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Yummy Gluten Free Brownies

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“Gluten free” has definitely become a buzz word, to say the least.

First of all let me state, I do not think gluten is evil. I do not think that foods containing gluten cannot be in  a healthy, natural diet.

We do a lot of gluten free because of Jayelyn, the 14-year old.

After battling asthma from the time she was 2 years old, she has been symptom-free for over to years now. Why? Because we have removed gluten, and all dairy (but RAW dairy) from her diet.

That was a journey that I will share one day in full. A long, long, Long, LONG journey.

So anyway…Gluten free Brownies. Yum.

I love brownies.

They are delicious.

A brownie with a cup of coffee, and I am a happy girl.

The recipe is super easy.

Yummy Gluten Free Brownies

1/2 C. organic sugar

1/2 C. cocoa powder

1/3 C. organic coconut oil

1/2 C. organic coconut flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium sauce pan, melt to coconut oil, and stir in cocoa.

Remove from heat, and add sugar, and vanilla.

Stir completely.

Stir in eggs, and add in coconut flour.

Grease an 8×8 baking dish, and pour batter in.

Bake for about 30 ish minutes, depending on your oven.

Cool, and cut.

These are an easy, an quick dessert for anyone that is on a gluten free diet (or if you just like brownies, like me 🙂 )

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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Recipes

 

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My Weekend Project: A Critter House From Pallets

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Oh my…what a weekend.

We did get me a critter house built from some pallets we collected.

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Look at that pile of “junk”.

Talk about trash to treasure. MORE Details on how-to HERE.

I am using my critter house for my ducks.

Donald, Daisy, and Howard will love it.

In addition to getting that built ( we still need to paint it though), we had a parade to attend.

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This is my hubby, and our 4 year old son, Cade on the Allis-Chalmers. We are privy to any, and all of the parades…being as we live in such a small town.

It makes the kids feel SUPER important. lol

We had a good time with that.

We got home, and went into our typical chores. Cleaning, weeding, and the like. Then my 8-year old daughter, Kyla, got bit by a squirrel…blank stare…

No that is not a typo. She got BIT by a SQUIRREL??!!

Only my children.

I admit after shock my first response was RABIES.

It’s a mom thing.

No matter what happens your mind goes to the WORST possibility.

My mind searched, and I ran into the house for peroxide, and I ran back into the yard and grabbed a hand full of Plantain (I told you I LOVE this stuff).

I cleaned the wound on her finger with the peroxide, and chewed the plantain and spit it on her wound. (Now before you all start yelling at me about the germs in my mouth…it would have been better for HER to chew it herself, however she is 8. She was crying, scared, and even in a good frame of mind would not had jumped at the opportunity  to chew something green from the yard)

Then I run to the laptop to see what they say about squirrel bites. In all my years as a mama…this is a first for me.

I find out apparently it is not so rare to get bit by a squirrel??!!

So…after calling the Ohio Department of Health (because apparently it is a State law to report wild animal bites, and I do not want Children’s Services up in my business) I called to report the bite.

They stated that squirrels were not on the “danger” list for rabies in our area.

After the fear had let go, I finally got the kid to tell me why she tried to pick up a squirrel. Apparently..she thought it was a bunny.

That kid.

sigh

She may be the death of me.

The amazing part of this story is just how the bite looked this morning. I SO wish I had gotten some pics, but I wasn’t even thinking about it at the time. But, take my word for it…it looked NASTY!

I went back and forth whether or not to take her to the ER for stitches. No joke.

This morning, when I took off the bandage it was a WOW moment. Plantain is magic I tell ya!!

God put these “weeds” here for a reason. Not that traditional medicine does not have it’s place, but it is not a “fix all”.

Her wound looks like scratches this morning. No swelling. No bruising. No redness.

The open wounds are sealed, and look great. I have used plantain for many things, and it still never quits amazing me!

So…that was my weekend.

Crazy even for around here.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in DIY, Herbs, Natural Living

 

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The Chicken Hospital

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Things around here are never dull.

Some days are good.’Some days are bad.

But, they are never dull.

This week has been no different.

The good news is we were given some extra chickens a while back…for free 🙂 YAY!

The bad news is I never even considered checking them for mites….duh.

I know better.  It just never even entered my brain.

So…when I just noticed a few of my girls picking at themselves, I picked one up and yep…mites. UGH

So, needless to say we had to check the whole flock.

The ones we were given, along with two of our girls had them. QUARANTINED.

We have an extra pen that has been dubbed..The Chicken Hospital.

Before these dirty birds got the privilege of going into the Chicken hospital they had to be washed…yep…chicken bath.

To help control the mites I bathe them in warm water with some lavender essential oil, and citronella essential oil in it.  It really seems to help. (I use do Terra oils…actually I started selling them just for the discount. I do not “actively sell”..just offer if someone needs them.)

I have always bathed any “newbies” in this solution before introducing them to my flock…except for this time…I don’t know what happened.

I do, however, have a theory.

I think children kill brain cells. They are cute. They can be sweet. But, under it all they are ruthless.

I swear ….I used to be smarter. But, child after child the I.Q. has plummeted some. Hmmm…suspicious. 

So…the girls are in quarantine for now.

They will get another bath in a few days .

We are also spritzing the others with a mixture of my Natural Fly Spray For Livestock , and we are checking them for outbreaks.

If they end up getting them…I get to give more chickens baths…exciting.

We also cleaned the coop well, and sprinkled a whole bunch (the is a technical measurement, by the way) of DE.

All of this makes me question people. I just read an article (in a popular farm magazine) that chickens for house pets are becoming all the rage….. blank stare….

I mean…I love chickens, I just would not want them as room mates.

Apparently they even make….chicken diapers…not kidding.

Oh well, maybe it’s just me that thinks it is silly.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Farm Life, Natural Living

 

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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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