Monday, December 20, 2010
I don't want a windmill - or any other lawn slob art for that matter - however, I am in love with these shoes and they have hit the top of my wish list. Now, to be honest, I can't tell you when the last time I bought a new pair of shoes. The tennis shoes I wear everyday are at least four years old, possibly five. I have bought a pair of dress shoes at the thrift store, but NEW shoes are very few, and very far between. Still, I don't know if I can justify $90 on a pair of shoes. What do you think?
Picture borrowed from Zappos. Click HERE to go to their site.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Today I finished Carrie’s home-made Christmas present. Purple is her favorite color and she loves black flowers. I used Vannah’s Choice yarn for the bag and some black yarn with filament for the accents. I followed the pattern out of The Happy Hooker book that I borrowed from the library. The flower pattern is from the book called First Crochet, also from our local library. I bought the handles from JoAnn Fabrics a couple weeks ago when they were just $3.99! (This bag cost less than $8 to make.) What could be better than CHEAP and CUTE? :0)
Now I have the girl’s homemade presents finished. I think I have decided what to do for Jake, but Brady and Kip are still mysteries. At least I have a week to go before Christmas. Wish me luck!
Although we won’t be sending a bunch of Christmas cards this year, primarily because we can’t really afford all of the postage, I needed a stack for our church friends and Sunday school teachers. If they don’t like the card, surely they’ll love the candy treats we made them! :0)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I got the bunny slippers idea out of one of my favorite books The Happy Hooker. The pattern in that book was not quite working for me, so I used the Mary Jane Slippers pattern from ohmygoodknits! blog. (Click here to go to that blog post.) I used her pattern for the base slippers (without a cross strap) and the pattern for the ears & face from The Happy Hooker book. I am super happy with the outcome and I hope Katie is too! :0)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I was so sad when I heard he had died. I cried....more than once. My husband says I'm too sensitive to be a farmer. I suppose I am. I don't apologize for crying though. Mr. Buffy was not just a chicken, he was our pet. Every chicken expert I've ever met or read about has said that chickens are not pets. I completely disagree. Each bird has a unique personality. Some are playful, some are serious, some are food hogs, some are so docile that they could be house pets (were it not for the lack of potty training-ness), but they are each individuals in need of love and attention and here at the Gantz Family Farm, we all welcome them as members of the family. And Mr. Buffy will be missed. R.I.P. Mr. Buffy. We love you!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Okay, so the kids and I were trying to decide what to come up with for a fun Christmas gift idea for our Sunday school teachers. I found a cute idea for a kitchen sponge and modified it to be a bath sponge. I paired them with a nice, pretty-smelling soap and tied them up. Now that I think about it, I am wondering if it is a rude gift. I mean...soap? I would hate for the ladies to think that we think they need to take a bath. Hmmm.....
Sunday, December 5, 2010
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, 1-2 tsp. sugar (or a sugar substitute), and one chai tea bag
Mix all together in a small sauce pan until it boils. Remove from heat, cover and let seep for about 3 minutes. Add to your favorite girly mug and enjoy. :0)
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I heard that the Cape Fear Fair & Expo was going to be setting up shop and that they were looking for livestock animals to display at the fair. We decided to enter Mr. Buffy into the fair and got all of the paperwork around. He had to pass an inspection and a blood test, which he did, so he was welcomed into the livestock tent with over 200 other animals ranging from tiny little bunnies & bantam chickens, all the way up to big horses & cows. We have been visiting Mr. Buffy at the fair every other day and also helping clean cages, feed animals, and give them fresh water. Well, the last time we went, we were shocked to see a blue ribbon hanging from Buff's cage! That's right! Our almost-turned-into-dinner boy has won a first place prize in the "youth - cockerel" division! I thought I'd share a photo for you. Under the photo, you can read Mr. Buffy's bio, which I printed and hung on his cage so fair-goers could read up on him. We are very proud and very excited for our backyard superstar. The kids say we can't eat him anymore....Mommy and Daddy still think Blue Ribbon Chicken & Dumplings sound great! :0)
My name is Mr. Buffy. I am five months old. My family thought I was a female Buff Orpington chicken when they got me (at just one day old) so they named me Buffy. As I grew – and started crowing – they realized that my name wasn’t quite a good fit, so they added the “Mr.” part to it.
I love pancakes, spaghetti noodles, cottage cheese and corn on the cob! I live in a backyard flock of chickens with ten hens and a big white German shepherd dog named Angel. Although I do a good job of protecting the ladies (as my human flock calls the hens), Angel is my backup officer in case of emergencies.
I am a big University of Michigan Football fan and crow at every touchdown, which, unfortunately, hasn’t been a lot lately.
My human flock consists of Mom & Dad and five kids. I like them because they feed me yummy treats (see above) and let me free range every night before bed. While free ranging, I love to eat bugs, frogs, and even anoles (geckos).
Thank you for stopping by to visit me. I hope you have a wonderful time at the fair and if you see any pancakes, will you let me know?
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Here is Trudy's egg (on the left) next to a store bought, grade A large egg (on the right):
And here it is scrambled. We split it into seven bites. :0)
First, I wanted to share a recipe with you for cream puffs. We had a church potluck dinner last Sunday and someone brought homemade cream puffs. Did you hear me? HOMEMADE cream puffs! I got to thinking - especially since my husband LOVES cream puffs - that I wanted to learn how to make them. Well, I got to searching this morning and found a recipe at Allrecipes.com. (You can find it here.) I was very pleased with the first batch and will make more. They are so good! And, when you mix the pudding you use heavy cream & milk, rather than just milk, and let me tell ya...that is the way to make pudding! :0) YUM!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Yep! Off the deep end I go...again! :0) This time, I am turning my attention to making my home more green - both with using homemade, green products AND saving some green, as in CASH! Today I made my own glass cleaner, as well as a batch of homemade laundry detergent.
For the glass cleaner, I simply mixed equal parts of water and white vinegar and some freshly squeezed lemon juice. I swirled it all together in a spray bottle and viola! It works great. I think the stuff you get at the store - the blue juice - has alcohol and/or ammonia in it, so it dries much quicker. I noticed as I was washing my windows that I didn't need as much spray as I normally use of the blue stuff.
For the laundry detergent, I found a recipe online that uses Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($2.79, Harris Teeter), Fels-Naptha soap ($1.29, also at Harris Teeter), and Borax ($2.97, Wal-Mart). There are lots of online recipes, but here is the one I used:
1 cup grated soap, such as Fels-Naptha
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
Grate the soap and then mix in a pan with 3 pints of water over medium heat, until it all dissolves, roughly 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the washing soda and Borax. Mix until everything thickens, another 3 minutes or so, then remove from heat. Put 1 quart of hot water in a 2 gallon bucket, then add the soap mixture you just made. Mix well.
Now fill the bucket with the mixture with cold water. Stir until well blended. It will thicken and separate as it cools. Stir or shake well before using. Use 1/2 cup for each load, or more for very dirty items.
An average gallon of laundry detergent is around $5.00. This recipe is environmentally friendly, and costs about 25 cents per gallon (1/20th the cost!), so you save the green in two ways!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Okay, so we have a 64 square foot coop and the outside pen is about 150 square feet - plenty of room for lots of chickens. (From what I've read, large-foul chickens need about 3 square feet of indoor space and about 8-10 of outdoor square feet.) Given all of the extra room, we decided to buy a few more baby chicks just for kicks. :0)
This time, rather than buying from a local hardware store, we purchased a "sale box" of assorted large foul chickens from MyPetChicken.com. We received 25 assorted day old chicks in the mail, which we split with two other families. Unfortunately, one baby died in transit, but the other 24 were quite happy and healthy. We were supposed to get six new chicks, but because of the one not making it, we took five.
So what do mail order chicks look like? I have had a lot of folks ask me, so here is a photo of how our box came:
Our post office called us the day they arrived there and asked if we wanted them delivered, or if we wanted to come pick them up. We opted to pick them up, but can you imagine? Having your postal carrier bring a box of 25 chicks right to your front door? It's just crazy!
Although getting a variety of chicks was a lot of fun (I will post pics of our new babies soon) I think I prefer going to the hardware store or local feed store and picking out our own babies a bit better. Don't get me wrong, we love our new babies, but there was a bit of an impersonal feeling about just having a box delivered. I guess losing one in the shipment was a bit sad too, but the kids handled it like pros. They buried her and put a cross on her grave. Sweet kids!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Okay, so you know by now that I love finding goodies at the Goodwill. I just couldn't leave this sign there! As soon as I saw it I thought it would be so funny above the chick's roost. What do you think? :0)
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
While my favorite people were at my favorite store, they bought me my new favorite thing: a beautiful apron and recipe card box in the new pattern called "make me blush". It is probably my favorite Vera Bradley pattern of all time with its pretty pinks, mossy greens and hints of yellow and gray. It's just beautiful! In fact, I like it so much that I have decided to redecorate my whole kitchen and dining room to match the apron!
So, I will be working on my new kitchen curtains and wall colors this next week or so. Here are a few pictures of what I'm working on:
Isn't it cute?! We converted an old lean-to that was built off of the shed. (You can see the before picture in my previous post.) My dad gave us the old window panes which are hinged at the top so the chicks can have ventilation and fresh air on hot summer days. Aaron built the door using 2 by 4s and we recycled an old picket fence for the bottom of it.
Under the front window is a trap door that we call the "egg drop shop". When you open it up, you have access to the chick's nesting boxes on the inside. Here is the view from inside the coop:
(We put golf balls in each of the nests as a clue to tell the biddies where their future eggs will go. It's an old trick we read about online.)
Aaron made them a roosting bar for inside the coop. It is a 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch square dowel (cut from a 2 by 4) and then he trimmed the corners to 90 degrees and sanded all the edges. Chickens in the wild will roost off the ground, usually in lower tree branches, in order to stay safe from predators. As soon as we put them up on their roost, they settled right in - some even went to sleep! :0)
Next up, we have to build the biddies an outside pen. They are in the coop during the day time, but we are still bringing them in at night to sleep under the heat lamp. The past two nights they have not slept directly under the lamp, so I think they are now old enough to sleep in the coop. I am crazy, but before I let them sleep in the coop at night, I want to get a second-hand baby monitor so that I can keep an "ear" on them. They are very quiet at night, but will start screaming if a predator comes in their coop. I think it's pretty safe, but - like I said - I'm crazy and don't want to lose any of them. :0)
Well, that is all for now. We have added some chicken coop art to the Chick Inn and I will post new pictures of that soon. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I was half blinded in my left eye for the rest of the evening; woke up the next morning with my eye crusted over, but - once cleaned - was able to see out of it. I kept sunglasses on for a good day & a half because I had a lot of pain when my eye tried to dilate. Anyway, I am now recovered and my eye is much better. However, we have been SUPER busy trying to get the chick's coop (now dubbed The Chick Inn) built so that they can move into it!
I will have pictures of it up soon, but for now, here is a "before" shot of where we are building the coop:
Just beyond our kitchen garden is a small 8 foot by 8 foot potting shed with a lean-to roughly the same size. We decided to enclose the lean to for our chicken coop. Aaron (my husband) is the handsome guy in the photo - he is probably standing there wondering just what in the world he's agreed to. :0) I'll post pictures soon of the new Chick Inn, so check back in a day or so!