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Need The Right Tools for the Job

When you have the right tools for a job it makes it easier to do that job. Here on our farm “Tailspin Farms” when one of my tools get broke or misplaced it’s hard for me to complete the job at hand. 

Cleaning our stalls and barns here are some of my favorite tools, a leaf rake, grain shovel, and manure fork. I use them every day to clean up after our goats.   

Leaf rack works great to clean up after goats. 
I rake the goat pellets into the gain shovel. 
A manure fork works great to pick up old hay.

Tools on the Farm

Including the leaf rake, grain shovel, manure fork we also use a good heavy water hose. We like to use the heavy hoses because they last longer and hold up to all the use here at our farm. 

I would call our equipment tools also. Just because they are a key tool in helping us with big jobs. Lik our EZGo cart with a dump bed. Our cart gets used twenty-four / seven. No matter what we are doing we always use our cart. When cleaning up after our livestock this cart works great. Building a fence or repairing fence we load up the cart and here we go. One of the best gifts my hubby has bought me. 🙂 

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you information free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in many (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links is much appreciated.

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Margarita & Stace

How to Tell If Eggs Are Fresh

How to Tell if Eggs Are Fresh

You can’t tell just by looking at an egg whether it is fresh or not. The good news is that there is a very simple way to test the freshness of an egg and there’s no need to crack it.
Whether you buy eggs from the store or from a local farmer, all you need is a bowl of water to do a quick freshness check.

A Quick Test to Check an Egg’s Freshness

Fill a deep bowl, pan, or tall glass with enough cold tap water to cover an egg. Place the egg in the water.
• If the egg lies on its side on the bottom, the air cell inside is small and it’s very fresh.
• If the egg stands up on end and bobs on the bottom, the air cell is larger and it isn’t quite as fresh. It is probably between one and three weeks old, which is perfectly acceptable to eat.
• If the egg floats on the surface, it is bad and should be discarded.

 

Why the Float Test Works So Well

The reason this method works is that the eggshells are porous, which means they allow some air to get through. Fresh eggs have less air in them, so they sink to the bottom. But older eggs have had more time for the air to penetrate the shells, so they’re more buoyant and will float.

Signs of a Bad Cracked Egg

We don’t always think about checking the freshness of our eggs before cracking them. That’s why it’s also good to know how to tell if an egg is bad after it’s out of the shell. A very fresh egg out of the shell will have an overall thick white which doesn’t spread much. The yolk will stand up and have a nice, rounded dome.

  1. If the egg white is quite thin and spreads, it is probably past its peak.
  2. A flattened yolk or one that breaks very easily is an indication that the egg is old.
  3. The white of a very fresh egg will be cloudy. A clear egg white indicates an older egg, but not necessarily a bad egg.
  4. When in doubt, give it the sniff test. The smell of a rotten egg is unmistakable and should be apparent immediately upon cracking. If it smells bad, do not eat it.
Choosing and Storing Eggs

Now that you know how to test your eggs, it’s time to get a few buying and storage tips.
• Store them wisely
To ensure your eggs stay as fresh as possible, make sure you’re storing them in the coldest part of your fridge—that’s usually going to be the bottom shelves, because of cold air sinks, and towards the back of the fridge. Many people like to store their eggs on the inside of the fridge’s door—sometimes there’s even a little egg compartment in there—but that’s actually the warmest part of the fridge since it gets the most exposure to the kitchen’s heat.  It’s best to point the small end down, so get in the habit of flipping your eggs whenever you bring a new carton home.
• Eggs which are a week or so old are easier to peel than very fresh eggs when cooked in the shell. This makes them perfect candidates for hard-boiled eggs. To keep hard-boiled eggs fresh, keep them in the shell until you’re ready to eat them.
• Still, always discard any eggs that have an odd appearance or odor, or that have been stored improperly—even if they passed the sink test. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick

Store them wisely
To ensure your eggs stay as fresh as possible, make sure you’re storing them in the coldest part of your fridge—that’s usually going to be the bottom shelves, because of cold air sinks, and towards the back of the fridge. Many people like to store their eggs on the inside of the fridge’s door—sometimes there’s even a little egg compartment in there—but that’s actually the warmest part of the fridge since it gets the most exposure to the kitchen’s heat.

Have chickens?

Don’t wash your eggs until you’re ready to use them. They have a covering, known as bloom, that protects them from bacteria. Leave eggs intact until you’re ready to cook them, and your home-grown eggs should outlast grocery store varieties.
Finding blood in an egg may seem gross and cause for tossing out the egg (and all of the ingredients that you’ve just cracked it into), but it’s actually completely safe to eat. Occasionally a blood vessel ruptures when an egg is being formed, and this causes a small blood spot (also referred to as a meat spot) to appear on the yolk. You can remove it if you’d like, but the egg is perfectly safe to eat with or without the blood spot.


If you buy your eggs from the grocery store, you probably won’t come across an egg with a blood spot very often, if ever. Egg producers use electronic spotters to detect eggs with spots, and they’re removed before they go to market.
If you have your own chickens, or you buy your eggs direct from a farmer, you may see blood spots a bit more frequently, simply because the spotted eggs aren’t being culled.

Now you know how to tell if eggs are bad, here’s how to get a perfect poach on your super-fresh eggs.

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Margarita & Stace

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Deals

Happy Monday! A brand new week is here, what do you plan on doing with this week? I think I will start my week by shopping on the Amazon Prime Day. I’m letting you know it’s Amazon Prime Day today (and deals start in just a few minutes!)!!  I have saved on household items, yard items, car items, and the list goes on and on.

I’m a pretty frugal person, so I buy things on sale whenever I can and that especially applies to bigger purchases. I buy several items for our home on Amazon.

There are a lot of products that I have used to help me save money by shopping on Amazon. I wanted to make sure I shared them with you today so that you can snag them if you’ve had your eye on something that Amazon decides to put on an amazing sale today! Here are some of our favorite items from Amazon.’          

pingbingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna–150 Miles Range–360 Degree Rotation Wireless Remote–Snap-On Installation Support 2 TVs

I’m looking for items to start my Christmas shopping. Hohoho!!

The deals are slowly rolled out throughout the day, starting at 3 pm Eastern, so make sure you’re watching the items you want!

Click below for my post on the products that have really helped me in my weight loss journey that will probably be put on a great sale today.

Bloglovin

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you information free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in many (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links is much appreciated.

Hope you enjoy shopping.

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Blessings,
Margarita & Stace

 

 

 

A Glass of Sweet Tea

A Glass of Sweet Tea

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you information free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in many (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links is much appreciated.

There’s nothing better than a glass of ice tea to drink. If anyone knows me they know I love my sweet tea. I drink sweet tea year round all day long. Always have a glass of sweet tea in my hand.  Durning the day while I’m working on the farm I make several trips inside to refill my glass with sweet tea.  Also to cool off a bit before heading back out to work.

We were at our favorite restaurant La Encalidia in Nixon Texas having dinner when by mistake the waitress put lemonade in my tea.  To my surprise, I like the lemonade in my sweet tea. It’s really good and refreshing!  Now I know people have done this for years but it was something new for me.

Since I liked it so much I bought a lemonade mix to put in my sweet tea. I add a tablespoon of lemonade mix to a glass of sweet tea. Hmmmmmm! It may be all in my head but it seems to help quench my thirst.  With our hot summer days hitting 100 degrees and more.  This is the most thirst-quenching tea I have ever made!!!

This drink has to be my favorite drink for the hot summer months. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it.

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Margarita & Stace

 

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Hope you are having a safe and fun 4th of July!

What are your plans for the day?

Relaxing day on the 4th of July

We stayed home and made some home cooking from the kitchen. (Where it was cool)  I cooked my sweetheart some cooked cabbage, fresh sausage, butter beans, and cornbread. All day the house smelled so good. 🙂 🙂

Stace’s parents came out and enjoyed the day with us.

We also had a short visit from our youngest daughter Kristen and her boyfriend Matt. Of course, while they were here they had to go out and see Monster. Monster is our new Boer Buck born this year. Matt thinks he is cool looking.

We are Blessed on this day with, faith, love, home cooking, and fellowship. Oh, and did I forget to mention chocolate. Brownies with a double chocolate chip. Hmmmm! Just melts in your mouth.

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Margarita & Stace

 

20 Year Anniversary

20 Year Anniversary

Where has time gone? It seems like it was just yesterday that I married my best friend Stace. We’ve been married 20 years as of June 26. Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun.

For our 20th anniversary, we booked an Airbnb Bed and Breakfast in Burnet, Texas.

We booked an Airbnb Bed and Breakfast in Burnet, Texas. Well, it was the whole house… it was outside of town on a working ranch. If you know anything about us, that fits us perfectly. 😊 (We didn’t have to take care of any animals.) The place was very quiet, peaceful and very beautiful, it reminded us so much of our cute little house we had in Southern Floresville that we miss so much.

We enjoyed visiting with the owner of the ranch, he told us about the history of the ranch and the house and that the house is the 2nd oldest homestead in the county.


After a quick trip to HEB for supplies, we quickly settled in and relaxed out on the front porch enjoying each other’s company with some good food and drink. Life is good!


In the mornings and evenings, we figured it was feeding time you could hear a donkey sounding off in the far distance. Hahahaha! We had a good laugh about the donkey.

We drove around touring some of the surrounding towns and visited Smithwick where my Mom was raised and where my grandparents are buried. We have driven thru this area several times over the years going to shows but this was the first time for me to have a chance to revisit and for Stace to really get to see the area other than at 70 MPH. The countryside is rocky with rolling hills and an occasional deer.

Visited Marble Falls and drove past the house we use to live in before my parents moved the family to San Antonio. We drove around the area were my aunt Lena lived. Marble Falls has grown and changed so much in the past 56 years.

Of course, every Texan knows this time of year the weather is 90 to 100 plus degrees, and the weather was right on schedule in Burnet, Hot and oh yes HOT! 😊 We tried to get our days started early so we could unwind and enjoy our evenings at the house.

We went to a local restaurant called Mama’s Home Cooking the second night we were in Burnet. It’s known for great home cooking.  We were blessed that night to have a family of young Brothers and Sisters play some bluegrass Folk music. We stayed for a few hours and enjoyed the music and food.

The next day we went to visit the Farmers Market and Crafts on the square in Burnet. Stopped in and had lunch at Trailblazer Grill. Truly GREAT food and wonderful service especially when Stace made a funny comment about me ordering a Veggie Burger and had everyone laughing. We loved all the signs and sayings that decorated the walls of the restaurant.

We walked around and looked in some of the shops and had a wonderful time visiting with some of the owners. Their stories of the refurbishing the shops were very interesting. If you are in town stop by The Napping Mouse Inc. they are so friendly and helpful. We bought a few gifts for Christmas.

On the way home, we stopped and visited the Texas State Cemetery in Austin Texas. We had seen it on Texas Reporter a while back and thought it would be an interesting place to visit. It’s located near downtown Austin, southeast of the Texas Capital on Navasota Street. I never knew just how majestically beautiful it was and just how many famous Texans are buried there, or we would have visited years ago. Now I see why Former Governor Rick Perry would frequently visit the cemetery during his lunch hour. It is a mesmerizing place to go and take a stroll amongst many of Texas’ Greatest. When you walk along the paths of headstones you will see so many names that you will remember from Texas History Class (back when they taught “Texas History” as a class) and realize that these are some of the great people who helped make Texas the wonderful State it is today.

With a VERY Special thanks to our Youngest Daughter Kristen and her Boyfriend Matt we were able to get away. They stayed at our farm and took care of the animals. Kristen did the milking and Matt helped her with all the feeding and chores.

We really enjoyed getting away and seeing the Texas Hill Country, something that we don’t get to do very often because we choose to have Livestock!! 😊. But it sure was good to get back home to our Funny Farm and a little piece of Heaven. I think the animals missed us as much as we missed them, the dogs acted like we were gone for a month. Even the goats were wagging their tails when the saw us. 😊

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Margarita & Stace

Fibromyalgia and Heat Sensitivity


Fibromyalgia and Heat Sensitivity
Since we are experiencing temperatures in the 90 and 100-degree ranges, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how the heat affects many of us with fibromyalgia. Most people with fibromyalgia report having temperature sensitivity. Some are sensitive to cold, others are sensitive to heat, and still, others react to both.

This is what sucks about Fibromyalgia – it doesn’t seem to matter what time of year it is, what season it is – there is always something about the weather that affects our bodies and makes these illnesses flare up. Temperature sensitivity is a frequent problem among Fibromyalgia patients. Some of us can’t tolerate the cold weather, some of us can’t tolerate the hot weather, and others of us (like me) can’t tolerate either. My fingers, ankles, and legs will swell up like crazy in the heat and that just makes my muscles and joints hurt like crazy.

When my pain level goes way up anything touching my skin is extremely painful, including my clothes. In the winter, I feel like the cold goes right to my bones.

Yesterday and today have been a couple of rough days for me as far as the major fatigue and pain. It reminds me somewhat of the cold, winter days when I can wake up and know that it is really cold outside because my body feels the temperature. It’s the same with the heat and the humidity. I woke up yesterday and this morning with a bad headache and a lot of leg pain and I knew that it was hot and humid outside. Also, the heat makes me short of breath, dizzy and cranky.

As strange as it may sound to some, heat sensitivity is the most life-altering of all my fibromyalgia symptoms – even worse than the pain and fatigue. Before I go anywhere, I must make sure the temperature will be tolerable for me. I can’t tell you how many outings and events I’ve had to miss because of this problem. And I’ve had to miss my grandkids’ birthday parties that were held outdoors in the summer. In the summer months, I’ve basically held hostage in my own home in the heat of the day where I can control the temperature.

  • Over the years, I’ve tried several different techniques and purchased dozens of products in my efforts to stay cool. Here are a few tips that have worked best for me when I simply can’t avoid the heat:
  • Wear soft, lightweight clothing that fits very loosely.
  • Stick to light colors because dark colors absorb heat.
  • Stay hydrated. Make sure you always have a cold drink (preferably water) to sip on.
  • Avoid alcohol as it causes you to lose body fluids and tends to make you feel warmer.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.
  • Sometimes just soaking your feet in cool water can help cool your whole body cool down.
  • If you don’t have an air conditioner, put a bowl of ice in front of a fan to help cool the air.
  • Wet a bandana with cool water and wrap around your neck. This helps me when I’m working outside.
  • Take a dip in the pool during the hot part of the day

I’d like to hear from you. If you have fibromyalgia, does the heat bother you? If so, do you have any tips that help you with the summer heat?

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Why Goats

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you information free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in many (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links is much appreciated.

Why Goats

We bought our farm in Stockdale, Texas in 2008. I retired from training horses. That was a fun ride for 25 years.

We bought all the same livestock we grew up with to have on our farm. We thought that cattle were the answer for our farm and for the ag exemption. We went off what we were taught growing up.

Due to the very dry weather the drought here in Texas we had to sale off the cattle. Our farm just didn’t feel complete without the cattle.

Our good friend Ike recommended that we should get goats in place of the cattle. We tossed the idea around for weeks. I never thought I would own a goat much less a heard. Although we had a goat that stayed with a stallion that I had in training years ago. The goat went everywhere with that horse. (It was fun when we went to horse shows with a goat tagging alone.)  Oh, and my youngest daughter had a three-legged Barbie doe that someone gave us. It ate and ran with our horses. LOL! That was the only experience I had with a goat.

We went over to visit Ike and Barbra to look at their goats. Most of all Ike gave us so much advice about owning goats. The more I was around his goats and worked with the goats the more I liked them. I came to realize that a goat is much easier to handle than a cow. They are smaller than a cow. So, I can handle them by myself. Which is a plus because I will be the one doing the milking and handling them daily. Also, a goat will do all most anything for a treat.
But, we didn’t know where to start, or what breed would be the best for milking. Ike told me in his opinion Nubian and Saanen goats make the best milkers. I did know one thing, I wanted to milk the goats, so we could have fresh milk.

Ike let me borrow two does (female goat) that was in milk. He sent two goats because goats are herd animals. Which that means you need to have at least two goats together to keep them happy. I was so excited about milking the nannies. The two nannies were Nubian goats that Ike loaned me.

Milking a goat is not as easy as you might think. Goats can be fidgety, stubborn, moody critters. The nannies were not trained to milk. I had my work cut out for me. It was much easier to train a goat than a cow. Milking a goat is much different than milking a cow. So much for thinking it would be like milking a cow. Hahaha! After a few days, I could milk them without any trouble.

I knew I needed a better set up for milking after a very brief time. If I was going to milk goats I needed a milking area with a milking stand. Like the old saying “work smarter not harder.”
We bought four Saanen nannies goats from Ike. We are in the goat business now. All four of the nannies were bred to his Nubian buck.

A goat’s gestation period is five months (approximately 150 days). So, we had a few months to get ready before we had kids (baby goats). Goats are known to have twins, single or triplet births are common. Less frequent are litters of quadruplet, quintuplet, and even sextuplet kids. Birthing is known as kidding, generally occurs uneventfully. Just before kidding, the doe will have a sunken area around the tail and hip, as well as heavy breathing. She may have a worried look, become restless and display great affection for her keeper. The mother often eats the placenta, which gives her much-need nutrients, and helps to keep her from hemorrhaging. Also, is reduce the chance of predators finding the baby.

A doe doesn’t just reach a certain age and suddenly begin filling it’s utter with milk. A doe needs to be bred and give birth. Freshening (coming into milk production) occurs at kidding. Milk production varies with the breed, age, quality, and diet of the doe. Dairy goats generally produce between 1,500 and 4,000 lb. of milk per 305-day lactation. After nursing her kids to at least three months old you can continue to milk the doe.

A doe that is treated properly, fed well, milked daily will continue to produce milk for ten months to one year. An excellent quality dairy doe will give at least 6 lbs. of milk per day while she is in milk. A first time Milker may produce less. Occasionally, goats that have not been bred and are continuously milked will continue lactation beyond the typical 305-days. After her milk dries up she will need to be bred again and the process starts all over.

Does of any breed come into estrus (heat) every 21 days for two to 48 hours. A doe in heat typically flags (vigorously wags) her tail often, stays near the buck if one is present, becomes more vocal, and may also show a decrease in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat.

Bucks (intact males) come into rut in the fall as with the does’ heat cycles. Bucks may show seasonal fertility, but as with the does, are capable of breeding at all times. Rut is characterized by a decrease in appetite and obsessive interest in the does. A buck in rut will display lip curling and will urinate on his forelegs and face. Sebaceous scent glands at the base of the horns add to the male goat’s odor, which is important to make him attractive to the doe. Some does will not mate with a buck which has been descended.

In addition to natural, traditional mating, artificial insemination has gained popularity among goat breeders, as it allows easy access to a wide variety of bloodlines.

Don’t try to do it all at first. Raising show goats, breeding stock, milk goats, and slaughtering meat goats are four different goals for raising goats. Pick your main focus because you’ll need to manage your herd differently depending on it.

Here is a list of books that could help you with more goat information.

        

 

  

 

 

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Margarita & Stace

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day always gets me feeling so emotional, simply because it’s such a blessing to be a mom and such a remarkable task to raise children — and mostly importantly, because I’m so eternally grateful to have such an amazing Mama!

My mama is in heaven now…I can still see her smiling face and hear her guiding words. I love and miss you Mama!

Since I can’t dig deep enough to find the words to express just how precious it is to be a mother and to have a mother, I put some of the quotes I remember hearing when I was growing up. Hope it will help remind you of why your mom is and should always be the most valuable lady in your life.

These familiar saying have somehow been handed down from mother to daughter/son through the years. How many of these did you grow up with?

  1. Who do you think you are?
  2. Ask your father (closely followed by “Ask your Mother”)
  3. Bored! How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age.
  4. I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like an adult!
  5. Look at me when I’m talking to you.
  6. Don’t you roll your eyes at me!
  7. Don’t pick it, it’ll get infected.
  8. I don’t care if “insert child’s name here” Mum said yes.
  9. You’ll put your eye out with that thing!
  10. I’m going to give you to the count to three.
  11. Don’t put that thing in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been.
  12. Wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident and have to go to hospital.
  13. Don’t cross your eyes like that, one day they’ll get stuck that way
  14. I don’t care who started it, I’ll finish it!
  15. Don’t EVER let me catch you doing that again!
  16. Why? Because I SAID SO, that’s why!?!
  17. If such and such jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?
  18. If I catch you doing that one more time, I’ll…
  19. Your father is going to hear about THIS when he gets home!
  20. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
  21. How many times do I have to tell you, don’t throw things in the house!
  22. Do you think your clothes are going to pick themselves up?
  23. “I don’t know” is NOT an answer!
  24. I know it’s not fair. Life isn’t fair.
  25. You can get glad in the same paints you got made in

I’m sure you can think of a few more. Just putting this list together makes me laugh. 🙂

I hope your Mother’s Day is full of Love, Happiness, Joy, Fun, Laughter, Lots of Blessings!

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Margarita & Stace

May 12: International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12: International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

My referral links are below. If you click through and take action, I may be compensated.

The battles people with fibromyalgia fight against symptoms like widespread pain, fatigue and brain fog aren’t always visible to the outside world. But that doesn’t mean the battles aren’t happening, or that it doesn’t take an immense amount of strength to get through each day. That’s why people with fibro often call themselves “fibro warriors” — because you know how hard you have to fight to not only get through your symptoms, but also how hard you have to fight to be believed and to get the treatment and support you need.

May 12 is the day to raise awareness about this autoimmune disorder.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a:
physical trauma
surgery
infection
or significant psychological stress.

In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

You can help spread awareness about Fibromyalgia by sharing this post. One of my favorite ways of spreading awareness is wearing a t-shirt about Fibromyalgia.

I ask that you help spread the word about Fibromyalgia awareness. Thank You!

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Margarita & Stace