A disturbance in the force

Zelda is gone. She had the best life a barn cat could have: born in the barn, loved by a 6-year-old as a kitten, loved by many adults as a cat, food every day, hot water in the winter, hot snacks (as many as she could catch and eat), a warm bed to sleep in, a job, and a peaceful end after 14 years. She was about as useful an animal as you could ask for. She will receive the highest honors awarded at the farm: a place in the memorial garden, a shrub planted for her, and Brad will play the pipes.
She is survived by her mother Genny and her brother Maynard.

Thanksgiving Diary

Usually, I have an entire week to cook and clean for Thanksgiving. This year, I seemed to have filled the empty days with other commmitments, and the weather gods did the rest…
Friday before: went to farmers’ market and did deliveries. Should have cooked and cleaned.
Saturday before: went to farmers’ market. It snowed. Terrifying drive home. Should have stayed home and cooked and cleaned.
Sunday before: interviewed possible apprentices.
Monday before: taught a cheesemaking class in Orono. Gone all day.
Tuesday before: Finally get started cleaning. Big storm moves in, power goes out, all cooking and cleaning comes to a halt.
Weds before: Power still out. Go to farmers’ market. Pick up turkey on the way home. Can’t cook or clean. Emergency fence repair. Had to borrow neighbor’s generator to milk the goats and pump water. Decision is made to relocate Thanksgiving to my sister’s house in Camden, where they do have power. Drive the turkey and the stuffing to Camden in the evening.
Thanksgiving Day: Had a dinner that couldn’t be beat, but I didn’t get to host it. Here’s what I couldn’t do this year: my cranberry sauce (bought some local instead), Sal’s special holiday squash (made plain instead), any pies (bought a local one instead).
How the mighty have fallen. I give thanks for sisters.


Wow. The summer flew by, taking with it some new adventures, and leaving behind some holes, literal and figurative.
We had lots of help this summer, with all Fiona’s friends she brought home from college. Our first lesson was that it’s a challenge to keep so many people busy and on task. Our second lesson is that teenagers need a lot of direction and lack focus! But we had a lot of good times gathered around our new picnic table, and got many things done around the farm that needed doing. Thanks to Steve, Jeremy, and Dylan, we got the firewood in, fixed the holes in fences and floors, moved a mountain of manure and built a deck on the cabin. Claire excelled at middle management and delegating tasks, customer relations at market, and packing cheese. Everyone loved the goats. We didn’t finish fixing the porch, and the holes haven’t been filled in.
They were exhausting while they were here, but I miss them all! Holes in my heart.

Spring Morning

Out with the dog at 4 a.m., that zone between night and morning. Peepers peeping, owl hooting. Birds waking up, loon calls from across the lake. Goats stirring in the barn, muffled sound of goat bells. Bats returning to their roosts, wild turkeys leaving theirs.
Close my eyes and breathe in the smell of the lilacs beginning to bloom, and a light east wind brings the scent of the sea.