What a great day on Shiloh Prairie Farm, the sun is shining and the weather is predicted to get in the 50’s today. It is a much welcomed break from the freezing temperatures and icy wind we were having last week or the strange winter thunderstorms and rain we had a few days ago. I spent much of the really cold weather days doing a little spring cleaning a few months early. That terrible mess of a living room closet is now neat and organized; what a chore that was! I turned it into our pet and livestock supplies closet. Horse halters, collars and leashes now hang neatly on the back wall. On one side sits a stackable drawer organizer with goat meds, hoof trimmers, flea treatments for the dogs and other small items. Most livestock medications and wormers are much better kept in the house where the temperature is more controlled than out in the barn. Some will need refrigerated and some won’t, but few keep as well in a hot or freezing barn.
A little hint for keeping tattoo equipment neat and organized, get a small tool box with a lid that snaps down and a handle. The tattoo pliers and larger tubes of ink will fit in the bottom and those easy to lose letters and numbers will fit in the removable tray that sits just under the lid, keeping everything you need in one place that can easily be carried out to the field when you have goats that need tattooed. I have a similar box for kidding items, so I can just carry the box out to the barn and have everything I might need in one place. Our tattoo box and kidding box now sit ready to go on the top shelf of the closet. Mud boots sit on the floor and rain coats hang on the other side of the closet, everything we need to care for all our pets and livestock is now in one convenient place, except for any medications that need refrigerated of course.
In order to be able to organize the closet this way I had to get rid of some of the stuff that was originally in it though. We don’t buy much stuff we don’t need, but somehow we always do end up with some things over the years that just end up sitting in a closet and never used. I had a whole large stack of puzzles in that closet that I thought I would find the time to sit down and put together someday but I never found that time in all the years they had been sitting up there so I gave them away through Freecycle, now someone else has them that will get some use out of them and I have more space. Freecycle is a great resource for that; it's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Here is the link http://www.freecycle.org/ if you would like to check it out and find a local freecycle group near you. Freecycle is where I got the old swing set frame that we turned into a frame for weighing the goats with. Someone had one sitting in their yard that the seat had gone bad, but the frame was still good so we saved it from the landfill and saved ourselves a few bucks in the process by recycling it for a different use.
I had a great birthday on the 24th; I sure don’t feel 33 years old though. I had a really nice surprise waiting for me in the mailbox on my birthday. My goat’s milk soap sold so well at the craft fair that I am completely out of cured soap for a few weeks! For those that don’t know, soap must cure for a month. My skin was itching just thinking about having to go back to store bought soap while my soap cured. So I got a hold of my friend Lacey from Hidden Brook Farm and she sent me some of her soap. Lacey makes great homemade soap, I just love it. The best thing about Lacey’s soap is the way it smells, fabulous! My favorite kind is her “Chamomile Kisses” soap, it smells heavenly and I secretly wish I could wear a bar around my neck like a necklace just so I could smell it all day, but I will resist that temptation…people think I am strange enough as it is.
Christmas and another birthday is over and gone and it is time to think about the new year ahead. This past year sure has seemed to go by fast to me. I was not sure if I was going to make any resolutions this year, I rarely keep any of them. I changed my mind when I read about Chris’s “declarations” for the New Year over at Johnson Family Farm. I am inspired by his dedication and determination to make positive changes in his life this year, so maybe I will make some “declarations” of my own this year. Hey, I am already getting started because even though I don’t know what all my declarations will be yet this year, I do know “getting organized” will be one of them!