5 12 2016



Snowy Monday

It’s not that cold out and the snow looks so pretty falling in the woods.  The sheep are curious and Carol K.  makes a few steps out the door.


 Sheep are wonderful creatures, they can be loving, caring, nervous, instigators, and  trouble makers.  Yesterday they  did all of these things.  They got frightened while Charlie was cleaning the barn.  I think it might have been the noise of grain bags which makes a crinkling sound.  It sent them into a frenzy of running and Carol K broke down a fence.  This started a day of mishaps and cleaning.   We couldn’t find the post banger inner, now I have two because at one time I could not find the red one.  Both are still missing but in the attempts to find them we saw the new rat family that had moved into the lower part of the barn.   That lead to cleaning and finding out how they were living.  They had three different holes one to the inside walls of my kitchen and two into Mr. Peepers coop where they happily ate the food .  Now I was sure that  Mr. Peppers would go after rats but he is not as brave as I though he was. (He does try to go after me though)  Not having Skunks in resident has caused the rats to move in.  I have blocked the holes and will try to trap them .


Debbie and I have been planning out trip to The Walker Homestead for their winter open house and it was wonderful.  The house was built-in the late 1600’s, it’s a salt-box my favorite type of colonial home and its painted a colonial red which is also my favorite color for a salt-box.




 Smoke was billowing out the chimney when we got there on a crisp late fall day.    The last time I was there  was in September and this time there was a different feel to the house.  One of the resident cats named Cindy, age 23. greeted us in the kitchen looking for a warm spot  near the stove . Saint Nick was there is full dress. Loads of wonderful primitive things were available for sale and there were delightful things to eat.  The house is loaded with wonderful primitives from the colonial times and was very warm and inviting.  Our hosts were delightful.  I will be at the next open house.  The herb gardens were still looking great and the rosemary was still doing well.  The sheep were not in sight but probably in the barn on this day.  I bought some wonderful Juniper branches.  I love the smell of juniper and love the beautiful berries.  These trees are hard to find and I spent many hours on the internet trying to find a couple to plant in my yard, but to no avail.  I will start looking again after the holidays.  There are plenty of juniper trees and bushes but they don’t have the berries.

Our next stop was Sturbridge, Mass just 10 minutes or so from The Walker Homestead.  We visited a few shop, one was The Mercantile which I have been following on face book.


A bedroom set up with mostly overshot woven things.  A favorite weaving pattern of Den and myself.

All I can say about it is WOW.  It was a fantastic store with so many wonderful things even  custom cupboards.  A whole room dedicated to Rug Hooking.


 So much to see.  Then we visited two vintage material stores. Material and sewing goods from floor to ceiling.  Now I know where I can get material to repair my Grandmother’s quilts.  It’s not often that I get to do all these wonderful things in one day.  Deb and I plan to do this again.


This is a scary time for Americans that believe in liberty and justice for all.  I think we are in for dark times ahead and the future looks bleak for lower and middle class Americans.  I hope in the next year to devote some time helping people less fortunate than myself and fight for the things I think made American great in the past.

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




17 10 2015


It’s  very cool morning here with temps just rising to the mid fifty’s today.  It will be  cold weekend with some frosts coming.


This has been  tradition since I was a child.  I have been out twice and will go out today looking for more.  I especially am waiting for the oak leaves which offer an array of colors.  They aren’t quite ready yet.  It’s a wonderful thing to do with children, that is how I learned to tell a maple from an oak.

My Mom would put a square of wax in an old pan and put the pan in simmering water so the wax would melt slowly.  We would have  cookie sheet lined with waxed paper at the ready and I would hand her the leaves.  She would carefully dip them into the wax and  hand them to me.  I would let them drip and lay them on the sheet. These leaves would be used in decorations around the house .  Years later I would send her waxed leaves when she lived in Florida  and missed the fall.

Another method of preserving leaves is with glycerin.  I have used this method to preserving the leaves right on the branches.  Happy leaf hunting.IMG_5974


Cindy often sends me things from my beloved Ireland.  This time it was the cherished items that we loaded our suitcases with .  Fairy Liquid and Radox.  Since we have rented houses in Ireland for the past 20 years we have to supply the simple things such as dish detergent and groceries.   When I smell the above two products it just sends me back to the place I love.  Thanks Cindy.  Now to light up a brick of turf and I am happy.



My kitchen has needed renovation for years.  There has always been more important things to fix in this old farmhouse.  I have bought a double Soapstone sink for $75. many years ago and it sits in the downstairs barn area waiting to be installed.  Maybe next year that will happen and it will make , canning, dyeing wool and making soap so much easier.  But for now I am fixing up some of the walls with beadboard.  I am inspired by Kristen Nicholas with her colorful farmhouse and using colors that I would not ordinarily use. 

The kitchen  was made by combining two areas many years ago.  A wood shed  and the original kitchen.  Both have no cellar and are only a foot or so above the dirt which is why pipes freeze so easily in the winter.  My neighbor , Pat redid most of the wood shed portion some years ago, insulating the walls and adding a new window.  I love how that looks   

Chris and I started this project while he was here.  Neither of us are carpenters but we forged ahead and got it done with .  One wall done and painted.  I hope to get another wall started today.  It will probably take most of the winter to get all the walls done and painted.  Some of the  walls will have beadboard only half way up and the upper walls painted another color.  I am going to paint some sunflowers on the walls , thank to you Kristen for the wonderful ideas of color and design.  Look for more pictures of my progress in the future.


The small window comes from my Great-Grandmother’s house i Maryland.  When they were tearing it down I saved some of the windows.


Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole



25 10 2013



The Crafts of Colrain is early this year.  I am busy still getting things put away from the NY show and want to make a few things for the tour.  It’s on the 9th and 1oth of November.  It will be a great two days , I hope the weather will hold, November is a fickle month.  I as hoping that the big project on the house would be done  by then but they are not starting on it till the Monday after Thanksgiving.


I read this old quote from a blog at Deanne Fitzpatrick’s website recently and it really apply’s to all of us who live where the seasons change.

“I’m glad I live where Seasons change, I like my world to rearrange.”  Fall is a rearrange season, time to get the firewood and pellets in place.  Put plastic on windows where there are no storm windows, Get Draft Dodgers in place, this year I m making small ones for the bottom of old windows and where the two windows meet in the middle.  Lots of drafts come in there.  Cleaning up the yard and putting tools away.  Having extra supplies of animal feed on hand because there are those days when one can’t get out in the winter.  Fall is a busy time and it leads us into winter where time slows down.   Winter is a time when things get done that you didn’t have time for in the Spring, Summer and Fall.  Projects that you just had to put off.  I look forward to it now, but I can say when I was working I dreaded each snow or ice storm.  Now with extra supplies I don’t have those worries anymore.


My friend Patti recommended this book “ONCE UPON A FLOCK BY LAUREN SCHEUER.


  I am glad she did, it’s a book of stories about her flock.  I read it in an afternoon. My family and friends have been encouraging me for years to write down all the animal stories and have them published.    The illustrations in this book are just what I wanted in my book.  This winter I will take the time to write the stories and I will contact her about illustrating.  Even if I publish it myself  it will be a fun project.


These two pictures are of the stone wall in back of the pasture.














 Less than a hundred years ago this mountain in back of my house contained very few trees and a flock of merino sheep.  It’s interesting how things change.  Stone Walls dot all of New England dividing pastures and ownership of land.  Stone walls are endearing to me, in the 1946 house I grew up in my Grandfather and Uncle Roger hauled stones from Chesterfield and build a stone wall in our backyard. It terraced the property making a lovely garden area with wonderful steps going up to it.   SOme of these stones were from family homesteads from way back in our family history.  I would have liked a stone from that wall but the time to get that has passed.  I do hope that the owner of the property appreciates the beauty of it.

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


13 09 2013



I watch Netflix when I am hooking , sewing  and before I go to sleep.  I came across this wonderful movie called THE MOO MAN.


 If you love cows and family farms you will love this movie. They do have a web site  It’s about a family farm in England who takes wonderful loving care of their herd.  These people have found the essence of farming. They have found a way to survive on a family farm by selling raw organic milk directly to the public.   He was getting paid 27 pence per liter and his cost was 34 pence per liter.  The taxpayers subsidize the milk .  The supermarkets make the profits.  

They raise Friesian Holstein.








 I remember my first taste of raw milk from my Uncle’s farm in Chesterfield as a child.   I was shocked that it was warm.  Everyone drank it of course at that time you could not sell it to the public.  

The Bisbee family farm is no more.  No one wanted to take it over.  Long hours  very few days off and with not a living wage isn’t what people want to do.  It’s sad to go by the old barn now and remember how wonderful and busy  it was 50 or so years ago.  It was filled with cows a couple of working horses and some cats.   Every day was a busy day and to a little girl it’s what started a life of loving animals and farm life.

This movie brought back many memories for me.  The milkman came to our house 2 or 3 times a week from a local farm.  We bought , milk, eggs and butter from them and in the summer could buy vegetables.  Everything was so fresh and sometimes local farms made their own ice cream and that could be included in the delivery.  Somehow this part of life in the 50’s and 60’s is almost obsolete.  I only buy organic milk these days, yes I know its expensive but  by doing that  I am supporting local farms like my Uncle’s farm.  If more people did this the farmers would make a living wage and be able to keep their farms,  Its less than a cup of coffee per half-gallon.  When I think of the consequences of loosing family farms, I think of the huge corporate farms where no care is given to the animal the animals live under such stress that goes into their milk and then goes into your body.  I hope that we as caring people can see what this does and use our pocketbooks to SAVE OUR FAMILY FARMS.

The Moo Man was the surprise hit of the Sundance Film Festival of 2013.    You can watch a trailer of this on the Moo Man’s website.

We are lucky to have a local organic milk farm.  Everytime you go past the farm the cows are grazing on wonderful green pastures.


Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope that you will watch this very moving film.  Hope your day is wonderful.  Carole