Thursday, May 24, 2012

When i was reading some blogs that i follow i came across a contest that was having. She was offering a $30 worth of merchandise from

Fashion to Figure have the latest fashions for figures 14-26 at the best prices. Over 100 fashionable brands, with a variety of fits - all at the best prices. Fashion to Figure fashions reflect their dedication to the plus size figure and a commitment to removing the traditional limitations associated with full-fashion shopping. FTF is the experience you have been waiting for.

Now anyone that is plus size knows how hard it is to find what you want without sacrificing style and FTF has the style that i was looking for!

I was glad that i stopped by as I won the $30 FTF merchandise . If you are in need of some great looking plus size items at a great price make sure you check out

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do you use a clothesline?  If so what kind do you have? Does it help you or hold you back on harnessing natures free energy? I have a love hate relationship with clotheslines. Growing up we had the standard style clothesline, metal poles in the ground with 3-4 wire lines. Most of the clotheslines that i see still are the standard style clothesline. What i think it is is that people are to busy to take the time to hang clothes or just plain just don't want to be bothered. Now i will admit that there are times at our house that we didn't get the laundry done well enough ahead of time that i also throw clothes into the dryer. Here is some information that i have come up with on dryers.

Electric dryers use about 5 kilowatts of electricity per hour. If you pay .10¢ per kWh you are gonna pay approx .50¢ per load, this is based on running at 60 minutes. the cost per year is about $260 based on 10 loads per week!!  I know in some areas of the world that you cant hang laundry 365 a year so get a dry rack or hang inside! There are many kinds of dry racks out there, you can even get them to attach to your ceiling in your shower where it is hid away!

I use a clothes line but not your typical clothesline. I have switched from the standard poles to a pulley system! Oh how i love my pulley system line that i will never go back to standard poles~ Of course if are disabled or have bad knees or anything like that dragging wet laundry up or down stairs isn't my idea of fun at all! I of course fit into this category. So out of trying to save money on the monster electric bill during the summer AND to keep heat out of the house we decided something needed to be done. We decided to put the pulleys in! We spent about $30 getting all of the supplies and it takes about 15 minutes to set up. Mine is attached at the back door of the house and runs 75 feet out into a tree and it up about 25 feet!

                                               This is the pulley attached to the house.

                                               This is the pulley attached to the tree.

                These i use for line spacers. These keep the clothes from hanging just on one line.
     Here it is on use. See how the spacers keep the lines from sagging.
I also use dry racks set up on the covered porch for small items. I hope that this helps anyone that is wanting to save some money and go alittle greener. Even if you could save half of the above numbers it would be $130 a year!             

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today was garden picking day! It was a good day today. There is alot of green beans setting on and tomatoes everywhere! We are for sure looking forward to harvesting tomatoes!! I prepared some of our Yukon gold potatoes last week and they were awesome!! Today's haul in the garden consisted of,

17 cucumbers
11 squash
2 zucchini
2 fingerling egg plant!

I am super excited about this harvest as this time last year everything was burnt up with this unpredictable East Texas weather!~

This is a bean bloom.

                                                            This is a cucumber bloom!
This is a potato bloom!

Monday, May 14, 2012

We have offically butchered the broilers.They were 8.5 weeks old. We have never raised them before but wanted to to see how they raised out. When we purchased the birds we got 10, we lost one about 2 weeks in so we had to finish the trial run with 9. We fed them Chick starter that was 24% protein through this whole run. We weighed them live then weighed them processed to come up with our numbers. Here is how things went for us.

Price of birds $20.00
Price of feed $42.75 (3 bags of chick starter at $14.25 a bag)
Price per bird $6.97 (after adding bird price and feed price together, then divide by number of birds)
Price per lb $2.09 (take total cost of of feed and birds and divide by the processed weight)

We started with 40.13 pounds live weight and ended with 30.03 pounds processed weight. we lost 10.1 pounds. that is approx 25% loss, we are well within our loss ratio! Here is some information about the Cornish cross.

Cornish Cross

Cornish Cross (Cornish X) chickens are the standard meat chicken for the American market. Sometimes call broilers or Cornish/Rocks.

Although it is NOT a breed of chicken, it is a cross or hybrid of some very secret breed lines for the sole purpose of gaining weight as rapidly as possible.

The first attempts at "Hybrid" meat birds was in the 1930's and was the dominate commercial bird by the 1960's.

Modern broilers are typically a third generation offspring (an F2 hybrid). The broiler's four grandparents come from four different strains, two of which produce the male parent line and two of which provide the female parent line, which are in turn mated to provide the broilers. The double cross protects the developer's unique genetics as strains cannot be reproduced from the broiler offspring.

In 2003, approximately 42 billion broilers were produced, 80% of which were produced by four companies: Aviagen, Cobb-Vantress, Hubbard Farms, and Hybro making them arguably, the most popular chicken to raise.
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Meat Bird
Comb: Pea
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Low
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Brown
Breed Temperament:
Calm,Bears confinement well
Breed Colors / Varieties:
Breed Details:
A Cornish X will weigh about 3 times that of a Buff Orphington (dual purpose breed) at 5 weeks! From hatch to slaughter weight in 6 to 8 weeks, some hatcheries claim 9 1/2 pounds in 10.5 weeks! Processing is much easier with Cornish X's than a dual-purpose bird because they have very little feathering at slaughter age. Probably the only other reason why this bird is used so much by the processing/packing industry. Cornish X's are not self-sufficient. The best results after brooding seem to come from those who raise in a chicken tractor, moved daily (sometimes more), and a ration of high protein feed. Rationing the feed 12 on, 12 off, seems to encourage the Cornish X to forage and get some exercise. If not, they tend to stay right by the feeder making a very concentrated mess. Some problems that may occur if pushed (or even just because of their genetics) are heart attacks, broken legs, and FLIP.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today was a good day in the garden~ We have had some good rain the last few days and cooler weather so that is for sure helping everything out! I seen banana peppers everywhere, so by next week should have a great harvest on those! We finally have tomatoes setting on!! Last year it was so hot that we never got any tomatoes. I also seen spaghetti squash.  The beans are also blooming.
We harvested our first crop of potatoes on Sunday. We planted between 8-10lb and it yielded 21 lbs of great looking potatoes! We then worked up the bin and planted peanuts. We have never planted peanuts but figured we would give them a try.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

                                                          Eggs for sale! Eggs for sale!

Do you ever feel like you are just swimming in eggs? We are getting 2 dozen a day and we cant eat them fast enough so we decided to try to sell them again. We started with a paper sign that My dd and I came up with to put at the gas station and food place down the street. We laminated it to keep it looking nice so they wouldn't throw it away if it started looking bad! Here is what we come up with!
My other half came up with another Idea for a self serve eggs for sale station at the end of our driveway. So we started out by building a small shelf area to hold a cooler and a money collection bin. We then started building his new idea for a sign. This is what we started out with.
This is the flat sheet metal that he proceeded to cut everything out of. After marking and cutting he had these that him and ds sanded.
After they sanded them they hung them up and proceeded to paint them with a paint sprayer and we got this.
We had to let them dry for 2 days before we could do anything with them. So while they were hanging to dry he made this and painted it.
That hen is setting on top of a bracket that will be used to hold the whole sign. After the plates dried the kids and I put the sticky letters on, assembled the sign and came up with this~!
We will attach this to the gate post at the end of the driveway by the bench that will hold the cooler with the eggs for sale in it. We also made more signs to hang on that sign for other items that we may have for sale like, Firewood, vegetables from the garden, kindling for starting fires. Thought about a few other things like making fire starters out of paper and wood chips, pinecone fire starters are also an idea. Might give the kids some pinecones and birdseed to have them make some bird feeders to see if they would sell.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I have sure been enjoying how the garden has been growing this year! Last year at this time it was so hot it has pretty much cooked everything. We had to replant the strawberry beds this year as we lost them all last year. We also put a fence up around them this year and WOW I cant believe the difference! No more squirrels getting to them has increased the yeild! So far this last week we have harvested about 8 cups!
The banana peppers are about ready to harvest for the first run! I have 40 banana pepper plants out so I hope i get a great harvest this year!
The tomatoes are blooming like crazy! I hope we get a good crop before it gets to hot! I have already harvested squash and zuchinni! I also have egg plants setting on! I am very excited about this years garden! I also have herbs in hanging baskets on the back porch!
2 of these tubs are egg plant and one is jalapeno peppers.
 This is a second planting of potatoes!
 These are banana peppers.
These are green beans, yard long beans and cucumbers.
 This is a picture of the squash and tomato plants.
 This is 1 section of our raised beds. The first section has cabbage and broccoli, the second section is all banana peppers and the last 2 sections are all strawberries!
This is my back porch and al my hanging baskets of herbs. Some of the metal rod also doubles as a clothes line!~