Category Archives: Technology

Super moons

Super moon over one of our greenhouses
Super moon over one of our greenhouses

This is the week of the last ‘super moon’ for the next while. Super sized, early in the evening I can’t see it as it is below the ring of trees around our property. During the night if I open my eyes it looks like all of our outdoor lights are on, which can be a bit disorienting.

And then there is the early morning. When I go out to do chores, I know that I can usually catch a glimpse of the setting moon. It’s always a thrill, and being the optimist that I am, I always think that I can get a great photo of it with my little iPhone. Not so much, but it’s fun trying.

Grainy, but interesting, super moon
Grainy, but interesting, super moon

And this morning was no different, but I got a bunch of different photos that were all equally interesting. Now that I have a light in my milking greenhouse and a light in the hay greenhouse, I am settling into my winter-ish chore routine. A little sadly, perhaps, as that means the daylight is waning, but a satisfying part of the year nonetheless. And I can’t say it or think it enough: I love this cool weather! Bring on the blankets.

(Just a note on our weekend pigeon race: the birds were driven to Derby, Vermont, right up near the Canadian border. One of our birds came in 8th, which is pretty remarkable, considering they crossed the 4,000 foot White Mountains! 4 hours.)

 

 

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Web news, at last

HoneyBea still hanging in there
HoneyBea still hanging in there

No lambs yet, however.

It’s been a month and a day since I began the transfer of our ruitfarm.com domain to another webhost.  It’s been fraught with crazed phone calls and a lot of: okay now we will do this step and then that will take at least 24 hours, or a week, or possibly more.  What a learning curve it’s been!  But at last, I have the site up and running again.  This morning I finally was able to ftp into the new server and easy as pie, it appeared (fancy way of saying that I uploaded all the files that together make a website).  The whole process was definitely not fun!  But at least most of it is over now, and we just have to wait for our second domain (ruitfarmnorth.com) to be released from the local company for transfer to the new host.

Onward!  Now I simply have to do some hard tweaking on the site and get things refreshed and reorganized a little bit.  But that would appear to be the easy part at this point :*)

Blogiversary

Thanks to a WordPress notification, I was alerted to the fact that today is the Ruit Farm blog’s 5th anniversary! I don’t pay much attention to these things, but it got me started thinking about how I began the blog.

For all the years that we have had sheep I have always kept a datebook type calendar. Pam of Hatchtown Farm  gave me that tip and it has continued to be a good one. But those squares, even on a big datebook, are not large enough to really fill in all the details of what is going on. So I began an electronic journal on LiveJournal in 2007 (I think!), but kept it in ‘private’ mode. After I had been doing that for quite awhile, I decided to get a little more formal and jump to a live format. It forced me to get a little better organized, I became more aware of noting things using photographs, and just generally made things a little more precise. And I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I have gone to the blog to verify when things have happened, what were the details, and all kinds of other things. I am also really glad I have gotten on this bandwagon, because it has led me to a whole lot of other blogs and bloggers which has greatly enriched my life, aside from learning a lot of good stuff!

It doesn’t feel like it’s been 5 years at all!

Discomfort

I know, it’s a gorgeous, if windy, day out there.  I took my time doing chores this morning, enjoying the feel of the sun, but the wind has really come up since.  My sinuses have been bothering me the last few days and this morning I feel like I am getting an earache.  Yuck.  Hope it’s not a cold or a sinus infection, but this time of year is crazy and I frequently feel allergies coming on well before the cold weather is over.  It doesn’t seem fair!

More discomfort in life:  Google Reader is going away sometime around the end of June.  Being a creature of habit, I have been using the Google Reader tool for a lot of years to keep track of all the blogs I read.  The majority of the heavy hitters are library-related, but I also read a growing list of farm, fiberart, and foodie blogs.  Such a great world of people out there sharing their interesting lives and all the amazing things they are doing, making and cooking.  Blogging has really opened up the world of sharing art, craft and life choices.  It can be addicting reading, just like serial programming of other kinds.  So when I realized that Google Reader (the one-stop place that collects all of the blog feeds I subscribe to) was going to be leaving, I began looking around for another feed reader to experiment with before I find myself without a way to organize these subscriptions.  (For anyone who is unfamiliar with RSS feeds, see this article).

I had recently read a few blog posts reviewing some of the alternatives to Google Reader.  Last week I decided to get serious about this and experiment with the one that seemed to jump to the surface in most of the ‘alternatives to GReader’ lists, Feedly.  Some of the reasons I decided to experiment with this one is that it’s been around for awhile, it automatically syncs my GR subscriptions the first time I sign into Feedly with my Google login, and it also has a nicely-formatted app for the iPad, which was important to me as well.  I am happy to report that the pain of the changeover has not been too serious, for which I am grateful!  I am still getting used to its interface, but I am beginning to like it.  It’s a little easier on the eyes than GR as posts and blogs are separated in a very pleasing fashion, and there are thumbnail images from each of them that are highlighted as the newest in the feed.  There are a number of different ways that you can organize the feeds which I have not experimented with much yet.  So far it’s working for me, so I hope that when GR fades into the sands of technology time, I won’t miss it at all.  As a matter of fact, I am not missing it much already :*)

Note:  Many of the blogs that I subscribe to and read regularly are listed in the ‘blogroll’ in the sidebar of my blog home.  But not all of them have made their way there, so following is a pretty current list with links, if anyone is interested!

Farming blogs I follow: Butting Heads Farm, Blueberry Hills Farm, Catherine Friend Farm Tales, Fort Pelham Farm, Hatchtown Farm, Future Farmers Live Here, Getting Stitched on the Farm, Henbogle, The Kitchens Garden, Losing Sleep Counting Sheep, Sugar Mountain Farm, (not so) Urban Hennery, 10 Year Challenge,  Welsh Hills Again.

Fiber blogs: The PanopticonCast-On (also a podcast), Cluck Cluck Sew, iMake (also a podcast), Knit Knit Cafe (also a podcast), Knitmore Girls (also a podcast), @Romi’s Studio, Mollywobbles, Sailing Knitter, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, Yarn Harlot, Yarn Spinner (Joanne Seiff), Wolf Den, And She Knits Too, Romney Ridge Farm.

Foodie blogs: Kitchen at Camont, Domestic Diva M.D., David Lebovitz, Former Chef, Food in Jars, Susan Can Cook, Kayotic Kitchen, Krista and Jess, Witty in the City, Smitten Kitchen, View from Great Island, Yankee Pantry.

If anyone is interested in the library blogs I follow, I will make that list another time!

Currently residing in domain transfer limbo

Or in one of Dante’s circles, I might rather put it.  I knew the process of transferring our regular website (ruitfarm.com) to a new domain holder and web host company was going to be a little involved, and possibly a tad frustrating.  I was right, for once!

Website screen capture
Website screen capture

It’s necessary for domains (website addresses) to be legally owned and there should be a certain amount of red tape involved in changing it around in some way.  It is a process that safeguards a website owner from having the site yanked out from under them by some unscrupulous individual or corporate entity.  I totally understand that part of it.  But in order to transfer a domain to a new host, there are protocols that the sending company (or losing company as it were) must follow in order to legally fork over the domain and let it go to a new home.  It’s probably just human nature, but the sending company in our case seems to be making things a little more difficult than one would want.  Dragging their feet, as it were.  I have stuck with this company for almost 10 years, and they are always extremely helpful and kind souls.  And I understand the whole losing customers thing, but…

Sigh.  It has been quite the learning curve for me.  Learning the new company’s interface has been a little overwhelming.  I am hoping that I can gain access to the main website over on the new servers in the next two or three days.  Or at least hoping that the ruitfarm.com domain may almost be free and available for tweaking with the new host.  In the meantime, I am sure glad that we have this blog, separate from the website.  (I have not paid much attention to the website in the last few years, as we do not have anything fancy like a “shopping cart” on it, and have treated the blog as my update pages, leaving the website as an orphan cousin).  I am hoping to change that in the near future.  And thanks to my husband’s cousin in NJ, I am rethinking a drastic change in my web design.  I have a few small updates in mind, but more in color than in major design changes.  Thanks Lynnell for your input!  (I promise that I will get your name spelled correctly at some point in my life!).

Late winter Saturday

Chicken pot pie for dinner
Chicken pot pie for dinner

Long late winter day.  Squirty snow all afternoon and the damp invaded everything.  Lots of things are calling for attention.  As usual!  For quite awhile, I have been getting ready to move our regular website to a new webhost service.  I have stayed with our local small outfit for the past 10 years because I like to support small, local business.  And honestly, once the website was up and running there, it was going to be a lot of trouble to move it.  Recently this small provider was sold to a very large corporation, and I knew I needed to begin the process of getting our website moved, in the process saving quite a bit of money, which is always a good thing.  I chose another provider, and now have to get the darn thing there.  Complications, always complications!

I have been trying to keep the website updated, and hope it is for the moment.  But the question is, do I want to transform it into something  a little more “modern?”  Maybe use a WordPress.org theme (templates of which I perused for half the day today)?  Oh my, that requires learning to interact with .PHP coding.  Aargh!  Maybe I will leave that one for later!  Or update to a slightly niftier CSS design?  Sigh.  For now, I guess I will just get our very simple site transferred.   Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, I had some leftover roast chicken, and today was the perfect day to make it into a nice pot pie.  I used a piece of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for the supreme sauce and the handling of the actual baking of the pie (I have never put an egg wash on a pot pie crust, but I really like the way it turned out).  And as it was, I ended up with more filling than would fit into the Pyrex deep dish pan.  But it came out beautifully, and was just the ticket for a damp winter evening!

And even better, a friend of mine just clued me in to the fact that next weekend begins Daylight Savings time!  Woot!  Woot!  That definitely puts a smile on my face :*)

The list gets longer! Rant, rant

It has really been a hectic couple of weeks, nothing new about that.  Work is good-busy, but it seems as though every time we turn around something else is breaking down  or putting up yet another roadblock to getting things accomplished at home.  (Read here:  how much did you say that was going to cost?).  Yikes.  Last week the truck needed two new very expensive batteries (the ones we had in the F-350 were quite elderly); the John Deere front left tractor tire blew and we are still waiting on those; I need a wheel bearing fix on the Subaru…  and getting things done usually depends upon more than one factor! This week the router burned out so we can only get onto the internet by sitting by the back door plugged directly into the modem.  The fun never ends :*)

So we are picking away at things as we can.  And now that the new batteries in the Ford are in and something is still wrong, it would appear that it might be another part involved, like the thing that’s supposed to charge the batteries… that blasted alternator!!!  It makes me think of the books like “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly…”