Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's Happened ....TSHTF

As I mentioned we will be leaving for ten days this week. We orginally were going to take Bear with us, but fortunes changed and we have decided to put him in doggie training camp for the 10 days to work on his manners. I think this will greatly reduce my stress level and allow me to get more done around here. So we dropped Bear off today and The Grey Knight just came in with a funny story!

(We have two rescue cats named Jethro and Horatio)

Jethro: OMG, it's happened!!
Horatio: What?
Jethro: First the dog disappeared! Then the humans disappeared!! The shit has hit the fan!!

Jethro: We need to load up our bug out bags! You grab the cat food! I will get the bottles of water!

Jethro: OMG! I just remembered we can't bug out!! OH NO!!
Horatio: Why not?

Jethro: We can't open the door! I have no thumbs!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

If I wanted America to fail...My Earth day post

If I wanted America to fail

Scary true...While I do believe in making your footprint as small as possible, this comes from wanting to lead a simpler life. America was great once...what happened?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Repurposed Mittens from A Sweater

Or...Sew along with Beth.

I know mittens are something we don't want to think about with just coming into spring. I like to have tons of pairs around since they get wet and then your hands get cold. These are great for shoveling snow, walking the dog, or just bringing in firewood.

A wool sweater shrunk up in the wash works best but I have even gotten away with using 50% wool ones. I happened to have this one that Bear nicked a large hole in. It went into the sewing pile to be used for mittens.

First cut your patterns.

You will need 2 pieces of each of these..They are rather simple shapes to eyeball.

and 2 of these as well...

Once you have your pieces cut, then comes the fun part. Pinning them together.

Here is a picture of one pinned. You will need to pin the other one opposite since you don't want to end up with 2 left hands or 2 right hands.

I am using some hand dyed wool and cotton thread to stitch these ones together. Don't you love my camp table by the way! The Grey Knight built it for me and it folds up to be carted around where we need it. Right now its serving as my folding table for laundry.

Now with the magic of the internet....A finished pair for you to see what you will end up with!

Of course this one comes out fuzzy and with the lighting they dont look like the deep purple they are. II'm a firm believer that winter clothes and footwear should be bright to help with the winter blues.

If you do this project and get stuck. Feel free to email me at!

Spoiled Rotten

Someone is spoiled rotten around here and it's not me!

He loves his new cooling pool. Though he was unsure about it at first. It quickly became the comedy sitcom of the neighborhood with neighbors coming out of their houses to watch Bear frolick in the pool. If you throw something that sinks in, he has to get it out of the pool, and he puts his whole face in and blows bubbles! The pool is good to stand and go around in circles for about a half hour then it becomes a game of tug of war to move the pool around the yard finally spilling it and then running around with the pool in his jaws like he won a prize or something.

Finally got Bears pack done and we have taken it for a test walk. He doesn't seem to mind having it on once he realizes that we are going for a walk.  Wasn't to much of a pain to construct even with the hand sewing.

We used a extra large dog harness and a set of Coleman ATV bags (19 bucks at Walmart).

Place the bag on table with bag openings to the table, then lay the harness in the postion that it would sit on the dog (this is the hard part making sure that nothing is tangled) The coleman bag has a circle hole in the center and this lines up perfectly with the dog's leash hitch on the harness. Pin into place and then tack with a hand sewing, making sure to use strong thread as this will see alot of wear and tear.  I went over some places with the sewing machine just to give it added strength.
And there you have a dog bug out bag or a dog walk backpack for less than 20 bucks (if you already have the harness.
Will try to get pictures this weekend of it on the dog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Lists!

I'm a lister. I make tons of lists and leave them all over the place in order to keep on track around here.

I have lists for inside, the farm, prepping, sewing etc etc.

Right now I am working on checking things off the lists. With spring here they get big.

On the sewing list, I have been working on putting Bear's bug out bag (or walking backpack) together. With him being such a large dog, it is impossible to find a premade one. Will do a post on how I constructed it later.

On the farm end of things, (hands head in shame) I am still working through getting this fall's wheat threshed and sorted. I am saving the shafts to make bee skeeps with. Mainly decorative but a trade or barter item with the yuppies around here. We are getting a delivery of dirt later in the week so I can fill the remaining raised beds. Add that to the list....

Put some burdock root, dandelion root to dry for spring tonic, clover looks like it will be up soon. Harvested shepards purse to dry for ointment and also for seed.
After this bout of cold mornings this week, the Grey Knight is off this weekend and will be getting the big tiller out to finish the main gardens. Planting next week before we run off south for a week. We set up a timed irrigation system on Saturday which should work pretty good. We really haven't gotten much rain this spring. Weird weather.

On the prepping side of things, we ordered paracord last night to make belts and watch bands etc. Looking a handgun thats on sale at Bass Pro. We should get some range time in when we are down south.

Today will be spent working on the wheat again and possibly finishing Bears bug out bag. Its slow going as it has to be handsewn. May your days be productive!

Beth chases Bear out with wheat straw in his mouth!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blowing Dogs?

I know the old saying is raining cats and dogs which is supposed to be a horrible thing...

Obviously they have never seen blowing dogs!!

Newfies shed their undercoat twice a year, this is our first experience with it.
Mind you this is just one brushing, he has had 2 before this and still needs a few more before its all gone.

The dog isnt the only thing fuzzy apparently.
He was pitching a fit to go out after this and then for a truck ride to get a burger.

Wierd thing is I saved the fur. They tell me its good to spin and knit with so when I go south in a few weeks I'm gonna pick up a hand spindle.

Enjoy your fur free house! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weekend work

Imagine this full since I failed to take a before picture.
As you can see this is a healthy sized compost bin probably 6 ft by 4 foot in size and a good 2 and half feet tall. Yes this was full before. One goose egg and a mouse family later, its empty!

Here is where its all gone. You can see other summer projects in this picture as well. The roof on the left needs replacing, a gate is being built between the 2 building to hide the area, that wood on the right and all the wood in front of this barn needs to be spilt. We had a big wind storm that was a boon for our wood levels this year. The next raised bed that is being built is around the trees in the right side of the picture, there are 3 of them (small dwarf apple trees). The raised bed will encircle all 3 of them and will be planted with a apple guild then.

The Grey Knight has mandated that I take the day off today to give my hands a chance to heal. I don't know if anyone else has hand issues, but I do so much around here and then go inside to play in the water doing dishes cleaning , dog drool (LMAO) that my hands crack and bleed. I use a hand cream that they use on cow's udders called Udderly smooth, but if i dont use it like 4 times a day, I get in this shape on my hands.

Speaking of Dog Drool.... We are calling him Bear McHair lately as he is blowing out his coat. Tons of hair everywhere!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Big Fat Goose Egg!


I've been working on a second and third raised bed for herbs. One of which is going on the back of our barn. In this bed I have plans to plant all flowering herbs as well as some hopi black sunflowers. Framed by the red of the barn and the barn quilts, I think it will be very pretty.

This bed was no easy task. First came moving the railroad ties and cutting them to size. Then breaking the ground up in the new bed. Now I am emptying the compost bed into the new bed (to be followed by top soil) which of course involves emptying the compost bed into wheelbarrows, trucking it over to the new bed and dumping and spreading it.

The compost bin gets most of our yard waste. Weeds that have been pulled, grass clippings on occasion (we usually let those lie where they fall), dirt gets added to it in layers, and of course some nice earthworms. Then it gets a cover during the winter to help it cook.

Well, long story still long....I go out yesterday to start the emptying of the bin. Get about 2 spadefulls into it and stop.

(A big fat goose egg!)

We have a ton of Canadian Geese in the area that nest across the road in the bog. There was no obvious nest to this, it was jammed into some dirt and hay that had been on top of the bin. All I can think is that maybe a raccoon carried it over, hiding it for later eating.

The egg is currently sitting in the fridge. Plan to blow it out over the weekend then bake it for a few to toughen the shell and find a pretty little birds nest after laying season is over to put it in.

Who would have thunk it?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sure, I settled!

The Grey Knight encouraged me for a while to start this blog so I would have a place to write down some of the stuff that goes on in this crazy head of mine. So far I've kept it farm related for the most part.

This will be my 1st personal post. So please excuse me, was a upsetting day and I'm gonna rant for a bit.

A note to someone in my life:

Sure, I settled.
I settled for a man that wakes me in the middle of the night
To hold me close.

Sure, I settled.
I settled for a man that realizes my body is my own
To control and use as I want
Who doesn't tell me to gain or lose weight, fix my hair, grow my nails
Or use my body in unspeakable ways.
I settled for a man who craves just the touch of my bare skin.

Sure, I settled.
I settled for a man that reaches over and holds my hand
Who encourages me to have ideas and pursue them
Who doesn't laugh at me, or tell me I'm stupid.

Sure, I settled.
I settled in a new life, where I know
Who I am, and what I want.
I settled into a life where I am happy
With where I am and who I am.

Sure, I settled, but it wasn't with you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mystery Plant? Can you id this?

Before I till under this section of the garden, we let go to seed over the winter I like to look it over and see if anything wild is going in it first. There are several good size burdock plants that I will be uprooting and transplanting.

This plant has taken over the future vining plant patch (melons, cucumbers and the like). I think its henbit or dead nettle but I'm not sure. Can anyone id it?
I know the ferny stuff next to it is wild carrot, and the large leafy stuff to the left of it maybe plantain.

As you can see large nice burdock plants.

So what is it?? Thanks for help with identifying it. I hate to waste anything that might be useful!