Faster Still!

It is scary, how time flys.  I’m just hoping that it means I’m getting things done.  I certainly am not sitting around wondering what there is to do!  I spent some time cleaning our front porch this week.  It is my favorite room in warm weather.  Mornings in the porch with a cup of coffee are wonderful.  Evenings in the porch are almost as wonderful but lack the coffee due to the fact that I love my sleep!  As I was cleaning cob webs and fly specks I remembered reading that flies don’t care for lemon scented Pinesol.  I decided to make up a bottle of cleaner that would maybe deter the spiders and flies and anything else.  I came up with this spray cleaner:        2 parts Lemon Scented Pinesol Cleaner, 1 part Rubbing Alcohol, 1 part Water and 2 or 3 drops Dawn Dish Soap.  As I wiped things down I sprayed this spray directly on the bricks of one wall and left it there to dry.  I figure if it is going to do any good, it won’t hurt to let it dry there and hopefully it will discourage insects.  If nothing else, it will help it smell lemon fresh!  And it does.  I just might spray it around the exterior doors of the house, especially out on the patio.  Anything is worth a try.  Tomorrow I hope to get the porch finish; that means sorting through gardening magazines and cleaning the windows on the inside.  I will also need to move a chair (to where, I’m not sure) and at some point give a fresh coat of paint to the wicker furniture.  The local hardware store in our little town is beginning to recognize me.  When I walk in, they know I’m working on some kind of project.  Today, it was drilling screws out of an antique dining room chair.  The screw heads are stripped and therefore can’t be removed without drilling the screws out.  I will reglue the chair and then I will put new screws back in.  In this family, you can never have too many chairs!

The other thing I hope to accomplish tomorrow is planting my Ginger root!  I have done this one other time.  It will be amazing to show the progress as the Ginger grows.  It grows very quickly and quite tall.  I use Ginger in my Water Kefir so if I can get my own growing it will save me  some money.  The picture is of the piece of Ginger I will plant.  The node on the piece of root is clearly starting to regrow.  As you can see there is also another couple of nodes that look like they will send up shoots as well.  Exciting!

I will attempt to write a little sooner:)

Desarae

Fast Week

It is amazing when you realize days have gone by and you don’t remember where they went!  I do remember working outside on a couple of days, cleaning out the greenhouse, throwing out stuff and pulling overgrown stuff to be thrown on the burn pile.  One of those days actually got too warm!  It was of course the day I was in the green house.  It was over 90 degrees in there!  It was then that I decided I for sure like Spring and Fall the best of the four seasons.  I love Summer so that tells you how much I like Spring and Fall!  Today it has been cold and rainy.  It’s been a day that I have not minded being inside.

Hubby got new packages of bees last week.  He ordered three boxes.   Had I been on my toes, I would have taken a picture of them before he took them back to the hives.  Today he went back to check the queens.  They come in their own little box that has a wax plug in the end of the box.  After poking a hole in the wax plug, the other bees eat the hole open so the queen can get out and do her thing which is lay eggs.  All three queens were out which is what you want to find.  Tonight we went to the Bee Keeper’s Meeting.  We took our almost six year old grandson with us.  He is always interested in helping Papa check the bees.  (I think he’d be interested no matter what Papa was doing, not so much that it’s bees).  Next month at the meeting we will learn how to check for Varoha mites.

This tree in our back yard is a plum tree.  We have lived here for 22 years and I can only remember it producing plums one year.  They are small peach and red plums in color that taste great.  I’m thinking that it must need another plum tree to be pollinated and that it was fortunate to somehow be pollinated that year.  I am hoping it will happen again with maybe our bees doing the pollinating!  It sure is pretty with all the white blossoms.  They don’t last long so when it is flowered out I have to snap a picture before the rain comes and takes the blossoms off.  This is the first year of being able to see it against the white fence which makes it look even more striking.  The fence was put up last summer.  This summer we will try to get the posts painted.  The fence was something we bought used.  It was quite the project to put up but we did it with help and it looks great and does what we need it to do; keep the cow in the pasture.

Our busy weekend starts tomorrow.  Posting might be put off for a couple days but I will look forward to returning.  ‘Tis the season’ for graduation parties!

Till later

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

I thought I would take the day off from posting but I can’t.  This is what happens to someone who likes to write.  My children say special things that bring me to tears and I can’t help but try to put into words, the emotions of the heart.  Four daughters married four men who are more of a blessing than they will ever know.  In a world where families today are so torn in different directions, often the relationships suffer greatly.  It’s a good thing we have holidays like this because we love each other so much that we can often take our relationships for granted.  Two quotes I’ve heard over the years, both of which are true.  “Love is not a special way of feeling”, which is the title of a book and “Love is an action verb”, which I heard in a message one time.  We say, “I love you” but did you ever realize we can say this to someone we don’t like?  Jesus said, “love as I have loved you”.  “Love your enemies”.  Think about it.  He didn’t tell us that we needed to like everyone or agree with everyone!  Love however is indeed an action verb.  It is what we do, how we treat each other even when we don’t “feel” like it; it is how we speak to one another when we are upset or hurt.  Respecting the other person is critical.  Sometimes it can be difficult to treat a person in a loving way when we don’t really like them but I am so thankful that we like our son-in-laws as well as love them.  In fact we like them a lot.  How often does that happen?  Today might be a day to honor mothers but as a mom, I am the one that is thinking about the kids and feel like I want to honor them.  Not only are they our kids but they have become our friends.  That’s the best.

Hope your day was very nice.                                                                                                     Be back soon!

Yay For Turkeys! By Alli

Post by sister number three!

So I learned something new this past weekend!  Imagine that!  It seems to happen fairly regularly.  I’ve always wanted to raise turkeys.  I mean, come on; a nice juicy turkey on Thanksgiving Day is a must but it’s getting harder and harder to find good, quality, pastured meat; not to mention, if you lose track of your days (not saying I’d ever do that) and realize that Thanksgiving is only a week away, you are most definitely NOT going to get your hands on a pasture-raised turkey.  That is, unless you shoot a wild one, which Dad did one year.  Did you know that wild turkey is all dark meat?  Yep, no white meat and it’s a little dryer.  And who says you can only roast a whole turkey on special occasions?  Why in the world don’t we roast a turkey for Mother’s Day or how about for my birthday (which happens to be on the same day this year!) ?

Anyway, you get my point.  I like to roast turkey.  I want to raise them but the reason we’ve never gotten turkeys is because that would mean having yet another coop and run.  Everyone says you can’t have turkeys and chickens together.  This spring while we were in Asheville, North Carolina, for the Mother Earth News Fair, I was admiring some chicks and turkey poults.  I was asking more than my share of questions about raising turkeys when a gentleman with the Heritage Poultry Co-op said, “you CAN keep chickens and turkeys together.”   WHAAAAA???  I mean, I’ve heard some people do it but the risk of your turkeys getting sick from the chickens is not worth it.  (Ever heard of Black Head?).   Well, this wonderful gentleman told me all you have to do is give your flock a couple tablespoons of Cayenne in their feed every day and you won’t deal with parasites, bacteria or any other pests of the sort.  That’s IT?  I have known the anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-parasitic benefits of Cayenne (not to mention, it regulates blood pressure, it’s an anti-inflammatory and so much more), but will chickens actually eat it?  Well, why not?  “They don’t have heat sensors in their mouths”, this kind man told me.  I should’ve remembered this from when one of our ladies got into our garden and ate my freshly planted Cayenne seeds!  (Nope, I don’t always start my peppers indoors.  Another post for another day.). Now, obviously keeping your coop fresh and dry is important to the health of your poultry but another tidbit of information is that if it’s been a bit rainy and soggy around your chicken run, he suggested just doubling up on the daily Cayenne.  Now doesn’t that sound easy!!  Needless to say, we came home with five American Bronze Heritage poults!  In 11 weeks we will hopefully keep a breeding pair and butcher the rest.  So here’s to good turkey in my roasting pan and not even on a holiday.  Yippee!!  Not to mention the delicious and nutrient dense turkey broth that will grace my coffee mug on a regular basis if all goes well!  I will keep you updated on that.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY Sunday!

Alli with Honeydewnaturals.com

Is It May?

As much as we may voice a little disappointment when we have a cool day with a cold wind, I am still having to pinch myself and remember that we are still only in the first half of May!  And it’s a good thing!  Today, the sun is out, it’s 67 degrees and I am too warm!  That’s NOT a complaint.  I’m just amazed at the difference a few degrees makes, along with an increase in humidity.  Except for the trees not being fully leafed out, today looks like a day in July.  I am looking out the front porch and it is obvious we will be mowing lawn this weekend.  The dandelions are more than ready to be mowed.  I don’t know whether I feel like I’m behind schedule or ahead of schedule!  If it’s all the same to you, I choose to be ahead of schedule.  Yesterday, I continued to clean out and organize the garden shed.  What a dirty job by the way but I can actually walk in it now.  Rakes are hung and all kinds of things put in places so that I just might be able to find them should I need them.  I discovered, if I actually use some of the stuff that was taking up space, I now have more room to organize!  Go figure.  There’s still more to do in the shed but at this point, anything else is fun.  I do want to wash the windows and do a last time sweeping.  While working on it, I was taking something out to the garbage and came upon the “Forget Me Nots”.  Is there anything sweeter than the tiny blue flowers of this plant?  I just love them.  As you can imagine, I had to stop and “take time to smell the flowers”!  This day and age it is so cool to be able to snap a picture to share.  The pictures are never as good as the real thing but close.

As I was milking this morning, I noticed Genny Cow is still hesitant with her sore hoof when she is on the cement floor of the parlor.  Wow,  I can’t imagine how tender it must have been.  The bandage has been off for a few days and she doesn’t hesitate on it at all when she is on soft ground but it is still not quite toughened up yet.  She is producing nearly two and a half gallons of milk a day and now that she is on pasture the cream is more the color of butter.  It doesn’t seem to taste any different but it is definitely a bit more yellow.  She’s a good girl.  Jerseys have such nice temperaments.

Sunday is Mother’s Day and our third daughter’s birthday.  Since she has something to share, I will post her thoughts tomorrow.  Isn’t it amazing what can be done today with someone who is 750 miles away!

I do hope the weekend serves you well.  Be back soon.

Water Kefir!

After a weekend of kids and grandkids, we drank all of our Water Kefir so I was glad to bottle up more.  I am more and more amazed at my grains.  I have been doing my own routine with them because they grow so quickly and produce more kefir than I have bottles for.  I bottled a couple gallons yesterday and measured over four cups of grains again!  I decided to feed some to the chickens since the grains will grow and be right back up there again.  I even ate some myself!  They are slightly sweet and have the texture similar to tapioca.  Kind of neat.  Since the grains produce Kefir so quickly and more than what we need, I feed my grains and put them somewhere cold until the next time I need to make more.  This slows them down, infact it is recommended to do this to give the grains a rest periodically.  A good site to look at for info on Water Kefir is Cultures for Health.  Our favorite simple inexpensive flavor of Water Kefir is Lemon Ginger.  It is light and refreshing.  In the summer we like to add Strawberries as well.  Mmmm, Strawberry Lemonade.

In the picture you can see the gallon dispenser and two half gallon glass jugs with the Kefir that will go in the refrigerator for drinking.  The other four jars are going in the cool porch where they will wait for a week until we need more.  Some of the nearly three cups of grains in the batter bowl will be fed to the chickens and some will be fed more heavily with sugar water and be put in the refrigerator for sharing with others.

I shared recently that I’m convinced we have been able to fight off illness because of having probiotics on a regular basis.  I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with an ulcer.  Rather than taking the typical medication that was prescribed for her, she decided to try healing the ulcer with a change in diet.  She began drinking raw milk, Water Kefir and began fermenting her own vegetables.  Guess what!  Yep, she is healing up just fine.  The best part is, she will probably avoid other health issues as she continues to feed her body real food.  This is exciting to me.  I have said before, I don’t like doing things that are difficult and being healthier than I used to be isn’t difficult.  Baby steps in the world of diet improvements can make huge changes in our health.

Time to start another sunny day!

Six A.M.

I remember when I was in college, I started to schedule my classes so that I wouldn’t have to get up too early in the morning.  At one point I didn’t even have a class before noon so I became lazy and stayed in bed far too long.  It didn’t take long before I realized that by the time I got up and around, the day was literally half gone.  I began feeling like I was wasting half of my life if I were to continue this routine.  After hubby and I got married, babies began to dictate my waking schedule.  As the family grew, I began to appreciate more and more the time I could carve out of the mornings to just sit and enjoy the quiet.  My days now start at 6:00 a.m.  I love mornings.  Sure, there are mornings that I would rather lay in bed but for the most part it is a beautiful serene time that happens no other time in any day.  This morning I hear the birds.  It seems in spring, they are as excited as we humans are  to see green grass, flowers, sunlit skies along with warmer temperatures.  They seem almost louder as if trying to get our attention.  We hear the saying now and then to “take time to smell the flowers”.   It really is good advice.  In our business of life, just a few minutes to stop and look at the sunrise or sunset, a few seconds of listening to a bird singing, or taking the time to observe even a lone flower can be very healing.  I mean healing in a literal way.  I know for myself, these moments bring things into perspective at times when life seems overwhelming.  Somehow the simplicity of these things helps to bring a more balanced perspective to life and its troubles.  I can’t prove this by scientific study; only by experience.  I guess my thinking is, if I’m too busy to stop to smell the flowers, then I’m too busy.  Life is too short to miss the simple most beautiful things.

I don’t think I have mentioned that we had a true surprise announced on Easter Sunday.  Our eldest daughter is expecting!  It was a surprise to them as well as to everyone else but we are all excited.  It is a very special time of life for all of us as a family.  Often we don’t realize how special these times are until we are through them.  I know for now, the kids are all very busy with their little ones.  Everyday is a day full of diapers and dishes.  Everyday is a training ground for future adults.  It is a priceless time; one that any Mom or Dad only gets one opportunity to do.  It can seem like an endless job but one day they will find themselves wondering where the years went.  It all happens so fast.  Take time to smell the flowers!  It does help to slow life down, even if only for a few moments.

One Blessed Lady

Garlic Oil

Something I don’t think I will ever be without is garlic oil.  This past winter took a toll on many people we know.  There was a certain type of cold and flu going around that seemed to hang on for weeks.  I am so thankful that hubby and I did not get it.  Sometimes I wonder if our gut systems have been healed enough from raw milk and water kefir that we are more able to fight these things off.  I do hope this is the reason but if not, we were very fortunate because I do know that we were exposed to others who got sick.   There were times when I began to have the start of a very painful sore throat; the kind where you grit your teeth to swallow.  Often sore throats like that make the ears hurt as well.  It seems that as I get older, sore throats come on much more quickly and with a vengeance.  I had thought at one time that I would come up with a homemade throat spray but since I hadn’t,   I tried the only thing I had on hand;  garlic oil.  I got it out of the refrigerator, warmed it slightly just to be able to get a dropper full and put it way back in my throat where the pain was.  I kid you not, there was instant soothing relief.  I thought the taste would be bad but because most of our taste buds are in the mouth area on our tongues, it wasn’t bad at all.  It was defineately worth the relief.  I used it every time I would feel one coming on and never dealt with one that wouldn’t go away and quickly at that.  I’m convinced I will always resort to garlic oil first.  If you haven’t made your own little bottle of garlic oil, you should try it.  I have read instructions by others who have made it and most say to heat the olive oil and add the garlic to it.  I have only heated the oil by putting it on the warming burner for a time and then turn it off to let it cool.  I have found the oil works well and that is what is important so I will continue to do it this way.  Here’s what I have done but you may want to search the ideas of others to find the best method for you.  Pinterest has several recipes.

Garlic Oil – For Throat and Ear Pain

1/4 c Olive Oil                                                                                                                                      3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin                                                                               Dropper Bottle                                                                                                                                        Place the oil and garlic in a heat proof dish or metal measuring cup and place it on the warming burner of your stove, or on a burner turned as low as it will go.  Leave the oil to warm for 15 min or so.  Check to see if the oil is warm.  Once the oil is quite warm to the touch, turn the heat off but leave the oil on the burner to cool.  Heat helps the garlic to release its healing properties but it doesn’t need to cook the garlic in order to be effective.  You can strain the oil and use the garlic in something else or I have even left the garlic in the oil and it seems to be fine.  Just remember to make sure the garlic oil is room temperature to body temperature before using it.  If it is cold it will be painful in the ear.  If it’s not in use it will keep much longer in the refrigerator.  My only regret is that I didn’t use Garlic Oil sooner for those painful times.  Live and learn!

Till later!

 

CowStory

Here is my cow story.  Earlier this week while I was milking “Genny Cow” as the grandkids call her, she was fidgety and didn’t want to put weight on one back hoof.  It was obviously very tender. She still walked on it but it was uncomfortable.  I could feel no heat in the leg and there was no swelling.  Later in the day I check on her. She happened to be laying down chewing her cud.  I was able to touch it but I couldn’t see anything except possibly a slight crack in her hoof.  I got one of my books out and began looking up what issue it might be. Basically it had to be something in the pad, an injury, an infection or her hooves were too long causing her to go lame.  I was quite certain there was no infection.  Her hooves are getting long but they tend to break off naturally as she roams the pasture. Since we have only dealt with horses in the past and Genny cow was not wanting to let us hang on to her leg, we decided to call our vet and have him check it out.  (No one here was anxious to get their face in line with a moving hoof!  Go figure).  He came, we learned and all is ok. He halter tied her to a post, put a rope around her leg and had the rope up over a beam above so as he pulled on the rope it lifted her leg back and up.  Then he wrapped the rope once around another post just to be able to hold it in place as he worked on her. Yours truly got to hold the rope but if she started to go down I was to let go so she wouldn’t get injured. Let me just mention she didn’t like it.  Eventually she laid down which actually made it easier. The hoof had cracked too short and was causing the pain. He trimmed it up, put iodine on it and bandaged it up. (He made it look so easy).  What a relief. It will be tender for a while but at least it will only get better. Now I will feed her dried chopped garlic to keep infection at bay.  Yes, I said garlic!  She likes it!  This is a trick I learned from the wonderful people we naught her from. Check them out on Facebook or on the web at Misty Morning Farm VA.  I was able to get her over mastitis in three days last summer with milking her more frequently, putting a homemade Cayenne salve on her and feeding her garlic. No antibiotics!! I buy the garlic from Herbalcom.com.  I love home remedies that work!! Part of what is so cool is that it takes much of the fear away, that we are somehow dependent on drugs.

That’s my cow story. Always like a happy ending and a happy cow😊

Library at Hand

With the internet at our fingertips, it is as if we have an endless library in our homes.  We can look up whatever we want and find more sources actually than any library can provide.  We can even check the sources we find and gather from those that are reputable. When the internet was first available, the argument “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet”,  was soon being claimed.  Well, it is true.  It’s easy to realize if you do much researchimg at all, that not all things on the internet are valid or truth, BUT—-nothing bugs me more than to hear people who DON’T research, make that statement when you present them with information they are uncomfortable with. Point being, there are now VERY reputable sources who share excellent information and who give the sources for their information.  It is exciting, challenging, and rewarding to learn. Now more than ever it is so easy to gather information and good sound advise in order to make informed decisions. Learning is fun. We as a family find it exciting when we learn ways to care for our families  more naturally without resorting first to chemicals such as pain relievers, antibiotics and the like.  Learning from others’ experiences can save a boatload of time and money as well as mistakes. I remember as a child being told to “learn from others’ mistakes”.   This was wisdom and I could see even then that it would spare me much grief if I lived this.  I say this to make the point that if someone has experience with something and they are successful or get good results, then there may be no need to try to doing that same thing differently.  So, learn from others, gather good information from sources that can be backed up, promote only what you can testify to and be willing to learn that you may not always know as much as you thought you knew!  Ouch.

Now that I’ve rambled on, here is my example.  As a family, we are learning about the uses for Coloidal Silver.  We have found advise on how and when to use it.  I don’t like to push a home remedy that I haven’t personally found to be helpful to me or someone that I know and trust personally but I am excited to share this story. Our oldest daughter’s friend developed mastitis. It came on suddenly and progressed quickly. It started in the morning as a sore red spot the size of a quarter.  By evening, she had developed a fever and the spot had grown to be about five inches wide.  Since it was the weekend, the only place to get medical help was ER.  Since antibiotics would have been prescribed and can lesson you milk supply she did not want to take one if at all possible. My daughter asked her if she would like to try Colloidal Silver. She agreed and began taking it that very night.  By morning, it was nearly gone!  The fever was gone and she felt much better with just a little soreness. Mastitis is something that doctors claim won’t go away without antibiotics.  Well guess what, it went away! For far less money than a medical bill, you can buy it on Amazon and it works!!  I strongly urge you to dig into your “library” and do some reading about Colloidal Silver. We would all do well to have it on hand for infections.   There is so much that it will fight off and heal rather quickly.

Back soon with a cow story!