Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wedding Day... First Look

We are continuing to recap my wedding from earlier this year, mostly in photos taken by Misty Dameron Photography
We chose to do a first look after talking to many fellow brides, photographers, much research, and discussion. This is a trend I hope is here to stay. Some of my favorite pictures from our day came from the special moments we shared here. 
Eric and I are explorers and adventurers which is why we got married and are growing homesteaders! Weeks before we had been hiking and found an enchanted forest, green in the early days of winter. Barring the snow we secretly hoped for, it would be a perfect meeting place. On the day of, I got lost with the photographers and barely made it in time, but my love waited the extra hour and a half.
 It was worth it. 



Eric and I are traditionalists, but we are also more reserved in front of the many people we knew would be at our wedding. Our first choice was a small family wedding, but that wasn't an option, so we chose to share a few private moments before the wedding and two receptions. It was perfect. 






We met the wedding party and took a few pictures before heading to the wedding.





Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wedding Day... The Bride & Her Maids Get Ready!

I thought I'd recap the wedding in a few posts, mostly of photos, so you can see what kept me away from writing for 8 months. Besides, it's fun for me to go back and look at all these and journal a bit about the big event.

This particular post is all about the bride and bridesmaids. We had a LOT of fun making their morning special as they pampered themselves a bit and prepared to look gorgeous... which they did!

One of our bedrooms was converted into a dressing suite... complete with matching monogrammed dressing robes! These were packaged in black bags that looked like chalkboard and then were hand decorated with white chalk ink pens.










On the big day the girls filled up the room with laughter and anticipation.



















Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blackberry Pie! Oh, My!

Blackberries are ripe and harvest has commenced... joy from the fruit of the vine and thankful to the Giver of all good things.


Recipe can be found HERE. I substituted some arrowroot for the flour to thicken it up just a wee bit.

Amy




Sunday, May 11, 2014

Brite Tap Chicken Waterer

I've waited quite some time to write a review of the Brite Tap Chicken Waterer because I wanted to really give it a spin and "kick-the-tires" so to speak. It's one thing to try something once or twice or for a day or two... it's an entirely different matter to use it for an extended period of time and still be happy with the product.

I couldn't be more pleased!!

My family has tried just about every imaginable chicken waterer on the market and not one of them has kept the water clean, nor have they been low maintenance. Honestly, we had resorted to a feed bucket filled to the brim for the hens because at least we could quickly dump it on a plant, wipe it out, and refill it. All the other waterers meant taking them apart, scrubbing the tray AND the reservoir, trying not to drop it while we carried it back, etc. Even if it had a reservoir, because it was gravity fed into a tray, muck seemed to get in there and contaminate the water. Totally frustrated, we assumed a basic bucket was as good as it was going to get.

Then I came across the Brite Tap. Reading about the design, I thought it HAD to be an improvement over what we were using. And theoretically, it might actually be a home run. So I contacted Mark, the designer and owner of Brite Tap and got ahold of his product and whisked it out to the chicken coop.


I introduced it to the adult "girls" first to see how they like it...


Too excited to hang it or do anything fancy, I just stuck it on whatever surface was available... an extra nesting box. Within a minute they had to investigate. No coaching needed, these gals knew this produced the good stuff... cool clean water. They were lining up for a turn at the water cooler.



The height seemed just about right at 22 inches off the floor.


Right now several of you may be thinking "yeah, I tried using nipples on a bucket but the water got horribly dirty on the surface, almost like mold, due to dust in the coop and other debris". I know... happened to me time and time again. Plus, I had a terrible time refilling those buckets with the nipples on the bottom because you couldn't set them down ANYWHERE or you would ruin the nipples.

Mark solved that with the Brite Tap. The nipples are attached to a little enclosed mini-tank that is attached to the front (not the bottom) of your container.



And just in case it gets dirty for some weird reason, those red plugs on the side come out so you can get in there and give it a gentle scrubbing. Oh, and since it's clear, you can see if there's water in the cooler or not, but I find that by lifting it a bit, I can judge if it's getting low on water or not. Seems like we refill ours about ever 3 days for 5 hens - give or take depending on heat, etc.

After filling the cooler, you just pop open the vent (see photo below) and tilt it forward so the water runs into the clear mini-tank and fills it up. Then hang or set it on a surface with the mini-tank and nipples extended beyond the edge.



Next I tried the Brite Tap with our new chicks. Sorry I don't have a photo of that, but trust me... it took them only seconds to figure out the system. I set it up on a cement cinder block for now, but as they grow, we'll raise it up to fit their needs. Let me just say it again... It's SO CLEAN!!!!

Most of the time, we just use a watering pail to fill the tank, but after about a month, it gets dusty on the outside so I'll just give the whole thing a quick hose down, rinse it out good, and start again. No scrubbing, just the blast from the hose takes care of it (they've yet to climb on it and poop on the cooler... hope it stays that way!).

Just a few other side notes...

• You can find out more about Brite Tap Chicken Waterers, including care instructs, set up videos, cleaning supplies, and FAQs, right HERE.
• Brite Tap is sold with or without the cooler, so if you have your own, you can possibly retro-fit it with the waterer.
• Mark has a great chicken blog HERE and has a new app for both iPhone and Android (see HERE).

This is a 5 STAR product friends! No fudging... it does what it says. I'm saving my dollars to buy a second one because I often keep my flock in two separate groups. Now if I can just get Mark to design a goat waterer that works as well as this one, I'd be the happiest homesteader both sides of the Mississippi!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Welcome to the Myers

My beautiful Staub casserole dish, kitchen utensils, and a spice rack for pegboard
         My excuse for not writing -  being a newlywed
        
         No apologies.

        This is my home. We have a two bedroom apartment in the middle of the Tehachapi Mountains. I love it. 
        
         My husband and I are getting things done. I have an idea; he goes to Home Depot. One day he came home and there were dozens of tiny green sticky notes all over. I had been Pinteresting. 

        Spellcheck may say its not a word, but we know it is an active verb.



         I took my inspiration from Julia Child's kitchen. Ever since Meryl Streep graced the screen with her onion mincing and crying, I knew she was my hero. Julia Child, not Meryl Streep.
         
         Eric took me to out to HomeDepot and had them cut industrial pegboard to size, while I dreamily looked at pegs. 

         When we got home, Eric used wall anchors to mount the nails, putting in a nut to space the pegboard out from the wall. Besides the four corners, he braced the middle, so it can hold my Les Creuset Dutch Oven. 



         Organizing my kitchen has never been so easy, all I had to do was have my husband dry and put away while I wash. Instead of putting all the utensils in one jar, he dashed out of the room to grab the hooks.

        He also used screwdriver holders for our molinillos, Mexican hot chocolate whisks.

        I took the racks we picked up and use the small ones for spices, medium for Ball jars with utensils, and the large ones for pot lids and napkins.


          As an after thought we put up invisible bookshelves for our cookbooks and travel guides which had been lining the counter. All we needed was two L-brackets per shelf, more wall anchors, and Velcro pieces.

         After mounting the brackets at level, we tacked a small piece of Velcro to the back inside cover of a hard cover book and the other on the bottom of the bracket. The trick is spacing out the Velcro evenly on the book, so that it matches the bracket. The perfect distance is about 6 inches between the brackets.


      As a last note, I pulled out all of the odd shaped dishes, large pots, and my cheese grater and hung them on an overhead pot rack. My husband has to duck and weave to get the coffee pot in the morning, but he wants to be in fighting shape. 

      We still have a lot to do, but that's part of the fun. We are learning to conserve space, reduce clutter, and build a home together.  







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