PUSSY WILLOWS-ONE MITTEN FINISHED

29 02 2016

GREETING

The weather has been crazy.  One day last week we had 3 inches of rain.  Roads and driveways washed out.

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Rivers overflowed their banks.  Only a few patches of snow left in the woods.  Maple sugaring season has started.  Buckets are out and steam is coming from sugar houses and yes its mud season here.IMG_6469

PUSSY WILLOWS

  Every year its gets harder and harder to reach the pussy willows. I am trimming them and have started some branches to root in water

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MITTENS

I have started the second mitten  I have made a pair of these before but remember having an easier time with the decreasing on the top .  They are a dense mitten which will surely keep my hands warm.

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FIBERuary is over and It was fun and  I learned so much from each blogger and presenter at Sheep and Shawl.  Be sure to check in with Sheep and Shawl and The FIBERuary site for more events that will be happening throughout the year.

CHICKENS

The two coops have merged and things have settled down.  The weather has been so warm that I have taken off the insulation on the door and am letting them out every day.

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

 

 

 





HELEN-SNOW-EGGS-MAPLE SUGARING

1 03 2015

GREETINGS

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HELEN

Helen is improving slowly, these things take time.  The vet said that she will be prone to these problems in the future so she will have to be watched closely.  SHe and Eddie will be together in the dog/chicken house on the side yard.  The bantams will be in the other  enclosed yard on the side.  I am going to change things around there so that I have a little more garden space.

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 SNOW

6-8 inches is expected  and its started as flurries .   I was suppose to go to a Mass Sheep Show meeting in Hadley.  Even though its only 20 or so miles away it can be a world away in a snowstorm.  So I have decided not to go keeping safety at the forefront.  Our higher elevation tends to get more fierce driving conditions and going home could be dangerous.

eggs

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The days are getting longer and the chickens have started  laying  more eggs.  Yesterday I got 5 eggs from the outside coops. There are 12 birds outside, 2 of them are roosters and Francis is 12 years old and is in semi-retirement (although this past summer laid a wonderful blue egg every other day) so 5 out of 9 is a great number for mornings that start out with 10 below temps.

MARIGOLD

MARIGOLD

MAPLE SYRUP

The local sugarhouse is open for pancakes and more but the sap is not running yet.  Its still frozen in the trees.  We need some above freezing days and freezing night to get things going.

IMG_4636This is the back road up to Joe’s place where I get hay.  Its lined with Maple trees as they did in the old days.  Lots of back roads are lined with spectacular Maples making it easier to get a horse drawn sled  to the trees.  My Cousin Ernest sugared with a team of horses deep into the woods that sloped to the east.  He and the team of work horses worked well together.  I am glad that I was able to spend time at his farm each spring .  It is a beautiful memory.

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The sky was so blue yesterday with no clouds.  I may complain about the winter and summer weather but I do love New England.

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





MORTICIA-THE SAP IS RUNNING-COPPER DYE-THE BARN

1 04 2014

HELLO

My computer is running very slow, tried a couple of things today but it only did a little

MORTICIA

Snacks of cantaloupe were served yesterday afternoon and Morticia hopped right down from the nest.

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I took this picture and removed the egg that was laid yesterday.

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ALL EGGS ARE MARKED NOW.

THE SAP IS RUNNING

I do love this time of year, there are many small syrup making operations in this area and a couple of very large ones.  Davenports in Shelburne is a great place to go.  The food is great and the views are spectacular..  I hope to sugar next year.

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COPPER DYE

I found a gallon of copper dye that I had made last fall and dyed this wool.  I like the color it came out but I did have to dip it several times.  The dye I made recently was made for some very old ammonia and didn’t do well, so I have another going.

before and after dyeing

before and after dyeing

THE BARN

Lauren, Tyler and Charlie dug trenches and cleaned some of the barn and placed the sandbags in front of the door on Sunday.  On Sunday night we had lots of rain and none came into the barn.  There are still puddles of water but with this lovely warm weather today it will dry up soon.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny day, clothes are drying in the gentle breezes.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MARCH WINDS-A MAPLE SUGAR STORY-MINNIE

4 03 2013

Hello,

March Winds

Today we had March Winds.  The sun makes it look like its warm out, as soon as you step out the door it hits you.  The house gets cold quickly with the wind and you know what windows need a draft dodger.

Maple Sugaring

The spinning group met at Jen’s house today.  They have all the sap buckets out and make around 7 gallons a year.  They have a big family and share with relatives

This is a clever way to use old plastic syrup containers.

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 Its comforting for me to see sap buckets.  Its reminds me of my childhood.  My Dad and Mom, Grandfather and Uncle Roger all piled into the car and went to my Cousins Ethel and Ernest Dodges place in Chesterfield, Massachusetts..  Chesterfield is a small town in the Berkshires.  At that time almost everyone who lived in that town was a relative.    My Grandfather was a butcher and would bring up a roast and Cousin Ethel would put it in her oven in the  huge black , wood cook stove .  My Dad and I would walk through the woods down to the sugar house where my Cousin Ernest would be with his team of horses, emptying the big vat of sap.  He would have taken the sled around to each tree and emptied the buckets.  Steam would be rising and the sweet smell of sap would be floating in the air..  After the days activities we would have a huge meal and dessert would be Sugar on Snow.   Fresh snow from the woods would be brought in and hot maple syrup would be poured on it.  I can never remember the ride home, I was tuckered out from the days activities.  

Several times a year I visit the Dodge place, they are long gone now but their relatives now have a blueberry farm there and I bring my grandchildren there to pick every year.  The old barn with the three seater is also gone, but memories linger on.

Minnie

I was able to get an earlier appointment with the vet so tomorrow she will go.  She has something wrong with one of her eyes and I want her to be checked out.  She is cold and the following picture although dark shows her on top of the pellet stove.  Of course coming from such a warm country and getting thrown into the frigid north isn’t good.  She was out all day with the other cats and that may be too much for her too.  Tomorrow we will get some answers.

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





MORE SNOW COMING-TEA’S GAME-RICKY AND CHRIS

22 02 2013

Hello,

More snow is coming.  Six to eight inches of wet snow tomorrow into tomorrow night, clearing out sometime Sunday.  Today we saw a lot of people in the woods setting up tubing for making maple syrup.  When I was doing it I usually started the end of February.  There were times in late January when we would have a good thaw and could get going then.  I will be glad to start doing syrup again in 2014.  No more hauling buckets all tubing now.

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Now I will have to figure out what to do with these syrup pails.  I have already used some as trash cans.

Tea’s Game.

The boys and I went to the game on Wednesday night.  It was another good game against some good players, but in the end Belchertown won again.  They are going to be in the finals.  Tea scored 12 points in the game.

Chris and Ricky

They have been here since Monday and we have gotten a lot accomplished.  I have my first item on ETSY and still working making the farm page inviting.  Ricky finished painting my diningroom and Chris has been cleaning the barn.  Today we will do more computer work and barn cleaning and hopefully some inventory.  I hope to get the cat toys on etsy and maybe one more item.

DOGGY

We had to stop by the vets to pick up Sammy’s medication and one of the animals that lives there loves Chris.  This dog is the greeter for the clinic and only has three legs.  He is a  happy dog and is unaware of his disability.

Pine Hill Orchard is now selling things from the Crafts of Colrain so today I brought up some Herbal Salve.  I will slowly be bringing items there.  This is ski season up north and many skiers hit Pine Hill on their way home.

MARLEY

Marley is enjoying the sun from the upper barn window.

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





Flowering Maple Quilt Squares Lavender Sachets

9 09 2012

 

I bought this Flowering Maple 2 years ago.  It has done well in spite of my traveling. It bloomed most of the winter.  I keep it in the sunniest room in the house and it requires a lot of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUILT SQUARES

I bought these sweet quilt squares on e-bay.  They are only 4 inches square but are hand sewed.  FOr the past several years I wanted to have quilt square sachets.  I thought it would be a nice addition to my other items.  I recognized many of the fabrics from seeing my paternal Grandmothers quilts.  She was a seamstress and made quilts out the leftovers.  I have 3 of hers to put a backing on.  She died in her mid 60’s so sadly I never got to meet her.

I am also sewing all my weaving  overshot samples too.  How many of those do I need.

 

 

 

 

It was a lovely day here today, nice temps and a breeze.  My son and I cleaned out the bottom of the barn.

My evaporator for making maple syrup is stored in the back.  He and I plan to make Maple syrup.  There are plenty of maples in the back.  We will probably use tubing, when I lived in Belchertown and sugared I hand carried buckets every day.  Can’t do that these days. I might put up one bucket close to the sheep’s area I love hearing the tap-tap tap of the  sweet liquid going into the bucket.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by.

Carole