Friday With Finn

Happy Friday to everyone!  It’s beautiful here in the country today!  On my walk with my trusty companion, I happened upon a couple of plants with very similar leaves: Gooseberry and Viburnum.  Can you tell which is which?

Which one is Viburnum? Which one is Gooseberry?

Hmmmm……the one on the left is the Viburnum.  This gets enormous and is a bird habitat.  The flowers look like snowballs.  In fact, some people call it the “Snowball Bush.”  The gooseberries can get out of control if I don’t prune them.  They produce a tart berry that is great in pies or jam.  One of my Grandmothers LOVED Gooseberry pie!  Birds love these, too, and have been responsible for planting several baby gooseberries all over our little farm.  Often I find them springing up underneath apple trees.

Right now, there are only leaves, but soon there will be buds.  Looking forward to that.

Here’s what my buddy loves to do on a day like today:

Have a wonderful weekend!  Blessings to you all.

Wendy

Friday Without Finn

Last week I ventured South to visit my siblings, siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, grand-nephew, and my dear, old friend.  Finn stayed behind up North with Farmer Joel.  It was wonderful to see everyone!  One of my loved ones fell ill, so I was happy I was there to pitch in and do what I could to help.  I had loads of fun with my grand-nephew!

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Ok, so now come on, you have to admit that he’s about the cutest little pumpkin you’ve ever seen, yes?  (I’m not biased in the least, ha ha!).

He says things like, “Ka-boo” for “Peek-a-boo,” and has quite an otherwise extensive vocabulary.  He’ll be 2 in February.  It was delightful to play with him.  He was a little shy with me at first since I don’t see him very often, but by Day Three, he was holding out his arms for his Aunt “Winnie.” Melt my heart!     ❤

I miss this little guy so much already!

 

I also got to see my niece, and she allowed me some time with her doggie since I couldn’t be with my Finn.

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I’m so glad I got to have that visit.  I wish we all lived closer to one another.  At least we’re in the same time zone!  Now that I’m back up in the cold, shivery North, I think about my recent trip and feel a lot warmer.

Oh, and since this summer, with the help of Heidi, Elaine, and Emer, I am now knitting again.  My mother taught me to knit many years ago(as well as crochet, sew, embroider, needlepoint, cook, bake, garden, play piano, etc…..), but I lost interest very quickly.  I’ve since picked it up again, and I’m working on two scarves, plus a blanket square.  A shout-out goes to Tina from Mountain Yarns, who has been patiently coaching me.  If you haven’t tried knitting, I highly recommend it.  It is a very peaceful, relaxing hobby. (except when you have to rip out 20 rows of stitches…)

Have a lovely day and a wonderful weekend!

Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Friday with Finn

Yes, it’s been awhile.  I’ve moved twice in the last two years….just from one “Town Mouse House” to another.  We’ve spent a good deal of time fixing up the “Country Mouse House.”  This year, we concentrated on the gardens and planted a wee orchard.  Of course, our goal is to continue to find ways towards better self-sufficiency.  Growing more fruit could help us do just that.

Here is a little peak at what Finn is doing right now:

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What a life he has.  He does have a very expressive face, as well.  Here is Finn with a smile:

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Now that we have the Finn update, I’ll fill you in on the orchard.  We already inherited several types of OLD apple trees.  Among them are crab apples, and what appear to be Golden Delicious.  The main type of apple tree bears a fruit that resembles MacIntosh apples, but they seem to be a bit sweeter.  We put a tree in the ground several years ago and forgot about it.  Last year, it was filled with apples.  It is a “Columnar” tree, and almost just as soon as it fruited, the fruit vanished.  It is a fairly tall tree, so Farmer Joel decided it must have been the work of a giraffe :D.

This year, the trees we planted were: 5 heirloom apple, 2 pear, 2 cherry, 2 paw paw, 2 mulberry, 2 walnut, 2 hazelnut.  We also planted 4 blueberry bushes and 3 red currants.  Of these, it looks like we only lost 1 walnut, the 2 hazelnut, and 1 or 2 of the currants.  Since we already had 4 blueberry bushes, we hope to increase our blueberry yield.  Blueberries are very popular in our family, as you know.  We also already have established gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, and rhubarb.

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That’s our little orchard.  We put chicken wire cages around each tree, as well as mulch.  We’re hoping to increase the number of trees next year, but not by such a great number.  As Farmer Joel was digging the holes(I did help with some of them), he was muttering something about being able to live long enough to actually eat some of the fruit and nuts.  Hehehehe…….

Plant your food trees and shrubs and perennials this spring – don’t wait!  The sooner you do, the sooner you will reap the fruits of your labor!  Also, you have the whole winter to plan where you’ll put everything.

Since we are in the Northeast, we had good luck with the trees we ordered from Fedco, as well as from Raintree.  Enjoy the nice weather while we still have it.  And happy weekend!

Wendy

Wisteria

The pruning has begun!  Yes, it is winter, but according to my sources, it is the best time to begin pruning…..at least SOME plants.

If you will recall the unruly wisteria:

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I trimmed it back to a point, so it will hopefully shape up this spring.

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Soon, I will have to focus on the crazy crabapple:

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Another rear-view of the house:

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Someone was watching me…..

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Don’t worry, I took him out, too.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Start thinking about pruning if you haven’t already!

Wendy

 

The New Year 2016

May 2016 bring you health and joy.  In spite of all my good intentions, I didn’t post nearly as much as I would have liked last year.  We were in the thick of a very massive renovation at Country Mouse House, and we moved Town Mouse House TWICE!

All things considered, we are holding up well.  I’m still vegan.  Our Holiday season was joyful.  All of my children were home for Christmas, and I don’t think there is much else in this world that makes me happier than having everyone home and together.  It was relaxing and so much fun.

A significant thing that Farmer Joel and I did last year – we both became Certified Permaculture Designers.  We took a course and met some pretty cool people.  We received our certificates upon completion.  We are hoping to use our knowledge to create a more efficient and beautiful farm.  I will expand on that more in a future post.  Meanwhile, some photos:

If you’ll recall, last year, this is what the back of the Country Mouse House looked like:

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Then, it began its transformation:

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And now, nearing completion, from a different angle:

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Finally, with a back porch:

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Here’s some winter beauty for you:

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I also wanted to share some seemingly random things.  It’s been so long since I’ve shared anything that I feel the need to catch up a little bit.  Here is Finn in a new sweater:

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This is Rocket, my “Grand-dog,” dressed as a reindeer for Christmas:

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An edible wreath for a New Year’s Day party over at Lisa’s(I added the vegan ranch dressing when I got there):

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Now, for the gardening portion of our program…..It’s time to start pruning.  I have a wisteria, and it’s a little out of control.  I found out the times of year to prune are January-February AND July-August.  I will be pruning soon!  Meanwhile, here is what it looks like right now:

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The roses shall be pruned when the forsythia blooms.  The weather is so unpredictable, I’m not sure when that will be.  Here are the roses:

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A little wild and crazy, yes?

I wasn’t wearing the proper footwear when I was taking pictures:

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Oh well.  May you stay warm, safe, and dry this weekend.  Avoid going out if there are heavy snows in your area.  Enjoy!

Wendy

Friday with Finn

Hello again!  We have been swallowing plaster dust due to a repair that has been ongoing at Town Mouse House.  A leaky roof caused a bubbly ceiling and wall, which led to ripping out wallboard, etc.  The roof needs to be repaired, but no one can get up there while there are ice dams forming everyday.  What a winter!

Since this is a rental apartment, we have no say in the order of how things are done.  They just sealed up the ceiling without having repaired the roof.  The good news is, since we don’t own it, it isn’t our financial headache.  We just have to eat the dust for awhile.

Since it’s Friday, though, I thought I would post a smiling dog photo or two:

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And here is one where you can see his eyes a little better:

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Finn lights up our lives every day!  I didn’t want to post the ceiling photos because they just are not very much fun.  Besides, wouldn’t you rather look at photos of a very sweet, cute pup?  I know I would!

Have a great weekend!

Wendy