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, June 30, 2012

Flag Pillows for the Fourth



This week I was inspired to make some flag pillows.  Nothing fancy just sixteen inch squares sewn together and stuffed with fluff.


I mean, when you have a red house and a blue house on one farm, you must decorate for the 4th of July!


Flying a flag on our farm everyday in the Oklahoma wind is rough on Old Glory.  Consequently, we go through two flags a year.  Lucky for me, we had the old ones stored away.  {We usually give them to the veterans or Boy Scouts to retire them respectfully.}


I felt a little bad cutting them up but I hummed the Star Spangled Banner while I worked. That made it ok, right?  If you don't think so, just keep it to yourself.

I think Betsy would be pleased with these stars and stripes.


I know Tuff is.



Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Flowers


The scorching heat hasn't taken it's toll on the flowers quite yet,
at least not all of them.  Watering at sunset every night is helping.  It also helps to choose varieties that can take "Oklahoma full sun".  That's different than regular full sun.


This bed is my favorite this year ~
Hot pink Knockout Rosebushes
Purple Coneflower
Russian Sage
Lilies
Iris
May Night Salvia
Purple Heart
& Periwinkles



I finally have some Daisies in the garden.  This is the second variety that I have tried.


 The Cut & Come Again Zinnias are really growing.
Next year, I am hoping the whole bed is filled with these.


And my favorite this week ~
a gorgeous pink Gladiolus

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hog Days of Summer


I don't know why they call it the "Dog Days of Summer".
I think the hogs are the ones with the right idea ~
Find a puddle and park in it until it cools off!


It's been over 100 degrees all week here.
How about where you are?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Galvanized Compost Pail

We've been needing one of these for quite a while and I finally found one that fit the style of our kitchen and the price that I wanted to spend. I love it when that happens!

This is not one of the fancy compost pails that has a charcoal filter in the top.  It's just a regular 1 gallon galvanized bucket with a lid.  We take scraps out everyday, so I didn't really want to mess with the filters.
 
 
It looks great in the kitchen,
holds a lot of scraps,
and has a sturdy handle.
I just love it.
 

And the pigs~
well, they are very happy about the compost pail too!

Friday, June 22, 2012

WOW! Those guys are cute...

At least that's what the mares had to
say when our new Peruvian friends drove up today.


Dashing, debonair and FOREIGN, they seemed to catch the eye of all the girls around the red farmhouse!


Of course, none of us can understand a single word
they say but their accent is so cute, we decided to ask them to stay.

Introducing, Armondo and Bebe D'eau. 
Wait, that's a little formal for friends so we'll just call
them Simon and Garfunkel.  After all, they've been walking around
humming since they got here and the mops on their heads remind us of the singing duo.


Simon & Garfunkel are two year old Huacaya Alpacas.


Simon is silver with chocolate spots.
Garfunkel is a light fawn color.
They've been together forever.


We are going to use their fleeces for spinning.  Jared has wanted alpacas since we first went to our spinning teacher's farm. Their fiber is silky and soft!  It's an early birthday present for the boy. {That's my story and I'm sticking with it.}


We are so excited they came for a visit and decided to stay.





Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chickens ~ the meat kind

I feel like we made a big leap into the world of farmlife today~
our first meat chickens arrived.

It's a little scary because we will have to process them ourselves. Yikes!


They are Freedom Rangers and are specifically bred for meat but grow a little slower and more naturally than the popular Cornish X.  It was important to us that they act like chickens as they grow.  Just like with the cattle, pigs and even lamb, we want our animals raised for meat to have the best life possible.  And then ~ they will provide for our family's table.


It may be hard for some of you to understand this but we feel better about raising meat animals ourselves rather than buying them at the store.  Certainly it's not for everyone!  Meat chickens may not be for us.  However, we won't know until we try.


It's hard to believe in 10 to11 weeks these little ones will be ready.  Until then I'm going to do my best to not get attached.
 
 I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gathering from the Garden


We've been picking a few things from the garden for a couple of weeks but this weekend was the first big picking.


Green beans


Summer squash & sweet onions that went straight into the pan


a BIG bowlful of BIG blackberries


Just look at the size of those berries.
 This was so nice to see after last year's poor crop.


The sweetest little cherry tomatoes.
These were the only ones that made it back to the house. ;)

About five pounds of new potatoes.


and last but not least ~
Cut and Come Again Zinnias
They are brightening the kitchen windowsill right now.

Hope your garden is growing too.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Daddy Bluebird ~ a Father's Day Post


This week, baby bluebirds left their house on the fence and ventured into the backyard of the blue house next door.

They were so cute.
Still holding on to their fuzzy feathers, their grown up colors are starting to emerge.


Watching Daddy Bluebird feed his little ones reminded me of the jobs that fathers have.

Even after we leave the nest, they still provide support, encouragement and love.  They let us stretch our wings and find our own way in the world but they are there when we need them.


Dads who take this job seriously need kind words of appreciation.
Father's Day is the perfect opportunity.


"I love you, Dad."

So thank you, to our dads, Charles & John, for being the kinds of dads that we can look up to.

And thank you to my husband for being the best dad I could possibly imagine to our three boys.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Crocheted Mary Jane Slippers

A few weeks ago, we went on a short road trip.  I always crochet in the car so I grabbed some pink wool and a pattern I saw on Pintrest and started making Mary Jane slippers.

I finished one and then promptly set them aside when we got home and went back to spinning wool.

Well the other day, I found an amazing pattern for the yarn that I am spinning out of Ziggy's fleece but I promised myself that I would finish those slippers first!

I'm really glad I did.


To be honest with you, I have an extra slipper.  I crocheted one tighter than the other so I had to make a third.  Anyone need one slipper? ;)


The button makes them, I think.

Here's the link in case you want to make a pair {or three, like me}.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Farmhouse Hose Holder

I don't get along with hose reels or hose hangers of any kind.  I don't know why.  Maybe I am difficult to get along with when working outside.

They always seem to get hung up when you need to reach a few more feet.  They twist and turn the wrong direction when you try to roll them back up.  Or if it's a hose cart, it just falls over. 
Tell me someone has this issue too!

However, I believe I've found my perfect hose holder.


This spring I got my galvanized buckets out to plant flowers in. While washing them out, I had an idea! {It was a Eureka moment.}

I set one aside to hold the hose.  To get the hose to embrace the idea as I had, I needed it too loosen up.  I achieved this by letting it sit in the sun for a while.  After that it was happy to cozy up in the bucket. 

It's the easiest hose holder to get along with. 
It looks right at home with the decor around the farm too.
I just love it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My chickens love it when...

I make jam.


You see, they always get the strawberry tops.
It's their favorite!  {That and spagetti.  Yes, they love spagetti.}


I love how the rooster watchs over his hens making sure they are safe while they eat their treats.


Strawberry tops make chickens happy. 
Happy chickens lay lots of eggs. 
I have 12 dozen eggs in the fridge right now!
Guess my girls are happy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Flowers on Friday


Let's stroll through the flower garden
and see what's in bloom, shall we?



The lillies are so pretty right now.


All in shades of yellow and orange.








Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Ram Named Rambler

Over the last month we have been discussing the direction of our Jacob Sheep flock.  The great thing about Jacobs is they are each unique.  There is a wide variety within the breed of body conformation, fleece quality, and face and leg markings. 

We know we love the breed as a whole but figuring out what we want to see produced in our flock over a period of years has been the subject of much discussion.  {I know, exciting, right?}

Since I am spinning wool, we have put fleece quality at the top of the list.  Next is face and leg markings because we like black feet and knees. Strong horns are a must whether two horned or four horned.

And now since we have direction, choosing a ram is the next step.  Rams have the ability to greatly influence a flock because they breed with multiple ewes.  Choosing wisely is very important!

We have found a guy that will be great in our flock.
Meet Rambler
From Kenleigh Acres in Oregon


He won't be arriving on our farm until August when we pick him up at the Annual General Meeting of Jacob Breeders in Colorado.

We are really excited about him. 
Just look at that long wavy fleece!  (His fleece was wet from rain in this pic.) He's only five months old and it's already longer than most Jacob fleeces. 


Face and leg markings are nice and even.


And his horns are realllllly wide.  {I love two horned rams.}


And he's cute.  I know a ram won't stay cute for long but right now he's cute!


We are super excited about Rambler.

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