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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Just Peachy

Our peach trees are loaded this year!

We planted them three years ago.
The first year we pulled off the first fruits 
so the trees would spend their energy growing roots.
Last year, we thinned the peaches out
but then the remaining peaches fell off.
This year, we left them alone to do their thing.
They didn't disappoint!

This weekend, I picked a full 5 gallon bucket
and there are still a ton on the trees.

 I put on my apron and 
the peach processing began.

how to peel a peach perfectly

Some went in the freezer 
and  I jammed the rest.
I love peach jam!

peach freezer jam recipe

Today I picked some more and
 just put a peach crisp in the oven.
Seems like it's going to be just peachy around here for a while.

For no good tree bears bad fruit;
nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.
Luke 6:43

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day Lily Days!

The day lilies are putting on a show around the farm.
Last night I counted 18 different varieties blooming
in the cottage garden alone.
I just LOVE them!

The beautiful thing about day lilies is 
that they are only here for a day.
All that loveliness for a single day.
Blink and you'll miss them.
It's an amazing thing & a good reminder to be beautiful today.

Here are just a few of my favorites.
OK, a bunch of my favorites. ;)
Be sure to look carefully, there is a surprise on one of them...

June on the farm wouldn't be the same without day lilies!

Thanks to my sweet, wonderful friend, Alice
for sharing them with me when she downsized her garden.

Be joyful in hope.
Romans 12:12

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn!

Just look at those beautiful natural shades of gray.

The yarn is back from the mill and the labels are made.
I'm really happy with how it all turned out!

Do Ewe Know Your Wool?  We Do!

Cute, huh?
I decided to market the yarn from each individual ewe.
I think it adds a special touch to know where the fiber came from.

The labels tell something personal about each sheep.
"Ziggy jumps for joy everyday."
"McCarthy is the leader of the flock."
"Ralene is shy but beautiful."
You get the picture.

And of course, their pictures are on each skein.

I've put a few in my Red Farmhouse Fibers etsy store
for any followers who might be interested.
It's just a small sampling though.
I have 72 skeins!
Seriously I can't crochet all that.

I do love the idea of selling local in a shop.
Some appointments are on the calendar
for local yarn stores.
Maybe someone will love it like I do.
They are sure to love my calling card,
don't you think?

calling card wrapped around tiny skein of yarn

Proverbs 31:13
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
Proverbs 31:18
She sees that her trading is profitable.
(Words to aspire to)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Chosen Rams

We've known which ones we liked from the very beginning
but we have officially decided to keep three guys
 intact to see how they develop.

They each have qualities that we love.
Combined they would make our ideal ram.
It doesn't work quite like that though.
Still, we feel blessed to have such nice rams born into our flock.

Alpine had a recent name change to Azure. 
Alpine just didn't fit him. 
With blue marbled eyes and sire & dam with Z in their names,
 it just had to be Azure.

S-Squared Azure
He has a h-u-g-e horn spread, very nice fleece and slender face.  He's missing knee patches that we love but he's got everything else, including ram presence (that proud, check me out, attitude).

S-Squared Atticus
Atticus is very darkly marked and out of our prized flock matron, Precious.  He has nice even markings and horns.  A definite keeper!

S-Squared Astaire
Astaire ~ he's been a favorite of the whole family from day one.
He has the mellow personality of his sire and has lots of spots.  Those legs markings are just what we love.
His lateral horns are iffy right now so we will watch them to see if they grow down and around toward his chin.

This weekend they moved away from their moms
into the back near the sheep shed.
They are already establishing who will be the boss.

I love to watch the ewes and ewe lambs 
but there is just something about the chosen rams.

It's almost like they are born knowing they are special.

How good and pleasant it is when 
brothers live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Friday, June 6, 2014

Horse and Rider Gift Basket

This is my new favorite gift for a horse lover.
I made one for our son's trainer at the holidays
and another for a thank you gift recently.

I purchased pretty bowls and tea towels at a discount store
then filled them up with snacks for horses and riders.

Horse treats
Carrot sticks
sugar cubes
& peppermints
for the horse

Candy bars
dried fruit
bubble gum
& granola
for the rider

It makes a fun combination!

Shrink wrap
matching ribbon
and a horse toy hot glued on
and you have one great gift for a horse & rider.

Tips for making a gorgeous gift basket:
  • A pair of tea towels work great to lay in the basket or bowl.  Be sure to drape farther over edges than you want them to end up.  They will sink down as you place items in the bowl.
  • Purchase items in a variety of sizes.
  • Keep a color theme in mind when you pick items.  For this one, I tried to stick with lime green, pink, and yellow to go with the ribbon that I had. 
  • Start with the largest or tallest items like small boxes of cookies and place them toward the back.
  • Layer toward the front.
  • Add wadded up tissue paper to elevate anything that you don't want to sink down (like the apple in the pic above)
  • Use double stick tape to secure fanned out candy bars or anything else that just won't stay in place.
  • Work toward smaller objects in front.
  • Add some thin items in the back facing out so the basket looks good from all directions. 
  • Fill in the gaps with little candies or other items.
  • Stuff it full!  
  • Shrink wrap is finicky so go with the brand name not the store version. ;)
  • Tie with kitchen twist tie to secure before shrinking.
  • When using the hairdryer to shrink the wrap, start at the bottom around the base of the basket or bowl and work your way up.  Tighten side seams first as you go.
  • Add a bow and trim according to what is in the basket.
  • Happy gift basket making!  Once you start making them, you'll be hooked.  They are a beautiful way to make someone's day.

Another gift basket idea here.

Just so you know, 
we feel treating horses ALL the time develops BAD habits.  
We do it on a very limited basis.
It makes a super cute basket though!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Strawberry Season

I finally got some strawberry plants to survive through the winter!
For the last few weeks, they have been producing
lovely little berries.
They are so yummy.

Bowl after bowl has come into the house
and made it's way to the table.
I haven't even made any strawberry freezer jam.

There are still a few blooms though.
Maybe there will be enough.

All the ways of the Lord
are loving and faithful.
Psalm 25:10


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