Friday, November 22, 2013

Chicken Ranching

Here is Limpy a Cuckoo Maran hen I saved abandoned by her mother and almost eaten. I thought she was a he until the other roosters proved me wrong. And Limpy does not crow as her litter mates do. But she does not lay eggs yet, either. Limpy was not able to walk for 3 months of her life. Now you can't stop her and her long legs.

Americana rooster with lovely plumage. He survived the cull since he has a sweet 
disposition and is very pretty.

Our Egyptian Fayoumis hen. Very flighty fast bird but has survived the loss of her rooster mate.

Little King a Japanese Bantam rooster, Americana hen in the middle and Little Kings son on the right. The son is a full size rooster. Little King's son is being given away as he is not the nicest rooster to the hens. But he is a very pretty and showy bird.

Apples Down the Lane

 Or rather, hedge apples down the lane.
Here is 1/4 mile worth of Osage oranges or hedge apples cut in half and planted along our fence line.

All bright green and set in the dirt for a winters nap. In 3 years it will be tall enough to weave into a hedge row or natural barbwire. In 10 years it should produce these green apples. However, by keeping it short and stunted, it should not produce many apples.

Farm husband planting over 1,000 of these along our fence line.

Can you tell this was engineered?

More perfection

One worn out farmer. The osage orange bleeds a sticky sap that turns your gloves black and sticks to everything. But the sap is water soluble and easy to clean unlike pine sap.

Homey Soapy

A few weeks ago I was visiting a friends house and I noticed a unique scent in her laundry room. It was the homemade laundry soap she had in there. She told me about how cheap it was to make and how much she saved in cost. So this week I gave it a try. She was right, it was easy to make and to use. It works great and now my house has the same scent. The clothes are clean and I am happy. No more expensive laundry soap for me.

The main ingredient 1/2 a bar of Fels-Naptha soap.

Makes 5 gallons of laundry soap.

Melting down the soap bar, smells great. The final mix cools and gels slightly overnight. I use about 1/2 a cup of the new soap in my wash. Life is good.
The Recipe:
1/2 a bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
5 cups of water then 3 gallons of hot water
Big 5 gallon Bucket, clean
Long spoon or stick to mix inside the 5 gallon bucket

1.Grate the 1/2 bar of soap with a cheese grater. Put the shavings into a pot filled with 5 cups of water. Boil and stir until all the soap shavings have all melted. Turn off the heat.
2. Put 3 gallons of hot water into your 5 gallon bucket. I used a clean empty 1 gallon milk container to pour the correct amount. Pour your melted soap mix into your 5 gallon hot water bucket. Then stir with a long stick or spoon. Add 1/2 cup of washing soda then 1 cup of Borax, stir until all is dissolved in your 5 gallon bucket. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the bucket if you like a scent. I like the Fels-Naptha scent it already has.
3. Cover the bucket overnight. It will cool and gel up. You can then put your homemade soap in containers or leave it in the bucket. You can get 110 loads out of your new detergent. I keep a plastic 1/2 cup scoop to dole out my soap. Happy Laundry Day!

Was Lost and Found

My neighbors dog disappeared 3 days ago. We spent 3 days looking all over for a dog that comes up to people all the time. No sign. So we posted on Facebook and put up fliers and called everyone we knew. Today, the dog appeared in the garage to her owners surprise and delight. Someone anonymously put her in his garage.She was gritty, dirty and very hungry and thirsty, but she was fine. We are happy to have her back on our neighbors farm again.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

She's Upright Here

This is the outside of my 1905 Knabe-Angelus. She is a plain simple piano with a clear window in the center to see the hammers. No fancy carvings here, almost an arts and crafts simplicity.

The original keys were replaced before we bought the piano.

It was well cared for with only slight piles of mouse hoarding under the hammers. This piano has not been in a flood nor outside as many do end up. There was soot from a wood stove on the inside of the casements. Someone took great care of the piano. If we did want to do a full restoration it would run about $10-$20K. But she is in tune and plays very well so for now we are happy. 

Quiet Hunting

This has been the first time that hunting season has been very quiet around here. It used to sound like a war zone. I guess since ammo is hard to find people are just not wasting it.