Saturday, April 22, 2017


Easter just came and went, SWOOSH!!! Tradition for us, is we always go to our favorite campground, Sycamore Ranch which is only about 30 minutes away.  Family, friends, even people without trailers are always welcome to come.  The grand kids and Celli were here at the farm the week before with their trailer already here.
 So on Thursday, we both took off to the campground.
 Frank really didn't want to go as the forecast was rain, nice, rain, cloudy, rain for the 4 days.  But Celli is a trooper and always optimistic.  She was right, the weather wasn't all that bad; we had just a fabulous time; and the campground was almost deserted -people thinking like Frank.

We were fortunate to be able to camp right next to each other and right next to a river.  
The spot also is large so the grand kids Carli and Collin can ride their electric scooters around and around and not bother other campers.  On Saturday, some friends of Celli & Chris' came with their kids that go to their same school.  

They brought fabulous lunch fixings, combined with ours.  What lovely Saturday in the sun watching the kids go around and around on the scooters.  
This one picture of both kids on scooter is last year for Easter.  What a difference this year, they are really growing!
Here is Bella, Gunnar, Lola & Annie
Back at Windmill Farm when we got back.
I have had these 2 hens sitting and sitting on a nest, they call it brooding.  Last year, I purchased 10 baby chicks, put them under the brooding hens and they both raised the chicks together.  Lovely if you can get the Moms to take care of the chicks.  So I did the same thing this year, I waited until we got back so I could monitor how things would go.  Chicks are really fragile especially with this crazy weather, cold, hot, rain, wind, blah blah-(will it ever end???)
So I waited until night time, brought 10 new Buff Orpington chicks and my flashlight to the hen house. 1/2 went under one hen, the other 1/2 under the other.  Well instead of delightful cooing from the hens, one kept pecking at the little ones. So I put what she didn't want under the other hen.  That hen didn't make any of those delightful sounds plus she had a very horrible look on her face. I was worried I had made a mistake.
During the night, I kept going back into henhouse to check on things.  4 chicks were off in a corner, cold, abandoned.  Guess that hen didn't believe those 4 I gave her belonged to her.  So I spent the next hour, at 2:00am setting up a heat light, a warm and cozy container; water; feed. My last check was at 3:30am on the remaining 6 under hen #2 and went to sleep.
The next morning, my 4 in their container were fine.  Inside the henhouse was a different story.  My heart broke.  4 little chicks were huttled together around the food container, all alone, no mother hen.  After looking carefully, 1 chick was limp in one corner covered in bed shavings; the last one was in another corner, limp.  It broke my heart.  Chickens are horrid when it comes to chicks, they do not have normal mothering instincts unless they are in the brooding mood. So I am sure, this mother hen got up and left those little guys alone in the henhouse at dawn didn't really buy it that those hatched under her; I wasn't fooling her one bit.  And the other chickens just picked on those little guys left all alone with no mother hen to protect them.
I brought them all into my heat lamp new pen; and put a blanket around the 2 that were the worst.  I assumed were dead or dying. One was peeping softly, the other -well, she just didn't make it.  Boo hoo.  I worked with the peeping one, got her little cold body next to the heat lamp and rubbed it with a soft blanket for about 30 minutes and then put her in with the rest of her sisters.  Nature will just have to decide whether she was going to live or die.  Her head just drooped and she wouldn't opening her eyes.  I checked on her all day without any changes.  The next morning, I figured she probably had not made it.  But I counted 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9!!!  All running around eating and drinking.  What is that?  Where is the dead one?  I couldn't even tell which one she was of the 9.  I think I was able to get help to her in enough time that she didn't die from the cold; and she was so stressed from being picked on and pecked, she was exhausted.  I still feel bad I did loose the one little guy, but at least the 2nd one has survived!
I finished my afghan project which was started a month or so ago. It came about because I wanted to use up some yarns and I had an excess of aqua and white yarns. I knew I had plenty so I kept making squares and more squares.  
When I put it together, it was too small, so I had to go buy yarn!!!  I made more squares, added it to the small afghan and still too small.  Back to Joann's store for more yarn, but this time it was enough and it is finished. I even had enough to do the scalloped trim and you can see a bit of the aqua and a whole white skein is left.

Guess it was a fruitless effort to get rid of excess yarn.
How was your Easter, did you have fun with family and friends?  Come back to my next post, I will share some bouquets, arrangements and boutonneirs with you I just finished for a small, local wedding.  The wedding is today so I don't want to show the flowers until they post their own wedding pictures and spoil anything for my clients.
See you next time and I will also show you how the chicks will have grown.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Our living room is nice, but it just needs something new done to it.  Plus it had a short list of repairs needing done to it.  Yes, believe it, I keep lists of each of my rooms; yards; gardens; garage; closets, you name it.  I can't help myself.  But when I see something that needs fixing, I write it down on a list.  If I see something that can be changed for the better, I put it on a list.  Then every once in a while, I compile these lists to rooms, areas and believe it or not, to either Frank or I lists.  Things that he does or can do; things that I can do.  Example:  The front door needs to be painted (blame it on Annie, the dog.  
Every time she wants in and the back dog door is shut, she goes to the front door and scratches it).  I am the official painter in the family so that task goes on my list-which happens to be in the front living room, so it goes on tasks that need to be done for the living room.  WEIRD!!!  But that is how we keep things in working order around here at Windmill Farm-lists.
So back to the living room.  We needed electricity in the center of the room for lights.  Light above and lights around the room, just never lights right next to a chair or the couch.
That task got done a few weeks ago when we paid a neighbor's workman (who is a small guy) to go underneath the house to pull some electrical wires to outside walls.  Then Frank carried the project from there.  There are now 2 multi plugs in the wood floors AND while he was doing that, Frank decided to put an electrical plug box out by the front door, down low where you wouldn't see it.  Why?  For Christmas lights of course!!!  I always have Christmas lights out front and had to run a long, long cord around the house to the nearest electrical source. DONE! Off the list.
The window sills needed touch up painting-DONE.  Front door re-painted gloss black-DONE-did it yesterday!  Lots of editing of STUFF.  Fans and sconces needed good cleaning and globes washed. Still on list. Get the picture?  I drive Frank crazy I know.
What I really wanted to do to do to this room was change the wallpaper above the fireplace.  It is a soft aqua damask print.  Nice, but I want SHOCK value.  Here is what I want-but it cost $450.  Can you believe it for only a 4' x 7' piece? Beautiful designer, Ellie Cashman. Took inspiration from Great Master's paintings. 
Ellie Cashman Wallpapers

Alternative on-line looking and found an Etsy distributor who makes a similar large, bold, black background with floral prints. Cost $96 + $15 shipping. DONE!! (I sold a chair I wasn't using so used those funds for the paper-thank you Becka for buying the chair and helping me with the wallpaper purchase).
But it won't be here for 4 weeks because it is coming directly from China.  Other purchase I need to make is to find a different rug, but I want to install the paper before I decide what the room needs.  So for right now, the room is on hold to scratch off the rest of the items on the list.  I am so excited but a little nervous about the wallpaper-don't tell Frank, he hasn't seen it yet!
Easter break is now on for our grand kids, so this week Carli is staying with us for a few days, on her own, without Collin.  This is because she got straight As on her report card and we asked her what she would like from us as a reward for doing well.  Answer:  to come stay with grandma and grandpa all by herself.  DONE!  Carli and I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of succulents to plant out front.  
Those planters always seemed to have trouble maintaining consistent water so we changed the soil; put in new mulch/soil and planted all 4 of them.  I think they turned out great and will keep looking better and better as the plants fill in and hang over the planters.
I finally got some class scheduling done and I think the classes are going to be great, great fun.  Here they are:
1. Once a month Knit/Crochet night: Bring your own work, project, problem pieces, or learn to knit, crochet get together. April 25th, 6-8pm; May 23rd, 6-8pm; June 20th 6-8pm. $10.

2. Found Object Decorating Bird houses, paint it, decorate it, go home with completed fun bird house. We will be using, garden objects; moss, sticks, knobs, corks, stones, I will have loads of fun found objects to use. Wednesday, May 3rd, 6-8pm and another class on Saturday, May 6th 10-Noon. $30, everything supplied but you bring the creativity!!!

3. Starting in June-dates coming-bag making classes (you know how we all need to carry grocery bags in our car); & Strawberry Jam canning class. (date coming when we have a better idea about growth of strawberries)

Hope you can make one or all of these class, information on how to sign up is over in this blog under NEWS and EVENTS.
LOVE this Cashman Wallpaper
Our grandson Collin and rest of the family are coming Wednesday; fun times together for the rest of the week.  I hope your Easter week will be filled with family and friends.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I am deviating today from my normal blog.  Why?  Because I have been working in the yard and field for 3 days and my knees, back, neck and hands are killing me.  I don't even want to go outside to take photos to show you what I am doing.
Instead, I wanted to share with you a couple entertainment sites I love to watch, to have fun and to learn.  If you like to knit or crochet, sit back and enjoy.  If you don't, they are still absolutely fun and you will be laughing.  

The Grocery Girls-on Youtube.TheGroceryGirls They are knitter sisters that are fast talking, having a great time, talking about themselves, their family, shopping, work, but most importantly, their knitting.  The family owns a grocery business and everyone works there.  They say it is their "real" job and a year ago, the sisters decided to do a little YouTube video.  And it has exploded into a really popular site.  They make me laugh every episode talking about just every day funny things.  But the knitting objects and yarns and tools they talk about are brilliant.  The one sister, Jodi makes these darling bags.  Both are on Instragram under sister Jodi-mresbrownbags and sister Tracie-Tracie.  It is on once a week or every two weeks, can't remember because it automatically shows up.  Once I found them, I spent hours watching their older YouTubes and it isn't like you can fast forward them.  They are so engaging, you want to be part of their conversations and not miss a moment.

Off Our Needles-Same sisters, but became an instant success that Craftsy picked them up to make Podcasts under their site.  Similar style-the two of them chatting.  But a bit shorter and structured.  Off Our Needles.  The last one I saw, they both were sitting in a studio WEARING PAJAMAS to celebrate Mother's Day.  They are up in Canada so their holiday may be different than ours.  Then they did a phone call to their mother who is also darn funny.  Topics are yarns, de-mystifying knitting stitches; products, but basically really fun.

Kim's Upholstery-Kim's Upholstery-OK, another YouTube Podcast and person I just love.  You want to learn how to slipcover or upholster from someone who is fabulous, watch her YouTube videos.  She is one of those people who shares all her years of knowledge.  She most recently started a Podcast, once a week, Wednesday morning with projects.  You start out from the beginning and for a month or so (or until it is done) she shows you how to upholster it.  Her husband does the video taping and they chat back and forth, complain to each other, help each other.  They both do upholstery work as a business.  For years, her YouTubes were filmed in their (I think they are in Maine) basement but now they actually have an office shop.  She has become quite popular, is asked to lecture and demo all over the place.  And she sells complete How To videos via the Internet.  So you can take her courses during your own time and convenience.  Kim is fun and during the live Podcast, you log in, she says hello to you and you can ask questions as she goes along.  

Arne &Carlos-arne&carlos.  These guys are famous all over the place, have written tons of books and go lecture all over the world.  Probably more famous in Europe.  They live in Norway, one is Norwegian and they have this fabulous old place overlooks a lake.  They present weekly YouTube tutorials on lots of crafting, but mainly crocheting and knitting.  They talk back and forth, laughing and having a good time showing everyone how to make beautiful objects.  Their knitting is the best, they make all those intricate sweater designs.  They used to work in the clothing design business and changed their focus.  Again, guys sharing their knowledge and skills with the rest of the world, at any time day or night on YouTube.
OK, I am not through yet, I have one other place I think you ought to go view.  I just found it and love it.
NETFLIX-Slow TV- Slow TV National Knitting Binging- It is filmed in Norway and it is 17 hours of everything you want to know, see, hear, learn about knitting.  But not what you think.  Set inside a very old knitting factory with the old looms.  There are people sitting upstairs, downstairs all working on different projects.  Some are knitting pieces to completely cover a Harley Davidson motorcycle. They bring in models of knitted objects; someone periodically teaches you stitches; they interviewed a woman who can't stand knitted projects not finished.  So people from all over the world send her unfinished projects (some projects are over 30 years old) and she completes them.  They talk about therapy for this person.  Tons of information, I can't stop watching it.  But I must say, I watch it late at night when everyone has gone to bed because I want to concentrate AND you have to read sub-titles.  Yes, the downside of it, it is in Norwegian but it really isn't a problem.  Only that I can't binge knit or crochet myself and listen to it.  You have to keep your eyes on the TV screen and read. Slow TV has other subjects, like burning wood for like 13 hours and watching it burn; taking a train ride and viewing what you see from a train.  Bizarre but fun too.
Those are some of my favorites for knitting and crocheting.  I have others, don't you have YouTube favorites?  I have one I love of a young man who metal detects mostly areas where there are Civil War items; coins, old homesteads.
No, I don't spend my day watching TV.  But I am a bit of a night owl and stay up late so that is when I do watch it.  And now my TV is a smart TV and I can get YouTube right on it without watching on my computer.  Oh-I have been known to watch a YouTube on my tablet on my lap and be also watching it on the TV, different programs.  Maybe I need therapy too.
See you next time and I will show you some photos of the farm, the yards, some flowers blooming-promise.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


We held another fun class here at the farm.  My friend and nursery owner Geneva brought a truck load of interesting small scale plants for us to use.  She also brought a couple of the fairy gardens she made and selling at her nursery in the town of Glenn.

A sweet friend of mine brought two of her adorable grand children aged 5 years and 7 years; and another friend brought her teen-aged daughter and they made gardens together.  They see the small gardening ideas from a totally different view than adults.

My great friend Jerry (ex mayor of Gridley) and woman extraordinaire came and she said she is going to devote a section of her garden to just be for her grand kids-fairy gardens.
I put together a lot of this and that which I thought might be something people could use; such as tumbled ocean glass; drift wood; pine cones; white rocks; glossy round rocks; lots of fairyland furniture.
Geneva brought the cutest miniature sets of rakes/hoes; some tiny watering cans; and some tiny clay pots.  Then she showed us how to cut off tips of succulents that made into plants into the tiny pots; and a tiny vegetable garden.

All dreamy and darling and personal.
I am putting together some more dates and classes so keep coming back to check on what is scheduled.  As I was talking to my friend who has come to many of my classes at the fairy garden day, she said she still is working on her crochet project she learned from me last year.  I think we both agreed that I need to have a once a month knit and crochet night.  People can bring any project they are working on to get inspired again to finish; or get through a difficult part; or just sit around and have an old fashioned girls craft night.
Are you interested?  Write to me if you are at the little "envelope" below this blog, which actually is the comment button or email me at if you want to be put on an email list to be notified of future classes.  And lastly, there is Facebook-either check us out under Paula Carli or Windmill Farm.
Have a great week! Easter is coming up soon. I started growing these rye grass containers to use for Easter-easy and fun.


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