Something we always need.....firestarters. We buy about 3 boxes of the things every winter. They run about $10 a box. What are they made of? Hmmm.... I have a friend who gifted me with homemade firestarters. She told me how to make my own. I think it is the same thing as give them a fish or teach them to fish sort of lesson here. We always have an abundance of lint. Every time we empty the dryer we clean the filter. Isn't that what we were all taught to do? Oh, I have a story about a daughter who didn't know there was a filter in the dryer. Use your imagination here.
Anyway, I put some old egg cartons on top of the dryer to put lint balls in. Nice lint.
After about a month we had lint balls galore. I trimmed off the sides of the egg cartons after they were full.
Then I melted an old candle that I never use. You can use old candles that are mostly used up, even the scented candle that remains in the jar after you are finished burning it. I used a big tomato can to melt the candle in.
After it is melted just pour it over the lint eggs. Watch the wax at all times, you don't want to start a fire before it's time.
Let the lint eggs cool until hard.
Just cut out each section.
Store them in bags for later use. They stay dry.
I had a plastic top that fit the tomato can so I covered the remaining wax after it cooled.
I had to try them out. It was a bit nippy and damp with the rain, so a perfect time for a fire.
I will work on these over the summer and stock pile for the cold winter months. I am horrible and do not hang out my clothes on a line. I am a dryer girl. I make no apologies. For all you outdoor hangers I take my proverbial hat off to you.
At least I can make something out of lint balls. Any other ideas out there? Let me know.
We have been very blessed with spectacular spring weather this year. We know when spring actually arrives because it coincides with lambing. There have been years when we bring the ewes and new lambs into the barn because of the harsh temps here in Maine. This year all of the ewes lambed outside. Emily was first with this single ram lamb. We had two ewes who had singles this year. The Icelandic sheep are more inclined to have twins with singles being the exception. This lamb is growing like a weed with all his mother's milk to himself.
Esther surprised us with triplets. She is a wonderful mother.
Elspeth had twins but one was stillborn. The ewes are all great mothers. Very protective of their little ones.
Lambs are so cute when they take off really fast and speed by.
Lambs a leaping.
Everyone peaceful and happy.
We have been busy pushing fence post back into the ground after their being heaved out with the freeze. Still cleaning up the debris of the old sheep shelter and stacking the remainder of the wood to let it dry before next winter. We still have fences to put in. No more lazing around. Time to get to work. Never a dull moment.
We have been having warmer temps and with the good weather we wanted to break out the smoker that Sue gave Ted for Christmas. Oh, it has been hard to see this treasure sitting in the kitchen just waiting to be used. Keep in mind that we have never smoked meat before. Our experience with smoke meat has been limited to traveling to Winterport and eating at 4 Points BBQ & Blues House. By the way, the best BBQ that I have ever eaten.
We thought what the hay, why not try it. So we broke out the smoker.
Rubbed the chicken and turkey with season salt.
We followed the directions enclosed with the smoker.
Ted loaded the smoker
Okay, lamb ribs, rolled roast, chicken and turkey all in one shot.
For a first timer we did very well. The chicken and turkey was tender, fall off the bone good.
The lamb ribs actually fell off the bone. We found that apple wood chips were better for the lamb. Ted took a trip to Home Depot and bought a bag of each kind of chips available. We now have Hickory, Mesquite, Apple, Cherry wood chips.
I bagged the remaining meat up and put it into the freezer for future meals. I don't think we will be going out for BBQ anymore. We have the meat from the farm and we know what went into the sauce. I was so amazed at how easy it was to clean up the smoker after it cooled. We had sprayed the racks with Pam to make it easier. When I find a product that really works I like to tell everyone. Well we found two. Both by Dawn. The Power Clean will break down cooked on food in about 5 minutes.
The other is the spray by Dawn, Power Dissolver. For really hard to clean items this works sooooo great.
If you know old farmhouses you know how small the rooms can be. Our bedroom was at one time the dining room in this old house so it is relatively big. I wonder how many meals were taken on a big table. Kids discussing their day. Dads discussing what was being planted. World events.....
The ceiling is low but hey, folks were shorter then. We had ordered bedroom furniture a few months ago. We had to. Our furniture was beginning to fall apart. We had to put the bathroom on hold for a few days to get the bedroom finished. We had never gotten to our room in the four years we have been here. The floors had never been finished nor had the walls been painted. Just bland. So much else to do outside and in. We needed a kitchen before we needed a bedroom. Money was another issue. We have done a pay as you go renovation to the house.
Prep work done.
I even have a closet now.
Ceiling and walls painted. We thought we should go with a bathroom grade paint on the ceiling since the bathroom is open to the bedroom. Plus I like the reflectiveness. Hardwood floors sanded and looking good.
Thank goodness we had those warm days so we could open the windows for ventilation. The stain matches the color in the rest of the house.
Two coats of poly and there is a lovely shine to the floor. The foyer is in the forefront of this pic. The must have replaced the floorboards at one time. Much of this will be covered with a rug. Older wood takes stain and seems to hold on to it more.
I went online to find a poly that would hold up better with the pups and their toenails. This is suppose to be a tough poly made for high traffic commercial and home use. It was very easy to apply and has a nice shine. So far so good with the pups.
The furniture arrived and we couldn't be happier.
Yes it is a room full of furniture but very warm and cozy.
No more unfinished floors in the house. Finally, we are done with our bedroom and bath. Whew. About time.
Finally, paint color chosen. After helpful comments we did go with Creek Bend. I really like the grays with the warm colors in the slate. The pictures just don't do it justice.
Then came the time to put together the slate slatted shelf. No words, just a lot of letters....AA BB CC DD EE. Yikes!
Coffee in my chicken mug, a screw driver and directions. What a way to spend a morning.
Not bad! We really liked the color of the wood. It matched the vanity and our bedroom furniture. The bedroom furniture is another post. There is a reason that we took so long to finish the bathroom. Did you think we were just being lazy? Did Ya...Did Ya...huh... Did Ya?
The colors are much richer than they appear in the pics. We do get alot of sunshine in this room.
We still have a baseboard to complete but all of the caulking, sealing and touch ups are done.
We ordered a track system for the shower curtain that will fit to the ceiling. It should be in any day now.
All in all it was a big challenge to go from.... this..
Now just 2 more bathrooms to go. One upstairs and one downstairs. That will just have to wait till after summer. We can't wait to be outside again. With work, farm and renovations we are just tired to the bone. Much Love.
This is the story of two best friends who lived in seperate towns, managed two seperate homes with all of the bills, taxes, and house payments of each. We thought that it was silly to continue paying such high bills. We decided to look for an old farm where we each could follow our dreams. We looked for a house big enough that would allow each of us to have our seperate space, enough farm land to be able to have sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and any other animals that caught our fancy. We needed a barn big enough to house animals and hay. Both of us love the seasons in New England and wanted to remain in the northeast. Both of us were ICU nurses and are under no delusion that we can pay our bills with farming alone. We needed to be located near a large hospital for employment. We work full time as nurses and full time as farmers. That was a lot of needs/wants to guide our search. We combed through magazines, for sale guides, and the internet. We found a place northwest of Bangor Maine that fit these needs. It was a fixer upper in the mildest of terms. This is our story, how we arrived, refinished a 160 year old farm house and are making our dreams come true. We hit bumps in the road at every turn and try to keep a positive attitude. After three years we have come to a change that can't be overlooked. After much thought Alex has decided to pursue her dream elsewhere. Now the farm rests with Ted and I. We will work together to make our dream an actuality. Please follow along with us and welcome to Mainely Ewes Farm.