For now

This August we are having our first annual screen free month. Our only form of communication with the outside world will be in phone calls, snail mail, or good old fashioned visiting.

We have long talked about cutting back on screens, which is hard in our house.

I grew up on a farm in the middle of the woods in a teeny tiny township in Maine. From ages 7-10 we had no electricity, we had an outhouse, our dirt driveway was almost a mile long and in the late winter and early spring we had to leave our car at the mailbox at the end of the driveway. We either walked to the car from the house or vice versa or sometimes we would take the horse and wagon.

Even when the poles came in and we had running water and an indoor toilet, we still didn’t watch much tv. We had the option to, but when your limited to three channels, books and imagination just seem better.

My husband grew up with video games and cable tv and went to school for video game design and is now a software engineer. So of course he is into electronics, it seems to be the norm to have TVs and video games, computers and iPads in the house. But even a little can be too much.

So folks, we are going on a break as I said before. I’ve printed off all the patterns that I will probably not get to, but feel like I might at some point be kicking myself in the butt for not finishing.

Some already started

And some almost finished

We have books, animals and woods to keep us busy. We have homeschool field trips lined up, our annual summer trip to Santa’s village, and camping to look forward to.

The sky will be our television, with it’s glistening stars. The sounds of nature or one of the instruments in the house will bring us our music.

We have plenty of canning that will be happening this month as everything grows in.

I am excited to see how this experiment goes.

See you in a month folks!

SURPRISE!!!

This is the very last thing I expected to see this morning as we gave the roosters the old heave ho a few months ago.

But she waltzed out of a wooden area with her “missing” Rhode Island Red Mother, who is currently sitting on another egg. I wonder how many other babies will join our farm! Naturally this one was has been named…Surprise! Stay dry little one!

(They we’re hiding in the nesting boxes we use in the greenhouse in the winter, we’ve put a metal roof on to protect them from the storm. Mama refused to go into our broody pen with the baby, so we decided to keep them together where they feel at home)

The calm

All is quiet on the farm..for now. We have a big storm coming out way that is bringing five days of heavy thunderstorms and high winds, it will give us a break for the weekend and then the forecast is showing more rain starting next Monday.

We need it though, everyone does. We have friends whose wells have gone dry, the grass is browning in areas, and every time we water the gardens we are just hoping that it won’t be the last time.

Right now the garden is growing, slowly, we have some produce but birds are our current foes, even with our scarecrow.

The greenhouse is full of tomato and pepper plants, just starting to fruit.

New babies have made their way to the farm

Our temporary guests for the next 8 weeks.

We’ve been interacting with all sorts of wild life this week. Toph and I stood up the other day after an hour picking blueberries to find that not 100 yards from us was a coyote eating his breakfast.

Mr. Coyote took off as soon as he saw us, for that I am thankful, I am not a fan. They were heard yesterday morning while we were doing morning chores. Down in our lower field, yipping in excitement.

The evening after our encounter with the coyote, thinking I would never get as close to nature as I did the previous morning, I headed down to the field to once more pick blueberries to pack in Leif’s lunch for camp and what do you think I saw?!

This deer and I stood in good company with each other for twenty minutes at least. She looked at me several times, I talked to her to let her know that I wasn’t there to hurt her (Can deer understand humans 🤷🏻‍♀️). She even obliged me with a selfie (because you know when there is a deer filter on Snapchat, you just have to do it)

We saw a second deer the next night in a neighbors field as we headed out to move our chicken wagon into the next paddock.

Our very own Moose had a big week also

This beautiful pup of ours was entered into the local pet show at the library and won an award for his brindle coat.

He also made a new best friend

Lorelai also made a winged friend.

We ended the week with our weekly farmers market, that included music this week. I had new colors for the reusable water-balloons I have been making

These have been a big hit this year. I’ve made almost 100 and I can hardly keep up with the outside orders for them.

After a long week, I think I will join Ailey in the couch

If you are in one of the areas expected to be hit with the storm (south of us is really going to get the brunt of it), stay safe and dry.

Have a great day Folks!

Staying cool

Leif is back to his normal, crazy self. He has been spending his afternoons swimming in the lake.

I’m looking forward to my back being healed so I might join him. We don’t have air conditioning at our house, the lake has been our way of keeping cool this summer.

His evenings are spent camping out with dad

This morning he spared an hour of his “survival practice” time to help pick blueberries to freeze and make into jam.

We like to start harvesting berries as soon as they are big and plump. We freeze them for winter snacking and use them to can jams & jellies.

The rest we leave for the bears, because it my personal experience, if you leave fruit for bears, they will leave your animals alone. I’m sure it’s not exactly true for everyone, but on our farm, so far I’ve see plenty of bear scat near where our animals are and yet the bears leave the critters alone.

We have been trying to beat the heat by working in the early mornings and getting chores finished before it gets too hot.

The garden is happy right now, we have been picking plenty of veggies to sell at the farmers market (North Conway Farmers Market if you are up in the White Mountains 😉 )

Sunday while it was still cool out and I had the house to myself, I overdyed some yarn I had dyed a while back.

Some New Zealand wool and Corriedale, while I like the colors somewhat, I wanted something different.

The New Zealand wool still has a spot of orange on it, I’m not sure what I will make with it.

The Corriedale (to me), is simply stunning.

It’s also currently up on the Etsy shop.

I am crossing my fingers we see cooler temperatures soon. It is too hot to spin wool and I’m trying to crochet/knit in the early morning hours and late at night when I can stand to touch yarn.

Stay cool folks! 😎

We cave

Life, no matter how you choose to live it, has its ups and it’s downs, and these last several days have been full of many downs.

Starting with a back injury that has rendered me useless on the farm until everything has been healed, no lifting, and careful movements.

Next three head injuries in two days for the little boy in the house (two minor and one big) thankfully he is okay and only ended up with a goose egg, but still very scary. He has recovered in body and spirit.

The last is losing a beloved pet. Like the rest of the country, we have been hit with a heatwave of temperatures hitting anywhere from 93-100 degrees. Hard on humans and hard on animals.

Sometimes, no matter how much shade, ice water, or frozen water bottles you put in with animals, it doesn’t help.

Heat is especially hard on angora rabbits, sadly Noël passed away. I will probably never own another angora rabbit as long as we live where it gets this hot. She had a haircut in anticipation of the heat, but sadly everything we did just wasn’t enough and that is not okay.

They say things happen in threes, I’d rather they be good things.

Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer!

School is out and just like that I have a 3rd grader and a 7th grade!

Don’t let my girls sign fool you, she’s moving on up. She has had quite the school year and due to her academic achievements, she is bypassing sixth grade completely. However as mom and dad are not big fans of the middle school in our are, she will be homeschooled once again, only this time with the addition of her best friend.

We have received our curriculum

As well as several educational donations from townsfolk. The girls have been asked back by their art teacher to come in and help teach the younger students, we have a lot of community members offering to teach the girls different skills.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, I am so grateful that our little tiny hamlet of a town wants to pitch in.

Speaking of education, I was able to attend the graduation of a niece and nephew

I was glad to be able watch them get their diplomas and get ready to start the next chapter in their lives. They were both born my freshman year of high school, so I only feel slightly old.

The days are so long and warm now, we have been soaking up the sun while we work, play, relax, and visit with family.

Have a great weekend folks!

Sheep and Gardens

Don’t get too excited, it isn’t what you think. Believe me when I say, that I want this title to be about my very own sheep. Alas, the sheep in which my title refers is to all the beautiful sheep that I saw Mother’s Day weekend at the NH Sheep and Wool festival.

I had my mind made up before I left the house, I had a list & knew what I wanted.

And I will tell you friends, that Alpaca was definitely not on my list

But I bought a pound.

Goat was also not on my list…yep, I bought an entire angora goat fleece.

I had considered buying merino again, from a new vendor this time. Alas I found none. Instead I went to the judging barn and fell in love with a beautiful Corriedale fiber. The only thing I got this was actually on my list was Navajo Churro, I am interested to see how that spins up.

Not everything thing has been washed, but I finally got the chance to washed the beautiful Shetland wool that I was gifted last fall. I’ve been using my new combs and combing up a storm at our booth at the farmers market.

I also has some of Noël’s fiber to spin up. She has fought me for so long about getting sheared, last week we had a hot day of 85 and she just sat on my lap with no fuss and allowed me to cut away. She looks like a whole new rabbit!

As much as I love snow, I am glad the heat is here. We have been busy transplanting veggies out into the garden beds. Last week we had the help of my nephew who was up from Georgia!

He helped with the beds and helped us fence off two acres of woods for the pigs

The potatoes are getting bigger every day, we planted thirty pounds this year!

Set up a drip irrigation line in the greenhouse

And finally put the babies out with the big girls.

I have two (yes that’s right) projects finished

This beautiful lap blanket that I had been making for my grandmother, I gave it two her two days before she passed.

The second is the mandala waistcoat I had been working on for my cousins wife. This was a challenging project, but I enjoyed making it.

As we are on our first of many days of rain and it is dreary outside, I will end this with a bit of color. I’ve had a request at the farmers market for colorful wool for felting.

And I delivered!

Have a great week folks!!