Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Make It At Home~Apple Cider!

I have been fortunate to have Hubby's Grandma Joyce in my life.  I have acquired many skills from her and most of them are things that are becoming "lost arts" (like butchering chicken, yes, she still helps us do this!)  One of the things she taught me this last year was making apple cider at home.  There are only of couple of things that are needed.

Apples, these came from Mom and Dad Mc's tree's.  I have been research on how to store these through some of the winter.  Up until the last couple of weeks the kids have been eating them.  I think I figured it out!  They are just now showing signs of softness.  Yes, that is Bailey's nose in the picture, she has to be next to me all the time.

 A juicer.  Mine is a Power Juicer and works really well.
 A jar and some cheese cloth.  You will want to strain the cider a few times.
 YUMMY!  This gives us really good cider.  We live about 10 miles from one of the bigger cider mills in Mid-Michigan and I think this is even better and a lot cheaper!

For Peggy~Jeffery and Daisy

Last summer I was contacted by Peggy to see if I was able to adopt Jeffery and Daisy, her two English angora rabbits.  She wasn't able to keep them anymore due to her daughters allergies.  They came to the farm in June.  Peggy was devastated to have to let them go, but I promised I would keep her posted with them on the blog.

Here they are Peggy!  They are doing great.  Jeffery is as sweet as ever, and Daisy well, she tolerates me;) (she is sweet too, just not as much as him!)  I thought you might also like to know that all of their fiber is being spun into yarn and sent here: Ambika (although I think her site is being redone right now so you might have to check back later)  Ambika has a large collection of angora items in her boutique and Tail Spin Farm is a part of the co-op of women that supplies yarn and crochet talents to her!




Friday, January 20, 2012

Creating

Well the cold and snow have finally hit us!  Right now it is especially cold (single digits!)  With the cold weather, comes a creative bug for me!  I have been spinning and crocheting the last week or so.  I was able to go last Saturday to a local yarn shop and meet in person, a dear blogging friend Cary and spin for a few hours!  It was so nice meeting other spinners!

I also have created two projects that I designed.  I needed a laptop case and a camera case.  After pricing these items and thinking the were outrageously priced for such ugly black, mass produced, made in China products, I decided to make them myself!

I have a lot of yarn...okay an unbelievable amount of stashed yarn. So I went through the buckets and found some for both projects. Here is what I can up with:





I love how they turned out!  I used double strand of heavy yarn, so that gives my laptop and camera a little added protection.  Cost:  my time and some leftover yarn from other projects!

This gives me an idea for a weekly post idea, I would like to see how much I can create at home with what I have, instead of running to the dreaded Wal-mart.  With the store only two miles from our home it can sometimes be too tempting for me just to run. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Character Flaws

Procrastination, n. A putting off to a future time; delay; dilatoriness.
Procrastinator, n. One that defers the performance of anything to a future time.

Yup, that's me.  If you looked this word up in the dictionary my picture would be there with the definition.  Now don't get me wrong, I do a lot in a day and get a lot done, but there are always those things that I put off.  Take for instance grading papers.  The thing I enjoy least about homeschooling is grading.  With five kids and oodles of papers to correct it just simply overcomes me some days.  This year is a bit easier with only four kids to grade and some things on the computer are graded automatically but still I procrastinate on this. 

I have had some grading to do since before Christmas break, yup 5 weeks ago.  It overwhelms me just to think about it.  This is another flaw I have, I try to remember everything that needs to be done and don't make lists.  Lists make my life easier, when I remember to do it.  I follow after my mom with this, we will both wake up during the night and "think".  I have started to put paper and pencil by my bed so that I can write things down when I do wake up and get them out of my mind.

Yesterday was my catch up day on all these things that clutter my brain.  Grading was on the top of that list.  I also had letters to write to our three sponsored children overseas, that too has been on the list since the beginning of December.  Guess how long these two things took to complete and get off the list?  About two hours.  That's it.  These two things have clogged and cluttered my brain for weeks and I got them complete in a couple of hours.  Sad.  I don't make resolutions because they usually don't last (ummm... wonder why:)) but I am going to try and change this bad habit this year and not allow it to control me.  I have enough going on in my brain without clutter.  I have a graduation to plan, classes to prepare and teach, yarn shop stuff to get done, animals to care for, kids to school and a house to run.  If I have to staple post-it notes to my shirt and tie a pen around my neck I am going to overcome this!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nature Walk Wednesday

Do you see what I see?
Yes!  That is a green bud on my lilac bushes on January 11 in Michigan!

This is what is in store for us today:

Severe Weather Alert


Ugh!  This has been the strangest winter in a long time.  I am still using the hose for morning chores.  In the 7 or 8 years that we have had animals, this is the first time I can remember using it in the middle of January

See the little orange spot under the ice?  That is one of my goldfish in the pond:) Yes, they are still alive!
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Old Pictures!!!

I took in 8 rolls (yes, they were rolls!) of film last week.  We have had so much fun looking through old memories this morning!  They were so little and so cute!  That time has just flown.




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another Giveaway!

Homestead Revival is doing a giveaway on their blog here: http://www.homesteadrevival.blogspot.com They are giving away a campfire cooker.  I LOVE this giveaway.   I have worked wilderness camp for kids and this is really the only thing we have to cook on all week.  It makes cooking outdoor so easy though!  Go and check out this awesome giveway, it ends January 6 though so hurry~