WINTER IS HERE-SHEEP FRIGHT-SPINNING

9 02 2016

GREETINGS

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It’s a winter wonderland out there today.  Lil was sledding  and snow flakes flying through the air.  We are supposed to get bitter temps over the weekend so I will try and bundle up the house more.

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SHEEP FRIGHT

Last night I went up to feed the sheep later than usual around 7 pm.  There were no sheep in the barn and it was so dark I couldn’t see them in the pasture.  I called and called with no one baaing  or coming..  With all the talk about coyotes and the recent article on FIBERuary about them I panicked.  In a last ditch effort I opened the grain bin and they all came running covered with snow.  This small flock has never been known to sleep outside.  My Border Leicesters always did.    With coyotes around I am keeping them in at night and will be sure to get them in before dark from now on end.

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SPINNING

I am spinning everyday now trying to get all those bags of wool turned into yarn, and eventually into rugs, mittens, hats and scarves. Yesterdays spinning was Alpaca, and I am almost finished with that bag.  Still have one more bag of  alpaca to spin which I will get started on today.  I am going to ply it with a dark wool for added strength and then make a hoodie scarf with it.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this now bright sunny winters day.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 





ROSEMARY-INSTAGRAM AN ACT OF KINDNESS-PINE HILL KNITTING-

20 01 2016

GREETINGS

These past few days have been frigid.  With wind gust from 30 to 40 miles per hour coming off the mountain, you can tell where the air leaks are in this old house!  The winds have died down and the temps will go up to 30 today.

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The sheep were toasty with their warm coats, some nice grain and  the barn to selter them.

ROSEMARY

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She finally laid her first egg and its a beauty.  Another Olive Egg Yea.  She is the white with brown hen.

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  She has fit in with the crowd and knows to stay away from Samantha and Rosie who are the bossiest of hens.  Anyone within a foot area of them gets a peck.  Wish I had a separate area for them.  But in life we all have to know how to stay clear of trouble Rosemary has learned that lesson.

INSTAGRAM

I have been on Instagram for some time now and thoroughly enjoy it.  It’s a chance to share ideas, view other countries see other people’s pets and children and learn so much.  Today while checking out new people to follow I came across something I want to share with you. A wonderful act of kindness.  A picture venue was set up with  a favorite, Beatrix Potter series laid out , a candle set on a sweet table.   The Woman wrote my Mother read these books to me as a child as  did her Mother to her.  And on her death-bed  I read them to her. This brought tears to my eyes as it did to many other readers.  Such a simple act  brought such comfort to her Mother.  I reminder to us all it’s the simple acts of kindness that mean so much to us.

PINE HILL KNITTING

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On most Saturday afternoons a group of knitters and other crafts people will be found at Pine Hill In Colrain.  A get together  of like-minded people to share their adventures in crafts and in life.  Nice crowd last Saturday.

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

COSMO

COSMO





THRILLING GAME-DYED WOOL-WARMER WEATHER COMING

6 03 2015

GREETINGS

It was 7  below this morning but that didn’t stop the hens from laying 5 eggs before 9.

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I expect there will be a couple more later in the day..  The days are longer and the time will change on Sunday.  The sky is a brilliant blue and the snow shadows are getting longer.

Sammy has been sending time bird watching.

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THRILLING GAME

On Wednesday night Belchertown Girls basketball team played Longmeadow at The Cage at Umass in a semi-final.  The game was a nail biter from start to finish.

The Winning Score

The Winning Score

 A dream of my Grand Daughter was to play at The Cage and her team won.

Tea

Tea

 Now on Saturday they will play Pittsfield in the final.  The girls played a great game and showed good sportsmanship.    Good luck Belchertown Saturday night .

DYED YARN AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

RUG HOOKING CLASSES TO START SOON GET SIGNED UP

I brought the yarn to Sheep and SHawl on Wednesday.  The classes on spinning and drop spindling and hooking with yarn will be starting soon.  SIgn up .

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WARMER WEATHER ON THE HORIZON

Another cold night today then the weather warms a little.  SOme snow flurries over the weekend.  then tems in the high 30’s and freezing at night.  Good Maple Syrup weather and sounds like a slow thaw.

Many thanks for reading my blog and I hoe you have a wonderful day. Carole

 

 

 





BACK TO THE DEEP FREEZE-DEEP LITTER METHOD-CLASS HOOKING-HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS

23 02 2015

GREETINGS

BACK TO THE DEEP FREEZE

Yesterday was such a beautiful day.  It was above freezing for the first and last time this month.  During the winter we usually have a few above freezing days each month.  You can catch up on chores at these times but this year my water pipe to the barn has been frozen for most of the month and yesterday finally I got it thawed.  Now it will be fine no matter what the temps are.  I got lots of things done yesterday and it was uplifting.  Today I had to go to Greenfield early and it was so beautiful.  The sky was so blue.

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The pussy willows are out too.

The  shadows in the woods were delightful.  

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Today the temps will tumble-down to 10 and tonight temps will go to 15 or so below again.  I hope this is the last of it.

WEATHER ALERT FOR TONIGHT.  Protect all livestock and bring small animals in   I never heard of binging in livestock.  Of course all my animals are protected and the outside birds are well fed.

Ice jams started to thaw yesterday so my back door was frozen shut this morning.  Spots here and there  on the porch leaked.  Spring is coming and all that will be forgotten.

DEEP LITTER METHOD

The chickens really like it and its fluffier than hay, doesn’t mold  and keeps them warmer.

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CLASS PROJECT

With so may winter related things going on that I hardly have time to do anything else.  The class projects are just about done and I hope to have them at SHeep and SHawl on Wednesday.

Hygiene Hypothesis

Today while listening to VPR I heard an interesting discussion on Living In A World Too Clean.  It seems that children now days are getting more Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema.   They think that the children are kept too clean and do not have enough exposure to infectious agents which then  causes them to be susceptible to many other things, which means the immune system does not function properly.  Last year I read an article that told of children of farmers get sick a lot less.  The reason is that they are exposed to many things day in and day out.  It all makes perfect sense..  I thought this was so interesting and wanted to pass it onto you.

The wind is picking up now and the bitter cold is settling in, many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

 

 





BOOKS I AM READING-BEAUTIFUL ROSIE-THE WINDS

20 02 2015

GREETINGS

This morning looking out my kitchen window I saw two Blue Jays sitting on a branch of the crabapple tree.  ONe was feeding the other a sunflower seed.  It’s these small things that makes a sometimes difficult life on the farm worth it.

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BOOKS I AM READING   FRESH EGGS DAILY BY LISA STEELE

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If you can afford only one book about raising chickens get this one.  I found her blog online when Hazel got the respiratory thing again and followed her advise about herbs.  WIthin a week he was better and I continued the herbs for another week,  It was amazing.  I wanted to know more and her book has it all.  She raises her chicken holistically like I do.  Her practical tips for good diets and health issues  and what to have on hand for an emergency is priceless.  

BEAUTIFUL ROSIE

I took this picture early this morning.  She is content on the nest and laid a beautiful egg.

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THE WINDS

It was supposed to get up to the mid 20’s today but that never happened.  The winds came up around noontime and are still howling.  You can’t be outside long on this day.

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

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TWO MORE CHANCES OF SNOW- SHORTY-VIOLETS FIRST EGG-HELEN

18 02 2015

GREETINGS

The last snowstorm left us with 4 inches.  It snowed for almost 36 hours so I was sure we would get a lot.  A pleasant surprise.  Its going to snow tonight into tomorrow with 2 – 4 inches and again over the weekend.  But today after temps below zero its suppose to get into the mid twenties.  On the good side of things oil prices are low so that helps out in the heating department.

This is how Shorty handles snowstorms

This is how Shorty handles snowstorms

VIOLET”S FIRST EGG

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Morticia is eating and Violet is waiting for her turn.

Violet laid her first egg yesterday.  Its small but shaped like her Mom’s.  I have included a picture of VIolets egg, her Mom’s and Mrs. Brown’s.

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Violet’s egg with her Mothers on top.  Mrs. Brown is on the bottom.  Mrs. Brown’s eggs are always plumper.

 .Eggs are interesting and if you purchase eggs in the store all the time they all look the same.  But buying from a local farmer or raising your own you notice how each eggs is different and in families the egg shape stays the same.  I wonder why in the U.S.  eggs and fruit have to be perfect.  In nature and on organic farms they are not.  They are just as good though.

Chris and I are working on cleaning the barn.  It’s really too cold to spend a lot of time in there.  We have been spending and hour or so a day.  Today we are getting 10 bales of hay from Joe.  He doesn’t have much left.  I have shoveled the to the top of the small hill in back and plan to get sandbags to lay across it.  HOping that will make a difference in water coming into the barn.  I hope we have a slow snow melt.

Looking out the downstairs bathroom window.  There is a stone wall in there somewhere

Looking out the downstairs bathroom window. There is a stone wall in there somewhere

Helen

We brought Helen in last night, she has an impacted crop.  Some hens are susceptible to this.  SHe was getting beat up on by the rooster who  is kind to the other hen.  He will spend next winter in the barn by himself.  I am massaging her crop and hopefully moving things through and she is getting only yogurt and boiled egg for the next 24 hours.  I will massage her crop tonight too.  She is a sweet girl hope she can get through this..  This is the last cage I have so I hope that everyone else can stay in the coop!!!!!!!!!

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny winter day.  I hope your day is wonderful.   Carole

 

 





WINTER’S GRIP- SENIOR LUNCH-A GLIMPSE AND SMELL OF SPRING-LIL

11 02 2015

GREETINGS

WINTER’S GRIP

The 3 day storm left us with well over a foot of snow.  We did find room to put it, more is expected on Thursday into Friday.  I don’t mind the snow so much but its the bone chilling below zero temps that bother me.  Anyone  who has spent a good deal of time outside may have had some finger frostbite.  This bitter cold plays havoc with that.

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Snow gives one a chance to see what is coming to your property I have rabbits, raccoons and all sorts of birds moles too  Of course neighbors cats come too.  What’s on your property?

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Lots of ice this year.

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Lil loves the snow.

SENIOR LUNCH

Today is senior lunch day.  I look forward to it each month.  It’s a chance for me to meet people in town. A good meal and good conversation.  Its educational too with people  talking about health insurance and local events.

THE SMELL OF SPRING

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The grouping of hyacinth’s has made my kitchen smell wonderful and spring like.I like the grouping idea so much that I plan to do it in a few more rooms next year.  Just what I need to get rid of the winter drearies.

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MAKING YOGURT

Yesterday I made yogurt for the chickens.  Its good for them and a good way to use up milk that has gone a little off.  I seem to be making a lot more these days.

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My son’s boys shoveled yesterday and uncovered the woodpile.  I hope to get the rest of the wood on the porch today so I can get to cleaning the barn.  Seed catalogs are pouring into my mailbox and many interesting ways to garden are now showing up on facebook.   Hope you have a delightful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole