Sunday, September 21, 2014

Today was barn cleaning day. The hay and manure accumulated over the summer was pushed in a large pile to begin the composting process. Once well rotted, it will be spread over the gardens and used to amend flower beds.
At the end of the day when things had quieted down, the barn kitties came out of hiding to see what had been accomplished. I think they approve!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Boys and Their Toys

This is Doug's birthday present to himself. Luke had to come home from school to see it.
He bought it to pull this enormous disk.
And pull and disk they did. All the fields are ready. Hopefully next weekend the winter rye grass will go in for grazing through the winter.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The new property has been cleared and graded for fall pastures.
And with the several inches of rain we had, a huge bonfire was built and the brush burned.
 The fire took almost the whole week to completely burn out. Now another chore has been added to the list. Splitting firewood!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Egg Eater

A couple of weeks ago I found a black snake in the hen house. Being that I had been battling mice for several weeks I told him he could stay for a few days. After he had feasted on mice and they had all but disappeared he turn to the eggs. Oh no, you don't.
So for the last week he has lead me on a merry chase as I have tried to catch and relocate him. Today I peeked in the hen house and found him looking quite comfy in a nest box. I grabbed the make shift contraption the boys had fixed that was to loop around his head. Unfortunately it wasn't very tight but did allow me to drop him in a garbage can. Now, the garbage can had a few holes in the lid from the squirrels trying to get to the feed but I figured if I had a second lid on it (also full of holes) it would buy me some time and I would be able to take him down the road.
Uh, no. I had him in the Gator and was headed to the truck when I turned around to find him climbing out. I slammed on brakes and uttered some very unlady like oaths. I grabbed a feed bag and tossed him in it. It too had a hole in it and he shot out but I was able to shove him back in the can and raced to the truck. My plan was to take him several miles down the road but when I got to the stop sign on our road and glanced in my rear view his little head was poking out and he was looking around as if to say "Why am I in this garbage can and where are you taking me?" So I took out the can and chased him away from the farm, knowing it was probably not far enough and he would most likely return. Return he did, but this time my mom found him and when she tried to relocate he bit her.Yes, he left again, but this time in pieces....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Late Summer Harvests

The garden is waning quickly with a few struggling tomato plants, okra and crowder peas.The peppers are continuing to produce but in reality it will soon be time to put the summer garden to bed. Our late crops did next to nothing, due to lack of rain and extremely hot temperatures and most have been plowed up.

Today we harvested the spaghetti squash. Unfortunately a week or two late as the bugs had beat us to them. Though, most are still edible they will not last the winter as we had hoped. It was a bumper crop and could have fed all of our families (mine, sis and mom) for the winter. Grr...
 All is not lost, however, as sis has been very busy in the greenhouse. Broccoli, cabbage and collards have been started from seed and are almost ready to go in the ground.

A beautiful greenhouse cucumber is climbing on a trellis giving us hope that we may eat cukes well into the cooler months. Several little greenhouse tomatoes are waiting to be potted in larger pots too. As soon as the hot temps break kale, spinach and lettuces will go in along with beets, carrots and radishes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent

While a friend was staying with us recently, some of my clothes were washed in with hers.Unfortunately she uses a detergent I am highly allergic to and within a few short hours I was covered in a bright red rash and itching like mad. This was not the first time it had happened I had a reaction a couple of years ago and it takes WEEKS to go away. I find this kind of scary, I mean what is that stuff made of, really? So, the other night I was flipping through my July/August copy of Mother Earth Living, Home edition and low and behold a whole article on homemade laundry items. I could not wait to get to the store! Just a few ingredients and I was in business.

Arm and Hammer washing soda, Borax and a bar of castile soap.
Here's the recipe:
Grate the soap very finely and mix with 8 cups of water. Slowly heat until soap dissolves. In a 5 gallon bucket put 4 1/2 gallons hot tap water. When soap has dissolved add to bucket along with 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup borax. Use 2-3 tsp essential oils of your choice (I used lavender) stir well, cover and allow to sit 24 hours.Use 1/2- 1 cup per load.
The next day I stirred well and put it too the test. A stinky dog blanket was washed. Eureka! Now a load of clothes... I am hooked. The best part? All of the ingredients cost about 11 dollars, there is enough washing soda and borax to make 6 or 7 more batches only having to buy the bar of castile soap. That breaks down to about 5 dollars for a 5 gallon bucket!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Really, I Can Explain

Well, I can't believe it's been this long since I have posted! Time flies and days get away but here's the lowdown.
Recently, mt husband was approached about selling a piece of property we own. It happened to be the property where he houses all of his construction equipment, supplies, ect. The offer was made by the county and if we accepted it would have to be a swift and quick move. We took it and it has been a frantic couple of weeks moving 15 years worth of "stuff". Almost done...
There has been the clean up of trees downed by storms, repair work to fences and the everyday chores that have to be done no matter what. Mowing and weeding and feeding and milking.... I have still been preserving that last of the summer's harvest by pickling and freezing peppers.
A little surprise was born...
Meet Oopsy Daisy or Baby O for short. Guess we'll be milking over the winter ;-)
And then, a dear friend needed a safe place to land and spent two weeks with us. Add to the mix a 7 year old little boy and an 8 month old Malinios....I don't think is a word to describe that!! Chaos doesn't even begin to touch it. She has now found a place to start her new life and things have begun to return to normal. Not that "normal" has ever been a word to describe our homestead!
And so with the promise of some cooler days in the forecast I am looking forward to Fall and the rhythm of some slower days.