Friday, July 9, 2010

Sugar is poison! :ox

The more I have health problems after consuming sugar, the more I am convinced it is toxic.
Case in point:
When I am very good, eating a well balance diet, only consuming honey occasionally & stevia, I feel so much healthier.
But, when I have been craving & binging on sweets & junk food.....I feel ill. I get achy, sore joints, I'm irregular, have mood swings, crying jags, & just generally don't feel well at all.
Some ER doc once tried to tell me he suspected I may have fibromyalgia. Who doesn't these days? It seems everyone is being diagnosed with either ADD/ADHD, fibromyalgia, or autism. Not to mention the other scores of diseases.
I have been reading up on this subject for years & I know better than to eat it. But my body craves it & it's in everything nowadays!
Growing up my mom limited & watched very closely our sugar consumption.
When I was very young she had been told I was hypoglycemic, maybe that is part of the reason for her concern. Or maybe she just knew there was a connection even back then.
When I would go to a friend's house I would binge on sugary junk food & become very ill. It was like my body was trying to make up for lost time, but then I would dearly pay for that "fun". I would have fever, aches, chills, vomiting, the whole 9 yards. Everytime.
I too try to limit my family's "junk food index", but it is a hard battle. My husband is the junk food "junky" in our home so he is perceived to be the fun one, while I end up being the bad guy. The controlling party pooper.

Well, here we are again. After a few days of "junking out" I am getting sick. I can feel it. I am achy, my joints hurt, my sinuses hurt, I had an emotional meltdown yesterday & my poor husband got yelled at.
He is the one who brings it in the house. If it's here I will eat it, just like the rest of the family.
My theory is "Don't bring it in the house"!

People, people, people! Wake up & smell the stevia!

And, when there is an occasional craving why not just a bite? Why does it have to be a KING size candy bar? (Which by the way, has 4 servings in it but nobody ever reads the label.)
Or a 44 oz. sugary drink? (how many servings in that one?)
Or why not just one small candy bar instead of a MEGA bag? (You think you're saving money by buying in bulk, but you will be paying with your health.)

Ok, I'm getting down off my soap box for a breather.

All this to say, we should become pro-active, informed consumers. We should become educated about our food, learn how to read labels, & listen to our bodies.
Contact the food companies & government rep.s to say we want healthier food.
Stop buying the junk & grow a garden!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What a dreamer....

This is a picture, as you can plainly see, of a washer & dryer.

My NEW washer & dryer. The first matched set of brand-spanking new, never before used by anyone else, laundry convenience.

It's a love/hate relationship really.

Let me explain.

I love that they are new & matching, but hate the money we had to spend.

I love that they are "Colossal Capacity", energy star-rated, energy efficient, & all that, but...hate the money we had to spend.

We got a pretty good deal, but could we have saved more money?

I'm not just all about the money, but it does cross my mind.

Part of the love/hate relationship is based on this fact: I vowed when the dryer broke we would not replace it, but continue to use the clothesline. Darn!

The other part of this love/hate equation? We had to spend my cream separator money to get the new set.

I even told friends & family that we would soon have fresh raw goat's milk butter & they had been excited.

Now, unless I find a way to spin the cream out of the milk using my washer, I'm out of luck.

Wouldn't that be something? I wonder how many gallons it would hold? It does have variable speeds so I could adjust according to how heavy I want the cream. Then all I'd have to do is pour the cream back in the tub & let it agitate.

Voila! Butter!

What a dreamer, no? Oui, oui.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Catching up & burying the dead

 Ok, someone other than my mom requested I update my blog! LOL No offense mom, but I still don't technically exist in "blogger land".

Well, I haven't been on here since Feb. so, I have alot of catching up to do.
Here's the short list, not necessarily in correct order:

*"Outback" (the cow) has grown
*We had some chicks hatch
*Our dear beloved "Elvis" (1 of our fave roos) has been snatched by coyotes
*My hubby thought he had a heart attack, turned out to be stress
*Our oldest son got married & turned 19
*I had some wonderful bonding time w/ my daughter-in-law during wedding prep.
*Our granddaughter, Emily, has gotten in her 1st tooth
*We taught Vacation Bible School at church
*We had our 20th anniversary
*I am learning ASL (American Sign Language)
*Gave an educational tour of the "farm" 
*My cell phone died taking a "milk bath"
*Mom got contact lenses, still no radio show
*My brother & his wife came out from NY for the wedding
*School let out for summer
*Our 15 yr old is job hunting
*Our youngest (13) is gearing up for full on tackle football
*He was cleared by his Neurosurgeon to play
*I just know I'm forgetting some things.......
*And, most recently, we lost a bunch of hens to some neighborhood dogs.

Expanding on that, we had left for a friend's wedding & in the rush forgot to lock the chicken coop for the night.  Upon returning home we discover a dead hen in our driveway & thought it might have been coyotes.
I decided not to patrol the property, in the dark of night, in my heels & fancy dress. Though I have been known to do so before.
Having changed clothes & retrieved the flashlight, I discovered 5 chicken carcasses scattered around our property. My youngest son found one poor hen still clinging to life, but covered in ants. We tried to get all the ants off & placed her in a cage to rest, but she died the next morning.
One terrified hen was hiding under the horse trailer, & had to be pulled out. She is re"coop"erating in "hospital" & looks promising.
I realized there had to be some hens MIA because my white leghorn was gone & there were white feathers everywhere. She & Elvis were the only white chickens, and he's been gone for awhile.

I deduced (using my detective skills, lol), that it was Colonel Mustard, in the study, who used a candlestick!
Oh, sorry, I got carried away for a minute.

At 1st I thought maybe it had been a pack of coyotes; the older ones killing & carrying off the MIA's, and the carcasses left by the younger ones "practicing" their hunting skills.
But, when 2 hens (1 was the white leghorn) came out of hiding the next morning, I knew this was the work of neighborhood dogs. 
See, the coyote's MO is to kill 1 or 2, leave few feathers & carry off the dead to be consumed. (the only exception I have seen is when one female coyote killed several of our hens & came back to carry them off 1 by 1 to her pups.)
However, the neighborhood dog's MO is to kill several chickens, leaving the bodies & feathers everywhere.
Coyotes are calculating & careful, they just want to eat.
Dogs are messy & careless, they just want to have fun.

The next morning, guess who returns to "the scene of the crime"? Dun-dun-dun-dunhhhhh (insert suspenseful music here). 2 small dogs that belong to one of my neighbors.
Is it possible for 2 small, lapdog size canines to take down that many chickens? I suspect so since there wasn't more damage done to the carcasses & they gave chase to one of the hens while I was watching.

Now, the unfortunate task, having to tell my dear sweet neighbors that their cute little pooches are really cold blooded killers. I will be kind, & non accusatory, but I'm hoping for some kind of restitution. Not money per say, but some form of apology & reassurance the little butchers will be kept in their own yard.
I'm not looking forward to this, but they need to know.
If the shoe were on the other foot, I would give them the same number of my best laying hens to replace their loss, keep the dogs indoors & only take them out on leashes.
If only we had locked the coop.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy cow!!

Who is this handsome stranger staring into my camera?

As I was taking this picture I'm saying to myself,
"Don't look into his eyes! Don't make friends, don't make friends, don't make friends!"
As for now he is still scared of me, so I'm not attached....yet.

Like I really need anymore drama in my life, my dear sweet husband had to go & bring home a meat cow.
He calls me a couple of nights ago, while I'm out on an errand, & informs me that he bought me a "gift".
Once I learn how much it cost, & that it's a steer for meat, I realize this is really more for him than myself.

You see, I lean a little towards the vegetarian side, but do occasionally consume red meat. Especially if it's organic.

So, I call myself a "flex-itarian", LOL.

Here's the problem, I also become attached to animals & it makes it hard for me to consume them.

Now, I'm not one of those people who "won't eat anything with a face on it", or "won't eat those cuddly animals because they are so cute" & I haven't joined PETA. (No offense to anyone who feels that way) Though I am very much against animal cruelty.

I believe God put certain animals on this earth for the purpose of feeding us. And I think some are quite tasty!

I do have issues with the way people treat them, feed them, medicate them, kill them, etc.

So, my choice not to eat meat on occasion actually extends to other species besides cows.

My flexitarianism is based on what I have learned about feedlots, growth hormones, GMO (genetically modified organisms) corn & soy as feed, inhumane killing practices, unsanitary processing conditions, etc.

Do you see where I'm coming from?

Want healthy beef? Research it & raise it yourself.

More & more I am convinced that grass-fed beef is the healthiest for you. What I wouldn't give for an acre of beautiful lush grass!

Others here are not educated about grass-fed & frankly don't give a darn because "they love corn-fed beef!" Little do they realize what a "corn only" diet does to the cattle's health when they are being fattened up for slaughter. I won't go into gory detail, it's pretty gross.

So, my dilemma is...that this cow is so darn cute, he's gonna make it hard to eat him.

Whatever will I do?


Monday, March 22, 2010

From Stud to Dud

Poor infertile boy.
This is our Ameraucana rooster who has had around 30 hens all to himself for the last couple of months & can't seem to fertilize any eggs.
The hens have been sitting faithfully, poor girls, but to no avail. I have candled the eggs on several occasions only to find plain old eggs, no babies developing.
So, he has gone from "Stud" to "Dud" status. (I googled it to see if there was any advice, apparently not many people have discussed this topic.)
I shall have to bring "Old Blue" back in, to do the job properly, I suppose.
Old Blue is our Blue Andalusian rooster who has been sequestered in the rabbit hutch until the county fair, so his feathers would be in show condition.
Such a shame too, I was hoping for more color in our flock. Old Blue has fathered so many of our hens before that half our flock is already grey. The Ameraucana's also lay blue-green eggs & I was hoping for more hens to lay those pretty gems.
What's a farmer to do? lol

On another note, my mom is starting a new radio show called "Blondie & Red".
(She is "The Crazy Hat Lady"
Today will be our first attempt at going "on air". But, since we are still trying to figure it all out, it may end up being an entire hour of nothing, lol.
Mom wants to talk about whatever pops into our heads, which a lot of times is quite comical. Since I am always on the go, I will be the roving reporter.
And, since mom says I "will talk to anyone", I will also be interviewing people as I go about my day. (I like to think I have a gift for gab, but also a God-given talent for being able to connect with people.)
As of now, we will be on air every Monday from 11am to 12pm.
My husband doesn't know about this yet, or the fact that I'm a blogger.
Soon I will have to let the cat out of the bag.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Helen Yeller, burnt oats, & nachos?!?

Ok, I am a procrastinator.
Time to play catch up ....

Here is a pic of our newest addition to the farm, her name is Helen (as in Helen Yeller). Her previous owner named her & I thought it was so funny we kept it.
I found her on Craig's List & drove over 100 miles round trip to check her out. The price was so reasonable I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add another milker to our herd.
After driving so far I told my son (he's the one in the pic), "You know we are going to end up taking her home after coming all this way."
I'm glad we did, she is such a sweetheart.
She fit nicely in the backseat of my Toyota Yaris (yes, you heard right, lol) & was so well behaved all the way home.
She has been a joy to have around, though she is dry & not producing milk anymore. We will be breeding her this Fall in order to have milk & babies next Spring.
She is our first Nubian/Alpine, so she is a Nupine.

On other notes, I still don't have the garden started, ugh. But, I do have sproutlings I have started indoors & must get in the ground SOON.

My mom & I visited an organic garden market last weekend, & made some new friends. They will be selling our extra eggs there, and all proceeds go to charity. Check out their blog:

Our Farmgirl's Chapter met & decided to sew a quilt & sell it for charity.

My husband & youngest son went fishing for the week of Spring Break, so it will be nice to have fresh fish!

Oh Darn!!! I just realized my pan of oats was burning on the stove while I'm blogging. Guess it's a peanut butter bagel for breakfast again. (hope I can salvage my pan, lol)

St. Patrick's Day was uneventful. It happened to fall on a Wednesday this year, which is a church night for us. They serve dinner before Bible study, but corned beef & cabbage was out-voted, so nachos it was. I think this was the first time in years we didn't have the traditional meal, maybe I will make it this weekend.

Off to milk!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love is in the air...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! :0)

This is a picture of a heart made of soap suds. I was washing one of our milk jugs out the other day, & when I went to rinse it out.....there was the heart. I couldn't resist taking a shot of it & sharing it. It was completely unintentional, so I like to think of it as a little love note from God.

On another note, Coco, our Nigerian Dwarf has been in heat. That is the only time you hear her vocalize & boy can she yell! It didn't seem to help having Dinner in the next pen.
I can't wait until the end of April when we will be breeding her to my friend's buck. If all goes as planned she will deliver end of September/beginning of October.
We hope to have milk from her for our customers. But, she can be quite jumpy since she wasn't socialized with humans before I got her. And, she is so low to the ground I will practically have to lay down to milk her, haha. (I hear Nigerian milk is sweeter, but I also think it depends on what they are fed.)
Nigerians breed year round, which means nearly every month Coco is yelling her head off for a couple days. The rest of our girls are Purebred LaManchas, which only have a breeding season in the Fall. I guess that makes things a little quieter & easier.
We are planning to add more milkers to our herd. My husband says he wants an Alpine, which surprises me because he has always said we have too many! Lol

We shall see :0)