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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why do We Need More Berries?? Because.. That Can Be the Beginning of Wisdom

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Berries, berries, berries.

We have berries coming out of our ears.

That (in my opinion) is a good thing and a blessing.

We have been able to share some, and put away quite a bit.  And, they are still coming on strong.

We are still picking. I was raised never to waste food.

The kids grumbling at this point, but we are picking.

I believe that God knows far better than I do (obviously), and if he feels like we need the surplus of berries…we will pick a surplus of berries.

“Why do we need MORE berries”, the kids whine. I just say “because we do not waste food”. However, I secretly hope that somehow I am instilling the bigger lesson of wisdom.

In today’s culture everything is “easy come, easy go”. My 93-year old grandfather can attest the the fact that was not always the case.

Furthermore, he keeps shouting the warning that it is sure to happen again. I believe he is right.

The worst part is the depression this time will hit people far worse.

As a culture we are being “dumbed down” by convenience, as well as the feeling to never be satisfied.

I am not pointing fingers..I too fell into that trap FAR too long.

I raised not to waste anything, a product of my mother’s depression tainted upbringing. However, when I got out on my own I followed in the “normal” game to seek better, and better.

My “better” self.

A “better” home.

A “better” car.

Better clothes.

More, more.

Newer, newer.

I look back, and it makes me sick.

Not that I don’t still enjoy nice things, I do. But, my perspective has changed.

Call it “wisdom with age”.

Call it “divine intervention”.

I think maybe it is both.

My past, like many others pasts, is full of “what-ifs”, and regrets. But, the past cannot be changed.

The good news is that I have “seen the light”. It has been a slow process to get me to my current mindset, but I believe that is where God wants me. Maybe where he wants everyone??

My older kids think I am off my rocker.

Some of my friends tease me jokingly.

Even some of my family “think I am taking it too far”.

But, I don’t care being “weird”.

That is funny to hear me say that.

I was always consumed with being in the “popular” crowd growing up.

I was raised in church. I believed. I thought that was “good enough”.

I was to want “normal” things.

I began my life as a wife and mother much the same way. For years.

Oh, to go back.

To know the relationship side of Christianity then. I just didn’t “get it”. I was to consumed by the bright and shiny things the world had to offer. And, I did the same to my kids for far too long. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I begun to see.

I didn’t consider us “worldly”.

We went to church.

We tithed.

We did the “normal” things Christians did.

But, somewhere I was longing for something.

Once I realized what it was it flipped my whole life, and my family’s life upside down.

It has truly been a journey.

The most recent change was pulling my kids from the public school system last spring, after rationalizing with myself for years that our schools were “okay” because we live in a very rural area. Because I know all the teachers. And, to be honest, because I didn’t want to home-school. I told myself that I could not add ONE more thing  to my already crazy life.

Not to mention…I went to school for ATHLETIC TRAINING and NUTRITION….I NEVER wanted to teach. It just is not my “thing”.

I blatantly ignored the feelings that God was pressing this on my heart. I justified it to myself. But, God made it clear to me. And, I finally did.

It was scary.

The kids were mad.

Teachers were hurt.

Family was un-supportive.

But, I did it.

To be honest the kids are still mad.

They don’t “get it”.

My prayer is God will help me to teach the kids…not only so they do not end up illiterate (which I do fear lol)..but that they can understand why.

The younger kids are okay with it…it is my teenagers. They were in the “norm” for too long. They crave it.

They miss it.

They are not going into all this with a smile, to say the least. I just have to tell myself that they will be better because of it.

The kids want to say that the “fun has been sucked out of me”.

I have always been a silly person..I still am. I was raised that way too 🙂 lol

I still am that person…only slightly altered. I do have many “serious” moments now, which is probably what they see….mainly because of my fears, my regrets, my hopes, my pleadings.

As the “old norm” fades in their memories, my hope is that they will embrace the way of life I am trying to show them. My prayer is that I didn’t reach the older girls too late in the game.

That like a storms blows in and causes turmoil…it refreshes everything.

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Farm Life, Parenting

 

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Gathering Plantain the Magical “Weed”

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Out of all of the “weeds” that I gather, plantain is probably at the top of the list. 

It is just good for so many things. 

It can be used as a food source, as well as used medicinally.

It has wound healing properties that make it a winner in my book.

It grows pretty much EVERYWHERE (in North America).

To use as a food source gather the leaves when the plant is young, and tender to eat raw in salads. You can also saute much like spinach.

VERY yummy!To use medically, you have several options:

  • Use fresh (when in season) -simply crush, or chew, and place it on a wound
  • Dry to preserve for later-simply allow to dried herb to re-hydrate in distilled water for a bit to use like fresh.
  • Alcohol preserved-this way makes a tincture that has benefits with asthma symptoms, or cold and cough.
  • Glycerin preserved- will not last as long as the alcohol preserved, but it is easier to get a child to take this version because it is sweeter. 

This remedy is ALWAYS in my “medicine” cabinet ready to get to work. 

It is NATURAL.

It is FREE.

And, it WORKS.

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The US FDA does not approve this, however the German equivalent to the FDA does. Makes ya wonder…hmmm. 

It has been shown to possess medical properties, including being:

  • anti-microbial
  • anti-viral
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-toxin
  • diuretic

This is just naming a few!!!

Do the research!!! It is amazing!!!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a DR. I am not telling you to replace any medication with any herbal treatment. I m stating what I do with MY family. I am not AGAINST medication. I just believe it should be reserved for life threatening BACTERIAL illnesses. 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Foraging, Herbs, Natural Living

 

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Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaning Wipes

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I have seen homemade cleaners all over the internet for a while now, and I have been making them. 

I love it.

What is not to love about making  cleanser for pennies?? 

So I  thought about it trying to make some easy cleaning wipes wit it…like Lysol Wipes only not poison.

My mother-in-law gave me one of her empty Lysol cleaning wipes containers, and I washed it out.  I separated paper towels and rolled them down in there. I took my prepared, strained orange cleaning solution and poured some over the paper towel in the container…wah-la…cleaning wipes.

I even took a paint pen and wrote Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaning Wipes on the container. Totally optional..but I wanted to 🙂 I wanted to make sure no one thought I was cheating on my chemical free home with Lysol Wipes. 😉

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If you don’t know how to make the cleanser it is simple…

Orange Vinegar Solution

  • orange peels (or any citrus peels, lemon, grapefruit, lime)
  • white vinegar
  • mason jar
  • lid

Place the peels in a mason jar. Cover with vinegar. Seal for a few weeks. 

Simple huh?

It makes itself.

Then all you do is place the solution in a spray bottle, or make homemade cleaning wipes like above. 

Technically you could do it super cheap and cut up old t-shirts to use in place of the paper towels. I haven’t tried to do it yet, but I am planning to. 

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Home, Natural Living

 

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Saving Money, Being Frugal…Even If You Try To Homestead

Smile and enjoy the flowers.

Growing up I always heard cliche phrases such as: “A penny saved, is a penny earned.”, or ” Waste not, want not”.

Of course, being a teenager, and at my “peak” of all-knowing wisdom; I would roll my eyes, and mutter.

I was not raised during the depression…but I felt like it sometimes.

We were thrifty before thrifty was cool.

Nowadays, many people are finding themselves with less and less money.

Now, that is not always a bad thing…money can do terrible things to people, but we do need some.

That being said, there are ways to save money without “feeling the pain”.

I am not going to bore you with my lack of knowledge on the financial world. However, I would like to challenge you.

I, in fact, am challenging myself.

It is easy to think you need this, that, and the other. But do you?

What if you wrote down you ACTUAL needs, and refused to buy ANYTHING outside of that. A spending diet, per say.

Well, I am.

Why?

I will tell you.

We need a new van. We do not like car payments. So far our savings have been rather pathetic toward this purchase, because just like everyone else in the world…living costs money.

Now I consider myself a frugal gal. Not cheap. Frugal.

However, I am far from perfect. And, looking over our budget I believe I can find some extra dough by going on a spending diet.

In for the next few days I will be writing out my bills, and for the next 30 days I will spend on NOTHING else.

Now I do realize that 30 days will not get me in my new van..however, it may be enough to figure out how to tighten my purse strings a tad more.

Now I do realize not everyone lives on a farm, and has access to their own animals, and crops. But, if nothing else make a NEEDS list and stick to it. You may be surprised on how much you can save. Not to mention, wasting money is not a good way to use what God has given us.

Speaking of which…tithes are important.

Also, I am not saying don’t eat. I have enough food to live off of for 30 days++++, not everyone does..I realize that.

I am meaning things like:

  • that coffee out
  • a quick bite through the drive through
  • clothes
  • shoes
  • ANYTHING that is not NEEDED

 

I also realize when you try to homestead..there are expenses that are a must. Animals have to eat too. That needs to be added o the NEED list.

No matter what you could use a few extra bucks for..attempt to go on a spending hiatus except for necessities.

As always, homemade food is more economical…not to mention better for you! Even if you are busy, with planning you can make every meal homemade. Another bonus of cooking homemade is you can make a meal out of almost anything.

Anyone with me? Lets challenge each other!

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Home, Parenting

 

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