How to make dishwasher tablets and a web page update

I sent out a few samples about a month ago and it was pointed out to me that I should probably update the website www.winkos.co.uk with all the new products we have. Today I can announce that I have pretty much updated everything, bar the formatting, adding pictures, checking for spelling mistakes not to mention grammar and punctuation, and all the other things that I am meant to get round to. If you happen to visit and would like to make suggestions or corrections then please do, I’m always open to new ideas and red crosses next to my work Smile

So why am I posting about how to make dishwasher tablets? Because I foolishly mentioned on one of the pages on the website that I intend to add links to tips, tricks and other products out there that may help the planet out a bit, and for whats its worth I’m kicking off with how to make dishwasher tablets.

I wont get into the debate about which is best, washing up by hand or using a dishwasher as we do both in our house, but if you do have a dishwasher then making your own tablets will cut down on the number of harmful chemicals that you are adding to an already toxic world, and that alone can’t be a bad thing.

I just checked eBay and all the ingredients  are freely available in the UK so I’m assuming that you can pick them up pretty much anywhere in the world. I would suggest at least a kilo of each, or 5kg if you are thinking about the economics of the process.

So here we go, on with the lesson.

You will need:

A big bowl

A spoon

1 x Salt

1 x Borax or Borax substitute (the latter is better)

1 x Bicarbonate of soda

1/2 x Citric acid

Silicone moulds or plastic tray at least 1cm deep

Choose your measurement, I just use a cup, any old cup. Of course you could get all organised and measure the total capacity of your moulds and then divide it by 4.5 to define your own unit of measurement, but like I said, a cup works for me.

Method

Mix it all together in the bowl with the spoon, once mixed well tip the mixture into your mould(s).

Thats it, well other than waiting for a day or so for the mixture to pull a bit of moisture out of the atmosphere which will turn the powder mix into a solid. It can also be used in powder form if you dont want to wait.

Next time you put the dishwasher on just chuck in a chunk (dont worry about the little draw thing, all that does is release the tablet about 30 seconds after you start the wash) and add you rinsing aide. And here’s the real secret of the whole process, get rid of your fancy coloured chemical laden rinse aids and use white vinigar, yes thats what I said white vinigar. YES VINIGAR! Any will do but white spirit vinigar works best from experience.

 

Be amazed by the results!

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Product review: Dansha Farms Goat Milking Machine

I promised this review more than a year ago which means that I have used this machine for around 18 months.

In saying that as I have replaced the jar, the lid, the pipes, the reducing couplers and the motor, so it has to be questioned if I am still using the original. Triggers brush from ‘Only Fools ad Horses’ springs to mind.

Before I go into too much detail I will share you the review that I submitted on the Dansha Farms website:

I would first like to make it clear that the product, Brute milker, is a great idea and has made the daily milking of three goats a lot easier. I would happily recommend it to anyone living in the USA.

Unfortunately as we live in Europe we have had a number of issues with the customer service when we first purchased the goods and now with the warranty after six months of use. I won’t go into details, but if you intend buying a milker and live outside of the USA then I recommend you use Ebay for the purchase as you will be provided with buyer protection and if you have problems in the future your voice is more likely to be heard.

I submitted the review after 6 months of use following the failure of the motor. I was unsuccessful in resolving this problem with the manufacturer who suggested that I send the unit back (to America) and he would fix the problem for me for a fee. So much for the warranty! I also had problems with customs clearance when I first purchased the item which I could have avoided if I had purchased via Ebay. Dansha Farms did not publish my review nor did they contact me further.

Undeterred I stripped down the unit and discovered that the motor was commonly available as an aquarium pump motor on Ebay or Amazon for less than £10 with free shipping from China, so problem solved.

The machine itself may first appear to be quite complicated, but once you have set it up, mounting the motor to your milking stand, it becomes far easier to operate. It does require a power source, although some units can be purchased with a portable battery pack. Our unit plugs into a standard 240v supply.

After initial connection of the cups to teats, which is a skill learned after a few attempts, it’s very straight forward and I soon learned that I could get on with other jobs as the milk flowed into the gallon (4.5 litre) jar. It’s probably best to stay nearby so that you can keep an eye on things, but I spend the time getting food ready for the next goat and collecting hay ready to refill the stable.

It should also be noted that the process itself is no quicker than milking by hand, if anything it is slower when you take into account the cleaning of the equipment once finished. However if you have more than three goats to milk it can save the finger cramps that I often experience, or if you suffer from any kind of rheumatism in the hands this machine would be a godsend.

As I mentioned cleaning takes an extra 5 minutes at the end of milking and I spend 15 minutes every weekend giving the pipes and fittings a thorough clean. For this reason I have reverted to hand milking as I only have two goats to milk at the moment.

So in summery, buy one if your hands ache at all when milking but shop around the internet as Dansha are by no means the only people who sell them. And if you are feeling adventurous then build your own, which I have all but done now since I have replaced almost all the parts. Drop me a message and I will point you toward various parts required and how to assemble should you need a bit of guidance.

I have never been a milkman

Whilst milking the goats, as I do every morning, I started to think about my unwritten book and how it is likely to stay that way. And so I decided it was time to reveal its title ‘ I have never been a milkman’

It all stems from the fact that of the of the 30 odd, close to 40 jobs, I have had in my life I was never a milkman. More specifically whilst in my teens I was never able to get onto the lucrative milk round as the milk runner, backwards and forwards between moving float and doorstep, delivering the daily pints of milk to the population of Skipton.

Paperboy, mornings, evenings and Sundays. Holiday barge cleaner on a Saturday. Occasional waiter and washer upper at a local restaurant. A summer season on the fair in Morecombe running the Ghost Train after graduating from Hook a Duck, not to mention spending my free time standing outside a pub on the promenade selling Rubik Cubes   In fact by the time I was sixteen I had even stared to work behind the bar at the local Working Mans Club such was the law that allowed 16 years olds to work in private clubs, but I was never a milkman.

Then it dawned on me as I shivered in –7c (19f), eagerly grasping the bulbus warm teats of Monday, the goat, to stop my fingers from freezing, that I have finally made it. My dream come true, my ambition fulfilled. I am a Milkman!

Monday
Monday

Another update, well not really

I was thinking about an update on the animals, but what can I say, they are goats. Sunday, Monday, Minka, Meggi and Rozka are all doing fine and with luck Monday and Minka will be mothers in late spring.

But then it started to snow, and snow, and snow. And whilst we haven’t had it as bad as some in Europe, we have had our fair share. Luckily for us we have a Lada Niva; built for Siberia, not suburbia!

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The last picture is the main road, about a mile away from the house and as of yesterday we have to travel about 5 miles to see tarmac again. That could be further away now as we have had another 5cm (2 inches) so far today and it’s still snowing.

If I’m honest I have loved the challenge it has presented, but don’t tell Gosia. Transporting children around in this weather is challenge enough in itself!

Jackie is having fun as well Smile

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A series of updates, part one of?

I’m leaving the title open as this may well be the only update, we will see. And whilst you may be fooled into thinking that this was brought about by a New Years resolution, the real reason I am typing today is snow! About 10cm (4 inches), not to mention the drifts, so movement is restricted to tramping or tractor.

I keep reading blogs, commenting and discovering new, so time is clearly available to me, so my excuse for not writing anything for over a year is a little poor. However I will try my best to blame my tardiness on having two young children, if I can’t blame them then who can I blame, its hardly my fault, and they can’t read this yet to defend themselves Smile

As this post is going to be short and sweet I thought it should be about the afore mentioned short and sweet things in my life, Michalina and Zofia, often shortened even more to Malina and Zosia or even Michelle and Sophia if they ever make it to an English speaking country. With Malina heading towards five and Zosia having already passed the milestone of her first birthday I often find myself wondering where the time has gone, but the thought is soon replaced by a mad dash to stop Zosia from climbing up the steps, or assessing Malinas latest picture that has kept her busy for all of 5 minutes. and I have a sudden realisation that that is where the time goes. If you have children you will never be bored.

Anyhow,  enough of me rambling, I know its all about pictures, so here are a few:

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The advantage of having a big sister is that she pushes me around in this old pram
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And she loves me 🙂
On the steps
Steps are easy, honest, now how do I get down.
Clean kids
Our daddy is so messy, we are always tidying up after him.

 

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s about time

So here we are again, snow scattered on the ground this morning, the nights well and truly drawing in and my duties on the farm reduced to the milking of the goats now that the pigs have enjoyed their final meal. In theory I now have time to blog, although in truth it’s more about making time than having time and I’m the master of procrastination. Continue reading “Well, it’s about time”