Thursday, June 26, 2014

Public Notice

 If you are driving by a residence and think you see an animal that is injured or cant get up, or needs help in some way. PLEASE stop and notify the owner of the animal or at the very least (if the owner is not around) check the animal yourself to see if it actually is in need of help. Please don't just drive by and call animal control!
First off, if that animal is truly in need of it will most likely be dead by the time animal control can get here, three and a half days later.
So if you really want to help animals - then help the animal - don't call someone else to check on it because it will be days (especially in this area) before an officer will get here.
IF you are calling to report an animal with an injury that is completely healed and the animal is getting around fine - then you are too late... don't bother calling animal control.
IF you are just trying to be a spiteful ass - don't bother - you are wasting everyone's time and precious resources that could have gone to helping animals who are truly in need of help!
IF you are driving by my farm and see a few animals with leg issues - YES, I do own three animals who have all had leg injuries and they were all under vet care until they healed. Two of which I did not even own at the time of the injuries. I was contacted and asked if I would give these animals a home because the owner was moving out of state and couldn't take them with her. She couldn't find a home for them and did not want send them to a shelter because she feared they would just be put down because of their disabilities and low adoptability.
I've had several people call me or email me asking me if I could please take their animals because they know how we take care of our animals, and love them. Do you think I'd get those kind of calls if I mistreated my animals?????

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

If ever you have to fall ...

When I left the house to make my final rounds for the evening, to check the animals, I was not expecting what was to come in the next few minutes!

Let me just say, if ever there is a time when you have to fall, I mean like there is seriously no way of avoiding it kind of thing, pray for the following things...
#1. a soft landing!
#2 that no one is around to witness or more importantly... take pictures!
#3 that no other humans or animals are injured during your escapade!
#4 that you are NOT in the middle of a messy duck pen and right next to the plastic kiddie pool the ducks use as their pond.
#5 that the wind didn't blow hard enough at that one direction, today, to blow the pilot on the hot water tank out.
#6 that you have some really nice soap available to wash your smelly self with.

The same pool only more 'mud' around it, but not the actual ducks involved in this incident.
No, my friends, THAT is not really what I had in mind when I left the house two hours ago! I really thought it was going to be just a nice quiet little trek to the barn. Check to make sure everyone was in their proper pens and shut the doors, gates, etc. Come back in, and finish my evening routine.
Have you ever heard about those little things call 'the best laid plans'? Yeah, you got it, they rarely work out well for me either.

Oh, and as for the prayers being answered? Well....
#1 Answered.  I landed in a mixture of about two inches of slimy duck poo and mud. And as if that wasn't soft enough? My arm and elbow landed on the edge of the plastic pool which proceeded to empty all around me and make the ground a LOT softer, and slimier
It was a lot better landing than those rocks, that are scattered throughout the enclosure, would have been.
#2 Answered! Not a soul (except the ducks) in sight. And an added bonus ... it was completely dark outside... so not even my mother (who lives across the road) could have seen, even if she had been sitting at her dining room table. And honestly, I don't think the poor ducks saw much - if any - of the landing... they were too busy running for their lives. Which brings me to prayer #3.
#3 Answered! I somehow avoided any serious injury as did the ducks. I'm sure I'll be sore and maybe even a bit bruised tomorrow but hopefully not too worse for wear.
#4 Let me just say God has a really odd sense of humor some days! :)
#5 Answered! There was plenty of hot water when I got back to the house, so I could get a hot shower ASAP. Maybe I should also mention that everyone in the house was sleeping, so I didn't even have to worry about them seeing me in such a state.
#6 Answered! There hasn't been a shortage of nice smelling, skin loving, goat milk soap in my house since I learned the art of making handmade soaps about 14 years ago.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Fire Pit

Our latest project. We scavenged some old blocks from a pile that has been out in the weather so long it was all covered in moss. Too bad the moss wont survive the heat of the fires we plan to have, I really like the look of it.

This was the view while sitting by the fire the first night.

There were no pictures of our first meal cooked on the fire but the boys sure did enjoy the hot dogs. Of course, they kept reminding Grandma that "the cookies and marshmallows are for after we eat", just like she is the one who couldn't wait to break into them... LOL

Friday, May 16, 2014

Where is my camera when I need it most?

I really need to start carrying my camera everywhere I go....
I just went to check on everyone in the barn and it seemed awfully quiet in there. I found Red in her pen all by herself. The piglets were nowhere to be seen. The goats were all out in the pasture, except the new baby who was in his pen napping. I figured the piglets were out rooting in the mud out back, but when I went to look I couldn't find them. Decided to fill the hay feeders for the goats and guess who I found sleeping in the goat pen, under the hay feeder? Yep, all 13 piglets were stacked up like cord wood sound asleep under the feeder.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday...

A picture of me, and one of the goats we had at the time ( I think her name was Gena), in 1979. I was 4 years old and already in love with goats.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The one and only baby goat for the year...

I was not expecting him until around the 21st and until the 16th at the very earliest. He was born on April 10th. According to the breeding date he was born at 139 days gestation. The gestation period for goats is generally from 145 to 155 days with an average of 150 days.
This little fella is small but otherwise doing okay. He needed a little help eating for the first couple of days but he's becoming a pro now and I believe he will do fine. His Mama (Bubbles) is very protective and wont let him out of her sight. If by chance he is out of her sight, she makes quite a fuss, and is she ever noisy.... if I didn't know better I'd think she was full nubian, not just part nubian. I've lovingly nicknamed her Bellering Bubbles. (Is bellering or should it be bellowing?... hmmm.. I pronounce it beller so that is what I'm going with.)
So, here is a picture of the new baby, only minutes old.

 As soon as my 5 year old saw him he said he was going to name him Happy Feet. That seem appropiate for a baby goat, their feet are always on the move.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The baby pigs have arrived!

I haven't been sharing much here but I will make an effort to try harder... I know, I know.... I keep saying that and I can understand if you are all like "Yeah, whatever. We've heard that before!" I'm truly sorry but life seems to get in the way of my best laid plans. Then I get so far behind that I don't even know where to start updating... does that ever happen to you? I mean like when it has been a long time since you've seen a good friend then one day you do see them and you have so much to say to that person you just can't find a good place to start. Well that is the way I feel right now, so I'm just going to start blurting out whatever comes to mind..... you've been warned. [wink]

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of recent things that have happened here on the farm is Red (the pig) had babies. This is the fist litter of pigs that have been born here since 2002. Yes, twelve years ago, that is a long time. Especially when you are trying to prepare for a new litter and can't remember the details of how to calculate the due date (yes I remember now it's three months, three weeks, and three days), the first signs of labor, etc. I really had to delve into the recessed of my brain to answer some of the questions that *T* had about pigs having babies. This is the first litter he has ever seen born or had any part in raising.... it has been quite an experience for him .... and for me trying to reassure him everything will be fine.... I really think he was as nervous about these baby pigs' delivery as he was when I was in labor for our two boys. He'll never admit to it but it's true!

So, here is a picture of Red a little over a year ago on April 14th. We had just brought her and her sister (Patches) home. They were about eight weeks old at the time.

Here they are the day we put them in the outside pen. They looked so small in that huge outside pen... but they loved it!
In mid November we helped my mom, who lives across the road, clean out her garden and the boys hauled some of the 'leftovers' home to give to Red. Yes, just Red, by then we had sold Patches and Red was our only pig. She had no problem cleaning up the garden leftovers by herself. I'm thinking she was kind of glad she didn't have to share her "goodies" with anyone.

She was one happy little (okay, big) piggie!

I almost forgot... I was going to tell you about our baby pigs... sorry I get sidetracked A LOT!!!

On January 1st a friend of ours brought his boar to visit Red for a couple of months. She was in heat the day he brought the boar but we wanted to make sure he was still here if she cycled again. We never noticed her in heat again, so we figured she should be due to farrow around the 25th of April. Well, I should say "I figured" because *T* counted the days differently than I did and came up with May 1st.... I'm not sure how he counted 115 days (three months, three weeks, and three days) from Jan. 1st and came up with May 1st. Either way, by April 24th she was getting pretty uncomfortable and couldn't lay still and didn't seem to know what to do with herself. While *T* was at work I moved her into a bigger pen, hoping she would be able to find a more comfortable position to have her babies.

The first one was born Friday, April 25th around 5pm

The boys thought this was great entertainment...
 After having seven babies she seemed to take a little break and I was thinking that she might be done. Seven is a nice size litter for a fist time mama pig.
 This was number twelve!!!! YES, TWELVE!!!
By this point it was like watching clowns get out of a VW.... how many more could there be in there?
After number thirteen Red got up and was walking around in her pen looking at the babies like "what are those things and how did they get here?" I will admit I was a little bit nervous that she wasn't going to want them at first. We stayed with her until after she laid back down, we wanted to make sure she didn't smoosh any of them.We were all getting tired and hungry so we left Red and went to the house to eat some dinner (it was close to 8pm) and get the boys ready for bed. After getting the boys settled into bed I went back to the barn to see if Red had passed the placenta..... she sure did.... and another baby! WHAT? I counted and recounted those wiggly little piggies almost a dozen times to make sure I was not mistaken.... sure enough, there were fourteen piglets! WOW. That is a lot of piglets for a first time mom.
Then when we were cleaning up and taking the placenta out we found one more that was dead. So she had actually had 15 babies. WOW.... I'm still in shock. I can not believe she had that many babies!
The next morning we found one of the babies dead, it looked like she had laid on it, but the other 13 were still doing good.


 Here they are at 6 days old.... look how much they have grown. All 13 are still going strong.

On Sunday they were two weeks and two day old. We moved them to the big outside pen and here is a video showing hem out for the first time. They were so curious about everything, yet still a little scared to be too far from Mama for a while.
*** And before anyone fusses about me not being too concerned when my child screamed bloody murder.... he was fine! I could see him and he was playing on the slide. Later he told me that "that is our scream slide. So we have to scream every time we slide down it." So no hate mail, or anyone saying I was more into filming piggies than I was checking to see if my kids were hurt..... They were happily playing on the other side of the yard, within sight of me the whole time. :) ***
 After being outside for a few hours they got brave, and also found a hole under the fence....

There really isn't anything much cuter than a baby pig.... unless of course you can find a rare moment like this one...
They were so excited that they finally got their hands on one of the piglets! I thought *Z* was going to drop it because it got to squirming around so much but he didn't. Of course my memory card ran out of memory so I couldn't continue to film, but we put the baby back in with Red and the rest of the piglets.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter 2014 Soap Swap: Hosted by Bramble Berry

I participated in Bramble Berry's Soap Swap for the first time.
The basic idea behind the Swap is:
1. You must use a fragrance or essential oil that Bramble Berry currently sells. And they were only allowing two people to enter for each scent, so we would all get a variety of different scented soaps.
2. You send twelve 4 oz. bars of soap to Bramble Berry, they do the swapping, and you receive twelve bars from twelve different soapers.
3. They had to receive the soaps by March 17th, 2014
4. You pay the shipping, and that's it!
5. Then you anxiously await your amazing box of assorted soaps.... at least that's what I did. I could hardly wait for that box to arrive.

This is the lot that I received...
Soaps from Bramble Berry's Winter 2014 Soap Swap
Oh and one of the best parts..... Free Samples from Bramble Berry ... they send a free sample with every order you place through them too. It's a great way to get and try a small amount of their product without having to order a lot, if your not sure if you'll like it. I've been wanting to try some colorants and look, that is what one of the samples is! YAY! Now I'll have to find a scent to use with this Neon Blue Raspberry Colorant.... hmmm.
The Sunny Herb Garden Fragrance Oil smells just like you are walking through an herb garden.

Free Samples
Now I'm going to show a close up of each of the soaps, in no particular order, and give a review on them as well. So, here goes...
Handmade by Anne-Marie Faiola, the Soap Queen
Made by: Anne-Marie Faiola, the Soap Queen at Bramble Berry
Oils and Butters: Olive, Coconut, Palm, and Rice Bran Oils, Mango and Shea Butter.
Packaging: This soap is wrapped, very nicely, in a shrink wrap band with perforations on the one side for easy opening. The ends are open so I was able to smell the soap without opening the wrapper. The colors of this soap are easily seen through the clean wrap.
Size and Shape: The size and shape of this bar is amazing, it fits nicely in my hand, and I love the beveled corners. That is something I've been considering doing with my own soaps and now I'll have to try it... Very nice.
Color: The bright colors and swirls that Anne-Marie used are amazing. I love it! Colors and swirls are something else I'm looking forward to trying soon. I've not worked with colorants yet, so this gives me some inspiration to start.
Scent: This soap is scented with Lemon and Lime Essential Oils. It gives off a nice  lemon-lime scent, that is very refreshing.
Overall: I'm definitely looking forward to trying this one in the shower.

Made in Atlanta by Karen
Made in: Atlanta by Karen. I wish I had a link for her but I don't at this time.
Oils: Olive, Coconut, Palm, and Castor.
Packaging: Looked very elegant in it's black and white, cigar-band type wrap. I'm not sure if "Mockingbird" is her company name or just the name of this soap. I'm guessing it's the name of this soap not the company name.
Size and Shape: A good sized bar, at least an inch thick, this bar will last through many showers or baths. I think it's a size that men would like too because it is a little larger that some soaps I've seen.
Color and Texture: This soap's deep blue-grey colors matches the scent very well. The poppy seeds on top finish it off nicely. I can't tell if there are poppy seeds mixed into the soap as well or if it's the ones on the sides got pushed down from the top during cutting. Either way, if they are in the soap it doesn't look like there are many so it isn't going to be a real abrasive soap.
Scent: It says made with Black Tea and Beau Brummel fragrance. I will say when I first smelled this soap I didn't like the scent at all. Then I looked up the description of each of the scents and tried again. Now I find myself picking it up to give it a sniff every time I'm in the same room with it. There is something very intriguing about the smell, and I can't put my finger on it. Sometimes I smell the tea, other times I smell the tobacco notes. I'm not sure what all I'm smelling here, but it's definitely a very masculine scent and makes me think of what a distinguished gentleman from couple of centuries ago (maybe Rhett Butler's era) may have smelled like.
Overall: It grew on me and I really like it, now. It is not a soap I'd personally want to wash with but I do like to pick it up and smell it now and then. I am also liking that it has raw goat milk in it. All all of the soaps I make also have raw goat milk, so I always like to find others who soap with milk.

Eucalyptus Spearmint Soap
Made by: Sadly, I have no information on where this came from or who made it.
Oils: Canola, Coconut, Palm, and Vegetable Shortening.
Packaging: This soap is also wrapped, very nicely, in a shrink wrap band with perforations along one side for easy opening. The ends are open so I was able to smell the soap without opening the wrapper. The clear wrap allows a nice view of the swirls in the soap.
Size and Shape: Very nice sized bar, cut at just a little less than an inch thick, so it's not overpowering in small hands. I like the wavy cut on the sides
Color: Green Chrome Oxide and Titanium Dioxide were used to make the lovely swirls in this soap. Very nice color choice for this scent.
Scent: I'm going to assume that Spearmint Eucalyptus Fragrance Oil was used in this soap, it's not listed in the ingredients but is certainly has some kind of spearmint and eucalyptus scents in it. It has a nice clean, refreshing scent. I think this one will be a good one for days that I need an extra boost to get me going.
Overall: I like this soap! The green and white swirls and the scent work very nice together.

Fire and Ice made by Gudrun Jenkins at Icelandic Organic Soaps
Made by: Gudrun Jenkins at Icelandic Organic Soaps in Orlando, Florida.
Oils: Coconut, Rice Bran, Canola, and Castor.
Packaging: Packaging is just a net-like ribbon around the soap. Being scented with "salty mariner" scent the ribbon reminds me of  a fisherman's net. Very simple and elegant.
Size and Shape: Nice big bar with a wavy cut on two sides. I'm finding I like this wavy look on soaps, I may have to buy a cutter that will do this.
Color: I love the blue/green with the crackled white top, it looks just like ice on water to me. The gold and copper mica that represents the "fire" part of the soap is a little on the heavy side for my liking but that may be just my simplistic nature. The Black Icelandic Salt on top is a nice accent, kind of looks like the charcoal in a fire.
Scent: Scented with Salty Mariner Fragrance Oil this is a very strong scented soap that I do not like. Maybe I live too far inland to enjoy the smell of the salty ocean spray or a mariner. The scent is quoted on Bramble Berry's website as "Like an angry sea, this fragrance does have a more powerful side".
Overall: This soap is very pretty, just not one that I would ever use. I feel really bad saying that as I do not want to hurt Gudrun's feelings. I wanted to love every scent but this is one scent that I wouldn't buy.

Lavender Energy by KCK Soaps
Made by: KCK Soaps in Michigan
Oils: Olive, Coconut, Palm, and Castor.
Packaging: Wrapped in a nice handmade bag (I guess that is what it is called) which allows you to see and smell the soap yet still protects it. I saw a tutorial of her making these bags on YouTube, but now I'm not able to find it to link back to it... I'll keep looking.
Ah-ha I found it! Here she is making the packaging and talking about this soap.
Size and Shape: They size and shape of this soap fits my hand nicely. Again, that wavy cut is really nice. And the textured top is very nice too
Colors: The pink, blue and white colored swirls, in this soap, are very pretty.
Scent: Scented with a blend of Bramble Berry's  Lavender essential oil and Energy Fragrance oil this soap is a perfect blend of relaxing yet energizing goodness.
Overall: I really like this bar. It is the first one I've used this soap to wash with and it has big, creamy, and long lasting bubbles. Very nice.

Black Raspberry Vanilla by Sweetness Sweet Soap
Made by: Sweetness Sweet Soap. Location is unknown to me.
Oils and Butters: Virgin Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Almond Butter, Apricot Oil, Argon Oil, and Castor Oil.
Packaging: This soap was wrapped in a clear plastic bag along with iridescent Easter grass (for lack of a better word) and tied with ribbons that match the colors in the soap, then embellished with a star.
Size: Fits nicely in my hand.
Color: The purple and pink swirls match the Black Raspberry Vanilla scent will. It is topped with iridescent glitter that gives it a nice shimmer. Very nicely done.
Scent: Black Raspberry Vanilla is a scent that is sweet and fruity and I think I'm even picking up a hint of musk. I really like this scent. It isn't too sweet or fruity smelling its just a nice well rounded scent that is very inviting.
Overall: I really liked this soap and scent. The only thing I would change would be to leave out the Easter grass or maybe not put quite so much in the bag. The grass was wrapped all the way around the soap and I couldn't see those beautiful swirls until I got is untangled from the grass. The hand written label was a really nice touch, it was even on purple paper to match the soap and ribbons.
A Little Bar of Joy
Made by: The maker is unknown to me.
Oils and Butters: Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, Almond Oil, Shea Butter, and Castor Oil.
Packaging: VERY Elegant packaging on this bar. I love the paper jacket with the butterfly and ribbon. And the plastic wrap holds it all together, nicely. This was one of my favorite packaging methods.
Size and Shape: This is a wide and tall bar of soap but not too thick so it isn't bulky in your hands. Very good size that will last a long time.
Color: Beautiful, elegant, very well thought out color patterns. The flowers, glitter, and sugar beads on the top match the colored swirls perfectly.
Scent: Scented with a combination of very strong fragrance and essential oils (Honey Suckle, Neroli, English Rose, Baby Rose FO's and Eucalyptus and Grapefruit EO's) this soap is very "perfumy", and overpowering.
Overall: This is one of the prettiest soaps that I received, but with the overpowering scents it is not one I would use.
Cranberry Chutney/Crisp Apple Rose by Country Candles and Scents
Made by: Country Candles and Scents. Located in Texas.
Oils and Butters: Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Castor Oil, Rice Oil, and Shea Butter.
Packaging: This soap is packed in a clear plastic soap box. The product can easily be seen through the packaging.
Size and Shape: This 4.5 oz bar is a nice size that fits nicely in my hand. It is cut a bit crooked, I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.
Colors: Has a very nice swirl design consisting of purple, green, peach, and white. Also has glitter on the top to add a little sparkle to it.
Scent: The scents listed on the label are Cranberry Chutney and Crisp Apple Rose. Without knowing what each of these scents smells like alone I have no idea what parts I'm picking up in this soap. It's not a scent that when I first smell it I know right away what it is. It's not an unpleasant smell by any means, just not one I'm really drawn too either. It is a very subtle scent. Not my favorite by certainly not my least favorite either.
Overall: A nice soap. The box had a lot of smudged soap on the inside of it (can be seen in photo). Maybe the soap was a bit soft when packaged or something. Or, it just got jostled around in it's two trips across the country and it wouldn't normally be that way during a normal order shipment. Either way, it didn't hurt the product at all just didn't do the clarity of the package justice.
Sweet Pea from that Blue cat
Made by: Brett at That Blue Cat from WV
Oils: Canola, Palm, Coconut, and Castor.
Packaging: Wrapped in a piece of tissue paper with a pretty printed label. Simple packaging, yet very pretty. I was even able to smell the scent through the tissue paper.
Size: A very nice size that fits my hand well.
Color: The soft pastel colors in this soap remind me of a some kind of summer time dessert. They are so soft yet go with the scent so well. Very clean layers on this soap. Nicely done!
Scent: Sweet Pea is the scent of this soap. This scent is such a nice sent it is now on my 'wish list' at Bramble Berry. Definitely a scent that I will be trying.
Overall: I love it. Everything about is says Spring or Summer to me. I can't wait to try it.
Vanilla Select Soap by an unknown maker
Made by: There was no information about who made this soap.
Oils: Tallow
Packaging: This soap was in a simple little clear ziploc bag. with a plain label with the fragrance on the front and the ingredients on the back of the package.
Size: The size of this bar is a nice little chunk that isn't too cumbersome in my hand. Once I use it a few time and the corners get rounded down it'll be easier to hold.
Colors: A nice medium brown color which I suspect may get a bit darker as it ages. I sliced the end off this bar and the inside was a light cream color with a brown swirl inside. The label lists Medium Brown and Dark Brown Oxide, I was thinking the color was coming from the vanilla scent but I see now that not all of it did.
Scent: Vanilla Select. This is a very light yet sweet and creamy scent. I like it a lot.
Overall: I think I'm going to like this rustic looking bar a lot once it hardens up. It was very soft when it arrived. I'm not sure if it was from being sealed in plastic or if it just needed a little more time to cure. I've taken it out of the bag and have it on my curing rack and in the last two days it is already quite a bit harder. Being made with Tallow should create a very hard bar in the end.
Lemongrass Soap by Cindy
Made by: Cindy n
Oils and Butters:

To Be Continued....
This is taking me a lot longer than I expected. But I just get started and one of my little people need something or is into something that they shouldn't be. I tried writing last night after they went to bed but my mind was numb and I couldn't think how to best describe these amazing soaps.... so I'll be back throughout the day to add more.

Made by:
Oils and Butters:

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