Friday, November 27, 2009

Wreaths delivered - check

I've been working on my annual wreath delivery for the past few days as part of my Christmas celebration and got them all loaded into the back of my husbands car for delivery, I thought they looked very festive and wanted to share it with you. I did have a huge sheet of plastic down to keep the car from becoming a total farm vehicle; I'd have taken all the wreathes in the back of my truck but it was pouring and I'm sure my customers would not have appreciated them soaking wet. Another huge chunk off my "to do "list! Yeah!

Our latest venture

Our local library hosted vermicomposting class this past Saturday, it was free, right up our alley and something I've tried doing in the past with partial success, so the kids and I went! Vermicomposting; also know as worm composting and/or worm farming is not for the faint of heart. (Warning: if you are squeamish you might want to skip reading this post.) The class lasted about an hour and we brought home lots of info and new cast members for From the Country Farm; red wigglers! (Side note, there are simply too many to name... I'm joking!) Below are the kids and the instructor talking about what to do, how it all works etc.

Our newest cast members in their new home, trying to settle in...
For those of you who are still reading, (I'm impressed!) the whole point of vermicomposting is for the black gold they produce; worm poo is great natural fertilizer! It's (supposed to be) about the easiest thing you can do, so I've armed myself with some new info and trying again, hopefully this time will be a success. I'll try to remember to keep you updated or at least post about it after a bit. Like I said it's not for everyone and truth be told I'm a bit grossed out by it but will push through it for the black gold...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


... for lot of things, like the pictures of my latest venture to transfer from the camera (so I can post them of course!) to the computer, like the printer to print off a new recipe for tomorrow, and lots of other things that I cannot go into right now. I've got 9 of the 13 wreathes made for delivery the day after Thanksgiving, working on another quilt to give away, the other two are done!! YEAH! Shoeboxes are pack, tagged and shipped and trackable this year! I CANNOT wait to see where they go! Need to carve out some time to go with my Grandmother to a craft show in December, she'll love that, as will I. Faith is almost ready to put the pies in the oven for tomorrow, she was in charge of bringing a pie for Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate as she is the only one in the family that has won a ribbon for her pie at a local fair... she is an excellent cook and is very proud of that ribbon. She's only 9 and competed against the adults, some of whom have been featured on the food network!

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, I've got so much to be thankful for as I'm sure you do too. As Dave Ramsey says, "I'm better than I deserve!" For me that is so very very true!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything they have.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

busy busy busy

I've been really busy making wreathes, soap, socks, shirts, tote bags and such for Christmas, what have you been up to?

Monday, November 16, 2009

the walking foot

What a neat invention the walking foot is! This weekend I spent sewing, knitting and crafting and what a good time it was; the basement/sewing/laundry room was lit up with mini Christmas trees that my son hauled out of storage and plugged in, we had a nice crackling fire, a scented candle and Christmas music blared at times... We were working on baby quilts for a local soldiers twin babies and usually I tack the quilts with embroidery floss, but this time I used the walking foot that my machine came with and what a huge blessing that was. Not only are the quilts done, they are actually quilted! I never would have attempted that with out a walking foot. Strange name wonderful results.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Now that's customer service!

Went to the feed store today to get grain for Garlic and the kind that I buy had been bought out (again) just minutes before I came in, but was told not to worry, they were expecting a grain delivery any minute. So I told them I had one more stop to make and would be back to pick it up after they unloaded it, as I was paying for my items they got a call from the driver of the aforementioned grain truck saying that he would not be to the store until after 5:30. Now I don't know how Garlic knows how much grain he is supposed to get, but if there is 1 ounce less than normal he gets cranky. (Yes, the solid gold sweetheart gets cranky, I'll admit it.) So I knew I'd have to go to the other feed store about 35 minutes away to get his food. FYI, there is a closer feed store that is part of this locally owned chain but I refuse to go back to that store even though it is just a few miles close to my house, complete incompetence on their part, I won't go into details, but I refuse to do it. The store employees know this because I've needed other things in the past and they'd mentioned that the other store might have it and I told them thank you but I'll wait because I refuse to do business with that branch. (Just to let you know it's not just me that feels this way, that branch has quite a reputation for that.) So a store employee, (who by the way knows what grain I buy, which might be an indication I'm in there too much or that I have too many animals......nah, couldn't be that!) offered to go to this other store and pick up 1 bag of grain for me! Can you believe it?! I wouldn't have ever asked, she offered, on her lunch break!! I was stunned and thankful and pleased as punch, and thought now that's why I shop local!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How many people feel like this?

This weekend I wrapped up a book I've been reading and wanted to share an excerpt from it that touched me. Writing is not my thing, as evidenced by my posts, but I share the authors sentiment. Trudy Chambers Price writes in The Cows are Out! the following:

"What a special place to just be, I thought. I belong here on The Hill, in this wonderfully isolated space, with the breeze blowing the clutter from my head, the sun warming my shoulders, renewing my spirit, and expanding my dreams until they seemed real.With every rock I touched, I felt a bond to this small parcel of earth, a bond so strong it seemed as though I worked this land before in another time, another life. This is good earth, I thought, that will reward us with the best crop of alfalfa. I didn't mind at all that the earth got in my shoes, crusted around my fingernails, coated my arms and hands and blew in my hair."

Very few people that I've met in my lifetime have felt at peace with where they are, a connectedness, contentedness and peace that comes with it. They are always striving for something but often times I wonder if they even know what that is. My hope for you is that if you have it hold on to it with both hands, not letting go. And for those of you in search of it stop, look around and find a place to sit and breathe maybe you'll find that you actually are where you thought you were headed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

You know you're a farmer when... purchase clothes that will easily disguise the color of dirt and horse poo. In fact it is many times a prerequisite, it's not style, fashion or necessarily modern, which by the way I've never been into, I'm a functional, comfortable gal and if it's stylish or trendy, well it was just a coincidence! When I consider a purchase it's hummmm, it's comfortable, affordable, functional and bonus I can wear it in the barn! It's got large/deep pockets for carrying hand tools or eggs in and hay won't stick to it. Case in point, today my sister and I were in town for errands and a bit of shopping and went to a store where vests were offered for sale. I'd been thinking that I might like a vest and saw a plaid one on the rack, I tried it on and put the hood up, uh no way, faux fur and colors that were clearly not going to work for me. Mental note, when my sister says it looks nice remove garment and immediately walk away is apparently to her 'looks nice' means I look like a lunatic! Moving along, I saw a red one, tried it on and thought it might work in a different size, my sister said they also had blue, blue is usually a good color for me. Well not this blue! Wow! So I walked over to the rack and saw black, gray, green and the red and blue that I'd already tried on, then I spied the brown, off the rack and into the cart it went. Knowing full well that I'd be able to hide the dirt and manure that comes along with owning animals.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Buckley's introduction to the snow

Andrew and Buckley playing in the snow.

One Happy Girl!

Coreah LOVES the snow!

The first time is always magical...

What a thing of beauty!
My tree lined property frosted in the first snowfall of the year.
I always enjoy the first snow of the season, it's a crisp, clean, magical, sparkling sight to behold! I love the way the snow clings to the branches as if it fears it's beauty will be lost if it falls to the ground. Despite the fact that is the beginning of November it's still a welcome treat! (Driving home in it last night however was not a treat at all.) Perhaps the reason I find it to be such a treat today is the fact that in two days it will be in the 60's again; feels more like Colorado than New England.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's drawing near...

I stepped outside this morning to do the milking and barn chores and was greeted with the first signs of a winter that is drawing near! Snow! Not really even enough to shake a stick at but it was a reminder of what is on it's way. I guess I'll spend this weekend buttoning up the house.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Think about if folks, it's a simple gift that will change lives, yours and theirs.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


4 soap scents down and 3-4 more to go, making progress! Coming along nicely! YEAH!

Monday, November 2, 2009

53 days??!!

Did I read that right? 53 days until Christmas??!! Yikes! I'd better get cracking. (I put a countdown banner on the bottom of the blog to remind me...) Last year I took the handmade pledge but took it a bit further, I made most of what I gave as gifts and purchased the "ingredients" from local small businesses. I don't have a huge budget for Christmas but it was paid for with cash and I figured that that mal-wart would survive whether or not I spent money there or not. The difference was when I shopped at the smaller stores I was genuinely greeted and thanked for shopping there and they meant it! I worked really hard last year trying to come up with things people would use and enjoy and most of the recipients got hand knit socks, some were made from locally raised alpaca fiber and some were wool, all were a labor of love. This year I'm planning another handmade Christmas; I've written all the things I need to do before Christmas and if I don't sleep a wink between now and Christmas I'll be done by Valentines day! We'll see how it goes and I'll try to post some of the things I make here. One of which is goat's milk soap, seeing as it takes 4 weeks to cure I'm off to do that now. I think I'll start with either peppermint or balsam....

one pair of last years socks... warm and snugly alpaca!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome November

Pull up a stump and gather around our campfire! There is something to be said for having a day of rest, our day of rest was spent around a campfire, laughing, enjoying each others company, eating roasted veggie dogs and (vegan) marshmallows and washing it all down with apple cider. Shortly after we moved here there was a tree, (which I thought was cedar) that for what ever reason just died. What a huge stately tree it was, well aside from being too near the house for comfort it was unsightly now that it was dead and it needed to go. Ron took it down last week and Friday we limbed it and cut the trunk up. Our intention was to split it and use it as firewood but after the first stump chunk was whacked about a hundred times and went nowhere fast we decided that maybe between the size of it and all the knots that maybe it was too much for Lola to handle, but since we do not own a wood splitter we had a problem.... or so we thought. (Did I mention that it was hemlock and full of knots!?) Sunday arrives, the weather could not have been better for an outside kind of day, you know the kind where you're out in just a long sleeve shirt and revel in the warmth of what you know will be one of the last warm days of fall. So I decided to burn the rest of what we could not use as firewood; limbs, bits of the trunk, etc. We sat on the ground around the fire for a while then an idea popped into my head, I jumped up and rolled the stumps over to the fire and sat down! Duh, what a better way to use the stately old tree! These stumps are perfect for gathering around a campfire, there is one for each member of my family plus extras for company! What is it about a campfire that offers universal connectedness anyway? No matter where you go when people gather around a campfire you experience a closeness that seems primitive yet comforting. Is it the hypnotic flames dancing and licking at the night sky? Is it the warmth that only wood fire can bring? The snapping and crackling of the fire itself? I'm not sure but I know the world seems to fade away when I am surrounded by those whom I love and a simple campfire.