Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Our Farm



We have had such a mild winter this year, the temperatures have often been above freezing, so we are sorry that we haven’t seen much snow.  This past week we had such a mighty snowfall, all in one day, that Penny begged to go out and play.  I donned my big boots and lots of layers and out I went to play with her.  I had to carry her through the deep snow, glad for my snow boots and wool socks.




Pardon the snowflake that looks like Penny’s mustache here, but it was snowing pretty heavily.  Too bad the camera doesn’t catch its movement.  Or the sound.  I love the quiet sound of snow falling.




Penny was pretending she was a rabbit and digging a deep underground burrow.




And now she is a bird in a tree.  She was fascinated by this cup of snow, formed by the remains of a tulip tree blossom.




Wow, Penny, aren’t you getting cold out here in the snow?  Yes, she says, and might she just sit a spell inside my warm alpaca hat?  This is one I spun and knit from the fleece shorn off my own alpaca, Snufflesworth.  It makes a very warm hat for me, and a warm place to rest if you are a little bit of a person and a little bit chilled.




But please, she begs, don’t lets go inside yet, I’d like to ride my donkey over the snow banks for a while.




We have a real live donkey named Dinklepuss on our farm, and this is Penny’s own miniature Dinklepuss.  He has the same big ears and gentle eyes.  Only he is made of resin.  Isn’t he cute?




The next morning, after our outside jaunt, I captured a picture of these ice flakes on our window.  What splendid miniature artwork!




And two days later, such a glorious morning of sunshine, but alas, the snow is all melting today.




The suet bird feeder on the porch has been a busy place. Here I only have shown sparrows, but we have also had juncos and woodpeckers regularly that are fun to watch as they peck away at the seed while swinging in the breeze.




Oh, look!  Here are little birdie tracks, hop, hop, hopping along in the melting snow.    I’m glad we had our play day out when the snow was cold and deep and fluffy.




It is windy today, don’t you love how that horse tail is swooshing back in the breeze?  I like to see the little paths that the horses make through the snow in their pasture.  How do they decide which way to go?




This last picture is rather pretty, though I think it is sad to watch the snow melt so soon.  The early sun was shining across the dimpled surface as more and more grass appeared.




The End.  I’m glad that we could share these snow adventures with you, we are thankful to live in a place with such varied beauties outdoors.

What a wonder-filled world God has made.






Penny and I were recently digging into the corner of the closet and found an old plaque with this letter on it in neat calligraphy:


Dear Friend,

How are you?  I just had to send a note to tell  you how much I care about you.

I saw you yesterday as you were talking with your friends.  I waited all day hoping you would want to talk with Me too.  I gave you a sunset to close your day and a cool breeze to rest you ~ and I waited.  You never came. 

It hurt Me ~ but I still love you because I am your friend.




I saw you sleeping last night and I longed to touch your brow so I spilled moonlight upon your face.  Again I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk.  I have so many gifts for you!  You awoke and rushed off so busy.  My tears were in the rain.





If you would only listen to Me!  I love you!  I try to tell you in blue skies and in the quiet green grass.  I whisper it in leaves on the trees and breathe it in colors of flowers, shout it to you in mountain streams, give the birds love songs to sing.  I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air with nature scents.  My love for you is deeper than the ocean, and bigger than the biggest need in your heart!

Ask Me!  Talk to Me!  Please don’t forget Me.  I have so much to share with you!

I won’t hassle you any further.  It is your decision.  I have chosen you and I will wait.

I love you.

Your Friend,



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Wow, the part about the moonlight was so touching to me because we have just had a full moon.  The moonlight has been streaming across my pillow!  I had to try to get pictures for you.  There is no way to catch the immense peacefulness I felt as I stood out there in the chilly stillness of the snow last night trying to get these pictures.  And who can capture the essence of the Father’s love poured out so generously and so all-sufficient for all our heart’s needs?




This month’s adventure with Penny has been making apple cider in our yard.  Who would think that this warm and balmy weather could really be December?  We still have pumpkins sitting about adding their bright cheery orange color to our farm.  Isn’t this a fun warty one?

Here I am, cutting up apples by the milkhouse.  My brother rigged up this countertop to hold a stainless steel sink that has a food disposal attached to its drain, just for cider making.




Penny enjoys watching to be sure that I am cutting the apples properly, and am watching out for bad spots.




We load the sink with the chopped apples, ready to send down into the chopper with this wooden plunger.




Here’s another view so you can see the food disposal underneath waiting for a stainless steel bucket to catch the mush.




Ahh, mushy, mushy, very juicy!




Then into the milkhouse we go to fill the press.




Inside the wooden ring we lay the cloth and pour in the apple mush.




Penny gently folds over the cloth, so it can close up the pulp, then we set a wooden disk over it.  Next we add another layer of cloth, fill it with apple mush, and then add another wooden disk.  We build several layers, not too thick with mush, so we can squeeze them very dry with the jack.




The reward of our labor is the steady stream of cider filling the bucket below.





Ooo, smooth and sweet.  And pure apple!




More crates of apples from our trees wait their turn to be celebrated into cider.




Happy, happy harvest time!








It has been such a pretty view to see this flower filled fence-line outside our windows this summer.  The shady arbor and birdbath attract a lot of birds.




This video below shows the birds happily splashing in the birdbath, I couldn’t believe how many kept coming!  I was taking it from an upstairs window so you can’t hear their chatter, too bad.

Morning Bathtime…



Ruby Kitty enjoys touring the flowers.  (She likes to find bugs in them.)



Truly sunny sunflowers.




These are autumn crocuses.  The green leaf rosettes show up in the spring then die back.  All is silent until suddenly in the fall these giant purple beauties come bursting through.




Its a joy to stop and smell the roses.










In our backyard are beautiful, succulent, sweet red raspberries, all hanging there free for the picking.

Yum, yum!

But there was something else here to admire as well…




A pair of monarch butterflies were sitting on these leaves resting on a dewy morning.




Penny got up close to chat a bit about where they came from and where they were going.




Beautifully made works of art.




With a little help, Penny was able to get a good number of berries picked.

Hmm, I wonder what all these raspberries are destined to become?

Any suggestions?




A zebrina flower collected for herself a dewy drink.




The lavender has a strong sweet smell, and delicate little blue flowers.

Its a “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow” moment.






Nesting in this post refers to the sport of hunting up bird’s nests.  After a mighty wind storm Penny and I found this lovely, tidy little nest on the ground beneath the elm tree.  How sad that some faithful mother bird lost this nest that she so carefully built.  But what a thrill for us to find it and get to examine it closely.  What a lovely job she did!




Fine horse hairs line the inside, and on the outside some curly twigs add artistic interest.  It is fascinating that God put into these birds to know how to do this.  I enjoy many crafts, but creating a masterpiece like this is far beyond my skill level!




Down inside our dairy barn the barn swallows have a whole community of mud nests attached up near the ceiling beams.  Penny and I found one of these fallen on the barn floor.  Ah, a new type of nest to explore!




Inside, the nest is made of flat grasses from the loose hay around here.  Outside it is daubed with mud, and here is the flat side where it had been attached to the wall.




Ohh, and here is the feather bed insert that fell out!




Princess Penny wonders if she can have this feather bed in her room.




A pretty place on our farm is the wisteria arbor Dad built for me.  It is all in bloom now and smells so heavenly!  (Pardon all the weeding and cleaning up you see that still need to be done around here this spring.  And yes, we are hanging our laundry here for the time being until we can relocate our clothesline poles from where we used to have them.)




Here is what I wanted to show you.  A humble, sweet little mourning dove has built her nest here.  I am happy to say that this one is fully in service and has not fallen down.




If I were a bird I would love to have a nest here in this beautiful place.  I enjoy walking gently under this nest and peering up to find that steady dark eye of hers on me.  When I have to hang the laundry I am so regretful that she often flies away in fear, though I try to be as slow and careful as can be.  Do not be afraid, Dear, I want you to enjoy your nest here and know that you are safe.  It is curious to me how small her nest looks under her, not as big and roomy as a robin nest.




No, Penny did not fall out of this tree.  She wanted her picture taken next to it so you could see how she found a tiny tree just her size.  When you are little, finding something just your size is a rare and special joy.  This stray cottonwood is growing in the middle of a hay wagon out behind the barns.  A funny place for a tree for sure.  Yet it is delightful to find surprises in unexpected places, isn’t it?

Have you found any unexpected natural wonders showing up under your nose lately?