Monday, May 30, 2011

A Summer Love Story

Derek, Megan & Holly - my love story
8th grade graduation

The flies, swim suits, heat, humidity and longer days are here...veggies in the garden, herb beds are lively and thriving...but summer is not officially here in our house, until school is out! Two half days left of hitting the books...then summer is officially official! Summer is the shortest and busiest of seasons for is out, soft ball is winding down, baby animals are all on the ground, garden is in full swing - which means..weeding, picking and preserving is endless! We won't even mention the mowing and extra farm work. How I love this time of year though, I look forward to having the children (ahem..young adults) home...laughter mixed in with silliness everyday...watching them be the people that I'm so proud of. If I could write a love song...this is what would inspire it!
This has nothing to do with
the summer love story, we are just
relieved the shearing is done!

Meg up to bat

Monday, May 16, 2011

Udder Wash

When I was looking into getting started with making our own udder or teat wash, I found so many different and sometimes controversial recipes! A few important facts I really wanted to cover with our udder wash, was to use little to no chemicals while still getting rid of the bacteria and of course for it to be completely safe and healthy for our goats and sheep.  Just in case you're interested, this is what I came up with and why.

What you will need:
32oz of water (I use our well water that's been heated to a pasteurization point. Even though many feel it's an unnecessary step when adding GSE, I have my own thoughts on using pasteurized water for homemade health products. I say use your judgment ;))

30 drops of GSE (grapefruit seed extract)

7 drops of Lavender essential oil. 

A 32oz spray bottle

I mix all ingredients in a measuring cup and then pour into a squirt bottle and give it a shake. I always shake well before each use. Spray each teat thoroughly and allow to sit for a few minutes before wiping the teats dry with a clean/dry washcloth. I have a stack of washcloths that are used only for teats and wash them after each milking.

I chose GSE because of it's proven antibacterial qualities. I also chose to use Lavender essential oil for similar reasons... Lavender essential oil is not only antibacterial but an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic too. In my opinion, every medicine cabinet should house a bottle of Lavender essential oil. It's wonderful stuff...not to mention it's a natural deodorizer and makes everything smell so lovely as well! Maybe that's why the goat and sheep girls are always wearing a smile when they leave the milk barn.

I also have a handy homemade udder salve to use as needed for dry or sore teats. It contains 1 cup of coconut oil and 30 drops of peppermint essential oil. Heat the coconut oil to a melting point and add the peppermint essential oil, then pour into a small container. Use with care on nursing mama's, since peppermint essential oil has been known to cause scours in kids/lambs and calves.

These 2 products have worked so well for us and our milking flock and herd. No mastitis, clean milk and the girls udderly approve...hooves down!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Everything but the "real" kitchen sink

Oddly as it may sound, I've been thinking about kitchen sinks lately. Have you ever googled kitchen sinks? You'll be amazed at the results!
A little bit of retro
Endless photos and info all about sinks...sinks of ALL kinds. Retro sinks, practical sinks, elegant sinks...sinks that left me wondering how or where such a sink would find a place to fit in at.
A martini sink??
One thing I did not find in any of my googling quests, was a messy sink. I had to wonder why...
The cleanest farmhouse sink I've ever seen!
Everyone knows sinks are for using, except for maybe some of the most elegant of sinks..which may likely never see a scrubby or a muddy pair of kicks.
The WOW sink!
So why are only neat and tidy sinks shown in my search results instead of "real" sinks? Since so much can be told about the sink keeper by it's the keepers have something to hide? Perhaps they want to remain anonymous or maybe give us a bit of sink envy? Well...this sink keeper is boldly bearing it all with one quick pic of one of my favorite spots in the house. After all a "real" sink deserves to have a moment in the spotlight too!
The "real" sink!
"Real" sink contents: favorite scrubby, baby lamb bottles, delicious recipes from friends, priceless love notes from my kiddos, mother's day flowers, gingham curtains and a window to peer out to my 2nd favorite spot in the house...the porch!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Holly's Day

the cake we don't have camels
My children are always amidst the largest part of all my favorite seasons. Last week our youngest turned can time fly by this fast? 

We spent a week in celebration of this sweet girl - a week that included most of her favorite things.A trip to the zoo (where we left our mass array of furry creatures and paid money to see and feed someone else's), a pizza lunch with some of her favorite people, an unforgettable night at the movies with more of her favorite people and an evening at home with cake, music, a baby goat and the family that cherishes her..all of her favorite things.
a sky view of the zoo
Entertaining the fam

Razzle goat

Happy Birthday Holly!