Winter is Over and Gone

It has been for several weeks.  However, the last frost date here in our area is May 15th.  A date most folks around here do not like to mention, much less think about.  It is what it is.  This PFO enjoys the long winter nights and cold days.  One can always put on more cloths to stay warm, but how does one take off more cloths when the temperatures are boiling hot??


This crewelwork was a high school graduation gift over forty years ago.

At any rate, it is a relief to have time off from all the outside work of flower gardens, vegetable gardens, dandelions, and weeding, weeding and more weeding.  So, just how do farmers spend those long winter nights?  For most of the PFO’s life, including the younger years, long evenings were spend in front of the television with a piece of crewelwork in hand.  To just sit in front of the television was a waste of time, so the hands were occupied for those long evening hours.


Detail of work.


Thread was wool, stitched on linen fabric.

This crewelwork has a long history.  It was begun over forty-two years ago in front of the television on those long, contemplative winter nights by this PFO’s older sister.  It was to be given as a high school graduation gift.  Indeed it was given—only it was not finished!  It took another twenty years for this PFO to complete stitching it, and another twenty-plus years before it was finally completed and hung with great joy on the wall of this home here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm.


It has a beautiful array of stitch work.

Even this frame has an interesting history, for it was given, in passing, by an old, delightful black gentleman in Millwood, Virginia to this PFO one day many years ago.  He held it high in his hand and called, with an enchanting smile,”Would you like this frame?”  The answer is obvious.



The colors are vibrant and cheerful.

And so, today, it is finally on the wall.  Funny how sweetly certain things can elicit a warm memory and smile.


The frame has an interesting story all by itself.


It is finally on the wall.  What sweet memories it evokes.


You are invited to come take a look at this long-to-take finished project!  Please phone first though.  It is spring-time and now this PFO is under a pile of weeds!

The Magnanimous Sun

Is there much better than a fresh Spring day with the warm,  friendly sun shining happily and a gentle breeze?    Most especially when there are clothes to put out on the line.  The sun is so polite.  It never criticizes the shape or faded color of these old farm clothes.  It simply shines warmly and brightly on them without discrimination.  They flap joyfully in the breeze and smell like Heaven when dried.


The sun and breeze dries the clothes in a hurry.

‘How simplistic’ some may think.  Perhaps so,  though this PFO has heard some sweet remarks from this simple job.  “I felt at home when I saw the clothes on the line,”  was one recent remark here at the new farm.  Years ago when one of the now grown sons was visiting in France for a month, as a teenager, wrote in his journal he ‘missed seeing Mom hanging clothes on the line.’  Golly!  Who would have ever thought that?

There are two things this PFO has noticed traveling up and down this Shenandoah Valley over the past 30 years that have decidedly disappeared.  One is a vegetable garden, the other is the old clothes line.  These seem to be lost to ‘modern’ times.  Here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm, they are considered parts of a healthy lifestyle and are banked into the ‘good health and well-being’ accounts.   It is part of being a good steward, working together with the land, sun, and weather to the benefit of all.  Besides all  that—it is fun!

Enjoy the dance of the sun, wind and clothes!

Generous Little Chuckles

All the chuckles are laying eggs these warm spring days to the delight of this PFO (Primary Farm Operator).  Everyday is a learning day with these interesting, fun birds.  The first few times they laid in the horse feed buckets securely attached in the corners of the stalls.  After bringing in a fresh supply of hay, the nesting area was moved in a cozy spot in the hay bales.  How is this hay ever to be used?  Who would dare to upset the nesting area?


At first they laid in the horse feed buckets attached to the corners of the stalls.


With the new load of hay, a cozy nest was built in a quiet corner of the stacked hay.

Most of them lay in that beautifully made nest, though once or twice a egg has been found in the coop.  Indeed they do ‘sing their egg laying song’ after getting off the nest. At times they are downright noisy!  They are chatty, curious critters.  The dogs have learned to leave them alone.  Now they go after the feed!  Apparently the only feed needed here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm is chicken feed!

They are so still and quiet while sitting on the nest.  A couple times another is waiting for the space, she will get impatient and just go sit on top of the chicken on the nest!  She will even get pecked by the impatient hen.  Ever quiet she remains.  She has a job to do.  Miss Impatience gives up and leaves.  She returns in due time and deposits her little treasure there in the same nest.


They sit so still and quiet on their nest and watch the activity in the barn.


These chuckles run free around the barn.  They have good hiding in the overgrown fence line nearby.  The horses, cows and dogs are accustomed to their presence.  To stand quietly, watching the little hens on the nests, listening to the horses eating hay, and watching a tiny mouse scurry across the sunlit floor for a bit of cracked corn has a gentle sense of peace, and order, and wonder that is difficult to describe.  This is life on the farm.


They have good hiding places in the brush along the fence row.