Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mimi's Tree

My favorite part of Christmas is the adventure of finding and cutting down a tree. Last year we went into the woods behind the farm and cut down a tree. Then we found out that I am allergic to pine tree sap, even in winter time, and we had to take it down. Last year, for the first time, we had a fake tree (purchased anonymously for us by someone at Jason's work). This year I really missed the tradition of hunting down a tree.

Mimi requested that we find her a tree. Jason talked to his buddies and one of them has a wood lot with lots of unusable pine/fir trees already on the ground. Saturday we dropped Our Sweetie off at Mimi's house and then trekked to the wood lot to take a look around. While we scouted out a tree, Stomper played in the snow and slid down a little snow pile he found. It didn't take us long before we spied one on the ground that was just right. Jason hacked off the last four or five feet and packed it into the van. 

At Mimi's house the kids decorated it with garland, blue lights, and ornaments. It was a lot of fun looking at all the old picture ornaments, there was even one of Bumpa! We watched a Christmas movie or two together and passed around Our Sweetie.

I think we have a new family tradition!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Sweetie

Things have been a little crazy around here and at times, sleepless. A few weeks ago we took in an infant Foster Child. Stomper calls her "Our Sweetie". For legal purposes I cannot show you her face (just her toes in Stompers jammies), or give you any details. I can say this: we are enjoying having a little baby in the house again.

We pulled out what we had left from Honey Bee, most things I had given away. My philosophy on baby items: clothes, toys, equipment is this--God gave it to me when I needed it. Who am I to hold on to it when someone else needs something? I've kept some of Stompers things that were extra special, but most things, including the expensive baby equipment, I passed along.

The day that Our Sweetie came to live with us I put a note on facebook stating that I needed baby things. I don't think it was an hour before a friend from church sent me a list of things she had available to lend. She loaned us a bassinet, play mat, baby swing, toys, and clothes -- everything I needed. What a blessing! 

Our Sweetie is fitting into the family quite smoothly. The whole family is savoring every moment of snuggling, burping, diaper changing, and baby smiles. Stomper is adjusting as well as a three year old can. Jason and I have been soaking in baby snuggles and reminiscing  about when Stomper was a baby. 

We don't know how long she will be with us, but while she is here we are enjoying every moment!

Monday, December 2, 2013

White Blanket

When we went to bed last night it was snowing. When we woke up this morning we were greeted with a small layer of snow on the ground. It's just enough snow to make things messy while driving, delay school, make snowballs for the dog to chase, and build a few snowmen. Its pretty much the best way to start the morning. 

Today Jason took the day off to process the broilers and the layers. The broilers have reached their full size and so today he will process all twenty-two of them. It has been a short nine weeks with these chickens. At times it's been a little rough raising them in the cold of the fall. A few times when we've gone down to tend them they've been a little chilly and we've needed to add more warming lights for them. 

We are culling over half our laying flock today too. They aren't keeping up their end of the bargain, by laying enough eggs to pay for their grain. We will keep the seven hens we bought this year in addition to Charcoal the Rooster, and Twig the Broody Hen. In the spring we will purchase more laying hens. 

We are keeping Twig in hopes that she will raise the new chicks for us. We have a neighbor who let their hen sit on a bunch of eggs for the appropriate amount of weeks, and then slipped day old chicks under her. She then raised the chicks herself. If that works than we can do the same thing with her and broilers too and raise meat birds any time of the year.

The ducks don't mind the snow. This is their second year with snow. They waddle around the barnyard looking for scraps and morsels. There isn't much for them to eat under the snow, but they persist. It's quite entertaining to watch them dig in the snow with their bills.

In addition to all the chicken processing Jason's Dad hit a small deer with his truck on Friday. The deer is hanging in our garage waiting to be made into ground venison. Looks like the freezer is going to be full this winter. God certainly provides!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yarn Along

I have really been enjoying taking part of the weekly Yarn Along with Ginny these last few weeks. I do not have any knitting photos however. The weather has been a bit yucky and my camera is not working as well as it did when it was new, resulting in really awful photos lately. 

I finished my husbands Christmas present. He's really bummed that I didn't share any details of it last week, he was hoping to figure it out.

I am steadfastly working my way through the last glove. I have promised myself that I will not be knitting another hand related item for awhile. This last pair makes six pairs of hand warming knits. Next I will be making this and maybe this for some Christmas stockings. I whipped up a little i-cord bunny and a backpack basket for the bunny I knit last year. I may ask my SIL to kidnap the bunny so I can make some jammies. I really wanted to knit this for my niece this for Christmas, but it was not in the yarn budget. Maybe it will be my first project of the new year. I have decided what to do with the angora yarn. I will use big needles and a garter stitch. I think that the yarn will be best served with out too much of a pattern.

I read Odd Thomas this last week. It was surprisingly good. I picked up the last book of the Among the Hidden series and the second in the Leviathan Trilogy. Still not certain if I like the Leviathan books or not, but I will probably read them any way.

For some unrelated photos .. we had a bit of a windstorm this week. The wind whipped the lake up into a frenzy and then froze it. Pretty amazing!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yarn Along

~Knitting and Reading along today with Ginny~

I'm nearly done with Leviathan. The story follows two people a boy and a girl, and I don't like the girl's character. Now that the two have have met each other it's been a little better, because I can see her through the boys eyes, but not by much. Its been a tough read. I probably won't read the next two books, unless this one has a really impossible cliff hanger. I have really enjoyed the AT-AT Walker in the story though, that part has not disappointed. I finished book five of the Among the Hidden series, if you have a grade school kiddo who doesn't like to read I encourage you to have them try out this series. It is action packed and doesn't slow down for too much of the emotional stuff, just enough to flesh out the characters. I polished off So B. It it was a good story, but not my cup of tea. I gravitate to more action packed books, and this was a character building book. My Mom, who likes that style of book, said it was really good so I will trust her judgement.

I am able to knit again! My MIL gave me this stuff from Avon that is supposed to be corns and such on feet, but it worked miracles! It's not completely healed, but it's healed enough that I can knit again!

I finished one glove made from the same pattern as these gloves , all but the weaving in of ends, and started a secret gift for the hubby. I'm not sure how often he reads the blog so I won't give anything away! I picked up some more yarn from Agape Angoras so I will be ripping out the cowl I made and re-knitting it. I'm going to go up several needle sizes like in this pattern. I will decide when I cast on if I will try and follow a lace pattern (like this or this or this) or knit it straight garter. Do you have any thoughts?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spread the Love

Not sure if you are aware of this, but Christmas is coming. Shocked? I knew you would be.

A few friends of mine make and sell products. I thought that during this Christmas Season I would send them some love by giving them a little ad space.
If you have been reading my blog awhile you probably have already met Agape AngorasI encourage you to email her and get some information on her prices and availability. I will be purchasing a skein of yarn will be from her soon, I need to make a few corrections to the cowl I attempted to make and more yarn will be needed.

A fellow blogger, who through her blog first encouraged me to cloth diaper, just opened a shop called Wild Feather Toys. She and her husband make blocks and toys. The toys are made in Maine from reclaimed hardwood and polished/protected with natural beeswax. I am hoping to win a set from their giveaway. If you "like" them on facebook there is a coupon code!

Last, but not least, is Abigail's Attic Accessories. Julie hand makes accessories for mamas and babies. From her Etsy shop:
"Part of the vision for Abigail's Attic is to provide simple but elegant and whimsical products at an affordable price without losing quality." 

Please take a moment and support some Maine businesspeople. A little goes a long way!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Felted Bowl

Awhile ago I finished knitting up my Christmas stocking and had a few yards of wool yarn left. Not enough to make something, but too much just to toss. I found this pattern on raverly and thought I'd give felting a try.

I knit it up in a jiffy and it's been sitting in my basket since summer time. One day when Stomper was away with Mimi I thought I'd give it a try. I filled a bowl with hot tap water and soap. I put on a pair of rubber gloves and got to work. It felted quite a bit so I put it over a bowl on the pellet stove and let it dry. When it was dry I realized that it didn't felt enough and I'd have to do it some more.

I searched the web for more tutorials and found this video.

I felted it again with hotter water for a longer period of time. My final result was a firm fabric and a sweet little bowl. I am quite pleased with it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yarn Along

~Reading and Knitting - my favorite duo~
Joining Ginny today for her weekly Yarn Along and you should too!

I've been devouring books lately. I go through reading phases where I can't seem to get enough, how about you?

I finished Splintered --amazing Alice in Wonderland inspired book. Her inspiration was Lewis Carrol and Tim Burton. The book is filled with jaw dropping imagery it was fascinating to read. I picked up Leviathan, but I'm not sure if I'm going to read it or not. I am intrigued by the Star-Wars style AT-AT Walker in it though that the main character is piloting, which is why I picked it up in the first place. My sister told me it's good, so I will probably press-on and get into the book. Secondly I am reading So B. It along with my Mom and a teen I am helping out. I wouldn't say the book is awful, but I don't like it. I am reading it to encourage the kiddo I'm helping out so I guess liking it isn't necessary. So B It is about a teen going off in search of her mentally disabled mother's identity. Thirdly I am reading the fifth installment of the Among the Hidden. It is such a fast paced series that I am devouring it, of course the fact that its only a few hundred pages long and written for elementary reading level helps. The story is so action packed that I think even kids who hate reading would be able to handle a few chapters a day.

My knitting is on hold while I wait for my finger to heal. I have some skin sensitives and I wasn't being careful. The result was that my first knuckle on my right hand ring finger has a painful crack in it that makes bending it near impossible. I tried to knit and keep it straight, but do you know how difficult it is to keep your ring finger straight while the other ones bend? Before I hurt my finger I finished off another ribbed hat and cast on for a pair of fingerless gloves. I knit these gloves before, but this time I'm not putting tips on the fingers. I really hate knitting the fingers of gloves, so hopefully I will follow through with finishing them. I also finished up a felted bowl I started over the summer. I had to felt it twice, I learned a lot in the process.

How about you? How is your reading or knitting going? Feel free to leave a link in the comments! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Play Date

We had a play date with some friends recently. Four moms and five kids in the crisp fall air. It was nice to go to someone else's house and play with their toys. They spent a lot of time "cooking" for us Moms and bringing us plates of questionable plastic food (is it broccoli? or celery?), pulling out every noise making toy into the same room, and running around outside. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yarn Along :: Christmas Pile

Joining Ginny for a Yarn Along. Reading and Knitting, what could make a better pair?

I have been knitting like a maniac lately, okay, maybe not like a maniac because I still manage to read, but I have trying my best to knuckle down.

I am on ribbed hat #4, just cast on today. I really like a ribbed hat. It has a lot of stretch and for growing kids will last for more than one year.

My other stash busting kick is knitting up mug cozy's. Not sure if anyone will use them, but they are fun to use and it uses up the bits of yarn kicking around.

I have at least one more pair of fingerless mittens in my future. Everything I am knitting these days is for Christmas.

I have been enjoying a few books no and then too. My librarian showed me the series Among the Hidden, they are short books, but riveting. The first book I didn't want to finish, I was afraid of what was going to happen! The other series I am working through is Divergent. I stayed up to one in the morning a couple of times reading these books.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Turkey Day

The turkeys have reached maturity. If you have been following along on Facebook, then you already know that the biggest so far was 22lbs and the smallest 14lbs. We had lots of help on "the day", the kids were looking forward to helping and watching. They did a great job helping out. We are very proud of them.

We have only processed four turkeys, the other five are waiting to be taken to the local slaughter house. Hunting Season is upon us and understandably the hunter doesn't want to spend his free time elbow deep in turkey. Mom and I are taking them in November while Dad is at work and Jason is hunting. Dad asked if there would be someone there to help us ladies unload. The man on the other end responded: "Are there attachment issues? Sometimes people have a hard time letting their turkeys go." Not to worry, we are looking forward to eating one of these beauties!

The pear trees are done, found someone strong enough to climb up and shake them down. Sent the cat up recently to get the last pear down, but she didn't understand. Thought I sent her up there to cut some teeth!

This is the look of deep concentration: "Don't drop it, don't drop it, don't drop it."

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