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I am a Christian woman who loves her family and tries to live with a purpose. "I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13


Wednesday, July 20, 2016


As I told you last week Hubby hit his head.  Well he wasn't doing as well as he should of been so Daughter and I took him back to the doctor.  A CT-Scan was ordered and it was normal.  The doctor did a further exam and found Hubby had indeed suffered a slight concussion.  He asked if in taking it easy Hubby had been watching TV or on the computer more and of course he had been.  So we left with instructions for him to stay off the TV and computer for a few days to let the brain have a chance to heal.  Seems with a concussion the brain has a hard time healing when looking at screens i.e. TV or computer, too much strain.  We were also given printouts on what to look for and what happens to the brain with a concussion.
So what does that mean.  With the heat being what it is and Hubby being down, I'm caring for the animals and the garden but not much more outside.  This is giving me a chance to can and get ahead on a few other things. 
Trying to keep things as natural as possible we try not to take too many prescriptions meds (only those we really need.)  So when it comes to Cold and Flu season we use Black Elderberries.  In the past we've either made a tea or a tincture.  The grandchildren will drink the tea but it's not their favorite and because the tincture has alcohol in it we don't give it to them.  So I went online and found this Elderberry Syrup from Wellness Mama blog.  It's a lot more palatable for the children.  Now I like the tea.  I drink it hot or cold.  I simply brew the tea for approximately 5 minutes and then add local honey I get from the farmers market.  The tincture recipe I got from Off Grid with Doug and Stacy on youtube.
Please remember this is what we do for our family.  I am not a Doctor or any other Medical Professional and I am not advising you to do this.  I don't not make any claims this will heal or help you.

If you don't have Elderberries growing anywhere close to you, they can be found on amazon.com.  When I have to order from Amazon I order the Frontier Co-Op brand (organic if I can find it) and I haven't been disappointed yet.  I'm sure there are other good brands but Frontier Co-Op is the only one I've used so I can't speak to the others.
Recipe found:
Off Grid with Doug and Stacy youtube.com
Fill a jar one third of the way with Black Elderberries then fill the rest of the jar with Vodka.  Put a lid on the jar and let sit in a cool dark place for six weeks.  Shake the jar a few times a week.  After the six weeks strain the Elderberries reserving the liquid.  You can compost or throw the elderberries away.  We take like a medicine cup every 3 hours as need, until feeling better.

Stacy also has a recipe for Elderberry Syrup and it's pretty close to the same if I remember right.
Recipe found:
Wellness Mama
How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey and herbs for an immune boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.
Serves: 1 quart
  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  3. Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
  4. When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  5. Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
  6. Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
As always have a safe and Blessed day.  Remember share your knowledge.

Monday, July 18, 2016


I started making Vanilla extract a few months ago.  While I was straining and rebottling my homemade Vanilla extract I had the idea to make other extracts since they are somewhat expensive.  I went online and found a few recipes.  I found recipes for Orange, Lemon, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Coconut and Chocolate extracts.
All but the Cinnamon recipe called for Vodka although one site said they made Vanilla with Rum and another Bourbon.  The Cinnamon recipe called for Brandy.  So I made a trip to town and bought vodka, brandy, oranges, lemons and cinnamon sticks.  I have the peppermint growing in the garden.  I have to thank my mother-in-law for the peppermint.  She cut a few sprigs of peppermint and told me just plant it.  It's growing like wild fire.  I wish I had her green thumb.  I've seen her plant a stick and grow a tree.  Before I get too far off topic I also had the cocoa powder here.

All the recipes say to shake the mixtures a couple times a week and keep the jars in a cool dark place for  six to eight weeks, then strain. That's what I did with the vanilla extract as well.  I'm going to make each of the extracts in pint jars and I'm going to make extras so I can hand them out for Christmas gifts. 

So here are some of the recipes I've found online:

 "The Preppers Blueprint"

"Just Putzing Around the Kitchen"

There are many others but these are the ones I'm going to try.  Although at least one of these sites tell you to use high quality vodka, I've been told by folks who already make extracts they use the cheapest vodka they can find.  That's what I did when I made the vanilla extract.  So it's your call how you want to go.  Cheap or high end it will still be an extract when you're finished.

As always have a safe and Blessed day.  Remember to share your knowledge.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


As you may have guessed, not knowing how to do something has never stopped us.  We usually happen upon something and decide it will help the homestead grow.  So in the spirit moving forward at all cost, we're adding something new to Daughter and Son-in-laws homestead.  Olives, or more to the point Olive trees.  I have always known olives grew on trees but I  guess I've never really thought about it.  So I was very surprised when I saw Olive trees at the nursery.  I wasn't sure if they were self-pollinating or not so I purchased three.  I guess I was thinking of decorating because you usually use an odd number unless you're bookending something.  So now we have three Olive trees and I still don't know much about growing them.  So to the internet I go trying to absorb as much knowledge as I can.  If anyone knows about Olive trees and are willing to message me I would be greatly appreciative.

I also thought it would be fun to try and press the olives for the oil.  Again I don't know how long it will take the trees to produce any olives or if the olives we get can be pressed for oil.  But like I said not knowing has never stopped me in the past and at the age I am now I don't think it will anytime in the near future. 

We are trying to make the homesteads our sole source for food or as much as possible.  I think it will be some time before we can think about growing wheat.  Having said that I think we'd need more land as well.  So we will trudge along as best we can knowing this is a life style change (marathon) and not a short term quick fix (foot race.) 

If I'm to be honest about this, as we get older I'm very appreciative of having younger folks who are around to help.  Each year we add a little more and each year it takes a little longer to get things done.  But it is a lifestyle change we are happy to make.

As always have a safe and Blessed day and remember to share your knowledge.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


So yesterday daughter and I were outside to put up a little more fencing before the real heat of the day took over.  Hubby, bless his heart, came out to see if he could help a little.  Because of his health issues, he's been in a lot of pain.  So I really did appreciate his wanting to help but didn't want him to do much at all.  He offered to put a couple of T-posts in for us.  While Daughter and I were pulling and attaching the fence, hubby almost knocked himself out.  While tapping one of the T-post down he, I don't know what he did...  but he was on the ground with a big goose egg on top of his head.  We had him lay still for a couple of minutes and checked him out before letting him get up.  Not wanting to see our friends in the ER again but wanting him to be checked out I took him to a local PA who has walk-in services available.  Hubby was given a clean bill of health and told to stay in the house for the day and keep well hydrated.  So we did.  The new fencing will get done when it gets done. 

So since we were in the house for the day I took the time to  watch a few videos on youtube.  We really don't watch much on the TV but we do have a few favorite channels on youtube.  All of them have to do with homesteading to greater or lesser extent.  One of the channels thought it would be good to do a collaboration with a number of other channels.  The topic was "Homesteading VS Prepping".  The idea was one of the channels started off with their ideas, then they would ask the next in line two questions.  This will continue until the last channel has their input.  I'm really enjoying their discussions and ideas.  I'll post the schedule and the channels (some are new to us) and invite you to take a look at them.  I've learned quite a bit from them and have enjoyed watching.  Hope you do as well.

As always have a safe and Blessed day and remember to share your skills.

July 5th dirt patch heaven dirt patch heaven https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2GQ...

July 6th goforgreenliving https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZm...

July 7th Big Family Homestead https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClBC...

July 8th off grid with Doug and Stacy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChit...

July 9th Deep south homestead https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0P...

July 10th Bigbear homestead https://www.youtube.com/user/bigbearh...

July 11th Ozark Off Grid Family https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt42...

July 12th Permaculture Homestead https://www.youtube.com/user/torymorton

July 13th Pratt Family Homestead https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgXT...

July 14th Road to the Farm https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNoo...

July 15 My Homesteading Project https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCklm...

July 16 bluegrassbound homestead https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv04...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


So the dog days of summer are upon us.  Though the temperature is supposed to be around 86 degrees today, the heat index values are up to 110.  For us that means staying well hydrated while making sure the animals also are well hydrated.  There will be many trips out to the pasture today making sure the animals not only have water but cool water.  So the chores of the day will be quick little projects, making sure we don't get too involved and forgetting to go outside. 

Just as we are, animals are stressed by the heat.  Make sure they have shade and water.  This also goes for our four legged indoor pets.  Today will be a lazy day for them.  No outside chasing balls or as our ten year old Spike likes, lounging in the sun.  Potty breaks will be all of the outside they see today.  Speaking of indoor pets, remember you loved them enough to make them members of your family so take care to keep them safe.  Don't leave them out in extreme weather.  Please don't leave them in your vehicles.  But if you must leave them outside, take care to see they have plenty of shade and water. 

Also if you have elderly neighbors or those who are ill, check on them as well.  It may take a couple extra minutes but so what.  Be a good neighbor.  Remember we're all in this together.  So the order of the day, be cool and keep cool.

As always have a safe and blessed day and stay cool.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Dreaming what you could do with more land is something I think most homesteaders do.  Then you wonder, is more land a good thing or not?  The more you have the more work you will have.   And if you're limited on help you could become overwhelmed with the work.  So you see, it could be a double-edged sword. Luckily, daughter and son-in-law have recently purchased a ten acre homestead.  Although son-in-law is limited on what he can do, they do have four children who like to help with the animals.

As I said in my last post they are willing to take the animals over there and we are moving some over now.  We are trying not to stress the animals so we are really taking our time.  Having said that, daughter thought it would be nice to add pigs to the mix.  So we now have five.  Two are approximately a hundred pounds and three are piglets.  They are old enough to be taken away from mama but still small.  So last week was all about setting up a pen for them.

If adding the pigs wasn't enough, daughter and I had a couple of minutes to ourselves (not always a good thing) and decided to order a surprise package.  So what does that consist of?  I don't know.  We will receive forty to fifty birds.  It could have chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, quail, peafowl...  We just don't know what we're getting.  Everyone should have surprise in their lives, right? 

After we get all of the livestock settled our next project will be building a smokehouse.  If you're going to have pigs, there's gotta be a little bacon in your future.  So we're looking at plans now.  If left to our own devices daughter and I could and would build a good solid smokehouse.  But we know we will have a little help from hubby and son-in-law.  If not anything else, advice.  I know it's the age old debate but...  How do their minds work?  We will have a plan and they will come to on us.  Something we thought should only take an hour or two somehow turns into a day long project.  Don't get me wrong.  We love they are taking interest in what we're doing and want to help.  But sometimes it's like, who asked for help?  I know that sounds a little mean and it's not meant to, it's just we'll call if we need you.  Having said all that, come on guys we know you love us and we love you.  So thanks for all you do and all you put up with. 

As always have a safe and blessed day and be careful.

Some of you may have read the unedited version of this post.  Sometimes it's not only good to have another set of eyes on your work but also on which version you are posting. 

Monday, July 4, 2016


Happy Birthday United States of America.  Today is the 240th birthday of our nation.  Sometimes I wonder just what our forefathers would think of us.  Would they be proud of what we've grown into or disappointed in what we have failed to do.  As Benjamin Franklin answered the question, "What kind of government did you give us?", he replied "a Republic, if you can keep it."

So that's the question.  A Representative Republic; have we kept it?  Have we fought enough with our votes and participation or has our "I'm too busy" attitude helped scuttle our country?  Were we too willing to let the next guy handle the affairs of our nation so that we don't recognize it any more?  Were we to willing to allow our politicians to pull the wool over our eyes because it was easier than getting involved?

Unfortunately so many do not know our proud history.  That they do not know it's being erased.  Yes I'm going to say it.  With the Mayflower Compact this land was dedicated to GOD.  In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson said

 "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.-

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Right there in plain English we are a free people.  No stronger statement could ever or has ever been stated out loud.  We have the right to govern ourselves.  We the People determine how we are to live.  We are to have Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (not the guarantee to be happy.)  You and you alone will guarantee your lot in life.

This statement, this Declaration, was made when a people who could not and would not be governed by a Tyrant anymore, stood up and said "Hear us.  WE will determine our outcome.  This is Our GOD given right.  Tyranny will no long rule us, fear will no longer rule us." 

With the great Progressive movement of the 20th century this message has been lost (erased.)  Because these few stood so strong against an unbeatable army we today celebrate this, our nation's birthday.  So while you are flipping a burger or eating a piece of apple pie, take a moment and think, what would our forefathers think of us?  And when watching the fireworks wherever you are, remember this is the biggest reminder of the battles for Independence.  The bombs bursting in air that gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

As always, have a safe and blessed day but most of all have a Independent day.