Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Evening Post

A glimpse into the lives of the people who live in the Little Red Farmhouse. Sort of like eves dropping. It will be a quote or conversation. It may be funny. It may be sweet. Maybe a little sad. But it will always be true. We'll see if it resonates with you.



This week during lunch Jonah had a double decker BLT sandwich with two fried eggs on it.  Along with that he consumed a plateful of chips, 6 homemade peanut butter cookies, and a tall glass of whole milk. 

Then...
He said sadly, "Dinner seems so far away."

{Seriously? I don't know how we afford to feed these boys!}

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blooming Spring

It's really so early, I just can't believe it
but the roses on the farm are blooming!


Last summer I planted two of these rose bushes with petals of white with red tips.  This was the type of rose that made up my wedding bouquet 23 years ago.  I'm so excited to see them thriving in the garden now!


The tiny pink blooms of the shrub rose look lovely.  That is my absolute favorite color.


But there is something about the pale peachy pink of the Sarah Holmes climbers too.


The May Night Salvia doesn't realize it's still March.


And this new addition is just so cheery don't you think.
After the long drought last summer, I'm so happy to see spring blooming!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Pin Cushion Tutorial & Giveaway

The last couple of years we've gotten spring chickens.  It's a wonderful time of year to do that.  But I added chicks in the fall and I have downsized my flock to just the perfect size ~ 23 including the rooster.  All of them are young except Dear Lizzy (my lap chicken) and I could never get rid of her.

Since there will be no spring chicks on the farm
I needed to make some.


Recently, I saw a picture of a chicken pin cushion on the internet.  When I went back to find it, I couldn't.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  So after some googling and not finding good instructions, I took what I could find and decided to create a tutorial.

If you sew, you can follow along and make a chick. 

And if not,
I'll be giving away a spring chick!
(please note: the giveaway was in spring 2012)
The ones that can enter are the sad ladies that won't be getting real spring chickens this year, like me.
Just leave me a comment and in two weeks, I'll draw a name.

Ok, ready to sew?
First you need fabric (I buy the quilting squares for $2 each):
2- 4 inches square for the body
1- 3 inches square for the large tail feather
1- 2 inches square for the small tail feather
1- 1 1/2 inches square for the beak
and 1- 1x3 inches for the comb
You also need some black embroidery floss.


Fold the 3 inch square in half, then in half again. Pin in place.
Fold the 2 inch square the same way.
With the 1 1/2 inch square you are going to fold and extra time diagonally to create the beak.


 To create the comb, fold the 1x3 piece in half long ways.  Sew a gathering thread down one side.  Gather.


Next pin the beak & comb on one corner of a 4x4 piece.
Each one should be spaced about 3/8 of an inch from the corner.


Now lay the other 4x4 piece face down (right sides together) on top of the other one.  Pin through comb and beak.


Sew with a tight stitch length (I set my machine on 2.5) around these three sides.


Turn right side out and see how cute it already looks.


French knots!  Don't worry ~ they aren't hard.
With the full thickness (six strands) of embroidery floss, thread needle and tie a knot at the end.
From the inside, insert the needle by the beak to make an eye.


  Wrap thread around the needle tightly.


With thread wrapped around, insert needle right next to the hole where the thread came out.  Pull thread through to make the knot. 


Do another french knot on the other side.


Fold unfinished edges of the last side to the inside and press.
If you are impatient like me, you can finger press it down so you don't have to wait for the iron to warm up.


Place side seams together.


Slip tail feathers in and pin.


Sew closed leaving enough room for a funnel tip to be inserted to fill pin cushion.


Grind up some rice with your coffee grinder and fill with the funnel.
{ Don't tell my husband I used the coffee grinder for this ;) }


Using a zipper foot on the sewing machine, sew the hole closed.


Such cute spring chicks.


Leave a comment if you aren't getting spring chicks
and would like a chick pin cushion.
(giveaway was over in 2012)




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend


There is always something to do on the farm ~ a project , something needs fixing, something needs maintaining.  This weekend it's a little wet from all the rain to do anything big.  The weather is gorgeous! So we are going to take it easy. 

Oh, I might clean out the chicken coop.
And we have a lovely new weeping peach tree to plant.

But for the most part, we are going to try to have
a strawberry lemonade kind of weekend.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies


1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 egg

Beat ingredients together until dough is well blended.
Bake cookies at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar.

Make a double batch ~ they disappear fast!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Farmgirl Trade

I have a blog friend that is a real farmgirl.  She has all kinds of farm animals, milks goats, even raises her own turkeys and chickens for meat (butchers them too).  She inspires me to try things I didn't know I could do.  {Still thinking about the meat chickens though.}


A month or so ago, I offered a fleece from one of our Jacob sheep to Katiegirl.  I knew she did needle felting and thought she might be able to use one of them.  In return for Bunny's fleece she sent me goat's milk soap and lip balm that she makes herself.  Her products are named Purl & June after her sheep.
It's amazing stuff ~ I really love it! 


She also made something really special for us ~ our Rockin' S-Squared Farm brand needle felted out of Bunny's fleece.  How cool is that?! 


I put the soap by my sink in the master bath so no one else would use it.  It has just the right amount of bubbles, has gentle scent, and leaves your hands feeling soft.  And the lip balm, well, I'm carrying it around with me.


Really, you should visit her etsy shop and get some of this stuff for yourself.  You won't be sorry.

I really came out on the good end.  I mean all she got was a dirty fleece straight off the ewe.  And there was a mix up on the shipping address and the package she sent came back to her. She had to send it twice!  And we all know how much shipping is. 

I figure, I still owe her. 


Katiegirl, I stitched this up for you and it's on it's way.  Farmgirls always need something to wipe their hands on, right? Now we have a fair trade.


Spring Green


The warm temperatures over the last week have really greened up the grass.  The horses couldn't be happier!


Although it's early (real early), it's perfect timing.  A sprinkler system was installed this week.  Yes, on a farm.  Guess there is still a little city in us!  Hopefully the new shoots of green grass will cover all the ditches quickly.


Actually, this is the last phase of our water revamp that we did this winter.  The drought last summer caused us to take a serious look at where we needed water.  With the number of animals we have, the limited pasture, and the dry summer months, we need to be able to water the grazing grass to keep it going.

Water hook ups were installed along the fence line to accomodate a walking sprinkler.  To keep all this working we added two additional water wells.  I'm so thankful we have good clean water
and lots of it! 


The grass isn't the only thing springing up.  Flowers are starting to come out from their hibernation.  Some are even showing their colors.


This weekend we worked on the vegetable garden so we can get things growing in there too.  I think the raised beds are going to work great.


And speaking of spring ~ the little lambs are sprouting quickly. 
They have plenty of spring in their step too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Last Lambs

The last lambs arrived yesterday
making an even dozen ~
6 ewe lambs & 6 ram lambs!


It's been an exciting but sleepless lambing season for us.
We have learned so much.

A big part of our education came yesterday with the last lambs.

Poppy went into labor in the afternoon.  She was already with her best buddies with their lambs in the shed. Claiming one jug, she went about having her babies.
Only when the first presented itself, there was only one hoof with the nose.  Not good!  We called our breeder and she talked us through pushing it back out of the birth canal and straightening the leg out.  Then pulling the lamb all the way out on the next contraction.
Whew!  That was stressful.
A ram lamb.
He may not have known how to get out but he was up in no time!
In a few more minutes he was saying "Hi" to the neighbors.
But we were pretty sure there was more than one in there because of Poppy's size.  As the first time momma when about figuring out what just came out of her, another nose appeared.  Yes, I just said nose.  Gloving up again, I checked to see where on earth the legs were.  I thought to myself, "I hope it has legs!"  I did find them however they were straight back against it's chest.  I'm so glad it was a little one!  Pushing it back, (this is a battle against the ewe since she obviously wants it out!) we got the legs in a straight position first just knees forward and then hooves forward.  This little ewe entered the world easily after that.

She was a tiny thing.

And needed a little help finding the right spot.

I must tell you, this is something I have never done, nor pictured myself doing.  I did learn that there is no wimping out on a farm especially when it comes to birthing.  You just do what you have to do when you need to do it.


They look a little prettier today.

Last but not least...

Pine
6 lbs 15 oz


&
Periwinkle
5 lbs 7 oz

We've come away from this lambing season
grateful:
 That we had twelve healthy jacob lambs
For gloves! Next year I need longer ones.
That we had an amazing breeder who helped us through it all even at 3 in the morning!
That lambing is over and we can sleep at night again.
That God allowed us to watch (and help) these little creatures into the world.








Sunday, March 11, 2012

Worst Thing on the Farm

MUD!


A few inches of rain + dormant grass + land that doesn't like to soak it up anyway =
Mud ~ and lots of it!


Please don't think everything is always pretty around
the Little Red Farmhouse.  It's not. 
 And until our grass turns green,
I'm afraid it's going to look like this every time it rains.


The pigs don't mind at all.  In fact, they quite enjoy it! 
 (We are thinking about putting a concrete pad
 in their pen next year.)


Of course, tomorrow they go to butcher.
We have no idea how we are going to get the trailer out of the yard!


The chickens like it too.
This girl really has green legs but not with mud around.


At least I have pink boots to slosh through it.


I think they will be by the back door for a while.
At least most of the mud can be checked at the door.


Yeah, I said most of it.
Some mud sneaks in on the rug.



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