Monday, December 6, 2010

Scrub a dub dub soaking in the tub... or someone that bought my scrubs are.

On top of having 5 kids, a dog, 10 rabbits in my rabbitry...some of whom are pregnant, a job, a blog, gardening, composting, and baking, Ebay business, I have decided to get a hobby. I have always wondered how women start there own business, and was certain I did not have any good ideas.

 I began making salt and sugar scrubs for my husband during the winter because his skin would get so dry he would itch constantly. So to save my arm from falling off from all the back scratching I made a home made sugar scrub, and it worked wonderfully. The result: smooth soft skin that was moisturized for days. YEAH!

Well, recently my church had it's annual Christmas Bazaar, so I decided to make and sell my home made salt and sugar scrubs, bath salts and powders. The first day I did one was interested, but the next day I placed some samples scrubs in the bath room, and it was a hit. People were able to try my product and realize how wonderful they worked. I did well enough I decided to participate in another bazaar. I woke up excited and ready to go, just to walk out into the SNOW....why Ohio? Why do you have the most ironic weather on earth? Sunny and beautiful and boom snow, and anyone that has ever visited Dayton OH in the rain or snow knows people don't drive well at all, like it's something new they have never seen before. So they just don't get out.

My friend Angie and I had a great time eating soup (10 different flavors...mmm mmm good) and socializing. I was able to make a little money but not what I had hoped. But God has always got a plan, the woman next to me invited to make baskets of my products and sell them at a Quarter Auction.
What a blast. If you have never been, it's great. I was able to actually make money for my products and my husband won a massage all in the same day. Talk about fabulous.

I have decided to name my company Melody of Hope after my beautiful daughters who help me make my products. It's good family time, and helps put a little extra in our pockets for things we need around the house.

I am excited to do another quarter auction, and get my name out there. Who knows between a rabbitry, and hobby maybe I can make a little extra money.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Digging In the City (my experience in homesteading in the city): Ahh The Holidays...have wore me out already

Digging In the City (my experience in homesteading in the city): Ahh The Holidays...have wore me out already

Ahh The Holidays...have wore me out already

Ok, so doing it the home made way takes a little more gusto than just going to the store, buying a pie and popping it in the oven. I found a great deal on sweet potatoes, and bought 50lbs...yes I said 50, thinking what a great save. I can make the pies I need and ...freeze some for christmas pies.
I made 10 delicious Sweet Potato pies, and stayed up all night the night before Thanksgiving just making the crust and pies filling from scratch. I was so tired that I decided to transport the pies to Indianapolis and bake them in the hotel oven when we got there. Well needless to say it sounded good, and it worked, but I REALLY should have started these pies earlier. All in all they were a success at the cost of my sleep though.
So what about the other 25lbs of sweet potatoes? you ask. There still in the fridge. Yep, I was so exhausted after our trip, because our car battery died, so we called AAA, then we still had to pick up some rabbits in South Indianapolis for our rabbitry, and go see family on the way out...we didn't get home till 11:30 Friday night. Our plan was to be home at 3. Ooops. hahaha such is life.

One lovely concoction came up in my effort to get rid of some of my sweet potatoes though. It's a delicious treat if you want something sweet, but good for you (hard to come by these days.) It's a twist on a roasted potato fries recipe I make. It's a little gooey, but so good hot or cold. You'll see I'm not a cook book author when you read my recipe, but it's easy to follow.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries w/ maple syrup

4 Sweet Potatoes cut into strips (skin on or off)
2 tbls. Olive Oil
1/4 c. Maple Syrup
Pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg or Pumpkin Spice
1/4 c. Demera Sugar (or what ever you have)

Set oven to 450 degrees, cut sweet potatoes into strips or wedges, place in a bowl and drizzle olive oil, maple syrup, mix in spices and sugar. Toss until all the potatoes are covered, add more if desired.
Place on cookie sheet, and bake for 35 min. If you want crispier fries, only toss in olive oil and add the maple syrup, sugar and spices after they have baked.

I served this with Turkey burgers and corn, and snacked on the fries the next day. My son who is a junk food junkie loved them, and ate a bunch, but I didn't mind cause it was good for him.  Happy Holidays.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is Wicked Witch is under there?

So craigslist has an array of things for those who are looking, and I was so blessed to find a Free Shed! I thought how wonderful, I could put my rabbits in there instead of the garage. I contacted the woman, and went over to look at it with my husband in tow. Didn't look bad, hand built, didn't look heavy ....we'll take it.
So the next day we rented a trailer from a reputable rental company, got a couple of people my husband knew, and headed over there. We had the time of our life getting this thing on the trailer. First we couldn't even get into the back yard, we had to unhook the trailer and 4 of us pulled it through the gate. Then we all heave hoed it onto the trailer, and pulled every muscle out of our back imaginable.
Well apparently it was taking to long so my husbands friends ditched us, so we were left with me, my husband, the owner who is disabled, and her son, who had a cracked rib. YEAH! Haha.
We managed to tip it on its roof, to fit it onto the trailer so it wouldn't fly away. We had no tail lights, and it was now 6:30 and dark, so the lady had to follow us home.
I have never been so tired in my LIFE, I went to bed at 9:30, I haven't' done that since I was in high school. JK.
I parked it in the back yard so my nosy neighbor wouldn't see a shed in a trailer in my driveway.
My husband and i got up early the next morning to unload this massive (way bigger than it looked on the ground) shed.
The kids helped us heave it up, and guess broke. HAHAHa, So now I have this huge shed, on it's side and I'm looking for the feet of the wicked witch of the east under it. Now what do we do?

Baby Update

Unfortunately we lost one of the would have to be my favorite one of course. It crawled out of the nesting box and froze over night. I have to say it's amazing because I cried when we caught a mouse in a trap that didn't die right away and I sobbed like a baby because it was suffering, but I didn't cry about the rabbit. I guess I'm getting to the point where I realize it's just how life works.

Yes it might be gross, but I let my three year old pet the dead baby, because he was curious and wanted to hold the poor bunny. That all stopped when he gave it a bath, and washed him in my tub...ewww. Then the bunny had to go. LOL.

Also, to all those of you who are interested in raising rabbits or getting into any type of hobby, make sure you follow your gut. I had a lady interested in my blue baby, and I found out she raised holland lops as well. We got to talking and I asked if she would be interested in trading my rabbit for one of her baby rabbits. She said no because she had got burned before, but then she wanted to trade two of her rabbits for my doe and all the babies except one. Well it sounded good because she raises them for show, but I wasn't sure because my gut said NO!

Well long story short come to find out she wanted to trade me a female that just lost all her babies, and she changed her mind when she found out my rabbit has some really great colors in her line. So thank goodness for Janice the 4-H lady who said keep my doe if I like her colors, and I do so I'm keeping her.

I am expecting more babies from the Lionhead this week, and hopefully my Mini Rex, so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Digging In the City (my experience in homesteading in the city): More Rabbits for the Brood

Digging In the City (my experience in homesteading in the city): More Rabbits for the Brood: "Ok, so I'm addicted. Addicted to rabbits. The babies are so adorable and cute it's hard to think I have to sell them. We lost one on Thursda..."

More Rabbits for the Brood

Ok, so I'm addicted. Addicted to rabbits. The babies are so adorable and cute it's hard to think I have to sell them. We lost one on Thursday, because it got out of the box (probably attached to its mother) and froze. It was sad, but no one cried, we know it's just part of life. Their color has already started and they are beautiful. We have one blue, sable, and two black.

I finally found a mini lop female with broken chinchilla color for my male mini lop Cutie. I also learned that two broken rabbits mating can make a Charlie, which is a rabbit who has only 10% or less of color. So my idea of mating my two tri color mini rex was probably not that great of an idea. Also, if you mate a rabbit with one buck and then put a different buck with her, she will have more kits, but also there will be different colors and different dads. Amazing. There is so much to learn.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe for Pavlova

When I was 17, I had the great opportunity to visit Australia. It was an experience I will never forget, and one thing I truly remember is the best dessert I have ever had in my life. I was never able to find it here in the states, but as I stated in my earlier blog "Yard Sale" I found the recipe in a book my mom had.
So here it goes, hopefully it is as good as I remember it.

Pavlova Photo-Gallery.aspx.jpg

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup super fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sliced fresh fruit


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Cover a baking sheet with foil, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Add white sugar slowly, and continue beating. When egg whites are very stiff, add vinegar and boiling water. Continue beating until glossy surface is beginning to fade, and mixture is very stiff. Pile meringue onto prepared baking sheet. Shape into a circle 1 1/2 inches thick. Form a slight dip in the center, and make the sides slightly higher.
  3. Place meringue in the oven, shut the door, and turn the heat off. Leave in the oven for one hour. Check the texture of the meringue; it should be hard with no soft spots. If soft in the center, heat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Place meringue back into the oven, and turn off the heat. Cool when done. Transfer onto a serving platter.
  4. Whip the cream until just stiff. Beat in vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Pile the whipped cream onto the meringue. Arrange the fruit on top of the whipped cream, and serve.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The babies are here!

The pregnant rabbit that I wasn't so sure was pregnant was really pregnant. She had he babies at 3:15 pm on Oct 25, 2010.
Funny thing is she wasn't prepared and neither were we. We cleaned all the cages the night before, and didn't put the nesting box back in the cage. I read somewhere they take out there fur to nest, but she wasn't doing that so we didn't bother putting it back in. Well, my husband went to get something for dinner, and informed me that our freezer in the garage was completely thawed, so we had to unload all our food and start cooking it to refreeze it. Then he yelled Ummm there's an i ran out there thinking someone was hurt, but it was BABIES!
I have to say I was truly the happiest rabbit owner around, they were the cutest ugliest naked babies I'd ever seen.
We were scared because they were very cold, so we brought the babies and mom inside from the garage, and warmed them up. I was frantic thinking she wouldn't be a good mom, but when I checked on her today, she had made a nice little nest out of fur in her nesting box. The babies were sooo warm.
Things I learned from this experience, never second guess a pregnancy in rabbits. Always put the nesting box in around the time they are due. It is okay to touch domestic rabbit babies, because it helps them become good pets. Mother rabbits only feed there babies once a day, so don't get worried. I thought she wasn't going to be a good mom, but she is very nurturing.
Our rabbitry is taking off, I had to give 3 males away, because I just didn't have the space. I was able to  sell two lionheads, and one american female, so I am making some money. So I was down to 6 rabbits, but now we have 5 new babies. We are excited to watch them grow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Yard Sale!

So I helped my mom for two days with a giant yard sale at her door factory in Losantville, IN.
I learned to drive a forklift! That was fun, not that it has anything to do with the yardsale, but none the less it was fun.
My daughter and I were moving tables and I almost dropped a lamp because she made me laugh, and then instead an angel fell off and broke. I sold a $100 item for $2, I didn't know what it was...ahaha, I don't think my mom found me helpful at all. Oops.
But good news, I was able to sell a rabbit, and I got rid of my other 3 males. So I am officially down to 8 rabbits, and one is gone in Nov to a neighbor, so I am not making any money yet, but hope to be soon. Of course my pregnant rabbit is not showing any signs of having babies. Maybe it's a false pregnancy. We will see.
I found some really great books at my mom's yard sale, one recipe book had a desert called Pavlova, which is an amazing desert that I had when I went to Australia. I have never seen it anywhere in the USA, but was so excited to see it that I took the book. I will post it in a later post and maybe some of you can try it. It's delicious.
If your interested in any doors, look up the door factory, they can make just about any door you can dream up for a very good price. Made in America.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back to my roots and starting with rabbits.

So the older I get the more I feel the urge inside to plant my roots in the country, only problem is I am living in the city. So I decided to plant a garden, start a compost heap, and show, breed and sell rabbits from my city home.
The funny thing is the only thing doing really well right now is my compost heap!
I got a beautiful mini rex female and the lady I obtained her from told me a lot of 4-H kids buy from her to show. A light bulb went off in my head, that's it. I can get the kids in 4-H and we can show rabbits.
Shortly after that I obtained two lionhead rabbits, that I obviously paid to much for. I drove 3 hours for a mean holland lop that is supposed to be bred, but has yet to produce babies 4 weeks later. hahaha
I got lost trying to buy another mini rex male, finally found the place but it took me 2 hours. Last but not least I acquired 6! free rabbits! and guess what 5 are male! So now i have a total of 12 rabbits, 8 males, 1 supposedly pregnant meanie, a hopefully pregnant mini rex, and some other. So all in all I am off to a Horrible start.
I have researched and looked all over the internet and found wonderful information, spent lots of money on cages and even traded things for cages (which came with more male rabbits), and have invested 300 in all my aspirations. Now it's time to just get organized.
I contacted a wonderful woman in 4-H, and found on the ARBA website ( all the rabbit shows available in my area (OH, IN). As we get ready to show our rabbits, I still need to learn what to take, how to tattoo, and so much. Excitedly overwhelmed we are ready for our journey.