Happenings at Noble Homestead

It’s been busy. I recorded a fun video but it *still* hasn’t made it onto my computer, along with about ten other videos. We are BUSY, and when I sit down at night to edit videos, most times I end up asleep.

The kids started public school and we all ended up with pink eye for two weeks on and off. Ha! not fun. However, they seem to be having fun.

First Day of School

I turned 50 this summer and Ray took us to New York City for two days.  We saw the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. We finished the day with a visit to Untermeyer Park where Ray and I used to live in Yonkers, but it was dusk and we could only visit a little, yet fantastic piece.

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We love this place. Untermeyer Park.

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The next day we went to the American Museum of Natural History, a Swedish Marionette Theater, The John Lennon Memorial “Strawberry Fields,” and then Untermeyer Park, among other things… SO many things and swimming for hours in the hotel pools in between, having the time of our lives. We boarded Demmy Dog at Milton Manor, and he was very well cared for, and we have much gratitude for that!

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Giant lap dog!

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We have made some soap, jalapeno jelly, lilac syrup and wine.

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Olivia helped us harvest lilacs for syrup and wine.

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We are gardening like crazy. We have clay soil, so Ray bought us a truckload of topsoil, and we have been amending the property in the garden area and our “oasis” pond area.  I have such great video for you all and am trying  not to kick myself for not having it up on our YouTube right now but if I did, we would be accomplishing much less.

I will do my best to get some of the videos up on the next rainy day :).  However, I keep learning all the time, too.  I have been earning certificates on Herbology and Hospitality and Event Management on a couple sites, Udemy and IOA (International Open Academy). 

We put in a Tentrr Glamping site. It’s awesome!

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This place is so cozy!!

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In addition to school, the kids are taking ballet and are both going to be in the National Museum of Dance, School of the Arts’ Nutcracker this year.

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V's first class 🙂

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This lucky kid gets swim class on his birthday

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They are also taking swim lessons on Thursday nights at Skidmore College (thanks to my friend Chris, an alum, for the info on THAT!!). Vince is also starting the trumpet.

AND both kids have a birthday this month!!! Nanny (their maternal GREAT grandmother) has already made it so special by getting them shirts and awesome presents.

Olivia got a FANTASTIC blanket, Vince got his last year.

Sooo much more to catch you up on but that’s all the time for now! Watch what we’re up to on Instagram 🙂

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Vincent's proud of his garden.

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Vincent grew a giant purple carrot!

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V enjoying the last day of summer vacation

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We picked our corn 🙂

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Flashbacks of Warmer Times

We are in the winter depression time of the North East when Vitamin D deficiencies rule. Today it is snowing, no surprise!  It is piling on a powdery layer on top of a thick crusty layer of ice.  Walking is nearly impossible.  The wood furnace died and we are onto the small manufactured-home propane burner as backup. Half the house’s electricity is out and we are searching for an electrician.  One of the sump pumps downstairs has kicked the bucket and left half our basement flooded and it is dark because it’s on THAT side of the house, the one with the blown fuse that won’t go back on.  Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!  At least it’s pretty, and doesn’t last forever! Here’s our hay barn in its icy, glossy, splendor:

I got a new phone.  It’s fantastic.  It’s a Samsung Galaxy Note 9  and I love it.

Ray let me get a cute case and ring stand to stick to it! I am SUPER into iridescent things, so I was really happy to find this nice combination.  I HATE talking on the phone, so this makes it a bit nicer :).  I LOVE how it fades from purple to blue, and it’s clear so I can keep my business card or a photo in the back (I am still so analog!!). 

 

Stupid of me, I know, but I have  recently been coveting a set of 6 IRIDESCENT Moscow Mule mugs!  I don’t need them, so they aren’t in my kitchen 🙂 I normally don’t want things I don’t NEED, but Look At Them!

 

This is the ring stand.  It is a phone stand also! :

 

 The Note function on the phone is terrific. It’s a screen that you can use your stylus on.  I use it like a blackboard and screen mirror to my TV while we are schooling. Vince also loves my new phone and snuck one of his Stikbot animations from his Stikbot Studio up on our YouTube!  Cue discussions of identity misappropriation and trust between the boy and myself!

While I was switching files over, I came across some videos that the kids insisted I share (outside in NICE weather, carrot harvest, hay jumping, etc…), so we made a cute little collection below.

annnd here’s V’s sneaky little video….

Check out the Stikbot Farm Set!

How To Make A Restful Lavender & Flax Eye Pillow | It’s My Sustainable Life

I connected with Susan via Twitter and was delighted to read this awesome and healthful DIY featuring lavender and flax.

via How To Make A Restful Lavender & Flax Eye Pillow | It’s My Sustainable Life

“Your Grandmother Would Be So Proud Of You” — Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care

Ruth from “Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care” moved me to tears this week and reminded me not to take my matriarchs for granted.

“Your Grandmother would be so proud of you.” In my adult life I don’t remember many times that I visited my Aunt Shirley when she hasn’t spoken these words to me. As our visit would end she would always tell me how much she loved me and how proud she was of me, followed by how proud […]

via “Your Grandmother Would Be So Proud Of You” — Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care

We got DUMPED on! BIG Snow in Upstate NY

What it looks like around here right now:

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Good day, Sunshine! ☀️Wow, it's beautiful.

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We got over 24 inches and it has been averaging below zero here the past week.  Yesterday, it was -18 degrees F!  Stay warm!

In the meantime, I listed four AWESOME and cozy crocheted Foot Massages, I mean, rag rugs and our new Basic Balm, unscented goodness that is perfect for chapped hands and lips, dry skin, and to use as a skin protectant in these conditions!

We have two different balms available for purchase, available in different sizes for your convenience.  They are both made with only organic ingredients, home-grown or locally sourced from our piece of heaven in Zone 5b of the Adirondacks.  They come packaged in glass only, a pretty cobalt blue when possible.  Our base is made with Organic cold-pressed coconut, olive, grapeseed and avocado oils, blended with shea and cocoa butters and infused with Calendula, Carrotseed, and Raspberry seed oils.  These and other beneficial ingredients are blended with a small amount of organic beeswax to make a balm that traps in moisture and speeds healing.

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See my Rag Rugs on Etsy!

 

Starting a Tea Garden — Planning an Ozark Homestead

I’ve been taking many herbal classes lately.  This totally caught my eye! I had to reblog this awesome article by Planning an Ozark Homestead:

If you like tea and are thinking of starting an tea herb garden, here are some herbs to consider. Lemon Verbena – Said to improve digestion, joint pain and fever reducer Mint – Is used for digestive disorders, abdominal pain and stomach cramps Thyme – Said to calm stomach problems and sore throat. Chamomile – […]

via Starting a Tea Garden — Planning an Ozark Homestead

Happy New Year from Noble Homestead 2019!

We are moving along, just like you are 🙂 We hope you are doing well.  Right now we are dealing with some broken pipes and a broken furnace, but are grateful for employment, contingency backups and positive thinking! Annnnnnnyway…

As you might know, I, Vicki, am an herbalist (among many other things!). Just  recently, I started formal training because so many of my products have become successful and necessary remedies not just in my home, but many of my extended family and friends’.

Here is the newest addition to our Etsy store:

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Available is four sizes, 1, 2, 3 and 4 ounces.

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All of our jars are reusable. No plastic nor aluminum, the two smaller sizes are in cobalt blue glass.

~WHY WE USE ONLY GLASS CONTAINERS at the end of this post~

Spring Fever! Already.

I’m also so far gone into a case of Spring Fever that I have signed up for Misfits Market.  It’s a really cool idea they have.  Organic ugly produce gets thrown out/ WASTED all the time.  This is a service that delivers it right to my remote country dirt-road door!  I don’t even have to go hunting for organic produce in three different stores and be limited to carrots and spinach.  These guys have rutabagas, radishes, endive.. MMMMmmm!  Makes a plant-based Mama happy!

From the FAQ on their page:

What is Misfits Market?

It’s a subscription box of sometimes funny-looking, always delicious produce, designed to break the cycle of food waste. Think of us like an online grocery store, except one that specializes in rescuing food that is unnecessarily thrown away. We source high-quality organic produce that has a few quirks—onions that are too small, potatoes that are shaped like your favorite celebrity, and carrots that fell in love and got twisted together. It may sound like a joke, but billions of pounds of this fresh and delicious food is tossed each year because grocery stores only want “perfect” foods on their shelves. We step in and buy this food from hundreds of farms across the country and bring them to your doorstep, saving you money and helping you save the world.

Get 30% off your first box if you click through here!

SO …. when it comes in next Monday for the first time, I’ll do an unboxing video 🙂

Happy New Year and we hope you had a great holiday.

If you missed our last video, it was for a Kids’ Gift exchange created by Vicki and Sammy of  Little Creek Homestead:

and oh yeah…

~WHY WE USE ONLY GLASS CONTAINERS for our skin solutions (& whenever possible otherwise)~
These are just a few reasons…
“There are environmental impacts associated with each stage of aluminum production, from extraction to processing. The major environmental impact of refining and smelting is greenhouse gas emissions. … Sulfur dioxide and sodium fluoride are emitted from smelters and electrical plants.” – The Environmental Literacy Council (https://enviroliteracy.org/special-features/its-element-ary/aluminum/)

“Plastic has a large impact on the environment. It is possible to recycle plastic, depending on your city’s recycling system, but many people do not. Plastic is not biodegradable, which means it is not possible for the earth to naturally absorb this material back into the soil. Rather, the light breaks down the plastic into small pieces that contaminate the soil. It is expensive to manage and clean the toxicity that plastic creates. Recycling programs aim to get you to reduce the amount of items you use, reuse your containers and recycle what you can no longer use. Plastic can also adversely affect your health.” – Hunker.com (https://www.hunker.com/12003598/the-advantages-disadvantages-of-plastic-containers)

(… among many others… so we just use glass bc we can and we CARE about you and our environment. XO We sourced our jars as inexpensively and responsibly as possible after much research.)

VERY much love,

Vicki, Ray, the kids, Demmy the dog, the cats, and the chickens  xo

Chicken Flock Management, and a Little Holiday Update

I have been lucky to know the awesome Cynthia Fuller through our YouTube involvement.  She is a dynamo!! I call her my “fellow Creatrix,” because she is also a fantastic maker of awesome things (WOW, her quilts!).  In addition to her many talents, she is an authority on chickens/raising chickens and their care/wellbeing.

 Before we got our chickens in 2016, I had spent a fair chunk of time reading up on chickens on Backyardchickens.com. Little did I know I was already getting advice from Ms. Cynthia!! She has been a member and sometimes moderator for 13 years!

We are lucky to have such generous and experienced people in our world that share hard-earned valuable information that would have otherwise taken a lifetime to acquire, and the hard way at that.

If you have chickens, or are thinking about getting some for yourself, take a minute to pour yourself a fav libation and get some poultry schoolin’ from the fantastic Cynthia Fuller :).

Happy holidays to all, fun videos are coming soon! We were a little slow, since I am the sole cameraperson and editor over here, and I was sick.  Here’s one that includes last week’s outing in Glens Falls, NY for the Christmas Tree Lighting 🙂

Love to all,

Noble Homestead

 

 

Summer’s Winding Down

Finally, I am getting a minute to post a “Hello!”  Summer has been a little hectic with some health issues and new puppies!  We will catch you up with a puppy vid soon.  In the meantime, here’s a picture of “Demmy,” our 5 1/2 month old “Dark Chocolate” lab: IMG_20180827_114358843.jpg

He’s my new best buddy 🙂  We had gotten him and his sister, but had lots of trouble with Littermate Syndrome.  We are so thrilled that we found “Josey” (her new name) a new, fantastic home and great humans!

I am finally starting to list my many summertime creations on our Etsy Store, as well. I know I am a little behind, but better late than never! Here’s a little hand painted Unicorn Seahorse pillow I made with a secret pocket in the back:

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I have a few rag rugs, some smudge sticks, and a bunch of masks to list. They’ll be up soon!

The fields are getting hayed, and I have been gathering plantain and jewel weed the past few days to make healing balm.

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A local farmer mows our fields and we split the yield.

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Broadleaf and lanceleaf plantain.

Sorry we’ve been lax on our YouTube videos.  We had to lessen our workload a bit this summer, but I’m starting to feel better, so LOOK OUT! tee hee….

Peace, Vicki

Cleaning Nontoxically – Vinegar For Tile Floors

We moved into a new place in July of last year that was anything but new.  The floors were so grimy that we gave them a quick once-over and continued moving in.  The one in our bathroom was RIDICULOUS.  Being that it wasn’t the one used often, we let it go and covered it with a rug.  *I* knew what was under there… and it bugged me.  Well, yesterday was THE DAY!  I decided to tackle it, and also to see which would work better, nontoxic white vinegar or the toxic Multi-surface Cleaner on which I had previously relied.

 dow VS61t5nifipdl-_sy679_Who wins??

 

I cleaned one tile with the vinegar, diluted by half water.  A mop and then a scrubbing sponge didn’t cut it, so I broke out the BIG GUNS, my RIGHT HAND MAN:

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 THIS is the GUY for me!! 

I got one square scrubbed with the vinegar.  It DID take some effort! This is what it looked like:

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THIS was exciting!  I grabbed the Scrubbing bubbles and did another:

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The one on the left was cleaned with the vinegar, the one on the right, with the toxic cleaner! The left was much easier to clean.  I have NO IDEA what the stuck-on film was all over our floor, but I would guess it was a buildup of hairspray from an extended time!

The kids thought it looked like fun:

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I wouldn’t have let them clean with the TOXIC Scrubbing bubbles. They and I had a great time cleaning, and it looked fantastic when we finished!

THINK about what you are cleaning with.  It goes down the drain, and into our Earth.