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Category Archives: DIY

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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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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Homemade Wipes For Milking

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I like homemade stuff. I like homemade food. I like homemade crafty stuff. I just like it.

I like the way it makes me feel. I make about 90 % of what we use. I do not make our clothes (the kids are SO happy about that), and I go back and forth on making our shampoo. I make it…then I end up cheating on my shampoo for another…sorry shampoo. You just aren’t the same. 

The wipe solution that I make for milking is actually the same recipe as the one that I make for the baby. Except I use it on the teats of the animals before I milk, and I use it on the baby’s tush after he goes stinky.

I use most of my products from Mountain Rose Herbs because I trust their quality.

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My Homemade Wipe Solution is simple. I usually make a big batch..enough to fill the two little shoe-box totes at the house for the baby, and the one tote for the “teat” wipes at the barn. I also make a tad extra to keep in a mason jar just in case some of them need moistened as times goes by (see pic at the top). 

Homemade Wipes (for milking animals or baby)

  • 2 Tbsp. per quart –Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (I get mine from Amazon, you can get yours whereever you want)
  • 3 gels per quart- Vitamin E gel caps (I go back and forth where I get mine)
  • 1 Tbsp. per quart Aloe Vera Gel (Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 Tbsp. per quart Witch Hazel (Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 Tb. per quart Sweet Almond Oil (Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 quart water (per quart made)

As I have said before…I am an eyeballer..these are approximate measurements so make it how you see fit. These measurements will make about 1 quart of wipe solution. I make way more at a time.

To make the wipes:

  1. Separate a roll of paper towels single file into your container (I use a tote style shoe-box- see pic below).
  2. In a sauce pan heat water to a boil. Turn off heat.
  3. Mix in all ingredients and allow to cool.
  4. Stir a few times while cooling.
  5. Pour over paper towels in tote…flip stack over several times to coat it all.

Note: The solution does not have to be room temp to pour over paper towels just not hot. Hot + Plastic = Melt

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Like I said, I use these for the baby…and to wipe down Audrey our goat before I milk her (and Agnus our cow too when she is in milk).

 To use for milking:

  1. Wipe down the animals teats and under belly thoroughly with a wipe.
  2. Using a spray bottle with water in it rinse the teats and underbelly.
  3. Pat dry and you are ready to milk.

To use for the baby:

Use as you would use commercial baby wipes, except feel great about the fact that you are not putting toxins into your child’s system 🙂

These are easy, and economical.

You could go even further by using eco-friendly reusable material in place of the paper towels…but that is my “cheat” area. I am just not ready for reusable toilet paper and paper towels in my life….sorry.

So, there ya have it. 

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Got milk?  

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in DIY, Farm Life

 

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Weekend Project: A Potting Bench From Pallets

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It was a busy weekend…seems like it always is. 

Not to mention busy all week long, but I am not complaining..there is something that can be said about being busy.

We did accomplish a few things. You know how it goes…you make a list that has about a million to-do items, and consider it an accomplishment to cross a few off the list.

One thing that we did get done is an item that has been on my “honey-do” list for quite a while. It took a little…persuading….ahem…but Chad (hubby) helped me get a potting bench put together from old pallets. 

It turned out pretty good..if I do say so myself. The kids helped me paint it, and it is now at home on my back deck.

As usual..we didn’t really draw any plans…I just looked at a few potting benches that you can buy, and we made it our own 🙂

I like it. It will come in handy around here. 

I also had a big job ahead of me this weekend in the kitchen.

Canning, freezing, and the like.

Yep..squirreling away the bounty…

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We had someone give us some cucumbers (a little far gone..but they were free, so I gladly took them). 

Anytime I get “overgrown” cucumbers I make relish with them.

The relish is good on meatloaf sandwiches, or whatever else floats your boat. 

Dilly Relish

  • a few overgrown cukes
  • 1/2-1 small onion, diced
  • white vinegar
  • canning salt
  • fresh dill
  • black peppercorns

To make the relish:

Dice the cukes up in small pieces. Add to a bowl.

Add the diced onion. 

Take canning jars and add the veggie mixture to the jars to fill.

Fill the jars 3/4 way full with the vinegar, add some fresh dill, 1 tsp. salt (for a qt.), and a few peppercorns.

Top off with water. You can refrigerate to use fresh, or hot bath them to preserve them.

I don’t have exact measurements. This is a made up recipe. I am a eye-baller. It’s just how I roll. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

In addition to the massive cucumbers, you can probably see that I got some peppers.

I pickled them. Alyssa (my 13 year old daughter) loves them pickled.

Our peaches, blueberries, and cherries came in as well.

I canned the peaches…

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The blueberries, and sour cherries I just froze so that went pretty quick. 

Like always I struggle to “be okay” with what we accomplished… I am the Queen of Unrealistic Expectations…just ask my hubby 😉

We did get some things accomplished though, and I am thankful for that. 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in DIY, Preserving Foods

 

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Easy DIY Rustic Shelf From an Old Chair

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I LOVE primitive decor.

I heart it…I truly do.

It hearts me back…I just know it.

However, it does not heart my budget.

Actually…thanks to Obama World…nothing hearts my budget anymore…SIGH…but I won’t start getting all political on ya!

Anyway…I have been eyeballing this cute shelf from a nearby primitives shop. It is super cute, and it wanted me to take it home. But….it was $55!!! 

So….I decided I would make one myself. 

It surprisingly was pretty easy, and it turned out pretty well (if I do say so myself) …and the best part was it was FREE. 

I love free.

Especially when I can use power tools and as a bonus freak my husband out as I walk toward the house pulling a wagon full of them 🙂

We have been married long enough he knows to be a little nervous about that. Ya just never know what I have decided that I can do.:-) Haha

Well ….I took an old chair…sawed the legs off….sawed half of the seat of and sanded the whole thing.

I drew some sad lookin stars on the top of the chair, but that is the beauty of primitives,,,it still works.

To cut out the stars I took a saw (that I have no idea what the name of it is but it pokes in and out …lol…sorry not a carpenter..and hubby is at work…). I sanded the stars too.

Next I took some leftover antique white paint and slapped a coat on it.

I let it dry, and took some wax stain that I had and rubbed some on here and there, and sanded some ares for “wear”.

I let it set overnight, and wah-la. I have me a free shelf that in my opinion looks pretty darn close to the $55 one!

Hubby thinks it is “fine”.. but ..”doesn’t get why I wanna hang a chair on the wall” but…he has no decorative taste so I don’t care 🙂

I like it.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in DIY

 

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My Weekend Project: An Herb Box From Untreated Pallets

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We had a weekend of canning, cleaning, and mucking pens.

Ye haw! I know, your jealous! (lol :-))

However, we did get an herb box slapped together from untreated pallets. (Treated pallets may last longer, but they also could leach nasties into your soil…and into your herbs)

This herb box is in no way a majorly constructed, life lasting herb box…but it will do the job…for free.

We would have needed about five million  wagon loads of dirt, so we decided to use a bit of German wisdom …blended with some hillbilly-redneck gumption to create a raised herb bed. We took the idea from German raised bed gardens (a.k.a. hugelkultur raised construction) and put brush at the bottom of the herb box.

Next we added some seasoned “patties” from the pasture. (old cow poo)

Next we put some dirt from the compost, some leftover un-fortified tobacco soil, and sprinkled it with high magnesium lime for good measure.

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My son, Cade (who is 4), thought it looked like a big cake. lol

I am soaking the herb seeds for 24 hours(because I am not really sure what the water retention will be like in the box..we tend to make up stuff as we go along…that’s just how we roll)

I will let you know how the planting goes…I am also making plant markers today with the kids help…should be…um…interesting.

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in DIY, Garden

 

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