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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday with Finn

Happy Friday to you all!  Since it is still brutally cold out, I will share with you a bit more of the indoors at Country Mouse House:

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You see, there is this rather deep green-blue color that runs throughout the house on much of the woodwork.  My vision,(since I can’t strip it down to the bare wood and stain it) is to paint the majority of it White Dove(Benjamin Moore).  The reason I say I can’t strip the paint is that I’m unsure if there is lead paint involved, and I don’t have any way of finding out.  Plus it would be a rather large mess, and I’m trying to remove and prevent as many messes as possible.

The thing is, one coat of primer looks like this:

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It takes several coats before the green-blue color is gone.  Therefore the update is pending….hopefully it will be done before spring, as I have MUCH to do in the garden!  We have some trees to plant, for starters.

May I send you off to your weekend with a smile from our beloved Finn:

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Happy Friday!

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

Friday with Finn

Happy Friday!  It’s almost Valentine’s Day!  Woo hoo!  In addition to Joel, I love to give Valentines to my kids and my doggie.  Speaking of said doggie, I was trying to get artistic as the sunlight was pouring in today:

FullSizeRender (3)Here is a close-up which keeps the sunlight from altering the photo too much:

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And now for a final, “artistic” photo of my beloved Finn(note his messy toys in the background):

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I may just have to come up with a heart-shaped dog treat for him!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!  Enjoy your weekend, and do something loving for yourself as well as for others.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Wendy

Friday with Finn

Happy Friday!  To send you all off for the weekend with little heads’ up about what Mr. Finn is doing:

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It looks like he’s half in/half out of his little bed.  When I can’t find him elsewhere in the house, I can usually find him here.  Once he caught a glimpse of me, he returned to his relaxed position:

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Oh, to be a dog…..(sigh)

I love my dog.  Do you have a pet that is wrapped around your heart?

Have a wonderful weekend filled with love!

Wendy

What’s been going on…

Since y’all know of our losses this year, we are just trying to take life day by day.  I love the sunshine, but I seem to over-heat when I am out in it too long, so as a result, the garden is starting to look a bit shaggy.

I have so many pending projects indoors, too.  Besides rooms to paint, all kinds of things to fix, caulk, maintain, etc., I am teaching myself to crochet.  I once had a basic knowledge of crochet that grew quite rusty over time.  My Mom left behind numerous crochet hooks, skeins/balls of yarn, as well as knitting needles.  She knew how to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider.  She was very creative and loved pretty colors.  Her flower garden was gorgeous.  She used to cut flowers and bring them in to display in vases.  I guess I inherited her love of flowers and gardens!

She taught me to sew, among many other things.  She tried with the crocheting and knitting, but I was less interested.  Now, however, I wish I could have her coach me and answer my questions!  At the moment, I’ve created a simple project.  I just replaced old, worn out window-shades with simple, white, sailcloth curtains at Country Mouse House.  I need tie-backs, so I am crocheting them!

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I have to make 14 of them because there are, obviously, 7 windows and 2 panels per window.  If you know how to crochet(and you want to do this in your home), I simply start with a chain of about 20, then go back and single crochet through 9 or so(sorry this isn’t exact science, but I am still quite the beginner!), connecting the ends to form the loop.  Then I just single crochet for around 20-21 rows.  After that, I make another chain stitch for 11-12 and connect with a single crochet at the other end.  If you don’t crochet and you would like to do this, might I suggest:

http://www.amazon.com/Crocheting-Dummies-Susan-Brittain-ebook/dp/B003B6QZ6I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405623449&sr=8-1&keywords=crochet+for+dummies

I have found this book to be a big help!

Meanwhile, back in the Town Mouse Garden:

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Truthfully, these were taken a couple of weeks ago.  I just didn’t post them right away.  (That’s why the garden doesn’t look so shaggy yet in these photos.)

I’ll have to give the Country Mouse/Vegetable Garden update soon.  Great food is growin’!

And here is our best buddy, Finn, since he got a heat-relieving hair cut!

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And for an action shot(had to get the scratch!)

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I think he feels so much better now when he goes outside…..and since he is a doggie, he HAS to go outside rather often!

Stay cool and enjoy your day!

Wendy

A Special Wenz Day

Today is my birthday!  Woo hoo!

We’ve had so many sad things befall us in the past few months that I am glad to have a reason to celebrate.  Not only did my Mom pass away suddenly, my Father-in-law passed suddenly as well approximately 2 1/2 months later.  Other things have been happening (one of which I describe in the next paragraph) and believe me, we have had difficulty coming up for air.  This is why I really want to celebrate LIVING today.  I know that is what my Mom and Father-in-law would want.

What to do?  Put up the rhubarb!  But first, I must tell you what happened last week.  I was bitten by what we believe was a deer fly.  Ew.  It bit me on the face above my right eye.  The swelling was atrocious, and it got infected.  After a little research, it turns out the bacteria for Lyme disease is carried by the deer fly as well as the deer tick.  Not only that, there is another bacteria carried by the deer fly which can be pretty horrible.  I went to the doctor and I am now on antibiotics, as if I had Lyme disease, which I might, but we won’t know for sure for another week when I have blood drawn.  Either way, I feel it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

I have had to come up with a new get-up for outdoor work.  Child #2 said I resemble Jessica Lange in “American Horror Story.”  I’ll take the Jessica Lange part, but, well, I guess the look is kind of horrifying:

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Joel, in his charmingly sarcastic way, says that I look “fetching.”  (He’s the best husband ever)  A breakdown of my trend-setting fashion statement is as follows:

Dust mask – keeps the allergens away from my nose and mouth, plus holds back the bug-attracting carbon dioxide a little bit

Sunglasses – these have my reading lenses in the bottom half, which come in handy when I am dealing with little seeds and such

Hat – gotta have a hat for gardening……keeps sun and glare away plus helps protect against sunburn

Mosquito Net – I got this here.  It can be tucked into the collar of your shirt if you have a collar.  When finished with gardening, you can re-use this on Safari….

Not pictured – Long-sleeved shirt(light-colored), long pants, socks and sturdy shoes, garden gloves, sunblock, and spray-on insect repellent(I spray it on my skin and on the outside of my clothes).  I also have a little battery-powered thing that clips onto my pocket which is supposed to keep the bugs away.

What things do you do to keep the buggies at bay?

Now, onward to the task at hand….

YUMMY RHUBARB!

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That is what my rhubarb looks like ripe.  It’s not that ruby-red color, but it is organically grown, heirloom rhubarb.  That patch has been growing at Country Mouse House for longer than the oldest neighbors can remember.  I’ve given whole plants away and it seems to renew it’s own vigor.  I gave a couple of plants to Lisa and she now has a constant yield second only to my own.

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Here is the rhubarb with leaves in tact.  Remember, don’t eat the leaves!  They are poison!  (Apparently some snails don’t know this, or are immune, so they eat the leaves anyway)  Below is what the flower looks like on a rhubarb plant.  I pull these off so the plant can put the energy back into the rhubarb stalks.

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Below is the rhubarb patch from another angle.  In the foreground is a horseradish plant.  I put that in last year as a tiny baby and it is really taking off.  If you look closely you can see spindly baby asparagus, too.  Only 3 of my 6 asparagus starts made it through the winter, so I added a few more this year, marked by those broken sea shell pieces.  (Sea shells can add nutrients to the garden.  The only other thing I add to this patch is composted manure 1-2 times per year.)  I also have Columbine growing here.  Columbine and rhubarb get along very well in the garden and help each other grow and stay healthy.

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GETTING READY!

photo (41)I picked up these beautiful blue canning jars last year at the local crafts’ store and never used them.  Now I’m breaking them out!  (or in?)

Check out Finn copping a snooze in the background.

Who’s doing a little bit of Spring-harvest canning?  Recipes, anyone?

I will let you know how it goes!

Have a deliciously wonderful day!

Wendy