Monday, September 12, 2011

Meet Hank & The Boys

Remember when I first introduced you to Rosie and mentioned that we had some other farm friends too?
Well, here is a very very late introduction to Hank, Boomer, and Double Stuff!

Hank is our pig, and Boomer & Double Stuff are his friends, his bunk mates. He stays at a nearby farm and we see him and bring them all goodies every few days. I even had to take a turn cleaning out the pig pen one day, as mentioned on facebook. It was touch and go for the first few minutes, but I pulled out of there a stinky winner-I did it! Here the boys are eating kohlrabi in late July. They were kind of busy and didn't want to pose.

We got Hank back in June. I showed up at the local feed store to pick him up with a cardboard box, a car full of three kids, and a friend. Luckily the feed store gave me a dog crate to borrow. He was already at least 40 pounds at that point, was cranky & scared, and was covered in manure. Good times. We rode the entire way to the farm with our heads hanging out the windows gasping for fresh air. Here is Hank loaded up in the crate in the car.

Since then we have gotten to know Hank and the Boys a lot better. 

Hank is the pink mid sized guy of the gang. He seems like the most gentle natured guy of the crew. Poor guy, whenever the food comes in, he takes a bite then races over to the water for a drink, then cruises back to the food for a bite, then gets more water, etc. Our farmer friend says that he has never seen a pig drink so much. I guess he likes to stay hydrated!

Boomer is the big guy of the gang, mostly black with a small pink patch between his shoulders. He is the one who is most pushy when the food comes in-he really likes his food!

Double stuff is named for his cute stripe around his body. He rounds out the team perfectly.

The guys are so darn cute. As soon as you walk towards their pen and say hello, they start running to see what goodies you are delivering. This weekend we brought them apple drops from a tree in our yard and they acted like it was Christmas morning. They loved them. It is so good to be able to give them most of our food scraps. We don't give them any meats, but besides that pretty much anything goes.

Hank & Boomer & Double Stuff will only be with us until mid December, at which time we will have to say Goodbye to them.  I feel happy that they will have had a good life with few stressors and that we took good care of them and kept them healthy. I can't say how I will feel when the time comes and we do have to say goodbye, or when our dinner is Hank, but I do know I feel alot better that my family can be a part of a cared for animal becoming dinner rather than the alternative ways that many feed animals are kept. If you are interested in learning more about how the animals we eat are treated, some good books are...

Sorry about the funky boxes with the book links-experimenting with the amazon thing.

Hope your week starts off great. Thank you for stopping by and meeting Hank & Boomer & Double Stuff. They will pop in once or twice more to say hello.


Friday, September 9, 2011

How to Turn an Old Puzzle into Magnets & a Wall Hanging

"Why was 6 afraid of 7?"
"Because 7 ate 9!"

So, we had this old wooden puzzle hanging around that wasn't getting any love. Usually I give our outgrown puzzles to friends as hand me downs, or sell them back to a consignment store, but this one was a bit out dated. I have had an idea for it for way too long, and after my success with my clock revamp, it was time to dust off the puzzle pieces!

This project is awesome, because it is a 2 for 1 deal! We all know that I love a deal! One old unused puzzle (even a puzzle that is missing pieces-yeah!) will get you one set of magnets and a wall hanging. What a steal!

Supplies Needed;
Wooden or chipboard puzzle, complete or incomplete
Pretty paper &/or old book
Mod Podge (or watered down glue, as I sometimes use)
E-600 or heavy duty glue
Permanent Markers 
Your own artwork or a piece you have found
A cool font or your fancy hand

So, first up will be our magnets. My puzzle was a numbers puzzle. Remove the pieces from the puzzle. Trace the pieces onto your pretty paper. Be sure you trace them in the correct direction (i.e. Be sure you are tracing the shape onto the paper so the right shape will glue onto the piece the right way. I wanted to cover the printed puzzle piece so I traced the piece with the printed side up on the printed side of the paper.)

Cut your papers and mod podge onto the puzzle pieces.

Once the pieces have dried, use your permanent marker to decorate the pieces. The alphabet, numbers, a name, or an inspiring word are all great options. But you are the artist! So chose what you love! Once the marker dries, re-coat with mod podge &/or spray with protective sealant. I re-coated, and sprayed with the sealant, as these will need some extra protection while they are being moved around on the fridge by little hands. (Since our fridge is already very weighted down with magnets, I hope to list this set in the shop this weekend-but Dozer & I may have a slight disagreement on this.)

Once they have dried, glue your magnets onto the back of the pieces with a heavy duty glue. I use these heavy duty magnets because they are so totally awesome, but you could also re-use any freebie store magnets you have hanging around.

Give these magnets to a special person and watch their eyes light up! 

A serious word of caution. If you do use the heavy duty magnets, please never leave kids unsupervised with these magnets. If swallowed they could cause very serious injury or death.

OK, next up is something pretty from the puzzle back.

First, find the main piece of art that you would like to use for your wall hanging. I used this beauty by Stephanie Fizer from Feed Your Soul: Free Art Project. I sized it to be sure it would fit. Then, I ripped up a few pages from an old book and mod podged them onto the flat side of the puzzle back.

I also found this great font from fontspace for my text. I printed the letters but later realized I liked the hand drawn look better. I used the font as a guide and drew my own letters. Once dried I mod podged  my main piece of art over the ripped book page background.

I added embellishments and attached a ribbon to the back as a hanger. The whole design and embellishment deal is not my strength, but you can do as much or as little as you want here.

Despite Dozer's pleas to the contrary, I plan to give this as a gift to a very special friend who is a librarian.

I hope you like my 2 for 1 deal today. Do you have any puzzles hanging around ready for a 2 for 1 re-do? Thanks a million for stopping by. Have fun!


Linking up to
DIY Under $5
Weekend Wrap Up Party 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I got nothin...

So, last week I said that Wednesdays would be about Preserving the Harvest... I didn't preserve much this week (by not much, I mean nothing).

I had big plans to do sun dried tomatoes, but life got in the way. I have made the evil cake balls again, and I did make a totally awesome (if I do say so myself) hot fudge sauce. I will try to figure out the recipe at some point and share it, but my methods are more like pinch of this and more of that...

Since I didn't do anything, just wanted to remind you about an awesome use of tomatoes that I mentioned last year. Make your own salsa to keep or to eat now.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Update on Rosie

Remember when I told you about Rosie? She was so cute and sweet and we adored her. 

Well, she didn't make it. 

Right before we went Off Duty for a little Wild Maine Blueberrying vacation, we went to check on Rosie. She was staying at a nearby farm. We had seen her that Friday and we stopped by on Tuesday to say hello and check in before we headed out for a bit. We knew she was small, and I had my concerns from the start that she was too little to leave her mom, but the farmer from whom she came (is that awkward & poor grammar or what?!) assured us that she was ok to go. 

Anyway, she wasn't doing too hot that day we stopped to say hello. She hadn't grown and she had some serious breathing issues. Mr. Rescued Goods ended up taking her home and staying home with her while the kids and I went to camp. I felt awful to leave him and her but we didn't want the kids to watch her in distress. And the Mr. was scheduled to bring Rosie to see the farmer the next morning for some advice. He stayed up with her that night and tried to get her to eat & drink, but she didn't make it through the night. 

I have thought about it lots since then, and I can now think of many things we could have tried to help her, but I don't know if it would have helped. We were (and are still) new pig keepers and are still learning the ropes about this whole farm animal thing.

For the future, I would definitely say that if we aren't certain that a pig is old enough to leave her mom, we need to stick with our gut feeling. Squirrel was heartbroken, as were we all. I know that this is the same end result that would have happened to Rosie, but we wanted her to have a good happy healthy life first. So, I feel really badly that she didn't make it. So, I know I am late on sharing the news, but I wasn't quite sure how to say it. Thanks for stopping by and for listening.


Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Re-Do an Old Cheap Clock

So, in the scheduling scheme, Fridays are going to be a spotlight day for a Rescued Good. This week, I am bragging about my new old clock. I have had this clock for ever, from the house before our current house. I liked it, but I was just kind of tired of it, and it doesn't fit in with my new (half of a) kitchen paint color. I had planned to mod podge something over it and it has been sitting in my craft closet mocking me for way too long.

 So, pretty but needing a change, right? I planned to simply take off the clock mechanism, mod podge the face, and put it back together, but of course it is totally cheap and you can't take the mechanism off without it breaking in a million small pieces. 
(Edited to add:Sorry about the unclear post. The Bingo face is my re-vamped clock. Not, the grapes. Nothing like being clear on things!)

So, I had to cut the paper around the hands of the clock. I usually am not this smart, but I planned ahead and figured it out with scrap paper, before using my awesome paper.

Trace your clock face, and cut out a small circle where the clock hands join in the center. Cut a straight line from this center circle to the edge of the paper.

Modge podge your paper (I used one sheet, but you can certainly use lots of little pieces too-you are the artist!) onto your clock face, carefully fitting your paper around the center of the clock where the hands meet. Smooth the paper out to the edges to reduce air bubbles. (I kind of stunk at this part, but it goes with the whole look, so it is fine, right?)

Not counting the year or so that I planned on doing this, it took me about 5 minutes total. You should try it! What fun re-vamps have you done lately?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Preserve Green Beans

Remember back when I said I was going to post recipes on Wednesdays?! Well, I am going to! For the next few weeks, I am going to focus on preserving fresh local vegetables, from your garden or a friend's garden, or from a local farm stand. How about a Preserving the Harvest series?! If I had a clue, I might make a button for this, but, don't get too excited about that-we all know that it won't happen.

Anyway, before I start, thanks for stopping by even though I have been off duty for a long time this summer. I do have some updates to share too. Let's pretend this is a Wednesday post. In my defense, I have had little to no internet since Irene stopped by.

1. Get some fresh local beans. Snip the end or ends. I only snip the stem end, because that is how my grandmother always did it. Everyone has their own way here. Snip in half or thirds if need be.

2. Wash beans.
3. Boil a big pot of water.

4. Get a big bowl of ice cold water ready & waiting in your refrigerator.

5. Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Carefully strain them and then put them in the ice cold water for a few minutes (to stop the cooking process). (If I am doing several batches at once, I strain both the hot beans and the cold beans over another container, so I can keep the hot and cold water baths going for a bit-adding ice each time to the cold water, rather than re-filling each time and waiting for them to heat up/cool off.)

6. Strain again, and bag in freezer bags. Admire your work and enjoy fresh local beans all winter long! These are delicious sauteed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Lots of people can their beans too, but I prefer frozen, and it is less work! Thanks so much for stopping by! Are you canning or freezing any harvests right now?