"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I just recently learned of the passing of a beloved artist and writer. Stephen Huneck died on January 7th of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been depressed and despondent; he feared he might lose his mountaintop farm home and studios, dubbed Dog Mountain, over the recent economic downturn. The Dog Chapel, which has been featured in many publications, was built to honor his own Sally, a Labrador. Inside the chapel, visitors have left notes and pictures of their own beloved pets.
I guess I am surprised by his passing and sad. One would think that by 60 years of age, you'd finally have it down enough that you wouldn't resort to killing yourself over life's disappointments. I guess not. The reality is, depression is lethal sometimes. Stephen's art and contributions will be missed.

Monday, January 25, 2010


A horse is a horse, unless it's a Choctaw or Cherokee horse. Only 200 horses of these strains remain. Half a millennium ago, Spanish conquistadors brought horses to North America. Horses had been extinct in North America for 10,000 years. After the Spaniards began establishing colonies, they banned the native peoples from owning and even riding horses. That would have been the end of story, except many of the horses escaped into the wild where Indians found and tamed them. The rest is history but for the new challenge: surviving in the modern world.
In steps the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC). For centuries, the Spanish Colonial horses were the most common type of horse throughout the Southeast and regions west of the Mississippi. But in the mid-late 1800's, almost all Spanish stocks were crossbred with or replaced by horses like thoroughbreds, riding horses and draft horses. The Spanish Colonial horse was nearly extinct by 1950. ALBC advisor, Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, has researched and written extensively about both the Choctaw and Cherokee strains. "Besides being an important part of American history, their genes are irreplaceable. Red Road Farm in Morrisville, VT, has a Choctaw horse breeding program and a horse sponsorship program. The ALBC, in Pittsboro, NC has info and the Southwest Spanish Mustang Assoc. has extensive info on the breed.
And, this beautiful specimen, whinnies and comes running to my back fence whenever she sees me outside. No, she's not mine, but I feed her carrots, oats and apples.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


We've had temperatures in the 60's for the last few days, thank you Lord, and guess what I've been hearing at the farm? Yes, peepers. The cats even brought a one inch specimen in my kitchen yesterday. Also, a bee was buzzing me in the flower beds. I think Mother Nature is telling the creatures to get busy, gather, spring is coming. Yahoo!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The small gray rooster
Claims the red hen for himself
Cluck, clucking, clucked.

This guy's a whopper - at least 2' tall, a long and lean Araucana. This is the breed that lays colored eggs.

Big, fat Barred Rock boy. He'll be runnin' the show before long.

The first time out of the pen. The little gray rooster is hardly bigger than a robin. I think he's my favorite. I dare not name him or the coyotes or barn cats will eat him.

And all from these teeny chicks I bought last fall. Got my first eggs this week. Oh no! Means I have to clean out the chicken house (the worst job in my world).

Sunday, January 17, 2010


When I was small, I had a thing for bird's nests and their little eggs. Curious wild child that I was, I roamed the countryside, climbing into treetops as far as the tree limbs would allow me. Why was I so enamored of eggs? I don't know. As you can see, I still am. Clockwise from left, an ostrich egg, an emu, goose, chicken, banty chicken, quail, and in my sculpted hand, three little eggs I found on the ground and don't know the breed. I also collect nests I find here and there, but only after they have been abandoned.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


You know that old saw about not getting kids or animals to cooperate....
Well, this guy was definitely bent over, shakin' a tail feather, at the barn. He finally decided to cooperate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


During my 'treasure hunts', I come across many things that speak to me one way or another. This is a native American medicine bag, used much like a Christian sacrament, as a symbol or token. Once a brilliant blue, the silk has faded over the years. It is tied with deer hide. Of course I had to peek inside. Pandora had nothing on me. Anyway, it contains plant materials; nothing I could make out as to what the plants were though I did discern a dried up flower in the mix.
I had a friend once whose step-father was a full-blood Choctaw Indian. Marla said he was always making bags and tokens and stashing them places like under the couch cushions, the bed, etc. He supposedly would pull hair from her hairbrush and wrap it around a bone. She wasn't sure what else he would do, but she thought he made the bags to keep them healthy. In OK, we have hot, dry summers and Marla said she had seen him down on his knees in a dry creek bed. He would cup dirt in his raised hands, chanting. He said it would rain. It usually did.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Of all the antiques and collectibles I've bought and sold over the years, the Native American ones are the only things I never parted with. I don't know why. I guess maybe because of the historical factor and the fact that there are finite numbers of the old stuff. I have stacks of books covering Native Americana and I'm embarrassed to say, its been too long since I have read them because I can't remember anything about these moccasins. The bead work designs, the beads themselves, colors of beads, style of moccasins, what the moccasins are made of and stitches etc. are all ways to discern the area and tribe they came from. The top ones are women's moccasins. Believe it or not, the women made all the clothes and yet, menswear and children's clothing are worth the most. The top moccasins are from the Arapaho tribe.

The rest of the moccasins are either children's or baby moccasins. They also are all Plains tribes.

Though older, early moccasins wouldn't have used colored leather. They did use natural dyes and dyed porcupine quill work was used by the tribes in the Northeastern U.S.

The bottoms of these are made of parfleche (brain tanned deer hide) and are sinew sewn. Moccasins from the northeastern U.S. were made from moose hide and smell smoky from the tanning process.

These baby mocs were from Kansas and are older (early 20th century) and made for the souvenir trade. If the moccasins were beaded all over (on the bottoms too) they were burial moccasins.

Friday, January 1, 2010


One thing I know for certain, about the coming new year, is that the sun will warm the earth once again around here. My sunflowers will be back [facing east in the morning and west every eve],

doing what sunflowers do; growing till ready to make seed for the birds and then starting the cycle all over again...

Happy new year, full of peace, for what must ever be.