Buh-Bye, January...

Daddy would be proud......
Last Friday was the two year mark since he was suddenly taken from us. I was nervous all last week on how I would feel. I even braced a little bit. It came and went, and here I am this morning, having spent the weekend doing a whole lot of 'therapy'. Maintaining fence lines, envisioning my perfect little trail around the entire property, and starting the work of clearing paths, all while thinking about how my daddy would be so proud of me and this little farm. I even moved the horses around by myself both mornings and felt how in just one year, my confidence has grown when handling Rose. She is still nowhere near as calm and easy as ol' Hazel, but I can at least read her energy better and that is key when walking her across the yard and into the other paddock....

My brother also came over and spent some time with me and Christian yesterday and it was really just the icing on the weekend cake.  We all got wind-chapped hanging outside, and talking guns - my dad was a big collector, and as much as I love target shooting, and was able to 'play' as a preteen with my dad's old AK, I never knew really how special it was. Derek (my bro), was explaining the difference between my dad's AK and the newer ones. Dad's, which Derek got from my dad about 6 months before daddy died, is an Egyptian, and very old, or as I classify my clothes, vintage  ;) ...
It can withstand almost any condition - from being submerged in water, mud, sand, etc. , and still be fully functional. Waaaaaaay different than the AKs and SKs of today. I remember tearing up the backyard with that thing when I was 15 or so, and Derek, well, he wasn't even 10 years old and was getting schooled on dad's AK. Christian didn't grow up with guns, so he got to learn some things about the history, and it was just what I needed - to hang out with my favorite men on a Sunday.....

...Yesterday with all the gun talk, my first and hopefully last casualty came up. This little piggy met its maker just over a year ago after going after my mom, gnashing teeth so hard that they were broken... eeeeeesh. One good thing about regular target practicing, is that in a moment of panic, you can hit a fast target with ease... and a pretty clear head. I could never be a hunter, but admire their ability to bring home meat and keep the populations of deer from becoming too overwhelming...

As I mentioned last post, I wanted to get back to posting here more like I used to (which was pretty much every day), BUT, I have realized for the time being, I am shooting for weekly updates. There are quite a few things in the works that I cannot post about just yet, which have taken up loads of my time at the farm in the last several months....

In the last TWO WEEKS (yes, it has been that long!) since I posted here, the grass is growing!!!!

We got some major rain and the temperatures have been perfect for some green growth! It has actually gotten me prematurely excited to start seedlings. I think next weekend I may work on a very small raised bed, hoop-house for some early planting experiments.

Aside from the plans for Spring gardens, I have also been working my tail off on products and ideas for the Fox & the Forest Valentine's Day sales. The biggest selling item has been the Healing Helichrysum roll-on, the magic facial serum, and the Detox Dose. I must admit that when I almost lost my fingertips at the end of December due to an accident between me and some electric hedge-trimmers, it was an ugly, ugly sight!!! BUT after only a week of using this oil blend, I was completely healed. Even I was shocked, and I created the blend, but mostly for acne and scrapes...

Eddie has been becoming computer savvy....

......annnnnd we have the return of Miss Fox.


Happy Monday!

It has been an eventful and busy week/weekend at the farm! 
Still working on closing up the old kennel on the property, which is a very slow going project because of money, but it is happening! My sis has been here with us helping, so things went a little further than we had hoped for thins weekend! One whole side (25 little doors blocked in, 25 more to go!) We also swept 1/3 of the building that was piled high with dirt, leaves, bug poo, rat poo, and spiders. Hoping in a month at least the little doors will be finished and I can them move on to doing something about the two big doors that need all new doors and frames. Then comes the painting the outside, putting in a ceiling, walls, plumbing, bathroom, and finishing it to be something we can use out here! Dairy barn, workshop, storage, sewing studio, etc. 

The land-clearing is till ongoing, and a load of crap was hauled off this weekend which consisted of an old garden tub that was in the woods, old fencing material, and trash, trash, trash! 

Aside from the farm work, there is the usual farm FUN. We put up an additional hammock, so now we have two hanging between the pecan trees! Also, little sis did the "Sunday Sweet Stuff" deed and made us cookies last night....

All the animals are good, the temps do not feel like January, BUT it is prime grass growing weather lately, so hoping my animals will be eating grass again soon so that my hard earned cash can go towards other things besides hay... 

Eli has been being a total butthead and has been on a mission to headset and tear up any structure in sight. He has managed to tear up his own hut as well! Silly ol' billy... Both the horse gals had their hooves trimmed this weekend and I always love seeing Ed. He's so good with my stubborn Rose.... Everyone else out here is happy and healthy and same ol', same ol'... 

I made a little Canebrake Cottage delivery this weekend to Phickles on Baxter Street for Fox and the Forest, and stocked up on some pickled goodies as well as some of the AMAZING english toffee by Little Cuckoo. Oh god... heavenly delights to say the least. 

So that is a brief summary of the week/ weekend that doesn't include the top secret details that sometimes go along with being a frugal fashionable farmer ;) 

Happy Monday, y'all! I hope you all have a FABULOUS week! 




midweek mix tape !

Ok - I guess I am really a wuss when it comes to the cold...I claim to like it, but after only a few days, I am ready for some warmth and sunshine. Anyway, with the temps in the teens the last few nights and mornings, a look at the upcoming week's weather got me a little giddy! This weekend, it will be in or near the 70s! Yessssss, please. These are the songs I hear in my head when I can feel the sunshine on my neck.... this morning I am making some things for Fox and the Forest V-Day sales, and this weekend baby sis will be spending time with me at the farm, helping me clear land and get the little garden ready for seeds... Happy Wednesday! 


goals for 2017..

I am little late to the game on this post, but have had a lot going on at the farm, and am just now feeling that things are to a point where I actually have the time to sit and think about my goals for this year....

~ de-clutter my little home
For starters, I am actually going to live like I have a small home. This is by far the smallest home we have ever lived in, and the first house we actually own, so it has been hard coming to terms that we either need to add on to accomodate all my collected things, or I need to make my life a little simpler.... the truth is, anytime I want to cook, I have to go through all this cute and pretty vintage stuff that I never use, in order to get to the practical things that are actually useful. I started last weekend, pulling all the vintage CorningWare,  Pyrex, and FireKing pieces from the cabinets and drawers. I was able to make space AND cash all at the same time! Win! I am hoping by Spring I will have de-cluttered to the point that most things in our small little home will be something we actually USE.

~ expand our land
I have slowly been clearing brush, burning brush, and putting up fences. Each Winter I have made real strides since we bought this place, and this hopefully will be the year that all my land is put to good use! There is a little over 4 acres that I have never used - most of it I hadn't even been able to access because of the invasive blackberry brambles. I dealt with these brambles on the backside of what is now our yard & garden area, and so I have become familiar with how to keep them at bay - it just means this year, I have to stay on top of them and keep them cut regularly. I have about two acres of beautiful rolling, park-like, land that sits off the road and is totally private - I want to eventually have this area cleared out to the point that it can be accessed by a little trail from our backyard. I see hammock napping in my future back there!!!

~ make something useful out of the old concrete kennel on the property
I have started to invest in this building and am hoping to have it become either a workspace for Christian and I or a workspace I can rent out for a little income - hopefully by the end of the year! Still a TON of stuff to be done, but before its all said and done, I want to have a bathroom put in, a workspace counter w/ sink, a few different rooms, new doors, HVAC repaired, and a lean-to added on for extra hay storage.... dreaming BIG on this one!

~ post regularly here
I slipped out of the habit of posting here, and honestly I missed it! Since I do have a lot planned for the farm this year, I am gonna try to update here at least three times a week to keep you all posted on the progress!

~ have some of my skincare endorsed by a dermatologist
I had a pretty surprising response from a dermatologist in town that was blown away by the 'magic serum' results on a patient that had been battling the effects of rosacea. A friend was asked to come back for a checkup after another four months of using the product to see continued results! Pretty cool! It would be cool to have some endorsement by a skincare professional!

~ be more involved in community stuff
I recently discovered there is a really cool community center in Arnoldsville, about 4 miles from my house! I also want to mosey on down to the Winterville community center soon and see what that is like. They offer coffee and yoga, along with much more, so gonna make time to explore my little local communities!

~ snail mail
One of my goals for last year was to send snail mail. I did! It has actually been a goal for a few years now, and last year was the first year I committed and succeeded in sending out mail throughout the year to tons of folks! Gonna continue that this year as well!

~ a few trips to see mountains & waterfalls with my sis before she heads off to college! YES! College!! Wow!
I can hardly believe she heads off to college this Fall! Time sure does fly, man. I have really enjoyed the bonding we have been able to do since our dad passed.

~ an outdoor soaking tub....

~ get the farm ready for some home grown dairy products! I wanted to breed Misty last Fall, but I never got around to putting some shelter in place for her and her kid(s) to be safe from coyotes, because of all the money that was spent on hay. Jeeeeez. $1700 spent last year on hay when normally I would have enough grass to feed. I am hoping to get something going this year that will allow me to feel good about having a kid or two next year and fresh milk!

~yoga at least once per week.
This is something totally new for me, but something I have enjoyed for the last few months. I plan on going to one class per week, but also going to try to practice at home some.

.....last but not least......
~use my custom-made hula hoop!
My mom got me a hula hoop Christmas of 2015, but I never used it. I already have it out, and have dusted it off, now to get good at it!

In a perfect world, I would also get a huge trampoline this year. ;) A girl can dream, right?


Ooops! I did it again... It's been a while. 2017.

 A bit late, yes, BUT things have been hectic the last month! So, gonna recap the last few weeks with a ton of pictures.... then tomorrow have an actual 'new year/ new goals' post! 
It has been a very rainy and wet winter. Christian's brothers and sister were all planning on being home back in Louisiana for Christmas, so Christian headed out the day before Christmas Eve, and I stayed at the farm for some 'sister time' with my little sis and to also start some time-consuming projects here at home! 
Eddie's second official Christmas was good, cozy, and filled with toys and treats!
Taylor spent several days here helping me with various farm projects during the day, and feeding our old tradition of UNO at night.... We played a lot of UNO in the months after our dad's passing. It was hard to connect sometimes emotionally so soon after the tragedy, but to connect over a simple and competitive game of UNO was good for our souls....I have a feeling she knows she is gonna win this game...I got NOTHING.
Land clearing uncovered the most perfect little Christmas tree...
....and while clearing out around the concrete building on the property, this was the view of the sunset....
...we got a burn permit and had a few fires to take care of the piles of brush we had cleared... These fires were fun. Sometimes all you need is a fire and some quiet time. Taylor shared stories with me about our dad and her making fires and roasting weenies and marshmallows....
...then some nights she would play a game where she built roller coasters... ha!

.....then the next day I decided to use the electric hedge clippers to get in here where there was no other option....
I hit a wire and it jammed the blades, which I thought were disengaged, so as I was pulling the wire with my left hand and pulling the clippers with the right, they engaged - ON MY FINGERS!!! Luckily I was wearing really thick leather gloves, so the damage was minimal. Lesson learned: ALWAYS UNPLUG ELECTRIC HEDGECLIPPERS WHEN MESSING WITH THE BLADES! Ha! 

I washed the blood off, and put on a bandaid, and got back at it! 
Put new locks on the doors of the building....
....and had my 'big ticket Christmas item' delivered!!! Eeeeeek! 
Stacked the blocks and got ready for a lesson in laying them! 
 ...mixing mortar and sand with water...

At the end of the day, my finger already looked ten times better! Close call for sure! 
Next was repairing some places in the fence. I replaced the plastic knobs with ceramic ones because they had broken a few times.

...finger progress...
..view of the house from the back side of the field where I was repairing the fence.
 rain, rain, and more rain = mud & poop.
 .....but in the places where I fed rye, made a beautiful bed of fresh ryegrass! 

I snuck a peek inside this tree to see this little fella...
On New Year's Eve, I lost my leghorn. She was the fastest runner and the most productive layer, but she was an old gal. I noticed on New Year's Eve that she was moving a little slow and brought her inside to keep warm and hopefully pull through, but she died that night.  At least she got some good affirmations of love in her last hours- she never would let me catch her to show her while she was in good health! She is buried now on the backside of the property with my Milly! 
My other new Christmas present arrived the day before New Year's Eve, and we made all the staples for good luck in the new year with MY NEW STOVE!
 Lots of playtime and toys make an Eddie Ray sleep sound...
 Foggy and mild days make for majestic photos! 
Oh no! 
The threat of a blizzard came was forecast on the weather and I never got around to finishing the horse shelter last year.... Change of plans for the week... Instead of catching up on the blog, and making new inventory for Fox and the Forest, I would now be making sure all the animals are set IF we get some snow....

....all done! I must admit I am very proud of myself!! 
..this is the newly finished side....
...and the other side, also known as Hazel's side ;)
...and it looks like I have enough hay to last through the 'blizzard'! 
THANK YOU for always letting me depend on you, Black Beauty! The hay and the shelter would have been a WHOLE lot harder without you! 
No blizzard - not even an real dusting! Just a few flakes....but I was super happy that the horses were able to stay out of it IF it got bad. Now I am ready for snow, so bring it! 
The temperatures did continue to drop throughout the day though and I noticed the well house didn't appear to have the lamp working.... I went to investigate and found this. Oooops. This is what happens when you forget there are electrical cords in the path of the tractor....
I found another extension cord, drug it to the well house, and we had light!!
after the 'snow' stopped falling, this was all we got. Boohoo!
Eddie was not at all interested in the cold wet outdoors. We was just fine cuddling and staying warm under his blanket.
I had planned on playing outside ALL DAY, but since there was nothing to play in, I decided to finally tackle my loft. My creative space/ studio/ closet.... Ouch - see this mess? Yeah, I am not as organized as some of you might think....

 tada! Clean! Now I can get busy on some projects....

 After cleaning my space, I decided to feed the animals a midday snack. They need more to eat when it is this cold, so I was glad it was Saturday with no work, when I could feed them a little bit several times throughout the day...
 I also took a little walk and thought this view of our house from the dirt road was just beautiful! 
 Then it was on to tend to the horses. It had rained all night so they got wet and were muddy - and I knew it was going to be even colder later, so I wanted to brush them out, and fluff their coats so they could keep warm better! Hazel has really fine hair that gets the worst dreads... This is just one of four of these in her mane.... I had to stop working on these because of losing daylight... Maybe one day after work I can tackle these again! 
 picked their feet.... they really need a trimming', so I'm hoping the farrier can come out one day this week! 
 ...and a secret egg stash! What?!?!?
 ...an Ellie #felfie

 .....and then for Saturday night, a pecan pie! 

...annnnnnd that brings us to this morning. Frozen waters, BUT NO FROZEN PIPES! Whew! To be honest, I actually woke up at 3am in a panic about the line that goes to the toilet... How does one let that line drip?? Will it freeze? OMG! We forgot to close the vents under the house! So I got out of bed googled some things and then was WIDE AWAKE. Oh, well.... Apparently that line is less susceptible to freezing... 
Anyway, the vents are now closed, the animals have plenty of hay for yet another cold freezing night, and I am almost ready for bed - Guess that serves me right for getting up at 3am. Gonna try to tough it out til at least 8:30 ;)

and, now I leave you with some pics of the goats! I am always snapping away with Rose and Hazel, but today I spent some time with the goat crew....

My mean ol' Eli...

Ellie Mae...
....and the most loving girl in the world, Misty...
Night, y'all! Oh! And would ya believe it?!?!? My mangled finger is completely healed! No triple antibiotic, just a soak in epsom salts and the amazing healing helichrysum oil blend from Fox & the Forest! 
(a little blurry, but you can see the amazing difference in just one week!! Crazy!)