Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The big clean-up

Today I decided to let the sheep clean up the garden for me. Their pasture is quite brown. Or actually, it's the same color as they are and I can hardly see them out there. So to the garden they went.

Then I felt sorry for all the does out back. So started taking them up front to the garden too. In 2's. It's pretty far to just let them go by themselves. Too many things to get into on the way there. There were so many things to eat, they were all over the place for awhile.

                                              The goats went over to clean up the fence row.

                                                And the sheep had to follow, of course. It was a very nice day. I worked up a sweat in no time out there.

While all the goats were up front, I decided to take the push mower to the goat yard and mow down all the dead stuff. It wore me out! This is where the goats live. This used to be a pine tree forest years ago. The people who owned this place had someone come in and cut them all down. And they just left all the trees to rot out there. And when we bought this place, it had all grown up with wild roses and blackberry bushes. And lots of little trees. It took the goats a few years, but this is all that's left now. Not much.

 I have asked the guy who owns the land all around us and owns lots of big equipment like bull dozers, if he would give me a price on grading it all and moving all the very old tree stumps. I would like to plant good grasses and hays for the goats. But today, I just mowed down all the dead stuff and got down to the green grass that's still out there.  This picture above is looking toward the SW.

And this picture below is looking toward the NW. So they have lots of room back there. Just no bushes or trees, which they would so much rather have.

 So last week, I turned off the electric fence and let them go out next door. It's gotten way overgrown over there and snakey looking. They have done a great job. But like any goat, they can't stay in this spot for long. They started going out in the fields, where they are not supposed to be. So had to put that to a stop.

And here is the pasture, almost all mowed and looking better. I want to go get some winter rye and  sow back here now, if it's not too late. I'll go to the co-op and see. Over to the left, by their barn, is alot of green grass still growing. And in the back yard too. And they have lots of hay mountains too.

And the goats are all back in their home again. They don't like too much change, these goats. And they like their barn. It's cold out there!

I am thinking about getting some pigs soon after the sheep finish what they can eat in the garden. Then I'll put pigs in there to till it all up for me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The wood stove and shed

 This is the wood shed. Out on the driveway. Me, hubby, a few daughters and grand daughters and one son-in-law, helped build this thing. It has a tarp at the back of it. It's double stacked too. The wood is nice and dry now. Not much wood in it right now. But there will be more soon. There is a lady in her late 60's who cuts, splits and stacks wood for sale. I will be buying the rest of our wood from her. She's amazing.

So this is the new stove. It heats this whole house. There are 1200 SF downstairs and 400 upstairs. It gets mighty hot up there, I am told. We did have some trouble because of creosote buildup. Then chipping out bricks to make room for new longer stove pipe. Then the elbow broke. Then hubby had to leave right after the elbow broke. Then we thankfully had a really nice warm few weeks.

Hubby was here for a few days so he and daughter got it all hooked back up again and now we are nice and toasty warm again! Just in time too, because now it's going to be down in the high 20's to low 30's at night. And this stove keeps us warm now. I am so glad I went ahead and got this one. But now it's a little bit to the right of the fireplace, due to people who are not master stove pipe installers. But I'm fine with that, as long as the house doesn't burn down.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just look at the size of that belly already!

This goat is huge! I put the does in with the bucks Sept. 1st this year. I've never done that this early before. I had noticed that Penelope was pretty big. But tonight, good grief! Look at that! For being just 3 months along, I do believe there might be more than 2 kids in there. And she has an udder already. For a first freshener, that's pretty impressive, I think. She's not a big goat at all either. She's about 1 1/2 right now and looks like a little Pygmy, but she's not. And she is polled too. She's bred to the little Boer buck, so hopefully all those kids won't be too awful big.

                                                              This is from the top.

                                               And here's that udder. I like the teats already.

This is her from last week. I was worried the little guy didn't do anything, but apparently he was busy while I wasn't looking/. I don't think Sandy is pregnant. If she acts like she did a few weeks ago, I'll get her and the buck back together. But I am still milking her and getting about a quart a day now.

I just hope we don't get a snow storm or ice around the 1st of February now.

Holiday market pictures

Yay, I think I have figured out how to upload pictures now from my new camera!!

So this is my booth. I need the canopy to hang the window frame for the candle holders. I think. But it's dark inside. So one of the ladies in my "square" came over and said I should take the top off to bring light in and that I need to have the tables on the outside of the booth. That she has found people don't like to go inside a booth, they'd rather be on the outside. Going inside means they have committed to the whole thing.

So I  am going to get there early this Saturday and make some changes. I would love to hear what anyone thinks about this. It's got plenty of color. But it is dark. I need to come up with something to hang the window from then take the whole canopy down.

These are the hanging candle holders or night lights. They're so pretty at night with the flickering candle inside. Or hanging outside on a tree branch at night. I'm making more because I did sell several.

And these are some of the wine bottles, jars and vases. I think I am going to get my 2 card tables back and use them instead of this shelf because it's hard for people to get down far enough to see these. So this will be gone.

These 2 bottom shelves are the Christmas jars and vases. The top shelf has jars with lids. And the next shelf has vases.

Then here is my soap and wash cloth table. I did add more soap that I had forgotten about so need some more baskets too.
So any advice or comments would be great. I need all the help I can get. I am at the very end of a long row. There are 4 booths in each square.

Thanks for looking! And if you are close, come on by and visit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One down, one to go

Well, this weekend has been a big learning experience, to say the least. I had fun, but I am pooped. I do not see how people can do this weekend after weekend. Loading everything up, unloading everything, setting up everything. It's a lot of work. I did have fun though. Next week I will have to change some things around in my booth. I have a canopy that we had hung a pretty shower curtain as a background for my soap table. And I have a wooden window with no glass in it to hang my candle holders on that needs to bu hanging up on the canopy. So I need to take the top of the canopy off so it's not so dark inside. And according to more seasoned market vendors, people don't like going INTO a booth. They would rather be on the outside going around the tables. Who knew? SO I have some work to do next week to make it more inviting to people.

I did sell a lot of soap and wash clothes yesterday and one candle holder. Also took an order for a special vase. Today sold a lot of jars and candle holders. I was very happy about that. One lady bought $50 worth. And a lot of soaps. So a good day today. I hope next week is a lot better.

Does anyone else do these type of crafty fairs? And do you actually make money at it?

This market costs $100 per weekend. And I thought that was all the costs. But yesterday, several of the venders around me had white envelopes they were getting ready to take up front. I asked about it and they said it was the envelopes we are supposed to put our 10% of our sales inside. I didn't have one nor had I heard anything about this. So went up front to ask and they said it was in the application online. Well, didn't see that.

Then this morning, a lady stopped at the desk before going in. So I thought I had to as well. I asked what I was supposed to do and they said something about sales tax and then a business license. So I had to pay $4 for this weekend and then $5 more next weekend for the business license, which they were out of. It just seems like they are not all together here. And then I had to ask for a receipt for the $4 I had just given them and he said he thought he had given me one. Nope. Anyway, seems like a lot of money for this and that that I was not aware of when I got into this. It just makes me wonder if people actually make any money doing this.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Down to the wire

Whatever that means. But I think it fits here.Because I am all done and ready to start packing up to go get set up at the Holiday Market Too this afternoon. I have been working every day trying to get all my vases and candle holders and Christmas jars and soaps and wash clothes all made and ready. I don't really know what to expect. I have only ever sold my soaps and jars at farmer's markets so far. But never at an actual craft fair. I just hope people like what I have for sale and actually buy things. Ya just never I guess.

My daughter and I went yesterday to get our truck, so I'll have both vehicles to take everything in. I need to wash out the bed of the truck first. It's still got hay and wood pieces in it. It's a farm truck. And it looks like it. But I don't have enough room in my Trooper for all I will have. I guess everyone who does craft shows has a lot of things to carry in. I am so glad it's inside too.

So if anyone lives near Chattanooga, come on by and get your Christmas shopping all done! It's free parking and admission!! It's on Carter St. downtown Chatt. This weekend and next I will be there, but it goes through the 22-23. And I think I saw somewhere that it's also the 21st. So come shop and visit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign...

Does anyone remember that song from the '70's? It was one of my favorite songs.

So I was sitting outside today, crocheting. It was an amazing day, in the 70's, sunny sky and whispy clouds. It just hit me that it's Dec. 2nd and I'm sitting out in the yard crocheting. I felt like I should be tilling the garden and planting for spring.

Anyway, the road dept. started working on the road out front of my house , right before my house then down about a 1/2 mile. They have dug out all the bad places and scraped down about 4". They have several signs before the road work that say "road work" and  "BUMP". And it is a pretty steep bump. I know, because I didn't believe the signs. I do now.

So, while sitting outside today, I can hear traffic going by. I got to thinking how there are some people who read signs and obey them and some people who don't read signs. Or just ignore them. Or just plain don't know how to read at all. I can hear some cars or trucks slowing down before hitting the bumps. And some people don't. I guess they think it's best to just fly over the bumps and it doesn't make  a difference. I just think it's funny how people are so different.

But such a beautiful day today. And I got several more vases and jars done. And more wash clothes crocheted. I have taken everything out to my garden shed to make room in the house again. I need a dedicated work area if I'm going to be doing this a lot. I do have the "barn" next door. It's really a small house with a kitchen  and bathroom and a big open living room with a nice porch. But when we refinanced they weren't going to because we have 2 houses on the same property. So I loaded it down with hay. And now it's a barn.

BUT when the hay is gone, I am going to make it a studio for ME. I will make soap in the kitchen. And cheese. And have a work space for everything else. I can take my spinning wheel over there. I can have a whole house all to myself! It'll be great to have all my stuff over there and not all over the house. I have been working on the dining room table and it's covered up all the time. So all my crafting things will go over there too. I love the idea of a "studio" to work in. It needs some work, but we can do that as we go.

I hope everyone has had a good day too, wherever you are.

And I did get a new camera. A Nikon Coolpix S3300. I love that little thing. BUT, I haven't figured out how to get the pictures from it into here yet. I will have to break down and read the huge book that came with it. Or get my daughter or grand daughter to do it for me. It takes beautiful pictures. And videos too.