I had several nice cotton oxford type shirts that had gotten some stains on the sleeves and such plus they were too big for me now. However, they were really cute shirts with cute designs on the front and I hated to get rid of them. So I re-purposed them. I made dresses for my 3 year old out of them. I cut off the sleeves and used those for handkerchiefs (do stains really matter when blowing your nose?). Then I cut the bottom off just shy of the last button. I then folded the shirt in half and cut a new sleeve and side panel in an A frame to fit. I then took the collar and folded in farther than the normal collar and cut straight up the middle in the back. By dong this it made a Peter Pan shaped collar on the dress that when tacked down stayed in place. Some rick-rack edging on the collar hide the cut in the back. The just hem and sew all the seems and you have a cute little A-line dress for a toddler or little one. I wish I could take pics to show you but since the camera is dead, hopefully you can visualize. Happy sewing, Kat
Whisper Wind Country Store
Monday, April 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I have several throw pillows on my couches and chairs, that the cover is pure worn out. However, I didn't want the throw them away because the stuff and fluff is fine and they sure are comfy to lay on for that Sunday afternoon nap! So.....what am I to do? Well, as I have been cleaning out clothes and such I had several t-shirts that I really didn't want to get rid of, but we never wore them either. I took the t-shirts, cut the neck straight across and then with the shirt inside out I stitched up the neck line. I cut of the sleeves and stitched that closed also. Then I slipped the pillow inside the t-shirt, cut as much off the bottom as I needed to and hand stitched the bottom of the shirt closed. I suppose I could have made a fancy button closure, but that would have taken too much time. Hand stitching is something I can do at night while the tv is blaring. So with the t-shirts, I now have new throw pillows. They are good and broke in for my Sunday nap and they didn't cost me a dime. Can't get any better than that. Blessings from the farm, Kat
Well, I have decided since I have a surplus of eggs at the moment that I am going to save the eggs for the next few days and then incubate them. My husband and I built our own incubator and it cost us nothing. So I thought I would describe our very simple incubator for anyone who would like to build their own. We took a large cardboard box that we had laying around waiting for a use or the compost pile. We cut the flaps off on the top and taped the bottom completely closed. All edges and gaps were sealed with duct tape (my favorite farm tool). Then we had some styrofoam insulation board hanging around left over from a project which we used to line the entire inside of the box. We then took another piece of cardboard that just a little larger than the opening of the boxing and taped some insulation board on that so that if it was set on top of the box the insulation board would fit snug inside the lip of the box. We then took an old lamp and took off the light bulb part and the elecric wiring. This is where my hubby came in, because I don't do electricity. He rewired a new cord (since the old one had been cut off) so that it could be plugged in. We then cut a hole in the side of the box, duct taped the light fixture in place and put in a 60 watt light bulb. You have to use a regular light bulb as the fluorescents don't give off any heat, and heat is what you are looking for. Our only purchase was the 2 dollar outdoor thermometer that we purchased at the dollar store. We placed the thermometer in the box down at the bottom where the eggs would be. Then I got a small shallow dish of water and placed that under the light bulb. The light bulb was located near the top of the box, so there was a good bit of space between the two. I then took an egg carton and cut the top off. I took a dozen eggs that had not been refrigerated and marked an x on one side of them with a crayon. Then I placed the eggs sideways on the egg carton pieces so that each egg had a little space around it. I turned the eggs several times a day until I think about day 25 or so. I would have to look that up to make sure that is the right day that you are supposed to stop turning. On day 30 we started hearing little chirping and pipping noises. For our first time we didnt have a great hatch rate, 7 of the 12 hatched. Two were stuck to the shells (to dry in the incubator) and died while trying to get clear of their shell. One more died within the first 24 hours, it was pretty week after hatching and we figured it wouldn't make it. So we had 4 that stayed in the house for several weeks. They were doing quite well and we finally moved them out to the chicken house. At night we kept them locked up in a large dog cage to protect them from the big chickens. Unfortunately, the cage did not protect them from whatever got into the chicken house during the day and killed all 4 of them. We think it was a stray cat, but weren't sure. Well, the chicken house has since been resecured and so far so good. Now we have an abundance of eggs and until someone starts buying these things, we have to do something. So, I thought we would try the incubation thing again....so that we can have more eggs we can't eat fast enough or give away to enough people (makes sense huh?). Maybe we will have lots of little roosters that can go in the freezer. That is my hope anyway. I have some black australorps and they are supposed to be pretty good at going broody. Ours are young and have just been laying for a couple months now so maybe broodiness hasn't kicked in. Watch with my luck I will start incubating eggs and a hen will go broody, then we will have more baby chicks than you can shake a stick at running around here. Ah, well....life on the farm is never dull. Anyway, back to the incubator. You can use a styrofoam cooler, but I didn't have one and the 10 dollars that they cost was more than I was willing to pay for my little experiment. Some people even put computer fans in theirs to move the air around a bit and get more even temps. I might do that on my next one. I have a couple of computer towers sitting around waiting to be destroyed so that is definitely an option. It is a good science project for the children anyway and loads of fun to see those babies hatching! Blessings from the farm, Kat
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Wow, seems like this month is flying by. There seems to be so much to do and so little time. The weather is also horrendous. We are about 13 degrees above average in temperatures. It really makes me wonder how badly we are going to suffer this summer. The bugs are out in full force...much to early. Cool weather crops are suffering tremendously in this heat. The critters are doing fine. The hens are laying in full force these days and I have given quite a few dozen eggs away to family and friends. I am going to start advertising eggs and get them sold. We simply cannot use them all. I think I will be making an egg custard pie today and potato salad for supper tonight. Boiled eggs are the staple snack food around here. I am working on getting back to my summer routine of getting outside chores done earlier in the morning. It is a little difficult to get motivated to do such hard work so early in the morning. During the winter my mornings are a little slower paced and done still in my pjs. Kidding season started with a bang yesterday as we had triplets delivered...two boys, 1 girl. All are doing well and cute as little buttons. Mama is doing just fine and taking good care of those babies. The rest of the herd is very curious about the new additions. Mama and babies will stay to themselves today and possibly get out with the herd tomorrow. I will let mama out some to have some peace and graze by herself today. The ducklings are growing by leaps and bounds. They are still in the house at night, but not for much longer. They can see over the sides of their wagon. During the day they spend the day in the chicken coop with some time in their little "pool" for swimming. The rabbits are bred again and this will probably be the last litter for both does before summer. That will give us a good amount of rabbit in the freezer to get through the summer. They are enjoying their breezeway in the goat barn and I am really glad we moved them there as they will get more fresh air moving through this summer. This are going much better with my oldest. We have smoothed out quite a few issues and are more back to normal. We are still working on spring cleaning around the farm. We have already started on next winter's wood supply. It will be nice to get it all put up, if we can, before the heat of summer really gets here. Like I said it is unusually hot around here and we are fearing for a terribly hot summer. The farmer's almanac was right on with the winter forecast for us, but it has been dead wrong about spring. We will see how it goes for summer. They say we will be below normal for temps....it isn't looking like it so far. We are gearing up for canning season, by starting out with jellies. The berries will be coming in soon and that is always our start for the year. Looking forward to that strawberry jam and strawberry preserves. We don't need much jelly this year as we still have quite a bit left from last year. Some jelly we don't like so I will dump those, like the watermelon jelly. It really doesn't taste all that great and I only made a few jars thank goodness. We still have a lot of pickles from last year so will be eating quite a few pickles to try and move them out since it won't be long before cucumbers are coming in. And yes, I still have sewing that didn't get finished this past winter so I still need to get on that. So much to do and so little time in the day. Well, that is about it for now. Have a blessed day and hope your spring is a productive one.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Yesterday I posted a video about the senator saying that he was concerned about the island of Guam tipping over if we put troops there. I have since found out that the man has hepatitis, which has destroyed his liver and damaged his brain. So, I apologize for being so cold hearted. It was cruel of Pelosi and the other democrats to throw this man to the wolves by putting him on the spot knowing that he could say possibly anything, making himself look like a fool. You would think that his own party might at least look out for him a little bit. Anyway, knowing the details I feel awful for calling the man stupid. Instead, he is sick. He should not be a congressman either way, but I was ugly. So now you too know the details behind his remarks. The admiral was much kinder than I was. Blessings from the farm, Kat
Friday, April 2, 2010
I am finding that I constantly have to re-organize things as our lives change and the farm changes or grows. I used to use a home binder and highly recommend it for those just starting out. I have several older posts about it and how I adapted its use to farm life. However, as the farm duties grew and my children's activities grew I have had to change how I do things around here. It got to the point that I spent more time organizing the binder than doing the chores. Now I use a large desk calendar that hangs on the door to the laundry room. It gives me plenty of space to write activities, outings and chores for the day. On the top of the calendar I write out chores for the kids that happen daily like making the bed, sweeping the kitchen and dining room, emptying the dishwasher, etc. My oldest is now doing her own laundry and so she has a laundry day in which the laundry room and clothesline are all hers. I have chores that are done daily and other chores are written on the day that they are done. For instance, I vacuum on Mondays and Thursdays. I clean the bathrooms on Mondays and Fridays. I mop the kitchen floor on Tuesdays and Fridays and the dining room on Tuesdays. I have done the same thing with the farm chores that don't need to be done daily, but do need to be done regularly. I find that this is working out much better as the farm grows. Organization is something that I have always struggled with and something that I am reworking on a regular basis. Right now, we just have too much stuff and so my goal this year is to really downsize all of our clutter. Part of this problem came when my mother in law died. She was a hoarder. My brother in law still has tons of her stuff, truckloads(literally) were donated and given away. Lots was thrown away and then many things came here to live with us or be sold on ebay. Many things didn't sell and are just sitting in boxes. We are going to have a large yard sale and then many things will go to a consignment shop. I have also already taken several carloads to be donated to the Faith Rescue Mission. I am also tired of cleaning family heirlooms, so I am going to be boxing those up for storage in the studio. The girls can then have these boxes when they start their own homes. I simply have gotten to where I cannot stand all of this stuff any longer. To me the heirlooms while precious are a burden. I think this is simply because we have so many from so many different people....my grandmothers, my father, his parents, his grandparents, both of our great-grandparents, etc. etc. I don't want to get rid of these things, but I am so tired of cleaning them all the time. And to put it frankly, I don't have the time to clean them all the time. Or I could do like my great-grandmother did with her heirlooms. She rotated them with the seasons. Every three months or so she would box up what was in the house, put them into the storage shed and take into the house boxes of different heirlooms. Each box was marked with the season that she would change it out in. I probably will do something like that, but instead of every 3 months or so...may every 6 months have a few boxes to be changed out. I also am on the warpath with our books. We have so many we could open our own library and the bookshelves are threatening to take over our house. We have our favorite authors and a large collection of classics. But we also have books that we have never read and probably will never read as they really are not things that we read. So those will be taken to the book traders and we will get a credit for books that we will use for school or will read. Maybe I can even get rid of a couple of bookshelves in the house. I love books, but they do take up lots of space and I think 10 very large bookshelves in the house and 3 in the studio is a bit much. Not to mention it is impossible to keep all those books dust free. Well, I guess that is enough of a rant about my spring cleaning and organizational woes. It is 7 am, time to wake the troops and get to work! Hope your day is a productive one! Blessings, Kat
Folks in town really don't know what spring cleaning is. They clean out closets and drawers, yes. They might even have a garage that needs some clutter removal and tidying up. However, there is nothing like spring cleaning around a farm. It seems like winter no matter how harsh or mild really takes on toll on the tidy, clean and neat appearance of a little farm. Repairs that were quickly made with frozen hands result in tools left where they lay. The huge pile of wood chips in front of the house where the wood was split in need of going into the compost pile or rose garden. The tree limbs laying everywhere from the winter winds. The stuff that you thought possibly still had some use is still sitting in front of the tool shed waiting for your imagination to find some purpose for it. The screened porch that caught everything from everywhere needs to be sorted, emptied, cleaned and tidied. The barns, pens, and sheds all need to be cleaned of their winter deep bedding. Yes, spring cleaning on the farm is a huge and daunting chore. So that is what things look like around here. Kidding season will begin for us in 15 days, give or take a day or two. So we have been cleaning and organizing and de-cluttering so that the farm is once again a tidy little oasis in this vast world of ours instead of the junkyard it gets to looking like over the winter. Today, thunder will be in charge of mowing the yard. The goats will be given the duty of weed eating. They are much more efficient at this job than any gas powered tool sold by the big box stores. My husband is on limb and yard trash duty. All of that will be burned and then the potash spread in the garden and pastures to add phosphorus to our soil which is lacking. We have cleaned out the chicken coop and the horse barn, leading to a great start on a new compost pile that will grow tremendously. The rabbit cages have been thoroughly scrubbed and now the goat barn is getting a good cleaning out. We have a lot of painting to do this spring and most of that duty will go to the children since it is outside painting. The repairs on the roof of the tool shed are still on the list to be done as last year flew by and it kept getting put off. Spring is definitely here and so the work load has tripled. So much for the relaxing days of winter! Hope your spring is just as blissful as ours!
Oh my goodness, I just became aware of this Congressman's idiocy! This is a congressman from Georgia. They must be so proud. Just take a look at the video and his comments about what his fears are for the island of Guam if we add 8000 marines and their families there....
Did you hear that? Did he really say that he was afraid the island would tip over and capsize?! Do we really elect these kind of "thinkers" to public office? Unbelievable! Hats off to the Admiral though for not losing it and laughing in the Congressman's face. I don't think I could have played it so cool.