When asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, Ava told her parents she wanted to bring her best friend (and fellow horse lover), Audrey, up here to show her her pony, Whinny. So, we got together a small birthday party with Uncle David, Aunt Elizabeth, and Cousin Delilah too. We all had a great time. The big girls romped all over the homestead in their snowsuits (even though it was -9 F with a wind), visiting the chickens, goats and, of course, the horses and pony. Then Ava opened her presents, and we had a fun dinner of tacos and birthday cake. Delilah loved the balloons! We all were laughing as she boxed them like Audrey and Ava were doing. Then she discovered Buffy! That kitty fascinated her, and I think Buffy was wondering what Delilah was too.

Ava, getting ready to blow out her candles.
Bill and David had fun, helping Delilah play with balloons.
Delilah was fascinated by Buffy.

After they had all gone home, we got a Facebook post, showing four moose, crossing the road just a couple of miles south of our place. How cool that was! Hopefully, we’ll get a glimpse of them sometime soon, too.

I’m amazed at what friends our black Lab, Spencer and kitten, Buffy are. They play every day and Spencer is so gentle with her too. Hondo is more reserved. She does play with his tail or feet, but he usually just rolls his eyes and walks away.

When David and Elizabeth came, they also brought two big pumpkins we’d given them for Halloween. They didn’t carve them and as the pumpkins were taking up a lot of floor space in their small apartment, David figured we could use them for seed or livestock feed.

We continue to be amazed at the Big Max pumpkin. So pretty!

Boy, I don’t remember the Big Max pumpkins being that big! Such pretty pumpkins, too. I think we’ll use them for decor for a while! Our pumpkin/squash pile is getting smaller as we use them and harvest seeds from them too. — Jackie


  1. Looks like you all had a fantastic day! Delilah and Ava are sure cuties. It is such a joy to have grandchildren around. That pumpkin is huge! Stay warm:)

  2. Happy Birthday Ava! YAAAY! Sounds like our birthdays are very close!
    I am sooo glad Buffy’s ok from her woodstove lesson.
    How do you keep your squash from cross-pollinating? I would love to save my squash but I am concerned they cross-pollinate. Do you have any tips or tricks for us on how you do it?

    Thank you for your posts. I love them.

    • That was Ava’s Golden birthday; she was born on January 10th and she turned 10. We only plant one variety of squash of each species in each garden (and some are 1/2 mile apart, through the woods!). For instance, in the Main garden, we will plant Borchart’s Wonder, a C. maxima, Gueramon Martinique, a C. moschata, Ingot, a C. pepo. Then in the North garden, 1/4 mile away, through the woods, we’ll plant our Hopi Pale Greys, a C. maxima, Howden pumpkins, a C. pepo and Canada Crookneck, a C. moschata, and so on. Otherwise, just plant one each year, saving the seeds until a couple years down the pike and rotate the varieties you grow.

      • Jackie~
        Thank you so much for this valuable information!! I am going to right this down in my garden book for this next growing season. I haven’t found this information so understandable anywhere else.

  3. Happy birthday Ava, I hope you will be following in your grandmothers footsteps.
    Give whinny some extra love.

  4. What a fun birthday for Ava! Aren’t grands just so wonderful?!
    Watch for my letter by mail making up for ordering from the old catalog. Sorry bout that…l jumped the gun!
    Love the new catalog. Hope you and yours have a wonderful 2022!!

  5. LOL.. Buffy looks huge in the picture with Delilah but small on top of the pumpkin. I’ve told our newbie he’s getting a bit of a big butt (and this was when he first came into the house).
    Delilah looks like she rolls at will and glad David is being her spotter.
    We made a bit of progress today – the wood stove finally made it known it is futile to resist its warmth. Kept the newbie pretty mellow and established cat actually came out, albeit briefly. We’ll get there.

    • Yes, you will. We all keep an eagle eye on Delilah, letting her do her thing. To a point. Buffy learned a lesson yesterday. She jumped from Will’s computer table onto the hot wood stove! And off again, quicker than scat. She burned one of her front paws a little but I put aloe on it and it’s much better today; she’s not limping a bit. Lesson learned! But I felt bad for her.

      • Our mantra is if you can’t handle a pet, don’t have kids. Poor Buffy – impulsive action with thankfully little consequences. Lesson learned the hard way but none of us want anything bad to happen to our furry family members.
        Golden Birthdays are a lot more fun when they occur at an older age. Ava is at least old enough to understand the concept. Those born on the 31st wait quite a while for their golden birthday.
        And now nice Ava’s friend was part of the celebration. Seems much harder these days for kids to have “in person” friends. Kudos to Bill and Kelly for being good parents.

    • That they are, just like children. The day was filled with giggles, happy screams and playing in the snow. Even though it was cold outside.

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