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TAKE Control Of Your Food — STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

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TAKE Control Of Your Food — STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

The Whole30 Program In A Nutshell

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

I lost 22 lbs in 30 days – I Feel Terrific 

Eight different friends and relatives have communicated with me as they watched my 30 day journey. They wanted information and started the Whole30 program themselves. I decided a blog entry would be a better way of sharing the information.  If not you?  Who??  You may not be interested for yourself but you many know someone (or many) who would be interested. Please, feel free to share!

For over two years I had been eating carefully and working to lose some weight! NOTHING was happening – NOTHING!  I am on medications for borderline blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. I know that these and other drugs interfere with weight loss.  It was a long time friend who told me about Whole30!  She has several years on me and takes many times more medications.  Her Doctor told her to do the Whole30 program and that she would lose weight even without increased exercise (bad knees).  She did and SHE DID lose 20 pounds in the 30 days!

I decided it was well worth a try after 2 years of no results!!  I started June 26th and did not stray for 30 days with the exception of ONE ear of corn on the cob which you will see below and which, as I enjoyed it, I did not know I was straying.

It is simple to start! Initially you just need the The Whole30 Program In A Nutshell , The Shopping List to guide you and the receipt for making your own Mayonnaise. (There will be more on making your own Mayo below!) Once you start making it fresh, you will never want to go back to the additive laced commercial “stuff”!

I had/have no interest in preparing three meals a day! (That as the hardest change for me, I had been eating two, breakfast and supper). I also have no issue with eating cold food!  Particularly this time of year. My system was to cook in bulk and have what I needed ready to pull from the refrigerator. Daily cooking was limited to scrambling eggs in the morning, often with sweet peppers, mushrooms and chives.

Steaming is my friend!  and a good way to prepare a big batch of assorted healthy vegetables

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

Here you see a selection of healthy vegetables ready to be steamed. The first picture was taken before I piled the kale on top! Red cabbage, cauliflower, sweet potato, butternut squash, rainbow carrots and Brussels sprouts. I used the local, organic kale under my breakfast eggs and my protein servings.

When it came to protein, I would bake a batch of boneless chicken w/ some Olive Oil & Seasonings

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!.

Turkey or ground beef burgers would be cooked on top of the stove in batches using olive oil. Fish would be fresh for the meal!  Sardines and canned tuna would either be made into salad w/ homemade mayo or just dumped on the mixed greens as part of the salad.  Chicken salad became a favorite of mine – chopped/shredded chicken, celery, onions, red grapes and homemade mayo makes a delicious chicken salad.

Let’s discuss the Mayo here before we talk about the meals which are FULL plates of deliciousness.

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

For your first time making this Mayo, do a single batch!  The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the oil MUST go in SLOWLY!  Otherwise you have a runny mess which you can still use as a salad dressing on your salads.  For me, I found the best way is to use a tsp to take the olive oil from the measuring cup and drizzle it in from the measuring spoon! It works for me every time.  I double the dry mustard and the lemon juice. Now I make double batches and am adding various seasonings and herbs.  WHEN YOU DOUBLE, you still only but 1/4 cup of olive oil in to start – doubling the other ingredients but not the oil!  Then you drizzle 2.25 cups of oil.  I will never go back to commercial.  Potato Salads and Chicken Salads are delicious when made  with this.

There you have the basics. Now a few example of the VERY FULL Plates of food that I enjoy.  You must not skimp!  You are not counting calories here. You are eating protein, fat, vegetables and fruit.  Fats are olive oil, nuts, ghee, avocados, olives and nut butters BUT NOT peanut butter!  PB is a legume. (check the shopping list)

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

Pic #1.) Breakfast, usually put mushrooms, sweet peppers, chives or chopped tomatoes in the eggs and serve on a kale leaf.  Pic 2.) My one stray during the the initial 30 days!  That corn (which I had with ghee & salt) should not be there – Ooops! – Tom was here and we were treating ourselves to fresh scallops. Pic #3.) Chicken and sardines on the salad. Pic #4.) Beef burger and olives, pickled garlic & pickled fiddleheads on the salad. Pic #5.) Fresh Tuna steak and anchovies:):)  Pic #6.) Liver!  Don’t forget the offal (organ meats) Use a LOCAL source and NOT commercial. I enjoy liver, heart & tongue.  Pic #7 & Pic #.) Two breakfasts with sugar free, nitrate free bacon. A treat but not something I now yearn for often. Pic #9.) A quick lunch of Tuna salad on mixed greens and fruit. Pic #10.) Turkey burger and shrimp – I made the cocktail sauce with some organic tomatoes and horseradish.

I am very lucky!  I have access to some locally made, sugar free, taste bud stimulators that I use on my salads.

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

Pickled Garlic, Pickled Fiddleheads, Pickled Dilly Beans and Dill Pickle Chips

The vinegars from these condiments get combined and I add the anchovy oil to make my salad dressing. The olive juices get used in cabbage and greens

Thank you Gizmo’s Pickles Plus

So, where does this leave me now?  It has been an interesting and positive journey so far and I find myself (surprisingly) having no interest in bringing much of what I eliminated back in!  I had a very interesting experience Saturday. I had pizza (2 slices). Back at the beginning of my Whole30, when I still thought I was changing my eating patterns for 30 days, I bought a $30 coupon at Positive Pie (Barre) for $15.  By Saturday, I was no longer longing for pizza!  And it was a beautiful pie!

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!  TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

I had said all along that I would have two slices and Tom could have the rest. I ate it with a knife & fork, small bites that I savored. As I looked at the first piece I thought I would have three pieces:)  But then said, no I said 2 slices – with the anchovies from the third slice:):)  That was ample. Tom had more Saturday and Sunday as I returned to Whole30 eating with absolutely NO yearning for more pizza!

So, with a few minor exceptions, I am content eating this way. I did pick up some crumbly bleu to use on my beet greens as a garnish w/ ghee rather than butter.  In two weeks, when Tom is here, we will go to a good locally made ice cream stand and I will have a kiddie scoop of ice cream.

We have another Positive Pie coupon that expires the end of October so there will be two more slices of pizza down the road.  I know the friends I will get together with soon for supper and my first red wine.  I know the friends I will see later this year and have my first drink – a Manhattan!  All occasions that are spaced out and special.

We we take our trip later this fall, I will enjoy eating out and will not be adamantly Whole30.  There will be certain things I avoid like white dinner rolls!  I will order food in the spirit of the way I am now eating.

Tonight, I am having steamed beet greens w/ beets still attached (a favorite vegetable for me) w/ ghee and the first crumbly bleu as a garnish along with a steak and salad.

TAKE Control Of Your Food -- STOP Letting Your Food Control You !!!

As is usually the case with these full supper plates, I eat the protein and most of the vegetables (tonight I will eat all my beets:) and half the salad. The remaining salad and any uneaten vegetables roll over to breakfast when I add eggs and fruit.

This may not be for you!

It has been an amazing journey for me.

 

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The PURGE as I Coddiwomple !

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The PURGE as I Coddiwomple !

First a Definition:

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple !!

I know that many who subscribe to this Blog expect to only see educational, spirit elevating discussions on chickens, gardening and living the content nature connected life! Many of my posts are just that and weekly I receive several inquiries about something I have posted in those areas.  Online searches bring people with these interests to this site and many are introduced to us through the hoop houses, breeding pens, gardening, fermented feed, and “how we ship our fertile eggs” posts.

Life is much more than that. We are much more than that!

I maintain my individuality and the freedom to discuss other aspects of my life, other parts of me.

You continue to have the freedom to ignore the posts you  do not relate to.

I believe that on occasion, being a totally open book can allow a level of inner honesty to be revealed that can often, WILL often help others. Others struggling with their own internal struggles/issues/demons. They feel alone and singularly isolated. They need not feel that way if others share! They are NOT alone!

No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me,
Each man’s grief is my own.
We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.
I saw the people gather,
I heard the music start,
The song that they were singing,
Is ringing in my heart.
No man is an island,
Way out in the blue,
We all look to the one above,
For our strength to renew.
When I help my brother,
Then I know that I,
Plant the seed of friendship,
That will never die.
 A little over 4 years ago I made the worst decision of my life  and agreed to allow a registered sexual predator felon being released from 30 years of incarceration on the West Coast to live under our roof while he adjusted to a very changed world!  I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I knew his address on the sexual predator data base would be our address. I knew that law enforcement would be making unannounced stops to verify that he was still here where he was supposed to be. I knew life would be very different and that living much of  life sans clothes and the pleasures of spontaneous intimacy anywhere would cease. YET, it seemed the thing to do and I honored the request from the one who is most significant in my life to help a college friend.
_
You do not really need more specific details. I stayed positive and did my best to assist in a societal readjustment I now feel will never be totally successful.  IF you are metaphysical and understand energies and the interconnectedness of all because of energy, you know that there is also dark/evil/negative energy.  Working in an environment where that is present is exhausting as one works to shield and protect oneself. For eighteen months I held in there with things deteriorating at an increasing speed. The end was not pleasant and this evil, destructive, manipulating being left in a black cloud attempting to do as much damage as possible to me and others close to me.
 _
Prior to his departure I escaped by spending increasing amounts of time over two seasons volunteering and renovating The Star Island Book Store and Gift Shop. The Spring before his disruptive departure, I spent long weekends (3-5 days) on Star Island, Isles of Shoals every weekend during May and the three weeks in June prior to opening. There were other volunteers and together this endeavor allowed me to escape from the hell at home.
 _
Once he left and after he performed his evil destructive behavior I continued to soldier on.  I continued to be positive and see the best in everything. I continued to plan and to envision future projects and plans.  I did NOT deal with the inner feelings that this experience left.  The anger at being used and the feeling that I would never, under any circumstances, be willing to help someone again — at least not at that level! maybe at arms length. The feeling of wasted time in a life that is all too short. The EVIL energy that still lingered!
_
A friend and confident at the time had promised to come and sage smudge the house and areas of the property. He had been someone I could talk to about the negative situation I was in the middle of.  It did not happen, he did not follow through and I experienced another let down from someone I thought I could trust.
_
Hunker down, pull a protective shield around and march on.  The way I had always handled things.  This time was different and NOW I know that during and following this experience, I experienced some level of depression.  I say some level as I did not know I was depressed and I have never thought of any level of depression being connected to me.  Nor have those who know me.  I am the positive forward looking person!  And I am.
_
I marched forward and renovated the barn attached to the house as  Shops At Fayrehale was created! A transformation I take pride and satisfaction in!

     The PURGE as I Coddiwomple !!

From this (left) to this (right)

With the technical help of my IT Husband I built our website www.fayrehalefarm.com and our online business.  AND yet, I ignored and BURIED the Elephant in the room!

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple! Elephant in the room    The PURGE as I Coddiwomple! Elephant in the room

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

 The couch that he sat on for 18 months (center cushion) was dealt with by piling it high! Obviously not the best way to deal. I knew I had to deal with it as I ignored and continued other projects. I renovated the first floor bathroom which included new fixtures and new flooring along with a paint job.  I painted out the dining room and gave it a fresh new look.  I continued to build Shops at Fayrehale, the online business and the chicken business. All the time ignoring and walking around the Elephant in the room.  I can not begin to tell you how many days I got up fully intending to deal with that ruined couch. Each time the day ended w/out my doing it. Once, I got it half cleared and then piled it back up.

Eventually this made me look inside myself to see just what was going on and to see why I seemed incapable of removing this Elephant.  This introspection caused the solution to appear!  I needed to PURGE the couch and the evil energy it contained.

THE PURGE

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!    The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!    The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!

 The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!    The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!

Obviously I did it!  Last week I cleared the couch and Tom helped me haul it out of the house. I performed a very liberating purge as I burned all that stored evil energy. I used peroxide to scrub the floor and surrounding area. Put down a rug and moved unaffected furniture into place.  The inner peace and tranquility this has created is astounding!  It proves that in the future I must honor self more quickly when I experience unfortunate and possibly damaging events.

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple! Peace    The PURGE as I Coddiwomple! Peace

PEACE

It is impossible to describe how much better I feel. How much more relaxed I am. I have taken several days to let life flow as I read, walk Abigail and do some web work.

I have come to a place where I feel I could offer to help others again. No sure about allowing anyone in to my home? But you never know. I think if that happens there will be a well defined and written agreement!

I hope this allows you to look at yourselves and those around you whom you love and care for. Are you or they dealing with issues that are not readily visible? Is the outer public facade showing the true situation.

I acknowledge that I did/was dealing with some level of depression. Not obvious to me or others for a long time and then obvious to me. My reaction was to work and create and bury myself in projects that allowed me to ignore the real situation!  I guess that is good:) Now I need to get the relaxed more at peace me back to working and accomplishing at the rate I was prior to the purge!!!!

So I travel purposely toward an as-yet-unknown destination!

As I have shared in previous posts, it is time to simplify life, unload possessions turn the chicken business over to serious younger breeders and prepare for some good years near the sea and traveling the country. It is important that we all move forward without hiraeth as we face a new era in this Country.

The PURGE as I Coddiwomple!

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My Celebration of Christmas Has Evolved Through Life!

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Fayrehale Farm Christmas

The biggest difference between my 1st Christmas in 1948 and my approaching 69th Christmas in 2016 is the commercialization and now the politicization of the Holiday Season.

Childhood Christmas memories center around Family and the Christmas Tree. Our trees were natural! If there was a bare spot that could not be hidden with ornaments and tinsel, my father would drill a hole and add a branch! In our family, my Father installed the tree and my Mother decorated it.  We  would see the bare tree as we headed up to bed at 7:00pm. (our regular bed time until 9th grade!).  Mother would wake us later (midnight? 1:00am?) when the tree was finished and the four of us would go down to see it beautifully decorated and lit in an otherwise dark room.  The childhood memories of wide-eyed wonder and awe have stayed with me to this day.

Mother was particular and the tree was spectacular. It always went to the ceiling and totally filled a corner, often blocking a doorway. The lights were large round Sylvania bulbs in soft pastel colors from the 1940s and there were enough strings to saturate the tree.  Ornaments went from branch tips all the way in to the trunk. The most time consuming part was hanging the tinsel.  Mother did each piece individually and every branch was covered as far back as the tinsel could hang freely.  This resulted in a sparkling, shimmering tree as lights bounced off the ornaments and the tinsel.

I do not have pictures from this period of my life, only memories.  For those who are too young to have experienced Christmas trees from this era, I borrowed this picture from the internet.  It will give you an idea.  Just visualize FOUR times as much tinsel and an additional branch or two that my Father would have added!

Fayrehale Farm Christmas

To this day, I only want a natural tree, one that has NOT been pruned and shaped!  Mother Nature grows them best!  I also want a big tree that fills a corner and goes to the ceiling!  And, Yes!, I have been known to drill and add branches if needed:)

As children, we knew the guest room was off limits. That was where yet to be wrapped presents were stored. We never cheated and looked. Even as kids we wanted the surprises on Christmas.  Our stockings were laid across the bottom of our beds. We had to ask before we could open them and soon learned that a 3am wake up and inquiry was fruitless!  Our parents had it schedules for 6am, figuring that they would have another hours sleep while the stockings kept us busy.  At 7am, we all went downstairs. Breakfast first so there were no hungry, irritable kids. Breakfast was always a fresh coffee cake and grapefruit sections w/ cherries – Mother peeled and sectioned the pink grapefruits the day before.

Now understand! The stairs came down into the room where the tree was and where Santa left unwrapped gifts. We came down single file and turned our heads using our hands as blinders as we walked to the kitchen without looking at the tree or the gifts left by Santa.  Again we never cheated.

After breakfast, we opened presents. taking turns, one person and one present at a time! The presents were opened carefully as we saved the paper to reuse another year.  Each year it would wrap a smaller gift until it got down to stocking gift size and then we could tear the paper off and discard it.  Each year, one or two new paper designs were added.  The reusing of paper would often evoke memories of past gifts that had been wrapped in it.

When I was in 6th grade, I had a piano teacher who also sold antique jewelry. I noticed a beautiful pair or earrings that I thought Mother would love but they were $25. As oldest, I “convinced” my three brothers that we could do this communally and save the money by skipping school lunch! Lunches were 25 cents so each day the four of us could save $1.  We managed to pull it off and it was only after Christmas that Mother learned how we had raised the funds.  She cherished those earrings, along with a second pair gifted the next year, her entire life.

IF I were to chose the most special of all Christmases, it would have to be the first Christmas after Sharon and I adopted Ellen (15) and Lynn (12).  They came to us with very little so that Christmas was our opportunity to provide not only clothes but personal items.  The full range of things that children that age usually have.  You can imagine the mountains of package that spread out from the tree and wrapped corners of the room. It took us three days to open everything. THAT IS NOT WHAT MADE IT SPECIAL!  Lynn, bless her heart, made this the most special Christmas in my life.  Even through she was twelve, she still believed in Santa Claus and heaven help anyone who tried to tell her differently! That allowed me the parental Santa experience. She knew that Santa preferred brownies because everyone else gave him cookies and not just any brownie but the corner pieces, homemade w/ walnuts. Even that is not what made it so special!

We gave the the girls $5 per person to do their own gift shopping with and one parent took them shopping for the other parent.  Lynn did her shopping and came home and wrapped her presents.  She placed them under the tree. Now understand that this was a big Christmas and gifts were being added daily to the growing mound. Thus the gifts Lynn was giving were covered or moved numerous times.  Somehow, she kept track of where they all were.

Christmas morning we started opening gifts, one person, one present at a time and saving the paper!  We had not completed the first round when Lynn could no longer contain herself. She was bursting with excitement and it showed! She had to GIVE her presents and she knew exactly where each one was amongst all those packages.

The joy on that child’s face as she presented her gift to each of us stays with me to this day. The fact that with all those packages for her and her sister piled along three walls, she was most excited about GIVING the gifts she had selected for everyone else.  A 12 year old child who had known love but had had very few possessions prior to this, instinctively knew that the real joy was in the giving! THIS IS WHAT MADE THIS MY MOST SPECIAL CHRISTMAS  and my eyes still fill with tears every time I think of that precious, 12 year old child on that Christmas Day!

Once I married the first time, it was my suggestion that we do something totally different from both family traditions.  That something different was REAL Candles on the tree! Candles on the tree have been part of my Christmas ever since.  It requires a natural, unpruned, unshaped tree that is very fresh.  I personally cut the tree 3 days before Christmas.  Over the years I have become adept at candle placement.  With a fresh tree, an incorrectly placed candle will cause a needle to pop, not blaze and it can be quickly repositioned.  I haven’t popped a needle in years!

Fayrehale Farm Christmas

There Is Nothing More Beautiful Than A Christmas Tree With Real Candles!

This tree was a few years ago when we had Tom’s Mother, Sister and a neighbor join us for Christmas dinner.  This tree actually served us for TWO Christmases. The second Christmas we did NOT light the candles!!!  I love putting trees and decorations up. I hate taking them down!  Over the years the Christmas tree has come down as late as Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day and the the 4th of July!  This tree holds the record as it served us for 13 months while it stayed beautiful and the needles stayed in place:)

This year Tom and I will have a quiet Christmas.  We will exchange a few gifts and go out for a nice dinner on the 24th. No big tree this year. Once the transition is made to a simpler, less complicated life we can bring back the tree, the candles and a dinner that includes others followed by an oceanside walk.

To those of you who celebrate Christmas:

Fayrehale Farm Christmas

AND

To Everyone Who Celebrates One Of The Other 44 Holidays in December!

If I know you and know which Holiday you celebrate I will greet you accordingly.

For now

Happy Holidays to All and May The New Year be Good To Us All

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To Every Thing There Is A Season, and A Time To Every Purpose — Now Is Our Time!

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blog-3-edited

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”

"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul."    "The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul."

 “The sea lives in every one of us.”

I know better than to say “never” and yet I announced when we bought this property that I would leave this home in a box!  That I never intended to move again!  I hope I didn’t jinx it with the “in a box” statement as I do look forward to the new direction that life is taking!

The world is changing, our Country is on a different path and I have lost half a dozen friends this year. All to cancer, some within weeks of discovery, and several of them were much younger than I. I am halfway to 69 and suddenly aware that my Mother and maternal Grandparents all passed when they were 72!  My Paternal side shows 93, 88 and 96.  I hope for an average at least that leaves 72 behind – but one never knows.

Suddenly it makes no sense to continue on with the work and projects involved with and planned for this property. It makes great sense to liquidate, unload and just relax and enjoy the years that are left.  That process will not happen overnight!  We want to have downsized personal property to the basics so we can put the house on the market in 2018.  No idea what the economy or the real estate market will be then but we must move on.

Shops At Fayrehale will be open by chance or appointment the rest of this season as we are finding more success in the online portion of the business than the local business once foliage season passes and tourists and summer visitors return home. We will open in June and sell down the shop inventory.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”

While nothing is cast in stone, I would like to have 5 years by the sea.  While my Soul loves the rocky coast of Maine, and it is currently the Maine coast that calls, my body needs the sandy shore so that I can take healthy walks once or twice a day.  During these seaside years we would plan to travel 7-10 days a month.  There is so much to see in this Country that we have not seen and we know how to travel economically. We can alternate who plans each month’s itinerary and explore warmer areas of the Country as we search for the step after the Maine Coast that will satisfy Tom’s longing for a warm climate.  During the seaside years we can escape during the coldest segments and explore those warmer possibilities that are currently unfamiliar to us both.

“The sea is as near as we come to another world.”

Fayrehale Chanteclers and Fayrehale Icelandics will continue as usual through 2017 and possibly 2018.  We are currently accepting orders for 2017 chicks and, as in the past, list position is in order of payment received.  Once we have relocated, we will continue our online business in a slightly reduced format as we continue to liquidate collections that would flood the market if offered all at once.

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”

One more winter (2017) of major woodpiles.  These past two years, Tom has stacked most of it.  We hope to have a fireplace we can read and warm ourselves by in the winter when we are not traveling. That would mean a cord or less to stack.

We will carry the memories of all that wood on the Christmas Tree as we enjoy life.

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“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

 

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The Sunrise Never Failed Us Yet !

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I will not apologize for being Human:)  I will apologize for causing friends to worry when they read my last Blog Entry!

I  heard from several of you: “This is an unusual post for the man I know to be a positive force in a lot of people’s lives Sometimes we loose sight of our effect on others. Best to focus on one step at a time and Attend to all the goodness in your life”   —-  “Things always come out the way they’re supposed to come out not the way I planned but always in a good way.”  —-  “you’d better post your happy day info on your blog before people start sending the recovery team in your direction…..sheesh!!!   —-  “Is everything OK?  Is Tom alright?  We are worried.”

I chose a favorite line of mine from a Celia Thaxter Poem to title this entry. A line I have used for years and truly believe.

The Sunrise Never Failed Us Yet !

The Sunrise Never Failed Us Yet - Celia Thaxter

UPON the sadness of the sea
The sunset broods regretfully;
From the far lonely spaces, slow
Withdraws the wistful afterglow.

So out of life the splendor dies;
So darken all the happy skies;
So gathers twilight, cold and stern;
But overhead the planets burn;

And up the east another day
Shall chase the bitter dark away;
What though our eyes with tears be wet?
The sunrise never failed us yet.

The blush of dawn may yet restore
Our light and hope and joy once more.
Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget
That sunrise never failed us yet!

Celia Thaxter

I will follow the advice of a good friend and post our happy day info!!

This past Sunday, one week after my being less than my usual cheerful & optimistic self AND three weeks after Abigail not being able to walk due to Lyme Disease, We three (Me, Tom & Abigail) headed for a special day at the ocean. We had a very relaxing and fun day.

Abigail, My navigator looking over my shoulder

Abigail, My navigator looking over my shoulder as we head out on our ocean journey!!!  

We started our Ocean Day with breakfast in Sugar Hill, NH at Polly’s Pancake Parlor! http://pollyspancakeparlor.com/  Close enough to home for us to visit easily and now we must!!!!  If this breakfast experience was not the BEST ever, it sure ranks among the top few — Right up there w/ Lobster Eggs Benedict at Blue Heaven in Key West!

We each had the Pancake combo / bacon — 2 ea of three pancake combos – Maple syrup AND Maple Cream – I had gingerbread w/ honey roasted almonds, cornmeal w/ coconut and whole wheat w/ walnuts!!! OMG – scrumptious !!!  Tom had wild Maine blueberries in all of his:) and chose plain, oatmeal buttermilk and whole wheat.

Our server cooked the order so no mistakes are made in the pass off to a main cook — one of each is served and the 2nd of each timed to arrive when you are ready so they stay fresh and hot! GENIUS! and it worked smoothly. The bottomless cup of coffee (I had 5) fueled me for the drive ahead.

It might help too, that we had one of the BEST servers I have ever experienced – TJ’s exceptional personality & service certainly enhanced the over all experience.  A delightful and delicious way to start our ocean day

Sugar Hill, NH at Polly's Pancake Parlor    Sugar Hill, NH at Polly's Pancake Parlor

 Sugar Hill, NH at Polly's Pancake Parlor    Sugar Hill, NH at Polly's Pancake Parlor

Abigail visits the Ocean! It had been two years w/o salt air and water! and Abigail had never been to the ocean. SO! we made a day trip to Pine Point, Maine. We had a wonderful afternoon, listening to the waves, breathing the salt air and basking in the sea breeze coming in off the water.

We discovered that canine’s were illegal from 9-5 until after Labor Day – Well, it was to hot to leave Abigail in the car so she stayed close in the shade of my chair or on my lap.  Later in the afternoon as the area around us cleared, I took her to walk in the water — she enjoyed it and thought the incoming waves were a new game to play. She was most interested in the seagulls – rearing up to see them in the air and then wanting to chase their shadows.

We mustn’t wait so long again — if we pack food it would just be gas money — It doesn’t need to always be the massive treat we made it be Sunday.

Pine Point Beach, Maine    Pine Point Beach, Maine

Pine Point Beach, Maine    Pine Point Beach, Maine

After a wonderful afternoon by the ocean, we had supper at the Portland Lobster Companyhttp://portlandlobstercompany.com/  We each had Lobster Stew and a Lobster Roll and we shared an order of whole belly friend clams:):)

Interesting experience — BUT it works! We had to place our order first before we say the hostess to be recorded for a table! They said we would have a table when food was ready! Ooooooooooookay!!!  We placed our order — received the Lobster buzzer and went to see the hostess.  She asked for a name and then we realized the Lobster also contained and shared! our order.

We did have a table before we  picked up our food. It was a delicious treat after two lobster-less years!

Then a 2 block walk to 51 Exchange street for ice cream! The two ladies sitting next to us, who had never heard of  Mount Desert Island Ice Cream, went up for ice cream and we met them coming back as we walked up.

Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine    Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine

Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine    Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine

Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine    Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine

Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine    Portland Lobster Company, Portland, Maine

We ended our Oceanside Beach day with dessert at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream — 51 Exchange Street — Portland, Maine — http://www.mdiic.com/

I had “The Dude” and “Butter Mint” w/ dark chocolate sauce. I forget the three flavors that Tom had.  Mount Desert Island Ice Cream deserves its TOP ranking in Maine and Country Best Ice Cream lists!

 Mount Desert Island Ice Cream     Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

  Mount Desert Island Ice Cream     Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

We took rt 302 home and arrived home at 11pm.  It was a much needed day and made us realize we need to schedule more fun days for ourselves.  We won’t always treat ourselves to this level of feasting!  We can always pack a picnic.

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Longevity Changes Life – Being Ready For the Possibilities

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WHEW!  Last weekend, I received Earth Shattering and Heart Breaking news.  I am not at liberty to discuss it with anyone and that frustration has led to days of introspection AND trying to see the beauty in the world immediately around me – something that is usually easy for me to do has been a real struggle these past few days!

Then, as I sat in my “outdoor office”, I noticed a single, pink Canadian Lilac bloom. Just one as we approach September. Just one, presented out of season to show me that all is not darkness!

Out of Season Canadian Lilac

It doesn’t rain but it pours!  I have several friends — yes, more than a couple (2) — who are losing their homes and struggling to find and establish the next step in their lives. I have several friends dealing with cancer and other life threatening, depreciating diseases. I have lost several friends to cancer this past year as well.  ALL contributing to my pondering my longevity and the longevity of those near and dear to me.

I am 68 and nearly half way to 69 years old.  That never seemed that much until all these recent events got me thinking about my own possible longevity. My Mother and My Maternal Grandparents all passed over at 72. That is a mere three years away! My Father died at 93, my Paternal Grandmother at 88 and my Paternal Grandfather at 96. So family genetics says my longevity could be 3 to 28 years.  I don’t think I want 28 more years the way the world and people are. I am not sure 3 more is enough! or, is even that too much?

woodpile & fall flowers

Yes, I found some more beauty. There are pink roses between the White Hydrangeas and the Yellow Rudbeckias that are hard to see in the picture.

As I look at friends, and other people I know, as they enter their 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th decade of life, they all have either children and grandchildren OR money!!  Having neither myself, I live a totally different life experience as I look at where life would go IF disaster happens and I end up alone!

We live in a world where significant people and friends are scattered and busy with their own lives. Communities are disappearing and neighbors are no longer neighborly.  The internet seems to be all consuming – much of it superficial and too much of it generated by trolls.

So what would a pushing 70 man do if suddenly he lost the man he loved, could no longer afford the roof over his head or a vehicle and was without medical insurance? What life is possible on social security that allows a dog, maybe some pots to grow a few vegetables and room for a very few special possessions.. There would be no chickens:(

The thought scares me. But in the world we know today, we, at least *I*, have to think about this. I need to do some research and see just what the possibilities are.

Interestingly, coincidentally 🙂  this article appeared in a news feed this week:  No Spouse, No Kids, No Caregiver: How to Prepare to Age Alone

Not something I really want to think about BUT something I need to think about!

Meanwhile the Asters are starting to bloom and every year, thanks to the birds, we have more and more!  

 Pink Asters Fayrehale Farm      Wild Purple Asters Fayrehale Farm

Asters make me smile and I always think of The Dinner Service being hand painted In The Style of Celia Thaxter!

Aster Place Setting for Dinner Service Hand Painted In The Style of Celia Thaxter

Aster Place Setting for Dinner Service Hand Painted In The Style of Celia Thaxter

 Obviously this one and only Dinner Service eventually with 14 Place Settings, Hand Painted In the Style of Celia Thaxter, is one of the special possessions that will accompany me until the end. I am still trying to figure out a suitable place for it to go after I have passed.

In the meantime, I may just have a cup of coffee in the coffee cup or some soup in the cream soup to remind me that life hasn’t reached a dismal point just yet!

AND

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!!

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DAMN Connecticut and Its Lyme Disease !!!!!

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A NEW record of time between Blog Posts at the other extreme!  4 Days!

The responses I received from several friends I emailed this to, made me to decide to make it public on the off chance that someone might benefit.

An example of the responses:  “My goodness, what a revealing story.  I had no idea of the consequence of a tick bite other than the words “Lyme Disease.”  Now I know now devastating it can be.  I’m so glad there’s treatment for Abigail and wish her a full and speedy recovery.  Poor thing!  What kind of dog is she?  I have a miniature poodle and will pay close attention to her, now that you’ve shared your experience.  Thanks!”

DAMN Connecticut and Its Lyme Disease  !!!!!

Damn Connecticut and Its Lyme Disease

Abigail Often Rides on My Shoulders

It has been an emotionally draining morning.  I woke up at 7am after 10 hours of deep sleep in the coolness of the tent. I  reached out to touch Abigail (rear hip) and she yelped.

I got up, she sat up and did not move further. I picked her up and set her down and her rear end collapsed.  I did get her standing and she walked slowly and unsteadily to the house — peeing and pooping on the way.

I carried her to the van and drove the 2 miles down the road to the Vet who was not open yet. The assistants were working and gave me the first open appointment at 10am.

Back home to wait the long 2 hours. Covered Abigail with a cold wet towel as she seemed feverish and I worried!  Knowing that I did not have thousands to spend — not even too many hundreds (you can only do so much robbing Peter to pay Paul)

10am arrived and we were at the Vet’s.  She did have a fever – 3 degrees high – Vet did an examination of her limbs and head/neck for range of motion and took her for a walk around the clinic.  Then she came to talk to me and suggested we test for Lyme first before she discussed the second possibility — adding that both were curable .

I said fine but she has had no ticks on her this season — the response was that this tick, if Lyme, would have been 6-8 months ago!  Learned something there!!! Wish I had discovered the Green Mountain Tick Repellent last season!!!

She drew the blood and said the test takes 10 minutes — you can wait in the waiting room, on the porch, which ever you like – I said I will go to the van.

Had JUST settled in when the clinic door opens and the Vet comes out and said the antibodies are so high that the positive was immediate!

Thus the fever and the stiff, painful joints.  SO — pain pill 2x a day for a week and an antibiotics pill 1x a day for 28 days.

Then I went into town from the Vet’s to mail the last chick order of the season and to stop at the grocery store for some milk, bacon and cottage cheese — all to help Abigail want to eat before the pain pill.

A big relief — I was worried this morning that I would lose her.

A little background that might help others —  Saturday she was off in her left front shoulder/leg — gimpy —  I figured she had twisted it jumping off bed or furniture — when she jumps of the bed in the tent each morning, she waits for my okay and then jumps off the bed and out the door to land outside.

Yesterday, Sunday, she seemed a little stiff and slow but the weather was horrible and I was stiff and slow — she was drinking, eating a little and peeing and pooping.  Then today she was so helpless!  The Vet said that, untreated, it would just have kept getting worse — stiffness and pain and inability to move..

She had a pork medallion and cottage cheese once I settled her into her chair — then her pills and then a good drink of water — the water she insisted I freshen so that was a sign of normalcy !!  I have a cold wet dish towel on her while the fever comes down and I will play nurse — work on website and keep her in my sight —

Vet said 1-3 days to start seeing improvement.

The pain pill must be working as she is alert w/ head and ears up as she rests under a wet cold towel in her chair… her eyes are brighter and her ears respond when I talk to her   — a big relief!!!!

It is a good thing I can carry her:)

So there is the tale of DAMN Connecticut and Its Lyme Disease!
 DAMN Connecticut and Its Lyme Disease!

Late 2010 when Abigail (HRM Abigail of Fayrehale) was 11 weeks old.  She will be six years old this fall.

UPDATE:

What a difference 24 hours makes (and the Vet said 1-3 days) — from not using her rear end to jumping in and out of the chair again — out came before in – which just now happened — she barked to go out — and trotted on our walk which went 2 neighbors down when she turned around to head back..

Turkeys were gobbling, flying, playing in the field and she JUMPED up to look, on rear legs, and was ready to give chase but for the leash.

So now we just continue the meds — I never heard about no dairy for antibiotics —  and in this case when the vet was mentioning pills I asked about cheese — that should have been the no dairy briefing! Fortunately a friend, who worked for a Vet for years, educated me when I revealed that I had fed Abigail cottage cheese.

So, today’s pre-meds snack was 2 eggs with one bacon sprinkled with dog food —   some food was suggested before pain pill —  then I just put pills in the back of her mouth, hold it closed and stroke her chin —

Now I have to get myself back in gear

Feels like fall – 9 color spots on maple across the street 
Update #2
 36 & 48 Hours Out

36 hours out — she was eating dog food again and backing up quickly and normally

48 hours out —  Looks like all is back to normal….just have to complete the 4 weeks of medications.

Abigail was “on guard” last night in the tent when she heard something outside and this morning she jumped from the bed, out the tent door, and landed outside.

What a relief!  I have heard from many people that they were totally unaware of Lyme Disease with dogs.  Hopefully sharing this experience has helped to make people aware and also to understand that with proper care Lyme Disease can be handled.

My biggest surprise was that the infecting tick was so long ago!! I continue to wish I had discovered the Green Mountain Tick Repellent last season!!!  AT LEAST we know about it now.

 

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What the world needs now is love, sweet love……………

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It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. ……………What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No, not just for some but for everyone. No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.

My last Blog post was January 20th of this year and I selected the title and first line above on March 6th of this year!  It is now August 11th and time I catch everyone up on the good life at Fayrehale! I am working in my outdoor office:) A shaded location that usually has a breeze on the other side of the lilac hedge. I can see people drive in and work on building the website between customers.

Outdoor Office Shops At Fayrehale

My biggest conflict, I find, is balancing a peaceful connected to the earth and Mother Nature Life while staying aware of the outside world. This year, the primary season and the major party conventions displayed an ugly side of our Country/Society filled with hatred, darkness, corruption and outright fraud. I had to retreat into my world for my own health and sanity.  I know how I will cast my vote on November 8th so I have no need to listen to the current attacks or the debates — I can shut it all out and honor my inner Henry David Thoreau and Noah Rondeau!

As January rolled into February, I came to the realization that it was better to start the aesthetic redecorating of the house as it is and not wait for envisioned and planned major renovations!  We my not live long enough or ever be able to afford those!  This caused me to do the first floor bathroom over. New fixtures, new flooring and newly painted walls.  It looks great and is a very comfortable room to use. Then I started on the dining room. It was slow going as the room is fully furnished. I had to do a section at a time, moving furniture out, draping everything w/in spatter range, paint and then after the paint dried, put that area back together! It will get finished this winter after we close Shops At Fayrehale.

Blue for Fayrehale Dining Room      Blue for Fayrehale Dining Room

I chose a blue for the walls that compliments the art and the furnishings and a darker blue for the floor.  I like painted floors and am not swayed by the reactions of horror from friends when they find out I painted hardwood floors!  I *hate* hardwood floors, they are not original to our 1840 home and if we ever get to accomplish the major renovations, they will be pulled up so we have the original board floors.  As was done in many old houses, I just painted around the large 10×13 rug!

During this time, I was also continuing to work with the Doctors at Dartmouth as we attempted to heal my radiation fibrosis – It had been less than pleasant for 5 years. NOT life threatening, just a pain (literally) and a seeping mess. Finally the Doctor said, if you want to, we can end this once and for all!  I listened, decided and scheduled surgery for April 28th. April 28th was selected to get us beyond winter, to fit Tom’s work schedule so he could come to Vermont for 2 weeks and to have me healed enough to open Shops At Fayehale by mid June.

Thursday the 28th of April arrived and off to Dartmouth we went. I knew I would be staying until Sunday.  The Doctor worked miracles!  He filleted the foul radiation flesh away from my lower abdomen.  A 14.5″ incision down my left thigh allowed him to harvest a 4″ x 6″ piece of skin and the necessary blood veins to feed it. This was then tunneled under the 4-5 inches of skin between thigh incision and the area on my lower abdomen where the skin graft needed to be applied.

Pretty remarkable.  I had not had to stay in the hospital since 1983 when I had my cancer surgery.  Let me just say that medical procedures have developed and advanced at a mind boggling rate!  Thankfully.  Care while in the hospital has deteriorated — as it is smothering and intrusive when one is not in a serious enough condition to require that type of care!  All to cover themselves from liability.  Enough said on that.

I was glad to get home and I did follow my Doctor’s orders.  It was six weeks before I could wear clothes! The skin graft was in the waist area. I had a comfortable nightshirt for bed (need to have something I could pin the drain to) and three Amazon close-out specials ($4.50 ea.) that were a Halloween design of ghosts and pumpkins:)  Turns out the ghosts glowed in the dark!  I had a pair of oversized, loose coveralls for trips to Dr. or town.

I did behave and as it became 5 weeks out, I tested my limitations and then rested if I had gone too far.  We did a Major relay in Shops At Fayrehale so we could fit the Barrister Bookcase in for more display space. Fortunately, it consists of eight sections.

Barrister Bookcase Shops At Fayrehale      ca.1900 Corner Cupboard Shops at Fayrehale

ca. 1900 Corner Cupboard Shops At Fayrehale

The ca. 1900 Corner Cupboard was moved over by the door in to the backroom.

After skipping a year, I am back to sleeping in a tent from May until October.  We created a new set up with a new tent that can now be taken down and stored over the winter.  The old real box spring and two mattresses is no more! A Queen size 22″ deep air mattress with a phenomenal memory foam pad makes for comfortable, deep sleep and the cool nights (sometimes even Chilly!) make the hot and humid days easier to take.

Fayrehale Sleeping Tent

Fayrehale Sleeping Tent      Sigrid Line Icelandic Chickens

The opposite end has the two reading chairs which in reality are more apt to be piled with books and clothes.  Right now I also have a cage with 9 very special Sigrid Line Icelandics that need to be kept separate.  They will move out to another grow pen in two weeks.

The Chicken business continues and we shipped Icelandic and Chantecler chicks and eggs all over the Country.  The last batch will be mailed Tuesday and we can finally shut the incubator off, move the chicks out of the kitchen and start dusting the house!  The incubator was filled and started in April so the first hatch would be in May after I came home from the hospital. If you are interested you can find out about both the Icelandics and Chanteclers online.  Those seriously looking to learn about the Icelandics should also join this very educational group.

We have added some special, exciting and natural new products to Shops At Fayrehale and to our online selection!

https://www.fayrehalefarm.com/shops-at-fayrehale/gifts/all-natural-green-mountain-tick-repellent-made-in-vermont/      Natural Products at Shops At Fayrehale

 "Stops Leg, Foot and Hand Cramps" - All Natural 19th Century Amish Formula - Do You Suffer From Leg Cramps & Charlie Horses ?      "Stop Acid Reflux" - All Natural 19th Century Amish Formula - Do You Suffer From Acid Reflux ?

Dog Treats - Cookies - ALL NATURAL - Best Quality, Human Grade Ingredients, Tasty Treats

1st:  All Natural Green Mountain Tick Repellent Made right here in Vermont.  We swear by it and that is why we added it to the Shop! Abigail has not had a tick this year. We use it on ourselves as well and the smell is delightful. A customer in CT emailed that she took her dog to “tick heaven” to play. She was using GMTR but did not put it on her dog as he had the injected by the vet repellent.  After the session, she was tick free and she removed 6 from her dog!  Doesn’t get any worse than CT when it comes to ticks!.

2nd: “Stops Leg, Foot and Hand Cramps” – Discovered by the Amish while they were still in Europe and brought to this country sometime in the 1880’s.  I was introduced to this by a good friend in VA who stopped to visit after hearing about my suffering a horrible hour of cramps and spasms.   I experienced this after a couple hours of stacking wood.  I dare say that I have never lived a worse hour. She generously gave me half of her bottle.  WOW!  I was so thankful as it works. It has taken the fear away and if I suspect that I may cramp after a task, I take it preemptively.

3rd: “Stop Acid Reflux” was also discovered by the Amish while they were still in Europe and brought to this country sometime in the 1880’s. It is made by the same people who do the “Stops Leg, Foot and Hand Cramps”.

4th:  ALL NATURAL Dog Treats-Cookies. Made in New Hampshire with the best quality ingredients.  If it isn’t good for us why would we feed it to our Canine Family Members? Each cookie is baked by hand in small batches and made of 100% human grade ingredients, sourced in the USA.

The Porcelain Artist who Hand Paints Porcelain “In the Style of Celia Thaxter” continues to work on the Dinner Service.  The Lilac Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter is finished!

China Pottery Porcelain Lilac Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter

China Pottery Porcelain Lilac Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter      China Pottery Porcelain Lilac Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter

China Pottery Porcelain Lilac Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter      China Pottery Porcelain Lilac Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter

This place setting joins the Rosa Rugosa, The Woodbine and the Asters place settings. Ten more to go!

This Spring when I was painting the dining room I though about how we want to display this special dinner service when we are not actually using it. I found acrylic display fixtures online and one day when I needed a change of pace, I tried them out in a cabinet in the parlor that is visible from the dining room.

China Pottery Porcelain Rosa Rugosa Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter

China Pottery Porcelain Rosa Rugosa Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter      China Pottery Porcelain Rosa Rugosa Place Setting Hand Painted in the Style of Celia Thaxter

The display fixtures worked as I hoped they would and between this cabinet and another we will be able to enjoy this dinner service every day.

I was taken by surprise at how quickly we lose condition when we are laid up after surgery AND how long it takes to regain it!  I am still working on that as I help Tom stack wood — later than ideal due to surgery.  I have rolled with it and figure that this year, I can only do what I can do. This means no garden was planted and I can live with that.  We have a good local farm stand near by and I did not want to waste seeds (some special) by starting too late.

I was very surprised that the day after surgery, my abdomen with its 4″ x 6″ graft did not hurt!  I was pain free in that area for the first time in over 5 years!  Used to it now:)  but for a while after surgery it would dawn on me with surprise “I don’t hurt anymore”.  The 14.5″ incision in my thigh was another situation! It has healed and we must have been a sight to see after surgery when on Tom’s arm, I was walking down the road in a Halloween nightshirt!  Three or for times a day and a little further each day.

If you have made it this far! You are a real trooper.  I am headed out to finish late chores and move some chicks around so I can pull those still in the incubator out.

I do hope you are all having a good year and have worked out how to live life without being overcome by politics and the media!  

Vote your own conscience — do not vote from fear.

I will try not to take another seven month break.

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Goslings & Lilacs Revive My Soul — Life Feels Good

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Life here at Fayrehale continues to be multi-faceted busy!!

We had a Goose setting on eggs. No way to know when she actually settled on her nest with 8 eggs so we just waited patiently.  This past Sunday she presented us with 8 goslings!  8 for 8! The Gander is an American Buff and the Goose is 1/2 American Buff and 1/2 Sebastopol. The cross fixed the less than pleasant dispositions our Sebastopols had and gave us some curly feathers. It will be interesting to see how these youngsters feather out as they are now 3/4 American Buff.

Shops At Fayrehale Geese      Shops At Fayrehale Geese

New birth in both the plant and animal world makes my heart sing.

The Lilacs have come on fast, as Mother Nature speeds to catch up after a severe winter and a late spring.  They are on schedule for a peak presentation this weekend, Memorial Day weekend.  The weather predictions are for cool so they should last nicely.  I need them to, as I need a new banner picture for Shops at Fayrehale with the lilacs  in bloom between the sign and the entrance. It is certainly time to replace the winter snow image!

Shops At Fayrehale Lilacs      Shops At Fayrehale Lilacs

Shops At Fayrehale Lilacs      Shops At Fayrehale Lilacs

Lilacs have always been a favorite. I have planted and left collections everywhere I have lived.  The best collection is here in Vermont with us now. Over 45 varieties and more than 55 bushes. The property is perfumed by the fragrance of lilacs.  As you can see we have wood to stack!  3 cords dumped in the front yard and another 3 cords in the driveway.  The driveway pile will be stacked first as we need the area for customers to park.

We are fast approaching our one year anniversary for opening Shops At Fayrehale: Antiques – Christmas – Gifts

 We opened July 4th weekend last year and this first year has flown by.  

https://www.fayrehalefarm.com/shops-at-fayrehale/      https://www.fayrehalefarm.com/shops-at-fayrehale/

The Icelandic Roosters think the railing is a roost installed for them:)

https://www.fayrehalefarm.com/chanteclers/icelandic-chickens/

………….and they will come right in to the Shop if I am not careful!

This first year for Shops At Fayrehale has been good. We already have people returning from last season.  We developed online shopping for Shops At Fayrehale over the winter. We needed to turn a rough. cold winter into a productive one!  We have found and added FOUR  new Artisans and with their individually crafted pieces, expanded the Ornament Selection.  Temari (Japanese String Balls), Gourd, Quilted and Felted Wool ornaments join the great selection we already offered!

Shops at Fayrehale Temari Ornaments      Shops at Fayrehale Gourd Ornaments

Shops at Fayrehale Quilted Ornaments      Shops at Fayrehale Felted Wool Ornaments

As some of you know, the winter wiped out the plumbing in this 1840 house we call home!  Since December, 2014, I have lived a Colonial lifestyle, carrying water up from the cellar in buckets and jugs and rather than a trip to the outhouse, a 5 gallon bucket by the wood stove!

Working with the plumber now as repairs are made and we plan for more winters like the last.  As with all projects in old homes, we found that we have to do some work on the bathroom floor.  After taking out the toilet and sink, which we are replacing, I looked under the linoleum, hoping to find an old wood floor and instead, found a black and decaying particle board floor!

SO — it will be a while before we have the new Toilet and Pedestal sink installed. Work will progress so we have hot and cold water to first floor tub & shower, hot and cold water to the kitchen sink and the outside faucet functioning so I can use the hoses.

Shops at Fayrehale Felted Wool Ornaments     Fayrehale New Toilet

The sink and toilet will remain stored in the dining room, shut off valves installed on their feeds, until the floor and other renovations are finished in the bathroom.  We are very fortunate to have a fixture source that offers higher end fixture close outs and were able to pick these up for 25% of original cost.

As we do this work, we are switching to an electric hot water heater!  Three strikes and the Lemon (expensive) gas hot water heater that we have is OUT!  This meant we need to run electricity from the breaker box in the barn across the Ell to the far side of the cellar under the main house!  Our Plumber suggested that we do it and save significant money!  Having done it, I would hate to have paid a professional to do it!!

Of the several possible route choices, we decided to take conduit along the inside of the front porch that connects the barn to the main house. A few feet along the side of the main house we can enter the cellar through the old gas heater vent!  Tom was here to help and it took us most of last Saturday.  We had to measure, cut and assemble the PVC conduit and then disassemble and feed the pieces over the wire in reverse order. Seven 90 degree joints were the most time consuming as we thread 50′ of wire through. The straight pieces were a breeze until we got to the last 25′ straight section which was epoxied together from another project. No need to epoxy the rest.  Once the wire was in the conduit, we installed from the front (barn) backwards to the main house.

Fayrehale conduit   Fayrehale conduit

Fayrehale conduit

A good job to have done and one that puts us that much closer to running hot water!

We continue to hatch and ship both Chantecler and Icelandic chicks. The incubator will be running non stop until fall.

Fayrehale Icelandic Chickens

I will never cease to marvel at the 21 day process that takes an egg and results in a healthy strong chick.  These Icelandic chicks are from our fertility check hatch and are being raised to stay here.

The only other significant news concerns the ending of a special chapter in my life! For several years, I was an active and very involved volunteer for Shops On Star located on Star Island, an island in the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire.  My most significant accomplishment/contribution was finding an Artist who could paint porcelain In the Style of Celia Thaxter!

Porcelain In The Style Of Celia Thaxter

She lives on her mountain top in New Hampshire and had a Star Island connection from her youth.  I searched unsuccessfully for three years before I found her. Her pieces are properly signed and annotated, but otherwise nearly impossible to distinguish from the original pieces that Celia Thaxter did herself!

Shops On Star is now under new leadership and headed in a different direction that does not include locally sourced, Artisan produced, selections like this fine porcelain.

Last week I took a trip to visit the Artist who has painted the Porcelain In the Style of Celia Thaxter for Shops On Star to deliver, personally, the news that Shops on Star will no longer be carrying this historic porcelain once the remaining inventory is sold on Island this season.

The highlight of the day, having deliver my news, was seeing the Aster place setting (minus the luncheon and salad plates which are not finished yet).

Porcelain Aster Place Setting In The Style of Celia Thaxter

This phenomenal place setting is part of a specially commissioned dinner service which the Artist will continue to fulfill and will ultimately have 14, 13 piece, place settings — all different Celia designs PLUS a large selection of platters, covered and uncovered serving dishes and a large tureen w/ under platter.

As you may remember, this follows the Woodbine and Rosa Rugosa place settings.

Porcelain Woodbine Place Setting In The Style of Celia Thaxter      Porcelain Rosa Rugosa Place Setting In The Style of Celia Thaxter

Woodbine                                                  Rosa Rugosa

Porcelain Dinner Service Place Settings In The Style of Celia Thaxter

This pretty much brings you up to date with the varied activities at Fayrehale. I would expect the next posting to be weeks out when the garden is well under way and I am back to sleeping out in the tent!

Life is Busy, Life is Good.

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Bringing Back Balance !

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The past year has been tunnel vision focused to finish renovating the barn and get Shops At Fayrehale opened!  As you know, we accomplished and announced that in my last posting over a month ago!  The last 5 weeks have been spent adding inventory to the Shop and enjoying a short break from painting and renovating.

I am way behind in updates on the other sections of www.fayrehalefarm.com and can not emphasize strongly enough that for the time being – the best way to stay up to date and follow us is with our Facebook pages!  It is easier to make frequent updates there and we have active pages for the Shops At Fayrehale, Fayrehale Chanteclers and Fayrehale Icelandics.  Why don’t you take a minute right now and like the Facebook page for the segment of our endeavors you would like to keep up to date on!  Just click on the links above.

Our lives have been OUT OF BALANCE and it is time to refocus and bring balance back!  Our gardens, usually so abundant and productive, are nearly non existent this year!  Seed staring and planting abandoned for efforts to get Shop open.

We did manage to hatch and ship chicks this season.  Ran the incubator and shipped chicks up until 3 weeks ago when we declared the season over. Predators have been worse this season than I can ever remember them being.  Coons, foxes, skunks and possibly a fisher. We have lost over 100 birds despite taking all possible precautions.

Forced “down-time” right now following abdominal surgery to (hopefully) fix a radiation fibrosis induced situation has me thinking about regaining balance.  With the shop opened, I think we can pull it off.

Next year, the vegetable garden will be abundant.  Next year may be the LAST year we hatch and ship chicks all over the country. The next year will see the house back in order so we can have friends over to eat. The next year will see renovation work on a bedroom so we can have friends stay over. The next year will see us taking some time to smell the roses. All in the flow without a rigid deadline like opening the Shop had. None of these planned endeavors is any where near as massive as the one we just accomplished.

I understand why we had to take life out of balance  and it sure feels good to have accomplished the Shops At Fayrehale —  which we have planned and prepared for, for over 15 years.

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I smile when I pull in the driveway

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My Being Beams When I walk into the Shop and see what we have created!

We worked hard, and succeeded, in presenting an eclectic mix of beautiful Antiques, Christmas decorations, cards, advent calenders and Gifts.  We worked hard, and succeeded, in having a nice selection under $5, under $10 and under $20!  Believe me when I say that is not easy in this day and economy when we need to meet our standards for nice, quality merchandise!

So, I do not apologize for smiling with satisfaction! I am pleased. I deserve to be pleased! Customer reaction is positive and extremely complimentary.

I rest now, as I heal, and think about bringing back balance!  During this forced quiet time (only feeding critters, Abigail and Self plus opening Shop) I will study iMovie so my YouTube videos will be smoother.  I have uploaded two so far and plan a series as we feature and promote ours Artisans and our Products.

Introducing Shops At Fayrehale

Shops At Fayrehale #2

May there be Peace and Balance in all our Lives

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