Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Fine Morning


While Audrey terrorized  loved the chicks this morning I weeded the garden a little.  A much needed rainstorm blew through here last night which made this morning spectacular. Not so lovely are the blackflies... they are so horrible and this last week both Audrey and I have been attacked daily. I always forget to use bug spray even though it is sitting by the door.  I keep hoping that one of these mornings there will be no black flies but unfortunately with the summer heat is finally setting in they seem to be reproducing at an alarming rate.

The garden is planted! HURRAY!  I tried a different approach this year. Take my time. Buy only seeds that I plan on planting. Save seedlings for the last moment.  I usually buy everything all at once and then the seedlings sit in tiny, dry, flower pots for a month before they go into the ground.  This  year I started working the ground by hand around mid-May (double digging with a potato fork and spreading "brown gold" composted horse manure on top). We decided to go for a low maintenance garden this year since we weren't planning on doing one anyway (and with baby #2 on the way... which I haven't mentioned here on the blog yet... Yup, 21 weeks pregnant and due in October, we are very excited! A low maintenance garden will be key to planting it next year with a 3 year old and 8 month old). So I made 4'x4' rows and 4'x4' aisles. We are allowing the grass to grow up in the aisles and I am mowing them. So far so good.

New to the garden this year is our back porch. Mr. Meanie pulled it off the house when we tore down the ell and instead of burning it we added it to the garden to help block weeds at that end and also as a tent platform. It is a little wobbly but should work fine.  I planted perennials from the front beds (that were destroyed in demolition) around the platform along with sun flowers and pumpkins.

I am most excited about the potatoes popping up.  This year I didn't let them set out for a few days after cutting the eyes up. Instead I used 3% hydrogen peroxide to help "heal" the cuts and immediately planted them. Before a rainstorm too... I am pleased so far that they didn't rot!

 I hope that your morning is going well!

shelby g

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Around the Farm

::Walks in the woods (or should I say extreme backpacking?) with pets. Indy thinks he is a dog and will walk the entire walk with us, meowing the whole way. While Audrey plays in the streams (throwing rocks) he will lay in the cool, dried mud and wait for us.

:: Early morning gardening.

:: Mr. Meanie's beams are coming together. He has been working diligently on completion of the frame project and although he still has a small pile left to carve he is at least on the other side of the hump.  We are set to raise the frame the 2nd weekend of July (pushed a weekend).

:: The footing, perimeter drain, and walls have been completed on our foundation!  We love how the project is finally taking 3D shape and now it is easier to see where all of the rooms will be located.

:: The chicks have been moved to the red coop. Audrey and I vacuumed and scrubbed the coop yesterday and we moved the little ladies out in the afternoon. They are almost a month old and were starting to stink up the upstairs bathroom (plus I would love to clean out the bathroom/tub and take a lovely bath again!).

:: I have started planting the garden. So far peas, carrot, parsnips, lettuce, nasturtiums, and mustard spinach have been planted.  I am still working on breaking up the dirt clods in a few more rows but hope to have the rest planted by next weekend. It is suppose to rain all week so we'll see what happens.

Happy Sunday!

shelby g

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Someday the Potty

This mamma is rooting for the potty! So far the toddler is winning (it's okay to pee anywhere, right?) and the potty is losing. Boo. I just don't think we are ready yet. It's so difficult to hear that all of Audrey's little friends are successfully potty training and she isn't.  But her diaper bum is still so very cute (even though she has learned how to take off velcro diapers... which are basically the only diapers you can get onto a toddler as they run through the house).

Still, I am hopeful.  I made her a set of lovely trainers, with diapering PUL on the outside, jersey lining (supposedly so she will have an uncomfortable wet feeling thus making her want to use the potty... all theory) and 2 layers heavy bamboo fleece sewn into the lining for accidents. It's nice to switch up diaper making for a few trainers. Although not fast to sew they are cute and I still get a chance to use up some of my fabric stash (that helped insulate my house this winter).  I purchased the pattern from Ladder Hill Designs on Etsy and I would link it but the shop only sells embroidery items now and not trainer designs.

And of course, adorable undies. These babies take minutes to sew up... in fact, after they were all cut out they only took 15 minutes to sew (which is long enough to hard boil eggs... since that was what I was doing at the same time... I am such a multi-tasker). The fabric is lycra/cotton and in adorable prints. I used more delicate fold over elastic that I found at Jo-Anns... perfect for undies and undershirts.  I hope to make many more of these and I hope that someday she will wear them! I found the pattern on Etsy from the Peekaboo Pattern Shop.

Happy Memorial Weekend!

shelby g

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sunny Day Bonnet

Finished up Audrey's Sunny Day Bonnet on Sunday and we got a chance to try it out during yesterday's beautiful weather.  Well... she didn't love it but we'll work on it.  Last year she wore a bonnet all summer and during the winter she loved wearing a hat so I know she'll eventually like this bonnet.

I used Made by Rae's Peekaboo Bonnet pattern (that I tested out way back). I love that this pattern is reversible and relatively easy to sew, this took me about 2 hours to complete on a rainy day.  I hate interface and luckily this pattern doesn't call for any but I assume you can add some to the brim if you want it to be more stiff.  There is piping on one side and I matched it with bias tape for the tie.  I don't like "stitching in the ditch" along the bias tape to the inner fabric and think that I could probably construct the inside and outside separately and then sew seams around the brim and neck (sort of like making a pillow) and get rid of the extra stitching. Any who now I am just rambling! 

I am going to try to make one of these using the waterproof diaper PUL with a breathable athletic wicking jersey on the inside so Audrey can have a rain bonnet. 

have a wonderful day!

shelby g

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Around the Farm

:: As much as Carlie can't stand cuddling with cats she and Indy always seem to snuggle together.  This particular moment was too precious not to capture on camera.

:: Our make shift "downeast 'ah" clothesline is working like a champ. We love the smell of fresh clothes off the line but never constructed a line in the 4 years we've lived here. Now that we no longer have a dryer we had to come up with something!  On rainy days (like today) I scatter the clothes to dry all around the house and it takes about 2 days for everything to dry.  But on this line it only takes a few hours in the sun and wind, perfect!  Plus this line is great for constructing makeshift tents to entertain Audrey while I dig in the garden.

:: Mr. Meanie is busy chiseling joints in the remaining beams.  He basically works from 7am to 7pm chiseling away. In the next week he will work with my father and grandfather to mill out the remaining beams and then he will begin to joint those.  Our plan is to raise the frame 4th of July weekend (along with a glorious lobster feast) so he is working against the clock at the moment but doing at great job at meeting his goals.

:: Basement dug and footings poured! We have to wait another week to have the walls and flooring poured and then our contractor can install draining and backfill.  We haven't run into that many issues yet so we hope that this part continues to move forward smoothly (and as close to budget as possible).

:: Today is a rainy day so I am working on a sunny day bonnet for Audrey and sewing up a few trainers for my diapering swap partner.  Our chicks are doing well, so far no fatalities.  They should move out into the smaller coop by mid June.  Also we have decided to plant the garden this year and I am double digging 6-8 four foot rows and leaving the aisles for mowing.  With so much construction going on I thought it would be best to fence in the garden area and also make it a play area for Audrey so she doesn't fall in the basement hole.  Hopefully I will have a fence up this week and a few of the row planted...we'll see!

happy sunday!

shelby g

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chicks at the PO

The chicks have arrived! This day far surpasses any holidays or birthdays as there is nothing like walking into the post office before opening and hearing little chicks peeping away in their box.  I woke up early this morning in anticipation of our bundles of joy and turned on the heat lamp and prepped the bathtub for their arrival.  Audrey was very excited for the chicks (and Mr. Meanie too, he is always away when the chicks arrive). 

So far they look good and have started drinking and eating.  We'll see if how the day plays out; hopefully they all make it!  This year we went in on an order with my sister and she requested 10 brown egg layers and we will have 5 brown egg layers plus an assortment of birds we like to look at, wyandotte, speckled sussex, brown leghorn, and black star.  We badly need to replace some of our flock since many of our hens are in their 4th year and laying has dropped considerably.  And a few years ago we received our last order of chicks, just when Audrey was a few weeks old.

Happy Monday!

shelby g

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It Has Begun!


And it has begun! Our long anticipated kitchen ell project is underway. We've spent the last few days gutting, rewiring, re-plumbing, and salvaging what we could. 

laundry room off the barn

And we further confirmed how poor the bones of the ell were. Many of the main beams were reduced to dust immediately even though we thought the looked strong enough to pull out and save. But alas! Mr. Meanie has made brand new spruce beams that should last lifetimes.

hope your saturday is going well!

shelby g