Monthly Archives: November 2015

From Bare Feet To Snow Boots

As farmers, the weather effects pretty much everything we do, it is simply beyond our control, so we try to embrace it. We plan most of our activities, (garden work, bee hive checks, chicken coop cleaning, pond work, fence building, and the list goes on) around the weather forecast. Our indoor activities are also planned around the weather. House cleaning, or soap making, for example, might be done in the early hours, while it is still chilly outside, baking is rarely done is the summer, so as not to heat the house anymore than it already is, and shopping is probably going to be done on a day that is rainy or when the ground is still muddy from a previous rain.

It was less than three weeks ago that I posted about being bare foot on the beach because we were having record high temperatures, now with Saturday’s substantial snow fall we engaged in  a different form of recreation. One that has been absent from both of our lives for decades.

First snowfall of 2015.
First snowfall of 2015.
First snowfall of 2015
First snowfall of 2015

For many years my husband has wanted to buy a snowmobile, it just hasn’t seemed like a practical purchase. Until we purchased the farm in 2011 we had no place of our own to ride a snowmobile, and since then we have had other priorities. In early September, however, on a trip into town, he noticed this snowmobile for sale. When we stopped to look at it, I could tell it was exactly what he wanted. Even though I know little about snowmobiles, and other motorized equipment, I thought it was in good condition for being nearly 40 years old. It started right up and the engine sounded good to me. He, knowing more than me, agreed. It seemed much more practical now to use a snowmobile to make paths into the field, especially now that we have bee hives out there, and we might need to move the snow away from them. If the snow were to get deep enough that our vehicles couldn’t make it through the snowmobile would be a real blessing. The price was right. So I told him “Merry Christmas” and we bought it.

Since then my husband has be anxiously awaiting our first snow fall, and when the forecast came, several days in advance, he began making sure all systems were go.  Friday afternoon as the forecasters became more certain that we were going to get at least some measurable snow he began asking, like a little kid waiting for Santa, “is it snowing yet? is it snowing yet?” I told him he reminded me of Linus waiting for the great pumpkin. He threatened to take a thermos of coffee out to the field to wait for the “great snowflake(s)”. I thought that was fine for him, but I’m not Sally, and I would wait patiently (and sleep in my warm bed) until there was actually enough snow to play in.

By about 2:00 p.m. on Saturday there was about three inches of snow on the ground so we decided to ride. We took turns riding the machine around the field and through some of the paths on the farm, and while I don’t show my excitement like he does, I do enjoy riding. The snow continued through most of Saturday so by Sunday morning we had a whole fresh layer of snow to play in, and we did.

Sunday was truly a beautiful day to be outside. It was warm enough to be comfortable with just our standard winter garb, and I enjoyed  just being in the sunshine, and looking at the beauty of the sun making the snow and ice glisten as it hung on the trees and plants, as much as I enjoyed doing circles around the field and making paths in the snow on our new toy.

First snow 2015 November 23
First snow 2015 November 23
November 23, 2015

The beach, where I was bare foot just a few weeks ago, is now missing.

First snow 2015, November 23
First snow 2015, November 23

Scout and Trooper enjoyed being outside with us too.


Scout and Trooper playing in the snow
Scout and Trooper playing in the snow

This is how God decorates a Christmas Tree.

This is how God decorates a Christmas Tree
November 23,2015

Since the temperatures are forecast to be back in the 50’s by the end of this week, the beautiful snow will morph into a muddy mess, and the snowmobile will be stowed until we can use it again, I am grateful that we took this time out to have some fun.







Well Said

If you read K.C.’s comments on this recent post I have to say I couldn’t agree more. “Sisters Rock!” Without question the greatest gift(s) my parents ever gave me is my 3 sisters. I have also been blessed with 4 daughters and while growing up, they, like me and my sisters, had their differences, it gives me great joy to see them so close as adults.

With that being said, I thought I would share one of my favorite quotes about sisters.

“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.”
Barbara Alpert


Soap Testing

Last week it was time to test some of the soap I made in September. I was very curious about one of the soaps as it was a new recipe using aloe. I had talked (blogged) about making it in this post on October 1st.

When I showered with the aloe soap my first impression was that it felt smooth and had a creamy lather, soothing was the word that came to my mind. I liked it a lot, but I wanted to see if it was really the aloe that seemingly was making a difference in the feel of the soap. It was easy to do this, since when I made this soap I split the batch and added chamomile and lavender to one half and aloe to the other half. The next morning when I showered I took a bar of the chamomile/lavender and a bar of aloe and used each on different sides of my body. I discovered there was definitely a difference. The chamomile/lavender was quick to come to a very bubbly lather. It felt great on the skin and rinsed off well. The aloe had a more creamy and thick lather, again I thought it was soothing, and it too rinsed off well.

Although my impression was that they are both great soaps, I realized that my analysis may be tainted because I knew the ingredients of both. They needed to be tested by people who did not know what is in them. A blind non-taste (don’t eat it!) test. So I recruited two of my regular tester, my husband and my sister. I gave them the two bars without telling them what was in them and asked them to use them and give me their impression of each.

For chamomile/lavender my husband said it had great lather, he described it as pleasant, it cleaned and rinsed well. My sister also commented that it lathered well and was a nice soap.

For aloe my sister said it took longer to lather (I tend to agree) and she described it as a creamy lather. My husband loved the lather of this soap and described it as a “shaving soap”.

When he used that term it was obvious to me that the aloe was making a difference, as aloe is an ingredient often used in shaving creams. He, of course, was right because the next day I used the aloe soap as I shaved my legs and it was very smooth and felt great.  He has not shaved with it yet but is saving it for when he does shave. A couple days later he told me they were great soaps and that I should continue  to make both. I will.

Challenging My Skills

This time of year, when the darkness and cool temperatures dictate that I spend evenings inside, I tend to spend a lot of my time in the evenings crocheting. I usually make simple things like cotton wash clothes (which my husband loves to wash with) and hot pads, scarves, and slippers like my mom use to make.

A few weeks ago my sister showed me a pattern for some boot type slippers she liked. I looked at the pattern and discovered that they were knit. I told her that I would not be able to make them since I do not knit. A few days later she showed me a crochet pattern she found for a similar slipper. It looked a little more complicated than I was use to, but I told her that I would attempt to make them, so she bought the pattern for me.

Crochet Pattern

When I got the pattern, I went to my yarn bins, and I pulled out a couple of skeins of worsted weight yarn. I didn’t have any of the real soft yarn that the pattern suggested to use, but I decided to  use what I had on hand for the first attempt at making them.

The pattern was well written and had pictures that were very helpful, but even so I had to go online and watch a video to learn to do a reverse single crochet (a new stitch for me). Other than that stitch, I did not find them to be difficult to make.

Finished Product

I did not have 4 buttons that were exactly alike, so I chose similar buttons all the same size. I thought this might add character to them. Since my sister has smaller feet than I do, I made a size medium for her. They do not fit me, so I am eager to get them to my sister to see if they fit her, because to me they seemed pretty small. I bought some soft yarn today, so I think my next project will be a pair of these in size large.

Craft Sale This Saturday

I will be at this Memphis Music Boosters Craft Sale this Saturday. (details below) Memphis Schools have a great music program that actually inspired one of my daughters to pursue a career in music. She is in her final year at Wayne State University, majoring in Music Theory and Composition and last Saturday I watched her final performance in the Wayne State Warriors Marching Band.

Kara playing bass drum
Kara's last game at WSU
Kara’s last game at WSU

So come out and get your Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care products while supporting the Memphis Music Boosters. To learn more about Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care Products check out my store

Memphis Music Boosters
29th Annual Fall Craft Show

Memphis High School
34130 Bordman
Memphis, MI 48041

November 14, 2015
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Admission $1
Under 10 free

Bake Sales * Raffles
Proceeds go to the Music Department