Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's' Day Weekend


My mother's birthday is May 7th. This year it fell on the day before Mother's Day. When we talked about what my Mom wanted to do for her birthday, she mentioned wanting to spend the day together, just her and I.

Growing up, Saturdays were fun days where we would go on adventures. Now as adults we will on rare occasions, abandon the men-folk for an afternoon and enjoy a mother/daughter day. Since John works on Saturdays, and my mother's bday fell on a Saturday, the only question became, "What to do?" We decided to start the day with breakfast and then go shopping.

Meanwhile, I mentioned a while back that I wanted to learn more about growing mushrooms. Turns out my Mom was also interested in this process and had asked me to find us a class nearby. So I did some poking around and found one. I mentioned it met numerous times throughout the summer, and there was even a class on her bday. So Mom decided that would be her bday adventure and so we went schrooming...

My mother and I had been here years ago for the Blue Heron Music Festival.  It was strange for us to be there with so few other's around. We could really take in the beauty of the place.

In the mushroom yard...

Below is a picture of a mushroom just starting to bud from an inoculated log... 

A wonderful day to be in the forest... 

That's gonna be a lot of mushrooms someday... 

We learned a lot and had fun in the process. We stuck near the waxing station. Each log is drilled and inoculated. Then hot liquid wax is daubed over the inoculation holes and brushed in a thick coat on the log ends.

After a nice lunch, I showed my mom a short cut from Mayville to the homestead. I showed her where our Amish builder lives and we stopped at a yard-sale. She was surprised at how close the homestead is to such a large Amish community.

When we arrived at the homestead, I gave Mom the grand tour of the barn. She we hung out and talked about the many options that the future held. Our day together ended with my Mother leaving to pick up my step-father and go to dinner. I decided to go back to the city and take care of things at the house there.


Sundays are normally farm days, but when a holiday falls on Sunday, John does farm chores on his other day off, Monday. We loaded the car with Mom's Mother's Day swag and headed out to the farm.

We are usually good at keeping my Mom's bday and Mother's Day separate, but this year it was difficult to do that. So while my Mother and I had our mushroom adventure on Saturday, we had her bday cake on Sunday with Hank and John.

It was a such a pretty cake, but we dug in before I could get a pic....

For Mother's Day there are always flowers....

And because you are never too old to make something for your Mom....

Another family birthday tradition is a meal out at a restaurant picked by the person whose birthday it is. So that will happen next Sunday. The festivities continue!

After we wrapped us the Mother's Day Celebration, John and I decided to go out to the homestead. However, before we could leave, I had to stop and and say 'Hi!', to the boys.

Stan was being super cute today...

We invited my parents to come with us, out to the homestead. It was Hank's first time seeing the barn or what we have started calling the 'cabin'. He was impressed with the quality of workmanship. The four of us hung out and talked about the next-steps.

Once my parents left, we got to work. John moved some gravel and our mushroom log to a better location.

We have been learning a lot lately about forestry and survival techniques or as the English call it, Bushcraft. Here, John is making kindling with a hand-ax... 

While no fingers were lost, a band-aid was deployed ;-)

So now we are back in the city and ready for the week ahead. The whole while knowing, in 5 short days we will be back out in the woods preparing the land for a day when we won't have to leave. In the short term, it is a cabin for summer fun and we plan to enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Barn Delivery!

At 7:30pm, on Tuesday April 26, 2016 the homestead received its' first structure.  Some would call it a shed, some a barn, we have taken to calling it our cabin.  One day the alpaca boys will make it a home, till then, we will keep it warm for them.

Since he was on vacation, John was there for delivery. Everything from moving large round bales of hay to accommodate the large truck to a winch battery that died, it eventually found its' way to the homestead.

So, Friday after work, I picked John up and we drove out there so I could see the new arrival.

I am especially enamored of the detail above the windows...

The smell of fresh lumber was intoxicating...

Finally we have a 'home base' on the homestead. A place to rest while working on the land.

We drove back to the city with smiles on our faces.  We talked about all the wonderful things we could now do with a sturdy roof over our heads.

John usually works on Saturdays, but since he was on vacation we decided to go on an adventure.  We headed to Erie Pa on the trail of a floor loom.  She is a beautiful, well loved loom. I named her Mabel after her previous owner. She is small at around 3 feet by 3 feet square and has 2 harnesses. I am excited to dust her off and see what she can do.

With Mabel safely stowed in the back of the Rav we decided to poke around a bit. I noticed we were very near Presque Isle State Park. It was a beautiful day for a drive...

This adventure led us to another one in Clymer New York. We had a lot of fun and made the most of our extra day together.

Sunday morning came and with it a trip from the city to the farm in Irving NY.  While John cleans out the alpacas pasture and barn, I catch up with my mother and step-dad. Sunday was quite rainy and dreary and the alpacas looked a mess. So I will spare you pictures of soggy pacas. I wish they would go in barn when it rains but they don't seem to be bothered by it.

After the alpacas were fussed with and any chores my parents have for us are done, we decided to drive out to the cabin.

I brought fabric with me to hand sew some curtains while we were there. John on the other hand could not decide if he wanted to relax or work. I just smiled and encouraged him to do whatever he wanted.

There was something very satisfying about this project...

And for the record, no... I did not buy this fabric for this project.  I actually had it on hand and thought it would work!

So what's next? We plan on a few things this summer. John is eager to clear out the trench behind where we plan to put the house. After the flood of last year, we feel this would be added insurance for any structures we might build or place closer to the woods.

Once it dries out from the rain, I am looking forward to staining the cabin and setting it up for camping. All the while we are working on finding an Amish house builder, and finalizing the building plan.

We will keep you posted!