Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Catching Up

Our eleventh year of homeschooling is back in session this week.  Eldest is off living at college, so that changes the dynamic here at home.  With the beginning of school always comes the end of the garden.  I had high hopes this year for canning and with the 100+ temperatures a majority of the summer, my hopes have dwindled tremendously.  We have been able to do some canning and I hope these last couple of weeks of nice weather brings with it some more produce.

Fall is in the air here already which is nice after a long hot summer.  We started out our year here in Michigan with temps. in the 80's in January and February so it has been a long one for us.  Hubby and I head to Mackinaw Island in a few weeks for our annual stay and I can't wait.  It has been a busy summer for us all and time has been at a minimum for all of us.  We will spend four days on an island that has no motor vehicles and the only means of transportation is our bikes or horse and buggies.  I am taking my Kindle and my socks I am knitting and that will be my week.

Our farm was featured a few weeks ago on the Farmmade they did an interview and posted pictures of our farm all week.  A new adventure for us and it was very exciting for me!  You can see the story on their facebook page here: Farmmade  Their website isn't up and running yet but you can sign up for a notification when it is.  The site is here and it tells a little more about them.

We spent last weekend butchering 50+ chickens for the freezer and finally picked up the rest of the hay we needed to get us through winter.  That was a relief, because of the weather there was a shortage and I wasn't sure I would get enough.  Although I had to pay double what I had paid this past spring, I am thankful that the barn is full.

Youngest daughter finished off her quilt with Great-grandma Joyce this past week. I was so proud of her!
Garden goodies!

Tomatoes canned

Green beans canned

There is a lot of this going on now with school underway.

Josh the rock hound and I have started his science for the year. He is excited!

Kayla has taken over the job of grooming rabbits with Nolan off to college.

The view from my kitchen window

Chores made fun with the quad

New batch of meat birds and egg layers

Roasted veggies for dinner

more chores

 Black and Yellow Garden spider
Argiope aurantia


With prices being what they are, I am making syrup with the recipe here the kids love it and I know what is in it! 

Packaging chickens

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Photos on the Farm

Youngest can sleep anywhere....


Getting ready to go to her new home

Garage sale finds.  I have grand plans for these!

Another $5 find.  This is getting a coat of chalk paint.

On my needles, a prayer blanket for injured solider.

one sock down, one to go! I took a sock class this summer

From my Fiber Festival trip last weekend.  It just screams "More Socks!" to me.

Getting the school books out and ready for next week.

Angora yarn getting ready to be shipped.

Marigolds

Zinnias

Nasturtium

Freedom rangers, going to the freezer in the morning!  I am so impressed with this breed. We will be raising them again next summer!

New Addition to the goat area

Tiny Tim is doing well!

The cukes are finally coming on!

The Hungarian peppers are about the only thing doing well in the garden this year.

Some are turning, most are green though!

Another 16 year old in the house, Happy Birthday!




Monday, August 20, 2012

Bittersweet

Today is the day I have been dreading for 18 years.  The Eldest leaves for college.  We will move him onto campus and leave him for a week.  A very long week in this mom's eyes.  We have trained and taught this child to the best of our abilities.  I think that is what makes this day harder on me is that I have spent the last 10+ years homeschooling him and being spoiled with always having him here with us everyday.  That is all about to change.  I know God has grand plans for this child.  I am thankful he will be close, the college he was originally set on was 13 hours away from us.  He will only be 20 minutes away now and home on the weekends, I am very thankful.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

English Angora Rabbits for Sale



I still have 4 English angoras babies and 2 older English angoras left for sale!  Contact me if you are interested!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dying Angora Fiber

Younger daughter and I spent Saturday afternoon dying some angora fiber. It had been so long since I had done this last! It was so much fun, although I realized I tend to gravitate towards the same colors. I will be doing more this week and will have to make myself step outside the box. I have used all kinds of dyes before, kool-aid, nature stuff like golden rod, and even the usual fabric acid dyes. My favorite (especially with the kiddos helping) is the cake dye gels. You can get them in any craft store and they have a huge assortment of colors. I have found that the colors are really nice and bright and the only two other ingredients you need are vinegar and water. If you want to try this at home for a fun experiment or homeschool project, you don't even need the fiber. You can purchase a skein or two of white yarn (just your basic type yarn) and the cake gel colors of your choice. Get a stainless steel pot, put in water, the gel (the amount will depend on how much color you want in your yarn), pour in some vinegar and put it on the stove. You will have to "undo" your yarn skein by wrapping it around your arms or the back of a chair to get it out of the ball. Put the yarn in the pot and bring to a boil. Your yarn will grab the color as it cooks. If it isn't grabbing enough add some more vinegar. When it has grabbed all the color it can, your water will be clear again. Dump the yarn into the sink, in a strainer of some kind and rinse. You can wash out the vinegar smell with a gentle soap. Hang the skein somewhere to dry and you have created your own color yarn! The kids will love this!