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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's Lens (07/30/14)

We'll begin today's adventure with some images of Belle and Mia enjoying an afternoon frolic in the woods, and then travel to the barn and back. Come on along, and don't forget your raisins for the goats; they love raisins for treats!

As always, if you’d like to comment on individual photos, please visit the Today’s Lens Photo Library.

Mia is an adventuresome soul! She got all four feet on this log before it fell over. She quickly shook it off and moved on to the next adventure.

Making fun of the chickens!

"Hi, I'm Mia. Want to play?"

Belle took the much more conservative approach.

"Woo Hoo! Log pile!!"

She is so surefooted and agile. She had a lot of fun on this stack of wood.

And, a lot of fun just jumping out...

...and back into their pen.

"So much good food out here, huh, Mia?"

Belle loves little green apples. Fortunately, there aren't many on the ground yet so I don't have to worry that she's getting too many. I'll have to get to them before her in the fall though!

My mother's echinacea (cone flower) is growing great this year; tall and proud.

And the bees love it.

Which is good, because I love taking pictures of the bees!

Our little chicks are getting their wing feathers already. Boy, do these little guys eat a lot!

We'll end with the community Rosinweed flower. Two bees and a fly were visiting when we--by we, I mean my trusty companion Harlee and I, though sometimes she scares more pictures away than I get--passed by.

I hope you enjoyed today’s journey. Please, join me again next time for more Today’s Lens.

Thanks for viewing!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Today's Lens (07/28/14)

Once again, I have let images build up on my camera. But, good news! I went through them today! Our journey today will take us through the dust and the rain, the clouds and the sunshine. Join me, won't you?

As always, if you'd like to comment on individual photos, please visit the Today's Lens (07/28/14) Photo Library.

The swat team. The ponies are lined up using each other as fly swatters to keep the flies off of their faces.

This king fisher has been hanging around the bridge with a buddy, but I was only able to find this one with the camera.

This black-winged damselfly was really neat looking with the sun shining on its iridescent body.

The butternuts are growing good this year.

And, so is baby Ivy B! This little goat is so much fun to watch.

And she's growing like a weed. This is Ivy with her mama, Ann.

And here she is with her Aunt Muffin. We're patiently waiting for Muffin to have her kids too - soon we hope!

Ivy and Shadow. Not long after I snapped this picture, Ivy bounced up to Shadow inviting him to play, but he was not interested. He gave a quick snarl and dashed away.

This is our adorable little Bullwinkle (Wink). I can't stand how cute he is!!!

Just look at that face! 

The rush is on! No, not for gold, but for dinner. Molly takes the lead...

Followed closely by April...

Randy, Riley, and Bandit brings up the rear.

A quick peek at Honey before she comes in for dinner.

And then we'll hang out and wait for them all to finish dinner. Harlee and Shadow are barn buddies.

Not really sure why this caught my eye, but it did, so I'm hoping it catches your's as well.

The clouds took on that heavy feel of a storm.

And they didn't disappoint. Caught this rain drop coming in for a landing on one of the walkway stones.

The storms just kept coming; this is round number three, or four, or five--I lost count.

But we'll end with a little piece of sunshine. Every time I've tried to plant sunflowers in the past, something ate them before they could bloom.

This time, I didn't plant them (most likely the birds did), and they're doing great! Go figure.

I hope you enjoyed our journey on this rainy Monday. Please, join me again next time for more Today's Lens.

Thanks for viewing!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

All Natural Lip Balm

Although it took me a while to get the recipe exact, Brookvalley Farm's all natural lip balm is not a complicated product to make. For anyone who might be interested in the process, I've detailed it below. Of course, I didn't include my recipe (I can't give it all away), but if you are interested in trying it for yourself, conducting a quick web search will yield you a lot of information and places to get started. I'd be more than happy to help you out as well, just drop me an email: laura@brookvalleyfarmpa.com.

Here we go...

The equipment: A scale that measures in pounds and ounces (very important that you can measure ounces precisely), lip balm tubes and caps (this recipe will yield 10-12 tubes), a spoon for measuring out the olive oil (at room temperature it's solid), a small measuring cup for flavoring oil, a Pyrex measuring cup for melting and blending (this needs to be heat resistant because it will also act as the top of a double boiler), something to stir the mixture with (I like to use one of my glass coffee stirrers), and a small pot.

The ingredients: Olive oil, beeswax, castor oil, flavor oil.

Mix all but the flavor oil in the Pyrex measuring cup and melt double boiler style over low heat, stirring constantly. 

The coconut oil will melt first, but keep stirring until the beeswax is melted and well combined.

Remove the oil/beeswax mixture from the heat, and stir a few more minutes to cool it down a bit.

Add the flavoring oil if using, and mix well to combine.

Now for the tricky part - pouring it into those little tubes. I crafted a quick jig using a scrap piece of wood. This recipe makes 10-12 tubes (usually 11), so I always have at least that many ready to go. The mixture sets up fairly quickly, so you don't want to waste much time during this step. Of course, if it does get too thick too quickly, you can always return it to the water and re-melt it.

After the tubes are all filled, cap them, and put them in the refrigerator to firmly set.

Add labels and shrink wrap to protect your product, and voila! Your own, homemade, all natural lip balm!

Enjoy! Or, if you're not up to taking on the task yourself, stop over at the Brookvalley Farm Store and let us do it for you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today's Lens (07/16/14)

Sometimes it feels like months go by, when in reality it's only been a few days. There's not much content in today's Today's Lens, but some of these have been on my camera for a while so I figured it was time to upload them and share. There's a bit of a lyrical theme today. Sing along with me.

As always, if you'd like to comment on individual photos, please visit Today's Lens (07/16/14) Photo Library.

"And we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun..." Late night after grading and the moon in the fog in the trees looked so good that I went back inside, grabbed my camera, and headed back out. 
(07/09/14 - 11:33 PM)

Saturday's Super Moon had me singing CCR. "There's a bad moon on the rise..." 
(07/12/14 - 08:40 PM)

Still singing: "I see a bad moon arisin', I see trouble on the way..."
(07/12/14 - 8:43 PM)

Our little baby Ivy B (named by my little cousins (Ruby and Zinnia: Ivy) and my nephew (Cole: Butterfly) is doing really well. She's been out playing in the pasture, taking in the scenery, and telling everyone, 
"I'm gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me..."
(07/12/14 - 8:30 AM)

"Come on Mom! 
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh, girls they want to have fun..."
(07/15/14) - 1:13 PM)

Neche enjoying the "Green, green grass of home."
(07/15/14 - 4:07 PM)

This isn't actually a Morning Glory, but it's in the family. Come on, sing it with me:
"Glory days, well they'll pass you by
Glory days; in the wink of a young girl's eye.."
(07/16/14 - 7:26 AM)

"Good morning Moon, love, how you doin'?"
If you haven't heard it, check it out here; it's kind of cute:  Good Morning Moon
(07/16/14 - 8:10 AM)

I hope you enjoyed our journey. Please, join me again next time for more Today's Lens.

Thanks for viewing!