“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.
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.
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!
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.
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!).

I Either Need To Relax, Or Buy A Smaller Fork!

Yesterday morning around 7:30 I had finished morning chores
and decided it was time to clean the front pasture.

With muck buckets and my favorite manure fork I drove the gator into the pasture...
my three trusty sidekicks with me.

I had already cleaned the upper pasture where the horses had spent their night.
I do that every morning after they come back to the barn for breakfast.

I am a fanatic about clean pastures.
Besides the fact that I hate to see manure lying around,
it is healthier (from a parasite standpoint) 
for all of the animals to not be grazing where they drop manure.

"I might be just a little crazy," I thought, as I cleaned up sheep and pig manure in the front pasture.

Does anyone else do this?

Now, granted, their manure is much smaller than the horses.
However, with a diet rich in grass, they leave piles much the same size as a large dog.

My rationale is this...
if it fits on a manure fork, I'm cleaning it up.
I might be the only human on the face of the earth doing this, however.

Please...tell me.... do you clean up your sheep or pig manure?
Or am I the only crazy one here?

Ok...don't tell anyone....but I have been known to also clean up piles of sheep-berries.
(I need to invent a...

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The Secret To Slowing Time

Oh, how I love this time of year.
The days have shortened a bit and evenings are quite chilly.

The last of summer's color (and the best of summer's color) hangs on until
that first frost chases it away.
It seems to take forever for Spring's plantings to become full and lush like this...
and then suddenly one night it is all gone.

The ground remains parched, and the leaves are falling off the trees
brown and crunchy.
I doubt that this year's fall foliage will be colorful.
It's been too dry.

As I go about my afternoon chores, I throw some hay to the horses
and pause for a while to watch them eat.

I love how this mis-matched group of equines has grown to be such a tight-knit family.

They stick together like glue...
all day and all night.

Each night as I lead them up to their pastures,
the ones left behind whinny their displeasure.
Once all of them are re-united peace returns to the herd.

Their pecking order seems to be organized by size...
with Moonbeam the herd alpha.

I have never witnessed any discord amongst them...
they just seem to love each other.

Red's abscess is healing rapidly.
This will soon be nothing but a memory and a temporary scar.
Isn't that amazing?

I have to admit... I am finding it...

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Arrivederci Friends

Well, the day is finally here.
I succeeded in slowing time down for the last two weeks...
I've been so excited.

The feed bins are filled....with extra feed in storage.
Hay is stacked.
The pantry and refrigerator are stocked.

Everything is ready for a small army of house sitters and care givers
 to survive over the next two weeks.

Yes....TWO weeks!!
It's an awful long time to be away...
but necessary in order to see all that we wish to see.

Oh, how I will miss my friends...
the four legged...

and two...

I will also miss visiting with you each day.
You are a big part of my day.
My peeps.
So many of you have become "friends."
So many of you I wish were closer so that we could have tea together in the morning,
and a glass of wine in the afternoon....
or borrow a cup of sugar from each other!

Here's the deal.
I am taking you along with me... in my heart.
I will take lots of photos and share our adventures with you as soon as we are home.

We will be back in October.
I'll have so much to share with you...
you might have to tell me to stop!!!

Until then, dear friend....
be well, be happy, stay positive...
and share as much love as possible!

Mwaaaaaahhhhh!  (Hugs and kisses from your farm family!)

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The Best Moments of Yesterday

Summer is winding down.
Most of the kids are back at school.
And although the days are still quite hot,
the nights are whispering autumn secrets on their cool breezes.
Sunrises are once again pretty spectacular.

It always seems that autumn and winter sunrises are the best.
The sun hits the horizon like a fireball,

sending an orange glow across the Eastern countryside... burning through the wispy clouds of dawn.

Yesterday I was treated to a visit from my cousin and her husband.
They brought her daughter and grandchildren to the farm for a visit.
I was lucky enough to be considered a destination for part of their vacation.

As always, the pigs were ecstatic to have company...

and immediately began showing off in their pool...
with their special cannonballs and swan dives...
evoking laughter and squeals of delight from their young audience.

After lunch and an afternoon in the pool, they headed back home 
and I returned to the barnyard for afternoon chores.

I cleaned the front pasture as the pigs and sheep were out grazing.

What a pastoral scene this was... 

one of my favorites!
There is nothing that makes my heart happier than contented animals.
I was truly hoping that the sheep would clean up the...

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Blue Eyed Boys

There's something about this blue-eyed boy.

He's the most delightful, easy-going little man ever.
I have often wished he were a full grown horse.
What a dream he would be!

And then there is this little 1 ½  blue eyed boy...

whose mood seems to depend upon which eye he is looking through on any given day.

When he views the world through his lovely blue eye
he is a pleasant as can be.
It's on these days that he allows me to snuzzle him just a little.

But on those days when he sees the world through that one crazy brown/blue marble eye...

look out!
It's on these days that the ears get pinned back if you even look at him for too long!
He's a Jekyll Hyde kind of guy... but we love him all the same.
For, just like humans, it takes all kinds to make a world!

It's been incredibly dry here lately.
Our poor pond continues to shrink daily.

I feel sorry for the fish that are hiding out beneath this chartreuse layer of algae...

and even more sorry for the ducks!

After all, who wants to take a bath in that green muck!
Our pond is fed by several underground springs that have seemingly dried up.

The old log cabin is fed by springs as well and normally runs off beneath the driveway
into this ditch (Oakley's...

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Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay

Besides great music, the soundtrack for this past weekend came from theses fellows...

For weeks now and probably until cold weather,
we have been serenaded by hundreds of Cicadas.

They are an amazing insect, that I must confess creeps me out a bit.
Their incredibly loud sound is made by their tymbals...
 two structures found on the underneath sides of their abdomen.

It was a weekend away from the farm, spent with friends...
at their home on a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

In addition to great friends, great food and wine, biking and boating...
a weekend away refreshes
 and gives us a chance to experience a life that is so different from our own.

With different vistas...

The same sun that rises each morning over our front pasture,
also amazingly rises over this beautiful body of water.

It's pretty cool that we each watch the same sun rise each morning
over entirely different scenes!

This fellow didn't move the entire time we were there!

It's no surprise that our friends are dog-lovers as well.

These two gals entertained us most of the weekend,

with their rousing, but wet, games of fetch!

As I have said over and over....
it's always fun to go away...
but coming home is good as well!

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To Clean Or Not To Clean...

That is the question.

And after a little background story, we will discuss the answer.
Curious, hmmm?

Yesterday morning was earmarked for a visit from our farrier.
Hoof trimming is done every eight weeks.
By that time all of the equines have grown enough new hoof that a pedicure is in order.
I always find that this is a good time to get grooming chores done as well.

Usually the farrier and I tag-team the horses...
him on hooves,
me on clippers and brushes.

While brushing, yesterday, it occurred to me that it was about time a few of the horses had baths.

Moonbeam loves a bath on a hot day, and the Littles each needed their tails washed and de-tangled.
And so, after the farrier left we began the task of bathing.

I am happy to report that each of them behaved like gentlemen...
both during their pedicures and during their baths.

If only you could have seen this fellow's tail before his bath....
a little diarrhea had really caused a mess!
After his bath.... beautiful!

Now for the question...
If you have horses then you know all about sheath cleaning.
For those of you who don't have horses and have no idea about what I am talking...
I will give you a brief explanation.

First of all, let me tell you...

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I'll start my blog post today with a short story.
Sadly, I have no pictures from the time that this happened,
however I can set the scene with a few taken the next day.

It was Friday evening, late.
It was as dark as dark could be (hence no photos at that time.)
Hubbs and I had gone out on a date... dinner and a movie.
Upon returning home, we had to go out to do the "tuck-in" chores.

The pigs had been out in the front pasture grazing for the evening and were now back in their house.
The gate to the front pasture was open, however, and so I had to go into their yard
to close that gate.
I repeat... it was as dark as dark could be...no moonlight, no flashlight!

Upon opening the gate into the pig yard from the lane,

I took a miss step and ended up tripping over the pig pool 
(now filled with rather chilly, filthy water.)
Before I knew it, I was sitting fully clothed in 6 inches of pig pool water....
soaked from the waist down.
We laughed our heads off!

Needless to say, the pig pool has been moved to a more "out-of-the-way" location.

What started out to be a rather quiet weekend ended up jam packed with fun.
Saturday was filled with errands and farm chores.
We picked more grapes and I canned more grape...

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Strange Bedfellows

It's been several weeks since Tom lost his sidekick, Chuck,
and he seems to be getting along just fine without him.
He spends his days with the chickens, follows me around the farm,
and tries each evening to roost on the fence beside the goats.

I persuade him to jump down and we head to the barn.

I am trying to train him to come "home" to the barn to roost each evening.
Something tells me this is not going to be a lesson that is learned quickly.

Tom has a friend to roost with each night.

Lucille hops up on the bags of bedding beside him and they fall asleep there every night.
It's a purely platonic relationship...
just companionship.
Eventually he will spend his time in the company of Fred and Ethel.
Until Fred and Ethel are full grown, however, the current arrangement will remain the norm.

I am so happy to tell you that finally this year I have grapes again!

It seems that the severe haircut that I gave the grapevines this spring has helped quite a bit.
I actually had to prune a bit more from the vines this summer as well.
Now that the sunlight reaches the grapes, they have ripened.

There was enough to pick and bring in to make juice.

I love this process.
The grapes are steamed in this steam...

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A Day Off

I am sitting here (late last evening) writing a quick post
while eating a scrumptious piece of blueberry buckle.  (recipe in this old post)
You need to make this recipe.
(This time I used pecans instead of walnuts... scrumptious!)

I spent the better part of the evening with my friends on my lap...

It's always a sweet thing when I sit down in the evening.
My lap is never empty.

It could be a cat or one of two dogs that occupies this space...
and often it is two at a time.

It was a crazy day.
Wednesday is my usual day off from farm chores...many thanks to our neighbors and friends,
Jim and Kathy, for taking over the chores one day a week!
This gives me a day each week to schedule appointments and run errands.
Yesterday was spent doing just that.
Before I left for the day, I put a load of wash in the washer.

When I came home and opened up the washer door,
I was met with this scene...

Well, I never have seen anything so bizarre in my life!
Apparently something in the wash caught on a drain pipe that is housed in the 
rubber gasket around the opening to the washer.

As the washer spun... the laundry that was hooked spun and spun
until it eventually ripped the gasket right off.


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Tom In Tow

It's early morning.
The sun has just peeked above the horizon... a bit late for my taste.
I will be happy when Daylight Savings is over and we turn the clocks back.

We've returned to cooler weather.
The nights are downright chilly, and that suites me just fine.
I love sleeping under a pile of quilts...breathing cold, fresh, country air!
The horses are happier with the present weather as well,
and are once again spending their nights out in the pastures... the upper pastures.

Each morning we hike to the upper pastures 
to bring the horses back to the barn and their dry lot for the day.
It takes several trips back and forth until everyone is moved to where they belong.
I've wanted to share this part of the day with you for a while now.

The thing that I find fascinating about this process is how Tom,
our Bourbon Red turkey, follows along on each lap of the horse transfers.

He runs along behind Hubbs as he leads Moonbeam back to the barn.

I follow behind with Red and Ollie.

Once they are nestled into their stalls eating their chow,
we head back out to the pasture to get Donnie and Scarlet...
Tom once again in tow.

It takes us two trips to get everyone back to the barn.
If I am alone, it takes me four...

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Wherever You Go...There You Are

It was a weekend with my favorite Littles...
this time the two legged ones, not four!

Soccer season is in full swing...
and although Tyler still has happy legs and runs circles around his teammates (literally)...

he has learned a little more about the game...

Like... the object of the game is to get the ball in the goal!
Although, "which" goal is often in question.

We kept Mackenzie this weekend while her mommy and daddy had a grown-up
weekend away.
We helped with chores and visited with pigs.

She loved the pigs and the pigs loved the extra attention.

She learned the fun of playing in dry, crunchy leaves...
and went home with leaves in every crack and crevice!

One thing that a 13-month-old will teach you is that it is never about the destination...

but rather, it is all about the journey.

Oh that we should all view the world with the curiosity of a child...

where every new discovery is savored without hurry...
living purely in the present moment...
no regrets of the past, no worries of the future.
Master this and you regain the joy of childhood.

PS:  Countdown to vacation = 4 days.
It might involve a little wine....salute!

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Well, I am amazed at how quickly horses heal!
Red's "owwie" looks better every day.
And it certainly has not held him back at all.

Yesterday was the hottest day yet of this summer...
obviously not too hot for a rousing game of chase, however.

The Littles are absolutely the most joyful and playful of all our equines.

They are so precious to me...
and no matter how old they get,
they will always be my babies.

Because of the extreme heat, the horses are going out to pasture at night.

They get about 10 hours of relief from the heat and the bugs,
and come back to the barn almost comatose in the morning.
Hot afternoons make for good napping in the cooler barn.

Can you believe it?
Another Friday is here again.
And with this Friday my countdown 'til vacation begins.
We have hired a small army of family, friends and neighbors to live and work at the farm
while we spend the end of September checking off a big item on our bucket list.
Curious?  More to come....

As for this weekend... we will have Mackenzie Saturday and Sunday.
What fun!

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Seeing Double

If I had no calendar in front of me,
I might be convinced that it was mid-August, rather than September.

It's hot as a biscuit this week...
and still no rain in sight.

The ground is crunchy...trees are losing leaves... plants are dying...
except for the morning glories.
They seem to thrive on neglect.

They are winding their way all over the garden...
over the fence, across the ground, through the vegetable boxes.

Autumn's cooler weather will be a welcomed relief for us all!

I cleaned Red's wound yesterday and re-braided his hair.
I think perhaps his wound looks a little better... at least it looks no worse.
I keep "Swat" on his fur around the wound, and his mane hangs over
enough to keep the flies away.
Keeping it braided prevents the individual hairs from getting caught in the wound.

 He's such a good patient!

It had been quite a while since we checked the game cameras,
so Hubbs and I retrieved the camera cards.

It seems that hot weather slows down the activity a bit throughout the woods.
As always, there were lots of deer...

and so many fox photos.

There is only ever one single fox in each photo,
so it is hard to determine if we have multiple foxes or just one very busy fox!

We have an abundance of...

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An Excused Absence

I am taking a day off from blogging to deal with the
tomato explosion that has occurred here on the farm...
as our 25+ tomato plants have all decided to ripen simultaneously.
I will be saucing until the cows come home!

Have a great day!
We'll return Tuesday with another "Tail" from the farm.

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Gnarly Carrots And The Pigs Come Running!

The pigs have enjoyed their daily trip to the front pasture.
Each morning, after breakfast, they make their way down to the gate
and lie there.... waiting.

When the horses are done grazing, it's the pigs' turn.
Out into the pasture they go...traversing it side to side, front to back.

We wondered at first if we would have any trouble getting them to come back 
into their own yard each afternoon.
But each afternoon, when the call goes out...
"Pig, pig, pig!!"....
they come running.

The secret?

These girls love their carrot treats so much
they are willing to leave the pasture behind for a delectable garden carrot.

As for this year's carrot crop...
gnarly is the best word for it.

I've never seen an uglier, twisted mass of carrot root than that which gets pulled
out of the garden each day.

The pigs obviously don't care.
To them, any carrot is bee-utiful!

They pick their carrot up and carry it a few feet away
and munch in utter bliss.

Problems arise, however, when one finishes before the other.
Never content with just their own carrot, they then try to take from whoever's
carrot remains.

Eventually all morsels are finished and they are both satisfied.

So, let's talk turkey!

Fred and Ethel have been...

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Daily Storms... And Yet We Remain In A Drought!

"Come on, kids....it's time to eat!"
It's a call that usually makes the goats come running.

Not yesterday.

No... these gals are smart.
I looked at the sky behind their houses and immediately knew why no one was interested in dinner.

I finished afternoon chores to the rumble of thunder growing closer and closer.

By the time I reached the barn the rain had begun.
I drove the gator home in the pouring rain.

We've had storms almost on a daily basis for the past several days.
None of them have amounted to much.
It gets dark, the wind blows, thunder rumbles, it starts to rain...
and as quick as it began it is finished.

It's been just enough to wet the grass,
but not enough to really water our dry, parched earth...
and certainly not enough to even make a dent in our ever shrinking pond.

What used to be a pond is quickly becoming a puddle.

We need rain... inches and inches of rain.

The weather for the past week (+) has been hot (hovering around 90 degrees)
with an oppressive amount of humidity that makes it feel like its over 100 degrees.
The humidity builds throughout the days until the clouds become saturated...
resulting in our daily thunderstorm.

I'm not a big fan of hot weather....
and even less of a...

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We are always looking for ways to improve our animals' lives.
A project I have been thinking about lately was adding a gate to the back fence of the pig yard.
The pig yard is situated beside our large front pasture.

Adding a gate would give the pigs the ability to graze in that pasture
in the late summer when they have over-grazed their own yard.

Hubbs took a vacation day yesterday and so we had the time to do this project.
I suggested that after installing the new gate, we just remove the bottom two
boards of the fence.

This would allow enough height for the pigs to come and go,
but still maintain the strength of the fence...
adding a fail-safe should someone forget to lock the gate.
This way the horses cannot escape the pasture via this particular gate.

We have plenty of access for vehicles through other gates,
so this gate will only be used for small livestock.

The pigs didn't need much convincing to investigate the front pasture,

although Ginger got a little confused with the new gate.

Hubbs showed her the way, and she quickly ventured out.

It didn't take them long to realize what great grazing lands they had just been given,
and they proceeded to investigate the entire perimeter of the...

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Morning Adventures With Grace, Hope, and Faith

Yesterday was another day for firsts...
and this time the donkeys did not lose their minds.

Yesterday, for the first time, the sheep went out to the front pasture with the pigs.

Perhaps it was because the donkeys were almost comatose,
after spending the night time out in the pasture with the horses...
or perhaps it is just because the sheep are no way as scary looking as the pigs.

Whatever the reason, the donkeys took this scene in their stride....
completely unaffected!

The sheep thoroughly enjoyed their added freedom,
but still came running 

when they saw me out in the pasture picking up manure.

I don't delude myself into thinking that they are just happy to see me...

I know they are just hoping for Ritz crackers!

It was fun interacting with them in their new surroundings.
I can't help but believe that enlarging their world is as good for their mental health
as it is for their physical health.

After all, a little adventure helps to make life more fun!

" Good morning, Fred and Ethel!"

My farm buddy, Tyler is back home with his Mommy and Daddy again.
We had a wonderful time together yesterday...so many funny stories that I could tell you.

Perhaps the funniest is how he describes what he saw when...

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A Weekend With All of My Favorite People

Wow!  What a fun-packed weekend!
The past three days were a blur of activity.
Luckily I took lots of photos.
If you are not in the mood for adorable children (and animals, too)...
stop right here!

I knew you'd keep reading!

Friday our favorite farm friends 
Macy (right ...who sustained a boogie board accident while at the beach the week before) 
and Maggie (L) and their friend Giada...

came to visit their four handsome,
but naughty, roosters.

They thought perhaps if they came and talked to them and loved on them...

that perhaps they would start behaving a little better.

Time will tell!

The girls had a great time visiting with all their farm friends...

and much to the sheep's delight, came equipped with extra Ritz crackers.

Happy Birthday Maggie who turns 7 and starts second grade today!

Saturday, Hubbs and I went to our favorite Arts Festival

in Mount Gretna, PA....a wonderful Victorian community in the woods.

House after house just like this line the quaint little streets of this hillside, wooded community.
I especially loved the window boxes and ivy growing on the sides of this house...even on the roof!

Then Sunday was Mackenzie's first birthday.
Her parents threw a Puppy Pawty for her...

I made...

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Morning Routines

Each morning after feeding the equines, we feed the barn kitties.

They have dry food available 24/7, but once daily
get a helping of canned food.

Lately Lucille, our one lone hen who has taken up residency in the barn,
chases the cats away from their food and claims it as her own.

Normally the dogs get to lick the cans and lids clean.

However yesterday I thought perhaps I could occupy Lucille with one of the empty cans
so that the cats could eat in peace.

It definitely helped.
Bobby, who was scowling of the idea of having to share, was able to finish his breakfast in peace.

Afterwards, he hit the hay...

napping away the rest of the morning in his favorite bed.

Tom has been roosting in the barn lately.
He spends his mornings following me around.
Curiously, since Chuck is no longer here, Tom seems to enjoy being touched.
In the past he would shrink away from any human contact.

Now he stands still for a  morning rub-down, 
even allowing me to touch his rubbery head and waddle.

Afterwards he makes his way out to visit with Fred and Ethel.
The Roos, spying me, come running over to the fence.

I really enjoy these handsome fellows... as long as they are on the other side of a fence!


Several toads...

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Puppy Kisses

I am lucky to be the "go to" dog sitter for Mackenzie's puppy Sam.

"Black Sammy", as we have dubbed him....to distinguish him from our "Brown Sammy",
is staying with us for a few days.
He has been here several times throughout the summer.

We love having him as much as he loves to come to the farm!

When he is here he becomes one of the pack...
taking part in each daily activity as if he lived here full time.
He is completely farm-worthy and knows to treat the animals with utmost respect.

As I looked back through all of the photos that I have taken of him,
I realized that in each and every one of them his tongue is hanging out...

way out!

He gets a lot of exercise when he is here following me around like a shadow.

Sammy is part labrador retriever and part coon hound,
so his bark is that of a hound.
It's also his prime means of communication.
Needless to say, I try to anticipate his needs to minimize his need to do this:

Sammy's mom and dad adopted him from a shelter as an adult dog,
so his bark came along with him...
and I don't think it's going to leave.

He is as gentle as can be with Mackenzie and doesn't even flinch when she crawls on him.
He allows her to take balls out of his mouth.

He's truly...

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