Garden-wise November was a really slow month. It was pretty much the leftovers of gardening and on top of that the chickens were molting and hardly laying at all. In spite of these complaints the garden (and the chickens) produced 15.5 lbs of food. So far the urban homestead in 2009 has produced 685.3 lbs. Naturally this doesn't include all the soap and that sort of thing, this is just the food garden and the chickens.
I's such a sucker for pictures of our cat. Isn't she sweet? We're home for Thanksgiving. Later today we decorate for Christmas. I love being with my family. Right now they are out taking a walk around the lake and I'm staying home cooking. I miss the kids who can't be here today. BUT they will all be here for Christmas!!!!!!
I'm tired. I've been labeling soap most of the afternoon. In a lot of ways that's my favorite part of the business. I usually find a documentary on netflix and waste an afternoon labeling. Today I put together the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle soap and the Chocolate Panda soap. Two of my very favorites. I guess I'm just a sucker for the chocolate smells.
On a family note my 3rd son is home for the Thanksgiving holiday. It's so good to have him here. More politics were discussed in the first hour he was here than in the past few months put together. I guess that's why he's a studying political science-- he's actually interested in that sort of thing.
I decided I was eating too much and committed to not eat between meals. I know this sounds way too simplistic, but it is amazing how much of a difference it makes in my eating habits. I've already lost a few pounds. I like simple solutions to problems. This may sound sort of dumb but it sure is a major step for me.
OK, I've taken the plunge and announced a HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE on December 5th for Hodgson's Homestead. I'll have the soaps and beauty products and hand spuns on display all over the living room. It should be really festive with the house all decorated for Christmas. I've never done anything like this before, it should be fun. Please come! It's an open house, so just drop by and visit, see the new stuff, buy some stocking stuffers. I'll have some gift baskets made up, too. Bring the kids, I'll have a corner for them to play in. There will be some little yummy treats to help the holiday spirit. (How many days do I have to get ready for this??????)
I was asked to make a "boy" cake. I was thinking of making some aliens. I was conferring with my best cooking helper, my daughter, and she drew a picture of Godzilla fighting aliens. I dropped the aliens, but kept just about everything else about her drawing.
I get a kick out of living off the fat of the land. Yesterday I picked up some bales of straw (for the chickens) that someone had just set out "free." I'll be going back today to get more. I can only fit five bales into our mini-van at one time, but there are stacks and stacks available for the taking. People use straw as decorations around Halloween and then want to get rid it of immediately afterward. AND the same day one of the ladies at the farmer's market had some soap supplies she no longer wanted and gave them to me for a very good price. So in this case it is literally the FAT of the land. Shea butter, avocado oil, that sort of fat.
I really haven't decided how far I want to take this soap making. It is sucking up my life but I do get a kick out of running my own business. I have several opportunities to make this business bigger, but that would mean giving it more of my life. I haven't had time to do much else other than make soap over the summer (meaning no sewing). Still, I want to be able to continue to experiment and learn how to make more beauty products and soaps. I finally came up with an absolutely perfect facial lotion, that took several attempts. I want to keep experimenting. I'm still having fun with this. Somebody has to buy this stuff or I can't keep making it.
Total for the 2009 (as of end of October)-- 669.8 lbs
Half the chickens are molting, they aren't laying many eggs, but we are still getting some. I won't be getting much produce from the garden for the rest of the year. So the year's total isn't going to get much bigger.