Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Covering the Comforter

It's getting cold in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter has begun, and we currently are knee-deep in snow, wxith more falling. To prepare for cold nights, I purchased some duvets. If you don't already know the term, a duvet (/doo-vay/) is a comforter that is meant to be covered like a pillow. The cover can be washed regularly, like sheets, and can be used along with or instead of a top sheet. We used duvets in U.K. and I enjoyed the simplicity and warmth.
The first picture shows the finished duvet under one of my Mother-in-Law's quilts. I love the colors in this quilt, and the birds and flowers go well with my style. I did get a king size comforter for our queen size bed. I like the look of the overhang, plus that extra bit of fabric is fantastic when someone hogs the covers or to keep the mountainous belly of a pregnant woman comfortably covered (I am not  expecting).

When I purchased my duvet, I made sure it had the loops in the corners. These loops can be tied to the cover to keep the comforter from bunching in one spot and leaving the sleeper cold. To make the cover, I ordered flannel in the 108-inch width (often used for backing quilts). I evened out the cut sides, folded the fabric, sewed two invisible zippers in the middle of one side - openings facing each other so they give me a large opening to work, and the closed ends protect the seam from splitting, and used some twill tape and snaps which I had instead of just ties in the corners. 
I'm very happy with the finished comforter.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Blueberry Picking

Shingle Mills Blueberry U-Pick opened last week. I had to get out of the house for the afternoon, so off we went berry picking. I put the baby in the wagon, and pulled her around with us. MissD and MisterE gobbled down nearly all the berries they picked, though MissD did finish with about a pound of berries in her bucket!

Thomas enjoys picking berries. He picked nearly a bucketful himself once his turn watching Specs ended. The dog was welcome to give them company by the cleaning tables, but of course wasn't allowed in the field itself.

The girls were picking in another aisle, and MisterA went to help pick raspberries with the farmgirl, but they ended up just playing.

When we got back home, we started prepping the berries for use and freezing. MissA had a little oopsy, though.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

House Goats

Recently, we installed magnet screen doors so the mosquito population might be kept somewhat at bay while we enjoy the evening breeze. The dog can also get out when she needs to, as well.

Today, though, the goats were set out in the yard to eat weeds and fertilize the grass. They do a pretty good job, but sometimes get overzealous about pruning the bushes near the house. I was sure it was just my imagination when they seemed to be cheering on one of the kids playing a video game until they sauntered in the front door, straight to the computer, and asked Alex if they can have next game.

Now, they're lounging by the garage, waiting for me to open the door again. One may have said something about playing Clue with the girls.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Goat Milk Soap, take one!

This week, we were blessed with a new addition to our property: a milk goat. Caramel has been milked morning and night for the past year by her previous owner. Other than overgrown hooves, she's looking nice and healthy.

Even though we have a large family, we generally only go through one to three gallons of milk a week. Caramel produces just shy of a half gallon per day. Our main dairy product uses are for baking and eating: butter and cheese. Goat milk doesn't separate quickly like cows milk, and leaving it to separate over a couple days may risk a stronger flavor. I'd like to invest in a cream separator before she freshens (kids, and therefore has fresh milk) so that we can easily make the butter, plus buttermilk for baking, and use the skimmed milk for cheese making.

Today, Ben used the excess to make goat milk soap. It's really quick and easy to make. He made a form to let it cool and harden in. Tomorrow, we should be able to cut the soap brick into bars, which will need to cure (rest and harden, allowing the lye to stop it's action, so it will clean the skin but the lye won't be able to burn the skin) for about a month or so. I'm looking forward to trying the soap by the end of summer!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hello, World.

21 years ago, in the suburbs, a sophomore boy took a junior girl to the prom.

5 and a half years later, they married, taking a year and a half until they shared the celebration of a wedding.

Now, we meet them again...

Having recently moved to a property outside of town that has plenty of room for their eight children to grow.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34