I remember, when I was a very little girl, seeing the milkman deliver dairy products into a tin box in the carport. You can find those containers at flea markets. I have one. It’s in the guest bathroom. I could use it to store toilet paper.

toilet paper holder


But, for that, I use this vintage egg basket that long ago lost its handle.

egg basket


Instead, I have repurposed the cooler for use as a trash can.

trash can


Do you remember the milkman? Do you have one of these coolers? What do you use it for?

Snowbound Chores

We’re not exaggerating. This is record-breaking snowfall – more than has been recorded in the last 150 years. I’m feeling housebound. And so I tidy. Yesterday, I cleaned the pantry. I organized my flours (I have more than six types that I bake with, including my favorite for pizza, King Arthur Italian-Style Flour). I’ve been meaning to put labels on the canisters. Yesterday I finally got around to that task.

There. Now I feel better.



I’m also sorting through my collection of vintage chicken things. These were originally purchased for the photoshoot for Tillie Lays an Egg and for future books in what was supposed to be a series (until my editor was laid off, long story, but typical in the publishing world.) I’ve some lovely things that I never look at. I might as well send them off to new homes, and so I’m listing a few on eBay. This egg crate label is up for grabs.

egg label 1


If this snow keeps up, I’ll go to the next level of tidying up – ironing. But not yet. Setting things right by smoothing out wrinkles is a last resort. It’ll take another snowstorm for that. Unfortunately, I hear that it is on i’s way on Sunday.

Do you clean and organize when you’re restless?

Getting Outside

It’s important for the animals to get outside.

Chickens need fresh air and exercise. As I write this, it’s 9° F, cloudy, and there is snow on the ground. Given their druthers, the Ladies would have a lazy, indoors day. I lure them out with leftover cooked rice and cantaloupe. In normal weather I wouldn’t feed such a large portion of rice – too many carbs mess up the protein and mineral balance –  but they’ll burn off the calories staying warm. I’m happy to see them out and energetically foraging. More snow is forecast tomorrow. It’ll be another indoors day.

hens outside

Meanwhile, the dogs are limited to shoveled pathways.

Lily is big enough to air scent over the mounds of snow on the ground. She’s still doing her job. She’s keeping watch.

Lily air scenting


All that little Scooter can see is white. That’s 40 inches of snow. He hurries down the snow trench to do his business.

Trotting off


And he gallops back.

Scooter running

The dogs say Enough, already!

The Pond This Winter

The geographical center of my backyard is also it’s heart. The Little Pond. When we built our home twelve years ago, we had to blast through granite to put in the foundation. At the end of that process, there was a hole for the basement, and a lot of rock. Boulders were used for stone walls, but what to do with a 17 ton behemoth with a blasting hole straight through it? I turned it into a water feature. A hole was dug, a liner installed, a crane was brought in, the rock was placed just so, a filter and a pump was installed, and water circled up through that rock and down into the pond. Frogs and toads laid their eggs in the shallows, herons came, and birds bathed.

Here is what it looks like in the summer.This photo was taken on the day that my home was on a garden tour. For a video of that, click here.

garden tour


I bought a 3-inch koi. She grew. Which is an understatement. I named her The Beast. She is now a wise old fish. She lives with goldfish. I call them her minions.

The Beast


In the winter, the pond freezes over, but the pump continues to move and aerate the water below. The Beast goes into a form of hibernation.

The Blizzard dumped 30 inches of snow on top of the rock. It needed to be cleared off for the pump to function.

shoveling pond


Thank you, Steve,

pond and snow