Saturday, May 31, 2014


WHY? Why would anybody put this crap on a ceiling? WHY? I just did half the kitchen and it's just horrible. It didn't take too long because half the kitchen was the newer sheet rock we put up 10 years ago. And the popcorn stuff is fairly easy to scrape off. It's just ON THE CEILING, over my head. So it's all over me! And now all over the kitchen. And I'm not totally sure I should be breathing this stuff. I should have a mask on. I will tomorrow. I hate it! But oh my goodness, will it look amazing and be worth it all when it's done? Yes, it will. And I will be so happy I did this. Right now though? NOT!

My mother and I were invited to a lunch for the DAR today at the house we got to tour last year that I took so many pictures of. Mom worked with a lady who's a member. It was  really fun. All the ladies were so nice.We sat with a lady named Willa and her daughter. Willa has 3 kids and so grand and great grand kids she couldn't count them all. She was so sweet. There was an auction and I bid on a nice glass container with the spout at the bottom and a painted pitcher. We sat outside under a shelter and the view was amazing. Here are some cows in the pasture with Lookout Mt. in the background.

And I love this barn. Can you see the little white calf?

We took Ada and Jessie, the 2 goats I was borrowing, back home this afternoon. They had just about dried up. So back home they went. Then we went to get Charlotte and Claire, the 2 ewe lambs my friend Ron had gotten a few weeks ago, when I sold the 18 sheep. He's changed his mind about wanting sheep. So I have 14 sheep again. I'll probably sell them and Darla and Adele.

So when we got back home, we saw this amazing rainbow. It was huge. And all over the place. We've been having these nice rain storms here and there, for several days now. And it's going to be like this through next week. I love to see rainbows. This is looking toward Pigeon Mt, to the East.

(And the broody hen is not the brightest hen in the hen house. This afternoon, she was on a whole different nest. So her butt will be dunked in some cold water. She's got to get over this!)

1st set-back

I went over to the little house to paint the ceiling. And it looks like I'm going to have to scrape off all that popcorn crap. I cannot even paint over it. It falls right off. And if I don't scrape it off and leave it like it is, it'll bug me forever! I'll be constantly looking up, wishing I'd done it. So, I'm gonna do it. I had painted a little bit in the kitchen and it kept rolling off on the roller. So it comes off easy. I took the plastic scraper and got off a nice piece. The sheet rock looks great, for sheet rock anyway. I'll go get one of those long metal scrapers in town later today. It shouldn't take too long. And a few more gallons of paint. It sure is sucking it up! And thank goodness I'm not keeping that floor!

And here's Miss Broody Butt. She has been setting on eggs for over a month now, and I take them all from her, trying to discourage her. But she's a very persistent little hen. So I put some eggs under her and marked them with an X so I can take out the newer eggs. We'll see what happens. I only have these black hens and roo, so they'll be a true breed. I always got like 90% roosters so don't really like them to set on eggs. And the egg production always goes down too.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mrs T. and her new shawl. And a squirrel.

 This is Mrs. T. She was so happy to get her shawl, "knit with love". I put the buttons on at her house this morning and gave it to her. She loves it. She kept saying how wonderful it was that I knit that for her. It looks really pretty on her. She's a beautiful lady.

I had my camera today and was taking pictures. I love to sit right here and take her picture. The water color painting above is her house. This is where i always remember her, sitting, reading the paper or watching the news.

We were sitting on her sun porch, eating lunch, and this squirrel ran up on this feeder and started eating as fast as he could. I got my long lens on and started snapping pictures. These are a few of my favorite shots. Squirrels are so pretty.

He saw me looking at him, but he just stayed right there and ate til he was full. Look at that long fluffy tail!

I am loving this camera! Can you tell yet? I think I'll take some of these really good photos and print them and frame them to sell in my shop. Who knows, someone else may really like them too. My daughter has some really good pictures of her new puppies that are so cute. I'll have to get her to frame some too.

Happy weekend y'all!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

History of the Little House.

I really don't like to paint. Maybe it's because of all the prep work it takes to even begin to paint. If you're living in the house, then there are pictures and things on the walls to take down. Furniture to move out.  Cleaning the walls. It just goes on and on. And then there are millions of colors to choose from. It's just awful for me.

Since this little house hasn't been lived in in a few years, there wasn't too much to be moved. Just all the crap to throw away. Then, since we've never bothered to paint the sheet rock after we fixed the ceiling before we could move in 10 years ago, I had to tape and mud it. Which, to me, is the hardest thing to do. Especially a ceiling.

This house was built by the man who lived here. There has only ever been 2 families who've lived here: the Bells and us. The Bells built the rock house we live in back in 1948. It's as old as my husband. And they never had children. From what I've heard about Mrs. Lillian Bell, she was a mess. Not a happy woman. So Mr. Bell had this little house built for him to get away from her, back in the '70's. It's very well built, like the big house. And the barn out back. These 3 things will be here forever, I do believe.

So he had this house built for him to get away from his wife when she  wasn't being agreeable. This was his "man cave", back in the day. He had it all fixed up, with a bed and all. Had washer-dryer hook ups, phone jack, tv, I'm sure. And lots and lots of outlets! He died back in the early '90's sometime and left Mrs. Bell here, all by herself. Well, she never did like this house, so she just left it alone. It was a mess for sure. Roof leaked really bad, enough for the ceiling in the whole front of the house to fall in. We could barely get in the front door to look inside when we came to see the house. And the other house was even worse. She apparently was a woman who thought everything should be done for her for free, by family members. So, not a whole lot got done, in either house. And she was put in a nursing home not long after he died, I think. So the houses were empty for years.

So, during this time, people came and got things from both houses. There was only a bed and a table and chairs in this little house. AND, all along all the walls in the living room, were OLD black and white pictures of just about everyone who ever lived in this Cove. From back in the '20's thru probably the '70's. AND Mr. Bell, being the man he was, put up 12' 1x10 board all up and down the walls to hang all these hundreds of 8x10 pictures on. I mean, they were on all 3 long walls. Full of pictures.

We had to first get a roof put on this house and fix the ceiling so we could move in here while the big house was being gutted and renovated. We took all the pictures down, put them in boxes, and started asking people of the community if they wanted any of them. I took several boxes down to the local churches.

Then we had to take down all those boards. Which we used to make our new chicken-goat-horse shelter. They are still up, doing rather well. Free wood is great. So that's why all the sheet rock mud is on all the walls. And Mr. Bell didn't believe in doing anything half way either. That man used 6" long nails to nail up all those boards on all those walls. Yes he did. And in the big house too. They built stuff to last, back in the day.

So now, I am waiting on the mud to dry. I'll pick out some colors to paint the walls tomorrow while I'm in town. I'll sand later tonight and maybe paint the ceiling.

I don't mind painting an empty house, with nothing in my way. And I so look forward to what this place will be soon. And how much room I will have to spread out and get some things done. And not have to put stuff away!

I love this old light fixture in the kitchen. I think I'll leave it up. We've kept all the old light fixtures in our house too. I like old stuff.

I'll post more pictures in a few days, when I've done some more. Or when there's actually some color to see.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Getting started...

I cleaned out the little house this morning. I just threw everything away. It's been in there for too long and was nasty stuff. There are mice  and long legged spider things all over. There's even a skunk that has been living underneath the house all winter. When we first bought this place, there was a ground hog family that lived there. Lots if wildlife. So they all have to go now.

This is all I can get on this truck for this trip. It's loaded. I still have the couch and fridge. I'll take the fridge to Chatt. to sell. We got $30 for the old freezer we took a few months ago. It takes that much gas to get there in this truck though! Not really worth it. But I can put that money toward another fridge.

The porch is a mess right now. The stuff on the left side I'm keeping. Needs to be cleaned real good. But it can all be used over here. I'll paint the porch and put a railing up. And something to hide under the porch.

Still not sure what color to paint the outside of the house and porch. The roof is tan. I have always loved green. So I thought a nice light mossy green. I'm going to have real screen doors over here too. There's a back door that needs some work. And all the windows need screens fixed. It's pretty cool here with all the cedar trees around the house. And I'll get a ceiling fan for the porch and inside. I also have a small window AC I'll put in the kitchen window.

This is facing the kitchen. To the left is the bathroom. And that wall here has washer-dryer hookups. I hope to get some for this house. And a wall to cover them up with sliding doors. To the left is the front door, then a small closet. The small door is a little pantry. I can store all my soap making things in there. That's what I want to use the kitchen for. I can put wire shelves in the there for curing soaps too. And also I'll make jams and jelly for market. And cheese for us!

This is the big room. The front door is to the right here. This whole big wall will be shelves for yarns and roving. And then I'll have some cute comfy chairs and lamps for knitting. I want a big sewing table-work space in the middle of the room too.

This is the back wall with the back door. It faces the goat's pasture-yard and barn. I'd love to have a small window on this wall. But not any time soon. This will be shelves and cubbies for yarn and fabric here to.

So tonight, I went over and swept all the crap off the floors and spackled all the holes on all the walls. I'll leave the flooring down til I paint the ceiling and walls. Then I'll just paint the floors. I'll have rugs all around too. I might just paint big stripes or squares. Who knows.

I feel like I've gotten some things done over there. I feel motivated and ready to do this! It feels good to have a goal and plans to work toward now. Can't wait to see more progress.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just one more...

 I joined a beginner knitting group in Feb. The project was a prayer shawl. I got some Lion Brand Homespun yarn for the project. 3 skeins.  Glad I did, because it really hides all the mistakes of a beginner. And believe me, there are many!

I started this shawl with my friend Libby in mind. She was just getting over brain surgery and battling cancer. But she passed away in early March.

So this shawl was going to be for Mrs. T. The little lady I help take care of. She's 96, going to be 97 in July, but swears she's going to be 100. You just cannot argue with her. Even though it says the year plain as day on her DL. So, when I go to her house for the day on Fridays, I take things like this to do. She asked what I was making not long ago, and I told her it was a nice shawl for her, to keep her warm. She was so thrilled. She keeps saying I'm knitting it for her with love. And I am. She gets cold easy even in summer, so doesn't like the AC on too much. So we all are burning up most of the time. This will keep her warm, and all of us cool!

I added a crocheted scalloped edge for the border. Just looks better to me to have it all evened up.

And I found some pretty wooden buttons to add to the front, to help it to stay on her shoulders. I'll give it to her next week and take pictures. She's a beautiful white-haired Southern lady. I love her. I think we will all be happy now!

I need to knit a few more now. One for my mother. And one for me. And probably one for my husband. We have still not turned the AC on yet.

Zarah, Lucille and Mabeline

I just sold all 3 of them to the nicest, sweetest big family ever! I've been emailing them and they came up tonight from Calhoun, Ga. In a big huge white van. With 6 of the cutest little kids, all under 7. So sweet! And very polite and just so cute.

I got all the goats and kids in the little holding area. And all the 2 legged kids and mom and dad were in there too. The Zeeboo just laid right into poor little Anderson and knocked him down. Poor little kid. He was wearing an orange shirt. He was ok and I got the mean goat out of there real fast. And all the kids kept asking if they were going to get the mean goat.

So they loaded them all up in the big van. The 2 legged kids were so excited. These goats are huge compared to their little tiny Nigerian goat kids. They might be breeding for mini Manchas.  Just thought of that.

I always hate to sell my goats. I want them to go to homes just like this. But sometimes they don't. So I am very happy about this sale. I feel real good about it. My dream sale for sure!

And this is more money to put into my new adventure, the fiber studio! Getting started tomorrow. I bought sheet rock mud and tape for the ceiling. Then while it dries, I'll get paint. I am thinking a nice calm soothing blue for the walls? I am a sucker for green and have it all over my house. But I am really liking blue right now. So it may be a blue room. Then the bathroom might be green.

So, I am on the way to a fiber studio-shop! And Zarah, Lucy and Mabel are on the way to their new home. With a bunch of great kids. So fun!

Practice pictures...

 I went out this morning and just took pictures. My daughter Abby came over yesterday and showed me several things about this new camera that I wasn't doing right. So these are a bunch of pretty good practice shots, from my yard, gardens and the hay field. I hope you enjoy them!

Some of my Stella D'Oro day lilies in full bloom with the pretty blue chair and pot of blue flowers. Also some Lamb's Ear blooming too. Bees will be loving that!

This is my "Bee Garden" full of blue, purple, pink, yellow and white flowers and herbs for the bees to enjoy. I really love this garden. It's surrounded by my 12 blueberry bushes. They are full of berries too!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Finally, some nekked sheep!

 After waiting what seemed like months, my sheep have all been sheared! (I can't tell them apart now til I get closer!) They've never gone this long, and I was getting worried. To me, they seemed really hot, especially when they stood around panting like dogs. But it's not been too hot, except for maybe a few weeks. And not all together. Nights have been really nice and cool.

So I found out, on a sheep forum, that sheep's wool is an insulator. It keeps them cool on hot days and warm on cold days. I just never knew this. The shearer, Rosemarie, said it's true. After a few others said the same thing. So I learned something new. Again. It's good to learn something every day, right? But they look much better without all that heavy wool all over them. And I believe they feel better now.

AND, I now have 6 bags of wool from them!  Adele's wool will be good for felting. Since she is half hair and half Finn, her wool is a bit hairy. I may end up selling her if I don't end up breeding any of them next fall. I could use Bilbo The Hobbit Ram on her and Darla for some meaty lambs. But those would be the only 2 ewes I'd breed. I think I'm done breeding the Finn sheep.

Also, Amarillo, the ewe that had the quads, her wool had some breakage throughout. It could possibly have been because she had quads. I'll also use her wool for felting this time. And hopefully, next year, her wool will be fabulous!

Annabelle and Adelaide's wool is amazing! And my little tiny Buttercup, who just turned a year old in April, has beautiful buttery soft wool! Can't wait to get it all cleaned and carded now! Rosemarie was really impressed with her wool and the other 2.

And they were all really healthy looking, weight-wise. And all had nice pink eyelids too! I was SO relieved to see that. I had been so worried, with so many sheep, that they would get Barber Pole worms again. Especially since the grass just wasn't growing and I couldn't get all the poop raked up fast enough. But they are all looking good. Except for Amarillo, she's a bit skinny, but she had quads. Still has the 2 ram lambs on her. Which need to be castrated!

They are in the big pasture now for awhile. It finally started growing. They'll stay there a few weeks til the other pasture gets growing taller. I quit feeding grain! They were getting a little chunky.

They got in the little barn in the pasture next door. It seems to be cool in there and the flies are really bothering them. I need to either buy or make some spray for them. The poor alpacas are not liking these bad flies. They are like horses and the flies get in their eyes. Poor boys. I made a spray yesterday with citronella and tried to get it on them.

This is Cassidy, Adele's ewe lamb. I decided to keep her. She would be at least 85% Finn. Something like that anyway. She's a big girl. And I hope she will have some nice wool. Rosemarie seemed to think she would. Not too sure about one of the black lambs though.

It is finally starting to feel like it might start getting warmer now. The lightenin' bugs are all over the place. I love seeing them all over in the trees. The garden just got watered really good tonight from the sprinkler. Got more corn, beans and okra planted last Thursday. The squash and zucchini are looking good. A bit slow, so they got a good soaking. The okra I planted a few weeks ago is a few inches high now. And the tomatoes need staking bad! I just mowed down the radish and lettuce rows and will plant cucumbers there. And the one wide middle row will be for butternut squash. Then I wait. I'll take a break from the Wed. market a few weeks. Do some weeding and mulching. And wait some more.

Thank you and thank you...

I want to thank all of you who reassured me that my comments worked! I really do appreciate hearing from you all.  I feel like I know you all and it makes me feel better knowing you're all still out there!

And I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have served or have family who have served, in our fine military. My father and uncles, my brother Mark and son in law Jason. So many many more. If not for them, we would more than likely not be right here right now. Thank you all so much for your sacrifices and honor and dedication for your families and for this country.

I do hope each and every one of you have a wonderful day. It's beautiful here. Animals are happy. Food is cooking and ready to be eaten with family soon. See you all later!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Comments please!

I am now wondering if anyone can leave comments here. I was talking to a friend who said she couldn't leave comments now for some reason. I don't see any reason on my end why. But of course I am not a computer type person, so it could be me. My niece came Thursday and cleaned my computer up, so maybe now it works. If anyone would do me a huge favor, could you just leave a little comment so I can see if it's working? If not, I'll know something's wrong on my end here. I know there are viewers, so thank you for that too!

Thanks so much! And I hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Queen's of Outback Farm

This afternoon, when I got home, I grabbed my long sleeve white shirt, bee hat, hive tool and smoker. Went to the Garden hive first. The bees were out and about, but most were in the hive. I have to say, these bees are very docile, calm bees. I have lifted the lid almost every day to check on them and they never even buzz loud. So I set the smoker down where the smoke would kind of swirl around and I could get to it if I needed to. Took off the lid and the top board. The middle frames are stuck together, so I took the hive tool to pry them apart so I can lift them out. Still nothing going on in the 4 outer frames. Some bees on them, but no construction. I lifted out each frame to find the queen. I didn't see her anywhere. One of the frames was really heavy with honey. So I put it back together and went up to check the other hive.

That one was busy, with bees flying all over. I took off the top and took each frame out. It was sunnier up there, so I could see better. I cannot see anything with that hat on, so it was off. I saw a lot of reddish-orange (pollen? Honey?) in some of the frames. Some capped frames. Lots of busy bees. And I found the queen! Her back end looked like a caterpillar abdomen to me. Long, pointed and no stripes. She was all over that frame! Very big. It looked like little larva in some of the cells. And some shiny substance, maybe royal jelly? I have no idea what I'm seeing. Or what to even look for. Anyway, they all looked great. So put it back together and went back to the other hive to look for the queen, now that I saw the other one.

And I found the Garden hive queen, in the middle frame! She was much bigger than last week. And very busy too. The frames did look different from last week. So I feel better.

And I've decided, instead of putting down those really cool Congolium tiles, to just paint the plywood floors in the little house. The tiles would cost nearly $750 for the whole house. I can get a couple gallons of paint and do it for about $50. I can do stripes, or squares. And put rugs down. Anyway, lots of ideas for my little studio-shop.

Tomorrow is farmer's market day. I pick all morning, wash and bag, or tie, or put in totes. That takes all morning. Then get it all ready and in the car. It's literally an ALL day thing, this afternoon market. I am worn out. I finally made dandelion jelly that jelled! So I have 7 jars of that to take. And just made 9 little jars of plantain salve. I have sold all that I made last week, so needed more. Also had an order for 3 crocheted wash clothes and soap for gifts.

And we are going to start a farmer's market just 5 miles South of me, at Mt. Cove Farm. On Sunday's from 1-3. I sure hope it takes off and is successful, so I can go to this one instead of the Sat. market 30 miles away. I might not get to go to this first market this Sunday because the shearer from Atlanta is supposed to come here Sunday sometime to shear my poor very hot ewes.

The guy who bought my sheep last week called. He needed to know how to get to my house. I almost freaked out. I asked him if he was bringing the sheep back? He said he had to go to my friend's farm a little past me and couldn't remember how he got out here. Scared me!

Still haven't sold any goat kids or does. The 4 kids running together are the 4 doe kids I'm keeping. Aslan, Jewel, (Sandy, to the left, is their mother) Emmy Lou and Merry piper. The other kid is one of the triplets, a buck, Pete. He's so cute. I love his color. The other buck is almost white, Tom Dooly. Then Emmy Lou's big brother, Woody Guthrie, is the other buck. They all need to go. All the kids this year are so friendly.

Bees, goats and garden

 It's been really cold and wet here the past few weeks. Not how it usually is around here. We have winter, then we have summer. Just like that. It just doesn't happen like this a lot.

I got these 2 nucs last Monday. Put them in their new hives on Tuesday. I can see that on cold wet days, they pretty much stay inside. But when the sun comes out, so do the bees.

The Outback hive, in the goat yard, is doing great. Very active. I have not taken the lid off this one to look inside yet. I didn't want to disturb all the work that's been going on in there. I know the queen is big and working. I will have to though, this afternoon. I hope to add another box on this one.

This is all my company when I go check on the hive. Sp many goats! And 6 or 7 are not in this pic. I have 6 does and 9 kids. They've stayed away from the hive though. I'll keep 4 of the doe kids and sell the 3 bucks and both of Zarah's doe kids and her. I'll put the 4 doe kids in with the sheep when they're ready to wean. My friend Ron came last night and got his 2 ewe lambs! So now I really am at 12 sheep. The shearer is coming this Sunday to shear. I'll know which ewes I'll be keeping then, when I find out who's wool is better. So there still may be some moving around yet.

This is the Garden hive. I do lift the lid on this one most every day, to check to see if there are still bees in it. They are still here. Just not as active as the other hive. This is the hive that has the young queen that had no brood in the frames yet. They're really nice and easy to work with so far. I have to shake this lid to get them all off so I can put it back on. So far so good!

I can see that the bees are really working on wax and propolis, sticking the frames together. They haven't even been in the outer frames at all. A bee friend said to go ahead and give them sugar water, which I did. I'm going in this afternoon, to see what the queen's been up to. It's too cold this morning.

I've started, a little at a time, to stake the tomato plants. With all the rain, they have just taken off. I'm also trying to get everything mulched too. (It sure makes things look so much better and helps keep them cool and wet.)  My 2 very least favorite jobs in the garden. Well, #1 least would be weeding. Which there are a whole lot of out there. But it'll all get done eventually.

I am off to spend the day with my favorite person. My mother. I need to look for linoleum for the studio. And paint too. Big job, that little house. But will be worth it in the end. I can see it all done and ready to work in. Can hardly wait now!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A fiber studio-shop. Right here at Outback Farm!

This is the little house next door. This is where we had to love til the bigger house was gutted and remodeled. We had to put a roof on this house. Plus fix the ceiling that had caved in. We lived here from July til just before Christmas. It's 500 sq ft. The whole right side is living room. The left is kitchen and bathroom. Then the best part is the front porch. It needs to be painted outside and in. I want to paint it a light green. And do something about under the porch. I can't put flowers or bushes around the porch because sometimes the sheep are in this yard.

I've used it as a barn the past few years, to store hay bales. It would hold about 180 bales in here. I also used it for raising chicks and turkeys in a big brooder. You can see it to the left. I had to take it apart to get it out the door. But, with 2 sides off, it will make a great work table.

                                                                It's a mess for sure!

                                                    I just got most of the mess off the floor.

So now, the plan for this house. I have thought about using it for a vacation home. Or for a couple who could help out on the farm and stay here for free. Or as a real barn.

But, if you look in our house, you'd see a sewing machine on the dining room table. Along with sewing stuff in the window seat and table. And side cabinets.

Also felting stuff in totes in corners.

Plus lots of totes of raw wool. And washed wool. And lots of bins of yarn and yarn paraphernalia, like crochet hooks and knitting needles. And unfinished projects here and there.

All this stuff is taking over our house! And it's not a big house at all. I need someplace to put all this stuff. And we have an extra house. So why not make it into a studio-shop for fiber and art and sewing, like quilts and stuff? Why not? Why have I not done this sooner? Huh?

Well, money is a huge factor for sure. There just never seems to be enough of it. For one thing, these animals cost a lot to keep! I make a little money and have to spend it on them.And when I do have extra money, there always seems to be something  that needs fixed. So it never gets done. It just sits there, looking so lonely and forgotten. And it has the coolest front porch, in the shade of the cedar trees, with a porch swing!

I sold 18 sheep last week. I have some money now that I WILL use to get this project going. And this will get the husband up off that recliner in front of that tv! He can help paint and make shelves and work tables. Yes he can! And he will too. This is what he needs right now. His ankles are completely healed. Just has one little tiny almost healed up diabetic ulcer on his right foot. Which is almost healed. So there is no reason for the man to be sitting around all day, right? Right!

I am just a little excited about this project. We are getting more and more traffic out here because of Mt. Cove Farm 5 miles south of us. There is a restaurant. A huge barn for events and weddings. There are motorcycles and bike riders all weekend, up and down the roads. We are also starting a farmer's market on Sunday afternoon down there. So I think a little fiber studio will be a good thing here. With yarns and wool and things like that from local people. And nice comfy chairs to sit and knit. Or make quilts. And there's a kitchen for making pots of tea. I think it's a great idea. What do y'all think?