Thursday, August 18, 2011

Barn Chicks who Blog- Interview with Lori from Skoog Farm

Barn Chicks who Blog is back after a summer break. I'd never intended to take a break with my interviews, but I hope to be able to give you a steady supply of them now. If you know a woman who has a farm or ranch and would like to be interviewed, please pass on their information.

Today I"m interviewing Lori of Skoog Farm. Lori is a horsewoman and an artist. You can find her blog here. You can also check out her art blog. I have a feeling that Lori and I would get along splendidly with our love of art and critters. It looks like she lives in a lovely area. I hope you enjoy this interview.

Lori loving Phoebe

1. Tell us about your farm:

In October, we will have lived here for 30 years.  Only a little over 5 acres, but we have many out buildings...2 Gambrel Roofed barns that date back over 100 years, an indoor arena built in 1992, a pool house now converted into an art studio and a small tool shed.  Our Shaker shingled farmhouse dates back to 1853 and is a sprawling 5 bedroom, 2 bath, living room, library, dining room, family/kitchen comfort zone.

pergola near paddock

Gary's porch on the barn

gardens (everywhere)


house (1853)

2.What animals do you have?

For most of the 30 years we have lived here, I had 6 horses of my own.  Now, we are down to three plus one that belongs to a friend.   3 cats and 2 dogs...all rescues.

3.How do the animals get their names?

Our first and oldest horse will be 33 years old.  His name is Masterpiece of '79 as he was born that year (named when we got him).  Berlin was born here in 1985.  On that day, her grandfather (Abdullah, a Trakehner Stallion) won the World Cup in Jumping in Berlin, Germany.  Abbe, whose real name is Glen Aberlour, was born in 1999 at Glen Darach Farm.  My friend Andrea, named all the POA foals born there after different Glens in England and Scotland.  Her Sire's name is Glen Sterling.  Seymour (cat) was found in a field with two siblings...our grandsons named him Seymour the Tiger.  He did not get along with our old cat Bermuda (adopted from a rescue and is now 18...we were into using island names) so I sought out a pal for him.  That would be Sidney His Buddy....who was born at a friend's house (mother was a rescue).  Phoebe Bluegrass is a little mutt we rescued as a puppy from Kentucky.  She was 10 weeks old and 8 different volunteers drove her up to Brockport.  She just looked like a Phoebe and you know where the Bluegrass came from.  Mademoiselle Gucci Poochie 'Leisbet Skoog was sent up to Batavia, NY from Tennessee.  Before she was a year old she became pregnant and was in labor for three days before the people who had her took her to the animal hospital.  She immediately had a section (must have lost the puppies) and the people never came back to get her.  A friend who was a volunteer at the Shelter told me about her and I said yes the minute I saw her.  Still had her stitches and was a mess. She came with the name Gucci, and my blogging friends added all the others.

4.Do you adopt animals or do they adopt you?

Both.  I'm a mush!
"Aren't I cute? Ha-ha- You're mush now!"

5.Do you cook, can or garden?

I love to cook.  Seldom can, but we make at least 50 freezer bags of sauce from our garden.  My husband and a friend have been making the best dill pickles (outside of a New York Deli) for over 10 years.  He husband is the gardner and grows about 2500 garlic plants and hundreds of onions each year, along with beets, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, dill, basil, and 2 kinds of parsley.  Also have a few strawberries at 7 fruit trees.  We have way too many flower gardens and can't keep up with all the weeds...sort of English Country Garden style.


6.Were either you or your husband raised on a farm?

 No.  I grew up on Chautauqua Lake and spent a lot of time on it or in it.  Gary grew up in Jamestown, NY.  (a small city). 

Gary's break

7.Please tell us about your career as an art teacher.

I started teaching in 1966 at the SUNY College at Brockport Campus School...grades k-8.  My first job and initiation by fire!  Would not trade it for the world, as it made me who I am today.  I have taught in every building on the Brockport Central School Campus.  Elementatry, Middle and High School...the last 13 years were in the High School.  Also taught an Arts for Children course at the College (teaching Elementary majors to teach art in the classroom).  Had my own pre-school for a short time and also taught art, music and dance in another....that was in the dark ages!  I retired in 2000 and have been teaching art at the farm ever since.  Currently, all of my students are retired.

The work of Lori's student, Sandy Clark

8.I understand you teach art now on your farm.

Never have I enjoyed teaching more!  Most of my students have had little or no experience in art and they have come a very long way.  Each year we have an exhibition in the local library, where I invite current and past students (along with some other artist/friends whose work should be seen).  We have had very successful openings and lots of comments.  A couple of years ago we had to fill in our pool and the pool house has now been turned into a studio.  Great space and good light.  I never know how many people are going to show up, as they have very busy lives and travel a fair amount, but that does not matter to me.  Several of them have hardly missed a Tuesday in 9 years!

Studio Barn

9.What mediums do you enjoy?

Water color and colored pencil.

10.What are some of your activities in the community?

Gary and I sing in a community chorus (45-50 voices) it and am currently working on fund raising to support this group.  I have been a member of an Art and Aesthetics Committee that has brought public art and an art walk to Brockport.  Phoebe is a Therapy Dog and we have participated in reading programs at a local elementary school. 
Play duplicate bridge. Have worked on library fundraisers. Love to meet people from all over the world at our Welcome Center down on the Erie Canal.  Worked for several years on my personal project called Art Walks on Water, trying to have a piece of art at every port and waterfront along the New York State Canal System (524 miles long with 130 towns and villages).  Spoke at several conferences promoting community art/canal.  Other things off and on.


She didn't mention it above, but
Lori drums with Khalid Saleem.

11.What's in the future for your art?

I am mostly interested in photography at this time...make and sell blank notecards with my photos on the front.  I do this through my Journal and at a local gallery.

12.What's in the future for your farm?

More of the same.  I can't imagine my life without animals, art and having friends over for dinner.

Thank you for participating in Barn Chicks who Blog, Lori. I really enjoyed this interview. I could barely use all of the wonderful pictures, so I encourage you to visit her blog.


  1. nice job, patrice. always enjoy learning a bit more about fellow animal lovers or 'mushes'. :)

  2. Very nice - it is wonderful to hear your animals are all rescues and you have a horse that is 33! :)

  3. Very interesting, I loved all of her gardens.

  4. Great interview; I've enjoyed following Lori for some time.

  5. Your interviews are always a fun way to learn more about bloggers... even those I follow!

  6. What a great interview with Lori. You did a great job Patrice. I love her arts.

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. JB

  7. Great interview! Thanks for giving us the story.

  8. I've missed this feature! very nicely done! LOVE the old barns!


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