Monthly Archives: February 2017

What’s NOT to love about a Feed and Seed Store?

It’s Monday morning and I will spend the day at my computer. I have work of every variety to take care of today: blog, legal, business, school, farm. I’m feeling a little drained right now, having a hard time getting started. Do I even have anything to write about today that any one would want to read??? My creativity has been on the low side lately. But I’ve got a cup of coffee, a bowl of yogurt and granola, and a cat in my lap, so I guess I’m ready to roll.

Here’s the cat that’s visiting my lap at the moment, Jude. Funny cat likes to stretch out his front legs. I’m always finding him in this odd position. I’ve never had a cat that likes to stretch out like that.

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My husband walks by and says, “What in the world are you putting on there?”

“What? What do you mean? It’s a photo of Jude.”

He puts on his glasses, looks again, and starts laughing. “It looked like someone’s legs in white shoes and white underwear.” He’s still laughing. I’m like, what are you talking about?

And then he shows me.


Ha Ha Ha! It does, doesn’t it!

Anyway, I think since I recovered from not being able to get out and about, all I want to do is get out. My mind is not focused on writing or this computer. At the moment, I’m not only thinking about how my cat’s markings look like tidy-white-y’s and white socks, but now I’m thinking about going to see the horses in the barn, plowing the garden, building a pavilion, taking a hike by the mountain stream, visiting with neighbors, feeding the chickens…Oh, the chickens!

I was supposed to run to the local feed and seed store this morning after I dropped my daughter off at school to pick up some chicken feed! I forgot! I love to go to that farm store when I’m not in a hurry. And. Just. Visit. Um. Hmmm. You want to go now? Okay!

What high fashion should I rock today? Yeah, sure, I think you’re right. My warm flannel-lined camouflage work pants and pink plaid flannel shirt. And my barn work shoes. Perfect!

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My feed and seed store is jam-packed with everything you could possibly need or want for farm living. It is situated way out in the country, with a yard full of pipes and drains and metal storage buildings full of water heaters and wood stove inserts and everything else.

We’ve arrived!

Here’s one of the metal storage buildings I mentioned. Look at all those wooden barrels!


This is outside where you park, before you walk in. Do you need a lime green manure rake? Or an orange one? I sure do!


Here we are right inside the front door.


Snow sleds and shovels! We haven’t had much need of these this winter.

There are probably five aisles with this type of stuff, hardware, plumbing, electric, whatever else.


And what about these awesome metal funnels? This is a store where everything’s not made of plastic. I love that!


Ah….Be still my heart, the garden section!


Overalls, pots, rubber boots!

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And this! When’s the last time you saw a mess kit for sale? I love this store!


And check out these bottles and pottery.


Yee! They’ve gotten in some seeds already!


I don’t know…what do you think? Should I???? Grow Snake Gourds?


My favorite chicken water-er ever is there on the left. I have two. Got them from here!


Check out this shelf. It has it all. I direct your attention to the right upper shelf, a certain popcorn popper. That will be relevant shortly.


And I always see stuff like this that I have no idea what it is.


The people here are unbelievable. Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, nice. There’s always a crowd and lots of chit-chat. This morning, folks are talking about one of their favorite subjects, the weather. This winter has been incredibly mild. We had a couple of snows, but none were deep. And the temperature always warmed back up the next day and melted the snow. I still have a barn full of hay because the pastures have stayed green. That is very unusual for this area. Usually, by now, we’re all asking around to see who has extra hay left in case we run out.

The consensus here is that winter is still coming. “We’ve had our biggest snows in March,” an older gentleman says. “Remember ’93?” And they talk about a big snow they had in late March that year. It sounds like a doozy; one I’d love to experience myself! I tell them about the year we had “Snow Jam” in Atlanta when we all got stuck in our cars and what ensued was a big party. Big. Party. Big, gigantic party. I think it was ’82?

Another conversation started up when a man I don’t know walked in and started talking about hunting on Sunday. This is a big deal to the hunters. Local officials were considering banning Sunday hunting. When I grew up in the South, you couldn’t do anything on Sunday. Well, except go to church. Most of those laws have been changed. But recently, the issue of a ban on hunting on Sunday arose in our community. It was not well received. There is a great deal of hunting around here. During deer season, we hear gun shots frequently. Being an animal lover, it used to bother me. Not so much anymore. I’ve come to understand that people enjoy deer meat, that deer meat is incredibly natural and organic, not filled with steroids and antibiotics of farmed meat. And, the animals live a wild, wonderful life until the end, unlike our farmed animals who spend time in feedlots and are stressed before they die. Hunters around here also hunt for hungry people, sharing their meat. I have also come to understand that our lands would be overrun with deer if it were not for hunters; there would be more car accidents involving them. So, four years when we moved here I might have said, “Oh, poor precious beautiful deer. I hate to hear the shots: constant reminders that another lovely animal has been killed. Yes, ban hunting on Sunday.” Now, I just smile and listen.

One man talks about a huge deer he shot and processed. He found an old bullet in him—it wasn’t his bullet, it was someone else’s. He pulled the old bullet out of his pocket and showed us. (The story sounded familiar, I think I’ve heard it somewhere before.) Anyway, it’s a big discussion, about how this deer was shot at some point and lived with a bullet inside him. There was a lot of talk about this bullet and this deer. Hypotheses galore made for pure entertainment.

No one is in a hurry here.

I mention my problems with mice in my chicken house. The woman who owns the store shows me just what I need. A mouse poison holder that the chickens can’t get inside. Yes, that is just what I need. I hate the idea of poisoning mice, but I have become overrun. And I don’t think it is healthy for my chickens. I buy the poison I need and the poison holder.

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And then she had another idea, “Put some water in a 5 gallon bucket and put it in there at night. You’ll have a bucket full of drowned mice in the morning.” Really? Okay, I’m trying that!

What about the snakes living in the walls? A man offered, “Get rid of the mice and you’ll get rid of the snakes.”

I’m down for that. I can’t even imagine a chicken house without mice and snakes. The stuff that dreams are made of!

Speaking of chickens.

In sad news, one of my chickens has died. Polly, the Polish. She had so many feathers on her head that she couldn’t see. She’ll fly down from her roost right into me. It’s never easy. My husband was out of town when I found her. She died during the night. I located a pretty pink shoe box and wrapped her up in a kitchen towel that had Pooh Bear on it. I dug the hole as deep as I could and provided her with a private burial ceremony. It was just me and her. Her friends were close-by though. My chicken cemetery is under the old apple tree beside the chicken run. So the rooster and other hens saw and heard the whole thing.

And now, my lullaby song changed. I don’t count to 14 anymore when I put up the chickens, just 13. We came in late from a concert Saturday night and I went in to sing to them. I had forgotten. I looked all over for number 14 until I remembered. I’ll have to get used to the new number.


Polly the Polish Hen

April 2013 – February 2017

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Now I’ll share my drive back home with you. I drive by some fantastic old buildings. I am told this one was a cheese factory.


And this one was built during the Civil War era.


The road I drive down has several areas that you just feel like you are driving through a junk yard.


I like old, junky cars as much as the next guy, but I don’t like them right on the side of the road. These folks keep theirs on both sides of the road, not sure why.

Here’s a nice old barn and old building. One reason I like this drive is because it takes you back in time.


A sweet, simple, clapboard church.


I see how long this post is and laugh. I sure had a lot to say for someone who had nothing to say at the beginning!

Do you have a favorite local feed and seed, country, or farm store? Tell us about it!

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah

PS I should show you where I decided to write once I got home from the farm store. My word for 2017 is “outside.” I didn’t pick it; it picked me. Sooooooo. I popped some popcorn—(remember that box I pointed out to you on the shelf? That popper is terrific. I used to eat those little bags of microwave popcorn, but they have a lot of gunk in the ingredients. This pops kernels pure and plain. My favorite snack these days.)—, put on the kettle for tea, and built a campfire in the yard.


My senses are alive out here. I hear birdsong in the black walnut trees, I hear frogs chirping like ducks in the pond, I hear crows cawing and yapping close-by,


I hear the mournful wail of a cow, a mother or a baby? I hear a woodpecker in the distance, and the gentle roar of a tractor somewhere in this farming valley. I also hear the heater running on this side of my old farmhouse.

I smell the aroma of wood smoke and I do indeed smell the bite of cold winter air in the breeze. (yay! fingers crossed.)

I see beauty all around me. I see my old wash house that I turned into my office.

IMG_3493I see my dog, Strudel, wagging her tail and being her usual chipper self.


I see the green shoots of day lilies just emerging from the earth.


I see the steeple of the local church. It’s Monday morning and their parking lot has plenty of cars. I wonder why there are gathering this morning? I see black cows on a green hilly pasture in the distance.


I see Christmas trees to be harvested in future years and Christmas tree stumps from this past Christmas.

I see Mr. Mustache inside my window. FullSizeRender (41)

He is SO not a feral cat any more!

I’m trying to recall all five of my senses, hear, see, smell. Oh, taste! How could I foget taste??? I taste the citrusy flavor of my cup of Matcha green tea and the earthy flavor of plain, air-popped popcorn. I hope to taste a piece of my Valentine’s Day chocolate in a little while. :)

And feel. Yes, feel. Touch. I’m not wearing gloves, so I can type on the computer, so my fingers feel very cold and so does my face, especially my nose. I hold my hands up to the campfire and feel the warmth. I guess I need to go inside and get a hat and maybe some gloves since I’m at the end of this blog post… Continue reading

Fairy Gardens in February? Why Not?



Me and Gretchen ( the fairy garden maven)

Deep within the winter forest among the snowdrift wide
You can find a magic place where all the fairies hide….
~Author Unknown

Dear Sisters,

Howdy from the shorelines! Are you counting the days till spring too? February may be the shortest month of the year, but in New England it feels like the longest of them all. Anything can happen weather wise. It’s been a steady diet of blizzards, nor’ easter’s ( we’ve had three so far) sleet and snow, freezing wind and pouring rain with the odd spring-like temperatures which we’re having now. We get it all in February. I’m finally beginning to understand why the snowbirds migrate south this time of year. But since I’m not quite there yet I’ve got to keep my farmgirl spirit juiced up and think of things to do to pass the time in a creative and positive way so the crabbiness doesn’t get too out of hand. So when my manager at the garden shop where I work asked if I’d like to give a Fairy Garden talk for the local Plymouth Garden Club February meeting, I said, ” of course, but only if Gretchen does it with me”! Continue reading

Mmmm, Altitude

Happy February Farmgirl friends!  I hope you all had a lovely “Love Day” as Ava calls it.  We’ve been plastering hearts on things for awhile now in anticipation of the holiday, but I’m afraid it passed without much fanfare.  Heart-shaped pancakes are very good though!

Opal having a blast at Ava's birthday party!

Opal having a blast at Ava’s birthday party!

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The Latest News From The Farm!

It’s a cold and dreary evening here on my Tennessee hilltop and I’m in the mood to share  a story!  Grab your cup of coffee (I’ve got mine!) and sit down for a story that will warm your heart.



My daughter’s old Farmhouse


So… I’ve mentioned before that my daughter and her husband and their two little girls lived in an 80 year old darling farmhouse that they purchased back in 2010.  They had taken one room at a time and basically gutted and redid the entire house.  They had a vision to take it back to all the original bead board walls and ceilings, which meant removing wall paper, wall board, and cardboard ceiling tiles. They also added a second bathroom upstairs into the attic area of the house.  All the renovations took them years and a lot of labor.  Following are some of the “after” pictures of their lovely farmhouse.  (Stay with me.  I promise this story is leading somewhere!)

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Farmgirl Roadtrip: New York City and A Knitter’s Paradise


Knitting to me is more than a “hobby”. It’s a lifestyle. I have knitted and crocheted for decades, teaching classes in the art for over ten years. I love all things “crafty”, but knitting’s more than your average craft. It’s a passion. Recently, I visited a place that is truly a “Knitter’s Heaven”! Head with me to the Big Apple…

Oh the potential of yarn!

Oh the potential of yarn!

I’ve taught knitting to everyone from age six to sixty-plus. I love that it’s universal – spanning age, location, taste, and time. One can make a quick project or work on something for years, keep it simple or make something fancy. Knitting keeps the hands busy and the mind relaxed. Knitting is “Zen” – it’s been proven that knitting is meditative, aids in keeping the mind sharp, reduces anxiety, and helps with circulation and arthritis. I always say it is my “yoga”.

From chihuahua sweaters...

From dog sweaters… clothes...

…kids clothes…

to felted hats...

…felted hats…




…”people” sweaters…

















to dishcloths! I love to knit it all!

to dishcloths! I love to knit it all!

My best friend started as one of my knitting students, and for the past several years has told me about “Vogue Knitting Live”, a huge event, occurring in nearby New York City in January. This was the first year I was able to go, and I couldn’t wait! We met very early on Saturday morning, and Andrea, Loretta, and I headed for the train out of Brewster, NY. Waiting for the metro to arrive, we chatted with some other ladies; we knew by their hand knit scarves, gloves and bags they must be headed the same place.

When you're in Grand Central Station, look up!

When you’re in Grand Central Station, look up!

I haven’t been to Grand Central Station in many years, but the experience is the same: it looks just out of a movie with bustling people from different walks of life all hurrying about. The building is bursting with amazing architecture. The high ceilings are works of art, the brass work framing everything, including the old radiators in the floor, is beautiful, the old clock…it is like a museum in itself!


We then walked the few blocks down to the Marriott Hotel where the convention was taking place.


Once through the doors, Vogue Knitting Live was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Several floors were dedicated to the event. While there were classes, we were there for one day, and only going to see the Marketplace (which you don’t even have to be a knitter to enjoy)!

We saw more yarn, needles, and project ideas than one could imagine! Hundreds of booths were filled to the top – brimming with creativity galore! From the latest trends to the most classic styles, there was something for everyone. I loved seeing all ages – from young hipsters to grandmothers in classic cardigans and pearls – all coming together with a single love – knitting. We met women (and men)  from all over  the world. Hello to the ladies from Delaware we ate lunch with!

We marveled at life-size 3D storybook characters created by Lion Brand Yarn – all knitted! This wasn’t just knitting – this was art. The creations were phenomenal!


Yes, this is made from yarn!

Yes, this is made from yarn!

The artists work was unbelievable!

The knitted artwork was unbelievable!

One artist I met and adore is London Kaye. She herself is beautiful and graceful,  but her creations from yarn are AMAZING! She is a yarn-bombing street and commercial artist, who is just brilliant! Check out her work here.

Artist London Kaye and her amazing creations!

Artist London Kaye and her amazing creations!

We watched live runway fashion shows, checked out new trends, and, of course, bought yarn.


Andrea fell in love with a dress she saw, and while she was trying it on, I found a yarn I had. to. have. There was a sample scarf nearby that was stunning! This yarn is different colors, textures and fibers all on one skein (that makes one scarf). It was also the most expensive skein of yarn I’ve ever purchased – my splurge. They only had one left , and a quick worry passed as I noticed one end looked a bit frayed.

Worry was right! At the winding station, my yarn tangled. The more we tried to fix it, the worst it got. The line behind me was growing longer by the minute, as I grew more nervous.  I have patience to fix almost any knitting project. I can repair or back-track anything, but when it comes to untangling a big ball of snarled yarn I can’t cope! There are those whose “zen” is untangling yarn, and can sit for hours fixing a web of messy snarls. I’d rather have my teeth drilled. I started to sweat. I started to panic. I might have been about to cry. Realizing we were not going anywhere with this yarn, we carefully stepped aside to try to wind it by hand – with the snarled skein wrapped about Andrea’s outstretched arms. Just as I was about to give up, a gentle voice behind me said, “Let me help”. A stranger swooped in…a “yarn angel” . She started winding and untangling.

My "yarn angel", Marisol

My “yarn angel”, Marisol

This sweet lady not only got the yarn past the worst snarls, but proceeded to wind the whole thing, taking close to an hour! Marisol, who learned to knit as a child in the Dominican Republic when Home Economics was required, picked up knitting and crocheting for the school credit because she didn’t like to cook! Years later, she still knits (as does her grown son who learned by watching his mom), and is in a knitting group that meets in Staten Island, where she often helps others with tangled yarn. “It’s relaxing”, she says. Marisol, THANK YOU for your random act of kindness! Marisol reminded me of the kindness of strangers, inspiring me to pass kindness on. Whenever I wear my scarf made from that yarn, I will think of you!

After a very long, very fun day, we ate the best Greek food I’ve ever had at Uncle Nick’s in Hell’s Kitchen, and headed for the train ride home, bags of goodies in tow. Vogue Knitting Live will be in Las Vegas this March. I can’t wait to go to New York’s event again. Check their website to find all about Vogue Knitting Live.

My biggest problem now is deciding what to finish and what to start! It is a knitter’s dilemma – so much yarn, so little time!

What’s on your needles?


Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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