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!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Special Post for Aunt Leah and Alia

These are my super duper FANCY "log molds". :o)

Under $2 each at WalMart, they are actually drawer organizers for silverware or pens and pencils, etc. 12"x3"x2". I've used them a hundred times and although they are cracked, they still hold soap. I let the soap sit overnight, then run a knife around the edges to loosen it before dumping it out.

Then I use a WAVY CUTTER to cut it into bars. Click the link there to see one exactly like mine. I only paid $3 for mine though, so I am sure you find a better price than that one. Sorry, can't remember where I got mine!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Soap Display

We are tentatively planning to have a SOAP BOOTH at the Kerr County Market Days in Kerrville on November 22. Erinn has been designing and printing labels like mad! I have been trying to figure out how a very UNimaginative and UNcreative person is supposed to make a nice looking soap display. I thought I would use the these old wooden Dr. Pepper boxes but we only have two of them. So, I will have to see if I can figure out something for the rest of the soap. The horse, goat, heart, and rose shaped soaps are too big to fit in these boxes anyway...

Aunt Loy, Jordan, Mooky

On November 2 we had a get together for Loy's birthday (early), Jordan (going away to join the Navy), and Mooky's birthday (late).
Erinn made a coconut cream pie and Mooky made a pineapple upside down cake for the THIRD time! :o) We enjoyed a good visit with Aunt Loy, GB, and Jordan! Jordan and Kris went back out to the cabin that evening. On the morning of November 3rd Jordan got a nice 8 point buck!