A DAY AWAY-THE WEAVERS TRAIL-SALEM CROSS RUG HOOKING DAY-BARN WORK-SURPRISE PACKAGES

28 10 2017

GREETINGS

We have been getting some wonderful days and just the right amount of rain.   Although I think we have had enough rain for a while.    It seems to come down in inches now.

I even took some time to sit in the sun and knit one day.  The Chestnuts from my Son’s trees are falling and getting them collected before the Chippy’s and squirrels get them is a feat for his family.   At this time of year many restaurants in the Boston area love to have them.  Today the weather has turned sharply cooler with winds but beautiful sun..  We may have a frost tonight and more torrential rains on Sunday.

A DAY AWAY

My friend Jane asked me if I would like to ride along with her to Adams , she needed to go to social security.  It’s a beautiful ride along route 2 ending with The hairpin Turn.  It’s a ride that I have taken since I was a young child.  The store where my Grandfather  bought my little drum is still there!   The leaves are slow to change this year so it was mostly yellows and browns with the occasional red thrown in .    We had a leisurely lunch and she took me on a tour of the town.  Jane was a Vicar there for  a few years.  It’s a town of Church spires and much beauty. The social security visit was quick and we took another route home 8A which was even more beautiful than the ride over.  A wonderful day with a good friend.  We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful and diversified state.

Mt. Graylock

 THE WEAVING TRAIL

A new venture was started by some local weavers and I attended  one venue of it.  It was well attended.  My Friend Lisa had her handwoven and some handwoven and hand spun towels and on her spinning wheel was some flax that she was spinning.

 Another friend Emily,  had  towels, napkins and a whole array of handwoven things.  She was giving tours and answering all kinds of weaving questions.  Both weave on Swedish looms.  

Emily

DEHYDRATOR  

I  have dehydrated all the catnip and hope to do some other herbs but right now there are hot,red peppers being done on the porch. Then will come the orange slices which will go into potpourri .   The house always smells good at this time of year.

SOME BARN WORK

Last week my grandson Charlie and I cleaned the barn.   He also put up the extension cord for Maude’s hot water bucket.    We need to cover the window with plastic and clean up around the entrance to the barn and the sheep will be ready for winter.

I hope to get the downstairs front chickens  sorted out tomorrow  I would like to separate the bantams from the regular hens.    They get picked on .  I have figured out how it will be done and need to get working on it.  The trip to Ireland is coming fast and these things need to be done.

HOOKING AT THE SALEM CROSS INN

It is one of my favorite days of the year.  Deb and I have been doing the Woolen Memories Hook Inn for 17 years.  Starting in Hardwick, Ma and now at The Salem Cross Inn.    This year we had a lovely group  of gals 7 in total.  It was a wonderful day.  It was  close to 70 out, usually we have snow flurries!  The vendors were great carrying things from wool to needle punching things, cookies to antiques.  Looking forward to next year.

Ahhhhhh Homemade apple pie with whipped cream

SURPRISE PACKAGES

Every once in a while I get a surprise package in the mail from my Cousin Gary.  It could be a box of black walnuts or some sheepy item he found.  I don’t know where he ever finds these unique sheepy things but I do love them.  This rain gauge is so cute and the last torrential rains we had there was over 3 inches in the gauge.  I have always wanted a rain gauge.  Of course he will be coming in soon and go back out in the spring.   Thanks Gary for brightening up my day.

 

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





HATFIELD HARVEST FAIR-BOOKS I AM READIG-THE BRICK MEETING HOUSE-BUCKLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

9 10 2017

GREETINGS

Fall is slow coming this year.  We do have the cooler temps at night, but the leaves are slow to turn.  Turkey’s are gathering in groups on back roads though,

and haying machinery has been stored for the winter.

 Rains from the most recent hurricane have poured down upon us today, we do need the rain.

HATFIELD HARVEST FAIR

I haven’t spun at this fair for 4 or more years.  It has changed so much with more vendors, fresh Hatfield veggies for sale, who can resist Hatfield potatoes or onions.  Library book sale and so much more.  I was with the Springfield Weavers who let children weave on Structo Looms and gave them a card with a hand woven piece of cloth in it for their efforts.  

We were in  the tobacco barn with all the wonderful old things.  The day went by quickly with lots of questions from children and adults about spinning and sheep.  Looking forward to next years show.

BOOKS I AM READING

I have read this book some time ago and am revisiting it for my next trip to Ireland.  The reviews say it’s a unique travelogue for the mobile but not agile.  I remember when reading it before that it contained some really unique out of the way places which we hope to explore on this trip.   A good read for anyone thinking of traveling to Claire, Kerry and West Cork.

THE BRICK MEETING HOUSE

Brenda and Cookie who bought The Brick Meeting House had  Oktoberfest on Saturday.  It was quite successful 3 vendors, face painting and games for the kids, good Homemade food.  Lots of people stopped by on their way to vacation destinations and many towns folk came to support the project.  They still haven’t decided what will be in The meeting House but are open to suggestions.  They will be having many more of these events and maybe a farmers market next year.  A great addition to  our town.

BUCKLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Yesterday was their open house.  I was there spinning with Marti Ferguson and Sandy Cardinal was weaving on an old barn loom.  The setting was lovely, there were a team of Oxen and some ponies there.

 The house was open for viewing.  It is a beautiful historic house.  Hope you will put this on your list for next year.

View from the bathroom widow

SOME PARTING THOUGHTS FROM THE WILDER HOMESTEAD

I couldn’t resist taking this picture.  The view to the hills with rain clouds and crisp white curtains,  made me think how many people looked out this window in the past, checking  out their fields and animals, worried about wars, and freedom, not so unlike today.  I would have thought things would have changed in these over two hundred years but alas I think they have gotten worse.  Bigotry, racism, white supremacist, and other hate groups abound.  People are all upset about kneeling in front of the flag.  The flag is a symbol of our freedom and that is it.  It is cloth.  People show their patriotism in many ways and when people don’t have the freedoms that the rest of us have they should let it be known.  That is what this country is all about.  We all should have the same freedoms and rights not just a limited few.  It really bothers me that people are all over the kneeling but won’t do anything about some laws to prevent mass killings.  We have let the wrong people have too much influences over our elected officials.  What is the matter with people?  Somehow they missed history in school at least in the schools that I attended we had many lessons  of what it means to be a patriot. My rant not for the day but ever since these evil people have come out of the woodwork.  
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FROSTY MORNINGS-OCTOBERFEST-GARDEN DELIGHTS-DRYING HOT PEPPERS AND HERBS.

1 10 2017

GREETINGS

The hot and humidity has cleared out and now we are hit with almost frosty temps.  That is New England for you.  We  finally got some longed for rain. And now a stretch of  wonderful weather. 

OCTOBERFEST

 

The Brick Meeting House is active again..  Come join us for lots of local crafts, food and a good time in Colrain.  Next Saturday or rain date is Columbus Day, Monday for a wonderful fair.

GARDEN DELIGHTS

 Sadly none of my pumpkins came up this year but to my surprise one rogue cucumber did come up and is giving me some nice cukes at the end of the season.

 The  leeks did wonderful and I did remember to hill them up occasionally this summer.  Half are in the freezer and I will pull up the rest soon.

DRYING HOT PEPPERS AND HERBS AND RECIPE FOR ARTHRITIS SALVE

 

I bought 10 hot peppers I don’t know what kind they are but after they were in the dehydrator for an hour or so I started coughing and my eyes were tearing up.   Finally after a couple of hours I had to turn it off.  Today I am finishing them .  I am including my recipe for Arthritis Salve which is easy to make and works well.  Please remember when using that this is made from hot peppers …

ARTHRITIS SALVE

 CAUTION PEPPERS CAN CAUSE BURNS WEAR GLOVES AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES OR FACE.  EYE PROTECTION IS RECOMMENDED.

WIDE MOUTH JAR WITH CAP

Hot Peppers  ( they must be dried and sliced )

Olive Oil enough to cover the hot peppers by at least 2 inches

Small amount of Beeswax  It all depends on how many peppers and oil that you use.

Dry peppers (either in a dehydrator or by hanging them up)  Place in a jar and cover the with olive oil then add two inches, making sure that no peppers can reach the top of the olive oil.

Let sit for at least a month.  Mine will sit for 2 or three months.  This lets the peppers infuse with the olive oil.

   Strain the peppers  through a cheesecloth and place in  a saucepan.   Put aside . Melt beeswax over a double boiler and put aside.     Warm up the oil till its warmed through and then add the beeswax a little at a time.  Testing drops on a plate as you do this.  When you find that the drops solidify your are done.  Do not overdo the beeswax. Pour into jars.  

This salve has worked wonders for me.  When you put it on there is no hot sensation.  It works slowly.   It  has also saved me a lot of money.  Fr a small amount of money you can make 10 or 20 jars , and compared to what it cost in the store you could save hundreds of dollars.

 

PRESERVING SWEET ANNIE WITH PLANTS FROM SUSAN BATES HOME AND GARDEN

I started preserving Sweet Annie, which is one of my favorite plants .I finally found the perfect spot for it and they took off..  This year I bought 2 plants from Susan Bates at the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair. She has a brick and mortar store in Ashby, Massachusetts called Susan Bates Home and Garden.     Her plants are of the best quality.  She has lots of wonderful things at her shop, furniture, and antiques handmade things and she also occasionally has classes.  Check her out on Facebook.

 This year I have enough to sell a few bunches and am preserving them in a glycerin based mix.  1 put 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water.  With freshly cut branches place them in the water mix for approximately one week.  They will stay as they were preserved and not turn brown  The smell remains and they are a perfect fall decoration and they repel insects.

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

DOT AND SHE HAS A NEW FRIEND SEE MORE ABOUT HER IN MY NEXT BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 





SPINNING AND KNITTING FOR A PROJECT-BOOKS I AM READING-IRELAND IS CALLING-NEW LIFE ON THE FARM

21 09 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREETINGS

We had a bout of cool days and cooler nights now its very humid.  The leaves are changing so fall weather approaches.

SPINNING AND KNITTING FOR A PROJECT

Usually I just spin and don’t really care what I am spinning.  I have such a supply of wool that I want to get spun that it doesn’t really matter.  This year I skirted Carol K and Maude’s fleeces and threw the skirting’s into a bag.  I usually throw away the really messy stuff and keep the rest for a small project.  But this year there was a lot.  I decided to dye it and use some one old dye and another dye that I had plenty of.  They were both Pro Chemical dyes, Mallard Green and mustard. I love the way the colored blended together.

Well then  this Debbie Bliss pattern book, which I bought a long time ago surfaced and I found a pattern that was simple and I liked .  So this is what I am spinning and knitting..  I want to get the sweater finished and make an outfit to wear on my November trip.  I am not a good finisher I have loads of started projects around and am determined to finish a lot of them this winter and get the sweater done by mid October.   I am working on it every day.

 

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR

I do love doing this fair, meeting old friends and new customers.  People love to stop and chat while I am spinning and I do enjoy answering their questions about spinning.  It was a lovely two days.

BOOKS I AM READING

Rag Rugs of England and AMerica

I was able to purchase this book online and am so glad that I did

.Rag Rugs of England and Americait has wonderful stories and pictures of old rugs.   The two people who influenced my rug hooking most were Heather Richie and Deanne Fitzpatrick.  Both of them in totally different ways inspire me to do things in a different way.   To breathe while rug hooking and not worry about straight lines . This book reminds me of Heather as it has a story which she told in class and the same picture that is in the book she showed us.  The print is called Geordie ha’ ad a Bairn by Ralph Hedley around 1890.    In the picture is a clippie rug which Heather showed us how to make.

 

Geordie Haa'd the Bairn

Lots of pictures of old rugs with interesting information about them.  A must read for rug hookers and historians..

IRELAND IS CALLING

My daughter Cindy, grandson Chris and I are heading back to IRELAND in November.  Its been 4 years since we went last.  A hiatus for Cindy to attend Law School.    We are heading to Cork to show Chris that beautiful county with side trips to Kerry and a few other counties.   We rented a beautiful stone cottage and I know there will be at least a day of fishing for Chris.  I can’t wait to get there I have always felt at home in Ireland.  We may take a trip to Tipperary to see an odd breed of sheep called Zwartbles, they look like badgers!  We got wonderful prices on Norwegian Air and will fly from Providence directly to Cork.  Counting the days.

DOT AND HATTIE

This week I picked up two hens from the Chicken Man.  It is hard for people and chickens to adjust to new living situations but they are adjusting,

                          DOT

Dot has ventured out once and I see her getting accumulated to the flock soon. Hattie is living with the Bantam’s and is now sleeping with them.  Morticia treats her like her daughter, bossing her around.  She is young and probably won’t start laying till the end of November.

HATTIE

Dot is really a rescue.  She is a two-year old bird who the chicken man said is spent. What he means by that is worthless, she probably won’t lay anymore and is sent with another 25 or so birds to the auction (an awful and terrifying place).  He is of the mentality, which is old school, that hens lay very few eggs after their second year.  Well I have never found that true..  My  13-year-old hen laid  beautiful blue eggs almost every day of the summer before she passed as most of my other old hens do.  Change in animal care comes slow here in the states but in other countries like England it is way ahead of us.   I am so glad to see new farmers give animals loving care and a chance  to live on green grass and fresh air the way their suppose to live. (My rant for the day.)

Many thank for reading my blog on this cloudy fall day.  Leaves are slowing  changing.  Carole





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