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Fangirl Friday — JK Farms

Hey, y’all! Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Hard to believe we are heading into December — and I haven’t even started decorating yet (not counting the wreath on the front door). This year has flown and, just being honest, I’m not entirely sad to see it go. However, Mason’s first birthday is next Friday and I am so pumped about that! I’m equally bummed, though — this is my last baby and I cannot get over how quickly his first year has gone by. He has really completed our family dynamic and I can’t begin to imagine life without his thousand watt smile.

But getting to the topic of the day! We’re kicking off today’s Fangirl Friday with my sister-in-law’s “baby”, JK Farms. She and my brother are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to farm life and I have loved watching their farm, and their love for it, grow. So now I’m turning the mic over to Kristyn.

1) Hey, Kristyn! Thanks so much for joining us today!
*Thanks for having me and spotlighting our farm…JK Farms!

2) So today you’re going to tell us about your “baby”, JK Farms. How did you decide this was what you wanted to do?
*Well, it’s definitely my “baby”! I’m an animal freak basically — haha! Some think it’s a little overboard, but I enjoy them all. I’ve ALWAYS been an animal lover. Once I moved back out to my childhood home and set some roots down we decided to get chickens. I kept hearing about chickens being the “gateway” animal to farming….well it’s true! We started out with 12 chickens in June 2016….now November 2018 we’re up to around 100 animals! We have chickens, guineas, turkeys, ducks, Muscovy, geese, rabbits, mini pigs, goats, 2 cats and 6 dogs.

3) What is the best thing to you, personally, about JK Farms?
*The best thing about JK Farms is it’s mine! I put my whole heart into these animals. They’re not only there to help feed my family and make us a little money, but they’re my pets. Most of them have names, of course. They bring me joy and happiness.

4) Has this changed you and, if so, how?
*I think it’s changed me for sure! I’m learning what it’s like to own my own business so that’s making me more responsible, for sure. I can also now understand all the hard work it takes in building your own business. Even though this really started out as a hobby, I now want to do this full time!

5) So, I know that you’ve got a full-time job in addition to JK Farms, but if you weren’t doing this today, what would you be doing?
*If I didn’t have JK Farms…hmmm, I don’t want to think about life without JK Farms! lol.

6) What are some reasons that you like to share this passion with others?
*I love sharing about JK Farms and my animals because it makes me happy and I want to make others happy. Seeing my goats running and jumping around and raring back to ram each other all in play is so peaceful. Seeing the mini pigs lounging around with their guardian dog in the sunlight; a chicken chase after a cricket or a muscovy going after a moth; one of the cats jumping up to catch a dragonfly; and watching a chick hatch, seeing the start of a precious living thing is an experience everyone should have at some point in their lives. Not owning a farm — but being able to witness the pure innocence and joy of animals.

7) This is definitely a lifestyle commitment. What are some ways that you enjoy sharing your experiences with others? Do you feel like your love for JK Farms has inspired others to broaden their horizons as far as recognizing their own passions?
*I hope I have inspired at least one person to follow their dream, no matter how big or small. I would’ve never thought this would be my life, but I’m so thankful for it. I can’t wait to raise a child on our farm and instill my passion for animals in them. I pray they enjoy it all as much as I do.

8) These days, everyone has so much going on and dreams/goals become lost in the busyness. How would you encourage other women to stay goal oriented?
*You gotta start somewhere! Make a vision board! Gather pictures, newspaper or magazine clippings, words, whatever it may be that makes up what your dream is or your goals and post it somewhere… somewhere you’ll see it every single day as a constant reminder to chase your dreams! Make lists! I need to do better at this, but it’s the best way to stay on top of your goals.

9) Thanks so much for sharing with us today! Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for helping us small business owners get out there and share our passions!

Hope you enjoyed reading about farm life with Kristyn! It’s so cool to me how different interests cultivate different goals, making them realities. If you want to stay linked in to what’s new on the farm, hop over to JK Farms on Facebook at the link below and share this post! Thanks for reading, y’all!

JK Farms

DIY, Family, Handy, Handyman, Home, Home repair, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Relatable, Tips and tricks, Uncategorized

5 Things I Wish I’d Known About Plumbing

Hey, y’all!  Sorry for the long absence; we’ve been battling bathroom plumbing issues the past week and tried to get a handle on them over the weekend.  Honestly, it’s been a long-time coming.  Our house is about 40-45 years old, and the previous owners did a rough job of “doctoring” the problems rather than properly fix them.  Nothing serious, but definitely a pain in the gluteus maximus.  One big problem we’ve been dealing with, especially recently, has been the bathroom plumbing.  None of it was installed correctly and totally half-assed.  The existing piping, according to our plumber, is likely as old as the house.  We decided to go ahead and get an estimate on what it would cost to re-pipe the entire house and, surprisingly, it isn’t awful.  Granted, we live in a small 1,350 sqft home.  Hopefully soon that will all be changed out, however, and we’re anticipating that the new works will at least slightly increase our home value.

Anyway, prior to calling a plumber my husband, dad, and I attempted to flush out the situation to attempt to save some cash.  I’m not currently working, so we’re on a pretty tight budget.  But, as luck almost always has it, we wound up spending twice as much on plumbing “band-aids” than we did on an actual plumber coming to fix our toilet disaster.  Lesson learned, ladies.  Occasionally, you may get lucky and be able to plunge or Drano the problem away.  But always, always, always stop after $30.  If thirty bucks ain’t solving shit, then an additional $20, $40, or $60 won’t, either.  HEED MY WARNING.  You are speaking to the queen of frugality, y’all.  When it comes to plumbing, tread lightly.  Which brings me to what I’m driving at today:

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1) Never, under any circumstances, pour grease down a drain.  This includes any type of grease and all drain types.  The damage won’t be instantaneous, but over time the fat and grease deposits collect and clog your system.  This can leave you with an overflow of sewage in your house.  Believe me, you don’t want that.  It may take 5, 10, or 15 years, but it’ll happen and it can be an expensive fix depending on whether you’re on septic tank or city sewage.  Don’t chance it.

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  • What to do instead: use a container (I use old detergent bottles) to catch the grease and a funnel (if necessary) to help direct it.  Wipe out any residue with a paper towel.  If any grease does get down the drain, pour some detergent that breaks down grease and hot water down the pipes to help further knock out the deposits.  Which brings me to….

2) Use a tough detergent.  Realistically, you can’t keep all the grease from escaping a pan or plate and going down the sink.  It’s gonna happen.  But, you can use a high-quality, non-store brand to help the eliminate any problems.  Again, I’m the Frugality Queen and I use a ton of store brand items, but dish detergent ain’t one of them.  I’ve even stopped using store brand and/or cheap laundry detergent due to the weird build-up they leave on my washer.  If it’s going down your plumbin’, make sure it’s properly suddin’.  You want your pipes as close to grime-free as possible.
3) On the opposite end of the toughness spectrum, you want to use something that easily degrades in the TP department.  Now listen, y’all.  I don’t mean use TP that don’t hold to blowing your nose, but it is SO important that you flush stuff that won’t clog or slowly disintegrate.  Our plumber recommends Scott or Angel Soft.  I’m not affiliated with either of those brands in a marketing sense, but I can tell you from experience that Angel Soft is where it’s at as far as being durable enough for a wipe but easily breaks down for pipes.  If you don’t use either of those brands, then be sure to follow-up monthly with toilet or plumbing enzymes such as Roto-Rooter.  In fact, Roto-Rooter has a toilet safe formula that is okay for those particular pipes.

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4) Invest in a good plumbing upkeep schedule.  Honest to God, this has really helped us keep BIG problems at bay.  There are all kinds of products that you can use to help things flowing well.  INVEST, INVEST, INVEST.  That bottle of Roto Rooter or Drano may cost $15, but fifteen bucks is a far cry from $1,500.  Again, been there — done that.  Looking for more of a green clean?  Check out Grove Collaborative for those options!
5) When in doubt, don’t flush it.  I’m not always 100% sold on “flushable” wet wipes and, as it turns out, neither are most plumbers.  Obviously you don’t want to stick other hygiene products, toys, etc., in the toilet, but sometimes crap happens.  You want to be prepared for the inevitable — especially if you have children or if you keep little incidentals around the facilities.  Lemme fill you in on a secret, guys: while it’s always good to have a normal vacuum, it’s also awesome to have a wet/dry ShopVac.  “What does this have to do with plumbing, Sarah?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  Having a ShopVac is freaking great for spills and floods.  Guess what it’s also good for?  Getting close-proximity clogs out of toilets.  Toys, stuck wet wipes, you name it — if it’s stuck within reach of an attached nozzle, you’re golden.  It’ll suck the lost item right out of there, no plumber needed.  BE CAREFUL not to push down on the object — you want the nozzle just close enough to pull whatever is stuck, out.  Bonus points: most ShopVacs have a reverse option.  Go outside or to a bathtub and let the vacuum do the rest (if using a tub make sure to have a drain catch installed so the object doesn’t relodge into another pipe).

Plumbing work is no fun and cleaning up water back-up is a nightmare.  Hopefully these five tips help you to have a better experience, whether you rent or own!

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Do you have any helpful plumbing tips?  Jot ’em down in the comments below!  I’m always game to add to my home-owner hack arsenal!

DIY, Family, Furniture, Heirlooms, Home decor, Mom blog, Motherhood, Nostalgia\, Uncategorized

Sentimentallity

I am a pretty sentimental person.  I love birthdays and celebrating people on those days.  I love finding “that perfect” gift for someone at Christmastime to the point that it’s stressful — but I love it.  Bottomline, if there is any amount of sentiment in it, I’m there.

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On the flipside of that, I, personally, am not super materialistic.  I like pretty things and I could window shop all day long, but things don’t make me happy.  People and memories are infinitely more important to me than anything money could buy.

However, I do love sentimental items that have been passed down generationally.  There is something so special about looking at an old piece of furniture or a trinket that belonged to a loved one who has since passed.

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While I was pregnant, I frantically looked everywhere for a suitable dresser for Mason’s room.  I didn’t want to spend a fortune on cheaply made furniture, but I didn’t really have the time to refurb anything in rough shape, either.  My dad stepped in and offered to refurbish my great-grandmother’s old dresser and I accepted.  It meant so much to me that he would offer to do that (not that it’s out of character — he has made things for all of us since forever) and I loved the idea of having a family piece in our home.

He recently finished and I absolutely love it.  I love the dresser itself, but even more so I love the time that he took to make sure it was perfect.  I love that he wanted to hand down something that meant so much to him from a person who he grew up admiring.

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Mason’s nursery is full of special items that my dad either built, refurbished, or touched up.  Those heirlooms are why I love that room in particular so much.  It’s more than just material objects; it’s the love that came out from them.  I hope one day I will be able to pass on those items to my boys.  I hope that they will appreciate the thought and meaning of those pieces and that they will cherish them as much as I do.

Is there anything that has been passed on to you that you love?  What’s the story?  I’d love to hear about your treasures!