This Really Stinks.

Our last Momma Muscovy final hatched her eggs a couple of days ago during the storms.  She is now officially known as “Super Mom” because she hatched 23 ducklings.  I think our official count is now standing at 13 adult Pekins, 3 baby Pekins, a Khaki Campbell drake, 4 adult Toulouse geese, 2 goslings, an African goose, a Toulouse-Canadian(?) goose mix, 7 adult Muscovy ducks, 40 Muscovy ducklings, 22 laying hens, 1 rooster, and Lexie’s 8 Pekin ducklings for 4-H.  That’s around 103 feathered friends in our pasture.  Let’s not forget the 20 broiler chicks that will be arriving in 2 days.  Some of the chicks will be sold, some will be bred, and some will be dinner this winter.  This is for the birds. I won’t even talk about the zoo inside!

We spent all day Saturday weeding the garden.  I’m not even posting a picture.  I’m mortified.  We just got it all planted three weeks ago and soo many weeds.  Nik reminds me that they are edible weeds so technically we’re still growing food.  Whatever.  I want my cucumbers and lettuce and snap peas.  Needless to say, we were all sore and tired by the end of the day.  Sad thing is, we didn’t even get it finished.  OOooh, the shame!

We’ve got a couple of houseguests this week.  Jaxson and Jaylee, my parent’s slightly spoiled dogs (with slightly being used very loosely).  dogs Poor little puppies won’t eat unless you hand feed them.  And they totally hog the bed.   Poor Todd is moving to the guest room to try and get some sleep tonight!  Only 6 more days.  Love you dearly guys but these pups are a handful!!!    And do you want to know how to get your parents to call and chat with you on a daily basis – take their dogs!!! *wink*  We’re dog watching while they’re on a family vacation with my aunt at a beach house in Florida.  Wait a minute.  Family vacation.  Aren’t we family??!  Well.  I see where I rank.  It’s totally beside the point that I would have had to graciously decline the invitation due to all the commotion around here.  Never even crossed their minds to ask us.  This really stinks.  Just kidding guys!  Take it all lightly, we love both you and your dogs!  I’m feeling all that love from the deep south!  But really, does Jaylee have to sleep on my desk while I do my work?  Tsk, tsk.

puppy

Father’s Day here was rainy, cloudy, and cool.  Not at all like that sunshine and 90 degree temps in Florida.  Sorry, couldn’t help myself!  We had a “lazy day” and I roasted a chicken with rice stuffing for dinner.  I tried out a new recipe from Simply Living Healthy for some carrot cake bars.  I loved this recipe because it’s one of the few baked goods I can actually enjoy these days.  No corn, soy, canola, eggs, white flour, gluten, sugar… yep, I know, sad, isn’t it?  We all thought it tasted good and I’ll definitely be making it again.

Carrot Cake Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 eggs (I used flax meal)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (I used coconut oil), melted
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and 8×8 baking pan for bars or a 9×13 pan for cake and line with parchment paper.

In large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and maple syrup.

carrot cake bars batter

Stir wet ingredients into the dry.

carrot cake bars batter

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  You can top with frosting and sprinkle on more nuts, but they were yummy as is.  I forgot to take a picture of the end result.  In too much of a hurry to eat a slice!  One of these days I’ll figure out how to make these recipes printable for you.  That would be nice, huh?!

Oh, to  put the cherry on top of our stinky weekend, I’d like for you to meet Daisy.  Our little stinker!  She just finished eating some yogurt so she has a little white nose.

baby skunk

At least Todd got to kick back and catch a little nap on Father’s Day.

napping  baby skunk

Awww.  So cute!  I think I’m liking these stinky days!

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A Baby Boom in the Laundry Room

Whew!!  The baby boom seems to be over… for now.  Our first Muscovy hatched 4 babies (all were Muscovy, one will be white), Jade (another Muscovy) hatched 13 little ones.  Muscovy duck and ducklings The same day, Jill hatched her eggs.  We saw 2 goslings.  Jill left the nest with only one of them.  The remaining little baby couldn’t use its legs.  We brought it into the house with a heat lamp and Lexie spent the evening trying to get the baby stronger and eating.  Around midnight Lexie woke me up and told me the gosling wasn’t raising its head anymore.  We had to make the decision to let it die.  It was a hard night for Lexie, she had grown attached to that little baby.  But she pulled up her “big girl britches” and did what had to be done.   

Two days later, another Muscovy mom hatched a Pekin baby on her own and then Nik and I helped hatch another 2 Pekin babies for her.  She had the Pekin eggs (which hatch in 28 days) and Muscovy eggs (which hatch in 35 days) in her nest in the Pekin duck box.  We didn’t see a problem with the set-up until the eggs started hatching.  We have 14 ducks that spend their nights in the Pekin box.  Momma started hatching her eggs in there and we started to get worried that the babies would get trampled.  Not to mention that Momma wouldn’t let any of the Pekins in to lay eggs so getting them all in there at night would be a problem.  So early in the evening we moved Momma and her 3 babies into a stall in the barn.  We took as much of her original nest as we could along with her remaining eggs.  No such luck.  She refused to sit on her nest.  At that point we were just relieved that she looked after her new babies.  We lost quite a few babies, but definitely learned from our mistake.  This same day we finally cleaned out Jill’s nest.  We found another egg that hadn’t hatched yet.  We hatched that baby and put it in with Momma Muscovy’s newly hatched little ones.  So now we have 2 goslings!  It’s just that one thinks it’s a duck.  Should be interesting to see how that works out!

Other than that, Lexie got her 8 Pekin ducklings for 4-H, we have yet another Muscovy that will be hatching soon, Nik gets his 20 broiler chicks next week, the garden needs some serious weeding, but on a good note we finally got all the mulching of the flower beds done!

I took about 20 minutes and squeezed in some time to make a batch of laundry detergent.  I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for about a year now. LOVE it.  No more stinky armpit smelling shirts.  I hated it when you put on a shirt and it smelled like flowers, then when you started working and heating up, it ranked like last nights garlic dinner.  It was a smell that went away temporarily but always came back with lousy timing.  No more yellow stains under the pits either.  Our clothes are clean.  Not just perfumed and enhanced with optical brighteners.  Really clean.  I started with a very basic simple recipe that I found online and enhanced it after doing some research.  I read a great article from one of my favorite blogs, Little House in the Suburbs that goes into the science behind the makings of laundry detergent.  And tadaa!  Cheap, very effective laundry detergent!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 2 bars finely grated bar soap
  • 1/4 cup Rid-X Septic System treatment
  • 1/2 cup OxyClean
  • 1 1/2 tsp tea tree essential oil

Homemade laundry detergent supplies

 

I know, who puts septic system treatment into their laundry?  Well, I do.  It’s made with 100% B.Subtilis protein enzyme cleaner that removes protein stains from your laundry.  Safe for your water systems and safe on your clothes.  What’s really cool is that while you are washing your laundry, you’re also treating your septic system!  Bonus use!  Like I said, I’ve been using this over a year with no problems. 

I use a little bit of salt since we have hard (very hard) water.  The salt helps to set and revive colors that the hard water leaves dingy.  It also helps to stop the “bleeding” of colors. 

grated bar soap for homemade laundry detergent

I used a 3-pack of Jergens Pure & Natural soap from the dollar store.  I try to look for the soap with the least harmful ingredients.  One of these days I’ll make my own to use!  Let the bars sit and “dry out” for a day or two.  It makes it much easier to grate.

The tea tree oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antiseptic, and antimicrobial.  And it has a clean fresh scent.

Powdered homemade laundry detergent

Mix all the ingredients up and whirl it for a minute in a food processor until you get a fine powdery concoction.

I like to make a triple batch at a time.  That way I have enough to last me at least 6 months.  And that’s doing 6 or 7 loads of laundry a week!

I broke down the cost of making my own compared to a cheap store bought box.  Homemade detergent costs about 10 cents per ounce and the store bought costs 11 cents per ounce.  I only use 1 1/2 Tbsp per load.  So I can get much more out of my box than a store bought box.  Not to mention that I know exactly what chemicals and ingredients are in my detergent.  I’m bombarded with enough chemicals in my food, I don’t want to wear them too.

No fabric softener.  I fill my fabric softener compartment with white vinegar.  The real stuff, not the petroleum-based vinegar.  As long as your vinegar states that it is made from grain, you’re okay.  I used to buy the cheap stuff until I found out that it was made from petroleum.  I’ve got enough gas, thank you very much, don’t fill my food up with it too.  The vinegar rinses any residue off of your clothes and leaves them naturally soft with no static cling.  You won’t have that flowery smell though.  But you could add lavender essential oil to the vinegar.  Don’t worry about smelling like vinegar either.  The vinegar odor dissipates as it dries.  No smelling like vinegar-dipped garlic and onions here!!!

Sorry Nik!  Not trying to discriminate against garlic and onions!  Personally I love them both.  I just don’t want to smell like them!

Let me know if you’ve tried your own homemade laundry detergent or if you have any suggestions for improving mine.