Thursday, September 20, 2007

coming soon...taxidermy soap

Taxidermy soap! That's right, bear and deer heads to wash your bits with. What could be more badass than facing a grizzly in a shower huh? Nothing. Nothing at all. These will be pretty big and the molds won't be ordered for a while, but when they do they'll make a pretty rad gift with some homemade cowboy and indian grown-up pj pants for the tough guys. I bet Stephen Colbert would like some angry bear soap, I'll send him some to the show (I'm serious).

p.s. handmade clothes coming soon in cool patterns and fabrics. I've got the sewing bug and following patterns takes no time at all. Urban outfitter style ponchos being first in line. They'll have a warm wooly fleecy outside and a cool pattern inside. I'll see what i can dig up thats vintage and report back.

i saw a flurry!

This morning was one of those mornings where the temperature under the covers, next to Jazz was about 62 degrees warmer and fluffier than the world outside. I laid awake in bed scratching jazz’s ears and leaning on Annie till the moans from the silkie roosters got me up. I looked outside and thought it had snowed. The hay fields were white and frost capped, the grass was also glassy and white. No snow to speak of but it was well into the low thirties in the shade of the barn when I read the thermostat on the wall. I put on a pair of rag wool gloves without fingertips, a heavy sweater, a wool hat and a scarf and walked outside with a bag of scratch for the birds. All of which were up and trotting around mindless to the cold. I need to buy some insulation and an outdoor lightbulb and run it from the house to their coop. they need a light with a timer in there to keep them laying and to warm up the joint. It already has a thick layer of hay and a wool blanket keeping the wind out, but more mornings like this and they may start complaining.

I then checked the weather in Knoxville right now, 74 degrees, Geesh.

Don't worry mom, I ordered oil and I'll be all set before the trip.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

intense updating here

Last night, after work, I was outside reinforcing the chicken pen with tighter woven wire and fly-top netting. It is now nearly inescapable with a little door for me to get in when I want to collect eggs or give William a high five. I think that project is officially done. I also moved the Silkies back into their own mini coop/pen set up which has been super reinforced with the help of my trusty staple gun which I’ve known since I bought it to staple canvases together my junior year of college. So, let’s hear it for posterity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Yesterday morning I got a call, the last call, from my neighbors. Who told me they were done with my chickens getting into their yard. Something that used to never happen and now happens all the time. As the girls got more and more brave and used to their yard, they started wandering off into the barn area, then naturally ended up walking into the green lush grass of my neighbor's place. They're nice enough people, but if you're not into poultry you don't exactly want to wake up to Kevin the silkie rooster screaming in your yard. And it's not just the black kids; William is relentlessly brave and has taken them everywhere he can see, So the birds are getting a little to far into the fields, woods, and neighbor's very pretty lawns. All of these places dangerous and thriving with coyotes, eagles, replublicans and dogs.

So, it was time. I had to build a fence.

Last night Diana came to the rescue. I drove home with her and Bruce to Floating leaf and helped with their nightly chores. Their calf Kingsford is adorable, a month old and solid milk chocolate. I try not to get to attached to them because in a year hell be a side on their china (thus the food-related names this years slaughter calf is called Mac), but damn they are cute when their babes. I collected eggs and we moved a giant hamster wheel shaped hay feeder closer to the red barn. By the time we were done the timed lights were coming on in her three chicken houses. It was getting dark and we were just starting to load up the truck with fenc building gear (Post holers look kinda dirty). We drove across the lake back to my farm and by the glow of the truck’s headlights we used a post holer to nail down five t-posts. Last we hooked up livestock fencing and then moved in the coops. It felt good to work with my hands and make something that produced an actual result after a long day of staring at computer screens. The night was followed by wine and pizza, which was well deserved.

Now the birds are kind of contained. This morning when I went outside Emily was already out and looking for her two male escorts that were too scared to come out and face William. Mary Todd Lincoln went AWOL and flew out over the bars (but everyone knows she’s crazy) So there are “adjustments” to be made to this whole fence thing, but it’s up and the neighbors can handle a few days of ironing out the kinks and escape routes. Or if anyone out there wants to buy me one of these, that would be great too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

pumpkin loaf

This recipe is easy to make and I suggest keeping it around for pumpkin carving time when you have no idea what to do with your jack-o-lantern guts. But that's no excuse to wait because it tastes great with canned pumpkin. The recipe can be whipped together from scratch in about ten minutes, and it has received rave reviews in the office here. You can make it into cupcakes, cake, loafs and anything else your heart desires but keep an eye on it if you're baking something less dense then a standard loaf. It's done when you stick a scour in and it comes out clean (which for a cupcake might be 45 minutes, not 75). Also, the smell of baking pumpkin bread might be one of the best fall smells you can start bringing into the house. Taylor, you'll be eating this and drinking cider in a few weeks.

Homemade pumpkin loaf

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 table spoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
2 big eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup veggie oil

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, and all wet in another. Mix wet into dry and whip with a wooden spoon into a wet batter. Bake in a greased bread loaf for 75 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top after it cools, or if you want to make it amazing, spread a hearty layer of creamchesse flavored icing on top. Which I recomend.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Raven Soap

Now in the Etsy shop and just in time for Fall. The same mint, beeswax and goatsmilk blend from before but in a snazzy and seasonal creepy shape. A raven hunched over pumpkins, now whats more classic then that? It's a third larger than the other bars which are roundish. Looks nice in the hay or in your bathroom. And all proceeds go to chicken feed and dogfood, so shop darling, shop.

Get your soap here.