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May Update – lots of animals, some baking, and a bit of gardening

Posted by mrssmythe on May 24, 2020 in Baking, Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Garden, Pollinators |

It’s hard to feel isolated when you’re surrounded by animals. That’s one of the things that has helped our family during these past weeks of self-isolation. The pets keep us firmly set in our routines. They provide us with companionship. They entertain us. I’m beginning to view them less as dependents and more as contributors to our quality of life.

Which isn’t to say pet ownership isn’t without its drawbacks. We frequently chafe under all of the maintenance and care the animals require. But, I think for us, at least, the benefits outweigh the irritations.

With warmer weather here, it was time to give Kipper his annual cut. CPT A is getting faster, and, this year, we didn’t have to muzzle Kipper – instead, Ginger cajoled him into compliance with spoonfuls of peanut butter.

The backyard flock is down to four now. We lost another chicken to old age a couple of weeks ago. The flock seems strangely small, and we’ve ordered three ducks to round things out again. They’re due to arrive in June.

The turkey remains broody and has built a nest for herself on the other side of the back fence. She’s very protected and camouflaged. Ginger was the one who finally spotted her after seeing her hop the fence.

And, our first green frog appeared last week in the pond.

Followed by this toad who appeared on the chickens’ water.

We don’t see many toads, so this was a treat.

As to the cats, Mr. Wa seems to be growing more affectionate and friendly with age. In his younger years, he was much more aloof. These days, he wants to be involved in everything we do.

He finds Pepper’s craft projects especially intriguing.

And, happily, we’ve seen lots of bees this spring – both honey and bumble. Our apple tree should have a good crop.

I hope the bees will also visit the vegetable garden I put in on the south side of the house.

The girls teasingly said it looked like a graveyard, but I’m sure it will look a lot more garden-like once the plants start growing.

And, finally, a bit of baking. Ginger and CPT A went all out yesterday and made two batches of macrons.

If you’ve ever made these, you know how labor intensive they can be. But, the results were impressive, and I think they did a great job!

I hope you’re doing well and that you have plenty of interesting things to keep you busy these days. I hope, too, that your weather has improved as much as ours has. I find it’s so much easier to be cheerful when the weather is nice.

From the dining room table, getting ready to eat another one of those macrons before they’re all gone,

Mrs. Smythe

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More Snow, a Dog’s Haircut, and Too Much Baking

Posted by mrssmythe on April 25, 2020 in Baking, Critters, Seasons, Week in Review |

Spring continues to prove elusive here in western Massachusetts. We’ve had snow twice since my last post. Granted, the second time, it was simultaneously sunny. So strange. I refuse to be put off from yard work, though. Tired of waiting for warmer weather, I finally just bundled up and went outside to putter in the […]

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New Yard Visitors and a Traveling Turkey

Posted by mrssmythe on April 13, 2020 in Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Insects, On the Home Front, Pollinators, Seasons, Week in Review |

Things continue to wake up in the yard and in the neighborhood. These days, the corn we put out for the chickens draws a wide range of visitors – from chipmunks and birds to squirrels and, most recently, a rabbit. Meanwhile, the azalea in the front yard – one of the few things blooming – […]

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What’s Growing – in the yard and in the kitchen

Posted by mrssmythe on April 7, 2020 in Mrs. Smythe |

The Glory-of-the-Snow has appeared. I think rather than Glory-of-the-Snow, though, it should be called “glory-of-the-leaves” – at least in our yard. So many leaves! The weather was nice enough yesterday that I was able to do some clearing of the front flower beds. But there are still plenty of leaves left. Here in New England […]


Chickens, Baking, and a Bit Too Much Knitting

Posted by mrssmythe on March 27, 2020 in Baking, Chickens, Cooking, Crafting, Critters, Garden, Week in Review |

Things have been a bit more relaxed around here of late. The other day, I caught Ginger with the chickens in our mud room. Chickens in the house! Actually, I read somewhere that some colonists did keep chickens in their homes. And, as fun as the sounds, it would be messy. Thankfully, Ginger shooed the […]

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