Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday - Salt Alternatives for Ice

Like many others - we had an ice storm on Monday and Tuesday this week.  I had quite the time trying to walk from the house to the barn.  We really don't like to put out salt because of our paw friends however, with 1/2 - 3/4" of ice, we had to.  This had me thinking on alternative things to use for ice.  These are NOT alternatives for melting the ice, rather for traction and chemical free.  

1.  Bird seed: my sister Lynn actually had this idea.  She discovered this several years ago while trying to walk from her porch to the car.  She saw the bird seed and threw it out on the ice.  The birds loved it.  

2.  Cat liter.  The Department of Transportation lists cat liter as one of the top 5 things to have in your car during winter.  Cat liter has been known to aide many vehicles stuck in snow and on ice.

3.  Sand/gravel: everyone knows this one....but, ash from your fireplace, wood furnace can also be used.

4.  Coffee grounds.  If you compost anyway, put your coffee grounds in a separate bucket during the winter, keep it handy for icy mornings.

5.  Manure: well, it is "green" and manure is "hot" but, be wise using this...manure is slippery too...don't ask me how I know.  I'm more thinking on the chicken coop or horse stall mix, where it is hay, shavings and poop.  If you live in town, I'm sure throwing out manure would be frowned upon, however you could buy a bag of wood shavings.  Clean and unused would be better for you (smile).  

I know some of these sound funny, but keep them in mind the next time you find yourself in an icy spot.  Have a great weekend.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review - The Magnolia Story

If you enjoy HGTV's "Fixer Upper" then you must read this book.  Honestly, it made me love this couple even more!  

Last spring, when we made our pilgrimage to the Silos, I was only a fan of the show.  Yes, I loved her style, his quirky personality and the strong family bond that seemed to be evident as I watched.  Other than that, I really had no idea anything about them and their story.  This book takes you on a journey from the very beginning and you learn the what and why of their success and whom they give credit to.  

My path of self-employment, one-woman shop, fledgling entrepreneur, had so many stumbling stones that I learned to turn into "monuments."  Yes, monument, those stone markers with script text chiseled into them.  "Here is where I decided that I was able to say 'no' to something,"  "here is where I decided to put my family first," "here is where I had to close my shop and focus on family illness," "here is where I decided to 'go big, or go home'."  As I move forward on my path, it is nice to look back at these stumbling blocks turned monuments.  Reading this did that for me.  Jo does the same as she writes this book.  It is a wise person who can use failure as a lesson for success.  I appreciate the "God" lessons illustrated, as I can relate to my own.  I was brought to tears while reading on more than one occasion as I could see the 30 something me in her story.  However, not in terms of worldly but, Godly success.    

I loved this passage:  "It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain.  Unless you find a way to do that, there's always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there -- wherever, "there" is for you -- you'll be happy.  But that's just not life.  If you can't find happiness in the ugliness, you're not going to find it in the beauty, either."  

Yes, this is a story of how HGTV found this house flipping couple in Waco, Texas and their back story.  But the message in this is more than "just" that.  My interpretation of their story is one that shows a lesson to us about what can happen when you put your faith in God and his plans for your life.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Working On Wednesday - Felting Wool

I purchased a "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" kit and pattern from Primitive Gatherings.  I knew I could use the pattern to make up some kits for my 4-H kids - it is an easy project.  So, that is what I did (with help from Justine) - over 600 traced pennies later...I had 20 kits.

I am able to make up these kits for my 4-H kids and most of the time not charge them for the project because I thrift shop.  While Al was off we thrifted our way from here to there and I did find some nice wool.  Al even found me a huge army blanket for $3 - score!  

 The white one was the kit I purchased.  White wool is hard to find.  The cream wool I used was a blanket I found at Goodwill for $4.99.  I let it soak in bleach water to lighten it up and washed it in hot water 2 times.  I like the antique look to them.  The arms, hat, nose, scarf were felted pieces I already had in my stash.  

 I was excited to find this while at a Saint Vincent's near Milwaukee, a Harris Tweed wool blazer from Scotland.  While we were there this past fall, we were told by our tour guide that the "best" wool to buy was from Harris Tweed.  I almost feel guilty felting this one.  However, it will be repurposed into other cool projects.  

I always find wool in the brown colors, so I was so happy to find these wool skirts in blue.  Most were $3.49 each.  So, now I have a laundry basket full of skirts, blazers and shirts to rip apart and felt along with a few blankets.  

This week, I will also be painting my new booth at Jackie's Antique Mall.  These are the things I'm working on.  How about you?  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vintage 1950's Poultry Tribune Magazines

I recently had a customer ask if I would like to buy some old magazines.  I always buy ephemera of any kind, but was so excited when she said that they were farm related.  

What fun to page through these old magazines.   The advertising, articles, comics, tips and recipes just make me dream of the "good old days" when life seemed less hectic.  It was interesting to see that even in the 1950's they were comparing free range vs. caged, production vs. comfort, culling vs. keeping and breed production vs. hobby - some of the same issues that 2017 chicken herdsmen and women consider.   

Housing plans and options in addition to cage and feeder construction.  

Purposeful breeds and breeding - fun or profit.  You all know I love my bantam breeds.

Cute (corny) comics.

Glossy prints of monthly featured birds, sharing history of that breed.   Some of these were selling pretty high on ebay, however, I'm going to keep them for a bit longer.

I found a plan for an adorable brooding house, just what I need for my mama hens.  My hens did set and hatch out over 100 chicks last year.  Not that I "need" another little building out here but, it makes sense to house the setting hens and younger chicks away from the rest of the flock.  At least that's how I'll "pitch it" to my builder...Al.  (smile)

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Motivational Monday - Passion

We recently watched an interesting documentary called "Chicken People."  link to watch the trailer.

I really enjoyed watching the 3 main character's journey to showing and improving their flock.  Al fully intended this to be a "napping" documentary - but, it even held his attention.  We both were cheering for them as they moved up the show ranks from best of, grand to supreme bird.  What dedication and passion.  After it was done, I turned to Al and said "what are you that passionate about?"  He said..."I was thinking that same thing!" 

For some odd reason, this convicted me.   I had a hard time thinking about what I am currently that passionate about.  My children have always been my passion - but, now that we are empty nesters, I can't think of anything.   Sure, I pour most of myself into building my business, but that seem so selfish...

These people were "chicken crazy" and good at what they did.  We couldn't think of anything we currently had in our lives like that.  We both just shook our heads and said..."we aren't an expert at anything, but we are good at lots of things..."  I guess, whatever makes us feel better (smile).   Thing's the truth. 

I've been thinking about this for days.  I like lots of things and would consider myself a bit "crazy" at times - just not "crazy" about any one thing so much that I would devote all my time and energy into it with such passion.  So, what is passion?

Webster gives one definition as:  the suffering and death of Jesus.  So, I turned to scripture and found that the word passion is used only 1 time (KJV) - in Acts 1:3: "To whom also he shewed himself after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."  Jesus' passion was for us.  O.K. now I'm really convicted.  

Did you know the word convicted is also used only 1 time (KJV) - you can find it in John 8:9 "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst."  This passage was taken from the story of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery and brought to Jesus.  The crowd wanted Jesus to agree to stone her but, He said nothing, He just wrote something in the sand.  One by one these accusers left - convicted by whatever it was Jesus wrote.  When He looked up he said to the woman, "where are thy accusers?"  She said "I have none."  Jesus said to her "and neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more."  

I often wondered what was it Jesus wrote in the sand?  We can speculate, possibly all their sins and short comings.  He did say "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."  

So, as I write this post, I'm already thinking of those who will read it and a Christian she should be passionate about...ministry, church, helping others, spreading the Gospel, spiritual gifts...(add another).  But, somehow I think, maybe, just maybe, if Jesus were able to add to this post, what would He write or type here....???

How I found a way to take a chicken documentary and "preach" to myself about it is beyond me, but I did.  We all have 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, no one has more time than another, what will you do with it to reflect your passion?  

As I "embrace" (my word of the year) 2017 - I embrace conviction and passion - to change me for the better.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Five on Friday

I haven't posted anything about this, but my husband has been off of work for 6 weeks.  He had surgery and was put on 1o pound weight restriction.  He goes back to work on Monday.  (sad face)  We have had so much fun!   

So, my Five on Friday is about 5 fun things we did while he was off.

1.  We went to House on the Rock.  I had never been there.  It is are very cool attraction full of all kinds of neat antiques, collectibles and the unusual.  They have a HUGE carousel.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

2.  We did lots of "thrifting."  Anna helped me pick out this dress from a Goodwill in Waukesha where she lives.  

 3.  We smoked some meat.

4.  We ate at a few of our favorite places.  This is from Cozzy Corner in Appleton, one of my top 5 places to eat in Wisconsin.

5.  We burned through some NetFlix original series.  We loved them!  Travelers, OA and Stranger Things.  We like science fiction, supernatural type movies.  Now we are in a "show hole" with them....I sure hope they continue with the next season with all three.  

It was fun having him around all day, however, I know my productivity level will increase once he goes back to work.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Working On Wednesday

I'm starting a series called:  Working On Wednesday 
I will post about what I'm working on that week and hopefully show completed projects along the way.  

You might have guessed, I have a "thing" for wool.  I was so excited to finally shop at Primitive Gatherings: in Menasha, WI.  I was in Wool Heaven!

I do have wool here, but not reds.  I want to make some hearts to sell for Valentine's Day.  My plan is to use the primitive fabric for the back of the hearts.  

I also bought the "Do You Want To Build a Snowman" kit and pattern.  Once I make the sample one, I will make up kits for my 4H kids.  

This Wednesday, my projects consist of "inside" ones, as we were blessed with 10-12" of snow yesterday and more on it's way today.  It is a blessings as we are dependent on tourism.  Snow = snowmobiling, skiing (downhill & cross country), snowshoeing = $ to our local economy.  Those who visit also shop the antique stores too.  This helps me!  With that said, if you happen to come up to our beautiful winter wonderland, don't forget to stop at:  Jackie's Antique Mall and Water Street Vintage where you will find some of these wool hearts next week.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.