february 1.


Good morning! I cannot believe it is February already. I have so much to do before Spring here on the farm and in the vintage shop - eeek! I usually take off the month of January from the Fox and the Forest shop because December wears my a$$ out with all the sales and markets; however January was my busiest month to date for the dog-walking and pet-sitting. So although I did close the shop for a bit, I didn’t really get a break to work on the farm…. but ya know what?? I have never been happier in my entire life. 

2024 is uncharted territory for me - it’s exciting and new and fresh and all mine. Even though I left my 20 year office job behind in October of 2021, I started out both 2022 & 2023 putting all my time and energy into a project that was emotionally taxing, but needed to be done and ultimately paid off in a big way and made those home renovations last year possible, so this year is the first year I’m feeling that freedom… woot!

This very moment actually, I’m sitting on our couch watching the fake Netflix fireplace ;) while Christian snoozes, blogging, eating waffles, soaking one foot in epsom salts (that story later), and drinking coffee (yes we still have our tree up, but it comes down tomorrow!).

 I’ve got five dog-walking appointments set up for today and in between those I am making plans for various clothing that needs to be listed in the shop this month. Tomorrow I have the luxury of being able to work all day at home, on the farm - either working the land or working in the shop - essentially the plan is to not leave the property all day !! Fingers crossed that actually happens :)

So, happy February to you all and I hope so far your year has been everything you’d hoped for! Our ‘down time’ is almost over here because Christian is heading into his peak work season (weddings - already!!) and of course when the farm starts blooming, we don’t slow down til the leaves fall….

I really joyed last week’s mix tape, so gonna make another one in the same style because that’s my mood lately… a little junior boys, a little LCD Soundsystem, a little girl pop, and a little dancing… 




farm hacks …

 I have discovered some pretty neat hacks for spending less money on feed the last few years…. 

For anyone not familiar with the history, I did not grow up on a farm and had zero experience with farm animals when I started trying to help the ones in need. I just did what was needed in the moment and built my up my little box of knowledge as I went…. We also don’t have any farm equipment - no tractors, no plows, no nothing really… 

 I do a lot of maintenance on the horse pasture to ensure the least amount of parasites and the least amount of weeds are present. Yes it’s most definitely easier to hit the weeds with a chemical that’s ‘safe for grazing’, but when Hazel (hospice cancer resident) was here and I researched those products, there was zero information that made me feel ok about them being safe…  Some of my neighbors think I’m crazy on my little mower, mowing all that invisible grass in the dead of winter months until they see my beautiful green fields popping at the first signs of spring. One of my old school cattle farmer neighbors who is in his 70s even asked me about my madness - ha! I explained that I prefer to keep the pastures cut at a certain length all year even when it appears it doesn’t need cutting. He looked as if something clicked and said “oh yeah, they always have said that the most nutrition comes from the shortest grass”. So at least he knows what my goals is… Who cares if everyone else thinks I’ve gone mad? When you live out in the boonies, sometimes that’s a good deterrent for trouble ;)

Ya see when I don’t have weeds to mow over, I drag my fields at least every other week all year long - even winter. Breaking up the manure and exposing it to air and sun - especially in our cold wet season - is crucial to keep parasites at bay. I do this by running over it with my mower…and that is how I discovered this little economical and sustainable tip… ready made SEED BOMBS!

I’ve always started the horses on a Bermuda/crabgrass hay in the fall since 2015 when Rose first came here. Then we added Hazel in early 2016. Then I had a few fosters that same year and my supplier ran out of our usual hay and I had to get rye. I was also tired of shoveling the manure, so my ‘work smarter, not harder’ brain decided to break it up. That’s when I decided to just mow over those piles…  My vet had also informed me that rye was excellent for horses that had any type of digestion issues or were prone to colic, so that was nice to know.. anyway I learned that if you feed rye in February, it’s perfect timing for the perfect temps and that spring, I had beautiful little patches of delicious rye! So now, right at the start of the new year, I start adding a little rye hay until I can safely switch them completely over to rye by late January/ early February… then late February I start switching them slowly back over to the Bermuda/crabgrass hay. In the meantime, I’m running over my pasture either weekly or every other week, breaking up those natural rye seed bombs (aka horse shit), with my mower. If I know a good rain is coming, I’ll try to get it done just before the storms to ensure a good soaking for germination. I’ll move them over to a smaller field for a few weeks and then when spring rolls around and before the summer grass is thriving, I have plenty of rye for them to feed on.

 Years ago, I had a guy that used to come out several times a year with his tractor and help me with this overgrown forgotten farm back when we first bought it. Only about three of the 8.5 acres was even walkable at the time due to major overgrowth. There were bramble patches everywhere that even made it hard for a tractor to get through with a bushhog. He told me about ‘training grass’. He said you could train just about any grass if you were consistent enough. He informed me after he cleared all those brambles, that if I ran over those acres with the mower whether it needed it or not, that eventually I’d have a beautiful grassy hillside within a year. And he was right. 

I didn’t put out one single seed and the land went from red muddy clay and to a park-like setting within less than a year. You talk to landscapers and plant nurseries and they might tell you that’s impossible, but it worked for me. 

Another thing that has made things easier on the wallet over the hay season is I’ve learned to separate and throw out the hay - scatter the ‘flakes’. I do this for a few reasons. It results in less waste - if I throw out one square bale and just let the horses chow down on it, over time they step on it, then don’t want to eat what they’ve stepped on, and so it just sits there and goes to waste. I detest wasting hay, so I learned if I toss the flakes about 10-15 feet apart, it mimics grazing, and they also walk and poop all over the field leaving me little ‘seed bombs’ everywhere instead of just one small area. 

That’s it for today’s smarter not harder post! 
Take care, lovelies and I’ll be back with at least a little somethin for ya tomorrow!



fragments of time…

 We have made it another week of this new series on the blog! Fragments of time is the name of a daft punk song, but also gives me the space to share a few moments that I didn’t share on social media. If you know me, you know I’m always capturing a moment - a fragment of time that I can always access. 
Enjoy these!! Scroll the the bottom for each photos’ description.. 

1. Mr. Marbles in his catio nesting box…
2. Afternoon delight; Lorna Doone cookies and coffee
3. Our little farmhouse backlit by a pastel sky
4. Bowl of bones left when Marbles ate some salmon
5. Cat clients
6. Reece camouflaged by the sediment on the dirt road 
7. Delish frozen pizza lunch at home
8. More Marbles..
9. Dog client
10. Chocolate chip cookies made from duck eggs
11. Quackaroni having the time of her life in a puddle 
12. Feeding time for the horses
13. So grateful for a full schedule, electric throws, and the real housewives of Beverly Hills ;)

Happy Tuesday all you lovelies! I’ll be back tomorrow with a tried and true tip I discovered about saving money on hay! No tractors needed either! Perfect for a small farm that runs on elbow grease!



friday mixtape!


enjoy the music, lovelies! Also here are a few photos of the dirt road textures after the storm yesterday… happy Friday…