Having The Right Tools

Having the right tools for a job on the farm makes the job easier. When I’m cleaning the goat stalls and pens it is important to me to have the correct tools.

The tools I use to clean are a leaf rake. I rake all the stalls and pens with a leaf rake. With a shovel I scoop up all the piles that I have raked up. Next up is a hay fork (that’s what I call them) is great for picking up hay or piles with hay in them.

Leak Rake is great for clean up on the farm.
Shovel to scoop up all the piles that is raked up.
Hay Fork for picking up hay

These are my three go tools on the farm for cleaning up after our livestock. It makes my day to have the right tools. 🙂 When I don’t have the right tools for the task it takes me longer to do that task. That’s not good…when you have several other task to do.

Here is my YouTube Video I made on Having The Right Tools. If you haven’t checked our YouTube channel please do. Please Like and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running AND keep it ad free! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

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Margarita & Stace

Fix-A-Heads

Today I have a special surprise for you. I have asked my mother-in-law Claudia “AKA Mom” to talk about how she saves her leftovers from larger meals. Mom’s advice will save you money. 😊 If your anything like me, I’m sure your all for saving money.

Until I met Stace and got to know his mom I had never heard of leftovers being call fix-a-heads. I thought you would enjoy Claudia’s tips about what she calls fix-a-heads.

When Mom has leftovers from the week, she will use her
Vacuum Sealer Machine on some food items. (I like to use the
FoodSaver bags for the vacuum sealer). She will also use zip lock freezer bags, or a freezer container and freeze the item. Don’t forget to write on it the date and what the item is. After it’s frozen sometimes its hard to tell what it is or how long it’s been in the freezer.

Some of Claudia’s favorite meals to save are leftover meatloaf, hamburgers, stews, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. You can use your imagination there’s no limits.

Our YouTube video that Claudia and I made about Fix-A-Heads

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running AND keep it ad free! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

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Water in Your Gas

Hi there, welcome to Tailspin farms. I have to tell you about my boo-boo. I had a couple of gas cans empty, so I put them in the back of my truck.  They rode around in the back of my truck for several days before I remembered to fill them.

Stace and I was headed out to bring the goats in. We were in the cart that we use every day. I told him we had better stop and put gas in the cart before we headed out to bring in the goats. I filled the cart with one of the gas cans I had filled the day before. Off we went…then the cart started spiting and sputtering all the way out to let the goats in and all the way back.

We made it back to the house and Stace started checking out the cart. He didn’t need to be doing this because he just had knee surgery a week ago. But he was determined. He checked the gas…and guess what, it was very cloudy. It would normally be clear, and you could see the bottom of the tank. After checking the gas can he found that the spout had been chewed on by what looks like a Squirrel, and water from all the rain had got into the can and I didn’t realize it when I was filling it.

It just so happened that all the family was coming over for Christmas. Kristen and Matt arrived first. Matt being the nice guy he is drained the gas out of the cart. He checked the other gas can to make sure there was no water in it 😊 There wasn’t, so it was good to go. Matt put the new gas in and the cart runs now.

Thank God for the men in our family know how to fix things. It seems like I always have something to fix around the farm. If I didn’t break it, it breaks on its own. 😊

So now I’m able to do all my chores using the cart.

Check out our YouTube Channel

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running AND keep it ad free! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

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Tailspin Farms YouTube Channel

Tailspin Farms YouTube Channel.

Yes, we have a YouTube channel. When I set up the YouTube channel I put it under Margarita Crews. I was just starting to learn about YouTube and wasn’t sure how it all worked. Well, now years later I use it for our farm “Tailspin Farms”. 

I have been making videos of things happing on the farm. How to videos, about my health, and coming soon crafting videos.

Hope you will visit our YouTube channel and like and subscribe to it.

Check out my video talking about our YouTube channel

Thank you so much for stopping by our blog. Hope you come back soon to visit. 

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Margarita & Stace

 

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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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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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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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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