WARNING! Here come the disturbing pictures!
Warning! There will be super cute pictures of baby bunnies in this post, but there will also be disturbing pictures of the premature death of one of our guineas. Proceed with caution!
Okay, remember back on 4/29/2015 I posted pictures of our newest baby rabbits (all 8 of them)? Well, they are much bigger and CUTER now! These little buggers are hopping all over the cage now. They've even begun eating pelleted feed. We are having so much fun petting and holding these cute little critters each and every day! They are just too cute not to hold! Life around the ranch is always exciting. We love having the babies around to keep us entertained. However, with life, there is always death, too. This time, it was very unexpected. We have (had) nine guineas. Guineas are a type of fowl. They are wonderful for keeping snakes, ticks, and other unwanted varmints away. Well, one of our guineas was sitting on eggs, trying to hatch out some chicks. She was VERY well hidden in the front of our house, behind a large batch of English Ivy. The only reason we found her was that my husband was working on a pump out in our front area in the french drains. He was shocked to find her there! Anyway, we left her to her eggs, hoping she would hatch us some new chicks. She would come out for very short periods of time during the day to get something to eat and drink, then would return to her eggs quickly.
WARNING! Here come the disturbing pictures!
This is what we found in front of our house. Our sweet, little guinea was torn to shreds right in front of our breakfast window during the night. Something found her on her nest and ate her. A disturbing part for us is that whatever ate her was so bold that it didn't even drag her off to eat her! It literally ate her right there out in the open, at the front of our house. It's a very sad day for us. I will admit that we have gotten a little more d-sensitized to death through the years, but it still hurts, nonetheless. Yep, it still hurts....
Every year I have that question of what to get the two mothers in my life (my mom and my mom in-law) for Mother's Day, when they already have everything they need! Do you ever run into that question? Well, I've been looking all over Pinterest for ideas. Oh yea! Pinterest can be addictive, because there are so many fun things to check out on their site! I get new recipes to try, craft ideas, sewing and weaving help, information on chickens, etc. There is something for everyone!
So, I decided to take a chance on making homemade soap and lotion bars. Little did I know how EASY these were to make! Wow! I started with the lotion bars. I ordered the beeswax and raw shea butter off of the internet. I purchased the Vitamin E oil and a silicon mold from Hobby Lobby (using my 40% off coupons, of course!). I decided to use some of my YL Lavender oil, too!
I began by mixing 1/4 cup of the beeswax, 1/4 cup of the coconut oil, 1/4 cup of the shea butter in a double boiler and placed it over a pot of boiling water. In just about 5-10 minutes, all of the ingredients were completely melted. I then took it off of the stove and let it cool just a bit. I then added 1/4 tsp of Vitamin E oil and 10 drops of the Young Living Lavender oil. After stirring it all up, I poured it into a cute, little, flower, silicon mold. This stuff sets quickly!
I actually "forced" some of the liquid into the mold after it had already begun to harden. Hey! It doesn't matter! Your gonna rub your hands on it anyway! My next project was the soap. This couldn't be any more simple! I purchased some goat milk soap base at Hobby Lobby. The soap base runs $9.99 before using the 40% off coupon. It will make 8 large bars of soap. Not bad!
This time, I cut up the blocks of the soap base into little pieces with my kitchen shears. I then placed it in my Pampered Chef 2 quart batter bowl and set it in the microwave. I ran the microwave for 40 seconds. Then, I stirred it and continued with 10 second intervals, stirring between each, until the soap base was fully melted. Then, I added some oatmeal (I just eyeballed it) and 10 drops each of Lavender oil and Lemon oil. Oh man, did it ever smell good! Then, QUICKLY (see how the lower right bar looks chunky? You've got to pour quickly!) poured the mixture into my plastic soap mold. Then, I let it set completely (about 45 minutes) before packaging.
Here are the little packages of completed lavender lotion bars. I just placed them in some little tins and added the labels. My darned cutter wouldn't cut this exact size circle, so I eyeballed them (and not so well, I might add!)
I wrapped the soaps up in tissue paper and added the labels and ribbon. Pretty cute, huh? These soaps smell sooooo good! I think my moms are going to flip for these homemade creations! Homemade with love!
The soap and lotion were packaged in a canister from Dollar Tree, along with a CHICKEN body scrubber! LOL!
Have a fantastic Mother's Day, everyone!!!
Okay, first let me say how thankful I am that we have had so much rain. I'm THRILLED the lakes are filled back up and we no longer have the restrictions on our water usage. It would be really, really nice if we could get a few little breaks between the rains, though, to allow the soil to absorb all of the rain.
Our ducks are really, REALLY enjoying all of the ponding water. The chickens seem to be enjoying themselves, too! We have over 120 chickens now. Crazy, huh? I love watching these creatures! They have the funniest antics! They run, flap their wings, and act like they haven't been outside for ages when we open the doors in the morning. Mind you, they have only been locked up for about 9 hours overnight to protect them from the predators. The rest of the time, they are out in the open on the acreage, having the time of their lives.
My kids talked me into purchasing a couple more ducks and three more Bantam chicks a while back. We finally released them out with the other chickens and ducks. They were super excited and joined right in immediately with the others. They are even smart enough to know to come back into the roost at night so they can get locked up with everyone else! That sure does make it nice and convenient for the humans in charge!
With all of the rain lately, my garden is growing great! The tomato plants are really taking hold and the asparagus is already out of control! LOL! I've been getting about 15-20 stalks of asparagus for weeks now. I've been making it up every night for supper, freezing some, and giving away a LOT to friends. Yum, yum!
I added some seedlings to my straw bales a little too early and they withered. As you can see, there are plenty of mushrooms growing, though! I researched and found out that the mushrooms are actually a good sign that things are composting well inside the straw bale. The mushrooms die off in a couple of days and don't hurt the plants. I'm getting my next round of sugar snap peas ready to add to the straw bales. I'll keep you posted on how they do.
I hope everyone is staying dry and hasn't had any flooding! We're pretty darned muddy out here, but no flooding as of yet. Praise God! Stay safe and have a great weekend!
I'm Cyndi and I LOVE the farm life! I went from being a systems programmer to a stay at home mom taking care of the kids and animals. I couldn't think of a better life!