How to make dishwasher powder and Daisy: back to normal.

How to make your own dishwasher powder that works is so easy. Like the laundry powder I was dubious but this stuff is great. It is not a by product of nuclear waste so it will not take off baked on food or clean burnt pots (the best way to clean a burnt pot is to put a thin layer of water on the bottom then leave it outside for the whole subzero winter.  When you have completely forgotton about it and find it in the garden months later, bash out the ice and  it will be clean! My mother used a similar theory but buried them in the garden.)



Dishwasher Powder

  • 1  cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid

No plastic.  Cheap as. And just before I start a load of dishes I throw in a glug of white vinegar. And like the  home made laundry powder, it is very effective. No artificial scents. Just clean and shiny.  I must apologise though as I have been making this for ages and I just keep forgetting to tell you about it!  Bad miss c.

Daisy was her normal self yesterday.


By morning she was noisy, giving everyone the leery eye, trying to lean over the gate and steal the lambs food (she was on a restricted diet), teasing Queenie out the back, giving lots of milk and generally back to her old self. Thank you so much for all your comments and advice yesterday. The consensus is that it probably was a mild bloat, she did not look bloated but she certainly was in trouble, by this morning all her bodily functions were back in order and you and I have breathed a big sigh of relief.












I have begin to amalgamate the sheep flocks again. Minty was introduced to Mama’s babies yesterday morning and Meadow was invited across in the afternoon. Today I shall bring in Mia but she is bigger and less patient now so I will be watching. So will Mama. There is plenty of room outside but they do tend to crowd into the big pen. So far so good though. Once  Mama’s flock is back in order all we have to do is wait for spring and they can begin to go out to the fields in one hour increments. We don’t want bloaty sheep either.


The Duke of Kupa and Author have been inspecting next year’s wood.


I asked Triple T and John what they would choose:  a cloudy day with no wind or a sunny day with wind. Hard aye. Bearing in mind that wind here is like Wellington.  Gale force and constant once it starts. I would still take the sun with wind.  After this dark winter I will take all the sun I can get. The native Illinoisians both chose cloudy with no wind which is a good choice for the moisture in the soil. What about you?

I have discovered that if I strain the kefir through a cheese cloth I make a very good sour cream.  A soft cheese. Just like a thickened greek yoghurt. Perfect for on top of just about anything.


I There is another way of making kefir cheese and I shall try this today, you strain it then pop it in the oven on very low to seperate. I read about this ages ago so I shall have to go in search of a recipe.

Kefir does not like to work in the light so until I find a nice pottery jar I cover my glass jar  with Vivs tea cosy.  Now, if you have a  moment – pop over to visit Viv. As you know she is an alarmingly talented poet but maybe you did not know that she has a ridiculously talented husband Jock. Go look. The Duke of Kupa has been immortalised in thread. Beautiful.


Do you see my cardinal? He has come back – soon he will disappear for a couple of weeks then he will return with his wife. He does this every year.


Have a lovely day.  All is well on the farmy for the moment. We can relax – don’t relax too much though. Life is like old glass remember.. it looks solid but it is constantly changing in there, fate is making decisions for us.  I hope we are ready for the next challenge. I hope it is a good challenge with sun in it!

It is 18 (-7)and blowing a gale out there but time I got out into it.

Have a lovely day.


ps. Oh almost forgot to tell you. I tried to felt some of my wool the other day. Naturally it was a failure (not patient enough) so I dried the tattered results anyway thinking they would be useful for something. Yesterday I laid the holey sheets one on top of the other and walked about the house thinking there must be something I could use it for. In the end I just laid them flat on my own pillow and put the pillowcase back on top.  By bed time I had forgotton I had done that and OH what a soft and cosy surprise.  Hairy MacLairy radiating warm and cosy through the cotton onto my cheek.


72 Comments on “How to make dishwasher powder and Daisy: back to normal.

  1. I grew up in Wisconsin and currently live in SE MN — I too vote for sun and cold even with wind — this has been a dreary winter and I need the sun too!

  2. Sorry, I’m in the NO Wind camp, too…at least for the moment.
    The storm came in, made a huge mess, and left again – and the big wind never showed up! I’ll deal with the slush….

    • You have had so much snow, not here, just little bits here and there, we have had dark days for months now.. but the spring winds are coming ready or not i am sure! c

  3. Sun and wind, definitely! I am thinking that your sheep breeds are not the feltiest of wool producers, being down breeds. I am sure it would happen if you worked it long enough, however! Glad Hairy is keep you warm with or without felt 🙂

    • I learn something every day.. I am thinking that maybe I want a merino ram as well .. but where to get one.. c

      • Try a Coopworth. They are in the midwest. Very hardy, no foot problems, and a very lovely medium fleece. Nice dual purpose sheep (nice carcasses, nice wool, great mothers!)

    • what a good memory you have, and thank goodness it was not my fault, though the whole process took so long anyway that I am not sure it is for me. The Mama babies blanket is almost ready to be constructed, and the good news is that i took a leaf out of your book and have found a mill in Illinois who might spin the last of Hairy for the next one! if it is three inches long, I sent them a sample of your roving, would the fibre be three inches? fingers crossed. I want this to work out as I really want to wear my wool!! c

  4. Welcome back, Daisy, and good morning to you all! Funny about the pillow; I like mine cold. Really cold. I’d sleep with my head in a freezer, if I could. 🙂

    • I had a friend once who slept with his feet in the fridge! It was that hot. Seems like you two would not get on, unless there was a fridge and a freezer in the house! c

      • Once upon a hot flush I’d kill for somewhere cold but those days are a bit past me now. Still like a cold pillow though. 🙂

  5. I’m most at home with sun and wind, but that may be due to an absence of experience outside typical Southern California weather. I read your weather reports with awe at how much work connects to the elements themselves. Thank you for the dishwasher soap. I must try! But I can’t take advantage of the “freezing” technique for cleaning pots, I’m afraid.

    • You will have to bury your burnt pots in the garden then, my mother was a great bottom burner of pots, she knew about that stuff!! c

  6. You’re practical knowledge & creativity about all things farm-y are inspiring. I learn so much visiting here. I’ve been worried about Daisy so I’m happy to know that she’s on the mend. Give my best [moo] wishes to her, poor thing. No one likes tummy troubles.

  7. Hi Celia,
    Liked the dishwasher soap recipe. Wish I hadn’t just spent $16 on a big box of commercial ones, but next time I’ll do it this way.
    Also, thanks for the info on kefir. I’ve been making it for some time and love it. I put frozen strawberries and a bit of honey in my blender, blend it down and add the kefir, put it in a jar in the frig and later add healthy stuff like help hearts, ground flax seed, and chia seeds for a lovely but quick breakfast.
    Diann Dirks

    • that is a fantastic breakfast, I can’t wait fort the weather to warm up and i can have smoothies like this in the morning again..morning diann

  8. Sun and wind definitely. .I’m so glad Daisy is better. Thank you for the steer to Jock’s embroidery. He is very modest about his skill, but I am proud of what he does. Felt: daughter Sally is learning to make felt – her home-made slippers are gorgeous. She promised to make me a pair while I was there last week, but we ran out of time. Have a look at what Ellie Langley does: She is a Northumberland friend of Sally’s

    Love, V x

    • I like sally.. she takes after her Mum. I shall pop over and look at the link though it looks as if i have the wrong wool.. ah well.. c

  9. Love your cardinal sighting; a good sign! We have doves nesting in a ligustrum right off our deck. We had a terrible hailstorm yesterday, and I couldn’t imagine that the nest survived, but it did, and Mama Dove is on the job this morning. Amazing. I’m going to try to get a good shot of her. She’s not at all skittish when we go out to check.

    I’m glad Daisy’s back to her old self. Have a wonderful day, Celi!

    • I have never seen a doves nest, i look forward to that.. i saw a sparrow flying across with a tiny guinea feather in its mouth the other day!

  10. Great news about Daisy. What a relief! There’s some sun this morning, Celi, but it’s not supposed to linger long and tomorrow our high is supposed to be just 24˚. I hope this is the last of the really cold temps. We wouldn’t want you cardinal to catch cold. Our cardinal returned 2 week ago but, like yours, has disappeared. His whistle will announce his return.
    Good morning!

    • I know, john has gone back to work and so i am outside even longer now, and this morning was COLD and then tomorrow, my heart sunk when i saw the overnight low, dawn is always the coldest time.. But you are right… i hope.. surely this is the end of the really cold days.. c

  11. Cloudy and no wind for me. Today’s sky is blue but I swear the wind is coming sraigt from Siberia! I’m hiding in the polytunnel, hens and ducks are under the bushes!

    • i think that wind is going straight through you and right over here to me! And your TonTon painting has company coming! c

      • That’s great – I hope they’e happily re-united!

  12. Good Morning,
    Hooray for Daisy and her happy tummy and feisty attitude.
    Life long central Illinoisian here and I vote for 1 day of windy sunshine, then we need to conserve soil moisture. I don’t like constant strong wind (would never be able to stand living on the western prairies), it annoys me and makes it hard for me to sleep, but the gloom of constant cloudy days wears on my soul.
    I love The Crazy Sheep Lady’s little felted sheep, I really want some like them. But I can hear my husband saying but you don’t like sheep, you like cows, why buy toy sheep? Well I like sheep when they are someone else’s sheep. I just don’t like to care for live ones long term. And rams, don’t like them as I have had some rather unpleasant experiences with them.
    Hopefully the weatherman is right about the sunshine for the next few days and it would be lovely if they were wrong about the temperatures.

    • It is just fiercely cold today and worse tomorrow, but i will not moan about mornings in the 20’s again.. i do agree about the moisture in the earth, at least this long dark month is good for the soil, when it does warm up the plants will be very well hydrated, stress free and the pasture might just Spring forth!! morning jeanne.. c

  13. Poor Daisy! The 2nd, 3rd and 4th pictures look like they are screenshots of a great American movie. What a great place you have! And I LOVE the old car by the barn. This is all so charming and utterly cool!

  14. I hope everyone has seen BABE. Celi, you would really really really enjoy it. All of your favorite characters are the stars.

  15. Pingback: Bachelorhood | Jomegat's Weblog

  16. Hmm I like sunny days, hate the wind and don’t enjoy endless grey wet days … what a conundrum (sp?) 🙂 glad to hear Daisy is better again today. Happy farming, wishing Spring on its way to you. Laura

  17. putting the pan outside is ok if you have lots of them,,,otherwise if you only got one and it was burnt you would not be able to cook again until Spring……you are the most unconventional person I think I have ever met ..that is why I enjoy reading you so much. My hugs and kisses for daisy seem to have worked…What a gal of a cow!!!

    • I am thrilled to be called unconventional and luckily it was my mother in laws pan, I only have three little ones the rest are for stock or cheese!! However any excuse not to cook!! c

  18. Oh give me sun!!! The trouble with Van and OXON is that we usually get the rain, or storm with rain, or gale with rain, or___fill in the blank___with rain. These two days of sun have been absolute heaven. Back to rain this afternoon. I’m so glad Daisy is fine today. I was really feeling lost and frightened for her and for you yesterday. You and the farmy have become so dear to me. 🙂

  19. Love your tales of rural life. And I like the idea of homemade dishwasher powder, will give it a go. Had a very burnt pan recently that I soaked in bicarbonate of soda and vinegar paste – it did need lots of elbow grease but ended up remarkably sparkling.

  20. I think I would choose cloudy with no wind, just. We had an unusually August-like windy Sunday just gone – odd for March. We must change back from daylight savings soon as it is very dark in the mornings. No matter were you are I think the change in seasons is welcome just for the opportunity to partake of different clothes and menu. Loved the pic of Author sussing out the woodpile for mices 😉

  21. OK, this is really weird, and maybe it’s just me, but did anyone else notice (maybe I had too much wine for dinner) that in the picture of the Duke of Kupa, the muddy field behind him actually looks like THE actual OCEAN? Or at least a great body of water. I know there’s a worthy metaphor in there somewhere….the prairie in grass often looks like waves, doesn’t it? So why shouldn’t the mud? Am I nuts?

    • No you are not nuts at all, in fact i am thrilled that you say so. many people say to me how can you live so far from the sea, how can you bear it, and i say sometimes the prairie looks like the sea and at night i can imagine i am looking out across a dark Bay.. isn’t that great that you see what I see too! have another glass for me Charlotte..(I always want to write Carlotta but I know you don’t like that too much).. laugh.. c

  22. Maybe a felted toilet seat is going to appear next? Love the picture of Kupa looking grand.

  23. My favourite picture today was the kitty stepping down on the wood. Washing soda is amazing stuff, I use it to wash my bee suit. What kind of shops sell borax btw?

  24. Good moos, and everything becoming sheep-shape!
    Another pope-elector back, I see! 🙂
    As for the washing powder – not my department, thank heavens!

    • I wish I could agree with you, but I am a filthy girl, my clothes need to be cleaned on occassion! c

  25. Definitely cloudy and no wind for me: love peacefulness in nature and my favourite days are those when soft shifting fog floats around all morning! Vive la difference: don’t have a dishwsher, handwash everything under running water, no detergent . . . my way . . . :0 !

    • Good for you, any thing that works .. works!! we might get some fog days this year, with a little water in the ground.. I love fog too. morning eha!

  26. Yes, I too have found that fresh air and forgetfulness does wonders for burnt saucepans!
    My ancient husband told me his mother did it – so it’s obviously an old New Zealand custom !!!

    • Nzers.. funny lot, I do hope you have had a little of the rain that has been floating about, i shall pop over and see.. c

  27. Lovely pics. I’ve suggested the dish washer powder to my better half, but got a funny look, so that’s not happening. I almost think it’s worth burning a pot just to test the cleaning system.

  28. We think along similar lines. I always use borax and vinegar in washing clothes. But I never thought to use the same thing in my dishwasher! Revelation! 🙂

  29. So glad to have happy news about Daisy. What a warm surprise from Hairy. 🙂

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