Sunday, December 30, 2012

That was too close

This afternoon, my youngest daughter and her MIL and I went to see Les Miserables. I LOVED it. But not at first. I love the music. It was really good. And I hope everyone gets to go see it. And I cried.

When we got out of the theater, it was already dark. So had to hurry home and feed and milk goats. And dogs and cats too. So got all that done. I am pleased with Penelope Jane's progress and can't wait to start milking her. She is going to have a pretty big udder for a first freshener. Can't wait to see her kids soon.

Also the new doe Trudy is developing an udder too. I am happy with her progress as well. I am really not sure what she was bred with. It could have been either a Lamancha or a Boer. We shall see soon.

I need to get busy making some kidding stalls soon. I need more pallets first. It will be time to kid and I won't be ready for them. I hope to sell all the kids as soon as possible. I am not keeping any of the doelings. I'll castrate all the Boer cross bucks for meat.

After I came inside, I thought I better go check to see if there were any eggs. I got 3 yesterday! So 2 more started laying. I have 4 hens total. So grabbed the flashlight and went to see. And I saw 4 eggs!!!!!! 4! I was so happy to see all those eggs. I now have 1 whole dozen eggs hiden!

Then I started looking for my sheep. I heard the dogs coming up  the driveway. They had opened the gate. Got them in then looked over at the garden gate. It was wide open. My heart fell. I had put the sheep in the garden this morning. I ran in there and looked in the shelter. Nothing. I looked over in the barn yard and saw one of the ewes. Just one. She ran to the pasture. Then I pointed the flashlight toward the apple trees and saw eyes. I was SO relieved. I was about ready to jump in the car and look all over this valley for them. My poor sheep out there lost in the world. But then I started counting and they were all there. Adele and Fiona were over on the other side of the fence in the pasture. But the rest were down in the little orchard at the end of the garden. I was so happy to see them all. They looked a little spooked but all ok. I gave them some hay and shut the gate to the garden. I can't believe they were all still in the garden. I thought they had all left me. I am so thankful they didn't go out. Now if it had been goats... But they wouldn't have gone too far. Anyway, it all turned out good. I will be more careful and make sure gates are latched and tight before I leave again. I would be so sad to lose any of my sheep.

And Adabelle will be going home tomorrow! Her buck kids have been sold so it's safe for her to go back. And John Henry will be coming back tomorrow from his "job" in Hillsboro, Tn. So I can put Zeeboo in with him. Hope fully it won't be too late for that.

The 2 rams will be going to the butcher next Monday. So I can put the ewes back over there and get ready for lambs soon. I know I'll have 3 ewes due sometime in early Feb. Not sure about Darla. Maybe a few months later. Then all the littles will be due in May if Abraham has done his job.

As I was outside tonight, I saw the big huge full moon comeing up over Pigeon Mt. It sure is big and beautiful tonight. Go outside and see it for yourselves!

 Happy new year's eve!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blue jean quilt

I have had a stack of old jeans in a closet, waiting for the right time to make a quilt out of them. Also had bought some demin fabric at a thrift store last year.

Today seemed like the day to get it started. I just cut out squares and rectangles and then put them together like a puzzle. I even used the pockets, front and back. I love the way this looks. I'll use the demin for the back.

I'll have to hand sew it all together because my sewing machine has had the tension all messed up for a few years now and I don't know how to fix it. I've tried every which way to change the tension, but nothing has worked. It's just a cheap little Singer I bought on sale one year at K-Mart the day after Christmas. I would love to get a good machine but will have to wait. And I don't mind hand quilting. Makes me feel like Caroline Ingels.

This is a side view showing the pockets. It looks so cute already.

I'll take pictures as I go along. I hope it won't take too long. I'm making this for my truck driving husband. It's cold out there in that truck all alone.

I just feel like I have to making something or I'm not being productive. And I can't get out in the garden right now. And it's too cold anyway.

Is anyone else making anything?

Bubba too

This afternoon, Bubba and Stella were sitting side by side. Looking at their kingdom together. I went to grab my camera and Stella heard me and came to the door. But Bubba stayed put. That is so funny. I have no idea what they are seeing or thinking. Just maybe meditating on a dog life. Or maybe this is just the best place to sit ever.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I wonder

what Stella is thinking? Sometimes she just sits right there and looks all around. Deep in thought. She'll turn her head and look in the other direction, then back that way. Just sits there and looks. She's such a good dog.

 Until I see her big pile of stuff just over to the left. Big pile of stuff, too. All hers. Bones and chewed up bowls. Sticks and branches from the wood pile. More bones. She's a mess, that Stella Bella Luna.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy new year!

I was inspired by Jon Katz from Bedlam Farm up in NY to give all my animals treats this Christmas. I don't usually give a lot of treats to them. Just when I have stale crackers or cookies or bread I'll give them to the goats. Or apples to the sheep. But a few months ago I had won a big box of cat and dog treats. There was a squeeky toy and a small frisbee that I gave to my grand dog Daisy. Stella is afraid of the sqeeky toys. There was also a few bags of dog treats that the dogs loved. And a can of cat food that I mixed in the dry cat food. They all loved that.

The goats got lots of animal cookies and vanilla wafers and crackers. It's really hard to feed the goats. Some will eat and some won't. Those who like the cookies are selfish and push the others out of the way. I have figured out how to do it though. I say their names and they get a cookie. Then the next one. And on and on. The sheep got apples, which they love. The rams got extra grain with apples in it. And even the chickens got some goodies. And of course extra hay because it just about rained all day here.

So it was a good day. Everyone came here for breakfast and to open gifts from us. Then we went to my parents to have dinner and open more gifts. Then back home. I was so tired by then I could hardly keep my eyes open on the way home. It was fun though.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas day where ever you are. And wishing you all a very happy fun filled new year.
I love St. Francis. And he should have a place here on this post about animals.

I will see you all next year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas to me!

Meet the new girls. I just got them today.

This is Z. That's what they call her. So I am trying to think of a Z name. I like ZeeBoo, Zeborah, Zariyah, and Zia. Can't make up my mind. But will probably just call her ZeeBoo for now. She is a 3 year old Lamancha doe. She looks a lot like my Abby but a bit smaller and she has tan lines on her face, where Abby's are white. And she has the white on her belly. She is not bred, but in heat. So the guy put their buck with her but he was so small I don't know if it worked. Or rather, if they made contact. I like this doe. As soon as I get John Henry back, he will go in with her.

And this is Truck. Her name will be Trudy from now on. She is 2 years old and is bred to kid in February. The guy said she was bred to the Boer buck. So I hope she has a buckling. This will be her first kid. The black one has had a kid before but it looks to have been awhile as she is very dried up right now.

This is a back view of ZeeBoo's udder, which I like already. I like the long teats. They said she was an easy milker.
I have them both up front in the garden right now til I can get the electric fence fixed out back. The goats are still getting through it. So when it is fixed, the new does will go in the back yard and the other does will go out back. That way they can see each other and hopefully get used to each other so I can put them all together.

Now I will be anxious for February to see how Trudy does on the milk stand. I'll have to wait til May or June for ZeeBoo, but that's ok. I am so happy I got these two. The people I got them from had got some turkey eggs from me a few years back. When I emailed her, she said she didn't answer any more emails because she wanted me to have first pick. So thank you, Sherri and Bill! Bill even followed me home with Trudy in his SUV. That was nice.

I now have 8 does and 1 borrowed doe. Looks like she may be staying. So 9 does.I will need a few pigs later to help with all the milk.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just a few more days

I don't know why I wait til the last minute to do anything. I have been making jewelry the past few days for Christmas gifts. And bracelets and earrings. It's not that easy. Some of those beads are SO small. My step dad got me a jewelry tool set that has really come in quite handy. But now I need one of those lights that shine down with maybe a magnifying glass on it so I can actually see what I'm doing. I have reading glasses that help a lot. But still, it's really tedious work. But I do love the results. I love putting beads and little shiny stones and colors together to make a pretty necklace or earrings. I just hope they don't fall apart when someone is wearing them.

I am also making candles with some pretty little jars. I have had several bags of soy wax for awhile and a big 5 pound wheel of bees wax. That is the hardest stuff to try to grate or even cut. But I love bees wax candles.

Also am finishing up an afgan I was supposed to give my daughter and son-in-law LAST Christmas. I know, that's bad. But at least they will get it this Christmas.

So lots of little last minute gift ideas coming together. I really love making things for people I love.

I hope no one else is like me and trying to get a lot done at the last minute. But if you are, try not to get too stressed out! And have a very merry Christmas and a great new year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Musical sheep. Again.

Last night, I noticed the 4 younger ewes jumping on each other and acting friskier than usual. So I went over and got Mr. Abraham. This is his first time in with the ewes. Ever. He's had to patiently wait his turn. The other 2 have been with the 4 older ewes and hopefully they are all bred now. But I did have to move big Darla over to stay with the other 2 rams because Abraham is her son.  She did not like that at all. And is still telling me so. She is VERY loud.

So last night, Abraham sniffed around a little. That's about all I saw so far. This morning, they are all just eating and grazing. Nothing much happening yet. I hope I wasn't too late. But that would be ok because 2 of the younger ewes are still so small. That's why I was waiting til later to breed them. And it would be ok if they don't get bred right now. I'll be keeping Abraham, so they could wait til spring.

Anyway, more goings on at Outback Farm. What's happening on your farms this time of year? It's too wet to do anything in the gardens right now.

Sharing the couch

Bubba, sharing his couch with Kansas this morning. She has to get up around 6 am to catch the bus for school at 6:40. This morning she couldn't quite get woke up so she came in and laid down on Bubba's couch with him. And he didn't mind one bit. He's keeping her feet warm for her. Good boy!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Just love. That's all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Finally, a tree

I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't like Christmas anymore. It used to be such a wonderful time for me and my family. I would have a tree in every room and decorations all over the house. We would have friends over for parties. Once I even had a neighborhood Christmas potluck dinner.  And when I worked at Ace hardware up the street, I had everyone over for deserts and I fixed everything. It was so fun. I used to bake things and take to neighbors and friends. I would make things with the kids. All our ornaments were hand made by me and my kids through the years. I still have them all. And now the grands are making them. It used to be fun. And magical. And exciting.

But now, I just feel like, what's the big deal? Why take down all the stuff that I have around the house and put up Christmas stuff for a month, then have to put it all away and do it over again? So much work. Ugh.

And since we moved way out here, no one wants to come out this far. So why bother? It's just us anyway. And I don't want to decorate for people passing by.

So today, I made myself go out back and look for a small pine tree. I wanted to at least have a tree. And a cute little scrubby Charlie Brown tree. And it would have to fit on top of the big huge dog crate in the dining room, because there is no room in this small house for it anywhere else. So I found this cute little scrub pine.

Brought it in and stuck it in my pretty antique metal apple bucket with rocks to hold it up. Put some water in it and a flat white sheet around. Went and bought a strand of 100 white lights because every strand I found didn't work. Then Heather and Kansas put up some of the ornaments. They couldn't be too heavy because the branches are not very big.

I think it looks pretty good. I do love white lights at night. And I will get some greenery and red berries for the front window and the buffet and mantle. And some candles. And that's it, folks. I'm done.

So Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New website?

I just tried to make a website. Still have some things to add.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The big clean-up

Today I decided to let the sheep clean up the garden for me. Their pasture is quite brown. Or actually, it's the same color as they are and I can hardly see them out there. So to the garden they went.

Then I felt sorry for all the does out back. So started taking them up front to the garden too. In 2's. It's pretty far to just let them go by themselves. Too many things to get into on the way there. There were so many things to eat, they were all over the place for awhile.

                                              The goats went over to clean up the fence row.

                                                And the sheep had to follow, of course. It was a very nice day. I worked up a sweat in no time out there.

While all the goats were up front, I decided to take the push mower to the goat yard and mow down all the dead stuff. It wore me out! This is where the goats live. This used to be a pine tree forest years ago. The people who owned this place had someone come in and cut them all down. And they just left all the trees to rot out there. And when we bought this place, it had all grown up with wild roses and blackberry bushes. And lots of little trees. It took the goats a few years, but this is all that's left now. Not much.

 I have asked the guy who owns the land all around us and owns lots of big equipment like bull dozers, if he would give me a price on grading it all and moving all the very old tree stumps. I would like to plant good grasses and hays for the goats. But today, I just mowed down all the dead stuff and got down to the green grass that's still out there.  This picture above is looking toward the SW.

And this picture below is looking toward the NW. So they have lots of room back there. Just no bushes or trees, which they would so much rather have.

 So last week, I turned off the electric fence and let them go out next door. It's gotten way overgrown over there and snakey looking. They have done a great job. But like any goat, they can't stay in this spot for long. They started going out in the fields, where they are not supposed to be. So had to put that to a stop.

And here is the pasture, almost all mowed and looking better. I want to go get some winter rye and  sow back here now, if it's not too late. I'll go to the co-op and see. Over to the left, by their barn, is alot of green grass still growing. And in the back yard too. And they have lots of hay mountains too.

And the goats are all back in their home again. They don't like too much change, these goats. And they like their barn. It's cold out there!

I am thinking about getting some pigs soon after the sheep finish what they can eat in the garden. Then I'll put pigs in there to till it all up for me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The wood stove and shed

 This is the wood shed. Out on the driveway. Me, hubby, a few daughters and grand daughters and one son-in-law, helped build this thing. It has a tarp at the back of it. It's double stacked too. The wood is nice and dry now. Not much wood in it right now. But there will be more soon. There is a lady in her late 60's who cuts, splits and stacks wood for sale. I will be buying the rest of our wood from her. She's amazing.

So this is the new stove. It heats this whole house. There are 1200 SF downstairs and 400 upstairs. It gets mighty hot up there, I am told. We did have some trouble because of creosote buildup. Then chipping out bricks to make room for new longer stove pipe. Then the elbow broke. Then hubby had to leave right after the elbow broke. Then we thankfully had a really nice warm few weeks.

Hubby was here for a few days so he and daughter got it all hooked back up again and now we are nice and toasty warm again! Just in time too, because now it's going to be down in the high 20's to low 30's at night. And this stove keeps us warm now. I am so glad I went ahead and got this one. But now it's a little bit to the right of the fireplace, due to people who are not master stove pipe installers. But I'm fine with that, as long as the house doesn't burn down.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just look at the size of that belly already!

This goat is huge! I put the does in with the bucks Sept. 1st this year. I've never done that this early before. I had noticed that Penelope was pretty big. But tonight, good grief! Look at that! For being just 3 months along, I do believe there might be more than 2 kids in there. And she has an udder already. For a first freshener, that's pretty impressive, I think. She's not a big goat at all either. She's about 1 1/2 right now and looks like a little Pygmy, but she's not. And she is polled too. She's bred to the little Boer buck, so hopefully all those kids won't be too awful big.

                                                              This is from the top.

                                               And here's that udder. I like the teats already.

This is her from last week. I was worried the little guy didn't do anything, but apparently he was busy while I wasn't looking/. I don't think Sandy is pregnant. If she acts like she did a few weeks ago, I'll get her and the buck back together. But I am still milking her and getting about a quart a day now.

I just hope we don't get a snow storm or ice around the 1st of February now.

Holiday market pictures

Yay, I think I have figured out how to upload pictures now from my new camera!!

So this is my booth. I need the canopy to hang the window frame for the candle holders. I think. But it's dark inside. So one of the ladies in my "square" came over and said I should take the top off to bring light in and that I need to have the tables on the outside of the booth. That she has found people don't like to go inside a booth, they'd rather be on the outside. Going inside means they have committed to the whole thing.

So I  am going to get there early this Saturday and make some changes. I would love to hear what anyone thinks about this. It's got plenty of color. But it is dark. I need to come up with something to hang the window from then take the whole canopy down.

These are the hanging candle holders or night lights. They're so pretty at night with the flickering candle inside. Or hanging outside on a tree branch at night. I'm making more because I did sell several.

And these are some of the wine bottles, jars and vases. I think I am going to get my 2 card tables back and use them instead of this shelf because it's hard for people to get down far enough to see these. So this will be gone.

These 2 bottom shelves are the Christmas jars and vases. The top shelf has jars with lids. And the next shelf has vases.

Then here is my soap and wash cloth table. I did add more soap that I had forgotten about so need some more baskets too.
So any advice or comments would be great. I need all the help I can get. I am at the very end of a long row. There are 4 booths in each square.

Thanks for looking! And if you are close, come on by and visit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One down, one to go

Well, this weekend has been a big learning experience, to say the least. I had fun, but I am pooped. I do not see how people can do this weekend after weekend. Loading everything up, unloading everything, setting up everything. It's a lot of work. I did have fun though. Next week I will have to change some things around in my booth. I have a canopy that we had hung a pretty shower curtain as a background for my soap table. And I have a wooden window with no glass in it to hang my candle holders on that needs to bu hanging up on the canopy. So I need to take the top of the canopy off so it's not so dark inside. And according to more seasoned market vendors, people don't like going INTO a booth. They would rather be on the outside going around the tables. Who knew? SO I have some work to do next week to make it more inviting to people.

I did sell a lot of soap and wash clothes yesterday and one candle holder. Also took an order for a special vase. Today sold a lot of jars and candle holders. I was very happy about that. One lady bought $50 worth. And a lot of soaps. So a good day today. I hope next week is a lot better.

Does anyone else do these type of crafty fairs? And do you actually make money at it?

This market costs $100 per weekend. And I thought that was all the costs. But yesterday, several of the venders around me had white envelopes they were getting ready to take up front. I asked about it and they said it was the envelopes we are supposed to put our 10% of our sales inside. I didn't have one nor had I heard anything about this. So went up front to ask and they said it was in the application online. Well, didn't see that.

Then this morning, a lady stopped at the desk before going in. So I thought I had to as well. I asked what I was supposed to do and they said something about sales tax and then a business license. So I had to pay $4 for this weekend and then $5 more next weekend for the business license, which they were out of. It just seems like they are not all together here. And then I had to ask for a receipt for the $4 I had just given them and he said he thought he had given me one. Nope. Anyway, seems like a lot of money for this and that that I was not aware of when I got into this. It just makes me wonder if people actually make any money doing this.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Down to the wire

Whatever that means. But I think it fits here.Because I am all done and ready to start packing up to go get set up at the Holiday Market Too this afternoon. I have been working every day trying to get all my vases and candle holders and Christmas jars and soaps and wash clothes all made and ready. I don't really know what to expect. I have only ever sold my soaps and jars at farmer's markets so far. But never at an actual craft fair. I just hope people like what I have for sale and actually buy things. Ya just never I guess.

My daughter and I went yesterday to get our truck, so I'll have both vehicles to take everything in. I need to wash out the bed of the truck first. It's still got hay and wood pieces in it. It's a farm truck. And it looks like it. But I don't have enough room in my Trooper for all I will have. I guess everyone who does craft shows has a lot of things to carry in. I am so glad it's inside too.

So if anyone lives near Chattanooga, come on by and get your Christmas shopping all done! It's free parking and admission!! It's on Carter St. downtown Chatt. This weekend and next I will be there, but it goes through the 22-23. And I think I saw somewhere that it's also the 21st. So come shop and visit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign...

Does anyone remember that song from the '70's? It was one of my favorite songs.

So I was sitting outside today, crocheting. It was an amazing day, in the 70's, sunny sky and whispy clouds. It just hit me that it's Dec. 2nd and I'm sitting out in the yard crocheting. I felt like I should be tilling the garden and planting for spring.

Anyway, the road dept. started working on the road out front of my house , right before my house then down about a 1/2 mile. They have dug out all the bad places and scraped down about 4". They have several signs before the road work that say "road work" and  "BUMP". And it is a pretty steep bump. I know, because I didn't believe the signs. I do now.

So, while sitting outside today, I can hear traffic going by. I got to thinking how there are some people who read signs and obey them and some people who don't read signs. Or just ignore them. Or just plain don't know how to read at all. I can hear some cars or trucks slowing down before hitting the bumps. And some people don't. I guess they think it's best to just fly over the bumps and it doesn't make  a difference. I just think it's funny how people are so different.

But such a beautiful day today. And I got several more vases and jars done. And more wash clothes crocheted. I have taken everything out to my garden shed to make room in the house again. I need a dedicated work area if I'm going to be doing this a lot. I do have the "barn" next door. It's really a small house with a kitchen  and bathroom and a big open living room with a nice porch. But when we refinanced they weren't going to because we have 2 houses on the same property. So I loaded it down with hay. And now it's a barn.

BUT when the hay is gone, I am going to make it a studio for ME. I will make soap in the kitchen. And cheese. And have a work space for everything else. I can take my spinning wheel over there. I can have a whole house all to myself! It'll be great to have all my stuff over there and not all over the house. I have been working on the dining room table and it's covered up all the time. So all my crafting things will go over there too. I love the idea of a "studio" to work in. It needs some work, but we can do that as we go.

I hope everyone has had a good day too, wherever you are.

And I did get a new camera. A Nikon Coolpix S3300. I love that little thing. BUT, I haven't figured out how to get the pictures from it into here yet. I will have to break down and read the huge book that came with it. Or get my daughter or grand daughter to do it for me. It takes beautiful pictures. And videos too.