Friday, November 20, 2015

It's Almost Time to Carve the Turkey!

      Hey Ya'll! Been wondering about me? Well I haven't stopped blogging, if you're wondering about that. Just slowed blogging down quite a bit. I hope to pick back up after the holidays. I have so much to write about but not enough time to do so! It's unreal how fast time is passing! I mean Thanksgiving? Already? What?

      I haven't been on Blogger in I don't know when until now! I  check Facebook occasionally. And I love YouTube! It's been so helpful for me lately! I don't spend that much time on there, unless I'm eating lunch or taking a break. What I am doing now is trying to eliminate allergens in my body. I have had such a hard time with them since I got over the flu! In fact, I'm wondering if allergies are what caused my sickness! Anyway, I just quit coffee again, this morning. I came off of it a couple of years ago, and continued to have migraines, so I got back on it. The migrains stopped almost immediately! Or so it seemed. I think my eating, or lack of, during that time was more the cuplprit. I have had itchy arms with little bumps or hives since I started drinking Kripy Kreme coffe. I quit drinking that and the itching subsided, somewhat. I changed to Starbucks and was pretty content with that, but I started with cold syptoms: runny nose, itchy eyes, etc. And my stomach has been upset. It seems everything I was tested for when I took allergy tests years ago, has aggravated me! If I ate anything or drank my smoothies, I had stomach cramps and diarrhea! Sorry for the bluntness, but I just wanted ya'll to know what I've been going through. I have lost weight in the process, but that's not how I wanted to lose it! So this morning was the first day in several years I did not drink coffee. My arms aren't itching and my nose isn't running! Do you think it was coffee? I think that was one thing. I also had to quit eating my hens' eggs! And I think chicken is out for awhile! I have been trying to eat more of a vegan type diet, although I still use some things that aren't necessarily vegan. I never though I'd be one of those people who had to cling to a special diet! Thank goodness I can still eat gluten! I have been making more of a whole grain bread that tastes pretty good. It has regular wheat and oatmeal in it. I also added some sunflower seeds for a little crunch. I've had to lay off the smoothies until my tummy gets better. Plus, my Vitamix is out of order. I'm going to have to send it back! I hope it won't take long to repair or replace!

      Our weather today was amazing! I even got to plant garlic! The temp was around 68, and the night is around 51. We've had some cool, rainy days lately. Just two days before, we had strong winds come through. I mean they were strong! Needless to say, our canopy and umbrellas are turned over and destroyed! Of course that's nothing new for us. We have to replace them every year, it seems, because of the winds. I'm glad it's not always windy here! We've had such a mix of weather too! One day 80, next day 55! It's very hard to know just what to wear at times. I like the weather now! I hope it stays this way! How's the weather where you live?

      I have been inspired by How Jen Does It on Youtube! She is so pretty and young, and I've learned a lot from her! Mostly about cleaning and organizing the house! I should have taken before pics, but you'll probably be able to see differences in the photos taken now. I've also been inspired by Joanna Soh. She is certified in nutrition and exercise which is right up my ally! I've been inspired by her to eat much more healthy and lose weight. 

      Randy has been working on sheet rock on the stairwell and that looks so much better! Not only am I paying more attention to the house, but I'm paying more attention to things like my fingernails! I finally gave myself a manicure after I don't know how many years! I'm in real need of one now and I hope to do that tomorrow. Tomorrow is always a good day to do something, don't you think? It's so easy since I stay home to just let myself go. I am trying to impove not only my health, but my appearance as well. I'm not getting any younger, so I am going to enjoy life each day! God has given us so many blessings to enjoy! I'm so thankful to Him everyday! Thanks for hanging in here with me! Blessings from Bama!

Isn't the lake and leaves gorgeous? I look really big in this photo! Glad I'm loosing weight!

A lovely old church in Georgia.

The view from the steps of the church.

Little Riley turned 3!

All my girls are growing up!

I've had this for lunch several times this week and it still looks good! Humus and roasted peppers from our garden, with red peppers on a tortilla.

The ducks are doing very well with the goats. I'm getting duck eggs now!

They love their 'bathtub'!

Mustard greens I hope to cut and cook for Thanksgiving.

A rutabaga! My first time to grow them! Several have gotten huge! I want to cook one for Thanksgiving.

Strawberry plants, lettuce in the middle, then carrots.

Rutabaga plants!

Another big one!

My sweet girls!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall at 'Little Dixie Farm'!

      I've never mentioned our goat herd name before, have I? Well, it's 'Little Dixie Farm'. Even though we now have Nubians, I think the title still fits. Since we have less than three acres, especially. We almost didn't have Nubians! You see, I thought I wanted to sell them. I thought they needed a place with other Nubians and a goat barn. The ad on Craigslist was about to run out so I was surprised that I had gotten any calls. I was beginning to get sick with the flu that weekend and told the first gentleman so. He said to call me when I felt better. A couple of days later, another guy, very insistent, called. Long story short, I sold him the Nubians. Yes, I called the first gentleman and he said it was OK. I think I was out of my mind! After they were gone and I had time to think about it, I was so sad! I was even more sad the next morning and contacted the guy who bought them. He asked me if I wanted them back. I said yes, that I had acted in haste. We had to drive and hour and a half to get them, but they're back! Yay! The doe didn't have much milk so he wasn't too interested in keeping her. He sells goat milk for $16 a gallon! I thought $9 was plenty! I learned something about Nubians that I hadn't realized before. Nigerian dwarfs can breed any time of the year because the buck always seems to be in rut. I just thought all goats were like that. Not so with Nubians. The Nubian bucks only go in rut between August through December. The guy who bought them from me had a buck that was already out of rut, in only October. I want a Nubian buck now. I have not been successful in locating one at this time, but when God is ready, He'll show us the one.

      I am loving the cool nights and sunny, warm days we're experiencing! We are finally having a Fall! It usually stays hot right up until November, so this coolness is refreshing! I've planted a Fall garden and have been harvesting some mustard greens. They are so good in a salad, at least when they're small. I ate some last week that must have been a little strong cause my tummy let me know! I love them cooked and eat them with hot pepper sauce (acutally it's hot green peppers pickled in vinegar) and cornbread. So delicious! I hope to cook some this week. There are carrots, beets, and spinach coming up, as well. I'm not sure if that's kale coming up. I planted kale, but it could be a weed. It needs a little more time to tell I guess.

      The chickens are laying good again! The spring chicks are just starting to lay, so their eggs are small. I especially like getting the real dark, brown eggs! But the ducks haven't started laying yet. I'm really anticipating getting duck eggs for custards, pies, and cornbread dressing! I have even been able to sell a couple dozen eggs sometimes! I haven't sold anything else, but that's OK because I'm not really trying. I have so much to do, especially since I was sick for so long, trying to catch up. I still have a nagging cough. I'm just glad to be back to myself! Having the flu is no fun! I pray none of ya'll ever get this stuff!

      Ya'll enjoy the Fall! There is so much to see and enjoy this time of year! Stay safe! Blessings from Bama!

You know I can't write a post without sharing these beautiful faces!

Where's the snow Uncle Randy?

Layla doesn't like riding in the sled.

A new hydrangea I purchased a few weeks ago at half price!

Here's the name, Zinfin Doll. It starts out white and continues to change until it's a burgundy color.

The candy roaster pumpkin ready to be used in pies.

Our beautifully colored eggs!

The last candy roaster ready to be roasted.

The sun oven has been in use a lot lately.

Candy roaster cooked in there.

Randy has been working in the flower beds.

I know you can't see them, but this thing is loaded with bees! Especially honey bees!

You wouldn't believe all the weeds that were in here!

Now to get to work on this bed!

My sweet Nubians! It sounds like they say "M-a-M-a!"

See how the colors have changed?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Keeping Busy on the Homestead!

      Usually, September is not that busy for us here on the homestead. Other than pears and muscadines, the harvest is almost done by this time. I could buy some tomatoes to can, but I don't think I'm going to do that. My tomatoes did pretty good, so I have some sauce canned. I have'nt really planted a fall garden in the past. Not so this year! I have been busy lately, planting cold weather crops. The temps have been cooler, but it is so dry! I'm having to water regular, even though it's still so humid! You'd think the humidity would just turn into rain! I'm so glad the temps are not like they were a couple of years ago, never a day under 100 during the whole month of September!

      I'm so thankful for shorter days, too! A body has to rest sometimes! But I work right up until dark, most of the time. I think by the end of the week, I'll have most of my projects done. Especially, have the garden planted. Soon enough, I'll have to resort to inside projects, of which I have plenty of. Then I can get back to writing more often, hopefully. 

      I hope your weather is cooler where you live, but not too cool! Cold weather is not my friend! I will deal with it when I have to, and hopefully that will be a long time from now. Have a great week and thanks for reading! Blessings from Bama!

We went camping. It was fun but really hot and humid.

Randy and his Mom and Dad.

My sister and Randy playing with the girls. 

The pumpkin I grew just coudn't make it til fall. It became chicken food.

Putting cardboard in the garden. The okra is looking good! I hope it makes soon.

I made this rocket stove. It worked good!

Still waiting on the watermelon to get ripe!

The newest members of our homestead.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

So IThought Goat Milk Would Sell!

       But I was wrong! My fridge runneth over! I had a few sales, but not consistent enough to keep the milk manageable. She only gave me less than half a gallon a day, but still that was too much. Yes, I could have frozen it, but soon my freezer would be full. It's not that big. So, I sold her. I still have the other doe and her doeling, but I'm not milking her. I hope to sell them together when the right people come along. But for now, I'm just enjoying their presence. I had no intentions of selling the goats when I purchased them. But things didn't work out the way I thought they would. My guys didn't like the milk. The cheese was too goaty tasting, etc. I tried different versions of cheese and they all had that taste. It's the aging that does it. The milk doesn't taste goaty; at least not to me. Homesteading means you have success and you have failures. One must learn to adapt to them both. That's what I love about homesteading! It is a wonderful learning experience!

      The garden is still producing! I think the pinestraw mulch is helping to keep in moisture. I've only had to water a couple of times, in this heat. I still want to make lots of improvements. There again with the learning. I want to get the tall, grassy areas mowed and some sort of mulch put down. If I can get enough newspaper, I'll start with that. Then I want to put down cardboard. Then, I'd love to get woodchips. That is the hardest thing to find. We don't have a muncipality where they dump them. The tree people don't do the chipping; and the Asplund tree workers are hard to contact. God will lead us to them when the time is right. I have faith. 

      The girls didn't come this weekend. I sure do miss them! They are all in school now. And, we found out we're going to have a great-nephew in December! Finally, a boy to go with all these girls! I'm excited to get to spoil a boy again. I haven't gotten to since Skylar. I hope ya'll are enjoying these dog days of summer! I'm trying to, since the weather predictions for winter is not good: cold and rain. My two worst enemies for winter! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings from Bama!

Jalepenos on the left, fooled you peppers on the right. The jalepenos were grown here, the Fooled You elsewhere.

My first canned salsa!

Freshly dug garlic. I had to wait for it to rain to soften the ground. I think I waited too long!

I love this view!

I'm steaming a Candy Roaster pumpkin. I hope it tastes like sweet potatoes. I grew it in our garden.

Locally sourced chicken. We're grilling it today. It's $4.50 a pound! Yikes! Purchased within fifteen minutes from the house. Now that's local!

More salsa. See the chunks of garlic from the garden?

I purchased this honey within walking distance of my house. Nice to have local honey!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Using up the Yummy Goat Milk!

      I've been using the goat milk like crazy around here! Everything from chevre, to cake! It is so good! Just ask Winterlynn and Riley! They couldn't get enough of it when they were here! I just haven't mastered mozzarella yet. I will keep trying. Or a creamy cheese. It turns out more like a course ricotta. I will keep trying with that as well. Right now though, I'm using goat milk in recipes instead of store bought milk. It's a season, just like eggs. Sometimes you have a lot. Other times, none. I still have to buy the guys milk. They don't like drinking goat milk. Ugh! I've made creamy potatoes, a chocolate cake or two, bread, waffles, just to name a few. I'm so thankful I have learned how to milk the goat by myself! It only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Maybe less at times. That includes getting the goat out and fastening her to the stanchion, and taking feed over to the other goats while she's on the stanchion. I can't forget about them! She gives almost a quart at a time. I don't know if that's good or not, but it's working for me. I milk her twice a day. I've even been able to sell a gallon here and there. For pet consumption only, of course.

      We had the girls here last week. I was so happy to see them all! We got a surprise day visit from Yasmine and Layla! Hurray! I don't get to see them as much lately. Soon three out of four of them will start to school! I won't get to see them for sure then. Except on occasional weekends. 

      The weather has been extremely humid and hot this summer! We have gotten showers on an almost daily basis; thus the reason for the extreme humidity! It's not good on a body! Especially one that is prone to headaches! They come on slowly and turn into a pounding! Glad I have some otc med to stop them! I think I'm almost over the poison ivey! It has been so itchy! Along with chiggers! I put DE on my ankles today in hopes of deterring them. The 'farmy' homestead life! I love it!

      Ya'll stay in where it's cool! Don't overdo it in this heat! Blessings from Bama!

It's mating season for snakes. I caught two of these together in the hen house!

Homemade salsa from our tomatoes.

Creamy potatoes from goat milk.

Bread baking in the Sun Oven.

Momma and baby. I'll get to milk her before too long.

Fresh hot bread from the Sun Oven.

Me milking. I wear these shoes outside everyday. They work pretty good at protecting my feet from fire ant bites. The hat is my signature.

The Udderly EZ Milker works really good! Faster than hand milking, but I can do either.

We had to modify the stanchion since it was made for Nigerians.

Lemon cheesecake cooking in the Sun Oven. I've been using this a lot! The cheesecake did not turn out good. It was a lemony, sweet, goaty tasting thing! I did not like the course texture either. Cheesecakes are supposed to be creamy!

Yummy spaghetti sauce made from fresh-picked tomatoes!

Randy is doing the "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" on Riley's back!

Homemade soup made with fresh-picked tomatoes and store bought produce.

Yasmine wasn't 'in' to the swimming pools this day. The other girls had a blast! They hardly even notice the big pool is gone!

Of course a golf-cart ride is always to be had when Uncle Randy is home.

It's so hot, the rooster and hens hide in the shade.

As well as the goats.

A five gallon bucket almost full of tomatoes, was picked from my garden!

Almost seven quarts of tomato sauce from the five gallon bucket! This is the first time I've canned my own tomatoes!

A nice, big pumpkin.

A different pumpkin. They look like they're almost ready to pick!

A moon and stars watermelon.

A sugar baby watermelon.

A kakai pumpkin. I found out about this one from watching John Kohler's Grow Your Greens on youtube. They are good for seeds. I thought the chickens would like them.

More tomatoes that will need to be picked soon.

A cantaloupe.

Fried, green tomatoes, anyone?

I picked those ripe tomatoes. Not enough to can, but good for eating and cooking with. Or I may cut them up and put them in the freezer to can later.