Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Much Ado About Cluckin’


So I wanted to share some recent Etsy favorites with you guys – especially in time for Christmas ordering.

But when I stumbled across a link to this shop, I knew a picture and a link wouldn’t do it justice.


Y’all… this lady dresses up her chickens.


I mean, is that not ridiculously awesome, or what?


Let me start from the beginning.  Remember the dove that crash landed our porch?



A local wildlife rescue took it in.  In keeping up with news about their organization, I saw a post about this:



I blinked a couple of times before I realized that my eyes were indeed seeing a Hawaiian hen.

Who apparently has multiple personalities…









(anybody else go straight to “he’s an angry elf”?)






Ms. Natalee and I got to talking about her Etsy shop, Much Ado About Cluckin’ and she was kind enough to humor me with some details.

I asked her how her shop got started, and what made her think of giving her chickens such an awesomesauce wardrobe?


It all started out as an amusement for myself literally a few weeks ago. A friend sent a picture of a bearded chicken (we have two bearded chickens here the Easter Egger and our Salmon Faverolle) wearing a gnome costume, and I thought 'why not?'

I am a pretty ridiculous crafter, I create a new giant paper mache costume for each Procession of the Species so I am no stranger to 'strange' crafts. My first chicken costumes were created to represent our chicken's names, Hen Solo, Princess Lay-A, Cluck3PO, ChewBAWKa, and Yolko Ono.

You might have gathered 1. that we love Star Wars in this family and 2. We love a good pun (although I obviously named my chicken outside of the Star Wars theme so the pun won out).

I created them to take pictures then those pictures made other people laugh so much I decided to start the shop for those crazy enough to bedazzle their chickens but also to create a calendar to use the goofy for good.


That calendar is $15, with proceeds going toward three separate animal charities: For Heaven’s Sake Animal Rescue, Feline Friends, and Tucker’s Fund (an emergency veterinary fund).


I was, y’know, curious about how the chickens do with the costumes.  I mean, I half expected some kind of dog-with-a-cone response, but it sounds like they tolerate it just fine in exchange for treats!


I forgot to mention that the girls don't necessarily like all the costumes, some of them are heavier and were done more for the calendar, the lighter ones don't really bug them but I never let them too far with them on. After all is said and done they get oatmeal and pancakes for their good work. So they still come running when I walk out the back door and for me I think that means that they are okay with being dressed up on occasion :)



Now – back to the important thing… did you catch their names?!?!


50,000 OnceUponAmiracle points for those who recall a certain Star Wars fan in our household!



He is going to be thrilled to see the rest of the gang in her shop!





Cluck 3PO





Princess Lay-A and Hen Solo

and of course, Princess Lay-A and Hen Solo




See why I was swooning?


Now… if I could just supersize an Obi-Wan Kona-bi one for my girl…



(here’s what she thinks of that)





Sunday, November 17, 2013

{you} clean up nice



Remember my handsome husband?

We finally got a new specialist.  Who immediately laid out an anti-cancer diet to fight off those bad cells and hopefully give him some energy back.

This meant an end to those nightly ice cream bowls.



A painful end.



Then the doc started using weird words like quinoa and talking about how he has brown rice and raw nuts for breakfast.



And in short, we can’t have dairy or grains or red meat and our diet needs to be mostly vegetables.  Organic, of course.

No milk, no butter, no cream, no yogurt, no ice cream, no sour cream, no cream cheese, no salad dressing with cream.  No wheat, no grains, no gluten, no pasta, no bread.  One egg a day.  12 ounces of red meat a week.  And soy substitutes are full of estrogen = bad for men.

I was doing okay until he said:






Mr. Daddy gulped, half-laughed at my reaction.

Then the doc said,








So now I pretty much want to do this to anyone moaning over their Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook.




But in the process of learning about the junk we’ve been putting into our bodies (I promise, we’re not all granola about stuff… we’re hardcore bad-for-you-food-eaters about some things), it intersected with some other changes we’d been making over the past year.


Do you know what your body’s largest organ is?


It’s your skin.


You can bet your sweet bippy that the stuff we’re putting on it is getting absorbed into our bodies at some point.


This is not a sponsored post – this is a post about how we did something better for our bodies that ultimately ended up saving us some change$$$.  I can’t stand it when people get all preachy on me – so take it from a convert who is all about cheap and easy.

When you live out in the country with lots of this:






…you also have a fair amount of laundry.


I thought I was doing pretty good by getting the “gentle” detergents, and later the natural softener and dryer sheets.


tidesoftenerdryer sheets(click on pictures for links to Amazon pricing)

I had no idea what kind of chemical mess I was putting into my clothes until articles like this started popping up online and pretty much scaring the snot out of me.


So I went looking for some truly natural detergent on Etsy.  Because y’know, I’m all about EASY.  And if I can’t even follow recipes in the kitchen, you would see me on the 5 o’clock news with a hazmat team if I tried to do THIS! 


I’ll admit – I was a total doubter.  This stuff only takes a 1/2 tablespoon?  Or a full tablespoon for a really dirty load?

Until the day my booger got “washable” paint on his brand new shirt.

And it had gone through a good 10 washings with my usual detergent and some mega stainlifters.  It was one of those “I gave up” things – it was a shame to throw it away.

Except, I washed it with this new stuff ONCE, and the stain was gone.


So I decided to do the math.  Because let’s be honest… even if it takes the same amount of TIME, some decisions come down to the dollars.

What we were spending on about 300 loads/year:

$53.88 detergent

$64.71 softener

$27.75 dryer sheets

= $146.34 per year


And now?

That natural detergent from Etsy was $54.30 for six bags.  We truly do get about 50 loads from each package.

We also converted to a vinegar/water mix for a softener.  But y’know, I just put the mixture into my cute Mrs. Meyer’s bottle and no one is the wiser (except for y’all).  And who doesn’t have a cute squirrel by all their laundry supplies?



So breaking down the cost of 300 loads with our “new” healthy way?

$54.30 for the natural detergent (including shipping)

$15.00 for a 3 bottles of vinegar

and oops, I forgot dryer sheets!


Except… instead of dryer sheets that I’d have to throw away, I finally invested in some felted wool dryer balls.

dryer balls


These were $40.80 including shipping.  Big investment.  Except, I’ll never have to buy dryer sheets again.

So the total for our green laundry gear is $110.10 per year.

Not seeing where we’re saving serious $$ ?  The dryer balls last 8+ years.  So this next year, the cost difference will be:

Chemical products = $146.34

Green products = $69.30


But get this.  We’re saving money on the fact that it’s such a good stainbuster that we rarely need to pretreat.  And the dryer balls reduce drying time – so I was saving a good 10+ minutes of electricity every load.  (Holy smokes… that’s 50 hours every year).

I’ll be honest with you.  My favorite things about the dryer balls is the fact that I keep finding them in random places.  Can you see where they ended up in Boog’s ultra-cute undies?


(what does the FOX say?!)


I love Etsy.  And these women were super kind when I asked if they had any discount codes for Miracle readers.

Green Bubbles is offering a 10% discount with the code: FALL10

You can find Green Bubbles here on Facebook, and on Twitter.

The detergent comes in eight different scents. 

*Peppermint Scented
*Sweet-Orange Scented
*Lemongrass Scented
*Lavender Scented
*Clean Sheets
*Tahitian Vanilla
*Baby Powder

I can vouch for the Sweet Orange and Tahitian Vanilla.  Trust me, there was not a HINT of elk estrus left on my husband’s hunting gear!


And for those dryer balls (that are also conveniently fun to throw as mega bombs during Nerf Wars ahem):

berry bog

Bog Berry will hook you up!

(Oh my word – don’t you love those anchor ones?  She does them custom!)

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her Bog Berry website.


She’s created a special code for you guys! ONCEUPON10 for 10% off!


Her fella has his own shop of hand carved beauties.  This scoop would be sweet for that jar of detergent!



You can pick it up at Ember Handcraft.

(psst:  with the code FORESTFRIEND for 10% off!)


As always, we’ll be back with more Etsy favorites in time for Christmas shopping.  That $$$ I’m saving on laundry ought to come in handy Winking smile



Now… back to stain-making…





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

not feeling the love, ma



So my mom… is TEXTING.


Which is all kinds of awesome.


It’s pretty much a dream for a deaf family member to be able to have rapid-fire responses to critical questions like:


Okay, I totally screwed up the sauce.  Define a “little” cornstarch?


You know my grey plaid pants?  They make my butt look big, right?




What I love about my mom is that she ends every text the same way she ends a conversation in real life.

I love you.


Except… for some blasted reason, when she tries to type a smiley afterward, it sometimes comes out like this:

I love you H0






Methinks it’s time for a conversation.


ho ho ho




Saturday, November 02, 2013

Bubba, Boog, Bunnies, and Babies



Bubba is the cousin who lives next door.  He and Boog fight like brothers, but have a fierce friendship.


Their conversations are always enlightening…



cousins2 IMG_6361


Bubba: My mom says boy rabbits have babies.


Boog: Nuh-UH! No they don’t! Only GIRL rabbits have babies!


Bubba: Nuh-UH! My mom SAID!


Boog: Only girl rabbits have babies, right mom?


Me: Yep.


Bubba: My mom said.


Me: A special kind of rabbit?


Bubba: Yes, the ones with floppy ears. Boy rabbits with floppy ears have babies.


You learn something new every day.


(especially when 6-year olds are involved)




lop eared rabbit


Sorry pal, get ready for the wonders of childbirth…