SHORTY AND WILLIE – BREAD MAKING TIPS

21 01 2017

 

 

 

The Man EDDIE

The Man EDDIE

GREETINGS

We have had more snow and warmer weather but still not enough to melt the ice that is outside the barn door.  Maybe this coming week with temps in the 40’s it will happen.  

SHORTY AND WILLIE

Willie the elusive Baby and Shorty resting on the sofa

Willie, Shorty and a good shot of the elusive Baby aka Marion

 

Both had had an appointment at the vets.  Willie was quite the ham and loved all the attention given by the Vet and the Vet Techs.  Shorty on the other hand hated the whole ordeal and screamed and snarled which is so unlike him. When animals get older one has to make decisions for them.    Shorty is almost 20 and is entering into kidney failure.  The vet suggested he be on the kidney food and so far I have not done anything about it.   It would mean moving him to his own room and away from everyone else.  He enjoys his life with his friends.  Morning naps on the sofa and afternoons spent eating and relaxing on my bed.  I see taking him away from all this and him going down hill very fast.  I am giving myself a little time thinking about this and would appreciate input from other older cat owners.  Willie is being treated for his respiratory problems that he has had ever since he came here.  He will be on antibiotics for a time and then he is scheduled for a dental procedure.

Because of his age Shorty isn’t taking care of his fur as well as he should, so constant combing and brushing is called for.  At the doctors they had a battery operated  mustache/beard trimmer and off came the mats that I had spent so much time on .  I will be getting one of these soon.

BREAD MAKING TIPS

 

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I love making bread and have been doing it since my children were young.  I just learned a new tip.  I use normal  bread pans and my bread never seems to look like the pictures .  In looking up bread recipes on the King Arthur Four site I found that using a smaller pan will cause the bread to rise higher in the pans thus the beautiful large loaves!!!!!  Learn something new every day.  I will be looking for slightly smaller pans soon.

I am planning to start my hyacinths today.  Looking forward to the sights and smells of spring soon.  The chickens have enjoyed going out most days this winter, which is great for them. Many thanks for reading my blog today and for all the kind comments.  I really appreciate them..  Carole

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FIRST SNOW-FLEECE LINED MITTENS-REPAIRING THE SOCKS-OUTSIDE PROJECTS

29 12 2015

GREETINGS

Snow on the ground this morning with sleet falling now. Temps are suppose to go up above freezing today so it may be mostly gone by tomorrow.  Chris and I hope to cut some small trees down tomorrow.

FIRST SNOW

I topped off the feeders and made more coconut feed mix yesterday.  This morning I added a peanut butter/seed and nut mix to a feeder that a neighbor made and within 5 minutes one of the neighborhood squirrels was there.When I lived in a city squirrels were everywhere there are not so many here.  I enjoy their antics.

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FLEECED LINED MITTENS

I love making these mittens and they are so warm.  I took a class in Connecticut in the early 90’s and have been hooked since.  The fleece layer eventually felts and makes these mittens double layered.  The yarn is from my first flock of sheep (Border Leicesters) and my goat Timmy.  I plan on making a few more pairs this winter.

REPAIRING THE SOCKS

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I am repairing these socks again.  I have had them since the 90’s and they have been repaired many times.  The stripes are from my first cat Fluffy.  They are warm and comfortable like an old pair of shoes.

I have lots of unfinished knitting  projects lying around and want to get caught up this winter.

OUTSIDE PROJECTS

Chris and I managed to finish most of the outside projects since he arrived.  First he did the barn window which needed to be put up and then yesterday he put the piece of plywood over the dryer vent.  For some reason ice forms on the attic roof and piles up so that I have to dig out the dryer vent every so often.  This will make things easier.  We got the last of the chicken coops covered and stuff put away.   Just in time for today’s storm

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The cats have settled in, they love dark, snowy days but Cosmo has decided to venture out of his rooms,maybe someday he will join the other cats.

Sammu in his hut on top of the radiator

Sammy in his hut on top of the radiator

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Willie and Shorty in their places on the sofa

Cosmo exploring today

Cosmo exploring today

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

 

 





STARTING A NEW SALVE-CRAFTS OF COLRAIN BROCHURE-WILLIE

8 05 2015

GREETINGS

It’s another beautiful day here, it looks like we have jumped from spring right into summer.  Some rain For Mothers’s Day maybe.  We are in desperate need of it.

STARTING A NEW SALVE

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Yesterday I cut up some hot red peppers and put them into the dehydrator which was called for in the recipe I found online.  Then they will be warmed up in oil and I will leave them to set on the wall of the porch for a few weeks.  This salve is for sore joints and muscle pain.  It like the capsaicin rubs you buy in the store.  I am going to add a few herbs  and maybe ginger to the mix and see how it works.  I spend a fortune on this stuff and it would be great to make my own.

AN ADVENTURE IN THE GROCERY STORE

I have spent more time in the grocery store lately.  I use to be one of those shoppers that knew what I wanted and was in and out.  Now with so many product originating from China I want to know where things are coming from.  I was surprise how many products that I though were made here are not.  I will be making my own or going to River Valley more.

CRAFTS OF COLRAIN BROCHURE

I have been with The Crafts of Colrain when it originated some years ago.  Had to step away for family issues and now I will be in it again this year.  The brochure is wonderful in itself with some many lovely pictures with artist and their crafts.  I wanted a picture with Carol K and myself but unfortunately she made herself unavailable.  Marley stepped right in so one of these two will be in the brochure Read the rest of this entry »





A CATS DAY WITH SNOW-MENDING

12 01 2015

GREETINGS

Its a balmy 30 degrees today, no coat need in the barn although water was frozen in the chicken area.  It was very cold last evening.

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A CAT’S DAY WITH SNOW

For many years having a house full of cats I realize a snow day means lots of wonderful things to them.  Some cats sleep the day away but Willie knows that there will be birds in the lilac bushes. Most of his day will be watching them fly from the feeder to the bushes.

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Sam on the other hand has found the newly mended sweater and will spend his day happily dozing on that.

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Shorty has found a pile of wool which I need to put away and is napping on that and Owen and Baby are seeping together in a quiet room downstairs near the food.

MENDING

The sweater was found in a box of things from Belchertown.  I had forgotten about it.  Its hand-spun from a wool and silk combination from my friend Ceacy.  Done in the early 90’s it sat in this box.   It had 4 or 5 mice holes and I was worried about how I would mend it.  Its not a great job but worked out okay.  I am wearing the sweater daily as the wool is soft and warm.

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I can remember my Grandmother teaching me how to crochet this rug as a teenager.  I think it was a large project for someone who didn’t know how to crochet but I learned.  The increases were the difficult part and I learned a lot from making this rug.  My Grandmother was an accomplished crocheter.  SHe made elaborate tablecloths and doilies. It was a passion of hers and you could see it in her work.  I have gone on to make many crocheted things and enjoy it .

This rug had a few holes from years of wear and I fixed it as best I could and it will again be on the floors of this house.

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  It was made out of Aunt Lydia’s Rug yarn which at that time was cotton. When cleaning the attic I found a stash of the yarn and an unfinished piece which I hope to finish this winter.

I find mending to be an uplifting thing to do.   You are making something usable again and the memories from the piece come flooding back.  I remember buying the wonderful wool from Ceacy.  I remember spinning and making the sweater and wearing it.  Doing the rug I remember the sweet days of my Grandmother showing me how to crochet.  Priceless moments that were shared between us.

Today we are having a gentle snow, the temps are warm and it may turn to sleet later this afternoon.  The birds are very active and its fun watching them.  I hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole 

Pea fowl at Pine Hill Flying to and fro Saturday while we were knitting.

Pea fowl at Pine Hill Flying to and fro Saturday while we were knitting.

 





WINTER MIX-BOOKS I AM READING-MAMA AND THE KIDS

3 12 2014

GREETINGS

We had a winter mix overnight.  Ice was clinging to the trees earlier in the morning.  It’s all cleared out now but still foggy.

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 The temps have risen and all is well.  Willie has been under the weather and is going to the vets this afternoon.

BOOKS I AM READING-STILL LIFE WITH CHICKENS

I got this book on a trip to Florida at a Library book sale.   I read it then and am reading it again.  I like reading some books for a second or even a third time.  I seem to always get  more out of the book than when I read it the first time.  It’s about life changes and raising chickens.  I do love this book and highly recommend it.

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MAMA AND THE CHICKS

It’s been hard to take pictures of them So now I let them out every day and its easier.  They are practicing their flying.

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 They have grown so much but still want their Mama around.  I am surprised that she hasn’t gotten sick of them yet.  Peeps is a rooster , you can see by his bright red comb and Tweeter is a hen..

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 They talk talk talk all day.

Some days I think I live in a magical world of funny chickens, crazy cats and renegade sheep.  Today is one of them.    I forgot to put the chain back on the gate last night and Carol K, Maude and Marley decided to help themselves to breakfast early.  While I was taking pictures of the chickens Tweeter flew back to the top of the cage and jumped in only realizing that Mama and Peeps were still walking around outside, the crying was pitiful, and Sammy was full of vim and vigor racing upstairs and downstairs, into the sink, playing with kindling and egg shells.  What a morning.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 





A CHANGE OF WEATHER-WILLIE-NEW PRODUCTS-PEACHES-DYED WOOL

3 09 2014

GREETINGS

A CHANGE OF WEATHER

I woke up at 4 am to feel the gentle cool breezes of a change of  weather.  The humidity is gone and the air is fresh.  We also had a little gentle rain. All the animals have perked up too.

WILLIE

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Willie was off to the vets today. He has been coughing and sneezing and with Big Sam just recovering from a respiratory illness I want to make sure he is okay before Sam arrives.  He has a sinus infection and has to take some antibiotics.  This is not the first time this has happened and  he may have to be on them off and on the rest of his life.  Willie  is just a beautiful, loving cat.  People moved out of a rental house down the street and just left  cats there.  You just wonder how people can do that.  He showed up on the porch and me vowing no more cats, I had a house full at that time, Needless to say he ended up here to stay.  He had a hard time adjusting to living inside but now he is a happy inside cat.   Of course bird watching is a favorite pastime. He is younger than the other cats and will soon have someone to play with.

HOOKED ON RUG HOOKING

A friend Jan  had decided to learn to Hook Rugs and since she now lives in another state I suggested that she go onto Deanne Fitzpatrick’s site and watch some video’s.  These are her first two projects.  They are wonderful.  I can’t wait to see her next project.

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NEW PRODUCTS

I have been making candles for years and even made them with my Mom when I was young.  A month before Christmas we would make square candles in milk cartons and then she would melt wax and we would both beat the wax with a hand crank beater till it was fluffy and she would put it all over the box candle and tie a ribbon on it with some Holly.  They were  a very popular Christmas present.

For years I have sold Bee’s Wax candles, they are very popular and I have a wonderful source for fragrant wax.  This year I have decided to make a few Soy Way candles.  Maybe only two or three varieties.  I am also going to make some simmering spices for simmering on the wood stove too. I use them all winter.  I also mix up essential oils and put them in a cast iron pot with water  on the stove.  The scent permeates throughout the house.  Everyone has been after me to sell these so I hope to get them out this fall.  

THE PEACH TREE

I was surprised to see all these peaches on the tree.  I hope they ripen before bugs get them.

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Some Dyeing

This was a woman’s jacket, now it will be used to make Primitive Sunflowers.

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Wish I had more of this, probably have some in my stash.

Many thanks for reading my blog hope you had a nice day.   Carole

 





WILLIE-CHICKENS-WOOL PROJECTS-GARY-LOUISE’S PRESENT

18 01 2014

HELLO

WILLIE

Willie’s world is back to normal, he is eating well and doing his usual things  WIllie came into my life after me saying no more cats for what seems like the millionth time.  People moved out of a rental house and just left the cats when they moved .  Willie is a love bug, friendly and sweet .

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CHICKENS

The chickens are enjoying the milder weather but still not laying.  This is the time of year that they slow down anyway and will start-up when the days get a little longer.  Most of the people on the local chicken group are having the same problem with laying.   On the group there has been much discussion about using heat lamps and there was a fire in a coop because of one  In all the years I have had chickens they have been fine without the extra heat.  I tighten things up in the fall and add plastic over the window and have been insulating the outside walls of the coops.

WOOL PROJECTS

I have made these small pillows as Christmas presents now I am making them for my website and the shops.  The tops of them are done and I will sew the back on, I am not sure what I will fill them with but I know that I will add lavender and rose petals to that.  They are not large only about 7-8 inches wide by 10 or so inches long , made out of mostly wool and fun to make.

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 I have also got 6 spinning hooks almost done.

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GARY’S SAD NEWS

I got a call from my Cousin Gary last night and his family homestead burned down yesterday afternoon.  Luckily his father who is in his 90’s was out.  The news took my breath away.  That house was a home to me too  I spent time there as a child, my children spent time there and I lived on their property for a few years.  Everything gone but no lives lost.  I have momentos from my Aunt who was always busy making things and  treasure them more now.

Louise’s Gift.

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I received this wonderful Winnie The Poo bear handmade buy my friend Louise from Montreal.  SHe even sent the pattern which I am going enlarge and make some out of soft felted wool.  Also a wonderful dark chocolate bar was in the package and that was eaten right away.  When you receive a present such as this and every stitch was made with Louise’s hands it’s just so special.  We had a lovely chat tonight.