Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bird house tree.

This tree has been slowly declining for years.  Most of the branches have fallen off. But it gets new leaves every spring though.

We started noticing how much it's leaning now. With all the rain and muddy wet ground, and the huge ant hill, it's leaning toward the shelter.

We have talked about cutting it down several times. But this morning, I saw some birds going in this hole. This is the bird houses for so many birds. They've been making nests in this tree for years. After I saw the birds going in this morning, I said that tree cannot be cut down. Maybe just the top of the tree can be cut off, but not the trunk.

                                                            This is the other side of the tree.

                  The big ant hill. There are no ants in it now. But you can see how much it's leaning.

                              I love old trees. This would be some good firewood. But not for awhile.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blocking blocks.

I found these today at Aldi. I was so excited to see these there. And on sale for $14.99. There's 26 blocks! For blocking my knitting, like sweaters and shawls. I hope these work.

For all you knitters out there, have you used these ABC blocks before? Are they as good as the ones that at specifically for blocking?

Now I need to look for those blocking pins. Instead of using little nails. Probably not such a good idea.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goat bellies.

 I am finally seeing bellies on these girls. Freya should be due around the first week of March. I think she's looking really good right now. This is her 2nd pregnancy.

Olga would be due around the 2nd to 3rd week of March. I was worried about her even being pregnant because of that little episode a few months ago. I had to give her a lot of Ivermectin for a few days. I keep feeling for udders, but still nothing there. She is looking bigger each day. This is her first pregnancy too. So I have no idea what her udder and teats will be like. Not very big at all probably, the way she looks so far. But I am hoping she'll balloon out soon.

My friend Ron came last night to get Oden. He has 3 Nubian does he wants bred. I hope he does the job. So far, he's bred 4 does. 2 have already kidded with a set of twins each. 2 does and 2 bucks. And all 4 so far have no horns! I hope Ron can keep him til summer. I think the girls miss the old goat. But they'll get over it.

 I made my husband call his doctor yesterday afternoon. He's been in so much pain the past few weeks. And it was getting worse. He couldn't walk a step without screaming out in pain. It was horrible. So he called about 4 yesterday and actually got a person! And an appointment for this morning at 11. So got over there and in and saw the doctor real fast. She seems to think it's either a strained muscle in his back or arthritis. She sent him downstairs to the imaging center for x-rays. Gave him a scrip for a muscle relaxer and another for arthritis. We went to eat lunch after, then went to get the meds. He's already in his recliner, soon to be asleep. Poor guy. I hope this helps. The doctor will review the x-rays as soon as she gets them. Then will see if he could use some physical therapy.

It's raining here. So all the ice is now mucky mud. We needed more mud. Didn't have quite enough.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Some good things...

Cottage cheese. And not the low-fat stuff. That's not real.

Van Morrison. He's just good.

Spinning wool from my own sheep, right outside the door of my studio.

Fresh eggs from my hens.

Raw goat milk.

A good farm truck.

Cat Stevens.

Fleetwood Mac.

OLD VW bugs. And VW buses. They smell good too.

A warm house when it's cold outside. Wood stoves are good.

Knowing you're loved.

Allmon Brothers.


Good hay. Happy sheep.

Big huge pregnant goats.

Carlos Santana.

Things I've made with my own hands.

Marshall Tucker. There is no bad Marshall Tucker.

Hot tea with honey.

Chickens running free around the yard. In winter. Not spring or summer. That's not good. They get into the garden and make a mess. Chickens running free in the garden are not good.

Nice warm wool socks.

Down comforters.

Running water.

A clean house.

Real food.

And most of all, God's love and mercy.

Knitting along. And some good cookbooks.

Still knitting on this shawl. I knit while I'm sitting with Mrs. T on Friday and Sunday. And whenever I can anywhere else. I wanted to see how long it was taking me to knit across a row. So I set my stopwatch on my phone. Ugh! It took me 20 minutes to go across one row! I think there are about 320 stitches right now. That's a long time to just be knitting 1 row. I might be knitting this shawl the rest of the winter. Have you ever timed yourself knitting before? Don't do it!

I bought a nice grass fed tenderloin a few months ago from Main St. Meats in Chattanooga. I have never cooked one before. So got out my cookbooks to find a recipe. I really love The Pioneer Woman's cookbook. I have made several of her recipes so far. And found one for tenderloin! So I made that last night. It looked just like her pictures too, when I was cutting it. The cutting board was all bloody, from the very rare tenderloin. She said that's how men and wolves like their meat.

So while I was looking, I got these 2 books out. I love them. I really like a cookbook with stories and good pictures. These 2 are really good. Cooking With Shelburn Farms by Melissa Pasamen. And Fields of Plenty by Michael Ableman. That last name might be wrong, I can't read my own writing. Both really good books with stories.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Good food for a cold day.

 Well, today, we are supposed to have a BIG snow storm! Schools have been closed. Ga. is already declared a state of emergency. It's really supposed to be awful dangerous to be out in it.

But there is NOTHING happening out there! Nothing at all. It's not even really cold.

And this is Wednesday, my day with mom. We were thinking we'd not be able to get out today, because of the snow and all. But as of right now, I think we'll be going out.

But if you are snowbound, unlike us, here is the best recipe for a day like this. This is from the latest edition of Taproot, my favorite magazine. I have already made this twice. We love it. I hope you can see the directions here. If you click on the picture, you can see it. You have to try it at least once. It's so good. And is even better the next few days. Because it makes a lot.

I keep forgetting to talk about my weight loss. I've been afraid to weigh myself lately, because I feel like I've gained about 15 pounds. I really haven't changed anything in the way I've been eating. Just the same foods. But it's been cold and not getting out and being more mobile is a problem for me. And I hate exercising.

So I got on the scale last week and I weighed 206. So I have gained 5 pounds since before Christmas. And I only had one tiny teeny little slice of my mom's home made pumpkin pie, without the crust. Maybe 4 bites. I feel like I might have lost a few pounds since I weighed. I've been at Mrs. T's for the past several days. When I'm there, I sit a lot, knitting or reading with her. Like the whole day. She cannot be left alone for more than a few minutes, so we can't do a whole lot while there.

I can't wait for spring, so I can get out and garden again! I am really excited about planting a garden full of plants to dye with. I'm reading a book about plants to dye for. It's called a Garden To Dye For. So fun! I really want to learn to dye my wool with natural plant based dyes. So lots of planning going on in my head right now.

I hope you all are warm and safe where ever you are. Happy hump day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More cleaned studio.

 I have been working over here in my studio as much as I can. I've had to go to Mrs. T's the past few days because one of the caregivers has been sick. So I get to fill in for her. So not much time to work here. But it's getting slowly cleaned up and organized.

Do you ever find an unfinished project you started years ago and wonder what the heck it is? I have found a few so far.

This is my sewing shelves. I found this 3-drawer storage container at Walmart last week. I put all my thread and needles and s]little things like that in there. And most all my material and patterns and quilts I need to get finished.

                                                      I also got all my hoops hung on the wall.

This is where a lot of my material has been. I got it all cleaned out. I put this purple shelf under the table and have all my needle felting stuff on it. And I have this 3 drawer thing to put stuff in too.

                                                 I decided to just put crafty things in the old pie safe.

My sewing table now, all cleaned and ready for some sewing projects to happen.

 I found a big huge folder at Goodwill for .99. It has those plastic sleeves in it. So I put all my knitting patterns in it.

And I have needed a bookshelf over her for a long time. So this is my little reading nook.

                                          And here is all my clean fleeces. Ready to be spun!

Just some art work from my daughter Abby and grand daughters Chloe and Kansas.

Isn't this pretty? We got down to about 13 last night here. Lots of frozen ponds. This is my little frog pond.

Still a lot to do. But it already feels so much better in here. Like I can breathe again! I know there will be lots of creating in here now.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

It's a start...

 This is my husband's grand mother's old pie safe. We've had it almost as long as we've been married. I refinished it years ago. It's been used for so many things during all these years. Now it's finally in my studio. I think I'll use it for either my needle felting things, or sewing things. Probably needle felting.

I don't know if you can see this, but my husband's brother Glen put his initials  here when he was very young. We could never figure out who's initials are under his.

And I decided to go ahead and hand all the black plastic crates I had, to store yarn in.

My old Coca Cola crate. I love it. These are a whole lot of ends of yarn projects. What do y'all do with all of your left overs? I think they look pretty  here. The troll is from a friend who takes old trolls and makes them new again. She takes out the old hair and puts in new hair, using wool. This guy needs something to wear. It's cold!

I found this little lamb at a thrift store. I had to bring her home with me.

And of course I have found many unfinished projects. This is something I started a long time ago, when I first started knitting. There are 4 rectangles. The brown is almost finished. I just need to sew them together, then maybe add more to make it a little bigger. It's just going to be a little throw.

So I am on the way to a clean organized studio. I feel like once it's all done, I can create beautiful things in here. I have so much wool that needs to be spun. And soon. Because in a few more months, I'm going to have 10 more sheep fleeces and 2 more alpaca. I might just send it all off to a mill. But I have heard so many stories from people who've not gotten their own wool back.

I got my Trooper back today. It sounds exactly like it did before it broke down. Exactly. And it's FULL of mold. All over the inside. It stinks! I took it by a clean up place before I went to the insurance co. He said he'd clean the outside and get the inside clean. For $40. I think he might charge a whole lot more when he actually sees how horrible it is. I got home awhile ago and started getting stuff out. And I cannot believe how nasty it's gotten just sitting for 6 months. Plus the fact there's still stuff from farmer's markets. And old hay. And just general junk. I will give him extra, just to have a clean car. I do believe I'm allergic to mold too. My eyes have not stopped watering and itching since I got in it Tuesday. I had the windows down while driving, just so I could breathe. Not good. But I am glad to have my own car again. No matter how much noise it makes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Knitting a shawl.

I started this shawl last Friday at Mrs. T's. I have gotten this far with it. I love the colors. This is some wool yarn I got at SAFF last October in Ashville. I can't remember the breed of sheep though. From Heelside Farm in N.C. It's really thin yarn. Maybe lace weight?

I really don't know what I'm doing. I am going up from the bottom. I cast on 4 and am increasing nearly every row at both ends. When I switched to the green color, I started doing some yarn-overs. I love how this looks.

So, how do I know when It's big enough? Like when I get to around 290 stitches? I wish now I had started at the top. Can't even imagine how longs it'll take to bind off that many.

Last week, while my mom and I were out, we went to a big thrift store over in N. Chattanooga. I was looking through the books and found this. Grace Livingston Hill is one of my favorite authors. I was so excited to find this book, The Enchanted Barn! It's my favorite book of hers and I have read it many many times already. But can't find my little paperback. So when I found this, I was so happy! She is a Christian writer. Romance with a mysterious twist. All written back in the 30"s-50's. I have read nearly all of her books so far. Some I still need to read. But this one is my favorite. If you ever see any of her books, get them. Very easy to read.

I am still working on my studio. Went yesterday and got a light for my laundry nook. And put up some little shelves in between the 2x4's for put laundry things. It sure is nice to have a light in there now!

I have several of those black plastic milk crates I'm going to hang on the wall for yarn storage. I also went through several crates of non-wool yarns I've had for years. I had to wind some. And I got all the tangles out! Still SO much to do in here. But already feels so much cleaner and open now.

I'm glad I have a washer over here to use on these frozen days. My washer is on the back porch in the big house. And the water lines is running out the back through the yard, not buried. So it freezes. Looks like I can hang clothes out today though. It's beautiful outside. But freezing!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Trooper. And some shelves.

I am so relieved. This car has been sitting since July. I thought it was the transmission, so towed it to the shop in town. Not the transmission. They said to take it to the tire shop right up from them. It was drive able, but very loud. So took it over there. He said it was the rear end. And could possibly be around $3-4,000 to get fixed. So took it to Mrs. T's and it's been there ever since. Trying to figure out what to do with it.

So yesterday, we took it to the ZZ Top Shop in the valley, close to Mrs. T's house. (I call it the ZZ Top shop because all the guys there have really long hair and beards.) I had talked to Jerry, the owner, about it. He said to bring it in and they'd check it out.

Jerry just called. He had some pretty darn good news. It wasn't the rear end differential but the front! It's 4 wheel drive and he was thinking if it was the rear, it would be next to impossible to find one and it would be  really expensive. So the front! And bearings too. About $400!!!! I am beyond happy about this! Since it's been sitting so long, he's going to check the brakes and other things. He said this would take care of about 95% of the noise it's always had since I've had it. I am good with that! He said it'd be ready to go tomorrow too. And he doesn't take credit cards. So I'll have to figure out how to pay him. And get insurance back on it. And give her a good cleaning. It's been sitting under trees this whole time, so really turned it black. And it smells musty real bad inside. But I'll have my farm truck back! I sure have missed this ole gal.

It's just the best farm vehicle ever. I can get all sorts of animals in it. And hauls about 8 bales of hay in a pinch. And tons of grains too. Just a really good all purpose vehicle to have on a farm. And makes the best market truck too. I can get all my farmer's market stuff in it. And I am planning on going to a few markets this year.

Now, back to getting this place cleaned up and organized. I went last night to Home Depot and found these 2 shelves and another that's twice as big and tall. I love these little canvas baskets too. Now to figure out where to put them all. I still want the wooden crate=like boxes to put yarn in. If I can get the husband to make some. Or I'll start looking at thrift stores and yard sales for them. I have some black plastic ones that will work. They're just black.

I just took pictures of this mess, so will show before and after later when I am finished with this mess. It could take awhile.

Monday, January 11, 2016


I really have let my studio get so messy these past several months. This kitchen was a total disaster! From making soap in the fall for all those shows. Not cleaning up. It was really bad.

So I came over this morning and got to cleaning. I put all my crock pots and soap things away for now. Cleaned all the counters and stove and table off. I feel SO good to have the kitchen at least cleaned up. For now.

I need shelves for the rest of the studio. I'm going later today to look. I need places to put wool. And yarn. And material. And so much more. Everything is over here now, and there's really not a whole lot of places to put things. I get so tired of every surface being covered with things. When all I need are shelves to put things in. So then maybe, I might get motivated to make things. Just maybe.

All I know is that I feel better working in a clean space. So I will get busy looking for shelves. Do y'all have a favorite type of shelf to store yarns and wool related items in? I'd love to know what you all use.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


I only put 5 buttons on the sweater. The holes were too close for these buttons. So I sewed the other holes up.  I think it looks good with just 5. So I can finally get it to Cara now.


I got my buttons yesterday from Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots in Oregon! I love their hand made wood buttons. They do such a great job. And the little honey bee buttons are so little. I got them for the little yellow sweater. And the bigger Lamancha goat buttons will be for my sweater.

                                                                     Aren't they so cute?

                                                      Lamancha goat buttons. I love these!!!

So now, I just need to sew these cute little buttons on this baby sweater and bonnet and get them over to my sweet friend Cara. She's due the end of January with their 5th baby! Might come early.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Look what I found...

My camera charger. I knew I'd find it some crazy place. We were looking for the remote to the tv in the bedroom and sure enough, there it was, on the little table, covered up with all sorts of things. Then yesterday, the new charger came. So now I have 2 chargers to lose!

The ground was frozen this morning. First morning to haul water to the animals so far.

I went to feed the chickens this morning and there was a mouse in the barrel. Scared me! So I called the dogs and they reached in and got the little thing. I felt bad for it. But there are so many around here. And apparently, my old cats aren't doing a good job. So 1 less mouse.

I don't know if I'm not dreaming much anymore, or just not remembering my dreams. I can have some pretty good dreams too. My favorite dreams are house dreams. I love them. They are usually really big houses, that just go on and on. New rooms around every corner. Hidden rooms. Rooms in the attics. I love these dreams. Anyone ever have house dreams? I wonder what they mean?

So this morning, as I lay in bed trying to get up, I remembered dreaming about a sheep that was with all my other sheep. But it didn't look familiar at all. It was small and had very kinky dark dirty grey wool.  And it's little face was so sweet. But not at all the way my sheep looked. It kept following me all over and I kept having to pet it and reassure the poor little lamb. But I just kept thinking how it wasn't mine. And where did it come from?  Then I woke up. Some dreams just stay with me.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Olga is looking much better now. The hair is growing back on her neck. I really can't tell if she's pregnant or not. She has no udder at all right now. She's never had kids before either. I saw Oden on her when I thought she was in standing heat. So I know something happened in October. We will see soon enough I suppose.

And my Freja. She's so sweet. I know she is pregnant. But still not very big at all. I think she was in standing heat a few days before Olga.

Here they both are. Olga is so fluffy, it really is hard to tell. And she's a big girl. Wide rear end too.

And Oden is a daddy! He went to my friend Cara's farm for awhile to breed some of her does. Wafer had twins a few days ago. A boy and a girl. Wafer has ears, so one of them has long ears and the other one has a little bit longer elf ears. We are hoping they are both polled. And Wafer is white. So the twins are an off white-cream color. I sure hope I have some colored kids. I am not a big fan of white goats.

                                 A little better shot of Freja. I had cut some cedar branches for them to eat.

It is freezing today! Windy cold here. I hope the wind and sun dry up some of this mud. That would be nice. But it's freezing.

Yesterday, I went for a walk down my road. I could not stop looking at all the trash along the way. On both sides of the road. It was horrible. I mean trash every few feet. And I walked a few miles. So on the way back, I found someone's empty bag of deer corn. I started picking up trash on the other side of the road and had that 50 lb bag full within minutes. I l aid it beside a fence and went back later to get it. I then found a small cardboard box and started filling it up. All kinds of trash. Like people just throw out their garbage while they ride down the road. Just ugly. And heartbreaking to see it. So I will go again later with bags and pick up more. I think I'll take 1 bag just for soda cans so I can start saving them then take them in for money.

This is one thing I have drilled into my husband, my kids and now my grand kids. Do not throw anything out of a car!!! Just throw it on the floorboard and when you get home, clean out the car and throw it all in the trash! It's just that simple. One time, right after I met my husband, he threw something out of the car. I almost screamed. We had to go back and get it. He never did it again. And my kids, one time, did it. We went back and got it. They never have done it  again. Or my grand kids. So I hope they have realized how it makes the scenery so ugly.  I'm done now.