Wednesday, December 31, 2008

and the snow keeps coming down down down

and as i watch it

i wonder if bernie will be getting home tonight
or will he be staying with the fleet

it's sticking

and it is steady and heavy
and i can't see the woods out back

the duckies were slightly apprehensive about crossing the expanse of the frozen snow covered driveway......

after all there could be killer WHALES under that thar snow
just waiting for little tender duckies to walk across it

there weren't............ what a relief

and the duckies are safely in their day pen
which is almost draft proof
but well ventilated........go figure

meanwhile in baby chicken news........
chooks run wild......

actually they are outgrowing this brooder pretty fast now
and they are trying to get out
i keep finding one or another of them perched on the edge...............

they are still not sure but they are getting closer!!!!

chooks are getting BIG now
3 roos definately
3 hens definately

and one that hasn't declared itself yet
could go either way

i suspect it is a roo though

so that is my little snowy world today

happy new year everyone


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And while we’re at it…………..

(this was typed last night in 'word' which accounts for the i still can't reach the shift key well......word does the capitals automatically)

How about life paths?

I kinda figure folks are where they are supposed to be at any given moment…….
This isn’t a predestined thing by any means
I do feel there is a plan to it all, in spite of the evidence that the universe is being run by chickens……….MY chickens apparently, Larry, Moe and Curly the roosters

( watch now…we got a NEW generation of roosters coming up …..but they are going in the freezer)

I also figure that if you follow along with that sort of reasoning……
There is no reason to envy anyone anything
And also there is no reason for jealousy

( although I will occasionally confess to produce envy……when I can’t get sweet peppers cheap and the garden ones are a bust)

I suppose this all goes along with reflecting and assessing where you are in your life RIGHT NOW.
And trying to pick up the threads and follow them to see if there is an overall theme

It does seem like the time of year for it doesn’t it
And in light of a poor economy, more then just me will be thinking this deeply

I still desperately want my farm and my animals home
I am so worried about them, I wake up at night thinking of them

I am, - I would imagine a hair closer,
as we are paying down the mortgage here…….and finally fixing the house up

I realized that I could use this property as a microcosm of a farm
Work out some of the details here on a small scale
Which is what I have been doing
It’s fun most of the time…..except the ticks and the mosquitoes
(which brought me to lyme disease…..or would that be brought TO me?)

I know so much better when we do move what I need to do to get the results I want

( see this sort of all goes along with the other philosophical writings I been doing lately)

however I don’t believe that staying in this house is good for us as we age
I don’t think it is a good house to grow old in
Nor do I think that this area is safe anymore
But back to life paths
I think that your life path is just that …….YOUR life path
And that sometimes if there are constraints, well maybe that helps narrow the choices down to a amount that isn’t overwhelming?

I know in art school we were taught to give the client THREE choices
Because if we gave them to many……they couldn’t make up their minds
It was too much
Too overwhelming
I think that is the same with life

I also think that it takes a very lot of personal knowledge to survive a place of unlimited and overwhelming choice

Sort of like a kid in the candy shop………..too much candy will get them sick

I could be wrong


Now as of this morning ( I wrote the above last night)
I dreamt of a person that I used to know…….. a LONG time ago
Three times this morning I woke up from a dream only to fall back asleep into that same dream
I dreamt of Lucy Depadova, she is the mother of a boy I went out with in high school.
I loved her dearly
I hope nothing happened to her as the world would surely be a much poorer place withOUT her light in it

(*** thank you so much sjanova for finding that typo, i was still asleep)

Monday, December 29, 2008

traditional times of reflection

there are certain times in our lives
and points during the year
where it is traditional to look back and reflect on what has passed
to assess the validity of actions and choices
on one level, life does simply seem to be a series of choices
with some random events thrown in for variety

i do believe there is a point to it all though

and part of the point i am beginning to suspect, is in the choices we make
ultimately most of these choices won't matter,
such as .............. 'do i have water with this supper, or tea'

'do i have time for a nap'

'should i send for this magazine'

some of course are totally life altering........

'do i move to brazil?'

'do i have a child'

i can't help but think that all our choices are strung together and that after our earthly life is over,
we get to assess them on another level

i also wonder why so many 'change your life' and self help books abound
aren't we making changes daily?
with every single choice we make?

now in my life
i have lost numerous friends this year
some to death
some to 'their season or reason' was over in our lives

i have had new friends come into my life

i have raised yet MORE baby animals
(seems to be a yearly thing now)
and indeed currently have baby chickens that i am arms length
( 4 roosters in this batch it looks like)

the ducks were a LOT of work
and absorbed me totally but i am very pleased with how that worked out
for the most part

i adore the girls i kept
they are a source of wonder to me daily
and i love watching them waddle in and out from the house to their little day pen, they have such purpose in their walk

i am also learning that i can and DO make excellent decisions for us
carefully weighed
so far the majority have worked out to our benefit
the thing that is continuously amazing to me is that i can actually think something up
and have it happen

as an aside, that would be represented by the tarot card 'the magician'
***making physical that which was only thought- or taking from above to bring to below***

this time of reflection also traditionally involves resolutions
which i don't really think work for most people

i think a resolution should be more like an evolution
but what do i know

i don't do resolutions
however i do have lists of things i think may be important to accomplish this coming year

but the list is not set in stone
some things drop off and some things make it on there
and some things vary in importance

a rough list for me now is

get a new mattress for us ( 28 years is way too long even for a sterns and foster)
put in fruit bushes, elderberry, blueberry, cranberry, blackberry
get the duck pen finished
and add a chicken coop
finally get the kitchen done
now......if the economy turns around......MOVE
if not
replace the studio windows and reside afterwards
make a nice cold frame......maybe not a hoop house as i have been hearing of collapses
but a nice LONG ( possibly down the north line of the property) cold frame

reorganize not only the studio
but the basement
get more bookcases

get my flour mill and more grain storage

on my list is also a trip to lancaster for bulk canning jars again
this time i want jellies, 10 oz, 12 oz and gallons......
( the gallons are for juice and grain storage)

now i also have some 'i would really like to..................if i get the time'
i would really like to sew more
i would really like to go back to making dolls
i would really like to get back to illustration
i would really like to read more
( ok so that last one is sorta not a i do read a LOT..... but suddenly after 20 years of almost total non fiction, i find myself wanting to read some fiction and reread literature.... i do love my dickens)

i think at this point in my life
my overal goal is
a quiet peaceful life
with home grown food
and home made entertainments

a hands on, handcrafted life
where i am involved in all aspects

there is nothing wrong with a consumer driven life
but it isn't the life for me

happy new year everyone


Saturday, December 27, 2008

on being well read and a bibliophiliac

i was given a wonderful christmas present by a friend of mine,
a gift certificate to a bookstore!

she said when she gave it to me, 'you are a voracious reader, and extremely well read, what else would be perfect for you?'

that got me thinking.....
what DOES it mean to be well read?

does it mean a LOT of books
a lot of diversity in your reading?
or a reading list of books from all the ages of man and writing?

from the greeks down to present?

and the books themselves, there is NOTHING like the feel of a finely bound book
the sound of the paper and the smell of it all
the weight in your hand
how the pages turn, if they are easy to read
it begs you to sit in a comfortable chair with a good light, a purring cat, and a beverage........
alone but filled with the heady excitement of an unread book
you have no idea yet what delights will unfold between the covers
what worlds you will travel to
what inroads this book will make on your mind, or soul
an insight into another's mind and world
a way to touch someone else intimately without even knowing them on a level that is at it's purest

some collectors only collect finely bound hardcover editions
i can see why, as the CRAFT of a finely bound book is extraordinary
the perfect weight of paper, so that the text is easily read and no bleed through of text from the backing of that page
the type face, a serif face, that is easily and rapidly read
the open air at the margins, for a breather
hand marbled endpapers, hand sewn signatures
all things about a finely bound book is a feast for the soul as well as the mind

some rare books
and i will soooooooooooooooooo admit for a lust for rare knitting books
that any edition of some of the ones on my list would be more then welcome.....

some, like me are much more interested in contents for the most part, i need to READ THEM
and WILL buy used reading copies just because of the need to read
i am not a snob when it comes to my books
hardcovers sit next to soft covers next to 'reading copies'
***a 'reading copy' is a batter old book but you can read it and after all isn't that the REAL point of being well read?***

i know some of you will suggest using the public library
and i have at times
if it is 3am
and you simply MUST reread a certain passage from a CERTAIN BOOK or be denied sleep for the night............
libraries don't quite do it then

i have often however done inter-library loans when i am trying to track down some obscure stuff that i can't find anywhere
hints and references to other books

the references of books to other books always intrigued me and i realize that before there was 'the WEB' there were the books

so now
on my shelves you will find some of the greeks, more then a smattering of history, classic literature, science, the natural world
modern fiction and science fiction, horror, philosophy, as well as cookbooks, craft books, (and various how to books) gardening, animals, new age, ghosts, holidays, books on collecting books even!
and in defiance to purists, you will find plato happily co-exhisting in the same bookcases as harry potter, and charles addams

I wonder if the authors are somehow aware that they live together on my shelves in a relationship that makes sense to me, if not others?

i do tend to feel a bit guilty about the amount of books i have, and the amount of MONEY invested in what for the most part, will never return the investment in funds
but i can't help myself
it is an addiction
an obsession
the need to read
to devour a book
some people need other things
i need books

and i have learned
if you TRULY wish to know a person's soul
browse their library, the breadth of their titles i think
shows the secrets that they don't even realize themselves

who has now got some new books to read!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

did you all have a merry?

i hope so
we went to see a friend of mine a bit south/west of us
we had a blast
i hope they had as good a time

we did get home late
i took yet another fall out back on the way to the duck pen
the alien ice patch from hell is back

today i am going to clean the kitchen
and maybe go to the feed an grain
and possibly borders since they are having a huge sale

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

happy holidays everyone

i wish you all the merriest of holidays

i am in the kitchen, ( so what else is new)
baking cookies
and such
we are going to a friend's house and i am so looking forward to it

bernie put a small tree up in the living room
very simple....NO ORNAMENTS for thaddeaus to get into

and the halloween tree up in the studio
for me

we got through the ice storm and it's warm out
so i imagine that tomorrow the ducks will enjoy their day as well

(although cleo is a bit broody and stole everyone else's eggs.........-ever hear a duck say MINE MINE MINE................. let me tell you)

i hope santa brings you all that you deserve
i wish you happiness and health for now and the future
take good care everyone


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

it's that special time of year

seed catalogs ARRIVAL!!!!!!!!!!
the new one from baker creek rare seeds is full color and HUGE
i kinda miss their old one but this one is really nice, more like a magazine then a catalog

as always seeds from italy leaves with a VERY LONG list and wishing for a LOT more garden

fedco is on the must order list as well, after all they have my long pie pumpkin seeds

my tenative plans for this year
expand the 'greens' deck garden
put more of the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes in containers i can move around, and possibly in a hoop house

grow the butternuts on trellis, that sorta worked well last year

MORE green beans (merchant of venice, white seeded is my very favorite, and it is a yellow bean...sorta tastes like vanilla to me)

more cucumbers for pickling ( national pickling and boston pickling.....although i did enjoy the booth bay blonds i got last year.....i don't remember planting them though

sand bed for carrots and other root veggies
i want to put it in a very raised bed...... like 18 inches if i can, i may have to container this

move the pumpkins to the front lawn, after i start them inside
i think i am going to start several pumpkins and just plant them around all over
when the mice plant them they do very well!
the deer don't bother them either so that is part of my plan

so far i have been glancing through the catalogs
sort of making notes in them

i want to start the leeks in the basement window soon and get as much growth on them as i can before they go out in very early spring

due to not feeling as up to par as i should......the fall garden never got properly cleaned up this year
so early early spring it is

however as i clean the duck night crates i think i am going to just put that directly on the beds
and add the leaf mold in the spring when i cultivate them

as for now
my little garden is neatly tucked in under a blanket of snow
and seem that spring is a LONG way off


Sunday, December 21, 2008

ah.....2am, we meet again

tonights middle of the night visit is brought to you by


in a moment of insanity ( that has to be it)
i gave into bernie's plea for junk food
(commerical odds and ends...... shrimp and some other stuff)
they were on sale at sam's club
FIRST mistake

he wanted to have some tonight ( lastnight?)

SECOND mistake

i said yes and i had a few tastes

THIRD mistake
i started my doxycycline tonight

here i am with heartburn

i can't take anything even if i had it in the house
as i am on the lyme meds
so i am sitting up
laying down makes it much worse

i already stoked the stove
i am pretty tired

but here i am

oh well

bernie got home from work around noon
he made sure the lot was cleared and the fleet rolled

i asked him why not let his crew do it
he said he didn't want to replace a clutch in the plow truck

when he got home he used the snowblower and cleared the driveway
i had shoveled out to the day pen
he made it wider

i tried to shovel the driveway but it's pretty big and i didn't get too far

a shear pin went on the snowblower
we need to get it NOW
cause this winter is going to be bad
and if we don't have one we will be screwed with all this snow

cleo put herself in the night crate
she dropped TWO EGGS
i was wondering where yesterday's egg was
well that answered me
i know there was NO eggs in that crate
i picked that duck up and she was NOT hiding an egg under her wing
when she came out of that crate i nabbed two duck eggs

that duck worries me

as does the weather
and the day pens

i had gone looking for the clear plastic to act as a wind screen in the day pens
couldn't find it
i need three rolls of it
i also need about a dozen hay bales at this moment
hay is now over 7.00 a bale
i am hoping to find it cheaper but i don't think so
maybe out at the farms if i can get out there
i wished

if i could find it for around 3.00 a bale i would take the dozen or so i need

cleo would like her day pen again



Saturday, December 20, 2008

white stuff all around EVERYWHERE

and deer tracks in the yard

i called bernie and woke him up
poor guy is exhausted
he just crashed
well sure he's exhausted he was on the go so early yesterday
i feel so bad i woke him
he was totally out of it
and i could tell he was sound asleep
i spoke to him a few minutes and he's awake now

my eyes are swollen!
trying to keep them open and keep glasses on them is very 'interesting'

and i have to go out and shovel this way?

i am trying to figure out a way to shovel a duck path
and get everyone out
i have to put the girls in the back pen
that's the only way they can lay their eggs
and i can GET THE eggs
i have that temporary day pen for falstaff.....i kept it mostly clear of snow on the lattice/tarp roof
and now with the snow it's totally draft proof!
i'll be trying to get them out in a few minutes
i should make coffee huh?

i should do that
i came down
stoked the stove and called bernie

i forgot me!
i got to get a pot of coffee on
if we lose electric
i won't be able to have coffee
so maybe i need to get a perculator or something......

the woodstove is such a blessing
i love it so much
it not only keeps us warm
but it's got a cheerful fire
it's winter security
even though the wood brings in ticks
one of which GAVE me this nasty illness
but it's still a wonderful thing to have a woodstove

i got to get coffee now and get out in the snow

til later


Friday, December 19, 2008

and the storm begins

i came down at 3 again
cold and pain got me up
so i am stoking the stove
bernie came down after me
sure enough
light freezing rain
he's leaving now for work
and will probably not be back until saturday
( i know....i wish he'd stay home too but he is very aware of his fleet must roll, since it is the only neonatal as well as the 911 fleet, i guess if you were waiting for 911 or if it was your'd want the fleet to roll too)

i of course will worry until he's back home again
which probably will be tomorrow
although i hope it would be tonight but i would rather he stay there and be safe

i had a few days reprieve from pain..... but it's started up again
so i start the antibotics today
everyone told me that they are going to get me really sick
that's ok......there is an end to that

ok i want to talk to bernie

Thursday, December 18, 2008

and then she hit a wall

well i been waiting for the western blot lyme test to come back

the doc called
the lab screwed up
did the wrong test
they will now do the western blot
while we are waiting she is going to treat me
i pick up the meds tomorrow
meanwhile she is leaving for vacation
so i won't have the results back until after the holidays

i had a good two days
yesterday was really good
today not so much
i woke up tired with muscle pain again

and right now i could sooooooooooo just go to sleep
i have to wait for bernie though

in duckie doings

one duckie is either holding out on me
or really really good at hide and seek

she is hiding eggies
i found one in each of the preferred nests
but i have THREE DUCKS
so someone ain't giving it up for momma

bad duckies

cleo is still telling me off every morning
today was of course from her nest while waiting for her egg
i swear that duck cracks me up
everyone needs chickens and ducks
they are such funny little birds
i got cleo tonight as we were going to 'bed'
and put her on her back laying in my arms like a baby.......
AND she just laid there like a baby
for all her complaining........she is still a sweetie
all of them are

in chicken news
marguerite crouched today so i am hoping for the start of chicken eggs
i miss my brown eggies
poached on sunday morning
my baby chooks are doing well
i am going to start tapering off the brooder light
they are looking like real live chickens now

and since they are buff orpingtons
they are golden!
who wouldn't love golden chickens?


storm coming

or so i hear from bernie
as i am practically amish i don't know!
( no tv, no radio, no kidding)
so i am going to pack his emergency bag today for him to take down tomorrow
he said he is going to come home early....( yeah right)
and bring in wood and get milk
meanwhile i will trim my lamps
add more oil
get some bricks to warm for the chooks brooder just in case.......

here's my list for his emergency bag:
underwear, 2prs
socks 2prs
teeshirt 2
sweatshirt 1
long john pants
long john shirt
snow boots
soap ( our soap, since he can't use commercial and we don't use shampoo just our soap)
shave cream
tooth brush and paste
hotties ( disposable hand/foot warmers)
jar of chicken ( home canned just in case)
book ( he's reading a ww2 book at the moment)

i really hope that it isn't necessary but he spent two overnights last year due to weather
one he didn't listen to me
so he spent it very uncomfortably
no clean clothing, no toothbrush etc
and NO FOOD........
although they put him up in a hotel for the night

poor guy was miserable when he finally got home

now i insist he take his bag, and he listens now

he is getting smarter as he ages

ok now the house preps
well we will just make sure we have enough wood inside and the deck stack is full
actually it warms UP when it snows so that is enough
i am more worried about getting the ducks to the day pen and back
last winter it wasn't an issue because serafina and falstaff actually lived in that pen
but now since a predator got serafina i won't leave anyone in there overnight
and the temporary pen here next to the house is not big enough for 4 ducks nor is it tall enough for me to get in there and gather eggs
i will find out if it is sturdy enough to survive the snow

if not then i don't know what i am going to do
probably move falstaff in and out of the day pen
and put the girls in something in the house
taking them out for grazing daily
i don't think the winter pen is going to be finished in time
and even if i put up a dog kennel out side
i still have the snow load/roof problem

the thing that really sucks is, the day pen is now very well insulated,
it's got enough extra bedding that rain water won't flood it
it's supported and tarped enough that the run is also dry
but it isn't secure enough against predation

and even if we put in a secure coop
i would still have to get out there to let the ducks in and out of the coop
and change the water daily
add food and treats and take them for walks

i am hoping that at our next house
we have a bigger deck.......cause then i can put temporary pens under that without worry
here our cess pool is under our deck so no day pens there



I had to edit this to add
we got more then enough food etc in the house
so shopping for a 'storm' isn't something we do
about the only extra i would need is milk and or icecream
bernie will pick up the milk

as to the snowblower

he's got that in the basement so i can't get it out
it's a troybilt from when you could only get them from the company......all metal
and i can't move it out to start it
once started it's self propelled so i can use it
i think we need a tool shed huh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I have learned to be true

  • You never have the yarn you need for a project, no matter how big your stash is, there is always one that you NEED for the next project and don’t have. ( and right now that is fluffy white angora for a brim and lining on a winter hat)
  • Ducks can and do tell you off, and it is as funny as hell when they do it
  • So do chickens and it is equally funny
  • Any sentence that includes a chicken is just inherently funny, but the really FUNNY thing about chickens is their LEGS-cracks me up every time
  • No matter how many cookies you bake…… you always find out that you should have baked just one more batch/kind
  • It takes me about 10 days to properly appreciate an event
  • Hanging laundry on the line is a very satisfying thing to do….just not my underwear
  • The night you have the WONDERFUL amazing dinner ready by 7pm, the husband will arrive at 8, tired and hungry but just wanting to eat and go to sleep
  • Dishes will multiply if you leave even ONE in the sink at night……don’t do that, trust me they will breed, and in the morning you can’t even FIND the sink…let alone the faucet to draw water to make the coffee
  • If the phlebotomist tells you ‘you are going to get a hemotoma’ believe her, and don’t USE THE ARM.
  • Remember, this too like corn and diarrhea shall pass, some things don’t pass soon enough, and some too quickly but all things do change
  • Laughing really IS all it’s cracked up to be…… do it often and with your whole heart
  • The only difference between and experienced knitter and a newbie is, the experienced knitter knows how to fix their mistakes, they still make them
  • The knitter thing can go for a metaphor for life as well
  • Squirrels may be pests at the bird feeder but they sure are funny to watch

this mornings post is sponsered by ICE

we had ice
more snow
and then more rain

bernie told me this morning

'don't bring the ducks out'

what am i supposed to DO with the ducks?
they don't have inside pens
just night crates

he went on to say

'it is a sheet of ice out there and you will fall'

yup sounds about right to me

i have decided that i am going to walk WAY AROUND and open the pen doors

then let the girls out

falstaff is easy.....he's right here by the door

the girls nope

cause the winter pen is laying under a tarp all walls and joists very neatly stacked in a pile

a few things are holding it up
metal mesh for under the floor
and a means to level it

so now i am going out
i do NOT plan on falling
but i AM going to be wearing a LOT of wool just in case
so even if i do fall
i don't stick to metal
sticking to the ground.........well probably
i tend not to be able to get up

wish me luck

ps: good thing i finished that knitted balaclava last night.....even wove in the ends
the ducks are going to be terrified
but i will be warm

pss: it's bad out, but not as bad as it could be..............
i didn't fall for which i am greatful
cleo of course told me off the whole time
including from sitting on her nest waiting for her egg

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the list for today

bernie took the cookies off to work today
naturally it was pouring rain like crazy

i haven't spoken to him yet about how'd it go

i am sure he is thrilled with his shop tray as he loves chocolate and i put extra on his tray

on my list today is ducks, dishes, laundry and knitting!!!!!!!!

i am going to sit a lot of the day and knit


i am knitting a balaclava sort of after the one at knitting in color
it gets COLD out there so a balaclava is it

i have to get a ball of mohair , maybe a few
i may get a fuzzy mohair just to line the inside of the hats i do for going outside
and i may knit a hat with ducks on it
cause you know......i wear it out to take care of the ducks!
( actually i love color knitting and it's warm so for fun......DUCKS!)
i probably need a new 'in town' hat as well

knitting is pretty slow these days
but that's ok

i am thinking of needle felting one as well

3am and stoking the stove

it was really warm here last night
almost 60!
so warm that i could NOT get the woodstove to draft enough
so i got as good a fire going as i could
and went to bed
3am it's getting cold in the house

yup time to stoke the stove
and as it was a 'cold' fire
i am sitting here waiting for the new fire to take off well
it looks like it is trying to so maybe i won't be up too long

i am waiting the results of a lyme panel
although the pa lyme association said that the doctor should be treating me
i had called and asked for the antibotics
and she told me until the test comes back no
our old doctor treated me as soon as i walked in with the ticks
( that was like 9 years ago......too bad he doesn't take this insurance)

we had another doctor in nj that wouldn't even order the lyme test, he told me that pa didn't have deer tick!

so far me and all the uphill neighbors have had lyme at least once
and a few had undiagnosed lyme that cause a lot of problems a few months after the initial infection
needless to say
i am very concerned about no antibotics yet
it's i think 5 weeks out from that last bite
i have i believe a total of 10 known tick bites
never mind how many of the little nymph bites.......only ONE of them did i actually find
they are about as small as the period on this sentance

i have woken up sometimes in the morning to a tiny bite with blood streaks all crusted up from it

so i imagine that would be the smaller ones

oh and i did get a very large hemotoma from the lab work
well that tech did warn me i would

she was right

til a more reasonable hour


Monday, December 15, 2008

cookies are done

bernie takes the trays to work tomorrow
they look so pretty with their cellophane and curly ribbons
i made cute little hang tags for them with the name of the department they go to

it's warmed up here today
i expect we'll pay for that one way or another
with cold weather and or snow

i am so hoping that now that the cookies are done
things wind down around here

i am looking forward to a nice winter knitting
by the woodstove

dreaming of turkey poults and ducklings and chooks dancing in my head


they took it all

my blood that is

i was to the lab
9 viles of blood

this is the pcp doctor not the vampire doctor

all this cause i got a bulls eye rash on a tick bite??????????????????

gimme the damn drugs and let me keep SOME blood please

and i thought the tick was blood thirsty..........

i do not do well without coffee in the morning
i do worse without coffee and with a duck telling me off yet again
cleo marching purposely back to the day pen
throwing insults back over her shoulder

i better bribe them all with raisins or something equally good

in duck pen news
bernie got yet another wall done
(not up mind.....but framed on the ground)
i think we are ending up with this being like a diy kit
he framed in his first window
my duck pen will have a better window then any of my HOUSE windows are (it is energy star efficent!!!!!! we paid 15 for it brandy new from the lumber yard..... it was a special order someone didn't pick up)

maybe i should just move in with the ducks?
they would be delighted
as long as i brought some nice cabbage for them

ok todays agenda
if i have enough blood left to send to my brain and convince it to operate my

1) them damn cookies......finish them or toss them to the wolves....i HATE COOKIES NOW

2) laundry, finish that

3) dishes...... bernie was home for the weekend.......enough said......

4) clean the duck crates, before they weigh more then the ducks do ( great for the garden though)

5) try NOT to get a hemotoma in my arm where they took all my blood....... should i just laugh now? ( she told me i would cause she felt it.....and i am, and it hurts)

6) wake up..........i can't wake UP....... it would be advisable to awaken prior to driving but i had no choice this morning

7) roast a pork loin......with peach sauce...... THAT is actually going to get done

8) finish knitting my balaclava cause.......well baby it gets cold outside

ok that is more then enough right?

i tried to get up at my normal time this morning..... 4:30
i managed to go pee
even with cats hanging over my head..... tapping my nose
meowing LOUDLY in my ear
flipping fluffy tails into my mouth
i could NOT get up
this as most people who know me......................know

it not normal

and much as there are times i would love to take it easy
i got too much going on.....and i get too bored


i am thinking of laying down as i type this!

well actually i better get another cup of coffee and start my day
after all it's only the crack of NOON



Sunday, December 14, 2008

cleo is not a happy duckie

yesterday and today
i was sorta late getting the ducks out
i slept in
i was tired
can't a body get tired

try telling THAT to a duck
yesterday all three cussed me out and complained all the way back to the day pen
they were pretty good about coming in..........

but again today i got cussed out going out
and coming in........
cleo waddled in front of me......crest up
turning her head to throw 'weepweeps' over her shoulder at me

i am lucking i didn't end up on my assets again
i was laughing so hard

it was extremely clear that ms cleo was NOT happy with the laxity of the duck attention over the weekend

and she was going to tell me

the other ducks have also told me
but not with the extreme feistiness of ms cleo

yet when i picked her up to give her a cuddle
she laid her little head down on my cheek

she melted!

now in chicken news........
i am thinking i may have 5 roos
oh man i hope not
i was hoping for three hens at least

the babies are growing nicely
i am trying hard not to get too attached as the roos will be in the freezer
i don't like it
but we can't keep the roos
bernie wants to 'sell' them
you can't GIVE them away

so they will make a trip to the nice chicken processor and end up back home with us
in a ahem........seperate and slightly colder location in the cellar......
next to the icecream


til next time

talking turkey.....ahem.....i mean chicken

i love that chicken chart

here are a few other good links

chickens are great
i love mine
i have buff orpingtons
the reason i haven't talked about them too much lately is cause raising baby anythings take up a LOT of time if you do it right
and i been raising duckies

right now i got 7 new chooks in the brooder downstairs
i know at least 3 are for certain boys
i am iffy on the 4th one
i think i got 3 hens out of this batch of chickies

and this spring they all go out
into outside poultry housing
plus i want three speckled sussex just to see how they are

for pure all around i love my buff orpingtons
but it's only fair to see if there really are any other breeds that may be comparable

ok now as to raising them
i do start the chicks on starter and i do use the medicated starter
so far ***knock on wood*** i haven't lost a chick yet
so i think that's good

when they are bigger i will switch them over to maintaince or layer depending on how old we run out of the chick food

i also give them scrambled eggies...... and tell them

'don't worry chickies......that's aunt martha, we don't LIKE aunt martha.......'

i feed the adult birds either layer or maintaince depending on if they are laying or not
and give them oyster shell, granite coarse sand,
table scraps
and i will flip them a burger during molt as extra protein

i hang cabbage leaves for them to play and peck at too
they like tomatoes....... raisins
all special treats for good chickens
they adore bugs and wormies and grubbs

and will eat mice if they can get them

their manure adds to the compost in the garden as does the ducks....( ducks are for slug control)

and of course we eat the eggs
my orps lay brown eggs
i love that

chickens need a draft free, dry, and secure coop
and a secure run
they also need a break from laying occationally

i recommend them to folks
as they really are wonderful pets
they know their names
they come running when i call them
some like to sit in my lap
some are a bit more standoffish

but all are just amazing to be around

they all have their little personalities.......each one different

i have had chickens for about 3 or 4 years now ( i had them as a kid too)

and now i hear........chickens are the new knitting!
well i have often sat and knitted while watching my chickens
and my ducks

i am thinking.....................
next it just has to be a few turkey.........


and so it starts

maybe i should start a 'buy vi a farm fund'

Saturday, December 13, 2008

back from easton

we got shrimpies for christmas eve
( i make a sorta shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta.......instead of the traditonal 7 fish)
i saw shrimpies bigger then my FISTS there
4 to a pound!
them's some big ass shrimp

we got shrimpies that are 25 to the pound though
we got all sorts of goodies
pork loin
chicken breast
locatelli cheese

we got bernie new muck boots.....(which really are snow boots )
and new work boots
and new sneakers
he also got two new sweatshirts

oh and if my typing is's because FAWN is sitting on my chest

could you all say hihi to fawnie?

it's cold again
i want to find some more warm stuff for me to go out with
i freeze my buns off out there
NOTHING is warm enough
i layer and layer and nothing is warm enough

i am almost to th e point of a mohair suit i swear

bernie is watching his christmas present
the last movie from the pirate series

i am typing and fawn is moving up and down on my chest while i do this

i got to hug one of my CLEAN duckies today
i swear those little things just wormed their way into my heart
i love them so much
if it wasn't bad for their health i would put diapers on them and bring them upstairs



todays agenda

apparently everyone does have an agenda

here is mine for today

feed store: wild bird seed and a bale of hay
post office: pick up....( i have stuff to go out but lazy ass me didn't wrap it yet)
lowes: builders sand for the chickens and the path to the duck pen, salt for the conditioner, more wood for duck pen
bank: pay the mortgage, deposit check

i need to make more cookies.......
bernie ( and me too) have been eatting my sugar cookie angels faster i swear then i can bake them
man they ARE good
but i got to get his trays done and out to his job
enough already with all these cookies around here
somehow it's been harder and longer this year

i got up this morning to thaddeaus sitting on my head
and fawn staring down at me
apparently the woodstove was out ( coals only)
they were not happy

they mounted a protest...........ON MY HEAD

then thaddeaus decided to keep slamming the bedroom door shut
and then racing around the room to finish by jumping OVER us in the bed
so he sorta stomped on us a little bit too

we got the hint

we got up

i got the woodstove going.....and i am waiting for the chimney to heat while i am typing this

meanwhile the cats are staring at the store

listen, i know that cats sleep 27 out of every 24 hours a day
and i know the way to a cat's heart is through the heat of the woodstove
but occationally........ rarely........
i do like to sleep in

would someone inform the chickens and ducks?

Friday, December 12, 2008

duckie disney land

it's been raining
and buckets for DAYS AND DAYS
the basement is flooded
part of the duck pen is flooded
the yard is flooded.......well you get the picture

i put up the duck pond
it's the smaller kiddie wading pool from kmart
i think it holds like 30-35 gallons total ( on flat ground.....not sloping driveways)

well it is full of rain water.......enough so three little duckies jumped in and took a bath

did i mention that they did this while the temps decided to plummet
and while it was starting to snow
and hail a bit

and that since i had to be there to watch them
i got a bath too????????

and three little duckies did NOT want to get out of the frigid water

i put my poor long suffering bare hands in the water to retrieve the duckies

not once


can you say ' not of sound mind?"
yes i knew you could

i am STILL waiting for my hands to turn back into a more reasonable color

i am expecting that by morning we will have a skating rink out there
and the bucket i left in the duck pen will have frozen to the ground

in 'are you ready for the holiday' news
i am not
it is going to be a halloween christmas this year
long story but
we are going to be hanging pumpkins and spider webs on the christmas tree

doesn't EVERYONE?

til next time


Thursday, November 20, 2008

phoebe is fussy

now that all three duckies are laying
it's a race every morning to get to the 'good' nest

phoebe who started first always seems to lose out

this morning she wanted back in
looking for a place to lay her egg
i brought her back in but nothing suited both of us
she didn't like her crate
or the engine stand ( don't ask)
and i didn't agree with under the work bench

so back out
she settled for inside the duck house ( what a concept)
and i picked up lillianna's and cleo's eggs out of the side nest

i think phoebe doesn't like the hay
she likes leaves but they are frozen right now

cleo meanwhile didn't look too good after laying
i got her to eat and drink but she seems to be having a hard time recovering after laying her egg
lilli is fine
up and eatting like there is no tomorrow

i noticed that if they are scared or not feeling well or confused
they are right under my feet
i step on them all the time!

in peep news
the peeps are two weeks old today!!!
yeah peeps!

they are huge
and are going to move into a larger brooder i believe tomorrow
when the new freezer comes i want to take the box for them to brood in
and i want to put them downstairs
they want out of the brooder.....i can't blame them
it's kinda small for them now

i don't want to get too close to them as i suspect a lot of this hatch are roos
i am thinking....out of the 7 i got two hens

possibly three

i put the big girls on 12 hours of light now
so they go on at about 7:30 now
and off at 7:30
bernie won't be feeding them anymore either
i will be

it's so cold out that i brought our little cooler that i keep the extra stuff in out on the deck
the ice packs on the next to the house wood pile haven't quite frozen through......i figure that is cause of radient heat from the house

i will say
we are burning some WOOD

the back pile we didn't burn last year is about down to half
and most of october and november was warm

i finally got a new coffee/spice grinder
i tried it out last night on dried celery, onions and peppercorns
nice powder
i am going to give it a spin with dried broccoli
if it works well
then i got dried pepper skins to do
and a few other things

if we can get the freezer all set up saturday
i will be making cookie dough all next week for holidays
and i will be baking early december for bernie to take to work

til next time


edited to add
gee i live a boring life
isn't it GREAT

Saturday, November 08, 2008

again with the no sleep

and yet i am exhausted

i had a nightmare about my sheep and goat

i dreamt that where i boarded them bred them all without telling me
intending on selling the babies

at 3am, all things seem possible so i had to get up
i need to bring them home or at least closer to me in distance
i miss them so much
and when i ask how they are,......i just get told 'fine'

and i feel that it is not appreciated that i ask about them from the person who signs the boarding checks

i know that they are taken care of well, fed etc
and part of me is certain that this dream is a nightmare

but sometimes i wonder as it is really clear to me that i have not been welcome to visit them nor inquire about them over a year now
( this is a whole nother story, which for now i am not up to talking about)

anyone know a place to board 4 sheep and a goat in nepa or northwest new jersey?
i have 2 wethers, two ewes and a doe who is ( when last i heard) dry

i swear i am ready to bring them all home and hide them in the basement

we were to have moved two years ago.......
maybe in 09 we can FINALLY move to a place they can come home to?

well i finally got my van back.......this time it was over a month with no transportation
i did town errands and food shopping for the past two days
today i am starting work on the duck pen near the back door, to replace the temporary pen i put up last week in that nightmare flood
and yesterday phoebe laid her first egg!
i imagine lilliana and cleo will start soon as well

i don't remember when last i posted, but we did end up butchering the drakes
i feel bad about it but there it is
we couldn't keep them all
and i tried to find luck
so two of the three are in the freezer and one paid the person that did the butchering

i am tired lately, i think part of it is i am doing my chores, bernie's chores and the joint chores
we also shut off the i am hauling water for the ducks to swim in......
they don't have to swim but i get so much pleasure out of watching them happily take a bath that i am willing to fill the pond by schlepping back and forth with buckets of water
but my shoulders aren't happy
however i think this is going to be the way it is around here
as bernie's fleet is now HUGH, and even though he is getting two more techs he is still busy

i canned is that GOOD
i gave some to a neighbor and she gave me three more heads of cabbage to do up
i will give her some jars out of it

i want a log cart, with 20 inch wheels.
since i have to do all the wood and it's up stairs or up a hill either way you look at it here
i can't throw the wood up on the deck as my shoulders are bad again
i have been using the wheel barrow but a log cart i can bring into the house and right next to the stove unload and get my second load
it holds 200 pound per load and can go up the stairs

til next time
and i hope it is with not so depressing a post

Saturday, October 25, 2008

a perspective i agree with

this is what i think of when the market 'crashes'
i remember in 87 when we bought this house......right after in october there was a 'market' crash
i remember calling my dad........
'dad, we just bought a house, the market crashed........are we going to be ok'

dad said........
honey the market crashes all the'll come back
and yes of was right
and it did

now dad was born in 1911, lived through the great depression, the crash of 29
and innumerable other recessions.......
he was not a dumb man by any stretch...........
he was right then
and he's right now


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some things are just priceless

Today, as every day…..i went to take the duckies and falstaff out to the duck pen
The girls were jumping up and down in their inside crate to be let out
Falstaff of course was in his crate in the wheelbarrow ready to go down the hill.
Normally I put falstaff in the back part of the duck pen, then carry one baby at a time out to the front part of the duck pen…….talking and kissing them good morning

Today I knew I had to carry 5 gallon buckets of water out to the pen for them to bath, since Bernie turned the outside water off ( due to frosts) and I can’t reach to turn it on.

So I told the girls……………..
Ok TODAY, you all can walk on your own 6 feets

Opened their door and turned to wheel falstaff down the hill……..
I hear flapping wings behind me
All 3 girls are flying to catch up with me……. They landed right behind me
And waited while I put falstaff in his pen
Then single file……one after another walked into their pen

I was laughing so hard at them

But I still had their water to do
So I started back up the hill…..only to hear flying behind me…..
3 little duckies following me…….

I put them back in their pen and closed the door so I could get their pond filled

After we all bathed………( except Phoebe didn’t wash her wings and remember they splash so much i get all wet too)
I let falstaff out to bath, and took the girls for a walk around the yard…..
We sampled frozen green beans
And fresh berries…..
And some quackgrass seeds
And some dirt
And gravel
ALL of utmost interest to duckies……

When they seemed to have had enough……..we all wandered back to the pen…..
Falstaff took himself to the back pen
And phoebe walked in…… cleo and lilliana hung around the door, waiting to be picked up and carried but ALL went back into the pen

I swear I love them duckies

In other news
I got my first tick of the winter heating season last night………on my NECK
Little bugger didn’t want to come out
I swear he drilled in me 45 miles or so
It was one of them deer ticks…..i hate ticks of all kinds but those are even worse.

So it took a while but with lanacane and needle nose pliers…..
I got a hole in my neck BIGGER then the whole damn tick was
He’s out

Thank goodness

However it hurts like hell……..still……..

Til next time

Ps since I am typing this in word it automatically puts in capitals……no I didn’t suddenly grow longer less painful fingers………

Just so you all know…….

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


*******$150G From GOP For Fashions For Palins?
RNC Said To Have Shelled Out At Least That Much For "Campaign Accessories" For Family

This pisses me off big time

i thought we were BEYOND the 'wanna be barbie when we grow up' thing


so now we got Palin.....stilletto heels and tight red skirts

is THAT the presidential vp picture we want to be sending?

'our vp is a tart'?

OOPS......... mccain drops dead and palin invades VOGUE?


didn't we as woman work really really hard for really really long to be taken SERIOUSLY.....and not as a sexual object

or was i mistaken?

early fall for real

well this weekend past we got our first real frost
monday or tuesday we got a killing frost
my poor little garden

i brought in some plants i couldn't bear to see die
an eggplant
a few peppers

i am wondering if i can possibly lift the wood we got out there to make some hoop houses
or cold frames
no use waiting for bernie
he's ALWAYS at work
i tease him that he's got another wife ( his cell phone.......)
AND a whole 'nother family........( his fleet)

i realized last night i need to deal with the firewood hauling in a better way
so i used a luggage cart to wheel in some off the deck
but i am going to have to get the log carrier from plow and hearth i think, with the 20" wheels
that will go up the front stairs
and up the hill from the woodpile

i am so sorry now that i didn't make him stack out front........
he was afraid someone would steal it
i am thinking...........
i'll take my chances

i had to bath one of the duckies in the basement sink yesterday
she was filthy
falstaff was all over the three of them and what a muddy mess they were

so lilianna was the worst of the lot.....she went in the sink
phoebe has me worried as her feather texture has changed.......
softer and not water repellant
lili and cleo are still water repellant so i am wondering about phoebe

now when i go into the pen
the girls gather around my feet and greet me while nibbling at my pants, boots, and inside my boots as well
they don't hurt
they also like to play with the strings on my barn jacket

they crack me up

we have chicks ordered, so soon i will be raising more orpingtons
we don't have eggs!
can you believe this
all the poultry around eggs

now i don't want the ducks laying right now as it's too cold
but i do expect the house chickens to lay

in fiber news
i am knitting browns, deep reds and yellows
i am also knitting a yellow lace scarf to attach them to
there are beads that could be involved as well..........
red ones......

if i get to the store ever again......

beads the color of bittersweet berries as well

are you all ready for winter?

i hope so

i still don't feel ready.......but we probably are

til next time


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

There is a lot going on in the world………

So very much turmoil and uncertainty
I am reasonably sure that once November 8th comes and goes a lot of the upheaval will settle down.
I am also reasonably sure that the next white house will be democratic
I am basing this on a global need for our stock market to settle down…..which historically it does very well under a democratic white house

‘May you live in interesting times”
I don’t remember who said this……wait let me google……AHHHHH it is an ancient Chinese proverb and curse! ( thank goodness for google)

I would say that right now…….THESE are ‘interesting times’
A historic election, showing the inner workings of the collective mind of America.
either way it goes a first will happen

a woman in high power or a 'black' man
( remember this man is biracial, which seems fitting to ease america into the idea of a race other then white in office)

in my personal opinion........
i am not sure which if any candidate is suited for office during these times
but one WILL be elected
and one will serve

i do expect that one will be democrat.........if nothing more then to calm the waters

i am also expecting that this democrat........most likely will surprise a LOT of folks
and MAY actually be effective!
at least i so hope

now along with this
the energy crisis..... brought sharply into view due to heating costs
higher food prices

this hits home to the average american in a way perhaps a problem in a global sense may not
as we have traditionally had relatively reasonable costs for our food
if not our heating

i don't know the answers
i do know for us.....
we put by more food
we heat with wood ( yes there are increased costs there as well but not as bad as oil, which is what we heated with formerly)

however i worry about later......when i am older
as this mostly falls on my shoulders
bernie helps stack the loads of wood
but i mostly have to worry about day to day bringing in and keeping the stove stoked

i also am extremely worried right now about our sheep and goat
due to local zoning
we can't have them here
but also due to the economy and other issues i won't go into
i have a need to move them from where they are
i want them home

or alternatively, and perhaps better long term
i want to move and bring them with me to a larger property
with more room for growing food

this has been keeping me up nights lately

i can't find a solution easily to my livestock dilemma
which in the scheme of things is not earth shattering
i guess i shouldn't hold my breath waiting for "them' to find a solution to the global problems facing ALL of us living on the earth

i can't help but wonder if what we aren't the growing pains of a new possibly united global era and society?

an actual chance at utopia?


never happen


Monday, October 20, 2008


as always rhinebeck is beautiful
the fall leaves......the hedgerow berries ( i saw american bittersweet, but on private property.....or it would be on my front DOOR right now)

there seemed to me to be a few less vendors this year.....and some of the vendors had a lot less product.....
or maybe i was wrong....but that is what seemed to me

i naturally started rhinebeck with a stop at Spirit Trail where two orphaned skeins followed me home, one mixed yellows/pale oranges in merino lace
and one mixed blues in silk......
how the blue one happened i will never know!........but i got a blue skein to think of something for

golding had more spindles.........i love those one of a kind ones....with the bracelets etc
i saw one in purple that was to die for
i saw Kathryn Alexander Designs kits at Carolina homespun, and if it had not been so expensive..... ($330 for the pullover which i loved) i would have asked for it for christmas, in medium pastels of rainbow colors

i saw the tsock tsarina booth and the 'vintage' sock i lust after......
which i didn't get as it won't really fit over my calfs.....even if i enlarge it
and what a waste as i won't see and enjoy it......
although that heel shaping she has in this sock intrigues me to no end

she does have a leaf only kit which i should have gotten......and didn't ( kick me repeatedly please)
i thought all the way home......
gee i could make those leaves and put them on a scarf or mittens or even a hat so that i could enjoy them.......

i got a hat block for needled felted hats

and i got nordic felted knits

which has a felted coat

i wore my black and gray color work hat......
it was pretty cold and windy and i am so glad i did
i also got a few compliments on it!
which i was shocked about as it is so very quiet for color knitting
nothing flashy about it
but it is my favorite hat

it was horribly cold when we tried to eat out picnic lunch
so we didn't eat much
but the hot chocolate i brought was a hit with bernie
he also liked the brownies i baked him........
but never ate the ravioli salad

if i had wheels, i would have ran to town friday and gotten a wide mouth thermos and brought stew or something as well

for some odd reason we didn't sleep at all the night before......
so we both were very very tired and didn't really recover all weekend
and neither of us slept last night either!

heating season is upon us
sort of late this year
and i am really only using the stove evenings and over night
it's getting up to the 50's in the day so i let the stove go out
it was nice getting home from rhinebeck to a warm house
even though the stove was out and nothing but a few embers were alive inside

the ducks survived the day in the basement but were NOT happy
when we got home
all the girls were out of their pen.......cleo was in the crate with falstaff
lilianna and phoebe were wandering around ( and FLYING occationally) the basement
they were very happy to see me

i have to laugh as they greet falstaff and me about the same way.......
they don't greet bernie like that

i hand carry each girl in and out
bernie said......'why , just put them in the crate and wheel them in and out'

that is the best time
i hold my ducks
i look into their eyes
i kiss them
rub their bills
examine them
watch their feet
and just enjoy them
i live for that.................

til next time


Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 15

I was talking to bob ( Azknitter’s) husband. ( for you folks that are fiber people from KR or Ravelry)
Saturday is not only Rhinebeck……
which trish and bob were to attend this year WITH us
But also the memorial service where the organ donor’s families meet the recipients.

I find that so ironic
Bob is going to meet the folks that got a reprieve because of our trish

( if anyone doubts how great our trish is……….. she gave the ultimate gift……the gift of herself to save so many other lives)

Bob and I were talking about this a bit ago
( I am actually typing this in word on October 14, which is why you will see capitalization)
We both discussed how ironic we found it
I said…( being ever so blunt………but that is part of my earthy charm……no?)
‘well trish will manage to be in two places at once……
since she doesn’t have a body to slow her down anymore’

But you all have no idea how I wish she were here with us and going to Rhinebeck
Bob sent me a ton of her things……..
wonderful goodies I always wanted ( specialized tools etc)
But not from trish……
I want TRISH here using her goodies and letting me borrow them

Not a day goes by when I don’t have a billion things to tell her
I would like to hear what she has to say about this……
or that……….

After all these months……
the loss of trish is even greater then before
I could pretend before that she was on a trip or something

So the excitement of Rhinebeck is bittersweet with knowing my friend……
who SHOULD be with us there
AND planned on being there with us
Will be there in spirit……….
And she better BE there in spirit……..
sitting on my shoulder……

You hear that trish?

Or I will haunt your ass in heaven………..
rest in peace MY ASS
I will nag the crap out of you…….
and burp in your heavenly EAR………

I loves ya kid…….
and I so very much wish that you would be walking Rhinebeck with us

Your friend


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rhinebeck is Saturday!!! tis that time of year!

I am planning a picnic lunch
I am thinking……. Ravioli salad
Chicken salad on homemade rolls
I am thinking of maybe a fruit salad for desert
Oatmeal cookies
And brownies
Maybe pumpkin muffins or pumpkin roll?
How about some gator aide
And water
And what else?
Something else to drink and nibblies……….
What for nibblies…..???
Bernie won’t eat trail mix
But what else is there
No candy

Ok my Rhinebeck shopping list is books this time
Mostly books that have felted jackets/ coats in them
I probably will get them from knitpicks as that is cheaper
But I would like to look at the books
I have visions of a nice felted wool coat, with needle felting on it
Maybe flowers and vines? A couple beads here and there?
A STATEMENT coat for my little round body
Or maybe a colorknit hat or mitten kit……..

I need to get some cash as well I think……..about 30 bucks? Maybe 40
OHOOHOH I finally found my ball winder
Actually BERNIE found it for me
Isn’t that wonderful!
Mine is a royal………. It’s red and white!
I think the new ones are turquoise now

Of course there will be a stop at Spirit trail………
I am thinking that is the highlight of Rhinebeck.
I hope I can afford a skein of silk……..
you know it will be some nice reds/russets etc…..

I wished I could have a golding spindle or one of them new square spindles
But probably not…… it’s ok though I don’t NEED it…………
I have almost everything I need…….fleece, a wheel, dyes, yarns……..needles and tools
So it is really just the visiting and seeing what’s new and all…….
And TRADITION………. Let’s not forget that
The TRADITION of it all
Oh and maybe……….. a doughnut……..

Saturday, October 11, 2008

sometimes i just can't be bothered

i recently ran across a yahoo group that sounded interesting to me
i joined............

i tried to participate in discussions.......

only to find out that the owner was a super control freek, who didn't appreciate ANYONE other then herself answering questions
asking was had a 50/50 shot at her answering you

but ANSWERING was next to murder in this group

needless to say i quietly backed out..........
and left

what is it about the net and about people that brings this out of them?

i don't get it

what is so wrong with a free exchange?

i often wonder about people who do things like they realize how they look to outsiders

do they realize that their innermost insecurities are out there for all the world (who cares to bother looking........most don't give a shit) to see

the more i see things like this the more i tend to like my animals
they shit on can compost it for the garden
you sort of know where you stand with them

if they like you
they stay by you
if they don't they tend to bite you




straight foreward..........

there is no mistaking their meaning

thank goodness for simplicity............

til next time


Friday, October 10, 2008

golden days and blue eyed duckies

well indian summer is here
farewell to the warm weather and biting insects.......( yeah like i will miss eye is still swollen from that bug bite)
i am taking the duckies and putting them in the moveable pen during the day
today i am going to move it down a bit, and they will have fresh graze

it is such a pleasure to see them now

i find myself going out there when i need a break from work
they waddle up to the pen gate and wag their tails and bob their heads

all three want thier hugs and kisses

i can pick them up and cuddle them and kiss them

sometimes i pick them up to eye level facing me
and they look into my eyes in amazement

they are very gentle for the most part
just watch your fingers if you feed them berries
they are pretty good.....but i mean.......COME ON


all in all sweet little ducks

they are appearing to be named

lilliana for the one that is the most mom oriented (also has the most carunkling as well)
cleo for the middle one......
and phoebe for the more standoffish one that is coming around though
oh and she has a booboo on her bill......... we don't know how she got it

i wish you all sweet and tame blue eyed duckies......

they will sooth your soul

til next time

Monday, October 06, 2008

little duckies're the ones.......***

*** to paraphrase the muppets.........

ok so.......we got three little tame duckies now
good little duckies
makes going into the duck pen....... fun but a bit hazardous to the duckie's toes
as they are UNDER me all the time now
nibbling my muck boots
or my crocks
they even try to stick their heads down INTO my muck boots and sit on my toes
and they LIKE it

they are a lot of fun now
it's a good distraction for me as the garden is now winding down
but that didn't stop a ner'do well bug from biting me on the eye
i am a mess
i am also on benedryl cause if i don't take it
i can't SEE out of my swollen eye
damn bug

it's getting colder out
we potted up a few pepper plants.....and an eggplant
i want to bring them up
meanwhile we also planted some garlic and onions
(that would be how i got bitten on the eye)
i have more to go
i am slowly giving the beans all to the duckies now
beans, stalks and leaves
i also gave them some of the pattypan squash
it makes it a bit easier to see the end of the garden

i sooooooooooo want a hoop house
and my sheep and goat home

i ordered more chicks
margeruite is staying ( she is going to lay again....she crouched for the 'rooster' today)
but i think regretfully that henrietta and dulcette's days are numbered
i need stewers
and eggs
they aren't laying

i think the duckies are going to start to lay shortly
i was hoping they wouldn't until spring but it looks like the sweetest one was looking......she sat in her mother's nest

wood is getting stacked.......slowly
i also hurt my finger......split my nail down from the tip
it's hurting bad
so i sort of stopped for a bit
i was also helping bernie do wood saturday
but i better think of starting up again shortly
tomorrow i need to can some celery/onions
and freeze broccoli
and some beef
i was so sick today
i didn't do anything but juice some crabapples i picked off a tree down town
jelly really quick tomorrow

i would really like to have part of my garden hooped
i could then extend the season at both ends maybe
i would also like a greenhouse
i could put these peppers and the eggplant in there
and the pattypan squash
or a zuke
and maybe a tomatoe

i am going to start lettuce and such in the house in window boxes in the windows......out in the 'cold' living room

it's too hot in here with the woodstove

my little duckies are endearing themselves to me
they are so cute
they greet me as if i am a duckie too
and they wag their tails

good thing we don't eat the girls huh?

til next time

Friday, October 03, 2008

what skills do you have to barter with?

Currently the web and the lists I am on are full of worry and fears over the financial market here and abroad.
The news daily has word of the bail out
People are either for or against it
Some people are worried that “The End Of The World As We Know It” (TEOTWAWKI) has arrived

I don’t think so
However, as part of Bernie (although reluctantly on his part) and my ongoing quest for more self sufficiency, I was thinking of what barter-able skills we both have.

Here is a partial list of mine
Cooking from scratch
Some animal husbandry and I can milk but it’s been ages
Butter churning
Sewing ( and pattern/clothes making)
I also tell a good story and am a born teacher
Dog training
Herbal medicines
Baking ( including bread)
Wood stacking
Keeping a woodstove going

What I would still like to learn
Shoe making!
Leather tanning
Bee keeping
Horse breaking
dry curing meat
brine curing meat
how to build an underground root cellar

and what other things would we have to barter with?

maple syrup from my sugar maples
eggs from the ducks..... and some duck meat (done for this year......)

i need to refresh my chicken layers so no chicken eggs right now....soon though

i do have two ewes ......tunis ewes
i would need a ram but each one of my ewes should twin........although i wouldn't count on that
and they can be kept on pasture, as they are thrifty

my wethers would have to go
and my goat......well......she's going to be three now....and not bred yet
so i imagine that she will be dinner unfortunately

what would i barter for?

a broke to pulling draft oxen or draft cow
and grazing land

fruit bushes and trees

and a non electric well pump

wood for the stove



it's interesting to think about this
what would you do?

i do NOT believe that the end of the world is coming.....nor total economic collapse
i do think some rough times are coming
if they aren't here already
and i also think that we collectively need to start paying more attention to the basics..... food shelter energy
but on a very personal and local scale
a return to victory gardens
putting by food during the growing season OURSELVES
being more responsible for our selves

so again i ask you

what would you do?
what skills do you have
what would you like to learn?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

duckie names..... weather change......

well it's that time........( haven't we had this conversation before?)

the duckies are to be named

i suppose that is the ritual of ownership or relationships or family ties even

naming............. giving a name,........... recognition

whether it's naming a child, pet or just labeling a person as 'my friend'
the saying of that seems to mark the occasion, and relationship as important,
setting it off in your mind as an individual worthy of thought and consideration.
making it real-er somehow

it would seen to be a primal urge
which links us back to our first ancestors that walked up right and gazed with wonder on the world around

we have whole ceremonies surrounding this
naming of ships with champagne
naming of buildings with ribbons
naming of children with religious ritual

now...... i come to the naming of the duckies
for us it signifies ......'you are staying here'
for we did not name the boys, nor the ones leaving

now it is clear they are staying.....the time for naming is here

now forgive me for being so philosophical today.....
i was up at 4:30 am reading a book a friend gave me
it's rattled my brain i finished it at 8am......
and it is still stuck in the corners of my mind

i found myself wondering ............. how many stories in life do not have happy endings.....where all the ends are woven in...... neatly trimmed up and presented

i know in my life....
some things just ...........ended
abruptly in some cases..... and i was very grateful for that
but still no lessons learned
no insights
no explanations
events strung out with no connections

then there are some things that are gloriously connected..... light blazing laser lights which are amazing to see

today i wonder how come i am not on my farm yet

i am not quite sure why no

i know the economy, and housing market etc....

but still i wonder why?

i feel in a holding pattern
at times

which has made me determined to NOT stop doing
even if it has to be here........

because i can't see putting my life on hold waiting for the farm
i do here
i plan on putting in fruit trees
because three years ago i wanted to
i held off because we 'were going to move'
we're still here
those trees would have been bearing now

if we move........ok i will replant
but i am determined now
not to wait....not to hold off
to take whatever i can with what i have here

to make as much as a farm here as i can
it may be the only farm i ever get
it may be the preliminary to the farm of my dreams.....
i don't know
i wish i did know
but i am determined............ the picture of the life in my head......

i want it
and it doesn't matter where i am

i am intending on living it

on that note
here is a list of some of the duckie names i am thinking of

aldora ( which is cool as it means 'winged gift')

til next time


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ahhhhhhhhhhh October!!!!

welcome october
happy happy october 1st everyone

today it is raining
on and off

i found our woodpile uncovered and the wood was getting wet

to celebrate october though
i plan on roasting a fruit stuffed pork loin
i know i really should wait for the weekend and serve it with baked acorn squash
and scalloped yukon gold potatoes.......or should i roast them with garlic and parsley?
but i may just do it today anyway
happy october and happy hump day?

i got some dried peach slices.......and i think i will soak them in some cherry juice left from making danish cherries.....
then add THAT all to cornbread stuffing
and stuff the pork loin
how does that sound?

i wish it was a bit cooler in a way
i could start the woodstove
but it's not
which is good for the garden
as there are some plants i would like to lift
oh well

happy october everyone

Sunday, September 28, 2008

rubber duckie in the rain..............

well it's raining
i believe it is a hurricane or something like that but up the coast so we are just getting a lot of rain
and slugs
can't forget the slugs

the duckies are not too happy with all the rain
apparently even duckies have a limit as to the amount of dampness they can happily endure

today one of the girls jumped on my sweet little baby girl duckie

bernie took her and put the mean one in with falstaff.....who proceeded to jump on HER

guess payback is a bitch

so as you all heard, one of the duckies is the SWEETIEST thing in the universe
she comes running up to us
'pet me pet me'
and we do
it's them blue eyes
she is so sweet and so gentle...... she takes tiny berries from your hand without hurting you
that duck is getting a pension and diapers and may just come in the house to live

i love that duck
i need a NAME for that

she's got more karuncling on her face then the others.....scared me that she was going to turn into a boy
but she still is sweet and chirpy not raspy and ungainly

and she has an egg bulge developing
so she is a she
thank goodness

cause i do so love that duck

in other news
bernie had some rough news, he's got to replace the timing chain in his truck
so in the mean time
he's got MY truck and i am..........well........


i think seriously i need a horse and buggie
this is getting out of hand
i NEVER have wheels!

oh and thems of yous that are watching
he has not gained an oz
he's still about 125-135 and got me frantically worried
but he's burning about 4500 to 5000 calories a day at work
and not replacing enough of them

i am going out of my mind

he's getting cookies with extra nutrition in them
deviled eggs and cheeses for breakfast
extra milk and cream and butter for suppers

i don't know what all else to do

in garden news
my one zuke that i thought was my beloved san pasquale........turned out to be a yellow zuke!
and NOW it's got zukes on it?
it's the end of the season!

i so would love to hoop it and the pattypans and the peppers

instead i am going to dig up the eggplant and some peppers and put them in the house in pots
we'll see

i am also going to put the one big planter in the house with lettuce and spinach
and maybe try for another one with chard?
it will be cool enough i think in the living room

now that the truck needs a timing chain.....
i am thinking that the hoop house and freezer is not in my future


well ..........we'll see

til next time


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

a favorite duckie, and ramblings

one of the babies that stayed, is such a sweet little thing.
we suspect that is the one that falstaff doesn't like
she comes over to me and crouches for me to pick her up and pet her
i love that duck
she is going to be a house duck i think
after this entire summer of duck raising
which wasn't easy btw
( i lost some weight ........most i suspect i left on the hill out back every time i fell)
at least ONE duck is a sweetie

in fiber news.....the socklet is coming along
i feel like knitting now!
i guess trish really is slapping me up the side of the head
i also feel like sewing etc
but i still miss her horribly........

so many times i just want to call her and tell her 'hey look at this'
or 'hey what do you think of that'

in gardening news.......
i am thinking of lifting about 5 pepper plants....... cutting them back and putting them in buckets to either keep inside or try and winter over to plant out again next year

a lot of folks ( me included!) didn't know peppers are actually perennial plants
and if i can keep them over the winter that would get me a huge jump on spring and next years peppers for some of the late season varieties

i would also like a hoop house/coldframe/green house

part of my garden woes this year were due to a colder then normal august
it was more like late september

so a hoophouse or tunnel would have moderated that

one of the members on my canning group suggested a cattle panel hoophouse
another one suggested roll up sides.....
i am going to certainly look into that

that cattle panel hoop house also has another thing that is intriguing about it
one of the websites i have had occasion to visit......keeps their CHICKENS in it over the winter.....along with the plants ( separated by wire so the chickens can't EAT the plants)
they also keep the chickens above a 'worm pit'
so the wormies get the droppings
as well as the stuff pulled off the veggies
the chickens get a few wormies now and again
the veggies get the castings
the chickens add to the warmth of the winter hoophouse
all is happy in the world.........

i would like to do that
and if i can figure a way to make it predator proof.....i just may try for it

it doesn't look too hard to do by myself

maybe with a bit of help from vicki......
cause bernie doesn't have time

i am concerned about the economy,
i do think however it will get better once the elections are over

i think the unsettled effect that always goes along with the elections is heightened by not only the ethanol/corn problem and the weather
but also by the immensely historic times we are living in
a black man/or a woman in the office


i wonder what the founding fathers are thinking now

i can just see them sitting around some colonial drop leave table in heaven....with a glass of rum and a clay pipe.......(or some claret)

watching us and debating on the outcome

i wonder if they are ok with the directions we went in?

i guess they are as the most important thing i think they tried to insure was freedom

total freedom

til next time


Monday, September 22, 2008

it's FALL ........FINALLY!!!

fall and spring are my two favorite season.
but fall holds a very special place in my heart
i have so many wonderful memories of fall leaves
of coming home to our fireplace lit
apple cider from Tice's farm
mom's red kidney bean soup

the colors of fall are amazing and phenomenal
the SMELLS of fall are lush, decadent and intoxicating
add that sort of crisp snap to the air
and a cozy sweater while raking leaves..........

what is not to love?

unfortunately Tice's cider is no more ( it really was the best cider i have EVER in my life tastes, i would love to know the varieties and % of apples that went into it)

and we have the woodstove, as we don't use the fireplace......( the cats would just think it a HUGE kitty litter box anyway)

but i still make mom's bean soup
and i still rake leaves in a cozy sweater

now leaves are used as duck bedding and shredded for the garden
THEN leaves were burnt

anyone remember that smell?

i fear this fall will be less colorful then falls past
we went down to stockerton saturday to pick up new gaskets for the woodstove door, and on the way back i commented to bernie about the colors......... it looked more like november then early fall

my big sugar maple turned in AUGUEST.....( the 280 year old one....the others are still green) and it was much redder then other years

i am still finishing up the winter stocking
still have some meat and more veggies to get

we got 200# of potatoes although no leighighs this year.......figures......
they are the VERY BEST bakers i have ever had
but it appears to be a good year for potatoes as the russets aren't bad and neither are the yukons .........the yukons better be as we got 150 pounds of them
the last 50 are baby's and i got them for 7.50 for the bag....
i had planned on canning them
bernie plans on making parsley potatoes with them

i think i will leave him a couple pounds but i plan on canning them for soup

now if you are a fiber person

i have what could be an announcement to make

i have started knitting again i think, i am just done with the toe of a toe up sock
in regia 'clown' on size 1 needles.....( i know....2-3 but i don't like loose fabric on socks)

we did a break in fire on the woodstove and i picked up my needles.....that and it's been COLD here at night

i can just hear trish now....... ( she approves i think ........what do you all think?)

AND bernie found my BALL WINDER!!!!!!!!!!
i haven't seen that in 25 years!
it's fine and works great so i am please....... it sure beats handwinding 1800 years of lace weight no?

even though i adore my pink ivory wood noste

so with that in mind......rhinebeck here i come

oh and Bob sent me 2 bags of alpaca lace weight from trish
so that is like 3300 yards
i have no idea what she had in mind for it
maybe a shirt?
i won't knit me a shirt with it, as i suspect i would need a tad MORE then that
the question is........ 3300 yards....... what on earth should i make
it has to be something i finish.....
cause it will be my momento from our trish


ps: i baked bernie pumpkin muffins yesterday, defrosted the last of last years pumpkin pulp ..........

now it's time for THIS years pumpkins
i think i am going to dry them this year

til next time

Saturday, September 20, 2008

warning......not for the faint or soft of heart

sharon the chicken died, on her third birthday

i had bernie put her in a box and i took her little corpse outside
bernie was to have put her out back so she could rest in pieces
(we live on underground burials.......not without explosives)

well he went out this morning to open the duck crates and discovered that sharon is no longer in her little box

i doubt highly that she resurrected and went her little chicken way

i believe something got a free dinner last night
which is ok
it's natures way

however that does point up a problem i have with the poultry right now

the predator battle

now predation is never easy on a flock owner.....nor is it pretty

serafina was ripped apart savagely
there was blood and feathers and entrails all over the place
and covered by flies as well........

we have it somewhat under control right now
but as the weather cools down........
as the assholes continue to blast and build on the mountain behind us......
as prey population moves on due to habitat destruction.....

the facts will continue to be ......... the predator battle

you can't blame them

there is a nice fat WARM poultry dinner, just clucking.....of chirping behind that thar FENCE

and they gotta make a living too
they have a family to feed.......
little hungry bellies no?

but not MY birds

so now we have to think about hot wire i think for the inner duck pen
and when the chickens go out
as they MUST

we need to get hot fence for them as well

probably solar assisted

the jackass neighbor has one of them wire cage/pen/storage thingies for the small BBQ propane tanks such as you see outside of walmart etc........

i think that would be a wonderful inner predator proof poultry pen

now.......where do i get one???


oh and ps

i am looking for seeds for an ORANGE pattypan squash...............

in america if possible

if anyone knows drop me an email please?

thank you all ever so much

Thursday, September 18, 2008

patty pan squash is a very good thing

i harvested about 4 small (3-4 inches) yellow patty pans
if you haven't tried a patty pan

slice it into some hot olive oil with a bit of sauteed onion, some sweet red peppers, a bit of garlic and a final sprinkling of kosher salt

cook the patty pan until it is slightly brownish on each side
oh and i also added fresh green beans cause that's what i picked today from the garden

this is heaven

believe me

even bernie who 'hates' squash had a HUGE helping

then suggested a hoop house so i can get my stuff in earlier and hopefully keep it longer

today i harvested a lot of peppers
no where near the amount i had hoped to get out of the 30 plants i had out there
but at least enough to make a few jars of either salsa
or peppers and onions for meats

i also started to harvest the unfortunately have the birds

this season was a disappointment in the garden

i know i am not alone in feeling that way

between the cold.....
the rain
my being ill
trish dying ( see trish it's all your fault)which threw me into a real depression,
then the colder then normal august

we have a terrible garden this year

canning season was a disappointment as well
i couldn't get any produce in quantity or of QUALITY enough to can
and the garden was late......and no where near as productive
the ground hog ate a LOT of cabbages on me as well
i hope the brussels sprouts do well

but i think the leeks are not going to
nor do i think the cabbages will every get a nice sized head on them

In family news
my sister in law colleen got her dog off galveston island
and she is looking for a place to rent on the mainland
her home is totally devastated
she couldn't even salvage clothing
they have truly lost everything
they had small rental houses that they had lived in, fixed up then rented
they are also devastated

they worked so very hard to fix these little houses up to rent with the idea that once they retired, they would sell them.....that was their retirement fund

it's all gone

in chicken news
i am so sorry to report that sharon the chicken has died
today is their third birthday as well
we don't know why,
we think it was a retained egg
we at first thought she was broody
but when we couldn't break the brood....

the other girls appear fine
the ducks are fine as well

(knock on wood)

so we'll see
i put her outside in a box

since there isn't actual dirt to bury her in
( the construction up the mountain blast all day long cause it's ALL ROCK)

we will put her out for the fox and other animals

it's natures way anyway

so she will rest in peices like her brother larry the chicken

i am going to have to get some more laying hens though
the ducks will start soon
and i will be selling the eggs i can't use

i would like a laying flock of 12 if i could
then i get a dozen, more or less a day......and i can sell what i don't use
which will FEED the laying flock of 12

well we are off to sleep.......

til next time