PICKING LEAVES-IRELAND-WORK ON THE KITCHEN

17 10 2015

GREETINGS

It’s  very cool morning here with temps just rising to the mid fifty’s today.  It will be  cold weekend with some frosts coming.

PICKING LEAVES

This has been  tradition since I was a child.  I have been out twice and will go out today looking for more.  I especially am waiting for the oak leaves which offer an array of colors.  They aren’t quite ready yet.  It’s a wonderful thing to do with children, that is how I learned to tell a maple from an oak.

My Mom would put a square of wax in an old pan and put the pan in simmering water so the wax would melt slowly.  We would have  cookie sheet lined with waxed paper at the ready and I would hand her the leaves.  She would carefully dip them into the wax and  hand them to me.  I would let them drip and lay them on the sheet. These leaves would be used in decorations around the house .  Years later I would send her waxed leaves when she lived in Florida  and missed the fall.

Another method of preserving leaves is with glycerin.  I have used this method to preserving the leaves right on the branches.  Happy leaf hunting.IMG_5974

GIFTS FROM IRELAND

Cindy often sends me things from my beloved Ireland.  This time it was the cherished items that we loaded our suitcases with .  Fairy Liquid and Radox.  Since we have rented houses in Ireland for the past 20 years we have to supply the simple things such as dish detergent and groceries.   When I smell the above two products it just sends me back to the place I love.  Thanks Cindy.  Now to light up a brick of turf and I am happy.

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KITCHEN RENOVATION

My kitchen has needed renovation for years.  There has always been more important things to fix in this old farmhouse.  I have bought a double Soapstone sink for $75. many years ago and it sits in the downstairs barn area waiting to be installed.  Maybe next year that will happen and it will make , canning, dyeing wool and making soap so much easier.  But for now I am fixing up some of the walls with beadboard.  I am inspired by Kristen Nicholas with her colorful farmhouse and using colors that I would not ordinarily use. 

The kitchen  was made by combining two areas many years ago.  A wood shed  and the original kitchen.  Both have no cellar and are only a foot or so above the dirt which is why pipes freeze so easily in the winter.  My neighbor , Pat redid most of the wood shed portion some years ago, insulating the walls and adding a new window.  I love how that looks   

Chris and I started this project while he was here.  Neither of us are carpenters but we forged ahead and got it done with .  One wall done and painted.  I hope to get another wall started today.  It will probably take most of the winter to get all the walls done and painted.  Some of the  walls will have beadboard only half way up and the upper walls painted another color.  I am going to paint some sunflowers on the walls , thank to you Kristen for the wonderful ideas of color and design.  Look for more pictures of my progress in the future.

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The small window comes from my Great-Grandmother’s house i Maryland.  When they were tearing it down I saved some of the windows.

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Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  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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FIXING THE BARN DOOR-LIL-GRISWOLDVILLE

20 08 2014

GREETINGS

FIXING THE BARN DOOR

My old post and beam barn has a door from the barn to the  second floor of the house.   I haven’t been able to use it for a while.  Rats, raccoons and skunks had invaded it and left the attic space a mess.  I have been working 15 minutes every once in a while to get it back to order and identify what is in all the boxes.  The door on the barn section was off the hinges so yesterday my Son and Grandson fixed it.  Its a heavy door cut out of the barn structure itself.

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 It wasn’t an easy job but it looks great and I am thankful its done.  While they were doing that Lil came up and helped feed the sheep.

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 Elliott was very curious to see what was happening in his barn.

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GRISWOLDVILLE

Someone years ago wrote Griswoldville on the door..

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Griswoldville is one of the 7 villages which are located in COlrain.  Once upon a time the Griswoldville Manufacturing Company (a cotton mill with an interesting history)  was located here.  The houses on High Street  were mostly owned by the company for their employees.  My house and my son’s house were privately owned.  The factory is long gone but the houses remain and form a delightful community backed by miles of mountainous forest.

RUGOSA ROSES

I do love Rugosa Roses.  There smell is delightful and the bloom off and on all summer long.

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

 

 





A SURPRISE IN THE CELLAR-MORTICIA REJOINS THE TWO KIDS-TANSY AND HOPS AT THE MARKET-TEA COZY

15 08 2014

GREETINGS

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Thank you so much my blogger friends for the kind words and thoughts about Minnie.  It meant so much to me during this sad time.

A SURPRISE IN THE CELLAR

I went in the cellar way yesterday to look for a hammer and saw water at the bottom of the stairs.  All the rain that was supposed to come through the house was now in the basement.  I only have a partial basement which I can stand up in but most people can’t.  In New England there is plenty of ledge and I have my share in the basement.  Luckily someone had the thought to build a cement trough and a hole with a drain pipe which takes the water into the street.  During hurricanes and very bad storms you can hear the roar of the water rushing through the house..  I couldn’t unplug it from inside and had to find the opening near the street which was plugged up with mud. I got a very long stick (about 12 feet long) and finally in about 10 minutes got it unplugged it gushed out and this morning is still coming out.  Glad I went down there, weeks can go by without a visit to the cellar.

MORTICIA

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Morticia rejoins the two kids every morning now.  Rosie is getting the same treatment as Samantha.  More lessons learned for the two young gals.

TEA COZY

I am making progress on the Tea Cozy and I am really enjoying working on it.  Right now I am working on a Tea Pot pattern.  Can’t wait to see how it comes out.

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TANSY AND HOPS TO THE FARMERS MARKET

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I am taking Tansy Bouquets and Hops swags to the farmers market today.  I don’t know how they will sell but its something I have wanted to do. When I started my small business I wanted to sell herbs, flowers and wool.  Moving and other obstacles have been in my way but I am getting back to that original plan slowly.

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It’s cloudy this morning and cool, the sun is trying to break through.  I am still washing wool sweaters, it will be a great day for this one to dry.  Hope your day is wonderful wherever you are.  Many thanks for taking the time to ready my log.   Carole

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CRANBERRY HEARTS-UPDATE ON CHICKS-YOU TUBE-SOME TOMATOES IN

17 05 2014

HELLO

CRANBERRY HEARTS

I made the hearts yesterday and they will be drying for a couple of weeks.  They are very popular for small gifts.

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UPDATE ON CHICKS

They are so funny and getting quite colorful now.  

New feathers coming in.

NEW feathers coming in.

 

TOMATOES

I picked up some organic tomato plants yesterday at Greenfield Farmers Co-op and got them in today.

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 Great weather for planting, a nice rain coming down.

Murph decided to watch the girls from inside today, He isn't fond of rain.

Murph decided to watch the girls from inside today, He isn’t fond of rain.

 I planted two by the driveway and two by the steps.  I would like to get my string beans in this week but with the show coming up next weekend  I don’t know if that’s possible.

YOU TUBE FIND

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I found this on you tube and thought it was a great idea.  What a great way to use those windows I have in the barn.   A nice greenhouse for keeping tomatoes longer or an entry way for my back door.  I think they probably would be more suitable for the greenhouse.  While living in Maryland I would have to drive by this house on my way to work and it had those types of door as a sort of temporary entrance to their house.  They used three doors 1 on each side and 1 as for the actual door.  They were probably hinged together.  I know something like that would keep a lot of cold air from entering my kitchen.  Its something I have wanted to do here and I will put it on my summer list.

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

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WATER WATER EVERYWHERE-COUNTRIES I WILL NEVER VISIT-THE PATTERN LIBRARY-ROADS IN THE WINTER-HESTER-A GRAND DAY FOR EGGS

23 02 2014

HELLO

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE

Water was falling like rain in the barn yesterday morning and it will only get worse as it warms up.  After many years of struggling with this problem I had someone come and fix it.  Well the problem I wanted addressed wasn’t addressed so I am left with something worse now.   This is the second time this winter that the barn has leaked.  Yesterday I moved the back hens because water was coming in their coop.  Luckily I have room for them in the front coop.  Chris has been digging trenches and I think that is helping a lot.  Old house are not for the faint hearted.

COUNTRIES I WILL NEVER VISIT

I enjoy Mary Jane’s Farm magazine.  This past issue had an article about Vets who travel to different countries free of charge to help animals.  Then I read with horror what these countries do before tourist season.  Most strays are poisoned. They don’t want  tourists to see starving animals or be bothered by strays.  Mahatma Gandhi said it so well “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  Below is a partial list of the countries.  They are online if you wish to know more .  The only way this treatment will stop is for people to be outraged  and address it with the countries.  I am going to e-mail each county and relay my feelings about this.    I am not surprised about some countries on the list, they have shown their little value for human life so why would animals be different.

SPAIN     GREECE    ITALY    PORTUGAL    MEXICO    AND EVEN SOCHI

THE PATTERN LIBRARY   RUGS AND WALL HANGING

Published by Ballantine Press

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This tiny book has been a big help to me when I was starting making rugs.  Its only 96 pages long and very reasonable for people starting out. In it are basic instructions for hooked rugs, needlepoint rugs, proddy rugs, latch hook, punch hook, braided and simple woven rugs. It tells you how to transfer a pattern, to join and finish off and much more.  Many examples of all these techniques are included.  If you are just starting out it has just enough detail to get you going on any rug technique.

MY HESTER GIRL

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She is doing well.  She seems content, talks up a storm all day long than roughly around 4 pm she is tired and wants the lights off.  Her little head goes into her back and her eyes close as she rests for another day.

A GRAND DAY FOR EGGS

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Yesterday was a grand day for eggs.  A half-dozen was laid.   I saw Sweet Pea , The Welsummer Hen, lay an egg.  I wasn’t sure she was laying  but now I have proof.  Her eggs will be a little bigger than Morticia’s but not as big as a regular size hen..  In spite of the water coming into the barn all is right when the hens are laying.  The back coop hens seem quite content with their new space although the perches are in different places so a little help was given to get everyone up last night.

 

THE ROADS THIS WINTER

As I mentioned in another blog the roads have taken a big toll this winter and with towns coffers in such bad shape they will not be fixed anytime soon.  Yesterday I was in Greenfield, One of the worst places for bad roads even in good weather, when my car went into a pot hole and a nearly new tired ruined.    This winter has taken a toll on everyone, we are having another warm day with temps around 45 but then the polar vortex returns with more cold weather.  I am always glad when February is done, March usually brings in a new season,  MUD SEASON, but I do like it the snow is gone and the earth is drying out from the winter

Many thanks for reading my blog on this delightfully warm day.   Carole 





WHO IS ELLEN SULLIVAN-PIPES FIXED-JOURNALS-MINNIE

20 01 2014

HELLO

Yesterday was a day full of snow showers, it would snow off an on and I thought we were not going to get much but got 5 inches

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PIPES FIXED

Friday they came and fixed the pipes so that now there is heat in the kitchen again, just in time for the cold weather which is coming back this coming week.  They replaced the pipes with plastic piping which can expand three times it sizes so if it should freeze mostly likely it won’t burst.  You can just thaw it out.  They did find a couple of bricks had fallen out and there was a hole under the kitchen door and they put insulation in there,  We will try to fix that this summer.

WHO IS ELLEN SULLIVAN

I was reading the Tin Peddler Blog ( The Tin Peddlers are a wonderful rug hooking group from Maine) the other day and they had artist John Neville came and gave a talk about Ellen Sullivan.  She was a prolific rug hooker from Nova Scotia.  I wish I could find more written about her, her life sounds so interesting and inspiring.  SHe was born around 1900 and lived and hooked into her 80’s.  Using things that were around, old clothes, and yarn.  SHe drew her designs herself  and many were pictures of her surroundings.  Today with the internet we can see people’s works and they will never go away, we can read their stories and they will never go away.  Ellen’s story and many women like her are lost to society unless someone tells their stories.  I hope we hear more about her in the future.  

Today more and more people write in journals  My friends Louise and Debbie both write daily.  I am not so good about it and am trying to get better.  Louise puts pictures in hers which is wonderful and I do that also now. This is such a good way to let future generations know about your life.  Words get lost but when its written down it can be inspiring to others.

Thanks today to Minnie Bisbee for helping to get the blog out.  I hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog today  Carole and Minnie

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