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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Its cold, I dont like it, I stay in here

Our weather has went from nice spring like temps to severe thunderstorms to lots of rain to below freezing and snow now this evening. We are now supposed to get up to 2 inches of snow tonight. And highs tomorrow in the 20's. The old saying is "if you don't like Kentucky weather hang around a day or so and it will change". I think this is true. It is tough in this kind of weather to keep water out for all the critters. The chickens especially drink far more than I could imagine. Not to mention what Luna and the cats consume. Even in this cold weather the hens seem to be laying better. I have more young pullets that are starting to lay now as well. The older hens are laying about every other day as best I can tell from the egg colors I get. I still need to thin the flock out a bit. I don't have a need for 20 laying hens on the place. We use eggs but not THAT many. I did go out long enough to let the chickens out for the afternoon and get things from the cellar for supper. If we get snow over night I plan to stay in here all day tomorrow and not get out at all. Might be a good day to sew. Or not. If its cold outdoors it just seems to drain my energy. All I want to do is curl up on the couch with a magazine or read books on my Kindle for PC. On the farm that has always been what winter is about. It was a time to rest and plan for the following season of work. Kinda nice, almost like a mental vacation. It also gives me time to explore websites on the computer and learn new things. Some good, some not so much. Sometimes you learn stuff you really may be better off not knowing. Like some studies now hint that the sudden surge of children with ADHD and hyperactivity may be connected to the mercury used as a preservative in childhood vaccines. One in particular is the injection given to infants at birth. It is a Hepatitis shot that according to some doctors (including one doc at UK college of medicine) says that the single injection contains the amount of mercury allowed for a 275 lb adult and it is given to an infant. Mercury kills neurons so directly effects nerves. No wonder so many children are hyper. See I should not have read or known about that. Well yes I do need to be aware of that fact as I will have a new grand baby this year. Anyway there are tons of info on all subjects out there to read about and learn. So I google and read and learn things pertinent to my life here on the farm. I don't always remember everything I read but its in my head somewhere. I just cant recall all of it at one time.

I am kinda looking forward to spring and flowers blooming, being able to work in the yard, clean my herb bed up, witness the new growth and Gods promise of another season. To plant a garden is to have hope in tomorrow.

Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where the hell have I been?

That is a good question. I have links here to many blogs that I love to read and keep up with. Duh! thas why they are here. But I have fallen short on reading and keeping up with these wonderful folks. I noticed a snippet of one of my faves that they have bought a new house. How wonderful for them. I have never met them in person but from her writing you can just tell they are good honest hard working folks. ALL the blogs I follow see to be the same kind of people. How did I get so far behind reading their writings and keeping up with them? IDONTKNOW!! And thas my best answer. I feel like I have been in a fog for the past couple months. I guess maybe I got weighed down with all the family sickness and tragedies that started a few months ago. From my sweet aunt being diagnosed with cancer , losing a brother in law and that still seems so unreal, to losing a cousin by marriage to my uncle not doing well, and another cousin finding he has a tumor. Yeah I guess all this took a tole on me and my body and mind to an extent. Especially with fibro a body does not tolerate stress well. It will send you into a deep depression and fibro fog. But I am aware that this is what I am dealing with and just cope as best I can till it passes. And it will pass. I think at this point I am on the uphill swing. You know you are in a hole when you really don't want to interact with other human beings and lose your train of thought in the middle of a conversation. That is kinda em- bare -assing to say the least so you tend to avoid situations that cause you to bare your ass. And to think I used to blame this stuff on my pain meds till I learned more about fibromyalga. If you think I am crazy just google fibro and read the symptoms and I have all of them. Yep thas why I am up and nearly 4 in the morning doing a blog post, insomnia. Now when the insomnia passes I will sleep too much. Its a vicious cycle. But I am OK. Right?

Along with all the bad stuff has been some wonderful stuff too. I am really looking forward to flying to Las Vegas next month to Rob and Amoy's wedding. Yep they are finally getting married. Amoy sent me the link to the local newspaper where they applied for their marriage license. If you would like, you can see it HERE.Gosh this makes it so real that my lil boy is really getting married. Even tho they have been together for ever seems like and we claimed her as a daughter in law all along. But I am looking forward to having a fun few days celebrating the marriage with them in Vegas.

Meanwhile back at the farm, life goes on. Well not much life out there really. Too muddy to get in any of the beds. Oh gosh and the weather today was just like spring. It was 68 here today and by Thursday it is pose to be back down in the 30's for a high during the day. AND the damn furnace fan has died totally. Well don't ya jus know it will get colder than a well diggers azz in Utah. The fan was making a loud rubbing noise last week and then the noise went away. I was afraid to say anything to Rodger but he woke me from my nap this evening looking for the parts list again that HE had left in the floor in the utility floor from the last repair. So I guess now we will need to order a fan motor for the dang thing. I vote we order the whole fan assembly for just $65 more. I guess I will see tomorrow when he orders it online. But everything else here on the farm is OK. At least from where I sit. Even with all the added expense we didn't expect I am so thankful Rodger still has a job to pay the bills. Jason is still working and is happy in a relationship now. Not to mention I got a lil granddaughter in the deal. Love that youngin to pieces. We are blessed to still have a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs and each other. I shouldn't complain about anything. If we have a house we are better off than most, and if we have food we are better off than most, if we can pay our bills and still have a job to do so, we are far better of than most. So I guess really God has spoiled us with allowing us all these creature comforts that many don't have. And we have the nerve to allow ourselves (me) to get down in the dumps when we have so much more than many others. Our health is a blessing that matters most cause without that the other stuff matters not.

Over the weekend Rodger and I went out of town to let me go "shopping". If you know me at all, you can guess how long that took. It took 2 stores, I am done , we are goin home now. I had my gift card for TJ Maxx that I wanted to find something to take to Vegas to wear. Guess I just wanted to dress up a bit. Anywho I found 2 sweaters that I liked and found a more comfortable pair of shoes to wear with that "dress" to the wedding. I was happy. And we ran into Tammy, Tara and Zoe at the Maxx too and got to chat and hang out with them for a few minutes. They went to eat and we went on to Wally world to get dog food and a few other things, crap cant remember what else we got. But then it was on to the house. Good grief that short trip wore me out. Imagine me flying all day to get to Vegas. But we had a nice day and I got out of the house for a while. Oh yeah, I got fabric to work on Liam's lil quilt. Maybe, just maybe I will get motivated to get it done before he gets here. Hell it maybe be his high school graduation gift at this rate. I will work on it, I promise. Unless I keep finding stuff to keep me sidetracked. Yeah and I will take pictures too, IF  I can remember. Give me a break, at least I did get the curtains done for my new bedroom windows so its not like I am sleeping out in the open. I really felt like I was sleeping beside the sidewalk. And really I am. So now there is some privacy in there. We still don't have a door installed on the room yet but I had some curtains that I put on a tension rod and put up to give some more visual privacy in the bedroom. Even tho its only Rodger and me here at the house. Heaven forbid someone show up the day I sleep in and he invites them into the house and there I am just off the dining room, sleepin in my drawers on top of the cover. Most husbands would at least throw some covers on the half nude sleeping body, NO buddy not mine. And there I would be. So at least now no one can "look" straight in the room. To look now they have to move the curtain and if they do, they ain't welcome here. And I would sure tell em that. I can be an ass like that.

With all the nice warm weather today, sure as anything we will get some storms. We are getting the wind now and the forecast is for possible severe thunderstorms today. And of all things Luna had a big tick on her leg today. One of them that is all swollen up full of blood. She has scratched it off and broke it and had blood on her and when I got to checking her leg that is what it had been. Good grief its January. No tick in its right mind needs to be out right now. Or maybe they all need to come out so they can freeze to death Thursday when the temps drop down again.

The other day in a phone conversation with an online friend she was telling me that she had dehydrated some of her country eggs for later use as scrambled eggs while she had plenty. I would for sure trust her advice on doing this and I WILL do some like this soon. Thursday will be a good day while its colder and I can appreciate the added heat in the house. But she told me she whips them up like she is gonna make scrambled eggs to get a lil air in the mixture and then spreads it on the trays and puts in the dehydrator at 145 degrees till they are dry. Then she breaks them into chunks and puts em in the food processor of blender to make em finer. Then back on the trays till they are 100% dried. Then she pulverizes them and she stores hers in a jar in the freezer, which I what I would do also. But if you are fortunate enough to have tons of fresh eggs from your own hens then this might be an idea so you can at least have eggs to use when you don't have fresh ones. She said she uses about a tablespoon of powdered egg to 2 tablespoons of water and let them sit in the fridge all night and whip and use as you would fresh eggs. She said them make great scrambled eggs, and if she tells me that, I believe it. My hens work so hard to make good eggs for us and it almost seems unappreciative of me to not us them to the best of my ability. So I am gonna dry some in case the hens decide to take a break. So far they have laid great thru this winter. Even on the coldest days they still laid.

I enjoy doing this lil blog, for what lil its worth. I guess it does bring some enjoyment to some people around the world. But I got in a bad habit of not responding to the nice comments folks leave on the blog. I really do read them all and do appreciate you taking the time to post your comment, that takes your time and effort and for this I thank you from the bottom of my lil hillbilly heart. And I will do my best to get better and responding to the comments you. Sorry I guess this depression and brain fog has been worse than I was aware of till now.

Well it is almost time for Rodger to get up for work, so I thinks I will drink my coffee with him and maybe go on to bed a lil later this morning. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, January 25, 2013

I dont do nasty weather

Our weather turned to shit last evening and has been crappy all day today. We got rain, sleet and freezing rain all night and some today. Some parts of our state got snow. At this point I think I rather have the snow that this ice stuff we have. It was too slick to walk outside today. I went out earlier today to let the chickens out. That was a feat in itself. I opened the door on their building and they flew out the door and hit the ice coated slope in front of their building and slide down the lil bank. Really took them by surprise. Was funny to watch them stop dead in their tracks and then try to make it back to the building. Some not as smart as others stayed out in the icy stuff all day. I think they were glad to go back to roost this evening as they did go inside earlier than normal. You can say it is slick when the cats and Luna cant walk in the yard. I got a good laugh this afternoon. I went out on the front porch and as usual the lil possum that Rodger has named Weasel now got startled and took off. She was tryin to run down the sidewalk to go out back. Luna was running full speed from outback meeting Weasel head on. Weasel lost her traction and fell and Luna attempted to jump over her and lost her footing and fell on poor lil Weasel. You had to be there. The cat jumped up and hissed at Luna and Luna tucked her head and tail as if to say "sorry bout that" and made her way on the porch. The critters finally decided it was time to stay put somewhere and not try to walk or escape danger in this weather. I had to take it really easy as to not fall and kill me when I was out feeding the critters too. It would have been a good day to have ice cleats on ya shoes here.

I made chili for us for supper and made potato soup for Jason. Good hot food for a cold nasty day.He and Miranda ate with us after Jason came back from taking Mary Kay to work. It was far to slick for her to attempt to driver her lil car out of here. But he made it there and back and is going back to pick her up when she is off work tonight. Miranda stayed with us here at the house so she is not out in a vehicle on the road in case they should get stranded or God forbid have an accident. No matter how old my kids are I guess I still worry about them being out in bad weather. Guess once a mother always a mother.

I accidentally found a blog online that I love. The lady that does the blog I think is in Kentucky somewhere and she posts tons of great recipes on her blog. I guess what grabbed me was she cooks like we do. We don't dodge fat or count calories. We don't eat low fat or processed food. All and all we eat pretty healthy stuff. After all now they have decided that real butter is better for ya than margarine, and if you eat a really low fat diet most times you do miss out on the good fats that keep your cholesterol in balance. But THIS is her blog site. Have a look and enjoy her recipes. If you post a comment let her know how you found her blog. Anyway I made the brownie recipe she posted HERE. In the process of making the brownies I found out I needed to fill my sugar canister. So off to the summer kitchen I go, on the ice to get sugar. I made it there and back and got the brownies done. They turned out really good. And that is the first time I have made brownies from scratch in years, well since my kids were little. I guess just with Miranda being here today motivated me to think back on my boys being little and so I made the dessert. Funny how having young kids can bring back happy memories and for some reason it just gives me energy when she is here. She is a sweet child, very pleasant to be with. Now dang it I ain't goin out there no mo tonight or tomorrow IF it is still coated in ice.

For all my friends out there with animals of any kind outside. Whether it be just your dogs, cats, or what ever, make sure to keep some water out for them. I became well aware of that today when I let the chickens out this morning and their water container was frozen. I filled some old bowls for them and found Luna drinking one of them dry. So I refilled it again for her and the cats. This is something I have to do twice a day or more. Even your barn cats and working farm dogs cant find drinking water with things freezing up in this weather. So please be sure to give them a drink as they need water even if the weather is bitterly cold. OK just my gentle reminder for today. I guess I thought of this when I realized today that all the outdoor water sources the critters here usually use were all frozen.

Not much else happening on this frozen cold homestead, so till next time, blessings and warmth from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ok enough of this winter stuff

I have had enough of winter now, its time for spring so I can get my hands in dirt. It is too cold to be outside very long for me. And we are supposed to get rain, snow and sleet the next couple days. Dang I never get bored. I can always find something to do with myself during the day and evenings. Not so for the past few days. I have been restless and got all kinds of ideas and no energy. I wanted to work on Liam's baby quilt but don't have the fabric purchased yet to set it up with. So can do much with that. Wanted to make more lotion and I have all the stuff to do it, but dang I don't know what happened to that idea. Somehow I wanted to do something else instead. I bought some pretty yarn a couple years ago to make a scarf to wear with sweaters. So late last night as I was not feeling good at all I decided to get started on the scarf. I knew it would not take long to do. Not really a scarf for warmth but more of an accessory. I finished it at about 3 am this morning. OK got that out of my system. I got lots of the same yarn left so now am thinkin I might make something for that lil baby. But then again if I do he will be old enough to not need it by time winter gets here again. (sigh) So what to make? Any ideas? I really need to make the cafe curtains to back the sheers in my bedroom. Even though we are in a private place, if someone visits and I am still in bed, the sidewalk is right beside my new bedroom window. Not good!! I guess I just get fidgety when I have been inside too long.

Yesterday at school Miranda said she needed to wear something with 100 on it or 100 of something on it. So when she was getting ready for school she told her momma and momma came up with an ingenious idea. How about 100 lil hair clips in your hair? Miranda agreed and I think it was so cute. Don't you agree?

This lil girl was ready to get home and get all those clips out. She said they made her itch. Love that cute lil face. And her momma..

There is something in here that does not belong. Can you spot the odd critter? Well its a no-brainer, its the Possum that wants to sleep with his foster family tonight as usual. The poor guy wants so bad to live in the chicken house that he just goes in at night  with the chickens and picks his bed and gets comfy. I would let him stay in there but he has a warm spot on the front porch with the momma cat and his lil niece, Possumette. I am worried if I leave him in here that he will want out in the middle of the night and try to climb out thru the top ventilation vents and get stuck and I cant hear him from in the house. So I have to break his lil heart every night and make him get out of his warm straw bed with family and got stay with his grammy and niece. It would upset me greatly if something happens to my Possum. We have never had Siamese cats here but he sure looks like one. He is the baby whose momma got killed and he got orphaned. He is a big fat boy gets his share of the food, as you can tell. 

Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beautiful weather and piddling inside

Our weather this weekend has been beautiful for January weather. Warm and sunny, a little breeze blowing. Nice weather to be out. On Saturday Rodger went to the crib and shelled some corn for the chickens. They do love their corn in cooler weather. He had picked up a bale of straw to put in their building for bedding on Friday. He brought the corn up and put it in the feed barrel and told me he was going to clean out the chicken house before spreading the straw. I went out to help out a lil bit. Dang I had a lot of chickens in there that did a lot of poopin. We took out 3 tractor buckets full to the garden to compost. Thas a lot of poop. I spread the new straw in the building and in the nest boxes. I had one lil hen that sat on a nest in one of the nest boxes and watched us clean all around her. I got straw put in the rest of the boxes and picked her up and set her in a new clean box that I had just fixed. She seemed happy for a minute. Then she got mad and raised a big fuss. The big rooster came to check on her and when he went in the building she calmed down. I guess she was wanting his attention. None the less he alerted all the hens to come check out their new digs. And dig they did in the new straw. They seem to be happy campers for now. I do feel better with them having plenty of straw to keep warm in the cold weather that is coming our way the first part of the coming week. Most nights are supposed to be in the teens and low 20's. Highs in the day around 30. A bit nippy. Tonight when I went to close up the chickens Possum (the cat) was in the building with the chickens. He was sleeping good in the straw beside the big rooster. It is funny to see. Not a likely pair.
We didn't do much today other than eat and nap. Rodger did get some of our tax stuff ready to take to the lady that does our taxes. I tinkered with making shampoo and played with some melt and pour soap that I had won on this site. I love reading the blog on this site too. And when I make soap I use the lye calculator on here as well. If you comment on their blog post they put your name in a drawing on Friday for a goody pack. It can contain samples and partial used products that they have made practice batches with in their lab. So I won a huge chunk of melt and pour soap (white), and a mold, a baggie of rose buds, and calendula petals. I was tickled to death. So I got the soap out today and the mold and decided to make some of the soap and scent it with the lavender essential oil  and some coconut fragrance oil that I had. I think they turned out kinda neat. And they do smell heavenly.

My new fangled soap on an antique doily on an antique dish. I like the simple look of this. Well I guess I am just a simple country girl. By the way this is the same shape as the lotion bars that I made this past week too. They turned out wonderful. I love the moisturizing layer they leave on the skin.
While I was in the piddling mood today I made the shampoo that hopefully will help Rodger's dry hair. I was a little leery of this recipe when it said to mix oil into water and soap mixture. But it did emulsify just fine and stayed emulsified. So when he showered this evening he used the shampoo and so far so good. So here is the simple recipe for shampoo. I know ya have to buy some of the products but you can make your own castile bars and use those I am sure. But this time I bought and used the liquid castile soap.

Shampoo for long dry hair

1/4 cup distilled water
1/4 cup Dr Bonner's castile liquid soap
2 Tablespoons of sweet almond oil
1/4 teaspoon essential oil of choice ( I used orange)

Mix the water and liquid soap in small bowl and stir in oils till well mixed. It will have a milky color. Put in old shampoo bottle and shake before using. Use as you would any other shampoo.

Now what to make next. I think maybe some homemade toothpaste. I am thinkin simple coconut oil and baking soda. Both are good for the teeth and antibacterial. Maybe I make a small amount and try it myself and see how I like it. As of right now we are using Tom's propolis and myrrh toothpaste. I like it really well, no fluoride, cinnamon flavor. Nice!!

Not much else happening around here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Whas up with that?

I have ask myself that question several times in the past few years. I have never had a skin allergy, food allergy, nothing bothers me at all. Well except poison ivy. Now it seems every little things causes me to break out, itch or hurt. Whas up with that? My doc tole me a long time ago that fibro does effect some peoples' skin and cause rashes, hives, dry patches and such. I reckon I got every dang one of the symptoms that a person could possibly have. Or maybe its just age, who knows. But I try to steer clear of artificial ingredients in lotions that I use for a moisturizer. So I got the bright idea, I make my own soap, why not make my own lotions too. So I started reading about the how-to's a few months ago. I finally got my lil mind wrapped around a recipe and decided to give it a whirl. I thought lotion bars would be more convenient as you don't need jars to store the stuff in. I came up with the recipe with healing, moisturizing, soothing lotion that anyone can use, even for babies. None toxic ingredients, so very safe for kids. I decided I wanted to use some herbs in the oil for extra umph. I used goldenseal, calendula, rose petals, and chamomile. I wanted to use coconut oil for its antiviral, anti fungal, antibiotic properties. Also used Castor oil, almond oil, and apricot oil as all of these are very nourishing to the skin. For extra staying power I also added Shea butter and mango butter. I added sweet orange essential oil for a lil fragrance. So now ya have the whys, here's the recipe.

1 T goldenseal, dried
1 T calendula, dried
1 T rose petals, dried
1 T chamomile, dried

1/2 cup coconut oil

half cup measure put equal parts Castor oil, almond oil, apricot oil

in another half cup measure put equal parts Shea butter and mango butter

3/4 cup beeswax

15 drops sweet orange essential oil

I do most of this on the stove top. Use a small pot you wont be needing for anything else as it is super hard to clean up. In this small pot put the herbs, coconut oil and liquid oils. Heat to melt an let macerate for an hour, the longer the better. This gets all the good stuff out of the herbs. Keep heat low at all times and stir often. Strain the oil mixture thru a sieve to remove the herbs, Press the herbs with a spoon to get all the goodness out of them. Put oil back in the small pot and add the Shea and mango butter, and beeswax. Set on low heat and stir to melt well. Let cool for a few minutes and add about 15 drops of essential oil and stir to blend. Pour into molds of your choice and let harden. Use as needed for moisturizing. The lotion will be hard and will melt in your hands and can easily be applied to the body.  Once this sits on the skin for a bit it does not have a greasy feel to it. So now if ya don't like having this you cant pronounce in your body lotions, this is for you. If you get all organic ingredients all the better. Enjoy!! I know I do.

I think my next project will be to make homemade shampoo. As most of you know the skin is the largest organ of the human body. Anything you put on the skin does get absorbed. If it is not good for you to ingest I doubt it would be good on the skin, The same goes for shampoo. And yesterday on the way to the dentist Rodger was complaining about his hair being so dry. He has long hair and in winter he only needs to wash it about every other day. And it still breaks and splits. So we picked up a bottle of Dr Bonner's castille soap. It is pure soap made only from pure vegetable oils. From the things I have read it cleans without stripping all the natural oils from the hair. So I will let ya know how this works for him. My dad said all the old folks used plain lye soap to wash their hair. Lye soap is pH balanced so it should be good for washing hair. I have not tried my homemade soap as mine has been super fatted to add moisture to the skin, so don't think I would want to add those extra oils to my hair.

I got lots of projects to work on and winter time is slipping away. I got to get me busy working on a baby quilt for little Liam. He will be here and I wont have a quilt made. My mind commits me to things my body cant get done these days. We don't have any big things to do tomorrow so maybe I can get started on the quilt. We shall see.
Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Things that make ya go "OH SHIT"

Yep I had one of those this past weekend. I will tell you for sure my heart jumped up in my throat and was thumpin away, RIGHT there(pointing to my throat). Anyway on Saturday we finally got out and got started butchering the young roosters that have made my hens a nervous wreck for weeks now. We got 2 of em killed and cleaned and it started raining. It was a cold rain, so we decided to come inside and Rodger said he would work on the furnace while it rained and if I stopped raining we could go back out an kill a couple more between showers. We moved the washer our from the wall so he could access the furnace. He got out the screw driver and started taking stuff off and apart, using the vacuum to clean stuff as he went along. The long and short of this is he did get the elements in and sequencer in and now our electric furnace works fine again. By now it had stopped raining so we went back out to kill more chickens. Got a couple more killed and got rained out again. Back in we go. About half hour, we went back and finally after all this butchered 8 birds total. It was getting late when we finished and it was getting colder outside. I told Rodger I would just get the chicken in the big pressure canner and have it ready to cook the next day. So this is what I did. We came in late and ate supper. Jason got his buddy Jeremy to help him move the couch from our house to his and bring his fat man recliner around here an put it in our living room. All this, again between rain showers. Finally we can just chill out for the night and start again the next day
I got up a lil late on Sunday morning and about 11 or  11;30 and I went to the summer kitchen to turn the stove on and get the chicken started cookin in the pressure canner to make stock. It usually take an hour to get up to temp oh high heat if you start off with everything cold, which it was. I cranked the stove on high and I came in the house for a lil bit to get some coffee. Rodger ask me if I was ready to move the rest of the furniture and re-run the TV cables and cables to our security system. I said sure as I poured my coffee. So we unhooked all the many cables behind the TV and moved it, Rodger went under the house to re-route the cables and I was inside with one of the portable radios so we could communicate. He finally got all the cables poked back up thru the floor in the right places and limited cussin, he came out and all is well. He mentioned being hungry, I made a kettle of veggie soup from a jar, my hillbilly convenience food and we ate some late lunch. After our soup Rodger got busy tryin to re-hook all those many cables back on the TV and make it all work right. After he had all those working and he could watch TV and I got all the stuff cleaned up from under where the TV was. WE sat down to smoke a cigarette and get something to drink. When my azz hit the chair, I said "OH SHIT!!!!" Rodgers eyes bugged out and he was askin what as I headed for the summer kitchen. IF ya been following this story ya know I turned the pressure canner on about 11:30 in the morning and it is now about 3 in the afternoon. I FORGOT about the dang canner. I went out there fully expecting to find chicken parts on the ceiling and my good canner ruined. Thank God the canner was still gigglin away on 13 lb pressure and the burner still set on high. I nearly had a heart attack. That is a big no-no, do as I say, not as I do. You really should never leave a pressure canner going unattended. I am so fortunate it didn't blow the emergency plug out and spray chicken parts under pressure on the ceiling. See I tole you I turned 50 and lost my damn mind. But I bet I don't get that sidetracked again and leave my canner. None the less I got the stock strained and canned up along with some chicken. I got 3 quarts of chicken thighs, 3 pints of chicken breast meat, and 7 quarts of just stock. Alls well that ends well I guess. My friend Deb told me God watches over crazy people. I tend to agree with her now. Not sure that is the word she used, I cant remember.
Haven't accomplished much today other than got the jars of stock washed off from canning yesterday and ready to put in the cellar. Cooked supper and did some laundry. When it got dark I went out to close the chickens up for the night and gather the eggs and we were getting sleet. After about half hour of that our porch was kinda white looking. Now it is raining. So maybe the roads will be OK tomorrow when the guys head out to work. I have to go back to the eye doc tomorrow and order my new contacts script so I can continue to see.
I have plundered around online some today and came across this website with tons of good info on it for people who like to do things for themselves, the self-sufficient type, ya know. Have a look at here. On that site I found a place that really caught my attention. This is the one with the info I will be using really soon. I think I might make some homemade lotion for my new daughter-in-law and the lil grand son that is on the way. I guess ya know IF I can remember I will post some pics when I make some of those this week.
Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, January 7, 2013

A cluster of blank days

I think my life is like a calendar of blank days. Nothing filled in the days, nada, nothing. Or so it seems. Or maybe its just that I don't remember stuff like I used to. Yep I think thas it. I turned 50 and lost my damn mind. After all who in their right mind cleans carpet in winter time. Especially when their back already hurts. Well I know that was a job that needed to get done. Or maybe it was because I had to purchase a new shampoo machine and wanted to try it out. Yep thas it. And how many people move their house around just so they can have a closet/craft/sewing room? All I did was make the sewing projects more obvious and I see them everyday when I go into the closet/craft/sewing room. Now I must work on those. We still need to move the TV and will probably get that done sometime this week when Jason can get the couch out of the living room. BUT the carpet is clean under it.
I received my seed orders in the mail already this week. Now I can dream about gardening in spring. Not sure if we will raise as much of a garden as we did last year but it will feed us. Seems we have not used too much stuff from the cellar this winter, but I do guess it is early yet. In the process of talking to Josh last night and thinkin of how he could raise a small garden in his backyard in the subdivision this summer. We came on the idea of planting in straw bales. Use square bales of straw set on the ground with the strings running parallel to the ground. Water the bales with manure teas or compost tea to start the bale composting. After the bale is wet and warm in the middle, not too hot, then add a layer of compost on top and plant your seeds. I am thinkin this might be the perfect way for even me to raise onions and carrots so the grass and weeds don't take them over. I know I am going to try this with some lettuce in spring and may even plant some onion sets to see what they will do. If I can manage to do it, I will post pics along the way. You are thinkin "yeah right", but all I can do is hope I can remember to take the pics.
Well we have our plane tickets for our trip to Vegas. Rodger has shoes to wear with his existing suit. I got my dress in the mail today AND IT FITS! yippee for me. I am really looking forward to seeing our son marry the love of his life. We love her as much as he does. And wish them a lifetime of love, peace and happiness.
The parts came today for our furnace and we are waiting on our niece's boyfriend to call and install it for us. I am hoping he has time to do it as I sure don't think I want to hear Rodger cuss as he tries to install the heating elements.
Rodger finally got all our corn picked and in the cribs. All the cribs are full and then some I think. We will sell most of it. We have lots of white corn for grinding into cornmeal for sell as well. Not sure I even need cornmeal this year as I still have lots left from last years grind. But maybe we will grind some anyway "just in case". I need to get in the crib and get some of the corn out to send to my homesteading buddy Randy in central Ky so he can get a start of the white corn for his cornmeal every year. It is suppose to be warm this week so maybe I can get that done. Tomorrow I have to see the eye doc and hopefully order my new contacts. I am happy that I can finally read and see at a distance with just contacts and not have to use glasses too so I can read. Thas a pain.
Later in the week I plan to soak some dried beans to make and can some more mixed bean soup. We have used all the first batch that I canned. It was so good. I still have my small sweet taters that I need to can up also. I need to get this done so we can hopefully if weather permitting butcher off some excess roosters this coming weekend.
Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

You can sure tell its winter

In this house it is not hard to tell its winter time. I tend to nest or hibernate in winter. I don't like cold weather and really rather stay inside and piddle around the house. I still have lots of sewing projects I want to do this winter tho. So it thinking about this, I thought "how nice would it be to have a room to set up the sewing machine and do crafts?" SO I proceeded to bring the subject up to Rodger. Our house has a den or family room and a formal living room (that is never used). So I got the big bright idea to put up a door at the end of the hallway and block off the den, move the furniture out and turn the den into a bedroom and use the smaller bedroom off the den as a walk-in closet. Rodger finally saw that it might be a good idea and digressed and agreed to help me make this possible. We first had to move a very large double book case that has served as a room divider in the living room to the wall at the end of the living room. Not a long move just time consuming as ALL the books had to be taken out and then move the case, then put the books back. Then we moved the sectional to the living room and attempted to move stuff around to get it in place. Now the big couch that was in the living room must go to Jason and Mary Kay's house. The chase lounge will remain in the living room soon as we get the couch out. I did get my bed moved last night and got to sleep in my new room. Seems kinda odd tho sleeping in the den. But I am young, I will adjust. Rodger went to bed, probably out of boredom because the TV is still in the den/bedroom and he don't want to sit on the bed to watch TV. We will move the TV as soon as the couch is gone and the cable to the satellite is moved. Probably this weekend. I stopped at the hardware store today and picked up 2- 8 ft sections of closet rod, yes I will have 16 ft of closet rods to hang stuff up. What ever will I do with all that hanging space. Oh my!! Anyway I have the large oak table in the "closet" now to use for my sewing machine and crafts. Tomorrow Rodger is going to put up the closet rods for me and then I can officially move into my new "closet". I think I will keep the dresser in the closet as it has a large mirror on it and use that maybe as a dressing room as well. Plenty of space for all this. I will have the table to use most of the time for laying out clothes, if I need to iron that can be done and the clothes hung on hangers, and enough room to put on lotion, makeup if I choose and space to spare. At least for now. Somehow I do think in the future I will end up with more stuff stored in there than I now expect. Only one drawback to having the den as a bedroom, the fireplace is in there. Now how nice is that. Not a problem for me at all. I love it. Hopefully by the weekend we will be moved and settled back to a routine.
We must get all this moving stuff done this week as when the weekend gets here I need to butcher some roosters. They are feeling their oats and making a pest of themselves with the older hens. And the hens want no part of those young studs. So as you might expect the young studs get whipped on a daily basis. So if I can get the roos killed and use them for stock and can it up I might get motivated enough to make a batch of bean soup and can that as well. We have learned to both like ( I alas liked) mixed bean soup with carrot, celery, and onion in it. I have some ham base flavoring that I bought in central Ky last fall that I want to add for flavor and the soup will still be kosher for Rodger. On weekends we most always have soup of some sort to eat on all weekend long. I have veggie/beef, gumbo, chili, plain bean, and will have mixed bean soup after this weekend. If we are not in the mood for one of those I will make chicken noodle soup or tater soup. Nothing beats a good bowl of soup on a cold weekend with fried cornbread. Toss  some chopped onion in the cornbread and it make ya take back stuff ya didn't steal. Its yummy!!
Its not long till the big wedding in Las Vegas that we have been invited too. And of course we both will be so happy to go because our lil boy Rob is marrying his sweet fiance Amoy. We officially get a wonderful daughter in law. I got my fingers crossed that we will get another in the near future. I do like Mary Kay, Jason's girlfriend. Trust me, I sure feel blessed to have those girls in my life and Mary Kay's daughter Miranda. Really looking forward to our trip to Las Vegas in February. Sure will brighten up the winter for us. So far, 2013 is looking good. As long as we are blessed with our health all the rest will be minor.
Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.