Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Warm day! Lots done.

Well, it ended up that my friend from WV didn't make it over afterall.  Bummer.  But, I did get the chicken coop fixed up again, with the wind lately the plastic covers had pulled off.  Restapled them down.  Rehung the waterers.  Collected only 2 eggs today.  But discovered that one of the "hens" that we had been wondering about is definitely a roo.  His name is Gus.  (Because he hatched in the Aspara-gus patch!)

I started some seedlings today.  I saw an interesting blog post of how you put your seeds in milk jugs and keep them outside through the winter.  The rain and snow water them.  The jug acts like a mini greenhouse (Which Is what I used last spring when I put out my seedlings.)  but I had never heard of keeping them in the cold outside.  Apparently it makes the seedlings hardier.  We'll see.  I did 4 jugs today with cabbage, cauliflower, pickles, and watermelon.

WOW! The forcast today!

EGGS and lots of em!  Finally my "baby" chicks and ducks have figured things out.  Yesterday we got 13 eggs, 4 of which were duck (or turkey, not sure I've actually seen a turkey egg yet)  That means out of the 12 hens, 9 laid yesterday!  WoOHoO!!! 

Also, the forcast for today is 59*.  Really??  On the last day of January?  I realize it is La Nina, but still...we are going to pay for this..in the meantime though....YEAH!!  I'm about to go let the girls free range for the day.  The laying should be done for the day.

I have a good friend coming over for a visit today.  We met in the funniest way.  She came to my yard sale in W'ville forever ago.  Found out she was going to homeschool.  Became email buddies.  She joined our homeschool group.  Then moved to West Virginia . We became Facebook friends and send instant chats from time to time. She has family in our city so she comes up every month or so.  Today, she is going to come out to the farm to see me...and she's bringing her boy that is friends with my boy!  I'm excited to see her again.  Side bonus...the downstairs got cleaned up!

I haven't been blogging as I should....Pinterest has an evil side....it sucks me in, challenges me and then overwhelms me! However, I have been keeping busy.  I will be posting a recipe tutorial in a bit.  I actually made another fun, from scratch dinner that was "blog worthy".  When I try new recipes, I like to actually have them 2-3 times before I post them to make sure that I'm not giving incorrect information.  You'd be proud though...I remembered to take pictures of all the steps!  But Boy is doing math on my computer and I'm on the little netbook, so I will have to wait until later to post it.

Along with the whole Pinterest thing....I know I am supposed to be finding ideas to use the junk I have here, but as I spend time on there, my list of what I will be looking for at yard sales and thrift stores is getting longer! :)  I'm always amazed at the creativity of people.  I feel like I am creative, but I see some of this pictures and know if I had the same pile of stuff, I would toss it out as junk and they make a really pretty "scene."  So I don't even pretend that these are my ideas.  I am totally hijacking someone else. 

EXCEPT....my guys did take me to Goodwill this weekend...I know...month of nothing, but still....I found 5 things and only spent $2.14, and $0.50 of it was boy's and he paid me back.  I am not going to say too much, as I am working on something that actually might be unique and "Pin" worthy!! 

Here's a picture from my back step this morning.....even anti-social Timmy is coming up to the house to see if we have any mice for him.  (Nope!  They're doing a great job!)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yeah....it's back!

I had to send my dear Wondermill back for service.  The switched died and wouldn't stay in the on position unless held.  This made scooping grain, and holding the switch a bit of an acrobatic challenge.  (You can't put grain in unless it is running or it will clog the burrs).

So I sent it to Idaho last week after grinding about 15 pounds of flour to get us through.  I thought it would be at least a month until I saw it again...but low and behold!!


My Mill is Home!

Tell me that you get this excited over your appliances, too?  Right?? Ok, so it's just me!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's cold...

I cannot wait for spring.  Winter is not my favorite season to say the least!!

Hauled up wood from the supply so it's nice 'n' dry on the porch.  Heating with wood is a neverending job, but I don't mind too much.  I do like the propane bill!  Nearly $0!

Tomorrow is going to be a really fun day.  We are going up to Amish Country!  Keim Lumber is a huge company in Charm, OH.  Every other year, they close for a day and have the owners of their woodworking accounts in for seminars, a dinner and sales.  They let the spouse and employees come as well.  So all three of us are going up.  We also have a piece to deliver to Millersburg.  How about that, someone living among all the Amish woodworkers, picked something from us!  They are having a lady who runs one of the local Bed n Breakfast's in to do a seminar for the wives....with samples!!  YUM!

Onto other things...I was going through my 101 list last night and deciding what, if anything could be done today, or soon.  And what was I willing to pay $10 to not get done.  Good news is that there is only one thing on the list that I'm willing to pay to not do, so it must be a pretty good list.  I did consolidate 2 as they essentially were the same thing (Send a letter every week, and then the other said send a letter to far away family every other week).  I'm going to put these together and change the one to "Make an apron!"  Yes, and that will have a tutorial.

One of our chickens is in the crockpot for supper this evening...smelling really good!  Luckily I don't recognize it :)

Keep warm and welcome to my new readers!  I'm so glad you are here!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh...yeah....the Christmas gift....

Finally everyone has their Christmas gift, so I can spill what I made....

Homemade (Homebrewed) Vanilla Extract!

It was much easier than I thought it would be.  I found the recipe online on an "Unprocessed" blog hop I was on.  I was so excited to try it.  And couldn't blog about it as I knew that some (most) of my loyal readers would be recipients of the yumminess.  I think keeping it to myself was the hardest part of the recipe!!  It needs to brew for about 6-8 weeks, so keeping quiet that long....whew!

What's going to be even HARDER??? I've already found things I want to make for gifts for NEXT Christmas!  48 weeks of keeping quiet.  YIKES!

I'm Expecting....

Chicks, of course! 

Last fall, I downsized the flock of hens that I *though* were no longer laying....I was partially wrong as the egg production went down right after that!  But they've been locked in the coop for the last month, so there are no random laying of eggs in various hiding spots around the farm.  Then in the last week...finally...my chicks from the summer got the idea and starting laying!  WooHOO. 

So what do you do, when your egg production is finally up enough to maybe keep up with the requests?  Take almost 2 dozen and put them in the incubator!  So I have 20 eggs of various colors in the 'bator cooking at 99.5*.  If they are fertile (they should be a have a roo locked in with them!) best I can figure we might get a few chicks around the 7th of February.  {fingers crossed}

Also, I discovered a very diligent mama duck living in the barn.  She sure picked the coldest part of the year to be setting, but ok, then.  Everyday we make sure she has some warm water and cat food. (Higher protein)  I'm not sure when she started setting, but I'm guessing if any of her 4-5 eggs hatch it should be mid-February also.

Copper Maran Eggs
I also have an order in at the hatchery for chicks in mid-February, so if nothing hatches, I will still have some chicks.  Need to get the flock built back up.  I'm ordering "Easter-Eggers" Americanas, and I think some either Rhode Island Reds or Delawares.  I'd love to get 2 of each, but if you don't get at least 11 it's quite a bit more expensive.  If I get a small amount of "expensive" birds it will be Cuckoo Marans.  Their eggs are VERY dark brownish red.  Boy also wants a few silkies again. Still thinking about that.  I'd also love to get a "Copper Maran" but they are like $10 a bird for a day old and the day-olds die so easily that....I don't think so!

Currently we are overrun with ducks and they don't seem to be laying (of course, 6 are still juveniles).  The count is 2 Turkeys, 3 Guineas, 12 Chicken Hens, 1 Roo, (One of the juvenile hens may be a roo...still waiting to see if she starts to crow), 1 Mallard (male) 2 Runner Ducks (female & male) 1 Muscovy Drake, and 10 Muscovy Hens.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scattery and sick....

I've been wanting to post, but we've all gotten the nasty head cold that is going around.  UG.  The boy has had it for over  a week now.  I only had to suffer for about 3 days (Yeah, Probiotics!!)  But I'm still very scatter-minded.  This should be a better week.

I changed #19 on my 101 list after much consideration.  It was Attempt to go Vegatarian for a month.  First of all, I am seriously a carnivore...so much so that I know that Vegatarian is spelled wrong, but every attempt to correct it seems to look wrong as well...so in keeping it real, I would likely not accomplish that goal...instead I put one in place that is doable.

Do 20 things that I have "pinned" on Pinterest.  So rather than just sit on my backside looking at pictures and pinning them, I am getting up to do them.  I just need to be better at actually taking the photos of them and uploading those.  Already we have 4 done.  One of which, I proudly can say I did yesterday!

I made homemade from scratch pita bread for lunch yesterday.  It was De-Lish!!  Will be doing that one again.

On a funny side note, I found a list of 10 things to expect when you dine with a food blogger.  Now don't get me wrong, I have never claimed to be a food blogger....I'm not really a consistant "anything" blogger and I think I now how 5 readers (Waves: "HI"), but after making the pita bread, my son asked one of the points in the list. Before ever taking a bite he asked "Have you taken a picture of these? Or is the light not good."  Hahaha.

Anyway, thanks for tuning in...I'll be back for my newsy update tomorrow while I'm waiting for the bread to rise!

Love y'all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Would you believe....

That a mouse took out our phone, email and internet for two days?  Yes, these things only seem to happen to us!

It started to rain on...Thursday, and we lost our phone and internet.  Called the tech guys from the cell phone and then they finally made it out after the temp had dropped to 19* and blowing snow.  Seems our cable is hooked in down about 1/2 mile from here and a mouse had made a nice little nest and gnawed through one of our wires!

Considering our cats haven't had a mouse since before Thanksgiving, they are doing their job well.  The closest mouse is 1/2 mile...and hopefully fried from the wire.  I have missed being online. 

Now everyone is sick at the house.  Man started with broncitis (sp?), then Boy came home from a sleepover today looking horrible and slept from about 2 pm today until about 30 minutes ago and then agreed to go back to bed....yes, that is NOT normal.  And I've been fighting a terrible headache, and aches everywhere...so....more probiotics!!!

This is short and sweet tonight...wanted to let you know where I've been.  Longer note tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm so Excited!

My lifelong BFF (ReynBFF) lives just 40 miles away....we email almost every day (she's better at it than me though).  But you would think I was still in Arizona for as often as we get together.  But....

We have a date for Thursday!! WOOHOO!  And then I can finally reveal what they mystery gift that I started in October is!  I'm so excited!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

How did the first week of January get away??

Good Monday morning...er...afternoon.  Perhaps that may be one of the reasons the month is flying by.  I sit down at the computer and next thing I know....

I'm finding lots of fun ideas for this springs farmer's market on Pinterest.  I said I wouldn't go to the thrift store...but I did...and bought less than $10 worth of spoons. Pictures will be posted as I work this out.  Man and Boy are working on their wood carved signs for the market too.  Man has become "imaginary" friends with a guy out in Arizona that has a successful sign making business and they have been comparing notes and sending pictures back and forth.  For Christmas, I received a Dremel bit set so I could try my hand at this too.  But my hand is not as strong so the router is kind of out of the question.

Boy is back to school....Wallace Homestead Academy.  We received a wonderful blessing of some computer based curriculum over the holidays, so after many problems with both the homeschool computer and looking for work arounds on my computer (which somehow got it attacked by some trojen virus...).  Last night, I finally FINALLY got it loaded.  And I actually heard this morning..."Mom, now can I go upstairs and work on school?"  Praise GOD!!  And he's come down with updates such as Did I know that there are 3 different types of muscles?  The vocabulary city game is fun.  Etc.  Sigh.  This is good...praying that it lasts.  He chose not to participate in the "President Day Speeches."  I have mixed emotions about this, but let it go.  Breathe in...breathe out.  Chose my battles.

3 loads of laundry down, 2 customers emailed....and only 1 hour on Pinterest & Facebook.  I've had two odd "attacks/seizures" this morning which is a bit disturbing.  They are happening in a different area and I haven't had them into my temple in quite some time.  Praying they go soon and don't trigger the migraines that also trigger the lesions.  Another sigh. 

Good news:  Siders are outside working.  I consolidated my MK stuff in the homeschool/scrapbook room closet and unburied half of the closet.  Went through 1 box of stuff. (Ta-da, N! It wasn't a box of magazines but still....)  Worked on Milly from 3:18am-4:12am.  Crocheted from 4:12-4:22.  Haven't spent ANY money today!!

We worked on a fun family goal last night.  We decide that since we do not have TV, that we would rent or buy (from 1/2  price books, library, etc) the old classic musicals, and classic movies.  OK, so last nights feature wasn't exactly a musical or very classic in the traditional sense, but it was nostalgic for me at least.   We watched E.T. and stayed up way too late.  So far, we rang in the New Year with Fiddler on the Roof, and Sound of Music on New Year's Day.  I'm looking for Oklahoma and Paint your Wagon now.  I know my dad has them so I might have to make a trip to their house in the city this week (and I'm pretty sure my dad's pet plant, Mona, might need some water. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is it done yet??

The siding that is...the answer is well mostly!  It's a balmy 42* outside today, but no workers.  I guess they need to wait for the next 19* day. Grin.

All the siding is actually on the house...now it is down to just the trim around the windows and doors.  It looks really nice.  I wish they had sided the 'mudroom' add on.  It looks odd now without matching the house. :(  But it is what it is.  I'll just need to paint that part in the spring.  On my 101 goals, I had that I wanted to paint the back door, so....

I have been working diligently on said list....Month of Nothing is going semi-well.  Had to go to the grocery store yesterday and spent more than I wanted to.  Right now, I'm blogging because I have a terrible urge to go to my local Goodwill and see what I "need" there.  I love reading Pinterest...but the side effect is that I need to go to the store to find stuff to "repurpose."   Also, yesterday was gym day for my boy.  We had to run errands all day, and I didn't plan ahead very well....so we stopped at Subway.  However, I used up the "points" that we have been saving forever, so really no out of pocket on that, so I will say that the "no fast food" is actually "spend no money on fast food / take out"  Gift cards and such are allowed.
  • Grocery Store $51.89
  • Fuel $38.66
I also did something wonderful.  I had 6 boxes FULL of homeschooling curriculum, teachers manuals, etc.  A lady from our group, sells curriculum online.  So I brought the whole lot of it down for her. She may not be able to use much of it as it is older, but some of it may be marketable, and she'll give me a bit of $$ for it.  The stuff she can't sell, she has a resource that takes homeschooling materials as donations for low income homeschoolers, and she donates it.  I may not get what I may have from the curriculum fair, but I've taken it to the fair for the past 2 years and in between it sits here taking up room in both the pump house and my mind...and now it's gone!!

Also, yesterday, I worked hard on learning the whole crochet thing.  My great friend, KA gave me for Christmas: yarn (which she tricked me into picking out myself on Black Friday), crochet hooks and a hilarious book called "Learn Crochet in One Day."  Seriously??? I had mentioned to her I wanted to learn how to crochet or knit, one day.....so she decided that it was going to be THIS day.  Christmas eve was spent with her and her family.  We played Apples to Apples (Thanks Nana & Pawpa), eating the finger food buffet (see the p'guins below) and then "learning" how to crochet.  They were no sooner out of the driveway and everything I learned went right out the window.  I had a brain freeze and couldn't remember how to turn around.  So I tried 3 more rows....but it was getting narrower, so I knew it was not going well.     Yesterday at gym time, it was confirmed that, no I was not doing it right....as the last 3 rows got pulled out.  (Inside I was throwing a 3-year-old hissy fit!)  But I sat there and worked on it as the "mummies" chatted...and got lessons from KA and two other moms that crochet.  I also got words of encouragement from another close friend who tried to knit once and discovered it was not for her.  She said that you HAVE to finish at least one project.  That she persevered and finished her project.....a scarf...for a WEBKIN.  I think I will follow her example! Grin! 

I stayed up last night, working and working on my crochet...I think I may have finally gotten the hang of turning around and such.  I am not yet to the point where it is even remotely relaxing.  But we'll see.  Then I worked on "Milly" for 30 minutes.  "Milly" is a tiger counted cross-stitch that I've been working on for ....mumble....mumble....OK....since Christmas 1990.  It was named by my DH in 1999, Milly the Millenium Tiger.  I said because I would work all of 99 to get it done by the millenium.  But No, she's Milly because it's going to take me a millenium to finish it!!  But it's on the 101 list so I pulled it down from the closet.  My BFF/cousin told me I should just frame it and call it done and maybe when it's getting down to the wire, I may follow that advice, but for now....15 minutes here and there.....we'll see.

Long post...nothing earth shaking or important, just the day to day, but I wanted to update.

OH...and I'm working on something in my kitchen that I'll be putting up as a tutorial later....AND we may be getting goats in two weeks....more on both soon!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January - Month of Nothing!

On my 101 in 1001 list, I decided to do 3 Month of Nothings per year.  All the saved grocery money, etc going to debt.  With me not working now and not getting an income, it's even more important to save $$.  The money saved likely will not go to pay the debt, but to pay the ordinary bills.

Along with this Month of Nothing (MON), I am going to hit a few other goals on the 101 list,

#95-No Fast Food or Take out!
#5-Put something in my Etsy Store.
#2-Money into Emergency Fund

Here is  a great list of "Golden Rules" that came from one of my Scrapbooking Groups for a "No Buy January"

 1. Thou shall not spend ANY money on Crafts and home decor or go into a craft or Dollar store
 2. Thou shall not spend ANY money on DVDs, CDs, Books or Clothes
 3. Thou shall not spend any money on Sweets or Treats (make whatever you got for Christmas last until February young lady!)
4. Thou shall only buy essential groceries and make savings wherever possible!
5. Thou shall only complete crafts with the items already in the house
6. Thou shall not go to `Coffee' or `Lunch' with other Mummies unless invited to their home or them to mine.
7. Thou shall think "Thrifty".

My additional rules:
  • If I do any "Coupon Stockpiling" I need to be saving at least 65% to purchase it. And the weekly budget may NOT go over.
  • Cash only at the grocery store!
  • Egg Money is to go to new chicks this month.
  • Money made on eBay or Craigslist is to go towards paying Christmas debt, once paid, any excess gets divided 
    • Overall Debt (40%)
    • 2012 Christmas fund (20%)
    • Emergency fund (20%)
    • Retreat Fund (10%)
    • Farm Fund (10%)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So...what a way to start the year...

Yesterday the breaks went out on our work van....we were able to take it in to be fixed but the roads were seriously icy and we saw two accidents on the way back home.  The mechanic is only 6.2 miles away!

My computer got infected this morning with some Trojen virus.  Great. NOT.  Luckily, I caught it as soon as it started and after being on hold with Norton for over an hour (Their on hold music is WRETCHED-it even sounds like evil hackers lurking around every corner), the nice Indian lady remotely took over my computer and $99.99 later...here I am again!

So, I discovered that I spend WAY too much time on my computer and not doing much while on here...except perhaps my current addiction to Pinterest.  So many great ideas can't possibly be bad!  Right?

I did get my scrapbooking goals figured out...somewhat.  It looks good on paper, until I get into the work room.  Yikes.  I also managed to get all the Christmas stuff put away.  Just waiting until it isn't 19* to take it back down to the cellar.  The siding is mostly up now.  There is just one section of the attic not done and then all the trim pieces.  And none too soon.  Boy it is COLD out there!  Mostly I'm spending my time "feeding" the wood burner or hiding under my electric blanket.  One of my health issues is that my bad foot has very little feeling, and what I do feel is cold, even in the summer, so I have 3 socks on that foot, in my shoe and the dog laying on it :)

Well, now that I am done catching up on my 'current' bellyachin' I should post some pictures from the last month from my lack of blogging....

Let's see...I can't really blog what the secret project was as my Reyn BFF still hasn't gotten hers....hmm...let see....what else.

I mentioned Pinterest....here's from our Christmas Eve "finger food" party.  No, I am not that clever....I found it on...let's say it together....Pinterest.