Archive for April, 2009

29
Apr
09

Swine Flu Scare…

In the past I haven’t been one to worry about sicknesses going around (West Nile, Avian Flu, etc.).  However, Randy and I are really worn down from a long list of activity on our farm and Mom and Dad’s.  Plus we have company, Randy’s Dad and Stepmom, visiting next week.  So we are taking some extra precautions to help get our systems built back up so we are ready to enjoy our company and prevent sickness in our home.

 

I just placed and order with Vitacost for:

CoQ10 (daily)

Vitamin C (daily at first, then as needed)

Echinacea (as needed)

Kyolic Formula 103 Aged Garlic Extract (initially it will be taken daily)

          Ingredients:  Vitamin C (Ester-C)

          Aged Garlic Extract Powder (bulb)

Premium Mushroom Complex Shiitake, Maitake, Poria Cocos, Reishi, and Agaricus

          Astragalus Extract (root)

          Oregano Extract (leaf)

          Olive Leaf Extract (Oleuropin 18%)

 

I placed this order after reading this article.  I know the title refers to Avian Flu, but it is still the recommended steps to take for Swine Flu or any flu for that matter.

 

I’ve also been reading up on ways to get the vitamins our body needs from herbs instead of synthetics.  The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic cases tackled by modern medicine had a 30 percent mortality rate while those treated by homeopathy had a 1.05 percent mortality rate.  “Homeopathy was 98% successful in treating the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918” (and the modern flu today).

 

I can’t say I won’t take Tamiflu along with the masses if I were to get sick, but I would like to know I tried to get myself as strong as possible if this thing continues to spread across the nation and the world.

 

I am already taking Calcium and Magnesium per my Kinesiologist’s orders.  Randy and I have also added Cod Liver Oil to our routine again.  This should cover our Vitamin A, D, EPA, DHA, and Vitamin E.  We eat real butter to ensure the CLO is utilized in our body, but you can also add gold butter oil for good measure.  This is an added expense I personally couldn’t cough up the money for and decide to invest in other supplements while adding good quality butter to our diet instead.

 

Another great addition to your diet would be coconut oil.  We use this (virgin unrefined, 1 gallon)in our smoothies, cooking, and even on our hands as a lotion when they get really dry or cut up.  It has great antiviral (influenza) and antibacterial properties amongst a long list of other benefical qualities.

 

**I am not a medical professional, and everyone’s body is different.  You should research and/or seek the help of a professional when adding supplements to your daily life (especially if other medical conditions exist).  This is just what we are implementing in our home to try to strengthen our immune systems and get some energy back.

 

Hope everyone is staying healthy and enjoying the spring weather. 

27
Apr
09

Fire, Fencing, Working Lambs, and Shearing…

I spent Friday catching up on some cooking and cleaning.  Our laundry was out of control, so I tackled that also.

 

It was also bath time for a couple of our cute little bottle lambs.  Their mama has zero milk and even though they get bottles and have a bucket whenever they are hungry, they still proceed to snitch (steal milk from other mamas via the back of the ewe) so their faces are dirty and nasty from using the rear entrance to the milk supply.  So I took a bucket of warm, soapy water out to them and went to work.

 

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 Before

 

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After

They look better and they have to feel better. 

 

I secretly had every intention of curling up for a nap Friday afternoon.  One little guy took my place.

 

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What I wouldn’t give to be a dog (at our house) somedays.

 

We surprised my uncle for his 60th birthday with a little family get together.  He was surprised and enjoyed himself with food, fun, and of course cake.

 

Friday afternoon while we were getting ready for the surprise party a fire had kicked back up in this good ol’ Kansas wind at mom and dad’s.  They had burned some old hay piles from winter on Tuesday and the wind on Friday was enough to get the fire going again.  It blew through 3 corners of their (fairly new) fencing and burned a whole round bale of hay. 

 

Saturday morning Craig, Randy, and I headed to their house to replace corner posts.  While the guys worked on the corner post I was in charge of removing the copper wire attached to a telephone pole.  It will be cut into posts to use on some of the other damaged corners.

 

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This is what the posts are supposed to look like.

 

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This is what you get after a fire blows throug them.

 

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Here is what it looks like when they are burned entirely to the ground.  This is the corner the guys rebuilt.

 

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My project, the telephone pole. 

 

You can see the copper wire running the length of it.  Luckily the rams (20 or so) and the donkey had made their great escape through the downed fence so I could work in peace without worry about one of the slamming into me.

 

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Here’s a closeup of the copper wire that needed to be removed.

 

I did get to feed this cute little thing a bottle and let him tag along behind me everywhere I went. 

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He’s an Icelandic ram lamb and just as cute as he can be.

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 And such a good little helper.

 

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While we were doing that Dad moved all his sheep home from Grandma’s where they had spent the last part of winter.  I helped him de-worm and get set up to work lambs.  We de-wormed 70-80 ewes (I’m guessing) and once mom got home from work we ate lunch and headed back out to work just over 100 lambs.

 

Saturday night Randy and I had a retirement party to go to.  So, we went home, did our chores, showered, and headed to Wichita.  We could have easily crawled into bed for the night, but did have a nice time visiting with some new people.

 

Sunday morning started early with chores, and corralling all of our sheep for shearing.  At 7:30am the shearers showed up, and we were going.

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 All the girls ready and waiting.

 

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We had to pull the lambs out one by one out of the shute.

 

After our sheep were sheared we headed to mom and dad’s.  We sheared until 2:30 (about 200 sheep) when the rain finally hit.  We probably only had 60 sheep (1 hour’s worth) left to shear, but they will have to come back another day to finish it up.  It poured as we picked up and got all the sheep back where they belonged.  We had a quick bite to eat there then headed home to do our chores and shower. 

 

By 6:00 we were tucked in bed while the thunder and lightning boomed and flashed outside.  Our “lovely” blue heeler, Ash, spins in circles and barks when it thunders.  No idea why, but she did this all throughout the night.  So even though we got to bed in time to get plenty of sleep we were awake off and on all night by her barking.

 

Animals obviously rule our world!  Have a great day!

23
Apr
09

Pool Time…For Some…

The dogs were screaming for their swimming pool last night, so after a couple rounds of ball Randy got out their pool, cleaned it, and filled it up with nice, cool water.

 

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Our blue heeler, Ash, loves her pool.  She was in it before a drop of water hit it.

 

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Everyone was happy!

22
Apr
09

Quick Adoption Update…

Our updated home study arrived in the mail Monday evening.  I made copies Tuesday, so that part should be ready.

 

Today we are headed to Pratt to re-sign and re-notarize our medical paper work our doctor had to re-do (see a pattern here?)per Nepal’s changes.  He was nice enough to do it without a fuss.  We also need to develop a picture of Randy by himself to send along with all our other photos.

 

Once these two things are done all we will be waiting on is our I600 approval from USCIS.  Once it arrives we will have to sign it, copy it, and notarize it and get it in the mail to Holt. 

 

It is a BEAUTIFUL day here, and I am working a half-day before heading to the kinesiologist/chiropractor and then home to meet Randy to head to Pratt.  I am looking forward to a short day at work and an afternoon spent with my husband.

 

Have a wonderful day!

21
Apr
09

Sandwiches…

Okay, maybe a weird post, but when we were having lunch Saturday Randy and I were talking about how we don’t eat lunch meat.  You know the sliced packages of turkey, ham, and bologna.  This seems so crazy to some.  What on earth do we put on a sandwich (and we eat a lot of sandwiches) if we don’t use these?  And Why? 

 

Fried egg sandwiches are probably my biggest life saver.  We are getting over a dozen eggs a day from our Rhode Islands, so this is a perfect way to make a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner for next to nothing.

 

Hotdogs!  I know what you’re thinking, “yuck,” and “that is so not healthy.”  Well, Randy LOVES hotdogs.  It’s the one food he would rather not give up.  So we compromised.  We eat Hebrew National (and we eat them in moderation) until I can find an even healthier hotdog that catches my eye.  They aren’t perfect.  What pre-packaged, man-made food is?  They are kosher, and I can get these at my local grocery store and I even found them in extra-large, quarter pound variety at Sam’s.  Hebrew Nation also carries deli meats, lunchmeatspolish sausages, and condiments, but I have yet to find these anywhere.  If I ever find polish sausages I will probably clean them out.

 

Chicken salad is another biggie at our house.  After I have roasted a chicken, every last bit of meat gets picked off the bone before I toss what remains into the crockpot to make broth. 

 

We do lots of burgers.  I know all the anti-red-meat-eaters will cringe.  Cringe away.  We buy only locally raised beef, sometimes grassfed, and never from a feed lot.  We eat them on homemade bread with home canned pickled green tomatoes.

 

Sloppy Joes are another quick meal at our house.  As I said before, our hamburger is local.  We would love to buy strictly grassfed, but for now we do what’s financially feasible.  Our ground beef is always mixed with ground venison, half and half.  These are served on homemade bread with home canned sweet green tomatoes.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are another favorite, especially with a bowl of homemade tomato soup.  We are finishing up the last of our sliced American cheese (American cheese isn’t even really a cheese) and switching over to block cheese until I can start making my own hard cheese.  I have found Tillamook cheese at my local grocery store.  It is expensive, but most healthy food does cost more.  So, we will use it sparingly and hopefully get motivated to buy/build a cheese press and begin making our own.  Again, not perfect, organic, or homemade, but it gets us by until something better comes along.

We also do open-faced shredded chicken sandwiches under the broiler in the toaster oven.  These are a great way to use up roasted chicken.

Lunch meat is a processed meat filled with chemical additivesSodium nitrite (warning…this is in the Hebrew National hotdogs) is one of these additives.  It is used to give processed meat it’s “fresh” color.  Lunch meat is listed as one of the worst foods and leading cause of certain cancers such as colon cancer.

That’s all I can think of for now.  There is life without lunch meat.  I know our hotdogs aren’t a pillar of health, but we do what we can and still allow ourselves a “treat” everyonce in awhile. 

Have a great day!

21
Apr
09

Homestead Update…

Randy took Friday off to tear down the engine for our 4-wheel drive pickup.  I dusted and vacuumed our house.  I also finished organizing our back closets and moving heavy objects off of the top shelves of the closet we will be using a storm shelter if needed.  I replaced records, board games, and movies with blankets, sleeping bags, and patio furniture cushions.  They will be much nicer to come crashing down on top of us in a tornado than a stack of records.

 

We started back on our cod liver oil.  We had been slacking to say the least.  I have also added Primrose Oil to the mix to try to help with some PMS issues.  Maca is also on my list of supplements to start taking, but I tasted the powder the other day.  I may have to put it in capsules to get it down the hatch.  I’m not sure my smoothies can mask its taste.  What a girl has to go through to ward off mood-swings.

 

Saturday was fence day.  We got a late start due to a corn issue.  Our grain cart had leaked from all the rian and the remaining corn was now moldy so we couldn’t feed it to our sheep.  We bucketed the bad corn out of the cart, rinsed the cart, and headed to the co-op for fresh corn.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch and headed out to roll up barbed-wire fencing.  We got the entire half-mile stretched rolled that afternoon, finishing up right before the rain hit.  Here is what remains of what once was a barbed-wire fence.

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Just to give you an idea, the post hiding behind the ball is about 4 feet tall.  I was the wire roller, but have to admit I handed to task over to Randy toward the end.  The ball was just too big for me to roll.  There are 4 balls of wire total that got rolled up Saturday.  The other ones aren’t quite this big. 

 

Sunday was yard day and boy did it need it.  Randy ran the weed eater and mowed while I pulled weeds in all our flower beds and bucketed them over to the sheep.  The wind was blowing a million miles an hour, so it was a little nerve-wracking at times.  It looks so nice now that it is all done and the sheep were pleased to have something fresh and green to munch on.

 

Last night Randy went out after dinner and pulled ALL the posts where we had taken down the barbed-wire Saturday.  I couldn’t believe he was able to get them all pulled in one evening. 

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A mix of t-posts and wooden posts had to be pulled.

 

I spent the evening cooking, cleaning up dinner, and feeding bottle lambs (giving special attention to a sick ewe lamb we have been doctoring).  We also have a rooster with a hurt foot who needs some extra attention in the evenings.  I give him a pile of scratch grain and feed and bat away the other chickens while he devours his dinner.  I do think he is getting better, but only time will tell if he can make a full recovery.

 

looking_back_at_house_compressed This is a view from the north end of the pasture looking back at the house.  Wish it was a little greener, but I love the view from out here green or not.

 

Have a wonderful day!

15
Apr
09

Homestead Update…

Yesterday was Randy’s birthday.  The day got a bit mixed up, but he got presents, money, and hotdogs for dinner so he was happy.  Our neighbors came down to help us with chores and visit.  There is nothing better than good neighbors.  It was so nice of them.

 

We have a little ewe lamb who is really having a tough time.  When she isn’t constipated she has diarrhea.  When she doesn’t have diarrhea she’s bloated.  Everyone has surpassed her growth-wise.  I feel so bad for her.  We are fairly sure her state is due to her eating too much hay at too young an age.  Her body cannot digest it, yet she devours it.  I’m about to decide to pull her this weekend, stick her in a crate in the house where there is no hay to be had, and monitor her diet.  That will give me three days to really focus on her eating and get her system cleared of any hay and strictly back to milk (or milk replacer).  I may even try to milk out a ewe so she will have real milk and not milk replacer.  That would be huge for her system I think.   

 

Our Rhode Islands are laying 12-14 eggs a day.  A lot of them are still little, but some of our customers/neighbors don’t care as long as they get eggs.  One of our roosters, yes we have more than one for now, has hurt his foot.  If he is not better by the weekend we may have to put him down.  There was a guy in town interested in getting a rooster from us, but I’m not sure we are going to have one for him now.  We only have two RI roosters and one Bantie rooster.  We really hope to get a new coop built and move our Banties into it.  We will use that coop to raise our broilers once or twice a year and house the Banties.

 

I plan to devote Friday to cleaning our house.  Between lambing, bottle lambs, a blizzard, and constant rain I’ve really let our house go.  It needs a thorough cleaning and fast.  I also hope to spend some time in the kitchen preparing meals for the upcoming week.  We have really gotten away from healthy eating this week. 

 

I hope to get some beans soaking so I can make Navy Bean Casserole and Italian Pinto Beans to put up for quick meals I can pull out of the freezer.  We are trying to eat from our freezer (mainly meat) and get it all cleaned out before restocking it with grass-fed beef, fall broilers, and hopefully venison.  I need to get some meat pulled out of there this evening, sausage, ham steaks,  maybe a homegrown chicken to bake on Sunday, spaghetti sauce, and chicken broth.

 

I didn’t make it to the Asian Market while I was in Wichita Friday, so I’m completely out of brown rice.  Hopefully I will make it back over there soon to get a few things, but for now we are rice-less.

 

This weekend (weather permitting) will be dedicated to tearing down pasture fencing.  We didn’t get our pasture burned like we had hoped.  Here in Kansas you at the mercy of the winds and the weekends have just been too windy and/or rainy.  Our rams got to go out to pasture last night.  The girls were so jealous.

 

Our yard is a weedy mess.  Our neighbors offered to spray it yesterday (which was really nice of them), but Randy told them “no thanks.”  They make fun of us because we are adamant about not using chemicals on our lawn and garden.  Laugh away, we just won’t do it.  We will hopefully get it mowed down low soon and burned off next year.  Corn gluten is really expensive for the amount of grass we have, but hopefully we can start using it to help control weeds.  I’ve planted lots of new fruit bushes and trees, so as they grow and branch out the amount or grass/weeds will decrease and we will have less to worry about in the way of a weedy lawn.  Our yard doesn’t look great right now, and we know that, but we won’t break.  We won’t use chemicals for a quick fix.

 

Hope you have a wonderful day!




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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