Friday, August 29, 2014

A Perfect Day...For Spreading Manure?

There are some days that are just so beautiful,
they take your breath away.
Yesterday was another one of those magnificent days.
Temps reached 80... low humidity... 
as nearly perfect a day as one could imagine!

What would you do on such a gorgeous day?
Me, I'd take my tractor out for a spin, of course!

Actually, with the hay off of the hayfield (and no, it was not good enough to use as feed)...
it was time to spread the aged compost pile.

And so, with Jim on our "Tin Lizzy" 1953 Ford tractor...

and me on the "Deere John" with the bucket...
we scooped up and spread all of that manure/compost. 

Of course, the nosey chickens had to see...

what all of the fuss was about!

When we finished, I headed to the garden to pull some veggies for dinner.

I had thawed one of our "Amish" chickens and cooked it down for soup.
To the broth I added our carrots, celery, onions....herbs, white beans and orzo
for a hearty soup.

I stopped at the pigpen to share the tiniest carrots with Ginger...

 and MaryAnn...

and once again we discussed the value of chewing with one's mouth closed!

(For what it's worth.)

And know my sense of humor is warped...
(You've been warned.)

Do you know what this is called?

"Carrotage รก trois!" of course.
I love how carrots grow in all sorts of wonky configurations.

Would you like to see the pesticide we use in our orchard?

Guineas on patrol...gobbling up every bug they come across!

And with that I bid you farewell for this week!
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.
I will be back with a post on Labor Day (Monday).
Until then.... be well, be happy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yesterday's Moments

That time is almost here...
I can feel it in the nighttime air!
Autumn, with all of it's sights and sounds and smells looms just around the corner.

And yet...
 yesterday gave us a taste of summer...
a taste we have yet to savor,
with it's ninety degree days... heat...humidity...cicadas humming.

Each morning, now, I awaken before the sun and am greeted
by the fog so typical of September.
At the barn, feeding animals... I hear the growl of the school bus coming down the road...
7:19 sharp...
every morning.

The blackbirds and grackles have begun flocking and are often sitting on the power lines...
I suppose contemplating and discussing their upcoming trip to warmer climes.

(two bales of the hay that came off of our field...will be used for wedding photo-ops...but not to feed our critters)
The grass remains green (so unusual for this time of year),
but some of the trees have started letting go of their leaves.

Apples fill the orchard... ripe, juicy, and big!

I need to pick this harvest and use them up,

until we have had our fill of pies and sauces and cobblers and such.

I am sure you have figured out by now that Ginger and MaryAnn love apples!
Thank goodness we have so many... the horses love them, too!

Evening comes a little earlier every night.
Before long evenings will be spent in front of toasty fires, wrapped in afghans.
Sweaters, soups, wool socks and comfort food await us in the not too distant future.
And while we warm our selves by the fire, the critters will be back
beneath their heat lamps.

(Ivanka, enjoying her nightly rub-down)
And though it will be sad to say goodbye to summer...
especially a summer that never really appeared,
Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mysteries and Finished Projects

It's early morning.
Moonbeam has been beautifully coiffed,

 and the farrier is trimming his hooves.

Shortly after this, I will put on his fly mask and send him out to pasture for a few hours.

When he returns to the dry lot, he is covered with patches of dirt...
obviously having rolled around a bit.
(Why is it when they are clean, they do their level best to get dirty again?

Evening comes and it's time to remove fly masks.
Amanda helps out and takes off Moonbeam's mask.

"What is in his ear?" she queries.

Further investigation reveals a lump of horse manure in the tip of his ear cover.

I have no idea how this goober managed to get an ear full of poop.

It's just another farm mystery that will never be solved.
And, maybe I don't really want to know.
Nah....I am curious...
and Moonbeam's not talking!

For those of you who may have missed yesterday's Facebook post,
here is how my morning started.

Yes, those are more (12) porcupine quills.
Apparently Annie did not learn her lesson two weeks ago.
Luckily, Dr. Becky was home and had them removed in no time.
Annie, Annie, Annie....
Why my dogs continue to do this is yet another mystery.

And since I discontinued my sewing blog (just not enough time in the day)...
I will share my projects with you here on this blog.

I finished another leather/bead wrap bracelet.
For this one I used navy leather and tiny navy barrel beads.
It will fit a wrist up to 7 inches around doubled.

I finally finished my knitting project...
it's a cowl/shoulder cozy
(which looks a little funny since my dress form does not have arms!)
This project was a whole lot of fun...
with the exception of the three inch band above the bust....
which was done in "crossed" stitch and was challenging.

And lastly, I finished the apron that I started on Monday.

It is a vintage-inspired full apron (my own pattern)

with vintage inspired kitchen fabric.
The bias tape is handmade and matches the back placket.
One size fits most all.
All of my aprons are for me when the perfect one comes along!

Now, back to the sewing room to start another!

PS:  Today is Hubbs' and my wedding anniversary!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Roll With It, Baby!

Yesterday morning, 8:30 AM:

9:00 AM:

Ollie freshly groomed, 9:30 AM:

10:00 AM:

The one constant in life is change!
Do I detect a little smile on Ollie's lips (he might even be sticking his tongue out at me)?
Obviously, he prefers the "David Bowie" look.

PS:  Due to weather related issues with gardening this year,
I am not having to spend as much time "putting up" the harvest...
which has freed me up for a little time in my sewing room.

I am back to making aprons again!
With a stash of fabric that I need to use up before I leave this earth...
I had better get to work.
It may take me the rest of my life to use it all up.
I'll have something to show you tomorrow, I think!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Weekend Wrap-Up

It is hard to encapsulate a weekend that was so very full
into just one blog post...but I will try.

Our rainy stretch continued through the weekend with showers every evening
until finally on Sunday the sun seemingly came out to stay.

We spent much of the weekend preparing the farm for a big party...
but  I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Saturday Hubbs and I headed to a tiny country town for its annual
antiques festival. 
And there we found a treasure!

We found this turn of the century (very early 1900's)
Edison phonograph.

I am lucky to own an Edison Diamond Disc phonograph from the same era
that was my grandparents.  
It sits beneath the new phonograph in our guest bedroom and, once the crank is wound,
still plays the thick records of the day.

The phonograph we bought on Saturday is the earliest version, 
that plays a wax tube rather than a record.

What a treasure!
This is what it sounds like...please excuse the sideways video...
it is just to give you an idea of the sound...

Then on Sunday we hosted a birthday party for our (newly married) Andy
who just turned 30!

The picnic pavilion was filled with friends and family for a cookout...

birthday cupcakes...

followed by volleyball, badminton and yard games of all varieties.

Of course, our favorite (and only) grandson, Tyler was there for the festivities.

Then, after the festivities and clean up, the chickens had a feast...
Ivanka worked for a few minutes on the empty shell of a watermelon fruit basket.

Then, the rest of the chickens had their turn.

And eventually, there was nothing left of it!

While we are on the subject of recycling, I must show you what I found in our grocery store.

These plates in the muck bucket were used for our picnic and are on their way to the
compost pile.
They are made from 100% vegetable material and are completely compostable.
They are quite thick and quite durable and hold up well to a large plate of food.
I hate using throw-away picnic ware, so this is a great alternative!
Oh, and please excuse the horse poop!

What a whirlwind of a weekend!
But here it is Monday and the farrier is coming...
so I will be spending the morning in the barn.
Hope your day is great!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hayless in PA, But That's OK

And so the rain continues...
heavy, heavy rains yesterday!

During the morning hours,
before the heavy rains,
I worked in the garden and pulled out a lot of tomato plants.
It was an awful summer for tomatoes.
Most did not ripen, but rotted on the vine.
Eventually, even the vines rotted from the cool moist weather.

Oh well...there's always next summer, right?

We are in wedding planning mode around here
and probably will be for the next 10 months.
It's official, Amanda is engaged!
Her beau, Tim, proposed as they hiked through the Shenandoah Mountains last Saturday.

Her ring consists of a knot with a sapphire and two diamonds that
came from her grandmother.

A farm wedding is scheduled for next June 20th.

What fun it will be, getting this place decorated!
Starting next Spring, I will keep you up to date with the plans and progress.
Oh, what fun we will have!

Do you think we can turn this...

into this...?
courtesy of Pinterest
And which of our three do you think could handle this job?

courtesy of Pinterest
Probably not Annie, as she breaks the land-speed record every chance she gets.

Definitely not Sammy, as he would have to stop at every guest along the aisle
and paw at them to pet him.

Looks like Oakley wins by default...thank goodness we have almost a year to practice!

And so, as the moist, cool weather continues,
I am forced to search for hay to buy...
it doesn't look like we will be feeding any of our own this winter!

Here is my next batch of jewelry, ready for sale.

If there are any amongst this batch that you would like...
email me...and tell me your wrist size.
I will send you a better picture if you like.
They are $35 each. 
(The owl and the horse are $25)
I also made this charm necklace/bracelet (it can be worn as either)

It comes with your choice of leather strap for $40, and each additional
spare strap for $7 (red, turquoise or brown).

Have a great weekend!!


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