Welcome to my little farm in the city.

This is a little blog about my life here on my little farm in the city. I am a wife, a mom, a grandma to 6 beautiful grandchildren. I live in a very small Mayberry like town in South Carolina . We live on the banks of a small river in the woods. I raise chickens and this year I really plan to try my hand at a small garden so that I can use the products for canning this year. It will be a venture since all we have is this lovely red clay that is hard as a brick, but I have high hopes. I am an avid knitter and crocheter and I love to work on new patterns that I find. You will probably find much of my work here as I finish it. Well thanks for stopping bye and please stop in often and stay as long as you like. Trudy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh my gosh what a summer!!

Wow  I know I have  not  been here  for a  long  time .  We  have  had  a busy  summer.  It all started  back in June  when my  husband  got  injured  at  work ,  It  has  been a  mess of  Dr,  visits, tests ,  more  visits  and more  tests , and  still waiting  on a second  opinion appointment  to  confirm what the  first  Dr.  already  has  told  him.  The  workman's  comp insurance agency is  really dragging their  feet  with what  we  know is  inevitable and  should  have  been done  3  months  ago.  Surgery  is  in the near future and then  recovery will extend  us  past  the  holiday  season,  which  we thought  he would have been back to work  way  before  then,  but  the  insurance  is  making  this  a very  long  drawn out  procedure, and  it should not  have  been.   So  needless to say we  have  been really  pinching  the  pennies and  trying to make the  ends  meet  with  some  success.  

My  son , who  is  in the  Army  and  now  deployed  overseas  for a year  was  here  with his  family  for  6  weeks.  It  was  absolutely wonderful to have  them  here and to be  able  to spend  some  much  needed time  with  him  before he  left.  He  had  come  in hopes  of  being  able  to take  care of  getting his  dad  back and forth and  through the  surgery  before  he  left ,  but  it  was  not to be.   That being  said  we  did so enjoy  his  visit  and  we  did make a  lot  of  good memories  that  will keep  us warm on those  cold  days  of  winter  ahead.    We  got  to spend  a  lot  of time with  our  grandson  who  is  two  and  get  to  know  him , as  this  was  really the  first  time we had  spent  with him  since  he  was  born.   Since  my  son is  in the  Army  they were  stationed  in Texas  and  he  was  not  able to gain leave  to come and  visit  until  this  summer  before  he  deployed  for a year  and this  is  his  second  tour.   We  are  so very  proud  of him and what  he is  doing  to  help  protect  our  country , our  freedom.  I can  only  hope  with this  mother's  heart that  time goes by  quickly  for  us and  for him and  that  he  will come  back home  to us  as  healthy and as  whole  as the day that  he left.   I miss him  every day ,  and  I wish that  he  did not have to go,  but  I know that  this  is  something  that  he  needs  to do and  that  he  is  proud  to do.

So  summer  is  gone, and the  leaves  are  turning , the  wind is  becoming  cooler, and the  fall colors  that  I so dearly love  are  returning ,  if  only  for a brief  time  .  This  is with out  a doubt  my  most  favorite  time of the year.  I  love  the  colors, the fresh  cool air , and  lowering  temperatures .  I  love the  sound  of  leaves  crunching  under  my  feet  and  the  sounds  of the  owls  who  seem  to come  at  night  so close  to our  home in the  woods here. I love that  quiet, slow  whooo whooo through the  empty branches  in the  quiet  darkness  that  surrounds  my  little  home  at  night.  It  just  seems  so comforting  to me .   

There  is a  bright  spot  to my  days  now.  Back this summer  my  husband  and  I found  someone on line that had  saved a  little yellow  puppy  from a  life  of  abandonment and from  an unsure  future  at  the  pound  which is  where  he was  headed ,but  given a reprieve thanks  to a  kind  soul.  Anyway  ,  this  kind  man  took him in knowing that the life  of  a single  person  was  not  what  this  tiny  boy needed,  so he  posted an add for him and  we  happen  to see  it  and I fell in love immediately!!!  He  said  that  he  thought  is was a Golden Lab/ Golden  Retriever  mix  and  when I saw  him the  first  time  ,  I  really  doubted  it .  His name  is  Jake,  and when I got him he was  only  3  pounds  and  about 6  weeks  old.  He  was  so tiny  that  I thought  there  was  no  way  he  could  be  a lab, why labs are  so  MUCH  bigger  at  6  weeks.   I  have  seen  a  lot  of  labs  and  he  was much too tiny..................   that  is  what  I kept  telling myself.     This is  Jake  when I first  got  him at  what  we think  was  about  5  or  6  weeks  of  age.

Well  needless to say the  last  thing  I needed  was  another  puppy but  I can  say  without any  doubt  in my  mind  that  he  has  been the  most  wonderful, easily trained  and  so  delightfully  happy  go lucky  since  the  very  first day  we  brought him home.  He is  growing  by leaps  and  bounds  , he  is  now 5 months  old  and  the  most  awesome  growing  pup.  He  is  my  constant companion and I would  be  so entirely  lost  with out him.  I know  that  he  will be my protector, my  best  buddy and  keeper  of  secrets  forever and  I know that  I did the  right thing  that  day  when I brought him home, and I know that  he is  forever grateful every time  he puts  his  head  in my lap and looks  at me with those  big loving  brown eyes.    This  is  Jake  at  5  months  and  I will update  here as  he  grows. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Busy days , Crafting nights.

It seems just when I think I am going to have a slow  day that I can spend with my needles and hooks that those  darn household  "chores" get in the way !  I  was  going to do a load or two of laundry to hang out in the  sunshine and  cool breeze , and  wouldn't you know.......... I was  out of laundry soap and  my  DH neglected to inform me.  So I try to make most anything I can from scratch  to save money, and yes I make our laundry soap.  My daughter  thought I was nuts the  first time or two I made it, but  once she tried it  she too was hooked.  It  costs me about a dollar to make 3 huge  bottles that I have recycled.  It works fantastic to take out South Carolina red clay stains out of my clothes and  I really like  making it, as it makes me feel better about what I use on my clothes and I am saving  a lot of money.... and that makes the husband happy.  It is very easy on our front loader washer, as it does not make suds, and it gets the clothes really clean.  It only has 3 or 4 ingredients in it, although I have discovered that if I add a little of liquid fabric softener  to the bottle before I pour in the soap, it makes the soap smell great ........ and it  does make the clothes softer  even when I hang them outside.  It  really is very easy to make and it does not take me more than an hour to  make it. The only down side is you really need it to cool and set for a day before you use it , but I have used it just a couple hours and it seems to work just as well , just a bit more  runny  until it cools.  This is all the ingredients I use.......................... and the  recipe is  so simple .  You can email me or leave me a question and I will gladly send the  recipe or place it here.

I have 2 different bars of soap shown, but I only use one in a recipe.  I usually use the  octogon, but I just  recently found the  Zote at walmart, and I love  it !  It is twice the size, and I only  have to use 1/2 the  bar per batch and the best part is it is under a dollar a bar, the octagon is also but I have to use the whole bar per batch.  The Zote works so good and smells great.  I have used Fels Naptha but I found it so harsh to our skin and it is SO hard to grate and more  expensive. The Zote smells  better, is pink so in turn makes the laundry soap pretty, and it is softer and easier to grate.  The Octagon is not quite as soft , but still easy and it has a slight lemony  smell. 
Now  not only  do I make our own laundry soap , I  use my  outside clothes dryer all the time here on any sunny day the Lord provides me.  Yes I hang clothes in the winter too!  If you have  never hung  your clothes out on a cold  windy winter day ....  You have to try it at least once, the way they smell and feel is so amazing!  
Well anyway  on to the  crafting.  I found this really cute pattern on line for a dish cloth and I had to try it.  It was  crochet and I figured it would be quick to make , it  was . I made it and the  scrubby, in one night.  In fact out of just one small ball I made the cloth and the matching little scrubby.  
I love to make the scrubbies, they work so well, they hold up forever and they work great for those tight spots like skinny glasses and cups.  I also use them like a sponge as they soak up so much since they are double thickness.  I have quite buying sponges  and started using them all the time.  I save money , and  no more germy sponges.  I can wash and reuse them all the time, and I bleach them when I wash them to sanitize them so I know they are clean, and I use different patterns if I want more texture for a scrubby feel.  They are wonderful and my  daughter requests them all the time.  
 I also made these other two dish clothes in an evening of tv watching.  Just  simple crochet but  with a slight twist,  I added a picot edge on each one to dress them up a bit.  Think I am going to have to find an outlet to sell all these dish clothes as I am getting quite the collection of them.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thomasina knits: Knit a rainbow

 I  love  to cruise the  internet reading other peoples blogs.  I  must admit that I will spend hours reading  knitting and crocheting blogs not just for the information but also scanning for new patterns.  If you are a knitter you really need to check out this  site.  The items are so beautiful and the  blog is well written.  I took one look at the  pattern for the  gloves she has made and I knew I had to make a pair.  I know that I am going to go back often to see  her  site and  enjoy the  read!  She has links to a lot of the  items for the patterns and  I can not wait to make a pair or two or three!

Spring is in the air !

I  don't know about  you , but I am so tired of winter this year!  I know that  winter here in South Carolina is  nothing  like  most of you have.  We  did get snow this year and it  hung around for almost a week and  shut schools and towns down here.  I grew  up in Michigan so I know how long winters can be.  I moved  here to South Carolina to escape the snow and ice.   Well ,  the  last  week or so has  been unusually warm and  sunny.  I never get tired of  gazing at the  beautiful clear blue skies here .  The wind , when it blows smell so  wonderful and so  clean.  Today when I was sitting out on my  back deck looking at the woods all around us ,  I saw a tree that is already starting to bud out!!  How  cool!  

I know that  my chickens are loving this  weather,  They are so funny, they love to sit in the sun,  or roll around in the  dirt they manage to scratch up in their run , looking all crazy like when they do .  I never get tired of watching them scratch and peck, and  I love to listen to them all talk to each other.  I just  wish they would hurry up and start laying those big brown eggs for me !   Anyway, I hope that spring hurries up, I am so tired of looking at  bare trees, but  the one that is starting to bud gives me  hope on this beautiful 70  degree , breezy day.  So , I  sit, and I patiently wait to see those leaves from here, on my  deck, in the  woods.  Hurry up  Spring! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What have I been doing all winter?

I love  to  crochet  and  knit .  It  is what  I  do when the  days  are  cold and I don't want to go outside.  But then I love to knit  and  crochet all the  time................  who am I kidding.  I  love to  crochet  granny squares , and  I have made a couple  of  afghans  and  been involved in a couple  swaps.  I  love to crochet  potholders, dishcloths, scrubbies, just  about anything that is  small enough to take  with me  where ever  I go and  I have  extra time.   This is just a  very small sample of  some of the  blocks  I have  done.  I did alot of them with  a sunflower in the middle since  I am a sunflower lover.  
 I  also just have tried to make a swiffie cover since I hate to pay for those  paper toss away pads.  There are so many patterns on the  web and I chose this one.  It was very easy but  I did not think that my swiffie was  bigger then the pattern, shame on me for not measuring. I had to alter it a bit but I made it fit.  It works  very well and I am in the  process to make a couple more , and this time I will adjust the pattern so it fits the  first time.    Did I also mention that I love to knit??

 Oh my gosh I  LOVE to knit!!  I  always  have a  potholder, or a dish cloth or  something  small on the  needles  so I can take it with me to work on where ever I am .  I  have made mittens  for the grand kids with  matching  hats  for  Christmas.  I  have made  so many dish and wash rags  and  scrubbies that  I can not count them all.    I love to do potholders that  are thick enough  that  you really won't  get  burned with those  hot dishes.  I have  made sweaters and such  but  I just love the  almost  instant gratification with those  quick little projects.  I  have  this  really cool  pattern I am doing right now  for a dish cloth and I liked it so much that I am making one of the  grand kids  a  scarf  for next  Christmas  already.  It is her  favorite  color  , I know she will love it!

It  is  a really nice  pattern with texture  and  it is reversible.  How cool is that ?  this  pattern is so easy and  it works up so quick.  I  am going to have to start adding  links to all my favorite knit and crochet  sites on this blog  for  you  but  the  one I use  so much is the lion brand yarn site.   I love  Lion Brand  yarn and I use  it a lot.  I really love the wool yarns they have.   Well  I  need to get back to those  needles, just wanted to share a bit of what I have been doing these last  couple months.  Be  blessed , and  come  back soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Best Friends!

Best  Friends..........  I love  those words.  This is my best friend  Zina.  I love  her  so much.  There is something so very comfortable about her,   She  always makes me smile, always.  She  is always  there for me  even though she  lives hundreds of miles  away.  She has been my  rock and  she  always has time for me  even in her  ever busy life with her family and her work.  I must admit I have not been the  best friend  that  she deserves  sometimes, as  it has  been a long time  since  I have  talked to her.  I know that she  will understand, she  always  does and  she always forgives me  for it.  I am  so lucky and so blessed to have her in my life,   She  makes  me a better  person, and  she  is  who I want  to be  like.    She  is an angel.  When I moved to Arkansas and  I started at a new  job and I knew no one, Zina  was  my  first  friend.  She  took me  under  her wing and  we  became  very fast and  very good  friends.  I miss  her  everyday and not a day goes by I don't think of her and  pray  for  her.  I wish  we  lived next door to each other so that I could chat  with her all day long ,  But for now I  guess I just need to pick up that  phone and  be a better  buddy to my  buddy.  I love you Zina!

What a beautiful day!

How  lucky we have been the last few days here. The  weather is  breathtaking, so  warm and so windy.  I  love to do wash on days like this and hang them out on the  line.  They smell so good and so clean.  Well  my  chickens are  just about old enough to  start laying.  They are a comical bunch of girls.   As you can see from the picture these 3 are the  most curious and  there is nothing safe with them around.  They are  the  first out in the morning and always the last to come in at night , and usually I must  persuade them to get them to go in.  I  can not imagine  life with out chickens now  that I have had them so long.  I  can not wait for them to start delivering the  goods.    It  did get so cold here  this winter  for a couple weeks that my  husband  truly thought  that  I would be knitting them little sweaters.  Yes   I am a knitter and  crocheter and  I love  to sit out on my  deck, enjoying the  view of the  woods, listening to the chickens and  working  on a little knitting  project.   I have  been  busy  though the  last  couple of months  though as  my  dear husband  gave  me a new puppy for Christmas.  She  is a doll and  I truly love  her but she  does  keep me  hopping and  my  knitting bag is not  safe unattended with her around.  She and  her brother, my  little wiener  dog  do give me  delight  all day though and  I would be  lost with out them...........  and  my  chickie girls!  Well  guess I better get to knitting.  I have been working on  making washable , reusable swiffie covers and  I love  the fact that  I don't have to spend money on those  toss aways to keep my floors clean.  Come  back often and  stay  as long as you like.  You will see updates on the  girls. the  puppies and the  knitting  projects.  Take  care and  be blessed.