Wednesday, December 31, 2008

various

We've got a mystery illness among the guineas... two have died and one is sickly. No wounds on their bodies at all.
Scarlett kidded yesterday, with a lot of help from me. Two dead premature kids. She is still not doing well. Hasn't passed the afterbirth. Hopefully we won't lose her too! I've been talking to the vet at least once a day since Sunday, and hopefully she will make it.
I finally called the extension office today and told them that we really need to know if the kids can show or not - please!!! And we found out that they CAN! Yippee! They are both excited about that. Now, we have LOTS of prep work to do so between now and the stockshow, which is Jan 9.
The stomach virus is still hanging around, being a nuisance. Kris still hasn't gotten it yet! Thank goodness. He has a sensitive stomach, so a stomach virus would be particularly hard on him!
I've been enjoying this blog lately: Homemaking Naturally. On the subject of getting up early for time with the Lord, she says "There is something about getting up early, setting special time for the Lord, giving him the first fruits of your day, that is more precious than I can describe. I am fully aware of my attitude and sins. I feel much more sensitive to the Holy Spirit."
This is so true! And such an encouragement. I've not been consistently getting up an hour earlier than everyone else lately, and I'd like to start again! It is SO worthwhile!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Scarlett


Venison Jerky, before smoking.






After smoking. Kris LOVES this stuff, and since we have been blessed with so much venison this year I made him a couple batches of it. Sure does beat that storebought stuff that cost $10/lb!




Poor Scarlett is still not feeling well today, although she did eat a few oak leaves and drink a little water, which she wouldnt do yesterday. I don't know if she got kicked, has a worm problem, or what!


I've read too many horror stories of "Livestock Guardian Dogs Gone Bad" - killing sick/injured/or newborn goats, etc. So, when Liberty started acting a bit funny around Scarlett I got worried! First, she barked at her because I had put towels over her to try to warm her up. Then, when she figured out it was Scarlett, she stopped barking. I went to the barn to check on her last night and this is what I found:












Liberty moved back with the other goats while I drenched Scarlett with a syringe.

Then, when I was done, she moved in close again and lay down beside Scarlett as if to keep her company and protect her throughout the night. I checked on them in the night several times and Liberty was always right there. Hannah was barking like an idiot until about 11pm, so after I was done throwing up from this stupid stomach virus, I went out there and put her back in the barn with Liberty and the goats. I have NO experience with LGD's other than having Liberty here for the past few months. She is a wonderful dog, and I am learning to trust her with the goats. Although, we havent had a goat actually give birth while Liberty has been here, so that is another worry I have. Hopefully, she will do just fine and not be concerned about the strange smells, sights, and sounds!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Greedy Horses and Conniving Goats

Yesterday morning Darlin' the Greedy Horse discovered that not only is there a huge round bale of hay in the barn, but there WAS a bag of alfalfa pellets in the loft.

After that discovery, all that is left is the bale of hay. The bag of pellets was about a third full, and when she pulled it down, the goats probably helped her eat it, so I am not sure how much she actually got. Now, I have to use an elaborate gate/chain/rock system to keep her out of the barn! If I set it up just right, the goats can go in and out, but she can't get in, no matter how hard she bangs on the gate.

Last night Scarlett, the goat who I thought was due to kid Nov 30, finally started acting a little "off". I had a stomach virus, and since I could still feel her ligaments I did not check on her again until early morning. She was acting even more off this morning, but I could still feel ligaments. None of the usual signs of kidding... just acting miserable, and since I was EXPECTING kids, it took me a while to realize she was sick. I took her temp and it was 95*!!!!! YIKES! That is dangerously low. So, I piled towels on her, and forced her to swallow warm water and kombucha using a syringe. The insides of her eyelids were WHITE which indicates anemia probably from worm overload. I gave her a shot of B12 and called the vet and he was worried too - he is a great vet who almost always tells me how I can treat the problem at home and not have to pay for the vet visit. But, this time he suggested I bring her in. He gave her two "gentle" wormers which I don't have on hand and said that as soon as she kids I can give her the heavy duty stuff. He did an ultrasound on her and there was NO sign of kid movement. Not good. We still aren't really sure what is wrong with her, but he said the kids may be ok. It's not terribly uncommon to not see a kid move at all, and have it be born just fine. She wasn't dilated at all, so there'll be no kids today.




Where do these heathens get this bad habit of covering their faces when the camera comes out?

Aha! That's WHO they get it from! :o)


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Check out this decorative bow that a very creative Texas Artist
made with a rib bone from a buffalo!
We had a booth next to her at the Market Days and when she saw how much Mooky liked this bow, she offered to barter for soap! He was thrilled with the gift (which we did manage to keep a secret until Christmas) , and it's already hanging on the wall in his room.

Mooky has been feeling really bad for a week or so. Mostly stomach troubles, with some fatigue.
I thought it was what we call "His Usual", until I got the same symptoms! I've had it since the evening of the 25th and am finally feeling better. Erinn is starting to feel "blah" and nauseous now. What fun.

Mike and Claudia had a baby boy!







Matthew Alexander was born 1:38 PM Dec 19, by C-section. (The little gymnast had wrapped his cord around his neck 3 times.)

He's a healthy 8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches long.

Congratulations!!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

GF Banana Lemon Loaf


(adapted to fit the ingredients I have on hand!)

1 cup rice flour


1 cup buckwheat flour (I used 1.5 cups rice flour and .5 of sorghum flour mix)


3 tsp baking powder


1/2 tsp salt


1 cup plus 2 tbsp margarine or butter


1 1/4 cups sugar


23 oz bananas (I used 3 average sized ones)


4 large eggs

I added 1 TBSP of lemon zest and
1 tsp of gf lemon extract to the original recipe

4 tbsp icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350

Sift flours with baking powder and salt.

Beat the butter, sugar and bananas together until smooth and then briefly stir in the eggs.

Stir this into the flour mixture until blended.

Pour into a large loaf pan and bake for about 1 - 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is just firm. It overflowed my loaf pan! Burned on the bottom of the oven, and created a mess that will be HARD to clean up. (Any volunteers to come over and wash the pan for me?) But, it's delicious! It has way too much sugar so it isnt something i'd make very often.


Cool for 10 minutes and then mix the sugar with the lemon juice and drizzle over the top.

Isn't it UGLY??? :o)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do one EXTRA nice thing for each person in your family every day this week!

Ok, this is for all of us, including you Damien! :o) (I really liked your hangman game BTW. The word was hummingbird and I got it right before being hung.)


See if you can do one EXTRA nice thing (something you dont normally do) for each person in your family every day this week. Dont stop doing all the nice things you already do though!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



This is Erinn's new cat Annie that Teresa and Rob gave her.

She is REALLY really sweet.

24th

Oh boy, Mooky is really sick and we dont know what caused it. Usually we can figure out what he ate that he shouldn't have, but this time I have no clue!
We are going to spend the day at GB's tomorrow, and he will probably just lay down most of the time. He is as sick as he used to be for that LOOOOONG time period while we were learning to TOTALLY eliminate gluten from his life.
GB has worked hard to make most of the main dishes for tomorrow's meal gluten free! And she also is planning to make some gluten free brownies from a Bob's Red Mill mix - isn't that nice? Mooky is going to be thrilled. We are taking a GF green bean casserole. I made the "soup base" for it yesterday - homemade cream of mushroom soup. There can't be any french fried onions in it so I added onions to the soup and will sprinkle potato chips on top for CRUNCH. We've done this once before and everyone liked it.

December Kerr Market Days

We had a really great day yesterday selling soap in Kerrville! We sold twice as much soap as last month and not only that but we bartered for Christmas gifts for the kids. So, rather than spending money which can be really hard to come by, we "spent soap". :o) The kids have NO IDEA about this as we did it when Rob and Mooky went to pick Erinn up from GB's house. (And they rarely read this blog, so as long as I keep them away from it for a few more days and nobody spills the beans, the secret is safe.) Selling soap at the Fredericksburg Trade days turned out to be a waste of time and money and we didn't even sell enough to cover the booth fee or gas. Rats.
We even had some repeat customers from last month! We gave out a lot of business cards and sold 3 of Kris' Washer Toss Game Boards! Mooky sold 2 of his tomahawks and Erinn sold two bars of soap. She hadn't made anything to sell this month - those 2 bars were just leftover from last month. She is feeling much better finally. Hasn't had to take anything for pain since Friday morning. Thanks GB for taking such good care of her Friday and Saturday! She really enjoyed spending the night with you and sleeping in the famous Miracle Bed.
As always, we enjoyed Teresa and Rob's company and help so much and we really appreciate them! I think they kinda got the short end of the stick, having to drive all the way down here, and work all day for nothing but sandwiches and leftovers... but they didn't complain. :o) Thanks very much to both of you!
Susan sent me a great link for $5 dinners, a lot of which are gluten free! And from that link I found another gluten free blogger with some good recipes, one of which is for a GF cranberry lemon loaf that I bet Mooky would love. Thanks Susan! And thanks so much for loaning us the extra table yesterday!
Mooky is going to be baptized today!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, darn. My right hand girl has broken her right arm and is feeling miserable. Poor thing, the pain FINALLY kicked into high gear last night and we had to bump her up to an adult dose of ibuprofen. It took the edge off, but that is about it, so I am going to call the doctor to see about getting something stronger today. I can't believe the doctor didn't even wrap it in an ace bandage! Just the sling is all she has, so I will ask about that today as well. I think that something to immobilize the arm a little better would be helpful.
Mooky's back is still tender, but he is a lot better. He is a HUGE help to me in so many ways, but not with soap and not with goats! :) He was such a blessing yesterday - he got all the house chores done by himself while we spent the day in town with Erinn. He told a couple of people who called that "Erinn's arm is broken and she is so tough that she didn't even cry!"
Kris has started labelling and wrapping the soap that we need to get ready for this weekend, so that has been a huge help! Well, we've got a LOT to get done today, tomorrow and Thursday, so I better start NOW.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lemongrass, Apple, Peppermint, and Raspbery Soap

Lotion Bars and Lotion Sticks in twist-up tubes.
(Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Beeswax)


Today we had a series of accidents happen, but hopefully no broken bones. Not sure yet about Erinn's arm, but should know more in the morning. She was riding bareback and took a turn a little too fast... she didn't cry! Mooky hurt his back and I smashed a toe. Fun Day. :)




Saturday, December 13, 2008

?

I have noticed that a lot of people are arriving on this blog after doing a google search for ______(click here)________... ?WHAT? What exactly are you searching for people, that is turning up that blog page in particular? I am REALLY curious! Would someone care to enlighten me?

PLEASE.



Mum and Dad are in Argentina visiting the Donaldsons! I would LOVE to visit them too, but since I can't, I just read their blog every chance I get. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fiona, Bill, Damien, and Danyel!

This is the Pumkin Pie Soap.
It was a pretty orange color right when I popped it out of the mold.
Now it's dark brown!!!!!!!!!!





Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wild Indians

Thanksgiving at the Beaird's house - betcha didn't know we are related to a bunch of wild Indians!?!
Erinn has been laying around all day, but doesn't seem to have a fever this evening. The thermometer got lost in the depths of the couch, and I didn't want to disturb her too much trying to dig it out. She didn't feel hot, but does feel "blah". I just heard from Aunt Nell that Johanna has pneumonia - poor girl! Erinn does not have a cough at all, so I doubt she has the same bug they have. Pray for Johanna!
I had a bad night last night and an all day headache, as did Kris, so I actually dropped Mooky off at church and went back to get him later which we have never done before. He REALLY wanted to go though, and I hated for him to have to miss just because the rest of us were not feeling well. He said that Sandra Dee and her husband will be at the church next weekend. He was quite excited about the fact that he "knows" them - he told the pastor that he'd met them before with Kiwi and Rowdy.
I dropped Bonita's soaps off today and she gave me some houseplants that she said wont survive the winter in her cold house. I dont know if they will survive in this house either because we seem to be terrible at keeping plants alive.
Mum has been telling me about a recipe for "Fennel Cream/Lotion" that is great for mastitis:
6 ounces of liquid oil (olive, peanut, safflower or veg)
3 ounces coconut oil
1 ounce beeswax
9 ounces distilled water
2 teaspoons fennel essential oil
5 drops of grapefruit seed extract

weigh the 6 oz oil and place in microwaveable bowl
weigh 3 oz coconut oil and add to bowl
measure 1 oz beeswax and add to oils
melt the oils and beeswax together until liquid, probably about 10 minutes
This recipe was in the Countryside magazine, Nov/Dec 07. It came from a lady named Jane Hinrichs of http://littlebigheartranch.com. I hope it is ok to post here - I would think so since the recipe was in a magazine!
Thanks Mum for the recipe - I can't wait to try it!

New Zealand

OK - who is the New Zealander checking out our blog? I think that is pretty cool.
Could it be someone we used to know many years ago when we lived in Featherston, NZ?
Anyone doing a search for the New family? Naaahh.... probably not, since that last name hasn't been on this blog until now! OKAY - if you are looking for Daniel, Suzanne, Kyria, Rebecca, Rachel, Michael, Gabriel, or Halcyon, you have almost come to the right place. :o) Send me an email. Or leave a comment.
Rachel

MORE soap....


Still no job prospects... it seems half of the Hill Country is out of work and we aren't getting any calls back from employers. Or, maybe it's that Kris is getting a "bad reference" from someone who isn't telling the whole story. I don't know. (We do know for sure that Kris can't get unemployment because of that.) But, I am not worrying about it. We don't have time to worry. There's work to be done. Besides that, when did worrying ever help anything? We are staying very busy getting ready for the December 20th Market when we will be selling soap again.
Teresa and Rob came over yesterday and we made a TON of soap. They loaned us all their molds, so we were able to get a whole lot made. We did peppermint, lemongrass, sea breeze, pumpkin, and mango. The Other Bonita and her kids came over too! (Not the Bonita whose goat we have.) She and her daughter each made a batch of soap and did a really great job. Her son hung out with Mooky since neither one was interested in soap. :o) We really enjoyed all the company. We had chicken salad for lunch with chicken that Mooky grilled for us. I was so busy making soap that I didn't even think to take pictures while everyone was here! Hmph.
Erinn got a fever, sore throat, and ear ache in the evening and has been feeling pretty bad all day today as well. The rest of us had headaches this morning, but it may just have been from the over powering SCENTS filling the house!
This afternoon I tried to make a large batch of soap using a new fragrance - Apple Jack. YIKES! It accelerated, which means that it basically hardened up really fast in the pot before I could get it poured into molds. Both the kids were madly helping me smoosh it down into molds, but we soon gave up and just put the chunks of it into the log molds. What a mess! We'll have to cut it into chunks and use it for decorative chunks in some other soap later on. Wonder what scent apple will go good with? We almost had this same problem with the peppermint soap yesterday, but it didn't accelerate as fast as the apple and we were able to save it.


This is the Christmas Tree Fragrance. Rather strong and manly.

We added green to half the batch.


This is the Pumpkin Pie - with NO added color!

Lemongrass.



Kris made some really nice soap display racks. We desperately needed something that showed the soap off really well, but didn't take up too much space. These are so cool - there are 6 of them! They are going to get one more coat of paint, and then we will put signs on them that say Four Mile Farm and which scent the soap is. In the picture above you can see the nasty mess that was supposed to be Apple Soap! Yuck.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits.....
I have said to the LORD, 'You are my Lord, my good above all other.' "



What may seem good to us may actually be but means to lead us to a better good---that seems more painful.

What may seem adverse to us, in the plot line of the Storyteller, is for our ultimate betterment.

God’s story lines in the lives of His children are formulaic: they are all good. The events may jarringly twist and surprise, even seem to pry out our heart, chunk by mangled chunk, but, in the fullness of time, there are no bad endings.

Erinn and I met Mum in Marble Falls yesterday - it was so nice to see her! We had picked up Zoe and Gabby from Johnson City, so we enjoyed chatting with them on the short drive from there to Marble Falls. Thanks Mum, Dad, Bakers, and Neumanns for all the good stuff!
Halcy has a friend who owns a bookstore and is willing to put out a couple of gift baskets of goat milk soap! Also, a friend of mine is going to take two baskets tomorrow - one for a store in Fredericksburg, and one for a store in Kerrville!
Mooky planted two fruit trees today that we got for cheap cheap cheap a couple weeks ago. It took him days and days to dig through the caliche. Then we filled the huge holes back in with good dirt, and planted the trees, adding more dirt. We had to put panels around them to keep them safe from hungry goats. An apple tree and a plum tree!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Entertainment

Kris is definitely Maggie's favorite person.


PJ got a little worried when he saw Erinn lying on the ground!


Little Nameless Boy is so cute and fun to play with!
We're going to miss him and his mama when it's time for them to go back home.

Ever see a goat laugh?




Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday

Kris, Rob, and Teresa

GB and Erinn


We sold soap in Kerrville at the Market Days on Saturday. Teresa and Rob came too and if it hadn't been for them we probably wouldn't have sold anything since we aren't natural born sales-people. We had a really fun day! It was cold and windy, but we still enjoyed it a lot.

We saw some people we knew! It's so nice to be "home" and actually know people. :p

Rachel, David, Susan, Caleb, Johanna, and GB
Somehow I managed to cut James in half in the next picture. Sorry!


Things we learned:

1. Take business cards to pass out to people - we had printed up a few, but quickly ran out, and were getting lots of requests for them.

2. Address type labels on the bags would be a lot easier than writing "Goat Milk Soap - fourmilefarm.com" on each bag!

3. We should have had more informational signs. Such as "What is Saponification?" And, "Is there LYE in this soap?"

4. And a few goat pictures would have been good too! I had planned to do that, but ran out of time.


We made $115 and Erinn made $47 (she bought all her own supplies and made her own soap and labels), so it wasn't really GREAT, but it's certainly better than nothing! Minus the booth fee of $15 plus a "first time" fee of $10, plus the cost of soap making supplies... I can see how we would do better over time if we were there monthly, because of repeat customers. People are reluctant to spend so much for a bar of soap not knowing how wonderful it really is. A lot of them bought "just one bar to try".

Sunday we got caught up on housework that had been neglected all week due to frantically getting ready for the soap booth.

In the afternoon I went and helped a friend butcher 5 large Maran roosters. She was very pleased with my method, which I learned from some other friends. I cant claim any credit for it, but it is a VERY effective, fast, and clean method! In return for the help, she gave me one of the roosters!

She has some lovely Tunis sheep - 4 ewes, and 1 ram so far. They are a dual purpose meat and milk breed. She plans to use the milk for cheese making. She just ordered a spinning wheel but doesn't know how to spin yet.

We have MILK!!! Erinn has a friend whose family bought a Nubian doe kid from us a couple years ago, and she kidded last Thursday with twins. Due to some problems with the kidding, and one kid dying, and the doe not acting right on Friday, I brought Mama and Baby over here to try to help them out. They are gone to school/work all day and it is very hard for them to take care of a sick animal. Also, they were going to be out of town for the weekend so wouldn't be able to care for Honey. They took her to the vet Friday evening, and she is now doing great. They don't need the milk right now and so they have graciously agreed to allow her to stay here for a few weeks! Yippee - fresh milk! We have been drinking frozen milk, and the supply was getting dangerously low. Scarlett isn't due to kid for several more weeks, and even then, she is just a first freshener so won't have near as much as this doe does. It will be a few more days before the milk doesn't taste like colostrum any more, and then we'll have FRESH MILK.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some Links

I found a neat site about a lady who cooks Gluten Free in her crockpot EVERY SINGLE DAY!!
She spends WAY more money doing so that I ever would, but has some good recipes.

I had a really cool picture of a light blue eyed freaky looking llama chewing hay, with it's mouth going all sideways... but I was forbidden to post it, so you will all just have to WISH you could see it. :) SOMEONE said it was NOT cool looking, but "unpretty (is that a word?) and long in the tooth".

A blog I have been enjoying reading is Y-2K Hippie because she has lots of interesting crafts and projects you can read about.

OK - gotta go. Kris has a chiro appointment today because his back is KILLING him. Ever since he drove that truck without cruise for 12 hours or so a day he hasn't been the same. Then he has to go to SA for a physical and drug test. If his back will behave, it looks like he has a job starting December 1st! Yipppppppppeeeeeeee! Mooky is going to do some yard work today for some wonderful people that we did a few odd jobs for this week. They were telling us some stories about people who basically ended up getting murdered for their acts of kindness to strangers.... GOOD GRIEF! What is wrong with people? You try to help someone out...
I will drop him off there and Erinn and I will go on into town to pick up some mulch to do some yard work at GB's apartments. We are scraping by on Odd Jobs like this. Maybe more of them will pop up! On his way to the chiro Kris will pick Mooky up and bring him to town to help us with weeding and mulching.

Tuesday Trip

On Tuesday we were planning to take Mooky to Hico for the first leg of his trip to go to roping camp with Rowdy and Dalton, but he got sick and couldn't go. I had planned to deliver some goats to a lady and meet her at Teresa and Rob's house as well as pick up a bunch of stuff we left in Hico, so Erinn and I went without Mooky.
We picked Gabby up at 7:15am in Johnson City and made it to Teresa's house by 9. Gabby LOVED seeing all the animals there. She told Teresa "it's like a zoo!" :)

This is "Moony" of Galloping Winds Ranch.

He is SO cute!

He came up and sniffed at my fingers,

but wouldn't quite let me pet him since he doesn't know me.

After our visit to Galloping Winds Zoo we went on to Hico and found that Gabe had managed to get Darlin' loaded! She wasn't too pleased about that. Gabe brought her to our house that afternoon and Darlin' is now in for the shock of a lifetime. Erinn is going to be riding her quite frequently! Mooky even rode her yesterday and did a great job, just bareback.

These are Gabe's little tillers.


Gabby is a photographer! She took this picture of Erinn in the truck.


And Erinn took this picture of Gabby in the truck.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deer in the KITCHEN?

Ever since the first time PJ found out there was corn in the kitchen he has been jumping over the deck gate and begging at the kitchen door on a daily basis.
Erinn's cat still hasn't been found. We've looked everywhere and called the neighbors... Poor Erinn, she is so sad! And since Thunder was sold yesterday now she feels doubly sad. Kris saw a grey fox back on the neighbor's property today... so maybe that is what got Caddie.
Kris got a deer at the cabin yesterday so we have spent the day processing it. Mooky has had stomach troubles off and on for 3 days and we just thought it was his usual problems - but Kris came down with the same symptoms today! It was cold enough last night to hang the deer overnight so this morning I started skinning it while Mooky and Erinn were washing dishes and clearing counters. I was expecting Kris to come out at any minute but he looked so sick when he did come out that I sent him right back in. The deer was already gutted so I skinned the whole thing by myself very quickly and easily. Then Mooky was done in the kitchen so he came out and helped me quarter it, and get it in the house in ice chests.
Poor Kris was so nauseous that he drank some kefir with banana in it. He felt good enough to eat lunch after that and then got terribly nauseous again. So, he wasn't able to help us with the meat until afternoon, and then he did quite a bit of grinding. We ground up all the scraps for the chickens and the dogs. The dogs got some bones and I cooked a HUGE pot of broth with the rest of them. I'll freeze those bones and hand them out to the dogs one at a time.
Liberty has been licking PJ's face through the fence and wanting to play with him. He keeps hanging around by her, so I guess he likes her.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Living Without An Income...

...for the past 5 weeks. Before that there was a good paying job for 5 weeks, and before that there was a little bit of disability pay for months on end. Then there was no pay, then there was a little... it's all too confusing to remember exactly, but the point is that this year has The Year Of Learning to "MAKE DO". Or do without. A good learning experience for all of us.


The garden produced next to nothing. I don't know why, but I need to figure that problem out before planting next spring.


The chickens were slackers. The ones we have now are not quite old enough to lay yet, and since the weather has turned cold they probably wont lay really good until spring.


The goats produced lots and lots of milk this year! So, they are really the only critters paying their way right now.


This week we sold the Boer does and the male Pyrenees. When we got him, things were different than they are now, and we need to cut back on how many animals we have to buy feed for.


We sold Aileas this week. Waaaaaaaaaah!!! But, we got enough for her to cover one whole house payment! I'm sad to let her go, but would be more sad to lose the house.


We sold Thunder today. Kiwi and Rowdy were a huge help - in fact they did ALL the work involved in selling both the cow and the horse. Now we don't have to spend the gas money to bring either one home from East Texas. Aileas and Thunder, that is. Not Kiwi and Rowdy. :o)


Erinn is sad to sell her beloved horse, but Mum and Dad have generously offered to loan Darlin' to her. Darlin' is an easy keeper so wont cost much to feed over the winter and Erinn can pay for that feed with the money from Thunder.


We sold the truck - no more truck payment! And no more going anywhere all together either. But, we wont complain about that since we still have the house. I'm not sure what we'll do about our two Thanksgiving invitations - I guess it will depend on if Kris has a job by then or not.


I had stocked up some on beans and rice earlier this year before Kris' back surgery and although it wasn't much, it has been a big help! I wish I had been able to stock up a lot more on many more things, but we're thankful for milk in the freezer, deer meat, beans and rice! Been spending about $20/week on groceries and eating pretty good!

As soon as we have an income again, we will not start eating like royalty! We will start stocking up again. :o) We are so blessed in so many ways - there are so many people who actually do go hungry without a house to live in. And it's a really good feeling to know that Kris did not lose his job for doing something bad, but rather for doing the right thing! Two hundred people in Kerrville recently lost their jobs at one place of employment, so they are all looking for jobs at once, along with everyone else who was already job searching, so the pickin's are slim.
PJ has gotten over his nervousness and is used to having us home again. He recently started coming up the steps and jumping over the deck gate onto the deck. The first time he did it, I thought it was a goat and when I opened the door he wanted to come in the house! He has a whitetail doe friend who is a bit bigger than him and she gives him crazy looks when she sees him on the deck. She lets us get amazingly close to her - within 5 feet! All the other deer have disappeared. There were at least 6 other does with some tiny fawns. Maybe it's the barking dogs that have scared them off.
Caddie (Erinn's kitty) has not been seen for 3 days and we are starting to get really worried about her! She is "fixed" so it's not a case of being a wanderer. I hope she is all right! James has a nice bed on the deck that he's been sleeping on, and Caddie usually likes to sleep there too on cold nights.

Jordan and Mooky at the park in Harper

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Erinn makes Soap!


Get all your stuff laid out and ready. Put 6 ounces of milk into the freezer until it's slushy.

Put your jar of milk down into a container of ice water.

Pour in 2 ounces of lye SLOOOOWLY over a period of at least 10 minutes. Unless you want ugly orange or brown soap - then go ahead and dump it all in and it will scorch the milk.


Find a good book and read it while stirring in your lye.

Melt 1 pound of lard.

This is Erinn's lye/milk mixture - see how it is barely yellow? She did a great job of not putting the lye in too fast.


We are out of blue powder, so Erinn cut up a blue
bar of unscented soap to add a little blue to her soap.
She just dropped the little cut up pieces down into the molds.
Then she mixed the lye/milk into the melted lard. When it
had thickened a bit, she added the blueberry fragrance oil.


Then she poured it into her prepared molds. As you can see by how thin it is, we dont wait until we get a really thick "trace" before pouring, and everything still always turns out just fine.




The finished product - "Blueberry Cobbler" goat milk soap.
Isn't it pretty?

It smells fantastic!