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apparently not. There's a store here, called Beall's (Ball's. Whatever.) I had seen the ad, but figured we wouldn't do anything; this weekend (for Father's Day) they had a HUGE sale. Mens and Boys were buy 1, get 2 free, and everything else was 50% off - including Clearance. Normally, we don't do sales...but our next door neighbor mentioned it to SG, so off we went.

And we spent.

Both he and Himself made out like bandits - Polo and Ralph Lauren and Izod shirts, at 3 for $50. Swim trunks - Polo! - for $25....only somehow we got Himself's free. Herself and I got a ton of blouses and shorts. We basically got new wardrobes - for a lot less than I anticipated. (We basically saved over 70%, if my math is right. The sales clerk couldn't believe the size of the receipt, or the number of coupons we got on Sunday!)

And we hit another one the next day....and he bought MORE. And.....they have a thing that when you have a Beall's card, you get so much cash back, AND $10 off purchases of $10/more coupons...and I currently have over $100 in coupons to use. :blink: (He opened an account, charged the stuff, then turned around and paid it off. It's still open, but *I* am not on it (didn't want to be!), and he won't use it. So....we get the perks but don't have to pay the interest.)

Herself and I hit yet another one yesterday and used some of the coupons...we got about $200 worth of stuff for - wait for it! - $40. I ended up with 1 shirt; she walked out with a hat, 4 blouses, a jacket, and some more shorts. It's.....insane. I don't know how they stay in business!

We're going back Thursday - I have some "50% off all clearance" coupons I need to use, plus some more $10 off $10+. Both she and Himself can use a few more clothes.......:lol: These are a LOT nicer than what Wally-world carries, and with the coupons the prices are pretty comparable. Especially if we hit the clearance racks again!

The 3 batches of Whey Cool soaps look good. I made a test batch of GM soap (new scent - Cherry Blossom!) today - so far it's looking good. I think this one will be called "Sakura Goat", unless Herself objects. She's my Japan "expert"; I don't want to offend anyone with my silly names. I also made her a jar of body butter in Cherry Blossom - she LOVES it. :heh: I think I have a new hobby. Maybe. :snicker:

My SIL made it in from KY. We'll be going over to FIL's a lot, I think, to help her get him straightened out. I hope she can get him to go back up with her to visit - he NEEDS it.
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Got up yesterday AM, went out to milk, and SG came out all torn up. Kenzie died sometime Friday evening/early Sat. morning. :sigh: No sign of distress; she was normal when we went to bed. :sigh:

Needless to say, it's pretty grim here right now.

I busied myself with soaping - 3 batches of Whey Cool. Sea Dog, Hippie Dippy, and an as-yet-unnamed batch scented with Plumeria. I prefer to experiment with Whey Cool instead of the Goat's Milk, because whey is a "waste" product and it doesn't bother me if the experiment doesn't work. :grin: This one did, but the scent accelerates - I had soap on a stick! We'll see what it looks like when I cut it later today.....

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!
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Sorry for the radio silence; it's been quiet around here. Not a whole lot going on - and I haven't had the urge to babble. :sigh: Let's see....

Herself had a full mental work-up last week; it took *3* hours. She got frustrated a few times, but that's OK. Since it's for SSI, I'm glad she started to melt-down; as a Mom, I'm not. It's....tough. but she did it, and now we wait. :sigh:

I finished the mindless socks (SG immediately claimed them; there was a "crazy sock" contest at his work, and he won $5 at the Company Store for them. :shrug: I was OVER them, and wasn't thrilled with how the colors were striping, so it's all good. Plus, I think I *wanted* someone else to have them - I accidentally knit them 1" too long for my foot. :snicker:) I finished Companion sock #1 and have the 2nd started. I do NOT like knitting with beads; I like the result, but the actual knitting? :ugh:

Um......oh! I have cut out the covers for the tailor board and sleeve board. I need to get some cotton batting to pad them, but the covers are ready to be sewn. I even have elastic for them! :lol: And I have enough fabric left to make a new cover for the full-size ironing board. (Why I am so into "matchy-matchy" right now, I don't know....but whatever. I like the plaid, and it was in the stash. So....net cost of almost $0.)

Today I made a batch of soap - but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a FAIL batch. I took some advice to heart and decided to up the scent......only this scent accelerated the saponification process. Normally, I get the batter to "pancake batter" consistency, then swirl and pour. THIS batch? Skipped pancake and went straight to "bread dough" consistency. :sigh: I beat it into submission, but....it's UGLY. I had to glop it into the mold, instead of pouring it (because....it wasn't going to pour. I literally had soap-on-a-stick!), then glop in the 2nd color.....which was brown. I won't go into detail, but if you're a fan of Cake Wrecks, just think brown icing. :giggle: Granted, it SMELLS divine! - but.....I think I have a batch of personal/laundry soap here. :Sigh: Ah, well - it happens to be my favorite scent, so it's good....just not Good.

Off to start school. I'll try to be better on the blogging front...but life's boring right now. (Boring is Good! Really!)
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A DIGITAL kiln - for $300. With extras! Let me back up....

2 days ago, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and hit CraigsList (as one does.) On a lark, I went to a neighboring CL (instead of the Dallas one), and there was a new listing for a Paragon TnF kiln...in Grand Prairie. About 1 hour from us. :hmmmmmmm: No photos, so I sent off an email and asked.

Yesterday, I got the photos. I'll include 2 here, so you can see why I got excited:

Paragon kiln inside


Paragon kiln front

I asked her about it; she bought it new in 1997-ish (according to the controller - that's the first year that this model was made. She thinks she bought it in 1994...but the number doesn't match that.), made 12 dolls with it, then packed it up in her garage and started playing with her grandkids. :lol: She needs to clean out the garage, so...it needed to go.

This thing is PRISTINE. It honestly looks new - there's 1 ding in the brick in the lid, and 1 ding on the outside casing, but other than that it's new. She plugged it in for us and the electronics work; the elements look..well, new, so we said "Here, take my money please!" and loaded it up.

She included 2 full shelves, 1 1/2 shelf, all the posts, a bunch of cones, and a set of modeling tools. And a rolling stand for it, to make it easier for us to move it around. It's not even half the size of the Skutt, but you know what? It's actually the *perfect* size for what Herself wants to do with it. (Jewelry components. I did a quick estimate - she should be able to get components for 70 pairs of earrings in this thing each firing. Maybe more - I was conservative!)

It's large enough to do mugs and bowls, too - and plates or tiles. She's not into that - yet - but she might be later. It's set up for porcelain (with 3" bricks instead of 2.5"), so she can fire anything she wants - including glass and PMC!. OH, and did I mention it has digital controls? No more babysitting the entire firing!! (Just the end, to make sure it does shut off like it's supposed to.)

So. Herself's birthday is now sorted (for real!), as is Himself's. :whew: Now I can look at getting *me* something with what's left of the refund (besides my washer and mixer, I mean - both of those are "household", not personal.)

In other news: yesterday I made soap! I wanted to test the shaped ice cube trays I bought from Think Geek, and I wanted to test a new scent (Neroli and Shea Blossom. :mmmmmm:) I didn't have any small containers of milk, so I thawed a pint of cream....I forgot that cream = soap on a stick. :lol: I was able to beat it into shape and glop it into the molds; the soap looks good, but I won't un-mold it until tomorrow (because of the details. I want it firm.) I'm thawing a gallon of milk right now - I have an AWESOME idea for the Neroli-Shea Blossom....a 3 color soap. Not a swirl...we'll see if I can *do* it. If so, I'll have an awesome soap. If not...I'll have some 3 color laundry soap. :snicker: At least it'll smell nice!

Laters!
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Let's see....SG hurt his foot Thursday being a Good Samaritan. He did go see his doc, who took x-rays and sent him home *without reading the x-rays*. As of this AM, we STILL haven't heard anything...so I have a grumpy husband hanging around all week. (He was already on vacation...fun times!)

I finished the owl hat, and started another one. This one....is for Herself, and is from a popular video game. :lol: I'll post pictures when I get a bit more knit....but it's hysterical. Then it's on to a hat for SG (based on GoT) - THEN I can finally knock out a few pairs of socks. I'm in withdrawal - to the point that yes, I *did* CO a pair yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner knitting (I can't do something with charts at a family dinner - it's rude. Mindless knitting? I can participate in conversations while knitting.)

Tadpole: Try Miller's Soap or The Dish. Just bue sure you have a good scale (that does grams as well as ounces) and take all safety precautions. Lye is dangerous - be safe.

I spent some time Saturday sewing, but....part of it didn't work out. I decided to use the Featherweight - but I didn't realize that the foot isn't exactly 1/4". So....some of my seams pulled apart when I washed the item. :sigh: It was a gift, too...so I need to sit down and have a re-do. Not a huge problem - I can use the flawed one myself (and I *was* going to make one for me, so...this is OK.) This time I'll use my White, though....it's just, it was cold in the studio and I wanted to be warm. It's easy to set the Featherweight up in the dining room...I can't easily move the White. (It's HEAVY.) :shrug: It is supposed to warm up today, so.....I'll start cutting fabric soon.

Guess I really should get back to the knitting. My adventurer needs a proper head covering! :snicker:
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I FINALLY got the webpage updated with almost ALL of the scents I have on hand. There are a few that were too...ugly to be listed, but :whew:! What a job!

Inventory was easy - Herself helped; we were done in less than 45 minutes. What took the longest (and I've been working on this since 8 AM today!) was that Weebly has changed their easy-to-use format to something less easy. :sigh: That's progress, right?

Anyway. The site is Barker Glen Farm; feel free to poke around and see if anything's broken/looks weird. I did a LOT of updating!

The biggest change is that I broke the soap out between milk and non-milk/LE. There's a drop-down under "Soap" now, and the main soap page has 2 buttons to go to the respective page. (THAT took a while to figure out....like I said, Weebly isn't as user-friendly as it was.)

I want to re-do some of the photos; SG is the designated photographer, but he hasn't wanted to take the time to do a photo-shoot of *soap*. :lol: I tried to match his style...but I am NOT a photographer. The photos work...but I'd like to get him to re-do them for me. Someday.........

All the soaps listed are in stock; the Whey Cool Sea Dog is the only one in very limited quantity (5. I made more a few weeks ago, but it was made it a bad batch of lye and I haven't made cheese again so I can re-make it. :sigh:) Grandma's Flower Garden has 9 (but they are....kinda ugly. The swirls didn't; the bars are mostly solid rose.) The 2 luxury bars are limited, but I have at least 10 of each. The rest? I have at least 1 full batch of each (18 bars) - most I have...um.....multiple batches. :snicker:

In other words, I have a lot of soap. :rofl: I also need to update the farm blog....it's been over a year! :yikes!:
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but you'll have to wait. I was *planning* on having Firebird #1 done *today*, but....Dr. Who and knitting from charts simply do NOT mix. :lol: And today...well, we have an outside class that's going to cut into today's knitting time. Not a big deal, but....the sock won't be finished (probably) until Sunday (I don't knit on Shabbat.) And SG finished another darning egg - I need to post that, as well. (He's getting better - he even added some pretty touches to this one!)

I also really, really, REALLY need to make soap - like, SOON. Paypal is supposed to keep track of inventory...but it kinda sucks. I have it set to notify me when I get down to 5 bars of a particular scent.....and it sometimes doesn't do that. Yes, I can visually verify - but when you have a batch that you think is "enough" and it sells, well - you kinda need to get it restocked. :lol: (NOT a bad problem to have!) I have a LOT of soap curing, but not of all my scents - some are new, some are fail-batches, and some are personal. So, soap-making gets moved to the top of the Must Do list and knitting gets moved down. (Since it takes 6 weeks to cure, I need to stay on top of the soap situation.)

At least this time I remembered to update the website with "out of stock" buttons. :blush: Which reminds me, I *really* need to get the new soaps listed - as I said above, I have a *lot* that's not on the site yet. :sigh: and :lol: (First world problems, right?)

At least I did my Shabbat cleaning early today! And dinner's already planned...so at least I am ahead of the game there!

Gotta skitter! Shabbat Shalom!
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we need rain, but that's OK - we got a little bit yesterday. At least it's not 100+ any more!

Sock Report: Working my way up the leg. I have 31 rounds to go (or thereabouts) - I'm hoping to have it done by Friday so I can start #2. I'm taking extensive notes (and putting most of them on the Ravelry page for my Firebird) so that a) sock #2 will match and b) my Peacock version will go easily.

I have to hit the Post Office tomorrow - I have soap to ship out! (Thank you! You know who you are!!) I went today before I got the soap order - I had a box to pick up. I'm doing a little more work - surprisingly, the check was already at the Post Office! That was a nice blessing!

Not much else going on - I'm knitting my way thru holiday presents; after this pair of socks I have a cabled scarf for Himself, a pair of socks for SG, a knitted version of the Skyrim helmet for Herself (she's...an interesting kid, what can I say? :lol:), and a hat for Cyn. (Need to get the yarn for that one; she's not a hand-wash person, so it'll need to be machine washable. And PINK.) I'm hoping to plow thru these quickly so that I can play with the Van Gogh goes Bob Marley yarn. :rofl: - thanks Ali!

School is going well. We added "real" Math in this week, as well as started Mystery of History IV. It's nice to be back in the routine of "real" school! Himself is kinda irked - he's taking Trigonometry this year, and I'm making him actually WRITE the problems out *on paper*. He's gotten used to doing all the Math in his head.....but I know that Calculus is coming up, and he's going to *need* to be used to putting the pencil to paper. I need to dig out his slide rule, too - there's no reason he can't learn to use it alongside a scientific calculator. :grin:

Guess I really should sit and knit a bit. The socks won't knit themselves, after all!
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After a week of lovely, "low" temps - we had record lows 3 days last week! - we're back to the normal, little-slice-of-Hell that is Texas' Summer. Whee......Not! :lol:

I FINALLY finished my socks:

Do you know what they are? :lol:

TARDIS socks

It's the TARDIS! And look at the heels:

TARDIS socks heels

Daleks! I wanted to knit in EXTERMINATE....but I didn't have enough stitches for that. That's OK - I have another pattern that Herself wants. They're Dalek socks....and cute. :rofl: That'll be later, though....I need to get over the never-ending rounds of BLUE knitting I had to do to finish these. The fun stuff is all over at the start - you have a little bit more on the heel, but it's mostly mindless knitting in BLUE. :sigh: I'm working at Himself's kilt hose, but I'll be finding another color work pattern soon, I think. Or maybe a cool texture pattern...we'll see.

Riley and Chloe had a meet'n'greet at the vet today. He thinks they're both healthy, and that Chloe is maybe a Lab/Pyr cross. His assistant thinks no, she's a flat-coated Retriever. Whatever - she's ours, and we don't care. :lol: Except that both of them think it'll be at least another year before her brain grows....:lol:

I had a soaping FAIL this week. Last week, I made 2 batches - same recipe, except for color and scent. The first one is perfect (well, my swirls need work, but the soap is perfect.). The 2nd - made 15 minutes after the 1st batch, with the exact same ingredients - was still oily on top on Friday (24 hours after I made it). No biggie - I let it set until Sunday. (Sometimes it does that; usually the oils reabsorb if you let it sit a little longer.)

Sunday, I cut it....and had a massive explosion of oil. :sigh: I'm glad I was in the Studio on the Hoosier cabinet, because it would have been hard to clean up in the kitchen. :sigh: I'll have pima-colada scented laundry soap soon, because I won't risk anyone's health with this batch. I will try again next week when I get more oils, but....I don't know what went wrong. :sigh:

That's about it for now.....

Random....

Jul. 16th, 2014 08:33 am
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because there's just not a whole lot going on.

1. Re: Hoosier Cabinets. I guess they're mostly regional - my MIL's is the first one I'd ever seen; she brought it home from her mother's in Kentucky. She remembers when her mother got it (in the 30s) - it was THE height of kitchen couture back then. I found some original ads online - they were billed as the "organized kitchen". I can totally see that - they are fantastically set up so that everything is within reach and yet still out of sight and neat. They're not that common here - CraigsList current has 14, but most of them are well out of my budget. Still, they're worth hunting for if you have room for one!

2. We lost a chick this AM. It was doing poorly yesterday, so we brought it into the house so it wouldn't die alone (I'm kinda funny about that.) I thought it was doing better this AM, but it died when Herself was feeding it. :sigh: I *know* that chicks are just waiting for a reason to die, but it's still hard.

3. Soap! Looks like this will be a soaping year - we are still full-up on cheese. :lol: I'm trying to decide what 2 scents to do today....we'll see. Right now I can do 2 large batches at a time (I have 3 large molds, but....I have to admit that I do NOT like my Woodfield's one. It's too tall...I prefer the (surprisingly cheaper!) BrambleBerry molds to it. :shrug: I think the Woodfield's is going to become my Plain Jane mold....IF I decide to keep it.

4. Pool man has NOT shown up this week, despite telling us on Saturday that Mondays were our day. :grrrrr: I'm a little upset at this point - I have given him the benefit of doubt every single week, I've calmed SG down...but I'm running out of patience here. And the pool is STILL cloudy, because the PH is out of whack. :bangs head:

5. Ali made a point yesterday (was it yesterday? My days all run together now) about wondering if the Adversary was going to get people thru "get out of debt free" schemes. I think she's on to something, because I got a "get rich quick" email from a Rabbi, of all people! :shakes head: This is going to get interesting (and, I wish I had gotten out of debt free! :lol: Would have been a lot less stressful! :rofl: Sorry.....but I'm finding it funny. Now. :lol:)

As I said, not much going on here. We're beginning to ease back into the school routine - this week we added Math; we'll be adding in Language Arts in the next few weeks, then Foreign Languages, then the "extras". We're scheduled to be in full-school mode by September 1...we'll see how we do.

Oh! We got some rain yesterday, and are due more tomorrow! In fact, we have a COLD front moving in! (This is Texas. In July. "Cold" means anything under 90*. I'll take it!)
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Just sold 2 bucklings! Not for what I was asking, but hey - they're GONE! As pets, and I got a decent price ($60/each). Thank you, Lord!

Wait - I never posted photos of them, did I? Well...I need to remedy that right now!

Behold: this years kid crop!

Pile o'goats

5.5 of them in the front yard

photo_2

The 2 on the pile of stepping stones are the doelings - I'm retaining the brown one. The black girl is pretty flashy!

photo_1

The large brown boy in the background is sold, as is the boy with the white front foot (first photo). The 2 flashy boys here are Oreo and Chip (should be obvious, but Oreo is the black and white one, Chip is the white and black one. :lol:) It was hard to get photos of them, because they will NOT stand still. :lol: And yes - they do all look alike. Malcolm seems to throw duplicates. At least we'll know who the daddy is! :snicker:

And my Soaping Center:

Soaping Center

It's not quite finished - the tambour (roll up) door needs to be reassembled and we need a magnet on the bottom door, but it works the way I wanted it to. ALL my supplies are in it, with room to spare! (And yes, it IS being used right now. "Goats in Love" and "Chimera" are currently gelling on the pull-out enamel top. It works GREAT for this! - and for pressing cheese, too!) (And the Studio is still in disarray - OK, it's a mess. It's still hot in there, so I work on it a little bit every morning before school. It'll get there sooner or later.)

SG HATES it, because it's, well, a piece of junk. It has had a very hard life. He plans on building me a reproduction, keeping the hardware (which is all now new) and the top (which IS original and can't be replaced), because this one....well, it's shoddy. *I* don't care, because I am going to make a mess on it, but he wants a "nice" one. :shrug:

We hit the pool when the buyer left, and the kids came up with some new "seasonal" soaps for me. I have come up with one for the 4th of July - red/white/blue swirls in an apple pie scent; they came up with a winter holiday one - blue/white swirls in Frankensence & Myrrh, a Halloween one in orange/black (or orange/yellow/white) swirls and pumpkin spice scent, and they're working on a Thanksgiving one. Not sure on the colors, but a cranberry scent. I see lots of fun, one-off soaps in my future! :lol: I just need to start promoting the heck out of the website.......that's hard for me. I'll get over it.....

Not much else to report. I am almost at the heel-turn of my Whovian socks.....finally. It's just been to darn hot to KNIT, if you can believe it.
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Waterlogged, thank God, but alive! It's been raining since...Sunday? Saturday? Anyway - we NEED the rain. No complaining here!

Let's see:

1. Baby birds have been moved to a rehab facility. They were doing well, but the round-the-clock-every-2-hours-feedings were getting to us. Plus we have things to do outside the house this week (and next week the kids are at Granny's!)....so, they needed a place where they'd get the care that they need.

2. Pool guy....he's not very punctual, but hey! You can see the bottom of the pool now! And we are supposed to be able to actually SWIM this weekend! Can't beat that! Granted, we're paying for the help - but I'm at the point I don't care. I want to SWIM, darn it!

3. Yesterday we ran and picked up a new "soaping center" for me. It's an old Hoosier cabinet (in really poor condition...it looks good on the outside, but.....). First up, it is NOT a valuable antique. (Want to get that out of the way.) Which is good, considering what I'll be doing with/to it. All my soaping supplies fit in it (with room to spare, actually!), and my molds fit perfectly on the slide out top. It makes that area of the Studio look MUCH nicer - and I have more room!

The ready-to-go soaps are in the armoire (that used to be my soaping center - we did a bit of moving around Monday. :lol:), as are the mailing supplies and my "spare" appliances. It is so much neater than the open shelving that used to be there....the Studio is now trashed, but it'll get put back together soon. Maybe next week. :lol:

The Hoosier cabinet needs to be repainted, and the bottom...well, it's been water damaged and wasn't attached any more. When we got it home we discovered this (no, we didn't notice the damage at the lady's house - it was in the garage, crammed into a corner, and on a quick glance it looked fine. Got it home, though, and I discovered the bottom corner wasn't attached anymore. Ah, well...) ...I ran to Ace and picked up some corner braces and did a quick repair. IF I had wanted to take the time, I would have cut some plywood and replaced the bottom...but rain was coming and I wanted the thing IN the house. I need to make a shelf for the bottom (the brackets are there, but no shelf), and I need to get new drawer pulls for it. Oh, and I need to install a catch for the bottom door - it won't stay closed. :shrug: Again, it's perfect for what I wanted it for, and I got it for a good price.

4. Unemployment denied my claim.....boo-hoo. I'm not upset (too much) by it - I am NOT looking for another job, and it felt wrong to keep looking at ads.....and, honestly, as long as I watch the budget we'll be fine.

5. I'm still a little miffed at my husband. 3 weeks ago, I discovered my MacBook Pro screen was *shattered*. I asked everybody - the kids were shocked, SG said "No! What happened???" :sigh: Found out that evening that HE had dropped something on my MacBook, but hadn't realized it broke the screen until I called him.

It's not so much that he broke it, it's that he lied about it. He's ALWAYS on the kids' butts about not taking responsibility...and yet, when it came time to model it, he bailed. :big sigh: Oh, and also I had just decided the night before to NOT replace the laptop with my severance; I had decided that I could live with the slightly slower response time. :bangs head: (A new screen from Apple will supposedly run about $700+; for that, I'll just add a few hundred more and get me a new Air. SG wants this one; he says he'll find an after market screen and replace it himself. Whatever....) I'll get over it...but I really didn't want to spend the $$$$.

Today is grocery and orthodontist day; tomorrow is book store (hey, Himself actually ASKED for a few books! Yes, I'm going to capitalize on this!); Friday is a lunch date with a friend. Saturday is going-to-Granny's day.....I need a break! :lol:
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Yesterday we took Auntie out shopping. She's having car trouble, and has *refused* to let anyone take it in to get it fixed. She says she doesn't need it, she can "go into a home and not bother anybody". :sigh: Not. Happening.

Instead, I volunteered to take her out once a month for shopping/etc. I don't mind; she's easy to get along with, and I am humbled by her faith - I wanna be more like her when I grow up! :lol: She won't consider moving in with us (yeah, it'd be a bit of a bother to shift things around, but it's do-able, and we'd work it out. But....no, she won't do it. :sigh:), so this is the next best solution.

Anyway. Got home and made 3 batches of soap (darn it, I forgot to mail out samples! Crap - they're boxed (no labels, just messy hand-writing.....but they're free and same recipe as the rest of my soap, so it'll work!) and I'll get them out today. I'm actually glad I forgot - 1 batch, Grandma's Flower Garden, is a total scent-fail; there's NO scent at all to it. :sigh: Need to tinker with that one! Oh, well - I have more laundry soap! :lol: (And yes, that's where fail-batches end up - I grind it up and make laundry soap. Why not?) - 1 batch of Chimera (Dragon's Blood scent), 1 batch of Grandma's Flower Garden (Rosehip Jasmine; I put in more scent this time - hope it sticks!), and 1 batch of Lavender Milk (Lavender, duh! No buds this time - just a softly swirled violet/natural bar.) My kitchen smells DIVINE - as does my dishwasher. :lol:

If we have time today, I'll make a few more batches - not sure of scents yet, but I need to use up milk and I am SICK of making cheese. :lol:

Not much else to report. I'm at the crown of Himself's hat - I downloaded the pattern, re-jiggered the decreases, and realized that it's easier than I had thought. Oh, well - it was worth the $5 for the light-bulb moment. I also have the kid's Hanukkah prezzies almost all purchased...this year, Himself wants Lego Star Wars sets. Oy! It's been a couple of years since he requested Legos - I had no idea they had gone UP so much in price (on eBay, I mean - I remember I used to be able to get them for 40 - 60% off. Now? Most of them are maybe $10 cheaper - when you figure in shipping, it's cheaper to get them directly from a Lego store. :sigh:) Herself's been easy.....but she's getting 1 "big" present, to make up in price for all his Legos. She's been wanting a Nintendo 3DS.....I talked to the guy at GameStop yesterday, and it looks like I'll be picking one up for her on payday. IF I'm lucky, she'll get a special edition one...if not, just a regular XL one. :sigh: Still cheaper than it could have been...but OY! Teens are expensive! :lol: (Not really. This is the one time of year I do go all-out to indulge them. MUCH cheaper to buy 8 semi-expensive things 1x/year than it is to spoil them all year long. And I've been able to get some things earlier in the year, which helps.)

Shabbat Shalom!
fiberaddict: (Default)
I've updated my Ravelry (user name: fiber-addict) page to show a lot of my older projects - I got tired of having only 5 projects showing. I haven't uploaded everything...but I've been going thru my website photos and slowly moving them over. I might move everything, I might not...we'll see. Depends on how busy I get - right now, not so much. Next week, who knows? (I am actually *caught up* at work - how odd is that??? Seriously - I have NO work-work at the moment. Feels pretty good, actually!)

I also updated the farm store's inventory. I still need to get some of the newer soaps listed (and I need to send out a sample box - next week, I hope!), but at least the current soaps have been updated. (Well, pretty much - there's still a LOT in the curing box that I need to go thru, but I've got the "ready to mail, except maybe for labels" soap all listed. Labels are easy to slap on.....)

Tomorrow evening Yom Kippur begins - so let me wish y'all Shabbat Shalom early.

:ugh:

Jul. 22nd, 2013 07:57 am
fiberaddict: (Default)
Can July be over yet? Please? Because I'm tired of being the Universe's punching bag.....

Friday afternoon, I decided to start boxing and labeling soap. I pulled the large plastic tub I store my curing soaps in into the living room from the studio...and managed to pull a muscle in my lower back (and I'm not sure how....the box was heavy, yes, but I mostly scooted it along the floor.). Oi. I have NEVER been in as much pain - no, not even after surgery. Without meds. On *my* pain scale, this has been a solid 9. :wince:

Saturday, SG took me to a massage place...it was nice. I could *walk* again! For about 20 minutes. :sigh: I spent the rest of the day, and most of yesterday, on the couch with a heating pad.

Last night I broke down and took a Naproxin. Yes, I'm allergic. Yes, I had a reaction. But - I SLEPT. And woke up stiff, with pain at a pretty solid 4. MUCH better than before!

I was able to make a batch of Farmhouse Cheddar yesterday - and today I'm making Gouda. Cheesemaking, at least, doesn't require a lot of heavy lifting. :lol: (And no more soap for a while...maybe. I have....enough soap to last my family 4.5 years at current consumption rates. However....soap keeps, and gets better as it ages. If the milk supply keeps up, I'll HAVE to make more soap, because I am running out of room in the fridges for cheese. Not that I'm complaining, mind you - it's just something I have to be aware of.)

Hope your weekend was better than mine!

Coolness!

Jul. 1st, 2013 11:46 am
fiberaddict: (Default)
So, I cut the soap logs yesterday...and got the COOLEST swirl EVER:

Dragon's Blood Soap

Do you see it? Do you? This is the Dragonsblood soap...NOW do you see it????? :lol:

THIS bar is NOT for sale, no way, no how. Sorry, but....I gotta keep it. To inspire me to try to do this again.....

Anna, thanks for the Latin links! Looks like a lot of them are Catholic, but hey, I can make 'em work! We're on Lesson 7 in "Linney's Latin Class", and it's working great. I like him...but we need a bit more repetition, which is where your links'll help.

Tripp is still hangin' in there. He took a bit more milk this AM....so we're optimistically hopeful.

I have a lady coming up from Houston Wednesday to look at the Alpine bucklings...:fingers crossed: I also got an email yesterday, also looking for an Alpine :fingers doubly crossed!:

We've started reading "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" for school. Himself isn't familiar with the Arthurian Cycle.....I need to remedy that. Not to know about the Round Table.....:shakes head: Besides, we have Camelot the Movie, Camelot the Musical, and "The Sword in the Stone"......how can you watch them without knowing the legends? (Rhetorical question.)
fiberaddict: (Calvin: Faces)
as usual. Let's see:

1. Eye doc appt. yesterday. Everything checked out NORMAL - my close-in vision has deteriorated a bit, but that's normal per the doc. (As you get older, your lenses get thicker/stiffer, and it affects your near sight.) I need to budget for my new glasses - $300 WITH our insurance. :shudder: Yes, I'm checking out Zenni Optical....progressive bifocals are pricey!

2. I think we're done kidding. :fingers crossed: All 3 new bucklings are doing well; bouncy and noisy and cute as can be.

3. Every time I think I have everything we need for school, I find something else. :lol: This time it's Anna's fault - she's gearing up to study Musicals. I used to have a nice selection - I LOVE Musicals! - but when SG got rid of the VCR I had to rehome the VHS tapes. I *thought* I had replaced them.....but I only made lists, I didn't actually BUY any replacements. :sigh: eBay is my friend....I have a HUGE watchlist right now; I need to look at the budget and see what I can get. (The good news is that I have the Operas we need, and almost all the Shakespeare plays. So....at least I'm partway there!) (And, I do have an extensive collection of soundtracks...but it's more fun to SEE a musical than it is to just listen to it, especially when you've never seen it before.)

4. Life of Fred is currently a hit. *Herself* is even participating! I'm doing it as a read-aloud, and Himself is doing the problem sets mentally - at the moment. I've already read this book; I thought it was kinda stupid on my read-thru, but then I didn't do any of the math. I have to say, I'm impressed. Herself actually *got* how to figure out going from a negative number to a positive (ie: How many floors do you actually go up from the 3rd basement (-3) to the 85th floor? Answer: 88. You have to go UP 3 floors to get to the ground, then you go up 85 MORE. She NEVER got that before! :happy dance:)

5. The GM cheddar is looking fantastic! I tasted some of it as I peeled the cheesecloth off - it has a really nice flavor now. Can't wait to taste it in 4 months!

6. Made 2 batches of soap yesterday - Moonlight Pomegranite and Heather & Hyacinth. The H&H is WAY too floral for my tastes, but it seems to be settling down. We'll see how it cures.

I think that catches me up.....I gotta skitter. School and Sabbath prep today - Shabbat Shalom!
fiberaddict: (Firefly: Josh Whedon)
OK, it's been a busy and weird week. So....let's do a list! :lol:

1. Monday was recover and hem the dishtowels day. Didn't get that accomplished - but I did get all the towels ironed and pinned. :shrug: It was also a major post-office day; we got all the books I had ordered for Himself (he's "ready" to start Trig....according to Singapore, anyway. *I* don't think he's really ready - he doesn't remember stuff we *just* studied - so I decided to hit the pause button and do Life of Fred as a review. I had most of them, but needed Geometry, Advanced Algebra, and Trig.), and our new cheese press. Yeah, I caved - the one we built isn't sturdy, and was seriously starting to lean the last time we used it. This one was $99....but it's smaller and sturdier.

2. Tuesday was work.....and it sucked, because FA's office can't do their jobs. Or tell us when they update a program. :bangs head: 3 hours of my life lost because I had to upgrade to the new QuickBooks...which doesn't work correctly due to "known issues". :sigh: 'SAlright, though - I got it done.

3. Yesterday was Cheese-making day! 1 batch of Manchego....the press worked GREAT. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy, as they say - the cheese looks....well, professional. I also got all the dishtowels hemmed and sorted - I only got 2 of this warp (which is GOOD! I thought I'd end up with a lot more, because it was such a problem to weave off!); the other 12 are put up, ready to be handed out. :lol:

4. Today was soap-making day - gotta use up the whey! 3 batches of my Plain Jane soap are currently gelling; I would have made 4 but I ran out of coconut oil. No worries - we're getting 2.5 gallons/day out of our 4 milkers, so....I see lots of cheese and soap in my future. I can only do 1 batch of cheese per day....but that's OK. I need to figure out Ricotta - that's another way to use up the whey. (In soap, I use it to mix the lye in. That way, I figure I'm not diluting the Goat's Milk with water (the "normal" way to mix lye), and my soap is lighter/whiter than if I used GM to mix the lye. Not that I care, but some people apparently do.)

Now...I have some questions. I can't figure out how to set up a poll here, so I'm just going to ask - please answer! Disclaimer: participating in this doesn't mean you're gonna score free stuff...nor does it mean you won't. :wink:

a) What do you consider a "set" of dishtowels? 1? 2? 8? Does every towel in that set have to match in both color/pattern, or can they just be related (same colors, for example, but in a different weave pattern, or vice-versa)

b) How many towels do you usually use/have out? (I can't answer this one, because I am ALWAYS grabbing a towel....we go thru 6+ per week. It's why I keep weaving them....)

c) Placemats - yes/no? Again, how many in a set and do they have to be matchy-matchy?

d) Do placemats and dishtowels have to match your decor, or does anything go?

Almost forgot!

e) How do you feel about being gifted "seconds"? I do my best, but sometimes stuff still screws up. I try to pull the worst offenders....but sometimes the only problem is a wonky selvedge (because sometimes threads break, and that wonky-fies things). It doesn't affect the use...it's just not perfect-looking. (Again - gifted, not sold. I won't take money for something that's not as perfect as I can get it.)

I'm trying to figure out the best way to market/gift my handwovens. Right now I'm on a dishtowel kick, but I'm starting to feel the urge to branch out into placemats (helps that Tigger just ATE one of the last set I wove....:grrrrr:) And table runners......:lol:

Gotta skitter - need to go bottle feed the kids. And get the boys listed on CraigsList - we disbudded the last of them last night, so they're ready to go. :fingers crossed:
fiberaddict: (Calvin: Faces)
Spent yesterday cleaning the bedroom. Skipped the workout, but did MORE than that in the room....see, my darling husband - whom I love dearly - has a problem. He...is unable to acknowledge that we are affluent enough to own a.......clothes hamper. Yes, I know - they are SO expensive that most folk don't have them....but we *do*. And I check it daily to see if it needs to be dealt with....

But he......well, he removes his clothes and dumps them at the foot of the bed...and then forgets about them. I began by clearing the end of the bed daily...but it got old fast. (He's an adult. I shouldn't HAVE to clean up after him!) I went to 1x/week...then 1x/month, then I quit. I kept pointing out our lovely hamper...I even pulled it out one day and SHOWED it to him....but to no avail.

Well, yesterday I'd had *enough*. 3 loads of laundry later (OK, 4 - because I had some of our normal to do, too) I finally have all of his clothes accounted for. I hope.....we'll see if it sticks (see, I'm smart. I tore the room apart finding his clothes, then....."got tired". :snicker: HE had to put the room back together....maybe it'll stick. (Doubt it, but I can hope, right?)

This AM was spent printing out the next 2 semesters of History (because the CD wouldn't work, and wouldn't work, even on the Mac-mini...when if finally DID decide to work, I printed off EVERYTHING we needed to finish the book. LOTS of paper, but I didn't want to risk losing the stuff.) and the current Science module. I still need to do the photocopies for this week....but I stopped to make soap. :lol:

3 batches: Chocolate Milk, Oats-n-Goats, and Plain Jane. (Or....we're thinking of calling it "Just Milk!"...it's just plain soap. No scents, no colors. Still thinking....)

Gotta get lunch ready...then we're heading to the back of the property for more target practice. Wal-Mart has the best prices on ammo, but we're going to try to ration it......we both blew thru 50 rounds Friday....today, we'll keep it to 2 clips each. Maybe. :wink: (Here, if you live outside the city limits, you can shoot on your own property. No special permission or set-up required. Yes, we take advantage of that!)

Hope you're having a great day!
fiberaddict: (Calvin: Faces)
SG took the MacBook to work today, so I am posting from his iMac. Weird - not used to the wireless keyboard. Anyway....

1. H, I hear ya on the blog thing, but...I'm lazy and really don't want to keep up 2 blogs. I don't think there's a way to limit the posting by tag.....so I'm going to think about this. For the moment, I'll leave the blog page up.....I might delete it later. I'm not sure how important it is soap-biz-wise...so, we'll see.

As for it going direct to the home page instead of the soap page.....yeah, but most of the soap sites I've visited (not counting etsy) do the same thing. Again, for the moment, I'll leave it - but I might add a "Soap" button.

1a. I slapped together a "goats" page last night, with photos of our does. I need to find decent photos of this year's kid crop, and I need to add photos of the bucks, but at least you can *see* the goaties now.

2. Attn HS'ers! Homeschool Buyers Co-op has a deal with The Great Courses. IF you go thru the co-op, you get 10% off, plus smartpoints that can be redeemed on other goodies. You can't stack discounts (so if you're on TGC's mailing list, you might be able to get a larger discount sometimes), but it's good for when you don't have a code. And the 10% works with the SALE PRICES, too! :happy dance: (SG just had me order him their new Photography course - $7.00 off helps!)

3. Turkey day is coming, so let the baking commence. Today is bread for Himself - he wants to make some herbed bread sticks. Tomorrow is Pie Day (Pumpkin/Pecan/Chocolate Peanut Butter)...this is going to be bad for my hips, I think.

3a. I did the Bellydance Fusion: Pilates workout today. I didn't know it was an hour.....and I didn't know how *intense* it was. I managed to do about 75% of it....and my abs are SORE. I think I figured out belly rolls....but I can't do them yet. I can't isolate my upper abs (bottom of ribcage) just yet. But I can work on it. And I will....because I am liking what is happening to my abs. :grin:

4. Short week this week - we are still schooling, but on a limited basis. My kids do better if we do SOME school every day - breaks don't work so well here. (Winter visits to Granny, while good for the kids, wreak havoc on our schooling - I have to spend another week/week-and-a-half in reminding them what they already know. Ah, well - it's really no big deal, right? Right.)

Need to go clean the kitchen before starting school - laters!

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