Sunday, May 31, 2015


As of March 7th, when I started this real food journey, I have lost 35 pounds! I really never have gone this long without giving up way sooner than this. And I have never lost this much weight. I'd never been this heavy either.

And all I did was stop eating anything with flour, of any kind, and sugar. Also had to stop drinking coffee, because I had to have sweet cream in it. That's about all I've done.

So I started thinking of some of the reasons I am still on this journey today.

1- I FEEL SO GOOD! I guess within a few days, I noticed how much better I felt. I mean, when I'd get up out of bed in the mornings, I felt like I'd been in a marathon. Just sore all over. I couldn't even cross my legs or put my arms behind my back. I can now!

2- I don't hurt when I eat real food like I did when I ate crappy food. It really did hurt to even eat a sandwich or chips or fries. But I loved them so much, I'd eat them anyway. I actually ate a handful of chips a few days ago. And it hurt. Didn't like it at all.

3- My face is not as red as it used to get when I'd do anything.

4- Oh, and my hands. I always thought I had arthritis, especially in my right hand. I hand milked goats for 10 years, so thought that was how that happened. It hurt to even make a fist or cross my fingers. But I can now! No pain at all! I had sold all my goats last year. Bought 2 does last month and am milking one of them twice a day now. No problems at all.

5- I do not have any health or dental insurance at all. I cannot afford to be sick. This is the main reason that I am doing this. I do not want to be dependent on any kind of drugs or doctors. I have never been one to run to a doctor anyway. And I do not want to have to be on any medications. I'd rather just be on good food.

6- I don't belch anymore either! I used to do that all day long. It was gross. I hated it. But when a person eats so much, like I did, it produces lots of gas, and it has to come out somehow. I am not doing that any more.

7- Also, at night, I'd have to rub my nose with Vicks, just to breath when I'd lay down. Not any more.

8-I am sick of fat clothes! They are just down right ugly to me and I just don't like the way they fir me! Seriously, anything over a size 16 is horrible to me. Like a big ole sack. I want to wear pretty clothes that fit nice. I want to wear overalls again. And cute skirts.And dresses.

9-I'm tired of being the biggest person in my family. My brother and sister were always smaller than me. I always felt awkward around them. My mom is only 100 pounds. I'm afraid I'm going to hurt her if I hug too hard.

10- I just want to be healthy. Just a healthy person. There is nothing wrong with being a little over weight, but not for me. It was just getting uncomfortable for me. When it's even hard to bend over to tie my shoes, that's bad. When I can't cross my legs, that's bad. When my stomach sits on my lap, that's bad. When I can't see my feet, that's bad.

So today, I weigh 215. I still feel really big. I am not going to buy or make clothes til I get below 200. And I will! I have to. For me.

I'm sure I'll think of lots more reasons later. But this is enough for now. I'll talk more about what I eat in another post. But I am loving this way of life for me. It's also made my husband lose some weight and feel a bit better too. He has a little more energy.

Thank you all for reading my posts and for being so encouraging to me. I need it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In the garden.

It has done nothin' but rain the past week here. I know, I am NOT complaining at all. We have got nothing like in other parts of the country, I feel so bad for all the people in Houston and surrounding areas. And now Arkansas and Idaho. So sad. It's just rained  for an hour or so. Sometimes really hard, sometimes stormy with high winds. But nothing too serious here. Just right for the gardens though.

I only have 6 cabbages. I have had a hard time the past several years getting them to make heads. These were looking promising, but I do believe I have a rabbit that likes cabbage. And cabbage moths too. So don't know if I'll get cabbage or not. I need another bag of DE to put on everything out there.

Little baby squashes! It's also been awhile since we've had success with squash and zucchini. But looking good so far!

Of course, I have never had a problem with the radishes. They grow great here. The beets now, they are slow, but growing finally.

This is the collards and kale mix up. I forgot I had planted collard seeds, then planted kale seeds. Then I forgot I had planted anything a few days later, and tilled half the row before I remembered I'd planted it. But the part I tilled has come up so much better than the other side. Did the same thing at the end of this row, where I had planted the organic kale seeds I got from Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots in Oregon. They are now coming up good! So I guess maybe next time I plant seeds, a few days later I'll till the rows.

This is the 4 dill plants I got from my friend Jane at Pocket Farm, over the ridge from me. And the bell peppers, cabbage and squash. Also tilled a row and put more kale in. But I didn't till later and they aren't coming up near as good as the other row is.

My husband wandered out to the garden Monday, after breakfast. He said he's tired of falling asleep after eating. Well, it's because he goes right from the table to his recliner in front of the tv. He's been blaming all the pills he takes. I don't know about that. So I told him he needed to go outside after eating and do something. I put him to work in the garden. He hoed the corn rows. Did a great job too. He used to do that in Indiana when he was a kid. I got some Blue Lake pole beans to plant in the corn when the corn gets about another foot taller.

These are some marigolds that popped up from last year. Of course, in between the rows of beans and peas. So I just till and mow around them. I love marigolds.

And of course my 2nd favorite flowers, the wild daisy, is coming up all all over the gardens. I am leaving most of them, because I love them. I had to show my husband what they were so he'd leave the ones in the corn alone. Because he's a man, and he seems to like killing things.

So the garden is really looking great so far. I have been weeding and mulching a lot. I have to still tie the rest of the tomato plants we staked last week. They are growing like weeds!

I hope y'all aren't being flooded by all this rain and are able to plant a garden.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Oh, this goat!

Olga. This goat is an escape artist. Can you see that window in the background, over Freja? It's broken and has been for years now. I had to put those yellow ramps that are on the well house in that window back when I had goat kids. They would jump up onto the window ledge and get in the milk room. So that helped. Apparently they got moved at some point by the husband and didn't get put back there. And I forgot that stuff happens.

Not long after I got Olga, I was milking Freja. I had gone to put the milk bucket in the fridge in the kitchen. When I came back to the milk room, there was Olga, in the window, on the inside of the milk room, looking at me. So I had to get all the stuff off the shelf where her big body was, to get her out f the window. Cut my fingers on the glass that's still around the edges. She had a little cut on her side too. That's when I started letting her come in for a little feed on her stanchion, just to keep an eye on her.

This morning, I put the sheep back up front for the day. Then I put the goats out back. I shut the gate. Later, I came out to put something in the car, and there were the goats, at the gate to the milk room. I have got to get that latch fixed on that back gate. I left them there, thinking they'd go on back to the back lot.

Came back outside because Freja was just bellowing like a mad woman. Went to see what was wrong, and Olga was in the milk room. Gate was shut. And I have a fireplace screen across the door. It was still up. The ramps were still in the window. How did she get in there? She must have jumped the fence, then the screen? So back in the back yard they went. I'll have to keep an eye on that one from now on. I had a doe like her before. Sadie Mae. That goat jumped every fence on this farm. I do believe they are related.

In other news, I have now lost 34 pounds!!!!! I don't think I'll lose 16 more pounds by my birthday next week. But I am happy anyway.

I went to bed at 8 last night. I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I feel better this morning.

Happy hump day, y'all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Feeling blah today.

My bees are doing so good. Still bringing in lots of pollen. I wish they could gather ALL the nasty pollen. The past several days, my eyes have been very itchy and red and watering like crazy. I rub them so hard, my eye balls get swollen. And my dandelions are dwindling fast. I feel better when I have a big cup of dandelion tea every day. But one day, there will be no more.

As I was mowing the garden yesterday, I mowed around the hive. The sun was shining and it was warm. I could smell honey! I hope to be able to harvest some honey in the next few weeks. I bought a manual 2 frame extractor. I hope it's going to be pretty simple to figure out. I've never done it before. But I've never gotten this close to having my own honey before either. In fact, all I do with these bees is a learning experience. Last night, it was raining real hard. When I went out to check on all the critters, I checked the hive too. There were still some bees going in and out. And rain looked like it was getting in the entrance. So I put the big board on the top of the hive to help keep rain out. Well, there must have been a bee on the board and it got in my left sleeve and stung me under the arm. I kept feeling something and I guess it was another bee because I got stung on my neck too. Silly bees. Just trying to help and get stung.

So I have no desire to do anything right now. I have no motivation at all. And SO much to get done. I want to go to the farmers market this Saturday and bring my hand spun yarn. I need to figure out some sort of display to hang the yarn on. So need to go to town. Also need more jars for salve. Need to make some soap. I watched a few you tube videos on how to make hot process soap. I really want to try it. But don't even feel like doing that. I don't know what's wrong with me. No energy I think.

We got a lot of rain starting about 3:30 yesterday. Thunder and lightening right over the house. I sat on the porch and crocheted a little. It felt good out there. Later I went to see how the okra rows looked. There was water standing in the rows. I hope all the seeds didn't get washed away. But it looked like it was just staying on the rows, not moving. So they should be fine. But I see all the news around the country, like Houston flooding, Arkansas storms. A mess all over. Then California still in a horrible drought. I don't know what's going on these days. Just crazy.

I think I'll just go to town. Get away for awhile. Sounds good to me.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Making and doing around the farm...

Just a few things I've been doing the past week.

I made some fresh plantain salve. It'd been awhile since I'd made any. And I'll be heading back to the farmers market this Saturday. So I thought I better have fresh stuff to take. I need more jars. I still have some in the pot. I made a dozen. So I'll get a few more boxes, because I have calendula salve to make too.

Yesterday, I made feta cheese. I am getting well over a half gallon of milk from Freja each day and we can't drink it fast enough. So I decided to make some feta. I love making feta. Then I marinade it in olive oil with garlic and herbs. SO good! This will be ready Saturday. Already have some sold.

This is the calendula petals infusing in olive oil. I really like this salve. I've been using it on my face the past few months and I like the results. Better than plantain. Calendula takes care of the dryness. And it's a lot gentler to use in sensitive places. Great for babies too.

I am almost finished with my Sunburst Granny square bed spread. I'll take a pic when I'm all done. I take it with me to Mrs. T's, on my days to stay with her. I have made most of it at her house. And some more at the eye doctor with my mom. And in the motel when I went to the fiber show in Townsend. So it's been around.

I have a lot of the cotton yarn left, so I decided to try to make a blouse for myself. I started yesterday. Maybe by the time I'm finished, I'll have lost more weight and can wear it. I really have no idea how to make a blouse. Just guessing at it. It'll probably be like a tank top. And very colorful!

Speaking of weight, a friend was asking me about my weight loss journey the other day. She said I should blog about it. I told her I sort of do here. But not enough. So I might just start another blog, dedicated to this new way of eating and living. Will have to think more about it though.

So here is my favorite salad. I went to 2 farmers markets Saturday. I got some fresh salad greens, romaine lettuce and spinach from one farm. Then some really nice looking beets with pretty greens. So mixed all those up with the beet greens. Then I add dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and either Gorgonzola or Blue cheese. I love Superberry fruit vinaigrette, but the store where I shop didn't have any. I got a raspberry instead. Pretty good, but too sweet for me. So this is either my lunch or dinner several times a week. I love it. Very filling too.

I need to take my new bike back to the store where I bought it. I went for a ride a few days ago and it was torture! It took forever to get up a little hill and I was exhausted. When I got home, I aired up the tires, thinking they might have been low. Then decided to check the brakes. My friend who I ride with, said last time we rode that she kept hearing my bike scraping, like the back brake pads were rubbing the rim. Well, it is. Very tightly too. No wonder it's so darn hard to ride! And I should have lost 15 pounds.

And this mess. Oh my. I don't know if I'll just have to cut it. But I was spinning, or have been spinning, this very fine Merino roving I had bought. For hours. And it broke a few times. I would always find the end. But not this time. It is nowhere to be found. I posted on the fiber art forum for help. So I tried tape, a toothbrush and a vacuum. Nothing. Someone else suggested some Tequila, which I would have drank if I'd had some. Or poured it over this and lit it on fire. VERY frustrating for sure! Has this happened to anyone else? What do you do?

I don't know if anyone else watched the Duggers on TLC. But it was one of my favorite shows. I am so bummed right now about what's happened. And the fact that it happened over 12 years ago makes it even worse. Because to me, it's in the past, Why bring up the past? They got counseling and went to the police, although a few years after the fact. But still did. I just hate that anyone in the public eye is subject to all kinds of  talk and gossip and people making assumptions about them. Like Paula Deen last year for something she said 30 something years ago. Good grief already! I am not condoning child molestation at all. It is bad. But he was 15 for crying out loud! And he got help. So did his family. Anyway, enough of this. I'm just upset about the whole thing and what people are saying about them. Just makes it worse for people who are trying to live right and be good people.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Memorial day. Makes me think of all the men and women who fought and gave their lives for us to have the freedom we have today. Thank you all so much!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


 I kept seeing birds flying into the milk room yesterday. Then saw this. A pair of barn swallows is building a nest. I love it! Now I can't wait to hear little babies soon.

These little chicks are being bad. I let them in the coop this morning because I was bringing the 4 legged creatures over. Now I guess they don't like being penned up. Mommas are not happy anout this situation at all.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In the garden this week...

I am amazed at these tomato plants! Already have little green tomatoes! And the smell so good. I love how tomato plants smell. I just go out there and rub a leaf all over my hands so I can smell it all day. They should make tomato perfume. How cool would that be? Then in the middle of a cold winter, you could spray some tomato smell on you and it would remind you of summer and a big red ripe juicy tomato! Oh my, that sounds so good!

So, my husband came out to the garden a few evenings ago, to check it out. I put him to work, like all good wives should do when their husbands wander out to the garden, right? It was cool, he had nothing else to do obviously. So I made him stake the rest of the tomatoes. He's gonna be eating these soon, so why not work a little? He did good. Now I just need to tie them up. They are growing so fast!

This is a Rutger tomato plant. I have 10 of these. I think there are 40 plants, 5 different varieties.

This is a Black Cherry plant, with little green tomatoes! I can't wait til these are ripe. They are an heirloom cherry.

This is the yellow squash, zucchini, cabbage and pepper row. The squash and zucchini just grew like weeds the past week or so. I've lost 2 hot pepper plants. Don't know why.

And the corn looks pretty good so far. I need to get some more to plant where lots didn't come up.  But haven't grown corn in a few years.So excited to get some good fresh "roastin' ears", as my husband calls them.

Looks like all the sunflower seeds I planted down the middle of the crowder peas row are coming up. That should be pretty.

It was so cold today here. I don't know what's going on, but I'm glad. Because the shearer has yet again put us off til NEXT weekend, if nothing happens. This has been going on since March. The lady up the road who has 15 Finn sheep didn't even get hers sheared at all last year. She's supposed to get her sheared by the lady doing mine. So no wool for her for 2 years. I sure hope my sheep's wool is going to be ok, waiting this long. I know I will be much better when they do finally get sheared. I have been stressing out about this for too long now. I think I will be looking for another shearing person for next year.

Good morning!

Freja and Olga, at my studio door this morning. Good morning, girls! Have a nice day. It's only supposed to be about 71 today. Isn't that nice? I need to go ride my bike. I'm down to 218 right now! So need to really start exercising. I hate exercising. Really hate it. I'd rather walk or ride my bike. But need to work on my mid section bad.

I've had a few animal escapes this week. I think it was Sunday, I looked out at the sheep in the South pasture and saw Clack, the wether, on the road. Yes, he was on the road. He'd climbed through the barbed wore and over the laid down chain link fence, right onto the road. My neighbor saw him and ran him back in through the far gate. So I had to put them all over in the North pasture, with the chickens. And the 2 momma hens and 3 chicks. Who are outside of the coop. And sleep in the corner of the middle stall. Where the sheep go into at night.So later that night, I peeked outside to check on everyone. And heard loud chickie chirping going on. Ran out there to see what was going on and where the chicks were. They were on the other side of the coop, with the mommas. So I got the sheep back over to the studio yard, and the mommas and chicks went back to bed. All was well again. I guess I can't let the sheep back over there til the chicks get bigger and can roost.

Then yesterday, driving up the driveway, I thought I saw Bubba. But it wasn't Bubba. It was Freja. In the yard. Olga was at the gate, looking at her.  So I jumped out and caught her. I have to leave the leash on her because she is hard to catch sometimes. So I'll just step on the leash to catch her.  Got her back in. And husband comes out to see if  I'd gotten her. He said she'd been out about an hour. All my fig bushes and blueberry bushes were still ok. The maples still had leaves. He said she just stayed right near Olga the whole time.  So we had to fix more fences. Darn goats and sheep!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday wool...

This is some of the Cormo roving I bought up in Townsend last month. I bought 2 of this color and 2 white. Then a yellow and pinky-orange. I did not enjoy spinning this pencil roving at all! I havd to hold on so tight to keep it from breaking, my fingers hurt. And then it broke anyway. Many times. It was not fun. The white roving was lots thicker, so much easier. I don't know if it was the wool, or the roving size, but I didn't like it. First time spinning Cormo though. It's really soft.

So I decided to ply these 2 together. I had much more of the white. So still have a lot left of it.

                                                     It's really pretty. Peaches-n-Cream.

I love my porch since I cleaned it up. I sit here and spin and listen to the sounds of the country and my farm.

                                   This is the skein of the Peaches-n-Cream. 95 yards and 8 oz.

This is the yellow and pink roving, all spun and plied. I used my Adalaide's wool that I've been hand combing with my new combs. It was just enough to make 54 yards of yarn. I kept thinking it reminded me of something. I thought maybe that coconut candy? Then maybe the board game Candyland? At first, I wasn't sure of the colors together. Now I love it and wish I had more. 

So what could someone make out of just 54 yards? Or could these 2 skeins be combines? I think they would would make a pretty baby blanket or hat and sweater.

I still have a bag of Merino roving to spin. And the brown, I think it's Jacob, I will finish hand combing the Wensleydale that's the same color, and ply them together. Should be really nice.

I am so hoping my shearer comes Friday. Haven't heard anything from her yet. 2 more days. I hope the wool isn't too messy to work with now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

And here is Olga.

 So poor Freja has been very vocal since I got her last week. Her Nubian is coming out really nicely, I must say. So I figured she needed a goat friend, as the sheep just weren't her type. She did ok with them, but they'd just all get up and leave and not bother to tell her where they were going or how long they'd be gone. So it just wasn't working for her. And she let me know. All day. And night. She needed a goat friend.

So my friend Kendra, who I got Freja from, had a friend who has Lamancha does and wanted to sell a few. I went to see them Monday. She had a really friendly smaller black doe that I just loved. But not for sale. The other one was 5 years old, never been bred, half Nubian and Lamancha. Looked like Freja but with elf ears. Really nice looking doe. Already had nice formed udder and teats. But 5 years old. And half Nubian. Which is great. But Nubians are LOUD animals.

So I chose this girl. When I first saw her, I thought for sure she was part or mostly Toggenburg. But no, full Lamancha. Just some of her line has long hair. She had the sire on site and he's huge and black. And not hairy. And they had 2 sisters. One had hair but not as long. The other had short hair. She comes from a really good line of dairy goats and the sire throws some really nice does with great udders. So She came home with me.

And she didn't have a name either. I'd been looking at old Norse Viking names. Not a lot of pretty names. But Olga kept popping up. And she just looks like an Olga, doesn't she? Her and Freja hit it off great. No head butting at all. It started raining right after I got home, so they went into the shelter. I have a hay rack with fresh hay back there for them in the back yard.

Isn't she pretty? Just 2 years old, by the way. She'll be more than ready to breed in November. My friend Sarah, who got Sandy and Woody, said I can use Woody to breed them. He is John Henry's buck kid from last year. Really handsome buck. And the same color as these 2.

I went ahead and started getting her used to the stanchion. Just a little feed in hers. I have to pick her up to get her on the stanchion now. But pretty soon, she'll be jumping right up. Freja is finally jumping up by herself now!! She's heavy!

Olga saying hello. I love her already. This is just enough for me right now. Just 2. And I'll sell the kids soon after they're born. I just don't want to have as many as I've always had. 2 is a great number to have.

Freja is giving a little over a half gallon of milk a day now. Total, twice a day. Pretty good for a first freshener. And the milk is SO good! And her udder is amazing! Great teat size and good orifices, so the milk just flows right out with no problem. I love udders like hers. Now, I just hope Olga has a good udder.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Around the farm...

   I finally found some flowers for the tire planters at Lowe's for $1 each. They sure suck up the water though.

This is one of my spirea bushes, in bloom.

                          And my Stella d'Oro day lilies are blooming now too. They're so pretty.

This is the elderberry bush that popped up at the bird bath. It's starting to get flowers. I sure hope I get some berries this year. I need to fill up the hummingbird feeder.

These 2 mommas have been hard at work the past week, scratching up all the old hay and sheep poop for me. I've already put several wagon loads on the garden, mulching with it. Good girls! I love when my animals do things for me!

                                     This is some really good compost too. Really dark and rich.

                                                Little apples on the early June apple tree.

    Which one is different here? Freja is staying with the sheep during the day, til I milk her. Then I put her in the back yard. I got her a friend today. More about her later.

Just look at all this wool! I will be busy soon. I hope my shearing lady comes Friday. 12 sheep to shear. 12 fleeces to play with! Oh, what fun to be had!

But poor Darla is just miserable. She has at least 6" of wool on her. I keep telling her just a few more days now and all that wool will come off. She will be the 1st sheep to be sheared.

And my poor apple trees. They keep getting more yellow. It's cedar apple rust. I went ahead and fertilized the 4 smaller trees with fish emulsion this morning, then mulched real good around them with that manure compost. And now it's pouring rain, so I hope all that good stuff gets washed down to the roots. I'll give them more fish fertilizer in a few days again.

              I cut some of the bottom branches off the bigger tree and gave the branches to Freja.

This little guy, Clack, is a mess. All his back wool is stuck to the barbed wire fence at the front of the pasture. He gets through it and eats the honeysuckle vines that have weighed the chain link fence down. We've been working on trying to pull that fence back up, but those vines are heavy. After him and his brother Click, get sheared, they will be going to the butcher. So I won't have to worry about them getting over the fence then.

Been working in the garden. Planting more and mulching. Will share later this week. We got a good all night soaking rain a few nights ago. And now it's pouring rain again!! I just cannot water like the Lord can. The plants do so much better with rain water.

Have a great week, y'all!