Sunday, October 24, 2010

And the winner is....

Drumroll please.....
Linda G. over at Me is the winner of Elliot Coleman's "The Winter Harvest Handbook."
Contact me with your info and I'll pop it into the post.
Congratulations Linda!

A beautiful Sunday.....

Well, we've gotten the back panel of the greenhouse assembled so far. It is an erector set, but, I have to admit, the instructions are spot on.
It's exciting to see it start to come together.

The greenhouse is 8 x 8, which will be plenty large enough for me to grow things through the cold season for the two of us. And, to be quite honest, it's all I have time for. Nonetheless, I'm still pretty excited. Did I mention I'm excited!

I guess I ought to curb my enthusiasm just a little. We still have a ways to go!

I've been working in the garden all morning cleaning beds and adding compost so I can plant my garlic. Some of the beds weren't used this season so I decided that's where I'll plant them. I had to pull a fair amount of crab grass out of the beds, but after that, I just use my trusty stirrup hoe and it fluffs up like a dream. I spread a bag of organic leaf compost on each bed and once that dries a little, I'll hoe again, then the beds should be go to go!

My tomato's finally decided to produce (in October!), but, they all have blossom end rot and they are teeny tiny. To small to bother with really, so the chickens are having a party getting fresh tomato's everyday. Spoiled chickens!

Speaking of the girls, I'm finally experiencing the first moult. They are not looking too attractive right now! Egg production is way down - maybe an egg or two every other day. I knew this would happen so I've been keeping some reserves on hand so I hopefully won't run out!

Finally, it seems that fall is starting to show some color around here! I think it will be a fast display of color before all the leaves tumble to the ground. Then comes collecting and chopping all those leaves to make beautiful leaf compost!

I'll be announcing the winner of the blogiversary drawing tonight, so, if you haven't entered yet, you still have time. Just become a follower and then leave a comment!

Back to mowing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Yet another week has passed and so a lunar cycle. Life keeps on chugging along without nearly a blink of an eye.

So, this Saturday under the full moon, step outside and don't blink. Take 5 minutes to stand under the light of the moon and then just listen and feel.
What do you hear? Is there an owl hooting in the distance? a car passing down your road? or is there the sound of silence?
What do you feel? Is there a gentle breeze touching your skin? or is the wind quiet and still? Can you feel the moonlight bouncing off of your skin?
What do you smell? Is there the smell of a wood fire burning? or is there just the smell of the season - damp and earthy?

In just 5 minutes of not blinking you'll open your senses, but, most importantly, you will clear your mind. The stresses of the week will disappear even if it's only for these 5 minutes.

Now, isn't this a wonderful way to end the week?

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all..............

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Greenhouse or erector set?.....

This is the progress of the greenhouse.

It's a sad state of affairs. Thankfully, each little part is labled.

I guess that will make it easier??

Two people, two days. I have the written proof in black and white. I'll let y'all know.

*Don't forget to enter the drawing here.*

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's hard to believe, but, October 16th was my one year blogiversary! I never thought in my wildest dreams I'd still be blogging, but, even more so, that there are folks out there who actually read my blog!
I have met so many wonderful people out here in blog world and have likewise enjoyed reading everyone elses exploits in life!

So, I've decided to celebrate my blogiversary with a give-a-way on the topic of one of my favorite things - gardening! Since I will be taking on a new adventure this year in gardening - that is, winter gardening, of which I know nothing about, I turned to seek guidance from a writer who is one of my "gardening guru's" and settled in on this book.

I will give away a copy of Elliot Coleman's "The Winter Harvest Handbook" as the blogiversary celebration. All you need to do is become a follower if you aren't already and leave a comment on this post. If you feel like it, I'd be curious to know what you like the best about my blog. This is totally optional. I'm just curious why you read it! Personally, I find myself a bit weird, but then, maybe that's why you read it! haha

I'll put all the names in a hat next Sunday to draw the lucky winner.

I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have come to visit and endure my weird sense of humor! It's been one hell of a ride and my broom isn't worn out yet - so, this must mean I'll keep on keeping on with the blog.

Thanks again, everyone, and good luck!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

So, my pretties, what do you have brewing for this weekend?

Plan on stirring up some fun. Maybe have some cider or mead whilst stirring up your batch of fun.

Whatever fun you decide to stir up, make sure you don't get into too much trouble ;-)

Have a peacefully stirred up weekend, y'all.......

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts and prayers....

to the miner's and their families in Chile. May the rest of the rescues go smoothly and bring forth healthy men.....

Cheers to all involved in the rescue efforts...

Monday, October 11, 2010


These guys will have to do since I don't have the real thing...
One advantage - their upkeep doesn't cost anything... :-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Hurray! It's Friday!
Go bang on your drum, strum your guitar, fiddle about, or blow on your whistle!

Get ready for the weekend by releasing your endorphins while you're making music!

No instrument you say? Tsk, tsk - you were born with one!
Sing - loudly - even if you're off key. Sing!
Sing to your dogs, sing to your chickens, hell, be brave and sing to you significant other!

I guarantee you'll feel a little lift in your heart after you do.

Have a peaceful, musical weekend, y'all.......

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Homemade laundry detergent...

With a few simple ingredients and materials you can make inexpensive, effective laundry detergent. You only need three ingredients - a bar of soap, borax, and washing soda. For the bar soap you will need a simple bar soap without anything added, ie: perfumes or dyes. Ivory, Castille, Fels naptha all work well. I used plain old Ivory.
1 bar soap
1/2 C. borax
1/2 C. washing soda
Grate your bar soap (the finer, the better) into a bowl. Add your borax and washing soda. Mix the ingredients for a good 5 minutes or so until the mixture resemble powdered laundry detergent.
That's it. Store in an airtight container.

Grated Ivory

adding borax and washing soda

all mixed up and ready to store

I have a HE machine which uses half the water of a regular washing machine. For HE machines you only need 1 - 2 tablespoons. Really, that's all you need!

I'm not sure of the amount you would use for a regular washing machine, but, experiment with it. I also do not add any essential oils for fragrance nor do I really know if you can. Again, if you want fragrance, experiment until you find a balance you like.

I've started making my own detergent for a few reasons, but, one of the main reasons besides being cost effective is that it is all natural and will not hurt your septic system. Plus, borax is great with other household cleaning. Nothing puts a shine on your throne like good old borax.

Who say's it ain't grand to be the king?? ;-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mother Earth Harvest Fair.....

The hubsters and I spent a few glorious hours enjoying the fall weather and visiting the MEHF Festival at Spoutwood Farm yesterday. Spoutwood is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm located in the rolling hills of York County, PA. Spoutwood is also an educational center and they sport an observatory for star gazing, too.
The MEHF Festival showcases local organizations, vendors, and farms that all have the same mindset of growing local, buying local, and supporting local craftsman in a sustainable manner.

This festival is run by volunteers and friends of the farm. I love the homemade signs!

This festival as well as the May Day Fairie Festival in May are both zero waste events.
They have "waste" stations placed all around the farm. Vendors are required to serve in eco-friendly containers that are either compostable or can be recycled.
Both festivals are very family friendly and a great way to spend a day with you kids.
Everyone who participates are very eager to talk with you and answer any questions you may have about what they are doing - whether it be raising animals for a purpose or selling their art. I'll be honest, I didn't take many photo's of the booths themselves. I feel it's a little intrusive on my part. I rack this up to old Catholic guilt from all my years in Catholic schools!
Anyway, below is just a short sample of the way we spent our day.

This farm brought their goats and had a "Goats for Kids" project. From taking care of them all the way to making cheese from the milk.

Shetland powered lawn mower. I want this!

Alpacas for fiber.

Jolly good music whilst you're roving around.

What a great sign to get you to stop. This place was all about dog rescue. You know that got a big thumbs up from me!

One of the little guys available for adoption. He looked so sad...

Demonstration on pressing cider.

For a little diversion, they had the "fairie realm" set up for kids to do some crafts.

I stopped to watch this woman spin and became totally intrigued. I found out she runs a fiber CSA. She also runs apprenticeships on raising sheep, shearing, and spinning the wool to the final product. Then she will teach you to weave your wool. I was so blown away by this that I am actually thinking about doing this.

This is some of her finished product. Just beautiful!

What I don't have pictured are the many farms who come out to sell their products nor do I have any of the artisans pictured.

There were homemade soaps and lotions, honey (I brought home 5lbs of beautiful, un-processed pure gold), fresh organic fruit, and fresh pressed cider.
The art ranged from recycled jewelry, quilts, woven rugs, woolen mittens, and skillfully decorated gourds (I brought one of those home, too).

They also had a blessing of the animals, but, we missed this since we had to leave before this happened. You could bring any of your animals for the blessing as long as they were well behaved. There were many folks who brought their dogs. Isn't this such a nice thing to do?

The one thing I will say about going to an event at Spoutwood Farm is that you leave feeling totally relaxed and at peace with the world, even if it is only for a few hours. It is such a loving atmosphere and everyone who works there or the patrons who come out are always ready with a smile and are willing to take a few minutes to chat. The pace of life slows for a bit as you walk the farm and not only enjoy the festival, but, the farm's beautiful surroundings.

It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's a beautiful day.....

After working in the garden some yesterday morning then spending most of the afternoon in the kitchen putting up carrots, I've decided I've had enough of looking at orange produce and need to get out and about! So, the hubsters and I are off for a stretch of the legs, some farm fresh produce, workshops, and someone else playing music at Spoutwood Farm's Sixth Annual Mother Earth Harvest Festival. I'll be taking my camera with me so maybe I'll have some fun photo's to post tomorrow. In the meantime, go enjoy the beautiful day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

The storms have blown through and it's shaping up to be a beautiful weekend here in the Mid-Atlantic.

Go for a lazy drive, enjoy the scenery, and have some time with the ones you love along the way - whether they be two or four legged.
Either way, you'll be spending time with someone you love.

Be daring and bring a picnic lunch....
Have a peaceful weekend, y'all........

*photo taken at Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway*