Cold Winter Dry Skin Care

Many parts of the country are experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures right now and here in Virginia, we’re experiencing that cold, dry air too. Winter weather used to mean that my hands, which spend a lot of time in water, washing milk buckets, water troughs, and general cleaning both indoors and out, would become raw, red, cracked and bleeding and they HURT! Well, those severely dry hands are a thing of the past since I got rid of commercial, detergent-based soaps and started using hand made goats milk soaps. The vitamins, minerals, fats, and oils in hand-made, cold-processed soaps don’t suck moisture out of my skin, and in fact, actually add moisture back in every time I wash my hands. And when I add a nice goats milk lotion or salve over freshly washed hands, VIOLA! Comfort at last!

Our Soap Shop On Etsy

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Love Spells Goat Milk Soap
Neem Salve
Neem Salve
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Going Raw!

Years ago I lived my life as a raw vegan hermit.

I didn’t go out. I didn’t do much of anything but work at a potato chip factory , sleep, and prepare raw food meals…which were very delicious by the way.

One time, after I’d been raw for awhile, and having attended a Hallelujah Acres Seminar, with George Malkmus.  I decided to try juicing more carrots.  Not only did I drink the juice…and believe me, freshly juiced carrot juice is the BOMB, I also used the leftover pulp to make dehydrated carrot “burgers”.  Yum! And I made LOTS of them!

I turned orange.  Honestly.  Ask my kids.  They’ll be more than happy to tell you all about it.  We even have a photo taken at Sears  of me and the three pip squeaks, and  I’m orange. I thought I looked healthy.  They thought I looked weird.

I wasn’t complaining.  For the first time in my life I had skin that wasn’t white as the driven snow.  So what if I looked like a carrot with clothes?

Luckily, my carrot juicer fell off of the top of the refrigerator and broke into a million pieces and my new, expensive, Samson juicer refused to juice carrots, so I never juiced them again.

Instead, I got into watermelon.  I used  a whole one every other day.  I ate the sweet centers, and made smoothies with the outside parts that weren’t so sweet.

I also ate an average of 34 organic bananas every week.  I counted them up one time at the behest of a friend.  Even I was amazed.

One time, after I got tired of being a hermit and only meeting other raw foodies in books and on the internet, I decided to go to a raw festival in New York.  There were to be lots of famous and not so famous guest speakers.

I contacted a friend in Richmond who I had met while attending a couple of seminars there that she hosted, one with the Boutenkos of the Raw Family and one with David Wolf.  I was looking for someone to ride with me and share expenses.

She hooked me up with a guy who wanted to share a ride with someone up to the event.  I had a bad feeling about him, but hey, he lived at Yogaville, and my friend had recommended him, how harmful could he be?

I packed my sharpest screwdriver under the drivers seat just to be safe.

He turned out to be a lunatic.  I won’t go into details, but believe me, I won’t pick up weird yogi’s again unless I personally know them, and then it’s iffy.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling very tired and rundown and my diet has been just awful, which is what I’m blaming the blah’s on.  Too much fried junk, fast food, eating dinner late with CG etc.  The only thing that’s saved me is having so much fresh, raw goats milk on hand.  Otherwise I don’t think I’d be getting any vitamins at all.

I love watching the goats eat new browse.  Trees, bushes, poison ivy, etc.  Stuff I can’t eat, but I know some of those nutrients pass through to the milk.  But still, at some point, a girl has to eat her own vegetables.

So, starting yesterday with a big bag of fancy cherries and a banana from Walmart, I decided to once again embark on at least a partially raw diet.  I know not to be too strict or it will be doomed from the beginning.  I’d been thinking about doing this for awhile.  I didn’t just get hit in the head by lightening and  say “hey, I’m going raw today.”  (Although the storms yesterday did get pretty close.)

Last night for dinner I had a watermelon.  Well, part of a watermelon.  It was great!  I only had to get up twice in the middle of the night to pee.  But, I didn’t wake up feeling bloated with dark circles under my eyes.  In fact, I felt pretty good this morning come to think of it.

And so, my adventure begins…..anybody want to join me?

By the way, I know a lot about the raw food diet, and have no less than one million books on the subject, so if you ever have any questions, I can probably locate the answer for you.  I used to dream about being a raw food guru that lived to be 200 years old…instead, I decided to become a natural hoof care practitioner and raise dairy goats and make soap.  Not really so far off the track, actually.

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A Day Without Rain?

Aha!  Finally a day with no rain…maybe?  I’ve got clothes that need to get hung out..we still haven’t gotten the plug for the dryer wired yet.  The dirty clothes pile was getting higher and higher.  I can hang a few things around the house…about one wash load full, and thats about all we have room for.

Clothes do smell fresher when hung outside, but then there are the bugs that like to hide in the seams and folds, only to crawl on your skin soon as you put the line-dried thing on!

Clothes dryers don’t harbor bugs, so I’m all for them.  Plus, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining outside or not, we can have dry clothes.  Ah, it’s the small things in life, isn’t it?

Still, I guess I’m using less electricity and whatever by drying the clothes in the sun.  So I guess I’m green that way.

I’m working on some re-fencing today.  I don’t know how that’s going to go.  The horses are all for it, but the goats hate being moved, even if it’s to a better place!

Their enclosure right now includes a pasture and wooded area but also a lounging area under a group of cedar trees that just won’t dry out with all this rain…so I’m going to re-fence around the area and add sand to the new shelter/lounging area if I can find any around here.  I can get it in bags, but the cost is ridiculous.  I need about 10 pick up truck loads.

And a better back than the one I have for unloading it all!

I wish you all a happy Wednesday!

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Guest Posts Needed….Put your writing skills to use!

In an effort to make this a more interactive, entertaining and informative blog, it’s been suggested to me that I solicit guest posts.

So, if you enjoy writing and have a story to tell, send it to me via email and I’ll post it here! (ladyrings@aol.com) If you have a blog, and would like to repost one of your stories/adventures, that’s fine too.

So, what kind of story am I looking for? Wellll, I’m not completely sure, but for next week I think I’d like to post stories of farm life from when you were a child. A funny farm happening, an adventure you had, how grandpa used to do things, etc. Actually, they don’t necessarily have to be about farm life, but simply something from the past days.

The stories should be about 200-600 words give or take. No cussing, etc. Pictures would be great if you have them. No biggy if you don’t.

If you’d like to be a regular guest author, let me know and I’ll set you up as that.

Now, there isn’t any payment, but your cute stories will make it to Facebook, Twitter, a few social media sites, etc.

If nobody sends me any stories, I’ guess you’ll just have to listen to mine!

Have fun with it and thanks in advance!

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Beautiful Sport Horse Broodmare for Sale

This horse belongs to my friend and client Danielle, www.cornbreadandchickens.com and since I know a lot of horsey folks are friends of mine on Facebook and Twitter, as well as here on WordPress I decided to post her blog entry here.  This is a horse I trim and she’s a doll.  Very well mannered, etc.  Gains weight on air!

Rheinland Pfalz-saar x Westfalen broodmare for sale

May 19, 2010 by Danielle

EPIPHANY (“pH”)


8 year old dark bay Rheinland Pfalz-saar x Westfalen broodmare for sale in Concord, VA. Not registered, but her breeding certificate is included if you want to have her inspected for the Rheinland Pfalz-saar studbook.

Sired by Volter Win (reg. Rheinland Pfalz-saar), a Wintry Oak son (Denny Emerson’s former Advanced event horse) out of Volterra by Volturno (one of Europe’s leading Oldenburg 3-day event sires in the late 1980s). Volterra was short listed for the 1996 US Olympic Event Team.

Out of a Westfalen mare, Grand Finale, who was out of a mare sired by Renoir, a half brother to Rembrandt (Nicole Uphoff’s former dressage horse). Grand Finale was sired by Galaxy, by Guarantor a Hanoverian stud.

“pH” was injured during turnout as a 5 year old, and never fully broke to ride. 90% sound, some lingering lameness from injury – becomes apparent when exercised consistently.

Excellent temperament, very sweet and expressive. Great conformation. Powerful, expressive gaits.
VERY easy keeper. Low maintenance. Barefoot. Current on vaccines and Coggins.

Offered for sale as broodmare or companion horse. Price negotiable to the right home.

This mare is very special to me as I’ve known her since she was a weanling. I got her to breed to for a sport horse. “pH” is offered for sale because I have decided to focus on endurance and not on sport horse events.

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Foxes, Dumb Chickens, and a GREAT market day!

Red Fox
Image by bbusschots via Flickr

Yesterday I was on my way to the market when CG called and told me I had just missed a lot of excitement!  It seems that a big red fox had been hiding in the woods, and made a go at the chickens as they came down from the trees in the early morning hours!  They whole farm set up quite a ruckus, scaring the pony and the goats and the chickens were sqawking like crazy.

The fox stood right out in the middle of the pasture and looked at CG before running back into the woods.  We still don’t know if he got a chicken or not.

Last Sat. I was milking early, before the market and heard a terrible ruckus out in the woods with the chickens making all sorts of noise.  I figured something had gotten one of them, but the brush is so thick there is no way to see down into the woods or even get through in many places.

So, I guess we know what it is now.  We just have to figure out what to do about it.  We’ve got a live trap and plan to try that first.  Somehow I think we’ll catch more cats than foxes, but we’re going to give it a try.

I think it’s unrealistic to think we can set outside with a gun and wait to see it, let alone hit it without shooting any of our farm animals!

To say chickens are dumb is rather an understatement.  Soon as all the commotion died down, they were right back down in the woods digging around for whatever it is they find to eat out there.  There is plenty of food closer to the house, lots of grain etc.  I guess I better do a hen count.  So far I still have 12 babies, but they sleep pretty close to the house.

Yesterday I had a really good market day.  Lots of people came and looked at my soaps, with lots of people buying too!  I got to meet a lot of really interesting people…found out about a local bee club that I plan to join..yep, bees are next on our list of things to get into.

Besides all that fun stuff, CG dug me a garden!  By hand!  I’m so excited!  It still needs a little fine-tuning, but the rest should be fairly easy now that he’s got the top turned over.  Luckily the ground is still fairly soft.  And he didn’t do it a moment too soon.  I’ve got tons of tomatoes ready to go in the ground.

Hopefully we’ll have our heirloom tomatoes soon.  We’ll be taking them to the market too.  My tables are almost out of space!  Might need another one!

I wish you all a happy Sunday!

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Come See My Trees Please!

I’ll be at the Danville market tomorrow.  You’ll notice my booth from across the market, when you first walk in the door by the new, large banner.  Of course, my camera still isn’t cooperating with me, but the banner is lovely and has a nice picture of my prettiest goat, Miss Alicia, and two of Jetaime’s 2009 buck kids.

There will also be a “beach theme” setup on one of the tables with little coconut trees, a leigh, and a big margarita glass filled with my “Sex on the Beach” and “”Coconut Lime Verbena” soaps.  (I’m trying out my non-exsistant marketing skills).

Anyway, hope to see you there!

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Got the Whipped Shea Butter Done!

Shea butter of L'Occitane
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I finally got around to making my whipped shea I had been planning on making for months.  If there isn’t a better way to do it, that will be one item I’ll never try to do again!

The recipe called for the use of a kitchen aid.  I don’t have a kitchen aid.  But I do have a food processor.

Not the same thing.

Ever try to scoop something out of a food processor with the blade in the way?  And not want to take the blade out of the processor because the whole thing is covered with oil, and you don’t want to mess up your pretty paper labels on the  jars into which you are trying to meticulously scoop exactly 1.5 ounces of whipped shea butter into?

It required the use of lots of utensils.

Each utensil has to be laid out on paper towels….which soon are covered with shea butter…so everything you touch is coated with shea butter, and everything has to be sanitary and you can’t touch the insides of the jars…or touch the shea that will go into the jars.

Betcha haven’t tried it.

Okay, it’s not my favorite thing.

Not yet anyway.

I’m gonna stick to mostly making soap and trimming horse feet.  Now those are fun things to do!

Today I have half a million bars of soap to cut in half so I can have some smaller bars this weekend for my market table.  And I have to re-shrink wrap them and design new labels…the same, only smaller.

I’ve got one label done.  Only sixty billion left to do.

And I’m behind already.  Had to spray the horses down this morning  with some new fly spray I made which works GREAT by the way.  I think I probably posted about it the other day.  I don’t remember.  I can’t remember anything.  Anyway, it contains AVON SOS, white vinegar, eucalyptus globulus, (smells like Vicks) and eucalyptus citradoria (smells like citrus),  litsea and peppermint.  Plus a little lavender.  I would have liked to use tea tree but that’s still on my “to order” list.

Anyway, it smells like chocolate.  And the horse flies hate it.  I spray it on the goats too. They love it.  Being sprayed I mean.  The horses don’t like it, but all of them except Lyrik will put up with it.

Lyrik does this little rearing thing when I come at him with a bottle of fly spray.  Even if I start at the other end, or start with his feet.  No difference.   So, I have to slather it on him by hand.  He deserves it.  He’s beautiful.  CG just calls him “Pretty Boy”.  I think that means he likes him.  Anyway, I love him, well both of them actually, so I’ll just keep greasing myself up to keep the flies off of him.  Off Lyrik.  Flies don’t like CG much, but ticks like us both.  It’s that season again…I love summer but for the bugs.

Can’t have it all.

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Naughty Ponies and Goat Milk Lotions

It’s my own fault.  I’ve been too busy to put up the fence..and crazy enough to think I could make it through the week on the little bit of hay I had left…my plan had been to graze the horses under supervision during the day, and feed hay in the dry lot at night.

I’ve been very lazy.

I just fed the hay and said “forget it.”

Now I’m almost out of hay and won’t be able to get any more until Wednesday.

So this morning I HAD to let the horses out to graze.  No other choice.

We do have a fence around the unused pasture, but it consists of just one strand of non-electrified tape. I could electrify it easy enough…that’s where the lazy part comes in.  It would require a bit of adjusting…adding some of those what cha ma giggies to the fence posts….insulators…that’s it!

It’s not as easy as it sounds…I won’t go into boring details..but suffice it to say that the posts need replacing…and so the fence would be temporary until I get the materials to do it “right”.

I’d just have to do it all over again.

So I’ve been waiting until I get everything together to make my new perfect fence.

And whoever it was I dreamt about last night that wanted me to board their horses…FORGET IT!

I can just barely keep the five in that I got!

I put 4 of them in with the goats this morning.  The goats have this long pasture, rather narrow in places..sort of like a alley way or a runway, only much wider (about 100 feet wide I guess, maybe a little bigger).

If you know anything about horses, you know that if you put them somewhere where they have a spot that looks good to run in, they will run in it.

And they did.

Lyrik jumped out of the fence to be with Caritas, who was just on the other side of the alley runway.

He was eating quite calmly and unaffected by the horse race that went on for what seemed like hours.  I stood by a tree and felt the air swirl as the horses ran by time and time again…from one end of the runway to the next.

Absolutely giddy.

Not me, them!

They dodged the trees, missing them by mere horse hairs.

Lyrik was on my side of the fence.  He knows better.  I can count on him to watch out for me.  He was cantering slowly, not galloping wildly like the mares and the crazy pony who started it all.

Smokey the pony started it all when I walked the goats back into their pasture after milking.  He chased them back out and then started running wildly through the woods, back and forth along the fence line, stopping just short of  running right through the end of the fence…bucking and kicking…yep, you gotta watch out for that one!

He’ll take your eye out with a badly placed rear hoof as he bucks while running past.

I finally got a rope around his neck when he stopped to sniff Caritas’ grain feeder.

He reared up and tried to run away again.

I made a note to myself that this pony is unfit for a child and needs A LOT of work to become civilized.  All horses here are require to be civilized.  Somehow he managed to slip through the cracks.

Well, he’s back in the goat pasture and the goats  are now in a new area for the day with lots and lots of browse.  Everybody is happy for the moment, including me.

Now I get to go have fun…now that the children are behaving!

I have more lotions to scent and bottle up and I’m making my first batch of whipped Shea butter today.  It will be available this weekend at the market if it turns out.  It should be dummy-proof, the recipe is quite simple….and I still have about 15 pounds of lovely shea butter left from my last shipment.  Yum!

My soap and lotion business is really about marketing my goats milk, but I’ve had a lot of requests for  shea butter, which  I buy in bulk to put in all my soaps, so I decided I’d go a head and do some of those up too. The shea I buy is a fair-trade variety and is unrefined with a kind of nutty, natural scent. It lasts for a long, long time.  I bought a small jar of it over a year ago and still have it, although I lost it when we moved and just found it the other day.  It’s still good and did not require a preservative since it contains no goat milk.

Other news is:

I have a male barn cat that turned out to be female barn cat that lives in the garage and not the barn, who turned out  to be pregnant and had two kittens yesterday morning.  I am all for spaying and neutering, but this cat got given away and somehow made it back….or something like that.  Anyway, she had two kittens on our front porch in the middle of  Lyriks winter blanket that I had put there to remind myself to wash it.

The kittens will need homes in just a few weeks, so if you know anyone who would like a cute kitten let me know.  One is an orange tabby male and the other is a  mostly black female with just a little calico coloring on her head.

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