Fire Bricks

Replacing the firebricks in the wood stove would have been a much less of a mystery had the replacements come in the proper size or with some sort of helpful hints.

fire bricks

This is my “mystery” picture for photo10 but I’d like it to be clear that I actually found these bricks to be confounding, dirty bastards rather than interesting and mysterious items.


Receiving nothing but a cryptic “map”, with what were eventually determined to be incorrectly sized bricks, the project turned into an entire evening full of…. entertainment.

Ready For Winter

The chickens are ready for winter and it’s a beautiful sight. Chicken Coop Ready For Winter

They live in an old hay wagon which was converted to chicken coop that we move every few weeks all spring, summer and fall. It works beautifully. The wire floor means I don’t have to shovel out a chicken coop and the easy mobility means the chickens can roam out away from the house and gardens all summer long.

I love my chicken coop.

But in winter the chickens need a little extra warmth. So every fall, at the last possible second, we pull them up close to the house, plug in a heated water bowl and stop up that drafty underside with a ring of straw bales. Today was the last possible second.  John and I moved the bales around the edge as Clara jumped inside, out of the wind and snow, letting us know where we needed more straw.

Maybe my chicken coop doesn’t fit your definition of beauty but as I stood back, job finished, chickens ready for whatever this winter may throw at them, the sun peeked out through the clouds.  The straw shone golden in the sunshine, it’s clean smell filled the air and it was just my kind of beautiful.

If you’d like to see what the chicken coop looks like without it’s winter wrapping check out:

The Indecisive Chicken or When Chickens Fly

Pokey Fences

What happened when the cow jumped over the barbed wire fence?

China plate with Thomas Jeffersons home

This has nothing to do with the terrible joke or fences of any kind. This is a picture of the only landmark I saw today and was taken for photo 101: The Monticello home of Thomas Jefferson, as seen from my dining room.

Udder destruction.


Which brings me to my question…






It is a different tin, different buttons but the sound of buttons pouring out onto a wooden table is just the same.

Immediately I’m back at my Granny’s side, eagerly dumping out her tins of buttons. Running my fingers through the pile as I sort. Finding my favorites, dividing by color, talking with Granny, endlessly fascinated by the collection. Always, I am reluctant to undo my “work” and sweep them back into their circular home when the time comes, only slightly mollified by promises that they’ll be there next time.

But sometimes next time doesn’t come soon enough and I am mystified by the reluctance I see in Granny’s eyes when I mention the buttons.Buttons

Today I dumped the buttons on the table, and though the tin has spent the last year inside a moving box, the girls were drawn to the sound as if by magic. Buttons! Can we play with them? Can we pile them? These are mine! Oops- I dropped some. No- THESE are mine! Can we put them on string? Oops!

The girls and I crawled about on the floor finding buttons and the look I remember in Grannys eyes is no longer a mystery. But I’ll leave the buttons out, just for tomorrow.

It’s a small magic, that of button tins and memories, but there it is, running through the generations, connecting us in my mind like buttons on a string.


All That Blue

Is there anything better than the blue sky of a fall day?blue sky

Just look at all that blue!

Oh, and our road – you can look at that too.

We can even pretend it’s a “street” as per the photo challenge of the day.

But it’s not, it’s a road.

Well, technically a highway but certainly not a street, it’s got far too many cornfields to ever be a street.