Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday Feel Good Moment

I  know, I know, I'm posting Thursday night for Friday.....I have a busy day tomorrow and this was more practical for me. Why am I going to be busy? I'm part of a seminar this weekend. We're going to be talking about being self sufficient and homesteading and natural health. I'm so excited.

So, what is my feel good moment? Well, for 12 months now I have not purchased any toiletries or cleaning products. I have made all my own. And that for starters makes you feel good! But the other part of my feel good moment is knowing I get to help others in their first steps to a simpler, healthier, independent life. Knowing that I can do it, I know they can do it too!

It just makes you feel good knowing you can help someone else.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Glorious He is

One would have thought by now we would have the windows shut tight and the air conditioning on high. Even so, in a camper it is much much hotter then in a home with a foundation! But God has been so good! The weather has been beautiful. The past few days we have had the windows open all day, the awning out and we have enjoyed hours sitting outside playing. The wind has been sweeping in one window and out the other, keeping the inside temp perfect. Take the time to enjoy the simple things in life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can You Do This?

Are you like me? I spent over a year reading blogs and books. I dreamed and redreamed of what my dream was. And then once I felt like this is it, this is what I want........I owned no land. Zero acres, nada. But I wanted the chickens, the garden, goats, maybe rabbits. Instead I ended up in a camper. Ha, God is so funny. Would I have to sit my dream on hold again, for even longer?

Or perhaps you're like me (I promise I do not have multiple personalities! you will understand more at the end) Can you possible make that happen with the land you have. You got the chickens, a small garden ...can you fit more produce? ...can you get two goats? I have time for more?

Sometimes we have to make the most with what we have. Yes, most of us would love the gorgeous farm house on 100 acres with fields of food for you and and your animals, as well as fields full of animals. Mountains in the distance with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Most of us do not have this.... not even half of this. Through crazy events my little family of three (and a dog) ended up full timing it in a camper. We are in the process of relocating to the farm with the fields, but till we get to the land and finish building, our camper is home. In a camper there isn't a lot of room for storing things. On our camper plot their isn't room for much more than a two cars. How can I ever achieve any aspect of my dream?

In come my parents. My parents are the best! They are just as eager to move into their own house on our dream acreage and share the fields and work with us. So in the mean time, we use their treed in one acre lot on the side of a hill. This is perfect for a starting place. Although we only have about a 15' x 15' space that we can garden in, we are growing a garden. We have managed to tuck 14 chickens away on the side of the property. And if we worked really hard we could manage the goats, but at this time they will wait.

So that said, are in living in the city with a small yard? Are you in a highrise? Maybe an apartment. Or maybe you have that acre property. You might be in one of those categories, but feel like you just cant do it, or you don't know where to start. Perhaps, you started and you want to expand, but don't know where to start. 

If you don't have the space, believe it of not, but you can do something! plant a few tomatoes in potters, so many plants can be grown in pots. AND they don't require a lot of time!!! But you want to raise your own meat? Rabbits can be raised in a spare corner of your patio or even in the corner of a room. Did you know some cities let you raise a few chickens in your lot? Check it out and see what regulations there are on raising chickens. How about goats for milk? Most cities don't let you have livestock, however people have been known to work around this by getting smaller breeds and raising them as "pets".....that just happen to give them milk! Pygmy goats are small and adaptable and just so happen to be capable of milking. If you are a family that doesn't require tons of milk then look them up online!

Another option is asking someone you know, with the land, if you can use a corner of it. A garden doesn't always require work every single day. Animals on the other hand do. So see if this is something a friend or family member would want to do with you. Split the cost, split the goods and work. It could be fulfilling for both of you.  My mom takes care of feeding and letting the chickens in/out. But when they are gone we stay at their place and take care of the chickens. I help with cleaning the coop on weekends or when I'm there during the week (which is like every other day!). I got all the seeds and planted the garden, they water it at night. We both reap the harvest.

If you are wanting to take the next step, but not sure where that is going to be....well sit down. Write down what your dreams and goals are. Cross off the things you have accomplished. Feel overwhelmed? Then look at your list, study it. What looks easy and plausible? Maybe it's expanding the garden, but you don't get much sun  in the area where you can expand. It only takes a few seconds to jump online and look up shade plants. Consider growing flowers that are edible! Take bee balm, it is part of the mint family. You can use every part of the plant for one thing or another whether it's flowers in a salad, leaves to flavor water or roots for medicinal uses. They don't need direct sun....and they grow like crazy!

Any thing is possible. Maybe you want to be able to make the most living space with the little space you live on. Think outside of the box. In a camper, things are as big as they are going to get! So then think outside. We gave our second car away to someone who needed it more. So with only one car we have the parking space of a second car that is not being used. So what did I do with the space? This...
My place of peace.
It's nothing special. Just some old carpets we had in storage and a few plants we got at an auction for less than $15. Please excuse the rocks, it has been really windy the past few days. But, that is my little spot of peace. I can sit out there and look at my plants and the hills around me and take a deep breath. It makes me feel good. During the day it gives Z and Joy Bells a place to play while I cook or clean. We eat lunch and dinner out there picnic style. It might only be 10' x 7', but it just doubled our living space.

Think out of the box. Make a list of what you want to accomplish and then start with what is practical. Sometimes a life style change in a great idea. It can encourage better health, lend to great family discussions and there tends to be a peacefulness that surrounds the accomplishments that come with setting out to homestead....whatever homesteading means to you and your family.

This blog has been linked to:
Homesteader Blog Carnival 13
Homestead Barn Hop 67

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Random Renovations

So, this morning I was looking around me. In a camper there isn't exactly a lot to look at around you. And of course, my eyes once again fell on the headboard. The headboard looks better since I spray painted it brownish. But I just can't bring myself to love it. That would be where the fun began.

Within no time, the headboard was laying at the bottom of the bed....opps. No worries, I left no holes in the wall. I also unscrewed and pulled up the heat registers. Let me just say one thing. If the heat vents are in the middle of the floor (like right in the middle of walk ways) do not, I repeat, do  not put cheap plastic vents in. They will break under the weight of a 4 year old, not to mention a grown adult. You would think RV companies would have a stronger material to use that is still light weight.
A trip to lowes will fix the vents. But for now, I guess I'm off to the land of pintrest for some inspiration to help my desire for random renovations! I'll post pics once the master piece is completed! ....Not to mention I started painting the border this past week too! I'm loving it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Feel Good Moment

If you are a mother or father you will understand better then those who aren't. But we all know those days. You know the ones I'm talking about! Those days that are crazy busy. You run from one thing to the next. While doing that you notice the house is a mess, toys from one end to the other, the chickens are out of feed, the garden needs weeding, the pool needs treatment, the dogs need to go out, you forgot to get something out for dinner and that dear child of yours wants your undivided attention.  Those kind of days. You feel like you will never get on top of the mess. Then that precious little one of yours comes and sits on your lap. Then some how your fingers run up and down his toes and his under arms and he erupts with laughter. Good hearty gut wrenching laughter. And like that the above list disappears from your mind. There is nothing more pure then the laughter of a child...especially when that laughter comes from your own. The feeling you get when you hear your baby laugh.... it can change the world!

This blog is linked to:
Homestead Barn Hop 67

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Special Girl

Joy Bells regularly gets to go for car rides. When we go to my parents, she goes with. We are usually there at least 4 times a week. She adds such flare to the car rides. She is the first dog I have seen that is terrified of the wind. If we are driving above 14 mph with the windows open she will hide her face in the seat and cry. I mean like almost a wail she's so loud about it. One time, when my mom was driving, she was in the back crying and my mom started freaking out trying to figure out what was wrong. I had to assure her everything was okay, my dog was just being special.

Well now that the temps have been rising, we have been enjoying the ac. Adah has taken up residence in the back of the vehicle keeping a watchful eye. It's quite fun to watch people's reactions when you reach a stop sign or light.
Guard Dog
If she's not watching out the window, then she tends to make herself comfy. She is quite the princess!

Speaking of princess, those are red carpets she's laying on. I'm bringing them home to lay out in our outdoor sitting area. The stones are pretty sharp and hurt her feet, they also tend to get stuck between her toes, so we are putting out our old carpets for her. What can I say, shes loved!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Deodorant That Works....Honestly!

Deodorants can be a subject that's better untouched. Can be. In my opinion its a topic of great importance.  Why? Well, for starters, no one likes to smell and no one likes to be sitting next to the person that does smell. There are hundreds of different kinds of deodorants from sticks, aerosols, roll on, rocks, etc. There are just as many do it yourself ideas floating on the web.

I have always been sensitive to skin care items. Deodorant was no excuse. Let's just say 4 out of every 5 deodrants I tried were bound to end in a reaction; the other 1 in 5 tend to not help in anyway. So I set out to find a deodorant that would actually work. First i tried the more common one I found- 1part baking soda to 3 parts cornstarch. This worked..... on days I didn't move and there for didn't break a sweat. Plus this was far from "little black dress approved". There had to be something that would work!

After a few more weeks of searching I came across a couple that used coconut oil. I love love love coconut oil! The properties in this oil are amazing. So I thought I would take a little of this one and a little of that one and see what happened. This is the recipe I used:

1tablespoon Baking Soda
1tablespoon Corn Starch or Potato Starch
1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil
About 5 Drops of Tea Tree Oil

Mix everything together and put in an old stick container and keep refrigerated or put it in a nice dish and keep in the bathroom. Just remember coconut oil liquifies at 76*. I keep mine in the bathroom and when it liquifies, I just give it a little shake and apply.

I am pleased with this mix and plan to stay with it. It works, it has no smell after it dries and you do not have to reapply later in the day. Do it really work? Yes! I am one who will not bring a product to the table and recommend it to someone else unless I have used it for at least a month and feel it is a reliable item. Will it work for everyone, I can not guarantee this. All I can say is remember this post? It was 86* with 87% humidity that day. I was so sweaty till I was done everything on my list and I did not smell at all during the day. That was only one of a number of days of not stop running and lots and lots of sweat with no smell. Plus it's healthy!

One other thought... Most deodorants have chemicals in them. The two biggest and most talk about chemicals are aluminum and paraben. Both not so good for you. Check out the articles below for more info as to why they are not great. 

Articles to check out:

This Blog is connected to:
Homestead Barn Hop 66
Homestead Blog Carnival 12

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Feel Good Moment

We have a lot of fields around us here. And with the corn still low to the ground, we can see around us pretty good. The past couple of nights it has been beautiful out. Temp and humidity have been perfect. The sky has been crystal clear, opening up a view to millions of stars. One could happily sit outside and enjoy themselves. But to add the cherry on top, there has been millions of fire flies out. As a kid I always enjoyed watching fire flies. When you look out across the field it's like a ballet dancing across the field. It commands your attention. It takes all the worries of the world a way for a minute as you enter into a world of silent peace. It's a place where master perfection has center stage.

What is a moment that recently made you stop and feel good?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Power of Persevering with Hope

Do you see that handsome man? The one right below these sentences? Isn’t he gorgeous?
 That handsome stud is Raphael, which means God has Healed. Some people would have told us to put him down, that it would be more humane. Well my friends, we didn’t and look at him.
Let's start at the beginning. I was up early in the morning anticipating the phone call. But it didn't come. I was bummed. I thought for sure today was the day. So I went downstairs to turn off the light. No point having it on. A number of hours passed. I was now serving lunch to my son and my niece and nephews. Just as I was about to serve myself, it happened. The phone rang! It was time! My oldest nephew and I rushed off to the post office (don't worry, my mom was with the rest of the kids!). As soon as we opened the door you could hear the screaming peeps and see the workers happy to have them out of the building. Great... we turned the heat lamp off and its still the month of February. Oh well, it is what it is. 
So, with my nephew gleefully holding the chick box in the back seat, we made our way back home. We got out of the car and headed straight to the bin to let the chicks be free. And there they were, fluffy black and yellowish white beauties. They were so cute! But do you see that one. The one in the front of the bin? He's not walking around and exploring like the others. I picked him up and set him by the water. He still doesn't move. I dip his beak lightly into the water. He moves his beak in a drinking motion, but still doesn't move. We'll keep an eye on him.
Well, later that night, my dad took a look at the chicks. Yep, there was something wrong with this little boy. I noticed it at the same time. He stood on one leg kind of awkwardly with the other splayed out to the side. Great. He couldn't walk, therefore he couldn't eat or drink. He just stood propped up against the wall. None of the other chicks even noticed him. So, I jumped on the computer and did some research on splayed leg syndrome. After pouring over a few sites, we decided to treat him with a band-aid. Let's just say he was not impressed! He did, however, start to hobble around a little bit. At this point I researched a good name for him, Raphael seemed right...even if it wasn't a flower name.
We kept a clean band-aid on him for 5 days, our "expert" chicken owning friends telling us its probably not worth it. We prayed over him every day. When we took the band-aid off, his foot slid right back out to the side. Time for another band-aid and more prayer. A couple days later we took the band-aid off and his foot stayed more or less in place. But this little chick was the out cast. He was getting around the pen freely, eating and drinking, but the loner. He would try and huddle with the others at nap time and they would get up and leave him. It was sad.
Fast forward about 3 or 4 weeks. I was upstairs doing some stuff and I heard this awful sound. I ran down to see what was going on. Here out little boy was having an out and out brawl with Big Boy (Dandy). Dandy was called Big Boy at first because he was the biggest of the boys and seemed to rule the roost. They had beaks full of feathers and the sound (and sight for that matter) was horrible!
Fast forward to now. They are almost 16 weeks old. Dear, dear Raphael is the king! Every now and then Dandy will try and show him up, but Raphael puts him back in place. Raphael is usually the first in in the the evening and picks his spot on the roost. He is also our biggest boy and by far the handsomest.
The only thing about this beautiful boy, his feet. They still show the effects of his leg being forced into proper position. But, I couldn't look him by because of his difference. He sure did live up to his name, God has healed. Sometimes we need to keep persevering and hoping, even when calling quits is ssssssoooooo much easier. 
Raphael's twisted toes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mulberrry Heaven

My parents happen to have a number of mulberry trees on their property. We love mulberries! Plus there is just something stimulating about picking your own fresh fruits and veggies.
The Great Mulberry On Start!
 Z is just like me in that way. He would be ok standing outside picking berries all day. So me, in all my great ideas, decided to help the process along. Maybe I should have let him go at it his way, it would have kept him busy longer. But, I had to be mom and step in.
My great idea.
I took a sheet and set it under the branches and shook and shook till we had a nice pile of berries. This was a great idea....until a daddy long-legs spider fell unto the blanket and crept towards Z. Needless to say, Z dropped the blanket and ran and half the berries rolled down the blanket and into the grass. A little rounding up of the berries and we were left with a nice amount to rinse and enjoy.
A lite rinse to remove any bugs. Ready to go yum, yum!
Let's just say the mulberries were a hit and that Z loved them. Unfortunately the pic does not show the damage done in great detail. It looked a bit like war paint on his hands and mouth.
Purple all over.

These guys just so happened to love the berries too. I tried to get a pic, but they were finished before the flash.
Chickens love mulberries too!

What kinds of wild yummy goodness to you like to pick and enjoy?

This Blog is linked to:
Homestead Barn Hop 65
Homesteader Blog Carnival 11

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ladies Lets Get Serious and Talk Bras

I use to work with teens. Some of the girls did not have steady women in their lives to be able to ask questions and look to for advise. So I learned to be very comfortable talking about the body and girl stuff. That said, if talking about bras and that stuff makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this post.

Ok, so we all wear bras....I think..... I hope! Did you ever wonder if you bra is out to get you? Well, it might be! It is a little controversial, but there are studies that say underwire is actually harmful to you. Recently my dad has started to see a Naturopathic physician named Kathy S. She has been pretty amazing. She is talented and she's a Christian. Below is an excerpt from something she wrote:

Q: How dos an underwire bra effect me?
A: In the book Dressed to Kill (Avery/Penguin Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005), the authors show a major link between bra wearing and breast cancer. Research to disprove this link has not been done, with the medical/caner industry trying to ignore the bra issue. And many people comment on this issue without having read the original research, and call the link a myth and pseudoscience without having any scientific evidence to support their opposition to this vital information. 

Based on my experience, I have come to the following conclusion between underwire bras, mental health, and breast healthy.

Breast tissue is soft, fatty tissue. Cancer is found in fatty adipose tissue. Wire is a great conductor of electricity. Unseen Electromagnetic Energy is everywhere. Some of us are more sensitive to EMF (ElectroMagnetic Fields). So, wearing a bra with metal wire attacks electromagnetic energy directly to the sight. Breasts are not a strong muscle that we can exercise to encourage toxins to leave.

Take it one step farther and consider the lymphatic factor. Bras restrict lymph, which pools at the breasts. Without lymph flow, the cells congest and painful, tender breasts result. Last comment: every time I test a client wearing an underwire bra, one or more of the acupressure points on the brain inevitably tests poorly. There appears to be a connection of imbalances such as, hormones, memory, confusion, headaches, bipolar disease, anxiety attacks, etc. to underwire bras, mental health and breast health. Just a word to the wise.

My personal thoughts: Well bras with underwire are, lets face it, way cuter and appealing. However, I have switched to using bras with out underwire and they do make you feel better. This sounds weird, but I feel a little more energetic by the end of the night. They support just as well (as long as you don't get a cheap one) and you don't feel sore by the end of the day. Coming from a busty girl, the last one is a mega plus! Below I'll include a couple of pages I found interesting on the subject.

That said. Sometimes we have to sit back and ask, What's more important; feeling sexy or being healthy? For me, as long as when I look in the mirror and things look normal and appealing, health out ways sex appeal any day!

Pages to look at:

This blog is linked to:
Homestead Barn Hop 65

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Amazing Radish

We planted some radish again this year. I have learned to enjoy radish. They are a pleasure as they are usually the first to show their leaves and are the first to be harvested. You can grow then in intervals and enjoy fresh radish all summer long.
Baby Radish!
 Last summer I decided to look into their health benefits. And this is what I found:
-They are packed full of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.
-They are high is vitamin C. And we all know vitamin C is amazing stuff!
-Radish also have folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamin and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium. 
-They contain many phytochemicals like indoles which are detoxifying agents and zeaxanthin, lutein and beta carotene which are flavonoid antioxidants.

The whole radish can be used too! This plant is the whole package with no waste. The greens, so I am told, taste great cooked up. But, I have not tried this yet. Next year I am excited to grow some Black Spanish Radish and some simple Red Globes.

And to leave you with a Chinese proverb: "Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees".
Just a little reminder radish are not the best veggie for persons with thyroid issues.

This blog is linked to:
Homesteader Blog Carnival 11 
Homestead Barn Hop 65

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Don’t Break the Ice

I think one of the best things about being a parent is teaching our little loves the things we did as kids. We got Z the game Don’t Break the Ice.  I remember playing this with my brothers when we were little. Simple game, yet so much fun.

A couple times recently I have been caught saying I wish my great grandparents could teach me how they did this. I learn best by having someone walk me through it. I’m managing to get by with reading and adapting, but if only they could teach me.  Of course this can no longer happen as the last of my great grandparents died six years ago.

So, all that said, take time in the day to teach your kids the things you know. It used to be that the children would learn their parents’ skills and take up the business when the parents were old. Now a days it seems that most kids can’t wait to get away from their parents.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mountain High, Valley Low

Mountain High
Valley Low

This weekend was spent with my lady friends in the mountain. Boy did we have fun! We enjoyed horseback riding and a midnight run to the Laundromat, shopping in the town store the size of my trailer and just simply enjoyed each other and the time off of the hustle and bustle. 
The ladies after horseback riding!
 We were up by the border of New York and Pennsylvania. It’s beautiful up there. If there is one place on this earth that I feel I can get away and be with God, it’s up there.  It is important to have a place to get away. It is also important to have people in you life that you can talk to, laugh with and cry with.
Me in God's country! (No really, there's a sign that says God's Country!)
 Tell me, where do you go to get away? What do you do when you get to that place?

Monday, June 4, 2012

RV Life Beyond the Door

As mentioned before, and I’m sure as you guessed, life in a camper is different then a house. It is still home, to us, as home is where you make it.

So with out further a do, welcome to our humble home. It is still a work in progress, but we love it and are happy with it.

Upon entry you would be standing in our living room staring at the now more attractive couch. We covered the couch and took down the curtains and made our own. The color wasn't horrible and the pattern was doable, but if this place is to be home, then it needs to be home. For a small budget you can easily make something more glamorous. As you will see in the photos, the border paper has not been redone yet. It will be painted black with a white scroll identical to the sofa cover.

 To your right after entering you find the master bedroom. Not exactly spacious, but it meets the needs of our simple family. I used a fabric spray paint to cover the head board and well the old comforter is used as blanket for Joy Bells when we are outside.

To the left of the entry you will see our kitchen/dining room. We removed the dining booth as it took up a lot of space and I wasn't sure how I was going to cover it. Plus I have an amazing early 1900's table that I love, love, love! I couldn't put it into storage any longer than necessary, so it found a comfy place in our home.

After. Including Joy's rug and my beautiful table!

We ditched the microwave for the toaster oven.
To the back of the camper we have a bathroom, sorry no pics here, it's not finished yet. And also Z's room. We let Z pick out his own fabric to redo his windows. We also let him hang up his own art work. We wanted it to feel as personal for him as possible. It's important for him to have his own space that makes him feel special, at least we feel this is important.

After. Joy Bells sleeps at the bottom of the bed.

Z's toys, art and and home school computer.
We were needing a little extra storage space and being we only needed one bunk we used the second one for storage. We had bin drawers that hold art supplies and some unused space. We used shelves to hold my sewing items, food storage, grocery bags, and other odds and ends. And since we are a game playing family, we have games and a few larger toys on top of the bins. This works great for us!
Bunk bed storage.
And Last but not least a before and after looking this way and that way.
That way before.

That way after.
This way before.

This way after.

So that's our home. We enjoy it. It is still receiving little touches of love here and there, but over all it feels like home. There is just about as much floor space as in our first apartment. The most important thing is making the place that you dwell in feel like home. You can do this and not break the bank.
The green fabric was purchased from Joann Fabric. It was $53 and then a 40% off coupon was deducted. The fabric in Z's bedroom was purchased on sale at walmart for pennies over $6. Most everything else was stuff we already had. Get creative, think how can I make this look new or feel homey. You will be more comfortable, no matter where you are living, if you can add touches of yourself. It adds both comfort and personality. So, whether you are in a house, trailer, camper, apartment or a cardboard box make it feel like home. It will bring more peace to your life. And the more peace we can find in our place of rest the better!

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