SHOWS-MAKING BIRD TREATS AND FEEDERS-THE FIRST EGG-HELEN UPDATE

28 11 2015

GREETINGS

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I am so happy to be back blogging.  We have had such warm weather for November, cooler temps are coming in this afternoon but still not too cold.  I am grateful for the time to get things in order on the farm and still have a few tasks to complete before the ground freezes.  The sunsets here have been so beautiful.

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SHOWS

The Crafts of Colrain was a well attended event and I enjoyed the crowds, friends visiting and many new people came .I am busily making new inventory.  

The Shelburne Falls Autumn Farmers Market is one of my favorite shows.  So many different vendors with farmers set up with their fall and winter veggies.  Lots of fun and a easy, relaxing show.

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MAKING BIRD TREATS AND FEEDERS

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I found this recipe to make the suit block out of coconut oil.  I bought a small bag of mixed seed and nuts and made it.  Its so much cheaper to make  (for me at least because I buy my coconut oil  in 50 lb containers)  They say its better for the birds and they are enjoying it.  The whole thing takes about 5 minutes to make.  I layer a container with foil and add with about an inch of the seed and nut mix then melt the coconut oil at low temp and pour  over it and let it harden.

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FEEDERS

I love this feeder.  I won it at the Heath Fair some years ago.  This year I put it on top of a 4×4 and it has attracted so many birds.  I think I can make one so in the spring I will attempt it and put it on the other side of the porch.

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THE FIRST EGG

It has been well over 6 weeks since I have gotten any eggs.  I did buy a dozen but even though they say they are organic they don’t look or taste as fresh as mineIMG_6096

Matilda has laid the first one and continues to lay and egg a day.  I am sure the others will follow suit soon.

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HELEN UPDATE

She is doing well and living inside till next spring.  Her house is ready for her, Mrs. Brown and Hazel  will be put where there are no grasses .

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

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SPREADING THE MILKWEED-GIFT OF BOOKS- SHEEP RUG HOOKING PATTERN-NEW ARRIVAL-SORREL NEEDS A HOME

9 11 2015

GREETINGS

The warmer weather has gone for the time being and its a bit chilly in the mornings.  I am busy getting ready for The Crafts of Colrain which is this coming weekend, so far the weather looks great for it.

SPREADING MILKWEED

It seems that this past month I have been going to Greenfield  a lot.  Picking up 25# of Oatmeal for the Chickens, several appointments, and I have been parking in a parking lot.   In cracks in the pavement are milkweed ready to send off their seeds.  Each time I am in  town I pick off a branch and bring it home to spread around my yard.  Its a good feeling that hopefully some of these seeds will take and more beautiful Monarch’s will be around.

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TWO BOOKS I AM READING

Birthday wishes are popping up everywhere.

  Liz of Sheep and Shawl gave me this wonderful book, The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker author of many books including The Color Purple.   A wonderful story of life with Chickens.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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A surprise  box in the mail yesterday from my friend Jan contained a book she though was perfect for me.  The Stillmeadow Road by Gladys Taber.  I  have started it and love it.  Its about a woman who buys an old farmhouse with blinders on ( sort of like me) and takes you through the fixing up the trails and tribulations of her dogs,cats and gardens.

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I want to learn more about this author and read some of her other books.

A NEW RUG HOOKING PIECE

My friend Debbie went on a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia and went to Deanne’s shop.  She brought me back this wonderful sheep pattern.  I just love it and am now thinking of how I can do it. I can’t start it till after the first of the year by then I hope have it all figured out.

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NEW  ARRIVAL ON WEDNESDAY

Okay so I said I wasn’t going to get anymore sheep. I promise this is the last one.  I just couldn’t resist this one.  Her name is Annie, which endeared her to me right away.  We called my Mom Annie for the last several years of her life.    She was in a breeding program to promote better sheep and wool.  She is half English Leicester and half Merino.  One can only imagine how wonderful her wool will be.   She is only 2 which is nice.

  

She will fit in nicely with the girls and offer me some really wonderful wool to turn into yarn in two years time.

Here is another sheep that is looking for a home.  My friend Lisa, who raises beautiful sheep is downsizing and Sorrel needs to find a home.  I wish I could take her but 5 is enough.  

 

I don’t know how anyone can resist her.  She is beautiful and an English Leicester.  They are the nicest sheep

Many thanks for reading my blog, there seems never to be a dull moment around the farm, never expected another sheep to fall into my lap.  Hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

 





HELEN- FINISHING ANOTHER WALL-HYACINTHS-COSMO

3 11 2015

GREETINGS

We  are enjoying some wonderful weather for November.  I am trying to get all the outside chores done before it ends.

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The Oaks are still holding onto their leaves 

HELEN

Helen is still in the house and I am preparing a caged in area for her , Hazel and Mrs. Brown for the winter.  Next Spring I will put her out in a an area with Hazel and Mrs. Brown.  I can easily monitor them if they are all together and it will be best for Helen not to be tempted by long grasses and hay.

Today she laid an egg the first one since the end of July.  She is pretty proud of herself.

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FINISHED ANOTHER WALL

I finished another wall in the kitchen, the last one I will be doing before The Crafts of Colrain. On this wall originally their was a window.  They just put some insulation there and I always thought I would replace the window.    I have given up on that idea so I insulated it more and covered it with a sheet of plastic and now it will be warmer in the kitchen.IMG_6040.

Hyacinths

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There is still time to get your Hyacinth bulbs.  I have 6 so far and hope to get another package.  They will go in the fridge till January at which time I will put them in the Hyacinth glasses.

COSMO

Cosmo is settling in.  We have made some adjustments and he is happy  Now he is staying in my bedroom and computer room and loves it.  The other cats scared him and soon I will be leaving the door open for and hour or so a day and see what happens.    He is a  loving cat.  So glad he came into my life.  And last night I was almost asleep and heard this racket, Cosmo had caught a mouse.  

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EVENING SKY

The evening sky has been spectacular lately.  Some views from the back of the barn.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you are enjoying lovely weather.

 

NIGHT FEEDING

NIGHT FEEDING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





BRINGING THE CHICKENS IN-HANDSPUN VEST-NEW PROJECT

23 10 2015

GREETINGS

We had a warm spell yesterday but a frost last night and we will be in a cooler pattern for the next week.   I have been spending my time trying to get the house buttoned up.  Windows closed and some covered with plastic. I love the fall but its full of busyness.

BRINGING THE CHICKENS IN

Yesterday I spent most of the day getting ready to bring the outside chickens in .  The screen door which separates the two flocks needed to be repaired and the Waterer needed to be put in a different place and feeders put back up.  Last night I bought the two new hens and Morticia and Violet in.

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 They quickly settled  on the perches.  This morning I tried to catch Eddie with no luck.  I did get Gladys so she is in.  Three more to catch within the next few days.

HANDSPUN VEST

I made this many years ago and have hardly worn it.  It started off as a sweater but then was made into a vest.  The yarn is thick and the vest is toasty.  I rarely wear coats in the winter now, I do prefer heavy sweaters or vests.

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NEWEST PROJECTS

This is my latest project for fall shows.  Woolen hearts with sweet little birds on embroidered  branches.  They will hang with some twine and be filled with balsam.  They are fun to make and I quite enjoy the hand sewing.

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Next Wednesday we will be at The Salem Cross Inn for the annual Rug Hooking day sponsored by Woolen Memories Shop. Deb and I have been attending this even for years at least since 2004.  We have so much fun and we catch up with friends that we only see once a year.

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

 

 





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

 





CAMPFIRE WITH S’MORS-FIREMAN’S BREAKFAST-HOME FRONT

11 10 2015

GREETNGS

We had some needed rain on Friday and a hint of frost last night.   Another beautiful fall day.  Chris is here helping me and we had a camp fire at my son’s house last night with S’mors.  It is the simple things in life that mean so much.

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The boys roasting marshmallows

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It’s a great time to see wild turkey’s

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FIREMAN.S BREAKFAST

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A few times a  year the Colrain Volunteer Fireman have a pancake Breakfast.  It’s a way to support the good works they do and help them get new equipment.

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Family picture

HOME FRONT

Another exquisite show from British TV.  I was able to watch some of the first show online and will finish watching it soon.  The second show will be on PPS at 8 pm our local time.  Check you local PPS station near you.  The scenery and acting are  wonderful.

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





LYMES DISEASE-CAROL K GETS SKUNKED-TURKEY ON A BOBBIN-PICKLED BEETS

8 10 2015

The weather is still holding out but rain is coming tomorrow. Picked over a quart of sting beans,I  will get herbs picked over the weekend and dry most and make pesto with the basil.

LYMES DISEASE

I spent most of last winter sick and in bed with an unknown illness.  My family Doctor thought I needed a sleep study! These days you need to be your own physician.  My friend Danielle lent me a book on Lymes and many of the symptom were the same ones I had. Years ago I did get a bite and had the bull’s eye rash and was not treated.  (I no longer go to or would recommend that practice)  I did find someone who listened and knew a lot about lymes but they hesitate to treat unless your testing is positive. Many people have lymes but don’t always test positive.  So life hangs in the balance while I wait for symptoms to show up.  Better treatment can be found near Boston but that is more than 2 hours away.   If you are not treated so many horrible things can happen to you and you would never think about the tick bite.  I wanted to have the tick tested but its $50.  You would think that the state would do it for free considering the epidemic that is happening here.  

CAROL K GETS SKUNKED

Carol is an inquisitive sheep.  She always wants to see what is going on.  When I went up into the barn it smelled skunky but that can happen with a skunk spending some time there.  Yesterday while I was out in the yard she came over to the fence and she was pretty stinky.  At least it wasn’t around her eyes and the smell will eventually get out of her fleece.  It seems that no one else got it, her favorite sleeping spot is near the barn door, that may not be a good spot for her.

TURKEY ON A BOBBIN

I have been want to make these cute decorations for a few years now.  The instructions called for hooked pieces.  I spent some time figuring out how to get it done with wool material and of course changed it up some.  After a few attempts this is how it came out.  I want to make a Christmas tree, a cat and a sheep.  

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Hope to have it stuffed and glued to the bobbin tomorrow.

PICKLED BEETS

Today I spent a good part of the day canning pickled beets.   It’s a process.  First the beets have to be washed and then cooked.  The outer skin has to come off and then they can be sliced.  A mix of vinegar, sugar, water cinnamon and ground cloves was brought to a boil and the beets put  into the sterilized  jars  and covered with the vinegar mix.    They are then put into the canner and brought up to a boil and 30 minutes after that they can be taken out.  I got 2 quarts, 2 pints 1 half pint and a jelly jar.  I am pleased considering I grew beets as an after thought and never thinned them   They were heirloom seeds so the beets are all different colors.    Next year I plant to get more of the half pint jars.  It makes more sence for me to have more serving sizes.  The whole house smells of the vinegar mix.

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Many thanks for reading my blog today.  Carole