe so soon, but while reading "Mrs. Sharp's Traditions" I was reminded of this old timer. 'Tis more of a game, really. Dust off that King James Bible and join the challenge, won't you?

1 c. Psalms 55:21

1 c. Jeremiah 6:20

3 Jeremiah 17:11

1 T. I Samuel 14:25

1/2 c. Judges 4:19

2 1/4 c. Leviticus 6:15

1 T. Amos 4:5

2 t. II Cronicles 9:9

A pinch Leviticus 2:13

1 1/2 c. I Samuel 30:12

1 c. Numbers 13:23

1/2 c. Numbers 17:8

Blend together and follow King Solomon's advice for rearing a well-behaved child Proverbs 23:14

I will give you a day or two to play along, and then give the directions ( and ingredients ) to the cake on a later post. Happy Hunting!

"Therefore, I tell you, don't be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor for your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food, and the body more than clothing? See the birds of the sky, that they don't sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you of much more value than they?" Matthew 6:25,26

Friday, October 10, 2008


I baked some of these today as a belated birthday gift for our son-in-law. This is an old German recipe from my Grandmother, except she called them Sugar and Spice Cookies. Both of my girls baked these for the fellows who came callin' on them. I guess it worked because they are both now married! :~}
Mix together;
3/4 c. soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
Sift together and gradually add to the butter/sugar mixture;
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons soda
3/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of allspice
Mix thoroughly. Form into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. ( I use a Pampered Chef stone and don't grease it.) Bake 350* for 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet slightly then remove to cooling racks.
Enjoy with a steaming cup of spiced cider!
"Taste and see that the Lord is good " Psalm 34:8

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


October is the "opal month,"

the jewel of the year.

Now flaming sunsets, skies so blue,

and gorgeous leaves appear.

The tints and shades of color bright,

all red and gold and green,

And loaded wagons from the farms

with yellow corn are seen.

The Master's hand is shown this month

in colors rich and rare;

No painter ever vied with Him;

none with Him can compare.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Poem taken from The Finch First Reader by Adelaide Victoria Finch

Monday, October 6, 2008

Apple Cider Pressing

Does anything say "Fall" like crisp foggy mornings, falling leaves of gold and scarlet, and the first sweet taste of just pressed apple cider?

To make cider, you must have a cider press, a variety of sweet and tart apples (a few pears for added flavor), bottles to capture your efforts, and plenty of willing friends to turn the flywheel. Grinding takes effort and strong arms and back but "many hands make light work".

Saturday found the Lady and Gentleman Farmer gathering many varieties of apples on the Farm. We then hurried off to a friends home with our bounty at the invitation for our annual cider pressing party. The apples were washed with clear, cold water, sorted into baskets containing the many varieties, slowly dropped into the hopper of the press and chopped, the juicy bits raining down into the basket below. You then shake down the bits so it can be filled to the top and when it is full, move the basket down under the press. Then the press is turned and the sweet, amber liquid begins to flow, gently at first but then rushes down to the pan (or into eagerly awaiting glasses to be filled with that golden ambrosia. Be prepared to be kissed by Autumn!)

Our return for our efforts was greatly rewarded with many gallons to be "put back" ( in the freezer) for future days.

When the cold wind blows and the rain drenches the land, The Lady and Gentleman Farmers can sit back and enjoy a cozy fire, a good book and a steaming cup of hot, pure apple cider.

"Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38

"Keep me as the apple of the eye..." Psalms 17:8

"Prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest." Proverbs 6:8

"...my cup runneth over." Psalm 23:5

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Beginning

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi

But I will use these as my catagories

Do = Doe a deer, a female deer
(This catagory will involve deer and all the other animals that live on and about The Farm.)

Re = Ray, a drop of golden sun
(This catagory will be about the seasons and goings on that take place here on The Farm during each one.)

Mi = Me, a name I call myself
(Here is a catagory about my ponderings, friends and family.)

Fa = Far, a long, long way to run.
(This catagory is for travels and adventures.)

S0 = Sew, a needle pulling thread
(This catagory will feature any sewing, needlework or crafts I am currently attempting.)

La = La, a note to follow So
(Miscellanea, perhaps the most often used catagory!)

Ti = Tea, a drink with jam and bread
(Here is a catagory for recipes, baking, canning.)
And that will bring us back to...

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1