WINTER SIGHTS-MABLE AND EDNA- CRANBERRY-ROSEMARY VINEGAR-COSMO

15 01 2017

GREETINGS

I have been out of commission for a few weeks with a wrenched back.    Getting back into the swig of things again.    The weather has sure been fickle and  there are many bare spots now.  We are in for a cold snap of zero temps at night for the next few nights then back in the 40’s for a while.

Winter Sights

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These were all taken in Colrain.

Mable the chicken

I got Mable this summer with Edna.  Both were due to lay  in the fall.  Edna laid beautiful  pinky-beige eggs and I waited and waited for Mable to lay.  She is the second Cuckoo  Maran that I have had.  Maran’s are suppose  lay very dark almost chocolate colored eggs.  I never did get a dark egg until one cold night I was doing my nightly count and I noticed 5 dark eggs on the floor.  Mable had finally done it and the eggs are dark with some chocolate specks all around them.  A delight for me.  These two sweet birds are named for two of my favorite Great Aunts.  This coming year I would love to get another Olive Egger.  The kingdom of chickens has changed since I first started with them.   It’s exciting to have such a selection of birds to pick from in the spring.

Cranberry-Rosemary Vinegar

I have had the most fun making this delightful vinegar during the holiday season.  It’s easy to make and  can be used as a marinate or as a salad dressing.  I used it in making a dressing for Coleslaw and it added a new dimension to the dressing

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If you want to make this find a nice  bottle.  I have friends saving wine bottles for me.  Get some organic cranberries and place them in the jar.  Add one or two branches according to the bottle’s size.  Fill with a quality white vinegar.  Cap and let stand at least two weeks.  A festive holiday 

COSMO

Cosmo has been doing very well, although the tumor has grown.  He snuggles with me in bed now and talks up a storm when I am on the computer.   Each day is a gift.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this cold winter day.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 





DRIED TOMATOES-THE MOHAWK TRAIL-SAMMY

8 10 2014

Bad weather was coming through my area last night and in some parts of town it did.  There was at least one micro burst in town in which cars were in trees and 100 year old trees were thrown around..   Some things on the porch were knocked over but no water in the barn.  I made sure everything was dug out before I went to bed.

DRIED TOMATOES

The tomatoes dried nicely and I will do more today.  It takes a lot of dried tomatoes  to fill a small jar.  The recipe called for blanching the dried tomatoes in wine vinegar and patting them dry before putting them into the jar.  I packed each jar with sprigs of rosemary and some basil salt and pepper, covered all with a good olive oil.  Olive oil should cover the tomatoes completely.  I will be checking the jar for a few days and adding more olive oil as needed.

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 This jar is for my Son in Law Rick who really appreciates things like this.

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THE MOHAWK TRAIL

Yesterday we took a little ride on the Mohawk Trail.  Things have changed so much there that we cold hardly recognize where we visited as children.   It was a beautiful ride though and we saw the famous Indian statue.  The Indian culture is so much apart of this area.  There are shops and Pow Wow’s are held nearby.

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  Many parts of the road were washed out during the last hurricane.

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 The scenery was spectacular.  So many hairpin turns.

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SAMMY

Sammy has been coughing and sneezing so its off to the bets we go  It is his very first visit to Dr. Funk’s.  He has made this his home and found a lot of wonderful places where the other Sammy liked too.

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

Carole





DYEING YARN WITH FOOD COLORING-OATMEAL SOAP-COUNTRY VIEWS

8 08 2014

GREETINGS

DYEING YARN WITH FOOD COLORING

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Dyeing yarn with food coloring is a pretty expensive way to dye wool unless you have some that you are going to throw away.  I have had this yarn which is more acrylic than wool and I tried dyeing it with my Pro chem dyes.   It didn’t dye well at all and  I really didn’t want  to go to the expense of getting dyes. I only had 6 skeins and I wanted them different colors.  I read about dyeing with food coloring in an article and thought I would try it.  First I wet the yarn then put it into a pot filled with water and some vinegar.  Added some food coloring and let it simmer.  I realized that the color just wasn’t dark enough so I added a few drops more.It came out just fine,  You don’t really have to add much food coloring, a little goes a long way.

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Now to see if I have some red food coloring.

OATMEAL SOAP

The Oatmeal Soap is ready and yesterday I packaged up most of it.  I will be putting the labels on soon.

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TURKEY’S IN THE APPLE ORCHARD

Yesterday on my way to the grain store I saw these two turkey’s just walking along. carefree and no worries.  Nibbling at things as they were walking..

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 They are at Apex Orchard which has such wonderful views.

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

 





MY CAMERA-BLUEBERRIES-MORE RAIN AND RETURN TO COOLER WEATHER- MOVING THE HENS-BACK ROAD PICTURES

16 07 2014

GREETINGS

COLRAIN HAS MORE WORKING FARMS THAN ANY OTHER TOWN IN THE STATE

COLRAIN HAS MORE WORKING FARMS THAN ANY OTHER TOWN IN THE STATE

MY CAMERA

On Sunday I broke my camera.  I feel like a part of me is missing.  I will be using a phone camera till I can afford another Cannon.  Anne from Ireland recommended it and I am so grateful to her.  It was the best camera I ever owned. I will get an exact replacement.

BLUEBERRIES

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The blueberries responded so well to the pine needles.  Chris and I went  to the state forest and got more.  Next year I will move all the blueberry plants to a different area.  I have a raised bed  that I can put together now and get the soil ready for spring replanting.  I hope to make hoops to put netting over it so I would be able to walk in it.

MORE RAIN AND RETURN TO COOLER TEMPS

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Yesterday was horrid here, you didn’t have to do one thing and you would be wringing wet.  Those temps are leaving us today for 4 or 5 days.  We had thunderstorms come in last night and many parts of Colrain had 4 inches of rain.  I am glad to say no water in the barn.  It will be a few days before any swimming can be done in the river though.

MORNING GLORIES

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The wonderful morning glories reseeded themselves nicely and although I transplanted some, it doesn’t look like it in The Herb Bed.

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 Well that’s the way it is this year.  I will try to contain them in the bed. They will be beautiful when they all bloom.  A mass of beauty.

MOVING MORTICIA AND SAMANTHA

Today Chris and I will be getting ready for the big move.  Morticia and Samanthia will move into the converted dog house tomorrow.  Today one of the roosters made an attempt to crow. It was a pitiful attempt at best.    The roosters are a little over 3 months old.

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Many thank for reading my blog today, I appreciate it.  Carole

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RAIN AND BARN FLOODING-A GIFT FROM MOM-TURKEY VULTURES

27 06 2014

GREETINGS

Beautiful clouds and a view to New Hampshire

Beautiful clouds and a view to New Hampshire

RAIN AND BARN FLOODING

We had lots of rain the night before last.4.65 inches here in Colrain 4.95 inches the nearby town of Heath.  We did need rain but not the heavy rain we got last night.  The barn was totally flooded and all the downstairs coops need to be mucked out yesterday and refreshed.  The rain washed  at least a foot of mud from hill down in the trough I dug and then the water flowed through the barn.  Chris mucked out most of the barn while  Ricky  put the fan up to help dry it out and he made Pasta sauce for supper.  Yesterday was a long clean-up day.

A GIFT FROM MOM

We started cleaning the attic Wednesday.  I love the fact that things will finally be organized there with marked boxes and things that I don’t want  will be given or thrown away.  In a Christmas bag in one of the boxes was a pair of slippers which my Mom had given me many years ago.  I took them out of the bag and an envelope slipped out.  A treasure from my Mom.   My Mom loves getting presents but  sometimes the presents she would get for family members were way out there, these would have gotten recycled.  I am glad that I finally looked in the bag because the real treasure was the envelope in the bag.  My Mom’s Mom was  great crocheting, even with severe arthritis in her hands she kept going .Everyone in the family got pillow cases with crocheted edges.  I still have a few of them.  In the envelope was edgings that were made.

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 And on the envelope were instructions from My Mom on how to put them on.

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 A priceless small gift from the past.

TURKEY VULTURES

I had never seen a Turkey Vulture until I moved to Maryland.  Wednesday while taking a back way home from Greenfield, Ricky and I spotted one on the side of the road.  We were lucky enough to get some good shots of him.

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  They are one of those animals that are ugly/cute.  They have a job to do and seem to do it well.  I am so glad that we were able to see this wonderful creature close up.

Many thanks for reading my blog, visit us at The Shelburne Falls Farmers Market today if you can and tomorrow and Sunday at Johnson Hill Lavender Fest in Buckland..  Hope your day is wonderful.  Carole

An organic dairy farm nearby.

An organic dairy farm nearby.





DANDELIONS-BABY CHICKS-MINNIE-SCENES FROM BACK ROADS

21 05 2014

HELLO

It’s a bright, beautiful day here at the farm, with rain coming in this afternoon.  The weekend of the 40th Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Fest is promised to be beautiful.

DANDELIONS

Yesterday was hay pick up day.  I made two trips to Joe’s  to get 5 bales at a time.  After I picked up the first load I decided to pick some dandelions.  There were many by the dirt roadside.  I picked about half a pot  full and plan to make dye today using my iron pot.  It should come out a moss-green.  I do love gathering dye stuffs in the wild.  It’s a quiet task and the sounds of the forests are delightful.

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BABY CHICKS

They are doing well in their new surroundings. Only one chick had to be helped up to the nest box.

CHICKEN LITTLE

CHICKEN LITTLE

There was a stare down between Peppers (who is almost the same size as Mama) and Morticia.  It lasted almost a minute.  I heard a squawk and then saw the stare down,   I am sure she was saying,  even though you are as big as me I am still the Mother.

PLANTING FLOWERS

I bought some wild flower seeds to plant in Sadie’s Place.  I want something that will be beautiful this summer but also come back year after year.  Lil wanted to help and she had the shovel and a little rake.  It will be a great spot for us to pick some bouquets later in the summer.

MINNIE

I can no longer feel her backbone, what a remarkable recovery.  She is so much  happier now.IMG_3081

 

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  I am leaving you with views one from Colrain and the other from Shelburne.  The one from Colrain looks to the north and you can see Vermont and New Hampshire from here.  The other view is to the South where you can see Mount Tom which is in my hometown of Holyoke.    Carole

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BUSY SPRING DAYS-HAY-CHICK UPDATE-RUG HOOKING PROJECT

11 05 2014

HELLO

BUSY SPRING DAYS

The days are flying by with work from morning till dusk.  I fall into bed exhausted every day.  I wonder how I did all this while working and some days I wish I was back at work just to have some rest.  Soon the chores will be done and planting will start.  I have been working on the back coop, but it’s still wet and needs to dry before doing anymore.  

RUG HOOKING PROJECT

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I am almost finished the rug hooking project for class  I want to put a braided roving  around the entire thing.  I did put cinnamon sticks and cloves inside and will probably use it for a hot pad.

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Hay

My friend Joe has plenty of hay left so I can buy hay from him now.  He lives in COlrain and the hay comes from the fields my sheep summered on years ago.  Its great hay and they love it , but its harder to get up the stairs. The cost is a dollar different that the hay I bought so its saving me money too.   I hope he will have extra hay on the fields this summer. The following are pictures of the view on the way up and back to get hay.

Looking into Vermont and New Hampshire

Looking into Vermont and New Hampshire

 

Looking towards my house and Griswoldville

Looking towards my house and Griswoldville

CHICK UPDATE

 

sammy and Mom

Sammy and Mom

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I think they are in the teenage stage now, getting into trouble all the time.  They still try to sleep under Morticia but they are almost as tall as she is.

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