Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Sale Ends Today!!!! 20% off EVERYTHING!!

I am so far behind, I am not sure if I will catch up or not. :) I just wanted to give you a chance though on a coupon code for Vision Forum. They gave it out several days ago and it expires today. I thought some of you might want to do some Christmas or Birthday shopping. I actually have 4 different codes. I think they are all 1 time use codes. So, if you try one and it does not work, try another. Sorry for such short notice, but I thought you might still want to order. Here are the 4 codes:





It’s the last day for an extra 20% savings on everything at Vision Forum!

Through midnight (CDT) tonight, use one of the unique coupon code above to enjoy great pricing on family-building books, toys, movies, audio albums, and other resources that will bless and encourage your family. Your coupon even applies to products that are already discounted!

Choose from more than 1,200 family-building products — and save!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Day to Remember and Give Thanks ...

Thank you to all who have served and to those who have given everything so that I may enjoy freedom today!!! I salute you!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Green and Garden

It is really lush and green out there right now. We have had LOTS of rain. It has made it hard for the farmers to put their crops in. We don't have our garden in yet and our garlic is HUGE!!

Are you set up for canning, dehydrating and storing foods? A friend pointed out that with the world wide weather problems, floods, drought, tornadoes, etc. that there is going to be a food crisis probably this Fall. I am sure there will be higher prices, but also there could be shortages. Plan now and don't get caught without. It is much easier to store whole foods, plus you have the summer to grow a garden and have more foods to put up for the winter.

Front Moving In

I got these pictures of a front moving in.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Friend Dana

God gave me the great blessing of having Dana as a friend. She was known for her smile and was quick with her laughter. We have been friends a very long time (around 12 years). We were internet friends until last June, when she came to visit me bringing her 3 youngest sons.

Dana fought a valiant battle with breast cancer. Last night, she finished her battle and was welcomed into the arms of Jesus. She left behind a husband, five sons and a daughter-in-law. Please pray for her family as they walk this path.

Good bye for now my sweet friend. I love you and you are an inspiration to me. I hope you and my Mom get to know each other well up there. I will see you both soon!!!!

This was last June when they were here.

Dana got to make cheese while she was here. She had a ball.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Farm News

There is a lot going on right now, and I was gone most of yesterday, so I did not get a Count Your Blessings Monday post up. I think I will just wait until next Monday.

My Dad's wife had open heart surgery yesterday and came through with flying colors. She is going well today and they are waiting for a room to come open in the step down unit to move her into. My Dad seems to be doing better. I think a lot of it was stress over her.

I have a dear sweet friend who is battling cancer and is in the darkest part of the fight right now. I have been praying for her. She has 5 boys, 3 of which are still very young and she homeschools them. We have been internet friends for about 12 years. We finally met face to face last year when she and her 3 boys came to visit me for 3 days.

On the farm front... Our first batch of broilers will be butchered on the 4th of June. We shored up another pen for the field and got it all ready. Our second batch of broilers is in the brooder right now. We also have 2 roosters and 3 little hens in another pen waiting to get big enough to put in with our layers. I have a banty hen sitting on a nest.

The sheep and lambs are doing well. We have them in our side yard right now. The lambs have been trying to climb the slide on the swingset. :) We will be banding the little boys soon.

I am in a battle with English (or House) Sparrows. They have killed 4 adult bluebirds that have tried to build a nest in my box out there. Today, I found a dead tree swallow in the nest. I have changed my seed to all black oil sunflower seed and I will be putting up some sort of deterrent as well.

We planted more fruit trees and grapes this year. I was really hoping for plums this year, but I don't see that happening as I have not seen any blossoms. I need to read up on what plum trees need.

We got our garden fence up and the garden tilled. Our son and daughter-in-love have some of their plants in the garden (they are sharing part of ours). I did get my scarecrow lady some new clothes this year. Her others were a disgrace. :) I hit the half price rack at Goodwill.

Here are some recent pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

The pen with the green tarp has the laying chicks in it.

I LOVE the coloring on her face. We may keep her and breed her.

After the scare right before Christmas, Star is doing wonderfully. She is 13 1/2 years old. We have been giving her raw yogurt, a raw egg and herbal berry brew every day.

This is my scarecrow. Her name is Tallulah Brianna. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yogurt Made At Home

I have been making yogurt for years. I like to make raw yogurt with our raw milk. It was always on the runny side. Everyone told me to add powdered milk or gelatin to the mix for a thicker yogurt. I really did not want to add anything other than milk and a starter culture, so we just used runny yogurt.

Then I got a yogurt cheese strainer and would drain my yogurt which made a thicker product. I lost a lot of volume because it was so runny to begin with, even though I would use the whey that drained for other things or would feed it to animals.

Well, I just learned a new trick that has really helped. A friend shared a Greek yogurt starter with me. Greek yogurt is a a very thick creamy yogurt to begin with. I used the starter to make a "mother" starter. I only made one cup the first time. For the "mother" starter, you have to heat the milk up to at least 160°. Then it is no longer considered raw. I went ahead and did that and then let the milk cool to about 112°. I added the starter, mixed it well and put it in my yogurt maker. I took it out about 12 hours later and it was THICK!!! This is just my "mother"starter. I use some of it to make the raw milk yogurt. I heat the raw milk up to about 112° and add 2 tsp. of the starter for each cup of milk I use. I mix the starter in and then place it in my yogurt maker. The raw milk yogurt is still not as thick as the starter is, but it is much thicker than it used to be. When my "mother" starter begins to get low, I can use it to make another batch of starter by heating the milk up to 160° again.

I got a Yogotherm for Mother's Day. The Cheesemaker carries this product. It is a non electric yogurt maker that makes up to 2 quarts at a time. This is nice because I give both dogs some raw yogurt every day. I have another friend who also bought it and loves it.

I did want to say something about the Yogurt Cheese Strainer. I still use this a lot and in fact I believe I am going to get a second one to use. You just pour the yogurt into the very finely screened insert and put it in your fridge. Once the yogurt drains, you have a very nice thick yogurt that tastes very much like sour cream. You could also use it in place of cream cheese. My friend told me that she used to drain her yogurt in cheese cloth and gave up. She got one of these and loves it. They use vanilla yogurt and then use the drained yogurt to spread on toast and bagels. Her children love it.

Yogurt is so good for you and so easy to make. This is a good first step for some of you to take toward feeding your family more healthy. If you have any questions, please ask away!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Herb DVD Give Away!!

Gail over at The Imperfect Housewife is giving away 5 copies of this DVD from the Bulk Herb Store.

I use a lot of herbs and have used their herbs often. I would love to have this DVD and it has been on my wish list for awhile. :) Now, we all have a chance to win one, so head on over.

Happy Birthdays Today!!

Today is Michael's birthday. He is the sweetest most gentle and patient man there is. I am so grateful for his friendship and his love. He is a behind the scenes worker. He is willing to help and do just about anything. He is my Mr. Steady.

Here are some pictures of him through the years. We have grown up together pretty much. I LOVED his wild red curls. I would still love the wild man look on him, but he has an office job. :)

This was in the mountains of North Carolina on the weekend of our 25th wedding anniversary. He went down to find me a special rock to paint on.

This is my farmer man. :) I love him more than words can tell.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Michael. I love you and hope your day is as special as you are!!!

Somebody else has a birthday today as well. My niece Kati. She too has red hair which has earned her the lovable nickname of Sweet Tater Bug. :)

Happy Birthday, Kati!!! Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Food is Killing Us!!

If you or anyone in your family has heart problems, I URGE you to get a copy of this book and read it. Diet & Heart Disease - It's NOT What You Think by Stephen Byrnes, PhD, RNCP.

Many people think we are nuts for choosing a farming type life. Most of those people are family. :) Neither one of us were raised on a farm. We were both suburb kids. We started making changes as we became informed about things. You NEED to start looking into what you are feeding your family.

Most of the conventional heart treatments and diets recommended today are based on what is called the Lipid Hypothesis. It has never been proven and it is very faulty. I urge you to do some research on it.

Just today I read several things which makes me want to be sure and share more with you my readers and also with our customers who read this blog. One of them was called Microwave Popcorn: Yes, It Just May Kill You. It is short and worth the read. Another one showed where Researchers checked blood samples of 39 pregnant women and 30 non-pregnant women for the presence of the Bt toxin (from GMO foods). None of the women were exposed DIRECTLY to Bt, but all had conventional diets. The results: The Bt toxin showed up in 93 percent of pregnant women and 80 percent of their babies. It was also present in 69 percent of non-pregnant women in the study.

I have been amazed at how much of our food comes from China. Someone gave us decorated cookies and they were made in China!!! That blew my mind. Why would I want a cookie that had to travel all that way and from a country where there is heavy metal cadmium found in rice, toxic melamine in milk, arsenic in soy sauce, bleach in mushrooms, and the detergent borax in pork, added to make it resemble beef? The newest thing from China is exploding watermelons. They are exploding because they are being injected with something to make them grow faster. They have no clue what they are doing, and we eat it without a second thought.

I think one of the saddest things about food in our country is the raw milk issue. Our government spent a lot of money and a lot of time to run a year long sting operation to take down one Amish farmer for selling raw milk. How sad is that. There was a protest by milk advocates in Washington DC. They were milking a cow on the grass outside the U.S. Capitol. "The FDA warns that raw milk can contain dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and e. coli." They act like they are trying to protect us. How about those same dangerous bacteria that has caused deaths and been found in hamburger and other beef, salad greens and other foods? All of those foods are still available for you to buy. How about cigarettes. Right on the package is a buyer beware: Known to cause cancer and death. Yet, you can still buy them if you want them. There are many people in this country that have done the research and have decided that they want to give their family raw milk. Ron Paul has actually introduced a bill to make it legal for raw milk to legalize the interstate sales of raw milk.

The FDA has also stated that they have the right to tell you what you can and can't eat. When are we going to stand up and let them know we are not going to allow this. To let them know that they do NOT have that power?

Start doing research. I hear many people say, "It is too expensive to eat that way." You may not be able to change everything, but start somewhere. Get rid of all that processed box food you buy. Start learning to make some things from scratch. Learn about the differences in fats. I love Joel Salatin's quote when someone told him that his food was too expensive. He said, " You think my food is expensive. Have you priced cancer lately?"

If you find something you would like to share or if you have questions, PLEASE share with us or ask us. We don't know everything, but we can point you in the right direction much of the time.

A Cool Spring

Signs of Spring are all around. I got my camera to work one day... :) It works fine some days and other days, it won't work at all. So, I am grateful when it is working and try to get in as many pictures as I can.

Even though there are signs of Spring all around and our last official frost date was Sunday, it is COLD!! :) I had to light a fire yesterday and it is still going today. It has been in the mid 40's but rainy and overcast. The last 2 years we actually got a frost after our frost date, so we shall see. How is the weather in your neck of the woods?