Summer days

Vacation is here and we’ve managed to find ways to entertain ourselves during all the rainstorms.

From canning rhubarb pie filling, from what little we had this year

To 5+ hour long games of monopoly

To combing wool for more spinning

Some of us found ways to entertain ourselves that ended with pain and a trip to the vet

Ouch! (Both dogs are fine, though Moose is sporting a new haircut on his leg)

When the sun came out we had beautiful sights waiting for our eyes

In about a month Toph and I will journey down to south to see if that is really where we want to relocate or if perhaps we should just stay put. We will be looking in PA, WV, VA, and NC. I’ve been compiling a list of places to go (beaches, hikes, sites of interest), searching for celiac friendly places to eat (We will be bringing a lot of snacks, after a close call I just had at a restaurant, I need to be even pickier that already am. Sometimes gluten free menus mean nothing.)

The children will be staying behind to enjoy time with the grandparents and help out taking care of the animals and the garden.

We are definitely looking forward to this adventure!

Have a great day folks!

Melting

Day by day the snow is quickly leaving.

Birds now go out during the day

While two dogs keep an eye out for winged and four legged predators

Garlic is popping up through the soil

And several rows of potatoes have been planted.

The trampoline has been put up after weeks of begging

Repairs have happened to the out door coop and I will say, it was nerve wracking with high winds, to not only be in it holding on to the roof while the sides were getting screwed in, but also to watch my husband up high during those winds. Though I think the dogs chasing each other while Toph was on the ladder was worst of all, I definitely took a dog head to the knee when I stepped between Runa and the ladder and she ran into me.

I piled my first yarn on my new wheel,

It had been spun up on my Edam, but I was wanting to play on the kiwi. I know awhile back people commented that my older wheel was not a Wernekinck Edam, however a spinning group I am in has confirmed that it is indeed an Edam.

As I am getting ready to sell it I wanted to know for sure.

This isn’t at all the colorway I was going for but it has grown on me and now I’m trying to find the perfect pattern for it.

Late last summer a friend asked me to spin the hair from her doodle, the fibers are short and they shed when spun, but I blended them in with some Romney wool and I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would get from this dog, but I’ve hardly made a dent in the ziplock bag.

Have a great day folks!

Always Busy

I wish I could slow down time once in while so I could sit down and update here more often. I’m always on the go, only sitting down for meals, folding laundry, and reading a quick paragraph in a book before I fall asleep at night.

The garden has been keeping me busy, with the harvesting

And the canning

I have pickles, apple sauce, pie filling, stew starters, relish, and pasta sauce.

We’ve been talking about downsizing the garden, because it was really too much to handle and perhaps maybe having a small garden for us and not selling at farmers market is the way we need to do things right now.

We’ve also talked about downsizing on the amount of chickens we have, we sell to many different places but the stress of it all is getting to be a bit much (I displaced a rib last week). Maybe 30 backyard chickens instead of 200+ (anyone interested in buying some organic, pasture raised golden comets that just started laying?)

I am ready for winter, I am ready for slowing down, and I’m ready to spend more time playing with this little ball of fur.

I’m also ready for sheep 😂 I keep hearing my husband tell people that sheep will be next and I did find two FREE Icelandic sheep on Craigslist today.

Time will tell, I have the herding dog, so sheep are the next logical step right?!

Have a great day folks!

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! 😎