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What a weekend!

What a weekend….

The weather warmed up into the 40’s and it rained all weekend. Our first adventure brought all of us mending fencing for the horses. The snow has been so deep and dry that the fence had grounded out and the darlings decided to play with it and ripped huge sections of it down. So we trodded through waist deep snow to fix it as best we could. It took a few hours and we were wet and cold. At least it is working properly and now they have no interest in touching it.

Chocolate mint Macaroons

There were places where the 5 foot high fence is so buried in snow that all they had to do was lift their foot inches and simply step over it to chew on the tree bark. No amount of electric fencing would help with that because it is all buried IN the snow.

Sunday we took a road trip to a camper show. There is no intention of us getting a camper it was just a chance to get out of the house. Wow was that place packed full of people. I was surprised to see the prices of them. They have been drastically reduced yet they were selling. Many had sold signs on them.

Is it possible that people have started spending a bit for items that aren’t overly inflated in prices? Most campers were discounted 5-8 thousand dollars. That people at this point are tired of staying home and are looking for inexpensive alternatives so they can continue to vacation? In talking to a few of the campground owners he says their sales for their camp sites have been increasing over the past couple of years and the reservations have already started for this season. The camping season won’t start until mid June? Now who will be able to afford the gas prices, I hope they go back down before travel season hits, if it doesn’t I can see hitting families again and their new campers will be sitting home.

When I got back after a nice day doing not much of anything with Dick I found the house clean from top to bottom and everything put away. It was wonderful! Sorry to say I messed up the kitchen when I pulled out some soap supplies to organize and get put away on a new rack for storage. I’ll fix it all up and make it pretty again when I get home to pick up my mess. It was late last night and I left for work early this morning.

Almond Mararoons

I made small progress on the garden, by pulling out last year’s garden note book and started the plans for this years garden. I will need to pull out the seed box and take a good inventory of what I do have and what we will need. I put on Mark’s to do list to add a couple of raised beds for this year. This will finish up the kitchen garden, as last year we didn’t take full advantage of all the space available there. A couple will go other places around the house that have been on the to do list for a few years now. Actual seed starting will be around the 28th of this month and into April. This will be exciting.

The process of planning the garden is exciting for me in that Miss. J will be learning for the first time this year from start to finish. She helped with the harvesting, seed drying and canning last year and this year will show her the starting process so to say. I see it as a cycle with no start or end, but it will close the circle for her. I think what I will do is show her the seed catalogs and ask her based on what we grew last year what she would choose for seeds this year and the reasons why.

Daisy will also have the chance to add her input because last season was the first she started to grasp some of what we were doing and the reasons why. It all started to connect with her that the carrots she so much loves were the result of the seeds she put in the ground earlier and were the same she watered and watched every day. She understood months later that the canning jar of carrots on the counter ARE her carrots SHE grew and now SHE is eating them, and loves them.

There may be feet of snow on the ground but things are starting to grow around here if only in our minds.

So how was your weekend? As good as mine I hope.

 

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!

Spring?

The past few days has been so mild and sunny despite the forecast of snow showers. Seems most of the snow this year has gone right around us. We did have a bad wind storm and lost power for 2 days, part of the state are still out a week later. Reminds me of the ice storm two winters ago, we were out of power for 4 days then.

The sun has been out and the melting snow is making mud in the driveway. The roads have been posted so it will put those who work in the woods on vacation for a month or so.

Daisy after a week on vacation is back at school. I’m not sure who was happier her or me! She was glad to see her friends and I was glad to have some one on one time with Dick to have an adult conversation. :)

A few of the latest soaps made this week. I’ll get them posted as soon as I can.

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey

Pink Sugar-Smells like cotton candy to me...I like it

 I have plans on heading to the feed store later in the week to get the Delaware chicks ordered. I’m still looking for a meat chicken for this year and a few heritage breed turkeys. Of course I will order the Java chicks in another month or so.

Farm Fashion

I always get a chuckle out of fashion or better put my lack of fashion.  A good friend of mine always reads several of the country magazines and saves them for me to read, I then pass them on. By the time they hit the recycle bins they have been read by a dozen or so ladies. Don’t tell the subscription departments about this one…

Any way I noticed several are showing big spreads on new spring fashions for the farm life. Fancy rubber clogs with flowers on them for gardening, spring aprons, the latest jeans and button up shirts. Fancy new tote bags to take to the markets and new spring chore coats. Me, I grab what ever works and is handy, fashion, or even matching is not a consideration.

So what do you think of my latest fashion to hitch the dog out this morning? What can I say, I already had my knit slippers on so the rubber clogs would keep them dry to go outside. Who needs to bother get dressed for a quick trip, my fleece house coat will work for a few minutes… Not pretty but it works.

I have a sneaky suspicion I am not alone in this self decided farm fashion. Would anyone like to share a few shots of your farm fashions? How about a link to show them off?

Here is something I do think is pretty… It’s called Chocolate Spice, made with cocoa, cinnamon,  and orange essential oils. It’s part of the soaping spree I went on last week. I haven’t listed them on the Farm Store blog yet, but do have a couple of 5 ounce bars left if you are interested. The other purple and white swirl is pure lavender.

Today was a lovely day spent with my lovely husband. We took a ride to town down the snow and slush covered roads to pick up prescriptions and just spend some time together. We ran into several friends and had a great visit with them. Took a nice walk down the main street and around the park by the river. I nice time. After being married 9 years he still holds my hand every chance he gets.

I had put together a corn chowder in the crock pot this morning for dinner. Made from ingredients in our pantry and freezer. I guess while we were gone several hungry friends of the boys showed up to hang out with them and when we returned there were 2 single bowls of chowder in the fridge for us, the rest was gone and the dishes washed and put away…. Dick, Daisy and I had that with corn bread for dinner. Guess I should think it was good as there were no left overs, this makes me feel good.

Today brough a bit more snow and rain. Tonight I can hear the wind howling outside and I’m glad I’m in the house with a warm cup of tea. This is the first chance in a few days I have had to check in on my favorite blogs.

Tomorrow will bring the start of some de-cluttering in our bedroom closet. How we gather so many clothes when we don’t often buy new I have no idea. But it happens. I’m really thinking about how to use all those sweatshirts no one wears and make a rug  or two with them.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend while trying to print those pesky round labels I would like a new printer. A printer that worked, my old one is fussy. Look what she dropped off to us! I can not believe it! This one is an ink jet, has a scanner, fax and copier, oh it prints too… I haven’t figured out where to put it just yet, it’s to large to fit in my cabinet where the old one lives. But for now this old typewriter stand will work in the corner by the kitchen table. I just love the mix of old and new. Dick doesn’t appreciate it and thinks the old stand should stay in the cellar…

This is where I do most of my computer work, right at the kitchen table. When I’m done everything gets picked up and put away in the cupboard.  Actually the kitchen table is the heart of our home. Everything from crafts, animal first-aid, eating, playing board games to sewing and just visiting with a cup of coffee is done at the table. I think our family spends 90% of our time around it when inside, to me much better than sitting on front of the tv.

How about you? Do you spend much time at the kitchen table or is another space in your home a favorite meeting place?

Hope you had as good of a day as I did.

Karyn

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