Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cheap-O Diffuser

We don't use many essential oils. I know... everyone is using them to cure everything! And I'm glad they work for so many people on so many ailments!

Hubby has some that he uses to clear his sinuses when he starts to get a cold. They work really well for that.

And I used some citrus the other day to get rid of the "musty basement mixed with 2 dogs and 2 cats" smell in Vet2Be's room.

My friend (who is really into essential oils) told me to use a diffuser that doesn't heat the oil.

I don't have one.

Here's what I came up with that seems to work just fine!

It's a napkin with the essential oils on it clipped to the front of a fan.
Voila! No heat, and it spreads the citrus smell through Vet2Be's dog scented room!

Now his room, and the basement, don't smell like a mixture of stale air and dog. Yay for me!

I might try it on the evaporative cooler next.

It's called a 'swamp cooler' for a reason.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Welder

The guys got a new welder. Because of Hubby's business he can write the whole set-up off on his taxes.

They are having so much fun!

And Son1 can heat the metal so fast he's also doing some blacksmithing with it.

He's looking for a brake drum to make an official forge, but this will do for a while.

All three out there having fun with the new plasma welder.

It's not very big.

This one uses denatured alcohol and distilled water to make plasma.

Hubby decided that they needed a generator to go with the welder so they could take the welder out in the field.
If you've got questions, I can ask the guys and give you some answers.

Other than that, I just know they are having a great time out there in the gazebo!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Farm Day!

We've been busy for 3 weeks getting ready for Visit the Farm and Meet Mike Kennedy Day.

Mike brought in the Phrozen Soft Serve truck and treated everyone to ice cream. He also brought in the signs and parked a car on the highway pointing the way.
We provided the farm activities (and a few posters at the grocery store, at the local school, and on our curb).

What was there to see and do? 
Sorry, I was so busy visiting with people that I didn't take photos, but here's a list....
Navajo Rug display
Spinning demonstration (on a Navajo spindle and a Turkish drop spindle)
Sheep and llama shearing
Free soft serve ice cream
Enter a drawing to win a pair of Americauna pullets (chicks). Three winners!
Visit with Mike
Play on the swings and the slide (while adults visit with Mike!)
Visit the Honey Bees (Carniolans, don't worry, they are gentle honey bees)
Visit, pet, and feed (if you fill 1/2 a bag with foxtail weeds you can trade it in for a cup of feed) the sheep, llamas, kid-goats, milk goats, heifer, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and bunny.
There were 28 posters around telling about the animals we raise here, too!


One of the nicest things about Mike and Farm Day was that he and his wife wandered around and enjoyed the activities and the farm. They didn't just sit under the pavilion and wait for people to come to them. They were partners in this adventure, and really enjoyed being here and visiting with everyone.

We're usually not very politically involved in our family. But my neighbors thought I would be a good County Delegate, so they voted for me to represent them at the County Convention. In my efforts to get to know the candidates so I could vote conscientiously, I got to know Mike and really liked him.

We offered to help him in his Primary Campaign. He asked if we would host a Visit the Farm and Meet Mike Kennedy Day. We agreed, and hopefully the people who came had a wonderful time and got to know a great man who really wants to serve our community.

When someone says there's a 'grass roots' movement..... I think of a farm. Today was real 'grass roots'!

We were really glad to help and had a wonderful time visiting with so many people!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Building a Hive

I just saw an excellent post on how to put together a beehive!

Check out the post: Beekeeping: Assembling Your Hive and Necessary Gear.

Then look at the rest of her blog: Blissfully Content: Living Simply with a Thankful Heart.

I love this blog!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Bees

Hubby ended up loosing about 1/2 our hives over the winter. When he picked up the new bees he found he wasn't alone in that.

Many beekeepers in our area lost at least half of their hives. One man we know lost all of his.

And sadly, the paint Hubby ordered didn't come in, so the hives didn't get painted before the bees had to be installed. It was a special insulating paint that he wanted to try to see if it would help keep the hive cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

We'll be trading out boxes throughout the summer and painting them, then re-installing them when the paint has cured enough.

Here's a good PDF resource for installing package bees.

The location of the new hive is on the south-east side of the new shed.

Hubby decided to use some of the old frames with honey on them from one of the old hives. He thought that would be a better start for the bees than sugar water.

Can you see the new hive top? It's a copper top! I love it!
The directions on installing a new package of bees usually says to let the bees stay in the box overnight and install them the next day. After talking with another beekeeper-friend, Hubby decided to install them all the same day he picked them up, just like our beekeeper-friend does.

It was nice to do it on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.

All in all, Hubby installed 5 new packages of bees last Saturday. Hopefully they will all like their new homes.

And make us alot of honey this year!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Removing Advertising from Plastic Clips

I should be out in the garden, but my knees and hips hurt so much that I really don't want to push on a shovel!

Instead, I'm blogging because that's much easier on my knee!

Hubby brings home lots of stuff from Trade Shows. He's a chemist and works and consults in a number of different industries.

Most of the stuff goes to Blondie's 3rd Grade Classroom for prizes for the kids. But I snag a few of the brightly colored magnetic clips for the fridge.

But I don't like the advertising on them.

Here's how to get rid of it. (Not saying it will work for you, but I've done this a few times and it's worked for me every time.)

Clip with advertising on it.

First thing I do is scrub off the advertising with an SOS pad. I think any steel wool pad with a bit of soap would work. That leaves scratches behind.

I used an old nail buffer to smooth out the surface.

And all the scratches are smoothed away!
 I took off one side of a nail buffer block because it was easier to hold and the block was old. Once in a while I have to use side 3 and then side 4 to get the plastic smooth.

I've also done this on scratched piano keys and it's worked well there, too!

Have you used this trick on plastic, too? Please let me know what you've used it for. I love hearing your ideas!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Garden for My Mom and Grandma

I know she's gone. She's been in Heaven for 3 years. But I still think about her, and my Grandma. Probably more than I should, but I love them (and the many others that have gone to Heaven before me).

I found a little kit at the grocery store to make a Gnome Garden. They had one to make a Fairy Garden, too. But I liked the Gnome Garden better, so that's what I got.

I had an oval bucket that Spunky left me when she moved. And I found a slice of the trunk of the Christmas Tree from 2011 to put the chair on, kind of like a little patio.

I'd like to add some moss and a rock path, and maybe build a little wishing well. If I can find something that looks like a tree, I'll build a little swing, too.
There is a little Mexican hat and slippers by the turned clay pot. That's because Son1 went to Mexico for 2 years and I know he'll like the addition.

And some little clay pots by the chair. My mom loved little stuff like that.

My mom and Grandma both loved birds, so there's a birdhouse and a birdbath, too.

It's a work in progress and I hope to have it done by Mother's Day.

My Grandma loved children, and she would have loved this little garden, too. 

Here are a few links for photos of Fairy Houses that you might like.
Ask the Party Fairy
The Cheeky Seagull
Sweet Posh Baby

Miniature Garden Shoppe has an Inspiration Gallery along with things to purchase. There's even a nice video of how to put a garden together.

Enchanted Gardens has all sorts of things to buy for a miniature garden. I liked buying the little kit, but I'm a fan of finding little things around that will make it especially my own, for my very own mother and grandmother.

I thought I'd share it just in case you have any suggestions of things to add or where I might look for things.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chickens in the Backyard

I looked out the back door and noticed all the chickens had decided to come through the gate (which was open so the dogs could run around).

They often come when I call, which I think is a good thing.
Here's our rooster. He's a cross between a Bantam Silkie and a Rhode Island Red. He's about the size of a large hen.
I decided to give them a little treat.
The next day they rewarded me by coming in the backyard again, at the same time..... but when I didn't give them a treat they promptly ate 2 broccoli plants down to the stems.

Time to keep them out of the backyard.

If you are thinking about raising chickens we've found this link helpful:
My Pet Chicken

And we've really enjoyed having the book, Chickens in Your Backyard, A Beginner's Guide by Rick Luttmann and Gail Luttmann. You can find it new on Amazon or used at Alibris.

About half of them have their wings clipped to keep them from roosting (and poo-ing)in the barn. And we usually have to make sure there is a fence around the garden to keep them from eating the vegies.

Other than that, they are low maintenance pets that eat all our pulled weeds, give us yummy eggs, and leave us rich manure for the garden.