HELLO April ! —– PLEASE Do Not Fool Us !

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HELLO  April !  —–  PLEASE Do Not Fool Us !

It has been a winter whose time has come to end!  A winter with way too many nights of  extreme, cold, subzero temperatures.  A winter determined to make us welcome Spring with open arms and big smiles.

April arrived  and I waited patiently and silently to get through April 1st —  quietly wondering if Mother Nature was going to fool us!  So far so good:)

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On March 31st, you could not see the stainless steel fence around the pallet garden in the front yard, you could not see the two half barrel planters along the road that hold the egg signs three seasons of the year AND the annual flooding of the lower southwest corner of the property had not started!

The pictures above were snapped April 2nd. Two days of sunny weather in the high 40s saw the snow start a dramatic retreat.  Here’s hoping it continues. PLEASE do not fool us Mother Nature!

As Spring approaches, I look at the list of what has to be accomplished and set priorities.  The incubator is humming away here on the table next to me.  Full of eggs that hopefully will hatch and start providing the chicks that we send around the country.

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I am SO ready to see boxes like this ready to go to people wanting to start their own flock of  Chantecler  and/or Icelandic chickens. In 2013 we were already shipping by this time.  I have been waiting for fairer weather as it is not just Vermont that has suffered this winter, it is the entire Country.  I refuse to send newly hatched chicks out until I know it is safe.

The first potential hatch is Sunday, April 13th and then we should be on track for something to hatch every Sunday.  The first one is questionable. I put 16 dozen eggs in and a week later candled them down to 12 dozen.  The 4 dozen I pulled were obviously duds. This week I will candle again, two weeks in and see what is going on.  These eggs were gathered during extreme cold so anything that hatches is an early gift.  Unless there is a surprisingly miraculous large hatch, which I am not expecting, we will keep this batch here at Fayrehale.  They will grow out here, some will provide older birds for sexed pullet requests later in the season and some will feed us next winter.

Hopefully the 12 dozen I added last Sunday will be in better shape as the weather had started to become slightly more moderate!  They too will be candled this weekend and the obvious duds pulled.

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Longing to get the gardens going!

The gardens are still under 12-18inches of settled snow.  Seeds need to be started. With living conditions as they are this season, I have very limited time and space to start seeds.  This is when one welcomes an offer to barter and I have a friend who will be starting seeds for me in return for older, sexed Chantecler pullets.  What perfect timing and the needs of both are easily met.

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Lots to do before opening Shops at Fayrehale the end of May!

We provided some updates in an earlier post.

Winter made it impractical to heat the barn to painting warmth.  We did paint shelf units in the kitchen and the last two are in here now.  Soon, hopefully, we can break out the paint, do some touch up second coating and finish the unpainted areas in the barn.  Not as bad as it may look to someone who isn’t visualizing the finished project.

Winter has also been used to find and connect with local Artisans to purchase inventory for the Christmas and Gifts sections of  Shops at Fayrehale: Antiques, Christmas, Gifts

We have made some awesome connections and are well on our way to offering green, local, Artisan made items along with the antiques.

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There have been personal challenges this winter!

The snow, I can handle. The ridiculously long, like all winter!, periods of extreme cold, not so much:)  In addition I have have to deal with radiation fibrosis  and I had to eliminate some inner anger left from an intended act of kindness!

The radiation fibrosis is the result of radiation I had 30 years ago after my cancer surgery. It is not life threatening and thus is an irritant that I will have to live with for the rest of this life.  A small price to pay for 30 years of post cancer life to date and how ever many more years lie ahead as I turn 66 next week:)

Radiation fibrosis takes 20 plus years to appear.  I was on schedule as I lived with the cyst, then three cysts for 7 years or so. Last fall they became red and irritated from pant belts and seat belts.  I went to Dartmouth Medical and had them removed on November 14th.  Then the fun began. The two smaller ones healed. The larger one that was directly on and in the surgery scar has yet to heal.  The Doctor’s can not tell me with 100% certainty that the perpetual draining will stop!  We are working on it and each visit they cauterize that “wound”.  I do believe it is helping.  Hopefully not wishful thinking on my part! Next cauterization is April 14th.

IF, I am to drain for ever more! I will design an elastic wrap w/ velcro that holds either washable pads or feminine pads!  It would also be nice if there was a good use for the fluid that drains so i could collect it and sell it!!!  As I said, regardless of the eventual outcome it is a small price to pay for life!  The other changes, red, thickening, creasing skin are limited to the 3″ x 4″ radiation port and can easily be airbrushed out or my scantly clad modeling photos:)

I did have to quell some inner anger left from an intended act of kindness.  It wasn’t as easy as it should have been!  I still have to stifle small doses at times.  They will be less likely to bubble as winter ceases!  Many of you know that we openly and willingly housed a convicted sex offender that had been friends with Tom at Colgate eons ago.  He was locked up for thirty years.  We opened our home and our lives for 18 months and then his inner evil bubbled and his manipulative, vindictive, horrible true nature reared its ugly head and there was a messy departure in which he attempted to do as much damage as possible to various social and personal relationships!  He succeeded at varying degrees.  That has not generated the feelings that I had to fight!  Karma will deal with that behavior and he has no good ahead in this life and will hopefully do a better job when he returns for the next one.

The inner battle I had to fight was the large financial burden he was. Thousands with a BIG “s” that would have been available to quickly fix the furnace and hot water heater that were knocked out last December by a burst pipe.  Now I lived adequately with the wood stove making a warm kitchen and through the floor register a warm bedroom. I had cold running water  and I quickly learned how to thaw the ice in the toilet bowl! Still better than a walk out back to the outhouse:) The Majority of the people currently living on this earth would jump at the opportunity to switch places with me.

Still, during some of those bitter cold spells, the anger would start to bubble.  Not proud of it. It was not right nor was it good!  It just was.  As I said, choices had to be made and the priority had to be getting the shop open so it would start generating some income and not pouring very limited funds down the “cellar drain”.  The breaking weather is helping!  It soon will be totally eradicated!

Life is good. Life is moving on. On April 1st I ordered myself a gift!  I bought Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City.

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Next I will gift myself with Ben Falks’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach

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Ben Falk is a Vermont Treasure.

Permaculture is the subject I must study this season. 

As Spring arrives I am revitalized and looking forward to moving back into the tent! (later than usual), getting the gardens planted, the chicks going to new flock owners and Shops At Fayrehale open.  If you are in the area this summer, stop and say hello.

Life is Good !

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