21 01 2017







We have had more snow and warmer weather but still not enough to melt the ice that is outside the barn door.  Maybe this coming week with temps in the 40’s it will happen.  


Willie the elusive Baby and Shorty resting on the sofa

Willie, Shorty and a good shot of the elusive Baby aka Marion


Both had had an appointment at the vets.  Willie was quite the ham and loved all the attention given by the Vet and the Vet Techs.  Shorty on the other hand hated the whole ordeal and screamed and snarled which is so unlike him. When animals get older one has to make decisions for them.    Shorty is almost 20 and is entering into kidney failure.  The vet suggested he be on the kidney food and so far I have not done anything about it.   It would mean moving him to his own room and away from everyone else.  He enjoys his life with his friends.  Morning naps on the sofa and afternoons spent eating and relaxing on my bed.  I see taking him away from all this and him going down hill very fast.  I am giving myself a little time thinking about this and would appreciate input from other older cat owners.  Willie is being treated for his respiratory problems that he has had ever since he came here.  He will be on antibiotics for a time and then he is scheduled for a dental procedure.

Because of his age Shorty isn’t taking care of his fur as well as he should, so constant combing and brushing is called for.  At the doctors they had a battery operated  mustache/beard trimmer and off came the mats that I had spent so much time on .  I will be getting one of these soon.




I love making bread and have been doing it since my children were young.  I just learned a new tip.  I use normal  bread pans and my bread never seems to look like the pictures .  In looking up bread recipes on the King Arthur Four site I found that using a smaller pan will cause the bread to rise higher in the pans thus the beautiful large loaves!!!!!  Learn something new every day.  I will be looking for slightly smaller pans soon.

I am planning to start my hyacinths today.  Looking forward to the sights and smells of spring soon.  The chickens have enjoyed going out most days this winter, which is great for them. Many thanks for reading my blog today and for all the kind comments.  I really appreciate them..  Carole



29 12 2015


Snow on the ground this morning with sleet falling now. Temps are suppose to go up above freezing today so it may be mostly gone by tomorrow.  Chris and I hope to cut some small trees down tomorrow.


I topped off the feeders and made more coconut feed mix yesterday.  This morning I added a peanut butter/seed and nut mix to a feeder that a neighbor made and within 5 minutes one of the neighborhood squirrels was there.When I lived in a city squirrels were everywhere there are not so many here.  I enjoy their antics.



I love making these mittens and they are so warm.  I took a class in Connecticut in the early 90’s and have been hooked since.  The fleece layer eventually felts and makes these mittens double layered.  The yarn is from my first flock of sheep (Border Leicesters) and my goat Timmy.  I plan on making a few more pairs this winter.



I am repairing these socks again.  I have had them since the 90’s and they have been repaired many times.  The stripes are from my first cat Fluffy.  They are warm and comfortable like an old pair of shoes.

I have lots of unfinished knitting  projects lying around and want to get caught up this winter.


Chris and I managed to finish most of the outside projects since he arrived.  First he did the barn window which needed to be put up and then yesterday he put the piece of plywood over the dryer vent.  For some reason ice forms on the attic roof and piles up so that I have to dig out the dryer vent every so often.  This will make things easier.  We got the last of the chicken coops covered and stuff put away.   Just in time for today’s storm


The cats have settled in, they love dark, snowy days but Cosmo has decided to venture out of his rooms,maybe someday he will join the other cats.

Sammu in his hut on top of the radiator

Sammy in his hut on top of the radiator


Willie and Shorty in their places on the sofa

Cosmo exploring today

Cosmo exploring today

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




16 08 2015


Shorty cooling off on a hot morning

Shorty cooling off on a hot morning

Another heat wave, temps soaring into the 90’s and humidity is at the oppressive level.  We have a had rain so the garden won’t dry out.


I am still pulling up jewel weed  It’s over 10 feet tall in many place.  Thank goodness the sheep and chickens love it.  It attracts bumble bees and humming birds so I am enjoying that outside my computer window.

Jewel week through the barn window at least 12 feet high.

Jewel week through the barn window at least 12 feet high.


NOFA is the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and every summer it has a conference at UMass.

members camping out by the pond

members camping out by the pond

Under blazing sun and humidity I did a spinning demo  yesterday afternoon. I met a lot of wonderful people and was busy for the entire time, showing people how to spin and explaining  the process and sheep and wool types.


It was a lot of fun and i hope to return next year.  Lots going on including a demo on working dogs rounding up ducks by my friends Jim and Jill Lyons.







An unexpected stop on my way home


Many thanks for reading my blog on this sultry day.Hope its cooler where you are.  Carole 


4 06 2015




We had torrential rain on Monday night, plants toppled over from the weight of it.  Water and mud came into the barn but only got just past the gate so no damage downstairs, the clean up won’t be too bad.  No matter I am so glad that we ended the drought we were having.  It would could  have rain once a week it would be perfect.  I garden the Ruth Stout method so once the plants are started they are fine during a spell of no rain.  



He is now 19 years old and doing very well.  He is the king of the household and the oldest cat here.  He was born in Maryland and his Mother and siblings moved with me here.    He has a larger than life personality and in the middle of the night I am awakened by his MEOW as he walks around the house with a felted bell toy in his mouth.  He doesn’t play with Sammy and Willie but prefers resting and observing.


I made the hot pepper salve putting some peppermint oil in  it.  I love the color a nice yellow.

IMG_5154 I am going to give out a few sample jars to friends to try.   If they like it then I will make a full batch .


 I used it last night and found that its subtle not like the ones you buy in the store that goes on very hot.

  I hope to get the Rose/Calendula salve made soon.  I will have to blend some essential oils first to see which one is right.  I am thinking of making a peppermint salve soon.  I do love making these and have getting quite a following.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and hope the day was wonderful for you.   Carole







18 02 2015


The last snowstorm left us with 4 inches.  It snowed for almost 36 hours so I was sure we would get a lot.  A pleasant surprise.  Its going to snow tonight into tomorrow with 2 – 4 inches and again over the weekend.  But today after temps below zero its suppose to get into the mid twenties.  On the good side of things oil prices are low so that helps out in the heating department.

This is how Shorty handles snowstorms

This is how Shorty handles snowstorms



Morticia is eating and Violet is waiting for her turn.

Violet laid her first egg yesterday.  Its small but shaped like her Mom’s.  I have included a picture of VIolets egg, her Mom’s and Mrs. Brown’s.


Violet’s egg with her Mothers on top.  Mrs. Brown is on the bottom.  Mrs. Brown’s eggs are always plumper.

 .Eggs are interesting and if you purchase eggs in the store all the time they all look the same.  But buying from a local farmer or raising your own you notice how each eggs is different and in families the egg shape stays the same.  I wonder why in the U.S.  eggs and fruit have to be perfect.  In nature and on organic farms they are not.  They are just as good though.

Chris and I are working on cleaning the barn.  It’s really too cold to spend a lot of time in there.  We have been spending and hour or so a day.  Today we are getting 10 bales of hay from Joe.  He doesn’t have much left.  I have shoveled the to the top of the small hill in back and plan to get sandbags to lay across it.  HOping that will make a difference in water coming into the barn.  I hope we have a slow snow melt.

Looking out the downstairs bathroom window.  There is a stone wall in there somewhere

Looking out the downstairs bathroom window. There is a stone wall in there somewhere


We brought Helen in last night, she has an impacted crop.  Some hens are susceptible to this.  SHe was getting beat up on by the rooster who  is kind to the other hen.  He will spend next winter in the barn by himself.  I am massaging her crop and hopefully moving things through and she is getting only yogurt and boiled egg for the next 24 hours.  I will massage her crop tonight too.  She is a sweet girl hope she can get through this..  This is the last cage I have so I hope that everyone else can stay in the coop!!!!!!!!!



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