Friday, May 15, 2015

From thrift store painting to menu board

When I bought this painting at the thrift store, I actually intended for it to be a sign for my porch.  But then when I was spring cleaning my kitchen, I decided it would make a great menu board..  I had primed the entire thing off white when it was meant as a sign, but that just made it easier to make it a chalkboard.  I used raft paint on the frame, a deep dark red.  When I sprayed on the chalkboard paint some of the overspray got on the frame - I rubbed it on and added a bit more black craft paint giving it that sort of crafty antiqued look.

I'm really surprised by how much my family loves this.  They all really like knowing what is for dinner each night.  Especially my husband!

Giant Bubbles

6 cups water 
1/2 cup corn starch 
1 tbsp baking powder 
1-2 tbsp Glycerine
1/2 cup blue Dawn dish detergent
(The recipe I have says to let it sit for one hour before using)

I'm sort of in love with these.  We don't have any small children here, so when we were hosting a skeet shoot (families welcome) I finally got a chance to make up a batch, in anticipation of children visiting the farm.  The first batch was fun - but the cornstarch kept settling to the bottom.  For the second batch, I heated the water first, and it stayed mixed better.  (It does still occasionally need stirred).

The first time I made them, I used a huge bowl.  The second time I used a drink pitcher - the drink pitcher works better.  You don't want to lay this in flat like a regular bubble wand, instead dip the string in with the straws held together, then pull apart once out of the mixture.
Yesterday afternoon I found out there would be some extra teenage girls here for a campfire, and I was ridiculously giddy over the opportunity to make another batch and try again. LOL!  

The "wand" is cotton yarn (I bought it to make dishcloths) and straws.  I've been playing with different configurations  - last night we added a washer to the bottom to weight the string down, that definitely helped, but I haven't come up with the "perfect" wand yet.  Dan put some holes in some dow rods for me last night for one set - I like those a lot, but want thinner dows and maybe some eye hooks at the end...  I'm having so much fun playing with these, I think there will probably be a batch of giant bubble mix on my porch all summer long.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Replacing The Broken Glass on Our Patio Table -

We have horrible winds here.  One storm picked up our large patio table & smashed it sideways against the deck railing, shattering the glass top.

After looking at a couple of options, I bought a piece of plywood (they cut it to size for me even) and a remnant of linoleum from our local flooring store.

We should have sealed the plywood with an all weather paint first. 

Then we attached the linoleum with contact glue.  The entire project cost me about $35 and took minutes to complete. :-)

Around The Farm This Week - May 6th (Building A Goat Playground)

This week we built a goat playground.

The baby goats LOVE it, and play, and sleep, on this most of the day.

I get a lot less done each day - because I spend so much time just watching them play.  :-)
The babies are starting to eat grass now too.

We moved all the goats that are not moms out of this pen.  Horton escaped the pen we put him in, and has been happily living with the horses in their pen.  Piper, who is still pregnant, is in the dog pen on the side of the house (where we have moved all the new moms when they first give birth, to keep an eye on them this year)

Dan and Matt used the skid loader to clean up around the hay troughs and smooth down the ground in a few areas where we had bad ruts - it looks so much better.

We also moved the ducks and chicks out of the garage.  We put them in the back of the goat pen, in a dog kennel, with a pen that has a heat lamp in case they needed it on colder nights.  That lasted for a day.  Then they figured out they could escape the dog kennel and roam the goat pen.  On Day 3 they were wandering around my backyard, and today they are in the peacock pen - they let themselves in and seem happy in there.  At night they appear to go back to their own pen, inside the dog kennel, all by themselves. 

 This week they discovered the little pond in my backyard flower beds, and they love it.  :-)

Dan blocked off part of the chicken coop run, and has put seed down.  I've been watering it, but it has not even sprouted yet.  :-(

I'm REALLY glad I put in a lot of perennials last year.  It's nice to see the rhubarb flourishing, and flowers like the bleeding heart pop up and bloom even though I haven't done a single thing in any of the gardens or flower beds yet this year.  I'm planning to look for plants and bushes at the flea markets on Sunday morning, then I will visit a couple of local markets and greenhouses to fill in some more

The pig pen is ready - but we haven't found pigs at the right price yet.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Around The Farm April 24 2015

So much for my intentions of updating every week.  :-)  It gets BUSY here in the spring! (everything in italics is copied from facebook posts)

We have babies!

Addie had a baby boy yesterday - leaving us with just one pregnant goat (Piper) left this spring. We have 10 baby goats right now - 6 girls, 4 boys.


At BSF this week some of the women asked how many baby goats we have now, & I told them I expected more by the time I got home today. Sure enough, another set of boy girl twins. Any time we have a storm come through, if we have goats close to giving birth they usually have babies then. I think it has something to do with the air pressure change. I don't know what it is exactly, but I do know we have had babies born with every storm in the past week


We got a llama!!

Statements normal people probably do not utter - "I'm running late, I can either feed you guys or feed the llama, I don't have time for both." (I made supper, Dan fed the llama)

We've been looking for a llama for awhile now. We've had a few others watching for us too - we wanted a really friendly one.  You can't get more friendly than Barnaby!  He comes running when we drive up the lane, and waits at the fence for us to come pet and fuss over him.  He's super, super soft too. 

Meet Peabody the 2nd

I found a gorgeous, older, peacock at the Middleburg livestock auction today, & was prepared to pay a ridiculous amount of money for him. I won't even tell you how much - just know it was a truly ridiculous amount. (I don't care for jewelry, I'd rather have livestock & amusing poultry) And yet I was still outbid. The kicker? After they outbid me, they commented that they didn't know where they were going to put him, they guessed they would have to move some chickens. I have a backyard landscaped around a zoo sized peacock pen, and a female peahen here - but they spent all that money and don't even know where they are going to put him. Life is so not fair.

Then a few hours later:

So Dan found me peacocks. smile emoticon I'm going with "because he really loves me", but it may be that he found out what I almost spent today & decided to make sure that didn't happen again.


He rode home in the car, on my lap, because it was how I thought he would be safest. We passed a truck driver, and I think he almost wrecked his truck after he looked down into our car... Peabody on my lap, tail over the console and back across the folded down back seats...My life is just plain weird. But it's never, ever, dull. (Sometimes I pray for a little dull. Just a little.)

I went to Middleburg this week - 

Every Tuesday there is a livestock auction in Middleburg.  They have the largest weekly poultry sale that I am aware of, in this area.  I went looking for a peacock, guineas, and silkies.  I came home with Lavendar Guineas, and a silkie with 6 babies.  

I had forgotten how noisy guineas are.  :-)

(We have 5 of them - at least one is a girl)

The Cows
We're down to just the three cows (2 steers and 1 cow technically) - we sold those black ones that we simply could not keep fenced.  They were angus limousine cross, which apparently is one of the worst breeds - VERY high strung.  The one almost broke a wall, and the auctioneer hid from her, at the sale.  I'm so relieved they are gone!

 This cow isn't ours - it belongs to our neighbors.  I love her.  Dan won't let me have longhorns, and I've never seen another breed with this coloring.

Dan and the boys took down the fence on the center island here, and rebuilt it.  It looks so much nicer!
Right now we have the billy goat in there, along with the goats that are not pregnant this year.  That freed up the goat pasture for just the moms & babies.

Garden - 
I haven't planted a single thing yet this year.  Not so much as an onion.  I'm kind of glad I didn't - we had a hard freeze last night.  Because I'm so far behind, I didn't have to cover anything.  :-)  I'll try to have the beds all planted and nice looking for the Skeet Shoot here on May 9th.

I know you are all very upset over this cold weather, but I'm over here going "yay! It's ok that my garden isn't in & I haven't planted any flowers!" smile emoticon I'm looking forward to two days of catching up on things inside this house.

All of that tiny green plant all over?  I think that is sweet annie.  It's seeded all through the herb bed, and through a lot of the yard - especially where the mole had dug up around the outside of this herb bed earlier this year.