June 30, 2010

Reminder - Handmade Soap Giveaway Ends Today!

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter our handmade soap giveaway! It ends at 11:59pm EST.

June 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Welcome Little Alpaca

For more Wordless Wednesday visit Wordless Wednesday, A Beautiful Mess, and Harriet and Friends.

Recipe of the week -- Tri-Color Pasta Salad

I'll be the first to admit that probably everyone has their own version of this, but I thought I'd pass mine along as a possible inspiration. I had grand plans to put up a great 4th of July recipe. I was going to make it yesterday, photograph it and put it up, but I got just a wee but distracted by this guy.

His momma went into labor early in the afternoon and he was delivered about 4pm. All is well and he's a cute, spunky little thing, but needless to say I did not get my recipe done.

So I'm going with a favorite that I haven't posted before, but happened to have one (not the best) photo of.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

1 lb. tri-color rotini
4 oz. pepperoni (sliced or diced)
1 small can sliced olives
1 cup mozzarella cheese
16 oz. bottle of Italian dressing, divided

Cook the pasta according to the box directions. Make sure not to overcook the pasta. This will make your salad less than tasty. When your pasta is finished cooking drain it and rinse with cold water to cool it off. This will stop the cooking process and make assembling the salad easier.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pepperoni, olives and cheese. Add the cooled pasta.

Add the dressing a little at a time until the pasta looks coated, but not not soupy, about a cup.

Refrigerate until ready to eat. When ready to serve, add more dressing if the pasta looks dry.

This salad is easily customizable. You can add more or less pepperoni, chopped peppers, chopped onions. I have even added cooked salad shrimp before. Yummy!

For more great recipes visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, and Tuesdays at the Table.

June 28, 2010

Welcome to the World Little Peanut!

It's an exciting day here at the farm!! The first alpaca baby of the year was finally born. Our beautiful yet stubborn Lil took 371 days to present us with this wee one. That's a really, really long time. She was actually due back on June 2nd so that will give you an idea of how late she actually was.

We've had a few births here on the farm, but those mommas have always hid far, far away when it became time to deliver and I've missed them. I would leave the barn, come back later and poof! magic baby appearance.

Today was our lucky day. Lil decided to deliver right in front of us. Yippee!

After a brief trip to the library and post office we came home to find Lil in labor. It didn't take long for a little nose to appear. That little nose was wiggling and you could see it breathing. Soooo cute!

Not exactly the way you want those little babies to show up though. The front legs should really have been there too.

We gave her a few more minutes, but soon realized she was going to need just a little bit of help. Jim lubed up and in he went. Um, ewww. I was a good girl and didn't get a bit squeamish while he found the legs kind of folded up by the head. He wiggled them out and not long after out popped baby.

Kind of gooey, but such a cute little thing!

We dried him off and soon enough he figured out how to sit up and then stand.

He doesn't have a name yet, but in the meantime he's just little peanut.

Here's a little video I uploaded that shows him learning to walk.

June 26, 2010

My First Blog Award!!!!

Whohoo!!! Someone likes me!!

Yippee!! My first award came from The Craft Barn Thank you!!

My blogging philosophy, motivation, & experience in 5 words:

The 10 blogs that I'm passing on the award to are:

The Rules:

•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.

•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.

•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

June 25, 2010

Fiber Fun Friday -- Walk a Mile in My Shoes

I am soooo bad. It's already Friday evening and I'm just getting my Fiber Friday post done. Oops.

The reason it's so late is that I've been busy, busy with none other than fiber....oh wait....yarn. Close enough. I've been so busy that I don't even have any good pictures for you, but I can give you a brief recap of my week.

The UPS man arrived last Friday evening with my yarn. Oodles and oodles of beautiful yarns on cones. (think many pounds). These are the yarns that we will be adding to our Etsy shop really soon. As soon as I can skein them and dye them up that is.

Anyway, the man in brown dropped the boxes off. We had dinner and then just as I start to look at my wonderful goodies the power goes off...and stayed off for 61 hours. Grrrrr.

I had planned on spending last weekend working on these yarns since I had other things to do this week. I'm sure I could have gotten inventive and dyed them over an outdoor fire or something like the old days, but, um, no thank you.

I finally got to them on Wednesday and I've been winding the yarn off the cones into skeins and dying them up like mad. I've got tons drying right now and tomorrow the plan is to get them up on Etsy.

The winding off the cones was an interesting adventure. I wanted BIG skeins. Well, not big exactly, but loooong. I'm handpainting a bunch of them with stripes and I wanted long stripes. Do you know how to easily wind up a long string into a 5 yard loop?? I didn't either, but I came up with a low-tech way to get it done.

I measured a piece of yarn 5 yards long. I spread my dining room chairs apart and using the yarn piece I moved them around until one wrap around them was 5 yards.

I then proceeded to unwind the cones by walking around the chairs and wrapping the yarn until I got the desired length. That's a lot of walking. I have now wound nearly 4000 yards. Do you know how many miles that is??? That's about 2.3 miles....in my living room!!

In the past 3 days I have walked more than 2 miles in the same 15 foot circle. I got seriously dizzy a few times too.

So, every time you purchase one of our skeins of yarn remember me walking every single yard of that yarn around my kitchen chairs. :o)

June 24, 2010

Friday Friends and Follows!

Happy Friday! Here's to finding new friends!

Baling Hay

Do you know what an alpaca eats?

Ice cream? Beatles? Chocolate Chip Cookies??

Nope. They eat grass. Lots and lots of grass. And not just any grass. They eat special grass. Not the ordinary lawn grass.

Now, do you know how they eat grass in the winter? And no they don't dig under the snow for it.

The grass they eat in the winter is grass that was cut and bundled up in the summer. The process is called baling. (See def. below)


[beyl] verb, baled, bal·ing.

1. a large bundle or package prepared for shipping, storage, or sale, esp. one tightly compressed and secured by wires, hoops, cords, or the like, and sometimes having a wrapping or covering: a bale of cotton; a bale of hay.

2. a group of turtles.

Okay, hay (grass) had absolutely nothing to do with turtles, but I had no idea that a group of turtles was also called a bale. I learned something today. :o)

Anywho, back to the baling. The whole point is, to feed any animal in the winter you have to "put up" hay. Now whether you do it yourself or buy it is your choice, but we have few fields of hay that give us at least part of our yearly hay needs so we do at least part of it ourselves.

Let me give you an idea of the process.

First the grass has to grow. I know....such a simple thing, but it doesn't always happen the way
you want.

Second...the grass needs to be cut and not with your normal lawn mower because it's really tall. I've lost children at times in these fields they are so tall. Now of course it has to be dry to cut the grass and it's been raining here like crazy lately.

Third...the grass has to stay dry. If you haven't figured it out this requires a few day stretch of non-precipitating days.

If the grass stays dry then it gets raked. That just means that it gets "raked" up into these cute snakelike rows instead of spread all over.

Last, but certainly not least, that raked grass get bundled up into
hay bales by a contraption called...a baler (go figure).

Now all of this may not seem to be to bad, but did you notice a key requirement to these hay bales? They have to be dry. How do you keep grass that's on the ground dry? 90* and sun. Yup, you read that right. A lot of heat and sun.

Working on hay baling is an awful job, but it needs to be done.
Imagine working in the sun in the summer, breaking out in a sweat and that sweat makes you sticky and then the cut grass sticks to you because you are sticky. YUCK! You can not shower fast enough when you're done.

As bad as it is though, I am soooo glad to have that hay up in the barn and at least be somewhat prepared for the winter. I guess I'm following my girl scout roots....Be Prepared!

June 23, 2010

My First Giveaway!!!

I'm sitting here thinking that maybe it's time for my first giveaway. Of course I have absolutely no idea what to give away so here's to self promoting! :o)

I'm going to be giving away three (3) of our handmade soaps.... any scents you want! We have a variety of vegan, organic and all-natural soaps. Lots of fun scents and they are so pretty too. (Okay I'm biased here, but still.....)

The peppermint and vanilla are my faves. Can't wait to hear yours! You can find these and other flavors in our Etsy store.

Here's the rules:

GIVEAWAY~ One lucky reader will win a set of 3 Tomorrow Farm handmade soaps. The winner will choose the scents.


Visit Tomorrow Farm on Etsy and tell me (in the comment section of this post) which scents you'd love to win!

(Please leave a comment with your extra entries)

~Follow my blog, if you already follow let me know (1 entry)
~"Like" Tomorrow Farm on Facebook (1 entry)
~Follow me on Networked Blogs (1 entry)
~Tweet this or Facebook it, let me know (1 entry)
~Grab my button and leave a link in the comments (2 entries)
~Blog about this giveaway and leave a link in the comments (4 entries)

*Please leave your email address in your comment*

Giveaway will end June 30 at 11:59p.m. Open to US residents, 18yo or older. Winner will be chosen using Random.org, notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond.

June 21, 2010

Recipe of the week -- Hobo Marinated Steak

Do you have a go-to summer recipe? One that you run for when company's coming or maybe just because it's really good?

This is mine. We can eat this as much as once a week in the summer and it always gets rave reviews when served to company.

This recipe has been in the family for forever it seems like, but I think it was actually my mom that made this up by modifying another recipe when I was little.

Hobo Marinated Steak
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 boneless steaks (we have used round steak, cubed steak and sirloin...whatever happens to be in the freezer)

Mix the ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic and pepper in a large resealable ziploc bag. Shake to mix well. Add steaks. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Grill as desired.

If you have leftovers (we rarely do), they are good sliced up in stir-fry or salads.

For more great recipes visit Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, and Tuesdays at the Table.

Monday Madness!

I love Monday Madness and today is even better because our power is back on!!!

This is a great way to network your blog. Meet some new bloggers and get some new followers.
I love followers and will follow back.
You can add your blog, facebook or twitter or all 3 if you like to one list. And if you like you can grab the code below so the list will show up on your post. How Fun is that.
Follow the blogs you choose and please leave them a comment so they know you are a new follower.

June 20, 2010

The Power's Still Out.....What To Do?

We have now officially passed the 48 hour mark. Our power has been out the entire weekend. Ugh!

Well, I had to keep the kids entertained somehow so this is what we did.

June 19, 2010

Night #2 of the Great Power Outage of 2010

I am writing this to you tonight in the darkness of my living room. Well, not completely dark since this computer screen is giving off a bit of light. (Thank you laptop and neighbor's wireless internet!).

Now the title may be a bit of an exaggeration, but we are past the 24 hour mark of our power loss with no end in sight. I called the electric company and they are saying that our power should be restored Monday afternoon. Today is Saturday....that's another 48 hours. Grrrr.

It's amazing what you miss when the power is out (flushing toilets) and what you don't (TV). In fact the power went out last night just as I was thinking of taking a shower. Missed that opportunity so I've spent today all stinky and gross. (I know, not an image you really want).

I'm also completely annoyed that I can't get all the things done that I need to get done because I can't use the printer! Maybe this is somebody's cruel way of telling me I need to take a break once in awhile. To that someone....I hear you. Now turn it back on!!


I guess I did have some fun today. I brought the spinning wheel outside where the light was better and spun up some of my new Patriotic batts. They turned out AWESOME!! So pretty! I've also been catching up on the library books I checked out. When I checked those books out, I wasn't sure I'd ever actually read them.

Our neighbors were kind enough to invite us over for dinner and showers. They had a generator running and we grilled out. Oh, did I mention our neighbors are my parents? LOL! Aren't they sweet?

Now I'm sitting here in the dark thinking about what tomorrow may bring and how the heck I'm going to keep the kids from driving me crazy. They think being Amish is boring (their words not mine). I told them I enjoy being a prairie girl, but I still wish I could get some work done.

June 18, 2010

It's Friday Follow Time!

Whohoo! I love Fridays! And not just because it's the weekend.

I love meeting all of my new friends through Friday Follow! Put your feet up, kick back and relax. Enjoy a little glimpse into our farm, homeschool, family, fiber life. Maybe I should add crazy to that list too? :o) Happy Friday!

June 17, 2010

Fiber Fun Friday -- The Quest For the Perfect Brown

I want to make brown dye. Is that too much to ask??

I didn't realize it was going to be such a difficult thing when I started.

First I started by looking online. You can find anything and everything online, or so I'm told. This is what I found...

"Get a color wheel which shows primary (red, yellow, blue), secondary (orange, green, violet). and tertiary (browns, tans, etc.) colors. Mix yellow (primary) and blue (primary) to get green (secondary). Mix green (secondary) and red (primary) to get brown (tertiary). Another way to make brown is to mix orange or red paint with a small amount of black paint. If you need a darker brown add more black. To make a lighter, less saturated brown, ("milk chocolate"), add white."


I guess in theory I get it, but I was looking for something maybe just a little bit more directional.

On to Plan B.

I have the Greener Shades World of Color Dye book (really awesome if you want to dye yarn or fiber). It has pages and pages of dye formulas using Greener Shades Dyes (of course!). There are tons of colors in here, but none of them really looked all that brown. I'm sure it's because these were printed at home rather some professional printer, but I wanted brown!

Oh well. I picked one that looked sort of like brown and mixed it up. It used red, blue and yellow. Actually I realized that almost all of these color formulas used just those 3 colors. I never knew you could make so many shades by just adjusting the ratios.

(I sense a dyeing adventure in my future)

I finished the first one and as it started drying it was looking rather redish. Now as it gets even closer to being dry it looks almost orange. Oops. Next!

Trial #2.

This brown still used those same three dyes as a base, but mixed up the ratios a bit. I'm a math and science geek so this is actually quite fun for me. I'm pretty sure though that most of you won't agree that figuring out percentages and weights is exciting.

Anyway, brown #2 has more potential, but I'm not sure we are quite there yet. {Sigh}

Trial #3 will have to wait until morning.

Now I'm sure by now you are wondering why I want to make a brown dye when alpacas (and sheep for that matter) come in a wonderful shade of brown without any extra work.


I have some beautiful white yarns that have been commercially spun for me. That's great, but once they are spun the only way I'm adding color is to dye them. I've had this color scheme floating around in my head for days and it has brown in it. Hence the brown dilemma.

Since the brown is still a work in progress, I think I'll take a break and go enjoy a piece of my peanut butter pie.

See you soon!

June 14, 2010

Recipe of the week -- Red Rice

Whohoo! This is my 25th recipe post. Pretty good I think since I only do one a week and this poor little blog is only 8 months old. I realized though as I looked back that I've done a lot of main dish type recipes. I think I need more desserts, but then who doesn't need more desserts? :o) Which is your favorite?

Today's recipe is for Red Rice. You know what I'm talking about, right? It's that stuff that comes along with the Mexican food that generally gets ignored. Poor, unimportant rice. :(

Now, I happen to like that rice. It makes a nice addition to the spicier Mexican fare. And rice is healthier, of course. (Don't disturb my delusion, please)

My hubby thinks that by itself, the rice is a little bland. I'll give him that, but like I said, it's nice to have the milder rice when eating spicy burritos or such. I suppose a little cayenne pepper would spice it up a bit if you wanted.

I just made this the other day and served it along side some really yummy cheese and chicken quesadillas. Lots and lots of sour cream and salsa too. Mmmmm.

Red Rice

1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbls. tomato paste
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add rice, chicken broth and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let rice sit, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

For more great recipes visit Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, and Tuesdays at the Table.

June 13, 2010

My Brillant Idea Dinner

It's 9pm and I'm just eating dinner. Hmm, naughty, naughty I think.

It's been one of those weird days where I just stayed too busy to be hungry. Have you ever done that? I even fed the kiddos around 6 and that didn't make me hungry.

But now I'm hungry.

My normal go-to meal when I just need to feed myself is scrambled eggs with stuff. Kind of a scrambled omelet if you get what I mean. It's got to have little hash browns though or it's just not good.

I freaked out when I realized that there weren't any in the freezer. There was not a single bag of little frozen, cubed up hash browns to be found anywhere. I even went so far as to put the eggs and pan away. (I know I'm weird like that if I can't have what I want)

Suddenly it hit me! What about french fries? You know those frozen strips of potatoes disguised as a possible vegetable side dish in the back of the freezer that you don't admit to having and certainly never feeding your children?

I took 4 of them and cut them into cubes. Instant hash browns!! They even looked the same and tasted so yummy. Seriously, there was little difference with the french fries.

So after my mini-crisis (ok, not really) I had a lovely dinner of scrambled eggs, hash browns, ham, chives and cheese. Yum!

June 12, 2010

When the Weather's Hot, the Toys Come Out

It's hot, hot, hot! About 90* and the dew point is around 70. If you can understand that, you know it means that it's absolutely miserable.

So what do you do when it gets that hot? Bring the toys out, of course!

June 11, 2010

Fiber Fun Friday -- Going Batty

Yes, I can occasionally be a little batty, but in this case it's the fibery kind of batts I mean. Not the craziness.

It's been raining here a lot lately. We get one sunny day and things just start to dry out and then it rains for a day or two. Ugh! Seriously, I could use some outdoor time to get some stuff done, but it keeps raining!

Well, since I can't work outside (boo!), I took one of those rainy days and starting making some fiber batts since I was out of spinning material. Let me clarify that....I always have fiber to spin, but whether or not it's in a form I want to spin it in is the question.

Anywho, I started by taking some black alpaca and mixing it with some purple wool I had dyed up and got this.

Oh, for those of you who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about...
I'm taking fiber (in this case from our alpacas) that has been washed and running it through a little thing called a carder. It's like giving the fiber a good hairbrushing. I'm straightening all those little fiber hairs so they go the same direction and compacting them into a "batt". See the picture below. I can then spin yarn from this. Cool, huh?!

Ok, the black and purple turned out so cool that I got inspired to make more....and more.....and more. Hehe. I made so many that I don't know what I'm going to do with them all. I even listed a couple on Etsy. How's that for productive?

(this is about half of the batts I made)

Hey, now I'm wishing for another good rainy day to make more instead of a sunny day. Weird. :o)

Happy Friday!

June 10, 2010

Etsy News! and Friday Blog Hops

Just had to share that our Etsy shop had a huge milestone last night.

We sold 5 items in one day!

Now that may not seem like much, but it sure does make me feel good. Up until now I'd only had one sale on Etsy (although I did sell a couple things "offline" from those listings).

Suddenly our fledgling business seems to actually have some legs to stand on. Whohoo!

If you're hopping by from one of the many Friday Follows, Welcome and we're happy to have you stop by!


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