Friday, October 23, 2015

Scribs Farm one year later

January in washington


Misty Morning

We've officially been on the farm for a year. I'm a bit late, are you surprised? It seemed to have both flown by and taken forever. We've learned a lot, had some pretty stressful times (Hello flooded field!) and learned exactly what is important. The kids are so much happier here. If I let Nature Baby be in charge, she'd never come in the house. I foresee more animals in our future! We've seen the progress we've been making and it's so satisfying. Google maps updated their maps (this happens every 3-4 years) I can see the difference from above. Our garden is in there, and the compost we've built, no coop or removal of garbage hill.

pretty sky

morning fog

Chickens (The coop and eggs!)
Garden (July,  June, and May)
Living room redo I still can't believe it's the same room in the same house.
Wild life (and here)
Finding the Elephant Hawk Moth I still haven't seen any signs of another.

runner duck

Redneck chicken


Garbage hill
Living next to a berry field, the sound machine. My goodness, I'm not looking forward to it again next year.

To Dos this year
Paint kid's rooms
Fence both for the yard and field
Paint hall way and back entry
Screen door for backdoor
Play set for the kids
Switch Septic field to a wild flower mix.

Next 5 years
Reside the barn
Landscaping - I want big trees!
Patio with a pergola
Re-insulate, new windows, basically get this house warm in the winter
Paint the kitchen cabinets

misty mountains

This year, I don't think my hands have ever been clean and I've never worked so hard in my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm excited for the future, for myself, the kids and the farm. We have a plan for the direction we'd like to head and some ideas on how to get there. I have finally gotten my knitting mojo back and now I'm starting to consider sheep. We'll see what the future brings.


Elephant Hawk Moth in Washington
Being here, I've found a sense of calm. I wake up happy. I'm no-longer as cynical, hating everything and everyone. Maybe that comes with age or maybe that comes with finding and being somewhere that feels right. People in the Pacific North-West, in my experience, are happier because they want to be here. The first thing we noticed upon moving from California is that people here are nice, they are friendly, they're willing to tell you about cool new things to do and see. We spend time outside, exploring! It's green, the wildlife isn't trying to kill you and you can be outside without worrying about extreme heat and the ground moving.


leaf in puddle

For the first time in a really long time, maybe ever, I'm still and I'm happy.

lawn gnome

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pickles fail.

So, this is what happened. A handful of my jars of pickles went a bit wonky. I'm certain it was all from the same batch.
Milky Brine

Obviously something was off, the jars either didn't seal properly, weren't heated thoroughly, the ph was off or they came unsealed. Either way the bottoms of the jar turned milky, the lids popped up, as soon as the rings were loosened the tops popped open and fizzed. All roads point to fermented. It happens. Toss them and try again next year.
Fermented in jars the wrong way

milky pickling liquid
I'm constantly checking for sunken tops, turning them over and checking the brine. If there is ever a doubt about something, just throw it away. There is all kinds of yuck that can grow in those sealed jars. Don't open them and give em a taste to see if they're off. Just say no! Milky Brine, popped up lids, wonky color. Toss em!

Jars unseal when rings are loosened

 You can see the tiny bubbles in the top photo and the larger ones on the bottom. This is not was is supposed to happen! Sure, it sucks and is a waste but it's better than poisoning yourself.

fizz upon opening

Next year I'll be a bit more careful, making sure to wipe every top and check the rings sooner. Lesson learned.

Monday, October 19, 2015

For my little Nature Baby on your second birthday!

t is for tractor

I can't believe you are 2 already! How did that happen? My tiny little 5 pound munchkin isn't so tiny anymore, we've reached big girl status. The sleepless nights have passed, the diapers almost gone. The first year was hard and I definitely don't know how we made it through, but we did and here you are thriving.

crash hard
who doesn't nap in a carry on bag?

You have the spirit of adventure in you. I'm so proud of your fearless nature. You've been stubborn from the very beginning (sideways in utero, head over by my hip and bum sticking out like a pyramid, very uncomfortable and some days just plain painful). The jokes started early with you, turning head down right when the doctor went in to get you.

new born clothes
2 months, wearing new born clothes that were too big
I'm so proud to be your mom, my little funny-face making, bug playing with, tutu-wearing dance machine. You get right in there with your brother being rough-and-tumble. There is no stopping you! Nothing phases you, bee sting no big deal, chickens peck and bite you, you keep trying to feed and pet them. You're kind, tender heart encourages me to be better than yesterday.

3 months
3 months

In your little life so far you have moved twice, been to 5 states, walked early, have 10 teeth, love all things alive, can almost dress yourself, love to read and draw. You are still a little-bitty thing, wearing mostly 12 month pants and 18 month tops but you act like you're 10 feet tall. You do a ton of gross stuff that I will remind you of later in life, just wait!


I hope this year brings many new experiences (including snow), I look forward to the person you are and will become. Anything you want in this life is yours if you are willing to work, and fight for it. My heart is full because you're in my life. You are a blessing and it is my honor to help guide you through life.

loves books

Happy Birthday Nature Baby!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WIP Wednesday Denali sweater

I just started working on a new project for Scribs, well I'm a few weeks in. I've made him a hat or two in the past but now I'm busting out the big guns. I'm working on a Denali sweater by Brooklyn Tweed. I love giant fisherman sweaters. Love, like to an unhealthy degree. And don't get me started on cowichan-inspired! Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, Denali. Is it just me, or is there a (maybe not so surprising) lack of modern, decent looking men's sweater patterns? A lot that I found would be the equivalent  to women's sweaters from 1986 with giant shoulder pads and terribly ill fitting. And then I stumbled upon Brooklyn Tweed and their BT Men 2 section (and the first). I could make everything (not just in the men's section). Their sweater patterns are simple, interesting visually, not enormously bulky and wearable. I could go on and on but I will not.

And on to the deets. I'm making the second smallest size, using size 6 circular needles. I don't think I'll ever use my straight needles again, interchangeables are just so much easier. I'm using knit picks wool of the Andes in gosling. I really wasn't happy with the color when it first arrived but once I took it outside and saw it in natural light things started looking up. Now that I'm a few skeins in, I'm really happy with how it's shaping up. The pattern only calls for two stitch markers but I put one at every pattern change, otherwise I know I'll mess it up. I do all my knitting after the kids are in bed and I've been up for 15+ hours, some times paying attention is too hard for my sleepy-brain.

Here's the progress thus far.

Brooklyn Tweed

I have a feeling there will be a few More WIP Wednesdays feature this cabled sweater. I have a few inches left until starting the arm holes, maybe just maybe I'll get it finished this winter.

Denali Cables

I've sustained my first knitting injury. I know, I know, knitting injury, really? Think about it, the same hand motions over and over litterally hundreds of times in one sitting. My middle digit is paying the price. My middle knuckle to back to the middle of my hand is screaming for immobility. I don't know if you've tried not moving your middle finger on your dominant hand, it isn't easy. Especially with little kids around. A few days of stretches, heat and not knitting and things seem to be slowly feeling better. Something almost-miraculous happened Monday evening, my knuckles finally cracked. And cracked some more. It's still a bit sore moving side to side but at least now a lot of the pressure has popped away. Sweet relief.

Yes, I googled finger stretches and have been doing them constantly. If I didn't feel like I'm 100 year old before, I certainly do now... knitting injury. I'm shaking my head at myself in disgust.

I've got some serious knitting mojo going on, all I want to do is knit and do it all day. But I have grown-up things that needs to happen, like clean my house and feed my family, you know grown up stuff.

This is not a sponsored post, I just REALLY love Brooklyn Tweed. If they'd like to send me some yarn or something, that'd be pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cost per dozen September.

Cost of Raising chickens

The girls still haven't reached their laying peak. They've definitely laid more eggs this month than last. Both ducks are now laying pretty consistently too. Duck eggs are larger than chicken and taste pretty much the same. I do have a suspected egg eater on my hands. I'm not sure if she's been eating ones that are cracked or if she's pecking them. Who am I kidding? She's pecking them and it's one of the Rhode Island Reds. I caught her with egg on her face. Literally.

Right at the beginning of September we needed feed and shavings and again a week ago, bringing out total chicken costs $98.54. We have 2 bags of shavings (that'll last 6 weeks) and a bag and a half of feed ( should last 2 weeks depending how much they're outside and we have one less chicken.) I'm trying to figure out why Ragnar died and how to make sure the rest of the girls are healthy. I picked up some grit ($8.49) and some stuff for mites ($5.98), either of those won't hurt. The girls need some grit on the days they stay in the coop.

cost per dozen

Here's the break down
Eggs 306 (that's 72 more eggs this month)
25.5 dozen
that's an average of 10.2 eggs per day
Cost of supplies $98.54
Cost per dozen $3.39

I also sold 4 dozen, that covers a bag of shavings. I've just started to sell my eggs for $3 per dozen.

The kids are still enjoying having a ton of eggs, hopefully this will keep up.
Our costs were a bit high this month as we had a few unexpected purchases, but we're still on track with the grocery store.

During October we're going to need to do some weather proofing for the coop, hopefully we can still keep our cost under $4 a dozen.

Here's my August recap

As it turns out, I've developed a sensitivity to eggs. Meaning I can't digest them much like an intolerance to lactose. The only solution is to avoid eating eggs. Great. I've been starting to test exactly how much I can eat without feeling like I ate a brick made of glass. Last week, I made a dutch baby for dinner using 6 eggs. I ate maybe a quarter. That was too much egg. The experiments will continue.