Nearly Perfect

We had a near perfect weekend here.  Friday rain caused weekend activities to be cancelled, leaving us with a wide open Saturday.  Jonny and the the boys worked on stretching fencing for the goats (a job that will never end) while I took advantage of all the milk we’ve been storing up these past two weeks.  Miss Greta has begun to behave much more nicely about milking and is giving us about twice what we need to feed Tilly each day.  The girls and I carefully weighed and froze a bunch of it end of last week, with plans for me to make soap with it.  Saturday morning after some knitting on a new indigo dyed sweater project (because I only had three projects on the needles and needed another) I set up outside to try soap making using a recipe from this book.  All went well, and with the exception of the fact that the bars I ended up with are a funny size (improvised mold that wasn’t ideal) I think I made a bunch of usable soap!  Who cares how it looks?

I also made chevre with fresh basil, and dyed a couple of skeins of yarn with a bagful of ferns my girls brought home from the woods, in hopes that they would, “Make a color.”  They did, a beautiful lettuce like spring green.

Jonny finally had the opportunity to open up our hives and see what’s going on with our bees.  I sat on the hill and watched from a distance, knitting in hand, while he shouted reports.  The news was mixed, some hives doing well and making honey, the hive that we split in an effort to prevent from swarming about a month ago is nearly dead, and one hive is getting ready to swarm any day now (They can go right ahead, we’re not interfering this time.)  We still have high hopes for honey this year, even though all isn’t going as we planned (With bees, it never does!)

The rain has returned this Monday morning.  It seems like it’s always raining lately.  I’m grateful for the beautiful Saturday and Sunday we had tucked in between downpours.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!


  1. Ginny
    Thought you and Jonny would be interested in this beehive
    you simply turn the tap and the honey flows out

  2. Ginny
    Thought you and Jonny would be interested in these beehives
    simply you turn the tap and the honey comes out

  3. The soap will be wonderful, regardless of shape. 😀

  4. It sounds like a lovely weekend! Delaware has been drowning in rain too, but we had a [mostly] clear weekend as well. The fern dyed yarn is beautiful.

  5. I love that yarn! We had three dry days in a row, I think we were all confused on what to do? go for a walk? sit in the sun? Unfortunately the allergies are really really bad for my husband (asthma) and so being outside is not as much fun as it should be!!

  6. Sounds like a lovely, productive, home-y weekend.

  7. If you freeze the goats milk in ice cube trays & then plastic bags – you can add the lye right to it without defrosting and it works perfectly. It really does make the best soap! Headed to feed bees here in a bit….. hoping the split I made produced a queen of their own. Still early in the season here for that, so we’ll see. You are right, you never can tell with bees!

    • I hope you get a queen! I’ve been weighing the milk in those freezer bowls (in the amount my recipe calls for), and when I made the soap I just dumped them in the pot and chopped them a bit before adding the lye. I think it worked allright, but I have nothing to compare it too since it was my first go! Wish you were here guiding me along!!

  8. Susan M says:

    Hi Ginny! Happy Belated Mother’s Day! LOVE the soft green yarn! Had a great Mother’s Day here in Ohio…one of my nieces surprised my Mom because she was up here from North Carolina for a few days….Nice Mother’s Day….(got your note in the mail……glad you like everything…)

  9. It can be kind of lovely when plans don’t work out! At least, the introvert in me thinks so!! More time to do projects. I am, as ever, delighted and inspired by your constant resourcefulness and creativity. Love it!

  10. Nicola says:

    I love your blog it isn’t in your face selling and the pictures are beautiful. We spent this weekend at a cherry orchard in Kent where we rent a tree. Their bees were busily going about the blossoms joined by commercial bumblebees and it was lovely. It doesn’t always rain in England!

  11. Do you leave an empty hive available for when they swarm? Lemongrass scent can attract them straight into a new hive rather than having to go through rigmarole of catching them first?

    • Typically we have at least one empty hive out. Right now we have one with fully drawn comb sitting on our back porch. And we have also set up swarm traps with the lemongrass oil. But our bees never take the bait! They also tend to land way high in trees so that catching them is often impossible… Sigh.

  12. Melissa N says:

    Lovely photos (as always). Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend, Happy Mother’s Day to you ;o)

  13. Sounds so wonderful Ginny – we had a very simple productive weekend as well. Goat milk soap is next on our homesteading list – so thank you for the inspiration!
    What are those beautiful flowers in the last picture?
    Enjoy and rest!

  14. Such soothing and beautiful scenes.

  15. Oh, I need to make soap again. I did 6 batches in 2014 before moving and we are just starting to use the last of it. It really is so nice to have your own soap. I use silicone molds and PVC pipes. I really like the pipes – it makes wonderful, circular bars. The 3.5″ pipe is the best size for adults. The 2.5″ is great for kids hands.

  16. Your weekend sounds perfect to me Ginny and I’m glad you had some clear weather.
    I love, love, love the green fern yarn!

  17. lovely report! always lots going on, nice that you all were able to make so many things! I think the goat milk soap will be lovely, the shape will mean ‘real, homemade’ … an ‘original’! Nothing wrong with that! 🙂

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