KITCHEN REMODELING

12 08 2017

GREETINGS

Very humid and some rain, my ideal weather.  My Roma tomatoes are  doing well, my cukes and pumpkins did not fair well , after two planting i have two cucumbers and a few pumpkins.  It was such a wet spring here that the seeds rotted.  Many of the sweet corn growers had there seeds rot twice and  grew starts and that is why some farms are so late in selling their corn.

KITCHEN REMODELING

The kitchen was a long needed much awaited and dreaded project.  It should have been done the year after i moved in but there were sills,  roofs to replace and the list goes on and on.      The decision was made and the work started  very soon after.  My family and friends have continued to be supportive and helpful in every way.   My son David is the person who started it all.  One of the main reasons for getting this done is that my knee is much worse and at this point I don’t know if another replacement is possible or will work.  So at some point I may be in a wheel chair for part of the time and need things to be workable.

The rat infestation was part of it too, they were eating through the walls and did other damage.  I am happy to say that most of them have packed their bags and the rest will be trapped.  There was hardly any insulation and some of the flooring was rotted because of the bad sink and a leaking pipe which we didn’t know about..  The floor required lots of work for Pat, my neighbor and my house fixer. 

Things will be moved around to make it more workable.  The fridge will be turned around,  having it face the work area will make things so much easier.  The pantry already has and additional door facing the kitchen.  This will make it easier too and I will be able to find things better.  The stove will be moved to the corner  which will make things easier and all the cabinets will have backs and bottoms!!!!!!!!  I will have more storage area and more work area and the kitchen will be more organized.  Yea!!!!

Pat was able to move my Great Grandmothers window and paced it above the new counter facing  pantry door.

This is phase one of the kitchen the second phase will be the wood stove area.  The stove and Goshen Stones which it stands on will have to be moved and a new foundation will have to be built, other cabinets will be removed and at this point I don’t know what else will happen.    Getting through the first part is all I can think about..

Help has come in all forms, from family and friends, thank you all for encouragement and help.

I am recovering from a fall in which I bent my unbendable knee which made me realize even more why this renovation was so needed.

Not being able to find things has been my nemesis these days.  A few days ago I put my car key down and it disappeared.   With only one key It meant that i was grounded.  For those who have never lost a key I am telling you how important it is to not do this.  My car had to be towed to the nearest dodge dealer and this simple key cost 110.  You can either pay the fee or not drive.  There ought to be a aw against this type of gouging.  I really despise the way cars have a hold on us today.  We have to have them but———————-

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

 

 





THE BEACH TOWEL- A GARDEN SURPRISE-THE DYE PARTY

4 08 2017

GREETINGS

Summer is flying by with all kinds of crazy weather.  Last night we had what seemed like hours of terrible thunderstorms and torrential rains.  Some areas had a slight frost in July.   We now have to become accustomed to global warming effects.

THE BEACH TOWEL

The towel is old and tattered but I could not throw it away.  I used it as a teenager, my kids used it and my grandchildren used it.   I am planning on cutting it into strips and making a small bath mat.    I do love repurposing things

A GARDEN SURPRISE

About 4 years ago I ordered three Hazelnut trees.  I planted one at the edge of the side yard chicken area and it grew.  I  had forgotten where the others were and still can’t find them.  I thought I would have to buy another pollinator tree.  I do love the tree its shape is perfect and its a  manageable size.  Walking by it the other day I spotted something unfamiliar  and it is nuts starting to grow.

 What a surprise and the tree is loaded.  Maybe the other trees have survived or there is another one in the neighborhood.  Looking forward to having my own hazelnuts.

THE DYE PARTY

On a perfect summer day in July, Thursday Spinners had what we hope will be an annual event.  It was held on Marti Ferguson’s beautiful  farm.   Set on hill overlooking part of the village of Buckland, the site couldn’t have been more perfect.  In the distance we could hear the baaing of her  Finn sheep and chicken sounds.  Both chemical and natural dyes were in abundance.     Amanda generously shared her Indigo dye pot and as always it was thrilling to see yarn come out of the pot  green and slowly turn to blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  There was painting on roving and yarns and pot dyeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may look red but is orange and  it is perfect for Raggity Ann dolls hair.

 Other natural dyes were there for all to share.  

   A pot luck lunch with so many goodies to choose from was enjoyed by all.   I will keep putting pictures of the party on future blog.

A NEW KITCHEN

Look for adventures in re doing a kitchen in a 1850 house.  Its exciting, scary and not pretty.  Many thanks for reading my blog on this overcast summer day.   Carole

MAUDE EATING BREAKFAST





SNOWY MONDAY- SATURDAY ADVENTURES-A PARTING NOTE

5 12 2016

GREETINGS 

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Snowy Monday

It’s not that cold out and the snow looks so pretty falling in the woods.  The sheep are curious and Carol K.  makes a few steps out the door.

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 Sheep are wonderful creatures, they can be loving, caring, nervous, instigators, and  trouble makers.  Yesterday they  did all of these things.  They got frightened while Charlie was cleaning the barn.  I think it might have been the noise of grain bags which makes a crinkling sound.  It sent them into a frenzy of running and Carol K broke down a fence.  This started a day of mishaps and cleaning.   We couldn’t find the post banger inner, now I have two because at one time I could not find the red one.  Both are still missing but in the attempts to find them we saw the new rat family that had moved into the lower part of the barn.   That lead to cleaning and finding out how they were living.  They had three different holes one to the inside walls of my kitchen and two into Mr. Peepers coop where they happily ate the food .  Now I was sure that  Mr. Peppers would go after rats but he is not as brave as I though he was. (He does try to go after me though)  Not having Skunks in resident has caused the rats to move in.  I have blocked the holes and will try to trap them .

SATURDAY ADVENTURES

Debbie and I have been planning out trip to The Walker Homestead for their winter open house and it was wonderful.  The house was built-in the late 1600’s, it’s a salt-box my favorite type of colonial home and its painted a colonial red which is also my favorite color for a salt-box.

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 Smoke was billowing out the chimney when we got there on a crisp late fall day.    The last time I was there  was in September and this time there was a different feel to the house.  One of the resident cats named Cindy, age 23. greeted us in the kitchen looking for a warm spot  near the stove . Saint Nick was there is full dress. Loads of wonderful primitive things were available for sale and there were delightful things to eat.  The house is loaded with wonderful primitives from the colonial times and was very warm and inviting.  Our hosts were delightful.  I will be at the next open house.  The herb gardens were still looking great and the rosemary was still doing well.  The sheep were not in sight but probably in the barn on this day.  I bought some wonderful Juniper branches.  I love the smell of juniper and love the beautiful berries.  These trees are hard to find and I spent many hours on the internet trying to find a couple to plant in my yard, but to no avail.  I will start looking again after the holidays.  There are plenty of juniper trees and bushes but they don’t have the berries.

Our next stop was Sturbridge, Mass just 10 minutes or so from The Walker Homestead.  We visited a few shop, one was The Mercantile which I have been following on face book.

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A bedroom set up with mostly overshot woven things.  A favorite weaving pattern of Den and myself.

All I can say about it is WOW.  It was a fantastic store with so many wonderful things even  custom cupboards.  A whole room dedicated to Rug Hooking.

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 So much to see.  Then we visited two vintage material stores. Material and sewing goods from floor to ceiling.  Now I know where I can get material to repair my Grandmother’s quilts.  It’s not often that I get to do all these wonderful things in one day.  Deb and I plan to do this again.

A PARTING NOTE

This is a scary time for Americans that believe in liberty and justice for all.  I think we are in for dark times ahead and the future looks bleak for lower and middle class Americans.  I hope in the next year to devote some time helping people less fortunate than myself and fight for the things I think made American great in the past.

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

 

 





DRAINAGE WORK-DREAM PILLOWS-HERBAL VINEGARS

22 09 2015

GREETINGS

We are enjoying a long stretch of great late summer weather with some needed rain coming next week.  The side yard chickens were concerned about the activity in the sheep pasture, every so often I would hear the alert call from Eddie.

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DRAINAGE WORK

What a wonderful feeling to have it done.  Still more work to do getting the fencing up and some seed planted on the berm.  Luckily I have help from Lauren.  Its been years since I have done fencing, great exercise.

THE BERM WITH VALLEY'S BOTH BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF IT

THE BERM WITH VALLEY’S BOTH BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF IT

am so grateful that I finally found the right person for the job.  He knew exactly how to make the water flow.  Demers Landscaping out of Turners Falls did the job and he was recommended by my Vet.  6 old tires and some fencing and other odd things were dug up.  Lots of large boulders were placed near a retaining wall to further stop erosion.

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It will make a nice focal point for flowers and a bird house.  The garden area will change next season and I will have the winter to think about it.  

DREAM PILLOWS

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I cut out lots of primitive hearts yesterday and mix up all the herbs except for Lemon Balm which is  drying in the dehydrator for the dream pillows.  I hope to get some sewing done tomorrow and get them packaged up.  They really do help with a more restful sleep.

MAKING HERBAL VINEGAR

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A couple of days ago I finished up making my Herbal Vinegar for the year.  I love finding uses for bottles and one darker one is a olive oil  bottle and of course a coke bottle.  Garlic and Rosemary are my favorite kind to make .   You can make them out of any herbs but the more tender herbs like oregano will need to be drained out after a couple of weeks.  As I am writing this I think I will do one more, a vinegar with lavender in it.   These make simple, wonderful gifts with little cost and time.   My recipe :

Vinegar (good quality)  enough to fill your bottles (I guesstimate) 

Herbs:

Lavender, Dill, Chives, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme are a few I have tried and I do add Garlic to many of my mixes.

Clean bottles throughly , add vinegar to sauce pan and bring to a simmer (do not let it boil)   Add herbs to the bottles.  For a large bottle I usually add 3 stems of rosemary and one garlic sliced.  Add vinegar with a funnel and I like to cap with a cork.    I do like to put a tag on the with the ingredients and a ribbon or raffia for gift giving.

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





HAPPY JULY-GOODBY GARY-HERBS AND OTHER THINGS DRYING-CHRIS TACKLES THE BATHROOM CEILING

3 07 2015

HAPPY JULY

Sunny today and rain on the 4th. Parades and fireworks over the weekend.  We have had so much rain, lots of it was  torrential. The last rains washed more mud in the barn.  Chris got the barn ready for the next rains.

GOODBYE GARY

Gary Left on Tuesday and may be back for The Crafts of Colrain in November.

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FISHING

I took Chris, Tyler and Charlie fishing over the last two days.

CHRIS

CHRIS

 

TYLER AND CHARLIE

TYLER AND CHARLIE

 Otters were frockling on the banks and in the waters, we saw and were very near a copperhead snake and enjoyed watching a duck and her babies swimming up the river.  No fish though.

OTTERS

OTTERS

DRYING HERBS AND OTHER THINGS

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The dehydrator has been going non stop.I have dried basil, peppermint, rose petals, dill and eggs shells.  Yes I do dry my own egg shells and crush them with some herbs and feed them back to the  chickens.

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  It saves me from buying those heavy 50 pound bags of oyster shells.  I am also drying plantain for the poison ivy save which I will start soon and comfrey for the healing salve.   Now I have to look for some gallon size pickle jars to put all these dried things in.  The house smells wonderful everyday.

CHRIS AND THE BATHROOM CEILING

The bathroom ceiling in this old house was the original ceiling of plaster, the only plaster ceiling left in this house.  The bathroom is a small odd shaped room with a 6 foot claw foot tub, a sink that someone built in the 60’s (someone  with no knowledge of plumbing or stye).

held up with scrap lumber and with plumbing that astonishes the plumber

held up with scrap lumber and with plumbing that astonishes the plumber

he bathroom needs a huge makeover which I don’t have a lot of money for.  The ceiling was sagging in spots and had lost some of its plaster so it was time to take it all down before it fell.  I started it and Chris did the major portion and now its down.  WHen I have some extra money I will have someone put up a new one. 

 

I am still getting my garden in at this late day.  The Farm Stand where I get my plant starts and veggies in the summer is done selling plants and gave me a flat of basil and some other plants including 75 leek starts.  My peas did not do well at all not one pea pod.  Planted too late and then rains and heat did them in.  Beets are up and so are radishes.  I had to replant the string beans as so few came up.  Its and interesting year for the garden.

Hope you have a wonder day and many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

 

 

 

 

 





CHRIS IS COMING-THE HERB CUPBOARD-SAMANTHA AND ROSIE-SOME PARTING THOUGHTS

26 09 2014

GREETINGS

The mornings start later these fall days, the chickens are hardly up when I greet them. The next few days are going to be warm so much has to be done.  Today though it’s the Farmers Market.

Chris comes back

Chris comeS back this evening.  It will be the first time he meets Owen and Sammy.  I have lots of plans for the time he is here.  We have to take up the floor of the porch right near the back door.  When the plumbers came to fix the broken pipe last winter they noticed a large gaping hole and plugged it up but it needs a better fix.  I don’t want anymore frozen pipes this coming winter.  Then he will help me move  the washer, fridge and stove so I can clean behind them.  On SUnday we will do some barn cleaning and putting some of the wood away.  A busy but delightful weekend.

THE HERB CUPBOARD 

Now that the herb cupboard is back in its place its time to repaint it and the doors, woodwork and cabinets in the kitchen.  I love the dark mustard color and hope I can find a color that is close.

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 At one time the kitchen was a very tiny room where the wood stove is and the other part of the kitchen was a wood shed.  There is not much storage area so cabinets had to be bought.  I would like to paint the ceiling over the winter and maybe in the spring figure out what to do with the walls.  There was cheap paneling on the bottom half and I really wanted to put bead board there.

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SAMANTHA AND ROSIE

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They are laying eggs every other day now both of them.  I should have eggs through the winter now.  Not many but at least theirs. 

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SOME PARTING THOUGHTS

 Last night  just as the sunset was receding into the western sky I sat in my chair while filling up the sheep’s water.  The sky was beautiful shades of pink melding into the  dark of night.  It was just beautiful.  Sometimes I just don’t appreciate how good my life is.  I live a simple life doing what I love best, farming in a small way.  I am surrounded by family, animals and friends that truly love me and  even though many days are  a struggle to keep things going I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.

Many thanks for reading my blog today, I hope you day is enjoyable.  Carole





GRASS FOR THE SHEEP-NEW WINDOWS-MINNIE

16 06 2014

GREETINGS

It’s a beautiful day here in Colrain.  A cooling breeze this morning and temps close to 80 this afternoon.

I spent a good part of yesterday planting seeds and some of the flowers from Susan.

GRASS FOR THE SHEEP

 When the boys come we will be adding some fencing to the sheep’s entrance.  Lots of great grass has grown there and they can enjoy that as an addition to their daily hay.  It will be a slow process.  I will fence it in by 2 feet increments and only allow them to eat after breakfast and only for an hour.   Sheep are susceptible to over eating disease and I certainly don’t want that to happen.  It will be a nice treat from the hay.

FINALLY NEW WINDOWS

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This old house had been neglected for so many years that when I bought it and through the last 15 years that I have lived here I have had to do tons of repair.  The cement work was done and a new chimney was put up this spring and  windows that have needed replacing since I moved in are being replaced today.  My insurance company has made me replace them or they would cancel me.  I wasn’t going to do the windows because there are more pressing things that I would like to see done.  But I was assured that they would cancel me and I would not be able to get insurance elsewhere.  They also made me replace some boards on the porch which honestly didn’t need replacing.  They mentioned a cap on the chimney but never noticed that the whole chimney needed replacing.    I now equate insurance companies with cock roaches.  Invading your privacy and eating up all your money.  Oh well I will enjoy all the lovely breezes that come through these windows and enjoy more warmth in the winter from energy-efficient windows.  Sounds of Mama and the babies will fill the dining room too.

MINNIE

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Minnie has an appointment with the Vet tomorrow.  She is not herself.  She is due for blood work to see if there is enough medication in her system.

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