Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Making salve for a friend

I got a facebook message from a friend asking for help with their dog. She had been using my healing salve on the dog's "hot spots" and could I make some more. So I did a little research and came up with an anti itch salve. I used 1/2c lavender infused olive oil, 1/2c calendula infused olive oil and a teaspoon of tea tree oil. I figured the lavender oil would help stop the itching, the calendula oil would help sooth the skin and the tea tree oil would kill what ever fungus was causing the itch. I melted in beeswax and now have the jars resting.

It was one of those interesting timing deals. I have been on a quest for beeswax that I did not have to buy online. A woman I sold goats to gave me the name of a local beekeeper who sold raw honey and beeswax. Farr Better Honey. ( I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to create a link to his website but am too computer illiterate to figure it out! So, you can find him at He is local so I called him up and met him at his warehouse, thus not having to pay shipping! I could not believe the deal on wax, I bought a 1 pound bar for $6.

I bought 2 for now. His raw Honey sells for about $5 a pound, that's a bit high for me but I really made out on the wax so I bought 3 pounds of raw honey.

While there, I had my youngest with me who asked a million questions and wanted to SEE everything. Mr. Farr showed us how he puts the frames through a machine to uncap the cells and then they are placed in the extruder which spins the honey out of the frame and into a tank. The honey is then sucked through a pipe and into a dispensing tank. From that tank the honey is poured into the containers. His honey is never heated. It was a great experience learning about the process and he told me he would be at the local festival raffling off a bee hive! I do believe it's worth a try!
I'm really happy I found a beekeeper for my honey and wax needs. He even offered to meet me half way when I needed more! Talk about great service. His wife gave me a FREE sample of their Springtime honey to try. She said to let her know how it tasted. She doesn't eat honey because after working with it all day she can't think of eating it. I am going to eat it, put it in my salves, make scrubs and face masks with it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Three Little Piggies...

We did it. The Pigpen was built...or added on. My Hubby fixed this up with wood from his "stash", a skid we picked up( we actually have a stock pile of these too, never know what you can use them for) and hinges left behind by the previous home owner. I have to say for a hoarder, she had some good stuff we could use!

Today after church we met up with our pig guy and picked up our three piglets. I LOVE them! They grunt and squeal and dig in the dirt! Right now they are checking out their new home. We thought about doing pastured pigs, but we don't have the set up or the finances to get proper fencing for that project. We might get there one day, but for now we have to work with what we do have. I am still in charge of what gets put into them, no growth hormones, no antibiotics. Just good feed, goats milk and some eggs thrown in and lots of water. We are hoping to keep two for the freezer and sell one.

I would really like to know why the piggies were building houses and the big bad wolf was blowing them down, we have already had to do some damage control as the little piggies showed us the weak spots in our pen arrangement. I guess that is the learning curve.

It's a beautiful day and I am enjoying the sounds of the farm, from the chickens, goats, dogs and pigs!
S M B 324905 1/2"Cattle Hog Nipple Drinker Stainless Steel

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Father's Day....

When I was about 10 or 11 years old we spent the summers hanging out in the creek behind our house. The creek wasn't very deep, a few deeper holes here and there and for the most part, quite calm. Now we were allowed to play in the section that had the slow moving water but just over a ridge of rocks the water became shallower and swifter moving. The rule was we were not allowed to go over the ridge. At the preteen age of 11 I liked to press that boundary, floating just to the ridge and then stopping myself before going over it. Then it happened I pressed my luck and lost. I was swept over the ridge and into the swift water. I caught myself on a rock and held on for dear life. I can still feel the fear. As I clung to the slimy rock I was screaming for help. I looked at the bank of the creek and all my friends were standing there watching me. Didn't they see that I was about to be swept into the Lehigh River? Didn't they know I was going to drown. Finally, one of my brothers ran for my parents. I could hear my mom calling, "Missy! Stand up!" She never did understand me. I couldn't stand up the rocks were slimy and the water was so fast. I could feel it pressing on my shoulders trying to rip me from my rock. I knew if I let go that was the end.
Then my Daddy showed up with a rope. He waded into the water and stood in the safe side, the calm side of the rocks. "Missy, catch the rope." "I can't let go Daddy" "I'll pull you up, catch the rope." My dad tossed the rope...I missed it and he tossed it again. This time I managed to grab the rope and I could feel his strength through the rope."Now stand up Missy." Clinging to rope now wrapped around my hands, I stood up. The water was just above my ankles. My dad did not tease me, did not shake his head is disappointment, he just pulled me to him and hugged me.
A few short years later, I lost my Daddy due to a car accident. I was so very angry for a long time. Angry with God for taking my father, my hero. I decided that God didn't care for me so I wouldn't care for him. I rebelled, I pushed the boundaries. I didn't join a gang or start traffic-ing drugs, but I sinned knowingly, openly. I had a void in my life and tried to fill it with whatever felt good at the time. I heard God telling me to stop, almost begging me to stop. You know when people say God always gives you an "out" when you are tempted to do's true. I heard him, I saw the "outs", I ignored him. I had a child outside of marriage and then again another child with another man(now my husband)I can't remember what it was that stopped me in my tracks, what triggered a reaction, but suddenly I was very sad. I knew I was living wrong. I knew I had disrespected my Heavenly Father. I could feel the water rushing over me again. I could feel that rock in my arms, the fear that if I let go, all was lost. And then I felt Him there, on the safe side, the calm side and He said "Melissa, catch the rope." "Father, I can't. I don't deserve the rope." "I'll pull you up, catch the rope." Jesus was there. He did not scold me, he held me and told me he loved me and would always be there for me. I began to see the water was only at my ankles, I could make changes in my life, I gained perspective, grew my confidence back.
I still sin. I still press the boundaries. But I know my Heavenly Father loves me no matter what and He will always be there with the rope...
So Happy Father's day to my Earthly Daddy, now in heaven, who gave me a glimpse of God. And Happy Father's day to my Heavenly Father who has shown me His unending love for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I've been doing...

Making cheese, Hubby loves coming home to finding cheese balls hanging from the cupboards...

Attempting to make soap...This batch ended up becoming laundry soap...waste not want not!

Attempted to make bread again and instead made bricks...again not wanting to waste all that hard work I threw chunks into the blender and made bread crumbs which worked really well for my homemade chicken tenders.

These are those baking soda shower discs. They are supposed to be like the Vicks Vapor discs, But I wasn't too thrilled about them. They did brighten up my shower floor though, even if they didn't open up my nose. I got more vapors making them then using them.

Potting my herbs I love growing plants and walking by running my fingers through them and smelling their wonderful fragrances.
My Hubby left his Gas job and went back to working for himself...We prayed about it for months before making that decision He was gone for 8 days home for 3 and with the farm stuff and our children it was taking it's toll. Amazingly circumstances all fell together making it possible for him to go back into business and be able to be home. God is GREAT! I truly believe God is in charge and I see him working in our lives. So we planted this tree to remind us of taking the leap of faith. Then we planted fruit trees and berry bushes...really planting roots at home.

Hubby built a shed to sell out of stuff here at the house

We went berry picking together. Hubby did much better this year picking. The last time we did this together he ate more than he picked! I love it when he does stuff like that because he is usually so focused on the goal that he works non stop. Apparently that work ethic does not apply tp berry picking! But I made 35pints of strawberry jam and quite a few servings of strawberry shortcake.
Then we moved onto getting more goats!

This is Grace, an Alpine Doe...really nice goat, great weed eater!

These are her bucklings they only stayed with a a few weeks, I sold them to another homesteader who has an issue with poison ivy. She named them Stihl and M'owen.

Ummm...Hubby and our buck Potter working out some testosterone in the goat yard...I don't ask, I just try to capture these moments

We drove to NY to get a new Lamancha and her two kids, but once we were there the Lamancha was much smaller than expected but she had this Saanan and her doeling for sale, cheaper than the lamancha!Her name is Willow and she is much bigger than this picture shows and STRONG, Hubby wants to build a cart for her to pull. But she is an excellent milker. The previous owner was not milking her. Said the last time she milked her she was getting a half gallon a day. She gives me a GALLON a day...Between the three milkers, Molly, Grace and Willow, I get 2-2 1/2gallons of milk a day!

This is her daughter Sandy she is also large and I believe will be a good milker when it's her turn.

This is a pot of yogurt. I have got to find ways to use up all this milk! The yogurt is perfect for the kids for smoothies. Also making ice cream, and buttermilk...who knew how easy making buttermilk was. I just added a 1/2c. of regular buttermilk to a quart of milk and let it sit on the counter overnight. Then back into the fridge and it is ready for use!

This is the start of the solar electric fence we are stringing in the field to pasture all the goats. It will cut back on feed and we can get another steer to raise without worrying where to put it!

This is the separation fence we added to the goat yard to keep the kids(goats, not mine) outside and away from the bigger goats that bully them. I didn't even get pics of the other stuff we are doing. I have got to show you Hubby's chicken tractor built with stuff we have laying around, our garden and my children who are growing as fast as the weeds!
I feel so blessed with all that God has provided for about overflowing!