Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting Firewood

What happens when the power company wants to put up new poles and run new lines through the middle of a BIL's pasture?

HMMMM. He negotiates and gets them to cut all the trees along the side of the road and they cut the logs into firewood! Then he wants someone to get the wood.

The only problems are...THAT'S A LOT OF FIREWOOD!! And, if you will notice, it's all at the bottom of a steep ditch with a fence on the other side.

Notice the steep bank on one side and the fence on the other?

This is how we load our firewood in rural Northeast Ga. Well, at least this is how hubby and I do it.

We drive through the pasture and pull straight up to the fence.

Then we borrow BIL's tractor. Pull it up to the fence and put the bucket over the fence.
But how do we get it in the bucket? 

We MANHANDLE that stuff!

This is what our truck and trailer look like when we get through loading.

We decided to take all the wood we are getting from here to my parents.  

Wood waiting to be busted.

When the weather cools down, we will be getting the family together and busting wood at their house.
God has truly blessed us to be able to bless them.

Hope you didn't get tired and sore looking at all that firewood!
See y'all later.
Nancy Dawn

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I have the FALL BUG

Back in July, I started seeing Christmas stuff! WHAT??

I saw a jewelry store with a Santa Claus and a tree in the window.

BHG is sending Holiday (Christmas) craft and decoration ideas.

Wait. Wait. Wait!

We haven't even made it to Halloween and Thanksgiving. 

It is time to work on the Fall crafts...To the Crafty Shack!!!!

The first thing I find myself working on is a Fall Leaf Garland.

Thanks to Craigs List, I have a scroll saw again.


Hubby and I planed the lumber. It was from a Cottonwood tree sawed on his sawmill. We planed it to almost 1/4". (Almost because I was impatient and didn't want to run it through the planer anymore.)

I got some leaves from the trees around 1115, and I used silk leaves I had in The Crafty Shack. I laid them out and traced them onto the lumber. Then used the scroll saw to cut them out.


Next, I drilled a hole in the leaf tips, painted them BEAUTIFUL FALL COLORS, and strung them on jute twine to make a sort of garland.

Here they are with a handmade bow hanging on the porch. 

Help me decide how to display them! 
Like this?

Like this?

Or like this?

I plan on cutting out and painting a lot of these leaves this season. How would you use them? Share your ideas with me!

See y'all later.
Nancy Dawn

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Doh-Doh Birds @ 1115

And you thought Doh-Doh Birds were extinct.....died with the dinosaurs..... 
HA! Meet the Doh-Doh Birds (or as I also call them) the VOODOO CHICKENS @ 1115!

Last November, we bit the bullet and went to the chicken sale and bought 19 (YES! 19) guineas. They were all different ages and only 4 of them were females.

You may ask, "WHY? Why? Why?"

Well, insect control. You know, ticks, bugs, fleas...all those critters found on a farm. 
Have they done their job? It's hard to say. The only complaint I have is they have not cut down on the mosquito population!

I love to hear the girls talk. (I call all the girls Ophelia). They sound like they are saying, "Buckwheat, buckwheat, buckwheat." The boys, (I call all the boys Eddie), on the other hand, sort of chirp along until they are disturbed. Then they just scream very loudly at you. And for a long time.

 My mom wanted guineas until they stood there and screamed at her like that one day. Now, NO WAY! She would not have one of the mouthy critters!

Guineas are social creatures. When people lived across the road from us, they visited them several times a day. Thankfully, they did not mind all the racket.

The girls do not like the guineas. They scare them. And one particular Eddie will sneak up from behind and flog them. (Of course, they do Max that way too! :) )

The crazy birds will gather up in a group, start chattering REALLY loudly, then take off flying across the yard or down the road...Or as in the case below, across the garden.

Imagine trying to sleep late just to get woke up by thundering sounds on your roof.  WHAT IN THE WORLD? Oh...It's just the guineas. They are my animated gargoyles. Hahaha.


The summer was terrible for the guineas here @ 1115. Three of my Ophelia's started nests and had their mates standing guard over them. The WRETCHED dogs from the neighborhood found them before I did. All I found were feathers and broken egg shells. 

But on a better note...sort of...We found another nest while bush hogging. We waited for Ophelia to go back but she didn't. We took 21 eggs to a friend and he put them in his incubator. Three nights later, an owl killed Ophelia. 
We had 12 babies hatch. 2 died within 48 hours. 
2 more died when the GUINEA KILLERS struck.

The guinea babies (keets) are about 2 months old now. We may have 2 Ophelia's in the group. I will have to let y'all know.

Update! We have 5 girl guineas!
The babies are on the yard and although they stay in separate groups, they are hanging tight with the "Old Boys".

Well, time to go feed the Eddie's and Ophelia's. Hope y'all enjoyed meeting them.
See Y'all later.
Nancy Dawn

Don't forget to link up and hop on over to The Chicken Chick's first Blog Hop!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A learning experience @ 1115

This year, after discovering the book The 50 Mile Bouquet at Mother Earth News, I was inspired to want to grow my own flowers and fillers and fall seasonals for the farmer's market this Fall.

Check out this link to see why I was so inspired!

Alas, in my zeal, I planted way to early and although everything grew beautifully and produced AMAZINGLY, I will not be selling them at the market. This was a learning year @ 1115.

But hey! The fountain grass and Dahlia's are still beautiful.

The sunflowers were well over head high and in many beautiful colors.

Purple Dahlias
I set out Purple and Variegated Fountain Grass.

Beautiful Indian Corn.

The Ornamental Gourds and Pumpkins were a bumper crop.

and of course...
Floral Designs by Nancy Dawn @ 1115!

What did I learn?
Well, for Fall ornamentals, I need to plant in late June or early July.
Fountain grass is beautiful and an amazing filler.
Dahlias are gorgeous, but I need to discover larger flowering varieties.
And, Sunflowers are difficult to work with in vase arrangements. (But that is another story!)

I hope y'all enjoyed seeing my learning experience @ 1115 this summer!
See y'all later,
Nancy Dawn

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beehives @ 1115

I decided to go ahead and introduce everyone to the bees @ 1115 because of The Great Bee Count going on today.
Check it out at Homestead Revival!

This year @ 1115 we became beekeepers!
Nancy Dawn with the two main hives @ 1115.
We have 2 main hives and have made 4 splits from them. 
My brother has been the beneficiary of one split. 
So! We are helping to spread the BEE love!

Here are the 4 nucs we made from the main hives.

We got our bees from Don Kuchenmeister aka The Fat Bee Man at Dixie Bee Supply in Lula, Ga.

We also took beekeeping classes from him. This included learning the measurements for our building hives and nucs.
A LOT of painting!

A finished product.

The packages of bees!
Ok, I did seriously freak out when I saw those packages for the first time!

 Hubby and I have his and her nucs/hives.
My nuc. Super busy bees! Hahaha

His nuc. Lazy bees. :)

Here are the hives after we moved them from the nucs.

The bees are buzzing all over now, but unfortunately, I do not get to take pictures of the bees when we go through the hives. We do this together. 
We hope to add more hives next year and keep growing!

See ya'll later,
Nancy Dawn

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Floral Design

I thought I would share some of the floral designs I have created this year. In some I used real flowers (almost all from my own yard @ 1115!) and in some I used silk flowers (from the Crafty Shack stash). And in one I used socks!

 The first 2 are arrangements from my Confederate Snowball Bush and an orange rose bush from the front yard. I used Eucalyptus and Cedar for filler.
The Snowball bush came as a small plant a few years back from my SIL's bush. The same year she shared with us, the ants managed to kill her bush. 
Now, the rose bush was stolen! Me and a certain man who shall remain nameless but is called Pa by one and Pop by another, stole it! We dug it up from in front of an old empty house one day many many moons ago.
Once, I took a Master Gardener class and learned about pruning. A little knowledge turns me into a MONSTER! The rose bush did not get pruned. It got massacred. A few years later it had blooms again.

The idea for these arrangements came after I discovered the book The 50 Mile Bouquet. I especially love the Oriental Lily with Hosta leaves. My original thought was to use a Magnolia blossom. But, alas, a Magnolia blossom was not available. The yellow flowers are Hollyhocks that happened to be blooming at the same time. 

This idea came from BHG this past Spring. A watering can and some Spring silk flowers! Purple and white Iris and yellow Tulips. I had this on the front door then moved it to the outside of the front porch. Visitors told me my wreath was crooked! Of course they "got it" when they saw it was a watering can.

This arrangement has got to be my favorite. I did this bouquet for a friend who was having BIG company to her house. The spikey stuff is fountain grass from my garden and the ivy came from my yard. The Hydrangea and orange Lantana came from her yard. Thanks to my Mom for the vase.

Bet you have been wondering about those socks. Well, early this year I was asked to make a wonderful Mom-To-Be a corsage for her baby shower. I researched and looked and looked til I came up with this sock corsage. I upcycled the white Wisteria silks and the yellow ribbons from the MTB's mom's corsage that she wore at my marriage renewal ceremony last year. I purchased baby socks and diaper pins and used a tiny baby rattle along with some beads from The Crafty Shack to finish the creation. 

Option 1 used one baby sock. It was crazy trying to roll that sock up to look like a flower!

Option 2 obviously used 2 baby socks and was the final product.

Option 1

    Option 2
    I hope ya'll have enjoyed my designs.
    See ya'll later,
    Nancy Dawn

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    Red Pepper Ristras @ 1115

    Here is a project I have always wanted to try. 

    Drying red peppers.

    I went to the garden and picked the cayenne peppers that have turned red. I am going to string them up with sewing thread and allow them to dry that way. I call this a Red Pepper Ristra. (I know. I know. This is not how you do a Ristra, but, this is my project!)
    I love that red color! Makes me think of Fall.

    When they have dried I will crush them and have my own crushed red pepper flakes. I could also grind them and use the chili powder as seasoning for soups and chili and Mexican dishes and....

    So, here is what I did...

    1. Gathered the cayenne peppers.

    2. Rounded up my needle and thread.

    3. Threaded the peppers, one at a time.

    4. Then I wondered if the peppers wouldn't be too heavy for the thread.
         So I switched to fishing line.

    5. Finished product. the last one there is doubled up..I made it just a smidge too long. :)

    I hope this project works out the way I want it to. I will keep you posted!
    Have a great day!
    See ya'll later, 
    Nancy Dawn