Monday, October 13, 2014

Where to start??????



I have been such a bad blogger, I don't even know how I got new followers but WELCOME! With Fall/Winter here I might have more time to post :)))

Where to start. Well we had some bad over the Summer. Remember my "free range" bunnies that my pet bunny Ellie had. First off those little ones dug several holes under the fence to get out of the chicken pen so after two years of living free willy nilly with the chickens Miss Ellie went missing :/ She either got out (thanks to her kids) or something got in (thanks to her kids) and took her. I miss seeing her everyday :( Shortly after that one of her kids showed up paralyzed and then another one was paralyzed. We put them down since they weren't able to move and after much Googling I've come up with the conclusion that they had E. cuniculi. I really enjoyed seeing them running all over the yard, playing in the barn, sitting on the back porch, and circling my feet when it was time for food. I won't ever let another bun be on the ground and I am lucky my meat rabbits weren't affected by the disease.

My female goat Lady came to me one day limping. When the hubs came home we got her on the stand and he found a thumb tack in her hoof. I guess I had dropped one when I was putting up fly tape. That hole became infected and her limp got worse. I went to the feed store and bought Kopertox. We used it on her hoof everyday for about a week and she healed up. I was super stressed about that too but VERY thankful that she is okay :)

Bub my goat buck is triple stinky this year. I guess since I have 2 females he's got to try harder. I can smell him on my back porch, it's really foul :p

We have been eating more rabbit. Our neighbor smoked one for us and we had bbq sliders. I cooked one and shredded the meat for rabbit tacos. That was pretty good too. My next meal will be rabbit chili. I make a white chili with chicken and I'm going to substitute rabbit. I can't wait to try it. I might not tell the kids and see if they notice a difference, lol! My fur tanning is going better. I can't say it's perfect yet, but I did get a compliment from my dad, so it's a little better and I'm ready to make my fur purse! With the price of meat at the store and the unknowns of that meat. I'm very thankful and grateful for my rabbits :))))

The hubs traded a truck for a fifth wheel. I talked him into not selling it so we can have it for an emergency. It was a hunting trailer and I'm in the process of cleaning it up a bit. I'm going to keep it masculine for resale but cleaner so if it needs to be home during a power outage it will be cozy :) I will post pics of my progress soon. So far I've only painted the ceiling. There is a reason humans don't look up all the time. It hurts!!!!!!

The last few weeks most of us (me included) have been sick with some weird gastrointestinal/respiratory virus. It has hung around for weeks. We are all just now starting to feel better. With all the crazy sickness out in the world, getting sick is scary.

Reading this makes me wonder what I actually do everyday besides stress and worry. It doesn't sound like I'm very busy but I am. Tonight I'm going to my first ever bee club meeting. I need to reconnect with my friends so I will be able to get bee's this Spring.

Enjoy the day ya'll, it's raining buckets here!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On the Fritz!!!!

My computer is on the fritz and as usual I really don't have time to mess with it :/ So I have been reading blogs when I have the patience but haven't been commenting because my patience usually runs out, lol!!!

The little one started school last week. I'm still not used to the alarm, it's loud. I prefer waking up on my own. On the bright side I only have 172 more days of screeching :/ My older daughters start school tomorrow. Both will be in High School and one will graduate. Where did the time go??? My birthday is also coming up (Friday) and I turn the big 40...................Where did my youth go??? I still feel like a kid and forty always seemed so OLD!

Our weather this year was so WEIRD! It was strangely Fall like for a few weeks but it seems Summer finally found us. This is also the first year that I haven't wanted a storm cellar (we had zero tornados) but a ton of earthquakes :/  The bugs, oh man the bugs this year are unreal! Flies have taken over my barnyard, it's a constant battle to keep everything as clean as possible but they still find something that interests them. This is the first year we have had aphids in the garden and also those damn blister beetles. They are working on my tomato plants again as I type :/

Our peach harvest this year wasn't as great as last year but I did make nine pints of yummy jam :)



My pet bunny that ran around the chicken yard went missing about a week ago. She was two years old and the first bunny ever born here, I miss her :(


My chickens have hatched out babies again :/ So far there is only one. I wasn't even sure the eggs were fertile, well they were lol! Chicken count=who knows!!!

Bub my goat buck is stinkin' up to high heaven. We were going to trim his hooves on Friday but got lazy and he went into rut the next day. Lesson learned there, lol!


I found an amazing deal at the feed store. Seed packs were 10 for a $1!!! I got 40 packs of seed for $4 some are heirloom. One pack retailed for $4, so I was pleased with this find!!!!!
My last visit to the grocery store renewed my desire to grow as much of our food as possible. Meat is outrageous and the quality of everything is poor!

Tomorrow I'm gardening all day, the little one has decided to ride the bus home from school which gives me the whole day to get things done. I hope she likes riding the bus. This might be the year I actually get my crap together!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

CRAP!!!!!

I found the missing blister beetles.......
They have moved on to my big garden and are doing work on my tomatoes! It only took them two days to demolish the volunteer tomato plant in the cantaloupe patch. I squirted a couple with wasp spray, not sure if it killed them. I despise pesticides and have worked really hard not to use them but I'm not losing my tomato's to these guys. So this evening, against my own gardening rules, the bugs will die. I hate this, but I really love my tomato's :(

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bug Update

Since I was a wee bit skittish of getting blisters on my hands. I had a great plan to grab the top of the plant with tongs, quickly snip the bottom of the plant with scissors, fling it on the ground and the stomp the daylights out of the bugs with my boots. So boots on, tongs and scissors in hand I walk over to the plant.........
I wouldn't call it a plant anymore, it's all stems no leaves and no bugs. They ate their fill last night and moved on. Hopefully not to the cantaloupe plant............
In other news. I'm obsessed with getting my rabbit furs done right. I had two that I did a little different, they didn't stink like crap and turned out pretty good. Then I had four more that I did my old way, well they stunk like crap and the fur slipped again, total waste of time. So today I watched this skinny Cajun fellow on YouTube do about twenty different furs. They turned out pretty good, so in a couple weeks when we butcher buns again, I'm trying it his way. I hope it works out because I'm obsessed with figuring this out!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Anybody know what kinda bug this is??????? +UPDATE




Carolyn the bug guru answered this on FB! It's a blister beetle. Those of you that have them don't squish them they will give you blisters. According to Carolyn they demolish tomato plants quickly. When I googled blister beetles it says they eat bee's and grasshoppers too. They are covering this plant. I would say there is one per leaf so I am going to attempt to murder the whole lot of them in the morning :)

Cantaloupe is ready!

 


A raccoon had a nice treat last night :/ I'm leaving this one in hopes they will finish this meal and not start on another one. The leaves on this plant are hideous. We had aphids for the first time ever and I did nothing to kill them except wipe the leaves with my hand, spray them with water, and let the ladybugs do there thing. I'm surprised we even have a harvest.



Got my first ever Maran eggs yesterday!!!! The one on the right looks weird but I love it! My Maran hatch was dreadful and I ended up with what seemed like all roosters. I knew I had at least one hen, well I guess I have two. YEAH ME!!!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer

Since I haven't posted in a month some of my sweet blog friends have wondered where I've been. Well, I've been busy, just like many of my fellow homesteaders. There is never enough time in the day and to add to my normal crazy, the family and I have taken day trips almost every weekend in July. The first trip wasn't really a trip but a family gathering for the fourth. We stayed out late, so I prayed the chickens would be safe when we got back and they were. The next trip was floating down the Illinois river. That was fun and we got there early enough we were back home by 6. I was totally sunburnt after that one :/ One weekend we took some rabbit and veggies to a friends house. He slow cooked the rabbit on the Hasty Bake and grilled up the veggies. Best meal EVER. We stayed there really late. I worried about the chickens all the way home and they were fine. Our latest outing was The Center of the Universe Festival. It's an all weekend music fest. My older girls were going and we happened upon some cheap tickets so we were there with them. I'm glad we went since there was some creepy people and we were only a phone call away if they needed us. The music was meh, UNTIL, I sat next to a fella sitting on a curb playing a washboard. We talked for awhile, he said his band played bluegrass and they were just killing time before their gig at a bar down the road. Best part of the night! I sat on that curb getting my hee haw on and by the time the kids were done watching their show, the band was packing up to head to the bar. So once again we stayed out late and I worried about the chickens all the way home and they were fine :)
School starts in about 11 days. Summer went by too fast. I can honestly say I didn't get everything I wanted to do done, not even close. I did sew myself a dress. It's not perfect but I love it! I'm also working on a crocheted purse. I'm pretty sure I've been working on it for six months but it's almost done :) I want to make some harvest aprons for me and my friend but before that I need to hem skirts, finish my bee suit, and make a lady a nap mat for her kid. It never ends......

If you guys are still harvesting jalapenos, you have to try this recipe, it's yummy!

Cowboy Candy

  • 3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapenos washed
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 12 tsp celery seed
  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Remove the stems from the peppers. Slice them into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside
In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic, and cayenne to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean jars to within 1/4 inch of rim. Turn the heat up under the pot and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes. use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Wipe the rims of the jars and put the lids on. Process for 10 minutes for half pints or 15 minutes for pints in boiling water. Allow to mellow for a month before eating

*I think the trick is to cook down the peppers. The last time I made these mine didn't cook down so when I put them in the jar it was full. Once they came out of the boiling water bath it was all juice and very little peppers. Just make sure your peppers are cooked down so your jar stays full :)))