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Celebrating Spring

Sap season from the Sugar Maples was short lived this year. Over the weekend we helped friends roll up and put away their tubing and buckets for another year. 200 gallons total for the season I think will drive the price per gallon up until next season. I think it was a little less than half their usual amount.

The spring cleaning in the house is done! Walls, windows & floors all washed and polished. The heavy drapes and window quilts washed, dried on the line and put away with sachets of lavender until the fall season arrives again. A purging of the cellar has begun and so far we found 21 items that can go to the Goodwill. The barn is swept of cobwebs and the general clean up done until it gets warmer when the tack can be washed down and oiled for the summer season.

Left on the list are the window screens and lawn furniture to be washed down and set up for the season. The heavy winter bed quilts and flannel sheets are still on the bed until it’s a little warmer.  All this activity doesn’t guarantee we won’t see more snow before it’s all over, but does it feel good the past few weeks to shake things up and add that fresh spring feeling to the house.

The horses are shedding like crazy and are brushed down twice a day this past week and I will continue until mid June when they stop shedding. Boy I think I could make an entire mattress with the hair off those two.

This afternoon I’m off to cook one of my yearly suppers for the guys down at the Masonic Hall. We are expecting around 45 or so for a lasagna dinner. Complete with garlic bread sticks, tossed salad and brownies and ice cream for dessert. It will be a good time and I’m sure like always I will be ready for bed when all is cleaned up and put away.

I hope you are making your own progress on the changing of the season, it’s sort  a ritual every season in the order things get done around here. Happy Spring!

2009 where we have been, and where are we going?

look what Santa brought-the only thing she asked for, a kitchen like mommy's

As I look back at my own I see how much has really changed in a year’s time. 2009 brought the passing of a dear friend that I cared for the past 3 years and took me on the journey to look for an out side of the home job. This was a great loss in so many ways first the fact that a constant companion was gone and I’m lost (still) with out him. Second the major part of our income has gone and this put a strain on our savings, budget and mostly Dick’s health with working so hard all summer when he really needed a good rest.

Daisy and her new brother Shea

The past year brought new gardening adventures and challenging weather, that I think won! As there wasn’t much to put up for the winter. This year I hope and plan on adding a kitchen garden. I hope to budget in a pressure canner this year.

The adventure of tracking down heritage, endangered chickens, the joy of having them here and the disappointment when they were all killed by the neighbor’s dog. This year I will do it all over again and also hope to add heritage turkeys, a pig and buy into a standing beef cow for the freezer later in the coming year.

Not on my list from last year was the hope to learn to make our own dairy products. I did manage to successfully make sour cream and buttermilk before other things got in the way of my experimenting. This year I hope to make mozzarella, ricotta and butter.

This past year brought a new tractor to the farm. It’s working well for us but we do miss the bigger back hoe we traded in…

Sharing our favorite pony with Santa

Friends old and dear have shown their support through all of this. Last year also brought a few new friends both local and on line. I’m not one to have a huge circle of friends and the ones I do have are very dear to me, always.

So lets see what this year will hold in store for us as I continue this simple life….

Happy New Year to all.

It’s Cold!

frostIt seems warm fall weather just hasn’t arrived yet. It went from a cool summer right into an even cooler fall. The heat has been on in the house for a couple of weeks now and last night I closed the windows in the barn but left the big doors open.

knittingI have had a chance to spend some time knitting and trying out new knitting skills. My first was a lace pattern as I would like to make small gift bags to put jars of jelly in for gift giving this holiday season. The jelly and jars are so pretty I didn’t want to cover them up completely. I found the pattern here . The problem with the instructions are that they tell you to only repeat row 12 six more times, what I think they ment to say was to repeat the 12 row pattern six more times. Then the next issue is the pattern doesn’t end the same on each end. You will be folding it in half length wise and sewing up the sides. I didn’t have the ambition to figure this issue out.

After ripping it out several times I decided to put that project back into the basket for another time when I have time to try a different pattern. As you can see mine doesn’t look anything like the picture on the pattern.  I would like a more open, lacy pattern than this one after looking at it.

knitting1Next was learning a cable stitch. After looking around at so many pretty patterns I decided on one called a horse shoe, what else would I pick?  I found the pattern here. The cable called for 6 stitches but I changed mine to 3 stitches because the piece I am working on is not as wide.

This got me to thinking and after poking around the internet for a bit found these cute little wraps  and these and this one for coffee cups. What a great idea for this time of year and I think this project will work to make a warmer for my own coffee cup. I will just need to figure out how to add a tab section with a button hole in it to hold it on the cup. I have several horse buttons that would look very cute on this. I think a tie would work just as well and be cute too.

Although it doesn’t show well in the picture the yarn I am using is variegated and I think a solid color yarn would show the pattern better. Next time…

apple pieYesterday I baked 4 apple pies, 3 for the freezer and one for eating now. Most like plain vanilla ice cream but my favorite with apple is coffee. I freeze the unbaked pies in a glass pie plate and when frozen remove it from the plate and wrap well. When ready unwrap, place the frozen pie back into the pie plate and let defrost then bake as usual.

The crab apple tree on the back side of the field is nearly bare now and I’ll take Daisy with me to pick up the wind falls for jelly I would like to make over the weekend. It will take every last tiny apple to make a batch of jelly. Crab apples aren’t very big.

School didn’t happen. Late last week I got a call for the agency and they have a gentleman who needs a home once he is out of the hospital. They are talking the end of this week…. I don’t know enough about him to expect Dick to help him because I’m at school. I am looking at taking the class in the spring once the weather clears up for driving. So it’s good I have someone coming to the house and not so good I had to cancel class and now need to move Daisy back out of that bedroom. She didn’t like the idea all that much as she has been enjoying her new room. We will make her old one special and it will be okay.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Karyn

New Things

Well today was Daisy’s first day of pre-school at her new school. She was up early this morning and ready to go! She was surprised to find she already knew one of the other girls there.

They saw each other, held hands and walked off to play together, leaving me and the other mummy just standing there. A great start for the both of them.

 

Waiting to leave...

Waiting to leave...

 

Might as well relax for the ride....

Might as well relax for the ride....

 

d school

We made it to school...

 

The other great news is our Black Java hen, Dumpling left this for us in the coop a couple of mornings ago…none since then though…

Our first egg....

Our first egg....1.4 oz. ...Should I frame the picture and hang it in the coop?

Isn’t it the greatest little egg you have seen today? I think so any way. Daisy said she was going to eat it for breakfast if I poached it and put it on toast for her. That’s a promise for later in the week.

 

And look what stopped for a visit this morning….turkeys!

Mumma and babies

Muma and babies

Have a wonderful day!

 

Karyn

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