Friday, December 31, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

I leave you at the end of this year with the beautiful words written in lyric by the late Sandy Denny.  I find they are fitting words....

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it's time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time

For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all.........

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The witch, the wardrobe, minus the lion.....

Night has fallen thickly tonight around the homestead and without the light of the full moon it feels almost like a foreign land.

I stand alone in the darkness listening to the sublime quiet of the evening. I breathe deep the cold, crisp winter air. No hint of snow as I smell. Are you one of the lucky ones who can smell the weather? the dense, humid air of winter and the possibility of precipitation?

I love the inner intuition and the lore that is stored somewhere deep in my subconscious, coming from unknown sources, but, knowing it is there, at the ready for my body to perceive. Sometimes it's a smell, sometimes it's a feeling that my body automatically tunes into. It's something that can't be readily explained - you just know.

A fox barks at the edge of the meadow and I smile as I listen to it call for a mate. No worries tonight for the hens as for they are locked securely in their little coop, snuggled together for a night of sweet chicken dreams. Perhaps they are dreaming of fresh, green grass and cracked corn?

Moments pass as I stand in the dark - in awe and a slight fear of not having sight to see deep into the meadow. I let my imagination take over my psyche for just a few seconds and in less than a blink of an eye, I relax and feel a familiar warmth - the warmth of being home, with my feet planted firmly on a piece of ground being lent to me by a much larger force. The longer I stay connected to this piece of earth, the more relaxed I become. I feel an energy that is inexplicable to the human mind and I embrace this unknown force. It's the energy I felt the moment I set foot upon this land.

Welcome to Narnia....where the only thing missing is the lion.....

*Our little plot of ground is legally registered as Narnia-little did we know when we bought it, but, it sure explains a lot*

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

From our humble homestead to yours....

We wish you a very Happy Christmas!

May it be filled with family, friends, and laughter,
Warmth, love, and hope,
Peace of mind
peace in your heart.

'Nollaig Shona Duit'

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice.....

Winter Solstice - the re-birth of the Sun.
Many flock to sacred sites around the world to be part of this magical moment.

The above photo's were taken in Ireland at Newgrange and Knowth in 2009 on our last visit.

The history of these places are awe-inspiring just as the re-construction is controversial. You can Google to read about all the good factual bits on Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, and the Hill of Tara.

There are many others throughout Ireland and Europe for that matter that are just as important, yet, tourist do not flock to them.

Queen Maeve's Henge
Hill of Uisneach
The Witch's Chair

Many more that the board of tourism doesn't promote.
I can assure you that they were visited by many this Solstice morning - and a magical one at that with the Lunar Eclipse taking place as well.
Here's to a magical day....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yuletide greetings from all the paws.....



Big WOOFS for a happy Yuletide season from all of us paws here at GardenChickMusic.

And Nuala wants to remind everyone with those beautiful, begging, pleading eyes of hers to remember all of the outside critters during this cold season.
Please, please, please ....
Water, food, and warmth.

*no shelties were harmed in the photography herein, though, I suspect, some dignity was lost*

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Have a peaceful, giggling weekend, y'all......

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Okay - which one of you ordered February in December?

We need to have a chat about this!

Stay warm, everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is there a chicken heaven?.....

Today is a sad day here at the homestead. I was greeted by a most unpleasant sight this morning in the chicken coop.

It seems it was not as predator proof as we had thought.

One dead and partially eaten.
One in serious condition.

Today was the day that we had to do "the deed".

If there is a chicken heaven, these girls deserve it.

We, as homesteader's are not feeling too good about ourselves. I know it is a lesson to learn, and we honestly still can't figure it out totally, but, it was at the expense of a life.

I didn't hear a thing.

We've re-checked everything and have added some other measures for making the coop more secure for the remaining three girls left. Let's hope it's enough.

What a sad, sad day....

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Here's the little greenhouse complete and ready to nurture some luscious veg. There isn't any heat provided, so, it will be completely reliant on the temperatures of Mother Nature.
I was hoping that I may be able to grow lettuce and spinach through the winter months, but, I think it's going to take a creative mind to be able to do that.
We've had below average temps for December and biting winds on top of it. The temperature in the greenhouse is sometimes par with the outdoor temp and the most gain I've had is about 7 degrees.
But, with that being said, the structure of the greenhouse is quite strong and the manufacturer has thought of most details perfectly with the exception of one thing. The manual roof vent does not have a way to shut securely. It blew apart on one of the windy days and was left hanging askew. Fortunately it was not damaged beyond repair and the hubster was able to make a couple of tweeks to improve it and re-install it.
Below is a shot of the inside of the greenhouse showing one side with the shelves and the manual vent at the bottom that you can open for air flow.
This is the automatic roof vent. A simple but effective design. It was opening while we were still in mid construction on the few warm days we had left in November.
I'll have to see what temperature it opens at now that we have everything put together and sealed. If I remember correctly, it was in the 50's during the construction with bright sun so I'm thinking it was somewhere in the 60's inside. I'll put it to you this way, we had on light winter jackets and when we came inside to work, we were breaking into a sweat.
Yesterday when I took the pictures it was 28 degrees outside and on par inside. It was just starting to snow, so, the cloud cover was rather heavy therefore, no solar gain. This is what I feel February will be like inside the greenhouse! However, I'm wondering if I put mini-hoops over the trays of veg if that would help bump the temperature enough to hold the plants through the evening hours. Any ideas or suggestions would be most helpful.
Here is part of the raised bed gardens all put to rest for the winter. We ran out of mulch on the last two rows between the beds, but, will do them in the spring. It's not that I mind grass growing between the beds, what I minded was trying to push mow and trimming around the beds! Ugh! I was spending 30-45 minutes in there trying to keep things neat and tidy. That's 30-45 minutes I could be spending tending to other things!
You'll notice the one small rectangular bed has some green things growing in it. That would be strawberries. We have two beds with four different varieties growing and this bed is just holding on not wanting to become part of winter yet.
The other small boo-boo was the table top we screwed to the tree stump. It did well for a couple of months then once the rains came it just kinda fell apart. Oops! Great idea just not well executed! I'll need to re-think that one for the spring also because it came in quite handy while puttering around and planting.
So even though it's only December, I'm starting to get seed catalogs in the mail and the gardening bug up my sleeve. I'll have to scratch the itch by growing some lettuce inside and make plans for the spring planting whilst sitting in front of the woodstove, and as always, with a glass of vino in my hand. Not a bad start to winter, eh?
*by the way, the white, rusty thing on the post in front of the greenhouse is an old mailbox. I use it to store tools, gloves, twine, etc. It works great!*

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

This, brings on...

this, with a little bit of.....


Enjoy the glow whether it be from wood or wine.

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all.........

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No need for Ambien here, y'all.....

Weathering through a whirlwind week at work, too many long drives into the city, and holiday time to boot makes one tired Irishlas....

However, exhaustion breeds insomnia for me.
Dear hubsters knows the cure.

A roaring fire in the woodstove, a pot of lamb stew, and presto - contented, instant sleep - chemical inducement need not apply.

Goodnight, y'all....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Perserverance eventually pays off......

My first scarf - with fringes.

Next, dish rags....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Hello everyone. My name is Fionnghuala, or, just call me Nuala like my Mom. She says it rhymes with hula - like a hula hoop. My Mom gave me this name when I was just a wee little girl because I had white shoulders and that's what Fionnghuala means in Irish. She should have named me Hoover or Chow Hound because I love food. I'll eat anything. Sometimes when she's not looking I'll sneak some licks from the empty yogurt bowls.... yummm....

See, what I do is quietly stake out my position and when she's not looking I'll do a quick lick. If I take my time and can be real stealthy, I'll be able to lick the bowl clean!

If she turns around I'll hop on the sofa and pretend she woke me up from a nap.
I think it's fun to do and even though I hate to admit it, it's very cat-like. Teehee...
I'm such a smart girl. That's my sheltie genes coming through. My border collie genes give me my sly quickness and agility. Boy, I sure do have the best of both! And, I have the best Mom a sweet little pup like me could ever ask for!

So, my goal this weekend is to see how many yogurt bowls I can lick clean...

What's your goal for this weekend?

Whatever it is, just have fun like I do, and,

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all......