Thursday, August 7, 2014

Busy, busy, then sick.

 Busy few weeks here. Lots of Indiana and Wisconsin family in for the Sherrill family reunion up in Crossville, Tn this past weekend. Some stayed here with us. It was so fun to have company. We really need to get the shower fixed upstairs though.

We were sitting outside at the picnic table and I saw something fly over to this pole with a long piece of straw. So we walked over to see what it was. Whatever these small black wasps are, one was just stuffing this hole up. I am just amazed at the intelligence of insects.

                                 And the beauty of a small seedless watermelon. So cool, isn't it?

So Monday evening, we had to go up on the mountain to get Coryn's clothes. My hubby's nephew and family had been making plans all summer for Chloe to go back to Wisconsin with them for a few weeks. They have a daughter her age. So when Coryn came, they asked her to come along too.  They went to King's Island in Ohio yesterday. Al just called and said they were home. So all kinds of fun stuff to do in Wisconsin for 2 Ga. kids.

Here's a hang glider, just jumping off the edge. I love going up there and watching them.

So here are all 3 girls, taking off Tuesday. Their son, who is 13, is in the very back seat.

Yesterday was Main St. market. It was SO hot there. Just wore me out. When it's hot like that, it's just not fun at all. I had gotten some Swiss Chard from my friend next door to me and some of the best cheese from Sequatchie Cove Creamery. It's called Nick-A-Jack. Washed in apple cider.  So I chopped some scallions and red pepper from my garden and scrambled eggs in with all this. I love it.

Here it is, ready to eat. I wish the bacon was mine. I am thinking about getting some pigs in a few months.

I got up this morning and was slightly dizzy. Kind of wobbly. And very tired. So did a few things. Then went to bed. woke up freezing cold. Turned down the AC. Put on a flannel shirt. I just now took my temp. 100.3. I feel hot. So I am having  pains below my stomach and some pressure. Feel like my insides might fall out any minute. I made some fresh grated ginger tea with honey and am drinking that.

The horrible part of this is, tomorrow morning, I am supposed to go to Huntsville, Al. with my friend Sarah, to hear Joel Salitin. I am so upset. I may have to call her and cancel. And I don't want to. I have always wanted to hear that man. And I feel like he will give me some sort of direction to go with this farm in the future. So I might wait to see what happens. I'll call Sarah just in case, to let her know. Bummer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Plantain Salve

This is my little great niece Aubree, putting plantain salve on her nasty mosquito bites. She loves this stuff!

If you go to my FB page, Outback Farm, in Chickamauga, Ga, you can see the video. It's so cute.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I am a senior...

  at the Goodwill in Statesboro. I wasn't sure at first, when she asked. I asked what the age is. She said over 55. I just turned 56 in June. But I got 10% off. I am ok with this. 10% is good. I might just start asking at other places. I like saving money.

So I found  these 2 wooden boxes there. They're both the same, one's just turned over. I thought they'd make great soap molds. Then display boxes to hold the soaps at market. The one on the right is turned over to the mold side. The one n the left is the display side. Pretty cool for $3.99 each.

And the plastic box I got at Big Lots. It's a storage box. I had gotten one like it at Target and it makes a great soap mold, with the lid. So I got this one. I love them. They're the perfect size for the recipes I make. I get about 18 bars from this mold.

I found some paintings from a girl named Marley. There were several of hers there, but I liked this one the best. It makes me sad when I see paintings and pottery from someone's kids at thrift stores. I have to rescue them. Little tiny pottery pieces that a child made. How can anyone get rid of things like that?

My sister has moved back to S. Ga. and across the street from her house was a pile of stuff that was thrown out of a rental house. Me and mom went over to see what we could find. Mostly crap, but I did find these 2 Coke crates. They make great drying racks for soap. Or to haul produce or other things to market. And they were free!

My mom and I had gone down to S. Ga. for a funeral. We left Sunday afternoon. The visitation was Monday evening and the funeral was Tuesday morning. It was hot down there. When we got back home though, it was nearly cold! I dropped mom off at her house and when I got home, I opened all the windows and turned the AC off again. I love this!

So my husband took care of the animals for me while we were gone. It's kind of nice not to have to worry about milk goats right now. I feel like I have so much more freedom to go off for a few days. And he did good. When I got home last night, he was on his way to put the chickens up and gather eggs.

Next Friday, I am going to Huntsville, Al. to see Joel Salatin at some kind of home school conference with a friend who's husband can't go. I am SO excited!!!!!!! I have always wanted to go hear him speak. And I had just told my mom on the way home how I was wanting to really think about which way I want this little farm to go. This is like an answer to prayer. I can hardly wait!

I hope it's cool where ever y'all are this week. It's going to be nice at market this afternoon, I do believe.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tuesday. Stuck in the rain.

   Tuesdays are my day to run around with my mother. We have lunch somewhere, then go shopping. Sometimes we don't have a lot to do. Other times we don't have enough time to do it all. I do enjoy my time with her. She is going to start being very busy, with all her volunteer work. But we try to keep Tuesdays for us.

   So yesterday, when I got home, I picked up the cow carcass in the front yard, and got to mowing. I could see the black clouds heading this way from the N-E. So knew we could possibly get some rain soon.

   I got the front yard mowed. Then headed to the chicken yard. I hate for that grass to get too tall because I'm so afraid of snakes. So I have to keep it mowed down. It was sprinkling pretty good by then, so I put the mower in fast and got it finished. Just in time for the down pour!

    I made it to the garden shed, parked the mower, and here it came. I was stuck! But it was such a wonderful time to be stuck. I sat on the mower and put my bare feet out in the rain. It got cooler and cooler, the more it rained too. I could see the sheep over in the big pasture. They were under the trees. One by one, they headed to the barn. Some ran. Some just meandered and grabbed bites of grass along the way. Darla, the biggest ewe, loves the rain and will stay the longest in it. They all finally went inside the barn, because it was coming down, fast and hard!

    I have a bee garden under the big cedar tree in front of my garden shed. It's all blue and purple flowers. The cedar tree was just dripping nice cool rain on all of them. I could almost hear the flowers thanking the Lord for the drink of fresh cool water.

    I saw the garden getting a wonderful watering too. So very welcome in these July days of growth.

    I had gone by the Garden hive on the mower and noticed the whole front of the hive full of bees. It had been really hot and humid, so figured they were just hanging out, getting fresh air. I wonder what bees do when their hive is so full of bees. Do they get mad that they have to walk over each other? Do they holler at each other to get out of the way? Do they want to have their own space, away from the others, just to think and have time alone?

     Anyway, I got a bit too close to the back of the hive, and just barely hit the bottom. Those bees took off all over. And I had a hard time getting the mower backed out of the way! But no stings and all was well after a few minutes. By then, it was pouring rain and they all went back inside, except a few that wanted the coolness.

    It was really loud up under that metal roof, with the rain beating down on it. But it was a nice time, just sitting, watching the rain water my little world. I guess I stayed out there a good half hour, just waiting til it slowed down. But it didn't, so I just ran inside. Took a nice shower and we had pizza for dinner. I think that'll be our new Tuesday dinner. Pizza. And I made a strawberry and banana salad too.

    Today is the Main St. farmer's market. I so enjoy this market. It's almost down town Chattanooga. The people there are amazing. I went out earlier this morning and picked some okra, peppers, tomatoes and oregano and orange mint to take to market. Plus my soap, needle felted critters and salves. I hope it doesn't rain during market though.

PS: Kristin, I tried to comment on your blog, but it disappeared. But your soaps look amazing and I love the colors. In the pictures, one looks almost red. But I wanted you to know I tried to comment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cucumber soaps

 These are all the soaps I made yesterday...

cucumber-basil. This soap smells so good! I used fresh basil from my garden with cut up cucumbers. I use a stick blender, so it chops it all up real good. Makes the soap green, which I like.

cucumber-mint. I just used barely over a T. of mint EO, plus fresh mint from the garden. It's not too strong, but just enough mint to make it refreshing.

Cucumber-melon. I got this EO in Manitou Springs, just outside Colorado Springs, last year while visiting my sister and brother. There is a little shop that has the freshest oils. I've been wanting to use this but wanted fresh cucumbers. It is a light melon scent with bits of cucumber throughout. Very pretty soap.

And this is the plantain-lavender castille I made a few weeks ago. It's a really hard bar and smells so good. I didn't put too much lavender EO, just enough for a slight scent. Then sprinkled lavender flowers on top.

I try so hard to get each bar this size. Most are.

So, just a start to some new soaps coming out of my new studio. It's so nice to have a whole house to put all my supplies and not have to worry about cleaning up too much when I'm done. And I love the shelf I got from Home Depot. On sale, already put together, for just $75.00! Perfect for all my soap making supplies right there in the kitchen. You can see my oils underneath the soaps. I got all 4 batches of soap on one shelf.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday ramblings...

I just realized I have not blogged in a week. I have just not felt like it really. It's been kind of boring and dreary here. And basically doing a lot of the same ole things.

Some things are more involved than others on a farm. Like with sheep. One day, I think all is well. The next, not so much. I was pretty sure the 2 boys I castrated were doing so much better and made it through the worst part. So I had left them alone a few days. I moved them all over to the big pasture a few days ago. Then yesterday, I noticed the boys were moving slow. Laying down off by their selves. Got closer and noticed lots of gnats around their back ends. Also saw Cameron, one of their sisters, was limping a bit.

So grabbed some feed, antibiotic shots, wormer, wound and fly sprays and hoof trimmers. Got them all in the little feed area. Got both boys and checked them. One felt a bit warm. Gave them both shots, wormed them, doused them in wound and fly spray. Then got my 3 little bottle lambs and trimmed hooves and wormed all 3 of them. Today, they all look good.

Then a little later, I had gone outside to check the mail and heard one of the young lambs. She was standing beside the electric net fence, which was not on, but I haven't taken it down yet. I walked down to the mail box and on the way back, she's still standing by the fence. On the other side from the rest of the flock. I then realized, she'd gotten her head stuck in the netting. Stupid lamb! So ran over and got her head out. Then took the fence down and rolled it up and took it away. That's 4 times a lamb had gotten stuck in that fence. While it wasn't on, thankfully.

I had a pair of wrens build a nest in the back porch laundry room. All the babies hatched and then all decided to leave. I was so glad they left when they did. Because that night, a snake got in there and was probably looking for the babies. I only saw it because it knocked down a jar off my canning shelf. So I turned the light on and looked out the window. Saw the tail going up and up on my shelves of canned goods. I screamed for my husband and scared him to death! It took an hour to get that darn snake. I'll spare you all the details.

I finally got motivated to make soap today. I made 3 soaps. All the same recipe. 1 is cucumber-melon. Another is cucumber-basil. Another is cucumber-mint. All with fresh cucumber, basil and mint. I love how different they all turned out. The basil is green from the fresh basil. I love that one. Can't wait to take them out of the molds. It says to leave in molds only 3 hours. But they are still a little soft and still setting up. So I just left the tops off. I'll take them out tomorrow and cut them to cure. Only 4-6 weeks for these. I'll make more maybe Thursday. I want to make a ginger soap.

And the honey bees are doing so good. They seem to be growing and growing! I had added a box of frames on each hive a few weeks ago. When my mentor came a week ago last Thurs. They hadn't done anything in the new boxes yet. I've been feeding them sugar water the past few weeks now. I went up yesterday to check on them both and just took the top off. There were so many bees I could see through the hole in the top. It was late, so didn't take that top off.. I'll wait for a nicer day to check on progress. It's supposed to be gloomy and rainy all week here. But am happy they're all doing so well.

I've been making more needle felted things. And carding some wool. Going to markets. My cucumbers are taking off right now. And okra. And tomatoes. I'm getting a few ears of corn every few days just for us to eat. It's so good. I want to get the garden tilled and start on the fall crops soon. But not this week. Which is fine. At least by the 1st week in Aug. Can you believe it's almost August already???

I'll try to be more consistent here. I just feel so boring right now. Hope y'all are having a better week.