"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is your house a home?

Last night Cindy, our momma cat, was picked up to try and become a hero to 3 babies whose momma was hit by a car. Her kittens don't need her anymore, so it seemed like a hopeful option. [I'll let ya know if she came through and accepted the new kittens like her own]

So, great ladies from Kitten Krazy came out to my place to pick Cindy up. When they arrived, I was just walking Gypsy out to the pasture....in blue sweats, a green turtle neck {hey, it's windy and in the 50's} and a stained hooded jacket! I am sure I looked real presentable...as many of my family members always remind me. My response is always "hey I wanna look beautiful for my horses" ;)

So, after I get the horses out, we descend into the house to get Cindy. da da dummmmm! The majority of our floors are wood, not carpeted, so living on a farm and having two dogs and an indoor cat, plus shedding season in the barn, I must vacuum daily! I hadn't yet vacuumed yesterday as I usually do it after dinner. I had laundry all over the kitchen table that I was folding from the night prior but then got too tired to put away. I had grocery bags all over the kitchen counters because feeding animals comes first when we get home ;)

Even the kitten room hadn't yet had it's even cleaning. Would they be mortified?! Would they scream and run away? Nah...they know the drill! They understand how it goes.

So I ask, is your house a home? Does your home look lived in? Or does it look pristine and untouchable? My home might not make it into the pages of a Country Living magazine anytime soon, but it is a HOME and that works for me :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend in Review - Animals in Need

Remember the horse rescue neglect case I mentioned last week? Here are a few pictures of some of the horses we rescued. Sad, Sad, Sad.

This mare is 30-ish years old.

This poor gelding is 8 and that is our barn manager with him.

This is a 5 year old mare on the left and the 8 year old gelding on the right.
Anyone who would like to learn more about this rescue I work [volunteer] with, please visit H.O.P.E. Horse Rescue.

And hubby and I weighed the kittens this weekend. Not quite 2 pounds yet....once they are two pounds, they can be fixed and placed up for adoption. Anyone interested in learning more about the kitten rescue my husband and I foster for can visit Kitten Krazy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Evening Etsy 'Vegetable' Finds

Whew.....Finally! I get to sit down ;) Yesterdays horse rescue was a success in that we were able to get the horses out of their neglect situation and into comfortable stalls with hay & water!

Today Allen tilled the gardens while I had to work. We may try to plant our herbs tomorrow and since we are not in the clear for evening frosts, we'll just cover them if one comes through.

So, as we prepare our gardens for transplant, my Etsy finds were uncovered using the search term 'Vegetable'!

First, this adorable vegetable garden bags from Vintage Green Limited. They are hand stamped and wouldn't they be so cute to take to the farmers market with you? :)
How about this piece of stained glass art for your kitchen window - super neat! Check out all the stained glass art at Beged-Dov Stained Glass

This bag kinda goes along with my motto on our orchard website, 'Eat Fresh, Be Healthy, Buy Local'! It's organic and there is fruit ON the bag...what not to like!? Check it out at American Jane Mercantile and you can also friend them on Facebook!

This wouldn't be an Etsy Finds post on 'vegetable' without actual vegetables now would it!? How about these Heirloom Cosmic Purple Carrot seeds? Check out Azure Dandelion if you are looking for heirloom seeds to plant in your garden. You won't be disappointed!

How about this print with a beet in it? Isn't is unique? Something about it just draws me in!
Check out Trumbly Designs for a print to add to your home!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oy! *Sigh*

Whew - another day bites the dust...just as I am about too.

Today was a 'why me' world in the realm of animals! I had Whinny throwing up god knows what in the morning and came home to ungodly things in the kitten room :/ *GACK* I won't give details, just know I was in tears and swore off anymore kitten litter fosters....until one of the kittens climbed up on Allen's boot, let a leg swing down the side of it and looked up at me with a "I'm sorry, don't be sad" face!! *sigh*

Tomorrow we'll be doing the horse rescue I mentioned the other night. This will all take place after work so it'll be a long day for me. And to top it off, after all the mental exhaustion I have gone through this week with this neglect case, I STILL get emails from IDIOTS who want to get rid of their horse just because they can no longer ride it. NO! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!! And if the horse has a condition that could cause it pain, do the right thing and humanely euthanize it if it cannot be medically corrected. DON'T threathen me that you will have no choice but to take it to an auction if we cannot save it. DANG PEOPLE *sigh*

So, I need to hit the sack asap to be geared up for tomorrow. Let's end the night with some signs of spring around here on the farm!

Lilacs in Bloom

Tulips are my favorite

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Food, Inc.

Who is planning to tune in this evening for the television premier of Food, Inc. ?

I've seen it. I liked it. Some things were real eye openers. Some things didn't surprise me.

Regardless of whether or not you would ever be willing to change the types of the food you consume, i.e. red meat, becoming vegan, etc..., at least watch this with an open mind and consider where you purchase your food from.

At the very least, I hope you watch and are inspired to buy as much FRESH local food as you can. And I don't mean local as in your local super market. (Watch and you will see what I mean) Local as in your local farmer's markets and CSA programs. Those types of avenues.

Like I say on the Orchard's website,

'Eat Fresh, Be Healthy, Buy Local'

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cat Fight Continued

Ok, sorry about that. I just couldn't bring myself to tell a story by the time I sat down last night to type ;)

So, let's 'reconvene' and get back to what I tried to start yesterday.

First things first - all that wonderfully warm weather we experienced a few weeks back pushed our orchard trees 2 weeks ahead of schedule and now, with these terrible evening frosts, we cannot keep on our fungicide spray schedule and the frost is really doing some damage to our blooms :( We don't quite know yet how much of the crop may be lost.

I have been working all week on an urgent case of horse neglect. We (the rescue I volunteer with) were contacted by a local APL group to help with a case of 12 horses in severe neglect....which means I need to find 12 foster homes/stalls asap. I am still working on it, but I must say the networking in the horse community just by me sending out one email and facebook post has been unbelievably wonderful! If anyone reading this has played a part in networking, thank you thank you thank you.

And now, for my husbands nightly drama ;) Of course, anytime I don't come home straight from work, my phone is bound to ring with some kind of "issue". Last night, it was regarding our cats! You all know Savannah - the farm manager, the killer barn cat. You can read one of her latest episodes here.....and most of you know Mag-Pie :) Our newest addition, who is an indoor cat and doesn't like other cats! Or just check out both their profiles here!

I believe I have mentioned on here before that they fight through the patio door. No big deal with the glass between them; a tad more of an issue when I leave just the screen door between them. (My poor screen. I'd be too embarrassed to post a pic of it!) So, as the 'vague' story goes, Allen looked over to the house last night and realized the screen door was open, heard some noise and then looked over to the herb garden and saw black. He realized it was Maggie. Maggie had somehow gotten out of the house AND she was fighting with Savannah in the herb garden. OY!

So, Allen runs over and they both then proceed to run in the house!! Maggie ran behind the couch and Savannah ended up running back outside. Allen tried to check Maggie to see if she was ok and she keep 'sassing' him and wouldn't let him near her. By the time I came home, Ms. Priss, aka Savannah, was standing in stoic form next to Allen in the garage. Maggie was back at the screen door and let me scoop her right up and love her.

All seems fine. *sigh* But never a dull moment.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A 'Cat' Fight

Wow - these days are whirling by...........ahhhh forget it. I am about to try typing with one eye open. I think I will just call it a night.

We'll reconvene here tomorrow for an update on a.) Allen's cat fight, b.) a horse rescue and c.) apple crops and frost damage

Sleep Tight!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wild Violet Jelly

On Friday a friend posted a recipe for Wild Violet Jelly!
I decided to give it a try since we have wild violets EVERYWHERE!
Here is the link to the actual recipe we used.
Below is a 'pic-tory' [story in pictures] of my adventure in making wild violet jelly!

Hubby picking violets!

The water turns a beautiful blue color while they steep; I let mine steep overnight.

See the blue?

Then, when you add the lemon juice, the water turns purple!

Finished Product! It wasn't bad at all :) So we went back out last night and picked more ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earth Day Etsy Finds

Earth Day is upon us - have any plans? We'll be working on getting in our gardens and hopefully, weather pending, getting another spray of fungicide on the orchard. I'm watching the rain clouds rolling and hindering the beautiful sunrise as I type.

So, in honor is Earth Day, I found some new Favorite Etsy finds using search terms like 'earth' and 'earth day' :) Enjoy!

These 'Longies' are made from recycled wool and are SOOO cute! I would love to see my nephew Benny Boo running around in them! They are made by Treebottom Wool and are on sale! There is some ca-ute things in this shop! And you can follow their blog for updates too.

A sucker for anything equine, I instantly fell in love with this painting! It would mesh so well in almost any room in my home! Diana has many wonderful paintings in her shop, Lancaster Art, and many equine ones; if you are a horse lover, you will fall in love! Check out her blog too!

Love this dress! it's made of vintage fabric by Chabri -fashions- and they offer FREE shipping in the US! Lots of natural, earthy outfits here, check them out! Fan them on Facebook

And, what better to reflect Earth Day than this lovely photograph! How serene. You can find it in IS Photography; Irene says she is a 'purveyor of little poems for the eyes' :) Visit her blog too.

And here is a sneak peak of something I started last night and plan to finish up today ;) More to come soon.......

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Attack

Tonight I was attacked.
I was attacked by......da da dummmm, the Farm Manager.

That witch! Now I feel for the mice...and rabbits....and birds......

She was fighting with Magpie through my patio screen door and I tried to break it up. She turned - and then took it out on my legs! There are puncture wounds and I immediately doused them in alcohol. If I wake up looking like an elephant, she may be fired from her position!

My camera bit the dust at the most inopportune time - SPRING! While everything is in bloom :/ So I have to rely on the cell cam for now. Here is my beautiful Magnolia bush in FULL bloom. this time next week, all those petals will probably be on the ground.
And I thought I would throw in a few pics of our orchard trees as of this evening. We are about 2 weeks ahead of schedule in where the trees should be due to the unseasonably warm weather we've had. This can be a scary thing for apple famer's since it can still drop down to frost temperatures. Where our trees are at now in the growing stage, the frost could kill off our whole crop :/ Keep you fingers crossed that doesn't happen.

Apple Tree at the 'pink' stage....next is bloom!

Pear Tree at Bloom

A few Pears at Bloom and a few at 'White Bud'

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Farm Comparison

I am still to tired to even *think* about rehashing my weekend.

Tonight [and tomorrow night] I am in a hotel, out of town for work. Allen also seems to get jealous when I have to take this small day or two trips for work because he views it as a vacation away from farm work! I always think he is crazy....regardless of the work, I'd rather be at home on my farm with all my animals :) Snuggling with a hotel pillow is nothing like snuggling with a hound!

On the flip side though, I guess I can kinda see his perspective. Let's compare shall we?

Home: No room service with my breakfast and coffee
Nice* Hotel: Breakfast and coffee delivered to my door at the time I specify

Home: Wake up when the rooster crows and work my butt off before I get to work
Nice* Hotel: Wake up with the alarm, get dressed, go to meetings

Home: I cook dinner and hope it is good
Nice* Hotel: I order a fine dining dinner while I sip on wine waiting for it to be prepared for me

Home: stalls, litter boxes and dog poo to clean
Nice* Hotel: ehhh, anti-bacterial wipe the tv remote??!!

Home: Rip my hair out brushing it after a shower because of the hard water
Nice* Hotel: Brush out my silky smooth hair straight out of the shower

Home: Hurry up and shower because the water is hard & the water pressure isn't all that great
Nice* Hotel: Stand underneath their AWESOME shower head for hours

*Nice = the kind of hotel I only SOMETIMES get when I have to go out of town.

Ok, I digress. All these things about a hotel may sound wonderful....but let's be honest. I am NOT the one paying for them and nothing beats waking up with the sun to hear my horses whinny for their breakfast...to walk my dogs in the orchard watching the sun rise......to smell the pot of coffee my husband put on.......the snuggle with my pups while I doze off......there is no place like home there is no place like home there is no place like home *click click*.....Dang, these ruby slippers aren't working. I am still looking out a window that won't open and has a view of high rises.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Behind on Etsy Finds!

Oh my goodness - what a weekend. I am S-P-E-N-T!
I know, I feel like I say that all the time, but......

So anyways, I am off the farm, out of town for work tomorrow through Wednesday so maybe tomorrow night while I am hanging in the hotel, I will rehash the weekend in blog format. For now, let's get caught on up my favorite Etsy finds of the week that I should have posted yesterday morning.

Ok, I LOVE this necklace. I love the turquoise and the antiquish feel of it! You can find it at the Botanical Bird shop on Etsy; it's all nature inspired jewelry!

What about these upcycled IBC Cream Soda bottles that are now beverage glasses! I love all kinds of unique glasses...or any kind of plates, silverware etc in my kitchen! These would be the perfect addition. You can find them at the Yava Glass shop on Etsy.

Ekkkk! I have two nieces that would both look adorable in this skirt by Gock's Frocks. I am a sucker for multiple fabrics on one item or patchwork of any kind...things of that nature.

These are gorgeous! Handmade felted slippers. Love 'em! Check them out at A Life Crocheted
If you find anything you simply cannot live without, purchase it and they'll reimburse you 15% if you mention my blog :)

Just looking at this picture soothes all the nerves and anxiety I have right now! And then when I say that it is an organic hoodie wrap, I just want to melt away in lavender! Check it out in Enuwbe on Etsy; all organic, sustainable, eco friendly clothing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I did it!

I am proud to shamlessly plug myself and the website I have created for our orchard! I have no clue what I am doing, so I am pretty pleased with it thus far.

Please check it out and give me some feedback. Lemme know if you see any typos!



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Random Mid-Week Ramblings

Thank goodness this hump day is almost over ... this week has been draggin' for me. Hubby has been on vacation and even though he has spent 98.9% of his time working on the farm, I am still jealous. I'd rather be doing that too instead of going to work!

Monday evening after all was done, we transplanted our herbs into larger pots to prep them for the great outdoors! I also failed to mentioned that when we moved them [while in their trays] to this spot you see them in now, on Sunday, when we came home from visiting family, Maggie had dumped one of them and then made a MESS out of it. Hence the chairs you may notice blocking the herbs off in this pic. I was a tad peeved but we should have know better. I did loose a few onion plants in her massacre :(

We've got some Italian, Sweet and Purple Basil in there as well as Cilantro, Oregano, Parley, Sage, Rosemary, Dill and Thyme.

This evening we planted our tomato, tomatillo and eggplant seeds. The eggplant is Slim Jim variety courtesy of Daphne's Dandelions.

Allen finished all pruning that needed done in the orchard and also got half of the rows prunings picked up off the ground.

We have a lot of trees already almost past the half inch green stage so I am not sure that we'll be able to get the oil on. I am not too concerned as last year we also missed oiling; we didn't have the tractor or sprayer in time.

Apple Ready to Blossom

Pear Buds
And of course, it wouldn't be a normal couple of months if I didn't get a call about a loose animal in my yard while at work *sigh* You can read about past mishaps here and here.
This time I knew the caller [Allen] and the culprit [Whinny]. Allen seemed more relaxed than usual...ok, except when Whinny got close to the pasture since the horses were out.....and from what I understand, she even took repeated dives into the SWAMP back in the woods. From what I also understand, Allen also had his cell to try and capture a picture!?
Of course, after 45 minutes of playing cat and mouse, he gave up, went back to the house, started the truck, got Mossy in, and went driving back to look for her. As soon as he spotted her again, he revved the truck engine, said "Whinny let's go bye-bye" and the rest is history. She came running, jumped right in, gave her daddy a sad puppy dog look and they went home....to shower.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fighting Frustration, Finding Motivation

I don't want to 'complain' about my day job. I consider myself lucky that I have a steady paying job with a stable company that provides me with a paycheck. Especially with all those out there that need jobs and cannot find one. I have a nice boss who tolerates my craziness, bringing in sick kittens to work and having them roam my office or understanding what I do here on the farm. She used to live on a Dairy farm - she gets it.

When I get up in the morning, I am gung-ho, ready to go and get the day started. (Ok, after my coffee). I get to work and get moving all the while making a mental to-do list and thinking about all the things I need to and will do when I get home. (And thinking of how much I could accomplish if I WAS home!) Especially now, during the Spring, when so much needs done. But it never fails, by the time 3:30ish rolls around, I have yet one more hour left at work and am worn down. My enthusiasm and eagerness to get home and work till I drop has faded. And I am sad; I want to do everything on my mental to do list, but physically, I am spent.

This is why it stinks sometimes to have hobbies you are so passionate about, that require 24 hours of your time a day if possible, but still have to go to a day job. It eats my mojo - know what I mean? I would LOVE to work sun up to sun down, day in and day out, outside on our farm. But the sad reality is, we couldn't afford it, at least not right away, if we didn't have those darn day jobs to pay for it. I would love for at least one of us to get to a position where our day job IS the farm, but I don't know if and when that would ever happen.

Weekends are too short. We should switch, 5-day weekend & 2 day work week. Sounds productive to me :)

So when I come home, and I am burnt out before I even start, overwhelmed, frustrated and aggravated, this is where I go to relieve my stress.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Treasured Pieces

Happy Easter! We'll be venturing off the farm today from family to family! Allen dug up some Lilac seedlings from the farm to give to his sisters for Easter. My mom came yesterday and took hers and she dug up our rose bushes. We've decided to use the area where the roses were as an herb garden so my mother, the self proclaimed plant saver, came and took them. It was sad to see them go, but I am not a big rose person and would make better use of the area with all our herbs. My mom has a wonderful 'woodland garden' surrounding her home so they'll fit in just fine there!

Yesterday Allen brought home some treasures from his grandmothers house. Please excuse the pictures! Most are from my cell; the camera ran out of batteries :/

This bookshelf is my FAVORITE! I have been searching for something like this in antique stores forever. We washed it down with some Murphy's oil soap and then lustored it up with some Old English!

He also brought home this wonderful old cedar chest. It opens from the top and smells wonderful, like cedar ;), inside. We've decided to set it by the back sliding door so we can store all our hats, gloves and things of that nature in it. It also comes in handy to sit on when your getting geared up to head outside!

This piece, I am told, is circa late 1800's and was originally used as a wash station. Allen remembers his grandma storing soap and towels in it. And it smells like soap ;) I put a sachet of homegrown lavender in the drawer :) It is SO cute. Right now it is sitting in front of my large kitchen/dining area window. (Yes, that is Apollo sticking his head out his window in the background - look closely!) We're going to transplant all our herbs out from the grow light and into clay pots and set them on here (well... what will fit!) to soak in some natural sunlight!

And, this is my present from the Easter Bunny. He went all the way to Apolloson Acres to pick this bouquet for me!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beautiful Saturday Etsy Finds

Another beautiful sunrise over the orchard this morning and my camera is acting up :/ It has a black blur on the photos :( This morning I have to take Celia (and Momma Cindy and the rest of the litter) to have her eye checked up on again by the vet. I am guessing I'll also have to finish this post when I get back so by the end, I may have an update on Celia and her eye for you!

On to this weeks Etsy Finds :)

I happened upon this watch by Watches by Helen. I love the copper paired with the green! She also has some great earrings in her shop to for all you earring wear'ers :) Helen is also an animal lover and rescued her pets - Go Helen!!

Of course, I feel I NEED this wallet since it has a pear & apple tree print! By Blue Planet Creations Ilove their slogan - 'Handmade Goods for Kind People'! Check out all the fabulous stuff they offer.

Aren't these great! They are made in Europe by Inga and she tells me "absolutly ecological wool, sheep population is 134 sheep only." WOW - awesome! Although I am sure they wish they had more sheep. Check out all the adorable slippers in her shop, Bure-bure.

LOVE this photo! Anything farm related obviously but I love silos :) There is a farm down the road from me with one and when I drive to work I love to see the sun come up over it. This photograph has such mystery to it! Check out Heather Exley Art Photography - I love the amusement park pictures and the mystery so many of her photos seem to hold!

And last, but certainly not least, this darn stinkin' cute mug with a sheep etched into it! I am a tad of a mug collector....among other things....whenever I go somewhere I like to bring a mug back. This mug is dishwasher safe too! Bonus!! Check out all the great things in Whimsical Wares.
Enjoy your Saturday and your holiday if you are celebrating Easter tomorrow! I finished this post just in the nick of time. Now off to the vet with Celia (and her crew!).
**UPDATE** Celia is 'status quo' but looking good. I had the nice vet this morning that specializes in cats & kittens! Yahoo! We'll keep on with the ointment 3x/day and antibitoic fluid 2x/day and go back for a check-up Friday after work. I asked the doctor if she thought Celia would have sight in that eye and she is hopeful; it may require a minor 'scapel surgey' but she said it is no big deal.