Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I bought a Brother sewing machine last year. Didn't take it out of the box til a few months ago. It's got a lot of different stitches and other fancy things on it. But not too fancy. Or computerized. I have sewn before, on a little basic sewing machine. But it quit working years ago. So I did most things by hand. I like making quilts by hand. But have used a machine to sew the squares together. I always have quilted them by hand though.

So when I got this machine, I thought I would learn to make clothes for myself and the grands. But I had to learn first. I asked several people to teach me. But people are so busy these days. And sewing lessons are expensive in the stores.

I finally Had a friend call and said she could help me!. She came a few weeks ago to learn the sewing machine first. She loves this machine. She sews her grand kids clothes and makes doll clothes too.  We got the machine all threaded up and practiced on it. Then later I made a few little pouches, just for practice.

I decided to wait on clothes for myself til I lose much more weight. So I got a cute little dress pattern for Kansas. She loves dresses and I figured it would be easier to start with a simple dress.

Got the material all washed and ironed. Got my work table and sewing table all cleaned and ready to go.

I love this work table. It was my old brooder box for chicks and turkey babies. I painted it the color of the walls and use it now for everything. I have an old metal stool I painted purple to use with it. Then my sewing table is behind it. Lots of space to work with here now.

Jenny came over yesterday and we got started. Cut out the pattern pieces for this dress. She showed me how to save lots of material. That was a good thing to know. So when I want to make another quilt, I'll have lots more fabric to use.

I learned how to gather. That was fun. We got the straps sewn onto the front and back panels. She had to leave, so she'll come back Friday to finish it. We just have to sew the elastic in the back and sew the sides together and hem it. It's a size 12 with the size 14 length. Kansas is not here to measure her so will have to hem it when she comes back.

I am so excited to finally be sewing! But for any of you who do sew a lot, how do you get your fabric? I was at Joann's the other day and it is SO overwhelming, just looking at all the fabric in that store. Walmart only has a few rows, so lots easier to make a choice, although I hate Walmart. And Hobby Lobby would be better I think. But I see people's sewing rooms on line and am amazed at all the fabrics they have, all lined up and folded and in color order. It's so expensive! Do you order fabrics on-line? Where is a good place to get it? I see on Amanda Soule's blog, one of her sponsors is Alewives. Their fabrics is beautiful. But I bet it's pricey too. Do you just go to fabric stores every day to catch good sales? I know lots of people have the phones where they can pull up coupons and specials. I don't.

I will get a picture of Kansas in the dress to show it off. It's so cute and summery.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Around the farm...

This is my farm sign. When I had it made, they added 4 small signs that can hang at the bottom. One says lamb, with a cute little lamb on it. Another is produce. Then eggs. And a goat milk sing. Since I don't have any of that right now, I have them all off. Although, I should hang the egg sign back up. These hens are laying so good.

When we first bought this place, there were big tall cedar trees lining the driveway. Out son-in-law cut them down about 6 years ago. They were pretty, but were blocking the sun from the garden. We still have about 15 cedar trees that need to be cut down. That big one to the left is at the top of the garden and blocks all the afternoon sun. Then there are 3 in the yard by my studio and it is constantly wet over there. And a few more back in what was the goat yard. Never dries out back there either. They provide great shade, but that's about it. And I have 9 apple trees. Not good to have cedars around apple trees. And I'd rather have apple trees. So one day, we will have most of these cut down.

Here's a honey bee on a dandelion flower. My garden is full of dandelions not. I love them. And so do all the bees and bugs. And I have violets, henbit and the nettle flowers. And soon, the clover will be blooming!

My house. With the green grass that my husband had to mow last week. It was getting pretty high. And we had to start the wood heater again. It's still on. We had a good frost Saturday night.

I do believe this is the same bird that built the laundry room nest last year. They have been busy for weeks now building this nest. It's so fun to watch. So many birds are building here now.

The apple trees are getting full of leaves and buds now. I was so glad they waited to bloom til this crazy freezing weather was over. My mom has 2 peach trees that were in full bloom and I think they all got frost bit.

 I covered up the blueberry bushes that had buds on them for 2 nights. And the lilacs. They are all fine now.

Here's Cosmo the kitty next to the blueberry bush with the most blooms. I had 10 bushes but the sheep got 1 of the bigger ones. And last year the chickens got all the blueberries. Not this year!

This morning. Some of the sheep taking their mid morning siesta. They are so funny, these sheep.  I love them.

My very first flowers on the biggest Redbud tree!!! I have waited years for it to bloom. I love these trees. They are in full bloom most everywhere around here now. One of the weathermen said we had Redbud winter this past weekend. never have heard that one before. Have you? We have Dogwood winter in April. Then blackberry winter too. But never a Redbud winter. Something new around here I suppose.

This is the Early June apple tree. One of the oldest trees here. I was so worried that the sheep killed it and the other 2. But they are all putting on leaves and buds now.

The plumbers need to come back when it's dry enough and finish their mess. There are still holes where they never covered enough dirt over the pipes. And they left a big diesel tank here.

My Mom's eye looks amazing! Like it never happened. We go back Wednesday and  I know that doctor will be amazed and proud of her and his work. She has done everything he told her to do. For 3 days, she faithfully put an ice pack on her eye for 30 minutes, every 30 minutes. So she had no swelling at all and very minimal bruising. She started her exercise class at church Saturday and had a good class. The only thing we're concerned with is a big hole right under her tear duct. Don't know what or why this has happened. Unless he used a huge needle.

And as of this morning, I have lost a total of 18 pounds!!!! I am so happy. I hope by my birthday, June 5th, I will be under the 200 mark. I know I can do it. I want to do it. I was at a birthday party yesterday sitting right next to the cake and pizza. It smelled SO good. But also it didn't. So I can say no to stuff like that and be ok about it.

Saturday, I walked up to my friend's farm almost 2 miles from here. Checked on all the goats. Gave Ada a shot. Washed off the little goat kid. He's a mess. Ada has awful runny poop and the kid stands to nurse at her back end. It's gross. But Ada is getting better, day by day. Then I walked back home. It was a beautiful day.

Yesterday, we all went to mom's to get her yard cleaned up. I did most of the mowing, with her old NOT self-propelled lawn mower. UGH, what a workout that was! I wish I had taken my camera to do before and after pics. It looks amazing. Got her white wicker lawn furniture back out. She can now go outside and enjoy her yard and sit down while her little dog runs around and chases squirrels and digs big holes to China!

And today, I am very sore. Y'all have a great week!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tea anyone?

Since I quit drinking coffee, I have a big cup of dandelion tea with honey every day. I love it. I have always drank it. But since I gave up sugar, I can't have my creamer and I hate black coffee. So I put a small spoon of good raw local honey in the tea. It's a great spring tonic too. And gives me energy. It's from my garden, so is free and organic. It has pollen in it so is so far staving off the horrid allergies I would normally have right now. I've had 1 day of itchy eyes so far, that's it.

So y'all go out and find some good organic dandelion flowers, put in a pot of water (about a handful per cup), let it come to a boil, then simmer a few minutes. Strain and add a little honey. And enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mineral block

I bought this 33 pound mineral block yesterday. I gave it to the sheep and alpacas when I got home later. This is what's left this morning. They love this stuff. But at $12 I can't afford to give them one every other day. Geeze.

That's my big ole fluff ball Cara. Her wool is  amazing. The shearer changed the shearing day to mid to late April. Kind of glad, because this weekend, back down in the low 30's at night.

(And yes, it is specifically for sheep.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My grand daughter's drawing for me.

This a a drawing from my oldest grand daughter, Chloe. She is so talented. I hope she does something with her talent. She's in 10th grade and in an art class. I really want her to pursue art in some form or other. Her dad is really good too but has never done a thing with his talent. This is about all Chloe does. She loves to draw.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Prayers please?

This morning, I'm going to get mom and take her to the surgery center for a little surgery on her left bottom eye lid. When she fell last fall, she hit on the left side of her face and right under her left eye. So when the scab was all gone, it sort of pulled her eyelid down a little, enough to be noticeable. So went to her eye doctor and they scheduled a nip and tuck surgery. Supposed to be there at 11 this morning. While they are doing this, they'll repair her tear duct. She will be so happy to have that done. She's tried the plugs but they just don't work on the eye. I'll spend the night with her, then hubby will stay the day tomorrow with her. Then Saturday, she starts teaching her exercise class at her church! She's got 14 people so far signed up and she is very excited and a little nervous. So 2 prayer requests here. Eye surgery and class. Thank you all!

I made kraut Saturday. I don't really know if this should be called kraut or just fermented cabbage? I added Chioga beets to it. I love this stuff.

This is the coolest bell. It's at the gate by the apple trees. It's starting to get some moss growing on it. Cool.

See y'all later! Have a good Tuesday.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Around the farm...

 I might just start a new series on Mondays here. Around the farm Mondays. This is the 2nd one. It's just so pretty here, I have to share.

There are so many things bursting forth with new life, it's just beautiful to see. I know it's like this everywhere right now. Or at least I hope it is. It's been such a long winter. And this weekend, we will be back down in the 30's at night. We started a fire again last week, because it's just chilly.

I hope you can look past the kitty doing what kitties do, but here are my 2 lilac bushes I got a few years ago. They are looking pretty good so far, if I can keep Stella from digging them up. 4 years old and still acts like a puppy.

I have 10 blueberry bushes around my herb-flower garden. 1 has not made it, but the rest look good. I had let the sheep out in the yard last month and I think they got some. I had to cut some of the dead branches off. And last year, I got no blueberries because of the chickens. This year, I will have to put netting over them if I'm going to get any at all.

Same with the elderberries. Birds got every single berry. They do every year. But this year, I'll try to cover them too. I have a huge one up front. But I'm starting to get them in the yard and I would love to have my own elderberries.

Can you see way across the road? The Bradford pear trees are in full bloom. The bees head straight over there and are covered in white pollen when they come back home. You can also see how green that field is over there. I call it the Monsanto Field. They plant corn and the next day it's knee high. Then a few weeks later, it's taller than me. Pretty scary. They were over there a few weeks ago spraying something.

Last fall I planted clover for a cover crop. It's so thick and tall now. I am waiting for blooms. The bees will be all over it. I don't want to have a garden because there's so much good stuff out there for the bees. I might have to just plant the garden over  on the other side this year.

This is the little bee garden I started last year. Never saw a bee here at all. I heard bees love blue, so it's all blue flowering plants. It needs to be weeded then I need to cut all the dead stuff.

The sheep pasture is getting greener every day. They want to be over there, but I'll wait a few more weeks. I've been letting them out back and in the back yard and in the big pasture. They have a huge round bale of hay too. So they can wait a while longer. I'd like it to be at least 4" tall.

I added another box to the hive. They are already up there in it. I just do not want them to swarm. They're doing so good now. I talked to a friend last week who got 2 hives when I got mine a few years ago. Mine got the wax moths but his thrived. He kept adding on more boxes. He didn't even feed his for the last 2 winters. They got lots of honey last year. But last week, he went to check on them and they were all gone. Both hives. So sad.

The garden is also full of Henbit too! The bees are loving it. Can you see the one little bee here? And also full of dandelions too. I've been drinking dandelion tea since they's been blooming. So far so good on the allergies! I did have itchy eyes Sat. for awhile. I put local raw honey in the tea. I love it! Good spring tonic too.

And it seems I am stuck at just 13 pounds lost. Can't seem to get past 237. I didn't even look this morning. I'll just wait again til Saturday. I think I need to start exercising. I want a bike too. I live 5 miles from the end of W. Cove Rd. then it goes up Lookout Mt. My goal will be to ride there and back. 10 miles. And it's a beautiful ride too. So I should be able to work up to that. Just need a good bike now.

Hope y'all have a good week! And happy 1st week of spring to you all!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dread pics

I have 14 dreads so far. I had to re do 2 of them this morning. Roots were really loose.

So this is how I wore my hair today. I washed it last night, and it's been raining, so my hair is a big ball of frizz right now. And so grey. But I love it.

And it's hard to take a back shot with a big Canon.

                                                      Maybe you can see the dreads here.

                                               And here's some curlies. It's just messy right now.

Look how frizzy! Good grief! Hopefully, they will get tighter. The wrapped one is the oldest. It's loose at the roots so I decided to wrap it. And I like wrapped dreads. I'd like to get some beads too.

(I almost forgot to say that I am doing the twist and rip method. But it will only go about halfway. So a few of them I have finished with a braid. That's why the little colored rubber bands are at the bottom. And I like the loose wispy ends too. And I will probably only do a partial as I really like my hair and don't know if I want to go all the way with dreads. Plus I have seen a few videos of reasons why not to get dreads. And all have mentioned if you don't like people looking at you, or attention drawn to you, then you should not get dreads. Because people will stare. or make ugly comments. or want to touch them or smell them. Ew. So probably only the bottom half will become dreads. But I am liking them so far.)

So this is as good as I can get. Maybe more later when I can get someone else to take a good picture.

And I have lost 13 pounds in 2 weeks!!!!!!!! I am so proud of me for sticking with this. I feel SO much better eating this way. so I am down to 236 now. I want to get under 200. I hate being this heavy. I WILL DO IT!

Y'all have a great weekend! First day of spring here was wet, cold, dreary and just plain ole yucky. Hope it gets better.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Goat baby day!

I haven't had goats since last year, but I still get calls from people who need help with their goats. Some questions I can help them with. Some I refer them to other more knowledgeable goat friends.

This morning, about 9, got a call from a friend up the road who's doe was about to give birth. He was a little anxious. He saw feet and didn't really know what to do. So I was there in about 5 minutes to help. This is Ada, who he had gotten from me several years ago. I had her and another of his does here last year to milk for awhile. So I was trying to figure out how old Ada is and I'm thinking about 7 or 8. I didn't think she should have had any more kids. She's not the healthiest doe. But she did.

So we got the little shed all cozy for her, with some hay and water. Blocked it off from the 2 nosy wethers and Ada's daughter from last year. We waited. And waited. Then we went back to the garage because it started raining a little. Went back up and she was laying down. Got back up. Layed down. Pushed a little. Got back up. For those of you who have goats, and have waited for kids, you know what I'm talking about. She'll push. You'll see feet. She'll get up and the feed go back in.

This went on a few hours. So I decided next time I see enough feet, I'm grabbing them and helping her get it out. And we did it! She had a little cute white buckling with black slots. Cute elf ears. And I think she's done. It took about 5 minutes to get her up. And I tried to get the kid to nurse. But we decided to leave to alone so they can figure it out. She's done this before. I have bottles, so if they need one I can run it up there in a few minutes. But he looked good.

Yeah, that was fun and exciting. But I don't miss it. And I didn't take my camera.

And, the phone guy had to hook me up in my studio. So finally, I have my computer over here. Now for a little day bed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We have water!

 The plumbers showed up early yesterday morning. Lots of trucks and guys. And a very loud ditch digging tractor. They started at the water meter at the road. The worked their way back to the house. At least 650'. I was so worried about my bees. You can see how close they had to get to the hive.  So I got my bee suit and hats and gloves, in case anyone got nervous about the bees. I stood out there with the bees while he got closer and closer. And right when he got beside the hive, he took a break. Geeze.

But ti all worked out. The bees were all out and about, busy as could be. And not paying any attention to loud tractors and strange guys at all. So again, I worried  for nothing.

I did go ahead and add another hive box on top. I haven't really had time to do a thorough check on the whole hive, but have taken the top off. I can see where they are building comb and are all up in that 2nd box. So decided to give them more room to grow. They are going across the road to the Bradford pear trees, in full bloom, and bringing back white pollen. So cool! I love to just sit out there and watch them work.

This is my new garden faucet. I am more happy about this than the whole water line. I have wanted a faucet out there in the garden since we moved here. I have been hauling hundreds of feet of water hose all over from the studio to water everything. I hate it! So this will help so much. Really happy about this.

It is mess out there now. It was so wet that they blew a hose on the tractor while filling the trench. So they had to stop and came back this morning. They had another job they had to get to so will come back with a smaller tractor to finish all this mess up. I want it leveled and all the huge rocks moved.

And now we have more reliable water. Having to go out and flip breakers every few hours was getting old fast.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Around the farm today.

This is the most beautiful day! Nearly 80. I was sitting on my studio porch, spinning some Romney wool, and it sounds like spring. I was trying to think of how winter sounds. Rain drops. Squishy mud. Sheep bawling. Not too much noise. But spring sounds like new life! Birds chirping and hopping around, looking for fat juice worms. Looking for the best nests. Flying all over the place. Bees buzzing, gathering all the pollen off the trees. Sheep munching grass and hay. Slurping water. Wool growing like crazy! Chickens singing the egg laying song. Or Black Bart, calling the girls to come get some bugs. Spring just sounds different.

So I started walking around the yard, seeing all the new life popping up around me.

This little red maple I planted like 5 years ago. It has pretty red leaf buds. It's a really slow growing tree, compared to just silver maples. But I love them in the Fall.

This is my biggest of 2 Red Bud trees. I do believe we will have the pretty purple flowers this year on this tree! This is my favorite tree.

The day lillies are popping up all over. This bed needs some work and clean up.

And we have 3 really old apple trees in the yard where my studio is. And the sheep are in this yard a lot. And they seem to like apple tree bark. I really need to get some kind of wound spray before we lose them. This is the old Yates apple tree. My favorite apple. There is a really old variety that my mother-in-law called an early June transparent apple. It's really good cooked with the peel on. That's about all they're good for. But we love them and were so happy to find out that's what this tree is.

Here are some apple blossoms starts on the old Granny Smith apple tree!! The bees will be all over these trees when they are in bloom! We also have 6 more younger apple trees and 3 pears down in the lower garden. They are all looking good too.

And this poor ole Clematis vine. It just keeps on growing, despite the fact my husband's weed whacked it down way too many times to count. And the sheep and goats have eaten it to the ground a few times too. But it's a persistent vine and keeps coming back every year. It's beautiful when it's in bloom.

Sp lots of new life all around these days. I love spring. But it just doesn't seem to stick around very long any more. We might get a few good weeks of nice weather where we can open all the windows. But them BOOM, it's 100 degrees and the AC comes on.

I am down 10 pounds since Sunday. I won't weigh again til Saturday. I am doing way better than I thought I would. I am eating real food now. I feel SO much better. Not all crappy like I did before after I'd eat. I hope I can keep this up.

I did 6 more dreads this morning for a total of 14 so far. They really look bad and probably will for awhile, til they get to where they are supposed to be. And they are underneath so I can hide them if I don't feel like showing them to the world yet.

So y'all have a great week! I hope it's like this where you are.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


  I have lost 5 pounds already since this past Saturday! I feel so good too. My hands feel lots better. And I haven't had to drink any soda water because I feel so bloated.

  I decided I need to lose weight and eat better. So I have stopped eating sugar and anything with flour. Basically just  eating fruits, veggies and meat. And kombucha. No coffee because I had to have a lot of Natural Bliss creamer. It's SO good but has sugar. I've been drinking dandelion tea with my friend's honey. (I hope to have my own honey soon!) And of course cheese and eggs too. And fresh raw cow's milk.

  I really do feel so much better. And down 5 pounds already!!!!  I haven't even craved any sweets either.

  I'll be getting into the garden soon, when we dry out. So I'll be more active then. Can't wait to get started again. I have all kinds of plans. Just need to have some dryer ground.

  So y'all please send some good thoughts my way so I can continue this way. I would so appreciate it.

  So in the water situation, we have none. I am so bummed about this. We were using the well water. It's never been used this much, ever. I've only used it to water the gardens some. And the animals. So, it's been flipping breakers. Like a LOT. A friend came today and seems to think it's the well motor thing. And that's about $500. As much as I like the thought of using well water (it's free) we will just go ahead and get the plumbers here and get the new water line done. Plus, I'll get a faucet in the garden too! That is something I have wanted for years. Can't wait to get that. So, in the meantime, we have no water in this house. I am thankful for the rain, which is in several buckets now. And a 50 gallon barrel out back that catches rain water. That's our toilet flushing water.

And we should be getting all this amazing wool sheared off this month! Can hardly wait. But would like it a lot dryer please.

Monday, March 9, 2015

This guy...

 He's the best rooster we have ever had. Black Bart. I think he's a Black Giant? His girls are a mix of the same and Black Sex Link. I had 10 hens, but 3 died back in Nov. Not sure why. So 7 are left. By the way, got 7 eggs yesterday! I love my hens.

So yesterday was beautiful. Warm and sunny. Just perfect. We had our oldest and youngest grand daughters with us. Chloe, the oldest, had some popcorn. I told her to throw some down and see what happens. She did. Black Bart was right there. The hens were scattered all over the yard. He starts making his clucking sounds, calling the girls to the food he found. He's amazing. All the girls come running and he backs up and lets them eat. Never ate a single piece.

Chloe threw more down and the same thing. He clucks, the hens come, he steps back and lets them eat.

I told the girls, this is the kind of guy you want to find. Someone who will give you space, but is always there to protect you, no matter what. He'll give you the last bite of food. He won't be jealous, but let you have your time. He will fight for you. He will always be watching for trouble. And will love you til he has no more breath in him. That's the kind of man you want to look for.

He's also never ever tried to hurt anyone. Never even made a move like he would either. Such a gentle giant.

He's the best, Black Bart.

#7 is always off doing her own thing.  A loner. Marches to the beat of her own drum. She doesn't need any help I guess.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Are we done yet?

I am hoping after Friday, we are in for a bit of a dry spell. That's what Paul said, anyway. As much as I don't really believe the weather forecasters, I want to believe this time. Going down to the 20's tonight (Thursday) and cold Friday, but on the uphill climb after this. I am ready.

8 dreads now!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Feels like Spring today.

 But just for today. We have windows open because it's SO hot in the house. But we need to keep the fire going because tonight, after a day in the high 60's, it will be down in the low 30's with a pretty good chance of snow and crud. Schools will be closed probably. But today is really nice.

The girls are out in full force, gathering all the pollen they can get on their little tiny legs. Can you see all those beautiful colors they're wearing? Busy bees today!

And the daffodils finally decided to go ahead and bloom. The ones out back had just a few little blooms so I didn't get any of them.

And the wood pile grew! Our good friend Kidd and his son CW came by yesterday and had a truckload of wood. Kidd was worried we'd run out. He's such a good friend. This is where most of our wood has come from the past few years. He has 20 acres up on the mountain and goes through and cuts all the dead trees for us. So thankful for good friends.

Yesterday was my day with mom. We went to the new Hobby Lobby. They had the cutest bandannas  for just .99. She got a few for her little dog so I decided Bubba and Stella needed their own. They looked so cute with them on. Of course I couldn't get a good pic of Stella. But this one's good of Bubba. He's so sweet.

Sure wish I could get out in the garden. But it's a mud pit for awhile. Some friends are already getting veggie starts going in green houses. So jealous. One day, we will get out there.

And I have 6 dreads now! I've been washing my hair with home made shampoo bar a friend makes. No conditioner. So it's like a big frizz ball with this wonky weather. I haven't been brushing it either. So I have several strands of hair that just want to be together, so I'll twist and rip them. So now I have 6! It's so fun. But going to be a long slow process, doing it myself. I only want the bottom done, so I can sort of hide them if I want to. People are so strange and judgmental, if people look different than they do. I have always been a little bit different. I never liked to go the same way as everyone else. I like to do my own thing. So this is something I have thought about doing for years now and it's just the right time to do this. For me. Not anyone else. And I am really liking it. I will get a good picture soon. But right now, my head is a frizzy mess!

I hope you all are having a great 4th day of march! It's hump day y'all!