Sunday, February 2, 2014


El Roostador

El Roostador is the name of our rooster who thinks he’s the strongest bird on the farm-including the 30 pound turkeys! He has earned his reputation by being one of two survivors out of the entire flock of chickens left after a coyote attack one night. He is a Jersey Giant-The largest Chicken breed in the world-He’s still young and growing.                                                                                          

You see El Roostador likes to make himself seem stronger by puffing himself up and chasing the other birds. A good example of his personality was shown one day when I was letting the animals out of the barn and two guinea hens were fighting each other and El Roostador ran over there and fought them both.  Every morning when my little brother Porter lets El Roostador out of the barn he puffs his chest up and runs up to him like hes going to attack, only to turn away at the last second. The funny thing is that when he chases me I just turn around and look at him and he cowers and runs away. Here’s some pictures of him.

-From Mack

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bab Birthed a Baby Bob!

Its been along time since we posted anything -not for a lack of things to post about!-so Im going to start with a few consecutive smaller update posts....See upcoming posts on El Roostador, the greenhouse/chameleon/barn hybrid, the mushrooms, and the slow but easy way to make your own animal trough from a log....did I mention the butcher block? I said, not for a lack of things to post about.

Ok, let me introduce you to baby Bob, our new born lamb, his real name is Snack and will be changed later to Dinner....but not if you ask Liv (our 6 year old daughter) who insists his name is Ben and definitely not Snack or Dinner! His other name "Bob" comes from his father because he has the same pattern on his head...confusing, I know but ultimately he probably would be best unnamed.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cooking Your Garden

Last week, a newspaper from Utah called 
published an article I wrote about slow cooked meals from your garden.
It featured a dish I made entirely from my home grown vegetables. 
All the veggies you see below we grew.

The onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, corn, and okra.
Don't they look beautiful? 
This okra variety is star shaped, and in my opinion not as slimy as the traditional. 
I used banana peppers and a few red jalapeños for heat.

It was so delicious, it has become a stable in my house with slight variations like
 chicken and chickpeas.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sheep's Lawn Service--Rednecks or Environmentalists?

 Call us what you want, but yesterday Kevin had a brilliant idea! Let the sheep into the pool area, so they could mow the lawn!

Once we lured Bib, Bob, and Bab, into our pool area,  they went straight to work and started eating the luscious green St. Augustine grass. They edged, like it was nobody's business. They powered through the whole thing (plus or minus a few landscape plants, but thats beside the point), they rocked at mowing!

Only problem (besides the landscape plants), was that we forgot about them all night. When I woke up in the morning, the grass was nice and trimmed, but the pool deck was littered with poop pellets (not exactly what you want to see from your landscape crew).
Needless to say I fired them!
I shooed them off into their back grazing area and wished them luck finding something green back there.

So what did we learn from all this? What? Don't be a redneck? No... Let the sheep mow the front yard, not the pool area.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crochetting Usless Things For Fun

For a few years now I've been harboring this secret desire to learn to crochet. Don't ask me why, it's one of those things that get in my head and I have to follow through. Just like learning to make tofu, or learning to make fluffy 100% whole wheat bread, or writing novels (Veiled & Living Soul) , or milking goats! I'm like that, curious. 

Last Christmas, while my mother was visiting, I decided to take a week off home school and take advantage of my mother's skills to learn to crochet. She's no expert, but knows the basics. Then with the aid of several YouTube instructional videos, I learned the first useless thing--a flower! 
I went to town making several different flowers:



 Roses, and some other random flowers, many of which have ended up on Liv's hair.

One evening (I crochet at night while we sit on the couch watching T.V.) while I was trying to make a different type of flower, I made a mistake and ended up with a tube. This gave me the idea of making a doll, because the tube resembled an arm. 

Off I went with skin colored yarn to make two legs and two arms. I ended up doing the same thing, but larger for the body, then followed some patterns for the head. 
Let me tell you, there's a whole world out there of tiny crochet wigs and doll dresses! I, however, am lazy, so I took the easiest way out and double crocheted this little gal.

For my second doll, I decided to not be so lazy and I made it with a single stitch, which is tighter. I made one mistake though, I didn't make her crown the same color as her hear, so I ended up having to add a lot more hair, just to cover up her bald spots! Now her head is super heavy and suffers from perpetual whiplash.

Next, I decided to make a Lalaloopsy doll, but somehow ended up with a huge cranium! Rather than unraveling it and starting over, I decided to go for it, and make a bigger doll. Well...IT TOOK FOR EVER! It ate up tons of yarn and it was a pain in the *&%$^@#! Yet, it turned out very cute! So cute that I gave it to a very covetous girl for her 6th birthday. 

For the fourth doll, I decided to go back to the smaller size, and following a picture of all the Lalaloopy's I made this red-headed doll. Liv thinks she's cute, but Mack said she looks like Godzilla, and Kevin said that I should be careful not to prick her with any pins because she looks like a Voodoo doll and some poor red headed girl somewhere will start feeling the stabbings! 

Now I'm working on this one. I made sure her arms were as long as her legs, so that she doesn't look like Godzilla, and hopefully the bigger, dark (not blue) eyes, and better positioned bangs will not leave her looking like a Voodoo doll. 

For my next doll (the purple hair one) I will pay attention to how I do it, and write down the pattern so I can share it on another entry.  
In the mean time, if you'd like to know where I got some of my ideas feel free to go to my Pintrest board named "My New Obsession" and you'll find the pins I followed to get patterns and so forth. P.S. Re-pin my dolls while you're at it! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Guinea Story Acording to Mack

O.K. so you probably heard about our Guinea hens from my parent’s blogs. Well, I’m going to tell you about them too. 

We first got them by mail. I know the mail! So we got 22 of them, and we put them in a big plastic box with some water and crushed up feed. As they grew up, we started preparing one of the rooms of the barn for them. Once we got the wiring done, and were able to put a heat lamp in there, we went out into the forest and got some branches and turned them into roosts for them.

After a few weeks we noticed that one of the Guinea hens had one foot growing the wrong way, so I brought it inside to my dad and he got some tape and wrapped it around the foot that was straight, then connected it to the foot that was bent, so that it was pointing straight. But what should have happened, didn’t  happen, because one night it got tangled into some string and went into a panic attack and died. Now we were down to only 21 Guineas.  

A month or two later, we decided to let them roam free in the back fenced area—a bad idea! As it started to get dimer out side, I suggested to my dad that we should bring them back inside the barn. But he said that they would be fine, that that was how they really lived. This was a mistake I will never forget, because that night an owl flew down and got them.

Over night we went from having 21 Guineas to only having 10 Guineas! And on top of all that, the next morning, the neighbors’ dogs, Hank and Stella, crept under the fence, and snacked on two Guineas! Then the next day, one mysteriously disappeared, so now we had seven.

One morning, a few weeks later, I let them out of the barn and when my dad came home, he told me that he couldn’t hear them. So I went to go look for them but they were nowhere to be found. After a few days of despair that we had no more Guineas, we received a call from our neighbor saying that one of her friends who lives across the forest from us, had seen seven Guineas who wandered into her yard. But here’s the thing: these people live 3 miles away! That’s a LONG ways away; especially when there’s nothing but forest! So my dad and I went over there, and what do you know? Its our Guinea hens! The first thing we did when we got, home was clip their wings. 
Areal picture of our house and where the hens were.

When spring came, while I was putting the animals inside the barn, I noticed only 6 Guineas, so I went looking for it. I found it sitting on a nest! I quickly ran inside and told my parents the good news. So my dad put a reminder on his phone to alert him when the eggs were supposed to hatch. When the day came, I went to the nest and 8 chicks were born. However 2 of them died right away, so we only had six.

My dad said it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do with them, and my decision was to take 3 for my own and leave three for the mom to take care of. Another BAD IDEA! Apparently Guinea hen mothers are horrible mothers, after the eggs hatch. Unfortunately, that night it rained really hard, and there were big puddles all over the back. So when I woke up I went to go look for the mother and her chicks, but I only found the mother. By the time I found the babies, they were already in a big puddle, for who knows how long, and they were barley moving. I quickly picked up all three of them, and brought them inside.

I put them all under the heat lamp along with the other Guineas, but sadly we could only revive 2 of them. When I looked outside, I saw the mother standing on a stump looking around with a confused look on her face. It was as if she was thinking,“Hmm… am I supposed to be doing something some thing right now? I think I lost something, but I can’t remember what?” 
I bet that if she could, she would have scratched her head too.

Well that’s my Guinea story. I will soon be writing another entry, about the Guinea chicks when they grow up! ;)


Thursday, June 6, 2013

PURPLE POTATOES?....!#&*%$@#*&


Why you ask? Well, Im partial to highly colored vegetables. I always figured they must have some benefit over the blah colored vegetables...and they usually do!

Fresh purple potato from our garden
Our garden (one of them)

 Seven facts about purple potatoes:

1) They are from South America.

2) They have a creamy (especially when young) slightly more nutty taste than other potatoes. 

3) A half cup of purple potatoes contains 70 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein and no fat. That's slightly more protein and more calories than the equivalent amount of Russet potatoes.

4) Purple potatoes contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes!

5) The chemical that makes purple potatoes purple is called Anthocyanin. Anthocyanin has been shown in studies to inhibit chemically induced cancer of a rat esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%...thats cool!

6) All potatoes are high in potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure. But purple potatoes have extra antioxidants that make them even more effective than other potato varieties.

7) You can make stamps out of them!
Purple potato stamp

So if it calls for potatoes, why not go purple?

Purple potatoes mixed with Yukon Gold potatoes-from our garden

 Be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming Purple SWEET Potato Post...#%*&@$#!&