Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Determine Gender of Baby Chicks

You can plan on it every year. Toward the end of February to early March. All of the feed stores do it. They call it "Chick Days"!!! I anxiously await that time of year ever year. Yes, I do hatch eggs of my own and yes, I do sometimes order live biddies from a hatchery.

There's nothing more fun than walking into Tractor Supply or some other farm/feed store and hearing the "cheap, cheap, cheap" of brand new baby biddies! When I hear that, I am SUNK!

Source: penywise/morguefile

Great read!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Canning Season Coming Soon

Thought it was a great time to share these!

These are just adorable! Do you share your canned goods with others or give as gifts? These labels spruce those jars right up! Maybe you just want your own canned goodies to look pretty? That is fine, too.

Source: Limeshot
The steps to download are at the bottom of the post. Be sure to read up on the terms of use and directions on how to print and cut them. Have fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shabby Chic Textured Yarn Scaft - Tutorial

I saw a scarf like this on a lady at JoAnn's one day and knew I just had to have one for myself. I took photos of hers and off I went to the yarn department.

Any of you that crochet or knit know how pricey the fun, funky, bulky yarns can be.  Thank goodness, I had some on hand from old projects, just waiting to be used. I still had to buy several, but a having a few on hand saved a little money.

I also used up some of my regular worsted weight yarn. You know, the tiny little bits you don't want to trash, but are not quite sure what to do with them. Fillers for these scarfs! Use it up!

Here we go!

Using a yardstick, I measure two lengths (6 foot) of each yarn. The fancy, bulky, texture-y ones, I use two 6-foot strands in each scarf. The thinner ones I use three 6-foot strands in each scarf.

After cutting the 6-foot lengths of yarn, I lay them out on my bed (great surface because of length and can spread out the yarns).

I continue to measure, cut and lay out the pieces of yarn.

Of the bulky, texture-y, thick yarns, I use two strands. The less thick and bulky ones, I use three strands.

The scarves I make have at least 18-20 different yarns of these textures. This makes for a fun scarf. Remember, that would equal to about 36-50 strands total.

Then I break out the plain ol' worsted weight yarn partial skeins I have stashed for "some day I will use that."

I measure 6-foot lengths of probably 25-30 of the worsted yarns. Then mix them into my texture yarns laying out on the work surface.

Next, I grab the bunch of yarn just below one end, and let the yarns dangle down toward the floor.

As the yarns dangle, I run my fingers through it to make sure none of the yarns are bunched up.

Once all the strands are straight and un-knotted with each other, then tie a knot at the end you are holding. Tighten the knot to leave tails of about 6-8" long, depending on how long you like the tails.

Then divide the scarf into three sections and braid loosely.

Knot the other end

Trim both ends to be somewhat even. Ta-da! It's done!

If you have any questions, or these directions are "clear as mud", please don't hesitate to email me for more information.

All of the chunky, thick, fancy yarns I had left over were cut into 12-18 foot pieces and I have put them together into sets of 15 different yarns. I have them in my Etsy store as "start-me" sets. These are for anyone that would love to have one of these Shabby scarfs, don't want to pay retail price, but also don't want to have to spend a small fortune buying so many different yarns(or don't already have them) to make your own.

A fun way to wear this scarf is to tuck one end into the braid, this also keeps it from trying to shift around on your neck.

Have fun!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Grease/flour 10" tube or bundt pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine together and sift (this creates "Self-Rising" flour):
4 cups all purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons salt


4 cups (1#) cake flour, sifted (this is what the original recipe calls for)


4 cups minus 8 Tablespoons All Purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (1#) butter (salted or unsalted either one, but use real butter)
2 cups (1#) sugar
10 whole eggs (1#)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or any other extract flavor of your choice)

Sift flour(ingredients to make the flour "self rising" as shown above) and salt. Place butter and sugar in LARGE mixing bowl. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add whole eggs, two at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add half of the sifted flour/salt. Beat about 1 minute. Add remaining flour/salt and the flavorings. Beat about 1 minute. Pour into well greased/floured tube cake pan. Bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes to 1 hour & 30 minutes. Remove cake IMMEDIATELY from pan after taking from the oven. Cool on a cake plate or cooling rack.

Original recipe was posted on

Growth and development

of a baby chick as it develops during incubation.

source: Turtle Brule

It is so amazing what can develop inside an egg in just +/- 21 days!  I wonder how this was photographed this way. A big graphic, but very interesting, too.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One Acre Self-Sufficient Homestead

This is a fantastic article that goes through the guidelines to be successful.

Source: Mother Earth News

Even though I am already on my way with my little homestead, this sure helped me with loads of more information.

If you choose "print" the article converts to "print ready" and will print as a complete article.

Here's some top rated books on Homesteading that you may enjoy!


Homemade Brownies by Judy

(Repost from my old food blog; Judy doesn't live in MO any longer)

These are delicious! I am making some today.

When the weather gets bad in Missouri, you'll often read about how Judy makes her brownies for her utility repair guys. Judy's blog is Patchwork Times and here's her *famous* brownie recipe.

Judy's Homemade Brownies

Ingredients for Brownies:

1/2 c. butter
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Ingredients for Icing:

3 T. butter, softened
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. powdered sugar
1 – 2 tsp. milk or cream


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8? square baking pan.

In a medium to large saucepan, melt 1/2 c. butter. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir in cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.

Spread in pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Do not overcook! (I usually test mine after about 16 minutes and rarely let them bake the full 20 minutes.)

To make icing:

Stir together 3 T. butter, 3 T. cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Add milk if necessary to get to spreading consistency.

Spread over warm brownies.

Photo and recipe credit: Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara

Judy's recipe can be found here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Working on Tutorials

I have three tutorials I am currently working on to post for everyone. I had planned to have at least one ready to post today. It may or may not happen. I am working diligently on the images and text for them.

Be sure to follow and/or subscribe over in the right-hand column, so you know when I post these.

Great tutorials, loads of photos to get ready.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Reduce asthma symptoms - Raw Milk

This is an issue that is close to my heart. I was diagnosed with asthma as a baby. I have dealt with it all of my 46 years. It is not fun, nor do I wish it on anyone, even my worst enemies.

I have planned to make the switch to raw milk for our family, but there is only one dairy farm anywhere around here. They have a milk share program, it's just been difficult to get on board due to timing, etc., but....

***JANUARY 16, 2013!!! We started today with our first pick-up of raw milk!!! I am so excited! Fresh raw milk, fresh butter, yogurt, sour cream, soft cheeses. I am in milk heaven!!!***


Chicken Breed Information

Today I want to share with you the link for the most comprehensive list of chicken breeds and their info that is on the web. At least of which I am aware.

It is my go-to page so many times when I am wondering about a specific breed.

These are the precious Seramas that I hatched and raised. This was taken in April 2010, when they were three months old. They have all since gone (all under different circumstances) and I miss them dearly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Benefits and Uses for Raw Honey

Raw honey is a beautiful thing! It really is amazing that bees make this golden goodness, isn't it?



Sloppy Joes

(Repost form my old food blog)

I have made Sloppy Joes for years. My family loves them. I actually get cheers when I say we are having Sloppy Joes for dinner! I've been asked for my recipe, but it's one of those recipes from my head.  Finally, I measured everything and actually wrote down the recipe.

Amy’s Sloppy Joes
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups Ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat with onions and drain.
Return meat/onion mixture to skillet and add all ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring regularly.
Serve on hamburger buns or your choice of bread.
That's it! This recipe is super fast, and uses staples usually found in your kitchen. We like it because it's not too tomato-y and not too bar-b-que-y.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chickens and water


This was my own fault. I will not go into it. Did I cry? You betcha I did.

Please do not leave water in an open trough or bucket where your chickens can have access to it.

It is bad news for the chickens.

On the better side, when I walked up on this scene, there was an additional Buff Orpington chick in the water, gasping for air, almost lifeless. I ran and grabbed it out of the water, sat down with it in my hand and put it under a heat lamp so that it would warm basically from the inside out.

As she would gasp, I would hang her with her head dangling down, so as her lungs opened up, water would run out. It worked! After doing this a few times, she stopped the gasping and then went into making all kinds of sounds and songs. I am guessing this was her way of clearing out her lungs and air passages more.

Then I wrapped her up and held her close to me so she could get warmer on the outside and also dry. She made some of the prettiest noises...maybe she was thanking me for saving her life.

I was with her, holding her and petting her and talking to her for probably an hour or a little more. I unwrapped her and sat in the sun with her. She began reaching for my finger to hold with her feet. I sat like this with her probably another 15-20 minutes. Then I decided to try to see if she could or would walk.

She made it!
This happened in June, 2012.