Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Turning it off.

I have decided to turn this computer off for the month of July. I need a break. I spend way too much time on here.And I have so much I need to be doing instead.

I will have to turn it on to update what I'm bringing to market. And delete tons of stupid emails, I'm sure. But I won't be back here til August. So I thought I would let y'all know, just in case anyone missed me.

So see y'all back here in August. Have a great July!

Soap sale

I'm having a soap sale. They'll be $3.50 a bar. Or if you buy 6 bars (for $21.00) I'll throw in a free bar. I can fit 7 in a flat rate shipping box for $5.95, if that's what they still are. So $26.95 for 7 bars of soap.

Here is a list of what I have. And these were all made last year, in late summer and fall.

These are some I made with either juice, kombucha or goldenrod tea:

Grape juice with raw milk yogurt- lots
Kombucha- lots
Spiced apple- 3 bars made with spiced apple tea
Tangerine with goldenrod tea- 4

Lime-patchouli- lots
Peaches-N-Cream, with raw milk yogurt, unscented- lots-
Cucumber-melon- 4
Sage- 9
Basil- 5
Cucumber-basil- 9
Orange-clove- 6
Pumpkin spice- 5
Spiced Mahogany- 6
Warm ginger-coconut- 8
Cucumber-mint- lots
Peppermint- 2
Spearmint- 8
Chamomile-sweet almond- lots
Rosemary with lard- 12

Most all soaps were made with coconut oil, olive oil and vegetable oil.

I do not have a pay pal acct. so you'd have to send a check.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oh my goodness...

 look what I just found! The 3 bluebird eggs have hatched and they are all alive!!! I wasn't sure, but yes, they are. Baby birds are just ALL mouth!

When I first came over to the studio, I saw a red coffee can on the ground by the front porch. My heart just sank. Then I saw the coffee can nest was still on the porch rail. I was so happy! Then I looked inside. I always look inside to check on the eggs when the mother isn't on them. I thought they might hatch sometime this weekend. And they did. All 3 of them! This is so cool.

Now I will have to stand guard and make sure no darn cats get these babies.

The milk room barn swallow babies are getting bigger every day. Their parents are coming in and going out all day long. The babies have finally gotten feathers on the tops of their heads and they look even funnier now!

So many bird babies here right now. I'm glad my cats are so old.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Feels so good.....

on a hot day. Every morning, this is what happens here at Outback Farm. Alpacas get a cold shower. They love it.  I discovered this last year. I was putting water in the trough and these 2 just stood staring at me. So I turned the hose on them and they loved it. So ever since, when it's hot, they get a cold shower.

Sugar just lays right down after awhile. He's so funny. Misha always gets right in front of him anyway.

Can you see the pretty spider web right above the sheep back scratcher? That spider was busy all night making that beauty. When I let the sheep over here, this is the first thing they do, scratch their backs on this board.

So good Friday morning to you all. I am off to Mrs. T's for the day. I'm bringing wool to make dryer balls while I'm there. Then when I get home, it's out to pick green beans and kale for the market in the morning. And make zucchini bread. I have not even licked the spoon when I make it. And I don't even want to. Yesterday, I took Mrs. T to the doctor and on the way home, she wanted to stop and get ice cream. She kept asking me if I wanted some of hers and couldn't believe I didn't have any. But it doesn't even look good to me any more.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New clothes...

Well, not really new clothes. But new to me. I love thrift stores and that's about where I get all my clothes from. When I can find any I like. Before I started losing weight, I could hardly find anything I liked. Seems like after a size 18, things just start looking horrible to me. No color. Or just huge.

So last week, me and mom went to a new thrift store. I found the bright colored skirt at the far end and a few shirts. Got home and tried them on and they all fit!!! I was thrilled! I wore that skirt to the wedding with a green shirt. I felt so cool! I had so many compliments on the skirt too.

Yesterday, I wore it with a brown shirt. Went to my friends to deliver her milk and she said she used to have a shirt and skirt just like that. I said it could have been hers, since I got it at a thrift store. She said she takes her clothes to Providence In Ft. O. I went to the new one and found these. So, isn't that funny? The other 2 skirts were at a different thrift store.

I also found 2 shirts and a pair of blue jean shorts and another skirt. I'll have to wait some to wear that shirt though. A little too tight yet. But I WILL wear it.

It's really fun now to look for clothes that are cute and fun to wear. I have the black and white skirt on today with a black shirt. Just feels good to wear skirts. Maybe soon I can wear some pretty summer dresses.

Does anyone else like to go thrift store shopping?

In the garden...

 Things are really happening out here right now. I can hide in the corn rows. Picking green beans, squash, kale, lettuce, bell and banana peppers and hot peppers.

The Japanese beetles are horrible this year, plus the June bugs are everywhere. But there are green beans growing! I picked a little mess the other day for my mom. I'll pick more tonight for the market.

These are the Pink Eye crowder peas, flowering.

Peas on left, with sunflowers down the middle, and green beans on the right.

My zinnia bed. My favorite flowers.

Some ripe red tomatoes, peeking through the leaves! I've been getting a few every day now. They are SO good and juicy. I will sure miss my bacon and tomato sandwiches on sourdough bread.

Some green bell peppers, also peeking through their leaves. I picked one the other day and added it to my frittata. I also have red and yellow peppers.

Sweet banana peppers.

These are the red hot Cow peppers. My husband loves hot peppers. I also have jalapeno peppers.

The past several years, I have not had any luck growing cabbages. I got 6 just to try this year. The cabbage moths love them. And the kale too. I see little tiny heads, but I just don't know.

It's getting too hot for the squash and zucchini now. I actually got quite a lot of them. I've been making zucchini bread for the market and they sell really good.

It sounds like a small bee city in the squash flowers. They are buzzing with bee activity!

My old garden furniture. I sit down there sometimes. Then see all kinds of things I need to be doing and get right back up. I did sit the other night for about 15 minutes while the sprinkler was on.

The okra and cucumber bed. It really needs weeded and mulched. Next week for a few days, my niece is bringing her 10 year old son, who wants to stay a few days and help me out here in the garden. We will be working here, weeding. I also have a lot of not good wool that we'll use to mulch the cucumbers with.

Coming in from the garden this morning, this frog scared me!

In between the corn rows. I can hide out there now! It's all got tassels now too. Silver Queen corn. Yum!

I can't wait for the honey bees to find this corn. I remember years ago, when I grew corn. I'd hear bees buzzing while I picked beans. It was the coolest sound ever. Then, when they started growing the Monsanto corn across the road, I couldn't grow corn here. So the bees went away. But they grew wheat or something across the road this year. That's why I think my corn's done so well.

I was going to say that I always leave weeds for the bugs to have. The Japanese beetles will eat these weeds before they eat the veggies or flowers. So I leave a lot for them. The weeds are good for something!

Some of the sunflowers this morning, reaching their faces toward the sun.

And more frogs. This is my little frog pond. When I walk by, I hear lots of plopping. Can you see some frogs?

This is some of the wild flowers I've let go in the garden. There are probably 20 different varieties right here alone.

And this is what I started doing a few nights ago. Right in front of the bee hive. I had let the clover and other things grow here for the bees. Then mowed it all down a few days ago. I started tilling, but it's hard as a rock. We're supposed to be getting some rain the next few days, so i hope it'll soften it up. But next week, while Ian is here, we will work on this too. We'll add some good chicken manure compost and other good soil to it. Then plant more green beans. Then in the fall, more squash and zucchini will go here.

Yesterday, it poured in Ft. Oglethorpe and Flintstone, but not a drop out here. I mean it was fierce too. Big ole black clouds and wind like crazy. I was going out of Aldi with my buggy and I had a hard time walking it to the car. But they all needed the rain too. We should get some Friday and Saturday, then it's supposed to cool off. It's been high 90's for a few weeks now.

So what's happening in your gardens these days? Any canning going on yet? I will be canning tomatoes soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Still losing.

As of this morning, I have lost 41 pounds! But I got to thinking, that's just about 10 pounds a month. If I had been exercising, it could have been at least 20 pounds a month. But I'm ok with this. It's coming off slowly but surely. I am getting lots of walking and bending and squats done every day, working in the garden. I see some little green beans, so I will be picking them soon. Can hardly wait for a good pot of fresh green beans. With some squash and ripe tomatoes. Maybe some fried potatoes. Goodness, makes me hungry.

Speaking of being hungry, I am a lot lately. But before, when I was so hungry, I'd eat anything and everything I got my hands on. Usually crap. But now, it's easier for me to handle the hungry. Like right now, I have a bowl of cantaloupe I'm snacking on. I had the rest of the frittata I made yesterday for breakfast. Then did a lot of walking, dragging branches up from the front of the yard to the goats and sheep. Then had to go to Lafayette to get some dog bones from the slaughterhouse for the dogs. Got that all bagged up and made dog food. Got it all in the freezer and just now sat down.

So I am eating so much healthier now. At both weddings, I didn't even think about cake. I did have a tiny bit of wine. But mostly ate BBQ and veggies and fruits. Before, I would have had 2 or 3 pieces of cake. It doesn't even look good to me now.

So if I want to get to 160, I have 49 pounds to go.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Around the farm today.

 I looked up how long it takes for blue bird eggs to hatch. 12-14 days. This poor momma is hot.I put a bowl of water out there for her. So I think just a few more days. I will be glad when they hatch, because then a few weeks later, they will fly away! I have not been able to use my front porch. Whenever I go out the front door, she flies away. I also read that the father looks for food for the mother while she's sitting on the eggs. What a great guy, right?

And look at this! Baby barn swallows already! There are 4 of them that I can see. 2 on each su=ide. They have the biggest mouths ever. And every time I come in the milk room, they are almost hanging out. I put a box with some hay in it right under the nest, just in case one falls out. Baby birds are just really ugly. These are all mouth.

There's 1 on the right side looking over the edge.

One of the parents. They look alike to me. Most birds you can tell male from female, but not these birds. They are very diligent. One of these days, I am going to have a bird right in my face though. They fly out when I go in the door. But now, when I'm milking Freja, both of them will come on in and feed the babies. I am talking to them the whole time. I just love these birds all over.

                                                My front yard is full of day lilies right now.

This is a pot of flowers I bought last year that's coming back. It was so pretty last year.

More day lilies. I love this color. And the yellow ones.

My harvest today from the garden. I've been getting lots of squash and zucchini. I make zucchini bread and sell it at the market. And these tomatoes are SO good.

I spent all day yesterday washing 2 fleeces. The brown is Cameron and the white is another white fleece, not really sure who it is. The black milk crate on the floor is Campbelles' fleece washed.  And in the red basket on the other side of the crate is half of Annabelle's.

This is Adelaide's from last year. I've been using the evil hand combs to make little bird nest rovings. It's so pretty and soft.

It's just HOT here these days. I made up 2 poems or Haikus about the heat.

I like spring and fall.
That is all.

The parking lot
is hot.

Yeah, it's just plain ole hot now. And all week, in the high 90's.Trying to keep the animals all watered and cool. I forgot the milk bucket this morning in the freezer. I hate frozen thawed out goat milk. It's just not good to me. So I put it out in the chicken coop for the girls. They loved it. I've been getting 7 eggs again! All of them laying again. I hope no one tries to steal my hens, since egg prices have gone up. Crazy.

So, all day Saturday, I was outside. Farmers market til 12. Then hurried home to the first wedding up on the mountain at our friends Wolf man and Bambi. Our friend Rodney got married to his girlfriend. Wolf man married them. Rodney was our best man in our wedding 35 years ago. We had good food there. BBQ smoked in a big smoker. Lots of good food. Saw lots of old biker friends there. Lots of old bikers now! It was fun. In the shade too. So pretty nice. Then down to the next wedding at Mt. Cove Farm, about 5 miles from us. The mountain wedding was just 13 miles from us. This was my husband's niece's daughter. It was outside too, way back at the foot of Lookout Mt.. It was nice and shady there too. Then we had more BBQ! Can never have enough BBQ, right? I had to leave at 7:30 to go milk a goat. My husband didn't get home til about 12:30. They danced and had lots of fun after I left. That's ok. They really did have fun. Both our daughters and Kansas, danced and danced. So a very nice busy day. I was so tired Sunday.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Just a little shower.

I went ahead and picked our first red ripe Rutger tomato this morning! And we had it with dinner tonight. I don't care what anyone says, you just cannot beat a fresh out of the garden home grown tomato. Anywhere. Just can't be done. I had breakfast, or brunch really, today at the Bluegrass Cafe on Main ST. It was SO good and I will be going back there. But they get their tomatoes from Linda's produce. Those are not fresh local tomatoes. Sorry. No flavor at all. But this one, oh my goodness gracious! So juicy and tomato-y. I can hardly wait for more now. But I do love trying out some of the good new places to eat in Chattanooga.

It looked like it was going to rain all day here. So I hung out a load of clothes and got the bad goat back in the back. Olga, the flying goat, went over a low spot up between the back and the back yard. Just flew right on over. I was out there hanging the clothes when she did it. So I got that all blocked up, put her in the milk room, got Freja and the milk bucket. It was just 7. I usually milk at 7:30. But it looked like it could rain.

Well, it did. It poured. For about 10 minutes. Long enough to get soaking wet. I got the goats back in the barn with some hay and I ran back to the house. Soaked! But it felt so good. I got dried off and put on my big ole t-shirt, with no bra. Finished getting dinner ready. Just about finished and a car out in the driveway, someone honking the horn. It's our friends from up the road. So I had to run look for a bra and get it on. We had a little visit outside, they were just driving home and decided to stop. Well, me and Isabelle were getting bit by something out on the driveway. On our left boobs. It was crazy. We were both ready to rip our shirts off! It was quite funny.

My camera battery was dead this morning, so it's been charging all day while I was gone. Then I was too tired to take any pictures of the garden/ Everything's growing so fast. I am so happy to see the corn doing so well. It's almost as tall as me and some already has some tassels! The bees will love this.

Bank to Mrs. T's for the day Friday. Then farmers market Sat. morning, a wedding at 2, then another wedding at 6. I'm tired already!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy goats!

 Just about every day, I go around the farm and cut branches for the goats. Then I stick them in the fence so they can reach up for them. If they fall to the ground, these goats will not eat them. They are very persnickety goats. I don't care what anybody says about goats eating everything. Not mine! I have always had picky goats.

I love this one. Olga looks so happy to have some good leaves to eat. I am glad I can be here to serve these 2 sweet girls. Freja gives the best milk too.

I am finally at 210 this morning!!!!!! Only 50 more pounds to go! Yay! Maybe by next March I'll get there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


and holding. Always wanted to say that. But now I'm tired of it. I've been at 211 for a week now and not going down. A little depressing. But I know it will soon. I need to get on my bike again. It's just been too hot. Sweating would be good for me though. I've been getting out in the garden and weeding a lot lately too.

And I just love my walks gathering dandelion flowers for my tea every morning. It's become quite a habit and something I look forward to. I start by walking past the honey bee hive and telling them all good morning. Then I walk all around the garden, hunting that big beautiful yellow blossom. After I walk the garden, I go down one side of the driveway and back up the other. Then I go into the chicken yard and search in the pasture area. After that, it's the side yard, where my studio is and the other side of the fence near the driveway. Then, if the grass hasn't been mowed in a few days, I'll check the front yard. By then, I'll have a huge hand full of dandelion goodness. These past few days though, the supply has been down. I'll add some of my peppermint leaves to the pot and simmer awhile. Then add some of my yummy honey. I just love my dandelion tea. I usually go out after breakfast, between 8 and 10:30. After that, it's too hot and they are all gone, folded back up from the heat of the day. I try to leave some for the bees too. But right now, they are more into the clover and elderberry all over the place.

Walking through the wet grass in early morning, barefoot, is so fun. Sometimes I step on prickly invasive weeds that hurt. It brings back memories if when I was a young teen. We lived on Tybee Island. One day I was walking across someone's vacant lot barefoot, which I always was, and stepped on so many stickery things. It was all through the lot. I cried it hurt so bad. I finally made it out and never went back there again.

So today, I am going to finish my Sunburst Granny square blanket. I might try to sell it, not sure yet. Then I'll start on my skirt. I need pins though. Loaned my box to a friend up the road, so need to go get them. Then I'll work on skirting more wool and washing it. My studio is smelling like sheep. Dirty sheep. So that needs to be done. Then I might send some of the fleeces off to be made into roving to spin. Thinking about it.

Yesterday morning, as I was walking into the milk room, I noticed a little tiny egg shell on the floor. So I think the barn swallows are hatching. I don't hear them yet, but mom and dad are busy birds, going in and out all day. They are getting used to me and the goats and cats now. They used to fly out and wait til we were all gone. Now, they just fly on in. They have too much important stuff to do now!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Around the farm Monday...

It's a beautiful day here in N. Ga. The sun is beating down on us. Hasn't rained in several days, but should some this week. I had to water the garden last night.

The hubby is outside this morning, weeding around the electric fence out back. I moved the sheep back up front to the North pasture this morning, so just goats out back now. I hope they're in the barn, because I sure don't hear that loud mouth Freja. She is the loudest goat I've ever had. Louder than Sandy, who was mostly Nubian. Freja is just half Nubian. She got the Nubian mouth for sure, that girl. She lets me know when It's time to milk her. Or, when it's time for her to eat.

I'm washing sheets today and hanging them out. I just love to get into bed after a long hot day, and smell nice fresh sheets that have been dried outside. I have another load ready to be hung soon.

Bubba says good morning to y'all. He's so sweet. A lady up the road found a little tiny kitten in front of our farm last week. Wanted to know if it was mine. I said no, all my cats are fixed and really old. And no, I do not want another cat please! Because this old sweet looking dog right here, would kill it in no time. He does not let any other animals on this property at all. If they do get in, they don't leave alive. But I asked Heather if it was ok for Kansas to have a kitten. She jumped on that right away! Kansas is such a cat person. She said she'd work for the kitten's food and litter. So This ladies husband is a vet. She took him in for a little check up and de wormed him. We'll take him back in 3 weeks when he's 8 weeks old for all his vaccinations. Then later to be neutered. He's so cute though. All orange stripes and the bluest eyes ever. He will be very loved for sure!

This is the bird house Kansas and her Papa built. I just love it. No birds in it yet though. More for decoration right now. Plenty of other places to make nests around here. Like coffee cans!

My first zinnia of the year! I have a long bed of them here and a lot of others that have popped up in other places in the garden too. I love these flowers so much! I just think a garden without zinnias isn't a garden at all.

And these little beauties are all over the garden now too. I love them as well. In fact, these were in my wedding bouquet. Just happy flowers.

Some of the sheep and alpacas, enjoying the shade in their new pasture for a few weeks. The grass is nice and lush over here now. Might last a few weeks. I will mow the South pasture this afternoon.

See this apple? It whacks me on the head every time I walk under this tree. I forget it's there and it gets me every time.

Whoever is renting the hay fields all around us is finally mowing them. They started last week and are now on the other side where the sheep are. It smells so good! I love the smell of fresh mown hay. But it also means the snakes will be out again.

This is sad. I was out watering the garden last night and saw this gray humpy thing down on the fence. I looked closer and it was a possum. Looks like it was heading out of the garden and got stuck in the fence. It's dead. Poor thing. I don't think it was there in the morning when I was out there getting my dandelions. I think I have some lime, I'll sprinkle on it. Because it's already starting to stink. But I wonder if this is what ate my poor little baby chick last week?

I love this material. I bought it a few months ago, thinking I'd like to make a blouse with it. But now I have a blouse that will go perfect with it, so I'll make a skirt. I just need to go find an easy peasy pattern I can make myself, with no help. I love it. We have 2 weddings to go to this weekend too. One at 2 up on the mountain about 13 miles from us. Then the 2nd wedding is at Mountain Cove Farms at 6, right past our house! How cool is that? The 2nd wedding has dinner and dancing after , so sounds like a great day to me! I'll try to go to the market in the morning, maybe. It's over at 12. I think I can do it.

I did really good at the farmers market Saturday. More than the week before. I need to make more soap. And I suppose I will dye my white yarns. Seems people want colored yarn. And I think I'll start knitting some shawls and scarves for the fall markets.