Monday, July 29, 2013

My poison ivy predicament

Every summer I have the same problem, I somehow no matter how careful I am get into poison ivy. I watch for it everywhere I go, I make sure to stay far away from it but every year it seems to find me and every year I resort to taking an over the counter medicine or going to the doctor to get a prescription. Now that I am on my quest to get as natural as possible with my foods and with my medicines I was determined to find a natural remedy for this problem of mine and after I did all my research and talking to a friend I found what I needed and believe it or not it is something that grows like crazy around here. And that something is.........drumroll please......


I remember when I was younger we used to touch the little pods that grow on them to make them "pop", it was such fun but little did I know back then or even yesterday for that matter that they are also a very good medicinal plant. You can use them for more then just poison ivy. They are good for bug bites or pretty much anything that itches. You can crush up the stem and put the juice right on the rash or you can be like me and make an ointment out of them. I jump on any chance to practice making my salves, I loved learning to make them at the herbal medicine workshop I went to last year. First thing I did was gather up about 2 cups of chopped up stems and put them into a pan covering them with some olive oil (sorry I am one of those eye it up people and I didn't measure anything, as a blogger I should have took precise measurements, sorry)and simmered them for a few minutes, probably anywhere from 3-5 minutes. After it simmers for a few minutes I then strained the mixture because you do not want any of the plant in the salve. After you strain the oil pour it back into the pan and put some grated beeswax in to solidify the salve and after the beeswax is melted pour it into a clean sterilized jar. Once again I do not know the exact amount of beeswax but I would say it was a couple tablespoons. Here is a picture of the hot mixture when first put into the jar.

Oops this is the picture I took when my camera messed up. Pretty cool isn't it?

 Here is the better pic. Isn't that pretty? In this picture it is hot and still in liquid form so don't touch.

 After it sits for a few minutes it will start to solidify from the bottom up. I think that is the coolest part to watch.

After it cools make sure it is solid all the way through. If not then put back into pan, heat it up again and add more beeswax. That is what I had to do my first try.

Sidenote: My arm was itching like crazy and I did not have the patience to wait for the salve to solidify so I put some of the cooled down oil/jewelweed mixture on my arm and I have not itched since. I am very impressed!

I have read that you should store it in the fridge so I will be storing mine there.

Have a wonderful and blessed day!!


 I am trying this again but using coconut oil instead of olive oil so I can simmer it longer. I am going to try simmering for an hour to make it stronger.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My favorite time of the day

I enjoy everything about my life. God has definitely blessed me. I get to live close to my family and I get to stay at home and take care of my husband and daughter without having to worry about going out to a job even though I work alot harder on our farm then I ever had to work the few times I had to work outside the home. 

My favorite time of day though is in the evenings when the sun is going to bed and all of the animals have been put to bed for the night. It is a good time to look around at all of the things the good Lord has blessed me with and to thank him for each and every one of them. As you can see from the 2 pictures above God has blessed me by allowing me to live in a beautiful place where I can enjoy the sights of the night sky and watching the sun go down. I look around at all of our animals and see how blessed I am to know where my food comes from. God has blessed us also by allowing us to care for these animals, there is no better miracle to witness then the birth of a baby. To see how natural it is to the mothers to take care of and protect them. The love I see between mother and little one is so precious, there is nothing more important to her then taking care of that baby and I think that we can learn from them. The first time I heard one of my momma goats yelling when her baby wandered from her sight was amazing, I ran outside because I thought she was hurt and then I witnessed her little one come running and all was right in her world. Another reason I like evenings is because it is a time to wind down from the day and just relax. I can sit on the porch with a cup of tea reading my bible, check on my online friends or watch a movie.  It is also a time to reflect on the day and realize that it was yet again another good day.

What is your favorite time of day? Please share in the comments below.

Blessings to you all!!


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Monday, July 15, 2013

I finally found Mullein!!!!!!!!!!

 Last year in early summer or late spring I took a class on medicinal herbs at our local state park and one of the herbs we learned about is Mullein and they had some growing at the park and I knew it was native to my area so when I got home I looked and looked for it. I searched the woods on our property and hiked and hiked looking for some because I was convinced that there had to be some here but I never did find any. Well, a couple days ago my sister and I were taking my young niece for a walk in her stroller and guess what, we saw Mullein!!! and it was on my cousin's property! I knew he would not mind if I harvested it but I still made sure to ask first. I never take something from someone else's property without asking unless it is one of my goats that wandered off. I was sure it was mullein also because I have been obsessed with finding some and was very confident it what it looks like. 

These had flowering stalks so I knew they were not first year. The first year they grow they do not have flowering stalks, they just have the fuzzy leaves, which are pictured below.

I put some of the flowers in a jar with some olive oil to make some earache drops. I absolutely love natural remedies and I am very excited about finding this and will remember where I found it so that next year maybe I will be as lucky.

And just for fun here is a picture of my favorite gloves~ they are the only ones I can find that fit my small hands.

Blessings to all!!


Linked to Homestead Barn Hop

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Don't do it!

Don't do it! That is the subject of this post. I have been reading about chickens ending up in shelters and I have seen beautiful angora rabbits at a nearby shelter so I wanted to let everyone know my thoughts. Please read clear to the end or you will miss what I am trying to say.

If you are at the market (hopefully a local farmer's market) and you think to yourself Wow! We could really save some money by raising a garden and all of our own food, DONT DO IT!

If you are at a local feed store and come across some really cute fuzzy butt, baby chicks and think Wow! We can raise chickens so that we have our own homegrown eggs and meat, DONT DO IT!

Same thing goes for rabbits. I know they are cute and you can't imagine them being any problem but, DONT DO IT!

                                          What about these cute little goats? DONT DO IT!!!!

Don't do it that is until you have done all your research and maybe visited a local farm that raises the kinds of things you are interested in raising and see if you can help out for a day. And do not get them all at once, that would be way to overwhelming. Start out slow. If you do decide to visit a local farm please call and make arrangements ahead of time because farmers are busy busy people and cannot just drop everything to show you around but farmers do love to share what they do and alot of them like to talk so they will be happy to have you come over, just make sure it is a scheduled visit. The reason I say don't do it on the spur of the moment when you see these adorable chicks, and rabbits or those playful goat kids isn't because I do not love what I do because I do love it. I would not change the way I do things but I made sure it was what I wanted to do before I did it and not just because they were cute. Remember, those chicks turn into chickens including roosters, bunnies turn into rabbits, and goat kids turn into goat adults. Animals can be dirty and smelly and even though when I am out in public I am always clean, well, I am usually clean, oh who am I kidding I am sometimes clean, the majority of my days are spent with animals and let me tell you I don't always smell like roses. You also have to be willing to take care of these animals not only on the nice days but also on the rainy days, the cold days, the sweltering days, in other words ALL days. Like today it was pouring rain, and I mean pouring. The floor of the place where I milk was about 5 inches deep with water and everywhere was like a fast running creek so I decided I would hurry and milk her and then when it stopped pouring rain I would go out and feed everyone, that way I would not get as wet. Well, when I went out to the goat house the gushing current of rain had washed out the dirt under the side wall and the place was flooded so I had to get a shovel and dig up some mud to fix it. As you can imagine I was soaked and dirty! Another thing to remember is that animals don't always have the same ideas as you, they get out of their pens even when you think you have it reinforced tighter then Fort Knox! That sneaky little goat will still find a weakness and get out. Having a farm and raising your own animals is lots of work but it is also alot of fun. I love watching the baby goats playing. They like to jump around and chase each other. It is so funny to watch them chasing the chickens. Eating frest veggies and fruit from my garden is one of the most satisfying things there are and I think it tastes so much better. Knowing that my animals were very well cared for before they were put into our freezer also makes me feel good. I know what they were fed and how they were cared for and I think that is very important. And there is nothing better then standing outside and looking around and knowing that this is me and my life and I would not change it for anything. This post is in no way a post telling people not to raise their own food because I think that is an important thing to do but this IS a post telling people to make sure they research and are ready for the adventure they are about to go on because that is what it is. A wonderful, satisfying, life changing adventure and I am sure you will love it as long as you prepare.

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Have a blessed day everyone!!


Our Simple Farm
This post was shared at   Simple Living Wednesdays
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

fireworks, canisters and chicken oh my!!!!!

 Here are some pictures of the fireworks show we watched from our living room. It was really cool getting to watch them sitting on the couch. My camera captured them a little strangely but I still think they look pretty.

 Yesterday was my husband's birthday and I decided to roast one of the chickens for him that we just butchered and here is a picture of it before I put it in the oven, we were so anxious to taste it that I forgot to take an after pic. Isn't it nice and big. I have decided to keep raising the cornish rocks for meat and having the silver laced wyandottes for eggs. I am in love with both breeds. I will put my recipe for the roast chicken on my recipes page but there isn't much to it. Easy peasy!

Did you notice that the canisters are in Spanish? Quite the conversation starter when I have company.

Have a blessed Tuesday everyone!!

Also! Did you know I have a facebook page now? You can find it at

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day of the chicken

This is how I look after a long hot day processing chickens, working in the garden and relocating some chicks. Wow, let me tell ya it was a hot one today and humid. I got 6 cucumbers, 1 zucchini and a couple banana peppers from the garden today. While I was working out there getting the weeds out or at least some of the weeds out I noticed some of the stuff does not seem to like all the rain we have been getting and a few things are looking like they are starting to rot. Hopefully the Lord blesses us with some sunny days for awhile.

Anyway, what I am wanting to tell you about today is my chickens. We have been raising silver laced wyandottes for a few years now for eggs and we also have been butchering them for meat but they seemed kind of small. Needed about 1 chicken per person eating and I did not think that was a good ratio so we decided to try cornish rock crosses. Man oh man those things are big!! They were only 8 weeks old (I did not want to wait until they got so big that they were suffering from their size) and the 4 of them probably gave me more meat then all the chickens we have processed. We did have a dozen of them but a dog got most of them. Sad tragedy but I haven't seen the dogs since so I think the owner must have penned them up. I am in charge of catching the chickens and prepping them for the freezer while my husband does all of the butchering duties. I can just imagine what I looked like. Some wild and crazy woman running around the chicken pen yelling "get back here you stupid chicken" switched with "come here sweet girl". Neither worked by the way. Anyway after I caught them my husband did the necessary stuff and after he got the skin off I was shocked, it no longer looked like a chicken! It was more like hey there are some drumsticks we can have for dinner tomorrow! You could see each section of meat, it was almost like being at a grocery store and picking out the meat you want except we were in my back yard and we had all the choice cuts of meat. Right now they are in the fridge but I absolutely cannot wait to taste the meat. Maybe I will learn how to make chicken and dumplings, I think hubby would like that.

Have a blessed day everyone!!


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Saturday, July 6, 2013

sewing machine blues

This is my sewing machine. Just look at her sitting there all nice and pretty, innocent looking also. Well don't let her fool you my friend! This machine is possessed! I spent hours cleaning and oiling and reading the user manual to learn just how to use her so that she would finally be nice to me and for a couple minutes she was just that, nice, but then after I decided I had done enough test runs on a scrap piece of cloth and put my project into her, she ate my material!! Literally! I had to pull and cut and cry just to get my piece of material out of the bottom of the machine! So, I once again cleaned her up all nice and pretty and was about to start over again but then I realized that if she ate my material again I was not so sure what I would do. There were 4 windows nearby and I might just throw her through one and seeing how none of them were open I did not think that would be good for the machine or the window so I decided to put the cover on her and try again today after we both have had time to calm down. I am hoping that this evening after my nephew's wedding we will be able to sit down and come to some kind of understanding because I really am excited about the project I am doing right now if only I could get my machine to be just as excited and help me out. 

Have a blessed Saturday everyone!!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Thinking about Christmas in July and toolboxes

It is that time of year again! Time to start making Christmas presents! It is so much fun to make them and see how much people appreciate the time you put into them. They also end up with a one of a kind present. Right now I am working on a present for my niece she will be 2 at Christmas time and I know she will absolutely love what I am making her. I cannot share too many of the details just in case my sister actually reads my blog. I also find a satisfaction in knowing that I have put alot of love into the present. I have spent the last 6 months scoping pinterest and now I am ready to start crafting!


Don't you just think these tiny little itty bitty clothespins are adorable?! I am tempted to hang a baby doll shirt on my clothesline with them the next time I hang clothes outside. If my neighbors could see my clothesline I wonder what they would think.

My dear and wonderful husband has lots of tools around the trailer and I say around the trailer because he is not the best at keeping track of where his stuff is at. If I need a hammer for one of my projects he will tell me it is in the toolbox or in the barn or just look for it. *sigh* So to help solve this problem I decided to get a toolbox of my own and below is a picture of my amazingly awesome toolbox! Are you ready to see it? I even found one that has my name on it, I am such a lucky girl!!!!!

                 TaDa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It is a tool-box also know as a shoebox with tools in it, but it is all mine!
Well, guess what this past weekend I got a new to me tool box. I call it a new to me toolbox because my brother in law would call it his old toolbox but hey, I can't pass up a bargain and a free new to me toolbox is much better then a new pay way to much money for toolbox from the store. Below is a picture of it. Warning: My original toolbox was much cleaner but I figure if a messy cook is a good cook then a messy toolbox is a good toolbox user. ahaha

                                                                    Thank you Matt!!

Update on the new baby bunnies, I was able to count them today and there are 6. They are starting to get fur on them and look less like mice. When they are around 10 days old they will open their eyes and start moving around and then I will have some really cute pictures for you all.

Have a blessed day all!!!!!
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why won't the animals share?

It is finally raspberry season. I really like blackberries alot which will be in season soon but I absolutely LOVE raspberries. The only problem is that each year it seems that we have less and less raspberry bushes and what we do have the animals seem to get to before me. I never pick anything clean because I believe in leaving some for the animals but it seems as if the animals do not have the same idea as me. They seem to have a first come first serve mentality. Or else they are saying "Hey Mrs. Farmer Lady we leave your nice big garden alone, be happy with that!" I am glad the animals are staying out of my garden this year. Here are some nice pics of it. This is the nicest garden I have ever had and I am proud of it.