Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In the garden.

Can't really see it too good here, but this is some of the buckwheat I planted a few weeks ago. It's in front of the bee hive, so I hope when it flowers, the bees will  get what they need. I also planted a few other little patches.

This is the kale, turnips, radishes, lettuce and more buckwheat. It needs rain bad. Really dry. We had a good rain Saturday, but not enough. I could stand out there all day and water with the hose, but it doesn't do a thing like rain water does.

There is a row of green beans to the left here. And I had planted collard greens in the right bed but all that came up were tomato seedlings. All over. And hardly any collards at all. So I tilled it back up and will have to get more seeds tomorrow. I want a lot of collards!

I also need to plants stinging nettles and garlic soon.

I walked past the hive the other day and got scared. There were no bees at all in the entrance. But we had a cold night and they were all still inside, where it was warm. Today, they are all out working, bringing in lots of yellow pollen, from the goldenrod, I think. They should have plenty of good honey to get them through the winter now.

I was trying to find some pants to wear the other morning, but I have none. I have lost so much weight, none of my old pants fit me. I will have to make a trip to the thrift store for winter clothes now. I still have 1-2 pounds to get under 200. I rode my bike through the battlefield park Sunday with some friends from church. Ended up riding 9 miles. It was fun. I thought surely I'd lose a few pounds. I am not giving up.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Around the farm...

Hello! I feel like I haven't posted in a long time. I just haven't had much to blog about. This morning, I took a lot of pictures. So here goes.

We had a lot of Japanese beetles this year. They ate all the leaves on all the apple trees. So not many apples at all. But I started to notice the leaves growing back on the early June apple tree and then it got blossoms. I have never seen this happen before. Then, last week, I saw these little tiny apples. How cool is that? I don't know if they will actually make bigger apples, because we are already getting cold at night here. But we will see.

And my very first elderberry syrup. With my own elderberries and honey!!!! It's SO good too. It's not deep purple like the dried berries I've used before. But it's amazing! I will have no sniffles this winter!

I made 3 more batches of soap last week. No more til I can make some money and order more lye. I am out.

The top left is Dragon's Blood. It's a fragrance oil. I have noticed the FO turns the soap way darker. But it smells really good.

Top right is Blackberry Sage.

Bottom left is Lemongrass.

Trying to get ready for a show Sept. 26th. I need to make more needle felted sheep and dryer balls.

My dread-locked lamb, Cara. I love her bangs.

And her twin (not really, but they look so much alike) Buttercup. She has the same dread-locked bangs. So cute.

Misha, the alpaca. He always looks like this, with his ears straight up.

This is the way Sugar always looks. Ears down and that look on his face that just kills me. He is letting me get a little closer all the time now. But still won't let me touch him. Funniest animals ever, these alpaca boys.

Now I am off to my knitting class. I am knitting myself a sweater. I post pics later. But I love it already. And I hope I can get it done soon. It's cold outside!

I hope you all had a great weekend and a good week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fall is already in the air...

Just look at all the leaves on the ground here. It already looks and feels like fall and we still have a few more weeks of summer.

Freja is so pretty. I am only milking once a day now and just getting a little over a quart. I have 2 people who get a half gallon each a week, so it takes 2 days to get that. The rest is ours. And it's so good. I am making lots of goat milk soap now too. I'll milk her as long as she has milk.

I'll be getting the buck Odin back the end of September, so will start the breeding then. I'll just breed Freja and Olga this year. Inga and Alva are too young and small right now.

I think I have talked myself out of breeding the sheep this year again. I just don't want to have to separate the ewe lambs, wethers and alpacas. That would mean 2 round bales of hay for each of those groups and we just can't afford it right now. So I will wait til next year when I can just breed all of the ewes. That's 10 ewes. I keep thinking of all the lams they had last year. 20 of them from just 8 or 9 ewes. And I have nightmares of a lot of bottle babies. I don't want to do that! So we will wait.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Had a little scare this morning.

And I don't really remember putting the tea pot on the stove or turning it on. I remember thinking about a cup of tea. But then thought I better wait till after I come back in from milking the goat.

Then my mom called. I was standing outside and told her I smelled smoke and that I hoped it wasn't a brish fire somewhere close by. It's been really dry here.

Then went inside and saw the tea pot on the stove with smoke pouring up and some flames. Then realized I had put the almost empty tea pot on the stove and turned it on.

This is what it looked like.

Bottom melted off the pot and on the eye.

And my husband sitting in the living room in his recliner, watching tv. He said he didn't smell anything but heard the tea pot whistling.

Yeah, house could have burned down all around the husband and he would have just sat there. And the house was just about full of smoke.

And while I was outside, I heard the smoke detector go off. For like 5 minutes. When I came back in, he was trying to make it stop.

I'm going to have to be more careful. That was scary. That's how my sister's house burned down a year ago. She left something on the stove and forgot about it.  Pretty scary for sure.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tie dye fun.

 These are my 2 oldest grand daughters, Chloe and Coryn. They stay with us sometimes on the weekends. Last Sunday we went to the Chattanooga Market and they saw a few booths with tie dye tee shirts and wanted one. I said we could make them a whole lot cheaper.

So I got a few white tees and some Rit dye. And today, we had a tie dye party! I was also inspired by Soulmomma's blog a few weeks ago.

                                                          Their shirts turned out so cute!

                                                                            This is mine.

I had so much fun that I started going through the house looking for more white things to dye. I found this white material and made these 3. Don't really know what I'll do with them. But I think I see a few skirts and another shirt in there somewhere.

Just something fun to do on a Saturday. I think we might go on up to Cloudland park tomorrow and go down to the falls. I haven't been there in a few years.

I hope you all have a nice little holiday yourself!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

This is not Logan's Roadhouse y'all...

 Yeah, this is what I came home to awhile ago. Looks like Logan's Roadhouse, where my mom and I went for lunch yesterday. I brought back a bag of roasted peanuts. This is where they ended up. On the living room floor.

So this is what husbands and dogs do when the wife is gone. Yep, the dogs ate them too. They're even on his rear end.

I just had to take pictures and write a blog post about this. It was too funny! I love my husband and my dogs. I told him I was going to put these pictures on my blog and he wanted to know if I got a picture of him bending over. He'll never know.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's September y'all!

 I've been making soap lately. I finally learned how to make hot process soap and love it. It's SO much easier than cold process. No worries about temps being the same. And it can be used right away after a few days of curing. I love it. And I can make it with goat milk. I have never been able to make it with goat milk before hot process. Now I'm cranking out the goat milk soap.

I had made some peppermint and some lemon-lime last month, plus some lavender.

Yesterday, I made a bastille soap with vanilla-rosewood EO. I love that scent.

Today I made an almond biscotti and the studio smells amazing! Can't wait to try this soap. I added the ground up almonds while cooking it and it sort of made the soap a gray color. Then added almond biscotti fragrance oil.

                                                           Also made another lavender.

My niece made me a few wooden soap molds too. I needed them for sure. Now I can actually make 4 batches of soap!

Here's the other soaps on the rack curing. I love seeing all the progress I've been making.

On the 3rd shelf is a plain goat milk with honey and oatmeal I made last Thursday when my niece came to learn to make soap. She made lavender. It's so fun to teach people to make soap. She is so excited to be able to make it now.

This is the bastille soap. I really like this soap. It's real lathery. It has shea butter, coconut and olive oils and caster oil. There was a little bit of the EO left in the bottle so I sprinkled it on top. Don't do this again!

I'm making all this soap for the fall shows coming up. I have one Sept. 26th at the Middle school to help raise money for their rec dept. It's an all day thing, with food and music and contests. Should be fun.

And the little baby sweater and bonnet are finished. Just need buttons now. I have a particular baby in mind for this too. My friend who milks for me while I;m gone is pregnant with her 5th baby, due in Nov. This will be perfect. They never find out ahead what they're having, but I think this will be fine for a boy or a girl. And you know this poor child will be wearing all kinds of hand me downs. So something new and specially made just for them with so fun.

I've got enough of this yarn to make another little hat.

I am starting a sweater for myself next. Already picked out a pattern that looked really east, a little like the baby sweater. I chose some brown yarn, in the Vintage line. It's wool-acrylic blend. Very soft and east to work with. I think I can do this.

Also got the garden all planted for fall. I planted kale, collards, turnips, radishes, lettuce, squash, zucchini and green beans. And did several little beds of buckwheat for the bees. I hope it all comes up. I've had to water because no rain. And it's supposed to be in the 90's all weeks.