In November I experienced the opportunity to visit northern California.  Yes, a ride through San Francisco up to Fort Bragg and back down the beautiful stretch with the beaches and waves coming in and bridges to cross over and hills and mountains with farms and flowers blooming.

I was invited by my friend Ron and he transported me from and to the airport.  He lives in a lovely private place in Santa Rosa.  We went for walks and cooked at home.   We also had wonderful Mexican out and I had Pacific cod fish and chips twice.  I read the news while there and watched a day of sports.  Went to Trader Joe’s and to the coolest Salvation Army.

We went to the symphony and to a museum.  We watched part of the election. We saw a play and an audition.

I met family and saw where Ron works in the mornings volunteering at the beauty of a theatre called the Raven.  He does the marquee climbing on a tall ladder and hangs pictures and builds sets.   He and I spent seven days together.

Soon he will start the rehearsals of ‘The sunshine boys’ by Neil Simon and then we shall see if I visit again.  This is a wonderful friendship.

As I returned back to the Gentlewoman’s Farm I was pleased to see the chickens healthy and laying eggs..two a day at this point.  The cats were affectionate also and ready to engage in play, ignoring the fact I had been away.

It was warm for a few days and tee shirt weather while outside.  Everyone felt light and happy.  I visited with neighbors.  The chickens were running around and entertaining the masses.

And then, it snowed.   You will see waves.  You will see what I woke up to.  Shocking to the system. Notes and photographs by Wanda Callagy.



Home in October

I recently read that there is much beauty in the autumn colors in the Catskills, and  I do feel this season has been noteworthy as one of the most outstanding peep seasons.   When I drive into my driveway after an errand or a trip to the Y to swim, these are a few of the scenes I embrace.

My deck had some work done to level it better, and the yard is decorated with the colors of the trees around me.    Two of my three felines, Dahlia and Rugby,  felt like posing as I snapped a few memories this week.  The gentlewoman’s farm is peaceful, with an occasional rooster crow and a cluck here and there.

There is no place like home.  I agree, Dorothy.

One rooster in our flock

I brought home the loveliest chix a few months ago and every day I see a change.

From their cage in the kitchen to free ranging for the summer I have watched them line up to roost in their chicken tractor changing from 9 pm to now 8.  Two of the ladies find me whenever I plan to do a little yard work.  And they all are there when I am setting up their water stations.

One girl has seemed a little more aggressive and grew a comb and beard.  She now is learning to crow, and it is such a pitiful sound.   I have been crowing with him and play music to help him with this process.

We have a ways to go.

I also am happy to announce that my tall flower that Trenton gave me has bloomed.  Two shoots, also and we shall see if they flower together.   I have so enjoyed all my colorful friends this summer.  Many of my annuals have flourished in spite of a dry hot season and my chickens running around like crazy people.

After this season the fenced area will be enlarged and they will be introduced to their space in the barn.  They are free to peck in the garden as it is done, but next year I will tell a different story.

Notes and photos by Wanda Callagy




Two blossoms.




Thirsty birdies


Introducing Cubby my rooster.


“You from around here? Who’s your little friend?”


Color with a gift from Leslie and Kim. Nice reflections.


Relaxing evening here at the Gentlewoman’s Farm


Christopher made this for me.


Reaching for the sun.

Adding some light in

I am thrilled over a new window.

It lets some light in.

With still a little work to finish, a doorway was converted near my desk space.  My  abode here is in a woodsy spot and gets dark sometimes.

It is refreshing to turn the corner and see some greenery and have a cross breeze in my small sitting room.  I have plans to make a large flowerbed to look at along with the ferns.

The gentlemen worked on this project while I slipped away to swim as I certainly was in their way and they did not need my assist.  I ran errands and bought supplies needed to make a meal to enjoy on the deck.

My evenings lately are spent there watching critter activity and enjoying my slider.  The bee balm is blooming more each day and a couple of hummingbirds have passed through.  Beans and tomato will be here soon.

The next project is a heavy screen door that will be off the kitchen, so I will have air and more sun in that direction.   We’re waiting for the door to come in, and bought locally to be happy with the product.

No doubt there will pictures and a notation about that event.

The light really makes a difference for me.  I will see if I can carry that feeling all day.



They have flown the coop..

Yes, the chicks are flying.  Every chance they get.  It must be the good food and sunshine my feathered friends get,  and the fact that I opened the door of their tractor to let them explore.

Off in the woods they went yesterday, but I could hear them cooing and clucking away, scratching under all those trees.  Good greens and a bug or two I bet.  They came back when called easily, in their little ‘pack’ chattering amongst themselves.  Their run includes a waddle type movement which does look funny when they all come in your direction at once.  Their curiosity is closely linked to what a kitten’s is as I remind myself it isn’t so much me they are running to but what they think I might have for them.  Even cleaning their roosting area can be an adventure when they hop in and out and around to check out what I am doing.

It only seems like yesterday..


In the very near future they will start roosting in the barn.  It will be painted and clean, with several nesting boxes and places to literally hang out.  There is electricity in there now so that I will have more than a flashlight to see and a way to set up warming bulbs in the cold days of winter.

I included my cat here rolling on the deck.  He actually smiles when he does it.   The flowers in the box are growing via Trenton, and the bee balm spices up the whole area with its fragrance.

I hear thunder in the distance and we are to have rain.  At this moment all dozen of the ladies  are tucked into their coop for the evening.

Me  too.



Are you challenging to be part of the IBC?

It is time for yet another group of blues musicians to compete for the IBC. See you at the Linda on August 6….

for good measure

IMG_4512 Jeremy Walz and Dick Earl Ericksen

IMG_4775 Fade to Blues. Memphis, 2015.

By Wanda Callagy

    I congratulate you all for playing at the Linda this evening as you attempt to win a trip to Memphis.

    As a writer, I have a view from two years of visits there. When I joined up with the Capital Region Blues Network I met Tas Cru and Jeremy and Steve Smith and they  introduced me to so much musically through the network. I decided I should go to take in the experience myself.The first year I went I stayed a mile out and took a shuttle in.  I was on Beale Street for the week, and was there to remember Martin Luther King’s birthday and being right there for part of opening night at the Rum Boogie.  A week of late jams.

    Last year, it was a road trip with Leslie Barkman as she auditioned as a soloist. …

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Seeing clearly


For the first time living here this plant is budding.


Black eyed Susans.


New window


Chaotic chives add to meals


the blue workbench


Bee balm.


The chickhouse.


Playing in the dog dish






Thanks, Trenton.

Today showed me a crisp morning. I have plants budding and want to note it with my camera. Too often I feel as though nothing gets accomplished much here but nature keeps busy while I am not paying attention. The bee balm has multiplied and I am seeing small budlings on the black eyedsusansand and a lily I transplanted from Delaware St.

I clean the pen today and the chix are enjoying running around. One brave soul snuck out and now I must search for that opening in the fencing.

It is yet morning and I can make another pot of coffee. Thanks for joining me.