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

Jul 29, 2019

Weekend Links & Updates...Early...and Late!

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

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

James 1: 2-4
My friends, I'm sorry I have been so absent from this blog. 2019 has been one heck of a year. Let me backtrack a little so you can get the big picture.

In February, just as I was finishing a book project for Dover Publications and planning to put in a big garden - I got a call that shook my world. My dad was going home from the hospital with hospice care. My husband, kids, and I drove out of state to be with him. We cared for him for about a week, but on the very day my husband took my kids home (he had to get back to his job), my dad died. I remained out of state for more than a month, looking after Dad's estate.

When I finally came home, I was utterly exhausted, but still dealing with SO MUCH PAPERWORK related to Dad's estate. And, on the same day my dad died, my husband's grandmother also had a terrible stroke; the family was trying to care for her in her home, then struggling to find a foster care situation for her, since her care was more than anyone in the family could handle.

In the meantime, Dover Publications sent me another contract. It was something I told them I would do before my Dad went home on hospice, and while most of me wanted to turn it down because I already had my hands too full, I knew the publisher was relying on me to fill a spot in their catalog. I didn't want to let them down. So I signed the contract and began working hard on finishing the job under a tight deadline.

Then my mom had a heart attack. And another. Docs put two stents in her arteries, which were 90% blocked. And today, she's had another heart attack.

And did I mention that I've been having some issues myself? The nausea, dizziness, vertigo, and passing out my doctor and I thought were related to my severe anemia last year have returned. Oy.

I completely trust in the Lord, but this is all still pretty stressful. All I really want to do is cuddle my kids and enjoy summer with them.

So, the blog, writing for magazines, and a whole lot of other things have fallen by the wayside.

We did go to the county fair last weekend...the first fun family thing we've done since...I can't even remember. And I have taken up sewing again - purposefully making time for fun, easy, cheerful projects. (I've been on an apron-making spree, as you can see from the photos below.)
From a 1980s pattern: McCall's 608
From a reprint of a 1940s pattern: Simplicity 8571.
From a 1940s pattern: Advance 5998. It's my new orchard harvesting apron and it works GREAT!
(If all these aprons put you in the mood to make one yourself, check out The Best FREE Apron Patterns on the Net.)

So...that's why I haven't posted. But for those of you who don't follow the blog on Facebook, I thought I'd take a few minutes and share my news and some interesting links. I hope you enjoy them!

First harvest out of any consequence this year.
* Even though I didn't get a big garden in this year, my husband did build a beautiful asparagus bed. I got the asparagus planted and it's doing well! But because the asparagus is still young and relatively small, I also planted beets, radishes, turnips, and carrots in the same bed. Yesterday was my first harvest off this garden. Isn't it lovely? In the basket you'll also see a few greenhouse tomatoes, a bell pepper, and some yellow and red plums.

* My dad had several small mandarin trees he started from seed. I brought them home with me, and we'll see if they survive our cooler climate. Here are some great tips on growing citrus in cooler-climate areas.

* I get bored cooking and eating the same things over and over, so I like to regularly try new recipes. Here is something I made for the first time last week. Everyone loved it, including my chicken-hating husband! Spicy Chicken with Cauliflower Rice. I may change up the seasonings for the cauli-rice, however, since it was too cauliflowery for my kids ;)

* Being a canning "rebel" has consequences. Often it's children or the elderly you're putting at risk, but in a recent case, it was the canner herself who nearly died. Follow the rules, people. Proper canning isn't hard. There's no excuse.

* Gripe water is a safe, old timey remedy for colicky babies. Here's how to make your own.

* I cringe when I see people asking what type of poisions to use in their gardens. There are a lot of effective ways to get rid of weeds without using RoundUp. Here are a few.

* A few reasons your children should have their own garden.

* Do you participate in Operation Christmas Child? Here are some great tips for doing so most effectively.

* Such a wonderful story: "A Group of Lions Save Christians" 

* I saw this and HAD to have one. Wore it to my last doctor's appointment and my doctor LOVED it,
too! (He tells me I should be the poster child for getting diabetic blood sugars under complete control...You might want to read How I Reversed My Diabetes, if you or someone you love is suffering from diabetes.)

* An article I recently wrote for Backwoods Home magazine: How to hatch chicks with a broody hen.

Oldies But Goodies:

* Keeping the House Cool in Summer (With or Without AC) 

* The 7 Wonders of the World Homeschool Project 

* Low Sugar, No Added Pectin Blackberry Jam 

* Canning Pickled Green Beans (Dilly Beans)

Feb 8, 2019

Weekend Links

We have snow!
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.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. "
James 1:17
* We finally got our share of the snow! Oh, it's nothing compared to what some of you are getting, but four inches of snow is a BIG DEAL where I live! My kids love it, of course, but I confess I'm having the best time watching the animals react. Our two male cats keep trying to come inside. (And yes, they have plenty of warm, cozy places to stay that are not our house.) Our female cat, ever the huntress, just sees it as a grand opportunity to find new prey. Our youngest hens have never seen snow before and they keep hopping around the snowy part of the chicken run. The older ladies hardly seem to notice the snow. And the rooster? He'd rather stay in the hen house all day. Most fun is the dog. He loves snow! He goes outside and plays all day and when he gets tired, he sits in the snow to rest. No way, no how is he coming in until we make him!

* Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy of The Ultimate Dandelion Medicine Book! It was #1 in Herbal Medicine and Alternative Medicine and #7 in Health on Amazon and has all 5-star reviews. Now I'm hoping you will all GO LEAVE A REVIEW! Hahaha! But reviews make all the difference in Amazon helping new readers find books! By the way, I also started a Facebook group that's entirely devoted to using dandelions as food and medicine. Join us!

* While the kittens were recovering from their spay and neuter, they lived in my canning kitchen. And since they got into and on everything, it was too unsanitary to use for food preservation. Now they are healed and living outside, so I fired up my canner and freeze dryer. First, I tackled some meat in the freezer. Around Christmastime, I bought ham and turkey for 99 cents a pound - about as cheap as they get around here. I cooked the ham and we ate two meals off it, then I made ham stock and canned it, along with some ham meat. Then my husband smoked the turkey, we ate two meals off it, I canned stock from the bones, and I freeze dried the rest of the meat. When reconstituted, it tastes just like it would fresh out of the smoker!

The turkey before freeze drying...
and the turkey after freeze drying.

I also had about 80 eggs from our hens in the fridge, so I decided to try freeze drying them. I whipped the eggs to combine the yolks and whites and popped them into the machine. Now they are shelf stable for over 20 years and can be used to cook scrambled eggs, or for baking. I love my freeze dryer! (Learn more about it here.)
Eggs going into the freeze dryer...
and eggs coming out of the freeze dryer.
* I recently finished this novel, Between Two Shores, by one of my favorite modern novelists, Jocelyn Green. It's a straight historical (not a romance) and I LOVED it! Totally refreshing and so moving, too. I highly recommend it.

* Recall on peaches, nectarines, and plums. 

* Tyson chicken nugget recall.

* Are measles making a come-back where you live? Do you know the signs and symptoms of measles? 

* This will be controversial, but it's worth reading. Why getting the measles vaccine may help prevent other childhood diseases.

* The beauty of God's creation is highlighted in these microscopic images of seeds.

* Love pickles? Then you probably should try dehydrated pickle chips!

* How to make garden fertilizer with comfrey "tea." 

* 6 fruit crops you can propagate from cuttings.

Oldies But Goodies:

* Foraging for Chickweed

* Why & How to Prune Blueberries for a Better Harvest
* Why I Don't Watch HGTV (and Maybe You Shouldn't Either)

Nov 16, 2018

Weekend Links & Updates

A bear footprint I recently discovered on the homestead. This is just a baby!
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! 


I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Phillipians 4:12-13


November is a significant month. Not only do we have Thanksgiving coming up (click here for my Thanksgiving posts), but it's also when we note two other important-to-me events: World Diabetes Day and Prematurity Awareness month.

Did you know my first child was born during my second trimester? She was supposed to be a Thanksgiving baby, but instead was born in early August. You can read all about that journey here, but here's the short version: We don't know why she was premature, but several times we came very close to losing her. (Prematurity is the leading cause of death in infants.) She spent four months in the NICU, and then many more months in physical and feeding therapy. (Yes, many preemies have to be coached to eat!) I hope and pray you never experience being the parent of a preemie, but I also hope and pray you will heartily support those who are. Trouble is, most people can't even fathom what that's like to live through and have NO IDEA what to do to help. So years ago, I wrote this short little piece on helping parents of preemies. I hope you'll read it.

Diabetes is also worthy of your attention. Experts say 8.1 million people have it and don't know it. Unfortunately, I'm convinced I was one of them. To learn some of the less common symptoms of diabetes, please read this post: 11 Ways We Should Have Known I Had Diabetes. I also hope that instead of following the American Diabetes Association's advice on how to treat your pre-diabetes or diabetes, you'll take a hard look at the facts and realize that way of eating only progresses the disease...which, by the way, ends in painful complications that often lead to dismemberment or death. (Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death among American adults.)  Fortunately, my doctor told me to eat keto, which put my blood sugar back into the normal range. Many thousands of type 2 diabetics have also reversed their blood sugars to normal by eating this way, and type 1s use it to lower their need for insulin injections. For more information, please read Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution (written by a type 1 doctor) and my post How I Reversed My Diabetes.

My diabetic journey has been a little more complicated than some people's...perhaps because I went undiagnosed for many years. Just recently, for example, caffeine began spiking my blood sugar. Though this is a real and true bummer, I also know that no food or drink is worth the horrible consequences of high blood sugar. It is SO DOABLE to treat your diabetes with food!

* On a lighter note, I suddenly realized I haven't introduced you to our new barn kittens: Neko and Holly. They are the sweetest things ever. Best part? Our 100 lb. English shepherd adores them...and they adore him!

   Asparagus recall due to Listeria. 
* Asparagus recall due to Listeria.

* Duncan Hines cake mix recall due to salmonella. 

* Free Thanksgiving Mad Libs printable.

* This is SO good! 9 Hard Truths to Fuel a Godly Marriage.

* Code word prevents child abduction in Arizona. 

* There's an awful lot of hype out there about tumeric. Here is a more rational article about what it might do for your health.

* An easy way to grow salad greens all year long...even without a garden.

* I'm seeing a lot of questions about canning game right now, but it's the same as canning any other meat. Treat deer and de-fatted bear like beef and rabbit like chicken. Here are all the details. 

* A GMO potato creator warns against GMOs.

* I taught my firstborn cursive using the Cursive First curriculum. But while I felt my second child was finally ready to learn cursive this year, we really didn't have the money to spend on curriculum. So I've been using the totally FREE cursive worksheets over at Kidzone. I think they are just as good!

* Sunshine helps kill germs, scientists say.

Oldies But Goodies:

* DIY Pumpkin Puree
* How to Roast Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
* Garden Like a Pilgrim
* What We Can Learn from the Pilgrims
* 20 Ways to Save Money this Christmas

Oct 19, 2018

Weekend Links & Updates

I absolutely love how our gravel road looks this time of year.
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! 

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Matthew 6:33

I had to give up on apples. I'm not typically one to give up on things (i.e. I'm stubborn), but the apples got the better of me. We have 10 apple trees and they all produced like crazy this year.  I canned applesauce, apple juice and cider, apple halves in light syrup; I freeze dried apple rings; I dehydrated apple rings; I gave literal tons of apples away. I considered canning apple jam/jelly/butter, but looking at our larder, we already had too many sweet spreads. And then it was time to re-start homeschool. Preserving, homeschooling, working, being a home-keeper...something had to give. I am only one person. So I didn't preserve the rest of the apples. So. Hard. For. Me!

My family is still eating fresh apples and apples cooked into meals or baked into treats; I'm still giving apples away; I'm still feeding apples to the chickens. And someday, if I can manage to create an appropriate space, we can store whole apples in cold storage. But right now, the apples beat me. It's been a good reminder that I'm not superwoman and that priorities matter. Sigh.
Pork chops and apples is one of many recipes I've adopted since moving to our apple-rich homestead.

In other homestead news, it appears our first batch of chicks is entirely female. We are shocked by this, but since they are nearly fully grown, have shown zero signs of trying to crow, and the rooster is mating with them (haha!), we're pretty sure we have 5 new hens. Our second batch of chicks isn't fairing quite as well. We feel pretty sure one of them is a rooster, just by paying attention to its behavior. Time will tell. And we lost one of the other chicks. The possible rooster pecked it to death...and its mother and the rooster did nothing to prevent it. We did isolate the picked-on chick for a time, to allow it to heal from its wounds, but as soon as it was re-introduced to the flock, it was harshly attacked again. This is the hardest part about chickens, I think. They are pretty darn cruel - even the nicer breeds, like Australorpes. Experience tells us something was probably wrong with this chick...something we can't detect, but that the chickens somehow know. 

This book is SO good!
On a cheerier note, I've read two outstanding novels recently - both tough to put down. One is Sandra Byrd's Lady of a Thousand Treasures. It's one of the best historical romances I've ever read. (Actually, I pretty much love everything written by Sandra, so if you haven't checked out her historicals, her contemporaries, her kid's books, or her devotionals, I think you should! See all Sandra's books here.) The second novel of note is Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin. I love many of Lynn's historicals, and this one gave me tears of joy. (You do not need to have read book 1 in this series to completely understand and enjoy Mercy.)

* If you want a fun treat for your kiddos this fall, try these chocolate chip spider cookies. I made them a year or two ago, and they were a big hit. You can use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, if you prefer, and just borrow the technique for making spiders. It's easy!

* Can't afford organic? This study shows the best (and easiest and cheapest) method for removing pesticide residue from the surface of fruits. 

* How to hang onions for storage.
Blueberries just coming out of my freeze dryer.

* Check out my first-ever article for GRIT magazine. It's about winter squash on the homestead. 

* This article. Read it! It explains why you shouldn't do a ton of garden clean up this time of year - not if you want to help pollinators survive.

* This pie garland is so cute! It makes a fun Thanksgiving-ish activity for kids.

* Speaking of Thanksgiving, check out this Family Bible Reading Plan for Thanksgiving.

* Wanna be a hero this holiday season? Make a scrumptious pie (or 2 or 3...). In my book Easy as Pie, I show you how to make amazing and easy crusts, plus some of the best-tasting pies you'll ever eat! Some of my family's favorites that are included in the book are fresh (not from a can!) pumpkin pie, green tomato pie, zucchini pie, cookie dough pie, and shoofly pie.

Oldies But Goodies:

* Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Food Ideas
* How we get .06 cent eggs (Feeding Chickens on the Cheap)
* Best ideas for upcycling jeans

Aug 9, 2018

Weekend Links & Updates

My clothespin apron makes a good harvesting apron, too.
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! 

"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

It's been a long time since I've updated you about our mountaintop homestead. There have definitely been some difficulties, but there are blessings (as always), too.

Let's start with the blessings. I am feeling so much better since my surgery. It's a relief to not be utterly exhausted all the time! I'm catching up on work around here, and branching out to begin working on articles for several new-to-me magazines.

And then there's the orchard. It looks like it's going to be an abundant year. Our yellow plum trees produced so much, we've had the blessing of giving away many pounds of fruit, as well as preserving some for ourselves.

In the past, these plums have been tough to preserve because they turn to mush when canned and are not very flavorful when dehydrated. (They do make great jam, but my family eats very little and there are only so many jars I can gift.) Freezing is an option, but the fruit makes them fit only for sweets, and we don't eat those much. So I tried freeze drying them this year. And guess what? I think they taste even better freeze-dried than they do fresh! Plus, freeze-dried food lasts 25 years or more. What a win! (Read about our freeze dryer here.)

Yummy freeze dried yellow plums.


In addition, we had one hen successfully raise chicks to pullets (basically, teenage chickens) and another hen has decided she wants babies, too. Currently, she's sitting on a clutch of eggs in a cage that's separate from the other chickens.
Me in the canning kitchen...another thing I'm grateful for!
All good things.

The bad things are pretty much all financial. I'm still receiving unexpected bills for my surgery, and that expense is a big hardship on us. And because our health savings account is now empty, any time we see a doctor or dentist, it's going to cost us. And then...we accidentally ruined the main telephone/broadband line for our road. I won't even go into details, but suffice it to say we are at the mercy of the telephone company financially. Would you pray for us about that? We'd be so very grateful.

Pickles and blackberries!

* A smart way to help your teens out of bad situations

* 10 Truths for Middleschoolers.

* Many common garden flowers also have medicinal uses...including hollyhocks.

* I recently discovered that a clothespin apron I made years ago makes a good harvesting apron. It's very easy to sew, too. Instructions here.  

* Getting rid of aphids naturally. 

* A cheap way to keep deer out of your vegetable garden.

Oldies But Goodies:

* How to Cook with and Preserve Plums
* How to Dehydrate Zucchini into Zoodles
* Keeping the House Cool in Summer...even without AC
* Eating Maple Seeds

May 11, 2018

Weekend Links

Spring on the homestead.
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! 

"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Psalm 4:8

* I'm getting a hysterectomy for Mother's Day. Thankfully, I can chuckle about this! I'm not looking forward to the surgery, or to the recovery time, but I am looking forward to (Lord, willing) feeling better once I'm recovered. By the way, an awful lot of people think a hysterectomy is "no big deal." Mmmm...not really. It's a major surgery, with the removal of major organs, and recovery time varies considerably depending upon how the surgery was done (there are three basic methods, depending upon the health issues being addressed). So I'm prepping as best I can for the six week-ish recovery my doctor says I'll need, knowing t will likely take even longer to feel myself again.
The first line-dried laundry of the year!
But what an awful time of year to do such prepping! I was hoping to empty our freezer, now that my canning kitchen is complete. After all, it won't be too long and we'll have fruit in our orchard  needing preserving. I've made a good go at this task, canning up salsa (from last year's frozen tomatoes; click here for my salsa recipe, and here for info on freezing whole tomatoes) and some stock (click here for directions). I've also freeze-dried ham (bought on sale this Easter), split pea soup, and a variety of frozen veggies. But finish the job of emptying the freezer? It's just not gonna happen before my surgery.
First time using my canning kitchen.
And then there's the garden. Not only has acute anemia (which negatively affects every organ in the body) slowed me down this spring, but so has our weather. Like a lot of areas of the U.S., we've had a cooler than usual spring. This means my seedlings are smaller than I might otherwise expect at this time of year. Which means they are by no means ready to go into the garden. Which, incidentally, I still don't have. (I was thinking of doing a straw bale garden this year, as a quick and cheap alternative to trucking soil into my rocky garden spot, but it hasn't happened yet.) I did get some nursery-purchased tomato plants into the soil of the greenhouse, but everything else isn't ready to repot or move. So...who knows what will happen to this year's garden!

One area where I've been a bit more successful is making freezer meals for my family, so I don't feel the need to cook for a couple of weeks after my surgery. I don't normally do a lot of freezer meals, so it's been interesting to try to think of simple meals my family likes and that are so easy to reheat my kids can do it.
You might be a redneck if...your new raised bed is an old bathtub you found in the bushes.
I will be blogging during my recovery, although I'm not sure how often. (I wanted to write up a bunch of posts and schedule them to post periodically, but it just hasn't happened.)

* Amazon is barring a Christian organization from using its Smile program, yet allows other questionable groups to use it. My livelihood comes primarily from Amazon, so I am particularly disturbed about this. PLEASE take a moment to write to Amazon, complaining, and please consider ending your Prime subscription if Amazon doesn't amend this situation.
Using frozen tomatoes for salsa.

* Recall on ground beef.

* Recall on fresh oysters. 

* Recall on detox tea.

* An interesting article on how changing your diet can be a spiritual move. I think there's a lot of truth to this.

* Growing figs. By me, for Self-Reliance magazine.

* A clever way to freeze eggs.

* Tips for purchasing the best parental control router. 

* "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" I have learned the hard way that pharmaceuticals and even health organizations you might trust believe the answer is NO.

Oldies But Goodies:

* How to Kill E.coli on Vegetables and Fruits 

* Eating Dandelion Flowers

* Use up your garlic scapes with these great recipes!

* Got rhubarb? Here's what to do with it.

Apr 7, 2018

Weekend Links

The plums are blooming!
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! 

"Pray without ceasing."

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ______________________________________

* I don't talk about my health issues much, unless I feel I can help others by doing so. But I know the power of prayer, and I could really use here goes. Not long ago, I was diagnosed with anemia. I'll probably be having surgery to correct the underlying problem, but this could take time...and in the meantime, I feel like a little old woman. The anemia causes a speeding heart, dizziness and seeing black (it's probably responsible for my super low blood pressure spell a few months ago), muscle pain and weakness, extreme fatigue, inability to think straight, and probably other things I'm forgetting due to my brain being so tired, too. Folks treat me like I should be able to handle homeschooling, writing to help support my family, doing all the housework, and other stuff...when in reality, I just need to go to bed. The doc may insist on an iron infusion (he says it's risky) or blood transfusion (obviously not that desirable, either) before my surgery if I can't manage to up my iron supplements, which make me seriously nauseated all day and often make me vomit or have digestive issues. Would you pray for me? Thank you.

* On a lighter note, English shepherds are a superb dog breed for homesteaders. You can even teach them to help in the garden :D

* Lately, a lot of people are asking how long it takes to dehydrate such-and-such a food. While there are writers who give times, I DO NOT. And I have good reason! Too often, I've seen people dehydrate by time, and end up with an under-dehydrated food that gets moldy in storage. That's because there are way too many variables to give accurate times on dehydrating. For example, if you cut your food thicker than I do, it will take longer to dry, or if the room your dehydrator sits in is more humid than mine, a longer dehydrating time will be necessary. CONCLUSION: To truly know if you've dried food long enough, you must rip it and look and feel for moisture. If there is any sign of moisture, keep dehydrating! Otherwise, the food is ready to go and should be placed in an airtight jar in a cool, dark location. (Or, you may seal it with a Food Saver.) Desiccant packs may also be prudent if you live in a humid location. (Learn more about how to dehydrate food here.)
I dehydrated rosemary last week.
* I enjoyed picking wild Siberian Miner's Lettuce last week. I used it mostly for salads. I love the veggie keeper I use to extend its shelf life. (Here's more info on finding Miners Lettuce in your area.)

Greens keep really fresh in this container.

* A really interesting read. Among other interesting tidbits: " He gave his cows the choice to consume the conventionally grown corn or BT corn. His cows ate the conventionally grown, however they smelled the BT corn and walked away from it. 'That’s not normal,' says Vlieger. He has tried this with many other animals and found that if they have not been forced to consume GMOs in the past, they won’t eat them and will go for the conventional feed instead."

* Recall of diaper cream, due to microbial contamination.

* 40 Years of Low Fat Diets are a Failed Experiment, says the latest research.

* Managing headaches and migraines, naturally.

The seeds are started!
* Pine sap as medicine.

* Want to save vegetable seeds this year? Here are some important considerations before doing so. Make sure you don't contaminate your seed! 

* Have a neighbor or relative with a plant you love? You may be able to easily propagate it, using just a small stem.

* 15 herbs to grow in the shade.

* Teaching your kids how to write a book report? This free printable makes it fun! I printed each page of the "sandwich" in an appropriate color. For example, the tomato page was read, the lettuce page was green, and so on.

* To the Mom Who Wants to Raise Godly Kids.

Oldies But Goodies:
Hubby found another pink bath tub - I mean, garden planter - in the briars!

* Early Spring Wild Edible Walk. (video)

* Is Your Birth Control Causing Abortions?

*  Making Dandelion Jelly (such a fun project to do with the kids!)

* A Proverbs 31 Woman's Priorities

* Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Feb 17, 2018

Weekend Links & Updates

Playing Miss Hannigan in Annie.
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! 

On practising (i.e. "repeated exercise in or performance of an activity") sin:

"No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him...the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil...By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God nor the one who does not love his brother."

1 John 3:4 - 10

* I've been rather absent, not only on the blog, but also on Facebook and Instagram. I'm sorry! I haven't forgotten you, I've just been a bit overwhelmed. As I mentioned a while ago, I've been rehearsing for a local production of Annie, plus doing all my usual homeschooling, working from home, and homesteading. As if that weren't bad enough, I've been SO sick! In fact, the whole cast of the show is quite ill; I've never seen anything like it. I blame it on having lots of little kids running around, plus tiny, crowded dressing rooms with no ventilation. All my usual herbal preventatives and cures haven't worked, and I ended up with a bad sinus infection (that's has me partially deaf...fully deaf in one ear for a couple of days) and had to get on a course of antibiotics. Oh, and when I saw the doc he freaked out because my iron levels were so low, and the iron supplements he has me taking make me vomit. Fun times! Well, actually, yes. Despite illness, I'm having a fantastic time pretending to be mean to little girls :)  (P.S. People are very quick to blame my diet for any health issue I may encounter, but I've been anemic since before going keto. The root cause is excessive menstruation.)
Our (pet) buns.
* On Super Bowl Sunday, my daughter let her pet Polish rabbits mate. If you're never seen rabbits mating, get thee to YouTube right now. It's hilarious. The male often gets at the wrong end, and when he's done, he faints. We suspect the bunny mating "took" because our doe, Pickles, is acting aggressively toward our buck, Buddy. We're talking punching, growling, and attempted biting. This is normal pregnant doe behavior. (Some does will even castrate bucks that dare to come near.) Let's hope Pickles other maternal instincts are strong, too!

An excellent novel!
* At least being sick gave me a chance to sink into a new book (A Refuge Assured) by one of my favorite novelist, Joceyln Green. She writes so well - and not only did I learn about an aspect of history I was unfamiliar with (French refugees coming to the U.S. during the French Revolution), but Joceyln gives me a lot to ponder about liberty and whether it can be abused. I highly recommend her books!

* Have you ever tried baking with a wood stove?

* How to plant trees in spring.

* This looks like such a great, easy gift idea. How to make personalized candles.

* 5 Regrets You Don't Want to Have if Your Kids Walk Away from Faith. Some excellent reminders here.

Oldies But Goodies:

* Gardening hacks you should ignore.
* How to grow epic tomatoes!