Showing posts with label Weekend Links. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weekend Links. Show all posts

Feb 11, 2017

Weekend Links & Updates

In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Deuteronomy 31:6

It's been very windy. Our large, main living windows often flex in the wind. A little scary! So sometimes I put tape across them...just in case.

* Happily, my blood sugar is now regularly in the 80s and 90s - normal. And I've lost 18 lbs. since going on this super-low carb keto diet right before Christmas. Yay!

* Another pet food recall.

* Have you seen Ball's new spiral canning jars? Pretty! I think they'd be great for gifts.

* Do You Truly Cherish Your Husband?

* Dealing with Sibling Fighting and Rudeness. 

* The Link Between Gut Bacteria and Your Child's Behavior Just Got Stronger.

* How to Adopt for (Almost) Free.

* How to prepare a home inventory, in case of fire or other disaster.

* Want to make your own natural cleaning products? Here's a great resource for getting started.

* Spring is nearly here, and with spring, come nettles - a natural, free superfood. 

* How tending a garden is good for your health. 

* How to prune blueberries for a larger harvest.  

* Have you seen the crazy news story about feeding cattle Skittles? It's true! And they've been doing it for years. Poor qualify feed = poor quality meat. 

* First GMO apple going on sale.

Oldies But Goodies

* How to tell if old seeds are still good.

* How to lead your children to Christ - with a free lesson plan.

* Keeping your marriage spark on Valentine's Day and every day.

* Make your own seasoning mixes to save money and eat more healthy.

Jan 21, 2017

Weekend Links & Updates

First egg from the new flock!
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
    and clouds are the dust of his feet."

Nahum 1:3

* Our roof blew off. Well, part of one of them, anyway. We'd known for a while that the original building on our homestead needed a new tin roof. We've had buckets catching rain inside the building all fall and winter. (An obstacle course for me, as I carry wet laundry from the washer on one side of the building to the dryer on the opposite end of the building!) When we had a big wind storm last year, my hubby tied down one especially precarious part of the roof, and we just prayed the thing would stay on until it grew dry enough to replace the entire roof.

No such luck. This week during a storm, that piece flew off. And, of course, my husband was sick in bed with a fever. It really could have been much worse, though. As it is, none of the appliances (washer, dryer, etc.) are wet. Mostly just miscellaneous junk the previous owners left behind are affected. This weekend, my hubby hopes to be well enough to temporarily repair the roof in a stronger way. Life on the homestead is certainly never boring!

* In happier news, last week we got our first egg from our new flock! In fact, at least three of our hens are now laying. I'm so thrilled. With my new diet, I eat a lot of eggs, and store bought eggs are really gag-a-maggot to me compared to backyard fresh eggs.

* I finished this book last week, after neglecting a lot of housework because of it. I really can't recommend it highly enough. It's a page turner with an inspiring message about redemption and grace.

* Chocolate candy recall. 

* Tupperware seasoning recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.

* Junket Pudding. Sounds weird, but it's another healthy, yummy fermented food worth trying.

* How I Learned to Stop Giving the Silent Treatment in My Marriage.

* 6 Newbie Homesteading Mistakes to Avoid 

Oldies But Goodies:

* The secret to backyard eggs that are cheaper than store bought!
* DIY Seed Tape
* How to Clean Soap Scum, Easily
* Sex Ed: Recommendations for Christian Kids


Jan 14, 2017

Weekend Links

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."Psalm 51:7

* It's been pretty cold here on the homestead. In fact, there's been a bit of snow! We only get snow maybe once every 15 years or so, so everything pretty much shuts down once the flakes start falling. The kids loved, it though - and so did the puppy! In fact, I had a hard time getting him back inside...and then he kept telling me he needed to go potty, but all he really wanted to do was play in the snow!

* Recall of some Tupperware seasonings due to possible Salmonella contamination. 

* Cat food recall.  

* Chip N Dip bars recalled due to undeclared potential allergen.

* I'm finally getting back into fermenting! My sauerkraut is almost done, and my kombucha SCOBY is growing! Here's how to make small batch sauerkraut (I promise it's easy) or a SCOBY.

* Is 2017 the year you're going to start a food garden? Or start sowing seeds instead of expensive nursery transplants? Then please check out my book on seed starting

* Thinking about getting goats? Here's a free e-course to help prepare you!

* 90,000 Christians killed in 2016 (1 every 6 minutes). 

Oldies But Goodies:

* Starting Veggie Seeds NOW - Even if it's Snowing!
* Free Films for Garden Inspiration
* How Mommies Can Make Prayer Their Ministry
* Popular Pins: Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party

Dec 31, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!
Ball Heritage jars will soon be discontinued.

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.   
I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.  But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.  And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven"

Luke 12:8-10

* Three weeks ago, my doctor told me I had diabetes. My blood sugar was high: 260. And my AC1 test, which indicates where the blood sugar has been in recent months, was 9.5%. At 9%, the medical guidelines are to put the patient on insulin. But after talking to my doctor, he gave me three months to get my blood sugar down. He gave me Metformin, which decreases liver glucose production, and suggested I go on a Keto diet. I did, and a few days ago, I had my first normal blood sugar test! I am doing a very strict and very low carb, high fat version of the diet: Nothing made from any type of flour, no rice, no fruit, no veggies that are higher on the glycemic index, and no sugar or any type of sweetener. My hope is to eventually get off the medication, since it does have side effects (like sleepiness) and can be hard on the kidneys and liver. Keeping it up is going to be the hardest part :)  Fortunately, I rarely feel deprived. Even at Christmas, I ate turkey, green beans, and broccoli salad. The food was good, and I was satisfied. I do miss popcorn, though...

* Recall on Herr's potato chips.

* Recall of Treehouse Foods mac and cheese.
* Cuisinart recall.

* Ball, the maker of a popular type of canning jar, just announced that come January 2017, they are retiring their colored canning jars. If you want some, now's the time to buy them! 

* If you've had a hard frost, and if there's not snow on the ground, now is an excellent time to gather dandelion leaves for eating because the cold weather takes away much of their bitterness. Try picking some, then saute them up for dinner!  Or preserve some by freezing, dehydrating, or canning for later use. You can also put the leaves in smoothies.

* Can Probiotic Foods Really Lower Blood Sugar?

* This is so spot on. We're Killing Our Kids and Calling it Love.

Oldies But Goodies:

* Why Every Housewife Needs Safety Goggles
* How to Use a Whole Ham
* 15 Bean Stew Recipe

Dec 19, 2016

Quick Update

Coming home with the Christmas tree, 1895.
If you've been wondering where I've been...sorry! Here's a quick update explaining why I haven't been posting.

My hubby is doing much better; however, he developed an infection a couple of days after his surgery. That's too quick to be from the surgery itself, so it probably was from the original injury. (Because, you know, a piece of old metal under your tongue isn't likely to cause infection! Ha!) He went to the ER for IV antibiotics and came home with antibiotic pills to take. By the next day, he was better, and today he feels just fine. The whole situation was a scary one, and we feel so thankful God preserved him.

My doc told me he'd give me three months; if my blood sugar numbers are good by then, he's putting me on insulin. That's pretty motivating! The frustrating thing is we couldn't figure why I am diabetic. He feels my diet is good; I rarely ate things made with flour and rarely ate rice. I very rarely ate anything sugary. I did consume potatoes, though, and I do wonder if all the fruit I ate this summer contributed. Mostly, I feel the diabetes is genetic.

At any rate, I'm now on a super low carb diet, as well as medication. Unfortunately, the medication has side effects while my body is getting used to it, so I've been feeling pretty sick. And when my blood sugar spikes? Ugh. I'm down for the count. But what's really clear is that I've been suffering with diabetes for a while and didn't know it. I had none of the more common symptoms. Extreme fatigue was my biggest one...but could have pointed to many things. It seems even my non-alcoholic fatty liver disease diagnosis may be incorrect; since beginning medication for diabetes, those symptoms (mostly nausea and vomiting) have all disappeared. (EDIT: I learned today that my diabetes medication is often a treatment for fatty liver, and that there's a link between fatty liver and diabetes.) I suppose the herbal medications I was taking for fatty liver made me feel better because they improved my liver function and therefore helped my liver process insulin better.

The lesson here is: Find a really good doctor and let him run blood tests!

I will be posting more after Christmas. In the meantime, I pray you have a truly blessed celebration!

Dec 10, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies and your right hand delivers me."
Psalm 138:7

 * What a week! Last Sunday, we were in the ER because my son had a severe case of hives due to a food allergy. (He's just fine now.) Thursday, my doctor called and said I have fact, I'm right on the level where medical guidelines say I need insulin. (My doc is trying non-insulin pills on me first; in about a week he'll do another test to see how I'm faring.) Then yesterday, my hubby spent the afternoon in surgery.  Last weekend, he was weed whacking a trail on our property and accidentally hit a metal post with the whacker. A piece broke off the post and hit him in the throat. He bled like crazy, but wouldn't go to the doctor. Yesterday, he decided he'd better see a doc, because he could feel a weird bump on his throat. Turned out, he not only had a piece of metal in him, but it was all the way back at the base of his tongue. The doctor said if it had been just a little bit one way or the other, it would have killed him. The surgery was two hours (lots of prodding around, trying to find the metal) and now hubby is in a lot of pain. God definitely preserved his life, but if you think of it, will you pray for his healing and pain reduction?

* Recall of Publix Pancake and Waffles mixes, due to Salmonella.

* Recall of Phil-Am Smoked Mackerel due to possible botulism.

* Recall of Apple Tree Goat Cheese due to possible listeria. 

* Recall of 2 million pounds of chicken. 

* Excessive folate and B12 during pregnancy linked to Autism. 

Oldies But Goodies:

* Christmas Tradition: A Birthday Cake for Jesus
* Tricks for Mailing Christmas Cookies
* 20 Ways to Save Money this Christmas

Dec 3, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

* Yesterday, we cut our Christmas tree...right on our own property. Now that was fun! It even has cones attached; we're leaving them in place, since most of our Christmas stuff is still packed :)  Bonus: It was too close to the house, so that's another chore taken care of. Plus we got a little firewood out of the deal.

* Also yesterday, my Instant Pot arrived. After a lot of hemming and hawing, my husband finally said, "It will make your life easier. Buy it." So I did. So far, I've cooked perfectly hard boiled eggs in it (which were the easiest eggs ever to peel), and as I type, I'm working on cooking black beans. (By the time I finished this post, the beans were done!) I'm pretty much like a kid with a new toy, here. I can't wait to try making yogurt in it!

I've used pressure cookers before, but I must say there are a lot of reasons the Instant Pot is better. Versatility is one. You can pressure cook, slow cook, saute or brown, and steam in this thing. I love kitchen gadgets that take the place of several other kitchen gadgets! (You've seen my tiny kitchen, right?) And I love that instead of having a Teflon or non-stick coating (which I feel is unhealthy; click here for more info on that), the Instant Pot has a stainless steel interior. (Which pops out and can be thrown in the dishwasher.) Previously I mostly used my pressure canner as a pressure cooker, and it's so large that it doesn't fit in the sink and therefore is a headache to clean. (For the record, pressure cookers are not the same as pressure canners. You can use some pressure canners as pressure cookers, but you cannot use any pressure cookers as pressure canners.)

* I haven't made any fermented foods since moving, and my body really misses them. So last week, I got a batch of fermented carrots going. These are so easy to make, and even picky kids love them. (Did you know that one bite of fermented food contains 100 times more probiotics than even the best pill? And homemade fermented foods contain more strains of "good bacteria" that store bought fermented foods.)

* Recall on dehumidifiers.

* Heinz gravy recalled.

* Sabra products recalled.

* Some products sold as containing aloe vera don't, according to recent tests.

* Focus on the Family has a free family Advent devotional this year. This link will also take you to links of their previous years' free advent calendars.

* Here's a free Advent calendar to go with The Jesus Storybook Bible (which is a book I highly recommend).

* Finally, mainstream science is admitting that studies showing negative effects of eating red meat are flawed. Red meat is good for you.

* On the Internet, there's an awful lot of misinformation about microwaves and how safe (or
unsafe) they are. Paleo Mom (who is a doctor and a trusted source) explains the truth behind these matters.

* Now is an excellent time of year to collect dandelion roots for food and medicine! Here's how. And if you want more idea on how to eat all parts of the high nutritious and medicinal dandelion, be sure to read my book The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook! 

* While you're at it, please don't forget my Easy as Pie Cookbook, which is a mere $2.99 for the Kindle (or $6.99 as a paperback). You're Christmas guests will love my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Pie...or my Green Tomato (tastes likes apple) Pie...or my Butternut Squash (which is the best "pumpkin pie") get the idea. 

Oldies But Goodies:

* Teach your kids meaningful Christmas carols this Advent.

* Activities to go along with popular children's Christmas books - a huge list!

* Our favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

* Gifts to help your child grow in Christ. 

Nov 19, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

My daughter's pet rabbit, relaxing on her bed.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9
* Today, I have to call my Dad and tell him I'm sorry his birthday card won't arrive on time. Do you think he'll believe me when I tell him the puppy ate his card? Because it's true! He also ate or chewed up my cell phone charger cord, my old laptop's charger cord (my children were using it for some school projects), the television cable cord the previous owners left attached to the dining room wall, my new-to-me dining room chair rails, his bed (he now sleeps on old towels), a myriad of papers (including my notes for a new recipe I'm working on), and our living room wall. Yes, the wall. So you can see I spend a lot of time "parenting" the naughty dog. 

I'm also spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with our mortgage company, which seems bent on making it difficult for us to re-build our pole barn. (The insurance company was legally bound to put our mortgage's company's name on our check...and now the mortgage co. gets to control the money.)
Just another thing the puppy tried to destroy - a new recipe I'm working on.
Otherwise, I am busy homeschooling, preserving figs, and just keeping up with everyday homestead chores like laundry and caring for animals. Did someone say Thanksgiving is coming soon? Ah well; I'll be ready...somehow.

* Glyphosate (Round Up) found in many common foods. This is really not a surprise, once you learn how much Round Up is used in commercial farming. I would caution, though, that the group that did the testing is pretty radical; I look forward to other organizations doing their own testing. In the meantime, do your best to cut all processed foods from your diet. Buy from local farmers who you trust to be honest about their growing practices. Better yet: Grow as much of your own food as possible!

* A good introduction to use the use of herbal medicine.

* Simple ways to focus on thanks this Thanksgiving. 

* Need some new and different - or classic! - pie recipes for Thanksgiving? Please consider my ebook or paperback Easy As Pie! I'm definitely making chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake pie! Sooooo yummy!

Oldies But Goodies:

* Getting Children to Listen During Devotions
* Teach Little Ones an Easy Way to Put on Their Own Jackets
* Thanksgiving Cookie Ideas
* Thanksgiving Games for Kids 
* Make Ahead Thanksgiving Food Ideas


Nov 12, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

A regular visitor to the homestead.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Ephesians 6:12

* Bear Update: Our neighbors have reported bear sightings, too. Hard to say if it's the same bear, but it's certainly a bold one. One neighbor reports loosing a goat to it (there were bear prints all over the area where the goat was), and another says that when she was walking her dog, she made a lot of noise at a nearby bear, and instead of running, the bear kept walking toward her. Also, we discovered a bear bed right next to our burned down pole barn. So I'm being careful to get the kids inside before dusk (when black bear are more often seen about), and I'm the one who braves dusk for locking up the chicken coop.

* Chicken Update: The chicks are now pullets - basically, teenage chickens. They are very curious about the puppy - and the puppy would love to play with them. But I keep the pup on a tight leash when the hens are nearby. Two funny things: These hens don't roost at night! Instead, they cram themselves into a single nesting box, which results in a lot of squawking until they settle in. I've never seen hens do that! Also, I had no idea chickens liked to eat bamboo, but there's a clump of it in their run, and the leaves are their favorite food.

* Recall of frozen strawberries due to Hepatitis A outbreak.

* GMO potatoes have been here for a bit, but the FDA just approved two new GMO varieties. To avoid GMO potatoes, buy only certified organic. Avoiding russets in favor of other types of potatoes will also keep GMOs out of your body, at least for now.

* "On Daughters and Dating: How to Intimidate Suitors."

* My son is a right brained learner, and I'm busy learning ways to better teach him. One thing I've learned is that while he struggles mightily with phonics, he does much better with sight words. So while he can't read, say, the Bob books, he reads Dick and Jane pretty well. The only trouble is that it's very difficult to find sight word early readers these days. Fortunately, Google Books has a trove of them available for free. Here's an excellent post from Contentedly Humble, which offers previews of what the books look like inside, plus links to the various editions available.
Order my print or ebook in time for holiday baking!

* An interesting article about the dangers of drinking too much water.

* I've done a post of two about whether Pinterest tricks actually work (like this and this). Here's Rodale's Organic Life's take on which of those amazing tips work - and which don't.

Oldies But Goodies:

* 7 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Food Ideas
* Freezing Apple Pie Filling makes holiday pies a breeze
* How to Freeze or Dehydrate Eggs

Oct 29, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

This is our daily harvest of figs!
In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Galations 6:9

* I'm toying with the idea of creating a Proverbs 31 Woman podcast. How many of you listen to podcasts? Would you be interested in a Proverbs 31 Woman podcast? Please let me know in the comments!
Found on the homestead: Amanita muscaria or fly agaric or fly amanita. It's beautiful, but a strong psychoactive. In Europe they carefully parboil it and eat it, but I think we'll just enjoy it's beauty. All the mushroom photos in this post are Amanita muscaria at different stages of development.
* I apologize for my lighter-than-usual blogging. The homestead fire has really eaten up my time. So far, I've been really pleased with how State Farm has handled the situation. The insurance adjuster for the building called me (after hours) the day I called in the claim, and showed up for an inspection the very next day. The fire inspector came the next day, too. Amazing! The fire expert agreed the cause of the fire was the wood stove, though, as far as I know, he gave no further details.

My dear father-in-law (a former contractor) has been gathering bids for our rebuild project, and I've been spending a huge amount of time making a list of the building's contents and researching replacement costs. This has been really tricky since almost everything in the building was antique or vintage, and for many items, I've had a really tough time finding similar items.

This week, I tried to find replacement value for my organic, home canned foods. Pricing out the jars and lids was easy, but finding similar foods was sometimes difficult. I could find dandelion jelly online, but strawberry rhubarb pie filling? Nope.

The research has only bolstered my good feelings about home canned food, though. For example, I had 72 jars of organic applesauce in the building - almost all from our orchard this summer. On Amazon, organic applesauce sells for .69 cents an ounce. That means my home canned applesauce (not including the cost of the jars and lids) is worth $1,589.76!

* We are loving greenhouse salads! Everything I planted in the greenhouse just a month or so ago is thriving, and all of it is growing faster than the exact same plants I tossed in the ground outside. It's also less troubled by slugs and snails. The tomatoes are still producing, and I'm harvesting several types of lettuce, kale, and beet greens.

* Printable family gratitude devotions for November.

* Another good reason to quit: 2 diet sodas a day linked to double risk of diabetes.

* Migraines might be caused by poor gut health.

* A little bit of an (important) rant: Gut health is being linked to many, many diseases; therefore, a lot of folks are trying to add fermented food to their diets. This is an excellent, healthful step! However, I'm hearing a lot of people talk about fermenting their sauerkraut and then canning it. Friends, when you can sauerkraut, you KILL all the good probiotics in it! So if you want the benefit of fermented food, do not can or heat it. The good news is fermented foods keep for a long time in a cool location, like the refrigerator.

Want some easy fermented food recipes? Here ya go:

* Small bath sauerkraut in a Mason jar
* How to make kombucha 
* How to make yogurt in a crock pot

Oldies But Goodies:

* 14 Thanksgiving Games for Kids
* Easy as Pie cookbook

Oct 14, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!
Spider webs are an amazing part of God's creative design!

In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by."

Psalm 57:1
* We are expecting a hurricane to hit us this Saturday. Hurricane! I had no idea we got them here! Apparently, large ones don't come often, but they do come. They are comparing the one expected this weekend to another that hit in the 1960s and destroyed buildings all over town. We are a little concerned, because we have a lot of windows, but no way to cover them. But the previous owners of our house said it was built above and beyond the hurricane code; let's hope they were truthful.

In preparation, I picked the remaining apples off the tree and harvested any figs that were ripe or close to it (I can't stand to see food go to waste), and tried to remove as many light things (like lawn chairs) from the yard as possible. I do still have potted plants out. We have extra water, plus firewood, food, and paper plates and plastic utensils (so we don't have to boil water to wash dishes if the power goes out).

Last night, was a strong storm with rain and wind. We could see our windows flexing. The puppy, who sleeps in a sheltered area in a large crate outside, barked so much last night, we had to get up in the wee hours and move him to an outbuilding. He's afraid of the wind. (He needs to get over that because we live in a windy area!) Tonight, maybe, we'll bring his crate in. The bunny can come in, too...but not the chickens!

I'm reading there have been tornadoes in nearby areas today - again, rare, but they do happen here sometimes.

Please pray for the safety of everyone in our area. This is not Florida; we aren't used to this type of weather and most people are completely unprepared. We need God's protection.

* Several recalls: Blue Bunny ice cream, Nestle Drumstick ice cream, and Lunchables.

* A report that Similac formula may contain maggots.

* I've written before  about the fact that our ancestors, who sometimes canned veggies in a water bath canner (which is now known as a good way to poison someone) may have gotten away with it because they boiled canned veggies before serving them. But here's a great article that explains some other reasons past generations may have (or may not have!) gotten away with unsafe canning procedures.

* Intestinal diversity protects against asthma. Fermented foods are your friend!

* Fire cider is easy to make, and many people swear by it's ability to keeps colds and flu at bay!

Christmas Countdown

This week, I didn't post any gift ideas, but here are a few I mentioned on Facebook the week previous that didn't make it into last weeks' Weekend Links. See last weeks' suggestions here. See part one of the Christmas Countdown here and click here for part two.

Christmas Countdown Gift #16: Family Games. Yes, kids enjoy games. But when the whole family plays, games take on a whole new, important place! Board and card games are an easy way for families to spend quality time together, building relationships. Here are some of my family's favorites.

Christmas Countdown Gift #17: Food Saver. They really do make food last longer in the freezer - or if it's dehydrated. Truly a must if your recipient preserves food or shops sales to get more affordable meat and produce. We have this exact model and love it!

Oct 8, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

As seen on our homestead.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

* Fall is hitting us hard, and it's a good time to reflect on our first months on this new homestead. I think we've accomplished an awful lot: Put in a new well (with hired help, and the work of the Mr., the kids, and me); dealt with a variety of plumbing issues; began unpacking; harvested and preserved from most of the orchard (some apple trees are still producing); started a modest winter garden; acquired a rabbit and a puppy; acquired chicks and built a brand new run for them; hauled some of the garbage that was left by the previous owners to the dump; cut brush back from some of the trails in the forest; painted one room - all since moving here in June. Now the Mr. is busy gathering wood for the winter; there's lots of dead wood in the forest, so at least it will be seasoned. We also think our little house is so well insulated, we won't need nearly as much firewood as we did on our suburban homestead. That's a blessing! (Unless Hubby starts a fire in the stove in early fall; then it feels like a curse because the house is to hot!)

* A Day in the Life of a Homesteader: Wake up to the puppy whimpering to get out of his crate (which protects him from cougars). Bleary eyed, walk puppy down our private road and let him maul me with love. Stagger back up the private road to grab a cup of tea before the kids get up. Wipe the mud off puppy, then walk inside to discover kids already up. Time for breakfast! But first, let the chickens out of their house. Let the puppy out to go potty again. Clean the mud off him. Breakfast, devotions, let puppy out and clean mud off him twice. Our read aloud (currently The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, which I strongly recommend), which is interrupted seemingly endless times by me telling the puppy "no!" Tell kids to get ready for school. Run a load of laundry out to the out building while the rain takes a break. Check to make sure puppy isn't trying to kill chickens. Run into the greenhouse to check plants. Water. Prune tomatoes. De-muddify puppy. Do homeschool with lots of me saying "no!" to the puppy. Clean house, with puppy chasing vacuum and mop. Declutter just-unpacked items, since there will be a party at the house this weekend. Let puppy out for the billionth time and clean the mud off him. Harvest veggies. Puppy. Do more laundry inbetween rain showers. Puppy. Blog. Puppy (!). Organize recently preserved foods. Puppy. Sit down (finally!) for a cup of tea. Puppy interrupts endlessly. Make dinner. Puppy. Serve and eat dinner while puppy interrupts as often as he can. Do dishes. Puppy! Vegetate with a book while saying "no!" to puppy. Make hubby's lunch. Puppy!! Get kids to brush and change. Puppy!!! Put puppy to bed (hurrah!). Put kids to bed. Put self to bed, exhausted. The end.
The chicks are getting big!

* So far this year, my family's birthday gifts have been free because I've earned gift cards through Swagbucks. I'm working toward making Christmas free, too! If you don't already belong to Swagbucks, but like the idea of free gifts, now is a great time to join. If you click this link, join Swagbucks, and complete one "gold survey" by Oct. 31st, Swagbucks will give you 400 points to get you off to a fantastic start! To learn more about Swagbucks, click here.

* Why Discipline Often Backfires with Kids. Interesting stuff!

* Your Birth Control Might Raise Your Depression Risk. It's full of risks, actually; this is just the latest "discovery."

* Natural Help for Gassy Tummies.

* Harvesting and Using Horseradish. 
The tomatoes in the greenhouse and really producing now, and the greens in my fall garden and starting to give us salads!
I never get tired of this view.

Christmas Countdown

See part one of the Christmas Countdown. Click here for part two.

Christmas Countdown Gift #12: Food in a Jar. Homemade gifts show you put time and energy and thought into the gift; plus, they are a good way to give more with less $. Check out my gifts in a jar ideas here.

Christmas Countdown Gift #13: Food. It's hard to miss the mark when you give away delicious food. Some ideas include cookies, cinnamon rolls, delish but easy bread, amazing cranberry bread, or even homemade sauerkraut!

Christmas Countdown Gift #14: A chicken. Or, if you prefer, a goat or a pig. My kids BEG to give this gift. Because it makes such a difference in the lives of the truly needy. Check out World Vision to see what I'm taking about. 

Christmas Countdown Gift #15: Books! Most books are excellent gifts, but today I'll stump for The Jesus Storybook Bible. This children's Bible is such a blessing on the whole family! It's entire focus on Jesus, and even the adults in the house may find themselves learning something. I recommend buying the book and the CDs.