Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I love making hearty soups. Mike and I are very happy with a tasty bowl of soup, and some homemade bread slapped with butter. I never use a recipe because for years I tried soup recipes and none had enough flavor for me. From the first spoonful, I want a lot of richness.

Butternut squash (from Australia) is a vegetable that can be roasted and toasted and also be puréed or mashed into soups, casseroles, breads, and muffins.

fill big soup pot approx 1/3 full of water
add a big splash of oil
package of Knorr Vegetable Soup mix (I found 'em for $1.50 per package)
one big boneless chicken breast
pour in some black pepper
let it stew for a while
cut up butternut squash, onions, and carrots and throw in pot
add 1 can of creamed corn and 1 can of cream of chicken soup
pour in some more black pepper
find some greens to throw in
start tasting the broth, likely add salt and more black pepper

My chef tenant tasted it and really liked it, his only suggestion would be to puree the butternut squash and have it as the base, and keep the other veggies in tact. I'll do that next time.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I actually haven't tried this yet, I'm too busy/lazy to want to try the gel type but I found a dry recipe, any comments/suggestions before I attempt this would be appreciated. Any thoughts about adding essential oils?

1 bar bath soap – Fels-Naptha Bar recommended - grate it
(can also use your homemade goat soap)

1 cup washing soda (Harris Teeter carries it)

1 cup baking soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Use 2 Tablespoons for a full load. Just costs a few pennies per use.
Dawn dish liquid fights laundry stains, and white vinegar is a good fabric softener. If you have the dingy look, add some lemon juice rather than bleach.
Tips & Warnings (I copied this from another site)
Use a bit more of mixture for hard water
Use a bit of extra Ivory for "fresher" scent
double or triple batch and store in air tight container
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you desire another scent
Remember: Washing soda is NOT the same as baking soda. t will say Washing Soda on the box.
Borax is more natural than other harsh chemicals and is said to only be as harmful to pets and humans as table salt but to be safe, always read labels and follow instructions closely.
keep washing soda out of reach of children
do not mix with bleach

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 sorta summed up

Jan - stomach surgery, morphine, cost $50,000 (luckily I have good health ins)
May - I had the bright idea of starting OUR own concession stand, Mike didn't want me to, however I fronted a scam artist $5,000, (I obviously didn't know he was a scam artist, but of course MIKE knew better - I told ya not to do it - I told ya so) scam artist was finally arrested in Nov, trial date in late Jan '09. (In '07, I had a real estate thing, let's just say I didn't come out in the black, actually I made $10,00o when I flipped the condo BUT after I paid the existing tenant, had to boot her out, her Daddy was a big-time lawyer, because new owners didn't want a tenant, and paid my lawyer off, I was $352 in the hole).
July - Mike and I went on a real vacation, we don't go on real vacations because we don't care about going anywhere but my California cousins talked me into coming to a family reunion, Mike had never flown on an airplane, our cute married couple tenants took care of the critters and away we flew. Played tourists in San Francisco and went to the reunion, had fun, glad to get home. Never stayed anywhere better than home.
July - fresh back from CA, stopped working outside in our yard on the most gorgeous day of the summer to go help the Humane Society get ready for its annual rumage sale (Mike didn't want to go but I had volunteered us. He said, "from now on, I'll do my own damn volunteering). I had been there 5 minutes, said my hello's, starting working, when I slipped under the cherry tree outside and shattered my left ankle, bone on outside shattered, and broke the other bone on the inside. Cost another $50,000 (luckily I have good health ins), a week in hospital after surgery, much morphine and codine, weeks of ankle staying above my heart, portable potty at bedside, out of work on a misly disability income, therapist coming to my house, Mike having to do EVERYTHING, I finally got verticle again. I cried the first time I saw my chickens again (that was pre-goats).
September - cute married couple split up. wife went back to her hometown, husband still with us, cheffing at a local restaurant, they were so cute together and never argued or anything. Mike and I fuss all the time.
October - I ran an ad on our local radio SWAP SHOP asking if anyone had Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats to give me a call. Just a second went by after the announcer put it on the air. My cell phone rang, it was Mike, "we're not getting any damn goats." 4 days later he was driving me to NE Georgia to pick up 3 does from DoubleDurangoFarm Mike loves caring for the goats, wants to move and get more land for the goats. Mike loves drinking the raw goats milk.
November - we went to KidsCorral and bought 2 Nigerian bucks.
December - whew, managed to get through 2008, and I'm still verticle with brain mostly intact. My health ins company wishes I'd fall off a cliff and no where to be found.

photo of: a baby goat, an old goat, and a mama goat

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dorothy Ainsworth

This article is in the Jan/Feb 2009 Backwoods Home magazine. I love reading Dorothy Ainsworth, she's a go-getter! After you read her EATING WELL ON A BUDGET, also look over her website, she motivates me to get off my big butt! :-)

Goats, Spools, and Muck Boots

Nigerian Nougat strikes a pose. I think he should be on the cover of GQ.

On Saturday, Mike and I went thieving on behalf of the goats, we brought home 3 spools from the local cable company. No sign that said you couldn't take 'em. Do these places usually let ya have these spools? or do they reuse them?

The smallest spool went in the buck pen. Notice SweetPea causing trouble.

Dud playing on his new spool.

Dud likes rubbing his back on the spool. Notice SweetPea still causing trouble.

My muck boots.

Mojita needs some muck boots too.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dec 26

I made Mike and I a big pot of tasty soup today - chocked full of veggies, a little meat, with a rich tomato, garlic, shallots, onion thing going on.

When we have the boys and girls out together, Mike keeps Dud on a leash so he doesn't breed the girls, we have Nougat mating Clara and June. A year from now, SweetPea and Dud will be boyfriend and girlfriend. Out in the yard today, SweetPea kept trying to ram Dud in the butt. Funny entertainment.

SweetPea and her goat mama, June. I'm her human mama. Yesterday, I layed a blanket in the backyard and thought she might lay down beside me. She pounced all over me, raring up, kicking up, I'm lucky I don't have any broken ribs. She likes to treat me like a trampoline. Mike tells people if anything ever happened to SweetPea, he reckoned he'd have to bury me too. I'm absolutely in love that little goat. She's three months old now and I got her, (and her mama, and her grandma) when she was just two weeks old.

Nougat kept massaging his head on the chair, maybe he had a headache.

June and SweetPea

Franklin, June and Punkin

Franklin, Bourbon Red tom, just a pet. He has two hens plus he had two daughters to hatch late this summer. Turkey eggs at the Farmers Market have gotten very popular for us so we're thrilled we'll have two more hens. Our turkey girls have been excellent layers.

one daughter

second daughter

Look at Nougat's lips, and Clara

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a 2009 seed catalog!

I got my first 2009 seed catalog in the mail today. Seed catalogs, with the beautiful photo's inside, give me endless hours of entertainment. My heart just goes aflutter.

That's Blissi, one of our ungroomed Irish Terriers, at the top. We have spay/neutered Bliss and Brawn. They sleep in the bed with us at night. B&B are chewing on some Christmas bones now.

This is July, a Wheaten Marans cockerel, and Peach, a Wheaten Marans hen. (July Johnson and Peach from Lonesome Dove).

Tonight, we're going down to the inlaws for dinner and opening presents, this is for immediate family, I'm gonna bake a corn casserole.
Tomorrow, a huge crowd comes to inlaws and we eat again. Mother-in-law cooks and cooks, and folks also bring dishes.
My human family has died out, I've got a few cousins here and there but that's all. Mike and I dearly appreciate and love our furry and feathered family though. Mike comes from a big, human family.
Mike and I made the dreadful mistake of going to WalMart this morning, never again on Christmas Eve. I think everybody and his brother was there.
Oh, and my breast biopsy was benign, yeah! I thought it would be.
Merry Christmas and keep healthy and stay warm. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

From SugarCreekStuff, Yeah!

Michelle at SugarCreekStuff is the most talented person in Michigan. Sure glad I can get her bags sent to me in North Carolina. Check out her sewing goodies at ETSY. Here's my new winter bag with the snow lady, chickens and a goat. We get snow here in the Appalachians and Mike and I raise chickens and Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats. Until now, I was carrying her CHICK bag, and you can't believe the compliments I get, asking if I made the bag (I wish). I say, "no, but I fellow chicken buddy did).

Cool Old Snow Broad, with Chickens, and a Goat - it's me on a bag!

She even sent tissues - one for Mike and one for me.

Michelle is so clever, I'm Joanna! :-)

rear of the bag, big pocket for keys

looking inside, need a bunch of $$$$ to put in it

Will "hang up" my CHICK bag for a while

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Santa, pleeeease

Mike and I would like this 6-acre farm for Christmas. It's got a big barn, and two other outbuildings. The house is bigger than we can use, really don't need the top part, but the whole house is beautiful with hardwood floors and I LOVE that kitchen. The location for us is perfect. This would make such a darling Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat and chicken farm. If you would just put the deed in my stocking, I would appreciate it. Love, Joanna

6 Acres -- Silverstone RoadMabel/Boone, NC 28698 Remodeled Farmhouse on 6 AcresOffered at $298,000MLS Number 75425, Status: ActiveType: HomesBedrooms: 3Baths: 1Living Area: 1515 Square Ft.Lot Size: 6.11 Acres

No one lives there but some vehicles are still in the barn.

looking from the back door to the left, over at the barn

back door steps, good roof on house

Renovated 3 BR/1 BA farmhouse on 6.11 acres with large 6+ stall barn, outbuildings, cleared pasture and paddocks, and more. Perfect for gentleman's horse farm. Additional adjoining acreage available.This charming three bedroom, one bath classic farmhouse has been updated, renovated, and is "move in" ready. From the large covered front porch to the completely remodeled Kitchen with custom cabinets, soap stone counter tops, and stainless steel appliances, this property combines charm with all of the necessary modern conveniences. The farm was until just recently a true working horse farm. The acreage surrounding the home features level pasture areas with a pristine mountain stream flowing along the front property line. This portion of the property is fenced into two large paddock areas. Adjacent to the paddocks, is a large six plus stall barn with generous hay storage areas. The barn has a tin roof and has been freshly painted. An additional outbuilding, between the house and the main barn, is perfect for equipment storage or livestock. House features include:
Completely remodeled Kitchen with new cabinets, soap stone counters, & stainless steel appliances
New tile in entry and bath
New bathroom vanity
New sheet rock, trim, & interior paint
New electric and plumbing fixtures
New washer & dryer
Refinished hardwood floors
Vinyl siding & windows
Covered front porch

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gettin' out with the Goats

Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats. We have three does and two bucks.


SweetPea. I kiss those lips every chance I get.

SweetPea rear view

Mike and SweetPea

Mike and MilkDud, working with Dud trying to tame him down.

A lady with cattle, gave this cotton to Mike, says her cattle likes eating cotton, our goats turned their noses up to it though.

Early, Cuckoo Marans Rooster likes to have his picture taken.

Nougat and Clara went on a date. Dud didn't like being left out.

Nougat, SweetPea, June, and Clara

The batchelor pad -Nougat in the house and Dud outside.

Nougat and MilkDud

Nougat, Clara and Franklin

Nougat and Clara

Nougat and Clara

Nougat and Clara

Clara and Nougat. Nougat visited Clara's condo.