Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two Puzzles for you!

I have an easy puzzle and I hope one that is a bit more difficult.....what are the following things - and do you really want to eat this? Once you have figured them out let's talk about why you don't want to eat these :)

cultured pasteurized grade A low fat milk, sugar, modified corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, whey protein concentrate, kosher gelatin, orange juice concentrate, tricalcium phosphate, lemon juice concentrate, lime juice concentrate, natural flavors, colored with annato extract, Vitamin A, acetate, Vitamin D.

And the second puzzle:

Enriched flour bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, mono-nitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, mono-calcium phosphate) dextrose, salt.

Have fun!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ewe don't want to by monitored!!! Make your comments while you can!

As, Dolly the cloned sheep would say Baaahd idea!!!! You'll find her picture towards the bottom of my sidebar! Now is the time to make comments on the USDA's National Animal Identification System (NAIS). For details see the post on this which contains the links. If my math is right the comment period ends February 28th, 2007.

Don't miss it. Comment today! Please pass this on. Tell your friends & family. Every agrarian blogger ought to post a note on your blog, add a link to!   Post to discussion lists. Email to your lists. This is the end of an official comment period. Very important! If you would like to add the logo to your blog, and there are many versions and sizes, then go  here  to find out how. Sample code is given on that page.

I encourage every agrarian blogger to link to NoNais on their blogs - the public needs to be made aware and one of the best ways is to help drive traffic to the No NAIS site!  Don't sit silent and then complain when they show up at YOUR door to chip YOUR animals at YOUR expense!

Remember what Edmund Burke said..."The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." 

Please, please, do something!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I love my customers.....and my readers!

I love my customers and my readers.  I really think that ya'll teach me more than I teach you.  I often times get emails from people who tell me how they have used one of my salves .....and they have used it in a way that I never considered or had opportunity to myself.  I am thankful that so far the emails have all been encouraging and positive!

I just had to chuckle at a recent email.  One of my cusomers wrote to ask about the safety of using my healing salve on farm animals:

Well, this may turn into a testimonial for your healing salve.

This morning a pack of 6 dogs (neighbor's???) decided to visit.  Our dog was watchful, barking but not aggressive until they went for our chickens.  He sprang into action, chased the chickens towards their coop and took off after the intruders.  Unfortunately, my son's favorite rooster was their target.  After a search,  the kids found "Chipmunk" limping along and completely bald of ALL his tail feathers.

After a while they were able to catch him and sent inside for a "spoonful of healing salve, please!"  Apparently, he was a bit bloody and sore, but will recover and the kids put the salve on to heal him quicker.  Until he's better, he'll be living in the chick brooder building by himself so the others don't pick at him.So, have you ever used your salve on chickens??  Please tell me it won't hurt Chipmunk - my son has had a hard enough time today already. :)Just thought you might like to know how your salve is being used around here!  Ha!!  First diaper rash, now the back-side of roosters!  You just never know.......   :)

I was happy to report that my healing salve has been safely and effectively used on this farm on wild birds, chickens, roosters, wild bunnies, cats, dogs, and goats along with a boat load of kids and my 80 year old Chipmunk will be fine....once he gets over the embarassment of being de-plumed!

Keep those emails coming...I love the testimonials about my various healing salves plus I get the added benefit of learning many new ways to use them successfully!

Stay tuned for some exciting news about  my Aches Away Salve. ...back in the tube applicator...but even better!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Snow, glorious snow!

We have been having a could snap here....finally! The boys have to break the ice on all of the waterers each morning - sometimes it is 4 or 5 inches thick!  We had a snowstorm last weekend and got a whopping 2 inches of snow but my boys were thriilled.  Out came the sleds and we spent the morning whirling down our sledding hill and trudging back up.  I figure I have begun to prepare those hamstrings for garden work...seems I always feel them more in the spring.

This is Elijah headed down a very steep hill while Mom prays that we aren't about to re-visit the broken arm scenario of late!  It looks like a lot of snow but in reality  we only had about 2 inches.

I am happy to say that although he took a tumble, he arrived safely at the bottom of the hill.  This next picture is of me and the two little ones about to head down the hill.  It was bitingly cold that morning and I was thankful to have my scarf.  I love the ride down but the climb back up always seems long......and Elijah will have to do a lot of work before I ever put him behind the wheel of a vehicle - what a wild driver!

This is the first winter snow we have had since my oldest son moved out on his own.  We really missed having him to play that day.  He always has something new to try and for some very odd reason likes to ride with me on the sled - he mentioned something about how he enjoys making me scream.....adorable kid!

Here are my three blessings getting ready to head down the hill and then again at the can see a glimpse of our beehives at the bottom of the hill behind the branch of the cedar tree.  It was too cold for them to be out so we didn't have to worry about getting stung.

After spending several hours sledding, we headed in for a delicious cup of home made hot chocolate.   

Here is a wonderful recipe for hot chocolate:

1/4 cup cocoa, 4 tblsp. organic sugar, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 qt. milk (fresh from the cow if possible!), dash of salt, 1 tsp. vanilla extract (no imitations please!)

In a saucepan combine the cocoa and sugar.  Slowly blend with the boiling water,  Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved completely, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to scorch!  Add milk gradually, with remaining ingredients.  Heat through but do not boil.

Serve with some whipped cream....real whipped cream....let's not even mention that C...W...chemical concoction!  And for a spiced version, you can add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground cloves. 

Mmmmmm :)  And the cream, real cream from the cow, whipped with a touch of organic sugar.....just makes this a heavenly treat.

My God bless you with some wonderful snowy memories this winter, a blazing fire in your fireplace and  cups of steaming cocoa!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Of sheep and goats....

I believe one of the most amazing things that happens when you live the agrarian life is that the Scriptures take on a new many of the Lord’s parables and stories related to agrarian things.  Reaping and sowing become a part of your seasonal work when you live the agaraian life.  Many of the stories involving animals become crystal clear once you have worked with those animals. The scriptures seem to have a deeper meaning or perhaps we have a deeper understanding because we have become a part of these things.  Perhaps that is what God intended from the beginning....that if we were living the agrarian life, we would have a better understanding of His word.  

For myself, it is amazing  how much closer I feel to God, how much more of His creative nature I see and how much more I am drawn to His words since beginning this life.  I can not imagine ever living another way. Today I want to look at His word and the pictures He paints of  sheep and goats.  Let’s just review a few of them and then I will explain what happened here on the farm last week that brought these pictures to mind so clearly!  Let's start with sheep....

First of all He refers to His people as sheep and reminds us that we should know the voice of our shepherd:

Eze 34:31  You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

He warns us that wolves will come to destroy us but that they will be clothed as sheep, because we tend to trust other sheep :

Mt 7:15   Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

He points out that we will sin, that we are like sheep who have left their shepherd and gone astray: 

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Mt 9:36  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

And, lastly, He promises that he will seek us out and lay down his life for us:

Eze 34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out."

1 Peter 2:25  For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

John 10:11  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

I do not own sheep but I have friends who raise sheep.  They tell me that sheep need constant attention from their shepherd.  That, if properly cared for and if they spend a lot of time with their shepherd then they do learn the voice of their shepherd and will follow their shepherd trustingly wherever he takes them. That if left to their own devices they usually get into trouble - but that they usually do so in groups.

Wow!  How well does this describe His followers!  That the more time we spend with Him, the better we hear his voice and the easier it is to trust and  follow Him as our shepherd no matter how deep and dark the valley!!  And most importantly that if we neglect time with our shepherd we will get into trouble or if we turn to each other all of the time, instead of to Him, we can get into trouble in numbers!

Now, we see that there is a difference between sheep and  goats:

Mt 25:32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

Mt 25:33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

My understanding is that He has laid His life down for the sheep so that they may be saved but that the goats are headed in another direction!

I do raise goats and I can tell you that they are stubborn, are always getting into trouble, usually by themselves but the others watch and are quick to copy bad behaviour.  And that even when I, as the “shepherdess” (ok, I know that technically I am a goatherd but bear with me while I make the point :)), am trying to save them from trouble they fight me ALL the way.  If they weren’t so intelligent I would think that they were really stupid!

All of these thoughts came pouring into my mind last week when Baby Girl got out of her field.  Baby Girl is an Alpine goat, a little on the small side and a real stinker - she loves to untie shoes...even if you double knot them she can accomplish this quickly with her mouth!  She is the first to find a weak spot in the fence and the first to butt the other goats to get them to do what she wants.  Last week she sailed right over a high fence, pregnant belly and all.  She then wandered back into the barn and for some unknown reason jumped into the goats feeding trough. Now this is a long, narrow trough high off the ground to keep them from walking in it.  The back of it is wooden - part of the wall of one of the stalls in the barn.  The rest of it has been lined with a cattle panel that has been bent to fit the trough with the purpose of keeping goats out of the trough.  She was way to heavy to lift up 4 feet and over a the panel.  We were at a loss.  

The boys tried to build her a stairway up to the hayloft 6 feet above the trough.  Baby girl was having none of that!  Watching a goat be stubborn can be down right funny - she had all four legs spread out as flat as possible.  The message was clear - I am not going that way.  The boys thought about building her a stair to the top of the cattle panel but the drop to the floor of the barn was so far that I was worried we could loose the babies and perhaps her also so I nixed that idea.

Finally, after struggling with her for about 45 minutes, while constantly telling her we were trying to help, we decided to build a stairway with hay bales and try to send her back out the way she jumped in....let’s just say she wasn’t much interested.  Now, as her “shepherds”, we knew this was going to be hard, but it was for her good - it was the only way to get her out of the trouble she had gotten herself in.....and yet she fought us all the way. 

It took three bales to reach the top of the cattle panel - staggered like a stairway.  We tried tempting her with a little bit of grain placed on the other side. Jeremy and Josiah had to lift her, push her and guide her - still she fought them until their will to save her broke her will to stay where she was.  Once she saw that life might be better on the side with the grain bucket and room to turn around, she made the decision to cooperate.  She sailed over the cattle panel and landed on all four feet - it was then easy to lead her back to where she belonged.

Now, this got me often do we act like goats when we should be acting like His sheep?  How often do we get ourselves in trouble and then grumble when our Saviour has to apply some unpleasant discipline to get us back to the place we belong?  Why does it take so long for us to decide that where He is trying to take us is where we want to be?  Why is it so hard to follow him, as sheep should do, through that valley no matter how hard, how dark and how deep.... we ought to know that He is bringing us to lush pasutres and green hills filled with mountain top experiences on the other side of the valley....why do we so often act like goats when in truth we are sheep that belong to the Shepherd?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bear with me folks....

I can't believe it but I spent this morning at the orthopedic doctor's office....and none of my boys had broken a bone (it is a bad thing when you have a personal relationship with your orthopedic Dr. because of your kids!).   This time I was there for ME.

I woke up a few days ago with pain shooting through my right wrist (it HAD to be the right one...). Like all good momma's, I ignored it and went about my day.  That night I could not sleep for the pain.  I slathered it with my arnica salve.  In the middle of the night, I got up and dug out my old brace from when I had carpal tunnel.  I slathered my arm with my aches away salve and managed to drift off to sleep.  Yesterday I tried not to use it at all.  This morning it was slightly better but still very painful and I finally admitted that perhaps I had a problem beyond what my salves could take care of...I headed to the Dr.'s office.

I found out that I tore the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon in my RIGHT arm (why the RIGHT one?)...the bleeding is causing the swelling which causes more pain.  I wish I could tell you that this occurred during a "farm moment" know something grown up and it was  caused by an animal or from shoveling the manure out of the barn...pulling a calf or rescuing something bigger than me...yeah!  that's the ticket!.....something mature and grown up....but, since Christ requires me to be honest, I must admit that this most likely occurred during a massive tickling event with my boys. (Hey!  Just because I turned 50 last year does NOT mean I can't play with the boys does it?)

I declined the steroid injection...and the physical therapy....accepted the tortuous splint that immobilizes me from fingers to elbow and listened to the admonition that I must not take this off except when showering.  I explained to the Dr. (as if he didn't know) that this would prevent me from using this hand (....I know....that is the whole point!) but what about the laundry, cleaning, cooking....I can't even stir soup like this!

I also tolerated the rolled eyes, condescending tone of voice etc. when I mentioned that horrific and threatening (at least to the medical community) four letter word....HERB!  However, I know that my comfrey based arnica salve will facilitate the healing of this injury while relieving the majority of the pain.  And I have the satisfaction of knowing that it does not contain steroids, chemicals or petroleum products.  I would take my salve over his steroid offering any day!

And since I know that God promises me that "All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes" Rom. is the upside....I don't wash dishes for 2 weeks Surprised  The two older boys will be immediately advanced into some extra home-ec classes that will cover meal planning, cooking and clean-up while handwriting will center around filling their personal recipe boxes (another story!).  The youngest boy will be strengthening arm muscles and improving hand-eye coordination as he takes over folding the laundry.

Oh, and if anyone really gets out of line....there is this hard metal rod running down the length of this splint....Innocent

So for my readers who pray....I covet your prayers for a quick recovery and please bear with me as I try to continue to post using the hunt and peck method....and please....just ignore the typos ...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where is our country headed?

As I said in my last post, I have really smart readers.  I heard from Beth in Alaska who sent me this information! 

I encourage you to click on that link and take a look at what our government, or at least our President, is involved with.  Did you know that the United States of America is about to cease as we know it?  Did you know that we are about to become the North American Union.....just like the European Union?  We are about to loose our sovereignty! Are you surprised?  Don't be....President Bush is a globalist just like his father before him. 

Be sure to watch the clips from CNN with Lou Dobbs and please read some of Jerome Corsi's writings.  He happens to be one of the few people blowing the whistle on this...the American people need to rise up againsst this...make phone calls....write not let this happen!  Of course, this whole plan is being called something benign like the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America".  Now doesn't that just give you warm fuzzies all over?

Here is an excerpt from their site:

America's 41st President, George H.W. Bush, helped create NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was approved in 1993 by Bill Clinton, America's 42nd President, and went into effect in 1994. In 2005, America's 43rd President, George W. Bush, entered into an agreement called the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP.  | Government website:  | Some have called this plan "NAFTA on steroids."

It is more than a plan.

It is already a reality.

The United States is being merged with Mexico as we speak. A new government will be created to govern the new "North American Community," or "United States of North America," or "North American Union." It doesn't really matter what it's called.

What is happening is directly parallel to what happened in Philadelphia in 1787. One government is being abolished and a new one is being created. The United States of America is being abolished.

This claim leaves most voters staggering in disbelief.

The Constitution that was signed in 1787 began, "WE THE PEOPLE."

In 2005, George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin signed a new constitution in Waco, Texas. It will abolish the old constitution by 2010.

Will you take a few moments out of your busy day to learn the facts about the abolition of the United States?

First, consider these reports from "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on CNN.

Then consider these articles by Jerome R. Corsi. Dr. Corsi earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, and co-authored the New York Times best-selling book, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry....

If this gets implemented, we will have no security and very little prosperity....oops....I mean the middle and lower classes won't - those elite fellows - well they will be just dandy!  Please call you representatives tomorrow and ask them how they feel about this assault on America.

Beth also sent me this link where you can sign petitions to stop this "merger".  Although I have glanced through this site, I have not read it thoroughly.  Please read and prayerfully consider...visit all the links...make a decision and then take action! 

Another reader sent me this information...thank you Stephanie!  Visit this site and find out about how the dollar is going to disappear and you will be using the Amero.....why isn't this being broadcast on the news?  Evidently the Canadians are not happy about this but Americans don't know so they aren't talking! 

I also found a wonderful tool!  You can find it here .  Sign up and you will receive an email that will let you know how your representatives vote on each issue.  Helps you to keep on top of what those scoundrels....oops...representatives are doing up on the Hill.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, February 12, 2007

My readers are SO smart!

First of all the answer to the puzzle was "Pam" non-stick cooking spray!  Boy were you guys good!  I'll have to work harder on the next puzzle....I already have ideas Wink

Next, I heard from a reader named Trish who shares these gardening tips:

Anyway, last year you mentioned that you had a problem with Japanese beetles. We researched this issue a lot, and found the solution- 4o'clocks!!! There is a small dispute in our house over whether it was the red ones or the yellow ones. One worked, the other didn't. I suggest you grow both :) The beetles LOVE the flowers, and drop dead on site. Plant them around your veggie garden (the border) and the beetles with shred your flowers, and leave the veggies. As an added plus, there won't be hardly any at all the next year, because you've killed them before they reproduce.

Some say that 4 o'clocks are hard to grow, but it isn't true. Just soak them in water for about 24 hours before planting them. We always started them inside when we started the tomatoes so they can grow together. A warning- they seed like crazy! Worth it, though to get a natural pest control :)

Oh, one more tip, if it isn't too late- make sure that you check out the Garden Watchdog before you order from any mail-order source. It is the "consumer reports" of gardening companies!

I have been to the gardenwatchdog site and briefly looked around - what I saw appeared to be very good.  And you can bet I will be purchasing some seeds for 4 o'clocks.  It will be interesting to see if I have as good a result as Trish did!  I will be hitting the greeenhouse in about two weeks so it is time to organize my seeds and start thinking about the garden for this year.  If any of  you have some awesome, organic, garden tips, please feel free to share them as Trish did - thanks Trish!

I am putting Josiah in charge of the garden this year - he will be deciding what to grow (and what not to grow...good-bye okra!), where things need to be rotated to (you are rotating your plantings aren't you?) and other decisions... with a little guidance from Mom. This is what Josiah wants to I am beginning to let him get his feet wet.  We have been reading a variety of "farming" books this year and will continue to do so.

I am working on a post where I share about my past career (before I became a Mom 24 years ago!) - true confession time I guess. Some of you will be surprised, some shocked and some might actually be horrified....but God has a way of bringing someone around to a completely different viewpoint in life and I want to share about how I have changed.....guesses anyone?  No fair posting for those of you who might already knowSealed

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Another puzzle...

Ya'll enjoyed this so much last time that I think I will continue to periodically offer puzzles to you.  I do this because it is fun but also to point out that we need to be more aware of what goes into and onto our bodies.  It is vitally important to your health and that of your family to make yourself aware.  I still catch myself reaching for something (because we have used it for years!) without thinking.  I still have to make myself stop and read the label.  I am now requiring my children to do the same.  It is hard - because often after reading that label you realize it is not something that would benefit your health....and then you have to make the decision.....yikes! 

So here we go!  Who can tell me what this is? 


Can't wait to see what you come up withWink

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


This little test absolutely blew my mind!  Follow the directions completely - don't cheat and you will be amazed at how easily your mind can be tricked and deceived!

Please let me know how you did! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Do you remember when? sweet sad it is....this was sent to me by a friend.  I think it fits under the category of sad but true.


Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in
gun rack. *
1956* - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's
rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.
2006 *- School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled
off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again.
Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.


Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after
school. *
1956* - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake
hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody
arrested, nobody expelled. *
2006* - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and
Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though
Johnny started it.


Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other
students. *
1956* - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by
Principal. Sits still in class.
2006* - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a
zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey
has a disability.


Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his
Dad gives him a whipping.
1956* - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal,
goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2006* - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy
removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is
told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused
herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom ha s
affair with psychologist.


Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache
medicine to school. *
1956* - Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on
the smoking dock.
2006* - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug
violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.


Scenario: Mary turns up pregnant.
1956* - 5 High School Boys leave town. Mary does her senior
year at a special school for expectant mothers.
2006* - Middle School Counselor calls Planned Parenthood,
who notifies the ACLU. Mary is driven to the next state over
and gets an abortion without her parent's consent or
knowledge. Mary given condoms and told to be more careful
next time.


Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1956*: Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to
college. *
2006*: Pedro's cause is taken up by state democratic party.
Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that
teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist.
ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system
and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core
curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing
lawns for a living because he can't speak English.


Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the
4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle,
blows up a red ant bed. *
1956* - Ants die.
2006* - BAT F, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged
with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings
removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes
on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.


Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and
scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary.
Mary, hugs him to comfort him. *
1956* - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on
playing. *
2006* - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses
her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison.

What is wrong with this picture?  Can anyone say political correctness or government intrusion into personal lives? 

Come to see me in Bristol TN/VA!

Just a quick note to my local readers...I will be speaking at the Food & Nutrition Fair in Bristol TN at the Slater Communty Center on March 3, 2007. This fair is being conducted in conjunction with the celebration of March as National Nutrition Month and is part of the Integrated Health Concepts Holistic Medical Clinic's 2007 program of Seminars in Holistic Living. They will be featuring organic growers and producers from our region as well as free nutritional handouts, a free nutritional meal book and nutritional games for kids and adults, food sampling and lectures on healthy living. There will even be a "Cooking with Essential Oils" class that I hope to be able to attend myself! Cost of admittance will be one non -perishable organic food item which will be donated to the local food pantry.

The title of my lecture will be How to Use Herbs On Your Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle and What You Need to Avoid to Get There! I will be speaking at noon. Just think of it as a blog in person! I would love to meet some of my readers, so.... if you attend, please introduce yourself to me!

Also, as a note of caution, please be aware that I have never met the other speakers nor am I familiar with them.... therefor I can not speak to, nor endorse, their particular teachings or beliefs....since I don't know what they are! So...please....use your own discernment!

If any of you would like to place an order with me and pick it up there (and save on those shipping costs!), please email me and let me know. I would be glad to bring it with me. I will also have the products that are listed on my website, Sweet Hollow Farm , available at my table. And perhaps a few new things that haven't made it onto the website yet!

I really look forward to meeting some of you....and perhaps seeing some familiar faces!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A recommendation and a request...

First the recommendation.  Brace yourself - this will rarely happen on this blog but I am going to recommend you purchase a movie. Since we do not have any source of television, cable or satellite viewing, I knew that we would not be seeing the Super Bowl - and truthfully - that didn't bother me a bit.  But, I do happen to be the only female in the home and the boys were disappointed - so, in best "Mom" fashion I attempted to create a special day today for them. 

My solution to not having the ability to see the Superbowl was to fix some special treats and to bring home a movie for us to watch together.  I picked a "football" movie called Facing the Giants.  Run, do not walk, to the nearest store and purchase this movie - don't bother to rent it - you will wish you had bought it before you are even 20 minutes into this movie.  Save the rental fee!  We cheered, we laughed and at least I will admit to shedding a lot of tears.  This movie is so honoring to God that I can't believe it was in movie theaters.  If this movie was shown on Sunday morning in churches across the country, it would bless and minister to many. This is an awesome movie about how God worked in the life of a high school coach and his football team once they were willing to lay down their lives and give their ALL to worship, obey and honor Him.  I have no idea how good the Superbowl was today but there is no way it could have competed with the last game in this movie.....and I don't even like football.  It is amazing what happens when God shows up on the field.  Let me know how you like it Laughing

Now for the request....when I began blogging, I used Blogger to host my site.  Many of my agrarian friends and readers were kind enough to add a link to my site when it was hosted on Blogger.  I recently changed to this new address to avoid a lot of the garbage that Blogger allowed.  I am very happy with my move.  My request is that if you were gracious enough to add my link to your site before, would you please update that link to reflect my new address which is   I am getting some emails from people that have tried to find me off of your old links, which sends them to Blogger and then they need to make their way over here. If those of you who have been so kind to link to me in the past would take just a minute and update my link on your page, I would be very grateful...and evidently so would many others!

Now, go enjoy that movie - and be sure to watch it with the whole family! 

What do I cook with...and why Part 2

Did you know that a 1959 study  conducted by the FDA (prior to the approval of Teflon) found that Teflon coated pans leach small amounts of fluoride?  Did you know that in 2000, 3M corporation decided to stop making  a group of compounds used in Scotchguard, Teflon and other products?  They stated that perfluorochemicals were found to persist in human blood and wildlife. Did you know that packaged food and fast food containers are coated with PFC’s so that the grease doesn’t soak through the packaging material (think french fry boxes, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags). If you are using a microwave read this and if you are still eating fast food then visit the Amazon link to the right and order a book called Fast Food Nation - it will change your life!

Oh, by the way, these chemicals are used in/on lots of things other than cookware.  Would you believe: Automotive Products, Carpet, Cleaning Products, Clothing (including kids clothes), Computer Accessories, Fashion Accessories, Furniture, Gardening Products, Luggage, Medical Supplies, Miscellaneous Household Products, Music Supplies, Paints/Coating, Personal Care Products, Pet Supplies, Sporting And Outdoor Gear and the list goes on!  Some of the brand names are: Teflon®, SilverStone®, SilverStone® Xtra, SilverStone® Select, SilverStone® Professional and Autograph, NoStik® pan and oven liners, Sally Hansen nail enamel, Gore-tex®, Scotchgard, Comfort Socks, StainMaster carpet,` Calphalon, Chicago Metallic, Circulon, Emerilware, T-Fal (a.k.a. Tefal), All-Clad Nonstick, Farberware Non-Stick, Meyer Anolon, Rival Electric, Excalibur.

Did you know that most companies evaluate their products on a basis of whether the potential benefit of their technology outweighs the potential risks....but since they are desiring to sell the technology (and stand to make a lot of money from it) can they be trusted to safely evaluate the risk?  I think Grandma used to call this “having the fox guard the chicken house”.   Finally, here are some comments from Paul Connet and Dr. C. Vyvyan Howard.

Comments from Paul Connett, PhD:

Teflon is the trade name for the polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) used in electrical insulating tape; combustion engines; chemical apparatus and tubing designed to resist attack from most chemicals, and in non-stick frying pans and other cookware.

Prior to this article there have been stories about caged birds dying in kitchens after fires involving Teflon cookware, suggesting the emissions of toxic gases when this polymer is burned.

This article is more serious because the researchers did not burn the Teflon but simply heated it. Presumably, typical cooking procedures would also heat the Teflon to the temperature range investigated by these researchers. Thus, this material that is perceived by most as being benign, could be a source of both significant indoor and outdoor air pollution.

This is another nasty indication that the world of organofluorine compounds could be going the same way as their more famous cousins: the organochlorine compounds. In the latter case most of these products, such as organochlorine pesticides, solvents and PVC plastic (despite the toxic generating manufacturing processes that produce them) were perceived as benign.

However, they had several problems:

*They tended to be very persistent in the environment       

* They are fat soluble and resistent to normal detoxification processes in the liver    

* They accumulate and concentrate in animal and human body fat   

* They get passed on by the mother to the fetus through the placental membrane & then to the infant via breastmilk

   * A number of them are endocrine disrupting chemicals (i.e. they interfere with the production or performance of hormones, which are the messengers produced in special glands to regulate body chemisty).

To top it all, when these substances are burned in any facility ranging from a back yard burner to a trash incinerator, they produce highly toxic byproducts including dioxins and furans ( PCDDs and PCDFs). Twelve of these compounds (or families of compounds) were the subject of the POPs (persistent organic pollutants) treaty signed in Stockholm last May by many countries around the world, including the US. The bottom line is that nature doesn't make persistent things. Both in our bodies and in the environment, natural processes are constantly building up and breaking down all the chemical components used. Nature attempts to protect itself from persistent fat soluble substances by converting them to water soluble substances, which can then be excreted through the kidney. If this strategy fails then they are stored in our fat. In the case of persistent (or permanent) water soluble substances like fluoride or lead, the body will excrete as much as it can through the kidney and what it can't ends up largely in our bones. However, in the case of both fluoride and lead other more sensitive organs like the brain and pineal gland may also have mechanisms which allow their accumulation. Returning to organofluorine compounds,

it is also interesting to note that there are two forms of fluoride found in human plasma: free (or inorganic) fluoride and bound fluoride. According to Gary Whitford in his book, "The Metabolism and Toxicity of Fluoride" (Karger,1996), "perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, octanoic acid fully saturated with 15 fluorine atoms)...(constitutes) about 20-30% of the nonionic fluoride in human plasma. This surface-active agent, which is a component of plasticizers, lubricants, wetting agents, emulsifiers and other products, appear to enter the body through contact with or ingestion of commercial products. It has a very long half-life (approx. 1.5 years) in human males (Ubel et al., 1980)". Thus the question raised by this new report in Nature is how many of the byproducts from heating Teflon are accumulating insidiously in our bodies like PFOA? Are any being passed onto the fetus? Will any of them turn out to be endocrine disrupters?

Paul Connett, PhD, is a Professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York. He is also Director of the Fluoride Action Network, an international coalition dedicated to ending water fluoridation and alerting people to fluoride's health and environmental risks. Visit their website at

Follow-Up Comment from Dr C. Vyvyan Howard, MB, ChB, PhD, FRCPath:

It seems that it may be even worse than Paul Connett has portrayed. When you heat Teflon (PTFE) up to the sort of temperatures that you get in "state of the art" municipal waste incinerators (eg, 800°C) you get the formation of CFCs, the major greenhouse gas that has been banned as a refrigerant. When one considers the amount of clothing and fabric that is coated with PTFE (most artificial fibres described as 'breathable') this could have major implications for waste incineration.

Another aspect of heating PTFE in cooking utensils is the following: A standard method of producing an aerosol of ultrafine particles is to heat PTFE up to 480°C. This produces some gas-phase products, mainly HF (hydrogen fluoride). If PTFE is further heated up to 500°C other gas-phase products are produced, including perfluoroisobutylene and others, which are highly toxic.

This is described in a paper by Obersdorster G, 'Toxicology of ultrafine particles: in vivo studies'. Trans. Phil. R. Soc. Lond. A (2000) 358: 2719-2740. The rest of that issue of Trans Phil is dedicated to ultrafine particles.

Ultrafine particles are defined as those below 0.1 microns (100nm) and it is being demostrated that these have a toxicity all of their own, which seems to be associated with their high chemical reactivity (that, after all, is how we make heterogeneous catalysts!). I have recently edited a book on this (Particulate Matter: properties and effects upon health. Eds R L Maynard and C V Howard. Bios, Oxford (1999). ISBN 185996172X (Sorry about the self advertising)).

However, it is appearing that the majority of the toxicity of particulate aerosols may be attributable to the ultra-fine fraction. This could have major implications for the use of Teflon (PTFE) coated cookware in the home and industry. I am not aware that the tie up between the routine use of these materials, ultrafine particle production and possible health effects has yet been made.

Dr C. Vyvyan Howard, MB, ChB, PhD, FRCPath,
Developmental Toxico-Pathology Group,
Mulberry Street,
University of Liverpool,
Liverpool L69 7ZA

So, you ask....what can you do?  Here are some of the things I have done over the years - perhaps you can pick one or two and begin your journey also!

I store my food in glass containers whenever possible - it is the safest material to use. 

I try never to use Tupperware or other types of plastic storage containers. If I purchase something that comes in a plastic bag, say organic raisons, I transfer  them into a canning jar when I get home.   I try not to use ziplock bags, if I have to store something in a plastic bag, I wrap the food in wax paper first if possible.

I am eliminating chemical cleaning products in my home, I am not all the way there yet but am working on it dilligently.  

Eat organic - buy from local farmers, join a CSA or better yet, raise your own food!  

Avoid fast food and pre-processed/pre-packaged foods - when you shop at the grocery store - try to avoid the aisles - shop the perimeter which is where the food is - the stuff on the aisles is usually  processed and has very little nutritional value while delivering an unhealthy dose of chemicals, dyes and preservative to your body.  

Avoid cosmetics and body care products with “fluoro” or “perfloro” listed in the ingredients. Switch to natural body care products (shampoo, soaps, toothpaste) - you can go here to see what our family uses and offers to you!  

When you buy furniture or carpet - don’t buy the optional treatments for stain resistance - try to find products that have not been pre-treated with chemicals.

Buy clothing made from natural fibres (cotton, linen, wool) and avoid those that have been treated to be breathable, stain resistant, water resistent, dirt resistent etc.

Throw away your non-stick coated pans - begin changing over to cast iron, glass, enamel and stainless steel.  Glass cookware is not expensive.

My hope is that you prayerfully consider cooking with pots and pans that will help you and  your family stay as healthy as possible.  I can not emphasize enough how my family's health has improved over the years because of these steps!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

What I cook with...and why (Part 1)

I cook with stainless steel, glass, enamel, stoneware and cast iron.  I gave up aluminum cookware and pans with non-stick coating many years ago. My father died from Alzheimers in 2001 - he grew up in a home where aluminum cookware was the norm.  I know that aluminum is best for baking (all of Wilton’s pans are aluminum).  It is suppsed to conduct heat better than other metals but the risk is not worth it for me.  I think you have probably read enough about the dangers of aluminum that I don’t need to go there - if I am wrong, someone correct me.

I bake on stainless steel baking sheets, bake my bread in stainless steel pans or in stoneware and do my oven and stove-top cooking in cast iron, glass, enamel or stainless steel. Everything turns out just fine. Today I want to address the dangers of non-stick coatings on pans.  I can hear the dreaded cries now - it is so CONVENIENT!   It is so easy to clean up .....I know, I know....but what I want to ask you is this....IS IT WORTH IT?

First, let’s look at what Teflon is. The non-stick coating used on cookware is made from either a silicone base or a fluorocarbon base. (PTFE)  Fluorocarbon coatings are applied in layers and then topped with a sealer.  Cheaper pans have  thinner layers and usually have fewer layers. Higher quality pans have thicker layers, more layers and go through a curing process.  PTFE is great for providing a non-stick surface. it is also very soft and scrathes easily.  So, they mix it with other materials (chemicals) to form that non-stick surface. You can tell the cheap pans by running a finger over them - are they bumpy?  Then the coating was probably rolled on (doesn’t stick as well)  If the surface is shiny then it has been topped with Silicon which reacts badly with animals fats. These coatings are also damaged by cooking utensils, heating them to high temperatures and by washing them in the dishwasher or using harsh detergents. Once a pan has been scratched it leaches at a much higher rate into your food. 

Fluorcarbons  release fumes that are unhealthy for humans - especially those with breathing problems like asthma or bronchitis.  I am sure all of you have heard that these fumes can actually kill pet birds. The lungs of these birds hemorrhage and fill wth fluid which causes them to, what do you think it is doing to our lungs? At certain temperatures (over 400), there is a breakdown of fluoropolymers into other compounds that are released into the air. Do you think they might then also be released into the food...of course they didn’t decide to test that!  And do I want to be standing over a pan cooking and breathing these chemical compounds as they are released? 

Did you know that a non-stick pot or pan can reach 700 degrees in 3 to 5 minutes?  Did you know that these coatings can release 15 different harmful gasses and checmials, including 2 carcinogens, 2 global pollutants, and MFA (a chemical that is deadly to humans at low doses). Did you know that non-stick coatings break down into a chemcial warfare agent known as PFIB and a chemical analog of the WW2 nerve gas, phosgene? Did you know that some of these chemicals are also released at lower temperatures...but at a slower rate?  Did you know that when people get sick from these it is most often identified as the common flu - think about it - who goes to the Dr. and mentions that they were cooking using a non-stick pan?   When properly diagnosed, it is actually called polymer fume fever.  Of course, no one has ever studied the long-term effects from this sickness. 

Want to know what is released?  See if you can wrap your tongue around these names (and what they do):  Trifluoroacetate, or TFA (known to be mildly toxic to some plants, takes decades or centuries to break down), Polyfluorocarboxylic and polyfluorocarboxylic acids (a group of chemicals including one being phased out of Scotchguard and other products because it accumulates in the human body),Ozone destroying CFCs, and Fluorocarbons, which  can cause breathing problems in humans.

For those of you who think the government would protect us from such a me about a bridge I have for sale Wink! And the response from our government?.....the EPA says it doesn’t know enough about it to declare it a human health hazard.  So does that make us the guinnea pigs?

Stop by tomorrow for Part 2 and some solutions to help you cook, eat and live a healthier life!

Friday, February 2, 2007

What I NEVER want to see...and what YOU should all see!

This has been an interesting week - saw the dentist on Monday. I hate going to the dentist - I know it is silly but I had TERRIBLE experiences as a child....I know it is  all in my head since my current dentist is great BUT....I hate going to the dentist.  Nitrous has been a staple in my dental visits for years - well perhaps no more.  I had a reaction on Monday - barely made it home....vomiting....massive headache......extreme lethargy/sleepiness.  I spent the entire day in bed.....called the dentist the next day to see if they had upped my normal dose  - they asked if I had eaten before I came.....well, I left my home at 7:30 in the morning - I don't tend to eat that early.   They told me those were normal reactions on an empty tummy....NOW they tell me.   Here we are on Friday and I still don't feel quite normal but am able to be about my normal activities.

I came across this video - I NEVER want to be in the garden and have the plants looking back at me, reaching out to touch me or any of the other wild and wacky things you will see here!   I am assuming that these pictures have been artificially created but it was still very interesting to watch.

It has been snowing off and on the last few days - it is beautiful coming down but unfortunately it isn't sticking at all.  My boys (and, truth be told, me too!) are praying for one good snowfall so that we can have at least one day of sledding, snowangels, snowball fights, getting soaked and coming in to indulge in made from scratch hot chocolate and warm muffins!  I love the quiet "sound" of snow.

Last weekend the boys and I cleaned out the garden shed and now we are ready for gardening season. We need to get the greenhouse organized and I will begin planting seeds the first of March.  Hard to believe it is that time already!

There is another video that was sent to me by my brother.  It is an amazing thing to watch - I found it quite interesting that this girl's mother was an atheist before all this began in this young girl's life.  You can see it here ......and I really recommend that you all take the time to view this incredible movie. 

And lastly, Beth, a reader asks: 

Do you also stay away from teflon/non-stick pans? Just curious. =-) That’s another thing I’m learning to live without. Time to pull out the cast iron!

I'd like to address this in my next post...what I cook with and why I made those choices.

Grace and Peace!


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