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May 22, 2015

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{this moment}

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

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May 20, 2015

May Garden














It's that time of year again (finally) when every possible moment is spent outside planting, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, and whatever else it takes to prepare our yard and gardens for the season of growing.  We purchased four more apple trees ( McIntosh, Wolf River, Russet, and Honeycrisp) for our small, yet ever-growing orchard. Two more grape vines, ten raspberry bushes, and two elderberries were added to our fruit bearing group.  The garden soil has been tilled and organic matter, from our three year old pile of composted manure, was added. How rewarding it was to finally dig into the rich mound of worm-filled, black compost!
I'm ahead of the game this year, as far as planting goes, because I usually don't begin until Memorial Day weekend, but everything except the cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and a few other tender seedlings have been planted, with the radishes, arugula, and other lettuces already poking up through the ground.  I have, again, switched things up a bit in the gardens.  The cucumbers did poorly last year (and the three years before that), so I am going back to my original method of laying down black plastic to warm the soil before planting and covering the seeds with row cover until the plants have blossomed.  When I used this method, I picked bushels of cukes and made more pickles than we could eat in a year. I wish I had never stopped using this method, but in an attempt to find better ways of gardening, I had to experiment...oh, well! I am hoping for a bumper crop of cukes this year.  I planted onion seedlings this year instead of sets because I didn't have much success with the sets, and all the farmers and gardeners that I have spoken to said seedlings are the best way to go so... I'm giving seedlings a try.  The tomatoes will be grown in a different garden this year as well as the corn, and I'm dedicating more space to beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage.  I'm excited about the changes I have made, and I'm hoping they are ones that help fill our bellies, freezers, and pantry shelves.
I love this time of year. Everything is so alive...the flowers are blooming; the trees are budding and are alive with the activity of returning birds; the cliff swallows have come back to their nests under the eaves; the "peepers" fill the evening air with their music, and a bittern calls for a mate from the nearby pond.  It is such a lovely time of year, and I want to soak up every bit of it I can.

May 8, 2015

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{this moment}

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

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This moment was captured by my daughter.  If you want to see more of this little guy and his puppy friend, check out her photography page.


May 7, 2015

Two Spring Nighties

Pattern:  The Suzanne dress pattern from Citronille

Notions:  Vintage lace (found in my lace basket)

Fabric:  Pink and white polka dotted flannel and French-cafe print quilting cotton (both from my stash)







Now that the weather has warmed, Little #9 was in need of cooler pajamas.  She was insistent on "nee gowns" (as she calls them), so I searched through the patterns and fabric that I had on hand.  I only had one yard of the two fabrics that she chose, so instead of using an actual nightgown pattern, which took more yardage, we chose one of my favorite dress patterns, Suzanne.  I added the optional elastic at the shoulders and gathered the sleeves with elastic thread.  Little #9 was very excited about her new "nee gowns" and didn't even mind taking her bath, knowing she could put one on afterwards (unfortunately her enthusiasm isn't so evident in the photos...she is quite camera  shy).  She liked them so much that she chose another fabric (pink and grey elephant flannel) and has asked for a third, which I am more than happy to oblige.

May 4, 2015

Welcome May









Oh, it is so good to see spring's color again!  The forsythia is in full bloom, and the daffodils are beginning to open and show their cheerful, sunny faces.  The hyacinth, with its intoxicating aroma and breath-takingly beautiful blossoms, has pushed its way up through the hard packed soil. (Note to self:  plant more hyacinth bulbs this fall). Patches of green grass are showing up everywhere, and the trees are full of swollen red and green buds.  Yes, we New Englanders have successfully made it through another winter, and the cold winds and snow are now only a memory.

We were blessed this past weekend with lovely, warm weather which allowed us to get much of the spring clean-up finished. Lawns were raked; flower-beds cleaned out; garlic was uncovered; puppies frolicked and played (under the careful supervision of Little #8); walks were taken; bikes were ridden, and drinks were sipped on the porch. Oh, it was a good weekend!   The vegetable seeds have arrived, and the soil is finally dry enough to work with, so I have big plans for the upcoming week since the sun is expected to shine with temperatures climbing into the 70's and possibly 80's.  It's here!  It's finally here!  Have I mentioned how excited I am that spring is finally here?

April 28, 2015

April

Good morning!  It's been a horribly long time since I have posted, and I have missed you all.  I do hope all of you are well and are enjoying the wonderful change from winter to spring.   It is so nice to see the ground again and smell the thawing earth, to hear the rushing waters of the nearby river and the early morning songs of the birds.  It is still a bit chilly here in our corner, but that is okay.  The season has changed and spring has sprung! 
When I sat down to write, I wasn't sure where to begin...so much has happened over the past month... so I decided to share a short overview of the highlights for the month of April.

Trees were tapped; sap boiled; maple syrup enjoyed (sometimes by the tablespoon full).






Puppies were born.



Birthdays were celebrated (two for us in the month of April).





Another trip to Children's Hospital was taken and tough decisions were made. 
Surgery was undergone and recuperating took place.

Our first red cardinal was joyfully spotted on the farm (I have been trying to attract this beautiful bird to our property for many years...hoping he will return).

Snow melted; buds swelled; eggs were laid; spring arrived.








Looking forward to the month of May!
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