Life is Busy….

Friday May 1, 2015

Spring in western Massachusetts is absolutely spectacular as life bursts seemly out of every corner. I love my morning runs along the North river, watching the branches on the trees budding out, listening to the birds going about their morning routine, watching the grass (and weeds!) reappear and seeing the daffodils in full bloom. After months of hibernating and hunkering down, humans and animals are bounding with simple pure joy. Quite possibly Spring is my new favorite season (I know, I said that about Fall as well…).

The changing on the seasons here is truly spectacular and remarkable.   Baby animals appear, and the wildlife are around and about. Towards the end of winter the deer started coming close to the log house where we are currently living, looking for food. At dusk as we ate dinner we would watch the starving bobtail deer come practically up to the windows of the log cabin.

P1050109Monique started taking left over hay from the goats out and leaving it for them in the afternoons. We also had a beautiful orange colored fox that visited us every morning around the time when Monique was getting ready to catch the school buss. He would come up to the mud room window and stare in, then circle the house slowly. But now as food is becoming abundant again with the warmer weather the deer have retreated, and Mr Fox no longer visits. We miss Mr Fox’s visits.

Monique looking out her bedroom window
Monique looking out her bedroom window

Our builder Rich and his carpenter Jane have been making amazing progress on our house. In the first part of the week they began framing the lower level. Mid week the deck for the lower level appeared. By the end of this week, 3 of the 4 walls were up on the upper level. For 6 months I have been continually (sorry Peter!) tweaking and modifying

Tuesday's progress
Tuesday’s progress

our floor plan trying to account for all these little details in how our family lives, our workflow, the view of Pioneer Valley that we love, the position of the sun…. What I have been staring at in 2 dimensions is now coming to life in 3 dimensions. All those details and decisions are becoming a reality, for better and I am sure

By Friday, all walls but one are up
By Friday, all walls but one are up

also for worse (I am sure I have made some mistakes or oversights somewhere! I think that is unavoidable, no matter how hard you try).

Like the animals, the humans have also been a buzz with activity with the coming of warmer weather. Our Katywil community has been having work parties every Saturday morning

The view from the knoll above
The view from the knoll above

in the garden turning and preparing the soil, planting leeks, peas, onions, lettuce, spinach…tomorrow morning we will be planting potatoes for the community down by the river. As always these work parties are fun as well as super productive. We enjoying catching up on life’s latest happenings as we get the job done.

 

The view out the kitchen window
The view out the kitchen window

We have teamed up with our neighbor Lynn in getting some chickens. We have really missed having our own laying hens, so we are excited that in the next week we’ll have chickens and fresh eggs again. We have also joined our neighbors Haynes and Nancy in getting pigs. In June 3 piglets will arrive which we will raise for meat. We are new to raising pigs, so this is particularly exciting for us. And, all four of our goats are due to kid within the next 3 weeks. We have never had 3 goats kidding at the same time before. So, wish us luck! And Oh, if an of you want a baby doeling or buckling, please let us know.

 

P1050181

Finally, in other news, I am working again. April brought with it a new job for me as I took on the role of Senior Scientist for Malvern Instruments. I report in to their Biosciences Development Initiative which partners with academia and small businesses to bring new technologies down the pipeline from concept to market. Malvern Instruments focus is on measuring and characterizing particles, so it is a fun opportunity for me to utilize both my particle and materials background with my instrument business experience. I am field based, which means that I am reporting in remotely from here in Colrain to the team in Columbia Maryland. The job involves travel to biopharma customers mostly on the east coast, as well as travel to the team in Columbia MD every 5 weeks.  So, between building the house and all the decisions and research that goes with it, my new job, awaiting the arrival of baby goats, chickens and pigs, planting the crops….the days are long and busy, no one is idle, life is more than full right now for the Hadleys!

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