Friday, July 29, 2011

We've Moved

To: Life by the Lamp
See the previous post if you'd like to know more about the change.

Why, oh why, can't I link words to the website here? I can do it on the NEW site. Hmmmm.
Here it is, to copy and paste:

www.lifebythelamp.blogspot.com

Come join us!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Change

They say it's the only thing you can count on. It's happening all around us, every day. Sometimes it's so gradual that you barely notice, then it catches you by surprise, like realizing that Macrae is almost 5 and beginning Kindergarten! Even though the years went by so fast, we enjoyed each and every day together, and will continue on, with his schooling at home.
My hair is getting longer, with much grayness, or I should say silveriness, as I often remember the words of Albert Dlugos, "My hair is silver, not gray." So with the passage of time comes not only new colors, but new beginnings, and with new beginnings there needs to be some endings.

As I think of the time and energy that homeschooling will require, I also think of the little strings that keep tugging at me to update things like the website and this blog. So I've decided to let them go, cut those strings, and create a fresh new beginning with a blog that is more related to life as we live it, rather than just the farm and the animals. It will be a journal of sorts with bits about our homeschooling activities, creative cooking, spiritual inspirations, the sharing of other blogs that move me to do so, the knitting that keeps me sane, fiber arts, and of course I will occasionally include the animals. As for facebook, you might not see me there as much either, unless I just post a link to the new blog when I update it.

So I hope you all will join me and Macrae on this new adventure into the first year of homeschooling, and blogging about it and our life in general!

My next post will have the name of our new blog home. Come visit!
Blessings to you all!

Alpacas



I was very fortunate to be invited to the Todaro Family Reunion last weekend, and meet some wonderful people, alpacas, and buy one of Maria Finegan's first skeins. They have a beautiful farm and gorgeous alpacas!

I keep trying to add a link to their website here, but I don't see it when I post. So here it is, sorry it's not "linked".
www.alpacasofmarbleridge.com

I Won, Twice!

I actually won for my photo entries with the apples and the dragons (see post below)! There were so many beautiful shawls created in this knit-along. I won patterns for Liz Abinante's Citizen Shawl & Traveling Scarf. Yay!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Knits

I've been having fun working with some awesome natural fiber yarns that I picked up while on the Northern NJ Yarn Crawl. Here are some pics of the projects I've completed (before summer starts and I can't sit still long enough to knit!)

Above is a neck wrap make with bamboo yarn which has a small thread twisted around it to give it a little shine. It's so warm!


This was my first attempt at a tank top. I love the styling and the bamboo blend yarn.
(It was too chilly on photo day to model it without the shirt underneath.)

And THIS is knitted with an awesome 100% cotton yarn that was spun in Chile, goes from thin to chunky, and was hand dyed. It's so "me" that I called the shop I got it from and bought all that they had left. Stay tuned for pics of my Green High Line wrap, knitted from this Nature Cotton.



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Off-Grid Nightlight


This is my Mothers' Day find in New Hope. It's a mini oil lamp!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Clue 2 Photo


I've been working on my first knit-a-long (KAL) which is a Mystery Shawl. I have no idea what it's going to look like when finished. There's a photo contest for each weekly clue, and we're supposed to be creative with it. So here's the finished knitting for clue #2 and the photo I submitted.

Eggs


The hens took the winter to rest up and now they are working overtime supplying us with fresh eggs!

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Hen House

The girls are all cozy in their new home. I decided to move the Angora goats down near the Cashmeres and move the chickens closer to the house. They now go through a small door and the roost and laying box are inside the garage. It'll be so much easier to collect eggs and keep it nice and tidy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blue Dart Frog Tadpole!

Remember the 5 baby Blue Dart Frogs?
Well they have grown and proliferated! Here's one carrying a tadpole on its back to drop it into water. They lay the eggs inside the coconut shell that it's sitting on, then move them when they hatch.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Traveling Visitors

A huge Mama bear and her offspring of maybe a year old wandered through the neighborhood today. We followed them for a while, then I called the neighbors and they took over, but couldn't find them right away. They were found resting up against an inflatable pool, probably trying to cool off. Mama is estimated to be about 600 lbs!


video

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Call of the Frog

video

Tonight's Visitor

A gray tree frog is hanging out on the deck railing, calling out for a mate. I took a short video of him (see the post above) but it's blurry and a little dark.



Deck Veggies

Salad mix & potatoes in a trash can:


Pop & Sweet

Corn.
It's amazing how fast it grows!


Veggie Garden





Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring News

It's a gorgeous evening and I'm sitting here on the porch listening to the chorus of spring peepers, wood frogs, toads, green frogs, and someone's peacocks off in the distance. When I first moved to this property I thought that the peacocks were a child screaming, and it was quite creepy. I usually hear them in the afternoon, but now that I know what they are it seems to be a more pleasant sound to my ears.

Sitting here, I'm thinking that I could live outside, and probably be happier and more peaceful, although bug-bitten.....that's what nature does. Oh! I think I might be hearing my first cricket of the season! (and some far-off dogs barking.) Perhaps I shall sleep out here tonight.

I started this post with the thoughts of noting how well things are coming along on the farm this year. All the seeds that I planted are now growing well: beets, carrots, green beans, purple beans, broccoli, yellow squash, peppers, onions, sweet corn, popcorn, & pumpkin. I have a salad garden up on the deck with 5 kinds of leaf lettuce and spinach, tomatoes growing like crazy in the trash can, and herbs: basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, lime thyme, oregano, sage, lemon balm, garlic chives, fennel, and mint. I've also started a small asparagus patch this year, but might not be harvesting any until 2012. The fruit trees are growing nicely, with 7 peaches on that tree! The only thing that's not doing so well are my strawberries. I moved them to a trough planter so the rabbits or deer don't eat them, but maybe they need to get more established. I get some flowers but the fruit doesn't look so good.

All the animals are doing well. I expanded the horse paddock again and am waiting to put them out into the other pasture until the ground dries out more. A new trail has been made and it's going to be a gorgeous ride!
We switched the hens back to pelleted feed and they have been laying more than ever! We get about 5 - 8 eggs per day, minus the ones I drop or Macrae pokes too hard. I can't imagine ever living without laying hens and fresh eggs again. It's so awesome to think that you'll never go hungry because you can just go collect the eggs!
All the goats are doing well with free-range time almost daily. I was a little worried that the cashmeres would take off, but they all stay close by and as soon as they think a little grain might be offered they come running. It's funny how we let them out and the angoras go into the cashmeres' pen. I guess they are just being nosy.
I can't forget to mention one of the most important animals on the farm, Rowan the Boxer. She's still doing her job well, keeping all the goats in the back of the house, and informing me of any visitors. She's still tolerating Macrae's pinches, ear pulls, hits, and shoves as if they don't bother her. She also pals around with the mini chihuahua, Chloe, like they are best buds. I tend to take her for granted, but she's the best dog ever.

Well, the chorus has died down, and now I'm hearing an occasional bullfrog croak. I guess it's time to say good-night. I hope you are all well!
I'll try to post some pics soon.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Here Yesterday, Gone Today

Darn deer ate my strawberries! At least they didn't carry away the plants this time. I can't figure out how to live peacefully with the wildlife when they keep eating my food.

So far today the garden beds were filled and sectioned off, beets and carrots were sown, and some fencing was reinforced. I wish I could afford either picket fencing for around the garden, heavy duty deer fencing for around the front of the property, OR really cool high wall fencing (like stone walls maybe, with moss growing on it) around the entire property with gates to go through! If I had the high walls I just might let the goats and horses roam free. Oh no, then I'd STILL have to fence off the front of the property to keep THEM out.

As for the animals, the angora and cashmere goats are free ranging today and staying somewhat close to the horses. The horses are still in the small paddock because the ground is too wet in the larger pasture, and I don't want them to tear up the grass I planted in there last year. As soon as I am off this blog I'm going out to expand the paddock area (again) towards the back pond where there's a lot of barberry bushes. To my surprise I've learned that MY horses love to eat them as much as the goats....and of course I want to be rid of them! So hopefully the goats will follow the horses in that direction and gorge themselves on those prickly eats. Hopefully they will be here today and gone tomorrow. Too bad I can't get the darn deer to eat them. Maybe if I spray them with some strawberry scent?