Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cleo's story and boxes

 This is my baby Cleopatches. She is named after( my love ) Patches. Patches died about 4 years ago. To this day I still miss her. After her passing I swear I would never get that close to animal again. Then two years ago I walked into our neighborhood book store and lost my heart. The book store sales new and used books, they also had a corner for cats that were up for adoption. I would go there at least 3 to 4 times a month for books and yes to pet the cats. But I always walked out with out one. I just couldn't bring myself to want another cat.
Then this little thing happened. I was petting the cats,  which I normally did. Then I picked this one up. She went right to my shoulder and curled up into my neck and started purring. My husband turned and walked away. The next thing I know my husband had adopted the cat without even asking me. When I asked him why ? All he said was " If you could of seen your face "
The lady came to take her from my shoulder to weight  her. It was all I could do not to grab her and make her give the cat back to me. That's when the light went off in my head to say "Yes Michelle you have lost your heart again to a cat."
Cleo is not Patches,( No cat could ever replace her ) The one thing they both do share is their independence and stubborn streak.

Cleo loves boxes! Any box works for her be it small or big. This is where her stubborn streak come in. It doesn't matter how many times you take her out of the box she will just get back in. After about the tenth time of trying to get her out of the box I usually give up.  When she is ready and only when she is ready does she come out.  Her independence runs into other areas as well. She only gets petted on her terms and only gives you attention when she is feeling generous. I was hoping that she would be as loving as patches was. But my husband reminded me that Patches was the same way when she was younger. Cleo does have to be where I am . She is always close by, so here's hoping.
Patches will always be my love,but Cleo girl you are a very close second.
 My Love Patches

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

30 dollar DIY Animal Feeder

 What a great and cheap way to make a feeder for your animals.
It only took about 2 hours to build.

Do you have some small critters that like to waste hay... or won't eat it after it has gotten wet? This project just might save you some cash.

1. Cut barrel in half.
2. Build 2 end frames. The uprights are 48" (1 8' 2x4 cut in half for each pair of legs).
3. The bottom support for the base is 32" and the legs are 16" apart (outside dimension).
4. The 2 cross rail supports that hold the bottom barrel are 42" long and mounted at 10" from the ground (top of the 2x4 is at 10"). This puts the edge of the barrel at about 18" and was a good height for my goats to reach into.
5. Place barrel half on cross rail supports and screw 16" 2x4 above each side of the barrel (inside the legs). Drill holes in the bottom of barrel for rain drainage if it will be outside.
6. Mount a 39" flat-face-up 2x4 on top of the ones holding the barrel in place.
7. Cut your stockade/wire panel pieces. Mine are 20" tall and 36" long for the main panels and 20" tall by 12" wide on the ends.
8. Mount 2 42" long cross rails at the height to catch the top of the wire panel (I didn't measure, just lined it up).
9. Use U nails (fencing nails, chicken wire nails, etc) to secure all wire panels in place).
10. Place in goat pen and fill with hay. Note- this is a critical step.
11. Put other half of barrel on top, upside down. Secure with a bungee cord over the top.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Drying my own seeds.

  This will be the first year I will be  drying my own seeds for next year. So far I have seeds from my peas, beans, zucc, and corn dried.  I would love to be able to use my own seeds instead of buying them.
I went to Home Depot for the wood and screen to make a drying frame. I was in the screen department when I found this window screen. It turned out to be the best drying screen ever.  If you have a lot to dry it pulls out to double in size. Plus the best part is the wood and screen would of cost me about 15 dollars, this was only 7 dollars.  Now it's just waiting till next year to see if it worked.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Canning Zucchini

My wonderful friend Debbie showed me how to can Zucchini. I couldn't believe how easy it was. You start out the same way you do for any canning. Sterilize pint jars and rings.
Then just shred the Zucchini and place in jars.(  You can add salt if you like ,I don't. )
NOTE:  If your Zucchini is dry add a little water. With fresh Zucchini from the garden you shouldn't need to do this.( It will make it's own moister.)

I put two and half cups in each jar since that's what most of my recipe call for.
 Wipe around the lid of the jar to make sure there is no food or juice on top of the jar.
 If your Zucchini is dry add a little water. With fresh Zucchini from the garden you shouldn't need to do this.( It will make it's own moister.)
 Screw your lids and rings on to jar.
Process for 30 min at 12 pounds. This is for pint jars.

FOOT NOTE: I try a jar that Debbie had canned last year. It worked great in my bread. Since she used salt in her jars I did omit the salt from the bread recipe.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My garden has out grown it's beds.

 Please ignore the weeds we were gone for a week . My girls were great about watering but as they say: Weeds are not in they vocabulary.

 My one Cantaloup  plant is really getting big. I have 6 cantaloup from the one plant. I also have one watermelon plant in the box. It did have three watermelons till a racoons stole  my biggest one. 
 Strawberries are  starting to slow down. We had to put netting over the box not just for the birds,but to try to keep them in the box.
 My pickle plant is getting out of hand. I am getting so many pickles that I am now giving them away.
 My poor tomato plant got so big that it broke its stakes and fell over.
 It still has plenty of tomatoes on it. Can't wait for them to ripen.
This is my Purple Kirn Tomato plant. As you can see it is also having problems standing up. The medal stakes seem to work better then the wood ones. Next year  I don't think I will be using wood stakes. 
 My Zucchini plant is gigantic. We are getting a great harvest off it.
This is what happens when the Zucchini decides to hide from you. We weighed it and it weighed 4 and 1/2 pounds. I will be using it for the seeds for next year. All three of my gardens did great this year. I hope they do as good next year.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Time to get back to work.

We came home from our trip to a lot of pickling cucumber that were ready to be picked and canned.
You know you got the gardening bug bad when you make pickle before you make breakfast. And I don't even like dill pickles!
The recipe came from I did process mine in a hot water bath for 15 minutes just to be safe.

 More beans and corn ready to be caned.

 This is what happens when you leave zucchini to it's own devices for three days.  One was 20 inches long.

I was also able to get two batches of goats milk soap done.  Tomorrow I will be making relish out of my over grown Zucchini.  Then its on the the corn, beans, and tomatoes.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Homemade Dish Soap that works great with lots of bubbles.

 UPDATE: The glycerin was recently added to this recipe to make the bubbles last longer.  It works great .
WARNING: This is not totally homemade .

I found a homemade dish soap that worked great, only problem was no bubbles. I am a big bubbles girl. I know they don't do anything to help  clean the dishes.  But on those cold days,there is nothing better then sticking your hands into a hot sink full of bubbles.
I tested this dish soap for a week before posting it. I wanted to make sure it would work as well as the store bought. I am happy to say it does. ( I have now been using this recipe for two years.) Recipe originally posted  in 2012.

                                           My own bubbling dish soap
2 cups water
2 tablespoons of moisturizing shampoo ( I used VO5 that I got at the dollar store )
1 tablespoon Borax
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
1 tablespoon Vinegar
   4 to 6tablespoon Dawn dish soap.
One big squirt of glycerin

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Using a funnel  pour into a large empty dish soap bottle .
 The original recipe  calls for clear shampoo. I used moisturizing shampoo since I like the way it makes my hands feel. I added Dawn and glycerin to the recipe for my bubbles. You could probably use just 4 tablespoon of Dawn since it makes so many  bubbles.

Using 4 tables spoons of Dawn add 12.4 cents a bottle. Using 6 tablespoon adds 15 cents. Without the Dawn your dish soap will run about 10 cents a bottle.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Land of horses and sunsets.

My husband and I took a trip to visit his dad and stepmother last week. I love going there it is so peaceful and beautiful. The back yard and pasture  are surrounded by potatoes fields . Every year at hunting season we bring back about 100 pounds of potatoes. Wish I could say we bring back an Elk or Moose every year. We are just not that lucky. 

 You can see the potato fields from the back deck.
 Their little vegetable and herb garden . Some things were planted late and haven't come up yet.
 Another shot of the fields.
The horse pasture is right off the back yard. We hope to have our house up and  running on the property  in the next two years. We will be close to where you see the trees. 

The other 4 horses were off on a camping trip with family. But I was glad to be able to get a shot of these three.
Best place to sit and just enjoy the horses and the sunset.
I can't forget Buttons. He loves it when he is able to get off his leash and roam.
 I truly can't wait to get moved out there and get our own little homestead set up.