NEW LOOM, VISITING FRIENDS-GARDENERS BASIL & LIME SOAP-BUS TRIP TO THE 2018 MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL.

15 05 2017

GREETING FRIENDS

MY FAVORITE SPRING FLOWER

Today is the last of the rainy, dreary, damp and cold days.  The sun is suppose to come out this afternoon and the winds are going to pick up and dry it all off.  We are certainly not in a drought situation any more.   There is so much to do this spring I have almost finished manuring and weeding the front yard and need to get to the back this week.  I am transplanting some wild raspberries  near a fence in the front area, hoping to be able to contain them better.  My female elderberry isn’t doing well, does anyone know if they are hard to root.  I would love to start some new ones.  The male plant is flourishing.

NEW LOOM AND A VISIT WITH FRIENDS

I have been looking for a loom for months now and knew that one would come along.  When mentioning it to my friends Ulla and Dick they said they had the perfect one for me.  A 36 inch Leclerc  4 harness loom.  It’s a beauty. And there is a story behind it.  They drove up to Canada to pick it up!  Solid Maple which will be good for rugs.  About a year after I sold my looms I did a workshop at The Springfield Weavers and realized that I missed weaving.  Especially overshot which is my favorite weave.   And  also I needed a way to use up the boxes and boxes of hand-spun yarn in the sewing room.  I have decided to have it in my downstairs bedroom and have taken the room apart and made room. Now I would like to refresh the room with some paint and the loom will have a new home.

I had a wonderful visit with Ulla and Dick on the loom picking up day.  It was shearing day for them and it was wonderful to watch Aaron (my new shearer) get the job done.  He has just gotten back from Australia where he sheared hundreds of sheep.

Ulla in the background and Aaron shearing

  We had a wonderful day remembering old times,  new projects and garden ideas.  I can’t wait to visit again to see the new weathervane that Dick is making.  I was lucky enough to see a picture of it almost done.  Itsa carved turtle.  Next time pictures.  When I next visit them they will have their new chickens.

THEIR SHEEP ALL SHEARED

LYMES

The 90 days on Doxicycline did very little for the Lymes Disease I have.    I did tolerate it well though.  I will now be on another antibiotic as it is summer and with Doxi I could have a severe reaction from the sun.  I will be on it for at least 6 months and there is no guarantee.  I have to try it .  I have already had many ticks on me they say that this year is going to be one of the worst.  I am going to make up a herbal concoction to spray on myself each day.

BASIL-LIME WITH GROUND UP CORN GARDENERS SOAP AND OATMEAL SOAP

 

I made these two soaps a couple of weeks ago and they are now drying on racks.  They will be ready for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fest.  The kitchen is filled with their smells. It was the first time I used my grinder and I love it.

 

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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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EXCITEMENT ON THE FARM-MORE HAY-MAKING SALVE

7 09 2015

GREETINGS

Heat and humidity coming back.  

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A truck load of watermelon at the hay farm.

EXCITEMENT ON THE FARM

last night while putting my side yard chickens to bed I heard the sound of a coyote in the back .  This is the first time that I have heard that sound on this mountain range.  Often they are heard howling on the mountain range across the river.  Well I expected this sooner or later.I will have to do some researching before winter comes.

This morning the sheep were out munching on  my son’ts lawn.  Somehow the gate was unhooked.  They came right back home when they saw my son.   I wonder how that happened.  That is the first time that has happened in all the years I have lived here.  Something else that has to be checked.

How dare someone accuse me of being out I would never do such a thing!

How dare someone accuse me of being out I would never do such a thing!

A skunk is visiting the farm and I am very glad when skunks are around there are no mice or rats.

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MORE HAY

Betty and Dylan came on Saturday and got more hay and Cindy and Chris got hay on Sunday.  My barn is almost full.  The hundred bales of hay are for the spring April through June.  I will keep buying hay throughout the winter but in those spring months there is often not much hay around  this way I should be safe till next haying season.  Thanks so much.

Cindy with a bale on the front seat

Cindy with a bale on the front seat

SALVE MAKING

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Yesterday I made another batch of salve.   Still have another batch brewing and the Poison Ivy Salve which I hope to make this week.

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MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES

Yesterday everyone was making hay.  Great weather for it.   I think that there will be a good supply of second cut although it’s pretty pricey.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this beautiful summer day.  Carole

 

 

 





WATER WATER EVERYWHERE-HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN-SIDE YARD CHICKENS

27 08 2015

GREETINGS

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Another  beautiful day is on the horizon.  The humidity has gone and cooler temps are here with a nice breeze.  How lucky we are.  Next week the humidity is back with temps in the 90’s.  Thats New England for you.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Croc's won't do in this weather

Croc’s won’t do in this weather

This week we had some terrible rains.  More than two inches came pouring down an hour.  It was in sheets and I spent the entire morning bailing out and digging more trenches.  Some mud and water came in the barn but not much.  My efforts saved the day

Lucy was wondering what was going on

Lucy was wondering what was going on

. The best thing I did was to dig a trench on the side of the barn down to the end.

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The garden flourished with the rain and it seems like the jewel weed grew a foot taller!!  It seems like this is how its going to be now, this summer we have not received many gentle rains, its comes down in torrents and dumps so much that there is flooding everywhere.  This is now the norm.

HAZEL AND MRS. BROWN

Hazel has really improved and is eating well again Mrs. Brown is laying an egg every day now and building elaborate nests.

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SIDE YARD CHICHEN AREA

The Hops, Morning Glories and other flowers have outdid themselves this year.  I do hate the netting I have up though, and hope that next year I can put up the trellis work it will look nicer and be easier to walk under.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today, I hope you enjoy the day.  Carole

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THE NEW HEN-THE RAINS-KING-FERDINAND JOINS THE FLOCK

13 08 2015

GREETINGS

Another beautiful day is in store for us .  I am spending the afternoon sorting a fleece at my friends, Jane and Harry’s farm with the rest of the spinning group.  What fun.

THE NEW HEN

The other night I went to close the side yard hens up and she was not in her nesting area as usual.  She was walking around the Caravan looking in.  Then she walked to her house and up ran Rosie who hadn’t been so nice to her, they both look into the house and Rosie walked back to the caravan and hoped in.  Along comes Gladys and she walks up and jumps in too..

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I learned early on with chickens that they do things in their own time.  They have accepted her and she is an equal with them.  All is good in the side yard.  Hazel and Mrs. Brown have return outside in the dog house and will remain there till  till the middle of September  when they will come in for the winter.

THE RAINS

I thought I was prepared for the rains, Chris redug the ditch and I dug up near the barn door but late Tuesday night when i went into the barn it was raining downstairs again and the water had come through the barn again.  I had a complete meltdown, I was so worried I would lose the hay.  Lauren, Tyler and Charlie came over the next morning and we moved the hay.  Only 6 or so bales were affected and I was able to save a portion of them.  The barn is drying out and the problem should be fixed soon.

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A NEW MEMBER JOINS THE FLOCK

While moving the hay around Lauren noticed this little guy in the sheep area.   I have seen him when he was quite smaller in the garden.  I have name him King Ferdinand he is the biggest toad I have seen here.  He was escorted back to the garden .

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Hope you have a wonderful day and thank you so much for reading my blog.  Carole

After Breakfast

After Breakfast





BLUEBERRY PICKING-MAKING HERBAL VINEGAR-HELEN-A CAT STORY

17 07 2015

GREETINGS

The hot and hazy summer day are here but Wednesday night brought low temps and a cold breeze.  The days of summer are having me doing things that I love, making vinegar. drying herbs, putting up food and trying to stock  my shelves for the long winter ahead.  Oh how I wish for a couple of acres then I would hardly have to visit the grocery store.  But I will make do and be grateful for the land that I have.

BLUEBERRY PICKING

On Wednesday  Chris and I, Lauren, Charlie  Tyler and Lil went blueberry picking.  Li ate more than she picked.

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 The farm is along route 2 about 10 minutes from the house.  Its located on a hill top overlooking the valley below.

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 The berries were huge and in no time we had 16 pounds and Lauren and family had a little less.

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I am hoping to get 50 pounds picked this summer.  I freeze them on cookie sheets and then bag them up.

MAKING HERBAL VINEGAR

I have been making Herbal Vinegar since I was in my twenties.  I use them and give them away as gifts.  Today I made a Dill/Garlic, a Rosemary/Garlic and a Oregano, Thyme and Garlic .

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HELEN

She has made a remarkable recover and will have her stitches out on MOnday.  SHe is eating me out of house and home, making up for lost time.

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 We are working on her new home today.

A CAT STORY

I had a beautiful white cat named Ernest Dodge.  He was one of the many rescue cats that I had gotten.  He ran and played the days away.  One day I noticed this small black cat looking in the living room window watching Ernest only.  I am not taking any more cats I have way too many I said.

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She was at the window watching  Ernest  everyday with this loving look.  I started feeding her and in two weeks she was at the vets getting fixed.  SHe followed Ernest everywhere, cuddled with him it was pure love.  I found this old picture of Ethel Dodge (both  cats named for a  great Aunt and Uncle who meant so much to me) and all the wonderful memories came flooding back.  Animals come and go in my life, each one is special, each one I am grateful for no matter how they have come into my life, and yes more animals have knocked at my door and I have let them in.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this wonderful summer day.  I hope you are enjoying the day.  Carole 

 





HELEN-SPINNING CLASS-NEW FRAME FOR EMBRODERY

12 07 2015

GREETINGS

Yesterday was a wonderful day, clothes dried well and there was a slight breeze.  Today there will be humidity in the air so outside chores will be done early.

Still working on the bathroom where the ceiling was pulled down.  Have the window area all cleaned up of debris. Bottles are being replenished with lavender/Cider vinegar for the Bath .  The old tin box holds all my shoe polishes and brushes.  With hardly a closet or storage area in this Old Farmhouse one must invent places to store things.

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HELEN

Helen has had a few glitches with a call to the Vet but now seems to be recovering .  SHe is eating well and talking like she use to. She likes being in the kitchen where there is much activity and loves being held.

She was caught eating the newspaper so now old sheets are her bedding.

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Mmmmm Scrambled eggs with corn

SPINNING CLASS

Yesterday was the first of two sessions of Spinning Class  It went great with each girl making wonderful yarn.  Joan was a member of our Woolgathers Spinning Group and Deb is a new comer to spinning.  We had a lot of fun and they were given parts of 3 fleeces to wash during the week.  We will be working on carding and spinning those fleeces, talking about all sorts of dyeing and spinning mohair, linen and cotton next week.  Great fun.  Thanks Liz at SHeep and SHawl.

Great Yarn

Great Yarn

THE OLD FARM SCENE

It’s funny how you remember every detail of some things you did in your life and other things just slip your mind.  I remember being with my Aunt Milly in a tiny craft store in Longmeadow, Mass.  I saw this delightful embroidery pattern and wanted it, it reminded me of all my wonderful days spent at Old Sturbridge Village.  She bought it for me .  I spent hours and hours sitting in front of the fireplace in the Victorian house I lived in, working on this.  It needed cleaning and the frame that it was in wasn’t quite right.

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The old frame has been in my family for a while and with some adjustments it will accommodate the picture.  I love the attention to detail in this. Cat on the roof, the sledders looking like they were doing 100 miles an hour, chickens eating.

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

Lil came over and wanted to play the piano.  

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