CHRISTMAS CARD FROM ONSLOW-WINTERY WEATHER THE REST OF THE WEEK

31 12 2013

Hello

ONSLOW

I received a Christmas Card from one of my favorite cats.  ONSLOW, my friend Francine and Jimmy’s cat.   Onslow is a beautiful character and so in charge of his household.   I do love this card. it’s a simple card with so much meaning, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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WINTERY WEATHER

Its snowing now and will be for most of the night.  The cold is here to stay for a while and will get down to the single numbers tonight.  More snow is expected and a Nor’easter could be heading our way.  Chris and I did errands today getting plenty of canned cat food, carrots and veggies in.  We are ready for the coming weather.  Chris will be leaving tomorrow after a week of help I will surely miss him. He will be back for vacations.

CHRIS, WAITING FOR NEW YEARS CHINESE TAKE OUT

CHRIS, WAITING FOR NEW YEARS CHINESE TAKE OUT

After the New year I plan to get back to my hooking and knitting.  I have been spinning some and will continue that also.  I received the book today Dear Everyone and have already started it, so far its really interesting,  It looks like there will not be a lot about the mission but I have already been drawn into the story and look forward to reading it.  I always have admired people who just get up and change their whole lives.  It  does take courage to do that..  I will let you know about the book as I get further into it.

MORE ABOUT HEATING

Today in our travels I saw a small furnace house in back of a house.    It may be something doable too.  I know that you usually put in long pieces of wood but that may not be the case with the smaller ones.  And I do know that they can heat hot water too.  Its something to investigate and certainly would be cheaper than the Stanley.  It’s always good to investigate all possibilities and then make a decision.  I am in no hurry.

The sheep need to be fed and tonight and I will give them some grain to help keep them warm. I hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole  





WEATHER NEWS FROM IRELAND-FUTURE HEATING PLANS-SHEEP TO SHAWL

29 12 2013

Hello

Chris is here helping me, we cleaned some in the barn today and he is working on some computer projects for me.

I have heard from some friends in Ireland who live in the Northwest area and they indeed had 90 mile per hour winds.  SOme damage was done but they are safe.  The worst I guess hit the Southwest.

Heating Plans,

My friend Anne from Ireland has a house that is the about the same size as mine and heats her whole house and hot water with a Stanley Stove.  I am going to look into it, because there is wood on my property and I can also buy green wood  and let it sit of 6 months.  It would be wonderful to be off the oil chain and be in charge of my heating and hot water using local resources for it.  Anne has a wonderful blog which I follow, check it out its anirishalterative.blogspot.

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A CALL FROM A FRIEND

Friday night my friend Louise called from Montreal.    We had a wonderful conversation and she wanted to also tell me of a book that she is getting.  Its called “Dear Everyone” A woman’s journey from Park Avenue to a Labrador Trap line.    She ends up being a Volunteer to the Grenfell Mission,

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 Last summer one of the members of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking , Stephanie Krauss gave a  program on the Grenfell Mission and she and her husband’s tour of Labrador.  I was so intrigued by this and Louise remembered that and wanted to share  this book with me.  I ordered it and can’t wait to read it.   I am  not keen on trapping animals so I will skip quickly over those parts but her stories about the mission will be wonderful to read.  Someday I would like to visit  the Grenfell Mission.

Sheep to Shawl,

I brought more things down to Sheep and Shawl.  There are more and more lovely things in the store each time I come.  I will be bringing down red and white roving for needle felting and some locks of white wool also.

I have been recovering from several bouts of gout so I have been watching tv more than usual.  On CNN this morning Sanju Gupta was doing a piece on Dementia patients in the Netherlands.  I didn’t get to see all of the piece but what I did see was so interesting.   They have approximately 152 patients in this village enclosed by a wall..  Almost 2 workers for every patient.  The patients live  longer than in other facilities and are more joyful.  There are on much less medication, get to exercise, take walks and basically live like they were before although they are watched at all time.   I don’t think that there is anything like it here in the states.  You can see clips of this show online.

I hope you are having a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole

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MORE NOW AND COLD WEATHER-SPINNING ALPACA-NEW OIL TANK

27 12 2013

GOOD MORNING

MORE SNOW AND COLD WEATHER

We had a couple of inches of snow and the weather has turned cold again.  I wonder how my friends in Ireland are as they were suppose to have winds up to 90 miles an hour and expected flooding.

SPINNING ALPACA

I found this bag of alpaca that I have had for sometime.  I want to make some hats to sell and decided to spin up the whole bag.

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 I am spinning it rather thick so it won’t take that long. Its a nice shade of brown.

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I do love spinning on my Irish wheel. spinning brings one a sense of peace.  I good way to wind down from those busy days of the holidays.  I will be teaching a How To Spin Class at Sheep  soon.  

NEW OIL TANK

Today  my oil company is installing a new oil tank.  My old one was very rusty and old.  I want to get away from oil but  I have to say its nice not worry about heat and just switching it on but there is a cost to that luxury. This house is not easy to heat.  The kitchen is by itself and frequently has frozen pipes in the winter .  I have a wood stove in there and keep that going during the day and the oil picks up at night.  I have a pellet stove in the  diningroom but at the moment it need cleaning.  I hope Chris and I can do it and I can get that going.  Both those things require lots of work and time and money.   It would be nice if I could figure out a way to have one simple thing to heat the house with.  I have thought of a chimney going through the center of the house.  There was one there once but it was taken down.  A brick chimney running through the house and exposed may be the answer.  A Russian Fireplace comes to mind  but they are extremely expensive to build .  The Europeans have long know how to heat their homes with AGA stoves which heat the house and also heat hot water, I have looked into them and they cost around $5000, it would a good choice for the kitchen thought and then I would have hot water and no more pipes to freeze.  I think the pay back time would be quick.

 I am familiar with Ireland more than other countries, their cost for fuel is much higher than here in the states, of course ours are subsidized by the government.   Because we have always stayed in self catering cottages we have become very familiar with different heating and hot water systems.    Instant hot water was something that I found to be so efficient.  Why have we not done that in this country.  I know the systems are out there but if everyone had them imagine the savings .  My boiler runs all summer just to keep the hot water hot.  What a waste.  I do want to install that system in my house.  Everytime I go to Florida I am amazed at how few houses have solar on them.  It wouldn’t take long to get your money back on solar there.  Until oil goes up to maybe 5 or 6 dollars a gallon people don’t care.  So far this season I have spent 1000 dollars, I will get another delivery today with will be 250 gallons at 4 a gallon so about 1000 dollars, that will last for a month or 6 weeks depending on the weather.  I will spend over 3000  dollars in oil this year.  The wood was free gathered around here and pellets are about 240 a ton and I use 2 tons.  One system would be the answer.  Changes like that need a lot of thought.

I hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are in this world. I thank you so much for reading my blog today.   Carole





CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY-SAMMY-THE FRIENDLY BEASTS

25 12 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

The weather is just right for Christmas Eve.  Now if there was just a little snow in the air, and that did happen.

Betty, Tea and Dylan came up this afternoon and we had a very nice visit.  Tea will be driving alone in a month.  Time goes by so quickly.  Dylan is so tall now.

My friend Francine reminded me today that tonight is the night the animals talk.    The Friendly Beast written by Robert Davis  in the 1920’s was  one the songs we used to sing as children. The music for this piece dates back to the 12th century.  I never hear it anymore and was glad that she reminded me of it.  It is a joyful song telling of all the gifts the animal brought to the Manager.  Here of course is my favorite part.

I, said the sheep with curly horn

I gave him my wool for his blanket warm

He wore my coat on Christmas morn

I said the sheep with curly horn

If you want to hear it done go online to The Friendly Beast

CHRISTMAS DAY

This is Sammy’s eighteenth Christmas with me.  Although he is on medications for different things , his hearing and walking have changed he still is the most lovable cat.  He is enjoying a pre-breakfast nap.

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THE LIVING MANAGER

The service was really nice and there was lots of singing of Carol’s.  The sheep behaved themselves very well.

DAVID LAUREN AND LIL

DAVID LAUREN AND LIL

THE PERSON WHO BROUGHT THE SHEE.  THIS SHEEP IS A LINCOLN AND IS EXPECTING IN THE SPRING

THE PERSON WHO BROUGHT THE SHEEP. THIS SHEEP IS A LINCOLN AND IS EXPECTING IN THE SPRING

CHARLIE WITH A BORDER LEICESTER WHO IS ALSO EXPECTING IN THE SPRING

CHARLIE WITH A BORDER LEICESTER WHO IS ALSO EXPECTING IN THE SPRING

Cindy, Rick, Chris, Ricky and Lilly Pad will be coming later in the afternoon.  Chris will stay here for the week with Lilly Pad. 

Some picture of Holiday Decorations

I STILL HAVE A FEW OF THE OLD CANDY BOXES

I STILL HAVE A FEW OF THE OLD CANDY BOXES

MY DAD HAD THIS HOUSE FOR YEARS

MY DAD HAD THIS HOUSE FOR YEARS

CARDBOARD SANTA

CARDBOARD SANTA

THE MANAGER SCENE, WITH SOME VERY OLD PIECES AND SOME NOT SO OLD ONES

THE MANAGER SCENE, WITH SOME VERY OLD PIECES AND SOME NOT SO OLD ONES

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole





CHRISTMAS STORES-A HISTORY LESSON ABOUT HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN-THE HOUSE IS GETTING DECORATED

24 12 2013

Hello,

We have been having some odd weather, its been unusually warm with rain but just less than 50 miles to the north the roads are thick with ice and electric is out. Our river is high and I am sure there is flooding in Vermont.  This too will end tonight and the temps will plummet down to the teens and lower.

CHRISTMAS STORES

I miss the Christmas Stores.  We had several in the area and they are gone.   When you would walk into them you would smell  the Christmas smell, hear the whistle of the train set going around the whole store.    My kids loved going. It was magical, the villages all set up the many Manager scenes, lights and ornaments. The one in South Hadley was located  in a Church looking building.  It was open all year and would have Valentine  and Easter things along with always having Christmas things.  Both of the CHristmas stores were small and local, if they didn’t have a item you wanted  they would get it for you.  The German Christmas ornaments were beautiful the craftmanship was astounding.    I think I can figure out why they closed. They couldn’t compete with the cheap prices of imports from CHina and the Wal-Marts of this country.    There are still stores around that have ornaments or village sets but I have yet to find a store that has it all.  I like the idea of giving an ornament of meaning to my grandchildren each year.  By the time they have their own tree they will have something to put on it.   I did that for a few years and I think next year its time to revive it.

SETTING UP FOR THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE

I put up some lovely metal braces and a board, covered it with some fake snow type stuff.   I did find some of the houses but they need to be repaired, and I need to find that special paper for the windows.  i have put out the Buyers Choice Carolers this year I know I have a few more somewhere in boxes.

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HAZEL AND MRS.BROWN

I am catching up on reading my Chicken Magazines.  I found two great articles in a fall issue of Poultry Magazine.  One I am going to send to Dr. Connor.  It explains all sorts of information about what Hazel had.  I am very lucky that it didn’t go through the whole coop.  The other article was about feather (booted) feet bantam chickens.  Both Hazel and Mrs. Brown belong to that family.\IMG_2121

 The article stated that these birds were featured in Dutch paintings in the early 16th century and there were articles written about them by the Romans in 1600.  Such  a rich history for such a small bird.  

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope wherever you are the weather is perfect.    Carole and Minnie

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FOGGY MORNING-THE LAMB-MRS. BROWN AND HAZEL-THE HOLIDAYS

22 12 2013

Hello

I have been under the weather for a few days and am now feeling much better so its back to one of my favorite things blogging.

Today we are shrouded in by fog.  Its eery and wonderful.  We are having almost spring like weather and the snow is melting slowly.  It will be winter soon enough.

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HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN

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They had their last visit to Dr. Connor on Friday.  She pronounced they both in excellent shape and Hazel is certainly back to his old self protecting Mrs. Brown.  They are a couple and everyone at the clinic enjoyed their antics together.  Dr. Connor said I am so glad that they are both well but I will miss their visits.  I am so grateful that people told me of the clinic, everyone is so wonderful there.

They are so used to traveling now, they are relaxed when they get there.  I stopped at River Valley Market on the way home and bought them a blueberry bagel.  They ate half of it before we got home!

THE LAMB

Well the lamb isn’t coming.  The man who had them said that the lambs were just to active and was going to bring over a 160 pound sheep..  I really don’t think I could get a 160 pound sheep in my car and it’s probably better this way.  I do need to get another sheep in the spring or summer and it needs to be a BOrder Leicester.  I am selling  and using a lot of  Leicester wool and would rather raise my own.

THE HOLIDAYS

All my packages are in the mail, card still not quite done and now it’s getting the house in order.  I have a few more items to get and make but have plenty of time.  Christmas eve is the live Manager scene at my Son’s church with the whole family participating.  Lots of Company expected with Chris staying the week.

Thank you for reading my blog today, look for new and exciting things to happen on the Farm in 2014.   Hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole





MAKING BUTTERMINTS-FEEDING THE BIRDS-THE WEATHER

20 12 2013

Hello

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Buttermints

This year I wanted to do something different and heard  The Splended Table on NPR give the recipe for these mints so I thought I would try to make some.  It sounds fairly simple.  

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And it was simple, they came out really well now I have to pack them I am also making more Hot Chocolate Mix and adding mini chocolate chip to the simple mix. And last but not least I plan to make some CHristmas cookies to send out to my Mom.  I hope I can get it  all done and packages sent today. There is never enough time around the holidays

THE WEATHER

It was warm today suppose to get up in the 50’s don’t know if it made it to that but we are supposed to have rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow starting tomorrow over the weekend.  I hope the bad weather holds off as I do have to bring Hazel back to Dr. Connor tomorrow, I am bringing Mrs. Brown too, no need for her to be upset.

FEEDING THE BIRDS

I have been watching the birds and the first birds to the feeders in the morning are the Blue Jays.

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 I am noticing that they are the only ones eating the tiny crab apples on the tree in front of the kitchen.  There are plenty crab apples on it this year.

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