Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunny Saturday At Farming On Faith~



We are hot~hot~hot in Missouri. AND~ our upstairs central air system went out~not even a year old! The repair man could not fix it so he will get someone out Monday. My daughter flies in from Washington State tomorrow. She has forgotten her Missouri heritage and now believes 80 degrees is a heat wave. Shh......  no one  tell her. Her room is on the second floor. 

My Brain and I have been very busy today! He put up my shutters. Don't they look nice! This old cow pasture is starting to look and feel like home.

I have been weeding my garden all weekend. It is starting to take off!  Yay~ I will post pictures next time I head back up there! I tried to tell Brian to put it close to the house. He said we will next year. Go figure!

Here are my chicks~ you guessed it right on and under the deck!. We have no shade around their home yet. I am working on that so they like to go under the deck. Even they are hot. They are drinking water like there is no tomorrow!






This is me holding Sadie~Sadie loves to be held. They are all getting their own little personalities. Sadie is the most gentle and lovable as you can see! 
Well break is over~back to work!





Homemade Spray and Wash Stain Treatment~



1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 ammonia
1/2 Whisk 
1/2 cup water 
Mix all ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Spray on anything with grease or food spots. Wash as usual.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Try A Homemade Facial ~

Homemade Oatmeal Scrub
1 cup of oatmeal 
3 drops essential oil
Mix ingredients together. Dampen with water and rub over skin. 
This is great for exfoliating!

Homemade Facial Toner
Boil 2 tablespoons of pine needles in a small amount of water.
 Strain and add to one cup of witch hazel

Steaming Facial
Add your choice of herbs to a boiling pan of water.
Add:
peppermint~good for colds
Chamomile or lemon~good for relaxing
Rosemary ~good for uplifting
Remove pan from heat. Drape a towel over your head and bend over steam. 
(For those of us who watched Brady Bunch~
remember how Mrs. Brady tried to get her voice back for the Christmas concert~
doing this very thing! LOL I am showing my age! )


Homemade Bubble Bath Gift Idea



Am I the only one that is loving Hallmark's Christmas In July week?  I have been watching the craft and ideas and it has inspired me to get started on my homemade gifts.  Homemade gifts are the best.  Starting now will give me plenty of time to get them done leaving December to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas without all that stress.  I have no pictures just yet because I need to find some pretty jars. This would make wonderful teacher gifts.


2 cups  Ivory dish soap (unscented)
10-15 drops of essential oil

Mix ingredients. Let stand for 1 week. Use 1/4 cup per bath.

Homemade Bubble Bath ~






2 cups (unscented) Ivory dish soap
10-15 drops of essential oil

Mix ingredients. Let stand for 1 week. Use 1/4 cup per bath.


How To Make Homemade Bath Gel~







3/4 cup water
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup baby shampoo
5-6 drops of essential oil

Heat water to boiling, remove from the heat and dissolve gelatin into it. Add shampoo slowly and stir until combined. Pour mixture into jar and set in the refrigerator to set.


What To Do With Lavender~


I came across this article and had to share it. I love lavender and have some growing. 
Enjoy~


Growing and Using Lavender

By Brenda Hyde
Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant herb that every gardener should grow. You'll find it hard to limit yourself to just one plant once you start growing this lovely herb. I grow Lavandula angustifolias because it's a sturdy, cold tolerant variety that works perfectly in my limited space. There are dozens of varieties that can be found. Always check the zone hardiness when buying a plant.

I've found lavender to be easy to care for, but it does require a dry sunny spot. It's not happy if it's too wet or humid. The spot I have it in is in full sun, and I rarely water it, unless we are in drought conditions. You also want to make sure to give it space for air circulation, which at first, meant I had to move some plants that ended up being too close. It needs a loose soil-you can add compost if you wish, but make sure it's not "packed" or heavy. I even added a little sand in the herb bed before planting. Plant lavender with other herbs that prefer this type of soil such as sage oregano, thyme, summer savory or rosemary.

Lavender blooms should be harvested when the bottom third of the flower spike is in bloom. Wait until the sun has dried the morning dew, and it's a dry day. You can cut the entire stem, strip the foliage and dry standing up in a vase, bunched together and hung upside down, or on a screen laying flat. One year I even dried them laying loosely in a big wicker basket. Keep them out of direct sun while drying, and again, make sure they are dry and warm, not humid. An attic, closet or shed can work well. When they are dry, rub the flower heads over a bowl to loosen them from the stem. Store these in a glass container in a darkened place to keep them fresh. You'll notice the key to growing, harvesting and storing lavender is dry conditions. Moisture can lead to mold or mildew.

Lavenders need pruning, but the advice is varied. Prune, but not heavily, seems to be the way to go. After blooming you want to prune some of the older stems, but don't go too heavy. I'm very cautious and prune lightly in the spring and fall. I've also transplanted in the spring when I needed to move the plant with good success. Dig as deeply as you can and move it quickly. You can also take cuttings from a lavender plant to propagate. Cut a 3-4 inch piece of the plant that is newer, not woody. Trim the leaves from the bottom half, remove any blooms, and dip lightly in a rooting hormone, then place in a sterile potting mix or sand. Keep moist, but not soggy--just barely moist. It will take several weeks to root. Keep out of the sun-- temperature around 70 degrees-and in a well ventilated area. When the roots have formed, transplant it to a pot and transfer to the garden in the fall before frost. Mulch it for the winter for a little added protection.

I use dried lavender in bath teas. I use it alone and brew a 1/4 of a cup or so in a bowl covered with boiling water for about 20 minutes. I then strain and add to the bath. I also mix with chamomile half and half or mint, or a little of all three using the same method. Below are recipes using fresh lavender. It's best to pick for the recipes later in the morning, right before making.

Make an easy herbal eye pillow for heating or cooling and placing on your eyes by mixing 1/2 cup flax seed and 1/2 cup lavender and placing in a simple sewn muslin square.

A lovely accent for a luncheon table can be made with lavender braids. Simply braid six lavender branches with the blossoms into a braid. Hold two braids together and loop each one the opposite direction to form two loops. Tie with a raffia or silk bow to hold in place. These can be given as favors, placed at each place setting or used as a package accent instead of a bow. Recipes With Lavender

I personally like to grind the lavender after it has dried before using it recipes, but many people use the buds as is.

Lavender Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter or margarine, room temperature 

1 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 tsp. salt 

2 eggs, well beaten 

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

1 tsp. dried lavender buds 

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cream the butter, sugar, and salt until light. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add in the flour using low speed just until the dough is starting to form. Sprinkle in the lavender fold in gently. Divide the dough into two rounded sections. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Placed one of the chilled dough sections on a floured surface. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin, taking care not to overwork it. Cut the dough into desired shapes and place them 1/2 inch apart on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes until just golden brown. Cool on rack.

Lavender Tea Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

5 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain fat-free or lowfat yogurt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender leaves

Glaze:

1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla at medium speed until well-blended. Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Sift flour and carefully measure.Combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stir well. (I often sift again) Add flour the mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lavender. Pour the batter into an 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Spread on the warm cake. Cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan. To serve slice thinly and present on a pretty platter.

Lavender and Honey Dressing

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp. hearty mustard

2 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. dried lavender buds

Whisk together all ingredients. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Mix again before serving.

Lavender Herb Bread

Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast 

1/4 cup warm water 

1 cup lowfat cottage cheese 

1/4 cup honey 

2 tbsp. butter or stick margarine

1 tsp. dried lavender buds 

1 tsp. fresh lemon thyme, minced 

1/2 tbsp. fresh basil, minced 

1/4 tsp. baking soda 

2 eggs 

2 1/2 cups flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. In a larger bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, honey, butter, herbs, baking soda and eggs. Stir in the yeast mixture. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each addition. Cover and let rise about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Stir the dough down with a large wooden spoon. Place in a well greased 1 1/2 or 2 qt. casserole. Allow to rise 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 F. for one hour. When finished, remove and turn onto a cooling rack,. Brush top with butter while warm.

Lavender Sugar

1/3 cup fresh lavender flowers

1 cup white granulated sugar

Make layers of the lavender and the sugar into a glass jar. You can double this for a larger jar if you wish. Seal the jar and keep in a dark place for 2-3 weeks. You can combine the lavender and sugars after they are dried and continue to store in the covered jar. Use them in place of a portion of sugar in recipes for sugar cookies, plain scones, tea cakes or muffins.

Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients:

5 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

12 stems fresh lavender

2 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice

Mix the 2 1/2 cups of water with the sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove the flowers from the stem (whole is okay) and add to the sugar/water mixture. Remove from the heat. Cover and allow to cool. When cool, add 2 1/2 cups cold water and the lemon juice. Strain out the lavender. Serve over crushed ice and garnish with lavender blossoms. Serves 8.

Lavender Tea Blend

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers 

2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves 

2 tablespoon fresh lemon balm

2 cups boiling water

In a teapot, combine the herbs. Add boiling water to the pot and steep 5 minutes. Serve with honey. Makes two cups of tea. If you want to add a black tea bag or loose tea of your choice you can add another cup of boiling water and make 3 cups of a stronger tea.

Charming Lavender Tea Gift

You will need:

1/3 teaspoon dried lavender flowers

4 teaspoons orange pekoe tea

New or vintage tea cup and saucer

small plastic bag, or plastic wrap

Tea Ball

Ribbon

Mix the herbs and tea then place in a piece of plastic wrap or a small bag and tie tightly with a ribbon. Place in the clean dry tea cup, with the tea ball (they are very inexpensive and can be found in most store kitchen sections) Include a note that this should steep for five minutes in boiled water. Wrap in tissue paper and place in a gift bag for a great gift for teachers and co-workers.

Lavender and Lemon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp. dried Lavender buds

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup soft butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg

2 1/8 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp.lemon extract

In a food processor or blender, grind lavender with sugar. Cream sugar with butter and powdered sugar, and add egg. Stir in lemon extract, then flour, soda, tartar and salt; blending well. Place a tablespoon of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten dough with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar, and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her
husband and three kids. Stop by and visit her garden blog, Garden of Grace & Whimsy, and her photography blog, A Dance of Words & Photos.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Homemade Hamburger Buns~


I made these buns to serve at my daughter's luncheon today. I just have to elaborate! They were out of this world and very easy! I made a double batch. I served barbecue brisket on them today and I plan on grilling burgers tomorrow for the left overs! You just have to try them!

V's Hamburger Buns

2 c. warm water
5 Tblsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tblsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c oil
5-6 c. flour
1 beaten egg white
1 Tblsp. water
sesame seeds or dried onion flakes

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, salt and oil in a mixing bowl. Add in flour, a cup at a time, until its a nice bread dough that doesn’t stick to the sides.

Transfer to a clean counter top or bread kneading board that has been dusted lightly with flour to keep dough from sticking. Knead for 10 minutes.

Grease a separate bowl to transfer dough once kneaded. Turn once to coat both sides of dough with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.

Punch down and knead the air bubbles out. Divide into 12 pieces for hamburgers or 18 pieces for hot dogs or brats. Roll between hands into correct shapes.

Place on greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes to let rise (hot dog rolls should be squished together so they rise UP and not just out.) 

Carefully brush with mixture of egg white and water and sprinkle with seeds or flakes if desired (flakes are excellent for hamburgers.)

Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool 5 minutes and then break apart and move to a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy.

I found these on my friends site~Evening Shade Morning Latte~pay her a visit!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Homemade Linen Spray



I love linen spray!It is wonderful to keep on hand. Freshen up a spare bedroom for guest! Freshen up the curtains, beds, linen closet and more. The scent of Downy is my all time favorite because it takes me back to  Grandma Baker's house. I loved Grandma's house. I am just sure her mansion in Heaven floats with that Downy smell. I remember how sound I slept at her house, how relaxed I felt and I always woke up refreshed to a big farm breakfast! (when the chickens crowed)

Making linen spray is so easy and cost so much less than store bought brands. You know exactly what is being sprayed onto your linens and have comfort in knowing that only pure natural products are being used. 

Supplies:

  •    16 or 32 oz. spray bottle
  •      witch hazel (Walmart carries this in their first aid dept.~$1.48)
  •    Your choice essential oil (Walmart now carries but Natures Garden is cheaper and stronger)
  •    Distilled water
  1. Mix the 2 tbsp. witch hazel and about 20 drops of essential oil 
  2. Then, add distilled water to the bottle until it is almost full.
  3. Screw on the cap and shake the bottle to disperse the oils evenly throughout.
  4. Shake lightly before each use.


Easy~Homemade Liquid Hand Soap


Are you tired of spending so much money in the cleaning isle?
I have been making my own cleaners and Laundry Soap with great results. If you have not tried my Laundry Recipes they are posted at the end of my blog. I am saving tons of money and time. I make huge quantities in minutes. I am running to the store much less. With just a few ingredients I can meet all our needs with a fraction of the cost. I am still experimenting. Here is my lastest money saving recipe~

Liquid Hand Soap~
1/2 bar soap (leftover pieces are great~I really like Dove)
4 cups of water
1/4 cup of my handy dandy Borax (Look at my Borax post)
1/4 cup of Washing Soda
a few drops of essential oil (optional~where I buy mine is posted at the end of my blog)

Grate soap. Place in a saucepan with water and heat.Do not boil! Add borax or washing soda. Stir until dissolved. Pour into a 1 gallon jug and top off with water. It will thicken as it cools . Place in a pump bottle.  What a savings. I just love not depending on store bought thing that I can make from my own pantry! Try it you will like it........wink! You may have to add more water after it thickens to get desired consistency!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Many Uses For My New Friend~BORAX



I have been making my own Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener~and I love them.  I will never again depend on store bought Laundry Soaps!  My well stocked pantry keeps my cooking and cleaning needs taken care of. I have decided to search out new ways to use BORAX~my new best friend.

You can find Borax in the laundry aisle of just about any retail store. Borax, also known as sodium borate, is packaged by the 20 Mule Team Company as a laundry booster but it has many other uses as well. Borax can be used as a drain cleaner, toilet cleaner, weed and ant repellent and to sanitize your garbage disposal. Borax can be sprinkled anywhere you want to get rid of odors and keep them away. Following are some simple recipes for the many uses of Borax.

Laundry Booster ~ (If you are not using it for your Homemade Laundry Soap)

 Borax is as a laundry booster to make clothes come out cleaner and to get rid of stains and odors that normal laundry detergents leave behind. All you need to do is add a 1/2 cup to your washing machine at the beginning of the wash cycle. For large loads use 3/4 cup instead.

Drain Cleaner

Toilet Cleaner

Garbage Pail Sanitizer

A simple way to keep those nasty garbage pails clean and odor-free is with Borax. Start by cleaning the whole pain inside and out with a cup of Borax per gallon of hot water Use the hottest water you can stand. Rinse with cold water and let dry. Once the pail is dry, sprinkle a small amount of Borax on the bottom of the garbage pail before putting in a new garbage bag. Do this each time you replace the bag to keep germs and odors away. Since Borax has deodorizing and disinfecting properties as well as being an effective cleanser, it makes a perfect toilet bowl cleaner. Just sprinkle a decent amount of Borax directly into the bowl, let it work its magic for about 10 to 15 minutes and then scrub with a toilet brush until the bowl is clean. Flush to rinse. Is your drain clogged? Or worse, there's a stinky smell wafting from your pipes? Borax will unclog your drain and leave it smelling nice and fresh. Just pour 1 cup of dry Borax down your drain, let it sit for 15 minutes and follow with 4 cups of boiling water. Repeat every month or as the drain gets clogged.

Weed and Ant Repellent

Borax can also be used to keep away weeds and ants. To kill existing weeds and prevent future weeds from growing, sprinkle borax powder into any cracks on your property where weeds are a problem. Avoid getting Borax on plant you want to keep as it is fatal to them as well. To get rid of pests like ants from your home, apply Borax powder around the foundation of your home. Ants will avoid the Borax and your home but you will have to repeat this procedure roughly twice a year to ensure continued protection.

Cookie Sheets and Pans~Soak you cookie sheets and pans in a Borax and water mixture and they will look good as new.

 Note~ Although Borax is safer and less toxic than bleach it is still important to remember than some people have skin sensitivity to Borax and gloves should be worn while using. Also keep the area well ventilated to avoid any respiratory problems.

Happy Cleaning~



Monday, May 18, 2009

Mother~Daughter Banquet May 16, 2009


We had a wonderful day together with family and friends at our Mother ~Daughter Banquet.I am so thankful for the special woman God has placed in my life. They all make the journey sweeter. I hope you can see the love and joy that they all bring to my life. I love you all dearly.
For those who were not among us this year I missed you greatly!
















Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Chickens Are Getting Close To Moving Day~




I spent the day Singing In The Rain at our Mother~Daughter Banquet. While I was away~ My Brian was busy at work, building our chicken coop. As you can see it is coming along well. The girls spent all day outside with their Builder. They sure had a good time. Only their builder did not know how keep them from the garage so guess what I did last evening. You guessed right~I bleached everything down once again. wink.... I am getting good at this. Hopefully by weeks end we will share our moving in! I am so excited! My girls are too! 

Check out the slide below!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bible~Chickens~Computer~In That Order!

Farming On Faith Faith is a bit of a pickle~no seriously! I got up to feed the husband, the kids, Emma the royal dog, the cats and then you guessed it~the chickens. Now remember my mess yesterday? I decided to get a little smarter today! I might be dumb but I am not stupid!

This is not what I look like this morning! I am in my jammies with a sweatshirt on for it is a little chilly this morning!  I have on no makeup and morning hair!  But~I have my toes polished a bright summer pinky~red. For those of you who do not know much about chickens~they peck at anything red! I just happen to be barefoot! Yay! I just put this up to remind myself I really am not a crazy chicken lady!

I am sitting in this chair trying to do my morning devotions 
while letting my rather too big chicks out for an airing.  
I really look more like a crazy chicken lady! 

This is my handsome Brian~if you happen to see him today remind him that our Farming On Faith Chickens has grown more overnight! My unfinished chicken coop is calling!

I am trying to read my devotions but these girls are unruly. I really think I have lost all control and my mind too!

While I am at it I decided you might get a laugh out of my situation ~here is my morning but I will not share what I really look like!



My girls are happy to be free! 




This is where I would like to be sitting!


They love the sunshine!



This is for my brother-in-law Doug~we  got one of his chickens by mistake. She will look like the pretty black and white one on my blog header. Sorry~I just can't part with her now! It was so hard to tell them apart when they were only a day old! I think she is going to be the prettiest. 




When the girls get tired they head back to their cage for a nap.
 I am off to get school and chores done. 
I hope you have a wonderful day!

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