Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Farm Life Update

So much has happened here on the farm!  Too much to tell it all...so I will tell some!

Puppy Love!!


As you saw from previous posts...we have a beautiful little huge puppy!  She is growing like mad!!  



About one month after the first photo.  Look at those paws!!



Kitten Love!!


We also got ourselves a few kitten/rodent killers.  They are doing so well!  Haven’t seen a single sign of a rodent since we put them in the garage.  





Chickens Love!!


It has been a long winter for the girls.  It started out nice but we had a cold snap that had our day time highs at -28*C and lows going to -38*C...-45*C with the wind chill.  

A few weeks at those temps and you almost want to give up!  

The chickens, and ducks, did not go out of their coop for weeks!  

All of the chickens are showing signs of frost bite.  We are so sad for them but we haven’t lost a single chicken to the cold.  They are looking well and strong and more feathers than they have ever had!  

But dirty!!  Oh my they all needed a bath!  

So today, the temperature got up to +3*C, we let them out of the coop and run so they could free range.  Took them less than 3 minutes to all make it over the their favourite dust bath spot! 

Duck Love!!


Like I mentioned earlier, it has been bitterly cold.  The ducks don’t seem to mind the cold like the chickens.  Not quite so hard on them.  Still, they had no desire to leave the coop!!

They are so filthy, as well!!  

They took a different kind of bath.  This one involves water.  They are so happy and clean!  I love to watch them wagging their tails in delight!    

They are hitting reproduction age, now.  Soon, we will have little ducklings wandering the farm again!  I can’t wait!


Coming Up On the Farm!!


Oh my!  Do I have ideas and plans!!  

I am about to make my seed order from MiGardener.  First time ordering from them but the seeds are heirloom and some are organic.  So much selection and the packets have more seeds than I have ever seen from another company.  AND each packet of seeds is $1.00 US!!

                   !!??!!  Right  !!??!!

I don’t even have a plot of earth dug up yet but I am ordering so many seeds!!  I. Can. Not. Wait!!

I’m picking up a few more girl ducks, and one boy, from a friend and giving her one of my boys.  Trying to diversify the genetic pool, here...and there.

We also need to get our figurative ducks in a row before we get more chicks this spring.  I’m planning to get a breed that can forage better...not quiet as dumb as our last broilers.  Chicks that, once mature, can reproduce and go broody and hatch their own eggs.  So we can butcher 10 at a time, instead of 70!

I have more ideas but I am keeping them a surprise for you all!!  I can not wait to show you what all we are going to be doing!

Soon, my friends...soon!

Chickens are Here

Chicks!!

Farm Life Noobs

Tomorrow is Chicken Day

Chicken Count Down

Chickens Chickens Chickens

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DYI Recycled Cloth Yarn

Being a mom to many children, the thing I hate most (well, one of the top ten, anyway) is waste!  I hate to throw thing out.

I am a huge recycler...not necessarily for the sake of saving the planet...that is a bonus.  I recycle to save money!!  I will use whatever I can find to make something I need or want.  

So...many kids...large family...loads and loads of laundry...  

Brings me to bedding.  Let’s face it.  Fitted sheets have a short life span.  At my house, if I get two years out of a fitted sheet, that is truly amazing!  

What I am left with is a fitted sheet WITH a huge rip in it.  Toss it, right?

This is a Queen size fitted sheet...about to become yarn!!  


Wrong!!

There is a HUGE amount of usable material on that sheet!  So many things you can make with it!  

Cut squares for a quilt.
Cut squares for a Patchwork Skirt or dress.
Cut piece to make Bees Wax Cloths.

OR...

...make some Cloth Yarn!

A friend of mine taught this to me years ago.  We have since lost touch but I miss her and think of her whenever I rip material or crochet using this type of yarn.

Whether you have many kids or just like to recycle/up cycle/repurpose, this is for you!!

Start by cutting the elastic and hems out of the fitted sheet. 





 You can make a little snip with sicciors then rip the material instead of cutting.  Makes a nice straight edge for when you start to rip your strips.  Make sure to cut out the seams that make the corners.  I rip one side, up to the corner.  Then cut out the corner.  Then rip the next side.





Now, you have a large rectangle of material with weird corners and a tear, or hole, in the middle-ish.




Now...you want to start on one of the short ends.  That would be the left or right side in the picture above.



Measure about two inches in from the edge and make a small snip with your scissors.  Now, rip the strip of material! It kind of fun!  Stress reliever.  



Keep ripping until you are an inch or two from the end.  Then make another snip 4 inches from the edge of your material...that is two inches for the first strip and two inches for the next strip.



Now, rip it again!!  



Oh...don’t forget to start rolling it all into a ball!



I usually just do all of this on my lap while watching a show or playing a game with the kids.  Well, I could do this while paying a board game but it hasn’t happened yet.

I want to like board games...I just don’t!  

Ripping and rolling all on the floor (or large table) keeps the threads from getting too crazy.  I had to move to the upstairs living room because I was getting too much help...from the puppy.  The treads then went nuts!

Just keeping it real.

And repeat.  Just keep going.  

Eventually, you will reach the rip or hole in the sheet.  When you get there, just rip the strip right to the edge of the strip.  Remove the "hole" section and start ripping strips again, starting like I wrote ^^up there^^.  

You can chose to join the new strip to the ball you have been rolling or you can roll a new ball.  

To join...

Tie the end of the “yarn” ball around the new strip ending with the “tail” pointing toward the new strip.  Then tie the end of the new strip around the ball strip with the “tail” pointing towards the ball.  



Pull the knots together and tighten them up.



Then, trim the ends into points.



All done joining.  Keep ripping and rolling.  

These purple balls of “yard” where made from one queen sized fitted sheet.  The green one is from a twin sheet.  





The purple had much more wear on it so it made less.  The green twin was much less worn, just ripped, so it is a larger ball.  Also, I had to cut out a large area of the purple because it was just too thin.

You can always cut the strips thinner to make more length or wider if your sheet is more worn or to give your yarn more bulk.

So pretty!!  And comfy!



















I crocheted this rug using yarn that I had ripped from sheets!  Cool, eh?  I love it!  I have it laying in front of my washing machine.  The laundry room is so cold, so this keeps my feet warmer while trying to do some laundry!  Trying!


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bees Wax Infused Cloth



A little something that I have been wanting to do for quite some time.  Bees wax infused cloths!

I hate using plastic wrap or cling wrap or whatever you want to call the plastic stuff everyone wraps their food in or covers their plates/bowls with.  One use and it gets thrown away.  Hate all the waste.  

Like, with my large bread bowl!  I don’t make bread often because of the plastic wrap waste.  I’ve tried to just use a tea towel on this bowl while my dough rises but the dough dries out...and I have never like having a wet towel hanging over my dough, either.  




But this wax infused cloth is perfect!  I made two smaller cloths to try and get a feel for how much wax to use.  Then I made this large one!  Oh I love it!!

The warmth from your hands forms the wax cloth around the edge of your bowl or plate.  The wax creates an imperfect but good enough seal that keeps out air and moisture.  They are cleaned by wiping with a cool damp cloth.  A tiny bit of mild soap may be used if needed.  

I can’t wait to try them out on sandwiches!  

Sandwiches from the bread I make that is rising in the big bowl, right now!  





Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Bit of My Life

Life, as always, is full of ups and downs.


Lately, we have been riding a roller coaster that has given us whip lash...we will NEVER be the same.

Tumultuous, to say the least.

But...

...months later...

        ...I think that I can maybe smile again.

I might, someday, write about what all happened...but I might not.  Some things must stay close to your heart for a long time before they are understood by it...or, if not understood, worked through.


That being said...

We have adopted a stray cat.  Showed up here.  I think it was probably here before we came.  His/her name is Autumn Tammy.  I don't know how we came up with the name...just that is it.  It is a he/she because we have only just met and I don't think it is very polite to "look," yet.  And it is tail-less.



I had a cat when I was little who would ride on my shoulder whenever I was outside.  Even when I would ride my bike.  She would wait for me at the end of the lane, with my two dogs, when I came home from school.  Always wanted another cat that would ride on my shoulder!!

Autumn Tammy had been alone for a while and has issues with trust.  But not really.  He/she runs from us, then remembers we pet him/her and feed him/her...then he/she runs back to us for said pets until we move a bit too fast and he/she takes off again, only to repeat the whole thing again.

Our George cat hates him/her.

Can not believe it!  17 already!

We had a birthday this week!  My second born is now 17.  Eek!  I am so very proud of him.  He is truly becoming a man who is after God's own heart.  My heart swells whenever I think of him.  He helped put up the chicken fence with my mom and my oldest son, and me.  And we are working on the duck fence.


Speaking of fencing...
...we have need of putting the chickens and ducks inside of a fence because...

1. Ducks are seemingly clueless when it comes to the weather and will walk everywhere on the property, even when it is -20*C.

Ducks are so cool!

2. Ducks will still jump in open water when it is -20*C...if they can find it and if they can somewhat fit.  Ice forming on feathers is not something I want to see!!

AND 3...

WE GOT A PUPPY!!

Our beautiful puppy, Millie!

I will write a separate post about her but we are putting up a fence because she wants to play with the ducks and chickens.  Not so good.

Pallets are used for wind breaks.

On the plus side, no more duck poop on the deck!  (Just puppy poop!  LOL)

Beautiful here, even in the winter.  I can not believe that I am so blessed as to be able to live here!  My heart sings with joy!


Oh...this happened today!

Hahaha...look at his eyes!!

I mean really!!

I think I am in love!

I can not tell you how happy looking at these chicken photo's makes me!!

This is one of the two babes we have from our rooster and our the hens.  His name is Cocoa!  He was suppose to be a she.  LOL  Our hens won't go broody but a hen from our rooster and our hens should go broody and then they could hatch out chicks for us.  Alas, that was not to be because the other chick that was hatched out is a rooster, as well.  Sigh.


BUT Ducks!  Muscovy ducks are said to be great moms so when they go broody we can throw some chicken and duck eggs under them and they will hatch them out.  We will need to take the chicks away because mom will take them swimming and chicks REALLY don't swim.

And I made these Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites on the boys birthday.  One of his favourite things!  I wish I got a pic of him when he noticed that I was making these!!

Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites

Guess who my new favourite chicken is?


Awesome looking parrot!


Thank you for barring with me while I get my blogging legs back.  

Life is weird.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Chickens are HERE!

So…this happened, yesterday!

How we transported our hens.  5 to a box!





We are in our BLISS.  

The kids are beside themselves.  Always going out to the coop to see the hens.  They like them even more than they like the chicks.  
Kids learning a bit about chickens.

I am tired!  So tired and bone sore.  I knew that there would be more work...and I love it.  Just taking a moment to appreciate that this work is work!  So much worth it!

I woke up so many times last night thinking about the hens.  Over the years the wooden floor of the coop has rotted away in spots.  I am so nervous that skunks or coyote or a fox is going to dig under the coop and get the chickens!

So I bought a solar powered electric net fence.  I got it set up but I was too tired last night to try to make sense of the instructions.  

Finally, at 5:30, I got out of bed and checked on them.  All was well, thank goodness.

Hopefully, I can get the fence powered before night fall and teach the kids how to turn it off and on again.  Don’t want my littles to feel the force of the electric fence by accident.  

I am sure they will each try it out.

I hope I am around to see it.  

13 here...3 more came before we had lunch.

In 24 hours, our 20 hens, have laid for us 16 eggs!  They also laid one for themselves as evidenced by the empty shell fragments.  The waterer was leaking.  5 gallons slowly spilled out onto the coop floor.  I was frustrated.  The chickens loved it.  Yummy mud.  They make me laugh.

And this is now my life!

I can’t believe it!  God is so good!  

Life is not perfect.  I would love my husband to be home.  I would love some more sun.  I would love the finances to be able to buy a second hand riding mower and a rototiller without freaking out inside.  

But life is so much sweeter because of the heartache.  

We lost a chick, last night.  We don’t know why.  It is what happened.  Nothing that we could have done to make it not die.  It is part of life.

We mourn and we change and we grow.
...fried in bacon!

The eggs were so very tasty!!  I mean, I have never had such fresh eggs!  From the chicken to the table in less than 4 hours.  I hoped they would be noticeably yummier, but I was blown away!  

We ate them all!

They were filling!  

I also hung clothes on the line, today.  Then the clouds blew in and it started to sprinkle.  So I took my clothes down and then...it stopped raining.  

Whatever.


Life is still good.