Monday, October 22, 2012

Back Valley Rd.

Just look at this! Is there anywhere else on God's green earth more beautiful than this right now? I don't think so. This is just a few miles from where I live. Just awesome. And someone owns all this right here. Acres and acres of pure beautiness.

                                 You can just see the house in this shot. And some vicious dogs.

This tree has got the best shape, even naked. With the mountain barely showing through the branches. And the lake just below to the right.

If you click on this picture, you can see a few horses way in the background. What lucky horses to live right there. Can you imagine?

                 Here is that amazing tree to the right. And another horse in the shadows of the hill.

                                                                  Wow. Just wow.

Just a little more color here. I love how we can see the actual shapes of the tree's branches and trunks when there are no leaves to hide them.

I LOVE this time of year. And this past weekend seemed to be the peak for us here. Amazing colors, so vibrant against the beautiful bright blue sky. Each minute brings some new color and each turn in the road, something more spectacular. I can not get enough of this right now.

Beautiful day. And hang gliders.

Yesterday was amazing. So beautiful. Bright blue sunny sky. Warm with just the right breeze blowing. We went up on Lookout Mt. to  take one of the grand kids home. She lives just a few miles from the hang gliding place. This is where a world-wide competition took place several years ago. It was about 5 in the afternoon and people were still lined up to go off and others were just getting their gliders set up to go.

                                                                 This guy is ready to go.

I love looking up into the blue sky and seeing all these people up there just circling around, so quietly.

                              And I love all the colors of the gliders too. These are rainbow colored.

I would love to do this, but this is the part I just could not do. Standing here on this big concrete pad, with the wind blowing, waiting on just the right moment to jump off. I know it is amazing to just float around up there, all by yourself. With the birds. But I don't know.

It looks so fun. And there were 2 really little planes taking off below with hang gliders attached. They would take them way up higher than we were, then let them go. I might could do that. Maybe.

And there was this guy there with this thing. A para glider? Anyway, he was standing on the platform with this thing spread out. When some wind would come along, he'd lift it up. It looked like he was going to get carried away one too many times, I had to stop watching him. Then as we were leaving, I saw him back up there, with his gear on and hooked up to this thing, ready to jump off. Oh my! I hope he made it ok.

I love this view here. That is Sand Mt. in Alabama, that he's headed toward. We can see Tn, Ga. and Al. from this spot. I love it here.

This is the place they all land. The one in the middle. There are also lots of little cabins where people stay when they come from out of town. Down in this little valley. Beautiful place.

                                  Here are my 2 grands, sitting on a ledge. So close to the edge.

                                                          Beautiful day on Lookout Mt.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I pulled a carrot the other day to see if they were getting big enough to eat and sell at the market. I gave it to my grand daughter, Kansas, to try. She said that was the best homemade carrot she ever ate! So this morning, on my sign, I wrote "homemade" carrots. I had to explain to several people what homemade carrots were. They all got a kick out of that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Soap, soap and more soap. It's everywhere!

I have been a soap making maniac lately. Getting ready for this holiday market in December. I still have more this to make and so much to do.

This is a Spiced Mahogany soap I poured in big cupcake papers. It smells so good, like a man's aftershave.

I have soap drying and curing all over the house right now.  This is some Orange-Clove on the top shelf.
Then to the left is a Woodsmen's soap with cedar, lavender, citronella and something else I can't recall at the moment. But it's supposed to keep those nasty pesky bugs away while hiking or working outside.
To the right is a plain soap with cucumbers in it. I thought it might have a nice cucumbery scent but it doesn't. It's pretty though.

This is my Pumpkin Spice on both sides of the double rack. Smells like a pumpkin pie. And the ones in the middle are Clarey Sage-Rosemary and plain goat milk soaps I made using  Pringles cans.

Top soap is a Spiced Pear. Very dark soap because of the cinnamon and cloves. It does smell like a spiced pear though.
Then a Peppermint-Sage. Love that one.
And a Peppermint, lemongrass and a tea tree oil castille.

Cedar-Safron "manly" soap.
A Lavender-Orange.
And oatmeal-honey goat milk.

I made a Lavender-Lemongrass with bees wax yesterday. It's so pretty and the color of the bees wax and smells so good too. I put lavender flowers in it. I will cut it in a few minutes when I find a place to put it to cure. I'm running out of room here!

Here are the soaps I haul to market in little cute thrift store baskets. I am making more soap today. Just made a lard based soap with Patchouli-Indian Sandalwood. That smells amazing! Patchouli is my favorite scent.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple pickin' time

This is Kansas. She's my apple picker helper today. A friend of mine will be doing apple cider this week, so I decided to go ahead and pick all the rest of my apples off the trees. The green ones are Granny Smith and the red ones are Yates. I love the Yates. It's a very old apple tree variety. So crispy and crunchy and juicy. Also makes great apple cider. Kansas is so tall she can almost reach up and just pick them off the tree.

I have about a bushel of the Yates apples in the fridge outside too. So I have a good 2 1/2 bushels to make cider. I'll go get a few more boxes from the apple orchard in Tn.

This is a huge apple that we are going to just EAT! You can see Kansas out the window reaching way up high for another apple.
And here she is getting down out of the Granny Smith tree.I love apples and picking them and making cider. And I love my little apple pickin' helper, Kansas, too. She will enjoy all this good cider this winter, along with her 2 older sister's Chloe and Coryn.

I hope y'all are able to get some nice apples this fall. I'd love to hear what y'all make or do with them. I want to dry some of these. They are SO good dried with some cinnamon sprinkled on them. Chloe loves them.

Happy apple pickin', y'all!


Same tree. On the left was taken this morning, in fog. On the right was taken just a little while ago, while picking apples. So pretty.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Lookout Mountain

On the way to town this morning, I had to stop and take these pictures. It was so pretty. Lookout Mt. shrouded in fog.

                                   This is my favorite view. You can just see hints of Autumn color.

It's raining

It's wet and rainy this morning. The goats hate it. This is Sandy and the very little young Boer buck, out back in their shed. They are not going out in this. No. So I can just throw a flake of hay through the window. I like easy. Isn't that funny that Sandy's eyes are pink and his are blue? Wonder why?

I hope you all are nice and dry and warm this morning. And have a great fall weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2012

And making soap too

I am also making more soap. This is a violet-chamomile soap. It smells so good. I hope it turns out ok because it's dark and cold and dreary outside today.

I also made a spiced pear using the pumpkin spice recipe I love so much. I had some spiced pears I had canned so used some of those and some ground cinnamon and cloves. I hope this works. It was really dark when I poured it in the mold.

I'll make a Spiced Mahogany later.

I just love making soap. It's way too addictive.

Elderberry syrup

It's that time of year again. Itchy sore throat, runny nose, just general yucky feeling. So I make elderberry syrup and take a tablespoon every morning. I have not been sick in several years since I do this. And it's SO easy to make too. 

You just need dried elderberries, water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, grated ginger and honey. So simple.

Here's the recipe. And I always double it to make about 4 cups.

1 cup dried elderberries
4 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
10 T grated ginger (I just usually buy a big ole chunk of ginger and use it all. I don't measure.)
2 cups honey

So you start by putting the first 5 ingredients in a big pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, til it's reduced by about half. It takes a good 30 minutes or so. But ya know what? I have never let it get that far. That's what my recipe says, but I don't always follow directions.

Then you strain all that goodness into a bowl or measuring cup. Add 2 cups honey and stir til all dissolved.

I reuse all my little dark colored fish oil bottles for this. It says to keep in dark containers. These are perfect and hold 1 cup each. It makes 4 cups most of the time. Sometimes a little more, sometimes less. This time was a little more. I just drank it. It's so good!

A friend of mine orders the berries for me. But you could look up on line for places to order elderberries from. You all need to make this, right now, before you get sick. And kids can drink this too! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


When I was at market yesterday, there was a cooking demo. They were sauteing garlic in oil with chopped up collards. Just for a few minutes, til wilted. Then she put tahini in it. It was good. 

So just now, I chopped up garlic and I like to smash it several times to release the oils. I had sesame oil so I put the chopped garlic in the warm oil for a minute. Then added chopped collards. For just a few minutes til it's all wilted down. Then I added soy sauce. That's all I had. It is SO good! I could live on this stuff. Even my daughter liked it. 

                                               This was actually about 4 cups of collards.

  And this is it almost gone! Yum! Y'all have got to try this. You could probably add sesame seeds on top too.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Market Day. And it's COLD!

This morning I went to the farmer's market. It started raining on the way but then stopped as I got a little closer. I kept thinking I should just turn around and go back home. I don't have a canopy. But I went and it quite raining. But it was windy and so cold! And I was wearing short pants and a short sleeve shirt. It was not cold at home when I left.

This is some of my soaps in thrift store baskets. I think they look so cute. I actually sold one of my "man" soaps, the Ceder-Safron soap. The guy who bought it really liked it.

And here is my spot. You can see how wet it was and all the fallen leaves on the ground. I had my collards and turnip greens in the black totes on the ground. No room on the tables for those big things. I sold them all too! And all my Blue Lake beans and most of the Roma beans. And some radishes and peppers.

The purple eggplants and banana peppers    in the brown baskets are from my friends, Stephanie and Craig, up the road at Everette Heritage Farm. She didn't have a lot to bring so I took them for them to sell. I sold half the eggplants and some peppers. It was busy at times them slowed down. But a good day. I think people see a cloudy day and think we won't be at the market. But we have to go because all this food has been picked.

About 11:00, the market manager came over with a nice canopy tent for me! Set it up for me. I love this market. The people are so nice and friendly. And helpful. And I also have repeat customers! So cool when I see people who have bought from me the week before and they come back and want more and say how good it was. So nice to know that. I really love this market and the people are great.

But I am not ready for the cold weather. It's only supposed to get to the 50's the next few days. I want to go build a fire! And I still need to get all my winter stuff out. And I need a good raincoat to do farm chores in. My other one has rips in both shoulders so it's got to be thrown away. I am soaked after I go out in it.

Is anyone ready for winter? Is it getting cold where you are already? I just hope we have some fall and not go stringht into winter again, like last year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

He's getting better

He really did great today. He gets better each time he comes here. And I think he enjoys being here with the sheep. He follows commands much better. I think he just may become a good herd dog after all. I am proud of him.

The sheep were a little winded after a few times around the pasture and yard though. They were all panting. It was around noon when they got here so was a little warmer. But we did not over work them at all. It was only about 5 minutes total. They are getting used to the dogs too.

I love watching the sheep running. They run with their heads help up high. So regal looking.

Bonnie, the older dog, was not quite as interested in the sheep today. She's about a month along in her pregnancy now so needs more breaks. So we didn't keep her in too long with the sheep.  So another good shepherding day with the Border Collies.

And I made 2 batches of soap! One is Pumpkin Spice and the other an Orange-Clove. The house smells so good! I love making soap. I need more vegetable shortening again. I am always running out of at least one oil. I'll take pictures of the soap when it comes out of the molds.

Around the farm

It's a cool kind of wet morning here in North Georgia. The grass is real wet. Went out to hang clothes this morning barefooted and it's cold. But it looks like it will be sunny and in the low 80's. Hopefully enough to dry up some of this slippery mud.

This is Penelope and the little Boer buck, who is nameless right now. Last night it looked like that spot on his back was shaped like a heart. But not this morning. More like just a red circle. He is SO fat. And little. I really don't think he has gotten anything done since he's been here with Penelope and Sandy. They both still act like they are in heat most of the time. And teasing poor John Henry on the other side of the fence. I do believe John Henry has done the deed. All 3 of the does he's with look settled. I'll keep them all together till the middle of October.

Yesterday, I opened the fence to the North garden. It's so buggy and nothing growing good in there. So I decided to let the sheep have at it. I did get some cucumbers but they were small. The bugs ate every bit of the field peas I had planted in Aug. And the turnip greens are all holey. The okra is done. And the sweet potato patch is a jungle. So the sheep can clear all that out for me so I can find some of them. They do such a good job of weed eating for me. And the chickens love all the bugs out there too.

This is Fiona and Axel. This morning I thought maybe she was coming in heat so I put her over in the "breeding yard". Went and got Axel and he chased her all over the yard. Not at all like Leelah and Alfie the other day. And she baaahhhed the whole time she was in there, except when she was running. Poor Axel is pooped. So I  put her back over with the rest of the girls and him back with the boys. He looked really disappointed, poor guy. But there will be another try later.

I had put Gracie and Darla in with Alfie a few days ago. Gracie was in standing heat. Darla, not so sure about her yet. Didn't actually see anything. But saw Alfie hanging around her a lot. So I think Gracie and Leelah are settled. Maybe Darla.

And this is a bird nest I found under an apple tree yesterday. Made with Darla wool and grasses. So amazing. I love that the birds used the wool I left out there for them. Just amazes me the intelligence these animals have. I love it.

I went to the Battlefield market yesterday with lots of collard and turnip greens, radishes and Blue Lake and Roma green beans and bell peppers and banana peppers. Sold quite a lot of it. But had to leave early to take my daughter to work. So came home and put a lot of greens in the freezer and will cook some for dinner tonight. I feel like a big pot of collard greens with a smoked ham hock. And some cornbread too of course!

Oh, and the Border Collie's are coming again today!! So looking forward to seeing them again. It was pouring rain Monday so they had to wait til today when it was a little dried out here. They are so pretty and clean, I hate to get them all muddy.

And I will be making some soap today. Gotta get some more made. I will make an orange-clove soap and more pumpkin spice. Love that smell! Just like a pumpkin pie right out of the oven. Yum!

So that's what's going on here at Outback Farm. I hope y'all are having a great Thursday so far!