BOOKS I AM READING-THE FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR-COSMO

7 09 2017

GREETINGS

Hot and humid. cold and damp, torrential rains and some early frost in the hills.  Hurricanes doing so much damage.  Global warming is not knocking on our door anymore it’s here.  The hazel nuts are drying nicely in the car and I have decided to get a few more trees and plan to plant one in an open spot in the woods for the animals.  They are so easy to grow and don’t take up a lot of room.

BOOKS I AM READING

 

One of the things I love about The Heath Fair is the Library Book Sale.  I bring bags of books and take away a bag.    One never knows what will be there but there are always do it yourself books, cookbooks, novels, children’s books and travel, this year there were even foreign language learning books.  Books are one of my favorite things and I have been surrounded with them since I could walk.  My parents and other family members read to me and when I was old enough I could take my allowance and buy a book at the  McCauselan and Wakelin department store in Holyoke.

In my bag this year was a book on how to make greenhouses, a wonderful knitting book, a fishing guide for my grandson, a Christmas project book and a small book by Daniel Gottlieb called Letters to Sam.  I didn’t know that I bought a treasure.  On the cover its says A Grandfather’s lessons on love, Loss, and the gifts of life.   It is so much more.  It’s about a man who has had loss and hardship in his life.  Dan suffered a near fatal accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down some years ago and Sam his grandson was diagnosed  with a form of autism at 14 months.   Dan is a Psychologist 

One of my favorite parts of this books is  when he talks of the jobs parents and children have.  A parents job is to love theIr child protect them as best they can and give them roots and wings.  

At the end of the book is this quote which I would like to share it is from Rumi, a 13th century poet, theologian, jurist, scholar and mystic.

                                GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house

Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness

some momentary awareness comes,

as an unexpected guest.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the sham. the malice.

     meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent 

as a guide from beyond.

RUMI

 

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR

 

I will be in the craft tent Saturday and Sunday.  Come on down and enjoy the wonderful fair.

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

 

My wonderful cat Cosmo.  Taking a break from running up and down the stairs (and eating many cans of Fancy Feast) making sure no other cats have come into his domain.  For those of you who know of Cosmo his cancer is growing slowly.  I hope he will be here for many more years but we enjoy each day that he is given.





THE LOWER GARDEN-CHICKEN THINGS-LOSS OF A FRIEND-GETTING FOOD IN FOR THE WINTER

3 09 2017

GREETINGS

We have  had mornings of nippy fingers and today its a cold, damp rain.  We need it though as things were getting very dry.  I can’t believe it’s already September.  

THE SIDE YARD GARDEN

This garden has been neglected this year and I am weeding and remaking the garden paths, tying up the apple trees and trimming them.  I am hoping to plant some beets soon.  The blueberry bushes produced  more berries than I ever got.

 I am cutting the  spearmint and tying it into bundles and drying it up in the barn to freshen up the chickens nest boxes during the winter.  I have other,mint plants in the front yard to do the same with.  After they are all dry I will mix them with lavender and a few other herbs and store them, keeping a few branches to hang in the coop  It does help to keep the coop smelling better during the long winter days.

A GREEN HOUSE FOR THE CHICKENS 

Every year at this time I think about a nice greenhouse for the chickens to go in during the long winter.  More space to run around and some fresh air.  I always get so busy in the fall and it doesn’t get done.  I bought a make your own greenhouse book at the Library Book sale at the Heath Fair and I am planning on seeing what I can do.  Nothing elaborate and something I can put up and take down every year.    I would like to find some old windows.  It takes time and I never seem to have enough of it in the fall.

LOOSING A FRIEND

Our community lost a friend, mentor and Volunteer Fireman Harry Dunning.  His wife Jane took loving care of him through the long illness.  The service for him was beautiful and inspiring.    In sadness there is beauty and it surely was in that Church on Saturday.  

FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR

I will be vending at the fair this year again.  One thing that I have done is take an old ,broken down wooden tool carrier and fixed it as best as I could and pickle painted it.  It will be perfect for my bags of wool for needle felting .    I look forward to the show, good company and lots of excitement and return customers makes it a fun weekend.  Pan to have lots of new handmade items there.

STORING FOR THE WINTER

Today hops and catnip are being dried in the dehydrator the smell permeates the house.

 Catnip did well where I placed it this year, plenty of sun is what it needed.   I bought some Pennyroyal from Sue Bates also and it is living near the catnip and it loves it there.  Its next on my list to dry.  Susan has the best plants and always brings them to The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool show.   She is at Brimfield this week, check out her booth at Quaker Acres.

I picked a pail full  of hops this week and they will be going into dream pillows today.

The small Hazel Nut tree produced a box full of nuts.  They are safely in the car for drying, which was the suggestion on the internet.  I think I got them just in time as some of them were ripe.

 

I am now getting Roma tomatoes and today will get them in the freezer.  Peppers are on the agenda too and so far I have one large bag in the freezer.   I need about 6 large bags to get me through the winter.

BANTAM HENS

 

Morticia and her daughter Violet have been nesting for months now.  I have separated the side yard chicken area and they along with Opal who had the sneezes when I got her, will go outside in the converted dog house tonight.    They all need to change their life styles!!!!!!!In another month they will all come in and I hope to have the big front coop separated so the Bantams have their own space.  Eventually I hope to have all Bantams as they need less room and require less work..

Many thanks for reading my blog today.   The leaves are just starting to turn on Route 2, It looks like a fabulous fall.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 





OUR TOWN IS SADDENED BY AN ACCIDENT- THE CORN-THE HEATH FAIR-MY RANT FOR THE DAY

21 08 2017

 

HERBS DRYING IN THE BARN

GREETINGS

A tragic accident in our little town has shaken the town to its core.  There has been many accidents on that same stretch of road and many scary near misses but this time there was a death. It reminds us that we need to appreciate even the smallest things in life.  A meeting will be held tonight and there will be  discussions about what can be done.  The state feels this road is not dangerous I wonder if one of the people making that decision would feel that way if they lost their brakes or started skidding on ice.  We are so removed from Boston politics here!

 

 

THE CORN

The second field of corn was ripe and two bushels were ready for me to freeze.  The question of the day was should I blanch it like I usually do or freeze it right off the cob.   According to the internet blanching is best to keep the taste the longest.   Wednesday and Thursday of last week I did  over 140 ears.  All of it is safely in the freezer to be enjoyed over the winter.  Now on to tomatoes and blueberries.

THE HEATH FAIR

  A wonderful fair with Horse pulls, fried dough, and a parade, Firemen’s muster and so many other things.  This was the 100 year of the fair(well really 101 but in 1942 the government  asked that no functions be held where people would gather because of the polio epidemic.) I got lots of spinning done and met lots of wonderful people . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY RANT FOR THE DAY

Thanks to Verizon and Direct TV for being the worst companies in terms of service.  The  other day it was raining so I could not stream anything or get any info on the internet.  This happens every time it snows , rains, is overcast, kids come home from school. work hours end and on weekends.  They know this happens but we  in my area are in a bind its all we have.    The great news is in a year or two they will have competition and I  for one will probably switch.  

And for Direct TV, thanks for charging me 70 dollars a month for 10 channels the other 190 you couldn’t pay me to watch.  And the same thing goes for the rain, snow, overcast no local channels work and some of the others don’t either.  It would be nice to get urgent weather info but oh no.  This will change for you too direct tv .  New things are coming on the market making your services obsolete.

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





THE CABINET STORY-LOOSING ANIMAL FRIENDS-VISITING FRIENDS

14 08 2017

 

 

LEMON BALM

GREETINGS

Freezing sweet corn , drying lemon balm, digging up  garlic,picking tansy and artemisia, waiting for the tomatoes to ripen are some of the things I love about summer.  the house smells of herbs and flowers .

LOOSING ANIMAL FRIENDS

On Saturday my youngest daughter, Betty had to put her beloved horse Beamer down.  He was a beauty who came to her as a young horse from Western Canada.   He was the perfect horse for her.   A registered Morgan who was loved by everyone who met him.   The decisions that we who love our animals more than life itself have to make are never easy, but they have to be made for the animal sake.  Run free Beamer you and Betty will be together again someday.

THE CABINET ADVENTURE

It all started with a ride to Brattleboro, Vermont to look at appliances.  We didn’t have much luck there but we did see a sign saying doors and window for sale.  This was Deconstruction Works of the former renew store.   We asked about cabinets and he said to follow him on Facebook and so I did  In less than a week he  had cabinets from a home he was working on.    $250. for 6 pieces seemed like a bargain price.  They were a darker maple color and it came with a counter top and sink.

 

Measurements were taken and they would fit nicely.   I plan to get a new counter top and will have the new/old sink that I bought put in it.  Now they are on the porch awaiting the other things to get done  I really like the idea of reusing and the trip to Newfane, Vermont was delightful.  The house was located on a muddy dirt road with a wonderful field and meadow and beautiful views.  It had a lovely large birch tree close by and a huge stone wall.

VISITING FRIENDS AND WINDING  A  WARP

Yesterday I went to visit friends and wind a warp.  Charlie and Ken live in a lovely cottage by the side of a babbling brook.

And there are many wonderful gardens.

 Charlie wanted to weave again and I told him about the Structo Loom used by The Springfield Weavers to show people how to weave.  He remembered seeing the group at The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Fest this year.    A couple of weeks ago he purchased on   eBay and  yesterday I wound a warp for scarves out of mohair boucle.

  There is enough warp to weave 4 or 5 scarves.  Ken made a delightful lunch and Charlie and I spent a delightful afternoon.

Heading to the Heath Fair on Saturday.   Come and visit me at the large tent.  I hope to be spinning.  Many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

 

 

 

 





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





LAVENDER FEST-THEY ARE BACK-LIL’S RECITAL -OPAL

1 07 2017

GREETINGS

We have had typical summer weather hot and cold.  I have had to have the heated mattress pad on the past several night.  We will be getting rain through the weekend. they expect 3 inches or more.  My son got the last 20 bales of hay in the bar last night.

I am picking bouquets of  Yarrow on the roadside  and drying them for winter bouquets

THE LAVENDER FEST

What a beautiful two days full of visits with friends and new and old customers.  Saturday started off raining and cleared to be one of the most beautiful days. Wisby clouds and slight breezes.  New England at its best.  Thank you Sandy for holding such a wonderful event.

 

some of my booth at the fest

THEY ARE BACK

This winter I had a terrible rat infestation.   Many other farmers in the area had the same problems.  I won’t use poison so got my handy-dandy have a heart trap out and these rats have gone to college and figured out if they flipped the trap over they could get out.  I invested in a much larger and very clever trap and it worked.
This morning I went out to see if there was anything in it and all I could see is white.   A closer look revealed 2 baby skunks.  Adorable and very welcome here at the farm.  I unlocked the cage and one went reluctantly out and got into a bucket turned sideways , had a moment where he couldn’t figure how to get out and then he walked away.  The other one took more time to get out, i got some food and he ran out and got the food and went back into the cage and ate it!!!!  He finally came out and I talked to him. I want him to get familiar with my voice so if he remains here he will not be afraid of me. He tried to charge me but only went a couple of inches,  Then he went under the chicken coop where I expect he was born.

 

I will make sure and see my neighbor who killed and trapped and released all skunks that were here.  Because of his actions I now have thousands of dollars worth of damage done by the rats.  They ate through my front siding and some walls.  He was worried about grubs in his lawn.  I was totally disturbed that people like him could trap and kill animals.  In Massachusetts the law states if you trap them you have to kill them.  I am going to check out the law and see if there is a law that will protect me from the likes of him.  This is the country life we have all sorts of animals here you can’t disturb the balance of nature.

Anyway I am glad to have them back and hope they will stay.

LIL’S DANCE RECITAL

Lil took ballet lessons this year.  She loved it and practiced lots.

 

 

Lil is in the middle

A NEW BANTAM

Her name is Opal and she is an Olde English.   She is in the house for th time being as she has the sneezing illness and I am working on curing it.  She is sweet and loving and could be a companion for Emma if Em would let her.  But Emma likes being by herself.  That really doesn’t work around here!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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