Thursday, June 28, 2007

KSMilkmaid update....

Unfortunately, the hearing has again been postponed ...this time until July.  Please continue to pray...although this is frustrating...all happens in God's own timing (which  very rarely matches our expectations!).

Apparently a very close friend of the defense attorney (her husband's attorney) was killed yesterday in a car crash.  Please be praying for the family of the person killed and for the defense attorney who lost a dear friend.

I'll keep everyone updated as I can...


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The KSMilkmaid.....

A few evenings ago, I had a conversation with the KSMilkmaid...we talked until...well...I am embarassd to tell you how long we talked but suffice it to say that everyone else was snoring when we hung up!  Her spirits are good and she is leaning heavily on the arms of the Father....she seems peaceful in the midst of this terrible storm.

There will be a hearing this Wednesday (TOMORROW!) at 2:30 Kansas time...please uplift her family during this time.  She and at least one of her children will most likely be speaking and she desires her words to flow from the Father to the courtroom - and that Jesus be glorified.  I would imagine that this would be a time that the enemy would strike with fear and an attempt to intimidate...let us be praying for strength and peace as she faces the  people in the courtroom and especially for her children.  Remember to pray for protection, wisdom and guidance for them both.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Raising young men....with a little literary license!

I am a mama to boys....4 boys! My oldest is 24 and lives on his own but we see him every week. The rest are still young enough to live at home. I need all the help I can get! Some days I LONG for a tea party and a room done in pink with white hope now lies in grand-babies :) (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)

Last week Josiah turned 14. I am stunned. It seems like yesterday....

Josiah needed much attention after birth....the roof of his mouth is as deep as the Grand Canyon and his gag reflex at birth started at the tip of his tongue. Needless to say this made nursing almost impossible and extremely painful! Many months were spent working with a lactation consultant, pumping, finger feeding and training Josiah. I am thankful that it was successful. It seems like yesterday!

Josiah was such a delightful little one - he loved hats - he wore anything he could find on his head....cute little hats that matched his clothes, deflated balls, boxes...ANYTHING! He liked to fall asleep in my arms stroking my cheek. Melt my heart! It seems like yesterday!

I look at him today, almost as tall as me, and wonder what happened. I am sure you mama's understand this phenomenon! Josiah loves God, serves Him and has a HUGE heart for others. He has a lot of passions in his life; family, farming, working with wood, working with his hands....and.....John Wayne movies, especially the really old ones!

Josiah admires many (NOT ALL!) of the characters that John Wayne plays - they were courageous, chivalrous, strong, men of their word, honorable, honest! This year John Wayne movies are available in stores very inexpensively - I think it is because Mr. Wayne would have been 100 this year. So, of course for his birthday, Josiah asked for some movies. Although we don't have TV, cable or satellite, we do watch movies filtered through a Clearplay dvd player. (See my link in the sidebar to watch a demo of this neat player!)

Birthdays are big deals in our home. It is a day to honor one of our family. Cakes have also become a big deal. Each year, as I pray for the birthday boy, I feel that God gives me inspiration for the cake. I just know what to do...I can almost see the picture of it in my mind....and I am NOT a really creative person so this has to be GOD! I have made some doosies! (Note to readers: this does not in any way imply that I am GOOD at decorating cakes.....)

This year needed to be a western party. Western attire was required. Here are my cowboys!


Lunch was homemade pizza and a special treat of Sobes or sweet tea.

The birthday boy...minus the hat...we were, after all, at the table!


The older cowpoke....armed to the teeth!


And my doodlebug really strong cowboy!


I made a cowboy cake....with a twist. Here is the cake before the special topping.


Then I added something.....I created a letter to Josiah from John Wayne consisting of non-movie quotes from Mr. Wayne. These quote were picked because they speak to things that are pertinent in Josiah's life at this time. Also, please note....this is not to say that I don't address these things from the Word....we do! I was trying to add some encouragement wrapped up as fun! :)

I then searched the Internet and found a copy of Mr. Wayne's signature to add at the bottom of the page. The Older Cowpoke "aged the page" and then it was attached to the cake with a gift for Josiah - a HUGE knife...what more could any young man ask for?

Here is the note:
Howdy Friend,

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday Josiah! There are some things I want you to know as you become a young man....

Although I played tough men in the movies, in real life "I am a demonstrative man, a babypicker-upper, a hugger and a kisser - that's my nature".

Josiah, when your life gets hard remember this...."When the road looks rough ahead, remember God and the word Hope. Hang onto both and tough it out."

When you feel scared Josiah, remember...."Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway!"

And lastly never forget...."when you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it!"

God Bless You Buddy!

Warm regards,

John Wayne

And the final effect!


I am so pleased at how much this pleased Josiah! Dinner was more traditional cowboy fare...pulled pork bar-b-q on homemade hamburger rolls (Thanks Marlene!), corn on the cob, salad from the garden and baked potatoes! We ended the evening watching some of the John Wayne movies Josiah received for his birthday....we had to hurry because our media fast started at midnight!

We managed to squeak two in :)

Saddle up boys!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Update on the KSmillkmaid....

Please continue to lift this family in prayer....the latest news.....
Today’s  hearing has been rescheduled for  Wednesday June 27th, at 2:30.  Please keep this family in prayer during that time.  There is also another hearing on June 25th for the divorce.  The family would appreciate any prayers for peace.

It is frustrating when things like this happen but we know that God holds all in His hands.  Please remember this family next week....I'll keep you updated as I can.



Monday, June 18, 2007

You never know where we'll end up.....

As most of you know, I have the opportunity to travel around NE TN and Southern VA and speak to people about using herbs. Sometimes I teach on culinary herbs and sometimes I teach on medicinal herbs. Truthfully, seems that more people are interested in using them medicinally. I think it is easier to find information on cooking with herbs than making medicine with least from a Christian perspective. It is rare to find someone who will teach on medicinal herbs without throwing in a lot of New Age garbage philosophies.

However, when being invited to a new place, we never know what our surroundings will be like....or what business we will do. I always take my soaps, salves, teas etc. with me and hope to sell some....usually that hope is well founded.

Here are a few of the places we found ourselves recently! Some were surprising and some were familiar. My friend Christy and her husband own Shy Valley Nursery just a wee bit north of us - she recently moved her business to a new location and asked me to come and do a class for her customers on cooking with herbs for her grand opening.

I took Josiah with me that day as my helper and we ventured to Fall Branch TN - a lovely place! We set up our sales table:


Then Christy provided a wonderful quilted table for "cooking". tn_100_3818.JPG

I asked Christy to provide us with herbs that she had plenty of so that we could help with promoting sales that day. Christy had thoughtfully made Mint water, and then we made butter with Salad Burnett and garlic and cream cheese with Rosemary, Thyme, & garlic. We also handed out a recipe sheet with many other herbal ideas! We served our tasty treats on crackers.....yummy! The customers loved it and I hope it helped sales that day.

We also did a show at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray, TN. I have done this show in the past and it has been a lot of fun. Although last time we were inside.....

This time we ended up in the stables!



The vendors were given a long building used to house animals during the state fair. I was thankful for the roof over our heads since it poured rain most of the day! I know a lot of the vendors and we had a lot of fun but it was the first time I ever lost money going to a show - poor weather and the high cost of gas had a lot to do with this.

As you can see we set up in sandy dirt - very different but it helped "Tom Sawyer" sell his cane poles! I think Josiah sold them all that day. It is hard to resist those big green eyes and the freckles across the nose :)


Our last show was the Northeast Tennessee Master Gardeners Convention. This was a new one for us and in a new location in Kingsport TN. We weren't sure what to expect ....boy were we surprised - from the dirt floor stables to a "high falutin'" fancy place as Grandma used to say. The convention center was owned by Marriott and beautiful! We had a wonderful location - right next to a beautiful display - sort of an indoor park!


We had plenty of room to spread out (you'll notice lots of new soaps and many more salves...coming later this week to my website!)


I took the advice of my good friend Julie and offered taste tests of my teas. She explained to me that when she thought of herbal teas she thought of weeds and grass....yuck! However, she said, if people could taste they would certainly buy since my teas are delicious (how else could I get my children to drink them?). So, for the first time ever....ta da.....taste tests! I must say they were a huge hit. First, it drew people into our booth - who can pass up a taste test? Second...they bought...and bought...and bought! I sold more tea that weekend than all of my shows combined! Third...people saw my customers walking around with their little taste test cups and asked where to get more people arrived asking if this was the place...indeed it was! Amazing how far people will walk for a free sip of tea!

You can see Jeremy's jewelry table in the back of our booth. Each time he does a show with me he gets a little bit more professional in his display...and it is showing in his steady increase in sales!


It was a beautiful convention center - twinkle lights hung in great long strands from the ceiling, the carpet was thick, the hall was full of vendors and they said they were expecting 7,000 people to visit the vendor exhibits! Woo hoo!! We had come a long way from the stables! However...there were a few small glitches....

I am not sure we even had 500 people pass through this place....quite a disappointment - although I didn't loose money this time! We had a slight problem with the meals purchased from their in-house restaurant - time delays, items incorrectly made but all of those were workable...until the bug crawled out of my meal (after I had eaten several bites..yikes!). I decided that water would be fine for the rest of the day!

We made some wonderful new friends...hello to the wild and crazy three from Nashville who visited my booth at least 4 times a day and took the time to encourage Jeremy in his music career! (You know who you are!!)....and a sweet grandpa who was there with a display of gems, geodes, fossils and other beautiful things - he took Elijah under his wing and taught him a lot about different types of stones (I am sure we visited his booth at least 4 times a day! Hi Bud!), caring and generous Delores who fell in love with Elijah (and he with her!), sweet Allison who makes beautiful jewelry, crazy Laura and Sheila who told me about the show in the first place and then lastly, but very importantly we met Pat Lanza who wrote the book Lasagna Gardening - one of my favorites! (you can find it at Amazon in my links to the right)...Pat's booth was across from ours.

Pat and her husband were fascinated by my boys - who, when not helping customers or re-stocking baskets (or when not visiting Bud's booth!) sat reading for most of the day. Truly I am thankful for my boys..I want to encourage you young mothers....stick with it during their toddler consistent and lean heavily on God...although you feel like you want to drop at the end of every day (I know I did!) it is so worth it later on. I am so blessed! We got to visit with Pat a lot over the weekend and she was a great encouragement to me.

God led Pat to share some of her personal story with me. Turns out that she faced the same trials at 50 years of age that I am now facing in my life at 50 years of age! It was wonderful to hear from a woman who has walked this valley before me, to hear how God was faithful to uphold her through it all and to see her on the other side of the valley giving glory to God and sharing how wonderful life is at this point in her life. They were sweet to spend time with Elijah to encourage him and sent him off with a lovely garden tool, signed by Pat (not sure it will ever leave his "display" and actually get to be used in the garden although my fingers are itching to try it). Pat and I exchanged email addresses and promised to stay in touch!

Although we didn't make a lot of money.... we made a little, we had a lot of fun, we made new friends and we can't wait to do it again!

Praying for the KSmilkmaid

I just want to remind ya'll to be praying for the KSmilkmaid...especially tomorrow. On Tuesday there is a pre-trial hearing to see if there is enough evidence for a trial. Pray that justice will be upheld. Pray for protection from cruelty from the defense team...sometimes they can be ruthless even to the victims! And pray for peace of mind for Chris and her children. Her desire is for God to be glorified amidst the rubble, that her children, the public and even her husband see her act in love and honor God through it all.

We serve a mighty God whose strength shines through when we are weak. Let us pray that He is glorified to all on Tuesday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

God's Gift of Nettles!

Nettles are one of my favorite herbs. Now there are some that would call them a weed....but I have found that many "weeds" are truly wonderful medicinal herbs such as dandelion, plantain and chickweed! Nettles (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant. It grows from 1 to 4 feet high. I usually find them about 2 1/2 feet tall. It has oval leaves. The stems are covered with stiff stinging hairs. The flowers hang in long clusters. One of the really interesting things is that Nettles has male and female flowers that usually appear on different plants...i.e. one plant will have male flowers and one female flowers. You will find them growing in moist shady areas. They grow prolifically on our mountain!


And because I think it always help to identify a plant if you can see it in bloom.....


The sting from nettles comes from hairs that are like sharp spines. These spines are hollow and come from a swollen "base". This base holds the "venom" which some feel is bicarbonate of ammonia. All I know for sure is that it STINGS! However heating (cooking) or drying this plant destroys the ability to sting. Here is a picture that lets you see the "stingers" up close. All it takes is to gently brush against this plant to feel the effect! Rule of thumb in our home, wear long pants when in the woods, on the way to the creek or on our mountain!


Many cultures gather Nettles in the early spring to be cooked and eaten as a "spring tonic". It is very nutritious. Nettles is high in Vitamins C and A, calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, fiber and protein. Nettles is also used for its fiber... which is similar to flax or hemp. You want to harvest the flowering tops - about the top 8 to 10 inches. When you gather Nettles be sure to wear long pants, long sleeves and gloves. In other words, don't let it touch your skin until it is dried or cooked! However, if you forget and get "stung" you can rub the stings with plantain, jewelweed, rosemary or the juice of the nettle plant itself! It is amazing to me that God placed the cure for the sting in the plant itself! You never have to look anyplace else for the cure!! It has been said that people suffering from arthritis and rheumatism actually find relief from pain by allowing the Nettles to sting them....

Now...for the important part...what do we use Nettles for? Nettles is a wonderful diuretic so we drink nettle tea if we think we are embarking on a kidney infection or urinary tract infection. It has been shown to increase the efficiency of the function of the liver and kidneys. Drinking Nettle tea stimulates circulation and helps to cleanse arthritis, rheumatism, gout and eczema from the system. It increases milk flow in nursing mothers! It is also a blood purifier.

We tincture Nettles in different combinations (depending on the use) for arthritis relief, heavy uterine bleeding and as relief from allergies. Nettles is also used for asthma, bronchitis, and hay-fever. We find that the Nettles tincture helps with that week or two of spring sniffles when all the earth begins to bloom. Another wonderful treatment for seasonal allergies is honey. The trick is that the honey must come from a hive that is within 5 miles of your home. This way the honey is being made from the very plants that make you sneeze! This desensitizes your body to those plants - just like getting shots from the allergist but much more fun and tasty! I have found, since having bees, that over the years my allergies have almost all disappeared! Just a teaspoon a day will help!

We can use Nettles in a compress for painful joints, sprains, tendinitis and sciatica.

Combine Nettles with Burdock for the treatment of eczema! I have often wondered if an ointment made from these two herbs would be a good topical treatment, in lieu of a compress or poultice, for eczema. I may try that this year when my niece visits...she suffers awfully from eczema.

To make an infusion with Nettles, pour a cup of almost boiling water over 3 teaspoons of dried Nettles and leave this, covered, to infuse for about 15 minutes. Drink this three times a day.


I hope I have helped you to see that Nettles offers us many benefits that far outweigh the "sting" factor! It constantly amazes me what wonderful treasures God created to attend to all of our health needs. Nettles is such a beneficial plant, I urge you to grow some in a corner of your homestead or find them in your area. You can also order them already dried from Mountain Rose Herbs which is listed on my sidebar!

You can find more information on herbs by using the search feature on my site. If you would like more in depth information or would like to get started learning about medicinal herbs but feel like you need a little help, you might want to consider my Medicinal Herb Course which includes a month of mentoring one on one. It is an easy introduction to the art of creating medicine at home.

I also want this blog to serve the needs of my readers. If you have herbs that you would like to know more about, please leave a comment and I will do my best to write on those herbs that I feel would serve ya'll!

Well, I am off to bake a birthday cake - Josiah turns 14 tomorrow...I can't believe it! We will be having a western party! He loves John Wayne so I bet that will be a part of the to follow!

Friday, June 8, 2007

KS Milkmaid update....

Just a reminder to continue to pray for the Fuller family. At this time Chris and the children are safe and doing well. God is doing great things in and for this family. Psalm 35 has been laid on this family's heart....please join them in praying this Psalm over their family.

The word tells us .....
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Let's be vigilant in our prayers for this family so that the enemy is defeated!

On another note...I am swamped this weekend and will have lots of pictures to share on Monday - and I have also been desiring to get back to teaching you about using herbs...let's plan to start with Nettles next week - a wonderful, natural, anti-histimine...great for allergy season.

I have also had a lot of requests to continue my story....I haven't just seems to get in the way sometimes!

And, hopefully, next week, I will begin to get all of my new products up on our website - some of these things have been requested by ya'll (shaving soaps and lip balms), some of them have been sent in recent orders as surprises (don't you just love surprises? I do!) and the comments have been very encouraging and some of them were created to meet needs in our own family (are you a hunter? a fisherman?....stay tuned!)


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

And the winners are.....

Wow, this was a really tough decision. We even called in Grandma to help us make these decisions. Trying to vote with an even number wasn't working so Mom sat with us and gave us the ability to break the ties! I believe that some of you guys need to have jobs in the field of marketing!

Our winner for the Basil and Sun dried tomato soap......tn_100_3917.JPG

is Emily with her suggestion of Italian Potpourri! Thanks so much Emily! Let me know which of the other soaps you would like and I'll send both bars at the beginning of next week!

And our other winner is....


Mrs. Visionary with her suggestion of Canine Caress! Thanks Julie!! You, too, need to pick your other favorite soap and I'll get your box in the mail on Monday.

I'll be getting both of these up on the website next week...along with quite a few other new soaps, lip balms and salves! I'll be writing about them here as they go up on my site.

Thanks again to all of you who participated....I am sure we will do this again in the future!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Spiritual lessons from my fuel pump...

It is amazing to me how God can use even the smallest things to remind me of His sovereignty. I have no great or new spiritual insights to reveal but just a gentle reminder of how He holds all things in His hands.

Christmas Eve day last year we were on our way to church. We made a stop and when we tried to start the truck again it was the proverbial doornail. I spent the rest of the morning trying to reach my Mom, so she could bring the children home (tow trucks are ill-equipped for more than one or two!) and waiting for the tow truck to arrive.

Turns out it was my fuel pump. It was replaced and life continued on without another thought about it for sometime. In March, Josiah drove the truck from our driveway over to the barnyard to load some things. Less than five minutes later he tried to drive it back and we were back to the doornail. No fact no noise at all.....aaahhhhh.....flashback to the fuel pump. It turned out to be a component to the fuel pump - which was replaced. A few weeks later we had a hard time starting the truck before church - but it finally caught. We drove there (quite a distance) without much incidence but after services it was dead again. Quite a few of the men at church stopped to help - again it was diagnosed as the fuel pump. Again I called the tow truck!

The fuel pump was removed and tested and declared to be fine. Not an easy task since it sits INSIDE the fuel tank (this means siphoning the tank and taking it off....and why does this happen right after I fill the tank?). Once the fuel pump was re-installed it seemed to work fine....most of the time! There have been many days when you can feel the engine shuddering - it just doesn't feel like it is getting the correct amount of fuel (this diagnosis is from a woman who knows NOTHING about engines!).

On one of our recent trips to the "big city" it died at a red light....actually I think we saw that light turn red 5 or 6 times as we sat there. (Warning: rabbit trail......) You know....people in big cities are not nearly as patient or kind when it comes to traffic delays as people in small country towns! Come on people....did you really think I was sitting there just to aggravate you or to enjoy the mountain views??? Perhaps city people are just too busy or perpetually late....

I told the boys to start praying....which we did....and after a few minutes the truck started fine. We thanked God and moved on, much to the relief of those stuck behind us. It is unnerving to get in your vehicle, especially with children, knowing full well that you have no assurance that you will arrive at your destination....or even more importantly....that you will get home.

I began thanking God each time my truck started. I have been doing this for well over a month now. This little act has been used by God to get me thinking a little deeper about His sovereignty. As I began to audibly thank God each time my truck started, I began to dwell on the fact that His hand is on every aspect of our lives. This was not news to me...I've been walking with God for almost 30 years! But it was used by Him to remind me that He is in the little things as well as the big - a reminder that is very relevant in my life at this time.

My meditations didn't stop with my truck either! I was reminded that we know not what the next day, hour, minute will bring. The fact that my children wake up each morning is in the hands of God. Each beat of my heart is in the hands of God. When we drive on busy roads filled with wacky drivers (who are eating, drinking, yelling at speaking to their kids and chatting on the cell...all simultaneously!) and arrive home safely without incident it is in the hands of God.

We take so much for granted....that our children will always be safe and healthy, that we can go anywhere and come home safely, that our health is always going to be there, that life is good and nothing bad will come across our threshold....I think it is part of the American mindset.

Christians in countries where persecution abounds don't think this way. I read a book a couple of years ago about living life as a Christian in China. It is called Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. You can click on the Amazon link in my sidebar to find this book. I know that this book is fiction but I think it probably has a lot more truth in it than we realize. In this book, Christian children in China are taught to ask themselves each morning..."Is this the day that I die?".... helping them to realize and be prepared that each day they might face death for serving the God of all creation.

I think sometimes we need reminders that we are not owed anything by God.....that there are no guarantees .....that in fact the whole "take up your cross daily" thing is for real! I find that I am seeing and acknowledging God and His involvement in my life in the smallest things much more often and in ways that I have not before. I am finding that a deeper gratitude is growing in my heart for the little things I used to take for granted and that I am seeing the hand of God even more clearly in those little things. We serve a Mighty God!! He cares about the smallest details of our life and He desires us to acknowledge His involvement in those little details!

As I said in the beginning, no new revelations here! Sometimes, at least for me, it helps to have someone say the obvious....I think sometimes I just need to hear it from someone else to remind me of basic Biblical truth. It knocks the complacency out of me! Perhaps today this post was written for put down on paper what I have been mulling in my heart and perhaps it is for my children to read some day. Perhaps I have been "preaching to the choir" but my prayer is that it encourages one of you as much as I have been encouraged these last few months.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Soap contest...

Well...ya'll are just too good...we have not forgotten about the contest but we are truly having a hard time deciding which names we like the best.  We hope to make a decision by tomorrow...and hope to announce the winners no later than Wednesday!

Thanks for your patience!

KSMilkmaid update...

Please continue to pray fervently for my friend the KSMilkmaid. It is public knowledge that her husband posted bond a couple of nights ago. Please continue to pray for protection for this family. She is trusting in God for protection and guidance.

Although her voice has been temporarily silenced for obvious reasons, she continues to chronicle her life so that at some point in the future, you will be able to hear the amazing and glorious things that God is doing in this situation for this family.

There is, at this point, another hearing scheduled for June 19th. I would encourage those of you who are praying for Chris to be praying Psalm 65 for her. If you are able, perhaps you might attend this hearing in support of Chris and her children, if visitors are allowed.

We serve a great and glorious God who is able to accomplish all things. Let us lift this family before Him continuously. Remember that James tells us:
Jas 5:16 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

For those of you led to help in a more tangible way, please contact these ladies for a list of suggested needs or to donate time at the farm. I can personally asure you that the blessing of having extra helping hands around a busy farm is a wondrous thing. I am sure that daily life is overwhelming to this family and some days just getting through chores is difficult - much less all the extra projects that are never ending when tending to animals. I believe that these ladies will also be helping to schedule some work days to relieve the pressure and help them get caught up.
Kristin Anderson:
Vicki Scarpellini :
Vicky Flores:

Friday, June 1, 2007

I planted weeds.... must be true...I planted weeds in my garden beds last fall. I thought I had just neglected to plant a cover crop but surely I lost my mind (definitely happens sometimes) and planted weeds. They seem to be springing up faster than we pull them. This puzzles me since we aren't getting any rain and our cool mornings and comfortable afternoons have turned into scorchers by 8 am.

But, the good news is that we have a system down and we are making progress. We are trying to conquer one bed a day. Doesn't sound like a lot but these are 3 1/2 feet wide and over 30 feet long. However, when it is 89 degrees out and it is only 9:00 am those beds grow....seriously! I am sure they are at least 5 feet wide and 90 feet long...has anyone ever done a study to see if wood, combined with dirt, reacts with heat to expand exponentially in width, length and amount of weeds contained therein. I assure you that this is happening daily in my garden.

Here is our system for recovering the "land that the weeds have eaten". Pray for strength and cool mornings. Jeremy scuffle hoes a bed while the other boys do chores and I work in the greenhouse (which is also running at over 80 degrees in the early morning!). When Jeremy finishes one bed the boys and I start weeding that bed while he does his morning chores. (Another quick prayer for strength and cooler mornings). We add shredded leaves, compost and manure to the freshly weeded bed and Jeremy takes the BCS walk-behind tractor through the bed.

I LOVE the BCS! I must devote an entire blog to her blue beauty....perhaps as soon as we give her a name.....for all the back breaking work she does ...well...she deserves a name and our highest respect! of the rabbit trail and back to the weeds...(at this point I am reminding God that I have prayed fervently for cooler mornings!).

The BCS leaves the bed beautifully tilled and flat on top. Then Josiah, our resident Dripworks expert, places the drip tape in the bed according to what we are planning to plant in that bed. Elijah and I cover the drip tape while Jeremy and Josiah cut the plastic mulch for the bed. When Elijah and I are finished the plastic goes on and the bed is ready for planting. I plant in the evenings so that the plants don't go into complete shock/stress at facing their first 12 hours under the scorching heat.

Although this sounds quick it does take several hours to whip out a bed...and boy are we whipped and dripping when done. I head in for a shower while the boys take a quick dip in the above ground pool that they purchased last year. Then it is time for school, for those children who have a little to finish up, inside chores and all of the other Mommy related things we women do each day.

So far we have herbs, onions, carrots, lettuce, some cherry tomatoes, a few tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, sweet corn, zucchini, and squash in the ground. Still to come pumpkins, winter squash (or I will be picking the fruit in the greenhouse!), beans, dried beans, peppers, hot peppers, tomatillas, canning tomatoes, more cherry and eating tomatoes, more lettuces, more melons, lots of herbs and flowers and a few other things.

We are so far behind this year but I think I see light at the end of the tunnel.....or is that just the beginning of another scorching morning....sigh....time to pray again!

About the KSMilkmaid....

The KSMilkmaid would like me to let you know that she is safe and her children are safe. Portions of her blog will be temporarily out of commission but she will be in touch with everyone later! Please continue to keep her and her family in your prayers, her ordeal is far from over.

She asked me to tell you that you can still donate on her website through the Paypal button if God so leads you. You can also contact  the ladies below if you wish to reach out in more practical ways.

Kristin Anderson:
Vicki Scarpellini :
Vicky Flores:
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