HELEN’S VISIT TO THE DOCTORS-ANOTHER FROZEN PIPE!-CLASS PROJECTS

27 02 2015

GREETINGS

We are still having bitter cold, tonight will bring below zero temps.  No snow on the horizon till next week though, and some temps in the 30’s then.

HELEN’S DOCTOR VISIT

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She loved the car and settled in right away and napped most of the way.

IMG_4612 I had never been to this clinic I am so happy to find them.  Dr. Schmitt handles chickens with ease, having many of his own..  He is kind and caring and helped poor little Helen.  I will have to work with her more to get the crop back to working order.  SHe was happy to be home

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ANOTHER FROZEN PIPE

II went into the panty closet to get the cat food later in the evening and heard the dreaded sound of water running.  He came up and fixed it  so that the cold water was shut off into the kitchen and will be back tomorrow to fix it permanently.  We discussed the possibility of having the lines to the water in the kitchen brought into the kitchen from the cellar and its something I hope I can get done this summer.

CLASS PROJECT

I finally got the hooked samples for my class done.   They were fun to do.

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





BACK TO THE DEEP FREEZE-DEEP LITTER METHOD-CLASS HOOKING-HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS

23 02 2015

GREETINGS

BACK TO THE DEEP FREEZE

Yesterday was such a beautiful day.  It was above freezing for the first and last time this month.  During the winter we usually have a few above freezing days each month.  You can catch up on chores at these times but this year my water pipe to the barn has been frozen for most of the month and yesterday finally I got it thawed.  Now it will be fine no matter what the temps are.  I got lots of things done yesterday and it was uplifting.  Today I had to go to Greenfield early and it was so beautiful.  The sky was so blue.

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The pussy willows are out too.

The  shadows in the woods were delightful.  

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Today the temps will tumble-down to 10 and tonight temps will go to 15 or so below again.  I hope this is the last of it.

WEATHER ALERT FOR TONIGHT.  Protect all livestock and bring small animals in   I never heard of binging in livestock.  Of course all my animals are protected and the outside birds are well fed.

Ice jams started to thaw yesterday so my back door was frozen shut this morning.  Spots here and there  on the porch leaked.  Spring is coming and all that will be forgotten.

DEEP LITTER METHOD

The chickens really like it and its fluffier than hay, doesn’t mold  and keeps them warmer.

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CLASS PROJECT

With so may winter related things going on that I hardly have time to do anything else.  The class projects are just about done and I hope to have them at SHeep and SHawl on Wednesday.

Hygiene Hypothesis

Today while listening to VPR I heard an interesting discussion on Living In A World Too Clean.  It seems that children now days are getting more Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema.   They think that the children are kept too clean and do not have enough exposure to infectious agents which then  causes them to be susceptible to many other things, which means the immune system does not function properly.  Last year I read an article that told of children of farmers get sick a lot less.  The reason is that they are exposed to many things day in and day out.  It all makes perfect sense..  I thought this was so interesting and wanted to pass it onto you.

The wind is picking up now and the bitter cold is settling in, many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

 

 





-15 BELOW-MORE SNOW-FROZEN PIPES-DEEP LITTER METHOD FOR CHICKEN COOPS

21 02 2015

GREETINGS

Last night was brutal, and this morning I had a burst hot water pipe.  I had left the water running too.  Ice dams abound on the house.  The picture below is of the back of the house where ice always collects in the winter.   David had to come over and dig out my dryer vent I had dug it out from the last storm but the winds put 2 foot drifts over it and the snow was piled up against the door out.  I will have to put a board there or something next year.

The dryer vent is between those two windows

The dryer vent is between those two windows

 

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MORE SNOW

Up to 8 inches is expect from noon today to noon tomorrow.  SOme parts of Massachusetts may get rain at the end they say not here and I truly hope so or there will be flooding in the barn.  This has been a wild winter.  Chris has got the sand bags up in the back and I hope today I can place them so the big melt from the mountain won’t enter the barn.

Chris

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Chris left yesterday and by this time today he should be ice fishing on Dudley Pond with his friend Alex.  Good luck.  He finished cleaning the barn and brought those heavy sand bags up to the back of the barn.  Thanks Chris.

The plumber came.  Its’s a two-man job something he did last year so he did a quick fix and then he will be back on MOnday.  But later in the day when I went to refresh the chickens water I found that I had no water in the house.  My Son will see if its something I didn’t turn on or he put a fix on the whole system.  I need water to run the boiler so if it’s the later he will have to come back.

DEEP LITTER METHOD

I put new shavings in and then covered them with a good layer of straw.  Everyday I will turn under the straw and add more as needed.  I tried this once before but used hay as recommended.  It really didn’t  work well as hay gets wet easily and it made a stinky mess..  Straw is much better for this deep method and will compost nicely.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this snowy day.  I hope you have a wonderful day. Carole 

 

  





BOOKS I AM READING-BEAUTIFUL ROSIE-THE WINDS

20 02 2015

GREETINGS

This morning looking out my kitchen window I saw two Blue Jays sitting on a branch of the crabapple tree.  ONe was feeding the other a sunflower seed.  It’s these small things that makes a sometimes difficult life on the farm worth it.

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BOOKS I AM READING   FRESH EGGS DAILY BY LISA STEELE

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If you can afford only one book about raising chickens get this one.  I found her blog online when Hazel got the respiratory thing again and followed her advise about herbs.  WIthin a week he was better and I continued the herbs for another week,  It was amazing.  I wanted to know more and her book has it all.  She raises her chicken holistically like I do.  Her practical tips for good diets and health issues  and what to have on hand for an emergency is priceless.  

BEAUTIFUL ROSIE

I took this picture early this morning.  She is content on the nest and laid a beautiful egg.

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THE WINDS

It was supposed to get up to the mid 20’s today but that never happened.  The winds came up around noontime and are still howling.  You can’t be outside long on this day.

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

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TWO MORE CHANCES OF SNOW- SHORTY-VIOLETS FIRST EGG-HELEN

18 02 2015

GREETINGS

The last snowstorm left us with 4 inches.  It snowed for almost 36 hours so I was sure we would get a lot.  A pleasant surprise.  Its going to snow tonight into tomorrow with 2 – 4 inches and again over the weekend.  But today after temps below zero its suppose to get into the mid twenties.  On the good side of things oil prices are low so that helps out in the heating department.

This is how Shorty handles snowstorms

This is how Shorty handles snowstorms

VIOLET”S FIRST EGG

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Morticia is eating and Violet is waiting for her turn.

Violet laid her first egg yesterday.  Its small but shaped like her Mom’s.  I have included a picture of VIolets egg, her Mom’s and Mrs. Brown’s.

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Violet’s egg with her Mothers on top.  Mrs. Brown is on the bottom.  Mrs. Brown’s eggs are always plumper.

 .Eggs are interesting and if you purchase eggs in the store all the time they all look the same.  But buying from a local farmer or raising your own you notice how each eggs is different and in families the egg shape stays the same.  I wonder why in the U.S.  eggs and fruit have to be perfect.  In nature and on organic farms they are not.  They are just as good though.

Chris and I are working on cleaning the barn.  It’s really too cold to spend a lot of time in there.  We have been spending and hour or so a day.  Today we are getting 10 bales of hay from Joe.  He doesn’t have much left.  I have shoveled the to the top of the small hill in back and plan to get sandbags to lay across it.  HOping that will make a difference in water coming into the barn.  I hope we have a slow snow melt.

Looking out the downstairs bathroom window.  There is a stone wall in there somewhere

Looking out the downstairs bathroom window. There is a stone wall in there somewhere

Helen

We brought Helen in last night, she has an impacted crop.  Some hens are susceptible to this.  SHe was getting beat up on by the rooster who  is kind to the other hen.  He will spend next winter in the barn by himself.  I am massaging her crop and hopefully moving things through and she is getting only yogurt and boiled egg for the next 24 hours.  I will massage her crop tonight too.  She is a sweet girl hope she can get through this..  This is the last cage I have so I hope that everyone else can stay in the coop!!!!!!!!!

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny winter day.  I hope your day is wonderful.   Carole

 

 





A BOOK FIND-A WHOPPIE PIE DAY-CHRIS COMES-ANOTHER STORM

14 02 2015

GREETINGS

As I write this snow is coming down heavily and I can’t see the mountain across the valley.  The temps have been brutal with 15 below this morning. Winds are suppose to pick up and temps will go even lower.  They still aren’t sure how much snow this storm will bring.  It will be a surprise.  Things are already being shut down in Boston.  I am glad that I don’t have to be out in it but my daughter Cindy has to go to classes today.   A BOOK FIND

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Amongst the books that were in the pile from Belchertown was this oldie.  Printed in 1909 by the Connecticut Valley Historical Society.  The History of Springfield in Massachusetts its called..  The book is filed with historical facts not only of Springfield but of the surrounding towns.  I am looking forward to reading it and learning new things about our area.  The following are a couple of pictures from the book.

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A WHOPPIE PIE DAY

It’s a great day to make Whoppie Pies  They are taking that winds could get as high as 60 miles an hour tomorrow so having comfort food around is a good thing.

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CHRIS IS HERE

Chris came last night and its nice to have him here.  We will be catching up on barn chores and a few other things while he is here.

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

 

 

 





WINTER’S GRIP- SENIOR LUNCH-A GLIMPSE AND SMELL OF SPRING-LIL

11 02 2015

GREETINGS

WINTER’S GRIP

The 3 day storm left us with well over a foot of snow.  We did find room to put it, more is expected on Thursday into Friday.  I don’t mind the snow so much but its the bone chilling below zero temps that bother me.  Anyone  who has spent a good deal of time outside may have had some finger frostbite.  This bitter cold plays havoc with that.

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Snow gives one a chance to see what is coming to your property I have rabbits, raccoons and all sorts of birds moles too  Of course neighbors cats come too.  What’s on your property?

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Lots of ice this year.

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Lil loves the snow.

SENIOR LUNCH

Today is senior lunch day.  I look forward to it each month.  It’s a chance for me to meet people in town. A good meal and good conversation.  Its educational too with people  talking about health insurance and local events.

THE SMELL OF SPRING

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The grouping of hyacinth’s has made my kitchen smell wonderful and spring like.I like the grouping idea so much that I plan to do it in a few more rooms next year.  Just what I need to get rid of the winter drearies.

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MAKING YOGURT

Yesterday I made yogurt for the chickens.  Its good for them and a good way to use up milk that has gone a little off.  I seem to be making a lot more these days.

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My son’s boys shoveled yesterday and uncovered the woodpile.  I hope to get the rest of the wood on the porch today so I can get to cleaning the barn.  Seed catalogs are pouring into my mailbox and many interesting ways to garden are now showing up on facebook.   Hope you have a delightful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole