Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just Some Info

Tonight I just want to share some links with you that I've found helpful.  I also want to say that I haven't been able to read any of my friends' blogs since last Friday and scrolling thru my reading list it looks like I'm missing out on some fun stuff.  I'll get back to reading soon, but for now, here's some links to share:

The Stress Cure for Busy Moms Am I the only one in desparate need of this?
Mama Goes Green Reusable lunch packaging-NOT plastic!
Non-Toxic Toothpaste Made with coconut oil-something REALLY good for dental health.
How to Keep Healthy Living Practical A good reminder.

That's it, short and simple.  Hope all of my friends in blog land are healthy and safe!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hooded Beach Towel Back Pack

Wow-can't believe how long it's been since I posted anything!  I have lots to say because we've been doing so much, but I want it to be somewhat organized.

Today I made this hooded beach towel back pack for my son, who is on vacation at my parents house for a week.  Gramma bought a wii for them to play with and there's a community pool-he's not going to want to come home!  I chronicled my progress.  Remember this is just my third sewing lesson.  Today actually involved reading and following directions, and cutting the material.  I even threaded the machine correctly without any help.  :-)

The project starts with two matching towels.  I found these for $5 each at one of those big box stores.  My son likes red and blue, so this was perfect.

Sewing the hem of the hood.

The elastic has been threaded thru the seam and the hood has been attached to the towel.

Pinning the the pouch onto the towel after the straps have been sewn on.

The finished project!  The towel folds up and flips inside of the pouch (sort of like folding socks) and it's ready to wear to the pool or beach!  I had enough material left from the second towel to make a wrap to put on after he takes his wet swim suit off.  I didn't take a picture because it just looks like a folded towel.

Monday, June 21, 2010


To Michelle at Give a Girl a Fig, my darling son pulled her name out of the hat for the winner in the goat naming contest.  Her suggestion for Sugar came in second for the older baby girl, but we chose Polly's names of Peaches and Cream for that mama/daughter set.

Michelle wins a yet to be made tea towel bread bag.  I'll be making them next Tuesday and will post pictures of the options-so Michelle, keep an eye on my blog so you can pick which one you want!

So now I'd like to introduce our goats...



Belle (Hubby's choice)

Yodelady (Dad's choice)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

And the winner is...

...everyone and noone, if that's possible.  Let me explain.  I didn't like all 4 names from any entry, but liked one or more from each.  I'll sit down with Tony tomorrow (not only Father's Day but also our anniversarry) and go over the list.  After we've chosen names, we'll put everyone's name in a box and let the little guy pick out a name to be the winner of a bread bag that hasn't even been made yet.  Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just thought this was interesting...

Life 101 years ago…

Posted June 15th, 2010 by Sarah N
The year is 1909. What would your life have been like? Read on for some amazing facts:
101 years ago:
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !

The average US wage in 1909 was 22 cents an hour.

The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year ..

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,

A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,

and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which

Were condemned in the press AND the government as ’substandard.’

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza

2. Tuberculosis

3. Diarrhea

4. Heart disease

5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars ….

The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school..

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores..

Back then pharmacists said, ‘Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,

regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health’.

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help ….

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

Plus one more sad thought …. 95 percent of the taxes we have now did not exist in 1909.

I wouldn't mind the last one being true today!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Giveaway

Keeper of the Home is giving away the Homestead Blessings Video Series AND a $25 gift card to  Go here to enter and here to read more about it.  I saw these videos a while back but can't afford them, and my library doesn't have them-I've won two other blog giveaways, maybe I can win this one too!  Best wishes on your entry too!

Real Food Health & Nutrition Textbook

I wish I could claim the name "Kelly the Kitchen Kop" but she beat me to it and has more info to share than I do!  She's giving away a copy of Real Food Health & Nutrition textbook, but the contest ends TONIGHT.  Yikes-hurry and enter!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Sunday

I was going to call this post, Of Apricots and Eggs because we picked a few apricots and gathered eggs this evening, but then I took a picture of the potatos we had for dinner and decided to change the title.

The apricot trees were COVERED with blossoms this spring, and we hung white lights in the trees to protect against late frosts, but the wind can't be stopped, so we've got about 2 dozen fruit between the 2 trees.  This is our average daily egg collection-10.

We bought these at the farmer's market yesterday-I was surprised to see how purple the dark ones turned out!

I was so excited when the trees had so many blossoms-the larger tree produces the sweetest apricots I've ever tasted, and the jam, well let's just say it is entirely possible to live on sour dough english muffins and apricot jam for  weeks.  The first batch I made from them was upon our return from our honeymoon, almost 4 years ago.  It was so good that when we saw more trees in the neighborhood we asked if we could pick their fruit.  The results were not nearly as delicious as from this tree.  Last year the wind took out blossoms from every fruit tree in this valley, so I was so hopeful that we'd get fruit this year.  We did, just not enough for jam.  Then, the other tree produced fruit for the first time this year-we didn't even know it was an apricot tree.  At first we guessed apple, then Tony noticed the fruit were fuzzy so we guessed peach-but weren't paying attention to the shape of the leaves.  When it finally clicked that it was another apricot tree I was hoping to get enough for jam, but our son likes to eat them straight from the tree (he managed to eat two while picking tonight) so this year there won't be any jam.  Unless of course someone else gets enough fruit to sell.  I'm going to have dreams of apricot jam on hot buttery toasted english muffins!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Goat Naming Contest

When we bought these yearlings in April I thought it would be fun to have a naming contest here.  Before I could get good pictures of them, my camera broke.  Once I replaced it, I just never got around to taking pictures of them, but now that we have a new doeling, I think it's time to find names for these 4 girls.

This is the new mama.

This is her baby.

This is the other mama...
and this is her 3 month old baby.
The rules are simple-leave a comment with your suggested names for each animal before midnight AZ time Friday, June 18th.  I'll choose a winner on Saturday, but since they are my goats I reserve the right to not choose any of the suggestions!  I'm thinking the prize will be one of my homemade bread bags (sorry, no bread with it), but they won't be done until June 29th.  Maybe the winner won't mind waiting?

Baby Doe!

We witnessed our first birth here at the farm today!  We've missed the other two-close enough to see a wet baby-but we missed the first kid born here and the first calf born here.  I went out this morning to feed the goats and could tell mama was starting labor.  Hadn't noticed anything last night, so I really didn't think it would happen so quickly, but within 30 minutes of seeing her, she had a beautiful baby doe!  The video is 3 and a half minutes long.  In the early part you can see her snout in the birth sac, but once you've seen that you can jump to about the 2 minute, 15 second mark to see the birth.

Baby girl resting on the milk stand while mom learns what being milked is like!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bags and Bunnies

My bunny thinks he's a chicken. OK, maybe I really don't have a clue what he's actually thinking, but I know when these chicks are old enough to venture beyond the backyard that Rabbit Redford is going to be mighty lonely! I threw some grain out for the chicks and he hops right over and starts eating with them. He also uses the pet door for the cats and dog. Yes, he figured that out and comes and goes as he pleases. The surprising part is that I think he's house trained-no rabbit surprises that I can see or smell.

The ChicoBags I won were in the mail today! The red one on the left is an apple stuff pouch to hold the other three. Each of the 3 is designed to hold a different type of produce. One is made of hemp and is for lettuce, grains and green beans. The next one is for squash, broccoli, carrots and celery. The last is for apples, oranges, onions and potatoes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bread Bag

This is the bread bag I made today for my sewing lesson.  The tea towel was already embroidered with the flower basket patter and had the pink edge on it.  I sewed the casing for the drawstring into place, sewed the straight hem along the left side, and then followed the scalloped edge of the pink trim for that hem.  Can you see the darker thread in the next picture?  That's my hem.  Then I threaded the ribbon through for the drawstring and voila!  A pretty bread bag!  I only had about 2 hours, and I worked on the rest of my napkins too.  My teacher suggested we spend a whole day working on stuff, so while my son is at my parents house in a few weeks I'll spend a day working on sewing projects.  I traded her a dozen eggs and a qt of milk for the lesson.  Next time I'll take more stuff, she said she'd like to try my goat cheese.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I won, I won! Part Two

Seems only fitting after having part one and two of Some-things Cookin' to do a part one and two of I won, I won, especially after I won back to back blog giveaways!  Yes, I won two giveaways in a row-how cool is that?!  This time it's a book The Town That Food Saved and when I'm done reading it I plan to have another giveaway and pass this book along.  It looks very interesting and I can't wait to read it.  You can read the review on the prize donor's blog The Local Cook
Now off to read more from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.


Shattered, Struck Down, Bit Not Destroyed by Frank Pastore with Ellen review.

This book was very easy to read, an excellent account of someone that thought he was an atheist, only to discover that God had a much better plan for his life, and that his childhood belief system was skewed.  Frank takes us on a journey through his troubled childhood, raised in a very dysfunctional family, through the transformation of the awkward, new kid at school nerd to the all star sports hero, academic scholar, popular guy on campus.  His new found popularity just increases his desire for more and because he has real talent, he has the ability to acquire more.  However, he eventually realizes that no matter how much you've got, you always want more.

After a devastating injury he begins to ask questions, and the Christian players on the baseball team he plays for continue to answer and share God with him.  He eventually accepts Christ and is then on fire for God.  He shares details from every aspect of his life with readers.  I felt a connection to his transformation and the passion he feels for Christ centered community activism.  While sharing of his time in counseling, I began to ask myself some tough questions.

I like that it was easy to read, but still called to something deep within me; that it showed what many felt prior to becoming followers of Christ, and how it's all so twisted in the collective public opinion.  This would be a good book to share with those that think they have all the answers, but still seem to be searching.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book and it did not influence my review.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I won, I won!

I forgot I had even entered, but I won a set of reusable produce bags from Chico Bag.  You can see what I won here.  I went to the blog site to see the list of winners and it said "Kelly" and that if there was a message on the page after logging in, you were a winner.  I didn't know there could be email messages to me on someone elses blog, but I looked in the list of followers and it said I had a message.  So exciting!

My next sewing lesson is Tuesday and I'm making bread bags from tea towels and such.  I plan to have a give-away for one of them when they are done.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Some-things Cookin' Part Two

OK, so maybe the blog will be about cooking.  No, just when I think I've done something worth writing about.  I haven't felt like "cooking" for a few days, but don't want to fall into the trap of eating out either.  I get more rundown when that happens.  The ideal solution for me when this happens is crockpot meals, so today I dumped 3 containers of turkey stock into the pot and when they thawed, I added rice.  Voila-dinner is ready!  To make it more delectable, I made another loaf of french bread, which was a great device to soak up the yummy stock.  The stock is from the turkey we raised and butchered for Thanksgiving.  My husband thought it was a great meal, commenting that he really likes the bread, then adding that someday soon he'll also be saying that he likes the butter too.  We have the churn, we just need to try it out.  The added bonus of crockpot meals is that they're ready and waiting when we've finished evening chores.

This evening we helped a friend move her horse trailer.  The place it's being stored is along the Verde river and has been for sale for several years, several hundred thousand dollars out of our price range-still.  But it's GORGEOUS!  I was glad to have a chance to see it more than just from the road.  There was a large branch from a cottonwood tree broken off and I asked if we could haul it away for goat food.  That started a conversation and the homeowners seem interested in saving all of their tree trimmings for us!  They have a lot of trees too!  I gave them my card and I think Tony is going back Saturday to help cut up that branch and bring back a truckload full.  I love free feed for our animals!

I got some preliminary info regarding the selling of our eggs.  Apparently we can sell up 750 dozen (she wasn't sure if that was a lifetime limit or per year) from our home or farmer's market with no permit required.  If we want to sell to a restaurant or other retailer, we have to be inspected.  I have the phone number of the state agency I need to speak with and will call them tomorrow to see how much red tap and money is involved.

Oh, and I found 80 or so canning jars for sale on craigslist, but they are in a town an hour away.  Price is "make offer".  I need to call him back tomorrow too.

One last thing.  I printed the materials for the Fundamentals eCourse at GNOWFGLINS today and will pencil in times that I can take the various classes over the summer.  Did you know she changed the program to open enrollment and Donation Only for payments?  Check it out!  I'm going to start with the water kefir course.  I bought crystals last summer and tried it twice, both times failures.  I really want to learn to do it though because fizzy drinks are my weakness and if I can make one that is good for me then I can indulge freely!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some-things Cookin'

  1. It occured to me that many of you may think, based on the title of my blog that it's mostly about cooking.  If you knew that my last name is Cook, you'd see the twist.  I wanted to incorporate my name and also convey that there wasn't a specific topic for this blog, so that's where the some-things part comes in.  Enough about me, let's talk about what I made for dinner!
  2. After some consultation with Polly at Polly's Path, I knew what I needed to do with the last batch of chevre that came out more solid and kinda strong on the goat flavor.  Today I put it in the crockpot with about 1/3 cup of milk while we were out planting more seeds, after Tony got home from work.  I added a very generous scoup of asiago parmesan tapenade that I got from a local olive mill.  I then sprinkled it all with salt and Italian seasoning and let it warm until dinner time.  I've been trying to use food from our freezer (imagine that!) so the cheese sauce went on shrim and crab stuffed ravioli.  Yes, it was GOOD!  We had more of the salad from the other night with the buttermilk dressing.  Speaking of the dressing, does anyone have a good recipe of what goes into buttermilk/ranch dressing?
  3. After dinner I started moving food to the fridge we brought home from Tony's shop.  4 gallons of milk and 9 dozen eggs.  I wonder if I could contract with a local restaurant to buy my excess eggs?  It's a small place-old bungalow style house converted into a restaurant-and I think they're only open 5 days a week.  I should ask how many eggs they go through a week and see if they're interested in featuring free range, local eggs on their menu.  Hmmm...