Friday, November 27, 2015

Never again...

will I go to a restaurant on Thanksgiving day! Ever again! I'm not saying it's a bad thing for everyone, just me. And it was sort of my fault.

My sister is coming next week for a few weeks. I just thought we should wait til she got here to have Thanksgiving. Like a real family meal with more family. Because my daughter Abby and her husband Jason have to hurry and go to his parents at 4 to eat again, so they are rushed. Sounded like a good idea.

So then my mom decided we should go out for Thanksgiving. It was just going to be me, my husband and her. Then Tuesday, we talked about going on Wednesday instead, but we never totally sealed that deal. I was thinking that'd be better anyway, if we were going to go out. So on Wed. afternoon, mom called wondering where I was. I said home, why? She said we were supposed to have gone out to eat. And she fell asleep on the couch anyway. I said I never did get a for sure, so forgot about it.

So we ended up eating at Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving day. At 11 am. With 523,324 other people and their whole families. It was CRAZY!! Seriously! I mean, OMG, it was crazy! People everywhere. Couldn't even get inside. Mom of course got there at 10:30, so she worked her way inside to get our name in. Then she got back outside and waited for us. We had our oldest grand daughter with us. And our youngest daughter Abby came too.

So we waited. And waited some more. Then we heard mom's name called over the loud speaker! It took us 5 minutes to get in to the desk. Then another 5 minutes to get to the table. She put us 5 people at the biggest round table in the back front. We were so far apart, we couldn't even talk.

Then they didn't have baked sweet potatoes or seasonal veggies. That's what I wanted. So ended up with chicken salad and apple slices on lettuce. Mom and Tiny had the turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie.

Anyway, I said that was my first time ever in a restaurant on Thanksgiving day and it would be my last. But mom said when me and my brother were littler, before my sister was born, we were in Ga. visiting family. Mom said she wanted to go back to Calif. It was near Thanksgiving. We had to stop at the only place open that day. It was a fish place. So we had fish and chops. I never knew that. So 2 times I ate out on Thanksgiving.

Long story, I know. Sorry. But there are several things I am thankful for. Like right now, walking on dry ground with regular shoes on. Not sloshing through mud with knee high boots. That will come next week though.

And a few really nice days. Nice enough to not have the wood stove going.

And I found a new nest where the hens are laying. Right on the very top of the round hay bale! perfect. They also lay eggs in the hay bales in the milk room.

It's supposed to be nice tomorrow for the 1st day of the holiday market at Cloudland Station! Maybe a 30% chance on Sunday. Maybe that will go down too.

I am all packed and ready for this weekend! I made 7 new soaps. Plus those I already had made.

And Olga is much better. A friend called after seeing her picture last week and told me some things I should do for her. She's looking much better. The scab fell off today. I think she'll make it. And I hope, if she is pregnant, that she won't lose the kids.

So I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. And have a wonderful weekend too!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Goofy Alpaca

I got all the kale I could get from the garden this morning. Then let the sheep and alpacas out in it. They could actually have gotten in there any time if they'd tried, because the fence leading out there wasn't even attached. But they are sheep. And alpacas. And not the brightest of God's creatures.

Can you see Sugar, the white alpaca? Can you see where he is? Not with the others in the garden. He could not figure out how to get out there. And he's right beside the opening to the right of him. But no, he was not going through.

He was making that sad alpaca noise the whole time, watching the others.

                                                                 He ran this way...

                                                                            and that way...  


                                                                     What a mess he is!

                                       Then finally, he figured it out! It was really simple, he said.

                                                      And all is well in the kingdom again!

I picked a bunch for the goats too, just to be fair. They love kale and it's so good for them. I already have some in the freezer. Plus the electric fence is around the older kale and the collards. So I can still pick it for a long time to come.

I'm kinda bummed about this weekend. Looks like rain, rain, and more rain both Saturday and Sunday. Both days of the holiday market at Cloudland Station. Even though the "artisans" will be inside the barn, people do not like walking in the rain. I hope it passes over us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And there's more...

 soap everywhere!

I made 2 more soaps yesterday. I don't know what happened to the first soap I started. But it took nearly all day. I had to add lye twice to it. And more oil. I added cater oil. It finally started to thicken up. And was drying as soon as I took the spoon out. Just weird. This has never happened to me before. I was going to make a rosemary-mint, but decided to go for a honey-oatmeal.

I came over to the studio this morning to check on it. It was SO hard! I didn't know if it was going to cut. But it did. It is perfect. I took this little piece to the sink and it's got really good lather already. And smell like honey. So I am well pleased with it.

                              So on the left is the cedarwood. On the right is the honey-oatmeal.

These are the 3 soaps I made last week.

On top is the Dragon's Blood. It has darkened considerably since I put it on the rack to cure. Smells so good.

In the middle is the Spiced Mahogany. It reminds me of Old Spice.

And  on the bottom is my special Apple Cider-Cinnamon. I usually use my own apple cider, but only had a gallon frozen. So last week I got some from Wheeler's Orchard at the farmer's market. I use it in place of water or milk. I added some ground nutmeg and cinnamon EO. I usually add clove EO but didn't have any. So I put some ground nutmeg and cinnamon on top. It smells so good.

And that's all the soap for now. I'll see how much I have left after this weekend's holiday market.

I made another hat from Amarillo's wool. Just knit all the way. Pretty, but I like the basket weave hat better. So I can take orders for it if anyone wants one like it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More hats. And yarn. And soap.

 I am really loving my yarn swift! I don't know why I have never gotten one before. But it sure makes life a lot easier. I have been winding a lot of yarn lately. And knitting. I am addicted to knitting! I love it. It's about all I do anymore. And hats? Lots of hats.

This is yarn I hand spun from one of my ewes, Amarillo. It's SO soft and easy to work with.

I made this hat yesterday. And I still have lots left. I'll make a scarf or cowl to go with this. I've just discovered the basket weave technique. Is that what it's called? It's so pretty and easy to knit. Makes it have more texture.

And this is one I knit from the tan and white I bought at the fiber fair. I am also knitting a pretty cowl. But it's so boring. Just knit and knit. I cast on 30 so it's pretty wide. And I'm using huge needles so it's going pretty fast. But not fast enough. I got tired of knitting that so I knit the white hat.

And this is the chicory hat from yarn I bought at the fiber fair too. I made the fingerless gloves to go with this. And I also knit a cute little scarf. It needs to be blocked though.

More yarns I wound up today. It's so fun! My grand daughter, Chloe, did the face on the head, by the way.

SO I really think the bad bald spot on Olga's neck is from rubbing it on the stanchion. It already looks better since I haven't put her in it in a week. I was really worried about her. But other than this ugly spot, she's just fine.

I am making 2 more soaps today. A rosemary-mint and a cedarwood. I have 3 holiday markets the next 3 weekends, so I want plenty of soap. I'll have to make more oatmeal-honey too, but need more coconut oil.

And I want to make more lotion bars. Those are really good sellers at the markets. And so easy to make.

Y'all have a wonderful week! And a happy Thanksgiving!. I may not be back on here for several days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What is this?

Can you see that on Olga's neck? I just noticed it yesterday. I have not seen this before. And I really don't know how long it's been there. Although I think it's just happened because I would surely have noticed something so big and horrible before, right? I saw it yesterday afternoon. I ran inside and got my calendula salve and slathered it on her. She immediately started scratching it off. So I wondered if it could be a hot spot? Then I remembered I had the sheep and alpacas in the back with the goats Sunday. When I was getting them out, Misha, the red alpaca, kicked Olga. I heard it and saw Olga walk away from him. SO I wondered if maybe he kicked the hair off her neck? Then I thought maybe it could be her stanchion. Her right side is against the wall, so I don't see that side in the milk room. Her stanchion is different than Freja's. I used it for horned goats. The top goes up and there's a piece that goes over it when it goes back down. Olga will try her hardest to get the top to go up just enough to get her head out. So I have to tie a piece of leather so she can't get it to come up. So I wondered if maybe she'd been rubbing it so much, she rubbed the hair off that place. It's at just the right spot to do it.

Then I remembered a call I had from a friend who has goats this summer. And it sounds like maybe it's what some of her goats went through. She spent about $500 on vet visits and lab work and still never found out what it was. She tried all kinds of things to help the goats. Not all her goats did this, just a few. She took those goats and put them in another barn and that helped. She said she used the strongest iodine she could find. It worked.

So I found my bottle of iodine and sprayed it on real good last night. Then again this morning. I hope it helps her. I just have no idea what it could be.

I wonder if anyone has ever seen this before in your goats? And what did you do about it? This is the only place she has like this. My friend said all her goats had it on their backs or sides. She has horses too, so thought maybe a horse was taking a chunk out of the goat's hide.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It came!!!

I ordered a yarn swift last Thursday from Knit Picks. It came today! I am so excited to finally have a swift! I've already wound up a ball of hand spun yarn and I love it. It's so much easier than laying the skein down on the table and it getting all tangled up. Or having my poor husband hold a skein in his hands so I can manually wind it up into a ball. I am sure this will be used a lot!

I also made my first ever finger-less gloves. I made a hat with this same yarn, so decided to make a set with hat, gloves and a scarf. I think the gloves could have been longer? What do you think? I've never made any before, so I am learning. And I knit them flat and sewed them together. I think next time I'll go ahead and knit in the round. And make them a bit longer. But it was fun and I will be making more.

What have y'all been working on? It's just the right knid of weather for knitting. Or crocheting. Or quilting. Or just making. Right?