Friday, October 22, 2010

Beautiful week

It's been beautiful here all week.  We're supposed to be getting some rain on Sunday/Monday.  We really need it.  I didnt bake bread the other day.  I baked muffins!  With sourdough!  And they tasted great!  I know, I know stop with the exclamation  Anyway if you are interested in making some sign up for the sourdough lessons - the button is to your right.  The add-ins I used the first time were golden raisins and blueberries.  The second time I made them (I think I need an intervention) I put in some dark chocolate chips and nuts....mmmm good.  Today I am making some bread though.  I think I have figured out how not to have it so sour.  We'll see how this batch turns out.  I need to grind some flour first.  I wont even mention the fact that I dropped DH's glass top to his oatmeal jar on the floor when I was trying to make the second batch of muffins.  It shattered into a million pieces...luckily all the cats were sleeping and the broom was real close cause I was in my stocking feet...

DH did clean out the chicken run and got all the cobs and dried up watermelon skins off the ground.  It looks much better.  Today I planted some collards (never tried growing them before) and started some cabbage as well.  I repotted the basil as it has grown too big and looked kinda sad.  It was in this growing mix and I dont think it is real dirt so hopefully they will like their new pots and grow big enough for us to have some fresh and dried this winter. 

DH had off yesterday and I took off the day from typing as well.  We went to Garden Cove (a local whole foods grocery) and got some good stuff!  We even picked up some fresh cilantro and fresh dill to dry in my dehydrator.  He even helped fill a couple of the trays for me...such a nice hubby :)  I even had some thyme I had growing outside.  I cut it back the other day so put that in the dehydrator as well.  I had dried some basil and some stevia in it before and the dehydrator does do the job.  Love the fact that I wont have to buy most of my herbs from the store anymore.  I'll be checking the dryness today and if they are dry enough will be putting them in some jars to store. 

The chickens are still laying and havent started to molt yet. 

My sewing machine is giving me fits.  The bobbin is catching up all the thread for some reason.  Will have to get my book out and see how to troubleshoot it...ripping out five or six times really sucks...:(

I ordered another kombucha from Ebay of all places.  I hope that this time I will be able to actually make it.  The last two times the mother died on me ...well actually it was dehydrated so it just didnt come back to life so I guess I didnt kill it.  I got some organic green tea at the store just in case it was the tea I was using that was not good.  I need to bottle up some of the kefir I have done too today.  Busy, busy, busy.

Hope your day goes well today!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Pickles done...

I canned 6 pints of dill pickles this morning.  I have never done dills before just sweet.  Tasted the brine and they are definitely going to be dilly...yum.  DH is off today and is going to clean out the chicken run.  The corn cobs and left over veggie skins have to go.  I'm going to try baking some more sourdough bread today.  Wish me luck!

Talk to ya later!


Friday, October 15, 2010

How to bathe a cat...

Some people have the misconception that cats never have to be bathed. That somehow they "lick" themselves clean. Well contrary to this popular belief, cats do NOT have some enzyme in their saliva that resembles Tide (with or without bleach).

Cats, like their nemesis, the dog, do get dirty and have a variety of odors, from smelling like the outhouse where you camped last year to the same odor as your dog's breath. (Remember, your dog will try to eat anything.) Now we all know that cats HATE water. And we know that giving the cat a sedative to ease this process of a bath is out of the question.

So, the best approach is both sneaky and direct. Remember now, this is not the dumb dog who can be led to tub with lies and a trail of Kibbles and Bits.

Although your cat has the advantage of smarts, quickness and total lack of concern for you, you have the advantage of size, strength, and the ability to wear protective garments.

First, dress for the occasion. A 4-ply rubber wet suit is suggested, along with a helmet, face mask and welders gloves.

A Bathtub with a glass enclosure is preferred to the one with a shower curtain. A frenzied cat can shred one of these in about 3.5 seconds.

Have the Kitty Bubbles and towel in the enclosed bathtub area before hand. No, blow drying the cat after the bath is not suggested.

Draw the water, making it a little warmer than needed as you still need to find the cat. Position everything strategically in the shower, so you can reach it even if you are face down or prone in the tub.

Find your cat. Use the element of surprise. Pick the cat up, nonchalantly as if you were simply carrying him/her to the supper dish. No need to worry about the cat noticing your strange attire, the cat barely notices you anyway.

Once you and the cat are inside the bathroom, speed is essential. In one single liquid motion, shut the door to the bathroom, step into the shower, close the sliding doors, and drop the cat into the water. While the cat is still in a state of shock, locate the Kitty Bubbles and squirt whatever part of him is above the water line. You have just begun the wildest 45 seconds of your life. Remember that cats have no handles and add the fact that he now has soapy fur. His state of shock has worn off and he's madder than a wet hornet.

As best, you can, wearing welder's gloves, try to field his body as he catapults through the air toward the ceiling. If possible, give another squirt of Kitty Bubbles with his body now fully exposed.

During the 5 seconds you are able to hold onto him, rub vigorously. No need to worry about rinsing. As he slide down the glass enclosure into the tub, he will fall back into the water, rinsing himself in the process.

Only attempt the lather and rinse process about 3 times. The cat will realize the lack of traction on the glass by then and will use the next attempt on the first available part of you.

Next, the cat must be dried. No, this is NOT the easiest part. By this stage, you are worn out and the cat has just become semi-permanently affixed to your right leg. We suggest here that you drain the tub and in full view of your cat. reach for the bottle of Kitty Bubbles.

If you have done step 10 correctly, the cat will be off your leg and hanging precariously from your helmet. Although this view of the cat is most disgusting, he will be in a much better position for wrapping the towel around him.

Be sure cat is firmly wrapped in towel before opening tub enclosure. Open bathroom door, put towel wrapped cat on floor and step back quickly, into tub, if possible, Do not open enclosure until all you can see is the shredded towel.

In about 2 hours it will be safe to exit the bathroom. Your cat will be sitting out there somewhere looking like a small hedgehog while plotting revenge.

----Actually it is much more fun just having a shower curtain...:)  Cat hate after a bath doesnt last long either.  Hunger always wins

Talk to ya later!


Chicken and some flower pics

My butterfly bush decided to bloom some more this fall.

See you can see the dead blooms from this summer in the background. 

Several of the girls...

I dont think they really like their pics being taken.  I wonder if the cant see after the flash?  :)

Remember the little frog on my door screen several months ago?  Well DH found him out in of all things the paint tray which was filled with painty water.  He seemed Ok.  Dont think that paint water was so good for him so....

We made him another place to go.  He left though.  Must not like clean water.

Giving me the chicken eye...

Not much grass on this side.

We're going to be making a movable chicken run for them.  DH wants to try plastic pipe to make it easier to move.  Anyone had any experience making one out of plastic pipe?

Talk to ya later!


Lincoln County Tennessee Fair

We went to the fair in September, cant say we were too impressed though...It was kind of disappointing.  I really thought they would have more animals than we saw.  The day we went they only had chickens (3 different breeds and only about 40 of them), pigs (only 2 different breeds) and some miniature donkeys and ponies.  Oh and they had some horses but we didnt go to the other side of the fair for that.  No cows, goats, etc.  And when we went into the little buildings they had for the 4Her's contests and the produce I was shocked because there were no quilts!  No knitting either...  But boy did those young 4Her's really have alot of things in there.  They were so crowded together that you could hardly see anything.  I really have to say that the judges really had their work cut out for them on giving out the ribbons.   Here are a few pics.  This is cotton.  See the boles.  If you have never seen cotton growing it is really pretty.  It first gets these little pink flowers on them (the white cotton does anyway) and then as they get bigger the flowers turn white.  Then the boles are formed from the flowers.  It grows as a bush with the lower most branches getting the boles opening first.  The boles open up and there's the cotton.  Pretty amazing plant actually.  When a whole field is covered with the opened boles it looks like snow.  That's the nice thing about cotton.  Now the bad thing about cotton at least near where I live is that they spray it with all these chemicals to keep the weeds down as it is growing and to kill the bole weevils.  Then when the boles have opened early in the fall they spray a defoliant on it.  To make matters worse when we bought our home in this subdivision being from the north we had no idea that a cotton gin was sooooo stinky.  During the last part of September and through November outside of our house smells like a cross between something dead and dog poop.  Needless to say I cant hang up any clothes to dry and sitting outside during this time is not something I really want to do. 

More pics of the fair.  See all the brown eggs?  Hubby said our eggs were much nicer looking.

This was sooo cute I couldnt resist taking a pic.  It is a frog made out of a gourd.

Honey exhibit.  See the frames.  Those are filled with honey combs. 

They also had food items, cakes, pies and canned goods.  I really wanted quilts and needlework though...:(

More to come!


Finished knitted items...

My new cardigan I completed.  Loved the yarn.  It is RY Luxury Cotton DK 50% cotton, 45% viscose and 5% silk #263 which is a beigey brown.  So soft and I loved the pattern as well.  It has decreases along the front cable to define the waist.  I used two different sized buttons because when I went to the dreaded Wal-Mart I picked up three cards with one being smaller than the other two so decided to see if I had any buttons in my stash that would work better for the smaller ones and I did!  They are clear glass and are a little bit bigger than the others but they work and I like it so that's all that matters ;)  Oh and the pattern came from an old Creative Knitting Mag.

This is a tank top.  I had some yarn (Cascade Yarns Rio 75.9% cotton, 24.1% viscose in color #244) and couldnt find a decent pattern so I just made the pattern up.  I have the pattern written down and will put it up on the blog here in a few weeks after I write it out from my short  The yarn was a worsted weight and much prettier in person.

A little lacy vest done in Jo Sharp's Alpaca Silk Georgette 40% Alpaca, 40% Merino and 20% Silk in #755 Musk.  Now this pattern was a little strange as the lace pattern is not only on the front but on the back as well.  The pattern is from Nashua Handknits Seashore Spring and Summer 2007 book.   All the yarn above came from the WEBS yarn site. 

Here is a pic of my new basket I ordered from Southern Plate.  It is commemorating their 2nd anniversary and has dividers in it for your silverwareand plates in the back.  It's an American Traditions hard maple basket made in Ohio and they use vegetable dyes.  They are really well made and were a lot cheaper than Longerberger baskets which if you have any of those you know what I am talking about.

Will post more later!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two Really Good Programs

on CNBC that we watched:  Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage and Liquid Assets: The Big Business of Water.  If you get a chance try to catch these programs when they repeat.

Here we go...

Groundbreaking study shows Roundup link to birth defects

International scientists confirm dangers of Roundup at GMO-Free Regions Conference in Brussels

Brussels 16 September 2010

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's best-selling weedkiller Roundup, causes malformations in frog and chicken embryos at doses far lower than those used in agricultural spraying and well below maximum residue levels in products presently approved in the European Union. This is reported in research (1) published by a group around Professor Andrés Carrasco, director of the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School and member of Argentina's National Council of Scientific and Technical Research.

Carrasco was led to research the embryonic effects of glyphosate by reports of high rates of birth defects in rural areas of Argentina where Monsanto's genetically modified "Roundup Ready" (RR) soybeans are grown in large monocultures sprayed from airplanes regularly. RR soy is engineered to tolerate Roundup, allowing farmers to spray the herbicide liberally to kill weeds while the crop is growing.

At a press conference during the 6th European Conference of GMO Free Regions in the European Parliament in Brussels Carrasco said, "The findings in the lab are compatible with malformations observed in humans exposed to glyphosate during pregnancy." Reporting of such problems started in 2002, two years after large scale introduction of RR soybeans in Argentina. The experimental animals share similar developmental mechanisms with humans.

The authors concluded that the results raise "concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to Roundup in agricultural fields." Carrasco added, "I suspect the toxicity classification of glyphosate is too low. In some cases this can be a powerful poison."

The maximum residue level (MRL) allowed for glyphosate in soy in the EU is 20 mg/kg. The level was increased 200-fold from 0.1 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg in 1997 after GM RR soy was commercialized in Europe. Carrasco found malformations in embryos injected with 2.03 mg/kg glyphosate. Soybeans can contain glyphosate residues of up to 17mg/kg.

In August 2010 Amnesty International reported that an organized mob violently attacked people who gathered to hear Carrasco talk about his research in the town of La Leonesa, Chaco province. Witnesses implicated local agro-industry figures in the attack.

Carrasco is also the co-author of a report, "GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible?" released on September 16 by a group of international scientists. The report documents a bulk of evidence in scientific studies on the harmful health and environmental impacts of GM RR soy and Roundup.

The many people who have suffered from such spraying include Viviana Peralta, a housewife from San Jorge, Santa Fe, Argentina, who was hospitalized together with her baby after Roundup spraying from planes flying near her home. Peralta and other residents launched a lawsuit that resulted in a regional court ban on the spraying of Roundup and other agrochemicals near houses.

What next?

Talk to ya later!