“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Cleaning after Your Pet

Much we might love our animals however, cleaning up after them may become a nightmare in the event that you don’t understand how to take action properly. From rogue canine tresses to cats marking their territory, being truly a pet owner could be hard work. Pet waste materials that hasn’t been recently cleaned up may also turn into a potential health danger for your animal as well as your family.
 
Clearing up Pet Hair
If you own a dog or cat, shedding hair can be an inevitable reality. This problem can be as bad if your dog includes a long coat twice. Brushing your animal will lessen shedding regularly, and can protect your cat from hairballs. But with the most rigorous grooming routine even, your property is still more likely to have tresses scattered around it every once in awhile.
 
Hair on Furniture
Because animal hair is holds and static a power charge, with the ability to stick to every surfaces. While just a little dog tresses never hurt anyone, getting your preferred chair covered inside it is not the easiest method to entertain guests.  Among the best answers to this tricky problem is really a portable vacuum cleaner. These devices imply that you can tidy up hair without needing to drag around an enormous vacuum quickly.
If you need to remove pet tresses from wooden furniture, utilizing a soft cotton fabric with some furnishings polish shall take away the static so the hair won’t re-stick, rendering it a breeze to completely clean away
 
Hair on Floors and Carpets
Pet hair may become a nightmare when it starts accumulating on your own carpets and floors. It’s not merely ugly, but may also hold allergens and dirt that can be dangerous to your family. When vacuuming up after your dog, you’ll discover that often regular vacuums aren't that effective since they don’t have sufficient lift. Look for a vacuum that's specially designed to grab hair either by way of a brush roll or beater brush. It’s also vital that you use one that includes a filter to capture all the dust mites, pet and pollen dander.

Your perfect garden: mulch landscaping

mulchIf you would like great curb appeal, a refined turn to your landscaping, and dollar for dollar increased worth for the home, then you’re likely to like these mulch landscaping suggestions to give a polished contact to your trees, shrubs, and beds. While mulching is essential because of its aesthetic appeal, it is a necessity for the ongoing health of your plantings, as well.
Various kinds of Mulch
Mulch could be either organic, as in the full case of shredded solid wood with compost, or inorganic, while in a variety of decorative stones. While inorganic choices will longer last, there's some maintenance to take into account still. Weed seeds shall blow and discover their method into any surface, so some weeding, either yourself or with Roundup chemically, is necessary. Every couple of years, the top ought to be restored with a lighting layer to pay for the settling and sinking occurring as time passes. Inorganic materials ought to be pass on at a depth of 2 - 4 inches.
Organic best mulch needs to often be replenished more, either each full year, or almost every other year. The organic parts breakdown, which enriches the soil for nutrition. A preexisting mulch bed ought to be top-dressed with 2 - 3 ins of mulch. A fresh bed ought to be established with 4 - 6 inches. Make sure to leave area at the bottom of vegetation, you don’t desire to bury them. In case you are laying Playground Chips for a recreational region, 6 inches may be the recommended depth, since it is to become a cushion for falls.
Form Follows Function
Consider the design that you will be landscaping. A formal design dwelling would reap the benefits of a formal landscape strategy, which may include symmetry. Think about sheared low-developing hedges, such as for example boxwoods, or holly. Include defined designs, such as for example shaped evergreens.  Geometric designs prevail in this design. A  Casual, or Modern, abode would look greatest with informal plantings which are asymmetrical. Pruned junipers or forsythia would achieve a natural look lightly, aiming for a nice variety of texture. Curved edges and walkways will be the norm because of this style.  Some landscape programs can achieve a distinctive combination, with an official approach toward leading yard, then tapering to more natural ranges on the borders, sides, and back of the house. Some home owners adopt a concept, like a Japanese water backyard, or a Rock backyard planted with succulents.

Home Secrets: Natural Cleaning Solutions

clean_houseMost store-purchased cleaners contain chemicals that may cause not eye and pores and skin irritations but even malignancy just, birth and asthma defects. They could be ingested by children and pets accidentally.
Thankfully, nature offers provided us with the necessary ingredients to help keep our houses spic and span without killing ourselves, wildlife or the surroundings. Just use these healthy household cleaning solutions - most which you probably curently have in the kitchen-for an all natural cleaning that's much better for your health insurance and for the air flow, soil, water, vegetation, and creatures around you.
1. Lemon
When life offers you lemons, help to make lemonade-or an ideal non-toxic household cleaner. An all natural bleaching deodorizer and real estate agent that may give your home an excellent fresh scent, natural lemon fruit juice cuts through grease, removes stains, gives hard surfaces a lovely shine and eliminates fungus even. Dilute some lemon fruit juice with water to completely clean staining on trimming boards and destroy germs. Dip a vintage toothbrush in lemon fruit juice to eliminate grout. Then add salt and you have a highly effective cleaner for metallic grills and a polisher for chrome. Soak plastic material meals containers in lemon fruit juice overnight to eliminate smells. Put diluted lemon fruit juice in a spray bottle to help keep your kitchen countertops clear and smelling great. Who requirements toxic chlorine bleach for the laundry when you're able to just add a mug of lemon fruit juice to your load for brilliant colors, whitened whites and a lemony new scent? The set of things that could be cleaned by lemons will be impressive.
2. Olive oil
Not for cooking just, olive oil is an excellent natural cleaner and polisher. Then add salt and you may scrub pans and pots. Rub it into natural leather to obtain scratches out. Then add lemon fruit juice or vinegar and there is a great natural solid wood polisher. The citric acid in lemon juice helps it be ideal for dissolving tarnish. Work with a cotton fabric to buff stainless and brass to avoid streaks and rust and obtain a brilliant shine. Work with a halved lemon dipped in salt to brighten copper cookware. Plus, it can be used by you to lubricate all your kitchen appliances, from blenders and grinders to any cookware with movable parts-or fix a squeaky door even. And before you begin your springtime gardening, spray some essential olive oil on your own garden tools to lessen dust buildup. With all of this value (not forgetting its culinary, health insurance and beauty programs), it's no question that for the historic Minoans, essential olive oil represented wealth.
3. White vinegar
The natural acidity in white vinegar helps it be an excellent natural antifungal and antibacterial. Not only is it a fantastic nontoxic degreaser, it eliminates soap scum. Placed on a white natural cotton glove and dip your fingertips in a 50/50 solution of whitened vinegar and warm water and all of a sudden cleaning Venetian window blinds and piano keys is really a breeze. Dip a natural cotton cloth in a 50/50 solution of whitened vinegar and essential olive oil to eliminate water rings from solid wood tabletops. To completely clean and brighten floor coverings, dip a drive broom in a remedy of just one 1 cup whitened vinegar and 1 gallon of water. Utilize the same treatment for clean brickwork. To eliminate tough odors like tobacco smoke, leave a plate of vinegar in the available room overnight. There are over 100 different ways you may use white vinegar throughout the house.
4. Baking soda
You probably understand that an open box of baking soda in the fridge absorbs odors. But additionally to being an efficient deodorizer wherever you would like to eliminate stinky smells, it is also a highly effective antiviral agent and surfactant that eliminates grease and grime. Utilize it as a scouring powder to completely clean countertops, sinks, tubs, bathing room floors and your outside grill. To unclog drains, pour some baking soda down the drain, and slowly pour in a few whitened vinegar until it foams. Flush with warm water and repeat before drain is clear. To keep floor coverings fresh, sprinkle on some baking vacuum cleaner and soda after 15 minutes. Maintain your combs and hairbrushes clear by soaking them in a few drinking water with a teaspoon of baking soda. And create your tile flooring sparkle with a mop . 5 mug baking soda in a bucket of tepid to warm water. You can find so many makes use of for baking soda throughout the house you'll would like to involve some handy all the time.
5. Club soda
For an effective and safe window cleaner, fill a little spray bottle with club soda and work with a soft cotton fabric (a clean T-shirt can do the trick). If you want to cut through grease, put in a little lemon fruit juice. Being an added bonus, club soda is an useful stain remover and polisher. You may also water your interior and outdoor vegetation with golf club soda once weekly: they love the nutrients in the soda, which assists them grow. To help keep your valuable gems sparkly, soak them in one glass of club soda overnight. Plus, the carbonation in golf club soda makes it a perfect rust remover. For cleansing cast-iron cookware, pour in a few club soda as the pan's nevertheless warm therefore the food contaminants don't stick. With one of these and more surprising home uses, it's obvious that golf club soda isn't only for drinking.
6. Salt
You wouldn't pour salt in a wound, but pour it in white vinegar and there is a powerful cleaner with a deodorizing impact. A remedy of salt and golf club soda will clear and deodorize the within of your fridge. For wines spills on natural cotton or linen, blot out everything you can and pour salt on the stain to suck out the others. Then soak the material in cool water before throwing it in the clean. Mix some salt into lemon juice to eliminate mildew and rust staining. To brighten coloured curtains or washable dietary fiber rugs, clean them in a saltwater solution. Work with a cloth dipped in exactly the same treatment for brighten rugs and carpets and rugs. Use it alone for a smooth but effective scouring real estate agent. With over 14,000 utilizes, salt is just about the world's most flexible mineral.

Home Secrets: Home-made Carpet Cleaning

Carpets keep their elegance if deep cleaned at least one time a year longest. This working job will be one where it will pay to create in the pros, because they have muscle, methods and machinery not available to home carpet cleaners usually.
If your allowance won't stretch to top notch services for a very reasonable rate, you can find do-it-yourself alternatives that produce a good job of home rug cleaning, so long as you carefully work, use the best equipment and observe these cautions:
Know your carpet. Make sure to understand the sort of cleaning method suggested by your carpet's manufacturers.
Adhere to steamers, not shampooers. Once you buy or lease a carpet cleaner, select a carpet steamer. Old "carpet shampoo" units make use of rotary agitators to use detergent solution and could overwet carpets. The hair shampoo film could be difficult to eliminate, causing resoiling.
Vacuum first. Water plus dust equals mud, which is extremely difficult to eliminate. Before cleaning the carpeting, vacuum completely to remove just as much loose dirt as you possibly can.
Choose the right cleaners. Stick to cleaning products designed for home carpet cleaning, and follow package instructions to combine cleaning solutions.
Pretreat. Work with a traffic-lane cleaner or pre-spray to take care of areas of higher soil before cleaning.
Keep it dried out. Over-saturated carpets and rugs aren't cleaner, wetter just. After extracting, create a second dry move over the carpeting to remove just as much dampness as possible. Keep traffic off cleaned carpeting until it really is dry freshly.
Looking after Hard-Surface Floors
Much like carpets, routine cleaning is the greatest way to keep up with the elegance of hard-surface flooring. Regular sweeping, vacuuming or dust-mopping removes abrasive dust and grit from the ground. Establishing a "shoes-off" plan and using entry mats helps prevent road soil from getting into the home and becoming tracked onto floors.
When it's time and energy to clean, thoroughly clean with a light hands. Hard-surface floors look greatest when clear and clean, but detergent make use of or cleaner buildup can make a hazy movie that dulls flooring - and attracts and keeps more dirt. Depend on these cleaning ideas to keep hard-surface flooring looking clean and gorgeous:
Linoleum and vinyl Floors
To look after linoleum and vinyl, sweep, vacuum cleaner, or dust-mop every day to eliminate surface grit. Damp-mop with pure water to remove dust and restore shine. For more heavily soiled flooring, vacuum first, after that wet-mop floors utilizing a very light answer around 1-2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of tepid to warm water. Rinse the ground with clean drinking water before drying it with whitened cleaning cloths.
If you can find depressions in the ground, work with a scrubbing pad to loosen any soil in these certain areas as you clean, then wash with fresh pure water.
Hardwood Floors
These floors are vunerable to abrasion, are often dented and may be broken by moisture or incorrect cleansing methods. Remove dirt and surface area soil from hardwoods every day, preferably with a large-headed microfiber dirt mop. Alternately, hardwood floors could be vacuumed but make sure to change the beater pubs off in order to avoid scratching the ground. When required, damp-mop with plain drinking water to get dirt, using a hardly wet mop. Avoid any drips or standing up water; the mop mind or terry mop protect ought to be wrung till nearly dried out before it touches the ground. A solution of whitened vinegar and drinking water will up the cleansing ante, so check it out for stubborn dirt.
Even more intense cleaning will demand a cleaning item formulated for the floor's specific finish. Usually do not use essential oil soap on hardwood flooring; it'll develop a dirt-trapping sticky film also it can hinder recoating or refinishing flooring later on.
Ceramic Tile Floors
Keep ceramic tile flooring looking their finest with daily sweeping or even vacuuming to eliminate surface grit. If using a vacuum cleaner, arranged the beater bar to the off placement to vacuum. Every full week or so, damp-mop with a remedy of 2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent to at least one 1 gallon of tepid to warm water. Use a cleansing toothbrush to scrub stained or unclean grout. Rinse with pure water. Buff the tile with a clear, dry towel to eliminate any water spots. In no way apply wax to ceramic tile flooring; it can be hard to remove, could cause slip-and-fall injuries and could hinder resealing grout.

Home Secrets: Useful Cleaning Methods

To help with making your spring cleaning much less frustrating, here are some tips from the cleaning company serving durham:
·When you do severe cleaning, it is possible to kick up lots of dust by moving things around just. Open the windows to obtain as much oxygen in the homely house as you possibly can.
·Start at the very top and work the right path down. Dirt and dirt have a tendency to settle in lower locations if they are disturbed, so save the carpets and floors for last. Vacuums like the Hoover WindTunnel II upright consist of features like a telescoping wand and extend hose with a complete 20 ft of combined cleaning grab cleaning those hard-to-reach locations at the tops of areas, such as shelves, draperies and ceiling fans. The machine really lifts and traps dust, so that it won't scatter back to the room.
·Nearly eight in 10 grownups who do annual cleansing rely on equipment for cleaning hard-to-reach locations, such as for example under and corners home appliances, or for cleansing curtains or rugs.
·Use vacuum cleaner wands and hoses to completely clean cobwebs, walls, blinds and drapes.
·Clear miniblinds by hanging them in the bath with suction cups, spraying them together with your favorite rinsing and cleaner them clean with a removable showerhead. Vacuum clear between washings with a dust-brush attachment.
·Clean windows with an assortment of 1/2 mug ammonia in a bucket of drinking water.
·Use vacuum pressure cleaner with a brush device to clean dust and lint off baseboards, and follow-up with a wet towel then.
·To look after hard surfaces, like a hardwood flooring and tile, consider a cleaner like the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub difficult floor cleaner. This 3-in-1 device is made simply for those tough work: vacuuming, cleaning and drying hard-surface floors. A remedy of Hoover FloorMate Floor-to-Floor hard ground cleaner and water is preferred on marble, ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate and sealed hardwood floors along with other surfaces throughout the house.
·To tidy up spills on the carpeting, first dab up just as much of the spill as you possibly can. Next, have a damp, absorbent cloth and lay it on the spill. Finally, location several heavy books on the cloth for approximately 24 hours.
·Steam cleaning carpets and rugs is considered one of the most challenging tasks of heavy cleaning. That's where a machine like the Hoover SpinScrub SteamVac multi-surface cleaner might help, providing professional high quality deep cleansing that keeps your carpeting looking better longer. We advise that you first vacuum cleaner the carpets, and clean the carpeting with the SteamVac and Hoover Deep Cleansing carpeting/upholstery detergent for an ultra deep clean.
·Before performing any wet cleaning, ensure that you possess vacuumed your complete home, including drapes, furniture and walls.

Great things about hardwood floors cleaning

A shiny and sparkling hardwood floor will be able to bring classy elegance in virtually any available room. This is a great expense because it is lengthy lasting yet quite appealing. Any homeowner with hardwood flooring in their home will need to consider refinishing it at some true point.
Heavy traffic, dirt, animals and moving of furnishings round the room are a number of the things that may wreak havoc about the finish of one's hardwood ground. As a result, you might have to refinish it to be able to restore the natural luster and beauty of the wood.
Although they're very appealing within a glance just, a bit is required by them of maintenance. Luckily, refinishing hardwood floors isn't a big challenge, unlike what a lot of people think. You can find professional contractors always open to quickly complete the complete job, efficiently, and affordably. Here are a few of the primary benefits associated with choosing the maids new london for cleaning hardwood floor and in addition refinishing tips.
Improved Appearance
This is the biggest benefit of hiring a specialist contractor ultimately. These professionals have yrs of encounter in the flooring industry. Therefore, they know the very best answers to hardwood problems.
They know what must be done to provide your floor a better appearance. A better look of the ground will reflect on all other top features of your room and house nicely.
Affordability and Disruption
Refinishing is certainly less of a headache and cheaper than replacing the complete floor. An upgraded project will take a longer span time also, disrupting your entire day to day existence in the home. Lots of points should be moved because the entire floor region will most likely need to be done.
Professionals can refinish your complete floor in just an individual day often, which is a great deal less invasive. You wind up reducing the quantity of hassle you have to offer with, and you also save a substantial amount of money by devoid of to displace your floors.
Here are a few factors that needs to be considered while budgeting:
·The situation of the floor.
·The colour of the floor.
·Whether it’s on a new staircase or the top is flat.
·Any additional services.
Value
Floor refinishing is really a worthwhile investment for just about any homeowner. It adds worth to the true home as a whole, and can especially attractive to prospective home purchasers whenever it really is set to become sold. It does increase the chances of the house being purchased in the true estate market.
Risk
Refinishing the hardwood ground all by yourself could be very risky, particularly if you don’t have much encounter in it. This risk may not be worth taking based on your situation. After all, in the event that you up mess it, chances are you will undoubtedly be hiring a specialist anyways as well as perhaps paying extra to repair up the mistakes.
Rebuffing the Finish
A professional can rebuff your floor end effectively. If you opt to do it on your own, you’ll need to buff it as you strip off any staying residue.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Once your ground is refinished by way of a professional, you are certain to get many years of service as a result before having to repeat. Refinishing furthermore reduces the probability of the floor learning to be a harbor for termites or some other kind of pests.
Unless you have the proper machinery and sufficient experience, hardwood floor refinishing isn't something you need to do by yourself. Doing therefore could be messy, and time-intensive. Floor refinishing is really a process that should be done precisely, the result will never be appealing otherwise. Hiring a specialist refinisher can save you lots of time and money in the long term.

Home Cleaning for Each Season

Winter Cleaning YOUR HOME
Cozy nights simply by the fire, holiday entertaining, snowfall and rock salt all around the homely house -- winter season brings its own group of specific housecleaning challenges. This season is more about organization and preparedness than cleaning actually. Sustain your regular cleaning routine or let cleaning organization to provide you with superior maid services.
Inside, you need to change your furnace filter systems a little more in the wintertime regularly. The furnace often runs more, so - particularly if you've got a fireplace - there's more particles in the air.
Winter is a good time to clean your personal computer also, since you have significantly more downtime. Energy the pc down and unplug it. Remove the trunk panel -- it's simple and generally just a few little screws. You don't have to touch anything. Simply make use of some canned compressed air flow to blow out dirt and pet tresses from the parts. Turn your keyboard ugly right into a trash bin -- you will be surprised at just how many crumbs and points lodge within the keys. Wipe down the table and keys with a damp cloth. You can use compressed air to obtain between the keys also.
In the event that you enjoy decorating for the holiday season, make sure the homely house is clean when you begin. And at the final end of the vacation season, take the extra time and energy to dust and clean down all your decor and ornaments as you put them away. That way, next winter season, you'll focus on a clean slate. Are you experiencing an artificial Xmas tree that's obtaining a bit dingy? Put it in the tub and spray it with the shower gently! Let it dry and it'll be exactly like new completely. Of course, please avoid doing this in case you have a pre-lit tree.
If you reside in an area where you get snowed in often, you might like to come up with a little "survival package." Add a few days' well worth of energy bars, batteries and flashlights, blankets, non-perishable food it doesn't require cooking food or refrigeration, and powdered milk. Remember a can opener, utensils and a gallon of drinking water per person, each day. Don't forget meals for your pets.
Pull your cold-weather equipment out of storage space -- sleds, skis, snow scrapers and shovels. Make certain everything is in operating order and all set. Create your coats, hats, scarves and mittens handy.
Outdoors, there's less cleaning to accomplish; plan the weather instead. Put your snowfall shovels within an easy-to-reach place. Buy salt or some other de-icers so you are not caught unprepared. Search for nontoxic compounds for the security of your as well as your neighbors' pets. Make certain all your vehicles possess ice scrapers and brushes to eliminate snow. Check your wiper antifreeze and fluid levels, and keep your gas tank close to full in order to avoid freezing always.
Deposit waterproof floor mats close to every door leading outdoors to catch melting snowfall and salt. Grab some large baking linens - the type with an elevated edge - and utilize them for shoe and shoe storage. It'll keep dirt and snowfall from spreading and melting inside your home. Look for the baking linens at garage product sales or flea marketplaces for real savings.

Home Secrets: Cleaning Tips

Whenever we transfer to a new place, the very first thing I do is help to make note of all plain things that have to be cleaned. Since it's uncommon that people move locally, we generally don't possess a chance to execute a thorough clear before our things arrives; instead, we need to clean close to our things, that is not perfect, but does work. It requires a little more patience just.
The Kitchen
Maybe because I hate a dirty kitchen actually, plus I discover that people's cooking smells nevertheless linger long right after they're gone, I first tackle your kitchen. It's also where I actually spend lots of time and power making certain I've cleaned every surface area. Again, this is specific to me and you also might discover that the prior owners barely utilized their stove or kitchen area cupboards - lucky you!
Appliances
This is where you might need to use a heavy-duty cleaner, which might include appliance cleaner, like a paste or wax.
Kitchen Counters and Cabinets
Work with a mild cleaner to completely clean the within of cabinets, particularly if they're painted or lined. Should they aren't lined, contemplate using a liner to make sure that the insides are prepared for your dishes. Lining paper can be bought at any true home store. I have a tendency to you the type that doesn't stick, so that it can be removed at any right time.
Clean the very best of cupboards, and cabinet doorways. If the top is wood, work with a wood cleaner or a moderate soap. For grease-stains, make use of baking drinking water and soda. Create a paste and use it, allowing it to sit for some minutes. Also clear handles and inside drawers.
Counters require less work usually, just be sure you clear between cracks utilizing a putty knife to eliminate any debris. Clear back-splashes with a moderate cleaner or baking water and soda.
Sink
I take advantage of a chlorine-free of charge bleach to completely clean the sink by putting quite a few in a spray-bottle and adding drinking water to it. Spray the sink nicely and allow it soak for some time. Then rinse thoroughly. Furthermore, bleach the plugs by putting them in handful of bleach-water and permitting them to sit for some minutes. Rinse well. Sink odors could be removed by combining baking soda and water collectively, pouring it down the drain then.
Cleaning Walls
I clean the walls following, because they are usually a larger work, one that I get I'll leave easily don't take action before we begin to unpack. Unless the prior owners had lately (and After all, very lately) painted the inside, you don't necessarily need to clean them. Whether it's a house that is occupied by small kids, look for fingerprints nearer to the ground and around lighting corners and switches. Liquid stay cleaners from businesses such as for example Tide work nicely to remove a few of the even more stubborn stains. Another excellent solution for sticky places, the one that requires hardly any elbow grease, would be to apply handful of material softener to a sponge after that rub it on the region. Whatever has stuck to the wall shall disappear. This is effective for eliminating wallpaper or papers borders really, too.
Step-By-Step Cleaning - Walls
·Remove all dirt and cobwebs, especially inside corners and around heating system vents.
·Grab a new sponge, or when i prefer, a new sponge-mop to attain those hard to attain areas, and fill up a new bucket with comfortable, soapy water. You may use a moderate detergent or dish soap. Detergent is effective for just about any hard-to-remove stains.
·Wash the walls ensuring any dust or cobwebs that linger behind are usually wiped away.
·Clean the molding and baseboards.
·Clean the light change plates and along any doorway frames.
Cleaning Floors
Whenever we transfer to a new home which has carpet, we generally hire a specialist cleaner to steam thoroughly clean them ahead of our move date. If that's not possible, or the prior occupants claimed that they had the carpets cleaned, in that case your new home probably requires a thorough vacuum. Be sure you ask the prior owners should they had any pets; if they did, you might want to drive back possible fleas, particularly if you have pets of your.
For wood flooring or faux wood, hand wash the floor, making sure to completely clean under heating system vents and under home appliances. Work with a mild soap to completely clean its surface; solid wood soaps, such as for example Murphy's, work nicely to remove dirt and present it a polished shine (smells great, too!).

Schmutz...The Key To Healthy Children

Schmutz.
Translated from Pennsylvania Dutch it basically means dirt.
And in my day when someone told you that you had schmutz on your face,
you knew that was followed by a spit-moistened hanky wiping it away!


Schmutz.
Somewhere along the way we started to think it was a bad thing.
We equated dirt with germs.
I believe this happened as we "progressed" from an agrarian society, to an industrialized one,
and finally to a technological one.
Commercials told us our clothes needed to be cleaner,
our bodies germ-free.
"Try this soap, this detergent, this antibacterial agent."


In this, our unending quest to be healthier we were actually making ourselves unhealthy.
"Bad" bacteria became resistant to antibiotic and antibacterials.
The incidence of childhood allergies skyrocketed.
Why?
A general shortage of Schmutz!


Let's face it...
our bodies are covered in bacteria.
There is now a whole science investigating the beneficial bacteria that live inside our bodies.
There are at least as many bacterial cells in our bodies as there are human cells.
So, let's stop trying to wipe them out.
Let's invite "good" bacteria in for a visit instead!


Tell your kids to go play in the dirt.
Take them to a farm.
Expose them (to...

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Chicken Logistics...The Roos Go AWOL!

It's always scary when your kids leave home for the first time.
Will they behave?
Will the world be kind to them?
Will they remember what you taught them about alcohol and the opposite sex?
Will they find their way back home?


It's not that different when your chickens leave home for the first time either.

It's been coming... the handwriting has been on the wall.
The morning that I found them on the upper pasture fence,
I knew it wouldn't be long.


And just a few short days later, there they were...
in a whole other neighborhood...
one they had only heard when the breeze was blowing in the right direction.


It's taken several months, but the Roos have finally found the rest of our chickens.
We had hoped to avoid this day...
but I suppose it was inevitable.


We are quite serious about our chicken logistics...
never wanting to mix too many roosters in with our hens.
After all, roosters are quite demanding and can easily stress a group of hens
with their needs.


Besides, that...roosters don't seem to understand the meaning of the cluck "no".
Ask any hen... she'll tell you.


The funny thing is...
these three, my three caballeros as I call them, were perfect gentlemen
while visiting this far-a-way henhouse.
They...

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I Have Hay in My Underwear And Tinsel In My Hair!

I ask you...am I crazy?


For some reason, this year, unlike most in the past few...
I am over the moon with excitement over the holidays.


It's that excitement that caused me to dress up like the Wicked Witch of the West
just two weeks ago.
And now?
Now, I have classic Christmas music playing and I am starting to decorate!
(Just a little.)
It's early... I know...
but this year I want to enjoy the holidays without the rush of shopping and decorating.


Don't worry...we haven't cut down our trees yet.
And I haven't really even gotten the Christmas decor out...
I am just dipping my toe into winter.


I merely set up a Hot Cocoa station in my dining room...


a little warmth to fight off the cold nights that we have been having...
and a little promise of the decorating yet to be done.


I have been so excited to dedicate an area of the kitchen to all things hot and chocolate!


I've made homes-made marshmallows and they are delicious...


especially floating in a big cup of creamy, chocolatey goodness.


I will admit... I am a bit of a hot chocolate snob.


I avoid the powdered stuff that you mix with water and go straight for the 
shaved dark chocolate melted in hot milk.


Williams-Sonoma makes a great hot chocolate...

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Preparing For Winter

It's that time of year...
when the calendar says it's still fall,
but the temperature says that Ole Man Winter is not far away.


Mornings are brisk...with temperatures dipping down into the high 20's to low 30's.
We've had lots of frost, both on the ground...


and also on the roofs of all the out buildings...


With this sudden shift in season comes the necessity to winterize.
We have plenty of wood ready for the fireplace...


The barn is full of hay...we took delivery on our final 100 bales on Saturday.


We are still grazing the horses to decrease hay consumption...
saving as much as we can for those cold winter days when the grass is dry and dead.

They spend a portion of each day in the upper pastures.
This area we call the four corners...

Pasture #4, upper right, is home to the fainting goats.
as it is where our four upper pastures come together.
It's close to this area that our five horses
 and Dr. Becky's 3 horses...



graze the most, munching and gossiping over the fence.


All of the animals have electric heated water buckets.


The pigs' heat lamp is once again turned on,


and they receive a portion of hay each evening
 which they use to burrow in for sleeping.
The door to their stall is closed at night...

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Sammy Takes A Chill Pill

Thank goodness for warm wooly coats!


Those blustery, unrelenting winds are still with us.


Thankfully, no one seems to mind the weather.


Even the goats have regrown their cashmere winter coats.


*********

See Sammie?


This is Sammie on drugs.
Yes, he is a little gorked-out here.


Our sweet Sammie is the most unusual dog I have ever known.
Everyone who visits the farm wants to take Sammie home with them.
He's a love bug...when he wants to be.


He is also completely impossible when it comes to things like vaccinations
and toenail trimming.

Luckily the toenails have not been an issue in the past,
thanks to our long macadam driveway.
Running up and down a few times daily used to be enough to keep Sammie's nails short.


Now that he is older (and lazier) and prefers to ride in the gator rather than run...
his nails have been growing.


I asked Dr. Becky for a mild sedative for Sammie so that I could give him a pedicure.


We tried the pills.
They worked.
The nails are clipped!
Yay!

An hour later I went upstairs to wrap some Christmas gifts
and came back down stairs to the kitchen.
Shortly thereafter I could tell that someone was on the stairs having a difficult time.
There was Sammie... he had somehow gotten upstairs,...

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Winter Has Arrived!

Somewhere between Saturday and Sunday
Autumn packed her bags...
taking her colorful adornments to lands faraway...
and Ole Man Winter, in his drab coat of grey and brown, came to stay.


On Friday the front yard looked like this...


by Sunday, this...


And with this change came howling winds...
winds strong enough to keep the donkeys in their shelter,
rip bark off the trees...


and keep the sheep hunkered down in their woods.


Morning chore time is usually a time for our dogs to play with Dr. Becky's dogs,
as we intersect somewhere around the goat pens.


They run and chase and growl and wrestle...
having just the best time rough-housing with each other.


The big dogs don't intimidate little Miss Daisy one bit.


She joins right in, barking, running and biting their tails.


She may be small, but she is quite brave!


Later in the morning, we braved the cold winds and took our yearly traditional hike


 to post the perimeter of our land with "No Trespassing" signs...
in anticipation of the coming hunting season.


A hike in the woods is always exciting for the dogs.
Annie loves the dry leaves 



and swims through a gully of them.


We also spent a little time dismantling the present vegetable garden.
The old (rotting) boxes...

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Moonbeam's Being Followed By A Moon Shadow

Confession time.
I sing to my horse.


I have found over the years that singing helps to calm Moonbeam when he is "up."
So, every day when I walk him to or from the upper pastures we sing.


Singing calms me when he's got the jitters....
and when I am calm, he seems to calm down as well.
So... we sing.


Music has been a huge part of my life.
From piano lessons to singing in choirs...
to singing in the car and in the shower.
Back in the day, I had a decent voice... not great,
but I could always hold a tune.
Now?  Not what it used to be... but the animals don't seem to mind.
And so... we sing....

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from Tom...


Fred, and Ethel...


who are all very thankful to not be the main course in anyone's celebration today!


And from the rest of us here on the farm...
may your tummies be filled with yummies
and your hearts filled with love and gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving Gratitude

To me, Thanksgiving is the most perfect of all holidays...
with no purpose but to be grateful for the lives that we live


As with every year, we celebrate with our family on Black Friday.
With grown children who have other families to be with,
we have made the day after Thanksgiving our traditional get-together.

And since everyone else feasted on turkey the day before,
we opted for an Italian dinner 
complete with wine that we purchased while in Italy this past autumn.

I made most of the food the day before,
allowing me a day to visit with family and play with these two....


We visited and played and ate together... 
the four generations who make up this family of mine...
all of the people that I love most in this world.


We stopped by Dr. Becky's so that Mackenzie could meet Daisy.


Dear, sweet Daisy...


who is quite photogenic!


After eating, we hiked in the woods to make room for dessert.


After a little rest at the campsite,


we hiked back home again.

Saturday was our annual trip to cut down our Christmas trees.
We have a favorite local Christmas tree farm that we visit on the first Saturday after 
Thanksgiving each year.
It's tradition for us and friends as well...


making the day even more fun and...

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Ordinary Thoughts On An Extraordinary Day

No day is ordinary.
And if you think you are living through an ordinary day, 
you are not really living... you are just getting "through" it!


How can a day that starts out in one of a million variations of this...


be anything but extraordinary.

Magical, actually!


It just takes being present and really seeing what is around you.


And although what surrounds you may be completely different from
that which surrounds me each day...
there is magic to be found everywhere!


And although I enjoy blogging and sharing my world with you...
I have to say that blogging has truly enriched my life.


Carrying a camera all day in search of amazing moments...
brings amazing moments into one's life!


And that, dear friends, has been the biggest gift to me.
I would encourage everyone to find and capture just one moment each day that you find
extraordinary....and your life will be filled with gratitude.


It needn't be through the lens of a camera...
just through the lens of your soul...
and make sure you add a filter...
one for beauty!



You can find it just about anywhere you look!
And that's something for which you can be truly thankful!

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Friday Farm Fotos: Plow, Plant, and Pray


Lily and Tiny share a moment at the fence.



I found a quote on the internet not too long ago in which the beautiful Audrey Hepburn once said,
 "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." 
I love that. 
I also know firsthand how frustrating it is to plant one day and then the weather make you lose all hope in your garden the very next day. 
Ugh. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature.

(Sorry, I'm a child of the 70's. :)



Hubby plowed our little garden spot in early March. 
Here he is at work with the sheep cheering him on in the barn behind him. 
Gotta have teamwork to make a garden.



The ground was so beautiful and dark.... thanks to some heavy doses of manure.



Hopes were high for our little garden this year! 
We planted onions, broccoli, and cabbage near the end of March.




Then it snowed.



Aaaand we had a frost. A hard one.

And our poor broccoli... eh, it didn't look so good.




The blossoms on my apple and pear trees didn't fare so well, either.
No fruit from them this year. *pout*




Hubby left the broccoli alone, and it actually came back to life after a few days of warm sunshine. 
Yay!
Here he is working the rows with "Cubby".


I think everything will be alright after all this cold weather. Time will tell.
We put...

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Big Otis

All the hens are crazy 'bout that big orange rooster.
(Must be the eyebrows.....)


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And.... October.


*Tap tap tap*
Hello? Anyone still out there?

Thanks to those of you who have sent emails checking up on me and making sure everything was okay. I never meant to be away so long....
So much has happened since my last post; along with the usual "busyness" of summer, my aunt and uncle were involved in a very serious car accident in July. They have both recovered for the most part, but since they are in their late 70's, it was a long road for them. Hubby and I tried to help them out as much as we could, so along with taking care of their place and my Dad's yard as well as our own, summer came and went before we knew it.

In August, we had to have Daisy put down. Those of you who've read my blog for a long time will remember her story~ she was our very first sheep; a bottle lamb. One day I found her limping very badly on her back leg, not able to put any weight on it it all. I wasn't sure if it was a hoof problem, so I checked it out but didn't find anything. By the second or third day, it was clear she had either dislocated her hip or worse, it was broken. And by this time she was in so much discomfort, she had stopped eating. We had a vet come and look at her but she advised that any...

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Friday Farm Fotos: Spring chicks


It's just part of having chickens. They get old. And stop laying.
And die.
Of course, around here they always die of natural causes....
Once a hen's laying days are over on the Fraker Farm, they get put "out to pasture" so to speak. In other words, I turn them out every morning and let them spend their days roaming and foraging to their hearts content, and I figure if they become a meal for a predator at least they died happy, since most chickens think it's heaven to get to free-range at all, let alone all day long.
I usually don't keep more than 4 or 5 laying hens at a time anymore simply because I stopped selling (and giving away) eggs and the feed is too expensive to justify keeping more hens than we need to in order to have enough eggs for two people.
I bought four Red Star chicks a few years ago, after having only Rhode Island Reds as my primary layers for many years. I fell in love with these calm, beautiful girls right away. Even as chicks they were so sweet and curious... I could stick my hand down in their box and instead of freaking out like most breeds do, they would come to my hand and peck at my wedding band along with any mole or freckle they thought might need...

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It's about time.....

I started blogging again. I've really missed it. I've just been... hmmm... whats the word I'm looking for...
Lazy?
Yeah, that's it. *sigh*
Actually, I've missed YOU. I need to get caught up on all my blog friends and hope they remember me.
No point in trying to catch up on almost a years' worth of news from around the farm, so I'll just put some pictures on here.

Big Otis and his girls are on a mission to rid the world of every single June bug in existence. I'm not going to tell them that's pretty much an impossibility because watching them chase their prey across the yard at full speed is too hilarious.



The sheep are very happy to be rid of their winter sweaters. Oh, and Tiny says howdy.



It's been too hot to do anything outside for the past few weeks, so Lily and I have been spending the days inside in my sewing room. Oh, and Lily would say howdy if she wasn't so busy snoring.





Speaking of sewing, I embroidered this little t-shirt for my great-nephew, who will be turning two in November. He's heading to the beach with his mom and dad this week, so I thought the crab was appropriate. *grin*



Speaking of family, we were blessed to celebrate Father's Day a couple of weeks ago with four...

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An Adventure

Yesterday was one of those "adventure" days off the farm.

It was a perfect day for an autumn drive through the countryside
...a warm front had passed through
bringing with it a foggy morning.


The fog burned off and a beautiful 70 degree day ensued.
Perfect!

I took a friend to my favorite shop an hour north of us.
Timeworn Treasures in Danville, Pa...is one of those places filled with inspiration.
I took a few photos to share with you...


They were closed for the past two weeks decorating for the upcoming holiday season.


Knowing that all of their displays were fresh and new
gave me a sense of urgency for planning this visit.
Their theme this year is Farmhouse Christmas.
Perfect!

I am going to create my own version of this Hot Cocoa bar as part of my holiday decor.
Our visit was well worth the drive!
I came home with lots of decorating ideas.


They'll have to wait until after Thanksgiving, however.
(One holiday at a time, please!)

How cute.... a small Christmas Tree tied to this old sled.  I will be reproducing this idea!
The three gals who run this shop are super sweet and have such a knack for decorating.


As I was checking out, I noticed a candy jar full of soft peppermint puffs.
I commented that...

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Standing Appointments

Every eight weeks we have an appointment with the farrier.
A standing appointment.
(He works, the horses stand...or are supposed to!)


Yesterday as the sun rose on our thirty degree land (brrrr),
the farrier arrived to trim seven sets of hooves.


It usually takes him about an hour and a half if everyone is behaving themselves.


Yesterday was the first time that Moonbeam ever mis-behaved!
He just wasn't in the mood for a pedicure, I suppose.


Actually, he is a little spoiled....
mornings are his time out in the pasture and he was a bit ticked that that was being pre-empted
on this particular morning.


Each time the farrier would pick up his hoof,
Moonbeam would wrestle his hoof free and stomp it on the ground.

Stinker!

Eventually he acquiesced and the farrier got to work.


Luckily everyone after that held perfectly still.


We have the kindest farrier... with a very gentle way about him.


The dogs love these mornings...
there is something wonderful about fresh hoof trimmings.


Annie and Sam throw caution to the wind and sneak in under the horses to steal their tasty treats.


I only wish I had photos of the donkeys having their hooves trimmed.
Unfortunately, I was busy holding their lead rope and could not get...

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And I Thought We Were Done!

Yesterday started out as most days do...
morning chores... to the tune of the Roos' serenade.


It wasn't until later in the morning...


when I found Red and Ollie dressed for the day...


that I realized that yesterday was actually Halloween.
Since we had celebrated over the weekend,
I lost sight of the fact that yesterday was the actual day.

I thought it might be fun to surprise Hubbs with some festivities when he got home from work
and so I did a little more (spooky) decorating...


set the table...


and dressed for the occasion.


I received this wonderful witch's hat last Halloween from a blogging friend.
You can see her amazing blog here....she's quite an adventurous cook!


I could hardly wait to put an entire outfit together around that hat!


Annie was not thrilled to be dressed as candy corn...
but she was a good sport.


Amanda was in town as well and spent the evening with us...
so we all decided to dress up and visit friends.


Aren't we all hideous?
Seriously!

It was all in good fun...and fun it was!
There is something about dressing up...
takes me back to childhood and the fun we had dressing up for Halloween.

Check out my makeup...

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Happy Halloween

Witches and goblins visited the farm this weekend...
it was quite frightful!


We had our annual Halloween party on the farm.
While we were busy decorating and making treats,
the animals were deciding what costumes to wear.


It took the donkeys a few minutes to decide whose hat was whose.


Once dressed, they joined in the festivities...


Tyler spent the weekend at the farm and we filled the days
with lots of activity.
A trip to the local pumpkin patch and Family Fun Farm was Saturday's 
entertainment.


Our local produce market has this event at their farm every autumn.
There are hay rides, and hay mazes, corn mazes, baby animals,
and lots of creative activities for kids.


We learned to milk a cow...


played in kid-powered rides...


 and shot potatoes out of a cannon.


We spent time just running around our farm...
playing with the animals 


and watching our world through the eyes of a six year old.


Sunday's big event was a Halloween party for kids at Dr. Becky's house.


It was a weekend to celebrate the best of Autumn...
and that's just what we did!

Happy Halloween to you from all of us!



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My Favorite Time of Year

I am happy to say that my favorite time of year has arrived!
Are you thinking that I mean the holidays?
Of course I love the holidays and all of the wonderful family times that accompany them...
but I am actually just happy about the fact that Daylight Savings Time is OVER!!!



The sun now comes up an hour earlier, giving me an earlier start to the day.
Because I am an early morning person, this time of year gives me the gift 
of an additional hour of daylight every morning.


I am most productive when I first wake up and spend the daylight hours as the busiest of bees.
By the time supper arrives I am ready to burrow in for the evening.
So, this time of year is wonderful to me.


Couple the above with colder temperatures and I am as happy as a pig in slop!
(ok, well maybe not Ginger and MaryAnn...they are not fans of slop!)


Yesterday morning, as soon as the sky showed the slightest hint of a glow,
I hit the ground running.

"What are these?"
Morning chores were happily finished before 7 AM...
 and a whole lot of morning hours still remained!

"Mmmmmmm....chicken poop is yummy!"

I have been dedicating a little portion of each day to holiday preparation.
Yesterday morning I worked on ornaments.
One of my...

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