Monday, January 30, 2012

Smoothie - recipe

6 ounces yogurt (your choice of flavor)
6 fl ounces pineapple juice (NOT from concentrate)
3 ounces Sunsational Sunflower Seed vanilla milk
1 banana
1 T. flax seeds
1 T. pumpkin seeds
3 T. Virgin coconut oil
1 T. raw local honey
1 t. cinnamon
1 cup frozen blueberries

Combine in blender, blend for 30-45 seconds

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A day on the farm

Get woken up by rooster under bedroom window at 4am. Rooster crows trigger guineas in barn to squawk, their cries are amplified on the barn security cameras and blare into the bedroom from the monitor on the nightstand. Guinea squawkin' triggers whiny goat to start bleatin, which wakes up the hogs. All sounds are blared through the camera into the bedroom. Moan. Moan again, check to see if Mr. Wild is awake too. Turn off volume on monitor, go back to sleep. Give up sleeping, get up. Rooster goes back up to the barn.

Make breakfast, get everybody up, eat, get dressed, brush teeth. Put on jackets, gloves, hats and boots, grab feed room keys & truck keys (just in case). Head out onto the porch to see that its rained all night and the yard and hill to barn are muddy slippery messes. Try not to fall (again) walkin up to the barn. Wish the chickens would get out of the way, think about grabbin the dog for support when the slippin and slidin starts.

Feed the goats, close their door so they can't get out to eat the chicken feed. Feed the dogs and the chickens, turkeys, guineas and ducks at the same time so the dogs don't eat the chicken feed and the turkeys don't eat the dog food. Try to hold onto the barn wall for support while slidin through the mud. Hold onto the fence while slidin through the mud to the chicken coop to check for eggs. Repeat on the way back to the barn. Hope the eggs didn't break duriing the sliding and falling (again).

Feed the very very very pregnant cow, fill up her water tank. Scoop out her wet poopy straw and put clean dry straw down. Try not to accidentally touch the chicken poop on the cows gate. Feed the peacocks and hens. Try not to get hit with flapping wings. Try not to touch the chicken poop on the peacocks door handle.

Feed the hogs. Talk sweetly to the male hog hoping he'll not make a break for it again. Try not to get pushed over by the girl when she wants to drink from the bucket instead of the trough. Try not to slip in the pig poop. Try not to touch the chicken poop on the pigs stall handle.

Secretly give favorite rooster his own scoop of chicken noms with raisins. Play keep away with the other roosters so favorite rooster can gooble his secret treat.

Feed barn cats. Try to keep younger chickens out of cat food. Try not to step on cats tail when chickens rush at cat food while closing the stall door.

Check on goats. Watch baby goat walk on top of stall wall. Watch baby goats mommy pace and try to get her down. Watch other baby goat try to sneak in a nursing. Watch 1st baby goat fly off stall wall to get in on the nursing action. Smile.

Feed and water rabbits. Be happy they are calm. Be happy there isn't any chicken poop in rabbit room. Watch chickens under rabbit room floor happily pecking at rabbit poop. Sigh, be thankful you're not a chicken.

Get feed bags out of feed room. Fill all barrels for evening feeding. Sweep rabbit room, scoop all rabbit poop through gaps in the floor. Watch chickens fight over rabbit poop. Wonder if chickens will poop green.

Start tractor. Let goats out while tractor warms up. Throw corn to ducks in the creek. Load hay rolls on front and back of tractor. Start truck. Load 200 lbs of feed into bed of truck. Follow tractor down driveway in truck. Look in side mirror of truck to see one of the dogs go under the fence to follow truck down driveway. Put dog back in fence. Three times.

Follow tractor to top of ridge, unload first roll of hay. Call cows and horses ("cow, cow, come on cow"). Watch cows come runnin from bottom, through creek. Watch horses come runnin, spook the baby calves then gallop up hill. Smile. Follow tractor around field to unload 2nd roll of hay. Call cows and horses ("cow, cow, come on cow" repeat, add horses names, repeat).

Drive truck in behind tractor to unload feed into cattle trough. Have mini panic attack when truck slides sideways in mud created by nights rain. Sigh when 4-wheel drive pulls through mud. Unload feed. Get nuzzled by lovey horse. Get pushed by rowdy jealous horse. Slip in mud. Dump feed into trough. Get bumped by pregnant cows while lovey horse wants hugs. Step in cow poop. Slip, almost fall in mud (again). Try not to get stepped on by jealous horse. Try not to get pushed by huge steer calf avoiding jealous horse.

Kick tires on truck to dislodge muddy cow poop from boots. Start to back truck out. Have major panic attack when truck slides sideways towards edge of ridge. Trade places with Mr. Wild. Sit on tractor watching Mr. Wild try to back truck out. Slowly follow truck with tractor. Trade places with Mr. Wild again to move tractor around behind sideways truck. Stay calm. Hook up chains to back of sideways truck. Line up tractor to tow truck. Backwards. Learn to drive tractor in 15 seconds. Slowly start to tow sideways truck out. Freak out when truck starts to slide off edge of ridge sideways. Reline up tractor. Pull sideways truck through ditch, through gate, back onto road. Breathe.

See farmer friend with flatbed trailer see us. Take tractor over to trailer to load. Tell farmer friend about sideways sliding truck and panic attack. Farmer friend gets good laugh. See Mr. Wild driving tractor up onto wet flatbed trailer out of corner of eye. See Mr. Wild and tractor slide off wet trailer and tip down towards slope of field. Have serious attack, cuss, watch Mr. Wild go 4 shades of white. Listen to farmer friend talk Mr. Wild through turning tractor tires to slowly get untangled from trailer ramps and away from hill slope. Recover from attack. Agree with farmer friend to move tractor and trailer away from hill to load.

Kiss Mr. Wild goodbye, tell farmer friend no more driving for Mr. Wild today. Go back down to barn. Fix fence to keep dogs in. Use pole driver to put in 3 more T-posts. Wire to fence. Scold bad dogs. Add more fence near creek to deter escaping dogs. Scold bad dogs. Walk through barn to go to house, see baby goats out. Cuss. See fallen trees near fence, drag over to gap under fence, wire in place. Catch baby goats, put back inside fence with mama. Make sure babies don't get back out. Snoopy dance when fallen tree plan works.

Remember to check broody hen up in hay loft. Climb up hay loft ladder. Get screeched at by broody hen. Smile. Realize broody hen has no food. Go down hay loft ladder, get cup of chicken feed, climb back up ladder. Get screeched at again. Check nest on top of alfalfa hay. Find barn kitty laying in nest. On top of 4 eggs. Smile. Put eggs in jacket pocket, slide down alfalfa hay, go down hay loft ladder. Wish chickens would move out from under feet. Remember to unlock barn shop to get meat out of freezer. Try not to touch chicken poop on shop door handle. Sigh, wish chickens would stay off of barn rafters. See rooster chase barn cat, smile. Remember how much entertainment chickens are. Accidentally touch chicken poop closing shop door. Sigh (again).

Head down to house. Try not to fall down muddy slippery hill. Try not to break eggs while trying not to fall. Realize coffee pot didn't get turned on. See its almost lunch time. Hear rooster on front porch. Open door to find porch chicken laid her egg. Smile. Remind Mini Wild to feed house dog. Feed house cats. Scrub chicken poop off hand. Load dishwasher. Start laundry. Hear pregnant cow moo really loud through security camera monitor. Put on mud boots, walk up to barn. Try not to fall (again). See pregnant cow laying in her hay. Smile. Sigh happy sigh. Check on pregnant, soon to be mama, goat. Give loves and scratches. Smile. Watch chickens run from roosters. Smile.

Turn to head back down to house and see white peacock with tail feathers spread open, strutting. Sigh in awe at his beauty. Smile. Hear hogs snore. Smile. Slide down hill in mud. Realize eggs are still in pocket. Smile when they aren't broken. Wash eggs and put in carton in fridge. Realize that Mini Wild has bucket of eggs. Send text messages to friends to sell eggs. Realize mud boots are still on. Sigh. Wipe up poopy mud tracks. Decide to go check mail. Try not to slip in mud (again) in driveway. Decide to order more rock for driveway. Watch ducks splashing in creek next to driveway. Try to figure out how ducks got through small wire fence. Watch turkey toms play mosh pit style. Smile.

See Mr. Wild and farmer friend pulling in with tractor. Listen to how much work they got done on farmer friends barn stalls. Talk about plans for fixing our barn. Make plans with farmer friend for dinner. Realize its time to feed. Again. Feed and water. Lock shop. Cuss when chicken poop gets touched. Again. Slide down muddy hill to house. Slide sideways and laugh at bottom of hill. Slip in puddle by porch and cuss mud. Go inside, take off mud boots. Accidentally touch cow poopy mud. Sigh.

Run to take shower before Mr. Wild. Confirm dinner plans with farmer friend. Get dressed in non-farm clothes and boots. Double check jeans for farm stains. Smile. Leave for dinner, walk very slow through mud. Pick up farmer friends, drive to dinner. Relax. Smile. Laugh. Eat. Eat some more. Laugh some more. Smile. Enjoy friends. Talk. Laugh. Sigh happy sigh. Make plans for gardens, cows, hogs. Smile. Drop off farmer friends, drive home. Smile when realizing mud is frozen. Snoopy dance on frozen mud. Slip on mud. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hide 'n seek in the hay loft

A few days ago I went up into the hay loft to grab a bale for the goats (it'd been raining and they refuse to go outside, they might melt!) and this little gold/black banty hen was sitting on one of the rafters in the middle of the barn just squawking and having a fit, all directed at me! I searched everywhere but couldn't find a nest. Until today! I was up in the loft again, for the goats, and I moved the bale that is in front of her and she made a soft purring/cacking sound. Its dark up there so I couldn't see her at first.

I got my cell phone out to use as a flashlight. I was surprised by how deep her little nesting area is, a little over a foot deep! I pushed the bale that I'd moved back tight where it'd been and went to another area to get one. I fed the goats, went down to the house for my camera and climbed back up to see if I could get a picture or two. I brought her some feed so she wouldn't have to leave her nest tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed that she hatches out a bunch of bantys!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lemon Water - Nutrition & health benefits & a recipes

My friend Vicky is 4 months pregnant with her 3rd child and has been dealing with awful all-the-time-sickness, so much so that she's lost 26 lbs. The only thing that has helped her is drinking water with LOTS of fresh lemon slices. When I say LOTS I mean she goes through about 4 lemons a day. Seeing her do this reminded me of the water we use to offer at the spa I worked at in Las Vegas, it had lemon & cucumber slices in it. As Massage Therapists, we were encouraged to start drinking it because it offered a natural energy boost, without the sugar high & crash of coffee/soda/energy drinks.

Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently thus controlling constipation and diarrhea. In pregnancy, it will help to build bone in the child. We find that the lemon contains certain elements which will go to build up a healthy system and keep that system healthy and well. As a food, we find, owing to its potassium content, it will nourish the brain and nerve cells. Its calcium builds up the bony structure and makes healthy teeth. Lemon Water

Lemon Cucumber Spa Water

1 lemon
1 cucumber

Wash, scrubbing lightly since you aren't peeling them

Cut into slices

Add to cold water, put in fridge for an hour and then enjoy! Replace lemon & cucumber daily.

Lemonade Cucumber Spa Popsicle

Lemon Cucumber Carrot Jelly Salad

Monday, January 9, 2012

Making Laundry Soap

The ingredients: Borax, Soda Ash (Washing Soda), ZOTE soap

Borax is boron, oxygen & salt and is mined in California.

Soda Ash or Washing Soda (Sodium carbonate) balances water pH and total alkalinity as to much acid can cause things like corrosion of pipes and eye, nose, and skin irritation. Its basically a water softener. Called washing soda, soda crystals, or sal soda in the detergent section of stores, it effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains. NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING AS BAKING SODA!

I use ZOTE soap because it isn't a petroleum product. Its made from Coconut oil, tallow, Citronella essential oil (AWESOME for repelling bugs aka ticks & chiggers!)

Equipment: Bucket w/ lid (I used an empty Aloe Butter bucket that I had on hand from making body butters), cheese grater, wooden spoon, 1 cup measuring cup.

Optional equipment: Magic Bullet, medium size mixing bowl.

Grate the ZOTE bar into the bucket.

The whole bar grated.

Measure out 1 dry cup of Soda Ash & 1 dry cup of Borax

I run it through the Magic Bullet to break up any chunks.

Added the Soda Ash to the grated ZOTE.

Added the Borax to the grated ZOTE.

Borax is a really fine powder, try not to breathe in the dust as you mix it in.

Mixing the ingredients.

I then run the mix through the Magic Bullet (about 20-30 seconds), 3 cups at a time.

All ingredients thoroughly mixed into a powder.

The finished laundry soap! Dump back into the bucket and snap on the lid.

I keep a 1 Tablespoon scoop in the bucket. I use 2 Tablespoons for each load. On jeans, I use up to 4, depending on the level of dirty.

I use about 3/4 cup of white vinegar as fabric softener. I dump it directly into the fabric softener opening. When I wash our bed sheets, I add a couple of drops of Lavender essential oil into the vinegar.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Johnny Appleseed - Recipe & Unschooling

This morning I made oatmeal from scratch, which was a first for me. While it was cooking, Mini Wild & I were talking about eating healthy foods. I was cutting up an apple to add to the oatmeal & he said "like apples? Like Johnny Appleseed did!" He then started telling me the story of Johnny Appleseed, which then led to him saying we needed to plant the apple seeds to grow our own apples.

Johnny Appleseed (whose real name is John Chapman) Day is September 26, his birthday. He started planting and selling his apple seeds in western New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana & Illinois.

We pulled out our maps and located the above states. I printed off this map and had Mini Wild label the states. I also printed off this coloring page that is a find the hidden pictures page. We worked on this crossword puzzle together. Mini Wild looked on youtube and found Part 1 & Part 2 of the Disney movie.

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

We bought our oats from a Menonite farmer a couple towns over, when we went to the feed mill. Our apples came from the orchard down the road from the mill.

1 cup oats
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (we use the butter made from our cows milk)
1 apple, chopped or diced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons raw honey (we get ours from a local beekeeper)
OR 1/4 cup real maple syrup (NOT log cabin, etc)

Put water into saucepan, bring to boil. Add oats, reduce heat to medium, stir occasionally. Cook 10-15 minutes.

In skillet, melt butter. Add apple pieces, saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Add cinnamon & nutmeg. Cook until apples are tender, still stirring.

IF YOU'RE ADDING MAPLE SYRUP, DO SO NOW. Cook for 1-2 more minutes. This will add a touch of sweetness.

Add finished apples to cooked oats. If using honey, pour over the top and stir to mix. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Countdown to Popeyes calving II (01/01/12)- Due Feb. 8th

Her vulva has started to swell, caused by the hormone changes as she gets closer to her due date.

The baby has moved back a bit as Popeyes shoulders are now more prominent.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reusing feed bags - Insulating the rabbit room

(View from the back of the barn. The open area is the shed that is attached to the back side. On the right, with the tin attached to the bottom, is the back wall of the barn, also the back wall of the rabbit room.)
Our barn is an old tobacco barn, its got 1" gaps between every board. Our plan is to cover the gaps with 3" boards this spring. Until then, we've got breezes blowing through.

(The area under one of the bucks cages.)
Before insulation with feed bags.

(The area under one of the bucks cages.)
After first layer of insulation with feed bags.

(The area along the back wall of the rabbit room.)
After first layer of insulation with feed bags.

I left a 2" gap from the floor to the bottom of the bag so that we're able to still get a shovel and a broom along the edge without ripping the bags down. Every other day we scrape out the rabbit poops and sweep. Our plan is to attach tin underneath the cages, at a downward angle, so that the urine & poop flows into bins that we can empty each day. So far, the extra tin that we have has gone to repairing the barn roof. We're hoping to have the cages done by spring, then we can put down a solid floor which will finish the insulating. We have ventilation fans at the far ends of the room, and the bags will come down this spring when the nigh time temps are above 40 degrees.