DAYS ON THE FARM

28 02 2017

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GREETINGS

The long shadows of spring have arrived and most of the snow has left the mountain. The great thing about this time of year is that any snow that comes  along won’t last.

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The pussy willow tree is budding out but I know that the tree is living on borrowed time and I must get a replacement this year.

The Canadian Geese are back in Greenfield by the thousands now, as I stopped to take this picture I thought in a few short months nest-building will occur and babies willhave to be taught the ins and outs of the geese life.

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As I feed this sheep this morning, someone down stairs is announcing that she laid an egg..  Its theses little things that brings me joy everyday. .  Maude with her one eye happily eating her hay and carrots .  The chickens getting to go out every day now,. cats getting the most of the sun that shines in the house.

Boxes of wool sit on the porch waiting for a trip to Green Mountain Spinnerey to be made into yarn.  Another pile of wool to be sorted and added to the boxes.  Back will come bulky yarn to sell .  Lucy and   Sally’s wool is soft and will make a fine yarn.

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Today I saw what I think is  animal abuse in my town .  It was shocking and left me saddened.  It’s not the first time I have seen it in this small town.  I wish I had the money to take these animals in 2 little goats shoved in a tiny space, nowhere to get out of the sun, dirty and sad-looking.  I did report this behavior but it seems that even though it is horrible it is within the law.  If only those people had to live this way.  I am hoping for arma.  This is a right to farm town but animals have some rights too, proper housing and good care are among those rights  .Ahhhhhhhhhhhhm if only I were  in charge!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been trying to finish up the many projects I have started over the years and have finished up these two wash cloths.  The smaller one is made from handspuun cotton/linen.

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I have finished the drapes for one set of windows in upstairs bedroom and am now looking at paint chips to refresh the room.  All the rooms in my house need a do over and this year I hope the house will get repainted.  I want to do it a charcoal gray with either cream or white trim and cranberry red doors.   I this the gray will hide some of the imperfections of the cement..

ON my way home from Greenfield I saw steam rising from The Sugar House on the trail .  Tomorrow they will open for a 6 week run .  I hope to get there for some good pancakes and maple syrup.   I so hope that next year I will be making my own.

Hope you have a lovely day, thank you so much for reading my blog today.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW-THE FARM IN WINTER

13 02 2017

GRETTINGS

SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW

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The howling winds are blowing snow into mini twisters this morning.  Snow is piled  almost up to the porch floor and I am running out of places to put it..  More expected on Wednesday.  I used 1/2 of a cord of wood in less than a month just to keep the kitchen pipes from freezing.  I liked last winter so much more.  Although I must say the chickens were out a lot this winter but of course since the snow is now up to their doorway they are in to stay till spring. The sheep are in today too as the winds from the mountain will fill the barn with snow.  

THE FARM IN WINTER Read the rest of this entry »





CONGRATULATIONS UTE-MAUDE’ AND THE CHICKENS ARE OUT-OLIVE

20 05 2016

GREETINGS

Beautiful weather temps me to garden instead of getting ready for The Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fest .The Lilacs are in bloom and the smell permeates the air.  Baby Robins are peeking out of their nest at the barn door while Mama screams for me to leave. This is my favorite part of Spring.

Congratulations UTE

Board News: Coverlet Museum Adds New Board Members
The National Museum of the American Coverlet is pleased to introduce three new members of the Board of Directors.  The new members bring extensive talent and knowledge of technical and historic aspects of weaving and conservation.  These folks are most exciting additions to the Board.  We are thrilled to welcome them to the NMAC family.
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Ute Bargmann (Massachusetts) – Ute grew up in the German Bavari- an Alps and studied in
Switzerland, Germany and at the Language Institute in Munich where she graduated as a translator.  She met her American-German husband, Robert Bargmann and they moved to the United States in 1965. She bought a loom in 1972 and began studying weaving at the Hill Institute in Florence, MA, three years later, receiving her Master Weaver diploma in 1979.
Ute was an early member of the Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts Group for Complex Weavers and applied her considerable knowledge of German manuscript paleography as well as her lifelong interest in world history to her continuing research and study.  She has translated late medieval German manuscripts from as early as the 1420s on the technical aspects of tablet weaving and has delivered papers on subjects as diverse as “the Journey of Cotton into Germany and Slovakia” to “Counterpanes” at the Handweaving Museum annual conferences in Clayton, NY.
For several decades she has been researching her special interest in the European origins of what became known as ‘colonial’ coverlets. Ute has been a member of the Weavers Guilds of Boston, New Hampshire and Vermont as well as local chapters in western Massachusetts and has spent more than forty years demonstrating
Ute is a dear friend and a terrific and prolific weaver.

MAUDE AND THE CHICKENS

Finally the chickens  and Maude are out.  The only one left int he house is Helen and I can’t bring her out till all the grass and weeds are eaten.  What a job it was to get this all done.  Thanks to David for bringing down the dangerous limb that had been hanging in Maude’s pasture. And also thanks to the Boys, Charlie and Tyler for  helping with the chicken yard.  Everyone  is happy.

Maude has gone out in the separate pasture with Carol Kinnivan.  I went well although it is a pain to let them out.  I still have to separate them and watch them as Carol has pushed Maude.  I can’t trust her yet.

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Tuesday I picked  up Olive   The only remaining hen from a hawk attack.  She is bubbly and talkative.  She was separated from the group by a small fence , she made such a fuss I put her in with the others on Wednesday.  All went well and she even laid an egg.

 The rescue where I got Sammy sent and message out to all their face book readers a few weeks ago warning that there were more predatory birds around this year.  And all small animals such as cats and dogs should be watched carefully when outside.  Last week a small dog got attacked by an Eagle but the Eagle couldn’t lift him.  He was battered but alive.  I have notice just in my small area many more hawks and I heard there was an osprey nest close by.

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





MAUDE-CHICKENS-MAKING FURNITURE POLISH

1 05 2016

GREETINGS’

Finally rain today and tomorrow with showers off and on the rest of the week.  It’s badly needed.

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The surgery was very successful .  Almost immediately the results were seen.  We did try everything we could think of  but nothing worked.  The eye was removed and Maude is her old self again.  She still has a way to go.  The stitches need to be in at least a week and we are on day 4-1/2.  It would be better if they stayed in 10 days..  She is rubbing and I am putting antibiotic meds underneath where the stitches.are.  She is eating well and so much more with it..

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 In another week or so she can have supervised visits with Carol K. Then in three weeks if all goes well she can return with the group.  My sincere thanks to Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Amy who did a wonderful job and are the most kind and considerate Vets.  Dr. Stephanie brought Maude dandelion greens yesterday when she came to give her a booster shot.    I am getting back to my old self too.  The past weeks have been hard on all at the farm.  Many things left undone and need to get done and now they can be tended too.  Many thanks to all of you that have sent good wishes and thoughts, they have helped me in so many ways.

CHICKENS

Now is the time of year you see advertisements for two-year old chickens for sale.  They go cheaply.  People want new birds for more eggs.  I keep all my hens.  They range in age from 1 to 14.  All still laying!!!!  I get at least 5 eggs a day and will get more in the summer.  My philosophy is to keep all hens and get two new ones each August.  It has worked.  My 14-year-old hen Francis lays an egg every other day all summer long.  Another hen, Gladys who is up there in age has been laying a couple of eggs a week all during the winter, she was given to me and her owners said she hardly lays. The following is a picture of her beautiful blue egg.

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So if you want to start a flock now might be the time to get a few hens who are already laying.   If they were going to have a problems with laying it would have shown up by now.The price is right and sometimes they are free.  Look on your local poultry site and have fun.  Chickens are delightful creatures and teach one all kinds of life lessons.

MAKING YOUR OWN FURNITURE POLISH

i have lots of old parts of spinning wheels lying around.  Just couldn’t find  a product that would put some life back into them permanently.  I had read an article somewhere  about beeswax being the best thing for wood.  I have a wonderful supplier of the best bees-wax.  He lives in Florida and I have visited his operation many times when visiting my Mom in Florida.  The wax comes from the orange groves and is very fragrant.  I love it and love supporting this small business even though it’s not local.

Beeswax Furniture Polish and Restorer

1/4 cup beeswax

3/4 cup olive oil

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Buy the best bees-wax and olive oil you can.  When buying olive oil make sure its pure olive oil and not a combination of other oils too.  Check the label and make sure its got a long shelf life.

Melt the beeswax in a double boiler, after its melted  pour in the olive oil and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally to make sure its blended well.  At this point if you desire you could add a few drops of essential oils.  I feel that the beeswax is fragrant enough so I don’t add anything.  Pour into a jar and let set overnight before you use it.

It’s not as quick as a spray can of furniture polish but what it does for your wood is remarkable.  And to top it off there are not petroleum products in this and you made it yourself in 10 minutes.  

Remember when melted the bees-wax and olive oil  care should be given  Both are flammable.  An old sock is a great way to apply and polish.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole. Read the rest of this entry »





MAUDE

26 04 2016

GREETINGS

MAUDE

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The past 6 weeks have been difficult ones for all here on the farm, especially for Maude.  SO many changes for her.  Her eye has not improved and has gotten worse over the past week.  Being a sheep she is always hitting it or rubbing it and it just hasn’t healed.  Yesterday Dr. Stephanie and I decided to take the eye out.  A radical move but the only one that makes sense.  She can’t see out of it and has managed well without the sight from it..  She will join Cosmo and now there will be a one-eyed cat and a one eyed sheep at the farm.  It’s common for farm animals to have eye problems and have one of their eyes removed.  It doesn’t seem to affect the quality of life.

It will happen tomorrow afternoon and there will be a team of two Vets.  Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Amy.  It is the best choice for my sweet Maude and the sooner that she can be with her friends again the better.  She is so sad to be separated from them even though she can see them.  They eat their hay near her and sleep near her fence. It will be nice to get back to normal.

I will post after surgery  and I hope that it all goes well.  Thanks for reading my blog on this rainy day and I hope you have a lovely day.  Carole

 





MAUDE UPDATE-SUNFLOWER PINS-MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOLCRAFT FAIR

23 04 2016

GREETINGS

We are getting a few showers today but we really need a soaking rain which may come next week.  Its very dry and many brush fires have gotten out of control.

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Maude has had quite a bit of stress and changes in her life. Separation from the flock, shearing.  She was doing quite poorly so today the vet came.  The Vet was pleased with  her eye the swelling has gone down considerably.  But she has a little temp and a few other things so today she got two Vitamin B shots and an antibiotic shot.  We are hoping that brings her back to the way she was before shearing.  She has had the chills so She became stylish wearing one of my button down Irish sweaters.  Now she is wearing an old Irish wool blanket.  She looks so cute with her poodle cut and her blanket on.

SUNFLOWER PINS

I have been making these sunflower pins to sell at shows.  Yesterday I decided to add one to one of my summer hats.  I love the look.

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We have had showers on and off all the chickens are trying to get cover under a 6 inch wide board.   Only Eddie doesn’t mind the rain.

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

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for The Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair on Memorial Day weekend.

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MAUDE UPDATE AND SHEARING DAY-PLANTING PEAS-MAKING SALVE

17 04 2016

GREETINGS

Cool nights and warm days , just my kind of weather. Cleaning up brush and cutting up fallen branches has kept me busy this last week.  I see buds on some of the early tulips and others are peeking out of the ground.  The spring birds are back and I love hearing their cheerful songs.  A person in the neighborhood is trapping  and releasing all the skunks because they are digging up his yard.  I am sure he has gotten Cornelius as I have not seen him. Our neighborhood needs skunks to keep the rodent population down.  i am ever hopeful that Cornelius will find his way back.

MAUDE UPDATE AND SHEARING DAY

Maude has had a few setbacks and is on antibiotics again.    Shearing day took a lot out of her and now I am giving her  added minerals and sheep drench.  My Shearer Steve Marcotte did a wonderful job with her.   Shearing her in her pen so she wouldn’t have added stress.  It will take her a while to recover from this.  How do you like her poodle cut?IMG_6637

Lauren and I had to separate her from the rest of the flock when we saw the sheep doing their spring ritual ramming each other..  Of course this happened at 9 pm!!

The rest of the sheep did well with shearing and look good.  They are now not receiving grain much to their chagrin.

Steve has been my shearer for at least 15 years.  He raises sheep himself and has wonderful fleeces.  I am lucky to have found him after going through shearers who didn’t show up (really famous one) and others that were too busy even though you were on their schedule.  Steve always comes and does a great job I am grateful to have found him.

PLANTING PEAS

It seems its taken me forever to get these peas in the ground.  WHen I first wanted to get them in I uncovered the area and it was still frozen.    I have soaked them and in they go today.

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NOTHER BATCH OF HOT PEPPER SALVE

It seems it’s not quite the time to start another batch of hot pepper salve but I have run out.  I only could find a pound and a quarter of hot peppers and am looking for more.  Another 2 pounds would be good.  I found this salve to work well.  It’s not the sudden action of most pain relieving salves but it does the trick of releiving my arthritis pain. add peppermint oil at the end for a pleasant order.  I love the fact that I know exactly what is in it and its a lot cheaper than most brands of pain relieving salves.

Many thanks for reading my blog and I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring day wherever you are.  Carole