Friday, October 30, 2015

A Little Something Spooky

Prairie Farmhouse III
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

"A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently;
there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand
presses the sill of the window, the latch rises.
Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night."
James Matthew Barrie

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Sunny Sunflowers
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

"It is the sweet, simple things of life 
which are the real ones after all."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, October 26, 2015

Life is Different in the Country

Broken Barn
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

There are a few things you begin to notice about living in the country that are very different from what you've been used to after you transition from life in the Big City. 

- Most of your friends are farmers.

- Roadblocks look a lot like cows.

- Drivers wave to each other when they pass on the road.

- Wild animals use your front yard as a shortcut to get to wherever they're going.

- Coyote calls, hooting owls, and chattering crickets replace sirens, honking horns, and motorcycle engine noises in the night.

Broken Barn II
Original Photography
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

- A lot of what you eat at each meal is the product of your own efforts and comes out of the ground.

- You find yourself stockpiling food and sundry supplies in the event that weather conditions will prevent you from getting to town for several days.

- Your vehicles are all outfitted with emergency kits.

- You spend copious amounts of money on gardening tools, snow removal equipment, and the like.

- You become adept at reading the weather patterns.

- Your work shoes all have manure on them.

Broken Barn III
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

- You have become a Walmart shopper. *A moment of silence, please*

- You rely on the internet for veterinarian advice.

- You stop wearing a timepiece and instead watch the sun's movement across the sky.

- Having a manicure means cleaning the dirt out from underneath your fingernails.

- Recycling means giving kitchen scraps to the hens.

- The vegetables you prepare for meals still have dirt on them.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rural Magazine

Winter Jacket
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

I'm very pleased to announce that I've been invited to be a regular contributor to Rural, an on-line magazine that celebrates country living. 

Conceived by my dear friend, Jen Vandervoort, you can enjoy her photography and writing at her website The Light Laughed. Please join me in congratulating her on her latest creative endeavour. 

Below is an excerpt from my essay that appears in the first issue. If you like this issue, feel free to share it. If you'd like to subscribe, send an e-mail to to receive new issues right to your in-box.

* * * * * * * * * * *

 “Nature does not hurry, 
yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

There’s a natural rhythm to life lived in the country. While the day may begin before dawn and be filled with more than enough work to do, there is no clock to watch or timetable to adhere to. Time is measured by the sun’s track across the sky and the length of the shadows it throws. Each approaching season requires preparation. There’s an ancient flow to it and time enough to surrender to the changes that are coming.

Coffee is sipped in the quiet of the twilight hours, while the sun peers over the horizon, illuminating the sky and signaling night prowlers to seek the safety and comfort of their dens. A rooster crows from within the safety of the coop, setting the hens to ruffling their feathers and wishing, no doubt, that he came with a snooze button. A distant train whistle threatens to set a melancholy mood. Soon it will be time to collect eggs, still warm and nestled in lavender scented straw. Read more here. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

House Hunting - Prairie Style

Prairie Farmhouse IV
Original Photography
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

There's a pastime my husband and I enjoy engaging in that is unique to prairie country living. I call it House Hunting and it involves piling ourselves and our dog into the truck and pointing it in a direction we want to explore. With a full tank of gas and no particular destination in mind, we head into the countryside to search for abandoned homesteads.  

Room With a View
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

I like to approach each neglected building slowly and with an element of respect, circling the outside to familiarize myself with the structure before investigating more closely. They all have a tired elegance in common and hint at better days. 

The landscape is vast and barren and these weather beaten structures are a testament to the rugged character that the residents required to live here.

Prairie Farmhouse Interior
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

I rarely venture inside these derelicts, preferring the beauty of the architecture that these buildings still possess rather than the sad destruction that typically lays within.

Vintage Washing Machine
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

So many stories have been left abandoned in these buildings along with remnants of lives lived within these walls. Home now to rodents and birds, their duty is not yet done. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Prairie Farmhouse II
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2015

Welcome to Tin Rooster Farm!

After nearly 10 years blogging under the name A Glowing Ember, it was time for a fresh start. 

As is often the case when a move is made, one feels the need to personalize it. I was inspired to add a little colour to my new space and was instinctively drawn to those typically associated with the French countryside. In Simply Color for Everyday Living*, Diantha Harris explains the meaning behind the four colours I've selected.

Purple is in the spiritual realm, where the intuition resides. It also represents transition and forms the foundation of my new look.

Yellow is associated with creativity, clarity, and the sharing of knowledge.

Green is heart energy. It's soothing, relaxing and balancing and finds its source in nature.

And, finally, Orange, the colour of my rusty rooster. This colour represents new beginnings and new possibilities. It also represents the written word, community, and healing from trauma.

I hope you'll join me on this new journey of exploration, creative expression, and growth. Artwork, writing and country living will figure prominently. 

One more thing before I go, I've been invited to participate in an exciting project and I look forward to making an announcement about that in the next few days. 


*I'm thrilled to have my artwork featured in Diantha Harris' wildly informative book, Simply Color for Everyday Living. If you'd like a copy of your own, send me an e-mail ( and I'll provide you with details. It is not available through regular booksellers and each copy purchased through me includes a small gift as a token of my thanks.