Archive for August, 2007

09
Aug
07

Rain…Arthritis…

It rained!  Woo hoo!  1.4 inches to be exact.  Everything was dying, and I was feeling so discouraged.  Did I mention it has been over 100 degrees for the past three days?  I was in the garden picking tomatoes watching the storm heading towards us and making its usual turn north to go around us.  I wanted to cry.  I was tired and so burned out on sprinklers, and hoses, and watering cans, and buckets of water.  A little bit later I glanced at the sky again and noticed the storm was back building to the west of us.  Hmmm, maybe there was still a chance.  We went to bed and sure enough in the middle of the night it came pouring down.  Our old mama ewe who we named, Ma, (any Babe fans out there?) apparently spent the night outside in it cooling off.  Everyone was happy to have rain, even the sheep.  Our pastures will hopefully green up, our tomatoes will increase production (we were unable to fulfill an order for someone who wanted some so that was a bummer), and with any luck at all Dad will get another cutting out of his hay due to the rain.  He was very discouraged after his doctor’s appointment yesterday, so at least the rain helped.  Not often does rain brighten your day, but it did his. 

If any of you have suggestions for a natural way of treating arthritis I would love suggestions.  The doctor prescribed Celebrex for my dad and this scares me to death.  Anything he could do to avoid this dangerous drug, but not have the constant pain of arthritis would be a blessing.  Mom is going to make an attempt to change their diet.  They have a VERY poor diet and VERY poor eating habits.  I wish they would change their ways, but they tend to see me as a know-it-all or roll their eyes when I mention the dangers of soda or suggest they use olive oil regardless of cost.  Minor changes in their diet could prove to be very beneficial.  I guess children stress their parents out for the first half of their lives, then it’s the parent’s turn to stress out the child the second half.  I worry about them so much.  I would love to see them make some healthy changes in their lifestyle. 

It’s my Friday, so you know what that means.  I will visit you all again Monday.  Take care and have a wonderful weekend.  I appreciate you all on this blog more than you will ever know.

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08
Aug
07

Dad went to the doctor…

 

…and didn’t get a good report.  His ankle is not healing well.  Arthritis and tendonitis have set in his ankle and there is nothing they can do for it, and he is possibly having an allergic reaction to the metal used for his two pins and plate.  So, they are going to try to reduce the pain in his ankle with medication and see if the appearance of an allergic reaction goes away.  He will possibly have another sugery to replace the two pins and plate used in the first surgery if it doesn’t go away. 

Hopefully he can schedule the second surgery after lambing season.  I don’t think Randy, Mom, and I have it in us to go through all of it again.  Not to mention Dad having to go through it all again and the financial strain of losing lambs because no one is there to assist them.

Please pray it isn’t an allergic reaction and his pain subsides soon.  We will continue to pitch in and help to prepare for him to be down again in hopes we can make the second time around go a little smoother than the first.

07
Aug
07

Sell, sell, sell…

My mom is selling lots of tomatoes at her store (about 10-20 pounds/day).  My wonderful husband sold two bushel (106 pounds) of tomatoes to a lady he works with.  Yea!  A guy even came into Mom’s store, bought 10 pounds of tomatoes, and headed to a restaurant in town he likes to have lunch and told the owner he needed to buy his tomatoes from me.  The owner was actually interested, so I’m considering taking some by to give to him to sample.  Our neighbor is also a cook at the high school in town and said her boss would love to buy tomatoes from me.  I just need to set up a time to meet with her to show them to her, discuss pricing, and the quantity I could provide and for how long.  Our neighbor actually does the salad bar at the school and believes they use about 5 pounds/day or 25 pounds/week at the high school alone.  There are still two grade schools and another high school I could supply to in this same school district.  Now this kind of income doesn’t come close to what I make at my current job.  However, I would not be driving 90 miles/day and have to pay for fuel, would not need as nice of a car as a result, and would have more time to concentrate on being more resourceful with the money we do make.  Our sheep would receive more attention, our garden would receive more attention, and our home as a whole would receive more attention.  Our time together would be spent relaxing, talking to each other, and enjoying our time at home as opposed to rushing around every evening to get the garden, chickens, herbs, sheep, dogs, cat, and pool all tended to before sitting down to supper at 8:00 pm.  For today, our attempt to send myself home to work is looking promising.  My dh and I have a goal of spring 2008 when our ewes begin lambing.  We are making progress and will hopefully continue to see positive returns from all our hard work.  We are healthier from the changes we have made in our lifestyle, and hope to continue to make improvements throughout our lives.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday!

06
Aug
07

Hot Weekend…

 

We had an extremely busy weekend and are feeling the effects of it today.  Friday I spent the morning in the garden weeding and picking tomatoes.  I had to run into town to deliver tomatoes to Mom’s store, do some Avon deliveries, and run a few errands.  I stopped by the second-hand store in town and found a few fun things:

Knitting needles, a fun mason jar with an old-fashioned lid, and some fabric.  Here’s a close-up of the fabric.  I just LOVE it!  Dh said it looks old-fashioned, and I don’t think he meant it as a compliment.  Oh well, I think it’s pretty!

I also stopped in at the herb shop in town:

You can’t read the labels in the photo, too much flash.  On the left is an all natural deoderant stone.  I used this over the weekend and was really please with it.  In the middle is lemongrass essential oil.  I’m using this as a bug repellant.  So far, so good!  On the right is peach extract for making peach tea.  Yum!

When I got home from town I did some work in the yard and in the house, laundry, watering, and dinner.  I also managed to get some onions dehydrated.

I forgot a picture of the finished product, sorry.

I also managed to bake a couple different kinds of bread, whole wheat and cheesy onion bread and got my sourdough starter going.

Saturday morning we wormed, vaccinated, tagged, and separated our baby lambs from their mamas.  Dad came down to help since we weren’t sure how to tag them.  It actually went really well, and we got done before it got too hot out.  Once we were done we ran into town to look at a tractor for sale and some Nubian goats.  When we got home we rand to the dairy for milk, did some chores around the house, and then made our first batch of rotel for the season.  Dh helped me cut peppers and tomatoes and made the whole process go so much faster than when I do it all myself.  (Thank you!)

Sunday dh and my brother, Craig, went to help Dad roof his building for his sheep.  While they were gone I weeded the entire garden.  It needed it really bad.  Then dh and Craig came back to side the front of our shop/garage.  It looks sooo much better, and they aren’t even finished yet.  I vacuumed the pool and did some watering while they were hard at it.  A family came to look at and buy one of our rams.  Yea!  They were a really nice family.  Their son is actually the one who bought a ram from us.  He hopes to breed it to his Suffolk ewes (for the sheep people out their) and begin to work his way from black-faced sheep into white-faced sheep.  We were excited about the whole experience, for him and for us. 

I made laundry soap from a new recipe.  I haven’t used it yet, but if it works okay I will pass along the recipe.  I used Zote instead of Fels Naptha.  It has a very strong perfume smell (I think I would recommend sticking to the Fels Naptha).

And dehydrated some basil.

I hope to dehdrate my pineapple sage, spearmint, lemon balm, and oregano next.  The rosemary and peppermint will be awhile yet, and our chives may not produce this year.  The sheep mowed them down on one of their expeditions out.  Smile

Sunday evening we mulched some of the vegetable beds around the house.  The heat index was in the 100s, and we were runninng out of steam.  We are “drying off” our mama ewes, meaning we have pulled their food and water to get them to stop producing milk.  This also means we get to milk out the mamas who fill up with milk to ensure they don’t get mastitis.  We milked 4-5 ewes, luckily using Dad’s handheld milker which makes the process go a lot faster.  We try to save as much milk as possible to use if we have bottle lambs the following year.

Dh did chores while I put dinner together.  Thank goodness for crockpots and our grill as it was entirely to warm to cook inside.

This morning our conversation took the usual turn to, “if you didn’t work” our lives would be a lot simpler.  We are getting there.  We just have to make sure we are prepared to take that leap, and we just aren’t quite there yet. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

02
Aug
07

Factory Farms…

I just found this sight on Carla Lynne’s blog and thought I would share it with you.  Kansas is 12th on the Top Polluters Nationwide list.  Yuck!  Go see where your state ranks for factory farm pollution in the United States.  Some of you might not want to know.
02
Aug
07

Tomatoes anyone?

 

153 to be exact!  Most of these were picked yesterday evening:

These are headed to Mom’s store this morning to hopefully sell.

These are scheduled to be preserved as rotel, V8, and spaghetti sauce this weekend.  I also picked a head of broccoli and some over grown okra.  We have vowed to check the okra every evening.  That is one veggie that is nearly impossible for us to keep up with.  We downsized our okra crop this year, so hopefully we can keep a handle on it.

My dh had to stop to by shock for our pool on his way home, but also stopped to pick up something for me and the dogs:

Nature’s Miracle will be used in my steam cleaner to clean our living room carpet.  Greenies are way too expensive, but we had a $3 off coupon and the dogs love them.  Notice the package says, “54 Teenie”?  Our dogs are far from “Teenie,” however their size was even more pricey so dh opted for the less expensive size.  Way to shop honey!

And since the little ones were being so nosey in the above photo I made them pose for this:

And then Koal and I had a photo shoot.  I won’t bore you with all of them, but I have to share a couple:

I think he’s precious!  He’s the puppy who curls up on your feet when it’s cold, thinks he’s a lap puppy even at 40 pounds, and never barks unless he thinks it’s serious.  We found him under a broken down car in Alabama on our way to work one day along with his brother.  We coaxed them out from under the car and took them to our vet for a check up and their first round of shots (at the time we already had our blue heeler Ash and could only have one more dog to abide by our convenance).  So, our neighbors found a family from their church to adopt one, and we kept the other.  When they say rescued/pound puppies know they have been saved and make the best dogs, Koal is a perfect example of this being true.  He is just happy to be alive and wags his tail 24/7.  **Enter platform:  If you are thinking about adding a dog/cat to your family, ADOPT from your local humane society and always spay and neuter your animals.  You won’t regret it!

It’s the last day of the week for me!  Woohoo!  Tomorrow I will be canning tomatoes, dehydrating onions, and hopefully making laundry soap.  I love my Fridays at home to work around the house.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!




Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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