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Monthly Archives: August 2013

DIY Rustic Key Holder

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We needed a key holder.

Badly.

For some reason we have approximately 1.2345 million keys.

Why we don not key everything the same…I don’t know.

However, we don’t.

So…I needed a key holder. 

I had seen some at the primitive shops that I scope out, however my budget does not allow for such things.

Making this type of a key holder is super easy.

First all you need is a scrap piece of wood. 

Paint it a solid color (in this case mine was painted black).

Allow it to dry.

Paint a solid color( in this case I had some leftover egg shell), while it is still wet apply a layer of white school glue liberally.

Allow to dry, an it will crackle.

MAKE SURE the paint is still WET or it will not crackle!

I did not take step by step pics, because I wasn’t planning to post this until my daughter said I should.

I guess I need to start taking pics of everything I do while I am doing it, just in case. Call me the paparazzi. 

After everything is dry attach your embellishments, in this case old door knobs and keys. (That is what the one I saw at the shop had too, and I just so happened to have old knobs and keys…yay!)

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After that is done, spray it or paint it with polyurethane to seal the deal.

Then hammer ya a few nails in (mine were old cast offs) that the keys can hang from.

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On the back put a wire  loop to hang it with (I use galvanized wire).

There ya go..an easy key hanger!

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My Weekend Project: Preparing For Next Year’s Garden

It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s garden, especially if you do not use conventional fertilizers.

We spent the weekend cleaning out the barn, and preparing a new garden spot for next year. 

We currently have our main garden at our other farm, about 5 miles done the road, so we wanted one here too. 

To do this we decided to “lay out” the garden spot by taking tall field grass that we bush hogged, and putting it in the shape we wanted the garden spot.

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This is a pic that was taken while we were still spreading it. This was a couple of weeks ago. We let it set on the area for weeks to kill off the grass underneath, while at the same time adding nutrients into our soil. 

After the couple of weeks we burnt the dead grass to clean up the area for plowing, as well as increase the nutrients in the soil further. (This was this weekend)

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Fluff up the dead grass to allow it to burn easier. 

Start the fire on each side, and watch it carefully to avoid it spreading.

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It is also important to stay with the fire a it burns to keep it under control. A pitchfork works well for this. 

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Once it has all burnt down it looks like this.

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Now it is ready to plow.

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After the garden bed is plowed, you can till the garden. 

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Once this is all finished, just sprinkle the tilled garden bed with high magnesium lime, and you re good to go.

We will work compost into it at some time before garden planting.

This is an easy way to get the garden area ready, and healthy for next spring.

Or fall garden is at the old farm, so we will be tending it…hopefully we will get some goodies 🙂 

 

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Garden, Natural Living

 

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Details on the Critter House Project

We finished our hay..COMPLETELY! Hip Hip Hooray!

We also painted our Critter House

I have had some readers ask for a good, non-toxic paint choice. From my research Ecos Organic Paints is one of the better choices.

I have also bee asked how we built the Critter House from the pallets. As usual, we make it u as we go along lol. 

We figured out (roughly) what size we wanted. In this case, I am using it for ducks..so it didn’t need to be huge. 

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Hubby cut the pallet wood, and used recycled nails he pulled from the pallet wood to construct this critter house.  See pic above, and below.

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This is the bottom of the critter house. Below the pic shows a close up of measurements.

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The next pics show and inside view.

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We spared no expense for Donald, Daisy, and Howard to have a duck house ;-)That’s how we roll!

This project went smooth, these pics were taken before we painted it. 

We are planning a new chicken coop that we are going to make about the same way. I will make sure I take the pics as we put it together (hubby was in charge of the “as we go” pics…major fail..lol) So… we got them AFTER it was built. Not that I am a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but his were SAD. (Love ya hun!)

So, there it is. Easy. Free. What’s not to like?

 

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in DIY, Farm Life

 

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We Work Hard, and We Play Hard

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That is Lil Cade’s feet, after he passed out on our couch after a long day of baling hay.

We have been SO busy this week, and are in for a BUSY weekend

The good news is the hay is finished…on that field.

The bad news is there is another field…and 3 acres of tobacco that needs to be hoed.

Yay!

Not that Cade is much “help” he is 4, and is mainly just there for moral support, and to keep max the Great Pyrenees entertained.

He is, however, learning a valuable lesson.

We work hard. We play hard. Most of the time the first one is the most time consuming, but that is life.

Hay is necessary hereon the farm.

And, the tobacco we have contacted to an organic farmer to use as a natural pesticide. We also will be keeping some to use as a natural pesticide for our own crops.

We try to aim to do things the natural way.

What does that mean?

Far MORE work, and far less return for a while on some crops…like tobacco. However, more on others. And, in time as the soil return to the way it should be, and as you learn how to plant things that naturally help the soil..you end up way ahead.

For, example our hay has not been fertilized. My husband’s family (who re conventional farmers) GASP at that fact.

However, they refuse to look at the fact that our return was FAR more!

Their return this year on their hay field was an average of 56 bales per acre. LOOSELY baled to make it easier to lift. We baled ours tight, and we got an average of 79 bales per acre! Without the cost of fertilizer. HMMMM..

That being said, we work harder at it. But, I feel good that we are not poisoning our soil, our animals, and in turn we are not poisoning our family.

So…we will just continue to work harder, I see it as a blessing that we are able to.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Farm Life, Natural Living

 

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Yummy Gluten Free Brownies

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“Gluten free” has definitely become a buzz word, to say the least.

First of all let me state, I do not think gluten is evil. I do not think that foods containing gluten cannot be in  a healthy, natural diet.

We do a lot of gluten free because of Jayelyn, the 14-year old.

After battling asthma from the time she was 2 years old, she has been symptom-free for over to years now. Why? Because we have removed gluten, and all dairy (but RAW dairy) from her diet.

That was a journey that I will share one day in full. A long, long, Long, LONG journey.

So anyway…Gluten free Brownies. Yum.

I love brownies.

They are delicious.

A brownie with a cup of coffee, and I am a happy girl.

The recipe is super easy.

Yummy Gluten Free Brownies

1/2 C. organic sugar

1/2 C. cocoa powder

1/3 C. organic coconut oil

1/2 C. organic coconut flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium sauce pan, melt to coconut oil, and stir in cocoa.

Remove from heat, and add sugar, and vanilla.

Stir completely.

Stir in eggs, and add in coconut flour.

Grease an 8×8 baking dish, and pour batter in.

Bake for about 30 ish minutes, depending on your oven.

Cool, and cut.

These are an easy, an quick dessert for anyone that is on a gluten free diet (or if you just like brownies, like me 🙂 )

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Recipes

 

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My Weekend Project: A Critter House From Pallets

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Oh my…what a weekend.

We did get me a critter house built from some pallets we collected.

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Look at that pile of “junk”.

Talk about trash to treasure. MORE Details on how-to HERE.

I am using my critter house for my ducks.

Donald, Daisy, and Howard will love it.

In addition to getting that built ( we still need to paint it though), we had a parade to attend.

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This is my hubby, and our 4 year old son, Cade on the Allis-Chalmers. We are privy to any, and all of the parades…being as we live in such a small town.

It makes the kids feel SUPER important. lol

We had a good time with that.

We got home, and went into our typical chores. Cleaning, weeding, and the like. Then my 8-year old daughter, Kyla, got bit by a squirrel…blank stare…

No that is not a typo. She got BIT by a SQUIRREL??!!

Only my children.

I admit after shock my first response was RABIES.

It’s a mom thing.

No matter what happens your mind goes to the WORST possibility.

My mind searched, and I ran into the house for peroxide, and I ran back into the yard and grabbed a hand full of Plantain (I told you I LOVE this stuff).

I cleaned the wound on her finger with the peroxide, and chewed the plantain and spit it on her wound. (Now before you all start yelling at me about the germs in my mouth…it would have been better for HER to chew it herself, however she is 8. She was crying, scared, and even in a good frame of mind would not had jumped at the opportunity  to chew something green from the yard)

Then I run to the laptop to see what they say about squirrel bites. In all my years as a mama…this is a first for me.

I find out apparently it is not so rare to get bit by a squirrel??!!

So…after calling the Ohio Department of Health (because apparently it is a State law to report wild animal bites, and I do not want Children’s Services up in my business) I called to report the bite.

They stated that squirrels were not on the “danger” list for rabies in our area.

After the fear had let go, I finally got the kid to tell me why she tried to pick up a squirrel. Apparently..she thought it was a bunny.

That kid.

sigh

She may be the death of me.

The amazing part of this story is just how the bite looked this morning. I SO wish I had gotten some pics, but I wasn’t even thinking about it at the time. But, take my word for it…it looked NASTY!

I went back and forth whether or not to take her to the ER for stitches. No joke.

This morning, when I took off the bandage it was a WOW moment. Plantain is magic I tell ya!!

God put these “weeds” here for a reason. Not that traditional medicine does not have it’s place, but it is not a “fix all”.

Her wound looks like scratches this morning. No swelling. No bruising. No redness.

The open wounds are sealed, and look great. I have used plantain for many things, and it still never quits amazing me!

So…that was my weekend.

Crazy even for around here.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in DIY, Herbs, Natural Living

 

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The Chicken Hospital

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Things around here are never dull.

Some days are good.’Some days are bad.

But, they are never dull.

This week has been no different.

The good news is we were given some extra chickens a while back…for free 🙂 YAY!

The bad news is I never even considered checking them for mites….duh.

I know better.  It just never even entered my brain.

So…when I just noticed a few of my girls picking at themselves, I picked one up and yep…mites. UGH

So, needless to say we had to check the whole flock.

The ones we were given, along with two of our girls had them. QUARANTINED.

We have an extra pen that has been dubbed..The Chicken Hospital.

Before these dirty birds got the privilege of going into the Chicken hospital they had to be washed…yep…chicken bath.

To help control the mites I bathe them in warm water with some lavender essential oil, and citronella essential oil in it.  It really seems to help. (I use do Terra oils…actually I started selling them just for the discount. I do not “actively sell”..just offer if someone needs them.)

I have always bathed any “newbies” in this solution before introducing them to my flock…except for this time…I don’t know what happened.

I do, however, have a theory.

I think children kill brain cells. They are cute. They can be sweet. But, under it all they are ruthless.

I swear ….I used to be smarter. But, child after child the I.Q. has plummeted some. Hmmm…suspicious. 

So…the girls are in quarantine for now.

They will get another bath in a few days .

We are also spritzing the others with a mixture of my Natural Fly Spray For Livestock , and we are checking them for outbreaks.

If they end up getting them…I get to give more chickens baths…exciting.

We also cleaned the coop well, and sprinkled a whole bunch (the is a technical measurement, by the way) of DE.

All of this makes me question people. I just read an article (in a popular farm magazine) that chickens for house pets are becoming all the rage….. blank stare….

I mean…I love chickens, I just would not want them as room mates.

Apparently they even make….chicken diapers…not kidding.

Oh well, maybe it’s just me that thinks it is silly.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Farm Life, Natural Living

 

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