SHOWS-MAKING BIRD TREATS AND FEEDERS-THE FIRST EGG-HELEN UPDATE

28 11 2015

GREETINGS

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I am so happy to be back blogging.  We have had such warm weather for November, cooler temps are coming in this afternoon but still not too cold.  I am grateful for the time to get things in order on the farm and still have a few tasks to complete before the ground freezes.  The sunsets here have been so beautiful.

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SHOWS

The Crafts of Colrain was a well attended event and I enjoyed the crowds, friends visiting and many new people came .I am busily making new inventory.  

The Shelburne Falls Autumn Farmers Market is one of my favorite shows.  So many different vendors with farmers set up with their fall and winter veggies.  Lots of fun and a easy, relaxing show.

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MAKING BIRD TREATS AND FEEDERS

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I found this recipe to make the suit block out of coconut oil.  I bought a small bag of mixed seed and nuts and made it.  Its so much cheaper to make  (for me at least because I buy my coconut oil  in 50 lb containers)  They say its better for the birds and they are enjoying it.  The whole thing takes about 5 minutes to make.  I layer a container with foil and add with about an inch of the seed and nut mix then melt the coconut oil at low temp and pour  over it and let it harden.

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FEEDERS

I love this feeder.  I won it at the Heath Fair some years ago.  This year I put it on top of a 4×4 and it has attracted so many birds.  I think I can make one so in the spring I will attempt it and put it on the other side of the porch.

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THE FIRST EGG

It has been well over 6 weeks since I have gotten any eggs.  I did buy a dozen but even though they say they are organic they don’t look or taste as fresh as mineIMG_6096

Matilda has laid the first one and continues to lay and egg a day.  I am sure the others will follow suit soon.

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HELEN UPDATE

She is doing well and living inside till next spring.  Her house is ready for her, Mrs. Brown and Hazel  will be put where there are no grasses .

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this rainy day.  Carole

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A CATS DAY WITH SNOW-MENDING

12 01 2015

GREETINGS

Its a balmy 30 degrees today, no coat need in the barn although water was frozen in the chicken area.  It was very cold last evening.

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A CAT’S DAY WITH SNOW

For many years having a house full of cats I realize a snow day means lots of wonderful things to them.  Some cats sleep the day away but Willie knows that there will be birds in the lilac bushes. Most of his day will be watching them fly from the feeder to the bushes.

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Sam on the other hand has found the newly mended sweater and will spend his day happily dozing on that.

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Shorty has found a pile of wool which I need to put away and is napping on that and Owen and Baby are seeping together in a quiet room downstairs near the food.

MENDING

The sweater was found in a box of things from Belchertown.  I had forgotten about it.  Its hand-spun from a wool and silk combination from my friend Ceacy.  Done in the early 90’s it sat in this box.   It had 4 or 5 mice holes and I was worried about how I would mend it.  Its not a great job but worked out okay.  I am wearing the sweater daily as the wool is soft and warm.

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I can remember my Grandmother teaching me how to crochet this rug as a teenager.  I think it was a large project for someone who didn’t know how to crochet but I learned.  The increases were the difficult part and I learned a lot from making this rug.  My Grandmother was an accomplished crocheter.  SHe made elaborate tablecloths and doilies. It was a passion of hers and you could see it in her work.  I have gone on to make many crocheted things and enjoy it .

This rug had a few holes from years of wear and I fixed it as best I could and it will again be on the floors of this house.

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  It was made out of Aunt Lydia’s Rug yarn which at that time was cotton. When cleaning the attic I found a stash of the yarn and an unfinished piece which I hope to finish this winter.

I find mending to be an uplifting thing to do.   You are making something usable again and the memories from the piece come flooding back.  I remember buying the wonderful wool from Ceacy.  I remember spinning and making the sweater and wearing it.  Doing the rug I remember the sweet days of my Grandmother showing me how to crochet.  Priceless moments that were shared between us.

Today we are having a gentle snow, the temps are warm and it may turn to sleet later this afternoon.  The birds are very active and its fun watching them.  I hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole 

Pea fowl at Pine Hill Flying to and fro Saturday while we were knitting.

Pea fowl at Pine Hill Flying to and fro Saturday while we were knitting.

 





JULY’S SALVE DONE-LIL PICKING BLUEBERRIES FOR THE FIRST TIME-LIFE ON THE FARM-PARENTS FOUND

21 07 2014

GREETINGS

JULY’S SALVE DONE

Yesterday was overcast here and the temps were good.  A great day for making Salve.

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 The salve smelled great even before I added a some drops of lavender essential oil.  It had been brewing for 3 months.  Today I will make up another batch and set it in the sun to infuse and make it up in late September.

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LIL PICKING BLUEBERRIES

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One of my blueberry plants has a good number of berries on it.  It happens that Lil just loves blueberries and I wanted to show her where they come from.  Well she would have eaten every one and was so delighted that she could just pick them and pop them into her mouth.

LIFE ON THE FARM

Chris and I have been moving fence almost every day so the sheep get a little fresh grass.  There is another big area that I can fence in but there are some plants  that I have to investigate first.  SOme plants make sheep very sick.  In a big field they would avoid them but where there is not a lot of grass they might eat them.  I can’t take that chance so I will seek out some advice before that area is fenced in.

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So far I have filled up 7 bags of kindling from broken branches and trimming of large shrubs.  I hope to get at least 20 bags done and that may last through the wood heating season.  The town will be cutting a tree down across the street from my house, I hope I can get the wood from that tree, that will be a big help this winter.  There are two tracts of land in back of me one is a 5 acre parcel and the other a 6 acre parcel.  At some point I hope I can buy the 5 acre parcel and have some trees cut and increase the area for my sheep, planting some good grasses in it.  All will have to be done by hand because it’s very rocky but 100 years ago it was pasture so I know its doable.

All the flowers and roses have overgrown the path to the back yard.  I have been putting up old fence posts and tieing bailing twine on them to hold them back.  Its working well and the pathway is much clearer.

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PARENT’S FOUND

Yesterday my son found this poor little baby bird on the chicken fence.  It was crying and its tail feathers were just coming in.  It held onto my finger with all its might and was calling and calling for its parents., meanwhile a neighbors cat was hovering around the area.  My Son put it on a branch and we walked away watching it and then its parents came and fed it.  I am sure it fine.  This year  there are so many birds nesting here and visiting the farm.  I am sure a lot of it has to do with permaculture.  The land and the plants on it are so good now.  Plenty for them  to eat. The songs in the mornings and evenings are so delightful.  I would like to record them for wintertime listening.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this delightful summer day.  please visit the farm again.  Carole





MORTICIA-WREN FAMILY IN THE FRONT BIRD HOUSE-SURPRISE IN THE MAIL-THEOLD SINK

25 06 2014

GREETINGS

MORTICIA

Morticia is sitting on two eggs this morning and acting very broody.  As soon as the two roosters start crowing she and Samantha will be moved outside, sharing the side yard with Mrs. Brown,Hazel and Millie.  They will be separated for a time until they get used to each other.

A FAMILY OF WRENS

Mom and Dad have been feeding the young in the front bird house.IMG_3303

.  They are small birds with sweet voices.  I think they are Wrens.

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 The side bird house has chickadee’sin it this year.  There is a large Robin’s nest in the willow tree and a Blue Jay nest in the CHestnut tree next door.  The morning songs are wonderful.

GREENFIELD FARMERS COOP

The Greenfield Farmers Coop lost a valuable employee this past week.  Jimmy passed away suddenly.  He was my to go to person for anything to do with animals.  He was helpful, funny and kind.  He will be sorely missed.  It reminds me to take the time to tell people how much I appreciate them.

A SURPRISE IN THE MAIL

Yesterday I got a surprise in the mail from my friend Susan.  T wonderful red embroidery pieces.  

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I just love them and will incorporate them into a small bed pillows.  I have bed pillows and use them every night and Minnie does too.

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 They made my day.  I want to do more embroidery this year and last year bought a book on patterns.  I have started one but used a flimsy muslin and now realize that I really needed a stronger more dense fabric. The boys and I cleaned out the most of the bottom of the barn yesterday.  It is all orderly and things easy to get to.  They both are so very  helpful to me.  Today we will spend some time in the attic.  I want to clean it out and label each box.  It will be time consuming to do that but in the end I will save lots of time knowing what is in each box.  I am sure I will find some treasures too.

THE OLD SINK OR ZINK AS MY GRANDMOTHER CALLED IT

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This sink was at the side of the road.  I loved it and had many ideas of what could be done with it.  But it was fall then so it was put in the back of the downstairs barn. Rediscovered again yesterday, Ricky will make a bird bath for the side yard out of it.

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





MORE ABOUT COLTSFOOT-BRIMFIELD ANTIQUE SHOW

13 05 2014

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MORE ABOUT COLTSFOOT

It is one of the first flowers of spring and was used in Britain as a sign of a medical practitioner.  More information and dye instructions can be found  in A Calendar of COmmon Dye Plants by Dee Duke and Rowena Edlin-WHite.  You can get this wonderful dye book on Amazon.  I highly recommend this unique  book.

The coltsfoot has gone to seed, I have picked some seed in hopes it will take along side the road.

The coltsfoot has gone to seed, I have picked some seed in hopes it will take along side the road.

 

 

BRIMFIELD ANTIQUE SHOW

It’s a beautiful day here in Western Massachusetts and the throngs of people will be at Brimfield Antique SHow.  People will be there as early as 5 am to get the best buys.  My friend Susan always has a booth there.  For anyone who has not been it can take days to see all the wonderful antiques and unique items.

THE ROBIN

When I was getting the second batch of hay I  saw a Robin in the road.  It was just standing there and looked like it was just about full-grown, not someone who had fallen out of its nest.  Hawks were flying over so I decided to take it inside the house.  After 20 minutes it seemed fine and was starting to fly around so I released it by my Crab Apple tree.  It stayed in the tree for an hour or so going from branch to branch and then flew off.  I hope it survives it didn’t mind being held, seeming to understand that I would do it no harm.  Every once in a while you get a glimpse of wildlife up close and its a privilege.

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Many thanks or reading my blog today and I hope you had a lovely day.   Carole

 





HUMMINGBIRDS-MOURNING DOVES-HOUSE SPARROWS AND BIRDHOUSES

31 08 2013

Hello

,Today is a funny day with heat and humidity, sun, thunderstorms and rain.

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The Hummingbirds

This morning while checking my e-mail a Hummingbird was out with the Jewel weed.   Darting from flower to flower I wish I had my camera and then it came right over to the window. The bee’s have been there since they started blooming too.    We always have hummingbirds here and once I was lucky enough to see one at rest.

       MOURNING DOVES

Today while up in the barn I saw the two Mourning Doves that hang around the farm, they were in the pasture.  It got me to wondering where do they nest.  I have never seen one.  SO I looked them up and they can either nest on the ground or in trees.  People can help them by making cone shapes out of hardware cloth and put them in the V’s of trees.  I am putting that on my calendar to do next spring.

HOUSE SPARROWS

People either love them or despise them,  I really like them.  Since planting places for them to hide and feeding them in the winter I have had many here all year round.  They hide in the Holly and Christmas tree out front.  I need to have an area in back for them and this year got two Canadian Hemlock but neither took.  That hot spell even with lots of watering killed them off.  Next spring I will have to get some larger stock.  This year there was a nest in the Crab apple tree just outside the kitchen window, I could hear the young call for food and watched them as they learned to fly.  I love their song.

BIRD HOUSES

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It seems that this year was the year to fix bird houses.  I took done the white church that Debbie gave me, that bird house always reminded me of my Dad.   Many Chickadee’s have been raised in it but not this year.  I am going to fix it and put the steeple back on and put it around  near the computer room.

WE ARE THE PEOPLE. OUR VOICES SHOULD BE HEARD

Jf  you are for a war with Syria or against let your voice be heard.  I e-mailed the President and my Congressman to let them know my feelings about this today.  I urge you to do the same.

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