SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW-THE FARM IN WINTER

13 02 2017

GRETTINGS

SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW

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The howling winds are blowing snow into mini twisters this morning.  Snow is piled  almost up to the porch floor and I am running out of places to put it..  More expected on Wednesday.  I used 1/2 of a cord of wood in less than a month just to keep the kitchen pipes from freezing.  I liked last winter so much more.  Although I must say the chickens were out a lot this winter but of course since the snow is now up to their doorway they are in to stay till spring. The sheep are in today too as the winds from the mountain will fill the barn with snow.  

THE FARM IN WINTER Read the rest of this entry »





SHORTY AND WILLIE – BREAD MAKING TIPS

21 01 2017

 

 

 

The Man EDDIE

The Man EDDIE

GREETINGS

We have had more snow and warmer weather but still not enough to melt the ice that is outside the barn door.  Maybe this coming week with temps in the 40’s it will happen.  

SHORTY AND WILLIE

Willie the elusive Baby and Shorty resting on the sofa

Willie, Shorty and a good shot of the elusive Baby aka Marion

 

Both had had an appointment at the vets.  Willie was quite the ham and loved all the attention given by the Vet and the Vet Techs.  Shorty on the other hand hated the whole ordeal and screamed and snarled which is so unlike him. When animals get older one has to make decisions for them.    Shorty is almost 20 and is entering into kidney failure.  The vet suggested he be on the kidney food and so far I have not done anything about it.   It would mean moving him to his own room and away from everyone else.  He enjoys his life with his friends.  Morning naps on the sofa and afternoons spent eating and relaxing on my bed.  I see taking him away from all this and him going down hill very fast.  I am giving myself a little time thinking about this and would appreciate input from other older cat owners.  Willie is being treated for his respiratory problems that he has had ever since he came here.  He will be on antibiotics for a time and then he is scheduled for a dental procedure.

Because of his age Shorty isn’t taking care of his fur as well as he should, so constant combing and brushing is called for.  At the doctors they had a battery operated  mustache/beard trimmer and off came the mats that I had spent so much time on .  I will be getting one of these soon.

BREAD MAKING TIPS

 

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I love making bread and have been doing it since my children were young.  I just learned a new tip.  I use normal  bread pans and my bread never seems to look like the pictures .  In looking up bread recipes on the King Arthur Four site I found that using a smaller pan will cause the bread to rise higher in the pans thus the beautiful large loaves!!!!!  Learn something new every day.  I will be looking for slightly smaller pans soon.

I am planning to start my hyacinths today.  Looking forward to the sights and smells of spring soon.  The chickens have enjoyed going out most days this winter, which is great for them. Many thanks for reading my blog today and for all the kind comments.  I really appreciate them..  Carole

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WINTER SIGHTS-MABLE AND EDNA- CRANBERRY-ROSEMARY VINEGAR-COSMO

15 01 2017

GREETINGS

I have been out of commission for a few weeks with a wrenched back.    Getting back into the swig of things again.    The weather has sure been fickle and  there are many bare spots now.  We are in for a cold snap of zero temps at night for the next few nights then back in the 40’s for a while.

Winter Sights

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These were all taken in Colrain.

Mable the chicken

I got Mable this summer with Edna.  Both were due to lay  in the fall.  Edna laid beautiful  pinky-beige eggs and I waited and waited for Mable to lay.  She is the second Cuckoo  Maran that I have had.  Maran’s are suppose  lay very dark almost chocolate colored eggs.  I never did get a dark egg until one cold night I was doing my nightly count and I noticed 5 dark eggs on the floor.  Mable had finally done it and the eggs are dark with some chocolate specks all around them.  A delight for me.  These two sweet birds are named for two of my favorite Great Aunts.  This coming year I would love to get another Olive Egger.  The kingdom of chickens has changed since I first started with them.   It’s exciting to have such a selection of birds to pick from in the spring.

Cranberry-Rosemary Vinegar

I have had the most fun making this delightful vinegar during the holiday season.  It’s easy to make and  can be used as a marinate or as a salad dressing.  I used it in making a dressing for Coleslaw and it added a new dimension to the dressing

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If you want to make this find a nice  bottle.  I have friends saving wine bottles for me.  Get some organic cranberries and place them in the jar.  Add one or two branches according to the bottle’s size.  Fill with a quality white vinegar.  Cap and let stand at least two weeks.  A festive holiday 

COSMO

Cosmo has been doing very well, although the tumor has grown.  He snuggles with me in bed now and talks up a storm when I am on the computer.   Each day is a gift.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this cold winter day.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 





SNOWY DAY-WINTER- THIS YEAR’S CARD- THE CHICKENS-ORANGE PEEL CLEANER-HAPPY NEW YEAR

29 12 2016

GREETINGS

The snow is coming down lightly this morning with heavy snow predicted for the afternoon and evening.  In the end we are suppose to get between 6-12 inches. I  have mixed feelings about winter.  I love these quiet days of snow.  The time spent indoors doing winter projects.  I really dislike the below  zero days and frozen pipes.  I love the sound and smells of a wood fire but at the end of winter I am ready to give up bringing in wood and cleaning out the stove. I love seeing the sheep with their full coats of wool.

MAUDE

MAUDE

 

  I find each season offers just what I need and I am looking forward to getting lots of winter projects done.  

 Lil wants a pair of ice skates this year.  What fun.  I wouldn’t dare skate now  but would love to!!!!!!  I miss the old days of skating on Bray Lake in Holyoke as a child, the beautiful lake with snow-covered pine trees on the lakes edges.  The fires to warm up with and hot chocolate and marshmallows.  My children were able to enjoy that fun winter activity too.   Maybe Lil will be the fourth generation to skate on Bray Lake.

THIS YEARS CHRISTMAS CARD

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THE CHICKENS

This year I am trying to keep a small part of their outside yard shoveled .  On the days that are above freezing they can and do go out.  I do cover the area with hay.

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Next year the hoop house.

ORANGE CLEANER

Tis the season to eat lots of oranges.  Don’t throw the peels away.  You can make this wonderful cleaner with two simple ingredients.  Cider vinegar and orange peels.  This is my second year making it and this year I need to make another jar of it  to last the year.  And it smells great too.

I usually don’t have enough to fill a jar so I put whatever peels I have and add the cider vinegar to cover and continue this till the jar is filled.  I leave the jar on a shelf for about a month, shaking occasionally before pouring it off into a permanent jar.    To use put two parts water to one part orange cleaner in a spray bottle.  This is so easy and it is antibacterial too.

 

 

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As I write this the birds are flocking to the feeders, Mamma and Papa Blue Jay  brought the three kids to the feeders.  I have watched them grow and its so nice to have the here again. Thank you so much for reading my blog on this winter day.  Wish you all a healthy, and prosperous New year.Carole

 

 

 

 

 





SNOWY MONDAY- SATURDAY ADVENTURES-A PARTING NOTE

5 12 2016

GREETINGS 

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Snowy Monday

It’s not that cold out and the snow looks so pretty falling in the woods.  The sheep are curious and Carol K.  makes a few steps out the door.

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 Sheep are wonderful creatures, they can be loving, caring, nervous, instigators, and  trouble makers.  Yesterday they  did all of these things.  They got frightened while Charlie was cleaning the barn.  I think it might have been the noise of grain bags which makes a crinkling sound.  It sent them into a frenzy of running and Carol K broke down a fence.  This started a day of mishaps and cleaning.   We couldn’t find the post banger inner, now I have two because at one time I could not find the red one.  Both are still missing but in the attempts to find them we saw the new rat family that had moved into the lower part of the barn.   That lead to cleaning and finding out how they were living.  They had three different holes one to the inside walls of my kitchen and two into Mr. Peepers coop where they happily ate the food .  Now I was sure that  Mr. Peppers would go after rats but he is not as brave as I though he was. (He does try to go after me though)  Not having Skunks in resident has caused the rats to move in.  I have blocked the holes and will try to trap them .

SATURDAY ADVENTURES

Debbie and I have been planning out trip to The Walker Homestead for their winter open house and it was wonderful.  The house was built-in the late 1600’s, it’s a salt-box my favorite type of colonial home and its painted a colonial red which is also my favorite color for a salt-box.

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 Smoke was billowing out the chimney when we got there on a crisp late fall day.    The last time I was there  was in September and this time there was a different feel to the house.  One of the resident cats named Cindy, age 23. greeted us in the kitchen looking for a warm spot  near the stove . Saint Nick was there is full dress. Loads of wonderful primitive things were available for sale and there were delightful things to eat.  The house is loaded with wonderful primitives from the colonial times and was very warm and inviting.  Our hosts were delightful.  I will be at the next open house.  The herb gardens were still looking great and the rosemary was still doing well.  The sheep were not in sight but probably in the barn on this day.  I bought some wonderful Juniper branches.  I love the smell of juniper and love the beautiful berries.  These trees are hard to find and I spent many hours on the internet trying to find a couple to plant in my yard, but to no avail.  I will start looking again after the holidays.  There are plenty of juniper trees and bushes but they don’t have the berries.

Our next stop was Sturbridge, Mass just 10 minutes or so from The Walker Homestead.  We visited a few shop, one was The Mercantile which I have been following on face book.

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A bedroom set up with mostly overshot woven things.  A favorite weaving pattern of Den and myself.

All I can say about it is WOW.  It was a fantastic store with so many wonderful things even  custom cupboards.  A whole room dedicated to Rug Hooking.

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 So much to see.  Then we visited two vintage material stores. Material and sewing goods from floor to ceiling.  Now I know where I can get material to repair my Grandmother’s quilts.  It’s not often that I get to do all these wonderful things in one day.  Deb and I plan to do this again.

A PARTING NOTE

This is a scary time for Americans that believe in liberty and justice for all.  I think we are in for dark times ahead and the future looks bleak for lower and middle class Americans.  I hope in the next year to devote some time helping people less fortunate than myself and fight for the things I think made American great in the past.

Many thanks for reading my blog I hope you have a wonderful day  Carole

 

 





WINTER STARTS WITH WINDS AND SNOW-NEW HOLIDAY THINGS

22 11 2016

GREETINGS

We have had snow flurries and winds and in Peru, Massachusetts they had 20 inches of snow already.  Skiing season will be early this year.

THE SHEEP AND CHICKENS

The barn door was closed for the first time since last spring and the sheep are always anxious to go out in the morning now.

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Now with the chickens from Patti and the two new ones I bought the coop is cozy.  I have not started the hoop house and am hoping for a few days in the 40’s this coming weekend to get that up.

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MAKING SOME FUN THINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

I have been busy making lots of fun things for the holidays.  A batch os Calendula Soap is wrapped and ready to go. Look for them on my etsy shop the end of the week or I will be in Buckland Friday night  at McCusters Market for Moonlight Magic. It runs from 4-9 pm.  Come visit me there.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this late fall day.    Carole

 

 





VETERANS DAY-MASSACHUSETTS DEBT RELIEF FOUNDATION-CRAFTS OF COLRAIN TOUR

11 11 2016
One of the many beautiful views of Colrain

One of the many beautiful views of Colrain

GREETINGS

The elections are finally over but the people didn’t have their say.  We really don’t have a civil way of electing officials these days.  In the end the popular vote doesn’t count and I for one want to change this.  Neither candidate were liked one disliked more than the other. Let us hope that all the freedoms for everyone that we have fought for will not be taken away.

Winter is showing itself in the woods behind the farm.  Every tree but the mighty Oak have shed their leaves and a  cold wind comes off the mountain now.

VETERANS DAY

My Dad on the left My Grandfather in the middle and my Uncle Roger on the right 1943

My Dad on the left My Grandfather in the middle and my Uncle Roger on the right 1943

My Dad was a soldier in World War 2.  I will always be proud of him.  He was in China, Burma and India.  It was not easy but he served his country proudly and honorably.  Happy Veterans Day to all who have served and now serve.  We honor you.

MASSACHUSETTS DEB RELIEF

Last Saturday night I was honored to attend a dinner for The Massachusetts Debt Relief Foundation in Springfield.   My Son-in-law, Richard Ravosa Esquire started this a few years ago and my daughter Cynthia Ravosa  works alongside him helping people in Massachusetts with low incomes get out of debt.  This work is non-profit and provides pro bono bankruptcy representation.  These days it is so easy to get into debt.  One major illness can do it.  I am proud that my family can help these people in many ways.

I am also so proud of my daughter Cindy, she received the news that she has passed the bar and will be sworn in sometime this month.  Its been a long haul but worth it 

Chris on the left, Rick and Cindy and Ricky on the right

Chris on the left, Rick and Cindy and Ricky on the right

CRAFTS OF COLRAIN TOUR

It’s that time of year again folks, and I have been busy making all sorts of wonderful things.  This year I was suppose to be at the Brick Meeting House in the center of town.  Unfortunately the repairs on the place have not been finished and I am hoping that next year things will be done.  I will be at my son’s house on 4 High Street.  There is easier parking and no stairs and hopefully the sheep will come out of the barn for your viewing pleasure.  Be sure and give Maude a wave, she has recently had eye surgery and loves people.  Come visit me I would love to see you.  I will have lots of Salve and many balsam products and so much more.img_7299

Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope to see you this weekend.  Carole