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.

A post shared by Vicki Noble (@noblehomestead) on

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!

 

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.

Spring Fever and the Potting Shed

Take a peek inside the potting shed!! I will be planting LOTS of seeds this year.  I had gotten a HUGE seed lot a few years back:

 

So it’s going to be very handy this year, when times are lean and I couldn’t afford to buy anything!

I started some seeds downstairs in my growroom, and some are in the kitchen:

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Come on, Spring!

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And the rest are in the downstairs grow room, which seriously needs attention, but the DOOR is cute 🙂

 

Fire Starters

We’ll probably still need to keep the home fires burning for at least another month or so. Check out these ideas for Fire Starters from Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care:

Don't Eat It! Soap and Skin Care

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During the winter months we use our wood burning fire place to supplement our heat and lower our monthly natural gas bill. In the summer we often build a fire at the farm. We might use it for cooking our dinner or just enjoy sitting around the fire to unwind at the end of the day. Without the proper materials building a wood fire can be more difficult than it sounds. In the past we have bought fat wood, sticks of pine wood that contain natural flammable oils, in order to get the fire going. This year we decided that the convenience that fat wood provides did not justify the expense. We could do better.

Some of the fire starters that we have used include:

  • Balled up news paper
  • A small paper bag stuffed with shredded paper – out of the paper shredder
  • Cheese cloth or paper towels that I have used for filtering bees wax

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Done with snow!

Maya Angelou told it like it is! I am so sick of snow and ready for Spring.  I have my seed starting flats out and went through two bags of starting mix already! Being I am in Zone 5b, I have PURPLE peas and tomatoes and peppers growing downstairs under awesome grow lights.  I am READY!

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